Support Life: Canadian Life Chain on Sept. 30th

Please join us and thousands of others across Canada and the United States as we stand in prayerful and peaceful public witness on behalf of abortion’s many victims.
We support the sanctity of life from conception until natural death.

There will be a gathering called the Canadian Life Chain on Sept. 30th at locations across the country.

A powerful, peaceful, pro-life witness.

By News on the Net - Monday, September 24, 2018

A wearable device for regrowing hair

A wearable device for regrowing hair
Although some people embrace the saying “bald is beautiful,” for others, alopecia, or excessive hair loss, can cause stress and anxiety. Some studies have shown that stimulating the skin with lasers can help regrow hair, but the equipment is often large, consumes lots of energy and is difficult to use in daily life. Now, researchers have developed a flexible, wearable photostimulator that speeds up hair growth in mice. They report their results in ACS Nano.

By American Chemical Society - Monday, September 24, 2018

The Yellow Birch of Quebec

The Yellow Birch is Quebec's provincial tree
The Yellow Birch is Quebec’s provincial tree. In French-Canadian it is merisier, much to the confusion of visitors from France where merisier means wild cherry. If that isn’t enough to sow confusion, bothersome botanists and troublesome taxonomists have been at it again. What was simply and sensibly until a few years ago was Betula lutea—in other words, Birch yellow—has been reclassified as Betula alleghaniensis—Birch Allegheny.

In fact, Yellow Birch is centred on the Great Lakes regions eastwards through la belle province to the Maritimes with a southward spur along the cooler, moister parts of the Appalachian Mountains.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, September 22, 2018

WWII Vet Remembers Bob Hope

The good that Bob Hope and Shirley Temple did lives far beyond their years.
Waiting in the car for what felt like forever, Mary texted me that she was in the Walmart check out line but it would be awhile before she checked out with our groceries. I decided to go back into the store.

In the restaurant area, I spotted an elderly white gentleman wearing a World War II veteran cap. I approached and thanked him for his service to our country. He said thank you very much. I shared that my dad who recently passed away at age 90 was one of the first blacks to serve in the Merchant Marines.

By Lloyd Marcus - Monday, September 17, 2018

You Ain’t Fishing If You Ain’t Fishing Cane

You Ain’t Fishing If You Ain’t Fishing Cane
All day long I watched the fly. My arms ached; I had a crick in my neck; I was tired and hungry … but determined not to quit.

My father, watching from the lake’s edge as he grilled hamburgers, thought I was wasting my time. Even a kingfisher seemed to smirk at the futility of my efforts as he preened himself and whizzed in blue blurs from one cypress knee to another.

By Jimmy Reed - Monday, September 17, 2018

The Fathers of the Tulip Business

The Fathers of the Tulip Business
The Persians cultivated wild bulb flowers, notably the tulip from 10th century. The very word ‘tulip’ derives from the Persian word for turban. There, it has never lost its appeal and today is Iran’s national flower.

The Ottoman Turks took to cultivating spring bulbs on a grand scale—especially cyclamen, daffodil, hyacinth and, most popular the tulip. Tens of thousands of wild tulip bulbs were dug up annually to be planted in royal gardens, records botanist Anthony Huxley. It was this flower which gave Europe its first specialty, reaching Holland in 1562, he noted. Earlier in the same century, Western diplomats to the Ottoman court observed and reported on them.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, September 15, 2018

DNA-based method detects trace amounts of peanut in foods

DNA-based method detects trace amounts of peanut in foods
For people with severe peanut allergies, eating even miniscule amounts of the legume can trigger anaphylaxis—- a life-threatening condition characterized by dizziness, breathing difficulties and, sometimes, loss of consciousness. Now, researchers have developed a sensitive new test to detect trace amounts of peanuts in foods using the peanuts’ DNA. They report their results in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

By American Chemical Society - Monday, September 10, 2018

French Class As the Perfect Way to Teach Everything

French Class As the Perfect Way to Teach Everything
There is one constant throughout the past 100 years. Professors of education came up with ever more exotic schemes and nomenclatures for how education should be organized, even as these schemes confused students and destroyed achievement.

Each scheme had a catchy name (Open Classroom, Life Adjustment, Multiculturalism, Constructivism, Common Core) and a phalanx of resistance-is-futile jargon. Somehow the proposals didn’t translate into gains. One might cynically conclude that the jargon was a goal in itself (to get a grant, to build a career, to impress ordinary citizens). You may even suspect that the larger purpose of all these schemes is to create an illusion of seriousness, and to fool parents into thinking that their kids are being educated when that is not the case. I suspect as much.

