Posted by: colegrove | Friday 6 July 2012

colegrove:

Very true. This is what we really are.

Originally posted on Hazardous Material:

Many of us have heard Joel Smiley’s opening. It goes a little something like this:

This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do. Today I will be taught the word of God. I boldly confess my mind is alert, my heart is receptive; I’ll never be the same. In Jesus name, God bless you.

Yeah. Way too superficial don’t you think?  Let’s try cleaning it up a bit. First, one for the unsaved in the crowd:

This is a Bible. I am what it says I am, a filthy, wretched, God-hating sinner. I have what it says I have, a corrupt heart capable only of despising the Lord who made me and sustains me. I can do what it says I can do; works that even the best God sees as…

View original 193 more words

Posted by: colegrove | Sunday 1 April 2012

Revelation: Four Views

How is Revelation chapters 4-19 to be interpreted?  

Revelation can be divided into three general sections:

  1. Revelation 1-3 contain letters to the Seven Churches in Asia
  2. Revelation 4-19, the bulk of the apocalyptic prophetic vision
  3. Revelation 20-22, the “millennium”, judgment, Return of Christ, and the End of Time (as we know it)
Each of these can be, and have, throughout the centuries, been interpreted differently.
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For instance, in Chapters 1-3, some see the letters to the Churches as being specific letters for specific churches.  Others see, in addition to that obvious fact, that they symbolize different eras of church history.  Both views can be equally valid.  Likewise it is a reminder and warning to all churches of all eras.
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Side note: What is a “Church”?  When I say “church” here in this article and elsewhere on this blog, I do not mean a building, denomination, organization, hierarchy, or people to attend said things.  All of these have been known as “church” in varying contexts, sometimes rightly so.  But here, when I say church, I mean people.  People who are no good on their own.  People who can only boast in the Lord Jesus Christ, not in their own work or flesh.  People who have repented of their sins, believe (present-tense) the Word of God to be true, and put their faith and trust in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ.  A true spiritual Israel.  A Church can be a building where believers gather.  It can be a denomination of like-minded people.  It can be people who attend those things.  However, the Word mostly speaks of PEOPLE who are being changed, refined by in one form of another into the likeness of Christ.   Many people claim be believe the Gospel message, have been “baptized”, are a member of a church, etc., but that does not mean they have a changed heart and surrendered will.  Here, when John says these were letters to the Churches, I believe he means to BELIEVERS.
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The bulk of Revelation consists of confusing and unusual visions that John received while exiled on the Isle of Patmos, off the coast of modern Turkey.  The main theories as to the meaning of Chapters 4-19 can be summarized as:
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  1. The Futurist View – They see most of the events in these chapters pertaining to a short period of time before Christ returns and before the Millennium.  Dispensational Futurists take these events to be a supposed specific “Seven-Year” period that they see prophesied in Daniel chapter 9.  Now, one need not be a dispensationalist, but they just tend to be more defined group.  Dispensationists usually believe in a “Rapture” that will take believer’s out of this world.  Disagreements arise over whether or not this is at the beginning of the 7-years, mid-way, or at the end.  They also interpret Daniel 9 to say that the Antichrist will stop the temple sacrifices, thus necessitating a third temple being built in the yet future.  The question most fail to address here is – is Daniel actually speaking of an end-times seven year period?  I would say “nay”.   An in-depth study of Daniel 9 and his seventy prophetic weeks can be seen to be fulfilled in Christ’s baptism at the beginning of the 70th week, and final sacrifice, when the veil of the temple was torn in two mid-way through… not in Antichrist and some re-built temple.  To rebuild the temple and begin sacrifices again would be to say that Christ’s work was not enough to take away sin.  When the seven-year theory’s foundation crumbles, all the rest of dispensationalism fall with it.  A relatively recent view, being popularized in the 19th century by Darby and Scofield, the Dispensational-Futurist view is the prevailing view in American Evangelicalism today, as well as the basis for much support of the modern nation of Israel.    Again, one can still be in the futurist camp without believing in a seven-year tribulation period.  Many elements of Futurism, in my mind, seem to ring true, but I cannot see the whole story that has been built up on the dispensational view.  Many aspects, especially at the end, and obviously, the Return of Christ himself, have yet to be fulfilled.  As this part is true, one cannot destroy all of what the futurist view has to say.  Futurism simply put, means that the bulk of Revelation 4-19 is still to be fulfilled.  I may seem to criticize this view too strongly, perhaps wrongly even.  If I do, it is just because I see such a flimsy foundation for such a popular an elaborate eschatology.
  2. The Preterist View – They see most of the events in these chapters as already been fulfilled in the 1st century AD with the Jewish War of AD 66-70, the Fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 and judgment on apostate Judaism.  Many Preterists also see parts of Revelation 4-19 as the fall of the western Roman empire and Roman paganism and the triumph of Christianity in the 4th century with Constantine’s legalization of it.  Elements of Preterism seem to specifically tied to Revelation.  But many Preterists believe that Christ either returned “spiritually” in AD 70, or else have an unknown gap of many centuries before he is to return, which leaves this view wanting.  Besides, the book of Revelation and its letters were for the CHURCHES, not the Jewish leadership, as a warning of the coming destruction.
  3. The Historicist View – View Revelation 4-11 as being a vision of things that will come hereafter.  From the time John wrote Revelation until the time Christ returns.  An overview of the people of the New Covenant.  Deals with some events of world history and politics, but is mainly concerned with the church – believers.  The rise and spread of Islam, the rise of apostate Christianity, the persecution of believers, and the eventual – yet-to-be-fulfilled return of Christ.  This was the view of all the reformers, those sola-Scriptura lights such as John Wycliffe, Jan Hus of Bohemia in the 15th century, Martin Luther, Zwingli, William Tyndale, many of the Anabaptists of the 16th century, John Bunyan as well as my ancestor – Rhode Island founder Roger Williams in the 17th century, and others such as the great Charles Haddon Spurgeon in the 19th century and the controversial John Calvin – to an extent – held this view.  It was the prevailing view of the Pilgrim immigrants.  It is so rarely mentioned today that no one realizes it has any validity.  In fact the great Henry H. Halley wrote his “Halley’s Bible Handbook” in many versions over many years in the 1910′s-1960′s.  At his death the rights to his work were given to Billy Graham, and all subsequent printings since 1961 have removed nearly all his research into church history and Roman Catholic persecution of believers, as well as most of his notes on Revelation.  Simply vanished.  One wonders… why?
  4. The Idealist View – Takes Revelation as a whole, without trying to identify of interpret the prophetic visions.  It seeks to take a moral lesson from them.  I commend this view as life-applicable, but wholly not the main message of the Prophecy.  It is written in symbols but it is about real events.  This view is incomplete.
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Then there is the end of Revelation.  Chapters 20-22.  The Millennium and beyond.  One can be a futurist, preterist, or historicist and hold to any one of these following views at the same time.  Some hold to -
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  1. Amillennial View – “a” meaning “no” millennium. belief that the 1,000 years is a symbolic time period from the time of Christ’s death and resurrection until he returns again, with Satan being released shortly before the return of Christ.
  2. Historic Pre-Millennial View – A period of 1,000 years where Satan is bound and Christ reigns on earth, from the return of Christ to the releasing of Satan before the second resurrection.
  3. Dispensational Pre-Millennial View – Similar to the above Historic Pre-Millennial view, a period of 1,000 years of Christ reigning on earth, but with the 144,000 faithful Jews and those who have been martyred during the “Seven-Year” Tribulation period that immediately preceeded this Millennium.  This view is directly tied to Dispensational Futurism of ch 4-19.
  4. Post-Millennial View – the 1,000 years will be a period of peace before Christ returns.

I tend to find myself as a sort of composite.  However the Historicist view makes the most sense to my mind for chapters 4-19, and some sort of fusion between amillennialism and historic pre-millennialism seems to be in my mind while reading Revelation myself.

Interpretations

Interpretations

WHAT GOT ME THINKING ON THIS?  So, this is the post that got me going on this topic…  http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/interpreting-revelation/  and view on the millennium - http://www.reformedreader.org/mchart.htm

I recommend two books: “End Times Delusions” by Steve Wohlberg and “Revelation: Four Views” edited by Steve Gregg for a better over arching yet in depth view on the above views.

Posted by: colegrove | Tuesday 15 November 2011

Old People

Shivapuri Baba, 137 years

I wish to post two articles here that show examples (though slightly unverified) of people living to extreme ages.   There have been many examples of longevity and many supercentenarians in history.

Take for example - Shivapuri Baba, also known as Swami Govindanath Bharati from India.  He lived to the age of 137, from 1826-1963.  He had 18 audiences with Queen Victoria.  He met with President Theodore Roosevelt.  But I degress… the articles, if you please…

First, I post this article on the death of an woman, aged 128 -

Yemen

Yemeni Woman Died at 128 years-old

YEMEN OBSERVER - Written By: Zaid al-Alaya’a, Article Date: Nov 12, 2011

http://www.yobserver.com/news-varieties/10021608.html  - ACCESSED ON 15 NOV 2011

NAME: FATIMA MOHAMMED AL-HAMDANI, 128 YEARS, 1883-2011, YEMEN

Fatima Mohammed al-Hamdani, a 128 year-old woman died today in Yemen, making her the oldest centenarians not only in the country but the region. She was married twice and had four daughters and one son.

Her eldest daughter is now 77. Fatima al-Hamdani had more than 90 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  According to Jihad Yahya Aiadh, one of her grandsons, Fatima used to walk every day until 4 years ago when her health confined her to her house.

She used to sell sweets and candies to children.  According to family members, she was always very particular about having her breakfast at 6 O’clock sharp, as she considered it was the most important meal of the day.

They added that she only ate lamb whenever she was eating meat as it was her favorite. “As far as I remember, she never ate anything from the streets or restaurants and all her food was based on organic products.

” The old lady who was born in Sana’a was well known for her independent spirit as all her life she only relied on herself and her work ethic to provide for her family.

By buying small cheap merchandize she was able to generate an income, walking often for long hours.

According to another of her grandsons, Mohammed al-Siri, she never took any medicine such as pills or syrups adding that all of her medications were based on herbs and traditional remedies. “She did not eat chicken or any another sorts of meat, only lamb.

She witnessed many things in the history of Yemen and was even alive during the Ottomans occupation,” said al-Siri. The family refused to hand out a picture of Fatima, saying it went against the family traditions, adding that it wasn’t proper for women in Yemen to uncover their faces to strangers.

All Fatima’s neighbors agreed that she was a lovely, sociable lady who will be missed dearly as she always was so kind to her community.

Maybe most interestingly yet, Fatima gave birth to her last child at the age of 55, which in Yemen is extremely rare and rather unconventional. Last but not least Fatima outlived four generations of her family, as her daughter had herself a daughter who had a daughter who is now married; leaving behind great great grandchildren.

Also of note is the recent article out of China documenting a 126 year old woman -

GuangXi

Guangxi

China boasts nearly 50,000 centenarians

(People’s Daily Overseas Edition) 15:38, November 08, 2011

Edited and translated by Yao Chun, People’s Daily Online, http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90882/7638721.html – ACCESSED ON 15 NOV 2011

NAME: LUO MEIZHEN, BORN 1885, CHINA, AGE 126 AS OF NOV 2011, STILL ALIVE

Bejjing, Nov. 8 (People’s Daily Online) – As of July 1, 2011 in China – excluding Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan – the number of living centenarians has reached nearly 48,000, increasing by more than 5,000 people compared with the year before and at a growth rate of more than 10 percent, according to Chinese Society of Gerontology.

On Nov. 7, China’s oldest living person and China’s oldest living couple were named in the fourth of China’s Top 10 Longest-living Persons held in Rudong village in Jiangsu Province, which is known as the Town of Longevity in China.

Luo Meizhen (Luo Mei Zhen), an elderly person (a woman)  from Bama Yao Autonomous County of Guangzi Zhuang Autonomous Region, took the top spot among China’s Top 100 Longest-living Persons with an age of 126 years old.

Yan Shengzhing and his wife Yang Jinshi, a couple from Qiannan Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Guizhou Province, took the top spot of China’s Top 10 Longest-living Couples with a combined age of 213 years.

The average life expectancy in China is 73.5 years and the country’s 12th Five-Year Program endeavors to increase that figure by one year over the next five years.

And lastly, for the moment… is the story from India, of a man who is marrying at age 125!

PARASRAM GURJAR

He may be India’s oldest man

By Shahnawaz Akhtar – Bhopal – 16 Nov 2011 – The Weekend Leader

http://www.theweekendleader.com/Culture/764/I%E2%80%99m-Ok,-You%E2%80%99re-Ok!.html

ACCESSED: 15 NOV 2011

NAME: PARASRAM GURJAR, BORN 1886, INDIA, AGE 125 AS OF NOV 2011, STILL LIVING

He may be the oldest man alive in India. If Parasram Gurjar’s family tree is to be believed, he is a good 125 years old.  He is a resident of Talkesri village in Hoshangabad district, 70 km from here.

His family has no scientific proof of his age, but his 45-year-old grandson Hakam Singh Gurjar claimed that their ‘vanshawali’ or family tree mentioned Parasram’s age as 22 years in 1908. According to that, he was born in 1886.

On World Elders’ Day Oct 1 the Madhya Pradesh government conferred on the old man the Shatayu Samman. He was among eight people felicitated for attaining the age of more than 100 years.

“The medical Board of Madhya Pradesh has certified he is more than 90 years old. However, it could not provide a certificate for his age exceeding 90 years,” said Hakam.

“We have written to union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad for making arrangements for verification of age of older people. Besides, we have applied to the Guinness World Records,” he said.

Parasram is quite fit, has no ailment, and does most of his daily chores by himself.

Parasram is an agriculturist by profession.

“He is perfectly healthy though he is a little hard of hearing. Except for being affected by pneumonia recently, he has never fallen ill. He has no ailments. He is physically capable and does most of his daily chores by himself,” Hakam said.

Parasram moves comfortably with the help of a stick and can eat just about everything. The day this correspondent met him, he was eating kachoris with youngsters at Coffee House in Bhopal.

His only surviving son Mohanlal is now 75 years old. His three other sons and a younger daughter are no more. His family consists now of 14 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Assuming a date, on Aug 10 every year Parasram’s birthday is celebrated by his family. He does not take old age pension from the government as he feels the amount is too meagre.

The self-claimed supercentenarian said about his longevity: “Apart from a proper diet, the only thing that has kept me going is hard work. I am really saddened that today’s generation is much weaker and is not hardworking.”

There may be a confusion regarding his actual age, but even now Parasram is clear on what he wishes to do.

