Lifestyles Newsletter

LifeStyle Newsletter

Third Quarter 2017

Artificial Intelligence Deserves Some Thought

The idea of Artificial Intelligence (AI) may bring to mind movies like Terminator, Wall-E, and Transcendence, but the reality of AI is expected to help people find answers to some significant issues. For example, a PwC survey found:1


  • 68 percent of respondents believe AI will help with cyber security/privacy issues
  • 66 percent believe AI will help improve treatments for cancer and other diseases
  • 58 percent believe AI will help educate disadvantaged schoolchildren


By 2025, it's likely AI will write a top 100 Billboard song, create a piece of art worth more than $100,000, or write a hit television series, according to the consumers surveyed.2


As AI develops, it is also likely to play a more pronounced role in our everyday lives. While experts in the field are optimistic about AI's potential, some have warned of the need for oversight. For example:


“AI is hugely exciting. Its practical applications can help us to tackle important social problems, as well as easing many tasks in everyday life. And, it has advanced the sciences of mind and life in fundamental ways. But, it has limitations, which present grave dangers given uncritical use.”

--Professor Margaret Boden, Cognitive science researcher3


“Just as most chemists and biologists have no interest in building chemical or biological weapons, most AI researchers have no interest in building AI weapons – and do not want others to tarnish their field by doing so, potentially creating a major public backlash against AI that curtails its future societal benefits.”

--Autonomous Weapons: An Open Letter from AI & Robotics Researchers4


“In short, success in creating AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. But, it could also be the last unless we learn how to avoid the risks.  Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers like powerful autonomous weapons or new ways for the few to oppress the many. It will bring great disruption to our economy. And, in the future, AI could develop a will of its own – a will that is in conflict with ours.”

--Professor Stephen Hawking, Theoretical physicist3


Whether you're optimistic or pessimistic about AI and the role in achievements it may support, it's important to understand the ways it may affect the world around us. The World Economic Forum has predicted AI will usher in a fourth industrial revolution, one with the potential to change the ways in which we live, work, and interact with each other.5


Eat Like Plato and Aristotle

In ancient Greece, mythology tells us, olive trees were a gift from the goddess Athena.6 Olive oil was a staple in the kitchen, but it was also burned for light, applied as a healing ointment, and used as a base for perfume.7 This recipe for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a variation on a classic.8


Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Veggies*

1 large bunch broccoli (cut into florets)

1/2 red pepper, diced small

1 medium carrot, diced small

1 pound spaghetti

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)

Salt and pepper

Freshly grated parmesan cheese


Blanch and shock the broccoli, red pepper, and carrot.


Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water (add a pinch of salt to the water before boiling), cook al dente, and drain in a colander.


Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. When garlic is golden, add broccoli, red pepper, and carrot, and stir until coated. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and toss.


*Use any vegetables you like.


What Do You Know About Greek Gods and Heroes?

You probably learned about Greek mythology in school. At its heart is a pantheon of gods, heroes, and creatures that populated tales and helped people explain the world around them. See what you remember by taking this quiz.


  1. Who did Perseus save using the head of Medusa?9
    1. Cybele
    2. Andromeda
    3. Eris
    4. Nike


  1. Who was known as the “God of Wealth” because he possessed the precious metals of the earth?10
    1. Zeus
    2. Poseidon
    3. Hades
    4. Hermes


  1. What were the daughters of Zeus and the Titaness Mnemosyne called?11
    1. The Fates
    2. The Muses
    3. The Amazons
    4. The Argonauts


  1. Who was known as the ‘Mother of All Monsters?'12
    1. Echidna
    2. Medusa
    3. Arachne
    4. Scylla


Trending Now in the United States

At the turn of the 20th century, most Americans lived in rural areas and traveled a couple hours by wagon to reach the nearest town with a railway station. The railroad could take you from New York to San Francisco in five to 10 days, which was a lot faster than walking alongside a Conestoga wagon for six months.13, 14


It's fair to say times have changed. Each year, Mindshare North America publishes Culture Vulture, a report that identifies big changes – demographic shifts, sociological insights, and more – that may be shaping our country. So, what's trending in 2017?15


  • The Boomaissance: Millennials have been gaining influence in recent years, changing culture and work in some significant ways, but Baby Boomers are still a force to be reckoned with. “…Boomers are taking on a ‘Middle-Age Millennial' mindset, driving tech growth in many areas. Over the past several years, they've shown the sharpest increases in e-commerce activity, time spent in mobile apps, and social media penetration.”
  • 21st Century Success: “We once viewed the American Dream as owning a home, a car, and nice clothing to keep up with the Joneses. However, over the years, this definition has changed drastically, becoming less about material goods and more about self-fulfillment.” Baby Boomers may be savvier about tech, but their definitions of success are being supplanted by those of younger generations.
  • Open Lives: Data mining is becoming more and more important to companies and marketing companies. “Social media has opened us up to the world. As technology continues to evolve, we're both accepting and fearful of our openness to it…However, consumers are wary of technology and companies using their personal data, fearing leaks that can compromise their information.”


