Tag Archives: ‘Don’t
Like in any extreme survival situation, the early moments of Don’t Starve’s grueling-yet-fascinating struggle to stay alive are electric. Suddenly the clock is ticking. Confidence is high as you first explore a vast open-world wilderness teeming with danger. From trapping a rabbit for the first time to crafting an axe to chop precious firewood before nightfall, every minor accomplishment that keeps you ticking is immediately gratifying. But as the days draw on and dodging death’s icy grip gets harder, the rigors of this unflinchingly brutal roguelike adventure chip away at your patience.
Don’t Starve casts you in the unfortunate role of Wilson, a scientist who has been mysteriously transported to a strange and deadly world by a demon-gentleman. With little more than a quick greeting, your adversary vanishes, and you’re left alone to figure out how to stay alive. Story and dialogue are pretty minimal, aside from a few encounters in the super tough adventure mode, which is accessed by first locating a portal hidden in the randomly generated survival mode world. The hands-off nature of the story is a strength, allowing the heavy atmosphere and outstanding visual design of this grim land draw you in. There’s little time for dalliances anyway. A great many things in the game’s eerie world are out to kill you from the get-go.
Survival doesn’t come easy, but there’s an undeniable thrill to the challenge. Your first few minutes of exploration hinge on harvesting whatever basic resources you stumble upon: a few twigs, some flint, rocks, a handful of grass. Collect enough of these raw materials, and you can make an axe, a torch, rope, a spear, and other crucial tools that increase your chances of survival. Don’t Starve’s deep resource harvesting and crafting system brings previous open-world games like Minecraft and Terraria to mind, and it’s one of the game’s strongest hooks. Figuring out how to put each item you collect to good use is a fun process of experimentation. Basic items are relatively easy to cobble together with minimal materials, though creating science and alchemy stations also pushes you further down the crafting rabbit hole by unlocking tons of more elaborate item recipes to pursue. Of course, staying alive long enough to build everything is another story.
Dangers are frequently stacked against you in inventive and sometimes frustrating ways. Exploring, scavenging, harvesting resources, and building are best done in the day. Without a torch or a campfire to provide illumination when night falls, you will be torn to pieces by the demonic creatures that roam the darkness within seconds. Building a fire isn’t enough either. You have to have enough wood or other fuel sources to keep it lit throughout the night, which creates a constant state of near panic every time the twilight phase of the day/night cycle arrives. Getting caught without the necessary ingredients for a fire or ample burnable materials to last the night spells instant doom.
Changing seasons also usher in new problems to tackle. Live long enough, and winter rears its frosty head, bringing subzero temperatures that cause you bodily harm if you venture too far from a heat source. Admittedly, these interesting wrinkles add depth and additional difficulty to the already challenging survival mechanics at play. They sometimes tip the scale too far, however, particularly given the plentiful supply of other potentially life-ending obstacles thrown in your path.
THURSDAY March 21, 2013 — Only 11 percent of the estimated 79 million Americans who are at risk for diabetes know they are at risk, federal health officials reported Thursday.
The condition, known as prediabetes, describes higher-than-normal blood sugar levels that put people in danger of developing diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We have a huge issue with the small number of people who know they have it. It’s up a bit from when we measured it last, but it’s still abysmally low,” said report author Ann Albright, director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation.
“We need people to understand their risk and take action if they are at risk for diabetes,” Albright said. “We know how to prevent type 2 diabetes, or at least delay it, so there are things people can do, but the first step is knowing what your risk is — to know if you have prediabetes.”
Things that put people at risk for prediabetes include being overweight or obese, being physically inactive and not eating a healthy diet, Albright said. These people should see their doctor and have their blood sugar levels checked, she said.
There is also a genetic component, Albright said, which is why having a family history of diabetes is another risk factor. “Your genetics loads the gun, then your lifestyle pulls the trigger,” she said.
According to the report, published in the March 22 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the lack of awareness of prediabetes was the same across the board, regardless of income, education, health insurance or access to health care.
