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Wednesday

Viral food video asks: What do 2000 calories look like?



Counting calories can be a real drag … or it can be clever and cute and comical. 

A musical video, posted by BuzzFeed, takes this mundane matter and makes it nearly merry. At the same time, the food images prompt viewers to evaluate food choices pictorially.

If you're counting calories, would you rather eat a couple of gooey cinnamon rolls or a giant pile of carrots? (Don’t answer that.)

The video concept originated with a Wise Geek article, titled “What Does 200 Calories Look Like?” BuzzFeed uploaded the video to YouTube on March 25.


Within a couple of hours, hundreds of thousands of YouTube users watched the mini movie, which runs just under two minutes (1:52).

Nearly 4,000 “likes” piled up faster than you can say, "Make that a double cheeseburger with extra cheese and deep-fried onions."

Take a look:
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Color me curious.

I have to wonder. How many Oreo Cookies add up to 2000 calories? How about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bagel dogs, and Klondike Bars?

And, with Easter just around the corner, how do Jelly Belly jelly beans, Solid milk chocolate bunny rabbits, and Marshmallow Peeps stack up against that 2,000-calorie pile of carrots?

Related Items:
Image/s:
Video Screenshot
Fair Use

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Saturday

Gardening tips: How to pot plants without leaking soil



Spring planting time is coming! Are you starting those seedlings already?


Once you’re ready to transfer those sweet little flower, herb, or vegetable plants into patio pots, how can you prevent precious potting soil from slipping out of the bottom of your garden containers?

The solution is simple – and eco-friendly too!


Save a few old newspapers, magazines, or mail-order gardening tool and supply catalogs. Just be sure they are printed with environmentally-friendly inks.

Tear off a piece of paper to fit in the bottom of each of your planting pots, covering the drainage openings in the bottom.

Pour in the potting soil mix, and plant as usual. The paper will keep the soil in the container and help to minimize fast water run-out as well, but still allow drainage. Eventually, the paper will dissolve, but by then, each potted plant should be well-established.

Happy spring planting!


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Image/s:
Potted Geraniums by ASchaeffer
MorgueFile

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Sunday

Will Chicagoland's $1 cig tax increase lead to Windy City smoking cessation?



Don’t hold your breath, anti-smoking crusaders.

As of March 1st, cigarette sales in Cook County, Illinois, include an extra $1 per pack in taxes. Supposedly, the county coffers are expected to draw in an extra $25.6 million annually from the increase.

Gasp!

I admit it. I don’t smoke.

OK, as a teen, I may have once anted up 40 cents on a dare for a pack of smokes with a bunch  of classmates. I may have plunked the coins into a cigarette vending machine in a dark entryway to a truck stop restaurant on a junior high school field trip to the State Capitol. (Yes, it was a long time ago.)

But I never inhaled. (Bet you’ve heard that before.)

Cigarette costs don’t affect me directly, but they could impact plenty of folks we know and love. Today, a pack of cigarettes may cost $7 to $10 or more, depending upon tobacco brand, purchasing location, and applicable taxes.

Groups like Tobacco-Free Kids have expressed their hopes that the new Cook County cigarette tax increase would deter youngsters from starting to smoke. Others hope existing tobacco lovers will simply stop smoking.

We all know smoking is dangerous and unhealthy. Maybe this will be the last straw, at least in Chicagoland, and cause a few would-be smokers to see the light.

Still, smokers can be a determined lot.

Will smokers quit or pay the extra tax?

Gee, for $7 to $10, a smoker could skip the pack of cigs and pick up something healthier, like a fast-food cheeseburger and fries or a couple of drive-through tacos.

No, wait. I meant fresh fruit and vegetables. (Sure, I did.)

Perhaps the issue is clouded by geography.

After all, smokers may choose to travel to neighboring counties or across state lines to buy their smokes a bit cheaper. They might order them online. If they do, Cook County tobacco taxes (and retail revenues from cigarette sales) may go up in a puff of … well, you know.

Related Items:
  • Info 101: Sticking It to Cigarettes – by Carol Josel. I lit my first cigarette at the age of six, and, of course, quickly tossed it red-hot into a trash can. It never occurred to me that that I could have burned down an entire Brooklyn apartment building. Unfortunately, though, my fascination with cigarettes didn’t end there.
  • U.S. Surgeon General Says 1st and 2nd-hand Tobacco Smoke Causes Immediate Damage – by Linda Ann Nickerson. 1st- and 2nd-hand tobacco smoke causes immediate harm, according to a December 9th U.S. Surgeon General report. This is the 30th Surgeon General report to warn about the health dangers of tobacco.
  • Study Finds Cigarette Addiction Related to Wiring in Brain – by Teresa Tanoos. A new study reports that addiction to cigarettes and other drugs may result from abnormal wiring in the brain. According to researchers in the study, two areas in the brain work together to turn cravings for cigarettes and other drugs on or off, depending on the drug’s availability.
  • How Smoking Negatively Affects Your Skin – by Rena Sherwood. Smoking has been linked to psoriasis, premature wrinkles, acne and skin cancers. It's no secret that smoking tobacco products cause a variety of potentially deadly health problems for vital organs such as the lungs and heart. But did you know that smoking is bad for the largest organ in your body -- your skin? Take a look.

Image/s:
Smoker by Intuitives 
Stock.Xchng Photos

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Saturday

Rappin' up parenthood still schools moms and dads with humor



Is parenting funny?

Often, it seems to be. From diapers to driving lessons, raising kids can be comical.

At least, folks who stop to consider the frequent foibles, mishaps, and perplexities of the process may find parent humor at nearly every turn. Sure, mothers and fathers can become exasperated, frustrated, and simply exhausted at times.

But it’s not hard to uncover ironic, comical, or downright hilarious opportunities to smile at precocious kids, chuckle over childish views of the world, or even laugh at ourselves while parenting.

Maybe you’ve seen “The Parent Rap.”
 
No, not "The Parent Trap." It's "The Parent Rap."

If you have young children at home, you probably live it. Take a look … and a listen.

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Blame it on Bart?

“The Simpsons” actually aired an episode titled “The Parent Rap,” as the Thirteenth Season premiere of the sarcastic Fox TV animated series in November 2001.

Can’t keep up with “The Parent Rap” lyrics?


“The Parent Rap” was created by Bluefish TV, an outreach of RightNow Ministries, a Christian organization based in Richardson, Texas.

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Chicago schools to begin sex ed with kindergartners - A new sex education program has blown through the Windy City’s public school system, clearing the way for reproductive curriculum as early as kindergarten, at least in Chicago.

A Parent Puzzles at 12 Planking Alternatives - Planking isn’t the first fad to come and go. In fact, it’s not nearly the funniest or cleverest. Take a look at a dozen forms of planking. What’s next? A parent has to ask.

Teen boys: 20 ways to unimpress her parents immediately - Dating among teenagers and young adults changes with each generation, but basic parental expectations tend to still prevail. What mother or father wasn’t once a teenager, trying to navigate the complexities of the adolescent social scene?

Top Ten Tackiest Turnoffs when Talking with Adoptive Families - What is the most common complaint among adoptive parents? The adoption process can be challenging. Still, the biggest challenge adoptive parents face may be tacky questions and remarks they receive, often from seemingly well-meaning people.

Image/s:
Parent Rap
Video screenshot – fair use

Feel free to follow on Google Plus and Twitter. You are also invited to join this writer's fan page, as well as the Chicago Etiquette Examiner, Madison Holidays Examiner, Equestrian Examiner and Madison Equestrian Examiner on Facebook.


 

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