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The origin of the Internet - My personal story

The origin of the Internet - My personal story

In 1972 I was working at a national research lab in the UK. While waiting for one of my jobs to run on the IBM 360/195 I sat at a Teletype terminal on ARPANET and had a text message conversation with a physicist in the US. I decided text messaging would go nowhere. Years later ARPANET became the Internet. And text messaging kinda took off. LOL.

ARPANET was a project of DARPA who hired the consulting firm BBN to build it. It was specified to be a "bomb resistent" communications network. And so BBN came up with an amazing design based on the concept of packet switching.

Initially ARPANET was available to very few, just Governments and international research labs.

But then things changed and it ultimately became the internet, available to all.

And the clever packet switching idea? Oh yes, it's still there, big time.

I would like to shake the hand of the software engineer who devised packet switching. Genius.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's simple soup

Ken's simple soup

It's so simple.

Get a a big pot with a lid, then add a small chicken with most but not all skin removed, onions, carrots, leeks, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, celery, two bulbs of garlic (cut in half and remove any bad cloves), fresh ground pepper, salt, chicken stock, white wine, water.

Bay leaves of course. Rip the leaves to help release the oil.

Simmer covered on low heat for ages. Stir occasionally.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's scrambled eggs

Ken's scrambled eggs

Scrambled eggs are easy, right? Wrong. At her first cooking lesson in France Julia Child blew this.

Take a bowl and break in a few eggs. Get the best eggs you can, such as those from a local farm.

Add a small splash of milk and whisk. But don't whisk too much.

Melt some butter in a frying pan, then turn the heat down and add your eggs.

Cook slowly on low heat. Very slowly is the key. Then add a pinch of salt and a grind of fresh pepper.

Don't overcook. Serve while still moist.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's baked vegetable melange

Ken's baked vegetable melange

Take a large bowl.

Add the vegetebles: sliced brussel sprouts, chopped onions, crushed garlic cloves, mushrooms, sliced carrots and sliced sweet potato.

Now add ground pepper, garlic powder, kosher salt and paprika. Splash with Worcester Sauce, white wine, chicken stock and balsamic vinegar.

Mix well then let rest so the liquids are absorbed.

Rub a baking tray with a thin film of oiive oil, pour on the vegetables and bake at 350F until done.

Delish.

Tech Notes:
If you don't like brussel sprouts use another vegetable such as Bok Choy.
If you want to make this vegan use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
The vegetable mixture can also be boiled in water to make a great vegetable soup.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Unclaimed Property is huge - an expert explains why

Unclaimed Property is huge - an expert explains why

The following is an explanation of Unclaimed Property and the importance of what lies beneath the surface, from financial specialist Les Himel

Unclaimed Property – What is it?

Every state has an unclaimed property treasury. In the U.S. in total, there is over $50 billion with the largest portion in New York, traditionally the center of the finance industry.

But what is it, and where does it come from?

The states have laws that address forgotten bank accounts, cash value insurance policies, IRA’s, etc. Imagine any bit of cash that appears unclaimed within any institution. When a family member of mine died in 2010, all of the estate was cleared out and distributed but years later, a reimbursement from a hospital was sent to New York state. Little or big things show up from time to time for too many of us.

Think of this acronym: “AFU” as in Abandoned, Forgotten, Unknown.

Has anyone changed employer and left a 401(k) behind, thinking that “it’s doing okay for now, I’ll get to it some other time” and it becomes forgotten? Absolutely. Has anyone moved from one state to another and left a bank account? Oh yes. Here’s a big one: a family member dies and the phrase “I think we found everything, but we’re really not sure!” That happens quite often. That last example represents the “unknown” portion.

State law…how does that come into this? Most states have a simple approach: institutions must turn over “unclaimed property” (aka cash) after a specific number of years. The number of years depends on the state, and the type of account. I cannot be specific to each state, but the range is typically 3 – 7 years.

What determines “unclaimed”? If an account is undisturbed by the owner, that starts the clock. If the institution sends a letter and that letter is returned labeled “no longer at this address” or similar, the institution has done all necessary. “But wait” you say…” doesn’t a bank have to look for the owner? Won’t an investment firm search?” No, the return of an envelope will qualify for satisfying the institution’s responsibility.

Who am I? My name is Lester Nils Himel; the name of my practice is “82 Financial.” I have been in the finance industry for 47 years, in a variety of areas. I encourage you to look at one of my web sites: “Heir Atlas” and read about unclaimed property. Admittedly the write-up is a rant as I get very passionate about this topic. The site is meant to educate, and the education is both free and important.

https://www.heiratlas.com/ Have you looked into Unclaimed Property? At the bottom of the site’s pages, there is a link to “Unclaimed.org” and on that site, scrolling down, you will find a map of the U.S. Click on the state you are in (and later, every state you have ever lived in) to find the search function. Is this the important part? It might be. Two, three, four figure sums are often found, and sometimes larger.

You might be thinking that eventually the owner or beneficiary of these things will find them. There is much more to this. This use of the site is to help you get your arms around the fact that not all of finance is commonly known.

What is not commonly known? Are you aware that there are various assets/policies/accounts that have expenses and that those costs can eat up the asset? For example, Universal Life Insurance usually requires premium payments, as do Long-Term care (LTC) policies. If those premiums are not paid, the policies can lapse! What might cause premium payments to cease? Increasing cost is frequently a problem, but “forgotten” by an owner in his later years is quite common.

Lapse means they become dead, or evaporate, or become worthless. Lapsed assets never make it to Unclaimed Property. Fun Fact: The insurance companies do count on the money freed up from lapsed policies; a lapse releases that company from otherwise eventual claims, and the previously paid premiums become free money.