By Bruce Deitrick Price - Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Best of Bulbs

The Best of Bulbs
Perhaps because they are native to Western Europe, daffodils never received the adulation that was awarded to the more eastern-dwelling tulip. Nevertheless, to the leader of the Ottoman Turks, it was the daffodil that ruled the courts flanking the Bosporus in the 16th century. And the greatest of these were those of Suleiman, the kanuni or “Lawgiver” as he was known to his admiring citizens, or the “Magnificent” to peoples of the West who have tended to admire militant conquerors.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, September 8, 2018

My Fingers Were Crossed

Our parents believed a halo adorned my brother Rodney’s head, and horns protruded from mine. No story had two sides: I was always wrong — which was the case when we fought the Mexican standoff.

For his birthday, Mama gave Rodney a pirate outfit, complete with feather-festooned hat, Jolly Roger eye patch, and a long, curving scimitar. Rodney jabbed and slashed at me until I could take no more.

By Jimmy Reed - Friday, September 7, 2018

IKEA Swedens its product line with a Bluetooth speaker

IKEA Swedens its product line with a Bluetooth speaker
One may not think of IKEA as a place to shop for audio equipment, but the Swedish company best known for its furniture is throwing caution to the wind and introducing a new Bluetooth speaker system anyway.

It’s the ENEBY line of speakers which, as of the August 1 kick off in Canada, consists of two models, both of which are available for under $100 CAD. The smaller of the two (called the 20x20) includes the capability for wireless power as well as wireless tunes – as long as you buy the optional ($20) battery pack for it.

By Jim Bray - Sunday, September 2, 2018


Will this be a bad winter? If your carrots grew deep, onions have more layers, the sweet potatoes have tougher skins, apples have matured early, while the hickory nuts have a heavy shell, then ancient wisdom warns that to prepare for a worst winter. Or perhaps you place your faith in the weather wonks, global warming and plain luck.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, September 1, 2018

Questions Asked: US Measurements, Metric, a Botanist

From Australia to Afghanistan, Zambia to New Zealand the world measures in metric. Except that is, for Liberia, Burma and, of course, the world’s scientific leader, the United States of America. Why, we are often asked?

Since this involves a famous botanist, we are happy to explain. And for those of you who have no interest in botanists, also involved are pirates, politicians and republicans (French this time). But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

By Wes Porter - Friday, August 31, 2018

$2.3 Million Reasons Bishop Patrick J. McGrath Is Tone Deaf

$2.3 Million Reasons Bishop Patrick J. McGrath Is Tone Deaf
If there isn’t enough anger already directed at abusive Catholic Priests and Bishops over the sexual abuse and cover-up scandals, yet another high ranking elitist Bishop has inflamed the already brittle Catholic laity by choosing to retire to a multi-million dollar home, instead of unpretentious rectory housing as his more humble brethren choose.

If that is not scandalous enough, the San Jose Bishop Patrick J. McGrath, who planned on retiring and moving into a $2.3 million Silicon Valley home, is the same controversial Bishop who told practicing homosexuals in 2017 that they will not be refused Holy Communion or a Christian burial in his diocese, as long as they request them in “good faith.”

By Katy Grimes - Wednesday, August 29, 2018

I Knotted Not Nary ’Nother Noose

I Knotted Not Nary ’Nother Noose
If my boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird hadn’t shown me how to tie hangman’s nooses, I wouldn’t have lynched Gloria’s dolls.

My sister’s passion was dolls. In her upstairs room, they cluttered her bed, dresser, and bookshelf. These weren’t ordinary five-and-dime Raggedy Ann dolls; they were aristocratic debutantes, celebrities, princesses, and queens.

By Jimmy Reed - Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Iceland Greenhouse

The Iceland Greenhouse
Fancy some tomato ice cream? Or how about a slice of green tomato and apple pie. Either could be washed down with a shot if tomato schnapps. If so, you’ll have to travel to southern Iceland. There, an hour’s drive east of the capital Reykjavik in Fridhemar Fridheimar, Reykholt, is a greenhouse business with a difference.

By Wes Porter - Monday, August 27, 2018

Garden Progenitor: Where It All Began

Garden Progenitor: Where It All BeganAlthough gardening dates to Neolithic times, notes Edward Hyams in his classic A History of Garden and Gardening (1971), ornamental gardening is a product of urban civilization. The first makers of those gardens were ancient Mesopotamians, he says, in the ‘land between the rivers.’

By Wes Porter - Saturday, August 25, 2018

Take A Cold Tater And Wait

Take A Cold Tater And Wait
When he wasn’t busy on his Mississippi Delta cotton farm, my father visited other farmers, and sometimes took me with him. In one grower’s office a plaque with a quote by German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe read, “A useless life is an early death.”

