Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called “the Great American Novel“.
Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. After an apprenticeship with a printer, he worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to the newspaper of his older brother, Orion Clemens. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his singular lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. In 1865, his humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County“, was published, based on a story he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention, and was even translated into classic Greek. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
Though Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he invested in ventures that lost a great deal of money, notably the Paige Compositor, a mechanical typesetter, which failed because of its complexity and imprecision. In the wake of these financial setbacks, he filed for protection from his creditors via bankruptcy, and with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain chose to pay all his pre-bankruptcy creditors in full, though he had no legal responsibility to do so.
Photo Credit: Baking Equals Love
Here are seven foods you should add to your regular diet if you want to keep firing on all cylinders. These foods may not make you smarter, but they’ll help you stay sharp and think clearly–especially when you’ve been glued to your desk for 12 hours.
- Salmon. This is one of the best brain foods out there. Salmon is rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids that have been shown to enhance memory and cognition. Plus, Omega 3s have anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce the incidence of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Shoot for three servings of wild Alaskan salmon a week.
- Flax. This plant-based source of Omega 3 is perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Not only does flax improve brain function, but it helps reduce inflammation and improve circulation. Flax also helps lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar, making it a great supplement to include in any diet. Sprinkle a tablespoon of ground flax seeds to oatmeal or add a tablespoon of flax oil to smoothies or salad dressings.
- Blueberries. These berries contain flavonoids–antioxidants that have been shown to help improve your ability to learn and enhance motor skills. Flavonoids also help prevent degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Add a cup to your morning oatmeal or to a smoothie. Or simply keep them on hand for a quick and healthy afternoon snack.
- Nuts and seeds. This perfect afternoon snack is a good source of both Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids, which improve brain function. Plus, nuts contain vitamin E, which has been shown to help protect the brain from free-radical damage. Walnuts are best for brainpower. Cashews and sunflower seeds contain an amino acid that helps boost serotonin levels and alleviate stress.
- Eggs. Eggs are a great source of choline, a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which helps you concentrate and recall information. Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s have depleted amounts of this important neurotransmitter.
- Dark green leafy vegetables. Kale, chard, spinach, and other dark green vegetables contain B-vitamins, including folic acid, which help shield your brain from the effects of aging. These veggies are also loaded in antioxidants that help protect against heart disease and cancer. Eat dark greens daily in salads or as a side dish.
- Chocolate. This treat is rich in flavanol antioxidants that increase blood flow to the brain, helping to protect brain cells. But the percentage of cacao is important–the darker the chocolate, the better. Enjoy a small square of dark chocolate after lunch for an afternoon boost.
Credit: Health Digezt
When the first bomb went off, Karen McWatters was only a few feet from the blast. That blast took a great deal from Karen, but what it gave her would help make a difference in the life of a person she had never met.
1. Shave some extra cents off your gas costs by checking out GasPriceWatch.com to find the cheapest offerings in your area. For example, you’ll find that the Chevron on Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles is selling gas for 22 cents less than a Mobil station a few blocks down the road.
2. Nix name brands and start buying generic toiletries and cleaning products in bulk. Better yet, take shopping trips with friends to Costco so you can all split that bulk pack of toilet paper.
3. Join your local library. You might be shocked to find that its DVD collection is stocked and up-to-date (not to mention totally free). If you normally rent one movie per week from the video store or Netflix, you can save over $200 in a year!
4. Unplug your appliances like coffee pots, toasters, hair dryers, and computer cords when you leave the house. According to Energystar.gov, it costs you $100 per year to power appliances in standby mode (especially ones with features like clock displays). When you go on vacation, it’s a good idea (both for your wallet and the environment) to unplug large energy consumers like entertainment centers.
5. Cliché as it may sound, skip your morning Starbucks latte. You’ll save about 190 calories and $3 per day. You can still make your homemade coffee feel special by adding a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg.
6. Get cash back on your clothing purchases. It sucks when you buy a piece of clothing full-price, then see it on sale a week later. Hang on to your receipts, because larger chains like the Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy will refund you the difference on items that go on sale as long as you present a receipt within 14 days of the original purchase.
7. Need new furniture? Before heading off to Ikea, check out Freecycle.org, a site where users list things they don’t want anymore. Or, try your local Craigslist.com listings for moving sales (oftentimes people are in a pinch and will sell items for “best offer” just to get rid of them).
8. Work out for free. Look up donation-based yoga studios in your area so you can pay what you can (instead of a normal $12-$20 per class). Similarly, many yoga, dance, and Pilates studios offer new student incentives such as two weeks of classes for only $20. Can’t afford a personal trainer? Check out iTrain.com,where you can download personalized workouts for your iPod for as little as $7.99 a session. Other cheap options: Go for a hike in the fall foliage, jog outdoors, or organize a game of touch football with friends (a great excuse to get them to invite single guys!).
9. Think about your cash. Always know exactly how much money you have on you. It will prevent mindless spending (and the shock when you realize you’re out). Also, plan out your day so you withdraw the money you need from your home bank, avoiding ATM fees.