What are we suggesting? List your assets and items of importance. Create a roadmap of where to go for all of the things you’ve worked to put in place. Life insurance, LTC policies, Ming Vase, Medical insurance plan, important documents, baseball card collection…list them, but do not list account numbers (too much information for evildoers). If the day comes when you need help, give someone a head start. And here’s the important part: Update your list annually. Update beneficiaries regularly. Every year, review everything. AND: find someone you can trust with the list and update that relationship/responsibility annually.

If your response is “my attorney has everything”, here’s a question for you: will your attorney stay in practice, and outlive you? And, who knows of your attorney beside you? Do you update him/her?

Check unclaimed property listings every year for every family member (dead or alive) for the rest of your life and update your roadmap every year for the rest of your life. Every single year.

Search for money and claim
Ken's Unclaimed Funds Finder

Content written by financial specialist Les Himel posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
Disclaimer: This is for general information purposes only. It is not intended as financial advice.
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The 7 Stages of Dementia

The 7 Stages of Dementia

Dementia is a broad term that refers to loss of mental ability. It has many forms, perhaps the most well know is Alzheimers, but there are many others.

It's difficult to diagnose Dementia until around Stage 3, but MRI and PET scans can help big time. For caregivers it helps to understand the stages. Symptoms can vary a lot from patient to patient, but here's the general trend.

Stage 1
Normal mental functioning
But changes in the brain are taking place

Stage 2
Minor memory mistakes
Problems with numbers

Stage 3
Forgetting to go to appointments
Losing things
Getting lost while walking
Difficulty finding the right words
Verbal repetition
Trouble with complex tasks
Problems with driving

Stage 4
Social withdrawal
Emotional moodiness
Trouble with routine tasks
Forgetting recent events
Denial of symptoms

Stage 5
Pronounced memory loss
Wandering
Confusion and forgetfulness
Sundown syndrome
Further reduced problem solving ability

Stage 6
Urinary or fecal incontinence
Aggression and anxiety
Personality changes including paranoia or delusions
Inability to perform ADLs
Pronounced memory loss
Inability to recognize loved ones and caregivers

Stage 7
Inability to speak
Inability to move without help
Impaired bodily functions

It's also important to realize that the rate of progression through these stages can vary greatly from patient to patient. For some it may be just a few years and for others it may be many years.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
Disclaimer: This is for general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice.
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Ken's Recipe for frozen lobster tails

Ken's Recipe for frozen lobster tails

Get some frozen lobster tails. Rinse them in warm water and let them come to room temperature. Then dry them.

Sprinkle with a bit of olive oil, garlic powder, salt, fresh pepper and paprika. Then rub them down with butter.

Broil shell down until done. Not long.

Remove the shell. Splash on a bit of white wine, squeeze on fresh lemon juice and serve. Or use as the main ingredient for another recipe.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Fruit Platter - Grapes, Mango and Figs

Ken's Fruit Platter - Grapes, Mango and Figs

Take you favorite grapes and arrage them in a single line all around the edge of the platter.

Now grab some fresh figs. Not dried, fresh. Cut a small slit on the side of each fig and push in one or two walnuts.

Arrange the figs inside the grapes.

Now take a fresh ripe mango, peel, slice chunks and place inside the platter. Or all over.

Squeeze fresh lemon and lime juice over everything and serve.

It looka great and it's healthy. A nice bonus.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Graphene Optical Fiber - Better than glass

Graphene Optical Fiber - Better than glass

Research is underway to develop optical fiber made from graphene. Graphene offers several advantages over traditional silica glass fibers:

Higher bandwidth Graphene has a higher refractive index than glass, allowing more data to be transmitted in the same fiber. This means faster internet speeds and increased data capacity.

Reduced attenuation Graphene absorbs less light than glass, resulting in lower signal loss over long distances. This can increase the transmission range.

Increased flexibility Graphene fibers are much thinner and more flexible than glass fibers, making them easier to bend and install.

Ultrafast laser pulses Graphene's unique properties allow it to handle ultrafast laser pulses without damaging the fiber. This could revolutionize applications like high speed data transmission and optical communication.

Several research group around the world are working on graphene fiber. It's not yet clear when it will become commercially available but it has the potential to revolutionize data transmission.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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US Healthcare - Anatomy of a US medical bill

US Healthcare - Anatomy of a US medical bill

Are healthcare costs draining you?

Here's the anatomy of a US medical bill.

I go to my doc for a procedure. My doc takes Medicare, which I have. The cost of the procedure is $5,000 and my doc bills Medicare for that amount.

Medicare responds to my doc that for this procedure they only pay $4,000 and the remaining $1,000 must be obtained from the patient. So I owe my doc $1,000.

I can pay this in cash or I can buy "supplemental insurance" that will cover it. I decide to go the supplemental route but now I have an extra monthly premium that's way bigger than my Medicare premium.

Can you spot what's wrong with this picture?

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Chicken in one dish

Ken's Chicken in one dish

This is not a sophisticated recipe, but it's fast, fresh, tasty and healthy. And it's designed to use exactly one dish for minimum cleanup!!!!!

Take some chicken thighs (with bone in) and trim of excess fat and skin.

Finely chop some cloves of fresh garlic and soak in a small amout of olive oil.

Take a casserole dish and rub butter over the inside. Add the chicken, some chopped onions, chopped carrots and some slices of sweet potato. Then pour the garlic and oil mizture over everything and mix well. Grind on some fresh pepper, add a few pinches of salt and shake on some paprika.

