Feb 26

Four Ways You’re Cooking Pasta Wrong

photo: simplyscratch.com

photo: simplyscratch.com

Pasta is one of the easiest foods to make . . . except there’s a good chance you’re doing it WRONG.  Here are four myths about cooking pasta . . .

Myth #1:  You should put oil in the water to keep the noodles from sticking together.  It DOES work, but it also makes them so SLIPPERY the sauce runs off.  And that’s why actual chefs don’t do it.


As long as you stir pasta a few times during the first minute or two, it won’t stick.


Myth #2:  You should add a pinch of salt so it boils faster.  Technically, that’s true.  But the main reason to add salt is to season the noodles.  And you should actually add at least a TABLESPOON, or even two.


Myth #3:  You have to completely drain pasta when it’s done.  In reality, it doesn’t do anything but dry it out.  And if the sauce is really thick, a little extra water usually makes it better anyway.


Myth #4:  If you throw spaghetti against the wall and it sticks, it’s done.  Obviously that’s not a very accurate way to tell if it’s cooked enough . . . plus you have to clean your wall.  So just take a bite, and decide if it’s soft enough for you.



(TheKitchn.com / Fine Cooking)

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Feb 25

On This Day In Black Hstory


February 25, 1989;

Boxer Mike Tyson becomes the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World by defeating challenger Frank Bruno of England

  • 1991;  Adrienne Mitchell, first African American woman to die in combat in the Persian Gulf War is killed in her military barracks in Dharan, Saudi Arabia
  • 1978;  Death of Daniel (“Chappie”) James Jr. (58), retired Air Force general and the first Black promoted to four-star rank, at the Air Force Academy, Colorado.
  •  1970; Hirman R. Revels of Mississippi sworn in as first Black U.S. senator and first Black representative in Congress
  •  1971;  President Nixon met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and appointed a White House panel to study a list of recommendations made by the group.


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Feb 24

Do This One Thing, and You’ll Be Happier . . . Supposedly

Photo: oprah.com

Photo: oprah.com


According to a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, there’s a simple trick you can do every day to make yourself a happier person, and it only takes ten minutes a day.  Here’s what you have to do . . .



Each night, write down three things that went well that day.  You can use a pen and paper, or your computer.  It doesn’t matter.

And they don’t have to be BIG things.  A compliment you got on your outfit counts.  Or if you got to work a few minutes early, that counts too.

Then next to each of those things, answer the question, “WHY did this happen?”

You don’t need to write a paragraph, just one sentence that sums it up.  Like if you got to work early, maybe you’d write, “Because I didn’t hit the snooze button.”

 THAT’S IT.  Studies have found that if you do it every day, it forces you to focus on the positive things in your life . . . and you’re almost guaranteed to be a happier person six months down the road.

The guy who came up with it says it’s tough for some people to think of three good things a day at first.  But after about a week, it gets easier and easier.




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Feb 23

On This Day In Black History


February 23, 1929;

Baseball catcher Elston Gene Howard was born in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1965, Howard signed a $70,000 contract with the NY Yankees and became the highest paid player in the history of baseball at the time.
  • 1995; Bass Singer Melvin Franklin of The Temptations died of complications following a brain seizure in Los Angeles. He was 53
  • 1965; Constance Baker Motley elected Manhattan Borough president, the highest elective office held by a Black woman in a major American city
  • 1869; Constance Baker Motley elected Manhattan Borough president, the highest elective office held by a Black woman in a major American city
  • 1868; On this day Dr.William Edward Burghardt DuBois, educator and civil rights advocate, is born in Great Barrington, Mass.
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Feb 22

Here Are the Favorites to Win the Major Oscar Categories

Photo: blogs.disney.com

Photo: blogs.disney.com

If you haven’t filled out your office Oscar pool yet, we’ve got you covered.  Here are the odds-on favorites to win the major categories on Sunday . . . plus the nominee with the second-best odds, if you want to change it up a little.

We even listed some of the more obscure categories, since those may be the hardest for you to call.


Best Picture:  “Birdman”, followed by “Boyhood”

Best Director:  Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Birdman”), followed by Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”)

Best Actor:  Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”), followed by Michael Keaton (“Birdman”)

Best Actress:  Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”), followed by Reese Witherspoon (“Wild”)

Best Supporting Actor:  J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”), followed by Edward Norton (“Birdman”)

Best Supporting Actress:  Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”), followed by Emma Stone (“Birdman”)

Best Adapted Screenplay:  “The Imitation Game”, followed by “Whiplash”

Best Original Screenplay:  “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, followed by “Birdman”

Best Animated Feature Film:  “How to Train Your Dragon 2″, followed by “Big Hero 6″

Best Foreign Film:  “Ida” (Poland), followed by “Leviathan” (Russia)

