Poetry Mondays – Ode To Autumn By John Keats (Happy First Day of Fall!!!)

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Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

        Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

    Conspiring with him how to load and bless

        With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;

    To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,

        And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

          To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

        With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

    And still more, later flowers for the bees,

  Until they think warm days will never cease,

          For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells. 

  Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

      Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find

  Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

      Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

  Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,

      Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

          Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:

  And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

      Steady thy laden head across a brook;

      Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,

          Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

  Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

      Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—

  While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

      And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;

  Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

      Among the river sallows, borne aloft

          Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;

  And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

      Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft

      The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;

          And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

John Keats: The Complete Poems (Penguin Classics)

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Happy Eat a Hoagie Day!!! (Sept. 14th) – Sonny’s Steak Hoagie

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Sonny’s Steak Hoagie

Ingredients

4 (8-inch) hoagie rolls, homemade preferred

2 3/4 ounces blended canola/ olive oil, 60/40 ratio

10 ounces sliced thin sweet onions in 1/16-inch slices

28 ounces sliced thin rib-eye steak in 1/16-inch slices

2 ounces melted sweet butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

Provolone cheese

Directions

Optional ingredients: homemade tomato sauce, bell peppers, mushrooms, or your favorite cheese

For the hoagies:

Preheat frying pan over medium-high heat. Cut the hoagie rolls horizontally to open up and make a pocket. Add the blended oil to the pan and stir in the onions. Put the steak on top of onions and add 1/2-ounce of the butter. Cover the pan for 2 1/2 minutes. The meat should have a cooked appearance on top and rare underneath. Using a fork and spatula separate steak from the onions. When the meat is cooked add the salt, remaining butter, and provolone. Cover to the pan to melt the cheese. Divide the steak mixture among the hoagie rolls and serve. If you like, you can add the optional ingredients to the steak mixture before serving.

Solar Flare causes beautiful Northern Lightshow, but what is an Aurora Borealis? (Science is Awesome)

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The sky danced with bands of green, yellow and other colors last night, as the aurora borealis, or northern lights, dazzled viewers in the upper Northern Hemisphere. The light show was sparked by a powerful solar flare that erupted from the sun Wednesday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Centersays that while Earth will feel the effects of the large coronal mass ejection through Sunday, it won’t bring major communications or electrical problems.

Society6 – Outerspace Stretched Canvas by Jason Michael

Would you eat this? Burger King in Japan Launches Black Cheeseburger

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The black buns? We’ve seen those before. But why, Burger King, why black cheese? Why?

NariNari reports that Burger King Japan is rolling out another “Kuro Burger” (“Black Burger”), with buns made from bamboo charcoal, an onion and garlic sauce made with squid ink, beef patties made with black pepper, and black cheese, which is also apparently made with bamboo charcoal.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen black cheese in my entire life. This could be a first for me.

The ugly burger launches nationwide in Japan on September 19 with two varieties – one with salad and one without, but there’s no plans as of yet to bring them to the UK market.

Japan is at the top of the game when it comes to strange snack foods, bizarre burgers, and robot restaurants.

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Credit: narinari.com

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Happy National Chocolate Milkshake Day!!! – Night Rider Spiked Chocolate Shake Recipe

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Night Rider Spiked Chocolate Shake Recipe

Ingredients

2 scoops chocolate ice cream 
1 oz Kahlua 
1 oz chocolate liqueur 
4 Oreos

Directions

Muddle 3 Oreos and blend together with ice cream, Kahlua, and liqueur. Pour in glass and garnish with whipped cream and a whole Oreo.

Credit: Esquire

Fitness Fridays – Graphs showing why people are getting FAT (Science is Awesome)

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1. People Are Eating More Junk Food Than Ever

Food Spending, Smaller

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Fast Food, Weight Gain and Insulin Resistance.Whole Health Source.

People are eating more calories than before… but pretty much all of the increase has come from processed foods.

In the graph above, you see how the population changed its eating habits in the past 120-130 years.

At the turn of the 20th century, people were eating mostly simple, home-cooked meals. Around 2009, about half of what people ate was fast food, or other foods away from home.

This graph actually underestimate the true change, because what people are eating at home these days is also largely based on processed foods.

