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Friday, November 27, 2020

THE FOODIST / TEN ANTIOXIDANTS WORTH A TRY NOW THAT WE ATE OURSELVES INTO OBLIVION

Harvesting cranberries in New Jersey, 1938

GUEST SHARE / From overcomersbreastcancer.com
--You may have noticed that in recent years almost every healthy food product that you come across boasts about their “high antioxidant levels”. This post will help you understand why antioxidants help your body in plenty of different ways, especially after feasting at the Thanksgiving table. 

What are Antioxidants? 

If we are to know about antioxidants, we must first know what free radicals are. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that are naturally formed when you exercise and when your body converts food into energy. 

Your body can also be exposed to free radicals from a variety of environmental sources, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and sunlight. Free radicals can cause “oxidative stress,” a process that can trigger cell damage. Oxidative stress is thought to play a role in a variety of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.” 

Antioxidants are any substances that inhibit free radicals (unstable molecules that damage healthy molecules by stealing their electrons). Free radicals are also thought to contribute to aging and many other degenerative diseases such as cancer, although laboratories have not formed a full result on this. Antioxidants supply free radicals with an electron and stop the chain reaction of the free radical stealing elections from healthy molecules. 

Which Antioxidants are the best? 

It has been debated over time on which Antioxidant has the most potential as a free radical neutralizer, so below we have compiled the top ten in no particular order. 

Cranberries 

Cranberries are a popular fruit around the holidays and a great antioxidant. They treat urinary tract infections, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and because they are an antioxidant, reduce the risk of cancer. Nutrients in cranberries include (100g): Vitamin C 22% of the DV Dietary fiber 4.6 g 18% of the DV Vitamin B-6 5% of the DV 


Blueberries 

Blueberries are extremely popular berries that serve as an amazing antioxidant. According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information, blueberries are believed to have the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables. (100 g) of blueberries provides just some of the following nutrients: Calories: 57 Fiber: 2.4 grams Vitamin C: 16% of the DV Vitamin B-6: 5% of the DV Potassium: 2% of the DV 

Dark Chocolate 

Everyone loves chocolate. According to Healthline, Dark chocolate may improve blood pressure and has tons of antioxidants, even more than blueberries. Healthline notes that dark chocolate is best consumed in moderation as dark chocolate also has 600 calories per 3.5 ounces (100 g). (Which is way more than you should eat regularly.) 100 g (3.5 ounces) comes with these nutrients and more: Iron: 11.9 m Magnesium: 228 mg Potassium: 715 mg Protein: 7.79 g Fat: 42.63 g Zinc: 3.31 mg  


Raspberries 

It is said that raspberries are one of natures superfruits. They aid in heart health, digestion, detoxing, keeping eyes healthy, and, of course, as an antioxidant. They also taste exceptional. Some nutrients in raspberries (100 g): Potassium 151 mg Vitamin C 43% of the DV Magnesium 5% of the DV Protein 1.2 g 2% of DV 

Strawberries 

Strawberries are of the most popular berries inside the United States. They prevent stroke, heart disease, constipation, blood pressure, diabetes, are a great fruit to eat during pregnancy, and serve as a phenomenal antioxidant; according to Medical News Today. Nutrients from 100 g include: Magnesium 3% of the DV Fiber 2g 8% of the DV and are rich in folic acid. 


Spinach 

Spinach is the first vegetable on our list for being a top antioxidant. It helps to lower blood pressure, cancer prevention, bone health, healthy skin/hair and is rich in many vitamins. Some vitamins it has (100g): Protein: 2.9 g (per 100 g) Iron: 2.71 mg (per 100 g) Potassium: 558 mg (per 100 g) Calcium: 99 mg (per 100 g) 



Oranges 

Oranges are a great citrus fruit antioxidant and an amazing source of vitamin C. Oranges prevent stroke, help lower blood pressure, heart health, and help lower glucose levels for those with type 1 diabetes(according to Medical News Today). Nutrients include (100g): Vitamin C 88% of the DV Fiber 2.4g 9% of the DV Potassium 181mg 5% of the DV Vitamin B-6 5%  DV 