By Jimmy Reed - Saturday, August 18, 2018

Edible Acorns: Nutty Nosh

Edible Acorns
Acorn “coffee” was drunk in South by Scarlett O’Hara and her Confederate compatriots. For Turks, acorns yielded raccabout. Under pressure of World War II, Germans drank Eichel kaffee. Hitler deserved it, opined physician and author Richard Gordon. And according to the ineffable Pamela Michaels, the English used oak leaves to make wine.

But before these more recent times, acorns played an important in early gastronomic human history. Neolithic lake dwellers in Switzerland collected acorns ashore, losing some of them in the mud below their homes to be preserved to modern times. Lower classes as far apart as ancient Greece and Japan fed on the nutritious nuts. Roman researcher Pliny the Elder wrote that acorn flour could make bread. He neglected to report if he himself ate it. In California before the arrival of white colonists, Native Americans positively thrived on acorns. Spreading the harvest over several species, they formed a staple diet for a population estimated to have been in the tens if not hundreds of thousands.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, August 18, 2018

Relax everyone, you can still take your horse on the plane

Relax everyone, you can still take your horse on the plane
A few months ago, I delivered the bad news.  Those of you who wanted to take your emotional support tarantula on an airplane were in for a rude awakening.  Airlines were trimming the list of acceptable support animals, and 8-legged bugs were not going to make the cut.

“So,” you thought. “What will I do now?  I can’t fly without some kind of odd companion!”

By Robert Laurie - Friday, August 17, 2018

LG channels Professor Harold Hill with its ‘ThinQ system’

LG channels Professor Harold Hill with its 'ThinQ system'
Music lovers who use their cell phones as a source for their tunes have a nifty new tool at their disposal in LG’s newest smart phone, the G7 ThinQ.

That’s because its innards are also designed kind of like a transmission line speaker, enhancing the bass output from what you might expect from tiny little phone speakers. LG says "the G7 ThinQ uses its inner space as a resonance chamber to amp up the bass and deliver a premium, loud, and room-filling audio experience."

By Jim Bray - Thursday, August 16, 2018

The origin of off-taste in onions

The origin of off-taste in onions
Chopping onions is usually associated with watery and stinging eyes. But after the onions are diced and the tears are dried, the vegetable pieces can sometimes develop an unpleasant bitter taste. Now, one group reports in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that they have identified previously unknown compounds causing this off-taste.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, August 16, 2018

World’s oldest cheese found in Egyptian tomb

World's oldest cheese found in Egyptian tomb, The tomb of Ptahmes

Aging usually improves the flavor of cheese, but that’s not why some very old cheese discovered in an Egyptian tomb is drawing attention. Instead, it’s thought to be the most ancient solid cheese ever found, according to a study published in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, August 16, 2018

The revolution that’s about to transform blood testing

The revolution that’s about to transform blood testing
The way blood-cell counts and diagnostic blood tests are done hasn’t changed in years: Your blood gets drawn into one vial for each type of test and sent to a lab, where technicians prepare slides from each samples and examine them under a microscope. Results arrive in hours or days – and then only if you’re in a place with the necessary infrastructure.

By ISRAEL21c - Thursday, August 16, 2018

Adorable moment dog drags his owner’s granddaughter back to safety

This is the adorable moment a dog rescues a little girl from ocean waves after thinking she’s in trouble of being washed away.

Matyas was swimming in the ocean near Gouville-sur-Mer, France, with his owner’s granddaughter when a small ripple crashed over her.—More…

By Daily Mail - Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Vanilla Insufficiency

Vanilla InsufficiencySpeculation? Meteorology? Theft? Poor cultural practices? Unstable supply? Increased demand? By end of March this year there was said to be a shortage of real vanilla, one of the world’s most desirable spices. Prices were being quoted at US$600 per kilogram compared with US$540 for a similar weight of silver.

Yet two months earlier, as the new year began, industry source Food Processing, was reporting price and supply were stabilizing. A year before, main supplier Madagascar had been hot by a serious cyclone. Experts predicted one-third of the island’s vanilla crop was destroyed. Yet the impact was not so heavy, according to Aust & Hachmann, a Quebec vanilla bean broker. Nevertheless, warned Food Processing, ‘this is a market that has been notoriously unstable.’

By Wes Porter - Saturday, August 11, 2018

Sufficient Unto The Day Is The Evil Thereof

On his Mississippi Delta farm, my father operated a small cotton gin, and during harvest season, my after-school and weekend job was hammering together the flat metal straps and buckles used to bind cotton bales. When my boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird wasn’t busy doing something else, he helped me.

One-eyed Deacon, who also worked at the gin during harvest, hauled cottonseed in a trailer truck to the oil mill in town. His glass eye frightened me. Cornflower blue, it neither matched the brown one, nor was it synchronized with it. The good eye bulged like a bulldog’s, while its store-bought mate floated constantly … up, down, sideways. 

By Jimmy Reed - Wednesday, August 8, 2018