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Jul 27, 2008
So back on the road again... at last!
After several weeks spent in paris, we eventually made it back in our travels. Of course the parisian time was not that bad since it gave me the opportunity to go to several events such as the gay, lesbian, bisexual & transexual pride parade, a die in against death penalty in the usa, an anti G8 in japan & an anti nuclear gathering, plus some walks in the botanical garden. But well, leaving paris is a delight & on saturday night, christophe & i (yes, still partners in traveling ) took a train to biarritz where his parents have an apartment. Does it sound like we're always traveling by night? lol! i don't have much to say about the trip because i slept the whole time... Just heard the call to join the party inside the train, like a whole wagon dedicated to music (a DJ in there, yeah!) & an other wagon for people to hang out & play games... not very appealing!
Anyway, we arrived in biarritz around 5.30 am, the rain was falling like crazy! (it is supposed to only rain 45 days/ year...) & the first bus was coming around 6.30, so we decided to walk to the apartment. It was about 30mn walking, not that bad. As we got there, we put our bags, then went for a walk. christophe made me discover the coast, the beaches & some gorgeous rocks all along the coast. Since the weather was not nice, nobody was in the city, which was pretty cool for us
We stopped by the sunday market & found some delicious strawberries, delicious raw, fresh pickles, & some mushrooms. We then stopped by the tourism office & found out about a concert of the
in the evening.
When we got back to the apartment, we slept a bit (christophe hadn't slept in the train), then after an evening meal, we went to the concert. The first part was an american singer, my brightest diamond. The sound was aweful, but the singer had a terrific voice! The
started performing around 10.30pm. They were really good, but the beach was really crowded!
on the 16th, i went for a walk through the city, i pictured all that i found appealing i walked along the coast & saw the 2 haunted houses. i walked by the most famous one & pictured it a lot lol! On the way back i walked more intown, & saw some pretty buildings. In the afternoon, i went to the beach to lay in the sun for a little while. AMazing how quickly i tanned lol! The main beach is always crowded, weither in the morning, afternoon or evening, so i went to the one where local people go... but it was pretty busy too! Anyway, i enjoyed the time there, it was good to be in the sun after such a long time of ugly weather. On the 17th, i went for another walk in the morning, but this time, it was the beach. i made some nice shots of the sand & some shells, but since there are so many people walking around there, it's pretty difficult to find any In the afternoon, christophe & i went to the lighthouse. Well, such as all lighthouses, nothing very thrilling there, yet the surrounding was amazing. Rocks, the sea crashing on the rocks, really beautiful sea, turquoise! The sun was shining, but it was not too hot. We stayed a little bit in the sun, the wind was blowing, a cool, refreshing wind. The next morning was the same: by the sea. More waves, stronger then the previous day. But the night of the 18th was the full moon, which could explain the strength of the sea.
The next days were pretty much the same, beach, morning, afternoon, to picture, to tan...
i eventually found out about some tags in anglet, a city next to biarritz, so i went there to picture. But i started the day picturing a church behind where we were staying. Then on the next day, i pictured some more tags in biarritz, around the highschool of the city. In the afternoon, we went to a pine forest in anglet. We walked a long way to get there & chilled out in the woods. Nice place, just a bit too close to the highway
Eventually, we made it back to paris on the night of the 24th. Christophe has to work, so we cancelled all the wonderful plans to go to spain & portugal... to my greatest despair
So i'm back in paris, for a long time it seems, for this is the end of the travels for this year. Not much exciting. i have to admit i'm a bit frustrated & disappointed. So i'll have to figure out what to do here.
So you'll find all the pix here.
Thank you for reading me. i hope you're enjoying the summer.
Have all fun guys, & once again, please be patient if you sent me emails... i'll be slowly catching up.

Be well & in peace.
pelagus
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Posted: Jul 27, 2008 1:56am
Jun 24, 2008
dear friends,

i decided to publish my first writings. The book is called fruitistica & is made of images & words.
It is an e-book, for i don't want trees to be cut to be able to publish my images & words. Organic & fair trade cotton paper would be the solution, yet it is still hard to find, especially to publish a book.
This book is about
the cruelty toward humans, non humans, plants & the earth.
The site i chose to host it seems ok & many unknown writers are hosted there. Hopefully, i won't remain unknown for too long
i hope you find some interest in it.
You can find it here.

Thank you for reading me.

be well & in peace.
pelagus
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Posted: Jun 24, 2008 3:56am
Jun 23, 2008
Hello!