2. Sugar Consumption Has Skyrocketed

Sugar Consumption in the UK and USA

Source: Johnson RJ, et al. Potential role of sugar (fructose) in the epidemic of hypertension, obesity and the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007.

Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet.

Numerous studies show that eating excess amounts of added sugar can have harmful effects on metabolism, leading to insulin resistance, belly fat gain, high triglycerides and small, dense LDL cholesterol… to name a few (12).

There is also a plethora of observational studies showing that the people who eat the most sugar are at a much greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer (345).

Sugar is also fattening, partly because it doesn’t get registered in the same way as other calories by the brain, making us eat more. It also has adverse effects on hormones related to obesity (6789).

Not surprisingly, studies show that people who eat the most sugar are at a high risk of future weight gain and obesity (10).

3. People Gain Lots of Weight During The Holidays, Which They Never Get Rid Of

Holiday Weight Gain in the US

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Why do we Overeat? A Neurobiological Perspective.2014.

Most people don’t gain weight overnight… it happens slowly, over years and decades.

But the rate is uneven throughout the year and spikes dramatically during the holidays, a time when people tend to binge on all sorts of delicious holiday foods and eat much more than their bodies need.

The problem is that sometimes people don’t lose all the weight back. They might gain 3 pounds, but only lose 2 after the holidays are over, leading to slow and steady weight gain over time (11).

In fact, a large percentage of people’s lifetime weight gain can be explained just by the 6 week holiday period.

4. The Obesity Epidemic Started When The Low-Fat Guidelines Were Published

Low Fat Guidelines and Obesity Epidemic

Source: National Center for Health Statistics (US). Health, United States, 2008: With Special Feature on the Health of Young Adults. 2009 Mar. Chartbook.

There was an epidemic of heart disease running rampant in the U.S. in the 20th century.

A lot of scientists believed fat, especially saturated fat, to be the main dietary cause of heart disease (although this has since been disproven).

This led to the birth of the low-fat diet, which aims to restrict saturated fat. Interestingly, the obesity epidemic started at almost the exact same time the low-fat guidelines first came out.

Of course, this doesn’t prove anything, because correlation doesn’t equal causation.

But it does seem likely that putting the emphasis on saturated fat, while giving processed low-fat foods high in sugar a free pass, may have contributed to negative changes in the population’s diet.

There are also massive long-term studies showing that the low-fat diet does NOT cause weight loss, and does not prevent heart disease or cancer (12131415).

5. Food is Cheaper Than Ever Before

Food Price Trends as Percentage of Disposable Income

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Why do we Overeat? A Neurobiological Perspective.2014.

One factor that has most likely contributed to increased consumption is a lower price of food.

From the graph above, you see that food prices have dropped from 25% of disposable income to about 10% of disposable income in the past 80 years.

This seems like a good thing, but it’s important to keep in mind that real food isn’t cheap… it’s processed food.

In fact, real foods are so expensive that a lot of people can’t even afford them. In many poor neighborhoods, they don’t even offer anything but junk food, which is often subsidized by the government.

How are poor people supposed to stand a chance if the only food they can afford (and access) is highly processed junk high in sugar, refined grains and added oils?

6. People Are Drinking More Sugary Soda and Fruit Juices

Caloric Beverage Consumption in USA

The brain is the main organ in charge of regulating our energy balance… making sure that we don’t starve and don’t accumulate excess fat.

Well, it turns out that the brain doesn’t “register” liquid sugar calories in the same way as it does solid calories (16).

So if you consume a certain number of calories from a sugary drink, then your brain doesn’t automatically make you eat fewer calories of something else instead (17).

That’s why liquid sugar calories are usually added on top of the daily calorie intake. Unfortunately, most fruit juices are no better and have similar amounts of sugar as soft drinks (18).

Studies have shown that a single daily serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage is linked to a 60.1% increased risk of obesity in children (19).

Sugar is bad… but sugar in liquid form is even worse.

7. Increased Food Variety Contributes to Overeating and Weight Gain

Food Variety and Weight Gain

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Why do we Overeat? A Neurobiological Perspective.2014.

One factor that contributes to overeating is food variety.

The graph above shows a study where rats were split in 3 groups… one group got regular healthy chow, the second group got one type of junk food, but the third got multiple types of junk food at the same time (20).