Beans 

Beans are the most diverse antioxidant. There are lima beans, black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, red beans, green beans, and so many other types. While they all vary in shape, taste, and color, they mostly keep the same nutrients. Beans are a good protein source, reduce the risk of heart disease, improve stomach health, prevent liver diseases, and have many more health benefits. According to Medical News Today, it is important to note that some people are allergic to beans and legumes and some beans are harmful to eat raw (always cook beans for over 10 minutes.) Nutrients include (Pinto beans, 100g): Protein 21 g 42% of the DV Magnesium 44% of the DV Potassium 1393mg 39% of the DV Calcium 11% of the DV 

Blackberries 

Blackberries originated in Europe but are now being grown in America. They are delicious and are full of antioxidants. Scientists are still determining the full benefits of blackberries on one’s health, but they definitely are a good antioxidant. Some are allergic to blackberries, some consult a doctor before consuming. Nutrients include(100g): Vitamin C 35% of the DV Dietary fiber 5 g 20% of the DV 


Kale 

Kale is a type of cabbage that is rich in vitamins and is a great antioxidant. Kale is sometimes used in smoothies and salads. Kale prevents cancer, promotes bone health, and since it contains vitamin C, is a great vegetable to promote healthy skin/hair. Kale should be taken in moderation, as consuming too much potassium can be fatal for those whose kidneys are not functioning fully, according to the Medical News Today. Nutrients from 100 grams of kale include: Vitamin C 200% of the DV Potassium 491 mg 14% of the DV Magnesium 11% of the DV Vitamin A 199% of the DV 


WHO IS OVERCOMERS? Overcomers is a breast cancer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and a sisterhood for breast cancer survivors. Our mission is to be real in sharing our needs, build strong foundational relationships, and walk out our journey in victory serving others in our circle of influence. Together we can rebuild lives one piece at a time. We offer a 9-week faith centered workshop for breast cancer survivors in the spring and fall every year, one-day workshops for the spouses of breast cancer survivors, annual retreats for breast cancer survivors, and adopting breast cancer families during the holidays. These classes focus weekly on different topics and address many of the concerns that face breast cancer survivors following active treatment. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS AMIDST A YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY


I
n 1978, Christopher Koch penned the novel “The Year of Living Dangerously,” a romantic drama set in Indonesia during a government revolt. 

 In 2020, we all lived dangerously as a pandemic swept the world. Gone was Halloween and Thanksgiving holiday today in the States is not the same. 

But, thanks to others we survived. 

We made the best of it. And, we will endure with the memories of loved ones alive and those lost. 

Looking behind and afar. Mr. Hubbell’s telescope has starkly informed us we are alone in our neighboring universe, yet here at home we are one. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could truly get along and enjoy this amazing gift to be human on this oasis in space? 

 Happy Thanksgiving Day  from the Staff of PillartoPost.org 

--30--

PostScript: 1: 

Be Truly Thankful. This is also the year we are no longer selfish—open our eyes to details large and small that we ignore just to hear ourselves talk. Pay attention to the others around the Thanksgiving table or on Zoom that make your life fantastic. Look for the enriching details. Comment on the menu on the dinner table. Read it with care. Someone who loves you spent time putting it together—for you! This Thanksgiving heap extra praise and thanks on others. Life is so much better when we care. 

PostScript: 2: 

The Ones You Love.  From MSNBC: TV anchor Rachel Maddow made an impassioned plea on air recently live from her home after announcing her partner of 21 years, Susan Mikula, had fallen ill with the coronavirus. Calling Mikula the "center" of her life, the TV personality said her partner had been sick for the past few weeks, "and at one point, we really thought there was a possibility that it might kill her." 

Mikula, Maddow in healthier times**

"She’s gotten sicker and sicker, while I tried to care for her while still staying physically apart from her," Maddow said, explaining her absence from the airwaves. 

"And the bottom line is that she’s going to be fine, she’s recovering, she’s still sick but she’s going to be OK." 

Maddow said she had continued to test negative for COVID-19 since Mikula's diagnosis. She added that she'd stayed up all night, "freaking out" and calling doctors, "trying to figure out how to keep (Mikula) breathing and out of the hospital." 

She implored people to stay home for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, citing her own experience as a cautionary tale. "Whatever you have calculated into your life as acceptable risk, as inevitable risk, something you’re willing to go through in terms of this virus because statistically ... probably it’ll be fine for you and your loved ones, I’m just here to tell you to recalibrate that," she said. 

"What you need to know is that whoever is the most important person in your life — whoever you most love and most care for and most cherish in the world — that’s the person who you may lose." 

