May 282015

Amazing Uses Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been reported to heal many conditions – from minor ailments to serious illness. Some people swear by it. For example, apple cider vinegar is used across the world as a natural/alternative treatment for allergies, and is thought to reduce the risk of cancer.

Vinegar has been in use since ancient times – as a health remedy, cleaning agent and for many other purposes from household to science. Hippocrates (460-377 BC), the revered ancient father of medicine after whom the Hippocratic Oath was named, prescribed it for curing pleurisy, fever, ulcers, and constipation. [1] It was utilized throughout history in other societies as well; for example, the Egyptians are thought to have used it to kill bacteria and the Babylonians relied on it to preserve food and medicines.

In Ancient Rome, Apple cider vinegar was considered the holy grail or fountain of youth. It was commonly consumed for its properties as an elixir; one that has been forgotten in modern times – until recently.

Fast forward to the future: Today, Apple cider vinegar is considered to be useful in cases of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. For example, in 2001 the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study in which it was indicated that alternative or natural therapies like ACV might be more effective than prescription drugs and other western medical treatments. Apple cider vinegar is also useful in emergency situations such as jellyfish stings because it acts as a deactivating agent toward the venom.

Apple cider vinegar is made via fermentation, which is very beneficial for digestion and has in some cases worked as a cure for acne. Apple cider vinegar is also commonly used as a treatment for other skin disorders such as warts. In fact, studies have shown that Apple cider vinegar can clear up blemishes and breakouts – avoiding the need for potentially harmful prescription medications such as Retin A or Acutane.

Another little known fact we found in a scientific report: During the American Civil War, Apple cider vinegar helped to prevent scurvy and also was used as a disinfectant for wounds.

Apple cider vinegar has the potential to balance pH levels in the human body. This process occurs because of the naturally-occurring acetic acid it contains. When PH levels are balanced, the body maintains an alkaline state which reduces the potential for disease. The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar may be too strong for some palates. For this reason, many people drink it with honey and lemon. Others prefer to add 1 Tablespoon to an 8-ounce glass of water.

We were surprised and intrigued to find that Apple cider vinegar has many benefits for hair health. Apple cider vinegar has been known to encourage hair growth and reduce the occurrence of breakage. To improve body and shine of the hair shaft, apply 1/2 Tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 cup water after shampooing.

Another suggestion that is made with regard to consuming Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is to rinse the mouth afterwards. This is because, being acidic, there may be a possibility of harm to tooth enamel with long term exposure.



May 282015

Life’s Demerit SystemIn the world of romance, one single rule applies:

Do something she likes, and you get points.
Do something she dislikes, and points are subtracted.

You don’t get any points for doing something she expects. Sorry, that’s the way the game is played. Here is a non-exhaustive guide to the point system:

You make the bed. (+1)
You make the bed, but forget the decorative pillows. (-10)
You throw the bedspread over rumpled sheets. (-3)
You go out to buy her what she wants (+5) in the rain (+8)
But return with Jack Daniels. (-5)

You check out a suspicious noise at night. (+1)
You check out a suspicious noise, and it is nothing. (0)
You check out a suspicious noise, and it is something. (+5)
You pummel it with an iron rod. (+10)
It’s her pet Schnauzer. (-20)

You stay by her side for the entire party. (+1)
You stay by her side for a while, then leave to chat with an old school friend. (-2)
Named Tina (-10)
Tina is a dancer. (-10)
Tina has breast implants. (-40)

You take her out to dinner. (+2)
You take her out to dinner, and it’s not a sports bar. (+3)
Okay, it’s a sports bar. (-2)
And its all-you-can-eat night. (-3)
It’s a sports bar, it’s all-you-can-eat night, and your face is painted the colors of your favorite team. (-10)

You take her to a movie. (+1)
You take her to a movie she likes. (+5)
You take her to a movie you hate. (+6)
You take her to a movie you like. (-2)
It’s called ‘Death Cop.’ (-3)
You lied and said it was a foreign film about orphans. (-15)

You develop a noticeable potbelly. (-15)
You develop a noticeable potbelly and exercise to get rid of it. (+10)
You develop a noticeable potbelly and resort to baggy jeans and baggy Hawaiian shirts. (-30)
You say, “It doesn’t matter, you have one too.” (-80)

She asks, “Do I look fat?” (-5)
(Yes, you lose points no matter what)
You hesitate in responding. (-10)
You reply, “Where?” (-35)
You give any other response. (-20)

When she wants to talk about a problem, you listen, displaying what looks like a concerned expression. (+2)
You listen, for over 30 minutes (+50)
You listen for more than 30 minutes without looking at the TV. (+500)
She realizes this is because you have fallen asleep. (-4000)


May 282015

Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

The following is a transcript of President Lincoln’s speech from the Capitol on March 4, 1865 on his second inauguration:

“At this second appearing to take the oath of the presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued, seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention, and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself; and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil-war. All dreaded it — all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war — seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.

