Friday, December 25, 2015

Bono, Hozier, Glen Hansard busk together on Dublin’s Grafton Street (VIDEOS) By James O'Shea

Bono, Hozier, Glen Hansard, The Script, The Coronas and Kodaline were among the artists who performed for free on Grafton Street in Dublin last night. All proceeds from the massively popular street show went to The Simon Community, a charity combatting homelessness. It has become an annual event for Bono and for the massive crowds who gathered. The U2 legend and Hozier kicked off with Hozier’s huge hit “Take Me to Church;” and followed with a U2 number. The Grafton Street lollapalooza has become one of the highlights of the holiday season in Ireland and crowds began lining up in the late afternoon to find their places. They were not disappointed. At 7 PM local time Bono and Hozier and the other musicians appeared. Irish Central

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What Happened to the Polar Vortex? By Andrea Thompson

The polar vortex has strengthened this year, helping exacerbate current mild weather.

It has been ridiculously warm across the eastern half of the country this month, with many spots likely to see their warmest December on record. New York City may reach as high as 72°F on Christmas Eve. Washington D.C. is forecast to reach the mid-70s, and Miami the mid-80s. One of the factors behind this decidedly un-Christmas-like weather is a feature that came to be associated with the brutally cold winters of the past few years: the infamous polar vortex. But if you like warm winter days, enjoy it while you can. Because while the current state of the polar vortex is keeping dreams of a White Christmas at bay, a shift could soon be in the offing, one scientist says, potentially ushering in a more typical winter wonderland in January. Over the past two years, the term polar vortex became synonymous with the bitter outbreaks of Arctic air that sent teeth chattering from Boston to Atlanta (after all, polar is right there in the name). The polar vortex is a feature of the atmosphere defined as the fast moving current of air encircling the Arctic that forms during the cold months because of the increased temperature difference between the dark, frigid Arctic and the warm tropics. There are actually two vortices, one in the layer of the upper atmosphere known as the stratosphere and one in the lower section, where our weather happens, called the troposphere. These two features interact with each other and can affect the meteorological goings-on outside of the Arctic. The polar vortex also interacts with other features and fluxes in the atmosphere, which causes it to vary in strength over time. When the polar vortex is strong, as it is now, it keeps arctic air fenced in. That is part of what is currently keeping the weather so mild in the eastern U.S.. But when the vortex is perturbed or weakened, the jet of air becomes more wobbly and can set up southward excursions of frigid air — what we saw plenty of times over the last couple winters. The polar vortex is particularly susceptible to such weakening when it reaches its peak in mid-winter, Judah Cohen, an atmospheric scientist with the private firm Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), said in an email. And that is what Cohen is forecasting will take place in January. Cohen expects some pulses of energy working their way from the lower to upper atmosphere to perturb and weaken the polar vortex over the next few weeks. That weakening would favor a dip in temperatures over the eastern U.S. and potentially an uptick in snowstorms, Cohen wrote in an AER blog post. Some research suggests that the rapid warming of the Arctic, which is happening at about twice the pace of the planet as a whole, could be impacting the polar vortex. Cohen and others think that declining sea ice and increased snow cover in Siberia are two manifestations of this amplification that are exerting a weakening influence on the polar vortex, which could be fueling more outbreaks of Arctic air. Cohen thinks that the pulses of energy he expects to perturb the vortex over the next few weeks are related to particular areas of low sea ice and high snow cover present this fall and winter. But this research is hotly debated. “There are many that argue that any influence of Arctic amplification cannot be detected above the noise of the intrinsic or natural variability of the atmosphere,” Cohen said. If the Arctic chill from the weakening of the polar vortex blows in next month, Cohen, a self-avowed fan of winter weather, would welcome the switch. At first he didn’t mind Boston having a break after last year’s epic snows, “but I have to admit I miss winter and this is just crazy,” he said.
This article is reproduced with permission from Climate Central. The article was first published on December 22, 2015. Scientific American

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Send Her My Love Photo

Spain wins first ever Miss World title

A 22-year-old from Barcelona has become the first Spaniard to be crowned Miss World. Mireia Lalaguna [Royo] a model and pharmacy student, beat Miss Russia and Miss Indonesia – the first and second runners-up – at the finale of the 65th edition of the world’s oldest beauty pageant, which was held in the Chinese city of Sanya on Saturday. The event had been clouded by controversy following China’s decision to ban Miss Canada for her statements against human rights violations. The young woman could not conceal her disbelief when she was announced the winner, beating out the big favorites from France, Venezuela and China. "I think I should be the next Miss World because I believe in strong women” EL PAÍS Photo

Saturday, December 19, 2015

31 Signs You're Not Getting Enough Vitamins

Dietitians Emily Haller and Keri Gans on the dead giveaways that you need to step up your nutrient intake.