Sprinkle on some fresh chopped sage (use the leaves only, not the stems) and mix again. Add a spash of chicken stock.

Add a few very small knobs of butter.

Then turn the chicken skin side up and bake at 350F. Add more chicken stock if needed to prevent burning.

Tech Notes:
Try experimenting with adding a chopped green vegatable. Whatever you like. I use cabbage, or celery or bok choy.
The herbs can be anything you like. Sage is good. I also love Tarragon.
If you like things browned just broil very briefly after the dish is cooked.
If you really like garlic add a whole bulb cut into two in addition to the garlic in the recipe. And then sprinke the whole dish with garlic powder!

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Coconut Shrimp

Ken's Coconut Shrimp

Fast, easy, healthy and delish.

Chop some onions, fresh garlic and fresh ginger and fry in olive oil until soft.

Add the shrimp and fry one or two minutes longer. Stir so the shrimp cooks on both sides.

Add half a can of coconut milk and some chopped fresh basil leaves (don't use the stems). Add a grind of pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir.

Now stir in a tablespoon of Thai curry paste. Most supermarkets carry this and in comes in red and green versions. Use whichever you prefer.

Boil the mixture for a few minues, stirring well. Serve with rice. I especially like black rice.

Tech Notes:
Devein the shrimp and pat dry before frying. Some supermarkets will devein shrimp for you. Mine will devein one pound of shrimp for just $1 extra. Well worth it!!!

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Almond Cake

Ken's Almond Cake

No flour, no sugar.

Get 2 cups of whole raw almonds. Grind them to whatever level you like. I like a course grind, but a fine grind will produce a different tasting cake. Put the ground almonds into a bowl.

Carefully cut the rind off an orange and a lemon. Avoid getting any of the underneath white flesh. You want pure rind. Now chop it super fine and add to the bowl.

Seperate two eggs and add the egg yolks to the bowl. You could save the egg whites for an egg white omelette.

Add some honey and a splash of olive oil. Mix all ingredients very well.

Turn into a loaf pan, drizzle with honey and bake at 350F until edges start to turn a bit crispy, about 30 minutes.

Turn out, let cool and serve.

Tech Notes:
I'm told almonds have many health benefits.
Don't forget to preheat oven.
Use the best quality ingredients you can get, such as organic free range eggs, first cold pressed olive oil and a raw local honey if possible.
Grease the loaf pan with butter or olive oil to make sure the cake turns out easily.
You could also grate the orange and lemon to get fine zest.
The variety of orange you use can make a difference. Experiment with several varieties. I've even used tangerines. Seville Oranges would be classic Spanish.

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

AI meets Radiology

Perhaps Radiology is not such a great career after all.

A study published by Stanford University in 2023 found that an AI system was able to read X-rays for 14 different pathologies with the same accuracy as radiologists. But much faster.

The AI system was able to read all 420 X-rays in the study in about 90 seconds, while the radiologists took several hours.

Here AI rivals radiologists.

Tech Notes:


Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Broiled Swordfish

Ken's Broiled Swordfish

Get a swordfish steak and dry it well.

Pour on a bit of olive oil and rub all over.
Then add fresh ground pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and a bit of paprika.

Finely slice a lemon and throw the slices all over.

Add a splash of white wine and chicken stock. Not much.
Broil until brown. Be careful not to overcook.

Serve with whatever you like. Rice, saute spinach, saute broccoli rabe, sliced plums or mango.

Tech Notes:
Unlike salmon and other small fish, the big fish (Tuna, Swordfish) are always wild because they cannot be farmed.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Side Dish - that goes with almost anything

Ken's Side Dish - that goes with almost anything

Chop up some potatoes, dry them and put in a casserole dish. Do the same with an onion.

Grind on some fresh pepper. Sprinkle on some onion powder, garlic powder and paprika.

Finely chop some fresh Oregano and sprinkle on.

Drizzle with olive oil and mix well.

Bake at 350F until potatoes just turn brown.

Serve with anything. This is a crowd pleaser.

Tech Notes:


Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Brined Chicken or Turkey

Ken's Brined Chicken or Turkey



Brining chicken or turkey before cooking keeps it moist and juicy and prevents that terrible "dried out" result.

So let's make the brine. You'll need some pure salt with no additivies. Don't use regular table salt. My favorite is Maldon salt. Also, most brands of Kosher salt are free of additives.

Put a gallon of water in a pot and add 1 cup of your salt. Add a few tablespoons of brown sugar. Then add some peppercorns. Then add any botanicals you like such as Juniper.

Trick: A clever way to get sophisticated botanicals is to add a cup of high quality Gin. Gin? Yes, Gin contains a selection of botanicals that are almost impossible to buy seperately. And don't worry about the alcohol, it boils off. Gin botanicals are legendary.

For example: Bombay Saphire Gin contains these botanicals:

Juniper Berries
Coriander Seeds
Angelica Root
Orris Root
Lemon Peel
Almond
Liquorice Root
Cassia Bark
Cubeb Berries
Grains of Paradise

Bring to the boil and stir. Then switch off the heat and allow it to cool to room termperature. You just made brine.

Now pop your chicken into the brine and make sure it's totally covered. Place in refrigerator and let it sit for at least 12 hours but no more than 24.

Remove the chicken, rinse it well and dry it.

Now use it as usual for your favorite chicken recipe.

Tech Notes:
If you're brining a whole turkey (maybe for Thanksgiving) you'll need more than a gallon of brine. Just scale the recipe as needed. Make sure the turkey is totally submerged in the brine. Brine a whole turkey for at least 12 hours but no more than 24. Keep it refrigerated during the brining. Rinse the turkey well after brining. Then cook as usual.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Baked Pears - Super fast and tasty

Ken's Baked Pears - Super fast and tasty

Get a few of your favorite pears. I use BOSC because they're crisp and not too sweet.

