6+1 Reasons to Own a Cat

Here are my 6+1 reasons to own a cat. Getting a pet is a controversial subject for many young adults nowadays, especially if their living conditions are far from being stable. Animals are indeed very giving, loving and non-judgemental creatures. However, they require some of our time and attention, not to mention a somewhat cheap, yet constant part of our income. I am a dog person, and I’ll remain one for as long as I live.  But circumstances beyond my control forced me to end up taking care of a cat. Life is ironic, indeed! Here are the things it taught me while being my constant silent neighbour.

1.     Cats are silent, yet wise confidents

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Cats seem to know all the answers, even though they are lousy at sharing their knowledge with their owners. But despite dogs, who are all over you all the time, a cat is a silent and mature listener. It can always feel your anxieties, have no doubt about that, but just like humans, they have different and personal ways of reacting to them. Don’t take it personally if they go to the other room whenever you are sad or angry, it’s just their way of letting you know you definitely need some time alone to cool down and realise you are miserable out of useless reasons. Or they just might feel endangered by your hysterical mood. Keep calm and confide in the cat.

2.     Cats love plants

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 No one is more aware of your house and garden plants more than your cat is. Because they are so skilful jumpers, the only way to keep your cat away from your plants is to lock the cat up rather than the plants.  Nevertheless if your cat is one of the passive plant destroyers, consider yourself lucky. They just love to blend in with any kind of flowers and eat most of their leaves. As a young adult however, one has less time to think about taking care of houseplants. That’s why your cat is always there to remind you of their existence, of their needing to be cut, watered, or cleaned. It would do all these things for you if it could. Unfortunately their claws are not always the best gardening tool.

3.     Cats are the best bug spray on the market 

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There’s no such thing as a house without strange, tiny and sometimes disgusting predators. Ignoring the fact that mice might belong to this category in anyone’s case, I’d like to underline the fact that cats excel in other catching domains as well. Hopefully since you don’t have mice to worry about in your home, I’m pleased to inform you that a cat is capable of catching any other flying or crawling visitor. Their patience and velocity are extra-terrestrial. Not to mention the fact that a fly is better than any toy you can find at the pet shop. So leave your windows open from time to time; such a victory would boost your cat’s self-esteem and offer you a priceless performance.

4.     Cats are the best therapists

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In The Cat Behavior Answer Book (Storey Publishing, 2007), author Arden Moore talks about the power of purring. Apparently cats create purr vibrations within a range known to be medically therapeutic (25-150 Hz). This frequency is therapeutic for things such as: boosting self-esteem, bone growth and healing, pain relief, swelling reduction, wound healing, muscle growth and repair, tendon repair, joint mobility and dyspnea (shortness of breath) relief. You can read more on purring here.

5.     Cats absorb and clean bad energies from your home

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Cats are very sensitive to their environment. And they perceive more about it than we do. It is said that they can sense and distinguish between positive and negative energies, also known as Yin and Yang in Chinese tradition. Yin is the receptive, feminine, cooler, negative energy and Yang is the positive, hot, projective energy. So when a cat goes to a certain regular spot to sleep in your house, they are actually absorbing the negative energy from that spot. You can read more on this subject here.

6.     Cats are the best “say no to addiction” tools

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Cats are strangely drawn to our laptops or computers. Whenever this heating machine with buttons takes more of your attention than it considers necessary, any sane cat will just brutally step on you, head towards your device and start resting on the keyboard, thus making sure to hit the exact button that makes all your 6-hour work vanish into thin air. The good thing about this typical cat deed is the fact that you’ll never get hooked on Facebook or Twitter more than necessary. A cat is a “say no to addiction” tool, as it can unconditionally warn you about any bad habit you may have, even if this involves eating too much (it will start bugging you right away, and trust me, not out of sheer curiosity), smoking too much (a wise cat will always decide to rest in your lap looking for affection at the exact moment when you have your lighter in one hand and the cigarette in the other), and last but not least, it bears down any cleaning obsessions you may have, no matter if this passion of yours involves the broom, the mop or a plain dusting around the house. On the other hand, when it comes to the vacuum cleaner, it instantly vanishes, reminding you of the times before the two of you became faithful neighbours.

6+1. To be considered by the ones who are not so fond of their couch

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A cat will teach you how to let go. Let go of the things you worked so hard to buy, more expensive things such as couches or carpets. Not all of them are unstoppable destroyers, but all of them seem to have reluctance towards all the nail sharpening tools you may get them from pet shops. A couch will always be the best option. Instead of losing your mind, allow your cat to teach you more about what matters in life, about the importance of cuddling, catching flies, mice or birds. It has to edge its nails somewhere!