So here i start again, but this time is another european journey. The goal is sweden, but it is only a first goal, for europe is pretty big & there are so many places to discover.
i'm traveling with christophe. So we left on friday the 6th. He had found a carpool, a guy, cedric who travels to köln every week end to see his girfriend. We left paris at 4.45pm & arrived at the railway station of köln around 10pm. The guy looked interested in couchsurfing, so i told him a bit about my experiences with it. There was another guy traveling with us, who was also going to köln to see his gf.
They talked about eachothers life & i will spare you with the details for it was far from thrilling. We also got their music which was not much of our taste. But well...
Anyway, when we got to köln, we ate, then got our "week end ticket", which is 35 euros to travel as much as you want, but only using local trains. We got our first train at 00.51am. The destination was rostock. We arrived there around 1.00pm. That was a long journey in the train. i slep a little bi in the train, but was exhausted once in rostock. christophe didn't sleep at all.
Before the last train from hamburg, there were those guys who seemed completely drunk, which they actually were, they were talking so loud, drinking beer & playing cards. They were so excited, for whatever reason, but they really bothered everyone. Anyhow, we were very happy to get out of the train!
All through the way we were really amazed by the consumption of beer german people make. Any where you go you'll see them with a bottle, & in the last train we used to rostock, they were even carring boxes of beer lol!
When we got there, we used a tram to reach deniz's place. He lives in a big apartment with 3 roommates. He was hosting us on the night of saturday. A very cool guy. When we reached his place, he welcomed us in such a friendly way. We left to go to a park to take a nap. We slept about 2 hours, & it felt really good. Then, we walked a bit through the city & found many interesting tags & stickers for me to picture. i was thrilled We ended up in the harbourg of the city. We sat at some point & enjoyed the smell of the sea. We then got back to deniz's place & had dinner.
In th evening christophe & deniz went to a store & they met a group of punks that came here for a rally against the NATO. We hadn't heard of this rally before & were quite pissed we missed it. We then had a shower, & got out in a pub with him & a friend of him, christian. We had interesting conversations about environment with him. He works in the protection of it. New & interesting perspectives. i really love couchsurfing for it makes you meet people you'd never have met otherwise. On sunday, we woke up late, then went to the beach. It was really overcrowded. People were all lying in the sand, but i was pretty cold. i had like 2 pullovers lol! Crhistophe found the courage to get into the water, but was freezing to death when he got out. We then walked a bit to some woods at the end of the shore. We were still tired of our sleepless night in the train. We got back then had to get ready to take the ferry: the departure was 10.45pm, but it seemed wise to leave earlier. We first figured out 8pm, but eventually left around 7.30pm, which was definitely a good idea for we had to take a tram, then a train, then a bus & the last bus was at 8.10pm, & if we had left at 8 we would never had it! So we ended up waiting for a long time at the ferry place. It was a soccer night, germany vs poland, so all the german people were watching it. Even in the bar at the ferry, they were all overexcited! The bus driver (taking us from the ticket place to the ferries) came out late of the bar. Anyhow, it was just to take us some 300 meters further!
In the ferry we settled in some lounge & i slept a bit, christophe could not. The sun rises quite early in sweden (around 4am), & we went on the deck to watch it, it was orange, almost read! How gorgeous. i made some pix of it, it was a delight! 2 guys had actually settled on the deck to sleep, i was thinking they must have froze to death! The trip took some 7 hours & led us to telleborg where we arrived at 7 am. There, we walked to the bus station, to check the buses going to malmö, & on our way, we were welcomed by 2 peacocks We were really exhausted & it took us a little while to figure out what to do. We decided to not go to malmö on that day, but wait until tuesday, & we wanted to find a beach to settle for the night. We asked a bus driver which beach was the best & he gave us the direction of a village called
Skåne. We went there & discovered a wonderful little village, with an empty beach. We first settled the hammock, then slept in it for a while, then went back in the sun & fell deeply asleep for a few hours. When i woke up, i realized how gorgeous the place was & pictured the beach. When christophe woke up, we decided to go back to telleborg to get some food. There were no buses coming, so we hitchhicked. One wonderful & friendly guy took us after 15mn. He drove us to the foodstore, explaining us how to reach the bus station & all to go to malmö, he was very nice & positive! We got the food, then took a bus back to the beach, it was pretty busy until late at night, but we had dinner, & made a fire. We then settled the tent & went to sleep. We had to wake up early to catch a bus to take us to the one bus going to malmö. Everything went ok. Once in malmö we found the bus stop to go to kristinnehamn & after 5 hours in the bus, we went to a foodstore to get things to eat, then decided to go directly to karlskoga. We were thinking we might find some woods on the way to sleep, but the bus we took, used the highway & we ended up in the city, which actually is big! So after a long time searching for a map, we found one, & figured out a place where we could camp, but there were no more buses at this time, we decided to walk, & after a few kilometers, we found some woods in the middle of a residential area, pretty quiet, & we decided to settle there for the night. Many crows welcomed us.
When we woke up on wednesday morning -we had actually planned to leave early so no one would notice we slept there- it was raining, so we decided to stay until it stops. We left after noon & decided to walk back to the city. On our way to find the bus taking us to the lake we were looking for the previous day, we were saying that we would ask the first hippie looking guy we'd meet about disarm08. About 30 seconds later, we met a young hippie looking guy & asked him if he knew anything about the camp. He did, he actually joined last year. We talked a bit & he even invited us to sleep at his place if we needed to. He gave us the directions to some spot he thought would be the place, near a lake. So we thought it'd be good to find a place to sleep. He left us his phone number & insisted that if we needed a place to stay, his apartment was ours. We then looked for tourist office & found it closed. Since it was next to the library, i went inside to check the internet & get the phone number to contact the people of disarm08.
As we were watching the map of the city, we decided to settle by a lake more south, called angslöjen. So we first went to get some food, then to the bus station to check out the time table. Then there, we saw this girl who looked like going to the camp. We asked her & she is part of the organization. She was waiting for others to pick her up. We talked a bit & she was telling us to come over even if it had not begun yet. But we were decided to go to the lake angsjölen, so we took the bus to there. The driver didn't speak english & he misunderstood what i said in my poor swedish, he actually misunderstood my finger on the map & stopped us before the path to the lake, but we found a friendly driver who showed us the way. We walked about 2 kilometers to arrive at the lake. The sky was so pretty, the whole spot was gorgeous! We decided to stay here at least a couple of days. We made a fire to warm us up, had dinner, then stayed out for some time & settled the tent in the woods. The rain suddenly came, but since the sun was still shining, a rainbow, then 2 appeared in the sky! It was less windy there then by the water. But a group of tiny mosquitoes (locally called "knot") attacked us. They were bitting like crazy, & the only escape was to stay in the smoke of the fire. We then went to sleep, feeling safer in the tent. i woke up very early in the morning & went for a hike in the woods, a bit further from where we were staying. i saw so many amazing birds, some modeled for me, others were running away! When i got back to the tent, christophe was awake. We made fire again for the sun was not particularly bright, hidden by some dark clouds. Since we were already running out of the water (we first thought we would drink the water from the lake, but it didn't look too good) we went to a store not that far from the place. We brought some more food also, to stay longer.