10. Do your holiday shopping on the cheap by hunting down cool stuff at thrift and vintage shops where you can find heartwarming items for less than 20 bucks. Think music boxes, quirky costume jewelry, vintage postcards to frame, or collectors’ plates.
11. Bring the party home. Ask friends to come over with a bottle of wine for a game night on Saturday. Offering a simple, homemade dessert like cookies or a pie won’t cost more than a few bucks if you already have the basic ingredients on hand. If you absolutely have to get out, then organize a get-together at a bar with a happy hours special. Make the occasion more festive by creating a Facebook invite with a quirky theme like “International Talk Like a Pirate Day!” One more tip: check out Myopenbar.com, a site that lists events at bars with free booze in several cities including New York, Miami, and Chicago.
12. Do more research. It might be painful to actually look at the breakdown of your expenses, but it’s the best way to cut down on costs. (Hint: you can probably get both used or at your local library instead of paying full price).
- Builds Muscle in Your Entire BodySquats obviously help to build your leg muscles (including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves), but they also create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building.In fact, when done properly, squats are so intense that they trigger the release of testosterone and human growth hormone in your body, which are vital for muscle growth and will also help to improve muscle mass when you train other areas of your body aside from your legs.
So squats can actually help you improve both your upper and lower body strength.
- Functional Exercise Makes Real-Life Activities EasierFunctional exercises are those that help your body to perform real-life activities, as opposed to simply being able to operate pieces of gym equipment. Squats are one of the best functional exercises out there, as humans have been squatting since the hunter-gatherer days. When you perform squats, you build muscle and help your muscles work more efficiently, as well as promote mobility and balance. All of these benefits translate into your body moving more efficiently in the real world too.
- Burn More FatOne of the most time-efficient ways to burn more calories is actually to gain more muscle! For every pound of additional muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day. So, if you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you will automatically burn 500-700 more calories per day than you did before.
- Maintain Mobility and BalanceStrong legs are crucial for staying mobile as you get older, and squats are phenomenal for increasing leg strength. They also work out your core, stabilizing muscles, which will help you to maintain balance, while also improving the communication between your brain and your muscle groups, which helps prevent falls – which is incidentally the #1 way to prevent bone fractures versus consuming mega-dose calcium supplements and bone drugs.
- Prevent InjuriesMost athletic injuries involve weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissues, which squats help strengthen. They also help prevent injury by improving your flexibility (squats improve the range of motion in your ankles and hips) and balance, as noted above.
- Boost Your Sports Performance — Jump Higher and Run FasterWhether you’re a weekend warrior or a mom who chases after a toddler, you’ll be interested to know that studies have linked squatting strength with athletic ability.1 Specifically, squatting helped athletes run faster and jump higher, which is why this exercise is part of virtually every professional athlete’s training program.
- Tone Your Backside, Abs and Entire BodyFew exercises work as many muscles as the squat, so it’s an excellent multi-purpose activity useful for toning and tightening your behind, abs, and, of course, your legs. Furthermore, squats build your muscles, and these muscles participate in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, helping to protect you against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- Help with Waste RemovalSquats improve the pumping of body fluids, aiding in removal of waste and delivery of nutrition to all tissues, including organs and glands. They’re also useful for improved movement of feces through your colon and more regular bowel movements.
Credit: Fitness Mercola
- Treats Acne
This herb may not be found in acne products’ list of ingredients, but it can serve as a natural topical treatment to get rid of blemishes. Allicin, the organic compound in garlic, has the ability to stop the damaging effects of radicals and kill bacteria, according to a 2009 study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie. In its decomposed form — sulfenic acid — allicin produces a fast reaction with radicals, which makes it a valuable herb for treating acne scars, skin diseases, and allergies.
- Treats Hair Loss
A head full of hair that smells like garlic could help in the treatment of hair loss. The herb’s extremely high sulfur content contains keratin, the protein hair is made of. This stimulates fortification and growth. A 2007 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venerology and Leprology found the use of a garlic gel added to the therapeutic efficacy of topical betamethasone valerate for alopecia areata treatment can be effective to induce hair re-growth.
- Fights Common Cold
Garlic’s allicin can serve as a health aid during times of illness. Rene Ficek, a registered dietician and a lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating in Illinois told Medical Daily in an email: “Garlic cloves contain a healthy dose of allicin, but you may still need a few cloves per day to feel the effects.” However, garlic supplementation can also be used to ward off viruses.
A 2001 study published in the journal Advances In Therapy found a daily garlic supplement can reduce the number of colds by 63 percent compared to not taking supplements. Moreover, the average length of cold symptoms was also reduced to 70 percent, from five days in the control group to 1.5 days in garlic supplement group. These findings suggest the allicin-containing supplement has a protective effect against the common cold.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
A garlic supplement a day may help keep your blood pressure at bay. Its active compounds can significantly reduce blood pressure comparable to the effects of prescribed drugs. Aged garlic extract between 600 to 1,500 milligrams (mg) was found to be just as effective as the drug Atenolol prescribed for hypertension in a 24-week period, according to a 2013 study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Garlic is believed to activate the production of the endothelium-derived relaxation factor, according to Ficek, due to the herb’s high amount of polysulfides — sulfur — containing molecules. This leads to smooth muscle relaxation and vasodilation (widening of blood vessels), following the relaxation of the smooth muscle in the vessel wall. Garlic supplements can achieve these effects efficiently without the bad breath compared to raw garlic.