Back in 2004, nutritionists everywhere were screaming at movie theater screens, threatening to boycott Mean Girls when Regina George "innocently" (you never know with Queen Plastic) asked how butter's contents translated into nutritional value.  We'll limit this healthy-eating lecture to a minimum: In order for your body to function, you need to make sure you're consuming enough essential nutrients in your everyday diet with actual healthy food. Just so you know...butter does not count as a good carb and no, your beloved chicken-and-broccoli combination platter doesn't satisfy anything but your 1:33 a.m. craving for Chinese food. Okay, so you might be the outlier and pack kale for lunch and reach for a banana post-workout—TEACH US YOUR WAYS—but are you 100% sure you're meeting the daily requirements of all that is good? We tapped into the minds of registered dietitians Emily Haller and Keri Gans for dead giveaways you need to step up your nutrient intake. Blurred vision? You might need to eat more carrots—not be prescribed glasses.
Vitamin A
  • Dry eyes
  • Blindness at night
  • Scaling, dry skin
  • Diarrhea
  • The next time you get a paper cut, grab a bandage and chew on some carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, or tuna. Vitamin A encourages healthy cell production to heal wounds, boost your immune system, and strengthen your vision. Aim for roughly 2,333 IU a day.
    Vitamin C
  • Depression
  • Gingivitis
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Corkscrew hair follicles
  • Prone to bruising
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bleeding gums
  • High blood pressure
  • An orange a day—not really, but 85 mg daily will do—keeps everything that we just listed above away. This antioxidant protects against don't-want-ever illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, asthma, and the common cold.
    Vitamin D
  • Softened bones (over an extended period of time)
  • Susceptibility to infectious diseases like the flu
  • There are no clear symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, however, the longer someone goes without getting the nutrient—by not basking in the sunlight enough or eating enough almonds or fatty fish—the more likely it is your skeletal health decreases. The only way to be positive of your status is to get yourself checked. The daily recommendation is 600 IU.
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent muscle cramps
  • Prolonged abnormal appetite—meaning eating isn't appealing to you (WHAT??)
  • Development of osteoporosis (over a longer period of time)
  • You remember those Got Milk commercials? Brilliant. But there's a slight chance their message didn't stick when you were a kid. Calcium helps your heart, prevents bloods clots, and of course, fortifies your bones and teeth. Adults should aim for about 1,000 mg per day from sources like milk, yogurt, cheeses, almonds, and salmon.
  • Hair that falls out
  • Thinning hair
  • Sore muscles
  • Not building muscle while exercising (if you're trying to bulk up)
  • Constantly getting sick
  • Muscle loss
  • Is it just us or is everyone talking about protein these days? Although standard recommendations for women say to consume about 46 g per day, fitness experts usually suggest eating 1 g of protein per pound if you're trying to gain muscle mass—so 130 g of protein for a 130-pound woman. Don't go overboard with your red meats though: The quality and quantity of protein sources can impact your risk against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  • Constipation
  • Constant hunger
  • So this is why we're starving by 11:39 a.m. (sorry, donuts). A healthy fiber intake—of about 20 to 35 g every day from oats, beans, and broccoli—can help with irritable bowl syndrome, high cholesterol, and irritable bowel disease. Basically, fiber is your gut's best friend.
  • Pale skin
  • Always feeling cold
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Ahhh, iron—it's the mineral that allows our cells to retain oxygen and keep our blood circulating. When you don't hit the recommended 18 mg a day, you put yourself at risk of things like anemia. All you need is to stock up on spinach, fish, nuts and seeds, and you'll survive.
    From: Marie Claire  Harper's Bazaar Photo

    Monday, December 14, 2015

    Barbara Mandrell

    1976 Let Your Love Flow
    Barbara Ann Mandrell (born December 25, 1948) is an American country music singer and actress. She is known for a series of Top 10 hits and TV shows in the 1970s and 1980s that helped her become one of country's most successful female vocalists of that period. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009. Born in Houston, Texas, the eldest daughter into a musical family, Mandrell was already reading music and playing accordion at age five. Six years later, she had become so adept at playing steel guitar that her father took her to a music trade convention in Chicago, where her talents caught the attention of Chet Atkins and Joe Maphis. Soon after, she became a featured performer in Maphis' Las Vegas nightclub show, followed by tours with Red Foley, Tex Ritter, and Johnny Cash. Her network TV debut came on the NBC-TV series Five Star Jubilee in 1961. While growing up, Mandrell learned to play the pedal steel and lap steel guitars and many other instruments, including the accordion, saxophone, and banjo. She played steel guitar for the legendary Patsy Cline, who once wrote to a friend that Mandrell was, "a 13-year-old blonde doll who plays the steel guitar out of this world! What a show woman!" Mandrell toured at age 13 with Cline, Johnny Cash, and George Jones. She also played guitar for Joe Maphis in Las Vegas and on the Town Hall Party show in Los Angeles. A couple of years later, Mandrell and her sisters Louise and Irlene, as well as her parents, founded the Mandrell Family Band. They toured across the United States and Asia. Their drummer, Ken Dudney, became Mandrell's husband shortly after graduating from Oceanside High School. Dudney later enlisted in the Navy, serving as a pilot, and was sent overseas. Mandrell decided that she would become a country singer and moved to Nashville. Her father was then her manager and with his help, she signed with Columbia Records in 1969. Over the next couple of years, Mandrell had a few minor hits. Her producer at the time was Billy Sherrill, known for producing other well-known singers in country music such as Tammy Wynette, Charlie Rich, and Tanya Tucker.
    Barbara Mandrell married Ken Dudney on May 28, 1967. Dudney had been the drummer in the Mandrell Family Band. Mandrell and Dudney have three children, Kenneth Matthew Dudney (b. 1970), Jaime Nicole Dudney (b. 1976), and Nathaniel Mandrell Dudney (b. 1985).
    Photo Wikipedia