Saturday, March 27, 2010

The scope of things today...

Leo- Weekend of Saturday, March 27, 2010

A certain awkward situation you are dealing with will not get much worse if at all. Everything has a limit and in this case the limit has been reached. Furthermore, it is not there to ruin your life, but rather to make you appreciate the good times when they come. You are going to feel great once certain contentious issues finally get sorted out. You will start to regain a sense of faith in life and a feeling of purpose to your existence.

This one is uncanny because of its timing I hope its accurate certainly applies to the bloggers world.

Cancer- Weekend of Saturday, March 27, 2010

There’s not much chance of walking away from a tense situation unless you figure out a way of resolving it first. It demands a lot of attention. The stress may have to get a little worse before it gets better, but don’t let this worry you. Try and take it all a little less seriously and you’re chances of success will immediately improve. Do what must be done. Once you get beyond a certain point, it’ll be all downhill. A celebration will follow.

Scorpio- Weekend of Saturday, March 27, 2010

So many people dream up amazing dreams or envisage grand plans, but never find a way to take their ideas and turn them into reality. It’s not that their ideas aren’t good. Quite the contrary is true. Plenty of brilliant ideas never see the light of day for the simple reason that the originator lacks the confidence to execute the plan. To make progress now with something you’re thinking about, you need to dispel all doubt in your talents and ask the universe for guidance.

Pisces- Weekend of Saturday, March 27, 2010

Your mind says one thing but your heart is quite another concerning a task you have set up for yourself. You’ve but yourself on a course that sees you accepting a great deal more responsibility that is perhaps wise for you at this time. You’ve just come out of a very heavy period in your life. You deserve a little rest from all the hard work. It would be nice to concentrate on things that are inspiring and interesting. In fact, it’s just what the stars would like to see you do.

Taurus- Weekend of Saturday, March 27, 2010

With the Moon rapidly waxing towards fullness, it will draw your attention to a problem that requires a speedy resolution. We’ve come to accept that life on this fair planet does require us to contend with eternal aggravation and perpetual frustration. We can find temporary escapes, but sooner or later we have to face the next tsunami of hassles. You can though minimize the effect of the current issue you’re dealing with. Proceed slowly and carefully and you’ll succeed at finding the right perspective to deal with it in the most successful manner possible.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Here's why maple syrup is very good for your health

Nicole Baute


Good news for sweet tooths everywhere: that sticky syrup you love to pour on pancakes and waffles is not only bad for you — it might be good for you, too.

Sure, it’s sugary and calorie-packed. But real maple syrup is also full of compounds touted for their health benefits, according to a professor from the University of Rhode Island.

Navindra Seeram, an assistant professor of pharmacy who specializes in medicinal plant research, found a cocktail of 20 antioxidants in 20 litres of the sweet stuff from Quebec, including 13 never before found in maple syrup.

Although he says more research is needed to determine whether people can actually benefit from maple syrup, Seeram adds the compounds are reported to have antibacterial, anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties.

Seeram – awarded a $115,000 research grant by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada -- has a sugar maple tree trunk in his lab for future research.

“A lot of people don’t even think of using maple syrup as a sweetener,” he says. “Apart from putting it on your pancakes and your waffles, think about integrating it in your cuisine, in cooking.”

The newly-discovered compounds are types of lignans, also found in flax seed and whole wheat, a stilbene, which is in the same chemical class as the red wine extract resveratrol, and flavonoids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties.

Phenolic acids, commonly found in berries and coffee, were also found in the syrup.

Seeram thinks sugar maples might secrete phenolics as a defence mechanism when they are wounded by being tapped.

He says it makes sense that maple syrup contains antioxidant properties, because it comes from sap located just inside the maple tree’s bark, which basks in the sun.

His findings, presented this week at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in San Francisco, are great news for the booming maple syrup industry.

Geneviève Béland, director of promotion and market development for the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, says maple syrup exports have increased by up to 10 per cent a year since 2003, with the exception of last year, when the crop was too small to fulfill worldwide demand.