“I want to have an organisation to make people aware and stop female foeticide,” he said. – IANS

Emperor Jimmu of Japan, 126 years

The reason I post these is to show that healthy long life is very possible.  True, not probable, but possible.  I also do this to show examples of people who lived to biblical ages.  Jacob lived to be 147.  His son Levi lived to be 137.  Job lived 140 years past his trying ordeal to an unknown age, Moses (15th century BC) lived to be 120 years old.  His brother Aaron lived 123 years.  Joseph (17th century BC) and Joshua (15th century BC) both lived to be 110.  It is not necessary to scoff at such ages.  The advisor Jehoiada lived 130 years.    Secular literature and histories have centenarians being possibly more common-place than today.  The founder of Japan, the 7th-century BC Emperor Jimmu lived to be 126 years old.

 

 

Posted by: colegrove | Wednesday 23 June 2010

free counters

Posted by: colegrove | Thursday 17 June 2010

Fresh Pita Bread

Just made this recipe: Fresh Pita Bread.  I found it online at “The Fresh Loaf”, and it turns out great!!  All I did was reduce the sugar by half, and to replace the other half, used blackstrap molasses.  I also reduced the salt, and used Sea Salt.  I used 100% Whole Wheat Stone Ground Flour.  Then served with Hummus!  Check it out at their site and try it for yourself:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/pitabread

Posted by: colegrove | Friday 21 May 2010

Philosophy of Liberty

A philosophy of liberty under law is the following.  This liberty protects Life (from murder, abortion, aggressive unlawful wars), God-given Rights (liberty, freedoms), Property ownership (free enterprise economics), and Privacy.

This liberty is not all inclusive though.  One cannot have absolute liberty, or there would be anarchy.  Liberty ends when one violates those rights.  For example, if someone murders someone, they can be brought to justice and jailed (loose their right to liberty).  Also if the government in which you are living tramples on the lives and the rights they defend (the only purpose of government), government looses its legitimacy, as Thomas Jefferson said in his Declaration of Independence.

Today we see both extremes: a government run aloof with centralization and power as well as a public that wants to do everything without consequences.  Overall, however, the bigger issue in my mind is an encroaching government that is allowed by its people to have more power and take away more rights from its people in the name of safety and efficiency.  Maybe the public should be more SELF-sufficient.

Posted by: colegrove | Wednesday 9 December 2009

Never Give Up

Iranian Child

Iranian Child

Hope is vital to life.  A patient suffering must have hope to live fully and achieve health.  A person watching a loved one must have hope to live fully.  In truth there always is hope, even if it does not seem rational to believe in hope.  Today there are those who don’t seem to value human life in all its forms.

Newborn Child

Newborn Child

We have Christmas Carols singing of “peace” and then those same singers the next day arguing for unjustified wars overseas.  We have elitists promoting covert ways of reducing the world’s population.  Human life in all its forms must be held as a sacred, a gift of God.  Those who are different than us; those who disagree with us; unborn children; the elderly; those of different religions – they may be wrong, but we must always keep in mind that they too were all created by God.  Those who are sick or have disabilities should not be taken for granted – their lives have meaning too.

NEVER GIVE UP:  Consider this inspiring story:

A Ray of Hope

Always look for a ray of hope

“[An] amazing case involving the recovery of one who was “brain dead” happened in December 1988. Barbara Blodgett, a 24-year-old Washington state woman who had been in a deep coma for more than five months, gave birth to a healthy baby boy and then came out of the coma and began making gradual progress toward recovery. When thirteen-weeks pregnant on June 30, 1988, Barbara was severely injured when the car she was riding in was struck by a drunk driver. Her cousin was killed in the crash and she suffered head injuries so severe that doctors proclaimed she was in a state of “cerebral death.” Yet by January 1989 she was asking questions, forming words, recognizing her family and friends, and helping in small ways to care for her newborn baby. Barbara spelled out the following message by pointing to letters on a piece of paper: “Never give up” (USA Today, Feb. 14, 1989).”

Another inspiring example is this story:

Take that example and look at what prominent people in the world today say:

Eugenicists for Population Control

Eugenicists for Population Control - Loss of Life and Freedom

A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
- Ted Turner – CNN founder and UN supporter – quoted in the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, June ’96

In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.” – Jacques Cousteau

The world has a cancer, and that cancer is man.”     – Merton Lambert, former spokesman for the Rockefeller foundation

“...The first task is population control at home. How do we go about it? Many of my colleagues feel that some sort of compulsory birth regulation would be necessary to achieve such control. One plan often mentioned involves the addition of temporary sterilants to water supplies or staple food. Doses of the antidote would be carefully rationed by the government to produce the desired population size.” – Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb, p.130-131

If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.” – Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, leader of the World Wildlife Fund – quoted in “Are You Ready For Our New Age Future?,” Insiders Report, American Policy Center, December ’95/’96

Childbearing [should be] a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license … All potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
- David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club; founder of Friends of the Earth; and founder of the Earth Island Institute – quoted by Dixie Lee Ray, Trashing the Planet, (p.166)

One-fourth of humanity must be eliminated from the social body. We are in charge of God’s selection process for planet Earth. He selects, we destroy. We are the riders of the pale horse, Death.
- Psychologist Barbara Marx Hubbard – member and futurist/strategist of Task Force Delta; a United States Army think tank

NOTE: The world is NOT overpopulated.  The entire population of the world could live in Texas with more than an acre each.  Do the math.

Life is a Gift

Life is a Gift - It has its ups and downs - but its worth the living!

Posted by: colegrove | Sunday 15 November 2009

Recommended Reading List, Part 1

Recommended Reading List, Part 1

  • The Hundred-Year Lie: How to Protect Yourself from the Chemicals That Are Destroying Your Health, by Randall Fitzgerald
  • Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life: Unleash the Healing Power of Fresh Juices and Cleansing Diets, by Cherie Calbom with John Calbom
  • 20,000 Secrets of Tea: The Most Effective Ways to Benefit From Nature’s Healing Herbs, by Victoria Zak
  • World Without Cancer: The Story of Vitamin B17, by G. Edward Griffin
  • The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, by G. Edward Griffin
  • The Revolution: A Manifesto, by Rep. Ron Paul

 

 

Posted by: colegrove | Thursday 29 October 2009

Life’s Greatest Questions

Life2

Life, n., the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms..., etc.

seek_truthTruth is something of a lost art in an age of relativism.  According to todays standards, truth is whatever one wants it to be.  The way one belives about truth can show in the way one lives.  Its politically correct to say that no absolute truth exists.  However, truth exists if anything exists at all – that is a certainty.  The question of if there is or is not truth is a topic for another blog.  Starting with the fact that there is truth out there, what next?

No matter who someone is, where someone was born, what faith or culture one is born into – everyone wants to know their life purpose.  Everyone wants to know the meaning of life, andmeaning-of-life in the process of answering that single question, one must take a look at a few others.  Not everyone may think of these questions consciously, but we all have answers to these questions if we take time to think about them.  The point is most don’t want to think of the meaning and purpose to life – they don’t want to act on it consciously any more than they want to think about any absolutes.  They shape how we view the world and the people around us.  Our beliefs about the answers to these questions come out in how we live our lives.

  1. IDENTITY: Who/What am I?  What am I worth?
  2. ORIGIN: Where did I come from?  How did I/we/life come to be?Question
  3. DESTINY: What happens when I die?
  4. PROBLEMS: Why is there suffering in the world?  Why is there (or, “Is there…”) evil in the world?
  5. CHOICES/MORALITY: How should I live?  Is there any rules/guidelines to life?

WombDepending on what one believes on these questions in ones own life has drastic effects on the world around him; and specifically on how one values human life.  There are many philosophies from Epicureanism to Stoicism, different faiths from Eastern Mysticism to Islam to Christianity to Atheism.  How would these questions be answered by any of these “-isms” and what is the effect it has on the value of human life?

If anyone reads this blog, I’m curious to hear any serious responses to these five questions.

Life

Life: It's here. What will you do with it?

Posted by: colegrove | Thursday 29 October 2009

Raw Food Brownies

Brownies

Variation: Pecans?

How would you like to eat healthy enzyme rich raw vegetarian food without any flour or processed sugar?   No baking required?  Try this raw brownie recipe my wife and I adore!

This recipe is a variation that can be found in Jennifer Cornbleet’s “Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People”.  It is excellent.

Size: 8 Brownies

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 Cups Raw Walnuts
  • dash of Sea Salt
  • 10 pitted Medjool Dates
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa or Carob Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Teaspoons Water

ProcessingChop 1/4 cup of the walnuts and set aside.  Place the remaining walnuts and salt in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade and process until finely ground.  Add the dates and process until the mixture sticks together.  Add the cocoa or carob powder and vanilla and proccess until evenly distributed.  Add the water and process briefly.

Transfer to a mixing bowl.  Add the reserved chopped walnuts (and add up to 1/4 cup dried cherries if you want another variation).  Mix well using your hands.  Pack the mixture firmly into a square container.

Brownies will keep for one week in the refrigerator (if you can make them last that long without eating them all!) or a month in the freezer.

Posted by: colegrove | Thursday 14 May 2009

Quick rant

responsibility01Sometimes, I’ll do a quick rant in the heat of the moment (or heat of the thought).  So here goes.

What is lacking in most people are three things: (1) COMMON SENSE, (2) RESPONSIBILITY, and (3) THINK / THINKING!

You know, we are all lazy some of the time.  I admit… a lot of the time with myself.  Sometimes I actually think being lazy is such hard work that its tiring, and I may actually have to take a nap instead of just be lazy.  But there are times (90+% of the time), when being lazy can be terrible.

I’m not just speaking of sititng around doing nothing.  I’m speaking also of mental laziness.

Example.

vegetarian_diet_and_diabetes1

Let’s say a new mom isn’t eating healthy food at all.  Never comes out into the sunlight and fresh air for any sizable period of time, but maybe once a week.  Doesn’t take a prenatal vitamin.  Then after delivery, baby had anencephaly or spina bifidia / bifida, or any of a number of health issues, some irreversible.  Then the baby is never breastfed; kept indoors all the time, developing asthma from the air; or delaying the reduction of some jaundice symptom with lack of sunlight.  Perhaps worse yet, the malnutrition of the mother (based on a diet of one food or a bunch of unhealthy foods), causes low birth weight, or even fatality.

Spna BifidaThen what happens?  The mother (hopefully) is upset and concerned for her child, wondering what to do.  Sometimes, depending on the problem, it may be too late, but other things can be helped with infants health.  Some will complain, ‘Where is God?  Help me!‘ or ‘How could a loving God allow this baby to have this disease, etc?‘  Or maybe she just won’t understand why.

There are two types of problems: either ignorance or apathy/negligence.  In oneprenatal-vitamin-organic-capsule-new-chapter-organics-perfect-prenatal case (ignorance), you don’t know that you should eat healthy, go for walks, etc. in order to be healthy.  Maybe the idea of just how severe not taking care of oneself in pregnacy can be – not necessarily to yourself, but to the infant or unborn child. In the other case, you may have common sense.  Or perhaps a pediatrician or doctor told you to eat a varied diet, or at least to take a good prenatal vitamin.   It was only lack of concern, lack of taking responsibility for ones own self – and the child – or sheer laziness – that may have caused the above examples devestating effects.

True, there are some people who take care of their unborn child the best they can and things may still happen.  Unforseen events, genetics, other problems of ignorance.  But the likelyhood is reduced because they did take responsibility.  Perhaps they just sit around and do what they want, what comes into their heads without thinking about the full picture.  ‘Someone will take care of the important things for me (doctor, etc.).

As A Man ThinkethNot just in that example, but others.  Someone gets a headache.  Perhaps they think, well, I’ll just take an asprin, and the pain will go away – not knowing it just masks the problem, not deals with it.  Maybe you’re dehydrated.  Maybe your constipated or need a nap.  Who knows.  Usually the pain will pass within anhour without taking any pain reliever.  The only time I take a ibeprophen is when it is unbearable.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve done that in the last 3 years.  Literally.  All drugs, even the ones that can legitimatley help in certain circumstances are best not taken unless it is absolutely necessary.  By all means take an asprin if you can’t function, or the pain is too great.  I’ve never had a migraine – that I know of – but I think from what I’ve heard, I’d take a tylenol or something.  But be aware that the more you take the worse your liver will be.

common_20senseMaybe you won’t have major issues now, but when your 60 and you feel like your 90 because your insides have been mistreated by years of bad food, bad drink, stuffy air, lack of sunshine, constipation, drugs, excessive use of pain relievers, etc. – why complain about how bad life is?  Why complain when you have a tumor, arthritis, etc. at 35 instead of 85 when – IN SOME CASES – you may have brought it upon yourself?  Sometimes things seem to happen for no reason.  But a chain-smoker who suffers terribly from emphysema in their 30′s and 40′s, most likely could have avoided the agony had they used good common sense.

FoodsNOTE: Of course not all people who smoke, or do stupid things to their bodies, have medical issues.  Ms. Calment in France smoked until she was 117, and only stopped because she was too embaressed to ask for a light.  And sometimes, healthy people – for whatever reason (BUT I’m convinced there has to be a reason, even if we never know it) – die of a heart attack at 25.  It’s a terrible loss when anyone passes away no matter the reason or the responsibility.  Life is precious, so treat it that way.  Your own life – and those around you – yes even those you don’t care about all the time.

DISCLAIMER: My random ramblings are only what I happen to be thinking of at the moment, so they are usually unedited and may not be complete in scope, as in the heat of the moment I write.  Apologies for any errors or misleading statements if there are any.

Posted by: colegrove | Thursday 7 May 2009

Swine Flu, Genealogy, & Peru

NaomiWolfRecommended Reading

Hello world!  It’s been a while since I’ve written about the random thoughts in my head, but here I return to resume.  Of late I have been doing some reading, in particular two of Naomi Wolf’s books.  I finished The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. Very informative.  Now I am on to her sequel, Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries. Soon if I remember to, I will post some wonderful reviews of them.  I plan to begin that book as soon as I’m finished with the quick moving Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree. I thought to myself that I needed a break from politics and genealogy is always something I can delve into with joy!  Not that I need any specific information from any DNA test, but I would like to know for sure which Y-DNA Haplogroup I am in. It’s neat to be getting a refresher course with the above named book, as well as learning new things!

Who are we?