What trends do you believe will influence the United States in coming years? Identifying and understanding trends can help people find opportunities in their personal, professional, and investing lives.


Quiz Answers:

  1. B – Andromeda
  2. C – Hades
  3. B – The Muses
  4. A – Echidna




2 (or go to















Securities offered through Member FINRA/SIPC.


The above material was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.


LifeStyle Newsletter

Fourth Quarter 2015

Uncommon Knowledge: Prescription Interactions

If you're 57 or older, it's a pretty good bet you take at least one prescription medication. If you take more than one, it's really important to understand how the drugs may interact with one another in your system – particularly, if different doctors have prescribed them.

Knowing how drugs may interact with each other isn't enough, though. Medications may affect existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, or interact with foods you eat in unexpected ways.1 Here are some food-and-medication combinations it may be best to avoid:


  • ACE inhibitors and bananas. ACE inhibitors relax blood vessels to improve blood flow. If you eat bananas or other potassium-rich foods, the amount of potassium in your blood may increase and that may cause irregular heartbeats or palpitations.2

  • Antidepressants and foods. MAOI antidepressants should not be taken with large amounts of food or drink that contain tyramine. That includes many alcoholic drinks as well as aged and fermented foods, such as cheese, yogurt, and tofu.3

  • Antibiotics and milk. Dairy tends to bind with certain medicines. The end result doesn't cause direct harm, but it could result in less of the drug being absorbed into your system. If that happens, the medicine may be less effective.2

  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs and grapefruit. When you're taking statins, eating grapefruit can increase the intensity of muscle aches, which are a side effect of these drugs. If you have a taste for citrus, opt for oranges or lemons. They don't have the same effect as grapefruit.2

  • Blood thinners and leafy greens. Certain clot-preventing drugs block production of Vitamin K. Since certain leafy greens are rich in Vitamin K and may limit anti-clotting drugs' effectiveness, they should be eaten in limited quantities.2

  • Acetaminophen and alcohol. If you take acetaminophen for aches and pains, limit your alcohol intake. The drug may cause liver damage, and the effects could be far worse if you consume three or more drinks a day.2

  • Digoxin and fiber. Digoxin strengthens heart muscle contractions and slows heart rates. Dietary fiber, such as wheat bran, can make it difficult for the body to absorb the drug, causing it to be less effective.4





When a doctor prescribes a medication, make sure he or she is aware of other drugs you take on a regular basis. If you have questions about the way in which new medications may interact with food, other drugs, or medical conditions, talk with your physician.




Reeling in Flavor



What is America's favorite pastime? Baseball? Video games? Reality television? Fishing has got to be somewhere on the list. Whether you prefer fly fishing or bait fishing, here's a simple recipe that can add some zing to a freshly caught dinner.



Tomato Salsa with Fruit5



1 small red onion, finely chopped



2 tablespoons lime juice



1½ cups tomatoes, ¼-inch dice



1 habanero chili, seeded, stemmed, and minced



â…“ cup chopped cilantro



¾ cup chopped ripe mango, peach, nectarine, and/or pear, ¼-inch dice



Salt to taste







  1. Soak the chopped onion in lime juice for 20 minutes.

  2. Combine the tomatoes, chili, cilantro, and fruit.

  3. When the onion is ready, stir it in the tomato mixture along with salt.

  4. Add more lime juice, if necessary, and serve with grilled fish (or duck or chicken).










What Do You Know About Popular Tourist Attractions?



In recent years, four of the world's most popular attractions were Disney theme parks. That's right. According to Travel+Leisure, France's Disneyland Park receives almost as many visitors as Sacré Coeur, and more than the Louvre, but the most popular attraction in France is Notre Dame Cathedral. See what you know about popular tourist attractions by taking this quiz.6







  1. In Istanbul, which attraction receives the most visitors?

    1. Blue Mosque

    2. Basilica Cistern

    3. Hippodrome

    4. Grand Bazaar



  2. In New York City, which attraction receives the most visitors?

    1. Times Square

    2. Metropolitan Museum of Art

    3. Empire State Building

    4. Statue of Liberty



  3. In Mexico City, which attraction receives the most visitors?

    1. Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe

    2. The Zócalo

    3. Palace of Fine Arts

    4. Alameda Park



  4. In Italy, which attraction receives the most visitors?

    1. St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

    2. The Colosseum

    3. Leaning Tower of Pisa

    4. Lake Como











Self-Driving Cars



Automobiles that drive themselves are no longer a science fiction fantasy. Google cars have been driving themselves around California for a while now. According to The Guardian, they've logged about two million miles,7 so far, and they're about to debut in Texas.8 What's so great about a vehicle that drives itself? Experts say these cars may:







