I Suffer From Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia

Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia is a condition that billions of people worldwide suffer from. Sphenopalatinebrainfreeze ganglioneuralgia, also known as icebergers syndrome, brain freeze or ice-cream headache, is a painful condition. But fear not. It is not fatal and is only temporary. I am sure that you have at some point in your life gotten brain freeze, and I am sure that you already know that it comes from eating or drinking something cold too quickly. But what exactly is taking place when this horrible condition strikes? Well today we clear up that mystery.

The pain is caused by the rapid cooling of the roof of the mouth, which is close to the sphenopalatine nerve, a section of an extensive bundle of nerves running from the face up into the brain.When this nerve gets cold, it fires off a danger signal that the entire head is about to become chilled and warns the vascular system to start pumping more blood to the brain to keep it warm. Vessels open up and the sudden in-rush of warm blood causes a painful sensation, which lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. By that time the body has rewarmed the sphenopalantine nerve and the blood flow to the brain reduces to normal levels, stopping the pain.The source of the pain has been described as being similar to that resulting from sticking hands chilled in winter into a bucket of warm water. The sudden increase in blood flow and associated expansion causes pain. Brain freezes are called “referred pain” because the pain occurs in a location (the brain) that’s different than the location of the stimulus (the roof of the mouth.)

One third of all people are statistically susceptible to brain freezes. They are more often caused by eating ice cream than drinking an iced beverage because ice cream is colder than ice. Also, they are much more common when the weather is warm than when it’s cold, suggesting that it’s the rate or amount of temperature change that’s important.

The quickest way to relieve a brain freeze it to take a drink of warm water and hold it against the roof of your mouth. Since they are over so quickly anyway and it’s unlikely that you’re going to be holding a cup of hot water in one hand at the same time that you are holding an ice cream cone in the other, the next best thing to do is press your tongue against the roof of your mouth to rewarm the nerve.

Prevention is simple: Give up ice-cream . . . OR eat and drink very cold foods slowly.


WikipediaBrain Freeze

AnswerBag.comWhat Causes Brain Freeze?


7 Things You Didn’t Know About PETA

petaPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an organization that is dedicated to seeing that all animals are treated ethicly and fairly. Though on the surface this sounds like a great idea, but the organization is also known for it’s radical and extreme protest style, such as throwing red paint on people who are wearing fur. Most recently PETA was in the news because some of their members pelted Lindsay Lohan with a flour (yes baking flour) bomb for a fur stole that she was wearing at a nightclub (see Josip.com).

Here are seven things that you probably didn’t know about PETA, compliments of The Center for Consumer Freedom.

1) According to government documents, PETA employees have killed more than 19,200 dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens since 1998. This behavior continues despite PETA’s moralizing about the “unethical” treatment of animals by farmers, scientists, restaurant owners, circuses, hunters, fishermen, zookeepers, and countless other Americans. PETA puts to death over 90 percent of the animals it accepts from members of the public who expect the group to make a reasonable attempt to find them adoptive homes. PETA holds absolutely no open-adoption shelter hours at its Norfolk, VA headquarters, choosing instead to spend part of its $32 million annual income on a contract with a crematory service to periodically empty hundreds of animal bodies from its large walk-in freezer.

2) PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk has described her group’s overall goal as “total animal liberation.” This means the complete abolition of meat, milk, cheese, eggs, honey, zoos, aquariums, circuses, wool, leather, fur, silk, hunting, fishing, and pet ownership. In a 2003 profile of Newkirk in The New Yorker, author Michael Specter wrote that Newkirk has had at least one seeing-eye dog taken away from its blind owner. PETA is also against all medical research that requires the use of animals, including research aimed at curing AIDS and cancer.

3) PETA has given tens of thousands of dollars to convicted arsonists and other violent criminals. This includes a 2001 donation of $1,500 to the North American Earth Liberation Front (ELF), an FBI-certified “domestic terrorist” group responsible for dozens of firebombs and death threats. During the 1990s, PETA paid $70,200 to Rodney Coronado, an Animal Liberation Front (ALF) serial arsonist convicted of burning down a Michigan State University research laboratory. In his sentencing memorandum, a federal prosecutor implicated PETA president Ingrid Newkirk in that crime. PETA vegetarian campaign coordinator Bruce Friedrich has also told an animal rights convention that “blowing stuff up and smashing windows” is “a great way to bring about animal liberation,” adding, “Hallelujah to the people who are willing to do it.”