She added Thanksgiving "is going to suck" but it will "suck so much less than you or somebody in your family getting this and getting sick. Trust me." "I’m guessing that you might be willing to risk yourself. Especially after all these months and all this time, it’s so frustrating," she said. "I would’ve done anything, I would’ve moved mountains for it to have been me who was sick these past couple of weeks instead of Susan. I still would. But this thing does not give you that choice." 

"It won’t necessarily be you, it’ll be the person you most care about in the world, and all you can do to stop that is move heaven and earth to not get it and to not transmit it." 

PS: 3: 

For later tonight: The film “Year of Living Dangerously”(directed by Peter Weir) is worth a look. Made in 1982, here’s a brief peek: When journalist Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson) arrives in Jakarta, Indonesia, he has difficulty making contacts. He forms a friendship with dwarf photographer Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt), through whom he meets British diplomat Jill Bryant (Sigourney Weaver). Bryant falls for Hamilton, and she gives him key information about an approaching Communist uprising. As the city becomes more dangerous, Hamilton stays to pursue the story. However, he faces more threats as he gets closer to the government. 


Credits: **Photography by Nancy Palmieri from a Internet screensnap.

TURKEY MONOLOGS / HOW TO SPEAK TO RELATIVES WHO DISS YOU POLITICALLY

"Yeah, you and what army?"

GUEST BLOG / By CNN’s Wellness Reporter Sandee LaMotte
--Ask yourself: Why am I doing this? "In terms of deciding whether or not you want to have a conversation with somebody across political lines, it is important to be aware of what your own motivations are," said Tania Israel, author of "Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide: Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work." 

"If your goal is to change the other person's mind in one conversation, you're going to be really disappointed, because you're not likely to be that effective," cautioned Vaile Wright, American Psychological Association's senior director of health care innovation. 

You're not nuts. This really is a crazy time. Here are a dozen ways to cope: 

 Click here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

WORLD OF DESIGN / 30 TOP KITCHENS SHOWCASED BY DEZEEN MAGAZINE


As only the outstanding design website dezeen can do, the Brit-based webmag featured 30 dramatic contemporary kitchens from its cache of editorial and photo archives. Pretty smooth. 

Click here. 


Monday, November 23, 2020

MEDIA MONDAY / A VERY DIFFICULT ARTICLE TO READ NONETHELESS A REMARKABLE NEW YORKER ESSAY ON THE CRUELTY OF CHANCE

My work was driven by a desire to understand the mysteries of the universe. Then I faced loss that defied understanding. Illustration by Shuhua Xiong, The New Yorker magazine. 

GUEST BLOG / A personal history by Sarah Stewart Johnson. 

On a leaden afternoon at the end of last August, six months before the pandemic took hold of the country, I found myself in an I.C.U. near Washington, D.C., breathing by way of a ventilator. I was fully conscious, having lost too much blood to risk sedation. I remember gripping the button on the morphine drip. When a nurse changed the position of my bed, my neck wrenched to the side, and saliva began to pool in my throat. 

With my index finger, I spelled “C-H-O-K-I-N-G” over and over again on my husband’s hand, until the nurse returned with a suction bulb. For that terror-filled night and into the next day, the machine drew my breaths in and out. 


Sarah Stewart Johnson


Sunday, November 22, 2020

AMERICANA / TRUMP TOADIE’S 15 MINUTES OF FAME


 “From “Why Won’t Emily Murphy Just Do Her Job?” published in The Atlantic Magazine. 

In delaying the transition, the General Services Administration chief is acting like an ideologue. 

GUEST SHARE / By Anne Applebaum, staff writer at The Atlantic Magazine--I don’t know for certain that Emily Murphy gets up in the morning, looks in the mirror and says to herself, “You are a good person.” 

But I am willing to bet that she does. Most people in her position—most people who are undermining the rules of their group, destroying their institution, harming their society—are doing so because they have become convinced that they are good people, virtuous people, brave people, dedicated people. 

Nothing suggests that Murphy is an exception. 

 Murphy is the head of the General Services Administration, the unglamorous bit of the federal government that actually runs the federal government. Part of her job—a part that no one has ever before considered controversial or even noteworthy—is to “ascertain” who has won the U.S. presidential election, and then to release the congressionally mandated funds that allow the winner to begin his transition. 