Every so often, I find myself stopping and pondering ‘who I am?’  I, just like every single person – living, dead, or yet to be – are completely unique individuals.  No two, even identical twins, are the same.  In and of itself, that first concept is amazing.  Not only the fact that our genes are different, our minds, experiences, and thoughts as well.  We were all created and are each special.  We are not mere chemicals.  It’s not just chemical reactions that appear to be thoughts, we are intelligently made – and each unique.  That concept is amazing.

relationsWhat makes this strain of ponderings all the more mind-blowing, however, is that though, we were given the breath of life from the creator, we are not completely ‘just’ ourselves.  We contain the DNA and the genetic material of 2 parents.  It’s like we are 50% of each of them, in a way.  They in turn were created from 4 grandparents – or 25% each of who we are; they from 8 great-grandparents (12.5% of us); and so on.  Each generation the figure of people doubles: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512… and on and on.  Amazing.  Each person in history that we are descended from is vitally important, not just in and of themselves, as we are important in and of ourselves.  Each of them left a legacy of life that spans decades, centuries, and millenia.

I don’t even know if I am making any coherent sense anymore, so I better move on to the next topic.

Quinoa Stuffed PeppersQuinoa-Stuffed Peppers

So, the wife and I were looking through some magazines for some interesting recipes last week and came across in Vegetarian Times, this one for Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers and thought we’d try it.  It was AMAZINGLY GREAT!  Disclaimer: I didn’t see a copyright on the website, so I reprint it here for you to enjoy:

INGREDIENTS

Serves 6-8

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 3 large carrots, grated (11/2 cups)
  • 11/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • 4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.

4. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.

quinoaQuinoa

Quinoa is a grain-type food.  Pronounced “Keen-wah”; its actually not a true grain, but the edible seeds are many times used as if they were one.  Full of Vitamin B9 / Folic Acid, and Iron, they can be an excellent food during pregnancy – or anytime.  The leaves, which are rarely found in The United States or Canada, are also eaten as a leafy vegetable.  Native to South America it was held sacred by the Incas and is still grown all over Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

South American Mysteries

machu-picchu-peruSpeaking of South America: ever since I heard of the valley of Vilcabamba, Ecuador, and it’s health and long-lived people, I have been fascinated by the areas pre-Incan past.  Many sites around Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia have emerged in the last century from tops of mountains and out of jungle brush. Sacsayhuaman, Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, and many other megalithic sites defy imagination.  In some places there are cut stones over 200 tons in weight that were some how moved miles from the quarries to tops of mountains where the oxygen in the air would make it impossible for people to move 100 ton blocks (today), let alone 200 tons.  One of those unsolved mysteries.  Tales of Lost Cities, underground ancient tunnels spanning hundreds of miles, Tayos gold (even former Astronaut Neil Armstrong went on an expedition), and even the elusive Twelve Muribeca (or Muribecca) Pyramids have fascinated my imagination since I heard of them.   I encourage everyone to check them out online.  Maybe even make a trip to Ecuador, Peru, the western Amazon of Brazil, or northern Bolivia.  I’m not big on airplanes, so I may have to road-trip it down there one day myself!

Vitamin DSwine Flu / Bird Flu

So, in the news lately they have been fear-mongering – ahem – reporting on the possibility of a pandemic of Swine Flu.  Well, I have some thoughts as to this Swine Flu thing.

First of all, the chances that the strains of influenza from all those sources (human influenza, bird, and swine, etc.) could all form together and mutate in such a way is almost impossible.  Could it not be man-made in a labratory somewhere?

VitaminCSecond of all, it is unlikely to actually become a pandemic by itself.  It would need a big vehicle – like vaccinations – to help it actually spread to healthy people. The Swine Flu hype will be a big push for pharmaceutical companies to get more money to make a vaccine that will then give them more money as they distribute it.

Those two opinions above are consistent with the words on the Georgia Guidestones, a mysterious Masonic monument near Alberton, Georgia: “Keep Humanity Under 500,000,000″.

View Dr. Stanley Monteith’s monograph “Population Control Agenda” here:http://www.radioliberty.com/pca.htm

OliveLeafThird: the actual amount of deaths so far are far fewer than deaths from accidents, deaths from regular flu, and many other common ailments.

GarlicNow, it could become something more than it is now, but vaccinations are not the answer.  The majority of the people who died of the Spanish Influenza of 1918 were vaccinated against it.  There are simple common-sense NATURAL things everyone can do to help keep themselves healthy:

  • The Obvious: get enough sleep on a regular basis, keep your hands clean by washing frequently, get outside more and make sure air is circulating at home.  oregano-oil
  • Vitamin D: The sun is one of the most powerful forces to keep us healthy.  Get at least 30 minutes of full exposure per day.  When sick, or in winter, take liquid supplement of Vitamin D3.
  • Vitamin C: 500 mg three times per day, or if sick 500-1000 mg every 4 hours
  • Garlic: a major germ fighter
  • Oil of Oregano: know to kill swine flu in the lab
  • Olive Leaf Extract and Olive Leaf Tea
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract: This one go easy on.  I haven’t taken this one personally yet however.
  • If things ever get really bad.  Stay away from people (work, school, etc.) and that may be the best time to find a cabin in the woods to weather the storm.  If there will even be one.
Posted by: colegrove | Saturday 7 March 2009

Seek Knowledge and Wisdom

Truth

Dr. Norman W. Walker 1867/1886-1985

Dr. Norman W. Walker c.1867-1985

A hero of mine once said,

Our fundamental object and goal in life should be to gain vast and abundant knowledge, and learn to apply it intelligently.  Of what value is life, let alone longevity, unless we live it intelligently?

Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Francis Bacon 1561-1626

That was Dr. Norman W. Walker.  He was a natural health pioneer who died in 1985.  He lived to be at least 99 years old, according to Wikipedia he was born in 1886, but there are other sources that list him being born years before that.  In any case, his words are reminiscent of those of the Elizabethan philosopher, scientist, and politician, Sir Francis Bacon:

Knowledge is power.

Truth, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding.  All those words have completely different definitions but all are intertwined within each other and work together in a type of synthesis.  The Bible says a lot about wisdom:

wisdom A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels…The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction…How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding…Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil…Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding….If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”

Proverbs 1:5, 1:7, 1:22, 2:6, 3:7, 4:6-7; James 1:5-6

An entertainment culture has replaced a culture striving for knowledge, wisdom, and excellence.

redmen football vs vert et or sheerbrokeWe have become inundated with sex, drugs, and rock and roll.  No pun intended.  Instead of reading, learning, experiencing, and growing, with each passing decade we find ourselves sitting in front of a television, a movie theater screen, at a football game, a music concert.  The world around us has little use for wisdom, instead entertainment is the god of this new age.  Entertainment that, in and of itself if used in moderation, is not bad, is now front and center in our quest for happiness and meaning in life.  This entertainment is a sham.  We are saturated with it.  Reality is becoming an illusion.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears

We are constantly seeking something more.  Something we can feel.  Movies make us feel like we are in them.  Certain types of music make us feel very emotional.  Drugs give us “highs”.  Even in the sphere of religion there are mystical elements that have been brought to the surface in each faith – seeking some higher EXPERIENCE.  A normal personal faith is experiential, by its very personal nature;  But this type of system wants more: visions, “highs”, and other stimulants.  Isamili Muslims, Charismatic Christians, etc. can get carried away by emotions and start barking like a dog instead of turning to the words of God with reason and experience – not excess.  Even most modern speakers of tongues (in the same exact way that voodoo shamans do, and they claim it is the Spirit of God – umm… the same god of the voodoo priests?).  This fleshly desire stems out of a natural basis in our God-given emotions.  But it is also predominately a need to seek worldly and fleshly experiences.

But I really diverge from our topic…

druggiesWhen we become fully dumbned down to the level where our world revolves around finding out if Britney Spears is wearing underwear in public, or how much pornography we can collect, or what the latest designer fashions are, then how will we ever know if the freedom we now enjoy will have turned to totalitarianism until it is too late?  Those in high places know how to shape our minds with the music and entertainment we fill our lives with.  Dr. Stanley Monteith, at the beginning of each segment of his radio broadcast, “Radio Liberty”, he begins with this quote:

Dr. Stan

Dr. Stan

Reality is usually scoffed at, illusion is usually king, but in the battle for the survival of western civilization it  will be reality and not illusion or delusion that will determine what the future will bring.”

There is nothing necessarily wrong with football, television, even dancing or fashion.  The issue is that entertainment has become not just a way to pass some well earned time off, but life itself.  We live it, breath it, and live for it at times.  It has taken the place of learning.  How do I know this?  When people can’t name the first president of the United States, when people know more about American Idol than they do about what is going on in the world… that shows a lack of something, I’d say!

I’ve found myself in situations where there were trivia games played.  One time, a question was asked, “During the Civil War, who were the Yankees, also known as the North, fighting?”.  The simple answer would naturally be either “the south”, or “the Confederates”.  One of the players in the game had a puzzled look and said, “wasn’t that the communists or Russia or something?”  My jaw dropped.  She was serious.

Another time, I overheard someone confused when they went to an Asian Restaurant and found Chinese food there.  I had to explain that China is a country in Asia.

AMERICA – DUMBER NOW THAN THE LAST CENTURY?

educationAll this begs the question: Are American’s smarter or are they actually less intelligent that they were three generations ago?  “No”, one might say.  “We have so many advancements!”  Actually those very advancements were thought up by singular individuals, and none but elite experts in each field really can make those very inventions work to our advantage if civilization were to collapse around us.   In the past 40 years the Department of Education has had to “dumb down”, if you will, the SAT and ACT questions, because American student’s scores were dropping so low.  Crazy, eh?

The website entitled “Maggie’s Farm” has a posting that shows an 8th Grade Final Exam from Salina, Kansas in 1895.  A quick look at the questions reminds us how far we’ve fallen educationally in the past 109 years.   The link: http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/2333-American-Education,-1895.html

Examples of Questions:

  • Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
  • Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
  • Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
  • District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
  • Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.
  • Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
  • Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
  • Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865?
  • What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic orthography, etymology, syllabication?
  • What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
  • Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
  • Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
  • What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
  • Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?

21660Those were just SOME of the questions one needed to complete in order to pass the grade and move into the next.  All have practical applications.  Most are over our heads – even mine.  Some questions seem like they would be college-aged questions, or at least senior high school, not middle school!  Oh, America!  How far we’ve fallen!  One may ask, are these questions relevant today?  True, some occupations people may be employed in do not need to know the interest of a certain amount of money ‘for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent‘.  However, most of the questions when you strip away the confusion, are actually important to know for common sense sake.  Otherwise, one may not know China is in Asia and may have no comprehension of the difference between the Cold War and the Civil War, in my literal true examples above.  Did you know that some family members of soldier who have went to Iraq have no conception of where in the world Iraq is?!  Now that is scary!  No wonder government can get away with things they wouldn’t have been able to 100 years ago!

MUSIC’S EFFECT ON THE MIND

mozartmozartDoes music also have an effect on our minds?  Yes!  Do a quick search on the controversial “Mozart Effect” and the research that shows the patterns in music can effect our mind and how we learn.  Classical and Baroque music seem to have the patterns that encourage temporal-spatial reasoning.   This is a positive effect. King David of the ancient Hebrews knew first hand the power of music and vibrations – how they can at times soothe a troubled soul, as he played the harp for his troubled predecessor, King Saul.

There are negative ways music can affect us as well.  Some types of music can put us in a state that comes close to being called “altered state of consciousness” or a light trance.  Many beats have the ability to put us in different moods, especially to “pump” us up, such as before a football game.  The same beats as can be found in tribal societies as they prepare for war against neighboring tribes.  During trances, the mind is the most susceptible to suggestions from other sources.  Psychologists and corporations utilize music for experiments and to being profits for their products.   Then there is the controversy surrounding backward masking, an idea thought up by the occultist Aleister Crowley (speaking backwards, etc.).  Some say that words that are either barely audible or are placed at near silent wavelengths can still effect the mind.

education1According to this November 2008 article: http://www.cnsnews.com/public/Content/Article.aspx?rsrcid=39715 – more American’s know that Paula Abdul is a host of American Idol than they know that the phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people” comes from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

  • Less than half of Americans can name all three branches of government
  • Only 27% of Americans and a whopping 79% of elected officials know the Bill of Rights prohibits the government from establishing an official religion
  • 54% do not know that the Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, NOT the President
  • Only 32% of politicians can actually define what the free enterprise system is, even though most campaigned for office pledging to defend it
  • Many do not know who the major political participants of World War II were

FIRST – GET MAD!

This reminds me of the clip from the 1976 movie “Network“.  I have never seen the full movie, but this clip speaks volumes.  I apologize about his use of a few profanity words, but listen to what he has to say about the “tele” and the real world.

A LITTLE GIRL SHOWS THE HUMAN POTENTIAL FOR LEARNING

Then there is this amazingly bright 2-year old girl, “Lilly”, who is about to enter a world filled with the darkness of ignorance.  May she be a bright light to it.

Posted by: colegrove | Saturday 7 March 2009

Political Spectrum

The Old Paradigm

The Old Paradigm

Busting the left/right paradigm.  When I think of a spectrum I picture the prism of light going in one angle of a pyramid and emerging in an array of rainbow lights out another.  We are bombarded by all types of media from liberal socialistic democrats talking of how bad those “crazy right-wingers” are.  There are even republican broadcasting commentaries complaining about those “communist loonies” that are bringing our world to ruin.  While each view may have some redeeming value, when they promote certain political worldviews, worldviews that try to polarize people into one of two camps, one on the right and one on the left.  I would like to challenge even the idea of how we view political paradigms.

Many think of Communism as an extreme form of the “Left” and Nazism as the extreme “Right”.  In reality, the spectrum consists of a line, on the left is complete government control of social AND economic liberties.  On the right is complete chaos, with no government control.  The following video explains the situation best.  Our government was founded on the rule of law – the Constitution.  This was a very limited government, with freedom and liberty emphasised, not as hollow words used to inspire support, but in very word and deed.

This freedom is not found with the leftist democrats like Clinton and Obama, who raise taxes, attempt to change the issue of abortion from an issue of life to one of “choice”, try to implement universal health care – thus destroying personal responsibility and bringing us closer to European socialism.

This freedom is not found in “the right” republicans with McCain and former President Bush, who – unlike the platforms he ran on – has increased the scope and size of the federal government more than any other President in history – except perhaps the current one, by the time he leaves office.  Abolishing rights like habeas corpus and as President Bush said in Novemeber 2005 (pardon the language):

Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, it’s just a goddamned piece of paper!

This video puts a new persepective on the spectrum of liberty, I urge you to watch it.  It explains why we are not a democracy, but a republic.  It also explains – compares and contrasts – the various forms of government found in the world: monarchy, oligarchy, democracy, republic, and anarchy.