4) PETA activists regularly target children as young as six years old with anti-meat and anti-milk propaganda, even waiting outside their schools to intercept them without notifying their parents. One piece of kid-targeted PETA literature tells small children: “Your Mommy Kills Animals!” PETA brags that its messages reach over 1.2 million minor children, including 30,000 kids between the ages of 6 and 12, all contacted by e-mail without parental supervision. One PETA vice president told the Fox News Channel’s audience: “Our campaigns are always geared towards children, and they always will be.”

5) PETA’s president has said that “even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we would be against it.” And PETA has repeatedly attacked research foundations like the March of Dimes, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and the American Cancer Society, solely because they support animal-based research aimed at curing life-threatening diseases and birth defects. And PETA helped to start and manage a quasi-medical front group, the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, to attack medical research head-on.

6) PETA has compared Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust to farm animals and Jesus Christ to pigs.jesus1 PETA’s religious campaigns include a website that claims—despite ample evidence to the contrary—that Jesus Christ was a vegetarian. PETA holds protests at houses of worship, even suing one church that tried to protect its members from Sunday-morning harassment. Its billboards taunt Christians with the message that hogs “died for their sins.” PETA insists, contrary to centuries of rabbinical teaching, that the Jewish ritual of kosher slaughter shouldn’t be allowed. And its infamous “Holocaust on Your Plate” campaign crassly compared the Jewish victims of Nazi genocide to farm animals.

7) PETA frequently looks the other way when its celebrity spokespersons don’t practice what it preaches. As gossip bloggers and Hollywood journalists have noted, Pamela Anderson’s Dodge Viper (auctioned to benefit PETA) had a “luxurious leather interior”; Jenna Jameson was photographed fishing, slurping oysters, and wearing a leather jacket just weeks after launching an anti-leather campaign for PETA; Morrissey got an official “okay” from PETA after eating at a steakhouse; Dita von Teese has written about her love of furs and foie gras; Steve-O built a career out of abusing small animals on film; the officially “anti-fur” Eva Mendes often wears fur anyway; and Charlize Theron’s celebrated October 2007 Vogue cover shoot featured several suede garments. In 2008, “Baby Phat” designer Kimora Lee Simmons became a PETA spokesmodel despite working with fur and leather, after making a $20,000 donation to the animal rights group.

10 Things you probably didn’t know about Thanksgiving.

Okay, so you probably already know that today is Thanksgiving day. You are probably also about to or haveturkey already stuffed yourself with turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and all the other fixings that go along with it. You may have even watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or have the TV tuned to your favorite football game. We can probably all agree that these are all things that are associated with Thanksgiving. You probably didn’t know these ten things that are all about Thanksgiving.

