Friday, April 29, 2011

Amorphophallus conjac

I'm so excited! My Amorphophallus conjac is presenting not one bloom, but four this year! Click below for pictures from last year. I'll take pictures as the show commences in the coming weeks. Hopefully the weather will continue to cooperate with temperatures low enough to keep it from wilting quickly.

Amorphophallus conjac

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday Thirteen - Garlic

April 19th was National Garlic Day in the United States, and I’d like to celebrate that fact by sharing some. Thanks to Dilo Keith for letting me know of the obscure holiday!

1. The fear of garlic is alliumphobia.

2. Eating it reduces the buildup of plaque in arteries.

3. Consumption also lowers blood cholesterol levels according to some studies.

4. China produces over 77% of global output.

5. The compound known as allicin from crushed bulbs exhibits both antibacterial and antifungal properties.

6. Phytochemicals in garlic are believed to protect against stomach and colorectal cancers.

7. Eating garlic before mosque attendance is inappropriate according to Islamic views as subsequent bad breath may irritate fellow worshippers.

8. Parsley supposedly provides relief from garlic breath, but the reprieve is temporary at best.

9. The purported protection against evil such as vampires may be well known, but there is also a reverse Islamic myth that Satan’s left footprint sprouted garlic in the Garden of Eden.

10. Another name for garlic is “stinking rose” due to its strong odor.

11. All plants in the allium family can cause allergic reactions that range from the uncomfortable and disgusting to the dangerous, such as anaphylaxis.

12. Korean treatment of fermentation of the cloves within their skin creates black garlic that is soft, sweet, and mild (I recommend and have even snacked on the treat by itself).

13. Dating at least as far back as the time the Giza pyramids were built, garlic’s use as food and medicine covers thousands of years and countless cultures. Since that’s probably no surprise, as a bonus I’ll add that the most coveted type today originates in Syria.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday

Eye of the Beholder

The fight started like many others, with innocent mistake. In this case, Marko backed into a table while playing pool. One of two seated women squealed when a drink splashed her. The man next to her exploded out of his chair.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday Thirteen - Feel Good Movies

My partner brought up the idea of listing thirteen movies that always brighten my mood. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it turned out to be.

1. Young Frankenstein - endlessly quotable and forever a favorite

2. Top Secret! - a spoof that barely edged out the classic, darker flick, Kelly's Heroes

3. Clerks II - not really better than the original but I made myself choose one of the two

4. Best in show - Catherine O'Hara is just one brilliant comedic star in this

5. Sean of the Dead - genius

6. Joe's Apartment - roaches are actually cute in this outrageous romp

7. Real Genius - another Val Kilmer project, in it he stole every scene

8. Heathers - dark, dramatic, deliciously funny; a must see

9. Beetlejuice - makes me want a haunted house

10. Willow - while very different, this edged out Napoleon Dynamite on my list

11. Dark City - the surprise ending still blows me away

12. Cousins - the love story never fails to put a smile on my face

13. Dodgeball - this was the best part of the vacation during which I first saw it!