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Ken's Lettuce Soup - unusual, delicate, tasty!

Ken's Lettuce Soup - unusual, delicate, tasty!

Take a small firm iceberg lettuce. Remove the outer leaves then cut it into quarters. Check each quarter carefully for bad spots. If you find anything discard the quarter. Sometimes you may need 2 lettuces just to get 4 perfect quarters.

Get a heavy casserole and saute the lettuce in a small amount of olive oil and butter. Turn and brown all sides. Add a bit more butter to the casserole then add finely chopped garlic, onions and carrots. Add a grind of fresh pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir everything and saute for another minute.

Then add a few bay leaves (rip them to help release the oil). Add chicken stock, water and dry white wine to just cover the lettuce. Slice in a carrot and add some finely chopped parsley (use the leaves only, discard the stems). Add a slice of bacon that has had most of the fat trimmed off. Add a few crushed cloves of garlic. Put the lid on the casserole and bake in the oven at 350F for about an hour.

Serve in bowls with one quarter of lettuce per bowl.

Tech Notes:
While in the oven the liquid will reduce. That's fine, but check to make sure it does not reduce too far. If it does top it up.
For an even more delicate taste try adding a small spash of dry vermouth.
If you're serving this to friends you can make them curious by calling it Baked Lettuce.


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Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Poached Cod in Milk - healthy, easy, yummy!

Ken's Poached Cod in Milk - healthy, easy, yummy!

Get a frying pan with a lid.

Slice an onion and a few cloves or garlic. Saute then in a small amount of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.

Add milk, a couple of bay leaves (rip them to help release the oil), a grind of fresh pepper, a pinch of paprica and pinch of salt.

Reduce down, sprinkle with chopped parsley (use only the leaves not the stems), then add a filet of wild cod. Put the lid on the pan and boil for a few minutes. Then switch off the heat and let sit for a few minutes.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Tech Notes:
Sides include boiled potatos and asparagus.



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Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Mushroom Appetizer - simple, fast, tasty!

Ken's Mushroom Appetizer - simple, fast, tasty!

Take some muchrooms, wash them and cut the stems off. Discard the stems. Dry the mushrooms and place on a baking tray.

Take some small tomatoes, cut in half and add to the tray.

Finely chop some fresh garlic and sprinkle 1/2 on the mushrooms and tomatoes. Drizzle everything with olive oil. Grind on some fresh pepper and a pinch of salt. Toss everything to coat the muchrooms and tomatoes.

Now turn the mushrooms stem side up and sprinkle on the rest of the garlic. Add a teaspoon of garlic marinara sauce to each mushroom. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Drizzle with more olive oil.

Bake at 350F until breabcrumbs turn golden brown. Serve.

Tech Notes:
As with all cooking the quality of ingredients makes a big difference.
Use first cold pressed olive oil.
Wisconsin makes good parmesan cheese, but use imported Italian parmesan if you can. And if you can get a chunk and grate it fresh even better!

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Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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NYC Artist - Lorin Cole

NYC Artist - Lorin Cole

Artist Lorin Cole lives and works in NYC. I love her work. Her images are striking and full of rich atmosphere, like this painting of Grand Central from 42nd Street.

I recently spoke with Lorin about this painting..

"I've been blessed to have the privilege of living and working in New York City throughout my adult life. As an artist, Grand Central Station with its multicolored, glimmering lights inspired me to share my creative vision and the emotion that it inspires onto paper. Please enjoy Bright Lights Over Grand Central."

It's Watercolor, 22x30 and prints are available. For collectors the original may also be available. It's signed by the artist.

Interested in purchasing prints or the original? Contact the artist below.

Contact Artist Lorin Cole:
Website: Lorin Cole
Email: lorin6nyc@gmail.com
Phone: (917) 306-0120

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Verizon 1 Gigabit Internet - Amazing

Verizon 1 Gigabit Internet - Amazing

I have Verizon 1 Gigabit and it's wicked fast. My upload/download speed is amazing. Very pleased. Highly Recommended.

Clock your speed here..

Verizon Speed Test

But remember, if things seem slow it's probably your WiFi Router and not Verizon. Make sure you have the latest high speed WiFi Router.

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Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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NYC Artist - Grand Central Station

NYC Artist - Grand Central Station

The artist is Lorin Cole. Her images are striking and full of rich atmosphere, like this painting of Grand Central from 42nd Street.

I recently spoke with Lorin about this painting..

"I've been blessed to have the privilege of living and working in New York City throughout my adult life. As an artist, Grand Central Station with its multicolored, glimmering lights inspired me to share my creative vision and the emotion that it inspires onto paper. Please enjoy Bright Lights Over Grand Central."

It's Watercolor, 22x30 and prints are available. For collectors the original may also be available. It's signed by the artist.

Interested in purchasing prints or the original? Contact the artist below.

Contact Artist Lorin Cole:
Website: Lorin Cole
Email: lorin6nyc@gmail.com
Phone: (917) 306-0120

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Wine - Amazing selection, great prices, delivered to your door

Wine - Amazing selection, great prices, delivered to your door

I love my local wine stores. But when I need something specific I use these folks.

The reasons are simple: amazing selection, great price and delivered to my door. Their selection is so extensive I'm beginning to think that if these folks don't have it then it was never made. The grapes were never planted. LOL.

Oh, I almost forgot. Use the link below to get $30 off your first order. That's a nice bottle of free wine.

Wine - $30 off your first order!

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Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Meatloaf - Easy, moist, delicious and versatile

Ken's Meatloaf - Easy, moist, delicious and versatile

Take a large mixing bowl. Break in an egg, add a splash of milk, a splash Worcestershire sauce, a splash of olive oil, a splash of tomato ketchup, a grind of pepper and a pinch of salt. Beat.

Now add some finely chopped onions, carrots, garlic and mushrooms. The secret of a tasty moist meatloaf is mushrooms. I use Portobello, but use your favorite. Now add some peas and some breadcrumbs. Then add some finely chopped fresh oregano, use leaves only, discard the stems. Mix well.

Add the ground meat. I use turkey. It's not as fatty as beef. But use whatever you like. If you use beef use a lean cut such as sirloin and drain the fat after cooking. I have a friend who makes this with ground venison.

Mix very well, turn out into a loaf pan that's been sprayed with vegetable oil, add the topping below and bake at 350F.

Tech Notes:
Make a topping. Mix tomato ketchup, Dijon mustard and a splash of maple syrup, then spread on top of the meatloaf before baking.

You can cover the mixture and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator for a more mature taste.

Almost any dish will benefit from freshly shaved real imported Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Add a small amount to the mix for subtle flavor. Just a small amount.

Versatile: This mixture can also be used for wonderful tasty burgers and meatballs.