Béland says Seeram’s study builds on previous research that has found maple syrup to contain a host of natural minerals such as calcium, vitamin B, zinc, potassium and magnesium.

“I think that we are at the beginning of a new life (for) maple products,” says Béland, who says she’s watched high-end chefs create incredible new flavours by mixing maple syrup, sugar or butter with other ingredients.

“We are realistic here,” Béland says. “It’s a sugar, for sure. It’s a little like olive oil. Olive oil is a fat, however, if you need to choose a fat, well, you’re better to choose something like olive oil. So it’s along the same thinking here: if you want to use a sugaring agent, you might prefer to choose maple syrup or a maple product.”

Registered dietitian Shannon Crocker says you would probably have to consume large amounts of maple syrup to benefit from its antioxidant properties. If anything, Canadians need to cut back on overall sugar consumption, not ramp it up.

“Yes, it may be better than white sugar but, bottom line, you still want to have small amounts of it,” Crocker says.

Although it’s much pricier than high-fructose commercial syrups with maple flavouring, Seeram says only real maple syrup is likely to contain these natural properties. It’s worth paying more for the real stuff.

But some consumers don’t even know the difference between syrups real and fake: a Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers survey found 50 per cent of Americans did not know whether they were buying real maple syrup or not.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The scope of things today...

Leo- Thursday, March 11, 2010

Soon, you will realize what a blessing it was to have been deceived as you were by someone you so implicitly trusted. It was terrible thing to have happen, but nurturing a grudge and plotting revenge would only cause you long term problems of biblical proportions. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by regarding this as the best thing that could ever have happened to you. The universe had to be cruel to be kind. You’ll one day thank it. Perhaps, you already have.

A common wrist slap for Jaffer in court

A common wrist slap for Jaffer

Calgary HeraldMarch 11, 2010 2:06 AM

T he water-cooler topic of the day Wednesday was the perceived slap on the wrist given former Reform and Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer. Charged with impaired driving, possession of cocaine and speeding, he received what even the judge in the case conceded was a "break" -- a $500 fine for a careless driving plea, with the more serious charges dropped. Jaffer, 38, was pulled over for allegedly driving 43 km/h over the speed limit in Ontario last fall.

Kory Teneycke, a former spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was one of the few Conservatives who didn't dodge questions from reporters Wednesday and argued that a more detailed explanation of the facts is required. "It makes one wonder sometimes if there isn't two levels of justice, one for high-profile people and another for everybody else," Teneycke said. "I think there are probably a lot of Canadians who are looking at this story right now and wondering how is it that these charges could be swept aside in such a manner."

Considering Jaffer's own tough-on-crime messages and the Conservative government's dim view of lenient sentencing by judges, a better explanation is, indeed, necessary. The brief statement by the Crown was only that the charges couldn't be proven in court.

This is not to suggest that Jaffer got special treatment. Even Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), the national anti-drunk driving advocacy group, says Jaffer's deal is not out of the ordinary. "This happens every day in our Canadian courts," said Margaret Miller, the national president of MADD Canada, in expressing disgust that these types of cases aren't dealt with more seriously.

There is no doubt ordinary citizens get off with leniency on similar charges every day. There cannot be one set of laws for the rest of us and tougher laws for public figures like Jaffer. At stake, however, is what is known in legal circles as public confidence in the administration of justice. As a public figure with a history of tough talk on drugs and crime and who is married to Conservative cabinet minister Helena Guergis, Jaffer's profile makes his a special case.

According to reports, the more serious charges against Jaffer were dropped because a rookie police officer failed to follow proper procedures during a strip search of the former politician. Prosecutors apparently felt the evidence would be open to a challenge under the Charter of Rights. This is not unusual. Evidence obtained in violation of an individual's rights is often excluded at trial. But since a 2009 Supreme Court of Canada ruling, there is no automatic exclusion of evidence for charter breaches, so the Crown prosecutor tends to leave that up to the judge. Clearly, the details of this case are important and should be made known.

