Monday, May 28, 2012

Space Dragons, New Species, Freezer, Losing Weight, Chia.

Happy Memorial Day to all my friends in the US. I hope you don't have too much that is sad to remember and can recall all the good things this day can also mean to you.

Fascinating article over the weekend about the privately funded Dragon supply canadarm and dragonship taking supplies to the space station. Glenda Larke commented that sci fi and science were coming together. You can look at that two ways, Dragons (as in creatures) and space stations, or the subjects written by sci fi writers now coming true. Nasa having backed off a lot of space research and technology, private companies were very much needed to fill the gap. There was a recent report on one company which is planning to mine asteroids for their abundance of materials. All of this is very much what sci fi writers have been writing about for years. I just wish some of them were still around to see what is happening today, especially one of my favourites, Isaac Asimov. The picture shows the Canadarm2 pulling the unmanned SpaceX Dragon to the space station. There are some fascinating shots accompanying the article. This picture is from NASA.

Another fascinating series about the top 10 new species discovered in 2011. One Sneezing Monkeyof which is a monkey called the Sneezing Monkey because of its tendency to sneeze when it rains!!! This animal was found in Burma and is believed to be a highly endangered species. Then there is the fruity smelling mushroom which they have called Spongebob Square Pants which was found Yellow Poppyin Malaysia. The picture is apparently a photo reconstruction of the monkey. There are more photos on the site which can be seen here including, of course, the Spongebob mushroom. It is always incredible to me that we are still discovering new species after all the scientific exploration which has been taking place for so long. I am surprised there is anything left to discover. Another discovery is the Meconopsis autumnalis which is a yellow poppy which grows in the high mountain regions of Nepal in areas which are seldom visited. The pictures are from Arizona State University.

Freezers-Frosted_Up_Freezer1Saturday – one of my least favourite jobs, defrosting the freezer. Actually it wasn’t too bad this time thanks goodness. Used to be easy when living in NC, the freezer was in the shed – we unloaded it and just turned it off and left the door open, defrosted in no time at all – in summer of course. We have to use a lot of towels in an apartment otherwise water would get everywhere. What I don’t understand, if they can make a fridge with a freezer on top that is frost free, why on earth can’t they make a whole freezer frost free? Not that I would ever let our freezer get this frozen up. In the first place, you lose most of the room and in the second place the appliance has to work twice as hard to keep things frozen.
I have a blogger friend who has just won a dieting book. I am receiving inspirational emails from a losing weight source, several people I know have gone to the Scalesextremes of having lap bands or tummy tucks or whatever in an effort to become slimmer. There are hundreds of diet plans, diet foods, exercise places, you name it; after struggling with my weight since I was a child, I have come to the conclusion that none of these things work, or at least, not forever. At least one girl I know decided to have a second operation and nearly died this time. Today she is the same large size as she ever was. I forgot about the friend who had lipo suction. She looked good - for a while. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, there is really and truly only one way to do it. Get your head in gear and start eating sensibly. DO NOT eat more than your body uses on a daily basis. If you are eating a sensible balance of all the food groups, and you are not losing weight, you need to cut back a little, not a lot, but enough to encourage your system not to store the excess. YOU and only YOU can control your weight. I hasten to point out that this is purely and simply MY opinion and only based on observation and experience not on medical fact.

Chia PetsI have been seeing a lot about Chia seeds lately and how good they are for you, better than Flax apparently. Yes, the very same Chia seeds that you spread all over your Chia Pets. One and the same. Who knew? I’ve linked to an article on the top ten benefits of Chia Seeds, think I will have to get myself some. They help control hunger and balance blood sugar apparently. No, I’ve never heard of Pinole, but they say you can use cornmeal and that is easily obtained.

Vegan Pinole-Chia Waffles
ByThe No Meat Athlete
WebMD Recipe from

These aren’t just any vegan waffle -- they’re based on the diet of the Tarahumara, vegan_pinole_chia_wafflesa Mexican tribe of super-athlete ultra-marathoners. Even if you’re not out to run the marathon in record time, these are super tasty, great for a sweet tooth, and dense with nutrients and foods lacking in junk.
3/4 cup medium to finely ground cornmeal or pinole
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup oats, ground
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup hemp milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
If starting with cornmeal instead of pinole, toast it lightly in a pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until it is lightly browned and fragrant. If you are using real pinole, grind in a coffee grinder to make into a fine-textured flour.
Preheat waffle iron.
Stir together the cornmeal, chia, ground oats, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix together the applesauce, hemp milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. (The coconut oil needs to be at warm temperature or warmer to mix, so you may need to microwave it to get it to a liquid state.)
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry to combine into a smooth batter. Spray the waffle iron with baking spray even if it is nonstick, and pour batter into hot iron. Follow the directions of your waffle iron, or wait until the iron stops steaming.
Carefully remove waffles from iron, re-spray the waffle iron with cooking spray, and repeat. This was enough batter to fill my waffle iron two and a half times, making 5 small waffles.
To enjoy immediately, top with maple syrup and the fruits of your choice. Alternatively, slice into bars, freeze and take on your next run.
Total Servings: 4

Have a great day,


  1. Think the changes in space exploration are exciting. No problem with letting private companies take over.
    And if you used to live in the Carolinas I hope you moved someplace less humid. Because it was sticky here today!

    1. Oh, where do you live Alex? We lived on the coast and loved it there.

      Yes, I do so agree with your about space, it is all so very exciting, I just wish I would be around long enough to see a lot more of what is happening. I wonder if the mined asteroids will be turned into habitats à la Peter F. Hamilton. Of course they would have to be run by Sentient computers.