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Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Risotto - Fast & Yummy

Ken's Risotto - Fast & Yummy

You're going to need Arborio rice. If you don't use Arborio rice you'll wind up with rice pudding.

Take a pan, spay with vegetable oil then add 1/2 cup of Arborio rice on low heat.

Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Add 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of thick cream.

Add a small amount of butter, a cinnamon stick and a few cloves. Grind on some fresh pepper and add a pinch of salt.

Boil carefully on very low heat, stirring often to make sure it does not stick or burn.

After a while switch the heat off. It will continue to cook. Test it. It should be just slightly firm and chewy.

If you want to make it look fancy sprinkle with chopped Parsley or Coriander. Use leaves only, discard the stems.

Serve as a side dish with almost anything.

Tech Notes:
Want veggies in your Risotto? Chop off the top tips of Asparagus and add them at the boiling stage, or slice in mushrooms. If you want fruit with your Risotto slice in some not quite ripe fresh mango. Don't use fully ripe mango, it will just go mushy. More creativity: when cooked throw on a handful of raisins, or one of my all time favorites, slice on some fresh figs.

Oh, I almost forgot, any Italian dish will benefit from adding some fresh shaved real imported Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. It's a given. How could I forget that?

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James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) - Changing our view of the Universe

James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) - Changing our view of the Universe

This amazing instrument has only been in service for a short time but it's already changing our view of the Universe.

Why?

The secret is how it sees. It does not detect visible light, instead it sees the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The electromagnetic spectrum is broad, ranging from ultra short wavelengh Gamma Rays to the very long wavelength Radio waves. The human eye can only see a tiny sliver of this range, and that is of course called the visible spectrum.

But what about the rest, the vast majority of the spectrum?

The JWST cannot detect the whole spectrum but it's designed to detect the infrared section.

Infrared is important because light gets stretched as it travels through space. That means its wavelengh gets longer. Light from distant galaxies is stretched enough that its wavelength moves into the infrared part of the spectrum.

Perhaps the most amazing discovery so far is what it sees when it looks at a completely empty part of the sky. Empty of course means there is nothing there that we can see with the human eye. There is nothing in the visible spectrum, so what does the JWST see?

It sees a massive number of Galaxies!!!!!!

The pictures we see from the telescope have been generated by computer, which maps the JWST infrared data to the visible spectrum. That's just for our benefit. Scientists analyze the raw infrared data and will be doing that for decades.

It will change our view of the universe forever.

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Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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River Town Restaurants - My Favorites on the Water

River Town Restaurants - My Favorites on the Water

The Hudson River Towns have lots of great restaurants, but let's focus on those very close to the water.

Over time I've found a few places worthy of note. I've eaten often at all these.

In Yonkers we have X2O. It's out on the river in an old ferry terminal. The views are amazing, upstream, downstream and across.

Next we move to Hasting where we find Harvest on the Hudson. It's big and spacious with great food and service. And it really is on the Hudson, you can walk through their garden to the river.

Now let's jump to Irvington where we find two restaurants I like. The Red Hat is feet from the river and serves great American fare, while Chutney Masala is 50 yards away and serves great Indian food.

Next up is Tarrytown. They have a restaurant on the river (Washington Irving Boat Club), but also an eclectic selection of restaurants on Main Street.

Finally let's visit Ossining. They have 2 restaurants on the river, the busy and big 3 Westerly Bar and Grill and the small cozy Boat House. Both are good and very close to the water.

OK, I must include Croton. They have nothing specific on the river, but close is the Ocean House and The Tavern. I've eaten at both often and always enjoyed it.

So these are my picks. But there must be more. If you have a recommendation please email me at the address below.

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Fertility Clinics - Professional Help Getting Pregnant

Fertility Clinics - Professional Help Getting Pregnant

If you're having problems getting pregnant Fertility Clinics offer a wide range of treatments.

A woman's fertile years are her 20's and early 30's. By the time a woman reaches 40 her fertility is dramatically lower.

If you're having difficulty getting pregnant bypass all the usual specialists, time is of the essence, see a Reproductive Endocrinologist at a Fertility Clinic sooner rather than later. And not just for you, for your partner also. You both need to be tested.

You'll find that your fertiliy clinic offers lots of options.

Try IUI or IVF. Or if you partner's sperm count is very low try ICSI.

If you're over 40 chances are you'll need an egg donor.

And at the other end of the spectrum, if you're young and have not found a partner you can freeze your eggs. To be used in the future.

And what about DNA? Fertility clinics can now screen embryos for genetic defects, so you can avoid things like Down Syndrome and many others.

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Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Autoimmune Disease - My Story

Autoimmune Disease - My Story

I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Churg Strauss Syndrome. It's quite rare, but many autoimmune conditions are not.

Autoimmune simply means that the body's immune system malfunctions and attacks the body itself.

Rheumatologists are the medical specialists that handle many autoimmune conditions. Mine prescribed Prednisone. It's the first line of defence for autoimmune conditions that involve inflammation. But even at 60 mg/day it was not powerful enough and I soon needed stronger meds (Methotrexate and Cytoxan). I was having a hard time breathing and my legs became numb, so it was difficult to walk. It was scary.

There was one time I insisted on going to the airport to meet my daughter. My wife drove of course because I could not. I was walking with a cane, my breathing was terrible and because of the medication my hair had fallen out. But I thought I was fine. My daughter arrived, took one look at me and burst out crying. I guess that was the low point.

But finally they got things under control. And my hair grew back thicker than ever!

I was lucky. With other autoimmune conditions like Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Type 1 Diabetes the situation can be more complex.

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Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Very Fast Trains - The Chinese Maglev

Very Fast Trains - The Chinese Maglev

Maglev is short for Magnetic Levitation, so this train has no wheels, it runs on magnetic tracks. It's in regular commercial service in China. It's top speed is 286 mph.

Let's do a calculation. I live about 40 miles outside New York City. The express train into the city takes 50 minutes. This train would get me into the city in 9 minutes.

Or I could go from midtown Manhattan to JFK airport in 5 minutes.

China was smart. They realized that developing this technology by themselves from scratch would take forever. So they bought it from Germany and got themselves a super fast education. So now, for the second generation of Maglev, they can do it themselves.

And yes, China is currently developing a faster version.

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Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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The Secret of Great Cooking

The Secret of Great Cooking

You go on vaction to Italy and rent a farmhouse in a tiny village in Tuscany. It's way off the tourist route. The village has one restaurant. On your first night you dine there and you are blown away by the food.

So you return often and on your last night the lady who owns the place gives you a couple of her family recipes.

When you get home you go to the supermarket, buy all the ingredients, and cook exactly as per the recipe.

But it's not the same. It's nowhere near as good. Why?

Because quality of ingredients is the secret of great cooking. The lady in Tuscany grew her own herbs and vegetables and made her own pasta from scratch. And her meats were local and wild.

