Health News:

Healthy Variety

A healthy diet is most important when we need the energy to get through a busy day. Specialty or convenience foods might be a tempting time-saver, but the experts at Health.com advise us that all the nutrients we need are in the affordably-priced foods we’ve been including in our diet for years:

  • A medium sweet potato contains 500% RDA for Vitamin A
  • 100% of the vital B vitamins are in combinations of foods like fortified cereal, eggs, orange juice, chicken, fish, and beans
  • All the minerals we need come from healthy snack foods such as salads, whole grains, nuts, yogurt, and dark chocolate
  • And these same foods contain protein and carbs for energy and a clear-minded focus through the day

Healthy Foods Near You

Fruits and vegetables lose some of their nutrients when they’re canned or frozen, but processing fresh vegetables when they’re in season means they can be enjoyed at reasonable prices all year.

Search www.seasonalfoodguide.org for nutrition information about seasonal produce, including recipe ideas and how to grow or preserve foods yourself.

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Finding the Time

We know that exercise is good for our health, but how much of a metabolic boost is needed to reap the benefits?

Researchers with Medical News today have found that just 20 minutes of physical activity a day gets the heart beating and kick starts the immune system, preventing it from overproducing certain types of leukocytes that target healthy cells in the body and cause inflammation.

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Space News:

Power Generation

Scientists at NASA explain that unmanned spacecraft traveling away from the sun to explore the outer planets of the solar system are powered by nuclear energy, specifically Plutonium-238 built into a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG).

Elements such as Uranium and Plutonium are considered “radioactive” due to an imbalance of protons and electrons. The process of radioactive decay occurs as an atom of these elements naturally seeks to stabilize itself by releasing subatomic particles into the environment.

Alpha, beta, and dangerous gamma radiation are emitted as heat energy that can be converted into electricity within the generator.   

Radioactive elements and the use of nuclear power in space travel clip art image.

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Raging Storms

The wind on Jupiter, and on other planets within the solar system, is caused by temperature changes within the atmosphere that force high pressure (warm) air to flow in the opposite direction of low pressure (cold) air. Jupiter’s colored stripes and circular storms are caused by winds that rage at speeds of 200-300 mph. 

Jupiter’s banded outer surface is a pattern of alternating “zones” and “belts”

Within the light colored zones, wind blows toward the east and the circular storms swirl in an anti-clockwise, or cyclonic, direction. The zones appear lighter in color due to an upward flow of wind that causes ammonia ice clouds to form

The belts are darker as molecules of carbon, methane, and nitrogen mix with the mostly hydrogen atmosphere. Winds blow toward the west and downward, causing storms such as the Great Red Spot to spin in a clockwise direction    

Spiritual News:

Ramadan 2019

The history of Islam begins with the story of Muhammad ibn Abdullah, believed to be the last and most recent prophet chosen to receive God’s message to humanity.

According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad often prayed alone in the hills near the city of Mecca. One day, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and recited the first of many revelations about the one true God, Allah.

Muhammad talked with others about how they should stop worshiping the idols of their separate religions and pray only to Allah while striving to live in peace with one another. He recorded the divine revelations within the 114 chapters of the Quran (For more information about the world’s fastest-growing religion, visit IslamReligion.com ).

May 5, 2019, is the start of Ramadan, celebrated in remembrance of Muhammad’s prophecies and the beginning of the religion of Islam.

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Buddha Day

Though Buddhist traditions vary from one community to another, Vesak is the most celebrated festival of the year, usually observed on the day of the full moon during Vaishaka, the second month on the Hindu calendar.  In 2019, Vesak is celebrated on May 19

Buddhists believe that on Vesak, or “Buddha Day”:

  • Siddhartha Gautama was born in the year 563 BCE in Nepal
  • He became Buddha, or “the enlightened one” about 35 years later
  • He passed away from natural causes at the age of 83

Vesak is a day of prayer and meditation. Small gifts are brought to Buddhist monks as they chant the ancient teachings of the Buddha. Colorful artwork and paper lamps represent the lightness of Buddha’s soul as he inspires the younger generation.

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A Loving Nature

In the twelveth century, the man history would come to know as Saint Francis was born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone in Assisi, Italy. His father had just returned home from a journey to France, and he immediately rechristened his new-born son “Francesco” after the country where his business had recently prospered. Francis was raised to be a cloth merchant like his father. He was educated, served in the military, and as a typical youth he lacked self-discipline and rebelled against his overbearing father.