On saturday, we decided to go to the disarm rally, we left the lake to get the 8 am bus & got to karlskoga before 9. We waited a bit, then went in a park. We got to the meeting spot around noon to learn they had been here since 10 am & were about to leave. So we joined them & got to the campground in linnebäck. We settled the tent behind the disarm camp actually, in some sunny spot by the woods. In the evening we were once again attacked by the "knot" & even the local people have nothing to deal with them. Anyway, we talked to many people in the camp, gathering info about other things happening during the summer. But nothing quite interesting. Anyway, one anarchist camp happening in the beginning of july, during one week, on an island in the south east of sweden. If the cold & the mosquitoes don't kill us before, we might go there.
People here are very friendly, the 2 people we met at the bus station hugged us when they saw us, & all the new faces were so very friendly. We even met girls we met in brussels for the NATO: game over. Saturday afternoon was very sunny & warm for a change. That was a delight to warm up in the sun. In the evening we watched some movies about peace actions in the us.
On sunday morning i went for another hike in the woods. i met many mosquitoes, but other interesting insects to photograph.
We took part to some discussions but everything was in swedish. Fortunately some people were able to translate for us.
We talked with some swedish animal rights activists, with finish activists too. The attacks from the "knot" were crazy. The nights were incredibly cold. We decided on sunday night to leave. The first bus leaving from the campground was at 5.17 am. We woke up on monday morning & took all our things. As we were getting out of the place we put the tent, we saw a police car that was counting the number of tents in the camp. We waited for them to leave, then walked to the bus stop. As we were waiting, another police car came, that was a lady. She stopped her car & came talking to us. She introduced herself, then asked many questions about us & what we were doing here. The bus eventually arrived & took us to karlskoga. There, we wanted to find a warm place to sit, so we walked downtown, but nothing was open. We noticed the cope had followed the bus & was now following us! As we reached the center of the city, another police car came out & followed us aswell! So we decided we could not stay there, not even one night. Our plans being to camp in a park downtown. So we walked back to the bus station, thinking about either going to slottsbron, where my mother grew up or go to skove, where a girl i know lives. As we got into the bus, we decided to go to karlstadt (final destination of the bus) then slottsbron. i called my mother once there & asked her about a nice spot to camp. She mentionned a beach on an island, about 2 km from the village. So we got some food then took a bus to slottsbron. (mum, only watch those pix if you feel ready for so much has changed since you las went there!) Once there, i could hardly recognize anything, so many new buildings, & my grandparents' house was now hidding behind a huge brown fence, built by the new owners. i was pretty exhausted, we walked to the beach, & once there, what a delight! The sun was warm, we fell asleep on some rocks, then explored an old abandoned house, then talked. Most of you guys know how much i enjoy picturing abandoned buildings. It was really awesome! One odd thing is that sweden has so many nazi tags & this place was no exception christophe tagged the tags, which was great! The water was very cold, yet the air was warm & the sun shining bright!
We found a nice place on the rocks to settle the tent. The night wasn't too cold & not mosquitoes or "knot" to bother us.
When i woke up in the morning it was pretty cold though. The lake was covered by a huge & very white cold fog. i decided to go for a walk in the village. i couldn't recognize much. Too much had changed. So many things had been transformed or even destroyed. i pictured many houses, familiar places, then got back to the beach. We spent the day resting by the water. Early afternoon, an old woman with 2 dogs came to us & asked us how long we were planning to stay, reminding us it is only allowed to camp at a place for 24 hours. We replyed nicely, & decided we would then stay another night. So on wednesday morning we packed to go to säffle, where my uncle lives. But it was time to leave since the bad & cold weather was back!
Once in säffle, it was easy for me to find the way since nothing had changed from my childhood. We first went to a bar to get some warm drink, then i called my uncle who was at work. We decided to meet at 4 in the center of the town. He had changed a bit from what i could remember. The last time i saw him was in 2001 when my grandmother died. He invited us to his place, & in the evening, his son eric came & took us to his mother's house. It was so great to see them again! We ate strawberries together
Bawk to owe's apartment, we talked some more then went to bed. He was working the next morning, but left us the keys. We got the chance to do some laundry! i went for a walk in the city while christophe was sleeping, then we went to get our train tickets to malmö ffor the next day. In the evening, my cousin was playing soccers so we went to the match. There, we met my cousin sofia. She got back home with us & we talked a bit. That was awesome! Some more talk with my uncle the next morning, then we took the train at 1.18pm. That was the beginning of a non stop trip back to paris. We took the ferry in trelleborg at 10.15pm & got to sassnitz around 2 am. There, no bus, nothing. We stopped in a field to rest a bit. After an hour, & having seen many police cars, one stopped to ask us what we were doing here & also to show them our ids. After a few minutes talking, one of the 2 cops offered to drive us to the railway station. It was 6km from where we were & before they come we were gathering courage to walk there. Of course we accepted! That was so funny to be in a police car & that they were playing the taxi for us lol! Once at the station, we only had 1 hour before the departure of the train. We decided to go to köln again, for we had a carpool leaving from there on sunday morning. We arrived saturday in the end of the afternoon. We were extremely exhausted. We tried to find a way to get back as soon as possible to paris, but not train would make it on that night. We thought about staying in some lounge during the night, then try to take a but that was leaving at 6.45am the next morning. But we weren't sure they would take us since you have to buy the tickets from the desk & this desk was closed until 8am the next morning! But we wanted to give it a try. So we went to a lounge in the station & settled, talking about the next trips once back in paris. At some point, i was really tired & we decided to lay down & sleep a bit in the lounge. i took my sleeping bag out & fell asleep. The police from the station woke us up at 6am. We then got to the bus & had the wonderful surprize the driver accepts to take us. We suspect he kept the money of the tickets for himself, but it really doesn't matter!
So we arrived in paris on sunday, around 2.30pm. Uhhh! A long & exhausting trip, but full of many adventures!
So back in paris now, but for a week to the most, then, next destination: south of france then spain. We still need to figure out the plans, but it should be some existing moments!
Anyhow, i hope you'll enjoy the pix! Thanks for reading & allow me some time to reply your messages if you sent me some.