Usually, that process also unlocks cooperation between incoming and outgoing officials. Before leaving office in 2017, aides to Barack Obama had prepared elaborate explanations of the state of the world, including a 69-page playbook for how to manage a pandemic. They handed the documents over to Donald Trump’s transition team, which ignored them. 

For the complete article in The Atlantic: click here. 

SUNDAY REVIEW / THE MISSING CAMERA FRAME 313 FROM ABRAHAM ZAPRUDER’S JFK ASSASSINATION FILM

 LIFE withheld the gruesome frame No. 313 (above)—a picture that became influential by its absence. That one, where the bullet exploded the side of Kennedy’s head, is still shocking when seen today, a reminder of the seeming suddenness of death.
It is the most famous home movie ever, and the most carefully studied image, an 8-millimeter film that captured the death of a President. The movie is just as well known for what many say it does or does not reveal, and its existence has fostered countless conspiracy theories about that day in Dallas.

But no one would argue that what it shows is not utterly heartbreaking, the last moments of life of the youthful and charismatic John Fitzgerald Kennedy as he rode with his wife Jackie through Dealey Plaza. Amateur photographer Abraham Zapruder had eagerly set out with his Bell & Howell camera on the morning of November 22, 1963, to record the arrival of his hero.

Yet as Zapruder filmed, one bullet struck Kennedy in the back, and as the President’s car passed in front of Zapruder, a second one hit him in the head. LIFE correspondent Richard Stolley bought the film the following day, and the magazine ran 31 of the 486 frames—which meant that the first public viewing of Zapruder’s famous film was as a series of still images. At the time, LIFE withheld the gruesome frame No. 313—a picture that became influential by its absence. That one, where the bullet exploded the side of Kennedy’s head, is still shocking when seen today, a reminder of the seeming suddenness of death.

What Zapruder captured that sunny day would haunt him for the rest of his life. It is something that unsettles America, a dark dream that hovers at the back of our collective psyche, an image from a wisp of 26.5 seconds of film whose gut-wrenching impact reminds us how everything can change in a fraction of a moment.

SOURCE: LIFE Magazine.


Saturday, November 21, 2020

COFFEE BEANS & BEINGS / CAFÉ CON LIBROS PHOTO ESSAY

 

Image by Edwin Loekemeija, Amsterdam 

 Image by Marc Koetse image

Panta Rhei & Café Dias, Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

 




West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, via Sandra O’Connell. 

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LAST WEEK’S COFFEE QUIZ ANSWEROne of the first Starbucks Reserves in the U.S. opened in 2017 in Palm Springs, CA. The Reserve bars are designed for the coffee connoisseur, to give patrons with discriminating palates a special taste of premium coffee brews. Special lounge areas are available as a coffee bar for 12, where patrons can watch Clover brewed, pour-over, cold brew, nitro cold brew, coffee press, chemex and siphon drinks being made.

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WEEKLY COFFEE QUIZ--Where in the world is this coffee establishment? Answer next Saturday in PillartoPost.org Coffee Beans & Beings post. 






Friday, November 20, 2020

FOTO FRIDAY / STRAIT TALK

Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/JPL, MISR Team. 

Foto Friday is an occasional series appearing on PillartoPost.org, a daily online magazine style blog. Presented will be a single photo(or more) per blog of intellectual or artistic interest running the gamut of subjects from Alaska to Ziegfeld. 

GUEST BLOG / NASA--With the Seward Peninsula of Alaska to the east, and Chukotskiy Poluostrov of Siberia to the west, the Bering Strait separates the United States and the Russian Federation by only 90 kilometers. It is named for Danish explorer Vitus Bering, who spotted the Alaskan mainland in 1741 while leading an expedition of Russian sailors. 

This view of the region was captured by the Multi-angle Imaging Spectro radiometer’s (MISR’s) vertical-viewing (nadir) camera on August 18, 2000. The boundary between the US and Russia lies between Big and Little Diomede Islands, which are visible in the middle of the Bering Strait. 

The Arctic Circle, at 66.5 degrees north latitude, runs through the Arctic Ocean in the top part of this image. This circle marks the southernmost latitude for which the Sun does not rise above the horizon on the day of the winter solstice. At the bottom of this image is St. Lawrence Island, which is part of Alaska and home to Yupik Eskimos. 

