Keurig descale again

Dude I had to descale my keurig again! Man either the water in my area is full of crap or damn I don’t know.
It seems like once a month I’m pouring vinegar through and cleaning off a white scum material. Gross.

Pour vinegar in the reservoir, let it sit, rub scum off filter and sides, rinse out.
If necessary run the vinegar through the machine… However, don’t use that water for coffee until vinegar is totally gone…. Coffee and vinegar don’t mix well at all! Yuck!

Coconut coco cream pie

A cup of puréed sweetened coconut
2 splashes of vanilla
2 big dashes of cinnamon
3 eggs
2-3 cups of heavy whipping cream
A bit of powdered sugar
A lot of powdered coco
2 graham cracker pie crusts

Mix in mixer until thickening

Pour in the crusts
Bake at 350 until done. ( looks porous over the entire top) about 30-50 minutes (I kept adding time)
Cool
Refrigerate
Add whipped cream on top
Yum

This was an experiment. For being an experiment with no set recipe it was pretty good.

Coconut muffins from smitten kitchen

These would probably divine when paired with a nutty coffee….

http://smittenkitchen.com/2012/02/double-coconut-muffins/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+smittenkitchen+%28smitten+kitchen%29

Double Coconut Muffins

Although these are a fine muffin, fragrant with coconut and filled with a dense, moist crumb as written below, the potential for adaptation is almost endless. First, you could make them triple coconut muffins (and dairy free) by using coconut milk instead of yogurt, but I do like the texture that the tangy yogurt imparts and these muffins have no lack of coconut flavor. You could make mango-coconut muffins by adding a cup or so of diced mango chunks to the batter; pina colada muffins would use the same volume of pineapple chunks. You could replace the yogurt with mashed banana or banana puree to make a banana-coconut muffin and if you’re into that whole lime-in-the-coconut thing, you could add a teaspoon of lime zest. Chocolate chips? (1 cup), Macadamia nuts? (1/2 to 3/4 cup, toasted and chopped)… Really, I’m just getting started.

If your yogurt and egg are not at room temperature, they will re-solidify the coconut oil, which is fine for baking but makes the batter quite thick and difficult to stir, like a cookie batter. (Uh, see my photos above.) But, it all works out. It’s much easier, however, if you let the ingredients warm up.

Yield: 10 standard muffins, though this seems off to me and I suspect that some of you will tell me you made a dozen (as I’d expected to).

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup full fat Greek-style yogurt, at room temperature is best
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature is best
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, divided

Preheat oven to 375°F. Either grease 10 muffin cups with butter or coconut oil, or line them with papers.

[Oh, you’re out of paper liners too? Cut parchment paper into 5-inch squares and form them into your empty muffin cups, pressing any creases flat. They won’t stay put until you fill them with batter, and you should make sure you push that batter down so it gets into the corners, but otherwise, they should work as well as the real deal.]

In a small saucepan, warm your coconut oil just until it melts. It should still be on the cool side.

In a medium bowl, whisk together your flours, baking powder and salt. Stir 1/2 cup shredded coconut. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, coconut oil, yogurt and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients until just combined. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups then sprinkle the top with remaining 1/4 cup coconut, about 1 to 2 tablespoons on each.

Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out batter-free, about 20 minutes. Transfer muffins to a rack and let cool.

More questions on male circumcision and HIV

http://www.newsday.co.zw/article/2012-02-26-more-questions-on-male-circumcision–and-hiv-prevention/

More questions on male circumcision and HIV prevention
TAPIWA GOMO | 2012-02-26 17:02:00

In July 2010 I wrote an article questioning the promotion of male circumcision as one of the methods to reduce HIV transmission.
My doubts were based on loads of literature which I had gleaned through trying to make sense of how cutting the foreskin would reduce transmission of HIV.

In fact some of the literature I read at that time suggested the foreskin was not there by accident as it has its role in protecting the gland.

In addition, until 2007 most non-governmental organisations were discouraging the practice as they thought it promoted the spread of the virus.