To be on continued
pelagus

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Posted: Jun 23, 2008 2:23am
Apr 30, 2008
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Think About
Location: United States

With summer thirst just around the corner – stay active and stay healthy all season long with filtered water and reusable water bottles for hydration on-the-go.  Spring and summer activities require water and lots of it – but that doesn’t mean stocking up on bottled water. Visit our Conscious Consumer Marketplace to find bottled water alternatives and start reducing your carbon footprint.

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Conscious Consumer Marketplace logoThere are many water filters that can work for your lifestyle.  Pur, for one, makes a number of water filtration systems that fit directly on your tap or for storage in your fridge.  Also think about getting a durable stainless steel or lined aluminum bottle.  Klean Kanteen makes stainless steel bottles—with cool colors for kids to start them on healthy, conscious, smarter habits now. And they’ll save you money too! Drinking bottled water can cost up to $1,400.00 per year; drinking the same amount from the tap costs around $0.59 for the year, according to an article in the New York Times.

Visit our Conscious Consumer Marketplace at www.consciousconsumer.org and get connected with healthier choices for you and the planet – today.

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Posted: Apr 30, 2008 3:14am
Mar 19, 2008
Attention Visual Artists: If you think you have what it takes to set the art world on fire then keep reading because on the 19th of March 2008, the search for the art world’s Next Star Artist will begin.

Art market analyst, consultant and art critic Nicholas Forrest of Art Market Blog (www.ArtMarketBlog.com) fame has today announced the launch of Next Star Artist (www.NextStarArtist.com), a groundbreaking new art competition for emerging visual artists.

Beginning on the 19th of March, artists from all over the world will go head to head in an international search for the artist with the highest potential for success in the art market. Unlike any other art competition, every facet of each entrant’s profile, career and work will be assessed to determine which artist is the most likely to achieve art world fame and commercial success.

The winner of the competition will receive an amazing promotion and PR package that includes, amongst other things, a solo online exhibition, an online media blitz, and three months of mentoring, advice and promotion by art consultant Nicholas Forrest.

Entry is free and is open to visual artists over the age of 18 who fulfil the entry criteria, and to all mediums (including craft, design and jewellery) with the exception of Video Art, Film and Performance Art. Entries will be accepted starting on the 19th of March 2008 and will close on the 23rd of May 2008.

For further information on this unique and exciting project and for entry details please visit the Next Star Artist website at www.NextStarArtist.com

"The reason that I created the Next Star Artist competition is that I come across so many fantastic artists who either do not have the skills to promote themselves or are just not in a position to take advantage of the promotional opportunities that are available. I have undertaken extensive research on the promotional opportunities available to artists and have successfully promoted several artists online using various different techniques. The success that I have had has been extremely encouraging and has given me the knowledge and tools needed to implement the "Next Star Artist" competition. I am extremely excited to be able to offer this opportunity to the world art community and wish all the entrants the best of luck.”
-Nicholas Forrest (founder of Next Star Artist)

Click here to join:
http://www.artreview.com/group/nextstarartist?xgi=cBeuuWN

Thanks,
artmarketblog.com
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Posted: Mar 19, 2008 1:56am
Mar 18, 2008

How to select and store fruits

How to Select and Store Fruits

Apples

Selection

Apples should be firm to hard. They should also be well coloured, the skins should be tight, unbroken, and unblemished, although brown freckles or streaks are characteristic of some varieties.

Storage

Cold temperatures keep apples from ripening further after they are picked. If left at room temperature the process is speeded. If an apple is freshly picked or has been in months of cold storage, it must be kept cold or its flesh will degenerate into mushiness.

Apples can be stored in the refrigerator crisper in plastic bags. If bought in a good condition they can be kept in the refrigerator for six weeks. They should be checked often to remove any rotten apple that can spoil the rest of them.

Apricots

Selection

Apricots when mature are soft to the touch and juicy. They must be eaten as soon as possible because they spoil very easily. Apricots that still need to ripen will do so at room temperature they should be firm, plump and have an orange-gold colour. Hard fruits tingled with green will hardly ever ripe fully.

Even when not fully ripe, apricots should yield to gentle pressure and release a perfumed fragrance; their skin should be smooth and velvety. Shrivelled skin or bruisers should be avoided, although small blemishes will not change its flavour.

Storage

If apricots are not fully ripe they can be kept in a plastic bag at room temperature, away from heat or direct sunlight, for two to three days. If they are ripe, they may be stored in a plastic bag, kept in the refrigerator for a day or to at most. Apricots must not be washed until ready to eat.

Avocados

Selection

Normally avocados are available at the markets hard and unripe so they must soften at room temperature for a few days.

A good avocado is heavy, unblemished and has an unbroken skin. It should yield to gentle pressure. If fingers stay marked it means it is overripe.

Most avocado varieties stay green even when ripe others turn purple or black.

Storage

Ripe avocados will keep in the refrigerator for four to five days, but longer storage at cold temperatures will cause discoloration of the flesh and unpleasant changes in the flavour. Unripe avocados should not be kept in the refrigerator, as they will never ripen properly. Unripe fruits will soften at room temperature in three to six days; to achieve quicker ripening they can be placed in a loosely closed paper bag with a tomato.

Bananas

Selection

Bananas should be plump, firm, and bright coloured. They must be unblemished. Occasional brown spots on the skin are normal, but sunken, moist looking dark areas indicate bruises on the fruit. Their stem ends and skins must be intact: if they are split contamination may occur. Bananas bruise easily so they must be handled with care.