For 20 years, astronauts have been shooting photos of Earth from the space station. Like everything the astronauts do, Col. Jeff Williams, USA retired, are trained for this job. And like everything they do, there is purpose and intention behind it. NASA video: Click here https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/videos/picturing-earth

 

GIFT IDEAS FOR HER FROM CNN’S ADV. DEPARTMENT (MAYBE).


GUEST SHARE / By CNN Underscored (not CNN News
)—Here are 43 gift ideas for the women in you life. If there are more than 43 women in your life then therapy is an option. Click here for CNN Underscored interesting gift ideas. 

PillartoPost.org warns after personally inspecting this aforementioned list, there are hazards to putting a T-fal Nonstick Dishwasher-safe pan with lid ($39.99) under the Xmas tree. Or, wear a helmet. 

Also, guaranteed to roll eyes in my house is gifting anyone face masks even if they are from Baggu and are quite colorfully cool. Come on, you’ve had quarantine months to think of a cool gift. Hey, face masks ain’t the ticket. 

Because 2020 has been the year of the slipper CNN Underscored suggests going all in by gifting the Ugg Genuine Shearling Slipper. Starting at $119 at Nordy’s. Hmmm?  Stick to candy and send the kids out for the newspaper on the lawn. 

CNN Underscored says its list of 43 gift selections are guaranteed to wow the women in your life. OK, if I gifted slippers I’d be running for my life being chased by someone wielding a T-fal skillet in her hand. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

THE FOODIST / STRESS BAKING PHENOMENON ON THE RISE

 

Cuban Bread
Image Sarah Tew/CNET

"It was a way for me to control something when my life felt otherwise really chaotic and out of my control." --Erin Carson, CNET 

GUEST BLOG / By Erin Carson, Staff Reporter, CNET--The psychology of 'stress baking': Why so many are making bread in 2020? I didn't used to spend my Saturday nights mercilessly beating up on a lump of bread dough. Yet two weeks ago, after a stressful stretch at work, I found myself at 8 p.m., wrist-deep in what would become two round, golden-brown loaves of Cuban bread. 

For eight minutes I kneaded, quickly and forcefully shoving the heels of my hands into the dough, sprinkling flour on the butcher block, savoring the smell of the yeast and feeling a little bit better about everything in this chaotic world, at least for a moment. I was clearly stress baking. It's something I've witnessed friends doing, and that I've done myself from time to time. 

Erin Carson, CNET
 In college, classmates made cookies   instead of studying for exams. When I   started at CNET, I used to roll into the   office with cupcakes or pumpkin bread   before the frenzy of big Apple product   reveals, more for my own benefit than my   co-workers'.   In 2020, however, stress   baking has become even more of a thing   than it already was, revealing itself in the   loaves and loaves of bread rising all over   social media. Quickly after lockdown,   talk of sourdough starter and the scarcity   of yeast became another quirk of the   pandemic, like the run on hand sanitizer and toilet paper. 

At a time when walking through a mall, attending a sporting event or watching a movie in a theater is either ill-advised or just not an option, it makes sense that people are looking for something to do. But why are so many people turning to baking? As you might've guessed, it's a coping mechanism. 

When someone posts a photo of a two-tiered cake with the hashtag #stressbaking, there's an element of self-awareness there. But why baking, and not knitting? Why has no one gotten into #stresswhittling? 

 "You get in this zone, and it's very peaceful and calming." --Kara Hancock, pastry chef. 

There are several reasons baking is a solid way to cope, says Vaile Wright, senior director of health care innovation for the American Psychological Association. For one, it's a distraction. You can't doom-scroll when your hands are covered in cookie batter. 

It also engages just about your whole body: Your senses of touch, taste and smell; your brain, which is required to follow a recipe; your muscles for kneading, shaping, rolling. Then there's the finished product: the tarts and scones and biscotti, and all that bread fresh out of the oven, begging to be buttered up. 

"It's either going to have carbs like bread, or it's going to have sweetness like candies and cookies," Wright says. "We know those have a neurobiological aspect where they trigger parts of our brain that then trigger happy feelings." 

The answer to why people stress bake seems fairly straightforward coming from a psychologist. For me, though I've always cooked, the pandemic sent me further into the depths of my kitchen because it felt like a healthier activity than sitting on the couch. At least I'm on my feet moving, not looking at a screen. It's also been a way to find enjoyment when I couldn't seek it outside. Still, I was curious what other stress bakers thought about the habit. 