As Teneycke said, "It speaks to a sense of entitlement and different rules . . . . This is the kind of stuff you've got to nip in the bud."
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Friday, March 5, 2010

100 Year Old Grace Groner Leaves $7 Million

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) Grace Groner lived a frugal life in a one-bedroom home in north suburban Lake Forest.

But when she died at age 100 in January, her attorney informed Lake Forest College that Groner — known for buying clothes from rummage sales and walking instead of buying a car — had left her alma mater $7 million.

When the attorney told the school how much her donation would be, the college president said "Oh, my God."

The millions came from a $180 stock purchase Groner made in 1935. She bought specially-issued stock in Abbott Laboratories, where she worked as a secretary for 43 years, and never sold it, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The money Groner donated will be used for a foundation to fund student internships and study-abroad programs. The money should bring the school more than $300,000 a year.

By the time Groner was 12, both of her parents had died. She and her twin sister were raised by friends of their parents, who paid for them to attend Lake Forest College. Groner graduated in 1931 and worked for 43 years as a secretary at Abbott Laboratories.

"She did not have the (material) needs that other people have," said her attorney, William Marlatt. "She could have lived in any house in Lake Forest but she chose not to. ... She enjoyed other people, and every friend she had was a friend for who she was. They weren't friends for what she had."

Groner never married and had no children. At home, the Chicago Tribune reporter John Keilman wrote, Groner lived with just "a few plain pieces of furniture, , some mismatched dishes and a hulking TV set that appeared left over from the Johnson administration."

But Groner traveled after she retired and volunteered at the First Presbyterian Church. She gave anonymous gifts to needy local residents and donated $180,000 to Lake Forest College for a scholarship program.

"She was very sensitive to people not having a whole lot," said Pastor Kent Kinney of First Presbyterian Church. "Grace would see those people, would know them, and she would make gifts."

The college also is to receive Groner's small home. It is be called "Grace's Cottage" and become living quarters for women who receive scholarships.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

In 1935, she bought three $60 shares of specially issued Abbott stock and never sold them. The shares split many times over the next seven decades, Marlatt said, and Groner reinvested the dividends. Long before she died, her initial outlay had become a fortune.

Marlatt was one of the few who knew about it. Lake Forest is one of America's richest towns, filled with grand estates and teeming with luxury cars, yet Groner felt no urge to keep up with the neighbors.

She lived in an apartment for many years before a friend willed her a tiny house in a part of town once reserved for the servants. Its single bedroom could barely accommodate a twin bed and dresser; its living room was undoubtedly smaller than many Lake Forest closets.

Though Groner was frugal, she was no miser. She traveled widely upon her retirement from Abbott, volunteered for decades at the First Presbyterian Church and occasionally funneled anonymous gifts through Marlatt to needy local residents.

"She was very sensitive to people not having a whole lot," said Pastor Kent Kinney of First Presbyterian. "Grace would see those people, would know them, and she would make gifts."

Groner never wed or had children — the sister of one prospective groom blocked the marriage, Marlatt said — but with her gregarious personality she had plenty of friends. She remained connected to Lake Forest College, too, attending football games and cultural events on campus and donating $180,000 for a scholarship program.

That allowed a few students a year to study internationally, including Erin McGinley, 34, a junior from Lake Zurich. She traveled to Falmouth, Jamaica, to help document and preserve historic buildings in the former slave port. The experience was so satisfying that she is trying to get Lake Forest to create a similar architectural preservation program.

"It affected my (career ambitions) in a way I didn't expect," she said.

But Groner was interested in doing more, so two years ago she set up a foundation to receive her estate. Stephen Schutt, Lake Forest's president, knew of the plan for the past year, but had no idea how large the gift would be until after Groner passed away Jan. 19.

The foundation's millions should generate more than $300,000 a year for the college, enabling dozens more students to travel and pursue internships. Many probably wouldn't be able to pursue those opportunities without a scholarship: 75 percent of the student body receives financial aid, Schutt said.