  1. The 1st Thanksgiving was not a feast – The first Thanksgiving was a time when Native Americans helped Pilgrims by bringing them food and helping them build off the land. The truth of the matter is that it was only dubbed Thanksgiving because the Pilgrims that survived the long journey to America were thankful to be alive. The entire event lasted three days.
  2. Thanksgiving wasn’t a National Holiday until 1863 – Sarah Josepha Hale (no relation to this author), a magazine editor, started a campaign to make Thanksgiving a National Holiday in 1827. It took her 36 years, but in 1863 Thanksgiving was recognized as a day for national Thanksgiving and prayer by Abraham Lincoln.gwbushturkey
  3. George H.W. Bush was the first President to “officially” pardon the White House Turkey – Each year since 1947, the National Turkey Federation and the Poultry and Egg National Board have given a turkey to the President of the United States at a White House ceremony. Since then, presidents have been more likely to eat the turkey rather than give it a reprieve. A notable exception occurred in 1963, when President Kennedy, referring to the turkey given to him, said, “Let’s just keep him.” It wasn’t until the first Thanksgiving of President George H.W. Bush, in 1989, that a turkey was officially pardoned for the first time.
  4. 65% of the 280 million U.S. Thanksgiving turkeys come from only 6 states 44.5 million is the number of turkeys Minnesota raised in 2005. The Gopher State is tops in turkey production. It is followed by North Carolina (36.0 million), Arkansas (29.0 million), Virginia (21.0 million), Missouri (20.5 million) and California (15.1 million). These states account for 65% of the United States Thanksgiving turkeys.
  5. Jingle Bells was originally written as a Thanksgiving song The author and composer of Jingle Bells was a minister called James Pierpoint who composed the song in 1857 for children celebrating his Boston Sunday School Thanksgiving. The song was so popular that it was repeated at Christmas, and indeed Jingle Bells has been reprised ever since. The essence of a traditional Christmas is captured in the lyrics of Jingle Bells and the sound effects using the bells have become synonymous with the arrival of Father Christmas or Santa Claus to the delight of children of all ages.
  6. More than 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving – Believe it or not, according to research by the Food Network green bean casserole is the number one side dish on thanksgiving after dressing and cranberry sauce.
  7. Canada also celebrates ThanksgivingAlthough, Thanksgiving is widely considered an American holiday, it is also celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada.Canadians often refer to the American Thanksgiving holiday as “Yanksgiving” so as not to confuse it with the Canadian holiday.
  8. In 1939 Thanksgiving was moved to November 23rd to help the economy and extend the Christmas shopping seasonIn 1939, President Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would take place on November 23rd, not November 30th, as a way to spur economic growth that year and extend the Christmas shopping season. This proclamation only applied officially to the District of Columbia, but was  observed by the rest of the country as well amid much debate.
  9. The tradition of pro football being played on Thanksgiving started in 1920 – It was recommended in 1920 by President Woodrow Wilson that professional football be played on Thanksgiving day to give people something to do after they ate a big meal. The games that year were:
    AKRON PROS 7, Canton Bulldogs 0
    Decatur Staleys 6, CHICAGO TIGERS 0
    ELYRIA (OH) ATHLETICS 0, Columbus Panhandles 0
    DAYTON TRIANGLES 28, Detroit Heralds 0
    CHICAGO BOOSTERS 27, Hammond Pros 0
    All-Tonawanda (NY) 14, ROCHESTER JEFFERSONS 3
  10. Macy’s was not the first department store to hold a Thanksgiving parade – The parade is billed as the oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the country, having started in 1920. Like other parades of its type, it features balloons, floats, high school marching bands, and celebrities. When the parade first started out it was called the Gimbels Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was called this because Ellis Gimbel, one of the founders of Gimbels Department Stores, wanted his toyland to be the destination of holiday shoppers everywhere. He dressed up over 50 store employees and sent them out on their first Thanksgiving day parade. Another big part of the parade was seeing Santa Claus arrive. Gimbels created the Thanksgiving Day Parade here in America and there example has caused others to continue in there tradition. This tradition still occurs today. It is now called the 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade.

So, that’s that. hopefully you now know more about Thanksgiving than you did before you read this. Not that you wanted to know, but now you do.

Shave and a haircut, and a tooth extraction, and some bloodletting

I would venture to say that most people probably know what a barber pole looks like. You may even still have one hanging outside the local barber shop in your town. But, do you know what the barber pole represents? It’s history is quite shocking. The local barber shop hasn’t always been just a place for a shave and a hair cut.

In the Middle Ages barbers also performed surgery, tooth extractions, and bloodletting. French authorities drew a fine distinction between academic surgeons (surgeons of the long robe) and barber surgeons (surgeons of the short robe), but the latter were sufficiently accepted by the fourteenth century to have their own guild, and in 1505 they were admitted to the faculty of the University of Paris. As an indication of their medical importance, Ambroise Pare, The father of modern surgery and the greatest surgeon of the Renaissance, began as a barber surgeon.

The barber pole as a symbol of the profession is a legacy of bloodletting. The barber surgeon’s necessities for that curious custom were a staff for the patient to grasp (so the veins on the arm would stand out sharply), a basin to hold leeches and catch blood, and a copious supply of linen bandages. After the operation was completed, the bandages would be hung on the staff and sometimes placed outside as advertisement. Twirled by the wind, they would form a red white spiral pattern that was later adopted for painted poles. The earliest poles were surmounted by a leech basin, which in time was transformed into a ball.

One Interpretation of the colors of the barber pole was that Red represented the blood, Blue the veins, and
White the bandages. Which has been retained by the modern Barber-Stylist.There are others that hold the position that barber poles were originally red and white, and that the blue was added by Americans to match the colors of the American Flag and to quell it’s gruesome symbolism. Regardless of which is true, the barber pole today is representative of the tradition of going to get a haircut, a shave and good conversation.

Unfortunately, the barber pole has begun to slowly disappear into oblivion as we see the influx of quick cut joints, specialty salons and spas. So, if there is still a barber pole in your town, cherish it, for tomorrow it may be gone as are the roots of the barber pole itself.

The Barber Pole – TheVillageBarber.com

Barber’s Pole – Wikipedia.com

Is the vegan diet really healthy?

In my original post my position was that vegans could not live a healthy life. This position was due to misinformation. I have edited the post below to reflect my change of heart.