Everyone should take the “World’s Smallest Political Quiz”.  It is very simplistic, and perhaps not the best source to determine where you stand on the political spectrum, it’s worthwhile.  Also while taking the test, think about the implications of how you answer each question before answering it.  HERE IS THE TEST: http://www.theadvocates.org/quizp/index.html

mypoliticalviewsAs can be seen from my chart on the right, I am closest to the Libertarian philosophy, yet on the Conservative side on Economic issues.  My results were 70/90.  My personal issues score was 70%, and my economic issue score was 90% (I’m not a fan of NAFTA, otherwise it’d probably be 100%).

As can be seen from the chart, the economic spectrum goes from right to left and the personal /social issues from top to bottom.   Overall the idea isn’t about those areas, but in reality Freedom v. Government control, or liberty v. statism.   On the old paradigm, communism and nazism would be on opposite ends of the spectrum, but in the new paradigm, they are both at the same end of the spectrum, closer to absolute government control.

The interesting video above explains that true monarchy’s are rarely to be found, as they are propped up by nobles, councils, or other groups: in reality it is an oligarcy.  Anarchism really is not a sustainable form of government either, as it is a transition from one form to another, and is frequently used to bring about another form of oligarchy.

Another similar political quiz located at this website: http://www.quiz2d.com, shows my results as follows:

Right-Leaning Freedom Lover on political map

Don’t be bogged down to certain parties or philosophies, find out the issues, and examine what you believe personally, not what “they” want you to think.  So – Where are you in the spectrum?

Posted by: colegrove | Saturday 7 March 2009

The Sun and Health

sun in handsThe Sun.  Without it no life on earth would exist.  It’s energy fuels all other energy here on this global sphere.  Plants leaves absorb it and make chlorophyll – the equivalent of blood to plants.  It is also essential to life and health of humanity.  As one of the 11 pillars of health I mentioned in a previous blog, adequate sunlight exposure is essential to proper health.

Many think that the sun is to be avoided at all costs.  To be fair, excessive sun exposure is very risky.  No one in their right mind would ever recommend being sun burnt.  For the last 30+ years there has been a campaign to reduce sun exposure by government and dermatological societies in America, based on the belief that sunlight is the cause of skin cancer.  True, excessive amounts of sunlight can contribute to the dreaded disease, but proper understanding of the amount of sunlight, the best time to get sunlight, and what sunlight actually does for humans is essential to gain the best health one can.

sunbathing-775054According to Genesis 1:14-19 (Geneva Bible, 1587)

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years.  And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. and it was so.  God then made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made also the stars.  And God set them in the firmament of the heaven, to shine upon the earth,  And to rule in the day, and in the night, and to separate the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.  So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”

chloe-sunbathingIt wasn’t until after the creation of the sun that animal life began.  When my family had a cat growing up, “Sam” (1990-2007) (part Siamese we figured), I remember how he could almost always  be found basking in a ray of sunlight or on the window sill soaking up the UV light.  This is telling in and of itself, when the most prominent Dermatological society of America claims that no amount of sunlight is beneficial to human skin.

Sunlight provides Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin”.  Utilizing UVB radiation from the sun, photochemically Vitamin D is produced in the skin. We get 90% of our Vitamin D from the Sun, and lack of sunlight will only reduce the amount we will have in our systems.  Supplementing with Vitamin D may be beneficial, but God provided a natural way to get the best type: via sun exposure.  Supplementation may be beneficial in the winter, but it’s not recommended to ingest an excessive amount without having Vitamin D testing done, to see how much you already have in your system.

vitamin_d_sourcesBesides rickets and poor growth during childhood, high blood pressure and many types of cancers, especially Colon and Breast cancer can be linked to reduced levels of Vitamin D.  The further north of the equator one goes, the more and more incidences of cancer appear, as the amount of sunlight decreases.

One of the biggest reasons people contract the flu during flu season (winter) is because of the lack of Vitamin D during the winter months when the amount of exposure to the sun is greatly decreased.  Getting enough sunlight during autumn and winter is the best preventative (besides general sanitation) of the flu and is one of the best things one can do to keep the immune system working properly.

The best way to avoid the negitive pitfalls of the sun would NOT be to wear sunscreen.  As the video below explains, we produce Vitamin D with UV light, and sunscreen blocks the beneficial UV light, while allowing the other types of radiation that DO contribute to skin cancers through to the skin.  An EWG study concluded in 2006 that 84% of sunscreens actually are harmful to your health.  Instead, as we need the sunlight, limit yourself to 30 minutes of direct sublight in the morning hours and 30 more minutes of direct sunlight in the late afternoon / evening hours.  Never spend an excessive amount of time in the sun at the height of the day, 11am-3pm.  This is one of the best ways to avoid problems with sunlight.  In addition, following a healthy diet, as part of a healthy lifestyle – being clean inside – also will reduce most negative effects of sunlight on the outside of ones body.  More and more recent research suggests that exposure to the sun is more beneficial than to hide from it.

I urge you to watch the following video with Bill Sardi on this topic:

Necessary to produce Vitamin D

Necessary to produce Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the main nutrient we get from the sun, but there may be many others yet to be known that bring health and life to the world.  Even in ancient times, many knew the theraputic benefits that the sun provided (within moderation).  Herbert Shelton, famous natural hygene proponent of the early 20th century, wrote:

Positive evidence of the hygienic use of the sun is found in the history of the Egyptians and other peoples. The Babylonians, Egyptians and Assyrians had their sun gardens; the Greeks their helioses; the Romans their solaria… The great sanitarium of Hippocrates, on the Island of Cos, was equipped with a large solarium for the use of the sun. The Roman thermæ were all equipped with solaria for those taking sun-baths. Pliny says that in these hot-houses the sun is very helpful. Hippocrates extols the exsiccative (drying) action of sun-light. Herodotus gives extensive instructions for the use of the sun-bath, emphasizing its effect in strengthening the muscles and nerves. Antyllos describes at some length the effects of sunlight, his description comparing well with those of modern users. Philostratus tells us that the Olympian athletes were required to take sun-baths.

hes_got_the_whole_sun_in_his_handCelsus, Pliny the younger, Galen, and Cicero, are among the Roman writers who describe the use of the sun-bath. “Sol est remediorum maximum”–the sun is the best remedy–declared Pliny. The flat roofs of the southern houses were esteemed as solaria by the Romans. In Rome, Pliny the younger, tells us of Vestricus Spurina, that as soon as the hour of the bath had come, he went to walk completely naked in the sun if the air was calm, then played with a ball a long time.

The old German epic poem, the Edda, tells us that Germans used to carry their sick, in the springtime to the sunny mountain slopes, in order to expose them to the sunshine. Certain Germanic tribes placed their feverish children in the sunlight on the tops of their houses. On the shores of the Bay of Gascony, sunlight is still employed in rheumatism. The Incas of Peru treated “syphilis” with sun baths. In Haiti similar procedures are still employed.


I hope this posting brings a renewed interest to be responsible for ones own health and begin to take control and steer one’s lifestyle towards a brighter future.

vitamin-d

Posted by: colegrove | Saturday 7 March 2009

How easily we are deceived

perception_vaseInstructions: watch the following video ONLY ONCE!

The video will show a group of basketball players, some in white and some in black passing two balls around.  Your goal is to count how many times the ball is passed by those wearing white shirts. It’s that simple.  Remember, count JUST the passes of the ball by those wearing white.  Once the movie is over, write down the number of passes you have counted. DO NOT watch the video again.

Ready?  Click the link and watch – count!

VIDEO LINK

(If the above link doesn’t work: http://viscog.beckman.illinois.edu/flashmovie/15.php)

ONLY AFTER you have watched the above video, click the following link to view your results:

VIEW RESULTS

(If the above link doesn’t work: http://www.mercola.com/MindBlowingVideo/index.htm)

On the second link, the “View Results” you may or may not be asked to enter your email address.  This will not be spam.    What does everyone think of the video… how many times was the ball passed?

Posted by: colegrove | Sunday 28 December 2008

Ancient Health

plate-of-raw-foodNew Year’s Resolution

I firmly believe that the more healthy one eats, and the more healthy one lives in other ways, is one of the keys to happiness in this world.  I have made a New Year’s resolution.  The first one I have ever made.  I want January to be a month of working more raw foods into my diet.  I have just read Norman W. Walker’s Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices: What’s Missing in Your Body? A chapter in there reminded me the importance to having a large percentage of one’s diet consisting of live foods; foods that still contain enzymes.  Hopefully in the next few months I will have more to say as I continue to read the works of Norman W. Walker, Paul C. Bragg, Gabriel Cousens (Conscious Eating was something I got this Christmas), and David Wolfe.

That aside… I wanted to rant on about the interesting fact that the Ancient world, many millennia ago, may have been smarter than the average school child is taught. Specifically I want to talk about health, since that’s what my mind is geared into right now.

No)

Did primitive man create this? (Hint: No)

Ancient Man

I have just been pondering some amazing aspects of ancient mankind.  Traditional history and science would say that humankind has evolved from ape to primitive cavemen to medieval numb-skulls to today’s “enlightened” modern man.  That our knowledge and intelligence far outweighs our ancestors.   It is true that today, as compared to Medieval Europe, “many…go back and forth, and knowledge [has] increase[d]” [Daniel], but I sometimes wonder if we are only re-discovering what the ancient world knew?

Take the great strides in knowledge of diet, health, medicine, sanitation, and the like, that continue to impress wellness on us today.  It has brought about the end (at least for the last few decades, and mostly in Europe and America) of major epidemics that used to be a constant trouble.  More people are living normal life-spans (70-80 years), and infant mortality is down  (Although, my wife and I just watched The Business of Being Born, a documentary that showed that America actually has the worst infant mortality rate in the industrialized world – because of other reasons however).  Yes, it’s true, the advancements of last 100 plus years have brought a light to a world of darkness when it comes to health.

Back to the point I was trying to get to – that in the ancient world, there may have been darkness in some areas – cave men – but in other areas the light of knowledge was shining, just as it does today.  We are just rediscovering that light.  I want to spend a few moments going through some interesting verses from the Bible dealing with this rediscovered light.

dnaKnowledge of cellular DNA – 3,000 Years Ago!

This may be a stretch, but the Author of Psalm 139, King David, may have knew more about biology than we give him credit for.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”  -Psalm 139:16

This verse seems to take into account the now well-known fact that even the cells in the womb, though not completely a full grown infant at first, still contain all that is needed (the DNA) that makes who we are physically.  They may not have used phrases like “sugar/phosphate human cellular DNA-helix tapes”, but the principle is still there, even if it’s not the purpose of what David is saying.  And that was 3,000 years ago!

rawfood_1Advanced Dietary Guidelines – Plants: the Power of Nature’s Nutrients

As I was speaking of diet at the beginning of this ramble, the Bible has a lot to say about Dietetic Principles that contribute to health.  It has only been in the last 70 years or so that mainstream science has come to the conclusion that fruits, nuts, and green vegetables are the most important sources for what our body needs to sustain good health.   Researchers have come out saying that a woman who eats 7 servings of vegetables per day cuts her risk of Breast Cancer in half!  Take the first real mention of what the Torah says that God gave manking to eat originally:

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.  And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” – Genesis 1:29-30

Speaking of “bearing seed”, in raw seeds and kernels there is an amazing storehouse of nutrition. Many believe that the nitrilosides in some fruits seeds are active cancer preventer’s.

zodiac-pig-picHealthy and Unhealthy meats

Elsewhere the Scriptures of the Jews, the Muslims, and the Christians it mentions types of meats that are “clean” and “unclean”; ones that are allowed and those that are not allowed by custom to eat. According to most, after the Great Worldwide flood, mankind was allowed to eat certain types of animals. It is clear from Genesis 1:29-30 and also the first chapter of Daniel that plant-based foods are the most nutritious and ideal food for mankind, but a change happened to allow meat. In the Torah, this happened in Genesis 9. Daniel chapter 1 compares and contrasts the ability of a plant-based diet to bring greater health than that of one that focuses on meats as the main staple.

See Leviticus chapter 11 for details on the types that are clean and unclean. A note on shellfish: Shrimp and other shellfish are bottom-feeders. They eat all the dirt, grime, and contaminants from other sea life and other wastes that collect on the ocean floor. One reason so many people seem to have “allergies” to shellfish is most likely the fact that they are not meant to be eaten, as they are toxic to the body. A note on pigs: even in the wild, they are known to wallow and eat their own dung.

Some scholars have thought these dietary laws were simply either ritual, or that they just represented being clean before God. While this may be quite true, another underlying reason may be that those foods that are listed as “unclean” actually can harm an individual’s health. This was one more way that the God of these faiths protected their followers from disease.

E Coli

E Coli

Contaminated Food

Take Deuteronomy 14:21,

Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.

Obviously in one context here, it is speaking of God making his followers peculiar people who are set apart unto Him. However, it also, even today, can refer to this: if one eats a diseased animal, depending on the reason is died or was diseased, its flesh that is consumed by us can spread that same sickness that it got sick of that lead to its death. Even if the creature that died had passed on from natural causes, the carcass could have parasites that may have swarmed to it. This guideline is still important to the meat industry today. At least we all hope so.

And of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation for an heave offering unto the LORD, and it shall be the priest’s that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings… And the flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not be eaten; it shall be burnt with fire: and as for the flesh, all that be clean shall eat thereof…Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.” – Leviticus 7:14, 19, 26-27

Unclean also encompasses literal un-cleanliness. Think about contaminated meat with Salmonella or E-Coli bacteria. Food poisoning can be dangerous even today. One real purpose of all this seems to be a spiritual principle: keeping one’s temple (body) clean.