So I wondered why the sudden change. In 2007 the World Health Organisation-UNAids had recommended male circumcision as an HIV preventive measure based on three sub-Saharan African randomised clinical trials in female-to-male sexual transmission in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.

As usual like many other externally driven campaigns, money poured in and queues formed to chop the poor foreskin off the gland. That mothers were giving birth in their rural clinics and that children were dying due to lack of healthcare, did not matter.

The mans foreskin had to go, thanks to several donors who had made it their responsibility to drive a global health agenda.

When I wrote the article in 2010, the response was overwhelming but mixed. Those who were cashing in on the circumcision campaigns thought I was killing their cash-cow. Of course salaries and allowances were earned, but we may have to regret that decision.

Others especially men were in support of my arguments. I was not against circumcision per se, but I questioned its link with HIV prevention and how donors were fashioning in it our lives. Yes, most of those in the industry took it up as gospel and ran with it.

My proposal then was, we must do more locally-driven research. I challenged our own doctors and the government to look into this issue before it was made public policy.

The few doctors I consulted in South Africa had not given me a positive approval of circumcision as a barrier to HIV transmission.

In fact, some predicted a backlash, while others advised one can get circumcised for other reasons, but not associated with HIV prevention. So if medical practitioners are differing in their private corners and do not endorse the practice, then who can?

Until recently, this year to be precise, Malawi is the only country that had stood firm against circumcision for HIV prevention demanding more research before rolling out male circumcision.

Perhaps they succumb not because they now believed in it, but they have been on the wrong side of the Western donor world.

However, in a recent study published in December last year (just over a month ago) by Thomson Reuters (Australia), the authors, Gregory Boyle and George Hill are challenging the validity of the earlier claims circumcision prevents HIV transmission.

Their argument is based on a recent male-to-female sexual transmission of HIV study in Uganda which, contrary to the earlier claim, shows that circumcision actually increases male-to-female transmission of HIV.

In the male-to-female trial women were more exposed to HIV since some of the male sexual partners subjected to circumcision were already HIV positive. Over the years females have been at risk of contracting HIV as the male circumcision programme conferred overall benefits to women.

And in Zimbabwe, circumcision was believed to be an invisible condom and so many people fell for that.

A Uganda trial which sought to test whether male circumcision could reduce male-to-female transmission was stopped prematurely because 25 (17 male circumcision group) previously uninfected women became HIV positive, concluding that male circumcision could be associated with a 61% increase in HIV transmission.

The study reveals absolute reduction in HIV transmission associated with male circumcision across the three female-to-male trials in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda was only 1,3%, relative reduction was reported as 60%, but after correction for lead-time bias, averaged 49%.

The study further cautions that condom use is still essential after circumcision for HIV prevention. This questions the purpose of circumcision if condom use is still needed to prevent sexual transmission of HIV. So who was fooling who?

In fact, the study closes down on any further research into circumcision and HIV sexual transmission as epidemiological data has provided definitive evidence of effectiveness of male circumcision within a given population.

Available epidemiological data in several sub-Saharan African countries such as Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, Swaziland and Tanzania show male circumcision does not provide protection against HIV sexual transmission as most of these countries have higher prevalence rates among circumcised men.

As usual Africa is an easy target for testing models and seemingly, nobody cares about human consequences of those studies.

And again, Africans for their gullibility, will have exposed their people to models which have not been tested and approved by their own professionals.

And again, it seems where there is money and other benefits, we are willingly submit ourselves to anything even when we know we are not sure.