  • Eliminate human error. More than 90 percent of accidents each year are caused by driver error.9, Pg 5 Self-driving cars have been in just 14 accidents in California. All were caused by errors made by driver-operated vehicles.7

  • Reduce insurance costs. KPMG took a look at the way autonomous autos would affect insurance companies. They estimate “…an 80 percent potential reduction in accident frequency per vehicle by 2040.”9, Pg 5 They suggested, within 25 years, the personal auto insurance industry would be less than 40 percent its current size.9, Intro

  • Improve productivity. Not only can the cars travel 24/7, the people who ride in them also are free to work while they commute. Traffic jams could become productive work time.7










Of course, the transition to robotic cars may take time. As a 2011 commercial for an iconic American muscle car said, “Hands-free driving. Cars that park themselves. An unmanned car driven by a search engine company. We've seen that movie. It ends with robots harvesting our bodies for energy.”10






Quiz Answers:




  1. 4 – Grand Bazaar

  2. 1 – Times Square

  3. 2 – The Zócalo

  4. 1 – St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City















































LifeStyle Newsletter



First Quarter 2015



Giving Great Gifts



Some people have a gift when it comes to gifts. Whether it's a birthday, wedding, baby shower, Christmas, Hanukah, or some other occasion, they always seem to find just the right thing for each person. If you're not an insightful gift giver, here is an idea which may help. This present is not easy to create. It will take time, thought, and patience, but it's likely the people who receive it will treasure it. Best of all, you can add to it each year.






So, what is this great idea? It's a recipe book; an updated and highly personalized cookbook. You may decide to write recipes on cards, like your mother or grandmother did, because there is something wonderful about seeing a recipe in the handwriting of a person you loved who is no longer around. You may decide to document the recipes electronically so they can be printed, laminated, and kept in a notebook. You may decide to deliver your gift on a portable hard drive or flash drive so recipes can be pulled up on a kitchen computer or tablet.






No matter what form the gift takes, you'll be providing a slice of your family's history or the history of a friendship to the people who receive your gift. You may decide to create a drinks recipe book for your best girlfriends, a family recipe book for your children, a tailgating recipe book for your sports-minded friends, or a baby food recipe book for a pregnant friend, daughter, or daughter-in-law. The possibilities are endless.






There are a variety of ways to make your recipe book more meaningful. You may want to include:







  • Stories. Was this recipe someone's favorite? Why was it liked (or disliked)? Was it always served on a specific holiday? Was it part of a memorable kitchen disaster? Did it evolve through the generations? Was it always served in a particular dish?
  • Pictures. Include pictures of family or friends. Scan photos of your children when they were young (enlist the help of someone who knows how to use a scanner, if necessary.) You may want to have pictures of someone cooking the dish.
  • Explanations. Cooking is at risk of becoming a lost art. Include valuable information such as which recipes are good for entertaining, which are gluten-free, and so on. You can include this in the table of contents or on the recipe.
  • Information. Remember to include tables of equivalent measures, ingredient substitutes, cuts of meat, and other essential cooking data.










The possibilities for your recipe book are endless. If you're seeking additional inspiration, go online and google some more ideas.






When Do You Eat Miso Soup?



If you're eating Miso soup in Japan, you're probably having breakfast. If you're enjoying Miso soup at lunch or dinnertime, then you're probably in the United States. If you have never eaten Miso soup, you're missing out on something delicious. Here's a recipe you can try:






Miso Soup



8 cups water



4 dried shiitake mushrooms (or a 3-ounce package)



3 tablespoons sesame oil



6 green onions, sliced thin, separate white and green



Thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped fine



2 cloves garlic, chopped fine



1 cup baby spinach leaves



1 cup medium diced silken tofu



5 tablespoons miso (preferably red or brown)






Pour 4 cups of water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the dried mushrooms. When the mushrooms are rehydrated, remove them from the liquid, let them cool a bit, and chop them. Save the liquid for later. (If you don't like the texture of mushrooms you don't have to add them to the soup.)






Heat sesame oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add scallion whites, ginger, and garlic. Cook for one minute. Add 4 cups water and 4 cups reserved liquid. Add the mushrooms, baby spinach, tofu, and miso. Bring to a simmer. Serve in bowls and garnish with scallion greens. You can top off the soup with cooked chicken or salmon, if you prefer.






