Chuckles of the Day

New Chemical Element: WOMAN

Symbol: Wo

Atomic Weight: 135 (more or less, usually more)

Physical Properties: Generally round in form. Boils at nothing and may freeze anytime. Melts whenever treated properly. Very bitter if not used well.

Chemical Properties: Very active. Highly unstable. Possess strong affinity to gold, silver, platinum, and precious stones. Violent when left alone. Able to absorb great amounts of exotic food. Turns slightly green when placed next to a better specimen. Ages rapidly.

Usage: Highly ornamental. An extremely good catalyst for dispersion of wealth. Probably the most powerful income reducing agent known.

Caution: Highly explosive in inexperienced hands.

Top Attributes: Strong constitution, able to juggle multiple Kd (element Kid), XY (element MAN), and Jb (element Job) simultaneously. Can be soft and cuddly when treated with respect and provided a safe environment to flourish.

* * * * * * *

New Chemical Element: MAN

Symbol: XY

Atomic Weight: 180 (+/- 100)

Physical Properties: Solid at room temperature, but gets bent out of shape when heated. Fairly dense and sometimes flaky. Difficult to find a pure sample. Due to rust, aging samples are unable to conduct electricity as easily as young fresh samples.

Chemical Properties: Attempts to bond with Wo any chance it can get. Also, tends to form strong bonds with itself. Becomes explosive when mixed with Kd (element Kid) for prolonged periods of time. Pretty basic. Neutralize by saturating with alcohol.

Usage: None really, except methane production. Good samples are able to produce large quantities on demand.

Caution: In the absence of Wo, this element rapidly decomposes and begins to smell.

Top Attributes: More advanced specimens accept responsibilities readily, responding with confidence and creative, appropriate actions. Is capable of strong leadership in a familial setting, especially in union with Wo (element WOMAN).


In Pictures: Moon Cakes of Hong Kong Restaurants and Bakeries

Celebrating Mid-autumn Festival on September 10, 2022





New Sweets of Joel Robuchon Japan

Marron Cassis

Shine Muscat Tart

Marie Antoinette Tea and Apple Mousse

The prices are from 740 yen to 940 yen (tax included).





Could Artificial Sweeteners Be Bad for Your Heart?

Artificial sweeteners are a popular way to try to keep slim, but French researchers suggest they may also increase your risk for a heart attack or stroke.

The finding stems from tracking heart health among more than 103,000 men and women in France for close to a decade.

“We observed that a higher intake of artificial sweeteners was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases,” said study author Mathilde Touvier. She is director of the nutritional epidemiology research team at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research and Sorbonne Paris Nord University, both in France.

Roughly 80% of participants in the NutriNet-Santé cohort were women (average age: 42). The study began in 2009 to investigate links between nutrition and health.

At the outset, nearly four out of 10 participants reported they regularly used artificial sweeteners, including Nutrasweet (aspartame), Splenda (sucraclose) and Sunett or Sweet One (acesulfame potassium). They added them to food or beverages and also consumed them in processed products.

Those who said they used such sweeteners were generally younger; less active; more likely to be overweight or obese; more likely to smoke; and more likely to be dieting. They also tended to consume more red meat, dairy, salt, and sugar-free drinks. They drank less alcohol and ate fewer fruits and vegetables, less carbs and fats, and fewer calories overall, dietary records showed.

Participants’ heart health was then tracked and compared for an average nine years.

During that time, more than 1,500 heart problems occurred, including heart attacks, strokes, severe chest tightness or pain (angina), and/or the need for surgery to widen blocked arteries (angioplasty).

After stacking artificial sweetener consumption up against heart trouble, the researchers concluded that the former was associated with the risk for the latter.

The Calorie Control Council, which represents the artificial sweetener industry, did not respond to a request for comment.

Touvier and her team stressed that their work does not definitively prove that sweeteners directly undermine heart health, only that there’s a link between the two.

And that should give people pause before drawing firm conclusions, said Connie Diekman, a St. Louis food and nutrition consultant who is former president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“The challenge with most of the studies, and that is true here, is that studies have yet to provide a cause-and-effect outcome,” Diekman said. “When looking at non-nutritive sweeteners it is hard to tease out how much the overall health of the subjects is a factor in the disease outcome.”

For example, she pointed to study participants’ own description of their diet and health habits.

“The authors state that higher consumers of non-nutritive sweeteners had higher BMI’s [a measure of body fat based on height and weight], smoked more, had less physical activity, and ate more sodium and red meats, with fewer fruits and vegetables,” Diekman noted.

She also stressed the importance of accounting for the “trade-off” factor, in which someone who uses a no-calorie sweetener for an iced tea, for example, might then rationalize indulging in a bowl of ice cream. That, Diekman said, is why “the whole diet is what must be assessed.”

While the authors said they took such factors into account when determining risk, Diekman had reservations.

“Can we really determine how one single variable impacted the health of the body?” she asked. “The answer is no.”

Still, if artificial sweeteners do pose trouble for the heart, why might that be?

Lead author Charlotte Debras, a doctoral candidate at both the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research and Sorbonne Paris Nord University, suggested a number of possibilities.

One, she said, is the promotion of metabolic syndrome, which encompasses an array of conditions that raise the risk for heart attack and stroke. Among those are high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess waist fat and high cholesterol.

“Another potential pathway could involve the interaction of artificial sweeteners with intestinal sweet taste receptors,” which can affect both insulin levels and sugar absorption, Debras said.

Artificial sweeteners may also alter the makeup of microbes found in the gut, drive up systemwide inflammation and trigger vascular malfunction, she added.

“But these are hypotheses, notably from experimental studies, that need to be confirmed,” Debras said.

Meanwhile, Diekman said the French findings do not change her dietary recommendations.

“Focus on an overall healthful eating plan,” she advised. “More plant foods, leaner or low fat animal foods, and if you enjoy something sweet, think about portions, frequency of consumption, and try to vary the types of sweeteners you use. No single food or ingredient is the ‘bad guy.’ It is how all of this comes together into your day in, and day out, eating plan.”

The report was published online in the BMJ.

Source: HealthDay





Porchetta-style Oven Pork Roast


1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp each chopped fresh rosemary and fresh sage
3 cloves garlic, pressed or grated
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch each salt and crushed hot pepper flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 boneless pork loin roast (about 1.125 kg)
4 slices prosciutto (about 55 g total)


  1. In bowl, combine parsley, rosemary, sage, garlic, mustard, fennel seeds, lemon zest, pepper, salt and hot pepper flakes. Stir in oil. Spread over roast. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  2. Overlapping slices, arrange prosciutto over top of roast. Using kitchen string, tie roast in 5 or 6 places to secure.
  3. Place pork on rack in roasting pan and pour in 1/2 cup water. Roast in 350°F oven until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part reads 155°F, 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours.
  4. Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes before carving into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Makes 10 servings.

Source: Mediterranean Flavours

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