Give the greatest chefs in the world poor quality ingredients and they will produce poor quality meals.

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Ken's Seared Breast of Duck

Ken's Seared Breast of Duck
Get your hands on a superb breast of duck. A farm? A farmer's market? The supermarket is the last resort.

Take a stainless steel skillet and put on medium heat. When it's warm rub the duck skin side down all over the skillet. This will create your cooking fat. No need for olive oil or other things.

Once you have enough duck fat turn up the heat and sear the duck skin side down. Keep going untilt the skin is crispy.

Now turn over, so skin side is up. Add a grind of fresh pepper and a pinch of salt.

Sear for just a few minutes. Not too long.

Remove duck from skillet. Let rest for a few minutes and then serve.

TIP: How to dispose of duck fat, or any other fat? Do not pour down the sink, this could create a major problem. Pour onto a paper plate, let cool, then throw paper plate in the trash.

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Apple Watch - My (Not Funny) Story

Apple Watch - My (Not Funny) Story

I just bought an Apple Watch SE. I bought if from Apple's online store. Ordering was a dream.

Delivery was a dream.

But when it came time to setup the dream turned into a bit of a nightmare.

First I was told the Apple Watch OS was out of date and needed to be upgdated. Out of date? I just bought the thing.

So I started the update process which I was told would take 2 hours. Two hours!!!!!!

After 1 hour it paused and said it could not continue until the Apple Watch was charged.

I went and unpacked the charging cable. It did not have a USB-A connector, it had some other connector that I did not recognize or have any place to plug in. Who ships a charging cable with no USB-A connector? Apparently Apple does.

So I could not charge and thus could not upgrade and thus could not setup.

I ordered an Apple Watch charging cable from Amazon. All the cables offered on Amazon had USB-A connectors.

I'm waiting for delivery.

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Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Dumpling Soup

Ken's Dumpling Soup

Great dumplings are difficult to make, so let's leave that to the experts. Swing by your favorite Chinese Restaurant and pick up a load of dumplings. Make sure they're boiled not fried.

Finely chop corrots, onions, celery and a few cloves of garlic then add a sprinkle of Paprika. Saute everything in olive oil until soft.

Add a few cups of chicken broth, a cup of water, a cup of white wine and two drops of Tabasco. Grind in some fresh pepper.

Add the dumplings and simmer for a while.

Serve.

Tech Note:
You can easily add meat to the soup. For example: cut some chicken into small cubes and add at the simmering stage.
If you're not a Chinese dumplings fan you can substitute Italian Tortellini or Ravioli or any stuffed pasta that's totally closed. There's also a wide range of Jewish Dumplings (Kreplach) that work perfectly with this recipe. Many nations produce dumplings.
If you want to add an extra subtle flavor finely chop some fresh coriander or parsley (leaves only, discard the stems) and add at the simmering stage.
If you want a slightly nore robust herb flavor rip up a few leaves of fresh sage and add at the simmering stage.
It never hurts any soup to throw in a few bay leaves.

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Ken's Chicken Drum Sticks

Ken's Chicken Drum Sticks

Friends challenged me to do this.

Finely chop some onions, carrots and cellery and saute in olive oil.

Marinate some chicken drum sticks in olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and fresh ground pepper. Add a pinch of salt.

Let this marinate for several hours. Overnight in the refrigerator is good.

If you feel like it rub in Panko bread crumbs.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bake until brown and tender. Then add chicken stock and white wine.

Eat.

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Mental Health - My Story

Mental Health - My Story

I've fought depression all my life.

I'm telling my story in the hope it will help others. Of course, these are just my personal recollections, they are not intended as medical advice. So with that caveat, here's the scoop on depression from my perspective.

I was born near Stockport in the UK. I was the eldest of 3 kids. I have 2 younger sisters.

I suffered from bouts of depression from an early age. I still vividly remember the first time when I was just 10 years old.

But I had lots of friends "on the block" and we got up to many adventures. We created our own bows and arrows and catapults. Every Nov 5th we would build a huge fire for Bonfire Night.

There was a critical exam at age 11, it was called the "11 Plus". If you passed you went to "Grammar School" and on an academic track to university. But if you failed you went to "Secondary School" - with no chance at university and you were prepared for the Trades.

I failed.

So I went to "Secondary School" and learned woodworking, metalworking and gardening.

I complained, so my folks got me a private tutor. That year there was a new program.. you were allowed to retake the 11 Plus a year later if approved. I was one of just 3 students in the entire school that was approved.

So I took the 12 Plus, passed, and was transferred to Grammar School. I studied like crazy and at 18 I won a place at Sussex University where I got my BSc in Physics.

From there I went to Cambridge University where I did my PhD in Physics. But depression followed me all the way. At Cambridge University I sometimes could not get out of bed until midday or later. I missed quite a few Physics lectures.

But after 1 year in Cambridge I was transferred to the experimental Lab which was near Oxford. It was there that I lived in Coseners House. Amazing. I was ultra busy so my depression subsided but never really left me.

I got my PhD in 1975.

So I had a PhD. I applied for jobs. But no jobs in Physics. But as soon as I applied for a job in computing I was snatched up by a London based computing consulting firm.

I went on a few adventures, including working in Holland on computer control for a North Sea Gas Pipeline. Then I was sent to Chase Manhattan Bank in NYC to work on money transfer systems.

I resigned from the London consulting company and got married. Then I went into business with my brother-in-law to build a new Personal Computer App. IBM released their PC in 1981, but it could not do what we needed.

So I went out and became a print salesperson in order to sustain our business. I met an interesting woman on the train. She worked for Hertz Corporation and gave me a ton of printing business. That helped us through a rough financial period.

Then in Jan 1984 Apple released the Mac. It was exactly what we needed. We shipped our App in Jan 1985. It was a success.

It's strange, but during all this time I did not seek professional help for my depression. But finally in the 1990s I did seek help. First I tried talk therapy. Over the years I've seen several therapists and I still do.

The other professional I saw was a psychiatrist who prescribed Venlafaxine which is an SNRI (Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhaibitor). That helped but of course did not "cure" the depression. I still got bouts of depression but they were not as severe. I take Venlafaxine daily. It helps.

Over the years I've learned that my depression is less when I'm actively involved in a project and mentally challenged. Of course such projects are not always easy to find.

I sometimes get angry with myself for "allowing" depression to affect my entire life. But that's a negative thought and almost always triggers a bout of depression. I try my best to stop analyzing the past with constant "what if" questions.

So what's the bottom line? I'm 73 now and I've had derpreesion since I was 10. Did I find a cure? No. But talk therapy has helped me manage my mental attitude towards depression. And medication has helped manage the mechanism of the disease. I have a wonderful wife, 2 great daughters and 4 amazing grandkids. I totally believe in science. There will come a day when sophisticated treatments eradicate depression and a lot of other things. I will not be around to see that. But my grandkids will.