"It took me a few years to realize that I almost was solely [baking] when I was stressed out," said Skye McIntyre-Bolen, a 34-year-old resident of Nashua, New Hampshire. "I figured out ... it was a way for me to control something when my life felt otherwise really chaotic and out of my control." 

In San Francisco, 47-year-old Ellen Saulnier bakes around three times a week. She, too, likes the precision of baking. "I bake the way other people will clean their house when they have a deadline," she says. "I see the parallel, which is essentially that you're trying to organize another aspect of your life or have control. And in a way that feels good to you." Saulnier also ends up re-homing some of her baked goods. She has friends who'll drive by for "curbside pickup," or she'll deliver to buddies within walking distance. 

Sharing the baked bounty hits on another element that, according to Wright, is folded into the appeal of baking. "Food is a way that we connect with individuals and as a community and is typically one of those things that's going to hit your endorphins as well," she says. Outside of the realm of civilian stress bakers, I was curious what a full-time baker thought about the whole phenomenon. 

Kara Hancock had never heard of stress baking until I mentioned it to her. She's the head of pastry at the Blue Dog Bakery and Café in Louisville, Kentucky, located in dangerous proximity to my apartment. "If I get stressed out about my job, it's usually about baking," she says with a laugh. 

Despite that, Hancock, who's been baking professionally for about 18 years, says there's something meditative about it -- she makes Blue Dog's scones, muffins and croissants every morning. "When we're doing 300 pieces a day, and they're all being shaped by hand, you're doing the same thing over and over again. You get in this zone, and it's very peaceful and calming." 

Since the pandemic started, pastry sales have exploded, she says. Bread has stayed about the same, but Blue Dog started selling sourdough starter, yeast and flour as a way to help shore up supplies against the shortages. I make a mental note about the yeast. Now that I've made the Cuban bread recipe twice since quarantine, I don't know why I wouldn't keep doing it. This recipe will join the ranks of my go-tos: 

--Smitten Kitchen's harvest roast chicken, 

--The New York Times' orecchiette with cherry tomatoes and arugula, 

--King Arthur Flour's flourless chocolate cake. 

It's entirely too satisfying punching down the dough, pulling and tucking the edges around the bottom to make that nice smooth, round surface, slicing an X into the top. And lastly, sitting down with a hunk of warm bread, and watching the stress, like the butter, melt away.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

RETRO FILES / A SUBURB OF ANCIENT EGYPTIAN MUMMIES UNEARTHED

Journalists gather around an ancient sarcophagus more than 2500 years old, discovered in a vast necropolis in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty) 

Recently a proverbial treasure trove of mummies have been unearthed in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt revealing more than 100 ancient coffins, including 40 gilded statues. Fortunately, the Egyptian government seems to have control of the rare archeological cache. 

In a well organized press briefing earlier this week, Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities speaks about an ancient sarcophagus more than 2500 years old discovered in a vast necropolis located south of Cairo. 

Egyptian antiquities officials last month announced the discovery of at least 100 ancient coffins, some with mummies inside, and around 40 gilded statues south of Cairo. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty).   

It appears fortunate that the discovery site appeared to be a looter free zone, according to media reports last week. That reality buys time for professional archeologists to exam these virtual time capsules. Current X-ray visualizing is aiding in separating the mummies from the empty coffins. Doing the early math 2,500 years ago puts Egypt at 500 BC or the Late Period just before Alexander’s Conquest (Circa 664-332 B.C.).  

According to History.com, for almost 30 centuries—from its unification around 3100 B.C. to its conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.—ancient Egypt was the preeminent civilization in the Mediterranean world. From the great pyramids of the Old Kingdom through the military conquests of the New Kingdom, Egypt’s majesty has long entranced archaeologists and historians and created a vibrant field of study all its own: Egyptology. 

The main sources of information about ancient Egypt are the many monuments, objects and artifacts that have been recovered from archaeological sites, covered with hieroglyphs that have only recently been deciphered. 

The picture that emerges is of a culture with few equals in the beauty of its art, the accomplishment of its architecture or the richness of its religious traditions. The era that describes Egypt when many of the newly discovered coffins were sealed begins in the eighth century B.C. 