What Do You Know About Chinese New Year?[1]







  1. Why are firecrackers set off during Chinese New Year?
    1. To scare away monsters
    2. To wake the gods
    3. To provide light
    4. To thrill family members












  1. What should you not do on Chinese New Year?
    1. Leave the house
    2. Eat fish
    3. Sweep the house
    4. Speak the names of the dead












  1. What color should you wear for good luck?
    1. Yellow
    2. Red
    3. White
    4. Black












  1. What fruit is traditionally distributed?
    1. Pineapple
    2. Tangerines
    3. Papaya
    4. Dragon fruit











The Best of What's New



If you're a fan of the television series Parks and Recreation, you may have witnessed the scene in which Park Commissioner Ron Swanson makes wedding rings from a wall sconce and says, “Any moron with a crucible, an acetylene torch, and a cast iron waffle maker could have done the same. The whole thing only took me about 20 minutes.”[2]






It's a pretty fair bet all the inventions recognized by Popular Science during its 8th Annual Inventions Awards took more than 20 minutes to create. On the list were a way to regulate old boiler systems with new technology, a means of charging electronic devices while hiking, and a personal electric airplane that lands vertically. Other award recipients were:[3]







  • A powerful robotic exoskeleton. An affordable (about $2,000) device that augments the strength of patients who are trying to recover from debilitating injuries.
  • A collapsible bike helmet. Let's face it, bike helmets are essential but they're also inconvenient. What do you do when you've reached your destination? This helmet folds up for storage in a pack or briefcase.
  • A pocket-sized way to seal wounds. Stopping blood loss saves lives in war zones. This polycarbonate syringe slides into a wound and deposits dozens of pill-sized sponges that swell to help clot blood and fight infection.










If you would like to learn more about any of these amazing inventions, visit






Quiz Answers:




  1. A – To scare away monsters
  2. C – Sweep the house (you may sweep away your fortune)
  3. B – Red: wards off evil spirits (children receive red envelopes of money)
  4. B – Tangerines































LifeStyle Newsletter



First Quarter 2013






Stay in Touch



With cell phones, e-mail, video chats, and social media, you'd think it would be easier for people to connect and stay in touch than ever before. However, ongoing research has found that people in America have smaller support networks and fewer confidants than they did just two decades ago. This may be one reason for an upswing in loneliness and social isolation. A 2011 study sponsored by the AARP found that 35% of Americans over age 45 are lonely.






Why are people lonely?



Experts say there are many reasons people become lonely and disconnected from their friends and families. Some of the most common reasons include:







  • Loss of a loved one.The death of a spouse, close relative, or good friend is strongly correlated to loneliness and isolation. For many people, their spouse is their primary confidant.
  • Caregiving.The number of people providing care for family or friends has increased significantly in recent years. Caregiving is often a solitary occupation and caregivers often become lonely.
  • Lack of transportation.Isolation can result from a lack of transportation. It is difficult to visit friends or attend community and social events without a car or access to good public transportation.
  • Technology. Research is unclear about whether technology contributes to or prevents loneliness. Some studies suggest people who use technology remain more socially active; others postulate that technology weakens social connections.










Loneliness is bad for your health



According to John Cacioppo, a psychologist at the University of Chicago and author of the book Loneliness, the human need for social connection is so important that without it people break down at a cellular level, becoming highly vulnerable to disease and other ailments. Other research supports his findings. Loneliness is believed to be as bad as for your health as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, and high blood pressure. It has also been tied to issues related to learning and memory.






Finding a remedy



The only remedy for loneliness is to become more social. According to Cacioppo, the first step is to acknowledge loneliness and take actions to reconnect socially. These may include doing volunteer work, joining a book club, becoming a docent, or engaging in other activities that offer opportunities to interact and cultivate friendships.






Overcoming loneliness is not easy. It can be challenging for people who have become isolated to remain optimistic or expect the best from others. If members of your family or community have become isolated, and you suspect they may be lonely, reach out and help them reconnect. It could make the New Year far more rewarding.






A Great Way to Warm Up



On cold days, nothing tastes better than a bowl of hot soup. If you're in need of a warm up, try this recipe for mushroom soup.






Mushroom Soup



Dried wild mushrooms



Olive oil



2 tablespoonsbutter



2 cloves of garlic, finely diced



1 small sweet onion, finely chopped



Fresh thyme leaves (no stems)



3 cups mushrooms (any variety), cleaned and sliced



32 ounceschicken stock



Sea salt



Black pepper



Fresh parsley, roughly chopped






Soak the dried wild mushrooms in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Put a large soup pot over high heat. Add the olive oil, butter, garlic, onion, and thyme leaves. Cook until onions are soft. Add the mushrooms. When mushrooms begin to release juice, chop the rehydrated wild mushrooms and add them to the pot along with the liquid they soaked in. Cook for about 15 more minutes. Add chicken stock, sea salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. If you want a creamier soup, puree it in a mixer. Just make sure the center piece of the mixer lid has been removed to release steam. Garnish with parsley leaves.






