The Magnificent Seven (2016) review

Horse Feathers on the Rocks

Antoine Fuqua’s (Training Day, Southpaw) The Magnificent Seven is actually a remake of a 1960 western of the same name, which is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. In Fuqua’s film, a gold-obsessed tycoon named Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) sets his sights on the small town of Rose Creek where he forces the townspeople to abandon their homes and slaughters anyone who opposes him.

Rose Creek resident Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) enlists the assistance of a bounty hunter named Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) to dispose of Bogue once and for all. Since they’re going up against Bogue and the best army money can buy, Chisolm is going to need all the help he can get. So Chisolm recruits a gambler named Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), a sharpshooter named Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), a knife savvy assassin named Billy Rocks (Lee Byung-hun), a tracker named Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), a Mexican outlaw known as Vazquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and a Comanche warrior called Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier).

With the odds stacked against them and a town full of farmers who can’t shoot straight, the Seven have less than a week to prepare the small town of Rose Creek for a bloodbath that will likely be filled with the liquid crimson of their friends and family.

Most of the line-up of The Magnificent Seven would be much more interesting if the film had the time to devote to each character individually. Chisolm obviously has a rich back story that he’s attempting to keep under wraps, Farraday seems to become loyal for all of the wrong reasons, Goodnight has a legacy he wishes didn’t exist, Billy barely speaks and yet you’re drawn to him because of his swiftness in a gunfight, and Jack Horne somehow outshines Farraday as the comedic relief. Vasquez and Red Harvest are honestly just after thoughts. Thrown together in a film, the Seven fight tooth and nail over the spotlight which results in a hogwash of paper thin characters that the audience has zero investment in.

When you have this huge ensemble filled with so many recognizable names you’re banking on the on-screen chemistry to be as explosive as the dynamite featured in the film. The Magnificent Seven is completely lacking in both character development and chemistry. You don’t feel for any of the characters and therefore have no emotional connection as far as what the film has to offer in the third act. Peter Sarsgaard, who is normally extremely versatile in his roles, barely has any screen time and fails at making the audience despise the Bogue character. Sarsgaard does little other than pour a jar of dirt on the floor of a church and smoke every time he’s on screen.

This is the first western for director Antoine Fuqua and stars Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington, but it seems like they didn’t research how to make a western entertaining in modern times. The film is written by Richard Wenk (who also wrote Fuqua’s The Equalizer remake) and first time screenplay writer Nic Pizzolatto. What’s unfortunate is that The Magnificent Seven is overwhelmingly rudimentary since it fails to add any sort of depth to its familiar story and one-dimensional characters. An evil villain is attempting to buy out a small town for his own personal gain, so a bounty hunter with nothing better to do steps in to take him out. The entire ensemble is littered with antiheroes who you just don’t care about.

The film also crawls slower than a quadriplegic sloth. After the introduction of each character joining the gang, you have to witness Farraday’s useless magic tricks, Chisolm reenact Leonardo DiCaprio eating raw bison liver in The Revenant (with a deer, no less), and countless family dinner sequences at the local Rose Creek saloon. Every character is full of sarcastic quips and weak one-liners that seem to purposely revoke laughter. Chris Pratt is lacking nearly all of the charm he had in both Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World and any other attempts of humor by the rest of the cast mostly results in an eye roll or head shake at best.

Dull, predictable, and basic in every sense of the word, The Magnificent Seven is a devastating blow to the western genre and yet is about the standard as far as remakes go. It suffers the same fate as Jane Got a Gun, another western from earlier this year; the fantastic cast is unable to save the rehashed rubbish the rest of the film goes out of its way to categorize itself into.

#Magnificent #Seven #2016 #review
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Gibson Les Paul Guitars under a Thousand Dollars

There is nothing fancy about the Gibson Les Paul CM. What there is is beautiful minimalist utilitarian simplicity which can be used to make all manner of music. These guitars were born in 2015, but hopefully the idea is here to stay.

You may have one of these in any color you like, just so long as you like black. And black is a power color. This guitar provides some powerful value for not so many bucks.

You get exactly one pickup, a humbucking PAF, one volume and one tone control knob. And very seriously, using that volume and tone control can get you a lot of different tonal character. With a minimalist guitar you really get more opportunity to learn to manipulate sound with your hands.

The bridge and saddle here are the same thing. The wraparound bridge is what it is known as. These are old school, retro cool hardware. If you can’t play it and make it sound good on one of these guitars then a nine thousand dollar 1959 reissue won’t help you.

This guitar comes with a gig bag. The Gibson gig bags are very good. They’ve some thick foam insulation for protection.

The faded black of this guitar serves to make it look old while being brand new. Having custom made ‘relic’ guitars is pretty fashionable these days. But as it is also almost entirely black it carries a metal and punk sort of vibe. And really, bashing out high energy punk rock power chords on this thing would be very cool.

This guitar is no beginner’s guitar, but then again it is priced like one. This guitar is essentially all you’ll ever need in an electric guitar. So there is no neck position pickup, well, if you adjust your tone control you can make the tone much warmer in order to simulate a neck pickup sound. I’m very seriously considering the purchase of one of these. I’ve owned Gibson guitars before, but I’ve never owned a Les Paul.