Tech Note:
Serotonin and Norepinephrine are chemicals in the brain that are known to be involved in mood. It's generally agreed that increased concentrations of these chemicals can help reduce depression. And that's exactly what Venlafaxine does - it simply increases the concentration of Serotonin and Norepinephrine. It's a "sledge hammerreduce" approach, but that's where science is right now.

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Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush is a dish made from Eggplant. Think Hummus, but eggplant instead of chickpeas. Here's how you make it.

Take a few eggplants and half them lengthwise. Brush with olive oil, add some ground pepper and salt and pakrika. Then bake at 450F with sliced side down until the eggplant collapses.

Take out of oven, let sit for a few minutes, then scoop all the flesh out of the eggplant leaving the skin behind.

Place the flesh in a bowl. Add some garlic powder and lemon juice and stir vigorously with a fork until eggplant breaks down. Add some tahini to the bowl and stir until it’s incorporated. While stirring, slowly drizzle in some olive oil. Continue stirring until the mixture is pale and creamy.

Stir in some finely chopped fresh parsley, salt and cumin. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice.
Transfer the baba ganoush to a serving bowl and lightly drizzle olive oil on top. Lastly, sprinkle it with parsley and smoked paprika.

Serve with accompaniments of your choice. It’s also great on sandwiches!

Tech Note:
If you want it extra smooth and creamy then after you've scooped out all the flesh from the eggplant force it through a sieve. This will leave the lumpy parts behind.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Paella - Chicken and Chorizo

Ken's Paella - Chicken and Chorizo

Paella started out as a Spanish picnic dish. They would fully load the pan and carefully cook it over an open wood fire. I've never tried this.. but I can imagine the wood adds a very subtle aromatic flavor!

Marinate the chicken
Take a few chicken thighs and remove the skin. Prick all over with a sharp knife. Place in a bowl and add olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and finely chopped fresh Oregano. Just use the oregano leaves not the stems. Mix well and leave in the fridge to marinate for a few hours, or overnight.

Prepare the veggies
Chop a spanish onion. Remove the seeds from some red, green and yellow peppers and then chop the peppers. Crush a few cloves of fresh garlic. Place everything in a paella pan, add a splash of olive oil and mix.

Cooking - Stage 1
Add the chicken to the veggies in the paella pan, then add some slices of Chorizo. Bake in oven at 350F until everything is tender.

Cooking - Stage 2
Add a cup of Arborio rice and sprinkle it with Turmeric, or if you can afford it use Saffron. Add 2 cups of chicken stock and a splash of white wine. Cover pan with aluminum foil and cook in oven at 350F until the rice is done. Remove aluminum foil and serve.

Tech Note:
Using Arborio rice gives the Paella a Risotto type consistency. If you don't want this just use regular long grain rice.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Tide Mills - Unlimited Green Energy

Tide Mills - Unlimited Green Energy

A tide mill uses a pond at sea level. The tide comes in and fills the pond. The pond gates are then closed. The tide goes out. Now we have a large amount of water above sea level.

It's let out slowly, in ancient times to run a flour mill, but in modern times it could run small electric turbines. This energy is totally free and totally green.

Many countries have massive coastlines, meaning thousands of tide mills could be installed and the electricity fed to the national grid, or used to power local villages.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Potatoes au Gratin (Dauphinoise)

Ken's Potatoes au Gratin (Dauphinoise)

The French call this dish Potatoes Dauphinoise. It's absolutely delicious, creamy and garlicy, and is a great side dish to almost any meal.

Take several cloves of fresh garlic, peel, crush and chop fine. Put in a bowl and add a small amount of olive oil. Let rest for an hour stirring occasionally.

Take some boiling potatoes, peel and slice medium thin into a bowl of cold water. This stops them from browning while you prepare the other ingredients. It also removes some of the starch.

Take a casserole dish and rub butter all over the bottom.

Sprinkle in some of the garlic, then dry some potatoes well and add a layer, then sprinkle on more garlic, grind on some fresh pepper, then add a few small chunks of butter, then sprinkle with freshly grated Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan) cheese.

Repeat twice.

Add whole milk until potatoes are half covered. Add a splash of cream.

Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake at 350F until the potatoes are tender. Then remove the foil and broil for a few minutes to brown the potatoes.

Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and serve.

Tech Notes:
As with all cooking, the quality of the ingredients makes a huge difference. Use first cold pressed olive oil. Buy the garlic from a farmer's market. Use real imported Italian cheese. Use organic whole milk.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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How to ace any job interview

How to ace any job interview

It's actually very simple, but so many people get it wrong.

First do research on the company and the position being offered, then..

-Be ontime. Get there a few minutes early.

-Shake hands and smile.

-Dress right. Dress conservatively. Don't dress casual, even if their culture says casual.

-Never bullshit. If you don't know an answer to a question just say you don't know.

-Be positive, upbeat and enthusiastic. Ask questions.

At the end of the interview shake hands and smile.

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How to test a totally self driving car

How to test a totally self driving car

Get in your regular car and drive around for a day completely obeying every single speed limit.

When you get home in the evening, and after you've finished screaming, you will never want to hear the words totally self driving car again.

LOL!!!!

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Ken's Shepherd's Pie

Ken's Shepherd's Pie

Sheep Herders pie, or Shepherd's pie, is traditionally made with ground lamb. (Think about that for a moment.)

It's a meat and vegetable sauce topped with mashed potatoes.

Meat and vegetable sauce
Saute some chopped onions in olive oil. Add your favorite ground meat, grind on some fresh pepper, add a pinch of salt, then stir and saute until brown.

Add some peas, chopped garlic and chopped carrots. Add some tomato paste.

Add a splash of flour and a splash of Worcester Sauce. Add plenty of beef stock, then simmer until the sauce is thick, stirring often. Don't let it burn.

Put the sauce in a casserole dish.

Mashed potato topping
Peel some boiling potatoes and boil in lightly salted water until soft. Drain, mash, then add salt, pepper, butter, a splash of milk and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Mix well and then spread on top of the sauce in the casserole dish. Mashed potatoes should be about 2" deep.

Bake in oven at 350F until potatoes just begin to brown.

Serve.

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KIVA - Micro loans go mainstream

KIVA - Micro loans go mainstream

Welcome to the world of micro financing!

Make a tiny loan, get a big impact. Loans start at $25.

Remember, this is a loan not a donation.

KIVA

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Study at Cambridge University in the UK - Without leaving home

Study at Cambridge University in the UK - Without leaving home

The University of Cambridge is one of the top Universities in the world.

They offer a wide selection of courses online. Take a course without leaving home.

Cambridge University Online

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King Charles - Off to a rough start

King Charles - Off to a rough start

He had 73 years to practice.