Victims of the Black Death

Victims of the Black Death

Quarantine

The first years of the Black Death, which originally struck 1347-1351, killed off over half of Europe’s population – some say nearly two-thirds of it. It’s significant that it wasn’t until the quarantine practices laid out in the Bible were put into place in towns that the plagues of these Dark Ages were brought under control. For centuries Europeans had access to the Scriptures, but the devastation shows just how often they read them. It’s no wonder, for during the time known as the “Dark Ages” (c. 400-c. 1500) the light of knowledge had been dimmer in the world than it ever has been. It was during this time that the Bible was banned from the common people. True, not many could read it, but during the 1100’s thru even into the early 1900’s in some parts of the ‘civilized’ world, to have a Bible in the common language was heresy by Roman Catholicism. Even friars had a severe lack to understanding of the Bible’s text. If they had read Leviticus chapters 13 and 14 earlier, many millions may not have died of the plague.

washSanitation and the Practice of Hygiene

The plagues of Europe continued on and off well into the late 1700’s. One issue that helped abate the spread was washing and cleaning and proper disposal of wastes. The practice of sanitation, washing ones hands, clean ways to “relieve one’s self”, were all contained in the Bible as well. This is in stark contrast to Medieval Europe, where people would chuck the contents of their bed pans out the window into the street, where flies and rodents would spread it back into the houses and bacteria and viruses would be carried by air back into the windows. This is most likely how the Plague always began. Read what we know now, that was re-discovered since the Medieval times:

He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean. Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him. This is the law, when a man dieth in a tent: all that come into the tent, and all that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days. And every open vessel, which hath no covering bound upon it, is unclean. And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.” – Numbers 19:11-16, in reference to washing up after touching dead bodies

In reference to how to dispose of bodily wastes, the ancients knew quite a lot:

Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.” – Deuteronomy 23:12-14

There are many more references throughout Leviticus chapters 13, 14, and 15. Interesting that the Hebrews had these guidelines, when the cultures around them, were dark in ignorance.  For example Ancient Egyptian remedies sometimes actually call for the dung of certain animals in their concoctions.

ignaz-semmelweisKnowledge of Germs

Many societies of the ancient world knew of germs, even if only indirectly. For some reason, the loss of knowledge of basic necessities such as hand-washing was lost. As recently as the late 1840’s people had long forgotten why such silly Biblical laws such as hand-washing were important.

Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, an assistant at an Austrian hospital, noticed that the rate mortality rate in delivery rooms at the hospital were far greater than those women who were delivered by midwives as opposed to med students. He found that the medical students would come straight up to the maternity wards from doing autopsies. Hmmm… Reminiscent of the verses on not touching dead bodies, eh? Well, Dr. Semmelweis suggested they wash their hands before delivering babies. Once he implemented hand-washing, mortality dropped to 1%! Nevertheless, he was ridiculed and reports say, fired for his recommendations that all wash up. Today we take it for granted that doctors know to wash their hands. Thank goodness.

Antisepsis and Sterilization

Here it is shown that people 3400 years ago knew about sterilizing things to kill germs by heating anything that could be safely heated.

And Eleazar the priest said unto the men of war which went to the battle, This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD commanded Moses; Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead, Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water.” – Numbers 31:21-23; elsewhere in Leviticus 13 & 14 it mentions this as well.

hyssopus_officinalisWas Penicillin Known to the Ancient World?

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” – Psalm 51:7.

Centuries before Pasteur, people used certain herbs for their anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-biotic purposes. Just because we give modern names like “Penicillin” to them, doesn’t make us much smarter. Hyssop was one herb that contains penicillin as an active ingredient.

…the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.” – Ezekiel 47:12

Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation

And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.” – 2 Kings 4:34

Circumcision

Though the Hebrews and other cultures of the Near East practiced circumcision, it’s interesting the Hebrews always did this rite on the 8th day after the child was born. Only in 20th century medicine do we know that we see the reason for it

Lemongrass Tea

being practiced on that very specific day. Recent “discoveries show that a newborn baby has a bleeding tendency, until 5 to 7 days a clotting agent, Vitamin K, is manufactured. The 8th day is the day when another clotting element, Prothrombin, is at its highest level in a human’s entire life – 110% of normal!” [Dead Men’s Secret’s, Jonathan Gray]. Somehow there was some kind of advanced knowledge to know exactly what day to have this circumcision rite!

Please, now that I have ranted, I need more people to tell me what they think of each rant!! Comment me!!  And goodnight, it’s awfully late.  Now, after I finish this Lemongrass Tea, I shall go to bed.

Posted by: colegrove | Sunday 14 December 2008

True Freedom and Liberty

slaverySo, here are some thoughts to ponder:

  • (1) What is freedom and liberty?  How does the term “rights” fit in to the definition?
  • (2) Are we (as Americans, as people of earth, as human beings, etc. in any context) truly free?
  • (3) From whence does freedom and liberty come from?  Self?  Government?  God?  Who grants this?  Who is to say we are to aspire to be free?
  • (4) If we think we are free… are we really?
  • (5) Is there such a thing as “too much freedom” for individuals and groups?  If there is, where is the line drawn on liberty and who is to be the one who draws it?

So, on pondering these thoughts, particularly the 5th bullet, I have come up with some points of interest.  Granted they are generalizations, and perhaps flawed, but might they be true…?

mind_controlMENTAL FREEDOM

It seems to me that humanity in general is very open to suggestion and persuasion by others.  Peers, authority figures, the media, and even our own innate selfishness seem to weigh in on how free our minds are to view the world around us.  Anyone who has looked into Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the arts of persuasion and suggestion, will know just how easy it can be for someone to shape the way others view things and what they believe.  These techniques are used everywhere.  Marketing and businesses use these proven techniques to earn monetary profit.  The news media uses these techniques to shape how we view current events.  The military uses psychological techniques to aid in recruitment.  Everyone, to a small extent, even each of the rest of us has tricks in our bags that we try to use – we hope successfully – at times to get people to believe what we want them to believe and do what we want them to do.   A simple performer like Derren Brown, excellent though he is, can show how easily moldable we all can be in the wrong hands.

media-ownershipDid you know in 1983, many were alarmed that only 50 major corporation heads controlled what information was reported on and appointed editors, etc. to control how we perceive current events.  In 2000 there were only 10 corporation giants, and today, with all the mergers, buy-outs and the like, there are just 4!  That means that many of the so-called “liberal media” and the so-called “conservative media” are actually run by the same people.  What if American society is being subliminally trained to be in this left-right paradigm to ignore other vitally important issues?

The question is: if the people on whom these techniques are being used, have no idea they are being told how to think… are they MENTALLY FREE?  Freedom of thought?

DO WE OWN ANYTHING?

12c-freedom-of-conscienceThink about it for a second: do you own anything?  What does it mean to own something?  Do you own your own home?  Wait… many may say “yes” but then, ask yourself – do you have a mortgage still?  If you do, then the bank actually owns you home and land, not you.  You’ve paid your mortgage off, have you?  Let’s see if now you own your home:

What happens if, even though you have no mortgage – paid in full and all – you still don’t pay your property taxes?  Your home will be confiscated.  So does that, or does that not, beg the question: if you supposedly own your own home, why do you have to pay someone else to keep it?  Sounds to me like rent… or theft.

John Locke, the political philosopher who arguably had one of the biggest influences on the Founding Fathers of the United States, made it clear that Life, Liberty, and Property were God-given rights and that governments were to function to protect Life from others who would take it.  Protect liberty from governments who would take it.  Protect property from those who would steal the fruit of your labor.   The same can go the same way with Inheritance/Estate taxes and Income taxes.  Only sales tax would bypass the fruit of one’s labor.  Does this or does this not sound like theft according to Locke?

What of the “common good”?  Who else used that phrase?  Mr. communist himself: Karl Marx?

Of course this is majorly over-simplifying things.  It may even missing some pieces of the picture, but it certainly is one way to look at it.

mental-freedomWhat about your car?  You worked for this brand new car for the last two years.  You’ve paid cash for it.  Got the paper to prove it.  Now what happens if you don’t register it, insure it, and license it?  It will be taken away if you’re caught driving it, and so will you.  Now, there are obviously good reasons for insurance.  But… if one is really FREE, then wouldn’t that decision to keep something he owns, regardless as to whether or not he or she registers it and gets little stickers that have an expiration date on every year?  Personally I have no problem with many of the things I am suggesting.  I am just trying to put forth a different idea that may fly in the face of reality as we think we know and view it.

This persons blog entry: http://antinewworldorder.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-big-brother-watches-your-every-move.html deals with some other interesting ideas that may open your eyes to just how Free we are becoming, in a privacy sense of the word.

The Bound Dragon” blog has an interesting article posted about the Bible and Private Property rights: http://bounddragon.wordpress.com/2008/08/14/private-property-in-the-bible/

Also at “Economic Sophisms” there is this article ( http://economicsophisms.blogspot.com/2008/01/private-property-essential-for-libetry.html ) about Private Property being essential to Liberty, that also goes into the history of the connections to the Pilgrim fathers.

Speaking of that…  Is there a link between privacy and freedom?  Do they connect in some way, either by being necessary for one or the other to occur, or do they have little to do with liberty in general?

What are your thoughts, o world?

Posted by: colegrove | Wednesday 12 November 2008

Katherine, Countess of Desmond

masala-chai-teaOk, I have returned from my absence. This afternoon I want to shift my thoughts to specific people who have shown tremendous feats of longevity in history. I always tend to either eat or drink while on the computer, probably not too wise, but it’s my way of multi-tasking, I suppose. Today it is lightly steamed veggies seasoned with a very small amount of olive oil, garlic, pepper, and kelp flakes. Not extremely cooked, but just enough to make the crunch of the carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and baby onions palatable and slightly juicy. My beverage of choice today is my own blend. A type of Chai with Rooibos instead of regular tea. I just added to the Rooibos (Red Bush) some ground Ginger, ground Cardamom, ground Cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg – and Almond Extract of course.

Countess of DesmondSo, our first guest to the show today lived for over 140 years. Katherine FitzGerald, Countess of Desmond. Katherine, or Catherine, was born sometime around 1365 in Waterford, Ireland. Her parents, it is claimed, were Sir John FitzGerald, second Lord of Decies, and Ellen FitzGibbon, daughter of the “White Knight”. She married first in the time of King Edward IV. Edward IV reigned in England from 1461-1470 and again from 1471-1483. She is said to have danced with King Richard III (reigned 1483-1485), the last King before the house of Tudor put an end to the Wars of the Roses.

According to Wikipedia, one can notice her death date of 1604, but it is known she was alive in 1614, but had died by 1617, so perhaps this is a common error. Here is what we know of her from her contemporaries:

Sir Walter Raleigh, in his History of the World, 1614, says:

“I my self knew the old Countess of Desmond, of Iuchiquin in Munster, who lived in the year 1589, and many years since; who was married in Edward the Fourths’s time, and held her joynture from all the Earles of Desmond since then; and that this is true all the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Munster can witnesse.”

Fynes Moryson in his Itinerary, 1617, wrote:

“In our time the Irish Countess of Desmond lived to the age of about 140 yeere, being able to goe on foote foure or five miles to the market towne, and using weekly so to doe in her last yeeres; and not many yeeres before she had all her teeth renewed.”

Countess of Desmond

Countess of Desmond

Sir Francis Bacon, my favorite natural philosopher – who coined the phrase “knowledge is power” wrote in 1623:

“The Irish, especially the wild Irish, even at this day live very long; certainly they report that within these few years the Countess of Desmond lived to a hundred and fourty years of age, and bred teeth three times.”

The Archbishop James Ussher, famous for his Annals of the World, a history that puts together Biblical history and secular world history together in a concise, contreversial, young-earth chronology, also wrote about the Countess, but did not add many more details to her life.

In 1640, Robert Sydney, Earl of Leicester, wrote:

The old Countess of Desmond was a married woman in Ed. IV’s time, of England, and lived till towards the end of Q. Elizabeth, so as she must needs be near 140 years old. She had a new sett of teeth not long afore her death, and might have lived much longer had she not met with a kind of violent death; for she would needs climb a nut tree, to gather nuts,; so falling down she hurt her thigh, which brought a fever, and that fever brought death. This my cousin Walter FitzWilliam told me.

“This old lady, Mr. Harriot told me, came to petition the Queen; and, landing at Bristol, she came on foot to London, being then so old that her daughter was decrepit, and not able to come with her, but was brought in a little cart, their poverty not allowing means for better provision; and as I remeber, Sir Walter Raleigh in some part of his story speaks of her, and saith that he saw her in England in Anno 1589.

“Her death was strange and remarkable, as her long life was, having seen the death of so many descended of her, and both her own and her husband’s house ruined in the rebellions and wars.”

The last account I bring to the readers attention is one in 1689 by Sir William Temple:

“…A Countess of Desmond, married out of England in Edward IV’s time, and who lived far in King James’s reign, and was counted to have died some years above a hundred and forty; at which age she came from Bristol to London to beg some relief at Court, having long been very poor by the reuin of that Irish family into which she was married.”

Based on the above evidence and some digging in The Dublin Review of 1862, the picture I put together of her last days is this:

In 1589 Sir Walter Raleigh met the Countess while in Ireland. Then, either late in Queen Elizabeth I‘s reign or in King James I‘s reign, she came to court to petition help from the crown on account of the ruin of her family estate. Then in about 1614, after a visit to the Royal Court (again?), she fell while picking nuts from a tree, and died later on, as a result.

Amazing for someone near 140 years old, to still be able to walk 4-5 miles into town daily. Also, interestingly she grew one or possibly two new sets of teeth in her advanced age. This is a trait also recorded in other people who live well beyond 100, such as those in South America.

Amazing story. What are your thoughts? Personally I think her spare diet (not eating a lot), not discussed here was a major factor. Also she was active and did much walking right up until the end. She ate nuts, though in some places it says she was picking cherries or another fruit off of a tree, so she ate fruit. Any thoughts as to what may have contributed to her longevity?

Posted by: colegrove | Saturday 27 September 2008

Happiness

So, today I went with a small group of guys geocaching around the Black Hills of western South Dakota.  Geocaching is a fun outdoor treasure hunting type of game.  Using a hand held GPS device and coordinates found online, you search for boxes or canisters hidden, either around a town, in the woods, or somewhere else challenging to find.  We hike a little less than 4 miles up and down in the woods.  Once we were withing 20 feet, we looked and were given clues from the people who had hid it on postings online.  When one finds a “cache”, there are usually little trinkets inside.  If you take one, you must put one of your own in the cache for the next person to find.  Also sign the “guest book”, if you will.  Very fun, but tiring on the legs.  I’m sure I’ll feel it tomorrow.  We actually went back and found a trail and an old watering trough for horses.  Made from cement, it must have been pretty old.  Odd to be found in the woods like that.  Makes one think of Custer and the pioneers of the mid to late 1800′s.  Wonderfully inspiring.  We had some talk of Templar treasure amongst us, and it lead me to the whole Oak Island mystery.  But that’s all another story, not why I am posting this entry.  The real inspiration for the post is a discussion a study group had on last Tuesday on loneliness.  Now this blog is not about loneliness, it is going to be on the topic of happiness.  There are so many people who seem so unhappy?  Why?   None of these examples I will use are in anyway referring to specific people, they are a mismash of whatever is in my head and may not come out in complete thoughts, so bear with me.   So here goes… maybe my blog should be entitled Rambling, instead of Random, as it’s more rambling incoherently starting… now…

THE QUESTION

What is happiness? Where is it to be found?

I know a young lady who finds her happiness in relationships. This is vain. She needs a male companion, or else she falls into despair. After she broke up with her boyfriend, she immediatley, within a few days, was engaged to a father and married man. Rebound I guess. By the end of that week she had completely planned the wedding and had the dress. Determined it would work and ignoring advice, she ended up falling to pieces again when in a few months he broke it off.