  • Top Wood: Plain Maple
  • Back Wood: Mahogany
  • Strap Pins: Butt/Rim
  • Nut Type: Graphtech
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Inlays: Dot
  • Nut Width: 1.695″
  • Finish: Satin Ebony
  • Silkscreen: Gold “Gibson” and “Les Paul Model”
  • Tuners: G-Force Nickel with Green Keys
  • Knobs: Black Top Hat
  • Tailpiece: Satin Nickel Lightning Bar
  • Truss Rod Cover: Solid Black Satin
  • Controls: One Volume, One Tone
  • Trim Rings: Black
  • Gig Bag: Included

#Gibson #Paul #Guitars #under #Thousand #Dollars
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A herb that can aid weightloss and help protect against heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes – Really

Cayenne Pepper – The Amazing Healing Herb of the Amazon

It is thought cayenne originated on the banks of the Amazon and has been used by the indigenous people of the Americas since ancient times. It is now used in many countries around the world, not only as a great and tasty way of adding heat and spice to meals, but also for its medicinal and healing properties

Cayenne has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and has been used to treat a wide range of illnesses. Among the conditions that cayenne has been used for are heart disease, gout, trapped wind, sore throats and many more.

Let’s have a look at a number of conditions that cayenne can be of use for and how it works.

Common Cold

Cayenne can work as a decongestant if you happen to be suffering from that most common of all viruses, the common cold. Once it’s decongestant properties begin to do their work on the sinuses, the mucus that gives you that horrible ‘blocked up’ feeling starts to clear from the body and as this occurs, the sufferer feels relief from their symptoms.

Sore Throat

Cayenne chilli contains a highly effective property called capsaicin, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and ant-bacterial agent. Cayenne powder works by reducing the swelling in your throat and also fighting and clearing infections. As a sore throat is also a common occurrence when suffering from a common cold, cayenne makes an ideal all around remedy for these type of conditions.

Heart Disease

Regular consumption of cayenne pepper also helps reduce incidence of heart disease by preventing the onset of ‘furring’ of the arteries in the heart (known as atherosclerosis) and also helps to reduce the contributing causes that lead to blood clots all, of which play a role in preventing heart attacks and strokes. Cayenne works to rid the body of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides.

High Blood Pressure

With high blood pressure also being a major factor in heart disease and strokes, it’s good to know that cayenne can also be of service in helping to either reduce or maintain our blood pressure at healthy levels. It is thought that capsaicin works on sensory nerves with the neuro-hormonal systems to help lower blood pressure.

Stomach Ulcers

At one time it was thought that stomach ulcers were caused by eating rich spicy food, however, research has shown that the most common cause of ulcers is actually bacterial infections. That being the case, as cayenne contains the magical capsaicin and its anti-bacterial properties, it is a perfect treatment for helping to clear out any infections that are sitting in our gut. At the same time as cleansing the gut, cayenne also works to decrease the level of acids in our stomachs.

Digestive Aid

Cayenne acts to stimulate the digestive system and helps in the increase of production of enzymes and gastric juices, which helps metabolize food and toxins in the body.

Flatulence

Help is at hand for sufferers of flatulence as cayenne pepper helps stimulate peristaltic motion which helps aid the assimilation and elimination of gas in the body.

Anti-Fungal

Cayenne has a wide range of anti-fungal properties. Scientific tests have shown it to be an effective treatment for sixteen different types of fungal strains.

Hay fever

Cayenne has been shown to be an effective treatment for allergic conditions such as hay fever. It helps to desensitize the nasal passage and this reduce irritation when a sufferer is exposed to allergens and also to help break up and clear mucus from the nasal passage thus giving relief to that affected individual.

Arthritis

The capsaicin in cayenne pepper has been shown to be significant factor in helping to reduce pain and suffering for those with arthritis. Capsaicin releases endorphins in the brain that have a pain reducing effect and works in a similar way to morphine. Preparations containing cayenne powder have also been shown to be an effective pain reliever when applied externally to the skin. Cayenne pepper acts to cause temporary pain on the skin, which sends chemical messages from the skin into the joint, offering relief from joint pain.

Psoriasis

Cayenne has been demonstrated to be a highly effective treatment for psoriasis. The anti-inflammatory properties of the herb make it an excellent choice for helping reduce the soreness, redness and scaling of the skin that occurs with this skin condition.

Weight Loss

Studies by researchers at Laval University in Quebec, set out to find if Cayenne could be effective in the fight against weight gain and actively help in weight loss. The researchers gave a group of volunteers cayenne pepper in their breakfast every morning. Compared to a group of volunteers who did not have the cayenne for breakfast, those who did were found to have less of an appetite through the whole day, which led to a lower intake of calories. Cayenne helps to boost metabolism which also helps in burning off excess fats stored in the body.

Oral Health

Applying a cayenne tincture to teeth can be helpful in treating gum disease such as gingivitis. The anti-inflammatory properties of capsaicin rich cayenne powder can help bring relief to diseased and sensitive gums by reducing pain and swelling.

Conclusion

Whilst I don’t suggest you use Cayenne pepper as an alternative to going to see a medical practitioner if you have an ailment you are suffering with, it is quite clear that with so many potential benefits to be had from introducing cayenne pepper into your diet regularly, it makes sense to do so.

Perhaps, like the volunteers in the weight loss study at Laval University in Quebec, you too could stand to have something to gain by having cayenne chilli for breakfast!

#herb #that #weightloss #help #protect #against #heart #disease #high #blood #pressure #diabetes #Really
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Ten Life-Changing Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

The Great Debate

In the history of mankind there have been many serious debate topics:

  • Heavenly salvation from faith or good works (Luther versus Tetzel).
  • Quantum physics theories (Einstein vs. Neils Bohr).
  • Creationism or Evolution (Clarence Darrow vs. Wm. Jennings Bryan)

May I add one more to the list? — Home made macaroni and cheese or the stuff in the box.