What Do You Know About Black Holes?



Black holes are so powerful that not even light can escape them. According to, recent research has raised interesting questions about the evolution of black holes and their relationships to galaxies. Test your knowledge of black holes with this brief quiz.







  1. General relativity suggests that black holes have:
    1. Infinite volume
    2. Infinite mass
    3. Infinite density
    4. None of the above












  1. When a star dies, it may become a black hole if it has:
    1. Half the mass of the sun
    2. Three times the mass of the sun
    3. Three times the mass of Venus
    4. Half the mass of Venus












  1. Where are black holes generally found?
    1. In galaxies
    2. In worm holes
    3. In stars
    4. In moons












  1. Which came first: galaxies or black holes?
    1. Galaxies
    2. Black holes
    3. Scientists are not sure
    4. None of the above

















The Revolution in Games



Many of us grew up playing Monopoly, Scrabble, Checkers, Tripoli, cards, and other games whenever friends and family got together. It was a great way for multiple generations to interact and get to know each other better.






Today, some young people embrace board games, but many prefer video games. If you want to stay connected to them, it's a good idea to become familiar with some of the electronic games available. Here are a few fun, interactive games to play on your smart phone or tablet with kids, grandkids, or even friends. (Some are free, some cost a few dollars.)







  • Words with Friendsis similar to Scrabble. Players take turns building words on a board. A key difference is that the game determines whether the words you play are acceptable. You can play up to 20 games at once. All ages. (
  • Pocket Legendslets you choose an avatar (eagle, elf, or bear) and a campaign, and then work with others to help the elf queen of Alterra save her kingdom. You can create your own fantasy adventure and secure it with a password so only friends and family can play. (
  • ScribblenautsRemix encourages creativity. Players are presented with a problem and they decide how to solve it. For example, how would you get a star from the top of a tree? Would you chop it down? Climb it? Employ a giant rainbow beaver? This game is best for older children, although younger ones can play if parents and grandparents help with spelling and typing. (










Interactive games are a great way to establish shared interests with children and grandchildren. They're also a great way to challenge your brain and keep it young! 






Quiz Answers:




  1. C – Infinite density.
  2. B – Three times the mass of the sun.
  3. A – In galaxies.
  4. C – Scientists are not sure. Some studies suggested that black holes grew and evolved as galaxies grew and evolved. However, recent discoveries of massive black holes in small galaxies have scientists questioning that idea.






LifeStyle Newsletter




Fourth Quarter 2012






A Walk in the Woods… or the Park… or the Garden



Remember when your Mom would order you to go outside and play? It turns out she was on to something – and it wasn't just protecting her newly cleaned house from the ravages of children. Studies across the globe have found that spending time in nature – playing in a yard, walking through the woods, or even just observing a natural setting – offers a wealth of health benefits. Forest bathing, as the Japanese call it, lowers cortisone (a.k.a. the stress hormone) levels, reduces blood pressure, and improves immunity. In fact, it appears that just observing nature can help improve memory and attention span.






Vitamin N: Recommended daily for everyone



Vitamin N (as in Nature) is important for older people. It may be even more important for children and grandchildren who tend to be immersed in technology rather than nature. Child advocates suggest that spending time outdoors may reduce childhood anxiety and depression, as well as help manage attention deficit disorder.






Next time you're looking for a family activity or a way to connect with your grandchildren, consider options that incorporate the great outdoors. You could:







  • Plant, weed, or harvest a garden:Not only does working in the garden put children in nature, it also helps teach important lessons about food and culture.
  • Observe a natural setting:Lie under a willow tree and see what flies in and out or watch an age-appropriate documentary about nature – sharks, storms, or volcanoes may capture a child's imagination.
  • Start a hiking club:Ask families at school or in your neighborhood to join your family for a hike through a park and a picnic afterwards. If the park has a playground or a pond for frog chasing, that's even better.










Connecting with nature is vital to psychological and physical health, regardless of age. If observing, exercising, or playing in nature isn't part of your daily routine, it may be time to change things up.






Apple Pear Crisp



In autumn, nothing hits the spot like a crisp or a cobbler – bubbling fruit under a sweet, crunchy topping. If you enjoy the heavenly scent of warm fruit on a cool evening, try this recipe for Apple Pear Crisp.









2 pounds ripe pears (4 pears)



2 pounds firm apples (6 apples)



1 teaspoon grated orange zest



1 teaspoon grated lemon zest



2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice



2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice



½ cup white sugar



¼ cup flour



1 teaspoon cinnamon



½ teaspoon nutmeg









1½ cups flour



¾ cup white sugar



¾ cup brown sugar, lightly packed



½ teaspoon kosher salt



1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal



½ pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced






Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel and core the pears and apples. Slice them thin. Put the fruit in a large bowl and add the zest, juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir it up and pour it into a glass or ceramic baking dish (9x12x2). Combine the topping ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit. Put the baking dish in the oven over a sheet pan (to catch any drips) and bake for about one hour or until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbling.