Best Documentary Feature:  “CitizenFour”, followed by “Virunga”

Best Original Score:  “The Theory of Everything”, followed by “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Best Original Song:  “Glory” (“Selma”), followed by “Everything Is Awesome” (“The Lego Movie”)

Best Costume Design:  “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, followed by “Into the Woods”

Best Animated Short Film:  “Feast”, followed by “The Bigger Picture”

Best Live-Action Short Film:  “The Phone Call”, followed by “Boogaloo and Graham”

Best Production Design:  “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, followed by “Into the Woods”

Best Visual Effects:  “Interstellar”, followed by “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”

Best Cinematography:  “Birdman”, followed by “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:  “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, followed by “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Best Film Editing:  “Boyhood”, followed by “Whiplash”

(You can check out a full list of odds at Bovada.lv.  Naturally, the lines may shift a little over time.)


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Feb 20

Four Things People Decide Within a Minute of Meeting You

Photo: linkedin.com

Photo: linkedin.com


How long does it take to really know someone?  Well, here are four things people subconsciously THINK they know, within a minute of meeting you.


 1.  Whether or not they can trust you.  Researchers as Princeton recently had students look at people’s faces, and decide whether they were trustworthy or not.

One group only got to look at each face for a tenth of a second, and the other group got to take as long as they wanted.  But both groups rated the people about the same.



2.  How intelligent you are.  And this is one you can actually DO something about.  A 2007 study found that when you look someone in the eye during a conversation, they automatically think you’re smarter.



3.  Whether or not you sleep around.  This one’s unfair, because it only has to do with stereotypes for women.  But a British study found that women with visible tattoos are seen as more promiscuous, and more likely to drink a lot.



4.  How adventurous you are.  But only if they see you walk.  A study in 2012 found that swinging your arms and looking relaxed is associated with being an extrovert and more of a risk-taker.  And it only takes a few steps for people to make up their mind.



(Business Insider)

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Feb 19

On This Day In Black History



February 19.1992; John Singleton,the first African American director to be nominated for the Academy Award is nominated for best director and best screenplay for his first film Boyz N the Hood.

  • 1864; Knights of Pythias established. Confederate troops defeated three Black and six white regiments at Battle of Olustee, about fifty miles from Jacksonville, Florida
  • 1942; The Army Air Corps’ all African American 100th Pursuit Squadron, later designated a fighter squadron, was activated at Tuskegee Institute. The squadron served honorably in England and in other regions of the European continent during World War II
  • 2002; Vonetta Flowers became the first black gold medalist in the history of the Winter Olympic Games. She and partner Jill Brakken won the inagural women’s two-person bobsled event


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Feb 17

On This Day in Black History


February 17, 1963: Michael Jeffrey Jordon, 36, Basketball player, former minor league baseball player, and sports icon was born

  • 1891; A. C. Richardson, a black inventor, invented the churn, patent #466,470
  • 1997; Virginia House of Delegates votes unanimously to retire the state song, “Carry me back to old virginia” , a tune which glorifies slavery
  • 1870; Congress passed resolution readmitting Mississippi on condition that it would never change its constitution to disenfranchise Blacks
  • 1973; The Navy frigate USS Jesse L. Brown was commissioned. The ship was named for Ensign Jesse L. Brown, the first African American naval aviator killed in combat over Korea.
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Feb 13

The Eight Best Things About Being Single on Valentine’s Day


Photo: asyouwishva.com


Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, but if you don’t have a date, it could actually be a GOOD thing.  Here are the eight BEST things about being single on Valentine’s Day, according to “Cosmopolitan” . . .


1.  You can do whatever you want.

2. You don’t have to stress about what to get someone . . . especially if you’ve only been seeing them for like, a month.

3.  You don’t have to pretend to like someone’s lame gift.

4.  You don’t have to go out to a crowded restaurant.

5.  And you don’t have to spend $100 on a prix-fixe dinner that’s not even that good.

6.  There’s no pressure to “perform” at the end of the night.

7.  There won’t be a huge fight if the night doesn’t go perfectly.

8.  If you go out to a bar, you’re basically guaranteed that everyone there is single . . . and looking to get some.




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Feb 12

On This Day In Black History



February 12, 1793; Congress passed the first Fugitive Slave Law to implement the provisions in the Constitution. It stated that to reclaim an escaped slave a master needed only to go before a magistrate and provide oral or written proof of ownership.

  • 1962; Bus boycott started in Macon, Georgia
  • 1909; Founded in New York City by a group of black and white citizens committed to social justice, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s largest and strongest civil rights organization
  • 1956; In 1956, the first black late-night talk show host in history, Arsenio hall was born
  • 1882; Black rights activist Henry Highland Garnet dies, soon after being appointed the U.S. ambassador to Liberia.
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