But the study and internship program is not the end of Groner's legacy. She left that small house to the college, too. It will be turned into living quarters for women who receive foundation scholarships, and perhaps something more: an enduring symbol that money can buy far more than mansions.

It will be called, with fitting simplicity, "Grace's Cottage."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Brian Williams Leaves Canada A Thank You Note...

Leaving behind a thank-you note

Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor

After tonight's broadcast and after looting our hotel mini-bars, we're going to try to brave the blizzard and fly east to home and hearth, and to do laundry well into next week. Before we leave this thoroughly polite country, the polite thing to do is leave behind a thank-you note.

Thank you, Canada:

For being such good hosts.

For your unfailing courtesy.

For your (mostly) beautiful weather.

For scheduling no more than 60 percent of your float plane departures at the exact moment when I was trying to say something on television.

For not seeming to mind the occasional (or constant) good-natured mimicry of your accents.

For your unique TV commercials -- for companies like Tim Hortons -- which made us laugh and cry.

For securing this massive event without choking security, and without publicly displaying a single automatic weapon.

For having the best garment design and logo-wear of the games -- you've made wearing your name a cool thing to do.

For the sportsmanship we saw most of your athletes display.

For not honking your horns. I didn't hear one car horn in 15 days -- which also means none of my fellow New Yorkers rented cars while visiting.

For making us aware of how many of you have been watching NBC all these years.

For having the good taste to have an anchorman named Brian Williams on your CTV network, who turns out to be such a nice guy.

For the body scans at the airport which make pat-downs and cavity searches unnecessary.

For designing those really cool LED Olympic rings in the harbor, which turned to gold when your athletes won one.

For always saying nice things about the United States...when you know we're listening.

For sharing Joannie Rochette with us.

For reminding some of us we used to be a more civil society.
Mostly, for welcoming the world with such ease and making lasting friends with all of us.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010



A drunken man walks into a biker bar, sits down at the bar and orders a
drink. Looking around, he sees three men sitting at a corner table. He
gets up, staggers to the table, leans over,

Looks the biggest, meanest, biker in the face and says:

'I went by your grandma's house today and

I saw her in the hallway buck naked.

Man, she is one fine looking woman!'

The biker looks at him and doesn't say a word.

His buddies are confused, because he is one bad biker and would fight at
the drop of a hat.

The drunk leans on the table again and says:

'I got it on with your grandma and she is good,

The best I ever had!'

The biker's buddies are starting to get really mad,

But the biker still says nothing.

The drunk leans on the table one more time and says,

'I'll tell you something else, boy,
Your grandma liked it!'
At this point the biker stands up,

Takes the drunk by the shoulders,
Looks him square in the eyes and says....................

'Grandpa;....... Go home! You're drunk.' . .

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sidney Crosby Scores The Goal That Makes Him A Super Legend

Canada brings home Olympic gold in men's hockey

Damien Cox
February 28, 2010

VANCOUVER- When it was over, when the third Olympic Games held on Canadian soil had been brought to a competitive conclusion by a wondrous hockey game, it seemed so obvious.

Sidney Crosby. Of course.

Therein lies the difference between two of the greatest hockey heroes in Canadian history, Paul Henderson and his winning goal at the 1972 Summit Series and Crosby for the flick of the wrists that produced a goal Sunday afternoon that meant everything to his country.

Henderson was a spectacular surprise and the moment found him.

Crosby was no surprise. He was expected to do it. And when it didn’t seem as if he would produce the moment in an Olympic tournament that appeared determined to push him to the rear and make him something other than the main story, he did it anyway.

He found the moment. And therein lies the difference.

Steve Yzerman, who organized Team Canada 2010 and thus laid the blueprint for the country’s record-setting 14th gold medal at these Games, could tell you that.

Yzerman was one of the best Canadian-born players to don skates over the past quarter-century. He won Stanley Cups and Olympic gold medals.

But he never had a moment like the one Crosby produced on Sunday.

“He’s got a little bit of destiny to him,” Yzerman said, shaking his head slowly. “It’s another monumental moment in his career. He’s a special, special guy. Like (Wayne) Gretzky.”

