Lifestyles:

Health and Medicine, Travel, Gardening, Pets, Automotive

Grant Hall and the Fate of Eight Conspirators

Grant Hall is located on the green and perfectly manicured grounds of Ft. McNair, near the banks of the Anacostia River and the Washington Channel of the Potomac River.

Building 20, Grant Hall, was part of the Federal Penitentiary that was built on this site in 1829. It was designed by Charles Bulfinch, the same architect who designed the Capitol. In 1831, a women’s ward was added to accommodate female prisoners. The Old Penitentiary was built on the Arsenal Grounds, formerly enclosed by a high brick wall.

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - -- Lifestyles

New sensors could enable more affordable detection of pollution and diseases

When it comes to testing for cancer, environmental pollution and food contaminants, traditional sensors can help. The challenges are that they often are bulky, expensive, non-intuitive and complicated. Now, one team reports in ACS Sensors that portable pressure-based detectors coupled with smartphone software could provide a simpler, more affordable alternative while still maintaining sensitivity.

Exposure to toxins in e-cig vapor varies depending on scenario

E-cigarettes are often perceived to be less harmful than their traditional counterparts, but they could still expose the people who “vape” and those around them to harmful compounds. Researchers now report in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology that heavy use and secondhand emissions could lead to inhaled levels of toxins that exceed set exposure limits. But under typical use, secondhand exposure would have a lower impact on health than second- and third-hand cigarette smoke.

An end to cavities for people with sensitive teeth?

An ice cold drink is refreshing in the summer, but for people with sensitive teeth, it can cause a painful jolt in the mouth. This condition can be treated, but many current approaches don’t last long. Now researchers report in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces the development of a new material with an extract from green tea that could fix this problem — and help prevent cavities in these susceptible patients.

Natural preservatives on the rise

Beginning this year, Oscar Mayer stopped adding artificial preservatives to their hot dogs. Taking their place is celery juice, a natural source of the preservative sodium nitrite. This week Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, examines the trend toward “clean labels” and natural preservatives, and the efforts to incorporate them without sacrificing the quality or shelf-life consumers have come to expect.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - -- Lifestyles

Cookin’ And Eatin’ Crawdads

When my three daughters invited me to eat crawdads with them, I was thrilled — nothing boosts my ego more than being seen in public with my pulchritudinous progeny. After devouring a huge pile of the succulent crustaceans, we bid good evening to each other, and I strolled homeward, reflecting on how blessed I was to be loved by those girls.

I also thought about the first time I ate crawdads. My boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird invited me to join him for an afternoon of fishing at a creek near my father’s Mississippi Delta farm. As we walked down a railroad track toward the stream, I was carrying a can of night crawlers, dug from his compost heap, and he was toting a black pot, a few bricks, a box of salt, and several bags of spices.

By Jimmy Reed - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - -- Lifestyles

Puritanical Lies about Alcohol

Are you becoming as skeptical as I am about public information? Fake political news? Alternative facts about the state of the world’s economy? So, now I ask how honest is medical news?  Of course everyone knows that consuming stupid amounts of alcohol is unhealthy. But puritans and some doctors can’t accept the proven fact that moderate amounts of alcohol can prolong life.

Professor Keith Scott-Mumby, an internationally known U.K. expert on alternative medicine, echoes what I have written over the years, that people who drink moderately live longer on average than teetotalers or those who drink to excess. In fact, there are over 20 studies that confirm this. In court it’s a criminal offense to withhold truth, so why doesn’t the same principle hold true in medicine?

Lincoln MKC and MKX - Ford’s upmarket brand Escapes its roots and hones its Edge

If you’re looking for a compact or mid-sized crossover from Ford but want something a little more exclusive, Lincoln just may have what you’re seeking.

The MKC and MKX, which are up market versions of the Ford Escape and Edge, respectively, are both comfortable and luxurious vehicles that drive well and will coddle your bones nicely. I spent a week in each of these vehicles recently and came away quite impressed. I think they’d be even more impressive if the manufacturer would integrate more completely the terrific new interior found in the excellent Continental, but in the meantime you get a better and nicer Ford for a not-too-unreasonable premium over the garden variety Fords.

By Jim Bray - Sunday, August 6, 2017 - -- Automotive

Three old dudes go out with a bang - while Unforgettable and Arthur blow up in their own faces

A remake of an old comedy and two movies I hope are never remade are on tap for this week’s Blu-Ray releases. “Going in Style,” “Unforgettable” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” come from Warner Brothers (“Going in Style” is being released this week, while the other two appear to have escaped, rather than been released).

Let’s tackle the old dudes first, since it’s easy for me to identify with such seasoned folks. This new 2017 version stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin in the roles first occupied by George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg. I never saw that first film but, since Hollywood seems to have difficulty remaking a successful film these days without adding left wing dogma, I went into this one anticipating very little worth recommending. But I was surprised.

Oh, I get the politically correct stuff here, in that these three musty steers are at their financial wits’ end and are being screwed royally by a big bank, and I understand how rewarding it could be to stick it to the Man in such a way as the guys here do.

By Jim Bray - Sunday, August 6, 2017 - -- Lifestyles