This continuous cycle of finding happiness and self-worth in others is misleading and destructive.

Then there are others who will continually seek promotions in the corporate world and run after the “almighty dollar”. Those who seek money to be satisfied at the expense of their own souls.

REAL HAPPINESS BEGINS WITH…

It is my belief that we can only have those things that we want (e.g. love, companionship, money, success, etc.), when we are first both happy and contented with who we are. Not seeking to find our value in others, but realizing we are valuable just as we are. Finding that confidence within ourselves is the first key to happiness. Being at peace with ourselves.  Why dwell on unhappy things?  Why not see the bigger picture?

Perhaps the word contented that I used above is not completely correct. If one is contented completely they will never grow. But contented in the way that they do not need to find happiness thru external things.

Napoleon Hill (1883-1970)

Napoleon Hill (1883-1970)

In fact, there is no reason not to be happy if one so chooses.  I know that may be a simplistic way to put it.  Maybe you think, “maybe for him“.  Perhaps.  I’m not saying I am always happy.  But in a way it may come down to how we look at events and our lives.  Sometimes we may be unhappy because of events or happenstance.  Problems and sadness will always enter our lives.  We can either let problems define us, or we can take the problem in our hands and deal with it or adapt to it.  Don’t be a victim of circumstance, but rise above the circumstance.  There is nothing holing you back.

It was Napoleon Hill who said “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”.  Interesting quote.  His interesting best-seller, Think & Grow Rich, is much recommended.  I haven’t read the full version, but listened to an abridged audio book with actual clips of him speaking.   His story of his son being born without ears and what he told the doctors is quite moving.  Even when it seems like there’s nothing one can do, people do not have to let the problems of their lives define them.  Overcome them.

SPIRITUAL PEACE

The next step is more spiritual. There may be many (Atheists, Christians, Buddhists, Muslim, etc.) who may come across this site. My own belief is that there is one way to find happiness and peace. You may all not agree on this next one, but whomever you are, hear me out momentarily:

Seeing who we are in light of our creator. Realizing our weaknesses and faults or sins that separate us from God. A turned heart to God that then takes in the fact of his infinite love to his creation, that came in one man, will result in a changed heart that has the peace that only He can give, as we lean on Him.

It is a sobering message of the value of each individual in the eyes of God.  How precious each of us, even unbelievers, are.  The lengths he went to show us that love.  And the strength his Spirit brings when we trust in him in storms.

Now, not everyone believes this. That is fine. The peace I speak of here is something that no church, no person, no philosophy can bring. However, at the very least, if one ponders the first part to finind happiness, I am sure most will agree that we need to be secure in our own minds and selves before we ever try to find happiness and fulfillment in others.

Besides, being human entails failures. When we are let down by mere man, whether a family member or our “other half”, we can either get over it with the knowledge that our happiness was not based on that person, or we can fall into despair and disarray because we were so crushed – having all our hope in that person.

Let’s not worry about whether this person, or that person “likes” us, instead let’s try to like ourselves, and then go out and like others for who they are.

DO WE AT TIMES BRING ABOUT OUR OWN UNHAPPINESS?

What do we see and how much do we see of it?

What do we see and how much do we see of it?

In fact, many if not most of our sadnesses and problems can enter our lives because of (1) our own choices and decision, and (2) because of how we react to things and think of things, problems, etc. when they come our way.

Example 1: In the year 1700, a mythical man on a South Carolina plantation picks up smoking.  He smokes from age 14 until age 65.  Then he gets emphysema and lung cancer and dies.  Before he dies, he cries out, “Oh why?  Why me?”  Perhaps medical science at that time did not realize the harmful effects of smoke, the addiction of nicotine, or the tar that is produced.  But just because he didn’t know about why he was sick, doesn’t mean it was happenstance or random chance that he died, but unknowingly caused by his own actions.  Perhaps that’s how cancer or heart disease is triggered.  We don’t have a definite reason why people get these things, in particular (well, we do know some links to why, but…), but maybe it’s something we are doing now that causes it, that one day we’ll understand.

Example 2: We decide to drop out of high school to pursue our own immediate desires, instead of the longer-term happiness. The whole Dave Ramsay quote from last posting.  Then we work at a dead-end job all of our lives making not much more than minimum wage.  Hmm… consequences.  Maybe if the person finnished school and were exposed to more things and opportunities by a different decision, the would have a better paying job they love to do, where they can be free to express themselves in their work.  Maybe they’d meet someone else that they will be happy with for the rest of their lives.  Or perhaps the relationship they have now will grow stronger by events happening differently by continuing education.

Example 3: A hurricane destroys our home and shuts down our job, for good.  We have no way to live – according to how we see our situation – and become depressed.  Of course it is a terrible thing and we have reason to be sad.  But to remain in that state for very long may be unnecessary.  We may think at that momemt we have nothing left.  Do we?  Let’s say we have some friends or cousins who live “up north” from Louisiana where we can stay.  Then we can always buck up and plan to rebuild (hopefully in a safer location), and find a job, or start our own creative way to make money.  I know it sounds cheesy, and it’s easier said than done, and I haven’t been in that situation, but there are other ways out.  There is a bigger picture that we aren’t looking at, as long as we rise above our situation.  The storms of life will always rage and sometimes they will strike deep.  A loved one dying.  A child with a disease.  Life will happen.  Do not despair.

Going up to the spiritual lesson, Jesus said,

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33.

Interesting to note that the Geneva commentary says here:

“That in me you might be thoroughly quieted. For by “peace” is meant here that quiet state of mind which is completely contrary to disquietness and great sadness.”

Hope - there is always Hope

Hope - there is always Hope

More partial Fixes: But there is almost always a loop hole, a way to fix the situation, i.e. the person could get their GED and return to college, even if it’s a small one that will accept them.  The problem with that, though, is that it may not be a complete fix.  A GED is not the same as a Diploma.  When someone is looking to hire someone, they probably will look at the GED and think, this person didn’t even complete high school, and hire someone else.  Same with the smoking example.  One may finally realize the mistake they made in smoking, quit, but they still have the pains of emphysema.  The point is to not get into bad situations in the first place, and think outside one’s own circumstances, to the results both long and short term as to any course of action.

Note: Now, I am not against smoking in the fact that I’m libertarian leaning and think cities banning it is an infringment on personal rights, but for health reasons I do not smoke myself, as I think it not health inducing.  Also there is no moral reason against smoking, unless one thinks of the virtue of keeping ones body clean and healthy, or the vice of any addiction.  Other than that, there is no other unethical reason, I just use this as an example.

WE LIVE IN A BOX WITH BLINDERS ON

We tend to see things from a box.  We are trapped in a box.  Our view of life and the world around us is colored by the blinders we have on.  Horses wear blinders sometimes, so the rider can keep the horse focused only on what is ahead of him, so the horse cannot get distracted or spooked as easily.  We likewise have blinders on that will not allow us to see anything but what is right there in front of us most of the time.

This is especially evident in teenagers and people who becomes depressed easily.  I am not one who gets depressed often.   There are times, however, when I just seem to be “down”.  It’s usually on Saturday afternoons when I have nothing to do.  I’d say about 2 times per year this happens, and lasts for an hour or two.  Not too bad, except while it’s happening.  Like all the junk and hopelessness of the world comes on me.  I only see myself where I am at that moment.  If I were to take a step back, and see that I probably just need a nap or something, and look at what I have to do the week ahead, I relax.  I take off the blinders.

Do we have blinders on?

I know there are many people, teenagers in particular, who struggle with depression.  They may be “in love”

with a boyfriend or girlfriend and only see their situation from their viewpoint.  Nothing else matters: not school, not college, not friends or family.  Just them, being together.  A mythical future awaits.  Sounds good, except that they have blinders on.  I knew a guy once who barely made it into college because he thought he couldn’t leave his girlfriend.  It was mentioned that there is a whole world away from home, yet to be discovered.  That he may not always be with that girl.  To no avail.  Of course right as college was about to start they broke up, and he realized he wanted to go to college, and barely scraped in before classes.  His whole world changed when he went there, because he got to see more of the world.  And there is yet more world to be seen, more people to meet beyond those college doors as well.

Everyone needs advice.  Not always to accept that advice, but needs to hear it, because it shows that person a different view, a different perspective that he or she may not be able to see rightly.  The more views one gets on a specific situation the more complete the picture will be to the person who is in it.

Peer Pressure

Peer Pressure

Feelings and emotions have a major role in how the blinders fit on our heads.  When we experience intense emotions: romantic ones, angry ones, depressed ones, adventurous ones, etc.  We associate certain things with those emotions that we experienced when we had the emotions in the first place.  These can be a hinderance at times when we need to think outside the box, to look outside our circumstances and see that emotion and feeling can be misleading and deceptive to where the road we are walking on may be headed.

I know most of this is mumbo-jumbo.  Ignore me, if it’s completely “out there” and unintelligible.  It’s hard for me to always express what is coming out of my head, but the reason I write this is two-fold.  (1) Many are unhappy needlessly, and may be helped by looking outside their circumstances to the future that awaits them.  (2) How much of what we know is actually true?  Are we (pick any topic, situation, etc.) actually seeing what we think we are seeing?  Believing what is true?  We must always look and think before we act, not be guided by societal guidelines.  Or friend-guidelines, either?  Peer pressure is powerful.  Many wartime atrocities occur, because people leave their judgments aside when they get in a group of people who all begin to do things they wouldn’t.  It’s how gangs operate.

Anyway, even if you don’t care for the two paragraphs of spiritual thoughts, please at least think of my other comments on happiness.  What are your opinions?

Please, anyone out there, feel free to post comments on this quickly put together blog entry! :-)  Or help me find better ways to say what I am trying to say.

Posted by: colegrove | Friday 26 September 2008

Water and Thievery

I know, right?” This phrase seemed to pop up from no where. One day about 2 months ago, my sister-in-law mentioned those words in a sentence. Twice in one night. Neither time did it make any sense. Then I go to work. I work with 90% females. They all start saying the phrase. I have never heard it before, and then, BOOM, it’s everywhere. I tried to stop a few of them and ask about it, but they didn’t realize they had said those words, and didn’t realize they are completely grammatically incorrect to place in a conversation the way they are. Where in the world did this originate from? Many assume it was from a movie named Mean Girls, but I wonder… At least it’s being spoken mostly by women as opposed to men. Perhaps there is hope for the human race with the few, the proud, the-people-who-don’t-say-silly-phrases!

As one blogger wrote:

“And what does it even mean? That you have an opinion, but you need my permission to validate it? Don’t ask me if you know immediately after you tell me you know. Either you know or you don’t know. The next time you say, “I know, right,” expect me to say, “no, you’re wrong. You obviously don’t know, so don’t waste my time trying to convince me you do.” It’s the worst catchphrase since “am I right or am I right?”. Don’t give me options, ’cause I’ll take you up on them.”

Sometimes I think it’s the water people drink. Well, maybe not in this case.

Now I am sitting here, before I head to bed, drinking Echinacea and Elderberry Tea to get my lymphatic system in gear and help protect myself from a cold that a person I work with has. Interesting story on Elderberry from the 1990′s – an Israeli scientist discovered it cuts the length of colds by more than a half! I’ll leave it to you to look up on your own. Well, anyway, as I sit here, thinking, this blog and the last one haven’t been nearly as good quality as the first two or so, my mind shifts to the water that the tea is steeped in. Water. Nature’s best solvent.

Speaking of water, has anyone seen the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding? I am not big into chick flicks but this one was alright. If anyone recalls, the dad was a big fan of Windex. Whenever a problem arose, or a solution was needed, he would run and grab it – even in the most ludicrous of situations, which made it funny. My own personal remedy is water. Think about it. My wife says she’s got a head-ache. I tell her to drink water and 9 out of 10 times it goes away. It may not be a complete cure-all, but the fact is most people do not drink nearly enough water. The vast majority of us are in a state of dehydration most of the time. By the time you realize your thirsty, you’re in the beginning stages. One should read Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, by Doctor Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D. Amazing work! “You’re not sick, your thirsty” is his slogan.

Well, I just finished a book by Paul and Patricia Bragg, pioneers in the field of health and nutrition in the early 20th century. It was called Water: The Shocking Truth That Can Save Your Life. Listening to Radio Liberty had made me aware of the dangers of fluoridated and chlorinated water for some years now, but I never thought too much about how to remove it from ones drinking water, until this book. Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD, has a good interview at this website, run my Mike Adams, on fluoride. Blaylock writes for NewsMax Magazine. and has recently been

Bragg

Bragg

doing research into nutrition’s effect on behavior. I have used regular carbon filters for tap water since college, but now, I realize that pure water is found in steam distilled water that has also been run through a carbon filter. It removes both chlorine, fluoride, chemicals, germs, and heavy metals that will calcify your arteries. The image to the right is a basic idea of how distilled water (like rain water) is the purist you can find.

Okay, okay. I can hear you think it… He’s rambling again.

On to a new topic. Human nature again. So, I was going for a nice leisurly evening walk with the little lady and we were accousted by some guy. He just walked out onto the sidewalk and threatened to rob and kill us. We managed to not panic and he left us, and we kept walking, but it was a shock, for sure. The biggest thought in my mind was why? Why would someone who doesn’t know you, to whom you’ve never insulted in your life, walk up to you and threaten you? It doesn’t make logical sense. Perhaps it goes back to water. What was that Capital One commercial? What’s in your water? Anyway, I guess I had forgotten that not everyone thinks before they act and thinks of consequences. Honestly, what goes thru that guys mind? Doesn’t everyone think before they act and have a moral compass (of some sort or another)? Well, anyway… From now on I’ll walk during the day, in thee best part of town, carrying protection.

Speaking of maturity, it reminds me of a quote by Dave Ramsay,

“It is human nature to want it and want it now; it is also a sign of immaturity. Being willing to delay pleasure for a greater result is a sign of maturity. However, our culture teaches us to live for the now. “I want it!” we scream…”

Now, wouldn’t the world be a different place if we all listened to that quote and applied it? Kids would have more stable homes, because before their parents “got together” (infatuation), they were willing to delay pleaseure for a greater result (love). They showed this by their actions. We’d all think before we act if we took that advice, I imagine.

