The Bulking Agents Used in the Saffron Spice

saffron-bulking-agentBecause saffron is so expensive it’s often mixed with other plants which are not actually saffron but are closely related to saffron to build up the bulk of the weight of a purchase. Turmeric is a primary example of a plant often used to help bulk up supplies. Distributors also use plastic as it helps add weight and eye appeal whilst actually providing nothing more than visual esthetics. Scientists can perform deoxyribonucleic acid examinations to determine if a sample is actually pure saffron or not. High quality saffron should have a humid scent which indicates that it was picked fresh. If the scent of saffron is slightly rancid, it means that it is old or of low quality

The Myth of Betty Crocker

Betty-Crocker

Betty Crocker is not a real person, rather she, or perhaps it, is a corporate name. The name Betty was thought to be sweet, kind, and gentle, and the last name Crocker was taken from an executive of the General Mills company. Betty Crocker was created as an advertising campaign but was promoted as a real woman. General Mills hired hoards of women to answer telephone calls posing as Betty Crocker and even had the same group of executives sign her name to ensure the signature remained consistent. The first product Betty Crocker released was a soup mix in 1941, 4 years prior to the iconic Betty Crocker cake mix which made the brand so recognizable

The Purpose and Setup of Sensory Deprivation Tanks

sensory-deprevation-tankSensory deprivation involves a large tank which is filled up with water heated to 37 degrees Celsius, the same temperature as the body, and 1000 lbs., or some variation of this in smaller tanks, of Epsom salts are added, so that half of the body is underwater and half of it is above because of the density of the salt within the water. Human beings have low fat content on average and need this salt otherwise a participant would sink. An observer cannot distinguish between water and air because when within the tank as it feels the same, and after a short period of time, because there are no visual queues being that the tank is completely dark, in the absence of sensory input, an observer typically begins to think differently as the brain has more resources dedicated to thought as less surface area is compartmentalized for sensory stimuli. This process is extremely similar to meditation, however meditation takes both time and practice to achieve upon a consistent, reliable, and meaningful level, as opposed to a sensory deprivation tank in which reaching such a state is essentially automatic provided enough time passes within the tank for the observer. This experience ends instantaneously once the tanks door is opened however, unlike meditation or the use of pharmacological agents to achieve a psychedelic or intrinsic experience

The Danger of Air Pollution Gaining Access to the Brain

air-pollution

The reason pollution has a metallic taste and scent and that it burns the eyes when exposed to it is because the particles of air pollution are tiny enough that they can travel through nerve cells, and gain direct entry to the brain, where the olfactory bulbar meets the frontal cortex, as there is no blood-brain barrier at this point. The body protects itself through the blood-brain barrier, which means that particles within the bloodstream, cannot get directly into the brain. This system has a slight flaw however as the nose acts as a direct conduit for incredibly tiny particles to bypass this security mechanism

Prince Charles’ Environmentally Friendly Vehicles

Prince-Phillip-Aston-Martin-Volante

Prince Charles owns an Aston Martin Volante which has been retrofitted to run upon surplus British white wine and whey. Charles received the vehicle when he was 21 and requested that engineers find a more sustainable fuel source for its engine because of his initiative to address climate change and the issues facing humanity before the 21st century. The engineers who worked upon the project felt that the task was insurmountable during the beginning of their research however after having successfully built such an engine, it is now accepted that the retrofitted engine actually runs better with more power upon white wine and whey than it does upon petrol, and as an added bonus feature, Charles has proclaimed that he thoroughly enjoys the delicious scent of the vehicle as it runs. Charles also had his royal train retrofitted to run upon cooking oil, another task which was successfully completed so that Charles can use the train half a dozen times per year

The Role of Dabbawalas in Indian Society

Indian-dabbawala

Indian railways are unique in that they have what are referred to as “dabbawalas” which means “lunch box men” in Hindi as the term “dabba” means “box” or in this case “lunch box” in Hindi and the term “wala” means “man” in Hindi. These dabbawalas deliver food which has been cooked by the loved ones of the people who are eating it (e.g. spouse who cooks food while their significant other commutes to work. The first spouse has that food delivered to second spouse so that it is hot and ready to eat after having started the work day). This system works extraordinarily well as holding a bag while traveling upon any Indian train is nearly impossible due to the volume of people who use the railway each day. There are 5000 dabbawalas in Mumbai, India and this collective makes an astounding 200,000 deliveries per day, equating to each member of the group making an average of 40 deliveries each. Each dabbawala carries approximately 145 lbs. of food daily. The system is actually quiet elegant as some members pick up food, some members commute on trains with food, some members travel by bike or other vehicle with food, and all members typically share responsibility in that they trade meals if they run across a partner who is traveling the direction in which they need to go. This helps boost efficiency and allows for more income to be generated than if these individuals decided to work solo. Food is often marked with specialized code words so that dabbawalas know where something came from and where it is intended to be. Food is typically prepared by a clients wife, mother, or sister, but as India is changing and more women enter the workforce, shifts in who fills which role are beginning to emerge. Those who do not have a significant other at home who is available to cook for them will often have food prepared by restaurants or hotels and delivered via dabbawala. It typically costs 550 Indian Rupees ($7.75) per month which is affordable and within reach for most Indian citizens as even lower income members of society like dabbawalas earn 13,700 Indian Rupees ($192.00) per month. This system continues to flourish even as India moves into the 21st century with modern fast food and traditional restaurant establishments available to most people, as the cost is generally lower than eating out and the quality of the food is virtually always healthier. This is one of many reasons as to why leaders within this sector of business believe that the continued vitality of the industry will continue to last into the foreseeable future