- Lowers Heart Disease Risk
Garlic can help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering total LDL cholesterol. A 2000 study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found the effect of garlic on total cholesterol level in people with elevated levels moderately reduced cholesterol levels. Vandana Sheth, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics told Medical Daily in an email that this is achieved by “diminishing the activity of main cholesterol-producing enzyme in the liver.” Garlic supplements can enhance the body’s ability to dissolve blood clots that would otherwise increase the risk of heart attacks by closing the arteries.
- Enhances Physical Performance
Garlic can help increase exercise capacity and reduce exercise-induced fatigue. “[G]arlic has a long history of being used in ancient cultures to reduce fatigue and enhance the work capacity of laborers,” Ficek said. Garlic oil has been shown to improve the exercise capacity of people with heart disease. A 2005 study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found participants with heart disease who took garlic oil for six weeks saw a reduction in peak heart rate by 12 percent. This was accompanied by an improvement in their physical endurance during a treadmill exercise.
- Improves Bone Health
The alkalizing vegetable is filled with bone-healthy nutrients such as zinc, manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Risa Groux, a holistic nutritionist and ChazzLIVE expert told Medical Daily in an email: “Garlic is really high in manganese, which contains enzymes and antioxidants that facilitates the formation of bones and connective tissues, bone metabolism, and calcium absorption.”
Garlic may help reduce bone loss through the increase of estrogen in females. A 2007 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found garlic oil was able to preserve the skeletal health of rodents when under a hypogonadal situation. In other words, garlic contains nutrients that act as building blocks for healthy, strong bones.
Garlic can be a flavorful addition to your dish and also double as a valuable aid to your health.
Credit: Medical Daily
“I’m never drinking again,” said Seth.
As we tried to get our shit together after another night of debauchery with the crew inside C.I.C (Combat Intelligence Central) still pretty drunk from the night before. Good thing C.I.C was a dark place with the latest high tech gadgets monitoring terrorist activities around the world but I was just super glad there wasn’t any bright lights to show any incriminating evidence on our faces.
“Seth, do you have a black eye?”
“What? When the hell did that happen.”
“It was probably when you got punch by that gay Arabian guy at that super gay club,” said Skuba.
“What?” from a very confused Seth.
“Listen. I did want tell you but when you get black out drunk you kinda turn gay, which is cool, I mean we don’t ask but don’t tell anyone.”
“Yeah, you pulled us into this real dark club with bunch of Arabian dudes making out then you got into fight with this really hairy dude with his shirt off talking about marrying his camel or something,” said Skuba as he was eating a bag of tuna.
“What the fuck?” said Seth.
“Oh yeah, I remember now it was right after we got kicked out of our hotel because we trashed our whole floor.”
“Are you sure it wasn’t after we started a fight with those Army cunts at Planet Hollywood,” asking Skuba.
“Wild Turkey should be banned from public consumption,” said Seth having a look of regret.
“Why the hell are you eating that bag of tuna?” Looking at Skuba.
“Because dolphins are smart and it’s making me smarter,” confidently said by Skuba.
“You do realize Dolphins don’t eat themselves,” as Seth eats a bag of oats trying to put some kinda of food down his stomach.
“Is that why you’re eating that bag of oats?” I ask Seth.
“Of course not. I’m a thoroughbred. I need oats to feel strong,” stuffing half a bag of oats without water down his mouth.
“Duh asshole. I’m a dolphin, Seth is a horse and you’re an asshole,” said Skuba eating his bag of tuna.
What the fuck is the matter with us as I thought looking my crew inside Combat Intelligence Central, which at the current moment the most intelligent thing about the room was all those expensive machines and certainly not the monkeys working on them.
“Alright stop with the tomfoolery,” shouted the Captain as he stepped into C.I.C as we stand in attention. Our cap was a former linebacker for “The” Ohio State University, which he was still big as a fridge and still aggressive as fuck. I respected him a lot but I could not shake off his Tom Selleck mustache. I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame, which I kept thinking what he would like in a Hawaiian shirt?
“Listen boys, these men are our high target priorities for this month. Please study these faces because they are Axes of Evil.”
As the Captain put up America’s Most Wanted on the War Board, I just kept thinking he’s perfect man for this post because we are a bunch of babies, who need a spanking but I just wished Steve Guttenberg was here to help us out. Fuck Ted Danson!
“Your job men is explore, identity, evaluate, implement then execute. We are the architects that plan out the master plan then we execute putting the hammer down!”
We stand in attention again after that motivating speech as the Captain leaves C.I.C.
“You guys know what the hell Her Alibi was talking about,” asking Skuba.
“I think he was telling us get more tuna and oats at the commissary, then get some ice cream,” as Seth throws up his oats at the nearest trash can.
“I’m never drinking again,” said Seth holding the trashcan like his baby.
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