But seriously… what kind of idiot does that? (Back to the creepy thug who approached us on the street). Walks up and tries… okay, I’ll calm down. New topic…

Ron Paul

Ron Paul

Chuck Baldwin

Chuck Baldwin

Good news, Ron Paul has finally decided to endorse a candidate. Chuck Baldwin. I thought Bob Barr was quality at first, but the more I look at his record, the less freedom-loving he became. Remember the Constitution. Not to offend any John McCain or Barak Obama supporters, but eventually, the more you look into politics, the more it becomes apparent that there are in reality little differences between the two major party candidates. The media can and will spin stories to make it appear differently, but that’s how I see it. I welcome comments. Until then, I will finish a chapter in The 4-Hour Workweek. A very interesting read about the life of it’s author and how he lives. Inspirational for sure. And then hit the bed for at least 8 hours.

Posted by: colegrove | Thursday 14 August 2008

And to the Republic for which it stands…

The difference between a Republic and a Democracy. Have you heard it said, “…Helping the spread of democracy”? What is democracy? I remember being in history class in high school and my teacher asked the class the difference between a democracy and a republic and I used to think they were completely synonymous.

A Republic is where there is freedom under the rule of law (Constitution). No one is above that law. Not just your average citizen who is to be law abiding, but everyone is under that standard: The President, her husband (joke – laugh), the military, and even cops. The ‘law of the land’ is that nations constitution and whatever powers it does not give to the government are to be by the people. We have the freedom. So, people are free. The law is there to protect the free people in their lives, liberties, and properties from those who would take it. We have a limited law – a limited government; for the founding fathers knew that a powerful government would become just as corrupt as those it was defending against otherwise.

Too bad out senators, congressmen, court judges, and presidents don’t take time to read the law themselves. Now we have many more so-called “laws” that are in fact unconstitutional. **Theft (1913)… ahem**. **Post-9/11 privacy… (cough)**. Take some time to read the Constitution today and see what our founders set this nation up to be… that being, a nation where freedom reigns. Here is some old entries in reference books that show the difference between a democracy and a republic.

(A side note from history: pure democracy ends up eventually turning into an authoritarian state. Take the French Revolution. Near anarchy and mob violence ending with an Emperor.)

A Republic - if you can keep it

A Republic - if you can keep it

 Mob Rule

Mob Rule

Posted by: colegrove | Sunday 3 August 2008

Ooparts in exploration history

Wild Blueberries

Wild Blueberries

Here I am again, pondering… Of course my regular cup of tea, this time, Honeybush and my bowl of wild blueberries sits with me. Another week has passed and it is time to expound upon the randomness of my brain.

These blueberries are great. In-laws just got back from a trip to Northern Michigan and picked what was something like 15 quarts of wild blueberries, and brought some home to the Black Hills of South Dakota. I do miss Michigan – home. That’s about $100 if they were to buy all that at the store! Wild blueberries are so much tastier than store-bought. True, they are much smaller, but cheaper (All you do is pick them)! They are also healthier. Most plants that have to fend for themselves in the wild tend to be smaller and more distinctive tasting, but they usually have the most nutrients too!

Honeybush Tea

Honeybush Tea

Now on to the topic of my beverage for the evening: Honeybush tea. This fine plant grows wild in South Africa and is similar to the Rooibos bush – which I hope to expound upon next posting. Somewhat sweeter with a hint of honey taste, hence the name. Almost no caffeine and low tannin levels. One of those tasty evening teas that get one ready to bed.

Speaking of great tasting plants. Tomatoes. What would the world be like without them? Could you imagine? No salsa, no pizza (as we know it today), no pasta sauce, no additions to salads and wraps. Life would be much different.

On the topic of Tomatoes, it brings me to my first love. Ahem. Second. Wife is first of course. History! Here’s an oddity: In 1985 archaeologists were excavating a tomb in China dating to the Han Dynasty. This is around the time of Christ, give or take a few centuries, as it began around 206 BC and lasted until AD 220. In the process of excavating, they came across a ceramic container with some seeds in. They wrapped them in a cloth that happened to be damp, and a few days later noticed that the seeds had sprouted into tomato plants. First amazing thing: 2,000 year old seeds still have the capacity for life. Secondly and perhaps more amazing: Tomatoes weren’t discovered until about 500 years ago, when the explorers brought them back to the old world. How did the Chinese, with supposedly no contact with the New World until the 1500′s, have tomatoes?

Roman terracotta head unearthed in Tecaxic-Calixtlahuaca, Mexico

Roman terracotta head unearthed in Tecaxic-Calixtlahuaca, Mexico

Perhaps there was much more Pre-Columbian trans-Atlantic crossings than we think. Need I mention the fact that Roman coins have been discovered all across North America. Roman ceramics found off the coast of Brazil, underwater. A Roman figurine head was found in Mexico amid ruins. There have even been Celtic, Carthaginian, Phoenician, Libyan, Hebrew, and Egyptian traces left from the ancient world. I doubt that America was really all that lost.

I studied at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan a few years back. There are lots of Copper and Iron Ore mines up in the “Copper Country” of the U.P. As I began to become a “Yooper” I got to go exploring the forests and looking into the history of mining, with learning of the Finnish, Swedish, and Cornish miners who mined there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Local expert Fred Rydholm has written an excellent book entitled Michigan Copper: The Untold Story. In this book he talks of the missing copper. At one time, before the big mining operations of the late 1800′s, there was once much more copper that has since been mined. Where did it go? He finds ground to speculate that it was brought by traders to the Old World via transatlantic crossings.

Knight Templar Ship

Knight Templar Ship

The Irish had St. Brendan the Navigator (483-577) on a voyage to the Americas, which supposedly occurred between AD 512-530.

We have all heard of the Vikings, from the late 10th century thru the early 14th century setting up small camps and perhaps colonies in Newfoundland and New England, and perhaps as far south as Virginia. This is almost completely accepted today.

The Welsh Prince Madoc, son of Owain Gwenydd landed around Mobile, Alabama between AD 1169-1171, and the voyagers mixed with some of the local tribes of Native Americans, leaving many elements of the Welsh language. There is of course another theory that it wasn’t this Madoc, but a Madoc of Wales who lived in Arthurian days. I haven’t read any data on this theory, so I won’t comment.

Newport Tower

Newport Tower

The Zeno brothers of Venice are said to have went with Henry Sinclair (1344-1404) to the north-east coast of America between 1398-1404, leaving the Newport Stone Tower in Newport, Rhode Island and the Westford Knight carving. It is theorized that it was Sinclair with a band of disbanded Knights Templar that constructed the mysterious Money Pit on Oak Island, Nova Scotia. Boy, would I like to get into that story (Oak Island), but that is for another time. Apparently Sinclair’s journeys to America gave some inspiration to the Sinclair family and Rosslyn Chapel, which is decorated with various plants native to America, including American Maize and the Aloe Vera cacti. Of course, it is worth mentioning that most the the Chapel was built before Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

There is another theory presented of late that says a Chinese fleet sailed around the Americas around 1421.

Anyway, the point is there is some evidence that shows our history books may need a revision or sorts, presenting all the evidences for and against such things.

Fundamentals of the Plymouth Colony

Fundamentals of the Plymouth Colony

Why am I on this trail of history? Well, yesterday I was doing some more genealogical research into paternal colonial ancestors and decided to rush off to the Library and pick up Bradford’s History of the Plymouth Plantation. This book is not just a text book written recently about the 17th century, but a work by an actual voyager on the Mayflower and prominent colonist! I get so crazy about the 1600′s in America! So far, since I picked it up, I am on page 103 of 437! Thanks to my own reading style, and an attempt at the amazing PhotoReading! Last post I mentioned Derren Brown. Here is another video from YouTube of him showing some amazing feats at PhotoReading! It will blow your mind!

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. WatsonSherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.  Sidney Paget did wonderful illustrations!

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Sidney Paget did wonderful illustrations!

Again, may I say, Derren is amazing. But that aside, my mind is way to random and sporadic to sit thru most books unless I use my own form of reading. Except I have been able to read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales with normal reading. I also recommend!

My favorite of his is “The Musgrave Ritual“. There is some interesting symbolism in that story that gives away some elements of what Mr. Doyle was involved in in the real world. Besides work, some more tennis, and a game or two or Risk with some friends, I hope to look into the Sons of the Revolution, as an ancestor of mine was in the NY Militia during our War of Independence and at the Battle of Wyoming Valley, PA – Rev. Jedediah Stephens. I’d like to know more about that society and how I can get involved. So…

Until next time! Have a great week!

Posted by: colegrove | Sunday 27 July 2008

Think for yourself

Olive Leaf Tea

Olive Leaf Tea

I sit with a cup of Olive Leaf Tea around the coffee table, pondering human nature. What brings me to this place? Well, I like to begin and end my days with some kind of reflection.

Today: Church. Lunch. Game of Tennis. Romantic dinner with the wife. Researching. Pondering. Therein lies the day that has just past me. I wasn’t really researching, but watching some clips of Derren Brown shows. Derren Brown, a psychological illusionist and mentalist has been on British television for the past few years doing tricks of the mind and other amazing feats. The particular clip I was watching was from “The Heist”. Derren is using suggestion and persuasion techniques to get his subjects to do things they would never do under normal circumstances.

The Milgram Experiment

The Milgram Experiment

The reason this brings me to think about our minds and natures, is that Derren Brown had his subjects re-enact the famous Milgram Experiment. I hadn’t thought about the Milgram Experiment since college Psychology class, so if you’ve never heard of it, it’s not new.

Stanley Milgram at Yale University began his experiments in 1961, when the Nuremberg Trials were under way. Were the war criminals were “just following orders” when they were faced with their atrocities? He wanted to see how far people would go, just to obey an authority figure.

In each case Milgram had two actors and one subject. The subject was told that the experiment was to test memory. The subject would give the person (actor) in the other room an electric shock with each wrong answer he would say. These shocks would increase in voltage with each wrong answer. Eventually the actor in the other room, who is not actually being shocked, screams out in pain. But, the other actor, dressed as a formidable looking scientist, continues to tell the subject to go on with the experiment.

Nuremburg Trials

Nuremburg Trials

What do you think the results were? How many subjects would continue administering near lethal shocks when told to by a man in a lab coat? An unbelievable 66%!

This experiment has been repeated time and again with the same results. 66% or higher continue with the experiment to the end. One study showed a most scary thing… 20 in 26 would give out the most lethal of the shocks if told to by the actor in authority. In fact, no one even stopped the experiment before reaching 300 volts.

What does this mean for us today? How far will we go and what will we end up doing, if someone in authority tells us to? What darkness lurks in the back of our minds when we allow our conscious to be pushed aside?

Stanley Milgram

Stanley Milgram

Just think… when we pass 26 people on the street on the way to work or class: 20 of them have the potential to do horrendous things to their fellow man, just because they were told to. The human soul may be darker in some respects that we think.

May we always stop and think before we act – and always remember this experiment. I believe in authority: in the home, at work, in government, and so on. But we must never be afraid to stop and question that authority when it passes our moral standards. The implications of this experiment are far reaching in scope.

Another point to ponder? Are the 20 people who continued past the lethal shock dosage brainwashed? Are they suppressing their conscious or is blind obedience part of their moral beliefs?

Here is the Derren Brown clip from YouTube:

Derren Brown

Derren Brown

But since I always like to end on a happy note, may I bring back the subject of the near empty cup of Olive Leaf Tea? We all know of olives, both the ripe black ones and my favorite, the unripened green ones. They’re good on salads, pizzas, wraps, or even by themselves. We all know of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil that we use in cooking and dressings. The old fashioned olive oil lamps that once lit the desks of those in times past. Why stop there when using the plant? Olive Leaves have been used medicinally for centuries. Olive leaves are one of natures most potent anti-bacterial, anti-viral formulas known to man and has even been used to help stop Strep Throat and the common cold. The tea can seem strong at first and may take some getting used to, but it is soothing at the same time. Olive Leaf Tea is also one of the best known ways to support the immune system, having one of the highest levels of antioxidants, as it absorbs more free radicals than Vitamin C or Green Tea! So drink up… well, mine is gone, but tomorrow starts a new day!

I think everyone should check out Derren Brown though, every show he has been on has been both amazing and mind blowing!

Posted by: colegrove | Saturday 21 June 2008

How long can mankind live?

ARE PEOPLE LIVING LONGER TODAY?

Apricot KernelsToday the average age of human life is between 70 and 80 years old. Though it is thought that lifespans are increasing as society becomes more “advanced”, in fact the opposite may be true. True, many died in infancy many as close as 100 years ago, resulting in lower population levels and a reduction in the overall life expectancy age. However, excluding all those who died before the age of 14, the average of 70 years was the same. Except for in some cases better nutrition and more sanitation, a healthy 25 year old, such as myself, could expect to see 80 years give or take a few. Much hasn’t changed in the last few hundred years; we may actually be on the verge of living shorter lives, especially here in America. My wife’s nutrition instructor was humorously recalling some information she learned, that though macabre, shows what I mean. Today, when they embalm bodies, they use much less embalming fluid then they did 50 years ago, because we have so many preservatives and toxins already in our own bodies from the foods we eat and the lifestyles we live. In fact did you know that in 1900 the cancer rate in this country was 1 in 33 – some sources list 1 in 50, but let’s run with the 1 in 33 figure. Today it is 1 in 2 for men and 1 in 3 for women. What is happening? I am getting a little off topic however, as I will hope to cover cancer in another post; so returning to the title, how long is man’s lifespan potential?

LEGENDS OF LONGEVITYBible Longevity

It is recorded in many cultures legends that before in an age past men lived much longer life spans. In the Bible, the Torah, and the Koran it mentions Adam and those who lived before the Great Flood to have lived around 900 years. The explanation seems to be that – besides a different diet and better DNA – the atmospheric pressure was greater because of a water or ice canopy which was above the earth in those days. For those who want to learn more about those theories, both scientific and theological, I would suggest you put some time in to research the history of early mankind and the relevant topic of young earth creationism on your own. Apparently, according to this theory, after the flood, the canopy fell and the oxygen content of the planet was much less, making wounds heal slower. Do a quick search on Hyperbaric Oxygen and find out more about Oxygen’s amazing healing potential for everything from wounds to stroke recovery and possibly aid in the fight against cancer. Nevertheless, there have been stories of great longevity around the world.

By the time of Moses, who himself is said to have lived to be 120 years old – the 15th Century BC – people were already down to about 70 years. He said in Psalm 90, “The days of our years [are] threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength [they be] fourscore years, yet [is] their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” America today seems to be lacking in health and longevity compared the the other nations of the world. Japan and Iceland have the average being 5 years longer than in the United States. Let me bring up a few famous centenarians who have lived to extreme ages – IN GOOD HEALTH.