Storage
Bananas should be left at room temperature, but away from heat or direct sun for further ripening. They can also be stored in a plastic bag with an apple. To slow down the ripening process they can be kept in the refrigerator. The skin will turn dark but the fruit inside will remain edible. Refrigerated bananas can be kept for two weeks. Unripe bananas should never be refrigerated as their exposure to cold interrupts their ripening cycle, and even if returned to room temperature will they carry on the process.
Berries
Selection
For the best flavour, berries should be bought in season. All berries must be plump, dry, firm, well shaped and uniformly coloured. They should not have caps or stems, except for strawberries. The caps on strawberries should have a fresh and green look and the fruit bright red. Blueberries should be navy blue with a silver white bloom on their surface. Blackberries should be purple to black and must not have any white patches. Cranberries must be red and firm.

Storage
Berries are one of the most perishable fruits; they can become soft, and mushy in 24 hours. When berries are bought in boxes they must be checked as soon as possible in order to separate overripe berries for immediate consumption. The rest are better if spread on a plate or pan covered with paper towels and then wrapped with plastic. They can be kept for usually no longer than two days but storage time varies according to type.

Fresh blueberries can be kept for ten days; cranberries will manage for two weeks, while raspberries should be used within a day.

Freezing berries is a way of having this fruit all year round. Fresh cranberries can be frozen, unwashed, in freezing bags for a year. Raspberries and blackberries can be washed and drained well, spread on a recipient and freeze until solid, then transferred to a heavy plastic bag. They can be kept for ten months or a year. The same procedure for blueberries can be followed but they must not be washed before freezing.

Cherries

Selection

Gould cherries are large, glossy, plump and hard. Bruises or cuts must be carefully checked. When there are spoiled cherries in a bin they quickly start others to decay. So they must be checked carefully.

The stems should be fresh and green; cherries without stem should be avoided as they may begin to decay when the skin breaks. Darkened stems are a sign of either old age or poor storage conditions.

Storage
They should be loosely packed in order to avoid bruising. They should not be washed until serving time. They can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week, but must be checked to remove any that are bad.

Cherries can also be frozen the same way as raspberries and blackberries.

Dates

Selection
Dates are sold fresh or dried. The difference between the two is not easy to see as they have a similar aspect in both forms.

Both types are usually packed in cellophane plastic containers. The dates that are commonly available in stores are fresh or partially dried, and do not contain any preservatives.

Both fresh and dried dates should be smooth skinned, glossy and plump; they should not be broken, cracked, and dry they are slightly wrinkled. Those that smell sour or have crystallized sugar should be avoided.

Dried dates should not be rock hard.

Storage
They can be stored in the refrigerator in airtight plastic bags to avoid odours from other foods, which they absorb easily. They will hang on for eight months. Even at room temperature they can hang on for some months. Dried dates can stay in the refrigerator for up to a year.

Figs

Selection
Good figs should be plump, unbruised, have unbroken skin and a mild fragrance.

Sour smelling figs indicate spoilage. They should be just soft to the touch, but not mushy.

Dried figs give in when slightly squeezed. Moldy or sour smelling dried figs must be avoided.

Storage
To ripen slightly under ripe figs, place them on a plate at room temperature, away from sunlight and turn them frequently. Ripe fresh figs should be kept in the refrigerator. As they bruise easily it is better to put them in a shallow plate, covered with a plastic wrap. They can be stored for no longer than two days.

Dried figs can be stored at cool room temperature or in the refrigerator; they must be well wrapped after opening so that they don’t become too dry and hard. They can be kept for several months. They can also be frozen, and then thawed at room temperature.

Grapefruit

Selection

Grapefruit is only picked when fully ripe. The fruit should be round, smooth and heavy for their size.

Glossy fruits with slightly flattened ends are preferable.

Storage
Grapefruits can be left at room temperature for a week and they are juiciest when slightly warm rather than chilled. To keep them longer, they should be refrigerated in the crisper; here they can be kept for six to eight weeks. It is better to leave them at room temperature for a while before juicing or eating them.

Grapes

Selection
Grapes are thin- skinned and easily damaged, so they should be displayed in no more than two bunches deep and under refrigeration. They can be found wrapped in tissue paper, enclosed in perforated plastic bags or loose.

Normally grapes are picked ripe and once they are picked they will not ripen further.

Wrinkled, sticky or discoloured grapes should be avoided.

Storage
Grapes can be stored unwashed in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for a week. Damaged fruit must be removed in order to avoid further spoilage.

Kiwi fruit

Selection
The best kiwis are plump, fragrant and they yield to gentle pressure. Unripe fruit has a hard core and a tart astringent taste.

Kiwis that are mushy with bruisers, or wet spots are not good.

Storage
To ripen firm kiwis, place them in room temperature, but away from heat or direct sunlight for a few days. To accelerate the process they can be placed in a paper bag with an apple, pear or banana. If the fruit is ripe do not place with other fruits for it perishes quickly even if in the refrigerator. Ripe should hang on for one to two weeks.

Lemons and limes

Selection

These fruits should be firm, glossy and bright. Lemons should be bright yellow, not greenish, and limes dark green. Limes turn from green to yellow when they ripen, but the immature fruit has the best taste.

Lemons can be stored at room temperature for two weeks without refrigeration. Limes however, should be refrigerated immediately for they are more perishable.

Both can be stored in plastic bags in the refrigerator crisper and kept up to six weeks.

Mangoes

Selection
A ripe mango will yield to slight pressure when held between hands. The skin can either be yellow-orange or red, which will spread in area as the fruit ripens. Has there are several varieties and some do not change colours they can be checked for fragrance and softness.

A completely greenish grey skin mango will not ripen properly.

A perfect ripe mango will have an intense fragrance. Black speckles on the skin are normal in this fruit, but if there are many it may be a signal of flesh spoilage. A loose skin also indicates that the fruit is not good.

Storage
Under ripe mangoes can be left at room temperature for a few days to soften and sweeten. To speed ripening they may be put into a plastic bag. Ripe fruits can be kept in the refrigerator in plastic bags for a few days.

Melons

Selection

Melons do not ripen further once they are picked. This fruit is shaped symmetrically round, oval or oblong. It should be free of cracks, soft spots, or dark bruises. Ripe melons are firm, but a slight softness is a good sign.