 

In a nutshell, get a cat as soon as possible. Ignore the fact that it will always consider you its slave and enjoy this fruitful experience that will always bring laughter on your face in times of need.

3 Amazing SF Movies You Probably Didn’t Know Were Inspired by Books

 

3 SFWhenever you read a science-fiction novel, words become images in an instant. All classical limits are defied, and therefore a never-ending land of possibilities is thus revealed. Here are 3 amazing SF movies you probably didn’t know were inspired by books. Before the film industry learned how to do so many wonderful things as far as special effects are concerned, our parents and grandparents and grand grand parents were mesmerized while spending their summer holidays reading Jules Verne’s amazingly adventure SF novels. They needed no movie to show them how to imagine everything they were reading about, despite the fact that Jules Verne was talking about worlds nobody had ever heard of.

But as cinema evolved, SF books had to, just had to be screened.

 Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey

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Movie director Stanley Kubrick shook hands with writer Arthur C. Clarke, and had written a SF novel together that was instantly turned into a film. The result of their teaming up is none other than 2001: Space Odyssey, which was released in both forms in 1968. Kubrick’s intention was of sheer penetration of the audience’s subconscious, with no verbal distractions in the way. The emotional and conceptual content was to be transmitted through images only. Not classical SF ones representing sticky aliens and huge spaceships. He worked with Douglas Trumbull from NASA in order to render the exact movements of a human body in space. He also hired over 40 people on the set who had to make sure that every detail and density described in the book existed in the movie as well. All this grace is enriched by Richard Strauss’ music, underlining the grandeur of the space in such a sensitive, yet grand perspective. This is definitely one of the most amazing movies ever made.

Ray Bradburry and Francois Truffaut’s Farenheit 451

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The novel Farenheit 451 was written by Ray Bradburry and turned into a film by Francois Truffaut. This short novel began as a love letter that Bradburry wrote to books. From here it turned into an anti-totalitarianism and anti-censorship critique. The movie, starring Oskar Werner as inquisitor Guy Montag and Julie Christie as Clarissa, the one true free and fragile spirit that makes Guy question his own non-liberal ideas and beliefs. The movie is less faithful to the book as far as the romance story is concerned so that the audience can have something more obvious reason to cry. Nevertheless the bleak atmospheres of the book, as well as the never-ending tension are faithfully contained in the film, too.

Despite the fact that it was written 61 years ago, Farenheit 451 is a steadfast cultural bench and Michael Moore’s Farenheit 9/11 is a clear statement underlining this tribute.

Anthony Burgess and Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange

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Yes, Stanley Kubrick again! But this time with a different writer and not such a perfect coordination than his other movie mentioned above. The Clockwork Orange dispute is an eternal one because of the fact that no one has enough arguments to sustain which one was better. They are works of genius, but taken separately. There’s something different about them. Burgess’ book was released in 1962 and Kubrick’s movie in 1971 and they both are absolute masterpieces.

While Burgess accepted he felt frustrated because of the fact that none of his following books had the same success, Kubrick has no regrets whatsoever. Malcom McDowell was definitely the only man form this planet who could have portrayed the malefic Alex and his ultra-violent deeds in an unknown future with familiar references. It’s hard to talk about this book or about this movie using concrete words. It’s all about the atmosphere, the strange language they use, the tension and the incredible paradoxes. This time we have Beethoven’s 9th symphony to sharpen our emotions.

3 Skin Mites That Will Raise Your Paranoia

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Have you ever wondered why you sometimes feel a slight itchiness of your skin at night or any time of the day, despite the fact that a true skin parasite would always chose darkness instead of light? Well an itch is never an itch, according to sources that know all about who lives on our skin, how it lives there and how happy this guest is throughout his entire existence. So here you have 3 skin mites that will raise your paranoia!

Basically skin parasites drink blood or ear your skin. Thank God they cannot usually do both! They are so small that no one can see them. Some species are living under your skin, whereas many are just crawling on it. Some parasites can complete their whole life cycles in humans. But many live outside the body and return every time they are hungry. Skin parasites can live on the skin or under it as an egg, larva, nymph or plain adult stage.

Say Hello To the Dermodex Mite

Demodex folliculorum (SEM)

Demodex mite is a human parasite found inside around the pilo-sebaceous units. Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis are the two types found on humans. Demodex infestation is usually asymptomatic and may cause problems only when present in high densities and because of immune imbalance as well. They usually cause a type of acne also known as Rosacea.