So What Makes Macaroni and Cheese from a Box So Amazing?

On the grand celestial scale of right and wrong, there are a few things that could lead one to favor boxed macaroni and cheese. For example:

  • It’s cheap!
  • It’s easy to prepare
  • Kids love the taste
  • It takes very little time and (even less talent)

But, there are other things to consider–namely nutritional value and taste. That’s where homemade macaroni and cheese comes to the rescue.

Trust me–if you can boil water to make the boxed stuff, you have the skills you need to make the real deal.

So, here are ten recipes for you; I have arranged them in order of complexity, the easier one is first.

I started making this dish years (and years) ago when my children were young, time and money were in short supply, and little palates were not yet attuned to gourmet flavors. Technically it’s not really macaroni and cheese (there is no cheese sauce). But it’s a very basic, simple recipe to get us started.

#1 – Chili Cheese Macaroni

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dry macaroni, (I like penne, my kids love the kind shaped like wagon wheels, but any kind will do)
  • 2 cans chili, (use whichever type is your favorite)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 4 cups crushed tortilla chips

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and place in large mixing bowl. Gently stir in chili, salsa, 1 cup of the cheese, and the crushed tortilla chips.
  3. Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread macaroni/chili mixture in dish; top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  4. Bake uncovered about 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.
  5. NOTE: You can omit the salsa if you prefer a less spicy meal. This is also a great place to “hide” additional vegetables–corn, cooked carrots, or diced zucchini.

Variations

Of course, this is a very basic recipe that can be modified to suit your family’s preferences. For example, in addition to extra vegetables, you might:

  • Add chopped tomato or olives
  • Substitute one can no-bean chili and one can (drained) black beans for the chili
  • Garnish with sour cream and/or guacamole

This next recipe is adapted from the New York Times story “The Winter Cook; Macaroni and Lots of Cheese” by Julia Moskin, January 4, 2006. There are two very big plusses to this recipe: First, you do not have to make a béchamel (white creamy) sauce and the pasta is NOT boiled.

#2 – Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup cottage ricotta (not lowfat)
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 pound (2 cups) elbow macaroni, uncooked

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and position an oven rack in upper third of oven.
  2. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease a 9-inch round or square baking pan.
  3. In a blender, process the ricotta, half and half, mustard, nutmeg, and salt and pepper together until very smooth.
  4. Reserve 1/4 cup of the grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, ricotta mixture, and uncooked pasta. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.

3. Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes more, or until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

This next recipe is an adaptation of several recipes on the internet for “Stouffers Copycat Macaroni and Cheese.” This takes us to the next step–cooking and draining pasta, preparing a white sauce, stirring grated cheese into the sauce, combining cheese sauce and cooked pasta, and then (here’s the good part), baking in a hot oven until browned and bubbly.

#3 Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese (just like the good stuff in the freezer)

  • ½ pound (2 cups) elbow or seashell macaroni, uncooked
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • 2 ½ cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese (see Note below)
  • ¼ pound (4 slices) American cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream (not non-fat or low-fat)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. This means that it is almost cooked, but still a tiny bit chewy. (Your pasta will be baked in the oven and will finish cooking there.) Drain and set aside.
  3. Warm the milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup. It doesn’t need to be hot—just take the chill off.
  4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Slowly pour in the warmed milk. Stir constantly until slightly thickened.
  6. Add the cheese, one handful at a time, whisking well after each addition. Don’t add more cheese until the previous handful is melted.
  7. Stir in the sour cream and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Carefully add the drained pasta and stir to combine thoroughly.
  9. Pour into buttered 9-inch square pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly.

NOTE: Don’t use pre-shredded cheese in this recipe. Most cheese-in-the-bag is coated with potato starch which can cause your creamy cheese sauce to become grainy and gloppy (yuck!).

Now we will take a side trip away from conventional yellow macaroni and cheese and begin to explore some different flavors. If you enjoy the taste of garlic you will love this version of macaroni and cheese.

#4 Creamy Pesto Macaroni and Cheese

ingredients

  • ½ pound (2 cups) penne pasta, uncooked
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup grated medium Cheddar cheese (see Note below)
  • 3 cups shredded Provolone cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream (not non-fat or low-fat)
  • ½ cup basil pesto (jarred or homemade)
  • Salt and ground black pepper

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. This means that it is almost cooked, but still a tiny bit chewy. (Your pasta will also be baked in the oven and will finish cooking there.) Drain and set aside.
  3. Warm the milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup. It doesn’t need to be hot—just take the chill off.
  4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Slowly pour in the warmed milk. Stir constantly until slightly thickened.
  6. Add the cheese, one handful at a time, whisking well after each addition. Don’t add more cheese until the previous handful is melted.
  7. Stir in the sour cream and pesto; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Carefully add the drained pasta and stir to combine thoroughly.
  9. Pour into buttered 9-inch square pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly.

NOTE: Don’t use pre-shredded cheese in this recipe. Most cheese-in-the-bag is coated with potato starch which can cause your creamy cheese sauce to become grainy and gloppy (yuck!).

#5 – Macaroni and Cheese Caprese

What is caprese? Insalata Caprese is Italian for “Salad of Capri,” a simple salad of sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves lightly adorned with a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of good-quality olive oil.