But apparently that did not help.

First we have the tantrums with the pens. Then worse, we have layoffs at Clarence House.

Oh boy. Methinks his mother would be annoyed.

The Attack of the Pens

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Does Light have Mass?

Does Light have Mass?

Yes. Photons have energy and thus mass. Lots of it.

But they have zero rest mass, which is kinda cute because you will never find a photon at rest.

So, saying a photon has zero rest mass is the same as saying photons travel at a constant speed relative to any reference frame. Years before Special Relativity Maxwell’s equations showed this very clearly.

Einstein must have been acutely aware of this, and in fact his first paper on what we now call Special Relativity had the title “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”.

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The Coronation - My Story

The Coronation - My Story



I remember the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It was 1953 and I was 4 years old.

My folks bought a TV, the first on our block, specifically to watch the Coronation. It had a tiny black and white screen, rabbit ears and a flickering picture that oozed a grey glow.

All our neighbors came over and our living room was packed.

I squeezed between their legs to get a view. My first view of history.



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How to take your own Passport Photo

How to take your own Passport Photo

Many jurisdictions now allow passport applications online, which includes uploading your own photo taken with your cellphone. But to avoid annoying rejections you need to follow these rules..

Use a plain white background with no objects in the background.

Take off your glasses and open your eyes.

Close your mouth and do not smile.

No shadows.

Look directly at the camera.

Take head and shoulders only.

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Tide Mills - Free Unlimited Green Energy

Tide Mills - Free Unlimited Green Energy

A tide mill uses a pond at sea level. The tide comes in and fills the pond. The pond gates are then closed. The tide goes out. Now we have a large amount of water above sea level.

It's let out slowly, in ancient times to run a flour mill, but in modern times it could run small electric turbines. This energy is totally free and totally green.

Many countries have massive coastlines, meaning thousands of tide mills could be installed and the electricity fed to the national grid, or used to power local villages.

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Merging General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics - The Answer

Merging General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics - The Answer

What if the answer was hiding in plain sight. And that answer was stunningly simple: It can never be done, not because it's difficult but because the very concept of merging is not defined.

Using temperature as an analogy we can actually illustrate this in detail..

For a while temperature (T) was regarded as fundamental. But then as we probed nature at shorter and shorter distances we discovered atoms and eventually built a robust atomic theory.

One of the first insights concerned T. We clearly saw it was not fundamental and in fact could only be defined for huge ensembles of atoms.

So we didn't attempt any merging.. we did not attempt to speak about the temperature of an individual atom, or the temperature of an individual electron. The very concept of individual temperature was not defined. T was an ensemble property.

So then we probed nature at shorter distances and found neutrons and protons. Now the LHC is probing at even shorter distances.. the internal structure of the proton.

Imagine going further.. probing at even shorter distances.. and imagine we discover some amazing new object, let's call it X. Then we discover that if we have a huge ensemble of Xs their statistical behaviour generates our current spacetime. It generates x,y,z,t.

So spacetime is a macro ensemble property and as such is well described by GR.

Do we attempt to ascribe this property to individual Xs. No. The concept is not even defined for individual Xs.

Where does this leave GR? It's still incredibly useful, but it's a macro ensemble theory, and we would never dream of trying to apply it to describe individual Xs. i.e. we would never dream of trying to reconcile it with QM. The idea makes no sense. It's not even defined.

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Einstein's fundamental assumption of Special Relativity

Einstein's fundamental assumption of Special Relativity

You're on a train and I'm standing on the side of the track. As your train passes I measure your speed.. it's 60 mph.

So I tell everyone you are travelling at 60 mph.

But one person totally disagrees with me.

They say they started driving their car next to the train until they reached 60 mph and then measured your speed. The answer they got was 0 mph. So for them you are not moving.

Now, replace the train with a beam of light, which travels fast but still at a finite speed (186,000 mps).

I measure the speed while standing next to the track and I get 186,000 mps. No problem, I get in a rocket ship and start travelling next to the beam until I reach 186,000 mps. Then I measure the speed of the beam again.

And I get 0 mps. Nn I don't.. I get.. drum roll please.. 186,000 mps.

That's the fundamental cornerstone of Relativity, or at least Special Relativity. That the speed of light is a fundamental constant independent of any reference frame.

Einstein's genius was not in seeing this (it was already known), his genius was in making it the fundamental assumption of a new theory and then deriving the consequences.

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Mixing Einstein and Maxwell

Mixing Einstein and Maxwell

Take Einstein’s E=m*c^2 and Maxwell’s c^2=1/(pe*pm) where pe is the electrical permittivity of the vacuum and pm is the magnetic permeability of the vacuum.

Now substitute Maxwell into Einstein and you get the fascinating equation m=E*pe*pm

The mass of an object depends on its energy plus the electrical and magnetic properties of the vacuum. Wow.

Of course, at the quantum level the vacuum is far from empty, and far from understood, but it can produce all sorts of effects. And this is one.

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The Coming Revolution in Healthcare

The Coming Revolution in Healthcare

It's telehealth.

Amazon just bought One Medical (a telehealth company) for $3.9 billion.

And then there's the device side that will probably be dominated by Apple.

Hardware monitors for..

-Temperature
-Weight
-Stethoscope
-Pulse rate
-Blood oxygenation
-Blood pressure
-Dermatological camera
-EKG

All of which will plug into your iPhone. And these devices will transmit over the internet in realtime to your doc.

And then there's the massive emerging sector of mental health, which lends itself perfectly to telehealth. Many psychotherapists have already given up their offices and are seeing their patients remotely. This trend was dramatically accelerated by Covid.

And I bet there's more.

Buy a monthly subscription then get ready to see a specialist anywhere worldwide.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Life in the Universe - The Probability

Life in the Universe - The Probability

Suppose you were given 10,000 billion billion chances to win the lottery.

Do you think you would win?

Astronomers estimate there are 100 billion Galaxies in the Universe and the average Galaxy contains about 100 billion stars. So that's a total of 10,000 billion billion stars.

Or 10,000 billion billion chances for life.

Of course, if there's truly intelligent life out there the last thing it will do is contact us. LOL!

So we'll continue with our usual self centered mantra, "it seems we're the only intelligent life in the universe."

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Selling your car with Carvana

Selling your car with Carvana

I can't guarantee this will happen to you.

But it happened to me.

I went online, answered a few question and uploaded a pic of my dash panel. They gave me a quote. It was $8K higher than my local dealer. They came to my house, gave me a check for the exact amount of the quote and took my car. 10 minutes!

Beyond amazing! Here.. Carvana

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Uluru - Rock of Life

Uluru - Rock of Life







Uluru is a giant sandstone rock in Australia, it's almost 6 miles in circumpherence and over 1,000 feet high.

