Cooking in College

There is quite a lot to learn for students who have always had their meals cooked for them until they are suddenly out on their own.  The big challenge is also how to keep it all healthy.  It is so easy to get into very bad habits when you are first beginning to test out your culinary skills.  So make sure you always have a lot of fruit and vegetables on hand and check on the Internet for recipes.  You can even type in “easy vegetable recipes” if you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen.  The more fresh produce you have, the better.  And make sure you make stuff that you like.  There is no point in making healthy dishes that you know you are never going to eat.  Soups are very good for winter; they pack in a lot of essential vitamins and minerals through the vegetables and are incredibly filling which means that you are less likely to eat junk after.  So start doing some internet searches and see what you can come up with.  It really does make a difference and will give you a ton of energy if you do it right that you will need for your college experience.

Homeless Children Learn to Dream at Science Camp

Summers can be quite a challenge for homeless families. When school is out and there is no home to welcome you, and there is no money, what choices do families have for activities to do with their children during the long summer vacation? Helping these unfortunate families is the primary goal of an innovative and unique program sponsored and organized by California State University in Long Beach.  For two weeks during the summer homeless kids or kids in crisis have a haven from their difficult lives at science camp. During  camp these kids  explore the world around them and learn about animals, rockets, aerodynamics, and lots of other wonders which make up their world.

Not only are the kids learning about science, they have, at least for a short while, found a safe place and a secure environment; a great help for their emotional lives in addition to the great boost they are getting in their intellectual lives. With exposure to the concepts and ideas of scientific inquiry the children, with otherwise difficult and in some cases hopeless lives, can dream their own dreams about growing up to become scientists. Instead of fearing their world, in science camp they learn to engage their world and develop a respect and love for their world which would otherwise be quite a difficult task, given their special, challenging circumstances.

Warnings for Pregnant Women Eating Licorice

Few pregnant women would think to take licorice off of their diet, but a recent study at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital and the University of Helsinki shows that it may be wise to do so. Apparently, children exposed to licorice in the womb were found, during this study, to have up to one-third higher levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that is linked to diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

Mothers were asked how much licorice they ate during pregnancy, and the children were then tested at the age of 8 for coritsol levels. Children with higher cortisol levels had mothers who ate a half a gram of licorice a week or more during pregnancy.

Twizzlers Black Licorice has issued a warning about glycyrrhizic acid on its website. They state, “In excessive amounts, glycyrrhizic acid has been associated with undesirable side-effects including headache, sodium and water retention, loss of potassium, high blood pressure, and heart irregularities.”

Benefits of Swimming

Everyone can benefit from swimming. There are so many health benefits, no matter what your age or physical fitness.  Plus, since most cities have swimming pools that are relatively cheap in the States, you won’t break the bank or drive yourself crazy trying to get your workout in.  Also, no one needs to be intimidated before they start swimming; it is such an easy exercise.  You don’t have to be in good shape to start with.  And you won’t have to over-exert yourself either; you can just take it in your stride and go at your own pace.  Plus, especially on a hot day, you will come out of the pool feeling so refreshed.  You can spend an hour in the pool and not even be exhausted afterwards, even if you’re not in great shape.  So try it out and start improving your fitness level one stroke at a time.

Hunley Project Celebrates Ten Years of Research

For the past 10 years the “Hunley Project” has brought together mystery, history, science and technology, creating interest that is not just regional, or national, but international. What is this project of which I speak? It is the story of the world’s first successful combat submarine, which was raised from the bottom of the sea four miles from Charleston Harbour in South Carolina in the year 2000.

The H.L. Hunley was a top secret, private project built in Mobile, Alabama in 1863. It was designed by an engineer from New Orleans named James McClintock, who was hired privately by a group of investors who believed they could make a fortune getting through the blockade which the North had imposed on the South during the Civil War of the United States. On February 17, 1864 the Hunley detonated an explosive charge into the hull of the USS Housatonic, which created a hole in the ship  large enough for a train to pass through. The ship sank within minutes, killing five crewmen and leaving over 100 stranded in the sea. Shortly after that the Hunley disappeared. Its whereabouts were not known for 131 years, until a diving team discovered it four miles off the coast of Charleston in 1995.

At the time of its discovery the sub was buried under five feet of sand and 27 feet of water. It took five years to recover the sub, coming to the surface after 136 years underwater, on August 8, 2000.

Today, ten years later, the Hunley has so far earned about $120 million for the state of South Carolina as thousands of tourists from all over the world flock to gaze at it every year. As scientists and researchers continue to examine and learn from the Hunley and find ways to better preserve it, this amazing bit of history continues to reveal more about itself and the times from which it came.

Early Puberty for Girls on the Rise

An interesting new study shows that American girls are actually hitting puberty earlier than they used to – a change that is causing more risks for behavioral problems as adolescents and breast cancer as adults.

The findings, published in Pediatrics magazine, show that about 15% of 1,239 girls showed the beginning of breast development by the age of 7.  The new study doesn’t explain why girls are developing earlier.  It did show that heavier girls with a higher body-mass index were more likely to begin puberty earlier.  Since one third of children are overweight in America today, early puberty trends may be related to the obesity epidemic.

Hitting puberty early has many ramifications. It increases the odds that girls will develop low self-esteem, eating disorders and depression.  Girls who hit puberty earlier are more likely to attempt suicide and to be sexually active earlier.