Follow recipe #4. After 15 minutes in the oven, place the following ingredients on top:

  • 9 slices of ripe red tomato (from 2 medium tomatoes)
  • 9 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese (water-packed cheese, not the firm mozzarella used for grating)

Return to the oven and bake 5 minutes more. Garnish with fresh basil leaves just before serving.

#LifeChanging #Macaroni #Cheese #Recipes
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The Magnificent Seven 2016 Film

& the Heroine…

  • Haley Bennett stars as “Emma Cullen,” the only main Female lead in this film. While Emma’s husband has been killed by Bartholomew Bogue, she also has an associate called Teddy Q, who is her trail ride-along.

One of her previous appearances was in 2007’s romcom Music and Lyrics starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, which I actually enjoyed! One of her upcoming roles is in The Girl on the Train, appearing in U.S. theatres on October 7th, 2016. She is also the lead Female in Warren Beatty’s upcoming film Rules Don’t Apply.

More story differences

A second difference is a Change in motivation for the story. Instead of the Mag Seven crew fighting for the Villagers’ food source, the motivation is a greedy land baron taking land from the people of Rose Creek in 1879. His motivation is land accumulation and control. Her main motivation is Righteousness, but she’ll take revenge, if it comes to that.

A third difference is the trailer leaving the romance storyline absent, as it does not follow the 1960’s film. In the previous version, there is a love story between Petra and Chico, whose equivalent would be Emma and Goodnight in this version. I’m not sure if the Film editors decided to cut this portion out of the film, or if it was not in the script.

Q: from a Story development perspective, if the motivation is different, how does this affect the characters?
A: It doesn’t affect any character’s actions as far as the Story unfolds.

The main plot of having to protect the town by teaching the Townsfolk how to shoot guns, and the sub-plot (Emma’s revenge and in the end, Sam’s reason for personal revenge) are wrapped up nicely at the Final Showdown.

Q: What’s the use of dialogue? Any memorable one-liners?
A: There are few one-liners delivered by Sam, Josh and Billy.

These factors influence the reason behind the Shootout Scene. Because what would a classic Western be without a great Showdown? The Showdown Scene is comprised of two parts:

1. Shootout scene – with the Mag Seven team, and yes, just like Seven Samurai, 4 of the 7 members die. I’m not telling you which ones, in case you want to see this film.

2. Final showdown – which happens in the same location as the film began. As a story device, this makes sense, so there is resolution to all plotlines. Retribution has been done.

Similarites!

One of the main similarities is the use of the 7 team members: their recruitment by the Leader, and how their skillsets are shown throughout the film, as they fight to save Rose Creek (doing the Right Thing), and how they battle the Bad Guy and his Baddies.

Another similarity pulled from Seven Samurai is the characterization of the Mag Seven team, as they get to know one another on the trail.

Sistah, I’m still confused!

If you are still confused at this point, with a tie-in to the 1960 film, please read my other Film Analyses. I believe it might clear some of the confusion.

#Magnificent #Seven #2016 #Film
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Hopi Silver Jewelry – A Distinct Artistry

Hopi means the “peaceful ones” and they are the indigenous people whose ancestry traces back to the Ancestral Pueblo people who were the prehistoric in habitats of the Four Corners, where Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico come together in the southwest.

They lived and continue to live in the Arizona desert on top of and around three large mesas, which they call the first, second, and third mesas.

They raised corn, beans, squash, and melons and were mostly agrarians rather than hunters.

Their original village, Oraibi, is believed to have been established around 1050 CE on what is now called the third mesa. Today, the village is believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited villages in North America.

The Hopi are a deeply spiritual people whose beliefs are ingrained in their lives. Harmony with nature is at the center of their beliefs and is reflected in their jewelry even today. Animals have special powers and abilities to the Hopi and are often portrayed in their jewelry designs.

For example water can be symbolized as turtles, frogs, clouds, lightening, rain or waves. Corn, and bean sprouts symbolize fertility. These symbols and others are depicted in their jewelry

Other traditional symbols and designs include, cornstalks, bear claws, weather, man in a maze, and kokopelli (the native god of fertility). Their jewelry also contains Kachina figures and their symbolism and meaning varies within the Hopi culture. Some believe they are a supernatural creature that provides rain while others see it as a liaison between man and gods.

#Hopi #Silver #Jewelry #Distinct #Artistry
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Displaced Children: Victims of WW2

Evacuees: Warming Echoes and Deep-rooted Scars

During WW2, millions of children were evacuated from the most menaced areas of England to live in regions viewed as less likely to suffer enemy bombings. While this policy proved both wise and worthwhile, children wrenched from their families, even when the reasons were well-explained, were often bewildered and frightened.

Even those mature enough to fully understand the reasons, experienced the grief of homesickness combined with a sometimes overwhelming sense of disorientation.
Would their foster parents be cordial, or might they view them as nuisances, accepted grudgingly, based upon a wish to seem generous-hearted, combined with governmental income? Various memoirs have documented the experiences of a variety of evacuees.

Acceptance and Understanding

According to the Terence Frisby memoir, “Kisses on a Postcard: A Tale of Wartime Childhood”, the parents who fostered him and his brother Jack had only intended to take in one child. Still, seeing alarm in the young Frisbys’ eyes at the thought of being divided, the couple felt it would be callous to force them to be absorbed into different families.

Once the Frisby brothers were ensconced in this home, they soon understood they would be expected to adhere to the fair but definite rules of its framework. Still, the occasional reprimand was accepted as justified, enhancing their already deep respect for this couple who they sensed underwent some financial strain in order to keep them united.