Nubian pharaohs beginning with Shabako, ruler of the Nubian kingdom of Kush, established their own dynasty–the 25th–at Thebes. Under Kushite rule, Egypt clashed with the growing Assyrian empire. In 671 B.C., the Assyrian ruler Esarhaddon drove the Kushite king Taharka out of Memphis and destroyed the city; he then appointed his own rulers out of local governors and officials loyal to the Assyrians. 

One of them, Necho of Sais, ruled briefly as the first king of the 26th dynasty before being killed by the Kushite leader Tanuatamun, in a final, unsuccessful grab for power. 

Beginning with Necho’s son, Psammetichus, the Saite dynasty ruled a reunified Egypt for less than two centuries. In 525 B.C., Cambyses, king of Persia, defeated Psammetichus III, the last Saite king, at the Battle of Pelusium, and Egypt became part of the Persian Empire. 

Darius I (above at work) consolidated what he created as the Persian Empire. Under Darius I, he conquered Egypt and it wasn’t until Darius III lost it all to Alexander the Great in 332 BC. 


Again, working with estimates, the newly discovered coffins were probably sealed during the Persian rule. When Persian ruler Darius (522-485 B.C.) led the country largely under the same terms as native Egyptian kings: Darius supported Egypt’s religious cults and undertook the building and restoration of its temples. This most likely kept the tradition of mummification burials by the well to do.

The tyrannical rule of Xerxes (486-465 B.C.) sparked increased uprisings under him and his successors. One of these rebellions triumphed in 404 B.C., beginning one last period of Egyptian independence under native rulers (dynasties 28-30). In the mid-fourth century B.C., the Persians again attacked Egypt, reviving their empire under Ataxerxes III in 343 B.C. 

Alexander Mosaic (c. 100 BC), ancient Roman floor mosaic from the House of the Faun in Pompeii, Italy, showing Alexander (before he was Great) fighting king Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Issus. 

Barely a decade later, in 332 B.C., Alexander the Great of Macedonia defeated the armies of the Persian Empire and conquered Egypt. After Alexander’s death, Egypt was ruled by a line of Macedonian kings, beginning with Alexander’s general Ptolemy and continuing with his descendants.  

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt by Michelangelo, 1535

The last ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt–the legendary Cleopatra surrendered Egypt to the armies of Octavian (later Augustus) in 31 B.C. Six centuries of Roman rule followed, during which Christianity became the official religion of Rome and the Roman Empire’s provinces (including Egypt). 

The conquest of Egypt by the Arabs in the seventh century A.D. converted Egypt and its ancient culture to Islam, which holds true towards its modern incarnation. 

HISTORY.COM LIST OF EGYPTIAN DYNASTIES. Click here. 


CULTURAL ASPECTS OF THE WORLD IN 500 BC. Then population 100,000,00. (85% Asia Europe Africa) and 15% MesoAmerica.




 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

AMERICANA / OBAMA’S NEW BOOK EMBARGO ENDS TODAY

IMAGE: Published in the New Yorker shows President Obama in the Oval Office as a vote on the Affordable Care Act approached. Proposals for some sort of universal health care in the U.S. stretched back a century but had always been defeated. Photograph by White House Photographer Pete Souza.

GUEST REVIEW / By Jennifer M. Brown, Senior Editor, Shelf Awareness Newsletter
--Could former President Barack Obama have known into just what world his reflections on the 44th presidency, A Promised Land (Crown, $45), would be released? 

Although his memoir is embargoed until today (no bookstore is allowed to even open the boxes until then), an excerpt in The New Yorker, gives readers a taste of what the highest office in the land was like for the first Black president--a husband and father of young children, a policy wonk, a student of history and a gifted writer. 

Obama describes the first spring in the White House, as Sasha and Malia enjoy a swing set he had installed in front of the Oval Office; he looks up from his desk to glimpse "their faces set in bliss as they soared high." His appreciation for Bo, the family's Portuguese water dog ("what someone once described as the only reliable friend a politician can have in Washington"), gives way to an homage to Ted Kennedy, who gave the Obama family the puppy. 

Obama's gratitude seamlessly leads to his respect for Kennedy's passion for and commitment to universal health care, a torch Kennedy carried through seven presidents--and Obama's history of each. Barack Obama's gift for the lilt and cadence of language enables him to meld the personal and political so fluently that readers who come to the book out of curiosity about the man and those hungry for behind-the-scenes political negotiations can both be satisfied. "My interest in health care went beyond policy or politics; it was personal, just as it was for Teddy," he writes. 