Cut them in helf lengthwise and place in a casserolde dish cut side up.

Splash all over with lots of white wine. Squeeze on a fresh lemon. Then drizzle honey on the pears.

Bake at 350F until soft. If you want extra browning then after baking add a bit more honey and switch to broil for a few minutes. Be careful not to burn.

Here's a list of pear varieties with their key charactersistics Pears

Tech Notes:
Try experimenting with the poaching liquid. You could use red wine, or cranberry juice, or whatever fruit juice you like. When I use white wine I sometimes add a tablespoon oc cognac.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Baked Butternut Squash

Ken's Baked Butternut Squash

Get a butternut squash from your local Farmer's Market. While you're there buy some bulbs of garlic.

Wash and dry the squash and then rub it down with olive oil.

Grind on some fresh pepper, add a few pinches of salt and some garlic powder.

Bake at 350F until done. A knife should go into is smoothly with no resistance.

Chop a load of the fresh garlic, place in a bowl with a small amout of olive oil and microwave for 20 seconds.

Take the squash out of the oven and slice open lengthwise. Remove the seeds.

Score the squash then rub in the garlic mixture, add some ground pepper, a pinch of salt and a few small knobs of butter.

Broil until brown. Be careful not to burn.

Serve, either whole with the skin, of scoop out.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Poached Salmon

Ken's Poached Salmon

Get a chunk of wild salmon.

Butter a caserole dish and place the salmon in it skin down. Grind on fresh pepper.

Cut a lemon into quarters, squeeze on the juice and then throw the lemon quarters into the pan.

Add some finely chopped garlic and dill.

Add a bit more butter and some chicken stock and some white wine.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350F until the salmon is done.

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

Tubes and TV

Back in the 60's before modern electronics TVs were driven by tubes. Wonderful orange glowing globes.

My father loved them. Or rather, he loved them when they failed. As the TV picture faded he got excited. And when it failed he opened the back of the TV to look for the dead tube.

Once identified he would check the code number on the tube and then go to his massive collection.

He picked out a new tube, plugged it in and brought the TV back to life.

He loved this exercise.

Tubes were bought on Saturday from an Army and Navy surplus store on Underbank in Stockport. I was always there to help.

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

Ken's Gazpacho

Easy, healthy and delish.

First the liquid. Get a large can of San Marzano tomatoes. Make sure it has the DOP seal. Without this it's not the real thing no matter what the label says.

Pour into a large bowl, then get something flat and crush the tomatoes. Add a spash of Balsamic Viengar, Worcester Sauce, fresh lime juice and a few spashes of olive oil. Grind in some fresh pepper and add a pinch of salt.

That's the liquid. Now for the vegatables. Take your food processor and add a couple of chunks of onions, 2 garlic cloves, some fresh basil, a few chunks of cucumber and a few chuncks of orange bell pepper. Grind until fine and add this to the bowl. Mix well.

Then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours and preferably overninght.

Serve cold.

Tech Notes:


Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Salmon Burgers

Ken's Salmon Burgers



Saute some finely chopped onions and garlic in olive oil, add a grind of fresh pepper and a pinch of salt.


Get some ground salmon. The easiest way to do this is to buy fresh salmon burgers, most supermarkets sell them.


Put the salmon in a bowl, add the saute onions and garlic, some finely chopped fresh dill, some finely chopped muchrooms and then mix well.

Form into burger patties and fry in olive oil until brown. Flip them to make sure all sides are cooked. Don't over cook.

Pour off excess oil. Then squeeze on some fresh lemon juice, add a splash of white wine, saute just a bit longer to reduce the liquid and then serve. Drizzle the pan juices over them.

Tech Notes:
Wild salmon would be even better if you can get it ground.
A salmon meatloaf is easy. Just pour the mixture into a loaf pan that's been sprayed with vegetable oil. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350F until done. Don't over cook.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's baked Endive

Ken's baked Endive

This is fast, tasty and healthy.

Take a few endive, cut off the base then slice lengthwise.

Mix in a bowl with a slash of olive oii, finely chopped onions, carots and garlic. Grind on some fresh pepper and a pinch of salt.

Place on a baking tray and bake at 350F until just brown.

Sprinkle with a few drops of balsamic vinegar and serve.

Tech Notes:
It's a great replacement for the usual salad side dish.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's very versatile Recipe

Ken's very versatile Recipe

This is not a sophisticated recipe, but it's fast, fresh, tasty and healthy. And if you're serving guests have fun and give everyone their own personal package!

Take your favorite meat, fish or poultry and mix in a bowl with a splash of olive oil and fresh chopped garlic. If you use poultry take the skin off. Add a tiny splash of Balsamic vinegar. Mix well.

Rip off a piece of aluminum foil and place the meat inside. Add any veggies you like. Curl up the edges of the aluminum foil then add a splash of chicken stock, some white wine and slices of fresh lemon. Add a couple of bay leaves and some fresh herbs. Add a whole bulb of garlic sliced in half. Add a grind of pepper and a pinch of salt. Add a teaspoon of butter.

Close the aluminum foil tight. Place on a baking tray and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until done.

Give everyone their own package on a plate. They can open, smell the aroma, and eat directly from the package.