And it's in the center of Australia, the so called Red Center. It's semi desert - red sand and small bushes for about 1,000 miles in every direction. It's not the place to go walking without special equipment and support.

But the rock supported a whole culture. Archaeological findings suggest that humans settled in the area more than 10,000 years ago.

Small cooking caves around the rock show that cooking was done communaly for the entire population. And the same is true of education - with several teaching caves.

Rain was rare, but the top of the rock was a massive concave rain collector. So there was always a gentle stream of water falling into small lush basins. And ideal for bathing.

So what happened to the rock people after 10,000 years? They were moved to a "reservation" not far from Uluru and their decendants are still there. It's a well managed trailor park. This is very similar to what America did with the original Indian population.

I think it's sad. They were moved to a trailor park while their ancestral home became an international tourist attraction.

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CERN LHC Fans - Watch the LHC in Action

CERN LHC Fans - Watch the LHC in Action

Check beam energy, ramps, squeezes, beam status, machine tests, detector status and more. Plus, see messages from machine operators.

Watch LHC operations

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Renting v. Buying

Renting v. Buying

I think buying is for younger people and renting is for the older.

But renting has a lot going for it. No mortgage, no property taxes, no maintanance.

Certainly, almost all new developments being built near me are rental.

And many young folks are on board.

We owned a house for many years. Then we sold and put the proceeds into an investment account with a great financial advisor. He showed us how the cash generated from the account could pay our rent. Just the cash, without touching the value of the account.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com

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How to bake a potato

How to bake a potato

It's trivial, right? No, not if you want to do it right.

There are lots of different potatoes, so first make sure you buy a baking potato.

Pour some fine olive oil on your hands and massage the potato. Then sprinkle on garlic powder, some fresh ground pepper, salt and a bit of Hungarian Paprika.

Set oven to 350F and bake. It's done when a knife goes in smoothly with absolutely no resistance.

Take out of oven, cut open and add the fixings you like. I like none, but you may consider butter or sour cream or chopped chives or chopped shallots or parsley or whatever. Go for it.

Eat.

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Crime by City - How does you city rank?

Crime by City - How does you city rank?

Are you a safe city? Check your crime ranking here.. Check here.

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A note to the US - The price of living in the past

A note to the US - The price of living in the past

The 2nd amendment is over 230 years old when it took two minutes to load one round into a gun. Talk about living in the past. The US has decided to live in the past.

And the price of living in the past is to slowly become irrelevant.

Hello US, the rest of the world moved on many years ago. You are growing slowly less relevant. And it's your own choice.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Stop School Shootings - This is not rocket science

Stop School Shootings - This is not rocket science

Let's analyze this.

Imagine you're a deranged student who has decided to shoot up a school. What do you need? You need 3 things: a gun, ammo and easy access to the school.

So let's make all 3 very difficult. Especially access. Sure, you have fancy metal detectors at the front door. But what about that open, unsupervised back door.

Schools need a security guard at every single entrance 100% of the time school is in session. And please don't say, "sorry this is not in the budget". Because the lives of children should be beyond the budget.

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Quantum Computing - A long and winding road?

Quantum Computing - A long and winding road?

It's a bit like self driving cars. An idea that won't really happen on a commercial scale for another 30 years. Maybe longer.

Sure, many great companies are working on quantum computers. And good for them. But there is still a very long way to go.

Rumor has it that some of these early players, like IBM, are looking to sell their quantum computing divisions.

Is the first phase of the party over?

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Complete dinner in one package

Complete dinner in one package

This is fast, easy and healthy. Anybody can cook it. Everybody will love it.

Rip off a huge piece of aluminum foil and lightly coat it with fine olive oil.

Place a chunk of wild salmon on the foil with skin down. Grind on some fresh pepper.

Add a few slice of lemon.

Add some slices of onion, carrots and sweet potato. Add lots of chopped fresh garlic and some chopped fresh sage or parsley or your favorite fresh herb. Use leaves only, discard the stems.

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over everything. Add a small sprinkle of salt and grind on some fresh pepper.

Now fold the aluminum foil into a leak-proof package, but add chardonney and chicken stock and a tablespoon of butter just before you seal the package.

Then bake on a tray (in case it leaks) in the oven at 350F.

To serve just place on a plate, open the package and eat. Smell the aromatic flavors as the package opens!

This lends itself to countless variations. You could use different fish, shrimp, clams, oysters, chicken, lamb or beef. And the vegetables and herbs can be almost anything - the last time I did this I used Coriander as the herb with Bok Choy and Orange Peppers as the vegetables. Experiment and enjoy!

This is an individual product, so if you're a young guy trying to impress your girlfriend with your "cooking skills" make one for each of you. Trust me it will do the job!

Oh, I almost forgot. No cleanup!!!!! Meaning no messy pans to clean up. This is a big bonus.

Tech note: If you use chicken it's best to remove the skin. Otherwise you'll get a greasy broth. For lamb I would of course use Rosemary as the herb.

Versatility note: Just to show the versatility. Suppose you like lamb curry. Make this dish with lamb cubes, then add some fresh sliced ginger, your favorite Indian ground spices (or curry powder) and a splash of yogurt. Bingo.. you have an amazing lamb curry.

Like slow cooked lamb or beef? Just turn the oven down to 250F and cook for much longer. This works especially well with cheap cuts of meat because the long slow cooking makes them tender.

Like this? Please help me get the word out by sharing this. Please help! Thanks.

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Heat Pumps - Heating and Cooling All-In-One

Heat Pumps - Heating and Cooling All-In-One

Heat pumps are interesting. They are a/c systems that can run in reverse. Meaning they can cool in summer and heat in winter. And they don't need ductwork, so you can put them anywhere you like.

An outdoor compressor drives several indoor units connected through small pipes - which eliminates the huge cost of installing ductwork. They cool great, and in heating mode they can reduce or even eliminate the use of oil and gas furnaces.

And they come with a remote control. So just point and click to get what you want.. heat or cool anytime.

They are perfect for retrofit situations in older buildings. Most people initially install them for a/c in summer but then are thrilled that the same unit can also provide heat in winter.

How do you get one? Contact your local HVAC contractor. Chances are heat pumps are a massive part of their business. If not find a different contractor.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Manhole Covers

Manhole Covers

You walk on them. You drive over them. You never think about them.

But Manhole Covers have a life and history of their own.

I walked Manhattan and photographed a few. Some are rare. And almost all are made in India.

Here's a list of NYC Manhole Cover Abbreviations. Who knew?

Here's one I photographed in Manhattan's West Village and it's not even listed. I assume that makes it rare.

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Mother's Day

Mother's Day

My mother is dead. She died years ago.

Her life was not easy, she survived WW2 to become a homemaker and a part time glove machinist.

After the war she had me and my two sisters. And she worked hard to give us the best she could.

But this is true for all mothers.