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My boogie

We were so happy when we found out we were pregnant with Sam. I’d previously had a miscarriage and prayed for a baby. I told God if I became pregnant again I’d name a boy Samuel or a girl Ruth. (look up their stories in the bible).
This time we waited until I was almost 12 weeks along to tell anyone we were pregnant.
Sam was born after 10pm on feb 27,2007 after labor being induced due to high blood pressure and possible preeclampsia. This little boy was a hungry bird and was a 24/7 nurser. Didn’t like back sleeping or driving in the car. Grouchy and totally lovable when he wasn’t playing at 2 am. With him I found some of my closest mommy friends.
Stubborn, hardheaded and so much like me, he is my blessing….and my burden…(hahaha) Through his being here, he has caused me to challenge myself, and my presumptions. He’s my boogie.
Ok gag me now I’ve become way too sentimental… Barf! Cough… Gag… Puke…
He’s a brat! He’s my brat! I love him!
Much better!

Youtube: man speaks about doing his first newborn circumcision

http://m.youtube.com/?rdm=4phc78hd1&reload=3#/watch?desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DF7DgceWbsSY%26feature%3Dyoutu.be&feature=youtu.be&v=F7DgceWbsSY&gl=US

What happened today…

As a medical student at America’s oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, I was happy to be on the obstetrics rotation. While still in college, I had heard an obstetrician speak enthusiastically about his optimistic specialty. So now I was enjoying helping to bring babies into the world. While professors provided good background information in formal lectures, my real teachers were residents only a few years older than I was. They took turns talking me through normal deliveries.

Almost every doctor can recall the joy of delivering a healthy normal infant. This joy was shattered one day when one of the residents said, “There are some circumcisions that need to be done, go and do them.” At the time I guess I knew what a circumcision was, but that was about it. I had certainly learned nothing about the subject in medical school. Obediently, I proceeded to the newborn nursery, where another medical student was already waiting. I felt nervous, and he looked quite nervous, too. Strapped to a board on the long counter in front of each of us was a bawling male infant. Beside the infant was a surgical tray filled with instruments. Imagine our consternation when we found there was no one to tell us what to do. Obediently, we put on surgical gowns, then surgical gloves. Then we began to try to figure out how to use what I later learned was a Gomco Clamp.

As far as I know, I made a fairly neat job of it. But my abiding memory of that day is of my colleague. He was one of the more brilliant members of our class, and was planning to become a radiologist. As for surgery, forget it. He was all thumbs. I still remember him, standing beside me, fumbling with the complicated instruments, proceeding to use them on the helpless penis before him, all the while just shaking his head!

I look back on the only time I have ever performed any circumcisions with regret and resentment. I resent having had no opportunity to study circumcision in medical school or to consider whether I thought it a treatment for anything. I resent the resident commanding me to do it, while offering no further guidance or help. In fact, I was treated just as the medical profession treats innocent new parents today. Doctors tell them a circumcision needs to be done. Before the new parent has time to consider, it is all over. Then it is too late to say no, and everyone has to live with the consequences. I was a medical student, so a lot of the responsibility was mine. I clearly violated, all in one instant, the Golden Rule (I certainly would not have wanted that done to me), the major tenet of medical practice, First, Do No Harm, and all seven principles of the American Medical Association’s Code of Ethics. Mind you, I did not realize it then, just as unwary medical students do not realize it today. Now I know there are no valid medical indications for routine neonatal circumcision. I realize much harm can be done, evidenced by the thousands of men who have written their testimony and who have told me personally of the harm done to them. Now I also realize that I violated my patient’s basic human right to enjoy his entire body intact, while all he could do was scream his tiny head off. That was some years ago, but it might just as well have been last year.

The United States is the only country in the world that, for no religious reason, severs part of the penis from the majority of its newborn males. I speak out in the hope that many parents and doctors will read this before getting swept into the cultural madness of routine neonatal circumcision. What should one do if called upon to consent to or to perform circumcisions? Just say NO! In so doing, you will be taking the only ethical position there is on this issue.

HIV- msn-

In men, circumcision removes the majority of these Langerhans cells. These Langerhans cells actually attack and can destroy the HIV virus…. Sooo if circumcision removes this ….???????

http://health.msn.com/health-topics/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100157237#scptm2

MONDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) — Researchers have discovered that cells in the mucosal lining of human genitalia produce a protein that “eats up” invading HIV — possibly keeping the spread of the AIDS more contained than it might otherwise be.