He acknowledges both the weight and the honor of carrying his responsibility as the country's leader, and mourns the loss of being "an ordinary dad" who could take his girls out for ice cream without "a major production, involving road closures, tactical teams, and the omnipresent press pool." 

He lays out on the page both the loneliness and the euphoria of being president of the United States. 



Monday, November 16, 2020

MEDIA MONDAY / EDWARD R. MURROW BROADCAST ARTIFACTS ON LOAN TO NATIONAL PRESS CLUB

Edward R. Murrow, his wife, Janet, and son, Casey, as they returned from Europe on the S.S. United States. Bettmann / Getty Images Edward R. Murrow in London during WWII

 


GUEST BLOG / By Gilbert Klein, National Press Club, Washington DC-
-On a sunny and crisp fall morning this past Saturday, at a rest stop on New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway, the son of legendary CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow presented National Press Club President Michael Freedman with what Freedman called “the Holy Grail of broadcast journalism.” 

National Press Club President Michael Freedman (left) calls renowned CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow's BBC microphone the 'Holy Grail' of broadcast journalism. 

Casey Murrow, whom Freedman awarded a lifetime Club membership during his inaugural gala in January, honored that recognition by donating to the Club several of his father's personal possessions and agreeing to loan the Club the historic BBC microphone used by Murrow for his CBS Radio broadcasts from London during World War II. “Modern broadcast journalism was literally invented on that microphone,” said Freedman, a former CBS Radio Network general manager. “It is indeed the Holy Grail of the profession." 

The example Murrow set can inspire journalists today. "As our nation confronts unprecedented converging challenges, all reminders of Ed Murrow's life, work, and legacy serve to strengthen our resolve as journalists to have the courage of our convictions,” Freedman said. “We are deeply grateful to Casey Murrow for his donations to the Club.” 

The microphone will return to active duty on Wednesday, Nov. 18, when Freedman hosts the Club's annual Fourth Estate Awards ceremony, this year honoring CBS News President Susan Zirinsky, the first woman to head a major network news division. 

Garden State Parkway meeting 

In the midst of the global pandemic and concerned about shipping such precious cargo, Murrow and Freedman agreed to meet part way between their homes in Vermont and Virginia. They selected a service area along the Garden State Parkway. Both arrived on time at 11 a.m. and unbeknownst to the other travelers who were stretching their legs and buying coffee, an exchange of historic proportions took place in the parking lot. 

Among the items Casey Murrow (left) placed in Freedman's car as donations to the Club were his father's briefcase, hunting vest, poker chips, and archivally framed photos and art that hung in Ed Murrow's office and home. 

All will be displayed in the Murrow Room and elsewhere in the Club over the coming months. “The Murrow family is thrilled that these artifacts will be part of the collection at the National Press Club,” Casey Murrow said. 

“It seems to us a fitting location for both memorabilia and photographs of Ed Murrow, whose impact on radio and TV journalism continues to inspire us all, over five decades after his death.” 

Historic microphone 
In addition, Murrow transferred to Freedman's car the historic microphone that launched the era of broadcast journalism. He loaned it to the Club through the end of the year. 

A plaque on the microphone reads: "This microphone, taken from studio B4 of Broadcasting House, London, is presented to Edward R. Murrow who used it there with such distinction for so many broadcasts to CBS New York during the war years 1939-1945." The inscription is dated March 8, 1946. In a 1955 BBC interview, Ed Murrow said the microphone was "the only trophy I ever kept and I have received many." Murrow added that receiving it when he departed London after nine years, was 'the most touching thing that ever happened to me." He concluded, "This I value above anything I have." 

MORE ON MURROW: Compiled by PillartoPost.org 

“THIS IS LONDON...”: EDWARD R. MURROW IN WWII From Warfare History Network: Click here

BROADCAST: MURROW FROM A LONDON ROOFTOP DURING THE BLITZ, September 21, 1940. Click here.  

TEXT: MURROW IN LONDON From the Library of Congress. Click here. 

BROADCAST: “...WHILE THE SIRENS HOWL...” Classic Edward Murrow broadcast from Trafalgar Square, August 24, 1940. Click here.