So Mother's Day gives us a time to remember and reflect. To remember the sacrifice they made for us.

Enjoy Mother's day. And say thank you. That's all mothers really want on this day. Or on any day.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Circumcision

Circumcision

Most Jewish people are very serious about circumcision. I think it's true to say that all Jewish males are circumcised.

It's a religious tradition, but often justified as essential for health reasons. Why not just say it's an important religious tradition?

When it comes to Christians the situation is even more interesting.

I have an old friend, we're both Christian, we're the same age and as children we lived in the same town and went to the same school. He's circumcised and I'm not. So what drove the decision in this case? It's clearly not religion. And if it's back to health reasons then that's bogus. I'm 72 and never had any health issues down in that area.

Guess it's time to check other religions.

Hinduism discourages non-medical circumcision.

Islam say circumcision is not symbolic of being part of the Muslim community, but most Muslims circumcise their sons.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com

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How Russia Rescued the Ruble

How Russia Rescued the Ruble

Just after the invasion of Ukraine the Russian Ruble tumbled about 50% when measured against a reference currency such as the US Dollar.

Such a plunge in currency value is a nightmare for any country, because it basically points to the destruction of its economy.

And it's impossible to reverse, right? Wrong. Russia not only reversed it but did it fast, so now the Ruble is as strong as ever.

How did Russia do this?

Europe buys oil and gas from Russia, a lot of it. They pay Russia in US dollars to the tune of over $700 million per day.

Russia simply demanded payment in Rubles, causing Europe to go into the FX market to buy Rubles.

That drove up the value of the Ruble, so now it's strong and back at pre-invasion levels.

And Europe is still paying Russia.

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Omelette a la Ken

Omelette a la Ken

Get an organic pasture raised egg and let it sit to come to room temperature. Then beat in a bowl and add a splash of 1% fat milk, add a grind of fresh pepper and a small pinch of salt.

Get a good French soft cheese such as Camambert or Brie. Leave it out to come to room temperature. Then cut a few small slices.

Spray your frying pan with oil, pour in the egg, add the cheese and cook over medium heat. It should "bubble".

Once the bottom is sealed turn the top over with a spatula. Turn the heat off. Serve with toast.

Sounds complex, but it's not. Do it once and it will become fast and automatic.

As with all cooking, much of the secret is in the quality of the ingredients.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com

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Poached Wild Salmon

Poached Wild Salmon

This is healthy and tasty.

Grab a chunk of wild salmon. Butter a casserole dish and place the salmon in the dish skin down.

Put a few knobs of butter on top of the salmon. Chop some fresh garlic and onions, mix with a small amout of fine olive oil then add to the pan. Grind on some fresh pepper. Add a small pinch of salt. Then broil briefly until just brown. Don't let anything burn.

Chop and add your favorite fresh herb. I use dill.

Add some vegetable stock and a splash of good white wine.

Optional: Add some cooked saffron rice, or better, rice from a paella if you have any left over.

Then cover the casserole dish and cook in the oven at 350F.

Serve alone or with saute spinach or whatever you want.

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Fried Onions - With a Twist

Fried Onions - With a Twist

Grab your favorite onion, peel it and slice into chunks.

Dry well with a paper towel.

Now sprikle it with fresh pepper, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and then add a few cloves.

Saute over medium to high heat in a great olive oil.

Toss frequently with a spatula. Wait until some pieces are seared and then stop.

Serve with whatever. This side dish goes with almost anything.

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Omelette with Prosciutto, Camembert and Tarragon

Omelette with Prosciutto, Camembert and Tarragon

Get some organic pasture raised eggs, some Italian Prosciutto di Parma, some French Camembert and some fresh Tarragon. Remove the stalks and finely chop the Tarragon leaves.

Take 2 slices of the Prosciutto, trim off most of the fat and chop into pieces.

Take the Camembert and cut several thin slices.

Break 3 eggs into a bowl and beat. Add some fresh ground pepper and a pinch of salt.

Dip a kitchen towel in olive oil and then wipe the bottom and sides of a frying pan to lightly coat it. Briefly saute the Prosciutto in the pan then add the eggs Camembert and Tarragon.

Wait until the bottom has cooked then use a spatula to turn the top into the middle, then turn that into the bottom. Flip the whole thing over and cook for a few more seconds. Slide onto a plate and serve.

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Is Europe Funding Russia's War in Ukraine?

Is Europe Funding Russia's War in Ukraine?

The EU gets 40% of its natural gas from Russia.

For this they pay Russia about $722 million PER DAY.

And of course Europe can't stop buying it.

So Russia can use this money to fund its war in Ukraine.

What a colossal blunder by the EU.

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Alcohol Calculator

Alcohol Calculator

First I define a basic unit - the "Standard Drink". It's any drink that needs one hour for its alcohol content to be metabolized. In other words it takes one hour to get out of your system. Examples are 50ml of 80 proof liquor, a 12 fluid ounce bottle of beer, or a 5 fluid ounce glass of wine.

Using this basic unit we can then measure drinks..

Liquor (80 Proof - 40% Alcohol by volume)
"Handle" 1,750ml = 35 Standard Drinks
“Liter” 1,000ml = 20 Standard Drinks
“Bottle” 750ml = 15 Standard Drinks
"Half Pint" 200ml = 4 Standard Drinks
“Miniature” 50ml = 1 Standard Drink

BTW: A Martini is about 200ml of 80 proof liquor which is 4 Standard Drinks and 432 calories.

Wine (15% Alcohol by volume)
“Bottle” 750ml = 5 Standard Drinks
“Big Glass” (10 fluid ounces) = 2 Standard Drinks
“Glass” (5 fluid ounces) = 1 Standard Drink

Beer (5% Alcohol by volume)
“Bottle” (12 fluid ounces) = 1 Standard Drink

I think the surprise here is the Martini. Knock back just 2 Martinis and you've had 8 drinks plus 864 calories. It's going to take 8 hours to get the alcohol out of your system, and a whole lot longer to get the 864 calories off your waist!

And here's my personal take on drinking..

Social drinker = 2 Standard Drinks/day.
Serious drinking problem = 10 Standard Drinks/day.
Alcoholic = 15+ Standard Drinks/day. But I hate the word alcoholic. I prefer alcohol dependence.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com

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Alcohol - If you drink too much try this

Alcohol - If you drink too much try this

Let's not talk about abstinence.

Instead let's get real and try to reduce the impact of what you currently drink. Let's be pragmatic and reduce the impact of alcohol on your body. Try this..

Wait. Meaning, try to wait until after a full breakfast. The body works in cycles, and early in the morning the liver is incredibly susceptible to damage. So try to wait before you start drinking. Having a drink as soon as you wake up is terrible for the liver.

Avoid Acetaminophen. Yes, you probably need a Tylenol as soon as you wake. But avoid it. Acetaminophen can be bad for the liver.