What Do You Know About Antarctica?



According to National Geographic, thousands of people visit Antarctica each year. Some are scientists and some are tourists. Test your knowledge of this frozen continent with this brief quiz.







  1. Which country does Antarctica belong to?
    1. United States
    2. Argentina
    3. United Kingdom
    4. None of the above












  1. What is the average yearly temperature at the United States' Amundsen-Scott South Pole station?
    1. 0
    2. -8°F
    3. -56°F
    4. -11°F












  1. What is the largest land animal in Antarctica?
    1. Penguin
    2. Polar bear
    3. Midge
    4. None of the above












  1. The name for the heavily insulated boots U.S. scientists on Antarctica are required to wear is:
    1. Moon
    2. Bunny
    3. Polar bear
    4. PowPow











The Best Inventions of 2011



For many people, the garage is the most creative space in their households – and it's amazing to discover what they've been working on there. Each year, the PopSci Invention Awards recognize innovative, problem-solving inventions that have the potential to become viable products. The 2012 awards, which identify the best inventions of 2011, included these ingenious ideas:







  • A recirculating shower.Showering uses more water and energy than any other daily household activity. The recirculating shower has a mini-treatment plant inside that captures, cleans, and recirculates more than two-thirds of the water used during a shower.
  • Augmented reality eyewear. Google's goggles may have gotten the media attention, but PopSci liked iOptik's lighter-weight version better. This eyewear allows people to pull information about what they're seeing by using their field of view as a screen. If you want to know the species of a tree or price of a product, use your field of vision as a virtual videogame screen, or impose a map of an area over a view of the real thing. This eyewear can do it.
  • Assisted-walking device with sensors. Some people have sensory and motor-skill disabilities or balance issues caused by injury or disease. Regardless of the cause, this conductive foam insole has 13 pressure sensors that help wearers by sending an audio signal when their feet touch the ground.










While these inventions are intriguing, they are the tip of the iceberg. You can read about other award-winning inventions by visiting www.popsci.comand entering the search term “inventions.”






Quiz Answers:




  1. D – Antarcticadoesn't belong to any country. The Antarctic Treaty, which was signed by 48 countries, designates the area for peaceful research.
  2. C – The average temperature is -56°F. The record high was -7.5°F in 1978. The record low was -117°F in 1972.
  3. C – The largest land animal is a tiny wingless fly called a midge.
  4. B – They are called bunny boots.

















LifeStyle Newsletter





Third Quarter 2012





Publish Your History




Are there anecdotes about a family member you want to save for posterity? Has your genealogical research uncovered amazing family stories? Would you like to share the adventures of your life with future generations? If so, you're in luck. It has never been easier to pass information from generation to generation.







  1. Write it up






If you haven't written anything yet, decide how you will present your story or stories. Will you offer a written narrative with photographs, drawings, or cartoons? A series of handwritten letters? A compilation of e-mail and text messages? If you're looking for inspiration, visit:













Of course, one or more of these sites may cause you to reconsider publishing, and opt instead for blogging, videography, or oral history.







  1. Select photos or other visual support






Carefully select the visual memorabilia that will accompany your personal history. You may want to include: photos, drawings, report cards, diagrams, newspaper headlines, or other pertinent graphics. If these materials are not digital, you may need to scan them into your computer and save the files.








  1. Choose an online resource






Self-publishing has never been easier. The online resource you choose will depend, in large part, on your audience. If your book is for family members and friends, then you may want to consider sites like,, or Just log on, choose a book size, and then organize your downloaded photos and text. You pay for each book you purchase. If you subscribe to Grouponor Living Social, keep your eyes open for discount coupons offered by these sites.







If you are a serious novelist or plan to publish a journal, then,,, and Kindle Direct Publishingmay be a better choice. These sites give you the opportunity to publish a book in electronic and/or print-on-demand formats and then make your book available for purchase through various outlets. You even have an opportunity to earn royalties, but read the contracts carefully. Beware that self-publishers want to make money – and they are unlikely to do it by selling millions of copies of your book – so they will try to sell you additional services.






Get Started!



No matter how you do it, creating a personal history for future generations has great value. After all, how many people under the age of 30 know what it was like to make ends meet during the Great Depression, worry through the Cold War, or live through the 1960s? You can make history come alive.






Lettuce Wraps



If you're a gardener, you may have some tender heads of lettuce sprouting in the yard. If not, you may need to run to the store before making these tasty lettuce wraps.