A comment on my blog entry yesterday on SPAM from the folks at Vegan.com has got me thinking. I have heard many things about the vegetarian lifestyle and what it means. Can you truly be a vegetarian and be healthy. Yes. But there is a difference in someone who considers them self to be a vegetarian and someone who is a vegan. The main difference is that vegans don’t consume any products that come from animals which includes honey, dairy, or eggs. This poses the question of whether a vegan can truly be healthy.

Let me start by saying that there are many people who live a 100% vegan lifestyle for the betterment of society, animals and the like. Though I may disagree with these people’s views, I can certainly respect their actions and choices, as they need to do what is right for their own morality. So, on that topic I respectfully agree to disagree. This post is about the health value of eating a vegan diet.

I’m sure there are many who call themselves vegans who are very healthy. But it is difficult to get all of the nutrients that the body needs and still be a true vegan. The biggest concern is the body’s need for vitamin B12, and unfortunately B12 is only found in animal tissue. It is not found in any plant. Though B12 is found in some yeasts and molds, some vegans do not include products made from these in their diets.  So how can you get B12 without consuming any animal products? Most “vegans” supplement their diets with B12 in the form of vitamins or other foods fortified with B12, those supplements contain yeasts or molds.

The body needs B12. One of the most important functions of Vitamin B12 is its ability to work together with Folic Acid in the production of DNA. Because of the way it is able to recycle certain enzymes, it plays a significant role in maintaining the proper functioning of cells, blood and nerves. An imbalance of either Vitamin B9 or B12 can negatively impact the way red blood cells divide and lead to a condition known as pernicious anemia.

Vitamin B12 also works to reduce levels of homocysteine, the amino acids that can damage artery walls and increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease. Vitamin B12 is also responsible for ensuring that nerve cells function properly. It’s also possible that Vitamin B12 can treat symptoms associated with a loss of calcium including osteoporosis and damage to the teeth. This vitamin may even be able to relieve some symptoms of depression. It is proven that mothers who do not obtain adequate vitamin B12 in their diet while breastfeeding can cause severe and permanent neurological damage to their infants.

Another concern in the vegan diet is protein. It is certainly possible to gain protein from vegetables and legumes, but it is very important to make sure that enough protein is included in the diet. This is mainly because animal based proteins are absorbed into the diet much faster than synthesized proteins and plant based proteins. Lack of protein can cause severe health issues which include growth failure, loss of muscle mass, a weak immune system, weakening of the heart and respiratory system and the most severe of health issues, death. There are also numerous issues with the lack of protein that are simply just undesirable, though not necessarily health issues, such as the loss of hair, weakness and lack of energy and decrease in sexual desire.

Although it isn’t still well studied- research shows that iron deficiency is more present in vegans than in the general population.  It is important to note that iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies that’s why many nutritionists and dietitians recommend a daily multivitamin. Because of how common iron deficiency is, it is extra important that vegans supplement. There is also evidence that vegans are at a higher risk for vitamin D, calcium and iodine deficiencies. Once again, bringing up the importance of supplementation. Iodine can be supplemented as easily as using iodized salt.

So, back to the question on whether or not you can live a healthy life as a vegan. The answer is yes, but beware. It is of the utmost importance for vegans to supplement their diet to insure proper nutrition. So for those unwilling to take additional supplements, the vegan lifestyle is not for you. Now before you jump on me, understand that I do believe that you can live a healthy life as a vegan, but what it boils down to is that you simply can’t be a vegan and be healthy without educating yourself thoroughly. To do so would simply be detrimental and foolish. I certainly welcome comments to the contrary.

Vegan Diet: Recipe for Disaster?– chetday.com

B12 Suplement Fact Sheet – National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supliments

Thinkquest Vegitarian Library – Thinkquest Library

Vegan.com – Vegan.com

Horray for SPAM! (the meat)

SPAMToday is a big day for birthdays in the food business. On May 16th, 1832, Philip Danforth Armour, the founder of Armour Foods was born. This also marks the birthday of every ones childhood favorite, Spaghetti-O’s. But the one birthday that stands out today is the birth of the food that everyone loves to hate, SPAM. On May 16, 1891, the canned bliss was born. I remember my first SPAM experience, and I remember saying to myself “what a great idea”. Who would have ever thought to chop up a ham into little pieces and then glue them all back together and put them in a can. Well, let’s look at that for a moment.

George A. Hormel created SPAM the same year that he founded his meat processing empire. The original name for SPAM was Hormel Spiced Ham. Up to this point it was very difficult to manufacture canned meat. Because of the breakdown of cell walls, canned meats would tend to come out dry  because the water would separate from the meat. This would leave the meat floating in a can full of water. Hormel realized that if he packed meat in geletin that it would keep its moisture and that the water would not separate. Hormel Spiced Ham did very well for a number of years, however in the 1930’s the gelatin encased meat started to lose market share. Hormel decided that Spiced Ham needed a facelift.