Even more important, enhancing the activity of this protein, called Langerin, could be a potent new way to curtail the transmission of the virus that causes AIDS, the Dutch scientists added.

Langerin is produced by Langerhans cells, which form a web-like network in skin and mucosa. This network is one of the first structures HIV confronts as it attempts to infect its host.

However, “we observed that Langerin is able to scavenge viruses from the surrounding environment, thereby preventing infection,” said lead researcher Teunis Geijtenbeek, an immunologist researcher at Vrije University Medical Center in Amsterdam.

“And since generally all tissues on the outside of our bodies have Langerhans cells, we think that the human body is equipped with an antiviral defense mechanism, destroying incoming viruses,” Geijtenbeek said.

The finding, reported in the March 4 online issue of Nature Medicine, “is very interesting and unexpected,” said Dr. Jeffrey Laurence, director of the Laboratory for AIDS Virus Research at the Weill Cornell Medical College, in New York City. “It may explain part of the relative inefficiency of HIV in being transmitted.”

Even though HIV has killed an estimated 22 million people since it was first recognized more than 25 years ago, it is actually not very good at infecting humans, relatively speaking.

For example, the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, is nearly 100 percent infectious, Laurence noted. That means that every encounter with the sexually transmitted virus will end in infection.

“On the other hand, during one episode of penile-vaginal intercourse with an HIV-infected partner, the chance that you are going to get HIV is somewhere between one in 100 and one in 200,” Laurence said.

Experts have long puzzled why HIV is relatively tough to contract, compared to other pathogens. The Dutch study, conducted in the laboratory using Langerhans cells from 13 human donors, may explain why.

When HIV comes in contact with genital mucosa, its ultimate target — the cells it seeks to hijack and destroy — are immune system T-cells. But T-cells are relatively far away (in lymph tissues), so HIV uses nearby Langerhans cells as “vehicles” to migrate to T-cells.

For decades, the common wisdom was that HIV easily enters and infects Langerhans cells. Geijtenbeek’s team has now cast doubt on that notion.

Looking closely at the interaction of HIV and Langerhans cells, they found that the cells “do not become infected by HIV-1, because the cells have the protein Langerin on their cell surface,” Geijtenbeek said. “Langerin captures HIV-1 very efficiently, and this Langerin-bound HIV-1 is taken up (a bit like eating) by the Langerhans cells and destroyed.”

In essence, Geijtenbeek said, “Langerhans cells act more like a virus vacuum cleaner.”

Only in certain circumstances — such as when levels of invading HIV are very high, or if Langerin activity is particularly weak — are Langerhans cells overwhelmed by the virus and infected.

The finding is exciting for many reasons, not the least of which is its potential for HIV prevention, Geijtenbeek said.

“We are currently investigating whether we can enhance Langerin function by increasing the amount of Langerin on the cell surface of Langerhans cells,” he said. “This might be a real possibility, but it will take time. I am also confident that other researchers will now also start exploring this possibility.”

The discovery might also help explain differences in vulnerability to HIV infection among people.

“It is known that the Langerin gene is different in some individuals,” Geijtenbeek noted. “These differences could affect the function of Langerin. Thus, Langerhans cells with a less functional Langerin might be more susceptible to HIV-1, and these individuals are more prone to infection. We are currently investigating this.”

The finding should also impact the race to find topical microbicides that might protect women against HIV infection. Choosing compounds that allow Langerin to continue to work its magic will enhance any candidate microbicide’s effectiveness, the Dutch researcher said.

Laurence did offer one note of caution, however.

“In the test tube, this is a very important finding,” he said. “But there are many things in the test tube that don’t occur when you get into an animal or a human. Having said that, though, this is a very intriguing finding.”

More information

For more on the fight against HIV/AIDS, head to the Foundation for AIDS Research.

