Happy National Buy a Donut Day!!! (Oct.30th) – Tell us your Favorite Donut?

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Survival of the Fittest – How long Naps benefits the Brain

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Benefits of Naps

So what are the most ideal ways to nap? Napping can be seen as a quick reboot or boost for the brain. Think of when your computer is starting to perform slowly and things aren’t responding up to par, after you shut everything down and do a reboot, things are back up to speed. The brain is quite similar in that, as you nap, even for very short periods of time, benefits can be seen in a number of areas.

Sleep experts suggest  that taking a 10-to-20-minute power nap can give you a quick burst of alterness and mental clarity when you don’t have much time. This can be used throughout the day, late at night, before something important or right before you are trying to beat the final boss of a video game you’ve been playing all night right and you know you need the extra quickness.

When I was interested in trying to maximize my time awake (which I still am, but haven’t tried much lately) I did some research into sleeping cycles and how to minimize the amount of sleep you need while still being able to function well. I ended up choosing a cycle that gave me a core sleep and then several naps throughout the day that lasted about 20 minutes. I found that after the 20 minutes naps, I felt great. Very alert, mental clarity was high and I was ready to gofor the next 3 or 4 hours easily.[2]

I found though, that near the beginning of my experiment with cycles, I would start to lose cognitive clarity as I got closer to the end of the day. While this was part of the transition portion of the cycle, I got to feel what its like when the brain just isn’t getting enough deep sleep. According to Dr. Mednick, this is where longer naps of 60 minutes or so are said to be good for increasing that cognitive power again. [1] Mednick also states that the 90-minute nap will likely involve a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity, emotional and procedural memory, such as learning how to ride a bike. Waking up after REM sleep usually means a minimal amount of sleep inertia.

Naps Summarized

A study evaluating the recuperative effects of short and ultra short naps found that napping for 5-10 minutes can create a heightened sense of alertness and increased cognitive ability when comparing to not taking a nap at all.

If you are looking for a quick recharge: nap for 5 – 20 minutes.

If you are looking for deeper sleep rejuvenation: nap for 60 – 90 minutes.

Final tip: When you take your shorter naps, sit up slightly as it will allow you to avoid falling into a deeper sleep. If you dream during these power naps, it could be a sign that you are sleep deprived.

Credit: online.wsj.com / www.collective-evolution.com

The Scientific Power of Naps:

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Happy National Cat Day!!! – Cats in Costumes

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Namsan Cat Dog Sailor Costume Hat Navy Tie

Wisdom Wednesdays – Attitude is Everything

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Happy National Chocolate Day!!! (Oct. 28th) – Almost-Famous Chocolate Mousse Cake

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Almost-Famous Chocolate Mousse Cake

Ingredients

For the cake and mousse:

1 18 .25-ounce box devil’s food cake mix (plus required ingredients)

14 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks)

unsalted butter, diced

1/4 cup strong coffee

10 large eggs, separated

1 1/2 cups plus 6 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups cold heavy cream

For the shell and sauce:

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup heavy cream

5 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

To serve:

1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream

1 tablespoon sugar

1 pint vanilla ice cream

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Directions

Make the cake: Prepare the cake mix as the label directs for a 9-by-13-inch cake. Bake; cool slightly in the pan, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.

Clean out the cake pan and line it with plastic wrap. Cut the cake in half lengthwise, then in thirds crosswise to make 6 rectangles. Using a serrated knife, slice each rectangle in half to make two layers. Arrange half of the pieces snugly in the cake pan. Crumble the remaining pieces and press tightly into 6 small balls; arrange 1 cake ball in the center of each cake rectangle in the pan.

Make the mousse: Heat the chocolate, butter, coffee and 1/4 cup water in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water), stirring, until melted. Remove the bowl from the pan; stir until cool. Reserve the simmering water. Fill a large bowl with ice water.

Whisk the egg yolks, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a separate large heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and whisk until pale yellow, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the chocolate-coffee mixture and the vanilla and whisk until combined, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the pan and set in the bowl of ice water; whisk until slightly cool but not thick, about 4 minutes.

Beat the egg whites and salt in a bowl with a mixer until foamy. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until almost stiff; gently fold into the chocolate-yolk mixture to make a dark chocolate mousse. Spread 5 cups over the cake and cake balls. Freeze until firm on top, about 30 minutes.

Beat the heavy cream and the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form; fold into the remaining mousse. Remove the cake from the freezer; spread with the light chocolate mousse, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Make the chocolate shell: Stir the chocolate, heavy cream and 4 tablespoons corn syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) until melted. A spoonful at a time, spread half of the shell mixture over the frozen mousse. Return to the freezer.

Make the chocolate sauce: Add the remaining 1 tablespoon corn syrup and the butter to the remaining chocolate shell mixture. Microwave 30 seconds, then stir until glossy.