Depth and Tenderness of Emotional Ties

During the Frisbys’ stay, their foster parents were notified their own son had been killed in battle. Grieving in her strong, quiet way, their foster mother insisted both boys write regular, quite lengthy letters for boys their age, to their parents. In recollection, Terence Frisby sensed she sought to do all she could to reinforce the Frisbys’ familial closeness. So profound did his tenderness grow towards his foster parents that, when WW2 ended, while eager to return to his family, he feared their household might seem empty, especially in that they could no longer hope for the return of their son.

Hence, prior to their good-bye, he offered to stay. Agonizing as it had been for him to risk asking this question, he wondered if, as his mother had two sons, she might be willing to spare, or share the raising of one of them. With her characteristic tact and compassion, their foster mother explained no child could be replaced by another. She added his own parents would be wounded by the idea of forfeiting one of their sons; this thought must have forced her to recall her and her husband’s own desolation.

Cruelty Masked As Compassion

Conversely, according to the memoir of Hilda Hollingsworth “They Tied a Label on My Coat”, she and her younger sister, Pat, taken by train to a place thought to be less perilous and then identified by labels on their coats, spent the most wretched time of their childhood in the home of a malevolent couple. Having lived in a few other households, these sisters were eventually sent to live in a Welsh mining village. In addition to their mean-spirited foster parents, the sisters were forced to endure the incessant cruelties of an already established foster daughter who Hilda had previously known.
This girl, dubbed “merry Bridget”, hid her constant taunts beneath a saccharine giggle, meant to diffuse any sense of her genuine malice. This laugh accompanied one of her earliest comments to Hilda in this new home,

“I never liked you.”

A Menacing Matriarch

Not surprisingly, Bridget and her foster mother were perfect compatriots. This woman’s torments ranged from chopping off Hilda’s hair, to locking her out of the house, thus forcing her to stay in the streets, while she and Bridget enjoyed a variety of jaunts and festivities. Most vicious of all was her blatant fondness for Pat, to the point of stating her plan to take steps towards adopting her. This thought evoked such horror in Pat that her behavior became somewhat bizarre.

In fact, this adoption plan never had the slightest likelihood of succeeding. Both girls’ true mother ached inside from the moment she felt impelled to relinquish her children for an indeterminate time. Hence, the moment the war had subsided to the point it was deemed safe to do so, she rushed to that house to reclaim her two cherished daughters.
Still, although the family seems to have resumed their lives much as they had been prior to the war, the vividness of Hilda’s memoir indicates the lingering sting of that barbaric experience.

Nazi Demi-Gods Strove to Create an Aryan Master Race

Logically, the optimal way to generate a race of blonde-haired, blue-eyed human beings, with no physical and/or mental flaws can be accomplished by culling and cultivating children with these characteristics from their supposed inferiors. This ideal is akin to the mating of pedigreed animals, such as dogs and horses, who seem likely to produce pups and foals with the most sought-after traits and abilities.
Tragically, logic often isolates scientific evidence, dismissing human emotion as irrelevant self-indulgence.
In order to pass the screening needed to be viewed as Aryan, infants and young children had to first be found, abducted if necessary, and then tested. In addition to hair and eye color, the arrogance of the Nazis was such as to allow them to believe they could ascertain the racial priorities of those children they felt they had the right to appropriate.

The Anguish of Being Chosen

One motivating spur of the time was, “Give a child to the Fuhrer.” Horrifically, this seems to have encouraged women to give birth and raise a child Hitler would have been proud to have fathered. Awards of varying value were given to women who produced infants viewed as worthwhile.

As Nazi conquests expanded, so did their power to control the lives of the offspring of each newly-conquered land. Hence, when Yugoslavia was occupied by the Nazis, Erika Matko along with half a million infants and toddlers, was abducted from Yugoslavia. Erika was rechristened by the Nazi’s “Ingrid Von Oelhafen”. In her memoir, “Hitler’s Forgotten Children: One Woman’s Search for Her Real Identity”, she recounts, after intensive research, the various tests to which these captured children were subjected.

Ms. Von Oelhafen, approved after her examination, was placed in the foster home of a couple dedicated to the edicts and principles of The Third Reich. From her earliest days, Ingrid was mystified, not only by both “parents” aloofness, but by their refusal to discuss any aspect of her birth and the months thereafter. At any rate, her stay with these “parents” was fairly short-lived.

The Weeding Process Continued

Later, within the Nazi race and resettlement program, Ingrid was transferred to Lebensborn, a home where the elite would be further bathed in the Aryan mindset. A separate group of children, perceived as mediocre, were returned to their birth families, perhaps in hopes of their becoming a secondary resource for future use.
Those children found to have any physical or mental disability were sedated. Once quieted by these drugs, they were given minimal food and water. This was considered a gentle and merciful form of euthanasia. Other accounts have revealed these unfortunates would be placed in the thinnest clothing, and then sent outside during snowstorms or climatic conditions almost certain to bring about pneumonia, which was left untreated.

Who Was She, Truly?

As time passed, increasing inconsistencies led Ingrid to seek understanding as to her true parentage. The guardians of this information, even decades later, seemed determined to frustrate efforts at disclosure. Still, in overcoming this series of deliberate delays, eventually, meetings with other survivors enabled Ingrid to learn and share details which helped the group, as a whole, to understand and accept their origins and abductions.

Intriguingly, having excavated her roots, Ingrid found they made little difference. Having lived more than half a century as she was, her discovery turned out to be almost pointless. Her memoir ends with the sense that, though it may be enlightening to find our roots, ultimately we are what we become through the lives we are given.