As you can see, the rats eating one type of junk food gained more than the ones eating rat chow, but the rats eating multiple types of junk food gained the most… by far.

There is some evidence that this is true in humans as well. When we have more types of foods available, we eat more… and sometimes more than our bodies need (21).

8. People Don’t Burn as Many Calories When Working

Trends in Occupation-Related Physical Activity

Source: Church TS, et al. Trends over 5 Decades in U.S. Occupation-Related Physical Activity and Their Associations with Obesity. PLoS One, 2011.

A lot of people blame obesity on decreases in physical activity, that we’re just burning fewer calories than we used to.

Although leisure time physical activity (exercise) has increased, it is also true that people now have jobs that are less physically demanding.

The graph above shows how people are now burning around 100 fewer calories per day in their jobs, which may contribute to weight gain over time.

Credit: Authority Nutrition

Be Like Bacon – Francis Bacon (Knowledge is Power)

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Happy Motivation Monday!!! – The ONLY reason why MEN should lose weight: A bigger PENIS

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Did you know, if you lose 35 pounds, if you’re a male, you are gaining one inch of penis length?

Dr. Oz said this on Oprah! And as the women, in the audience, giggled and Oprah blushed, I wondered how many women fell in love with Dr. Oz that day, and how many more wondered how much weight their husband was capable of losing.

“The penis really is the dipstick for male health without any question at all.

And if it’s not working, it’s not just an ego issue—it’s a physical health issue.” Dr. Oz was on a roll, and as shocking as that statement was (although not as much as the first one) I did what any man with a penis would do, I asked a urologist.

Can Losing Weight Make your penis bigger?

Losing weight has many advantages. As the fat pad over the supra-pubic area decreases, the penis essentially comes out of its hiding area. This doesn’t mean that the penis truly becomes longer.

However, the part of penis that hangs out of the body becomes longer, while the part that’s inside the body is shorter. This makes the functional portion of the penis longer. Losing weight has other advantages: higher testosterone levels, better blood vessel function, improved nerve function, and improved self image.

All of these factors help in improving sexual function.

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Does being overweight cause your penis to “withdraw” into your abdomen?

Yes. Men with a large pannus (the extra fat around the abdomen) tend to have a large build up of fat in the supra-pubic area. The supra-pubic area is the area above the base of the penis over the pubic bone.  As this area becomes thicker with fat, the penis gets drawn inward underneath the skin, creating an appearance of shorter penis.

The actual length of the penis does not change. However, more of it’s length is imbedded underneath the fat surrounding it. In other words, more of the penis is drawn inside the body, making the portion.

How does being overweight affect sexual performance?

Being overweight can have a significant effect on sexual performance. Excess fatty tissue will convert the naturally made male hormone, testosterone, to the female hormone, estrogen. Higher levels of estrogen are found in obese men. This problem causes lowered sex drive and lowered libido. Men with obesity have difficulty handling their penis, because the penis has retracted into the supra-pubic fat pad, as described above.

This makes it more difficult to penetrate. Men with obesity also have hypertension, diabetes, and hardening of the arteries throughout the body. These conditions damage the nerves and blood vessels that need to function properly to increase the blood flow into the penis’ spongy bodies. Therefore, obesity can cause erectile dysfunction (E.D.) or impotency. Hormonal imbalance and peripheral nerve dysfunction in obese men can also cause premature ejaculation.

Credit: Stefan Pinto

The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular YOU!

Congrats to the Bryan Twins (“Bob” Bryan & “Mike” Bryan) for U.S. Open Win & 100th Title!!!

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Brothers Bob and Mike Bryan share more than the same last name and mission: to dominate men’s tennis doubles. They share the same DNA. They’re identical twins who are so coordinated on the court that their opponents actually suspect they have twin telepathy.

That may have been what Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek thought when the Bryan brothers defeated them in Day 12 of the U.S. Open, winning the men’s doubles title for a record 12th Grand Slam championship.

Back in 2010 (video above), Lesley Stahl interviewed the Bryan brothers about their uncanny ability to stay in sync on-and-off the court.

“It’s freaky,” they agreed.

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Happy Bill Murray Day!!! “I was never a real good practical joker…”

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Happy Bill Murray Day!!!

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