One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern half part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.

Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged.

The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offences which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South, this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him?

Fondly do we hope — fervently do we pray — that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said f[our] three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether”

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan — to achieve and cherish a lasting peace among ourselves and with the world. to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with the world. all nations.”

[Endorsed by Lincoln:]

Original manuscript of second Inaugural presented to Major John Hay.
A. Lincoln
April 10, 1865


May 282015
Rubber Chicken A husband and wife were debating on buying a new car. She wanted a fast sports car. He wanted a pickup. As time passed on, her birthday came up and she thought it a great time to fulfill her wish.

She told her husband, “Look, I want something that can go from 0 to 200. Furthermore, I want it to be able to do it in just a few seconds!”

The husband bought her a bathroom scale.



May 272015

12 Old Wives’ Tales That Are Actually True

Those Old Wives’ Tales your grandmother used to tell you aren’t actually all that far off the mark, according to some new scientific studies.

The wisdom of old wives has developed over centuries of life and human experience – and while many of these have now been proven by modern science to be mere superstition, some of them do have some surprising scientific merit!

Here we present 12 old wives tales that science has proven have merit and may surprise you:


1. Chicken soup as medicine

We’ve all heard the ye olde wisdom that when you have a cold you should eat chicken soup, no? Well, turns out it has some truth to it. While chicken soup won’t go so far as curing you of the common cold, it will go some way towards relieving the symptoms.

Scientists have discovered that chicken soup can actually reduce inflammation by slowing down the white blood cell activity responsible for causing said inflammation. So go forth – and eat soup, snotty ones!

2. A long, arduous labour = baby boy

It’s true – science has proven that boys give their mothers more grief during labour than girls. A 2003 Irish study found that women who give birth to baby boys are more likely to run into complications during labour, resulting in a higher number of emergency caesareans.

Why? The study suggests that this is because boys are generally larger and heavier at birth than girls – and they have bigger heads.

3. An apple a day keeps the doctor away

Yeah, yeah – we all know eating fruit and veggies every day is important for our overall health. But an ‘apple’? A ‘day’?  Turns out those old wives weren’t just nagging … they were actually spot on.

A 2013 study found that if all people aged over 50 in the UK ate just one apple per day, they would actually prevent – or delay – 8500 heart attacks and strokes every year. So let them eat apples!

4. Chocolate helps to relieve premenstrual cramps

Turns out those chocolate cravings you get just before you get your period don’t just rock up to undermine your healthy eating regime. They actually happen for physiological reasons.

Studies suggest that chocolate contains nutrients and antioxidants such as anandamide, which can have a calming effect, and keep anxiety and moods in balance. So you don’t need to feel guilty about inhaling that extra piece of chocolate – but don’t overdo it!

5. A hot bath decreases chance of conception for blokes

If you and your partner are trying to conceive, make sure the man in the equation avoids a hot bath prior to the ‘act’. While old wives have known it for eons, science has proven it to be so.

A 2007 scientific study found that ‘wet heat exposure’ in a hot tub, bath or jacuzzi, is in fact a real risk factor for male fertility. So skip the hot bath before bed, fellas.

6. Heartburn in pregnancy means you’re going to have a hairy baby

Yep, that’s right. Ancient wisdom predicts that if you’re pregnant and suffering from hardcore heartburn, chances are you’re going to give birth to a hairy one …

And science now backs this theory up! A 2007 study at John Hopkins University discovered, much to their surprise, that a sample of women who endured horrible heartburn did in fact give birth to babies that had more than the average amount of hair for a newborn bubba.


7. Full moon

No, you’re not imagining it when your kids go a bit bonkers when there’s a full moon on display. Those old wives have been hinting for centuries that a full moon can make for some weird-ass behaviour – from both animals and humans alike.

Generally, researchers have yet to prove categorically that our behaviour, fertility and birth rate, etc. are affected by lunar patterns (are you are LUNAtic?). But one study in particular has found that we find it more difficult to sleep around the time of a full moon, despite black-out blinds, etc.

8. Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight

Is the old adage “Red sky at night, sailor’s/shepherd’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s/shepherd’s warning” true, or is it just one of those silly old wives’ tale?

According to the Library of Congress there’s certainly a scientific explanation for it:

“When there’s a red sky at night, this means that the setting sun is sending its light through a high concentration of dust particles, indicating high pressure and stable air coming in from the west. Meaning good weather will follow … A red sunrise can mean that a high pressure system (good weather) has already passed, thus indicating that a storm system (low pressure) may be moving to the east. A morning sky that is a deep, fiery red can indicate that there is high water content in the atmosphere. So, rain could be on its way.”