Survivors of the Hell of the Jewish Holocaust

Having read numerous memoirs and watched documentaries regarding the holocaust, my most vivid knowledge stems from private conversations with those survivors who have spoken to me about their own sufferings, or the last hours of those dearest to them.
One elderly, widowed neighbor, Leah, still weeps when recalling her final weeks with her younger sister, Rachael, in the Treblinka Concentration Camp. Their parents having already been killed in the Nazi gas ovens, these two girls, Leah 11 and Rachael 6 did their utmost to sustain one another. In time, Rachael, several years younger and always quite frail, succumbed to a combination of malnutrition and typhoid fever.
Holding her hand near the end, Leah asked if there was any song she could sing, or a story she might retell, which might sooth her a little. Rachael, by then barely able to speak, said, “I only wish I had a doll I could cuddle.”

More shocking from my post-war perspective were interactions with Thelma, a generally buoyant classmate and friend. During a conversation about the miseries caused by wars, Thelma said her father had set aside a substantial fund to ensure their family escaped, if any hint of a similar massacre reoccurred. Hard as I tried to conceal my incredulity at the thought of that type of slaughter, Thelma must have noticed. A few days later, as she and I walked towards the dorm elevator, we saw an unmistakable swastika, drawn just above the call button.
Touching my arm, she said, “So, now do you see? even here, at this supposedly left-wing, liberal college, a lot of students hate my people, and would be happier if we all died.” I could only hold Thelma close to me, and hope my hug might give her some comfort.

Pre-Concentration Camp Screening

As World War II escalated, the zeal and desperation of Nazis to erase non Aryans from the earth grew more intense. While eventually, the Gestapo incarcerated and/or killed anyone who seemed beneath their elitist standards, initially they evaluated those able to perform enough work in the concentration camps to justify their subsistence. In an effort to ensure some level of productivity, both the elderly and small children needed to be eliminated. Even half a century later, those involved in these decisions were reticent to discuss their participation.

Still, difficult as it must have proved for Israeli psychologist Dan Bar-on, he acted on his belief in the need to gain and record knowledge as to the thought processes and emotions of those given power to decide who would live or die, before dementia or their own deaths erased this information.

Consequences of Research

According to Dan Bar-on’s book, Legacy of Silence: Encounters with Children of the Third Reich, numerous inquiries led to 49 people, over a period of years, agreeing to comply with his wishes. His research subjects, while at first disconcerted by Bar-on’s taping of their encounters, soon understood the recording as an effort to provide an objective, accurate account of their responses to relevant questions.

One interviewee, a doctor, recounted, when first hired by the Nazi party, his job struck him as benign and nondescript. Subtly, he was, in all likelihood, being evaluated in terms of endurance regarding that work for which he had truly been sought. Gradually, promoted to a position with higher pay and prestige, this doctor was told, implicitly, he would be in charge of deciding which of those people brought to his hospital, had enough vigor left in them to make them worth saving.

A Lack of Guilt

The doctor interviewed told Dan Bar-on of one colleague, unable to reconcile his assigned work with his sense of ethics, committed suicide. On the other hand, this doctor, despite some early fears and misgivings, opted to view his tasks as he would any other form of employment. In terms of his own survival, he became convinced any show of reluctance on his part could quickly result in his being placed before a firing squad.

Responding to Dan Bar-on’s question as to what echoes the choices he had made in the past had impacted upon his life afterwards, he admitted the primary difference occurred in his garden. When finding snails there, he felt impelled to kill all of them. If even one eluded his hoe by trying to escape underground, he strove on, until he had crushed it.

Perspective of His Adult Child

Allowed to interview the doctor’s son, now middle-aged, Dan Bar-on was provided with equally honest responses. During the time period being discussed, the doctor’s son lived with his mother in an area well outside the major areas of war. Hence, his childhood was as buoyant and filled with play as those of most middle-class children. His father visited him and his mother as often as his work schedule allowed. Once there, family life was in no way marred by his professional obligations. Thus, whatever he learned regarding his father’s part in the holocaust, his recollections were of a dad who romped and frolicked about with him; there would always remain a fondness between them.

To summarize, however disturbed and troubled by the travesties of the past, it will always be our own experiences which form and determine our memories.

#Displaced #Children #Victims
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CMLL Super Viernes Preview! Taven-Rush and the Kings of the Air

For what it’s worth, you cannot say that CMLL isn’t going to try and close the week in style. Two days after the first National Lucha Libre Day, lucha’s greatest institution has put together a card that has the potential to be one hell of a celebration. Whatever you want you’ll get from this card; there’s a load of intriguing tag and trios matches, a big singles match and another one of those wacky tournaments CMLL does that features a ton of talent and a ton of mystery (mainly because no one knows how the whole thing is going to be set up). I wouldn’t say it’s an Anniversary Show level card, but its close and if nothing else is worth checking out. That not a good enough endorsement? Then let me break it all down for you in depth style. Moses; get on your bikes and meme!

Oro Jr. & Star Jr. vs. Cancerbero & Raziel

What to Expect: This match looks hopeless…until you catch Star Jr.’s name out of the corner of your eye! Why the youngster isn’t in the Reyes del Aire match later is a mystery only Cthulhu can solve, but he’s at least on the card and he will make this match watchable. Will he make it good? Beats the shit out of me. At worst though he’ll hit a few good dives and his presence should motivate Cancerbero and Raziel to work at a higher level than usual.