Try yogurt. Especially the small probiotic drinkable units. These are healthy and also slow alcohol absorbtion. So pop one before you drink.

Stopping drinking is very important. But it's hard. So in the meantime try to be realistic and minimize the damage.

Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion. It is not intended as medical advice.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Circles and Spheres - A neat observation

Circles and Spheres - A neat observation

I was thinking about how the surface of an object could be related to its interior.

Let's start simple. Consider a circle of circumference c and radious r. Its "interior" is the area and its "surface" is the circumference.

So let's take the ratio of the two.. area/circumference

The area of the circle is cr/2 so dividing this by c gives us r/2 for the ratio.

For a sphere the ratio would be volume/(surface area). The volume is (4/3)(pi)r^3 and the surface area is 4(pi)r^2 and so we get r/3 for the ratio.

Interesting. A circle is a 2D object and the ratio is r/2. A sphere is a 3D object and the ratio is r/3.

So let's make the conjecture that for an n-dimensional sphere of radius r the ratio would be r/n. True or false?

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com

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On Dimension and Distance in Physics

On Dimension and Distance in Physics

Let's consider the plane. It's incredibly familiar. We have the horizontal x axis and the vertical y axis.

And any point in the plane needs 2 numbers to uniquely specify it, so we denote a point by (x,y) and we say the plane is 2-dimensional.

We can easily move between any 2 points. Everything is nice and smooth and of course we can define a distance using the Pythagorean theorem. All is good. We have a nice 2-dimentional space and we have a well defined distance between any 2 points.

But this is mathematics. Never confuse mathematics with physics. So what happens when we move to physics?

In mathematics it's ok to have a parameter specified by an infinite number of decimal places. But not in physics. Just a few decimal places are enough. In physics, if a theory can predict a parameter to 10 decimal places it's regarded as an incredibly successful theory.

So now let's replace our 2-dimensional plane with a set of discrete points.

We can think of a grid. But the grid is only used to generate the points, it does not imply any connectivity between the points.

Now our plane is very different. It looks 2D, but it's not. Because we can find a one-to-one mapping between the points and the positive integers. In fact, there many such mappings.

This means that any point is uniquely identified by 1 number. So our plane is 1-dimensional.

And what about distance? There is no clear definition of distance. So distance is not a fundamental concept.

This is immediately evident in physics. Take "spooky action at a distance" for example. There's nothing spooky about it. The problem is with our concept of distance, which nature does not respect. And if nature does not respect a concept then the concept is not worth much.

We need new thinking. We need new thinkers.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com

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Ken's Unclaimed Funds Finder

Ken's Unclaimed Funds Finder

The United States is currently holding about $58 billion in unclaimed funds. Check if any is yours and claim it.

I've claimed and got money. So have my family and friends and many others. My wife has found money several times!

I built this and I maintain it. I'm proud of it because it's helped so many people. Please email me below with feedback.

Select a State to go to the Office of the State Comptroller. Then do a search for unclaimed funds. All you need is your name.



Like this? Please help me and share it!

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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The Kiwi Box - The ultimate gift for your Grandkids

The Kiwi Box - The ultimate gift for your Grandkids

Get your grandkids on the road to becoming innovators.

They get a new Kiwi Box every month - each containing a fun construction project. And designed specifically for their age.

They open the box, it contains all the parts necessary plus the instructions. Then they have fun while they learn to build and create.

All my grandkids are signed up. They totally love it. In my opinion it's the ultimate gift.

The Kiwi Box

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com

Einstein, Gravity - And a Problem

Einstein, Gravity - And a Problem

Special Relativity (SR) is a special case of General Relativity (GR).

But let’s do a bit of pondering..

Einstein’s decision to generalize SR to include accelerated motion was probably one of the greatest ideas in physics, because gravity suddenly “appeared”. I often wonder if Einstein was surprised by this or did he see it coming?

The idea that at any given point in space “gravity and acceleration are the same thing” has to be one of the most profound insights ever.

Of course, space is an emergent property of some much deeper quantum mechanical system, but Einstein was a classical physicist, so he did not have to worry about that.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com

Twin Prime Centers - Are they unusual numbers?

Twin Prime Centers - Are they unusual numbers?

If p and p+2 are both prime numbers then they are called twin primes or a prime pair. And let's call the number p+1 the center of the twin prime pair.

Let D(n) denote the number of factors (divisors) of the integer n. We don't count 1 and n as divisors, so for any prime p we have D(p)=0. And let DP(n) denote the number of prime factors of n.

We're interested in D(p+1) which is the number of divisors of the twin prime center. Is there anything unusual about this? Let's look at the first few twin primes..

(3,5) and D(4)=1 and DP(4)=1
(5,7) and D(6)=2 and DP(6)=2
(11,13) and D(12)=4 and DP(12)=2
(17,19) and D(18)=4 and DP(18)=2
(29,31) and D(30)=6 and DP(30)=3
(41,43) and D(42)=6 and DP(42)=3
(59,61) and D(60)=10 and DP(60)=3
(71,73) and D(72)=6 and DP(72)=2
(101,103) and D(102)=6 and DP(102)=3
(107,109) and D(108)=10 and DP(108)=2
(137,139) and D(138)=6 and DP(138)=3
(149,151) and D(150)=10 and DP(150)=3
(179,181) and D(180)=16 and DP(180)=3
(191,193) and D(192)=12 and DP(192)=2

Note that D is not an increasing function, it can drop, as we see for example with D(60) and D(72). The same goes for DP.

Add the first 2 D values, 1+2=3 and this is a prime number.
Add the first 3 D values, 1+2+4=7 and this is a prime number.
Add the first 4 D values, 1+2+4+4=11 and this is a prime number.
Add the first 5 D values, 1+2+4+4+6=17 and this is a prime number.
Add the first 6 D values, 1+2+4+4+6+6=23 and this is a prime number.

Alas, this trend does not continue, although it's true often.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com

Life Insurance - No Longer Boring

Life Insurance - No Longer Boring

I don't know if you're like me, but sitting down with a life insurance agent drives me nuts. I mean, a root canal looks attractive by comparison.

But I just learned it's all about the agent. Most just read a list of policy features and then ask you to sign on the dotted line.

But a new breed of agents are taking a very different approach. They ask you what you want, and then build a totally custom policy just for you.

A custom policy changes the game. It give you some powerful benefits..

- Use of your policy as an investment
- Creative use of your policy to fund projects while you're alive
- Faster growth in cash value
- Bigger and better death benefits

Oh.. and a custom policy is way less boring!

Very few agents are equipped to do this. But finding one that does is well worth it.

Information for this post was provided by Les Himel, an agent who specializes in custom Life Insurance Policies, email or phone (914) 714-2452

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com