The most interesting thing about them is their lifestyle. These 8-legged creatures (an arachnid) ectoparasite (living on the surface of the host) crawl around the face at night, feeding from oil and skin cells. They have no anus, so they have to eventually explode inside your hair follicles, which are their home. They also reproduce on the face skin, during the night. The typical Demodex life cycle is usually 2 to 3 weeks. A female lays 15 to 20 eggs inside the hair follicle. The eggs develop into larvae, which eventually become an adult .The male Demodex mite will leave the follicle in search of a mate, while the adult female mite remains there waiting. These mites are capable of walking approximately 10 mm/h.

Human Scabies and the deadly itchiness

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The Sarcoptes scabei attack the thin skin between the fingers, the bend of the elbow and knee, the penis, breasts, and the shoulder blades. The mites drill into the skin, making tunnels up to 0.1 inches long. After a while a rash appears in the area of the burrows and extremely intense itching is experienced. These mites are also small 8-legged parasites, just 1/3 millimeter long. They can only live off of a host body for 24-36 hours under most conditions. Transmission of the mites involves close person-to-person contact. Moreover sexual physical contact can also transmit the disease.

The female mite adheres to the skin using suckers on her legs and burrows into the skin, where she immediately lays her oval eggs. Afterwards they hatch into larvae and begin moving freely over the skin. Soon they turn into nymphs, reaching maturity 10 to 14 days after hatching.

The Screwworm is taking advantage of your open wounds

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The Cochliomyia hominivorax is a horrible parasite. Its adult form resembles a common housefly. But the dreadful aspect of it all is the fact that the adult female fly spends her time seeking out hosts that have open wounds. The fly will lay hundreds of eggs along the edge of the wound. After several hours, the eggs hatch and larvae, called maggots, emerge. The maggots initially feed in the wounds but then invade healthy tissue, too. Screwworm maggots have toxic saliva, which promotes infection of wounds and production of foul-smelling pus. This attracts other species of flies that normally feed only on dead animals. The host animal becomes sick, stops eating, and dies unless treated.

These are just 3 of them. I’ll stop here, as sometimes it’s better to know less in order to avoid sheer paranoia. As far as mites and parasites are concerned, paranoia is likely to develop. They are just disgusting, aren’t they? So, ladies and gentlemen, start itching!

7 Traditional Ice Cream Recipes Worth Dying For

7 Ice Cream Recipes Worth Dying For

Now that the weather is warmer, well at least theoretically, we’re beginning to feel obsessed over frozen treats. Ice cream is universal, indeed! From the French sorbets, to the Turkish dondurma and Indian smooth and locally flavored ice cream, taking a world tour just to try as many as you can sounds like the perfect plan. So here they are: 7 traditional ice cream recipes worth dying for!

Who was behind this brilliant idea?

Well is appears that the Chinese elite used to really enjoy their frozen desserts about 4,000 years ago. It all began with frozen syrups, but as they became hooked, they invented a method that could make ice cream before the invention of any refrigerator: “They poured a mixture of snow and saltpeter over the exteriors of containers filled with syrup, for, in the same way as salt raises the boiling-point of water, it lowers the freezing-point to below zero,” according to the History of Food, by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat. The Persians enjoyed it big time as well. And finally, when the Arabs invaded Sicily in the 8th century, the obsession was passed on.

The ice cream recipe was brought to North America in 1744 by Scottish colonists. Nowadays Americans and Australians are the most dedicated ice cream eaters in the world, but nevertheless almost every country enjoys it and adapts it to local culinary inclinations.

Strange, strange flavors, but yet so appealing…

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India’s kulfi is very dense and somewhat granular due to a mix of condensed milk, sugar and exotic flavors like saffron and cardamom. Its particularly dense texture resembles custard and it is a consequence of the milk being boiled down to a thick liquid.

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Turkey’s stretchy ice cream is definitely unique. This ice cream called dondurma has a similar pliability to taffy. And the sellers always make a show when you pass by. It is made with salep, which is ground orchid root, a substance that gives the ice cream a curious elasticity.

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Israel’s halva ice cream will raise your blood sugar to its peaks. As some of you may have heard, or even tried, halva is very sweet, yet irresistibly tasteful. It’s a simple treat made from sesame seeds mashed into a sugar-and-honey paste.