Tech Notes:
For a bit of extra tang add a teaspoon of Dijon Mustard before closing the aluminum foil.
The herbs can be anything you like. Dill is great with fish. Sage is good with meat. I also love Tarragon.
The veggies can be potato, or carrot, or fennel or whatever. But slice them fine so they can cook in 30 minutes. A chunk of corn on the cob also works well.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Debit Cards for Kids

Debit Cards for Kids

An interesting new market and these guys seem to be leading the way.

My grandkids (ages 6 and 8) just got their debit cards.

And of course, it's super easy for the grandparents to deposit money in their account. LOL!!!!

I can see it now. No more birthday presents. The grandparents just send $100 to the kid's debit card. Then the kid buys what they really want. LOL.

Here's the company that seems to driving this new market Greenlight

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Italian Burger - A different burger

Ken's Italian Burger - A different burger



Get some Italian hot sausage. If you don't like spicy then get Italian sweet sausage.

Slice it open and press it out into a flat patty. Sprinkle with garlic powder, grind on some fresh pepper, then add a small drizzle of honey.

Spray with cooking oil and broil until golden brown.

Serve on a toasted bun with all the regular fixings.

Tech Notes:
You can also grill or pan fry, but then you may want to skip the honey because it can be sticky and messy. Or you may want to experiment!

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Salmon Balls

Ken's Salmon Balls



Most people love meat balls, so let's do salmon balls.

Saute some finely chopped onions and garlic in olive oil, add a grind of fresh pepper and a pinch of salt.


Get some ground salmon. The easiest way to do this is to buy fresh salmon burgers, most supermarkets sell them.


Place the salmon in a bowl, add the saute onions, some finely chopped fresh dill and a bit of cooked yellow rice and mix well.

Form into balls and fry in olive oil until brown. Toss them to make sure all sides are cooked.

Pour off excess oil. Then squeeze on some fresh lemon juice, add a splash of white wine, saute just a bit longer to reduce the liquid and then serve. Drizzle the pan juices over them.

Tech Notes:
Wild salmon would be even better if you can get it ground.
You can easily modify this for burgers. Just form the mixture into burger patties before frying.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Stuffed Peppers - My Recipe

Stuffed Peppers - My Recipe



Take red and yellow peppers. Not green, they can be bitter.

Slice the top off. Then reach in and pull out as much of the white mulch as you can.

Pack with the mixture. Put the top back on. Coat the outside with olive oil and bake at 350F until golden.

Mixture is ground beef or lamb or turkey with freshly chopped garlic and cooked yellow rice and a grind of fresh pepper and a pinch of salt.

Tech Notes:
You can experiment with the mixture. For example, try adding some finely chopped fresh herbs.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Gordon Walker - British Physicist

Gordon Walker - British Physicist

He was my PhD supervisor at the Rutherford Lab in the UK. It's a national physics research Lab. He later became Lab director and a strong advocate for new physics facilities that included the Diamond Light Source.

He was low key and kind. He was a good physicist and a good guy.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Rosalind Franklin - and DNA

Rosalind Franklin - and DNA

She died at 37 from ovarian cancer. But not before she played a critical role in the discovery of the double helix stucture of DNA. One of the greatest discoveries of all time.

She was a brilliant experimental scientist. Crick and Watson became famous. Rosalind did not. Now it's up to history to decide.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Richard Mitchell - The Underground Grammarian

Richard Mitchell - The Underground Grammarian

Richard Mitchell wrote the Underground Grammarian. He was a professor of English and classics at Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) in NJ.

I met Richard several times. He was a controversial figure, but he was also a passionate advocate for clear and concise writing. He believed that the traditional grammar taught in schools was often arbitrary and nonsensical, and he argued that students should be taught to write by reading good examples of writing.

Johnny Carson loved him and he was a regular on the show.

My brother-in-law and myself developed a publishing product for the Mac. Richard used it to print the Underground Grammarian.

Richard also had a wry sense of humor. In the masthead of the Underground Grammarian he lists himself as "Assistant Circulation Manager". He was no such thing. Richard was the Underground Grammarian in every single aspect.

I once asked Richard how I could spot great writing...

"After you've read it you will walk to the window and look out quietly."

For students of written English the incisive wit of the Underground Grammarian still survives. All issues are here.. The Underground Grammarian

Thanks Richard.

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

Tofu and Seaweed Soup

This recipe is a bit strange, but fast and tasty. And seaweed is full of nutrients and anti-oxidents.

Take some firm tofu and cut into cubes. Add to a casserole dish with chicken stock, white wine, a can of V8 and the seaweed.

Add a few crushed cloves of garlic. Grind in some fresh pepper.

Simmer on low heat for an hour with the lid on the casserole. Stir occasionally. Top up with liquid as necessary.

Tech Notes:
As with many recipes that use garlic you can try roasted garlic. It's totally different and has a delicate nutty flavor.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Bard - Google's new AI agent

Bard - Google's new AI agent

Recently renamed from Bard to Gemini.

Gemini can answer almost any question you ask. Almost anything. That's a scary thought.

So of course I had to test it by asking an algebra question.

Me: Find the roots of the quadratic equation x^2 - 3x + 2 = 0

Gemini: Sure. The roots of the quadratic equation x^2 - 3x + 2 = 0 are 1 and 2
Gemini then went on to give a detailed description of the solution process.

Here's Gemini. Ask away. Bard

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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How are your eyes?

How are your eyes?

I go for regular eye exams. But I just printed the Amsler Grid and tested myself. It took me 30 seconds to find a problem.

Try it. Print this grid and do the test. Amsler Grid

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman

The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman

In the early days of August 1914 Germany mobilized seven armies. Their plan, years in the making, was to sweep in a giant arc across Europe and by the end of the month descend on Paris, the heart of their longtime enemy. The events of August 1914 were the opening salvos of what that generation called The Great War, and what the next had reason to rename World War I.