In his 20’s, Francis searched for his own identity and often retreated into the forest to pray. He felt called by God to rebuild a crumbling church in the countryside near Assisi. When he stole cloth from his father to purchase stone and tools, he was taken to court to be reprimanded. Instead of agreeing to repay his father, Francis denounced his family and vowed to help the poor by living in poverty himself and preaching about Jesus.

Francis lived a humble, frugal existence yet he was filled with joy. He was drawn to the natural world and was said to have an overwhelming compassion for all living things. On his travels through the Italian countryside, he sought to help others and to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. In 1209, Pope Innocent III allowed Francis and his followers to establish the Franciscan Order within the Roman Catholic Church.

After years of selflessly living in extreme poverty, Francis’ physical and mental health began to deteriorate. He died at age 45 and his remains are interred at the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi.

When a new Pope is elected, he immediately appears on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica and is introduced to the world by his papal name. The name each Pope chooses is an indication of a historical figure he most admires or the role he envisions for himself in the Church.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the 266th Pope on March 13, 2013. He is the first Pope Francis in history. Known for his humility and compassion, He is the only Pope in recent years to surrender the wealth and power of the Vatican in order to dedicate himself to lifting others out of spiritual poverty.

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St Francis of Assisi prayer.

In Politics:

The Grand Old Party

A “republic” is a form of government that empowers its citizens to vote and elect officials, an idea that America was founded on when the Revolutionary War was fought to secure independence from the monarch of Great Britain.

In reference to a political party, the word “republican” has had different meanings through the years. The Republican Party that exists today was created in the late 1850’s and was prevalent in the northern states that were in favor of abolishing slavery.

Abe Lincoln was the first Republican President, and the Civil War was fought during his administration in an effort to prevent the southern states from creating a separate form of government.

In the years following the war, the first of the civil rights amendments were written.

  • 13th Amendment abolished slavery
  • 14th Amendment safeguards the legal protections and equal freedoms of Americans
  • 15th Amendment secures the right to vote

Baseball in the Nation's Capital

The invention of baseball is usually credited to Abner Doubleday, said to have organized the first baseball games in Cooperstown, NY in 1839. Baseball grew in popularity during the years of the Civil War where Doubleday achieved the rank of Major General for the Union side.

Referred to then as “townball” or “roundball,” games within the ranks of both Union and Confederate soldiers in the 1860’s were a way to pass the time, boost morale, and keep the men fit.

baseball during the civil war-min

instrideonline.com baseball clip art humorIn 1871, Washington DC hosted its first professional baseball team. The newly formed American League was home to the Washington Nationals who eventually relocated, becoming the Minnesota Twins in 1960. The league then created the Washington Senators, a team that also relocated, going west in 1971 to become the Texas Rangers. 

In 2005, baseball returned to the nation’s capital when the Montreal Expos became part of the National League as the Washington Nationals. Three years later, the newly built Nationals Field became their official stadium and they hosted the 89th MLB All-Star Game on July 17, 2018 when the American League beat the National League, 8-6.

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Presidential Advisers

The responsibilities of the executive branch are delegated to the President, the Vice President, and the offices of the Cabinet.

The Constitution empowers the President to select a team of close advisers to manage the numerous agencies and programs that influence the lives of Americans every day. During the first presidential administration, George Washington established four Cabinet posts: Secretary of State, Treasury, War, and the Attorney General. The War Department evolved into the Department of Defense in 1949, with control over the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force, while the Attorney General, at first a part-time position, now heads up the Justice Department, created in 1870 to advise on legal matters within the federal government. 

Eleven other Cabinet-level positions have been added during the twentieth century, the most recent being the Department of Homeland Security created in 2002.

Quick Reads:

Time Well Spent as a Ghost

ghost of sylvia playbuzz.com-min

A sudden accident in the 1850's disrupts the spirit of a quiet farm wife. Is the ghost of Sylvia Crickler trying to threaten away the young family or does she need their help to put her spirit to rest?

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Switchblade knife 510x336-min

Birdie risks everything to start a new life, but Rick is close behind to take back what was his. If she can't outrun him, can they compromise and find a way to both stay alive?

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