THE OLDEST PEOPLE TODAY

Jeanne CalmentJeanne Calment (1875-1997) lived to be 122 years old. She was from France and is the oldest verified person to have lived, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. She took up fencing at the age of 85, continued to ride her bicycle after the age of 100, and moved into a nursing home only after she was 110. In ironic thing about her is that she smoked most of her life, quitting at the age of 117 because she found it harder to light up and didn’t want to ask for assistance. Everyone knows the dangers of smoking – for some emphysema can even set in in their late 40′s, but for whatever reason, she beat the odds – of all of us.

Maria Olivia da SilvaRank Brazil is another “authenticating” agency like Guinness Book of World Records. They say the oldest woman was older, the 129 year old Maria Do Carmo Geronimo (1871-2000) of Brazil and the current oldest person is stated as being the 128 year old Maria Olivia da Silva who was born 1880 in Sao Paulo of Portuguese descent. India has it’s own “longest lived person” being the still-living Habib Miyan, alias Rahim Khan”. According to documents he was born in 1878 (130 years old this year), though he and his family have claimed a birth year of 1869 (139 years). He has been recieving a pension for old age since 1938!! A woman named Moloko Temo of South Africa claims to have been born in 1874.

Other people in recent times living excessive ages, some validated, some not, include Mary Ewen (1878-2007) of Jamaica, Cruz Hernandez (1878-2007) of El Salvador, Elizabeth Israel (1875-2003) of Jamaica, and Habib Miyan of IndiaSwami Kalyan Dev (1876-2004) of India all lived to be 128 years old. Tshinyelo Dora Muzila (1880-2008) of South Africa lived to be 127 years old. Benito Martinez Abrogan (1880-2006) of Cuba lived 126 years, though his age is widely disputed. He emigrated from Haiti to Cuba in the 1920′s. In the United States the record holders are Jackson Pollard of Georgia (1869-1995), Juan Ramos (1880-2006), and Alberta Davis of Georgia (1881-2007) all living to be 125 years old. The lives of these “ancients” seem to be as varied as can be. Many have been smokers, many non-smokers. Many indulge in the occasional glass of wine, many completely abstain. Some are vegetarians, others like Habib Miyan – except for the foods outlawed by his Muslim faith, doesn’t care what goes into his body, he reported to the Indian equivalent of the Associated Press.

OLD MAN PARR

There is one interesting tale from history of a vegetarian centenarian. Thomas Parr, known as “Old Man Parr” or “Old Tom Parr” was born in Shropshire, England in 1483. Illiterate, he began work in 1500 as a domestic servant. His father died in 1518 so he returned home to take possession. He married Jane Taylor when he was 80 and had two children which both died in infancy. In 1583, at the age of 100 he had to do penance for being unfaithful to his wife. She died in 1605. Later Parr remarried but had no children. He was still farming at the age of 130. Parr had a diet that consisted of “green cheese, onions, coarse bread, buttermilk and mild ale with cider on special occasions.” Thomas Parr said, “Keep your head cool by temperance and your feet warm by exercise.Rise early, go soon to bed, and if you want to grow fat [prosperous] keep your eyes open and your mouth shut“. He opposed the use of either strong spirits or tobacco and urged temperance in both diet and behavior. With failing eyesight, in 1635 at the age of 152, the poor man was spirited away to the court of the King – Charles I, where he began indulging in the many foods – eating sumptuously – and many wines that rich city life had to offer. This radical change in diet, lifestyle, and the excitement of being moved to the bustling city was almost assuredly the reason of his sudden demise that year. When the famous Dr. William Harvey, the man who discovered the circulation of blood in the body, did an autopsy on Parr, he found his internal organs in excellent condition!

Terraced Fields of HunzaLOCATION OF SHANGRI-LA

There are a few places on earth that have gone down in legend as being places where the average life expectancy is much longer – 90 to 100 years or more. One such place in the Hunza Valley in northern Pakistan. I find this location, it’s history, and Apricots a most fascinating place. In a future post I would like to discuss more about the Hunzakuts. Author James Hilton made up the term Shangri-La for a fictional place in his 1933 book, Lost Horizion. It is commonly believed that he based this on the land of Hunza where the average age was over 90, and many elders were even into their 120′s. They are a mostly vegetarian people, but do eat dairy products and the occasional meat, usually around holidays. Most of the year they are completely cut off being in the Himalayan Mountains. Another place around the world noted for longevity is the peoples of the Caucasus Mountains. Regions such as Abkhazia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and the states of Dagestan and Chechnya in Russia – all located in these Mountains – have many reports of people living over 120 years old. Shirali Muslimov (1805-1973) and the Kurdish man, Zaro Aga (1777-1934) are two famous super-centenarians of this area. The Vilcabamba Valley in Ecuador is another amazing place. National Geographic Magazine in the 1970′s did specials on these three areas of longevity. All of the places share some similar traits: all are in remote locations, isolated from their surrounding neighbors. All are in mountainous areas; all respect their elders; all are active throughout life (no retirement); and most consume semi-vegetarian diets.

MY PLAN FOR HEALTH AND LONGEVITY

It is my belief that if someone wants to live a long healthy life (though not necessarily as long as the record breakers) one must have a healthy LIFESTYLE, which should include these steps:

  1. Good nutrition. A lot of processed foods today are void of the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are necessary for human growth and life. Be sure to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and herbs for optimal health. Studies have shown than women who eat 7 servings of fresh veggies (preferably raw) per day slash their risk of Breast Cancer in half! The small seeds inFruits and Vegetables Blackberries and Raspberries are very nutritious. Also, though I don’t recommend eating a handful of apple seeds by themselves, when you do eat an apple, eat the seeds as well – the bitter part helps ward off cancer as well. Foods rich in Vitamin C are important, as it supports the immune system. Another note, raw foods still have the enzymes that we need that cooking destroys – keep this in mind. Sugar paralyzes the immune system for four hours after a heavy consumption of it: today Americans eat 160 pounds of sugar per year compared to 1887 when only 5 pounds of sugar was consumed per person. Americans also eat 60 pounds more meat today than we did 40 years ago. Remember me saying above that the cancer rate is now 1 in 2.5 compared with 100 years ago when it was 1 in 33? Eating a healthy varied diet with good nutrition is surely a major component in any healthy lifestyle.
  2. Exercise Regularly. Today many Americans exercise more than before. They work out vigorously and then sit by the television for hours each day thinking they’ve done what it takes. The type of work-out I am talking about is a lifestyle one. Strenuous exercise is not necessary. Stretching and daily brisk walks are some of the best and easiest ways to get your body – and lymph system moving. Longevity rises the more we walk plateauing the charts once we reach 25 miles per week. Just start moving now, because some is better than none.
  3. Pure Clean Water. When we become thirsty, we are usually already on the first stages of dehydration. At least 8 glasses per day is what “they” say, but I have also heard that if you take your body weight, call it ounces, and divide it in half, that is the amount throughout the day one needs to drink. Whichever is more I recommend. Be careful to drink clean water. Though nations in Europe have banned Fluoride, many places in the US still pump it into city water supplies. When I say water, I mean water, not soft drinks, not water that you put a packet of aspartame-laced sweeteners in. REAL water. Come on now.
  4. Sunlight. Many fear the sun because of the risk of skin cancer. While over indulging and getting burned can lead to Skin Cancer, those who avoid the sun are at a higher risk of developing this cancer by not getting enough Vitamin D3 – which is made in the skin by contact with sunlight. Be sure to spend time outside daily. Be careful which types of sunscreen you put on, as you may be doing more harm than good. The axiom I heard once was “don’t put anything on your skin you wouldn’t be able to eat” sounds good, but may be difficult – but keep in mind the point.
  5. Temperance. Avoid common sense things like tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. Even in small amounts alcohol damages the liver. Those who claim a glass a day helps with health don’t realize that it is the very amazing Resveratrol in grapes that is the beneficialNordic Walking in Slovenia mechanism, not the alcohol itself. You get more from certain types of grape juices and other plants than you do in wine.  According to a recent article from the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7906355.stm: “Consuming just one drink a day causes an extra 7,000 cancer cases…in UK women each year…Overall, alcohol is to blame for about 13% of breast, liver, rectum, mouth and throat cancers, the researchers say.”  Other things to avoid include the many toxins we are exposed to daily, from chemicals in the air to formaldehyde in new furniture and carpets, we are being inundated with dangerous substances. Asbestos and types of mold toxins can be breathed in from old insulation and wet basements. Fluoride and chlorine in drinking water can cause neurological problems. Excess copper, aluminum, and mercury from vaccines can trigger autistic symptoms and early Alzheimer’s Disease. The point is be careful what you surround yourself with and never over indulge in anything. I include abstinence in this “temperance” category, as those who periodically practice fasting or eat less calories than the average 2,000 per day live longer than those who over indulge.
  6. Fresh Air. Go outside daily. Oxygen is vital for life.
  7. Rest. Proper amount of sleep is nearer to 9 hours, yet we as an average each decade, are getting lower and lower in the length of time we spend with the pillow. Today we sleep 5 to 6 hours on average. Ideally the optimal time to sleep is going to bed when the sun goes down and rising with it. “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” was no joke. Bed by at least 10:00pm is ideal.
  8. Stress Relief. Relax. Many in the corporate world and the manufacturing world are rushed and rushed. There always needs to be time to simply relax without worrying. Worrying will not add one hair to your head, Jesus said. Be happy. Those with positive and optimistic attitudes and outlooks always stay stress free and bring joy to those around them at the same time.
  9. Trust in God. Speaking of Jesus Christ, always remember to trust in Him as Proverbs 3:5-6 says. Things will never always go the way we want or expect, but it’s how we react when they happen. If it’s something we’ve done to cause it, we need to acknowledge it, instead of pouting and blaming. If it’s something out of our hands, we need all the more to lean on Him to carry us through. It’s always reassuring to know we can hide the storms of life in the cleft of the rock, which is Christ Jesus.
  10. An Attitude of Gratitude and Benevolence. Develop a good character, being thankful for whatever happens in your life.
  11. Have something to live for. People become depressed and begin to loose it when they CHOOSE not to live for anything. Keep a purpose or goal. These can always change, but if you still have something to look forward to, there is something to work at.

VeggingThese are some of the things I am working on to help ensure a healthy lifestyle. I don’t think a vegetarian diet is necessary, but a drastic increase in vegetables and decrease in the meats we eat is very beneficial. Will you join me on this endeavor to be the healthiest we all can be?  Please post any comments and discussion questions you can think of!

Posted by: colegrove | Saturday 21 June 2008

Thoughts on Morocco and Food

Moroccan Mint TeaAs I sit here soaking up the sun this warm South Dakotan day, sipping my Moroccan Mint Tea, a thought comes to my mind… What is “Moroccan Mint”? This tea seems to be less minty than Peppermint or Spearmint. It turns out there are many varieties of Mint in addition to these classics there are Apple Mint, Bergamont Mint, Water Mint, Pennyroyal, and others. Moroccan Mint seems to be one of a plethera of mints. Very good for teas.

This bring me to Morocco. A pleasant western Mediterranean nation, it brings to mind Humphrey Bogart on the classic, Casablanca. It picture the Atlas Mountains, rolling Sand Dunes, middle eastern markets and busy foreign streets bustling with people selling handmade goods. The biggest thing perhaps besides the mint tea, is the intricate designs in art and architecture. Of course, I don’t know from experience, but these are some of the things that come to mind when I think of Morocco.

In my searches on Morocco, I once came to the unusual ruler known as Moulay Ismail Ibn Sharif (1634-1727) who reigned in there from 1672. He was most known for the most recorded children born to one father. As Sultan, he had 888 children (one wonders if this number is more legend or not), with his harem of 500 women. Another source says he had 1,042 children but either way, he was very prolific. Talk about being fruitful and multiplying!

Mint from MoroccoI must be on a theme. One of my favorite dishes my wife cooks up every so often is Moroccan Stir Fry. It is a hit with just about everyone we cook for. Here is the recipe:

  • 2 t Olive Oil
  • 2 medium Carrots
  • 1 cup chopped Onion
  • 1 cup Bell Pepper, chopped (be creative and colorful)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic (one of the healthiest of foods – but that’s another tangent)
  • 1/2 to 3/2 cup Rasins
  • 1 t ground Cumin
  • 1/2 t Sea Salt
  • 1/4 t Turmeric, ground
  • 1/2 t Cinnamon, ground
  • 1/8 t Pepper
  • 1 can (or equivalent) of Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • 2 T fresh ParsleyMoroccan Coast

We like to double the spices sometimes. Mmmmm. Heat the Olive Oil in 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Cook carrots, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in oil for 4 minutes. Stir in remaining ingrediants except parsley. Cook 5 minutes stirring frequently. Garnish with parsley. This dish is great with herbed or Parmesan couscous. What is couscous you ask? I’m glad, well, CousCous is also popular in Morocco, Jordan, Palestine, and Lebanon. It’s ground up wheat. I don’t know how else to describe it. I have enclosed some pictures I’ve collected (not my own) on this site, and one day I’ll have to take a picture of the stir fry myself and post it to show what it looks like and how appetizingly healthy it is.

Now, on to the next small rabbit trail… on the subject of my favorite bean, Garbanzo, let me throw out another recipe we made recently, Chickpea Curry with Chapattis. Here is the Chickpea Curry recipe:

  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (my grandmother used this spice a lot I believe)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 x 440 gram (14 oz) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 440 g (14 oz) canned tomato pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala

1. Slice onions finely; crush garlic. Heat oil in a medium pan. Add onion and garlic to pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until soft.

2. Add the chili powder, sea salt, turmeric, paprika, cumin, and coriander. Stir over heat for one minute.

3. Add chickpeas and undrained tomatoes, stir until combined. Simmer, covered, over low heat 20 minutes (we usually do almost 25), stirring occasionally. Stir in garam masala. Simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes.

Street in MoroccoTraditional chapattis or regular store bought wraps can be used to serve.

Speaking of garam masala, one of my college friends was from Kenya and introduced me to what she called “Kenyan Tea” which was Masala Chai, very tasty. Garam Masala is a group of spices commonly used together in Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladesh. Interesting that Kenya would use masala also. Most likely it is because Arab and Indian traders made small colonies along the coast of eastern Africa during many years of the last millennium and some of that culture mixed with native Africa.

Now as I sit here finishing off a large bowl of organic blueberries with a toothpick, and begin to read more of “The Revolution: A Manifesto” by Dr. Ron Paul (former presidential candidate and founder of Campaign for Liberty), I bid my readers adieu until next post.

Posted by: colegrove | Saturday 14 June 2008

Welcome to the year 1881

Welcome to my random thoughts.  With me random, tangent, and rabbit trail are near synonymous with who I am.  So, be prepared for lots of topics.  Please all guests feel free to post comments and also give me inspiration for more tangents to research!

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