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Japan’s mochi is definitely something else. It’s good old ice cream mixed with mochi (a rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain rice). Actually the ice cream is wrapped in mochi, which is dusted with cornstarch on the outside. You should try the green tea and red bean flavors.

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Tuscany’s olive oil gelato is made, according to its name, using olive olive oil along with cheese, seasonal fruit and grapes. It’s the creamiest ice cream you’ll ever taste! Italians are very fond of their natural resources and they like to make everything with ingredients bought from their local providers using their traditional products, and this gelato is the perfect example of the efficient Italian cooking.

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Germany’s spaghetti-ice is a 1960 invention that basically puts vanilla ice cream through a potato or meat ricer. The resulting spaghetti dish is topped with strawberry jam, which serves as tomato sauce and coconut flakes or white chocolate shavings that stand for the Parmesan cheese.

Save the best for last

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Dear reader, here’s something special for you. In case you don’t have a sweet tooth, think again. There’s something called Creamed Cod Ice Cream and it can be eaten at George’s Portobello Fish Bar in London. It looks just like the hot and traditional Fish&Chips, London’s pride dish, but instead of steaming fried fish, it’s actually vanilla ice cream coated with a pepper-vanilla batter and then deep-fried. The chips you see in the picture above are made from potato ice cream. This is definitely a taste to remember.

All you need is sun and an empty stomach. Bon appetit!

0 Reasons to Go Back to Black

When it comes to toilet paper, the modern world is definitely back to black. In case you didn’t know this, well, people of quality are looking to use the ultimate thing: black toilet paper. Here are some tips and facts on why some people use it. You can laugh out as much as you wish, but deep down inside it’s impossible for you not to be absolutely mesmerized by its hypnotizing aspect.

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Sensuality in a toilet paper roll?

“Elegant, sophisticated, rebellious, alternative and eternally fashionable, black has become virtually synonymous with chic and style. But while this color is often present in avant-garde creative work, no one has ever dared to use it for toilet paper until now. Black in the loo, how chic and sophisticated can you get?” Come again?

This is actually the Renova press release as they launched their absurdly expensive black toilet paper. In other words, baby blue, pink and peach are so yesterday! Renova’s been providing US customers us with black finesse since 2006.

Here are the Renova Black Toilet Paper Specifications: Very soft and absorbent, with perfumed scent, 3-ply base sheet, 140 sheets per roll, 100% virgin pulp, biodegradable. They also had the exact measurements personalized per individual sheet, but that would have been just too much. This Portugal-based tissue company is unfailing!

Where did all the colored toilet paper go?

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30 years ago colored toilet paper was far from being a rarity.  Introduced in the 50’s and popular throughout the 70’s, a variety of colors were eagerly produced: pink, blue, yellow, lilac, tan, and black. Users loved matching the color of their toilet paper to the color of their bathrooms. There you go! Well hippies are the only ones who enjoy multi-colors at a scale that would set our teeth on edge. Maybe that’s why colors have disappeared from out toilet paper stands?

According to toiletpaperworld.com (such a blog does exist) our toilet-paper rainbows vanished into thin air out of two reasons: first of all doctors started warning colored toilet paper could lead to skin irritation and secondly ecologists also began warning the dye in the colored toilet paper rolls was harmful to the environment.

But when it comes to black magic, nothing is harmful anymore!

Stars who embraced this idea like there’s no tomorrow

When Beyoncé goes on tour, she will only use a toilet with a brand new seat and a roll of red toilet paper in hand, according to reports about the singer’s tour rider.

Moreover it has been claimed that music mogul Simon Cowell insists that only luxury black toilet paper is placed in the many bathrooms of his London and Los Angeles homes.

And now something that doesn’t really come as a surprise: in a clip from “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” Kim Kardashian, having to move in with her mother, Kris Jenner, because of her pregnancy, delivered a few pieces of information one can easily live without. Discussing Jenner’s black-and-white bathroom decor, Kardashian complains, “The toilet paper’s black… I like to see what I’m sh*tting and what I’m wiping.”

Well let’s get back to Earth now and learn that about 70% – 75 % of the world’s population does not use toilet paper. Some of them do not use it due to a lack of trees, while others cannot afford it.

The Pentagon uses, on average, about 666 rolls of toilet paper every day.

Sudoku toilet paper, along with the US dollar print toilet paper are the most famous patterns on the market.

Let’s not forget where we started and finish off with a priceless slogan: Shove a roll of Renova Black in your bathroom and it adds an instant designer vibe. How about that?