September 11, 2008

In Memory...

This post will be included on all of my blogs today, in remembrance of those who have lost their lives, and those that gave them trying to save others...

We all know what happened seven years ago today.. And while I'm still not sure of who exactly attacked those innocent lives or how the reinforced towers fell due to extreme heat (steel has never melted from a fire) or why witnesses reported secondary explosions or why an airliner was able to penetrate the Pentagon's airspace after the Towers had been attacked... but I do believe I know why they choose the targets they did.. The Twin Towers were symbolic of America's wealth, trade, and capitalistic values, and the Pentagon represents our military power.

Over 2,900 Americans and 236 foreigners died in the attacks, and many are still missing and presumed dead.

This is the world we live in... Consider these facts:

Currently in Iraq, there have been over 87,000 civilian and 4,155 American military casualties.

In the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 1,290 Palestinians and 86 Israelis have been killed.

An estimated 160,000 to 400,000 have been murdered in the Darfur region of Africa, and the genocide is still occurring to date.

In 1994, the UN reports that 800,000 were killed during the Rwandan Genocide.

During the Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979, an estimated 1,700,000 lost their lives.

From 1933 to 1935, the Holocaust claimed the lives of an estimated 9,000,000 to 11,000,000.

Over 1,500,000 Armenians were killed from 1915 to 1917.

Why do we continue to harm each other? Hatred and misunderstanding. Extremism and twisted views.

We are all human-- no matter who our God is, what color our skin is, who our ancestors were, or what's mine and what's yours. It's time we started treating each other that way!

Thank you to all the peace-makers. Thank you to all those that try to help and save others. And today, we should not only remember those that died seven years ago in the 9/11 attacks, but the millions who have lost their lives from the misguided hatred of others in our past...

September 8, 2008

How Small We Really Are...

Sometimes it's hard to imagine, or even have time to think about, how small we really are in comparison to this universe..

Today, I watched a movie (for free) from entitled Cosmic Voyage. Narrated by Morgan Freeman and full of neat views of both the macrocosm (big stuff) and the microcosm (little stuff), it's a real eye opener to all that's around us and where are universe came from..

It was quite humbling, especially when the film zooms out to a view like that below (from the Hubble telescope), and you realize that all of those millions of galaxies have billions of stars, which most likely have planets, and most probably life.

Take a look at all of these galaxies:

Towards the end of the film, they show two spiral galaxies colliding into one... What they don't explain is that this is what will eventually happen to our galaxy and our neighboring Andromeda galaxy (which is quite a bit bigger than ours) in about 3 billion years...

This video is from entitled How the Milky Way Will End:

If two galaxies collide, and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound??

Intriguing and educational.. I love films like these!

Aches and Pains...

Everyone gets strained muscles or an injury every now and then.. But, unfortunately, it can put our exercise on hold temporarily.. So what kind of care should we give an injury so we can get back on track as soon as possible?

First, I recommend that we all take a first aid course so that we can learn how to properly take care of an injury when we first get hurt. Drawing from my American Red Cross experience, check out the following information:

For a twisted ankle, which is by far the most common injury when exercising, wait to remove your shoe until you get home. The shoe helps to support the injured area.

Follow the R.I.C.E. method to treat almost any kind of injury:

Rest- Allow the area to rest for at least a few hours
Ice- Put ice on the area, even if you don't see any swelling
Compression- Light compression can help to alleviate swelling
Elevation- Elevate the area to reduce blood flow

When you ice the area, only put the ice on for 15 minutes at a time, and 15 minutes off. Always make sure that you have a barrier (wash cloth or paper towel) between the ice and your skin- you don't want to add frostbite to the list!

The R.I.C.E. method works for pulled muscles as well. You might want to try alternating heat and cold if it helps with the pain and swelling.

Give yourself a good two days of rest for the area. After that, you can try a light workout on the area, but if you have any pain at all, you need to give yourself more time to heal.

Don't ever workout on an area that's injured- you can further injure the area, and it will just take even more time to get back to your regular level of exercise!

September 5, 2008

Free and Easy... Meatless Meals

Looking for some good, easy recipes that don't contain red meat? Check these out:

Saucy Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-2 cups salsa
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-2 tbsp honey dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients and place in 13x9" pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Turkey Lasagna

Prep time: 1 hour, including cooking time

-1 tsp olive oil
-1 lb ground turkey breast
-2 cloves garlic, crushed
-8 oz can tomato sauce
-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 tsp Italian seasoning
-12 oz shredded low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese
-12 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
-3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
-6 no-boil lasagna noodles (about 3.5x7")

Spray baking dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brown turkey with olive oil and garlic. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, salt/pepper, and seasoning. Simmer 20 minutes. Assemble lasagna, layering sauce, then 2 noodles, then cheese, then more sauce, etc.. Sprinkle with parmesan as top layer. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

Broccoli Frittata

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

-4 tbsp butter
-2 tbsp olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-2 cups frozen or fresh broccoli, well drained if frozen
-1 cup chopped plum tomatoes, drained
-1-1/2 cups coarse toasted bread crumbs
-10 eggs, beaten
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 cup cheese (Havarti, cheddar, or mozzarella; you pick)
-1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a heavy skillet, melt 2 tbsp butter in 2 tbsp olive oil until slightly foamy. Add garlic and broccoli to cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add bread crumbs and cook while stirring for 2-3 minutes. Set aside. In another skillet, melt remaining 2 tbsp butter over medium heat to coat pan. Season eggs with salt and pepper and pour into skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, then top with bread crumb mixture, tomatoes, and chosen cheese. Stir gently, then either transfer the pan to the oven (or you can transfer the mixture to a glass pie pan, then put in oven). Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until eggs are set. Top with parmesan cheese and serve.

All of these meals taste great! I especially love the frittata, which you can add all kinds of vegetables to- carrots, asparagus, potatoes, avocados, or spinach.

An Alarming Trend in the Military

Is it sexual harassment? Alcohol abuse? Hazing?

While all of these are still problems prevalent in the military, on of the most alarming issues is the rise of suicides...

From an article in the Washington Post entitled Solider's Suicide Rate On Pace to Set Record, Col Eddie Stephens of states that:

" The Army's suicide rate has increased from 12.4 per 100,000 in 2003, when the Iraq war started, to 18.1 per 100,000 last year. Suicide attempts by soldiers have also increased since 2003, Stephens said. This year the death rate is likely to exceed that of a demographically similar segment of the U.S. population -- 19.5 per 100,000, Stephens said."

So what's causing this alarming trend?

"Failed relationships, legal and financial troubles, and the high stress of wartime operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are the leading factors linked to the suicides, Army officials said."

Failed Relationships-- what relationship wouldn't be stressed after being stationed overseas for years at a a time? The war has been going on since 2003... That's five years of service, even if you do get a break every now and then to visit...

Legal and Financial troubles-- what American isn't suffering financial troubles right now with the state of the economy? And most soldiers only make in the 20's or 30's to start.. That's not a lot, especially when you have a family to support, or debts from prior to joining the service...

High stress of wartime operations in Iraq and Afghanistan-- War is stressful! No matter who a person is- and I've known plenty- they always come back changed from seeing and participating with the violent nature of war.

The military is taking steps to help those in need... But unfortunately, sometimes it's hard to tell if someone is contemplating suicide. And sometimes a person is determined to end their life and that there is no better way to deal with their concerns..

I think that after serving so long, and also the general attitude of the public towards the war, a soldier losses sight and motivation for what they are doing for our country. While I don't support the war, I will always support the current service members and the veterans who have contributed so much to our country...

Popular Posts

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});