In some melons a full fragrance is a clue to it’s maturity, but if they have been chilled the fragrance will not be noticed. Others don’t have any fragrance even when ripe.

Storage
To improve the eating quality of melons they can be left at room temperature for two to four days. This will turn the fruit softer and juicier but not sweeter as they do not ripen any more once picked.

If during this time the fruit does not reach its ripeness peak it’s because it was picked unripe and is not worth eating.

Once ripe or cut, melons should be refrigerated and used within about two days.

They should be enclosed in plastic bags to protect other products in the refrigerator from the ethylene gas that the melons free.

An uncut watermelon can be stored at room temperature if necessary. But in very hot temperatures it is advisable to refrigerate it. It takes 8 to 12 hours to chill a whole watermelon thoroughly. Cut watermelon must be tightly wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for no more than four days.

Nectarines

Selection

Ripe nectarines should yield to gentle pressure and have a sweet fragrance. Brightly coloured fruits that are firm or moderately hard will ripen in two or three days at room temperature.

Nectarines that are hard or greenish indicate that they were picked too soon and will not ripen fully.

Shrivelled skins or mushy fruit can indicate signs of decay.

Storage
Hard nectarines can ripen at room temperature for two or three days in a loosely closed paper bag, away from sunlight. Once the fruit gives slightly to gentle pressure, it’s ready to eat.

They can be kept in the refrigerator crisper for another three to five days.

Oranges

Selection

Oranges are always picked ripe.

Oranges should be firm, and heavy for their size and evenly shaped. Choose oranges that have a smooth skin rather than deeply pitted.

Storage
Oranges can be kept in the refrigerator but they can also be stored at room temperature. They do not need any wrapping for their skin protects them.

Papayas

Selection

Papayas turn from green to yellow-orange as they ripen, so you should choose fruits that are at least half yellow; the colour change begins at the bottom and moves along the stem end. Papayas that are completely green with no signs of yellow have been picked to soon and many never ripen properly.

Fully ripe papayas are three – quarters to totally yellow or yellow orange; they will give slightly when pressed gently, but should not be soft and mushy at the stem end.

The skin should be smooth and unbruised. Cut papayas should smell fragrant and sweet.

Storage
A half ripe papaya will ripen in two to four days if left at room temperature; to ripen faster it can be stored in a paper bag with a banana. After ripe they can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for a week, but they loose their delicate flavour in time, so they should be used in a day or two if possible.

Passion fruit

Selection

Choose large and heavy fruit with wrinkled skin.

Storage

If the skin is not deeply wrinkled, keep the fruit at room temperature until it is; Ripe passion fruit can be refrigerated for a few days

Peaches

Selection

Peaches do not get any sweeter after they have been harvested, though they will become softer and juicier.

Rock- hard fruit should be avoided, choose those that yield slightly to pressure. Choose fruits that are mildly fragrant.

Spots on the skin are early signs of decay.

Storage
Firm peaches can be left at room temperature for a few days to soften. They can be placed in a paper bag to speed the process. Store ripe peaches in the refrigerator crisper if you are not going to eat them within a day. They should keep up to five days.

Pears

Selection
In general, pears should look relatively unblemished and well coloured, in some varieties full colour will not develop until the fruit ripens.

Pears are always picked unripe they are usually hard and need to ripen further.

Ripe pears will give in to gentle pressure. Fruit with dark spots should be avoided.

Storage

Pears can be put to ripe at room temperature first, then refrigerated for no longer than a day or to before eating them. Cold will slow down the ripening process but will not stop it.

To speed ripening, the pears can be placed in a paper or perforated plastic bag and turned occasionally. Never store pears either in or out of the refrigerator in sealed plastic bags, the lack of oxygen will cause the fruit to spoil. Check the fruit often and refrigerate them or eat them as soon as they yield to gentle pressure.

Persimmons

Selection
Look for deeply coloured fruits, which should be reddish rather than yellowish. Choose persimmons that are glossy, well rounded, and free of cracks or bruises, with their leaf like sepals still green and firmly attached.

Storage
You can leave persimmons at room temperature in a paper bag along with an apple for quick ripening.

Ripe persimmons should be placed in a plastic bag, stored in the refrigerator, and used as soon as possible.

Pineapples

Selection

Pineapples do not ripe at home, so it is important to choose one in prime condition. Most of the traditional “secrets” in selecting this fruit are, in fact unreliable.

The fruit should be firm and plump, as well as heavy for its size, with fresh looking green leaves. Bruises or soft spots, especially at the base must be avoided. A good pineapple should be fragrant, but if the fruit is cold, the aroma may not be apparent. Pineapple with a sour or fermented smell must never be bought.

Storage
A pineapple will get somewhat softer and juicier if it is left at room temperature for a day or two before serving. After ripening it can be refrigerated for three to five days no longer for the fruit can be damaged by the cold. They can be refrigerated in a plastic bag to help conserve its moisture content.
Plums

Selection

Plums should be plump and well coloured for their variety. If the fruit yields to gentle pressure, it is ready to eat. They can be softened at home if they are fairly firm but not rock hard. They will not however, increase in sweetness. Ripe plums will be slightly soft at the stem and tip, but check for mushy spots, or breaks in the skin.

Storage
To soften hard plums, place several in a loosely closed paper bag and leave them at room temperature for a day or two; when ready, transfer them to the refrigerator. Ripe plums can be refrigerated for up to three days.

Prunes

Selection

Check if the package of prunes is tightly sealed to guarantee cleanliness and moistness. Some prunes come vacuum- packed in cans, which keep them extra moist.