Lettuce Wraps



2 tablespoons vegetable oil



1 cup onions, diced small



1 garlic clove, minced



1 cup water chestnut, diced small



1 cup mushrooms, chopped small



1 cup carrots, grated



2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded



3 tablespoons hoisin sauce



2 tablespoons soy sauce



1 teaspoon sesame oil



1/4 teaspoon hot chile paste



1 head lettuce (separate large, tender leaves; wash and dry)






Heat the oil in a wok or heavy fry pan over medium to high heat. Add the onions and garlic. Stir fry for a minute or so. Add water chestnuts, mushrooms, and carrots. Stir fry for another minute. Add the cooked chicken, hoisin and soy sauces, sesame oil, and chile paste. Stir fry until thoroughly heated. Let cool for a few minutes and spoon the mixture into the lettuce leaves.






What Do You Know About Water?



A news release from the U.S. Director of National Intelligence provided some unwelcome information. There will not be enough fresh water to keep up with demand in key countries between now and 2040, unless water resources are managed more effectively. Test your knowledge of water issues with this brief quiz:







  1. Water problems have the potential to:
    1. Hinder food production
    2. Slow economic growth
    3. Impede energy production
    4. All of the above












  1. Pumping groundwater for irrigation, drinking water, and industrial activities causes sea levels to rise.
    1. True
    2. False












  1. Pumping too much ground water can result in:
    1. Lightning strikes
    2. Droughts
    3. Sinkholes
    4. Wildfires












  1. The average family of four uses about 400 gallons of water each day. Almost 14% of the water goes to:
    1. Taking showers
    2. Leaking appliances
    3. Washing clothes
    4. Flushing toilets











The Evolution of Language



The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is updated quarterly. The powers that be revise carefully selected entries and add new words that have become prevalent in daily use. The March 2012 revision includes 1,700 revised meanings and new words.






Redefining time



Time, the most frequently used noun in the English language, was the signature word for the quarter's new issue. This section of the dictionary now has 110 entries and 607 terms. These terms include:







  • Timescale, which is defined as an arrangement of events used as a measure of duration. For instance, a century is not long in the history of the English language. Over that timescale, words acquire new nuances and new meanings.
  • Time capsule, a container used to store for posterity a selection of objects thought to be representative of life at a particular time. Each edition of the OED may be thought of as a time capsule of the English language.  










Re-typing blood



Bloodalso was brought into the modern day with the addition of new variations that took the editors, “some way from the original meanings of blood as a fluid circulating in the body – into the lands of vampires [blood-sucking], detectives [bloodhound], heady cocktails [blood shot], and animal passions [blood lust].”






Recording neologisms



A neologism is a new word or term. Among those added to the latest OED were:




  • Bit bucketn. A notional location in which lost or discarded data is said to be collected
  • Boofyadj., Australian word describing big, strong men who aren't very smart
  • LARPingn. Live-action role playing
  • Ludologyn. The study of games (including video games) and game playing






If you like words or enjoy learning about the history of language, visit the Oxford English Dictionary web site at They offer a wealth of information about the evolution of language.




Quiz Answers:




  1. D – All of the above. According to the news release, “Water problems will hinder the ability of key countries to produce food and generate energy, posing a risk to global food markets and hobbling economic growth. As a result of demographic and economic development pressures, North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia will face major challenges coping with water problems.” (Office of Department on National Intelligence (ODNI))
  2. A – True. Pumped ground water generally evaporates or flows into streams or rivers. Eventually, it ends up in the ocean where it becomes salt water. Over the next few decades, groundwater is expected to cause sea levels to rise by as much as melting glaciers and ice caps.
  3. C – Sinkholes. Some sinkholes are caused by ground-water pumping.
  4. B – Leaking appliances. The 400 gallons an average household uses go to: Showers (16.8%); Toilets (26.7%); Washing clothes (21.7%); Faucets (15.7%); Leaks (13.7%); and Other (5.3%).















LifeStyle Newsletter





2nd Quarter 2012





Stroll, Ramble, Wander, Promenade




Henry David Thoreau had a well-documented passion for walking. In one, oft-delivered lecture, he said, “I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields absolutely, free from all worldly engagements.” As it turns out, Thoreau was right about the positive benefits of walking – and wrong about the length of time required to attain them.



A body in motion tends to stay in motion



According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), walking for just 30 minutes, five or more days a week, provides a multitude of benefits for the average adult. These include:




  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing risk of heart disease
  • Defending the brain against memory loss and Alzheimer's
  • Limiting the risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • Diminishing some types of chronic pain
  • Maintaining the ability to perform daily tasks
  • Sleeping better






Unfortunately, few older Americans are reaping these benefits. NIH found that less than one-third of 45- to 64-year-olds engage in physical activities on a regular basis; about one-quarter of 65- to 74-year-olds do; and just 11 percent of those over age 75.