To serve the cake, beat the heavy cream with a mixer until foamy. Add the sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Remove the cake from the freezer; invert onto a baking sheet and unmold, then invert again onto a platter, chocolate shell-side up.

Cut the cake in half lengthwise using a warm knife, then cut into thirds crosswise to make 6 rectangles; cut each rectangle in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. Top each triangle with whipped cream, ice cream and the prepared chocolate sauce.

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Happy National American Beer Day!!! (Oct. 27th) – Beers that you should STOP drinking immediately!!!

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Here’s some harmful ingredients that are commonly found in beer:

  • GMO Corn Syrup
  • GMO Corn
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Fish Bladder
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Natural Flavors
  • GMO Sugars
  • Caramel Coloring
  • Insect-Based Dyes
  • Carrageenan
  • BPA
  • & lots more!

Here are the 8 beers that are commonly found in bars in United States that you should stop drinking immediately.

1. Newcastle Brown Ale

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The Newcastle beer has been found to contain caramel coloring. Class 3 and 4 caramel coloring is made from ammonia, which is classified as a carcinogen. “The one and only” beer with cancer causing qualities.

2. Budweiser

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One of the most popular beers, or most advertised is Budweiser. Budweiser contains genetically modified (GMO) corn. In 2007, Greenpeace discovered experimental GMO rice in Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) beer.

3. Corona Extra

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I used to love Corona’s commercials. They were so peaceful and relaxing. That is until I found out that the beer contains GMO Corn Syrup and Propylene Glycol. Propylene Glycol is controversial, and is said to may be potentially harmful to your health.

4. Miller Lite

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This is another very popular beer in America that contains GMOs. Miller Lite contains GMO corn and corn syrup. It’s “GMO time”.

5. Michelob Ultra

michelob-ultra-gmoLess popular but still readily available Michelob beer, should be eliminated from your choices. This beer has been found to contain a genetically modified sweetener (GMO dextrose).

6. Guinness

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Guinness is often praised for it’s smoothness.  However, several investigations proved that Guinness ingredients are quite disturbing. The beer  contains fish bladder and high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup has been long banned from many stores and drinks.

7. Coors Light

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Coors light is a drink that is very popular at bars and among college students.  Mostly because its cheap. The beer contains GMO corn syrup.

8. Pabst Blue Ribbon

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Pabst Blue Ribbon contains GMO corn and GMO corn syrup.

CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE ARTICLE AND HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES FOR BEER @

BEERS YOU SHOULD STOP DRINKING IMMEDIATELY

Poetry Mondays – Beer by Charles Bukowski

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Love is A Mad Dog From Hell

I don’t know how many bottles of beer

I have consumed while waiting for things

to get better

I dont know how much wine and whisky

and beer

mostly beer

I have consumed after

splits with women-

waiting for the phone to ring

waiting for the sound of footsteps,

and the phone to ring

waiting for the sounds of footsteps,

and the phone never rings

until much later

and the footsteps never arrive

until much later

when my stomach is coming up

out of my mouth

they arrive as fresh as spring flowers:

“what the hell have you done to yourself?

it will be 3 days before you can fuck me!” 

the female is durable

she lives seven and one half years longer

than the male, and she drinks very little beer

because she knows its bad for the figure.

while we are going mad

they are out

dancing and laughing

with horney cowboys.

well, there’s beer

sacks and sacks of empty beer bottles

and when you pick one up

the bottle fall through the wet bottom

of the paper sack

rolling

clanking

spilling gray wet ash

and stale beer,

or the sacks fall over at 4 a.m.

in the morning

making the only sound in your life.

beer

rivers and seas of beer

the radio singing love songs

as the phone remains silent

and the walls stand

straight up and down

and beer is all there is.

Love is a Dog From Hell

BLW Exclusive Interview w/ Senator John McCain about what he’s doing for Halloween

John McCain: An American Odyssey

Happy National Pumpkin Day!!! (Oct.26th) – Shopsin’s Pumpkin Pancakes

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Shopsin’s Pumpkin Pancakes

SERVES 8

INGREDIENTS

1¾ cups flour

3 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. ground allspice

1 cup canned pumpkin purée

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

6 tbsp. canola oil

Butter and maple syrup, for serving

Seasons Pumpkin Carving Power Tool Box

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, cloves, ginger, salt, and allspice. Add pumpkin, cream, milk, and eggs; whisk until smooth. 
  1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Using a ¼-cup measuring cup, pour batter into skillet to make three 3″ pancakes. Cook until bubbles begin to form on the edges, 1–2 minutes. Flip and cook until done, 1–2 minutes more. Repeat with remaining oil and pancake batter. Serve pancakes hot with butter and syrup.

Credit: Savuer

Dremel 7000-PK 6-Volt Pumpkin Carving Kit