One expert found the numbers troubling.
“People don’t know about prediabetes, they don’t exercise, they don’t eat appropriate foods and we are going to have many more diabetics in the near future than we have now,” said Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
The danger of prediabetes is that it can progress to full-blown diabetes, with all the complications that condition entails, including heart, kidney, circulation and vision problems.
Albright noted that 30 percent or more of those with prediabetes will develop diabetes over the course of a decade.
The number of Americans with diabetes is already staggering. According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States — 8.3 percent of the population — have diabetes.
“The good news is we know there are things you can do to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes,” Albright said. “You can prevent or delay diabetes if you lose 5 percent to 7 percent of your body weight and get 150 minutes of physical activity a week.”
Another expert said it starts with what you eat.
Eating a healthy diet that limits sugars and carbohydrates is important, said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
Exercise and diet can reduce the risk of diabetes by about 58 percent, he said, and “giving the drug metformin can reduce the risk by 31 percent. Lifestyle changes, together with metformin, which the American Diabetes Association recommends for prediabetes, will be very effective.”
For more on diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association.
Posted: March 2013
PARIS (Reuters) – In a dingy Parisian back street, diners at a one-of-a-kind bistro tuck lustily into breaded horse brain, pan fried heart of horse and broiled cheek, along with prime rump steaks the chef cuts from the bone himself.
Seasoned aficionados queuing at one of the few horse butchers left in Paris say they prefer theirs raw as minced “tartare”, pepped up with olive oil, lemon juice and pepper.
If the thought of having eaten Romanian cart horses in mislabeled frozen lasagne is making Britons choke, a loyal minority in France laments a dwindling appetite for a meat they say is a tastier and healthier alternative to beef.
“I understand people are upset if what they thought was beef turned out to be old Romanian ponies, but when horses are reared properly it’s a delicious meat,” said Gerard Marin, 67, at his weekly visit to one of a dozen surviving horse butchers in a city that 30 years ago counted hundreds.
“It’s much tastier than beef and has much less fat. Young people today eat nothing but processed meals, kebabs and other rubbish – they don’t know what they’re missing.”
France’s taste for horsemeat dates back to when 18th Century revolutionaries seized the fallen aristocracy’s horses to sate their hunger. It flourished for two centuries until falling out of fashion with a more squeamish younger generation.
The French now consume less than 300 grams (0.66 lbs) per person per year, a fifth of what they ate 30 years ago and less than 1 percent of the total meat they consume.
While fans say horsemeat is high in iron and more organic than mass-produced beef or battery hens, horse butchers are now a rarity. Le Taxi Jaune bistro in the labyrinthine Marais district is one of a tiny handful of Paris eateries serving it.
Another restaurant, Septime, occasionally serves it as raw tartare accompanied with wild strawberries and tarragon cream.
“I don’t serve easy dishes. But you come to a restaurant to eat something different,” said Otis Lebert, Le Taxi Jaune’s head chef, who also works with wild boar and whole ducks, and serves locally sourced vegetables that change with the month.
His horse brain starter has a subtly sweet flavor, while the steak has a hint of gaminess and a slightly metallic tang.
Finely-sliced cured horse sausage is also on offer.
“My clients know I take care to buy fresh meat and debone it myself. I never work with pre-packed meat. What shocks me is the way food wholesalers are taking people for a ride.”
BLOODY IS BEST
Overruling a 732 Papal ban, France legalized the eating of horsemeat in 1866 when poor families struggled to afford pork and beef. Many more were forced to eat it when the 1870-71 Prussian Siege of Paris caused severe meat shortages.
Today many French are sentimental about horses and regard eating horsemeat as something their grandparents did, much like the British think of eating pigs trotters, tripe or wild rabbit.
Yet as anger grows over the discovery that ready meals on sale across Europe contained horsemeat rather than the beef described on the label, some say that view is short-sighted.
They point out that horsemeat carries 110 calories per 100 grams compared to 160 calories for beef and contains far more cholesterol-lowering omega-3 fatty acids.