Storage

Reseal an open package as tightly as possible or transfer the prunes to an airtight container. Store them in a cool dry place or in the refrigerator for up to six months.
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Posted: Mar 18, 2008 2:17am
Mar 13, 2008
Focus: Children
Action Request: Boycott
Location: United States
There are estimated to be over 100,000 children slaves
in the Ivory Coast, enslaved on cocoa plantations.
Nestle is one of the biggest offenders. This horrible
act must stop! Check out youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSBXSXAxVOU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf6wp3sy76Q&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX6_3wSsXq4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HtDCC_aPFg&feature=related

Also there are other videos if you do a search at
YouTube.

You should never buy chocolate again, unless
its from a safe non-slavery source!!!
Visibility: Everyone
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Posted: Mar 13, 2008 4:42pm
Mar 12, 2008
Focus: Health
Action Request: Various
Location: United States

The Beginning of the End for Compulsory Vaccines and Drugging?

I just love it when the other side is so outrageous that any thinking person finds their actions and rationalizations totally unacceptable, don't you? If they were subtle, reasonable or clever, we would have a harder battle. But the vaccine makers and their supporters are so over-the-top that even the mills of science are beginning to grind their grain into dust! Breaking news just in tells us that the other side is so filled with their own sense of invincible power that they literally know no bounds. Having succeeded in making New Jersey the first state to create an ongoing market for flu shots by requiring every child to be vaccinated against a disease that poses little danger to kids, the marketeers have their sights set on bigger markets: every child in the US. Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=551) to read what's in store if we let them get away with this atrocious profiteering in New Jersey. Then click here (http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/568/t/1128/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=21833) to tell your legislators that you will not accept any such medical fascism.
Where to begin? So much is happening to strengthen our side that it is hard to know where to start.
Although we are still facing the specter of increasing numbers of compulsory vaccination scenarios on both the State and Federal levels, we have great forward movement to counter them from international science and the law. The US Congress, in the persons of Congressmen Bart Stupak and John Dingle are calling for the resignation of the head of the FDA for his "lack of leadership". Not only that, but 18 states are suing manufactures of the so-called 'atypical' antipsychotic drugs-the most toxic harm-producing psychotropics-for off-label marketing. To make things even more interesting for our side, France has opened a manslaughter investigation into the manufactuers of the Hepatitis B Vaccine because they failed to disclose side effects and dangers! Click herehttp://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=536) to read more. Imagine that! Holding drug companies accountable for suppressing negative information. Of course, that is not possible under current policy and law in the US but if the profit goes out of the vaccine industry through law suits, the industry will fold.
That's why the Natural Solutions Foundation's Citizens Petition (a legal action to compel the government to take action) to the Federal Trade Commission to prevent vaccine-related false and misleading advertising is so important. For example, the FDA says that vaccines are safe and safely made. Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=522) to have a look at just what's in some of those vaccines.
To find out more, and get involved in the No Forced Vaccine movement, join the 326 members of the No-Forced-Vaccination Forum, (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/no-forced-vaccination/join) and get the latest on compulsory vaccination and how to stop it.
One of the clearest incidents of the malfeasance of the FDA is the case of rotovirus vaccine. GlaxoSmithKline's [GSK] rotavirus vaccine, called Rotarix, is associated with an increased risk of convulsions and pneumonia-related deaths in children taking it, according to a review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Rotovirus kills babies through viral diarrhea, at least in the developing world. Why it is being recommended for babies in the US where sanitation and virus free water are available is not quite clear to me, but it is. In fact, 3 doses of the Rotovirus vaccine are authorized (at 2, 4 and 6 months). FDA is in the process of approving the vaccine despite its serious, and sometimes-lethal impact on babies. I assume that the fact that GSK has no liability for damage or deaths from Rotarix, and the frequent financial interests of the reviewers on the FDA advisory boards in the products they are reviewing may be significant factors here. Read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=525).
In line with the lack of liability conferred on the vaccine manufacturers by the FDA and Congress, it is worth noting Robert Kennedy's report on the secret meeting at the Simpsonwood Conference Center at Norcross Georgia in which the real story on government cover-ups of the relationship between autism and mercury in vaccines is told. If you have not read this report, you may want to click herehttp://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=524) to read it now. And if you are familiar with this callous and shameful cover-up, please send this information to the parents of young children considering vaccination.
Perhaps you are saying, "Wait a moment! Aren't vaccines helpful in producing a healthier public and eliminating the diseases we all fear?" If the mythology of the effective, safe and helpful vaccine still seems reasonable to you, take a moment to read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=534) and see if vaccines look so useful and safe once you've examined some vital, but rarely examined facts about immunization. You might want to click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=549) to check out the cold hard facts about vaccination: the reality might surprise you!
Here in the US we had some astonishingly good news from the Court system about the link between vaccines and autism. The FDA actually conceded that autism could result from vaccination in a case involving a 4 year old child who collapsed into autism following vaccination with 9 different vaccines at the same time. The US Government agreed to settle the case by conceding that the child's autism was brought about by vaccination although it states that she had a biological problem which made her vulnerable to developing autism. Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=540) to read more about this settlement and why it means that perhaps the other 4900 similar cases now in court may take the same turn of events. Remember, though, that drugs, vaccines and now, because of a recent Supreme Court decision, once approved by the FDA for any purpose whatsoever, are immune from consumer liability suits.
As is typical, the much vaunted flu vaccine, so eagerly pressed upon our children and our elderly, and often containing mercury, is not only dangerous, but ineffective as well. Hard on the heels of the New Jersey decision to make annual flu vaccinations mandatory for children 6 months and older, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an acknowledgement that the very same flu vaccine was effective substantially less than half the time BECAUSE THE VIRUSES IT WAS MADE TO COMBAT WERE THE WRONG ONES! In fact, that's the general rule and, buried in the article is the admission that the whole thing is a dismal failure and next year the World Health Organization is going to completely change its method of making its vaccines up. You see, each year, the CDC and the WHO literally guess what the viruses causing next year's flu will be. And they usually get it wrong. That does not deter the US and other nations from touting, urging and, in New Jersey, forcing this dangerous, inaccurate and ineffective vaccine on children, the elderly and other vulnerable populations. Read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=530).
What about dangers to other groups beside the young? What about the elderly, for example? Vaccines are a significant hazard for them as well. Here is what Russell Blaylock, MD, CCN, has to say:
"With the elderly already having increased inflammatory cytokine levels both systemically and in their brain, stimulating these primed microglia so that a chronic overstimulation of the brain's immune system is triggered, will not only increase their risk of developing one of the neurodegenerative diseases, but will also substantially increase their risk of developing major depression. Remember, this also increases their risk of suicide, and even homicide, dramatically." Read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=545). And click herehttp://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=550) to read why distinguished researchers from the NIH and other major institutions conclude that flu vaccination of the elderly is NOT associated with the decline in their death rates due to flu.
Even the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), whose members are advised to jab and jab and jab (read their statement on what to do when parents refuse vaccination herehttp://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=547), are undergoing a slight, but very interesting change of heart. Four percent of their members do not vaccinate their own children!
I do not have this information in hand, but it would not surprise me one bit if the vaccine-loving American Academy of Pediatrics was supported to a large extent by the makers of vaccines. Their institutional blindness is so massive that little else could account for it. (If you have that information, please write to me at dr.laibow@gmail.com with "AAP Funding" in the subject line). Read, for example, an account of their latest [mis]statement about the LACK of a link between autism and mercury! Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=520).
And think about this article and the others contained in this Health Freedom eAlert the next time you ask a pediatrician for advice about your child's health. He or she is probably a nice person, but where is his/her information coming from? And is he/she really examining data, or swallowing profit-driven propaganda hook, line and sinker that could harm (or kill) your child?
Pediatricians know well, for example, that their own organization changed its recommendation in 1997 from Oral Polio Vaccine (a live virus vaccine) to the killed virus (injectable form) because the live virus vaccine causes polio. In making this change in their directions to their members, they were actually admitting, in an official sort of way, that vaccines can cause the disease they are supposedly protecting against.
Of course, even after all this time, not everyone gets the idea. Parents in Belgium have been fined and jailed for 5 months because they refused polio vaccination for their child. Read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=542).
Vaccination is, in fact, a burning health issue and may, through the pressure to impose medical martial law and compulsory vaccinations, become the factor that sparks a freedom push back of immense power. Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=535) to see if you agree that Health Freedom could precipitate a revolution in the US.
( ( ( (
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Posted: Mar 12, 2008 8:26am
Mar 12, 2008
Focus: Health
Action Request: Various
Location: United States
This quick Fluoride Action Network video shows us some of the major concerns of fluoride in drinking water. Check out the warning label on your toothpaste tube. It notes that the amount of fluoride in a single brushing (.25 mg) should not be swallowed, and if so, the label says you should contact a Poison Control Center. Interestingly, that's the same amount that's in an average glass of tap water. Learn more and watch: http://www.fluoridealert.org/
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Posted: Mar 12, 2008 7:42am
Mar 12, 2008
>From HealthNewsDigest.com