It is this single month that Barbara Tuchman treats in her Pulitzer Prize winning book The Guns of August (1962). Tuchman is a master of detail, and lays the ground rules for her readers in an Author’s Note at the beginning of the book, "All condition of weather, thoughts or feelings, and states of mind public or private, in the following pages have documentary support." The result is a 440pp narrative that at times can be frustrating, with extensive descriptions of generals and geography, but which paints a vivid picture of a cataclysmic event that erased a generation of young men. It is worth reading.

Tuchman covers the two major theatres of war, the European (or Western) front and the Russian (or eastern) front. She omits the war in the Balkans, centered around Turkey, except that she devotes an interesting chapter to the pursuit of the German battleship Goeben by Allied forces in the Mediterranean. The Goeben finally took refuge in the Turkish Dardenelles while Turkey was still neutral and thus precipitated its entry into the War on the side of Germany. The subsequent Allied fighting in the Balkans against Turkey included the ill fated Gallipoli campaign where so many British troops died.

Tuchman carefully analyses the events which led to the outbreak of war, and we are left with a picture of inevitability. Germany, imagining itself betrayed and enveloped by European alliances, had been preparing war plans for over 10 years. France was always Germany’s target. When the Archduke Ferdinand (an Austrian) was assassinated by a Serbian, a compex web of alliances were triggered, but the net result was that Germany marched on France. Moving 7 armies within the tight confines of Europe required plenty of space, and Germany planned to violate Belgium neutrality to move its troops towards Paris. It therefore came about that the opening battles of the war were on Belgium soil against Belgium cities.

Tuchman describes the battle of Liege, where the Germans used their huge siege guns against the city’s forts, and then the march through Belgium. The Germans did not expect the Belgiums to resist, but when they came under sniper fire in village after village the Germans instituted a policy of reprisals against the civilian population. Reports of mass executions in village squares became common, but the event that shocked the world was the burning of Louvain, where the Germans laid waste to the entire city. This event was a wake up call to the world and signaled the beginning of a long brutal war.

As they crossed the Belgium frontier into France, the German armies were engaged by 7 French armies and 2 British divisions known as the BEF (British Expeditionary Force). The battle was brutal, and the Allies were forced to slowly retreat under the German onslaught until finally the Germans were within 40 miles of Paris. The town was preparing for siege and possibly complete destruction. The government had fled south and when 2 divisions of reserves arrived they were rushed to the front by the city’s fleet of 600 taxi cabs commandeered for the purpose!

Tuchman carefully introduces us to all the key players, the Allied commanders of the French and British and the German commanders. With her characteristic attention to detail we learn of their personalities, strengths and weaknesses. And here perhaps more than anywhere in the book we come to realize just how world events can be shaped by personal foibles. Many of the names are unfamiliar: Joffre was the French General, Lord Kitchener the British War Minister, and Kluck led the final sweep of the German forces towards Paris. But some of the names are more familiar: a young soldier named De Gaulle fought for France, and Winston Churchill was Lord of the British Admiralty, but was to see his finest hour many years later in 1940.

When the Germans made a brief detour to chase one of the French armies north of Paris, the Allies saw an opportunity to counter attack and started to muster all available troops. The British BEF, sensing a catastrophe, promptly began retreating, with the intention of reaching the channel ports and going home. It took pleas from both the French and British to convince Field Marshal Sir John French to return his troops to battle in France’s darkest hour. He agreed with tears streaming down his face. In the subsequent attack, the Germans were forced back north to the line of the river Somme, with both sides suffering terrible losses, and the BEF wiped out. But nothing was decisive, the enemy was not vanquished, and both sides settled into a defensive trench system that cut across France west to east along the Somme. This became known as the Western Front and was to consume a generation of young men (of both sides) in 4 years of fighting.

Tuchman tells all this in well researched detail and avoids drawing conclusions. She focuses on key moments - as when Joffre convinces Field Marshal Sir John French to return the BEF to battle, or the state of Paris preparing for siege. She describes the conditions of the soldiers under forced march - dirty, tired, bloody and hungry. She describes the Generals dining on quail and taking tea while conducting the business of war - issuing orders, tracking troop movements and hiring and firing field commanders.

Tuchman humanizes the events and therefore helps us understand them. Wisely, she offers very little analysis, except to say that World War I was a terrible loss of an entire generation and left no winners but simply a profound sense of disillusionment. She quotes D. H. Lawrence, “All the great words were cancelled out for that generation” and in several places in the book she keeps us mindful of a sober fact: those who survived The Great War were to see their sons march in the next.

My father was one of them. And this is dedicated to him.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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A simple use of Calculus

A simple use of Calculus

You're fencing in a rectangular garden against a wall. So no fence is needed along the wall.

You have 100 feet of fencing. What size do you make the garden to maximize its area?

Let the garden be y deep and x wide.

So its area is a=xy

The length of fencing is l=2y+x=100

So x=100-2y

Substitute this into the area, so a=y(100-2y)=100y-2y^2

Differentiate and set to zero to find the max..

da/dy=100-4y=0

So y=25

Which means the garden is 25 deep and 50 wide.

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Guns in America

Guns in America

Guns in America are totally out of control. There is no other way to describe it. Period.

Young school kids are dying. So much potential lost.

Imagine if one of these kids grew up to be a scientist and cured cancer. Opportunity gone. One life lost is many lives lost.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken’s SAT Math Strategy

Ken’s SAT Math Strategy

I tutor SAT Math and over the years I’ve learned a lot. This crib sheet is short and sweet, but it’s the result of years of experience helping students boost their scores.

