Something to think about

This isn’t FA or HAES, but it’s something to think about.  I recieved it in my email this morning, fact-checked it through, and thought I’d pass it on.


Joshua Bell, world reknown violin virtuoso

Joshua Bell, world reknown violin virtuoso


Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.
4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk…
6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again…
10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.
45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed.. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in  Boston  where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by theWashington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people ‘ s priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
 One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:  If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made … How many other things are we missing?


As promised — Lemon Curd Recipe

I do apologize for not knowing anything other than US measurements for baking and cooking.

3 large lemons (or 6 small ones)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs + 1 extra egg yolk
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (and yes, it does have to be real butter, margarine doesn’t work)
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Zest one whole lemon.  Juice all the lemons and add the juice, the zest, and sugar in a non-reactive pan.  Stir until all is combined, and then heat until the sugar is no longer granular (not quite at boiling).  Take off heat and let cool.  Meanwhile, whisk all the eggs and extra egg yolk together, along with the cream until well beaten.   Cut the butter into smallish cubes.  Once the lemon mixture is not so hot (but still warm) add a small bit to the egg mixture to temper the eggs.  Add the tempered eggs into the pan, along with the butter.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is all melted and the curd thickens up.

Take off heat and put the curd through a strainer to strain out all the solids (stray seeds, the zest, etc).  Store in the refrigerator for a week.  Or, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.

This produces about a pint of lemon curd.  It’s a bit on the tart side, so if you like sweeter, add a bit more sugar.

This can be served with pound cake, as a filling for a layer cake, as a dipping sauce for shortbread cookies, in mini pie shells as tartlets, as filling for thumbprint cookies …  If you think of other things to serve it with, let me know!  I’ve heard of putting it into plain yogurt, but I’ve never had enough Lemon Curd left over to try it in my morning yogurt!  One of these days…

Oh, this recipe can be doubled, but to try and make more than one double recipe at a time will result in burning, no matter how careful you are.  At least, it always has for me.

It’s really not about health

I’ve been seeing a few things lately on gastric banding.  Namely, a couple good posts over at Fat Lot of Good.  Specifically, these two posts. 

I personally know two people right now who’ve undergone gastric banding.  One person is my husband’s cousin, the other is a friend from the SCA.  Both people are great people, both were morbidly obese.  One (my SCA friend) was in the “OMG You’re going to die RIGHT NOW you fatty fat fat person!” range.

Both have had the surgery.  Conall’s cousin had hers over a year ago, while my SCA friend just had his recently.

Yanno what?  The banding hasn’t worked for the cousin.  Yes, she lost a couple of pounds, but really, not enough to make any difference.  She’s still a “fatty fat fat” person.  She’s been in and had the band adjusted a few times (the first time the doctor did his best to make it the worst situation ever, she came back from there saying “It hurt so bad I’m never going back!”)  And she’s maybe lost 25 or 30 pounds.  Ever.  In over a year. 

She has side effects from the procedure.  She can’t eat “too fast” or she’ll have “productive burping” (and isn’t that a nice way to say vomiting).  If she eats something too rich (like my cheesecake on holidays, even two bites) she immediately has intense pain.  I’ve seen this happen.  She always has to be near a bathroom.  And she still has to take 20 bajillion vitamins a day so she doesn’t become malnourished.

My friend just had the surgery done this summer.  He’s still in the honeymoon period.  He’s finding out what he can and can’t eat, and how certain foods no longer like him.  Besides being told by his doctors that this (the gastric banding) was the only way to SAVE HIS LIFE, he buys into the whole “if I’m skinny, I’ll be happier” myth.  The problem is, if you are a depressed person while fat, you aren’t going to not be depressed just because you are skinny.   Yeah, I know, amazing concept there.

I have another friend, who has diabetes.  Due to circumstances (no money for meds, no insurance, no money for doctors) she was working hard at controlling her blood sugars by diet alone for a very long time.  She weighed in at the ‘overweight’ category but she was (and is still) fine with her body and whatever weight it is.  Her circumstances have changed, and she can now receive the medical attention she so desperately needed for so long.

She’s had some problems with the medications.  I won’t go into all of them, because it’s not my story to tell, but one of the problems is that her medications have caused her to gain weight.  Let me say this again:  Her medications have caused her to gain weight.

So, when she’s having other problems with the medications what does the endocrinologist suggest?  Finding a medication that doesn’t cause the problems the first one is?  No, he suggests gastric banding.  He tells her it could “cure her diabetes”.  You know, for the woman who had diabetes for years that she was (only semi-successfully) controlling via diet because she couldn’t afford a doctor.  For a woman who only gained the weight to be a super fatty fat fat woman AFTER being put on said medicines to help her diabetes.

Now, how exactly is causing her to starve going to cure her diabetes that developed when she was thinner and working at doing everything she could to control her diabetes via diet when she couldn’t afford doctors?

See, it really isn’t about health.  If it was, then the doctor would have listened when my friend said she was satisfied with her body, explained everything surrounding her weight gain (of which I believe this doctor at least saw some evidence of since she’d been going to see him) and found a real solution to her problem.

But, you know, we’re fat.  So it’s okay to threaten us, to frighten the living daylights out of us, and to entice us by saying being medically starved will cure diabetes.  Yanno, that last just might be true after all.  I mean, if you die of starvation, you don’t have diabetes anymore, right?

The punchline is priceless

Hi, y’all.  Remember me?  I know, it’s been a while.

First I was busy, insanely busy, then when that finally ended, I took a small break.  But I’m back now.  Did you miss me? 😉

I’m still busy (just not as insanely busy as before) and am about to leave the house (again), but I saw this online this morning.  I love the Cathy comic.  Always have.  Sometimes I become upset at her for what she’s doing.  Yes, I know, a cartoon character, but that shows how well the creator has done her job.

Anyway, today’s comic is awesome.

Cathy, by Cathy Guisewite, copywrite 2009

Cathy, by Cathy Guisewite, copywrite 2009