SOURCES: Teunis Geijtenbeek, Ph.D., department of molecular cell biology and immunology, Vrije University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Jeffrey Laurence, M.D., professor, medicine and director, Laboratory for AIDS Virus Research, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City; March 4, 2007, Nature Medicine online

how-old-do-you-have-to-be-to-have-human-rights/

yes, there are worst human right violations committed against others but at least this is one we can change.

how old for human rights: http://www.moralogous.com/2012/02/22/how-old-do-you-have-to-be-to-have-human-rights/

Babies most definitely qualify as specially vulnerable – they can neither speak nor act. Their inherent powerlessness makes them the most vulnerable members of society, which we recognize in every other aspect except for routine infant circumcision, and protect with child abuse laws.

And that brings me to the last point: are babies human beings, or not? Does their age make them have less rights? Is it just to abrogate their rights simply because they cannot speak nor act? Do males have fewer rights? Is it equitable to deny male babies the right to bodily integrity which females have enjoyed in this country since 1997? It is absolutely not. Commonly held perceptions of the comparative degree of harm of female and male circumcision are irrelevant: the only issue is basic rights and consent. Female circumcision is seen as beneficial in the cultures that practice it, yet is illegal under all conceptualizations of human rights law and U.S. law.

Lent

Ok, I grew up in a non-denominational church. There was no talking in tongues or miracle healing from laying of hands….(basically not a charismatic church)… But there also wasn’t Lenten observance, saints, confessions, Eucharistic mass or prayer books (it wasn’t a traditional church like catholic, episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist)
We had prayers from a speaker not a prayer book, there were songs, offerings, preachings and the bread and grape juice communions in remembrance of Jesus’ last supper, sacrifice, death and resurrection.

When I was 20, I moved to Miami. Away from the church going members of my family and away from my church home. I floundered about until after a couple failed romantic relationships I found my darling to be husband at around age 23. He was a Roman Catholic and a volunteer youth group leader. We met, dated, got engaged and then married by April 2005.
I had converted to Catholicism. I’d read books and attended the catechism classes and I agreed with or saw the point of many of their teachings.
Well we had children. Darling hubby got a masters degree in theology and slowly realized he didn’t believe some of the traditions of the roman catholic church so we started attending the episcopal church.
He found a home.
I was never very happy spiritually in the Catholic church. I’d grown up with loud hymns, many hymns, less procession, more preaching, more straight from the bible, less prayer book…..
Attending a mass in the Episcopal church isn’t much different from attending a mass at a Catholic church.
So far I feel spiritually bereft.
It doesn’t help that daily in bombarded by negativity and ignorance on parenting discussion boards.
Growing up, I never followed Lent, since being Catholic and then almost Episcopal I’ve tried half heartedly to observe Lent….
This yr, for Lent, for the next 30 days, I will avoid babycenter and my anti- circumcision fan pages so that I can heal spiritually from the emotional turmoil, and anger I get when dealing with people who don’t see circumcision for what it really is and from the melancholy that over takes me when I think about those poor boys.

I will still continue my blog but hopefully, it will be a little sunnier….

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Refreshing sangria-like drink

Ahhh today I made a nice refreshing sangria-like frozen drink

I blended
Blush (rose wine)
Frozen strawberries
Frozen peaches
Added wine to the consistency I wanted.
Added a splash of lemon line soda.

I personally like sweeter fruity wines so I used a blush but a light red or white will work
You can maybe try blending frozen mango and pineapple with a light sweet white…
Or cherries and blackberries with a red (remember with blackberries you will get seeds in your drink)

Vary you concoction based on your wine preferences… If you like very dry wines then blending frozen fruits into your wine may not be for you…

My mother in law buys an Italian Spumante (like champagne but made in Italy) that is mixed with peaches…
Slightly bubbly and divine.

Stone haus has an orange squeeze and a red muscadine wine that my hubby and I like. I wonder what
I could blend into those…..
I’m thinking strawberries…….
Although maybe some mango in the orange squeeze ….