Give yourself momentum



It doesn't take much to swap a sedentary lifestyle for renewed energy and vigor. However, if you haven't been active for a while, it‘s a good idea to start slowly. Put on a pair of good walking shoes, and take a stroll around the neighborhood. Gradually, increase your time until you walk for 30 minutes each day. If you have trouble motivating yourself, find a walking partner and make it a social activity. Or, you can buy a pedometer and challenge yourself by counting your steps. You can learn more at– right after your walk!



2012: Year of the Potato



Predictions for the hottest restaurant trends in 2012 include savory ice cream flavors (e.g., lobster ice cream), vegetable desserts (e.g., celery pudding), and potato dishes (e.g., potato and ham soup). You can make the latter at home with this great recipe.




Potato and Ham Soup



4 cups potatoes, peeled and diced



1/2 cup celery, chopped fine



1/2 cup onion, chopped fine



1 cup smoked ham, diced



4 cups chicken or vegetable stock



1 teaspoon salt



1 teaspoon ground white pepper



½ teaspoon cayenne pepper



5 tablespoons butter



5 tablespoons flour



2 cups milk



Parsley or chives



Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham,and chickenor vegetablestock in a large pot. Bring the ingredients to a boil, and cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender (about 10 to 15 minutes). Stir in the salt, white pepper, and cayenne pepper.



In a saucepan, make a roux. Melt the butter. Whisk in the flour. Stir the mixture it thickens. Slowly whisk in the milk. Cook the mixture over low-to-medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add it to the ingredients in the large pot, and whisk thoroughly. Garnish with parsley or chives.






Wht Do You Know About Mythology?



If you're a grandparent – or fan of children's books – you probably know that many of today's most popular titles are based on mythology. Test your knowledge of mythology and children'sliterature with this brief quiz.







  1. What was the purpose of mythology?
    1. To explain natural events
    2. To explain a culture's view of the universe
    3. To explain a culture's view of humanity
    4. All of the above












  1. Greek and Roman mythology share many gods, but call these gods by different names. Which of the following pairs match the Roman name with the Greek name?
    1. Cupid               1.  Ares
    2. Diana               2.  Artemis
    3. Jupiter             3.  Eros
    4. Juno                 4.  Zeus
    5. Mars                5. Hera












  1. Which of the following children's book authors have written series that are grounded in mythology?
    1. Rick Riordan
    2. Nancy Farmer
    3. Eoin Colfer
    4. All of the above












  1. Which of the following idioms do not have its origins in mythology?
    1. Raining cats and dogs
    2. Achilles' heel
    3. Eat my hat
    4. Fortune favors the bold







A Smart Phone Revolution




Smart phones are changing the way many people use technology – and some suspect that they may eventually replace personal computers. Today, they're altering the way people text.



Learn a new app



Since the mid-1990s, text messages have become a popular means of communication. Last year, 75 percent of cell phone owners in 21 countries texted regularly. Some experts believe that texting has helped sharpen our thinking, by forcing us to get to the point more quickly. If it still takes you several messages to make a point, you may be glad to know that some smart phone applications (apps) offer free texting. After downloading GroupMe, Disco, WhatsApp, Kik, or another option, you can text divide your friends into groups and text everyone at the same time – no matter what type of smart phone group members have.



Save money



Technically, ‘free' texting isn't free because texting apps piggyback on a smart phone's data plan. However, this approach to texting is significantly less expensive than texting by cell phone, according to CNNMoney. For example, one text message requires, at most, 160 bytes of data. A megabyte of data (more than one million bytes or 6,250 text messages) costs:




  • $1,250 when you pay $0.20 per cell phone text
  • $2.80 with an unlimited texting plan
  • $0.014 when you text through a smart phone app (Two gigabytes – 2,048 megabytes – of data cost about $25 to $30 a month)






If 6,250 text messages seem like a lot, think again. The average cell phone user sends 1,500 text messages a month, according to Pew Research. Teens lead the pack, sending more than 3,000 texts every month, while older Americans send less than 500 per month, according to Nielsen.




So, don't worry. If you're just becoming fluent in the number-letter-symbol language of texting, you will still have opportunities to use your new skills. You may even have a chance to show your kids and grandkids how to save on texting!




Quiz Answers:




  1. All of the above.
  2. A = 3; B = 2; C = 4; D = 5; and E = 1.
  3. All of the above. Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series incorporates Greek and Roman mythology; Nancy Farmer's Trolls Trilogy has elements of Norse mythology, and Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series reference Irish mythology.
  4. The idiom ‘Eat my hat' originated in 1660 in the court of Charles II. It is also found in Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers. ‘Raining cats and dogs' is believed to have its origin in Norse mythology.