Winners: It should be Star Jr. and Oro Jr.; inexplicably it’ll be the rudos in three falls. We now go live to the reaction of hardcore lucha libre fans.

Fuego, Pegasso, Soberano Jr. vs. Puma, Tiger, Virus

What to Expect: This is a second match right here folks. Restrictions or no restrictions everyone here can work, the match should get over from Fuego’s antics alone and did I mention everyone here can work?! The Match of the Evening competition is stiff, but barring something unforeseen this should be a strong competitor and could be even better. What will put it over the top is if Fuego keeps the antics to a minimum and tries to outdo his technico teammates and if Pegasso continues his streak of being absolutely white hot.

Winners: Everyone deserves to win here, which may be the first time that’s happened in CMLL’s history! Alas there can only be one (like in Highlander), so I’m going to say the rudos take this in three falls, with Puma and Tiger getting the pins.

Ángel de Oro, Johnny Idol, Titán vs. Bobby Z, Ephesto, Hechicero

What to Expect: Take away Ephesto and this match looks great. Sadly you can’t and thus this match only looks good with an outside shot of being great. The big factor will be who they put with the old timer and if I were CMLL it would be Ángel de Oro. He may not have the raw potential Johnny Idol has nor the explosiveness of Titán, but he’s as consistent as they come and has a big match coming this Monday against Dragón Rojo Jr. for the CMLL World Middleweight Championship. Taking it easy and putting him with Ephesto while Idol and Titán pair up with the far more exciting rudo tandem of Bobby Z and Hechicero sounds like a great solution to me. If CMLL goes that route then they should get the most out of everyone and a pretty damn good match.

Winners: At the least Titán deserves a nice victory after his epic match with Mephisto this past Tuesday and the technicos need to get on the board after two straight rudo victories. They’ll do that here, taking it in three falls with Titán getting the decisive pin/submission.

Atlantis, Marco Corleone, Stuka Jr. vs. Shocker, Terrible, Último Guerrero

What to Expect: This would normally be the part of the column where I’d pull out my Sulking Jack Evans impression and start to rant and rave about why Shocker is here. And frankly I’m still not far off from going that route. That said, Shocker has been pretty decent recently and better yet has been put in position by CMLL to look the best he possibly can. Silly me I think CMLL will keep the streak alive for at least one more show, and even if they don’t everyone else here is so good that it may not matter. Atlantis, Marco and the UG will be reliable and it’s great to not only see Stuka and Terrible back (after they were inexplicably left off the last several cards) but back in a match that should deliver. The thing to look forward to the most in this match by the way is Marco and Terrible trading left handed haymakers. I’ve been waiting to see this for a long time and if CMLL doesn’t at least give us one exchange between them then I’m going to go full Jack Nicholson Joker on this show.

Winners: Tough call here. I’ll go with the technicos again I guess if for no other reason but to make it 2-2 on the scorecard. Well that and because you never should bet against Atlantis. All the man does is win masks and deliver amazing backbreakers; why should this match be any different?

Rush vs. Matt Taven

What to Expect: Without question this is the most interesting match on the card, which is saying something once you see who the main event is packing. If nothing else this match clearly shows that CMLL has confidence in Taven; the man hasn’t even been in CMLL for a month, and already the company trusts him enough to have a headlining match with one of CMLL’s biggest stars in their home base. Perhaps even more surprising than how quickly CMLL has moved Taven into the spotlight is the fact that he’s utterly earned it. I had no idea what to expect from the ROH star, but he’s picked everything up super quick since arriving, looks to be fully healed (or close to it) from the injuries that sidelined him for over a year and best of all has instantly clicked with his opponent here. All of that leads me to believe that this match, at worst, should be pretty damn good. Granted there’s no guarantee that the chemistry will transfer over from trios matches to a singles bout and you never know if Rush is going to come in like he did against L.A. Park or if he’s going to mail it in. I expect he’ll be ready however and this will end up being a great showcase for Taven in his first singles match in Arena Mexico.

Winner: The spotlight may be on Taven but it’s hard to see CMLL putting him over Rush here unless there’s a big plan to continue this feud. As enticing as a hair vs. hair match between Taven and Rush would be I just don’t see that happening, so look for Rush to pick up the victory.

Reyes del Aire

Mistico vs. Negro Casas vs. Volador Jr. vs. La Máscara vs. Dragón Lee vs. Cavernario vs. Máximo Sexy vs. Mephisto vs. Valiente vs. Euforia vs. Máscara Dorada vs. Dragón Rojo Jr.

What to Expect: You’re going to have a lot of questions about this match and rightfully so. Let’s start with the most obvious for newcomers; what’s the Reyes del Aire? To sum it up quickly, Reyes del Aire (Spanish for “Kings of the Air”) is a tournament where CMLL puts anywhere from ten to eighteen luchadors together to compete for the right to be King of the Air. Beyond that the only thing we know is that the finals for this tourney will be next week between two luchadors; how they get there is a mystery. It may be that there’s a battle royal where the final two guys left get to face off next week, the battle royal may lead to a tournament where the two luchadors make it all the way to the finals, there may be no battle royal at all; hell there may be another battle royal next week where the winner of this week’s match faces the winner of next week’s. Basically no one knows and no one should try to figure this out. When it comes to CMLL and tournaments it’s like going with the mystery box over the boat. You just never know.