In 1937 Hormel decided on the name SPAM. The name SPAM was chosen as part of a contest. There is some debate as to why the name SPAM was chosen, but the most popular theories are based on the classic name Spiced Ham or possibly because the canned pork product is made of shoulder pork and ham. Well that and some salt for flavoring and preservation and geletin to suspend the product and to keep the meat moist. Contrary to popular belief, SPAM is made of only prime cuts of shoulder meat and ham and contains only wholesome meat. Well that and some salt for flavoring and preservation and geletin to suspend the product and to keep the meat moist. Nothing from the parts of a pig that a pig doesn’t want to admit a pig has. 

SPAM was 52 years old before the name was first used to describe unwanted email. Sean Radford, Hormel’s archives manager and SPAM museum curator says that this wasn’t easy for the company to handle.

“We have a product we really believe in, a product with a long and interesting history, and that product’s name was co-opted for something that a lot of people really hate — spam e-mails. So, sure, there was a lot of debate about how the whole situation should be handled,” said Radford.

“But Hormel decided pretty quickly that it was best to be dignified and gracious about the entire issue,” he said. “The company decided that instead of turning the lawyers loose we’d just assume that people can tell the difference between good canned meat and bad e-mail and that people wouldn’t confuse the two. All Hormel asks is that people not use uppercase letters when referring to spam e-mail. Spam — all uppercase letters — is our product.”

Regardless of your opinion of SPAM (the canned meat), there are millions of people who eat the product. Amazingly, over 150 million cans sold worldwide per year. And whether you like it or not, Hormel has a pretty good sense of humor about it’s product, as is evident by their web site. A joke to some and a delicacy to others, SPAM is a stapel in many households. Is it in yours?

Hormel’s Official SPAM Website – SPAM.com

SPAM Museum– RoadSideAmerica.com

My Mom Invented the Chocolate Chip Cookie!

When I arrived home last night from picking up sushi for my wife and I for dinner, I was informed that there was chocolate chip cookie dough in the refrigerator. As if one of Pavlov’s dogs, my mouth began to water just thinking about the moist, flavorful cookies to come with their melted chocolaty morsels. I could literally eat my weight in them, and probably did. The chocolate chip cookie is the shining example of comfort food. Many can remember their mothers chocolate chip cookies, and will swear that their mom made the best or even invented the cookie itself. The reality is though that as good as mom’s chocolate chip cookies are, she didn’t invent them. That distinction belongs to an Inn Keeper from Whitman, Massachusetts.

Ruth Graves Wakefield (1907-1977) graduated from the Framingham State Normal School Department of Household Arts in 1924. She was a dietitian and food lecturer until she and her husband purchased a travel lodge in Plymouth County Massachusetts, The Toll House Inn. Ruth Wakefield would prepare the recipes that would be used to feed the guests of the inn and had gained much notoriety for herRuth Graves Wakefield desserts. Her very favorite cookie recipe was for Butter Drop Do cookies which required baking chocolate. One day when Ruth was out of baking chocolate all she could find to use was a bar of semi-sweet chocolate. She cut the bar into bits and added them to the cookie dough. To her surprise, the semi-sweet chocolate did not melt completely like the baking chocolate did. The chocolate pieces only softened and somewhat stayed intact. She served the cookies as they were and it was a hit. Interestingly enough, the chocolate bar that was used in the first batch of chocolate chip cookies was a gift from Andrew Nestle of the Nestle Chocolate Company, who just happened to have been a guest at the inn a few weeks earlier.

As the sales of the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie began to increase, so did sales for the Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate bar. Ruth Wakefield soon struck a deal with Andrew Nestle to include her recipe on the back of the chocolate bars. In return she received free chocolate for life. Still to this day, the recipe is found on the back of Nestle chocolate, specificaly chocolate chips.

There have been a number of famous chocolate chip recipes over the years, but none so famous as the Toll House recipe. Though your mother may have added her own special touch or have her own secrets for making chocolate chip cookies, you can thank Mrs. Wakefield for her accidental discovery of what has become a favorite today. And just to note, my Mom and Wife make the best chocolate chip cookies ever. Their secrets are safe with me (mainly because the couch isn’t very comfortable to sleep on).
The History of the Chocolate Chip Cookie– kitchenproject.com   

The Original Nestle Toll House Recipe– allrecipes.com