9.  Hair of the dog

Did you overdo it last night and drink more champagne than you should have? Feeling a bit crook as a result? Ye ol’ wives would tell you to get straight back on that horse and have another drink to alleviate the symptoms of a hangover.

Do they speak the truth? Science says yes.  Research has shown that consuming small doses of alcohol can actually relieve alcohol withdrawal symptoms. But a word of caution – easing the effects can increase dependency on alcohol creating a vicious cycle. So best way to avoid a pounding hangover? Drink a big glass of water before going to bed. Or even better … just don’t drink alcohol to excess!

10. Count sheep to fall asleep

Those old wives have been telling wakeful kids for centuries to close their eyes and count sheep to fall asleep. And it turns out they’re right about that as well … Well, sort of.

You see, while there hasn’t been a specific scientific study proving that counting actual ‘sheep’ will work to put you to slumber, the use of visualisation or mental imagery can certainly assist in getting you to the land of nod. How? It can help to distract you from thinking stressful or anxious thoughts – commonly associated with insomnia – which will make you fall asleep sooner. So baa.


11. Not-so-sweet dreams are made of cheese

Have you experienced the phenomenon of eating a cheesy pizza for dinner and then having a sometimes scary, lucid dream that night? Well, this is so common that the old wives have been at it again, giving it a place in folklore.

But it also has a place in science too, apparently. There are some scientific theories that suggest it’s the bacterial and fungal elements of cheese that are the culprits. These contain psychoactive ingredients, which have the potential to affect dreams. BUT … not all cheese-induced dreams will be scary.

12. Fish is brain food

“Eat your fish, it’s good for you,” says every mother to every child, like, ever. It’s old wisdom that fish is good for the brain. But does this hold true in science? Why, yes. Yes it does.

A recent Harvard study found that the more fish mothers ate during their second trimester of pregnancy, the better their babies did on tests when they were six months old. But mums need to be mindful of the kind of fish they’re eating when pregnant to avoid the mercury-laden ones, such as swordfish.

Kylie Matthews


May 272015

Guide to Flavoring with Spices

Seasoning with spices can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with it but – like painting – with the right tools and practice, you’ll be cooking up a masterpiece in no time.

We created our ‘Guide to Flavoring with Spices’ infographic to show you some of the most common spices that are hiding in your cupboard and how to use them. This chart gives you an idea of the flavor each spice will add to your meal, what spices go well together, and what foods to add them to. Spices are alphabetized for easy reading.



May 262015

The Way You Sleep Reveals Secrets About Your Personality

How do you sleep at night? On your side, back, or your belly? Believe it or not it can say a lot about who you are when you’re awake.



Log position, in which the sleeper slumbers on their side, legs extended straight and arms by their sides, is the second most popular position. Though the position looks stiff, a person who sleeps like this is anything but rigid. Log sleepers are very social and easygoing people. Although they like conversing with all kinds of people, they definitely prefer running with an A-list crowd. They are also very trusting, which can sometimes make them seem a little gullible.


The yearner position looks a lot like the log. The sleeper snoozes on their sides but their arms are stretched out in front of them, kind of like a mummy. Studies say that people who choose this position are usually very inviting and open. Yet, they can be suspicious and are often very cynical. Yearners are also as slow as turtles when it comes to making decisions, but once their minds are set, they’re as stubborn as a mule about changing it.


Attention! A person that sleeps in soldier position is one that sleeps on their back with their arms straight down at their side. Solider sleepers also live up to their name, tending to be strong, silent types who don’t like a big fuss. They are very structured and take themselves, and those around them, very seriously. This also means that they have high expectations for themselves and others around them. They have a tendency to snore as well.


A freefaller sleeper dozes on their stomachs, head to the side, with their arms wrapped around a pillow. As the name suggests, freefaller sleepers have open, gregarious, and playful personalities. Yet they can be so to-the-point that it comes off as brash. They may seem free spirited most of the time, but freefaller sleepers are also secretly anxious and crave control. Although they tend to be risk takers, they’re surprisingly sensitive to criticism as well.


The starfish position is the least popular slumbering style. Starfish sleepers lie on their backs with their legs stretched out, and their arms stretched up by their head, looking a bit like a cactus. People who snooze in this unconventional style are very loyal pals and make friendship a huge priority in their lives. They love hearing the problems of others and will go out their way to help when they can. Makes sense, since it the position makes them look like they reaching their arms out for a hug.


The fetal position, in which a person sleeps on their side with their legs curled up, is one of the most popular. In fact, according to a survey performed by sleep specialist Chris Idzikowski, PhD and author of the book Learn to Sleep Well, 41 percent of people sleep this way. If you fancy the fetal position while you catch your Z’s, you may seem to have a tough exterior, but are very shy and sensitive on the inside. They can also overthink a problem and worry unnecessarily.