As long as it is not shipped pre-packed in plastic, where its high iron content means it oxidizes faster than beef and can turn acidic, they say it tastes better and is more tender.
“I never buy beef. I prefer horse meat, it tastes better and it’s cheaper,” said Catherine Clerc, 42, who claims to have converted friends after cooking them horse roasts at home.
She buys horse meat weekly from a local market and likes it best as raw tartare, but otherwise serves it rare with potatoes, garlic and salad.
“I like it really bloody,” she whispered.
A 37-year-old karate expert queuing behind Marin at the horse butcher, which sports two neon horse heads above its door, said he finds horse meat lighter to digest.
“I’m very sporty. Beef sits heavy on my stomach. Horse meat is less fatty, it goes down better,” he said.
He is dreading the day this butcher’s shop closes, he said.
Butcher Jocelyne Lamire, 63, says her daughters have office jobs and she supposes her shop will end up as a takeaway food joint or clothing outlet like the nine other butchers that have closed in her street in the past few years.
“My clientele is getting older and it’s not being renewed,” she said, as an assistant hacked at chunks of horse flesh with a cleaver. “People nowadays don’t shop at traditional butchers. They spend their money on takeaway junk that is not nutritious.”
(Reporting by Catherine Bremer; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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SATURDAY Feb. 9, 2013 — Children with autism are five times more likely than other kids to have feeding issues, such as being especially picky eaters or having ritualistic behaviors or extreme tantrums during meals, new research finds.
These problems can lead to deficiencies in calcium, protein and other nutrients, according to the study, which was published online this month in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Healthy eating promotes a child’s growth and development, and mealtimes provide important opportunities for children to socialize, the researchers noted. Chronic feeding troubles increase a child’s risk for problems such as malnutrition, poor growth, social difficulties and poor school performance.
The researchers added that there is growing evidence that feeding problems and dietary patterns among children with autism may put them at increased risk for long-term health problems such as poor bone growth, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
“The results of this study have broad implications for children with autism,” study author William Sharp, an assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, said in a university news release.
“It not only highlights the importance of assessing mealtime concerns as part of routine health care screenings, but also suggests the need for greater focus on diet and nutrition in the autism community,” added Sharp, who also is a behavioral pediatric psychologist in the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta.
Sharp said that despite the risk of long-term medical issues, feeding problems often are overlooked in relation to other areas of concern in the autism population.
“Our findings have immediate and important implications for the work of practitioners serving children and families with autism, who in the absence of such information may struggle to address parents’ concerns, or, worse, may fill the void with alternative treatments that may be ill-conceived or even harmful to children and families,” Sharp explained.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about autism.
Posted: February 2013
New Poll Says Americans Don’t Want Marijuana Users, Growers And Sellers Arrested In States Where It Is Legal
Joe | Feb 01, 2013 | Comments 0
A new Reason-Rupe poll shows some very interesting numbers from respondents nationwide when it comes to marijuana in the states where it is legal for recreational purposes.
In states like Colorado and Washington that have legalized marijuana for adults, 72% of poll respondents believe that cannabis users should not be targeted by the federal government. Among those who approve of the job President Obama is doing, this number rises to 77%.
When it comes to cannabis growers in states where marijuana is legal, 68% of respondents to the poll said they should not be arrested by the feds either.
What about those who sell marijuana is Colorado and Washington? 64% say the federal government should lay off them as well. That a large majority in all three areas.
The same poll also finds that 53% of Americans think marijuana should be treated like alcohol, with 45% against that notion. In all cases, Democrats and Independents were more favorable to marijuana law reform than Republicans. Overall, 47% say they favor legalization for recreational marijuana use, while 49% oppose it, a margin within the poll’s margin of error.
The tipping point has been passed, the dam has been broken; however you want to phrase it, marijuana legalization proponents clearly have the political and practical momentum. It is now up to advocates to capitalize on that momentum and bring cannabis freedom to people in more states.