Video: How Does Sunscreen Work? Can it Really Prevent Wrinkles and Cancer?

Watch video at You Tube (7:38 minutes) . . . . .

Summer Sweets – White Peach Cakes of Ginza Cozy Corner in Tokyo, Japan

The prices are from 464 yen to 626 yen (tax included) each.

Is It Hoarding, Collecting, or Archiving? Keep? Toss?

Gina Barreca wrote . . . . . . . . .

“Let me know when you write a column about people who keep EVERYTHING just in case they ever need it…but never do,” asked James Lattin, a friend from college. “Baseball cards? Still got ‘em. Old letters from friends and family? Check. Treasured albums on vinyl? But of course! Papers written in elementary school? The only one I remember is still in my possession. And yes, the extra screw that came in the furniture assembly kit that looked like it might come in handy one day–I’ve still got that, too.”

“Just in case” might be the most tempting phrase when it comes to keeping things we don’t need; it’s the equivalent of an alcoholic’s “just one more” or an unfaithful partner’s “just this once.” It’s the enabling mantra, a version of a permission slip, or an emotional hall-pass.

Other mantras are effective, if not quite as seductive. These include but are not limited to: “There’s nothing wrong with that”; “That’s practically new”; “But look what it can do!”; “They don’t make these anymore.”

Creative, smart, and curious readers and friends wrote to me after my previous post on what items we decide to keep, what we decide to give or throw away, and what our emotional responses are to those choices.

Writer, speaker, and scholar Nancy Bocksor wrote to me directly, telling me that “Cleaning out my mom’s house was emotionally complex because she and I are ‘historians, not hoarders.’ She had been collecting newspapers and clippings since Hitler took over Germany –page one of VE Day in the ‘Dayton Daily News,’–that kind of thing. No one wanted them. I tried. It about killed me to throw them away. She lived through a Depression and WWII and I threw it away.”

I wrote Nancy back and said, from the heart, that she honored her mother by releasing them both from the “stuff” of even the carefully curated materials. “You dealt with them with tenderness even as you put them away into history,” I explained, and said these hard words that I know are tough truths to admit: No one needs these papers and books now. They are digitally archived. Unless they are in perfect condition or rare editions, no library will take them.

It’s hard to accept that stuff we treasured is not a treasure for others.

Other have their have their own stories to tell. The future doesn’t always leave much room for the past.

It’s what old people think, and I say this as a woman in her sixties. While I think it’s simply fascinating to sit down and thumb through pages of LIFE magazines from the year I was born, for example, I no longer expect anybody younger than I am even to pretend they think it’s fun.

It’s easy to say “She’s a hoarder” about somebody we don’t like.

And it’s easy to say “He’s a collector” about somebody we do like.

About ourselves, however, we’ll say something like, “it’s true, I am an archivist.”

(That “what I happen to ‘archive’ are tablecloths, napkins, tea towels and table runners, all of which are rarely, meaning never, ironed and pretty much remain randomly stuffed into a dark cabinet” is the part we leave out.)

I have made literal the idea of “material” and materiality by clinging to my cache of fabric.

But getting rid of our stuff makes us feel immaterial, and that’s one reason we don’t like to do it.

James Lattin, the friend I mentioned earlier who will never have a screw loose-—and who also happens to be Robert A. Magowan Professor of Marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business-—assigns almost talismanic power to certain pieces of property: “You know the portkeys in the Harry Potter series? A magical object that instantly transports the person who touches it to a specific location? Well, old baby clothes are like a portkey to the past. The touch and the feel make those old memories more immediate and more tangible. It’s like a tool for augmenting and intensifying those old memories.”

But do we want to be the gatekeepers and key-holders of the past, especially when the past is shared with others who are no longer with us? Those keys, and the rings that hold them, can turn into heavy chains, however, and no longer represent merely healthy ties that bind.

Judith Wenger cleaned out her late sister’s condo after she died and told me, “I cried ugly. What should I do with my late sister’s three diplomas? She had no children and neither did I. What else could I do but let them go?”

This wasn’t Judith’s first encounter with the process of clearing out after loved ones died. She explained, “When I cleaned out my parents’ places (first a senior apartment, then assisted living), we sibs took things that had meaning. It made me sad, but it also taught me to downsize my own life.”

My brother and I had a similar experience when going through my father’s stuff after he passed away. Although my brother has kids who loved their grandpa, my brother and I made the choice to be the last ones to touch anything we knew that nobody else would respect, understand, or care about. I never regretted those decisions. Better, we thought, that two people who loved him should have been the last one to touch these items; I didn’t like the idea of having strangers judging his old ties or pajamas at thrift shops.

I kept an old frame, a couple of pots (now resting in peace with their iron brethren, because nothing lasts forever), a few books, and a few of his ties (I judged them as best).

The idea that somebody will have to go through my stuff now makes me think twice, Judith-like. Any purchase must offer immediate satisfaction because the last thing I want is to do at the end of my life is leave behind me a legacy of tchotchkes.

We should all get those colored-paper circle stickers and put them on the backs of stuff (paintings, photos, knick-knacks) indicating “This goes to the Whitney Museum,” “This goes to Goodwill,” and “This can be the first thing on the dumpster and I’m sorry you even have to look it.”

Source: Psychology Today

Beef Mince on Toast

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium leek, white and light green part only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 medium carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 pounds ground (minced) chuck (20% fat)
2 canned whole plum tomatoes or 1/4 cup canned chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 cups dry red wine
1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth (optional)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Four 3/4-inch thick slices Pullman loaf or wheat bread
4 tablespoons beef drippings or pan sauce from a roast (or softened butter, in a pinch)
finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Method

  1. Make the beef mince. In a large skillet (frying pan), heat the oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, leek, carrot, and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft, 5-6 minutes.
  3. Crumble the beef into the pan and stir to mix it into the vegetables and break up the meat. Cook, stirring often, until the beef loses its pink color, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Crush the whole tomatoes in your hand and over the pan. While stirring, add the oats, followed by the Worcestershire sauce, and finally the wine. The sauce should be loose and thick (like lava). If the sauce is too thick, add enough chicken stock to make it lava-like.
  5. Stir in the salt and pepper, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally and adding stock if the pan goes dry, until the mixture looks rich and creamy and the fat separates out from the meat and rests at the surface of the mince, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  6. Toast the bread.
  7. Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the broiler to high.
  8. Spread the beef drippings over one side of each slice, then place the toast on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil until bubbling, 1-2 minutes.
  9. Serve with the mince spooned over the toast and finish with parsley, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Chef Fergus Henderson


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