SAT Math is an interesting test. Being good at Math is not enough to score high. You also need test taking techniques. This crib sheet reveals my personal method.

First, in terms of test dates, latest news and how to register for the Math SAT go to the people who write and administer the test, The College Board The College Board

Alert! Big changes are coming to the SAT Math test. The paper and pencil test is going away and it will become totally online in 2023 for international students and in 2024 for US students. It will also be shorter and an on screen calculator will be available for the entire test. It's also possible that grid-ins will be replaced. Always check with the College Board for the latest information.

Now let’s start.
No matter how good or bad you are at Math we’re going to boost your score.

The current pencil and paper SAT Math test has two parts:
No Calculator: 25 minutes. 20 questions (15 multiple-choice, 5 Grid-in).
Calculator allowed: 55 Minutes. 38 questions (30 multiple-choice, 8 Grid-in).

A grid-in is just another way of supplying your answer. You mark them on a grid on the answer sheet. So make sure you know how to grid-in, play with this for a while until you’re totally comfortable. You don’t want to waste valuable time on test day learning how to grid-in. Do that now. How to do grid-ins

OK, so now you can supply your answers with multiple choice or grid-in. Good. These things are just test mechanics.

Now let's look at strategy.

Notice the test is timed. So time management is critical. Absolutely critical. It's important that you attempt every single question on the test. That’s why we’re going to use a 3 pass method. That’s right, you’re going to scan and answer questions in 3 separate passes.

Pass 1: The easy pass.
Read every question, but only answer those that you feel very confident about. Very confident you know the answer. Read the whole test and answer these. Skip any question you don’t like. Don’t waste time on these questions. Don't even start work on them. Skipping a question means skipping it instantly.

Pass 2: The maybe pass.
Now go back and read the questions again. This time answer those that you feel you have a reasonable chance of answering. Do not get hung up on any question. If you can’t answer a question in a reasonable time, go to the next question. Wasting time is a score killer. Never spend more than 1 minute trying to answer a question.

Pass 3: The impossible pass.
Now go back and read the questions again. By now the only questions left are the impossible questions. These are those where you have absolutely no clue. So you’re simply going to guess an answer. If there are 4 multiple choice answers you’re simply going to pick one. So your chance of being correct is 1 in 4. Yes? Not always. In many cases there’s a trick to put probability on your side. To illustrate this consider the following question from a real SAT Math test:

For which value of c does 2x^2 + c = 8x have exactly 1 solution?

A) -8
B) 0
C) 2
D) 8

Imagine you have no clue. So you’re simply going to guess. That’s a 1 in 4 chance. But before you guess, look at the answers. Why is 8 mentioned twice? One is 8 and the other is -8. It's for those people who can answer this by doing actual calculations but may make a mistake in the sign of their answer. So the answer is 8 or -8 and now you have a 1 in 2 chance of being correct. But wait, in the equation c is positive, so why not guess 8 as opposed to -8. And you would be correct. That's a slew of extra points just by using intelligent guessing. The moral of the story: with multiple choice questions, the answer options can often help you, even if you have no clue of the math involved. Intelligent guessing is a powerful way to boost your score.

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

Robot Algebra Tutor

It turns out that Bard (Google's new AI agent) can do algebra.

Here's an example:

ME: Find the roots of the quadratic equation x^2 - 3x + 2 = 0

BARD: Sure. The roots of the quadratic equation x^2 - 3x + 2 = 0 are 1 and 2
(Bard then went on to give a detailed description of the solution process.)

Meet Bard

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Ken's Smashed Potatoes - An easy potato dish

Ken's Smashed Potatoes - An easy potato dish

Take a few cloves of garlic, crush and chop course. Put in a bowl, add some olive oil and microwave for 20 seconds to warm.

Take some baby potatoes. Place each one on a wood cutting board, then smash with another cutting board. Dry the potatoes with kitchen towel then place in a bowl. Add the garlic, some fresh herbs, a pinch of salt, a grind of fresh pepper and a pinch of paprika. Mix well.

Place on a cooking tray and bake in the oven at 350F until golden brown.

Tech Notes:
There's no need to wash or peel the potatoes. This makes preperation much easier and faster.
Tarragon goes well with this dish. So does bay leaves. But use your favorite fresh herb. Rip the leaves to help release the oil.

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Ken's Cabbage Soup - a complete meal

Ken's Cabbage Soup - a complete meal

Take a small firm cabbage. Cut off the stem and remove the outer leaves, then cut into quarters. Check each quarter carefully for bad spots. If you find anything discard the quarter. Sometimes you may need 2 cabbages just to get 4 perfect quarters.

Get a heavy casserole and saute the cabbage in a small amount of olive oil and butter. Turn and brown all sides. Add a bit more butter and oil to the casserole then add finely chopped garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Add a grind of fresh pepper and a pinch of salt. Add a small amount of prosciutto. 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 cabbage. Slice in a carrot and add some finely chopped parsley (use the leaves only, discard the stems). Add a sprinkle of grated Romano cheese. 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 cabbage 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 splash of dry vermouth.
If you're serving this to friends you can make them curious by calling it Baked Cabbage.
If you're missing protein add some chicken or beef just before you put the casserole into the oven.
If you want seafood add it just before you take the casserole out of the oven. It only takes a few minutes to cook, and you don't want to overcook seafood.

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Has the Pandemic changed your life?

Has the Pandemic changed your life?

Has the Pandemic changed your life?

Let's list the ways the Pandemic might have changed lives and the economy forever. Here's one.

