Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cooking Tip for Bloating from High Fibre intake...

Cooking Tip

There are certain spices which help to ease bloating, in your intestine, by either reducing how much gas is formed in the first place or by making sure the gas gets out (easing discomfort). These spices are called carminatives and include peppermint, cumin, cinnamon, dill, basil, coriander, thyme, rosemary, ginger, fennel and others. Good thing that beans go so well with many of these!

Go the herbs....

Monday, March 28, 2011

Can we do without our Cars... the public transport challenge...

My society takes mobility for granted.
We can go where we want, we have cars, we pick our times and squash more into our day because we can get more places faster. And even so, we are still rushing to appointments and meetings....

What would happen if you did not have access to any private car for a week? Could you take the challenge to use public transport? Of course, this depends if you live in a city or not... Public transport outside the major capitals can be a bit less than shockingly bad...

This week I have to make do without my car due to a minor accident. The car will be at the workshop and repairer for up to a week and for a family of 6, who are mobile, life and getting to swimming school, work, visits, after school lessons, etc can be a nightmare.

The insurance claim was the most painless part of the exprience and I was provided with a taxi voucher so that not only my daughter could be ferried to school but I would be escorted back home. I did miss a day's work as it would have been impossible for me to get back from work tonight... however, I can not do that again. Buses, trains or a combination of such would have to get me into work.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that a bus will take me to work and it leaves not far from my home... however, I must allow an extra two to three hours a day to get to and from there. Still a forcible slowing down of my schedule will not be a bad thing, or will it?

I have a retinue of Mothers and neighbours  lined up who are willing to bring the dependant child to and from school and to swimming lessons. Will have to skip my extra curricular activities this week, but a performance from the dependant on the weekend can be reached by train, or borrowed car perhaps.... But borrowing the car could be cheating and nullify the challenge... I must use public transport mustn't I. 

Bicycle will also be used and the carbon savings I make this week, must save the Prime Minister's Carbon tax campaign alone?????

It is something to ponder about.... Boost your self reliance, get fit, save the planet and discover another method of getting around... This I challenge you to... .Can you do it for a week?

Fashion Skirt in less than 30 mins

With a small piece of elastic, a Recycled skirt can be made in less than half an hour.... I took an old wrap around skirt... ( completely out of fashion now) and a baby dress size 1 and made a fashionable one size fits all skirt for the 2011 girl. Suitable for ages 8 to 28 will be suitable I think.

1. cut a long rectangle of fabric to the desired length In my case it was 180cm long. ( 2 pieces front and back at 90 cm wide,  if you like) But as I like to be different and lazy, I and had the fabricI used one long piece. Less hems to come apart later.
2. Cut a length of 20 cm wide black elastic 60 cm long. Join at the ends with a solid stitch. I overlapped them as I wanted less bulk at the side.
3. Using a long stitch length, run around the top of the fabric. Then pull the ends to gather it in. 
4.Divide this edge into quarters and mark with pins. Do the same with the elastic. Them match corresponding pins to each other so that the bottom edge of the elastic is pinned to the right side at the top.... Make sure it is sewn to the right side, otherwise the elastic will try to flip over and not sit flat when wearing it. See picture below.
5.Pin between marker pins adjusting the tension and gathering evenly. 
6. Sew a strong triple stitch around the bottom of the elastic where it was pinned to the skirt edge. 
7. Hem other edges.... I did not have to do this as I cut the edge from teh bottom of an existing dress and skirt....
8. Voila... skirt in less than 20 mins....

 The Prototype...

Cost: Electricity for the machine, 20 minutes of my time, 80 australian cents for the new elastic...

Benefit: Fashionable skirt that will fit a primary student/teen/twenty something...

Satisfaction: Clearing some fabric from my scrap basket!!

What other kinds of fashionable clothes lay hidden in my bundle of unwanted clothes... something to ponder about...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ruben was guilty after all....

"This is the story of Hurricane, a man the authorities came to blame for something that he never done, put in a prison cell, but one time he could have been the champion of the world!"Bob Dylan tells us, but did he have the full facts of the story?

Four people were shot dead in Lafayette Grill in New Jersey in 1966. The Grill was known to be an anti - black establishment. Hurricane, a boxer of some repute, aka Rubin Carter is convicted by an all white jury.

It seems that Bob may not have heard the other side of the story. Eyewitnesses testified twice in two separate trials to the same information that they saw a black man speeding away, in a car later identified as Rubin Carter's by the police.

Another eyewitness to the murders states privately to three individuals that it was Rubin who committed the crime but would not testify to this as he had to live in the community after the fact and feared retribution. But four people are still dead....

In a New York Times article published on September 27th, 1974, that states witnesses Bello and Bradley recant their testimony and reveal they were given money for testifying.

Carter was a convicted felon who had committed assaults and robberies in the past and had been in jail.

So did Bob check with the police for a balance of evidence, or was he swayed by the "racist" card that was played. It was after all an era of time where prejudice against blacks was rife, but did this happen that year in New Jersey. It was not the deep south, after all.

But then there is this from the following link:

"Carter and Artis were taken to the Lafayette Grill and put up against the wall while the car was searched. They were then taken to the hospital. The police showed Carter and Artis to one of the shooting victims, who told police that neither man had shot him. The two men were then taken to the police department and held for 16 hours. Both men were questioned, passed lie detector tests, and were released. The next day, the assistant county prosecutor denied that Carter had ever been a suspect. Believing that the matter was settled, Carter left for Argentina to fight in his next bout.
On October 14, 1966, Carter was picked up by the police and charged with the murders at the Lafayette Grill. Prosecutors now had two witnesses who claimed that they saw Carter and Artis fleeing the scene of the crime. One of the witnesses, Alfred Bello, was an ex-convict who had been questioned on the night of the murders. Originally, Bello had told the police that he did not see who committed the shootings. The shooting victim who had seen Carter and Artis in the hospital, William Marins, had also changed his story and identified Carter and Artis as the perpetrators." ( he was the one who had to live in the community afterwards) "There was conflicting evidence about the getaway car, and the police department failed to collect fingerprints or conduct paraffin tests on Carter or Artis to see if they had fired any weapons.

... and this:

Carter was returned to Trenton State Prison, were he had previously served five years. He refused to wear prison clothes or shave, and swore that he would kill any prison official who touched him. Carter was immediately sent to solitary confinement, and remained there until doctors found a detached retina on his right eye. He had an operation in prison and, instead of fixing the old boxing injury, the operation left him blind in one eye. Although Carter was released from solitary confinement, he still refused to work or wear a striped prison uniform. Younger prisoners gave him food, which he ate in his cell. He also refused to attend his own parole hearings."

Not really the actions of a guilty man who had previously been in prison.

Rubin Carter served 19 years and after two trials where he was found guilty, a third court hearing in 1988 set aside the convictions based on procedural errors. One witness failed a lie detector test, but this was presented in 1985. Could you remember something important word for word fifteen years or so later? I know I probably would change vital words in my testimony without realising it, fifteen years later.

He studied law and went to work for a Canadian body of the wrongly convicted after his release from prison.

Rubin Carter now has an honorary doctorate from the Griffith University in Australia in" recognition of his contribution to civil rights and social justice throughout the world and for choosing life and humanity over defeat and bitterness"... interesting.

Even Hollywood got in on the act, releasing the film "Hurricane" in 1999.


Was he guilty as the police maintain or innocent and framed for the murder because he was in the vicinity? Something to ponder about, for the citizens of New Jersey, particularly those affected by this incident and all involved with Ruben Carter over the years.