Crosby’s overtime goal in the 68th minute came after a game in which he couldn’t have been described by anyone as the best player on the ice. Not even close. Teammates Rick Nash and Jonathan Toews both had wonderful games. That old smoothie on defence, Scott Niedermayer, too.

On the American side, centre Patrick Kane had been, according to Canadian coach Mike Babcock, “magic,” while U.S. goalie Ryan Miller was named tournament MVP before overtime even began.

Crosby had even botched a clean breakaway with three minutes left in regulation, hurried from behind by a hustling Kane.

Yet Crosby still decided it. An instant after beating U.S. defenceman Brian Rafalski off the boards and shrieking for the puck from linemate Jarome Iginla, Crosby gathered a pass at the left circle slightly behind his left heel and, without looking or even seeing the result, whipped the winner between Miller’s legs.

As though he had been born for just that moment in Halifax on Aug. 7, 1987.

“I dunno about that,” he said, blushing. “But I dreamed of this moment.”

That a remarkable, two-week international sports festival produced this conclusion seemed almost overkill. See, while the suggestion had been for months, years really, that nothing Canada could accomplish at the Vancouver Games would ease the national angst if the men’s hockey team wasn’t victorious, that proved not to be the case at all.

The U.S. could have won the gold-medal game — heck, only Roberto Luongo’s shoulder getting in the way of a Joe Pavelski drive in OT stopped it from happening — and these Olympics would still have been proclaimed a joyous, wondrous success.

The 13 golds that preceded the hockey victory proved there were other sports in which Canadian men and women could not only rise to the challenge, but also capture the imagination of the country. We fell in love with Maelle Ricker, the Hamelin brothers, Jon Montgomery and, of course, Joannie Rochette.

It was a Games that didn’t require a signature moment because before the hockey game even began, that signature had already been provided by the spirit and organizational excellence of the event.

Plus, of course, all those gold medals.

Still, Canadians naturally wanted the hockey gold. Bad. Birthright and all that, although there’s a generation of post-Lake Placid Americans who clearly have started to believe that birthright is shared every bit as much as the continent is.

They sure contested the gold-medal game that way. After Crosby missed his breakaway late, Zach Parise — son of a member of Team Canada ’72 — shocked the arena and the country by tying it 2-2 with 25 seconds left in regulation.

But in a four-on-four OT session played in such a pleasingly aggressive way by both countries that you knew it couldn’t last long, Crosby ended it, and then it was a blur. A mob around Sid the Kid. Shattered Americans receiving their silver medals. Crosby the last Canadian to get his from IOC boss Jacques Rogge. Drew Doughty, then Scott Niedermayer, then Luongo, then Crosby skating around the ice with a giant Canadian flag tied to a 20-foot-long pole.

“We said going into the dressing room after the third that it would just feel better when we scored in overtime,” said Crosby’s linemate, Eric Staal. “It sure did.

“This country loves sport and loves hockey and loves hockey players. For us to be able to come to Vancouver and deliver is pretty awesome.”

One Canadian player after another agreed that Crosby was the appropriate hero.

“He’s the face of hockey in Canada. On this stage, he stepped up and scored a huge goal for Canada,” said Staal. “People are going to remember that. For a long time.”

To attach meaning to such events is always the challenge and often a fool’s pursuit. This wasn’t redemption for Canada, or the end of a drought, or victory over a hated foe.

What this was, in retrospect, was a national drama similar in many ways to ’72, played out over 14 days at the greatest hockey tournament ever held. Over that fortnight, Canada celebrated and agonized on a shift-by-shift basis. New stars emerged. Toews, for example, was seen as a spare part coming in, a player “who might check a bit,” according to Yzerman, and emerged with a heightened reputation in the sport and the country.

A devastating loss to the U.S. in the preliminaries was the turning point. It gave Canada an extra game against Germany to “sort things out,” as Babcock said, and to make a controversial goaltending change to Luongo that proved to be the correct one.

There were no great lessons learned. Just greatness in one athlete confirmed.

Of course.

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