Grab Your Nuts this Christmas

Holiday season swells with junk food treats. Sugar cookies, fudge, candy canes, fruitcakes and more. But amid the high-fructose corn syrup, chemical colorings and trans fats, there is a healthy option. It’s nuts.

Botanically speaking, true nuts are the fruit of the plant order known as Fagales, which includes most common trees. Most the nuts from that group of plants are correctly called tree nuts, including walnuts, chestnuts, pecans and hazelnuts.

When it comes to eating and cooking, though, the term nut describes seeds and kernels also. While technically not nuts, seeds like almonds, cashews, macadamias, Brazil nuts, pistachios and pine nuts go by that misnomer. In fact, a peanut isn’t a nut but a legume and seed, closely related…

entered on 12/01/14 at 01:00 PM | read more »

News You Can Use, November 2014

“We aggregate so you’ll cogitate.”

The Good

Europe Says No to GMO A couple high profile GMO labeling initiatives narrowly failed at the polls this month. There was, however, a sparkle of good news about the anti-GMO movement. The European Union’s Environmental Committee determined that member countries of the EU have the legal right to ban GMOs in basically any way, shape or form. The approved text would entitle member states to pass legally binding acts restricting or prohibiting the cultivation of GMO crops even if they have been authorized at EU level. They could also ask, when a new GMO crop is being assessed at EU level, to adjust the geographical scope of the authorization.

European countries generally ban…

entered on 11/24/14 at 10:20 AM | read more »

Trouble Sleeping? Meditation vs. The Drunken Monkey

A friend visits from Los Angeles two or three times a year. Often when he’s here, the topic of sleeplessness creeps into conversation. Last time, I invited him to tell me about it.

“I have no problem falling asleep,” he said. That’s understandable. He’s one of the hardest working people I know. At day’s end, he’s exhausted. “But after a couple hours, I wake up and can’t go back to sleep. My thoughts are racing with things I have to do or problems or creative ideas. I can’t stop thinking. My mind is spinning like a, like a…”

“Drunken monkey?” I offer.

“Yes, exactly, like a drunken monkey.”

Monkey Time My pal isn’t alone. Half of all Americans report sleep…

entered on 11/17/14 at 02:07 PM | read more »

A Fierce Wind Was Blowing

And the screens we're a rattling

entered on 11/10/14 at 10:23 PM | read more »

Winners and Losers

Ahh, democracy. Every few months, we as a nation demonstrate our collective intelligence, proving there’s a reason why great thinkers from Plato to Voltaire and through the ages said that democracy, as a form of government, is not the best choice. Critics maintain it’s a form of organized mob rule. Some say it’s just a clever cover for corporatocracy. Certainly it’s hard to deny that our country is run as an oligarchy, especially when the acknowledged presidential frontrunner from the Republican Party in 2016 is the third Bush out of Texas — and his opponent is likely a second Clinton. Yet many of us go mark ballots in a perversion of a poll dance but with clothes on.

Often the…

entered on 11/10/14 at 05:24 PM | read more »


A college freshman calls on his girlfriend at her parent’s house. Waiting for her to come downstairs, he asks her mom if he can go to the kitchen for a glass of water. In the cabinet next to the sink, he reaches a glass and something else — his girlfriend’s 12-year-old sister’s giant bottle of prescription Ritalin, at least 100 pills inside. He pockets 3 or 4, finishes his water and turns on his best Eddie Haskell as he returns to the living room. A modern tale of today’s depraved teenage druggies? No. True Confessions: that was I, in 1969.

See, little “Jackie”, we’ll call her, was diagnosed as being “hyperactive” and prescribed Ritalin, proving our fascination with drugging our…

entered on 11/03/14 at 11:50 AM | read more »

Whole Foods a Game-changer

If you were watching game one of the World Series and paying attention, you had to be shocked. Shocked, not because “Big Game” James Shields was rocked but because you saw a commercial in some ways as monumental as the famous 1984 Macintosh Super Bowl advert. Whole Foods Market has gone big time.

For the first time ever, the leading grocery store chain specializing in organic, real, local-ish, and “natural” food has dipped its toe into the waters of national marketing. A full-blown, full-length Whole Foods commercial ran on prime time network television, marking a departure from the company’s longtime (non-)marketing strategy. This is huge.

Though operating over 385 stores worldwide, with most of those in the US, Whole Foods…

entered on 10/27/14 at 05:39 PM | read more »

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Bo Pelini behaved as if he had coached his last game at Nebraska, based on his sideline and post-game decorum, or lack thereof. That was the...

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Attention to detail

If not for Sam Burtch, the most dramatic play of this Nebraska football season might never have happened.

If not for Burtch, Ron Kellogg III...

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Sack leader

As David Santos remembers it, Connor Cook was rolling out and he was pursuing the Michigan State quarterback when Nebraska teammate Randy Gregory...

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Planet Power: Nov. 21 - 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving. Let’s be nice to each other and cultivate warm thoughts. You are what you think…


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Planet Power: Nov. 14 - 20, 2013

This issue marks my 17th year here at The “READER.” Thanks to John, Eric, my beloved Carrie, et al., for all your help, encouragement and...

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Planet Power: November 7 - 13, 2013

The new Aquarian-Age astrology is/will be ruled by the planet Uranus (yeah, I’ve heard that joke before). Traditional astrology, prior to the...

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Planet Power: Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2013

Happy Halloween! Let your subconscious desires flow as the twilight fades into the black of the night of the year. Don’t fear the night. You have...

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The Scoop on Poop

There is an eye-catching scene in Bernardo Bertolucci’s magnum opus and Oscar-winning film, The Last Emperor. The movie details the life arc of the...

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Skin Deep

Our skin is the largest organ of our body. Skin contains, protects and functions on the outside and inside. That’s right. Technically, skin doesn’t...

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Chakras: Wheels on Fire

The name Albert Einstein remains one of the most recognizable in all of history. Charles Webster “C.W.” Leadbeater, not so much. Both men made names...

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Our Deadliest Addiction: Convenience

You know you’re addicted to something when you forsake logic and quality of life in order to acquire what you think you can’t live without. A crack,...

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