I used to commute by car every day. Now I don't. I work from home. So I save gas. I save wear and tear on my car. I save tolls. I save on parking costs. And I also save 3 hours per day of my life to devote to other things.

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

Testing Bard - Google's new AI Agent

Testing Bard - Google's new AI Agent

Bard is not yet commercially released but I'm testing it. So far I'm very impressed.

It's done some very nice things for me, such as writing a Letter to the Editor of a local newspaper. And yes, the editor loved it.

And of course it can make searching easier and fun. Condider this dialog I recently had with Bard.

ME: What's the fastest commercially operating MagLev train?

BARD: The fastest commercially operating MagLev train is the Shanghai Maglev Train. It has a top speed of 430 km/h (270 mph) and runs from Longyang Road station in Shanghai to Pudong International Airport. The train travels on a 30.5 km (19 mi) elevated track. The Shanghai Maglev Train was opened in 2004 and is the first commercial MagLev train in the world. It is also the only commercial MagLev train that uses superconducting magnets.

The L0 Series Maglev is the fastest train in the world, with a speed record of 603 km/h (375 mph). It was developed by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) and is still under development. The L0 Series Maglev is not yet in commercial operation.

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

Very Fast Trains - The Japanese Maglev

Very Fast Trains - The Japanese Maglev

Japan has a long history of high speed train development starting in the 1970s. The latest is their SC Maglev. Maglev is short for Magnetic Levitation, so this train has no wheels, it floats on magnetic tracks. SC is short for superconducting, which refers to the ultra powerful magnets used.

The latest development is the Chuo Shinkansen maglev line under construction between Tokyo and Nagoya and planned to open in 2027.

Most of the 177 mile track will be in tunnels.

Top speed is 314 mph.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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The Spin Inversion Conjecture

The Spin Inversion Conjecture

Spin Inversion is a conjecture I made about elementary particles. It says that every elementary particle in the Standard Model (except for the Higgs) of spin s has a partner of spin 1/s.

So the bosons (spin 1) in the Standard Model are their own partners, but the fermions (spin 1/2) in the Standard Model have spin 2 partners.

Of course, for this to work we need at least one spin 2 particle. Maybe more. So gravity appears automatically.

I have no theoretical justification for Spin Inversion, but I do have a rather amusing story of how I came up with it.

I was imagining how you might model a spin 1/2 elementary particle with an everyday object. After a bit of thought I decided on a Mobius strip (strip of paper joined after applying 1 half twist). I figured 1 half twist = spin 1/2.

Then I made a strip with 4 half twists and discovered something rather elegant.. it will naturally "flip" into a double thickness Mobius strip.

In other words a strip with 4 half twists (spin 2) naturally flips into a strip with 1 half twists (spin 1/2).

That's a Boson to Fermion transition. Think of gravity (a Boson spin 2 structure) "condensing" into spin 1/2 Fermions.

So that's it. All you need is paper, scissors, a touch of glue, and a vivid imagination!

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

Ken's Couscous - so simple, so tasty, so fast

Ken's Couscous - so simple, so tasty, so fast

Couscous is made from Durum wheat flour and is closely related to pasta. But unlike pasta Couscous is ground into small granules.

Put a cup of Couscous into a large bowl. Add some finely chopped garlic and a small splash of olive oil. Then grind on some fresh pepper and add a pinch of salt.

Now add your favorite vegetable. It should be pre-cooked unless you like it almost raw. Add a small splash of chicken stock and a small splash of white wine. Mix well.

Add a cup of boiling water and let sit for a few minutes.

Fluff up and serve.

Tech Notes:
This makes a great side dish to almost anything.
As regards adding a vegetable. Peas are good. For a sweeter dish I use raisins. You can also try chopped nuts.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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Ken's Martini - fast and full strength

Ken's Martini - fast and full strength

I like to make a Martini fast and with minimal fuss. So the old Martini shaker method is out. Besides, it uses ice.

Stick a bottle of your favorite Gin or Vodka in the freezer the night before. Yes, the freezer not the fridge. It will not freeze, but the low temperature will make it viscose and its mouthfeel much more interesting.

Take a Martini glass and drop in your favorite fixing - an olive, twist of lemon, touch of extra dry Vermouth, slice of fresh ginger, or nothing. Pour in the Gin or Vodka. There's no need to chill the glass because the Gin or Vodka is so cold it instantly does the job.

Sip.

But remember, this Martini was not shaken with ice so it's not diluted, it's full strength.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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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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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 a pinch of salt.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley (use only the leaves not the stems), then add a filet of wild cod. Boil for a few minutes then put the lid on the pan and let sit for a few minutes.

Reduce the pan juices if you want a thicker sauce. Place the cod on a platter and pour the pan juices over the cod. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Tech Notes:
Sides include boiled potatos and asparagus.



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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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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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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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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:
Topping. Mix tomato ketchup, Dijon mustard and a splash of maple syrup, then spread on top of the meatloaf before baking.
Cheese. Almost any dish will benefit from freshly shaved real imported Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Add a small amount to the mix for subtle flavor.
Versatile. This mixture can also be used for burgers and meatballs.

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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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Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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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 I like. 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 have The Red Hat. It's just feet from the river and serves great American fare.

Finally let's visit Ossining. They have 2 restaurants on the river, the big and busy 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.

Recommendations from readers
Half Moon in Dobbs Ferry.
Washington Irving Boat Club.
Fin and Brew in Peekskill.

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

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 autoimmune conditions. Mine prescribed Prednisone. It's the first line of defense 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.

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 floats on magnetic tracks. It's in regular commercial service in China. Its 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 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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Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com
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