Environment
Leather and the Environment
By
Mar 8, 2008 - 12:43:23 PM


(HealthNewsDigest.com) - Leather is everywhere—from shoes and belts, to purses, wallets, jackets, furniture and car seats. Most probably assume that the leather that finds its way into our wardrobes and living spaces is a byproduct of the meat industry. But while cows are certainly the most popular animals to use for leather goods, in truth most of our leather is sourced from overseas, from countries like China and India, where a host of animals may be raw material for our bags and belts, including horses, deer, sheep and, in more exotic cases, alligators or snakes. All of which may make an animal-lover or vegetarian queasy.


But environmentalists have reason to forgo leather, too. Processing leather requires copious amounts of energy and a toxic stew of chemicals including formaldehyde, coal tar, and some cyanide containing finishes. The tanning process is just as pollutant-laced, and can leave chemicals in the water supply (as described in the best-selling book and popular movie, A Civil Action) and on the hands (and in the lungs) of developing world workers.


Tanneries are top polluters on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Superfund” list, which identifies the most critical industrial sites in need of environmental cleanup. Due to their toxicity, reports organicleather.com, “many old tannery sites can’t be used for agriculture, or built on, or even sold.” That website is the home of Mill Valley, California, retailer Organic Leather, which offers a return to the tanning practices of old—using animals that are organically fed and humanely raised and a tanning process that uses plant tannins, vegetable tannins or smoke to cure the leather with zero toxicity in the process.


But with the wealth of fashionable faux leather alternatives, there’s no need to ever wear animal skins. So-called “cruelty-free” fashions have advanced in leaps and bounds, with variations on every style of handbag, wallet, belt and boot. Online “vegan boutique”Alternative Outfitters even has a version of the ubiquitous Ugg boot made with microsuede “shearling” on the outside and synthetic wool inside, while Iowa-based Heartland Products sells western-style non-leather boots and non-leather Birkenstock sandals. Science has come up with plenty of comfortable, durable alternatives to materials made with animal products. These include vegan microfiber, which claims to match leather in strength and durability, and Pleather, Durabuck and NuSuede.


Products made with these synthetic materials tend to be less expensive than their leather counterparts and are being produced by major manufacturers like Nike, whose Durabuck athletic and hiking shoes “will stretch around the foot with the same ‘give’ as leather... and are machine washable,” according to company sources. And you won’t need to adjust your style, either. Vegetarianshoesandbags.com offers everything from purple faux snakeskin peep-toe pumps for hitting the clubs to hemp sneakers with recycled outsoles that look skate park-ready, to distinctive Pleather bags and versatile woven belts.


CONTACTS: Alternative Outfitters, www.alternativeoutfitters.com; Heartland Products, www.trvnet.net/~hrtlndp; Organic Leather, www.organicleather.com; Vegetarian Shoes and Bags, www.vegetarianshoesandbags.com.


GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/thisweek/, or e-mail: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.php.

www.HealthNewsDigest.com

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Posted: Mar 12, 2008 3:25am

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