There is of course one other unknown besides how this will all play out, and that’s whether or not Máscara Dorada, he of Gran Metalik fame, will be there. CMLL is advertising him for this event in despite him notably not appearing on last week’s Leyendas show. Earlier in the week I had heard that Dorada was pulled because of his WWE contract, but now the rumor (at least according to Fredo Esparza) is that Dorada tried to make the show but couldn’t do to his flight arriving late. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which true or false but really it doesn’t matter. Barring Dorada’s replacement being absolutely brutal this tournament should be quite good regardless of the format. Look at the rest of the talent in there! That’s too many good luchadors for this to go wrong and I’m confident that however CMLL does this it will be entertaining. Hence in the end the biggest questions are how CMLL goes about booking this, whether Dorada is there or not and who replaces him if he isn’t.

Winners: I’m going to work under the assumption that the final two guys left standing will be the ones who face off next week for the prize at the end of the rainbow. As for who that is…my best guess is that it’ll be Dorada and Dragón Lee. Obviously this depends on Dorada making the show, but if he’s there it makes all the sense in the world to have him in the Finals so they can use his spotlight to promote the show and give his opponent a major rub. And what better way is there for CMLL to highlight Dragón Lee by giving him a finals appearance here to compliment his Anniversary Show main event spot? I could be way off but I think it’s those two (if Dorada is there), and holy shit don’t you want it to be just to see these guys tangles? Dorada vs. Dragón Lee is the easiest money since El Hijo del Santo vs. Atlantis and it would probably get attention from wrestling fans of all sorts. It makes too much sense not to do it, and if Dorada is there CMLL will do it.

That’s all from me folks. I’ll be back tomorrow to review this show at some point. Till then, Spidey is back!

#CMLL #Super #Viernes #Preview #TavenRush #Kings
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Essential Health Tips for Your Digestive System

A healthy digestive system promotes overall health and general well being. It is important for normal functioning of the other organ systems of the human body. Here are some useful tips for a healthy digestive system.

Consume fiber rich food

High fiber diet promotes a healthy digestive system. A normal human being should consume 20-35 grams of dietary fiber every day (recommended by the American Dietetic Association). High fiber diet facilitates easy movement of food through the digestive system. Consuming high fiber diet prevents constipation. It also reduces the risk of colon cancer and colitis.

Apples, oranges, berries, bananas, legumes, green peas, peanuts, prunes, pears, almonds, whole grains and cereals are some good sources of fiber. It is not advisable to consume fiber containing supplements. It is not a good idea to consume more than 50 grams of fiber in a day.

Chew thoroughly

The process of digestion begins in the mouth. Chewing foods thoroughly is very important for a healthy digestive system. Chewing facilitates easy digestion by breaking the food into smaller particles. Proper chewing reduces the stress on esophagus. The enzymes present in the saliva helps in digestion of carbohydrates and fats.

Chewing helps in the proper transport of nutrients in the body. Improper chewing leads to indigestion. Indigestion usually results in bacterial overgrowth, which can harm the digestive system. Improper chewing may cause reflux, flatulence and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Proper chewing helps in easy movement of food particles through the digestive system.

Avoid processed foods

Processed foods usually contain excess sugar, preservatives, trans fats and other additives. These may not be good for the digestive system. The human body is not designed to digest many of the additives used in the processed foods. It is a good idea to consume fresh organic foods. Consuming a healthy mix of raw and cooked foods promotes a healthy digestive system. It is a good idea to avoid intake of fried foods. It is advisable to eat four to five small meals per day.

Avoid smoking

It is advisable to avoid smoking as it harms all parts of the digestive system. Smoking causes medical conditions like heartburn, peptic ulcer and Crohn’s disease. It may also cause damage to the liver.

Indulge in physical activities

Regular physical activity promotes a healthy digestive system. It is advisable to go for a walk after a meal or a snack. Avoid rigorous exercises (like running) while digestion is taking place. Regular practice of yoga strengthens the digestive system. Exercise helps in maintaining a healthy body weight.

Consume fermented dairy products

Probiotics (good bacteria) is necessary for the human body. They are found in dairy products like cottage cheese and yogurt. They promote a healthy digestive system.

Consume plenty of pure water

Consumption of water improves digestion and prevents constipation. Experts recommend consumption of eight glasses of water every day. It is advisable to avoid consuming coffee and soda.

Manage stress

Stress disrupts the normal functioning of the digestive system. Heartfulness meditation helps you deal with stress effectively.

It is very important to maintain a healthy digestive system. The above mentioned tips will definitely help you in this endeavor.

#Essential #Health #Tips #Your #Digestive #System
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A Look Into My Own Fight With Depression During The Month of National Suicide Prevention: Three Poems of Example

Where does depression dwell?

It dwells in the eyes of hazel

gloom…

in sheets of a bed that out of a

window glare; up at a moon

with a sigh of despair…

when the sun breaks through it’s

still there. It holds me tight and begs

me to freeze…

stay here, embrace me, feel my pain.

I Shall never part until you surrender

my forever soul mate.

Depression dwells in a fight of

freedom from suppressing any

hope that will allow it to cope…

a double identity that you don’t

want. It connects its persona

and latches on.

Where does depression dwell?

It’s in muscles that once were

strong…

now they lag you down, drag

you down, from daylight til

dawn.

Depression dwells in a numb

body of silence. In tears that

roll with no voice behind them.

Depression dwells in a mirror.

A face that stares back as a

Stranger comes nearer.

A person held hostage who wails

only inside…Help me, Please

Help me, I’m dying alive…

#Look #Into #Fight #With #Depression #During #Month #National #Suicide #Prevention #Three #Poems #Example
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