Foods and Flavors Assocaited with the Signs:

Aries- Chili peppers, pomegranate, black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves.

Taurus- Apples, honey, grapes, vanilla, chocolate, and artichokes.

Gemini- Nuts, lemon, fennel, licorice, lavender, and black tea. 

Cancer- Chamomile, eggs, cheese, lychee, meat, milk, and cabbage.

Leo- Oranges, grapefruit, sunflower seeds, spinach, and peaches.

Virgo- Figs, wheat, rice, herbs, hops, corn, oats, carrots, parsnips, and celery.

Libra- Strawberry, cherry, mint, pears, avocado, beans, and peas.

Scorpio- Coffee, plum, prickly pear fruit, onion, garlic, and pickle.

Sagittarius- Ginger, Tomato, wasabi, lemon grass, mango, leeks, and olives.

Capricorn- Potato, meat, cucumber, pine nuts, green tea, beet, turnip, caviar, and barley.

Aquarius- Tofu, coconut, lime, kiwi, star fruit, papaya, and whipped cream. 

Pisces- Pineapple, banana, watercress, endive, sugarcane, seaweed, and watermelon.

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Awakening the Bear

Perhaps you’ve seen Surrak Dragonclaw, the khan of the Temur clan. Perhaps you’ve even seen him punch a bear. But the Temur aren’t all face-smashing and bear-punching. They’re also a deeply spiritual people, and Surrak represents that duality of reverent respect for the wilds and utter pragmatism in dealing with them.

But the position of khan is not hereditary, and Surrak wasn’t born into it. He was once just another young Temur warrior trying to make a name for himself. Until one wilderness encounter altered his destiny forever…

Watch on www.itsokaytobesmart.com

Mmmmmm… BACON SCIENCE

Bacon is perhaps nature’s most potent distillation of deliciousness. To those of us who fall in the category of “bacon lover”, there are few more innately pleasurable smells than sizzling bacon. 

The heat-induced chemical reactions catalyzed by the hot pan combine with compounds introduced by the process of smoking and curing bacon to launch a cornucopia of volatile flavor compounds into the air, and in turn your nose, stimulating salivary production and drawing you out of bed aloft on the wafting wonderfulness like a classic cartoon character.

So what ARE those delicious chemicals? The American Chemical Society’s Reactions channel has teamed up with CompoundChem to produce this look at the yummy chemistry of bacon.

Everything that’s delicious, we owe to chemistry.

My favorite bacon compound? When researching my next video (which also has a food-related theme, but you’ll have to wait until Monday to find out), I discovered guaiacol:

It’s a humble little molecule with a mouthful for a name, but it’s one of the most delicious chemicals on Earth. Here’s why it’s special…

Wood contains lots of lignin, a polymer that helps strengthen plant cell walls. When that lignin burns, like when bacon is smoked over applewood or coffee beans are roasted and toasted, some of its ring-like aromatic structures are converted into guaiacol (as well as hundreds of other compounds(, which is the main flavor compound behind the smoky taste in all sorts of foods… including bacon

Flavor of the Month: Cardamom

Cardamom is the third most expensive spice by weight, behind only saffron and vanilla.  But with a captivatingly complex flavor profile crammed into such a small package, there’s little mystery behind its steep price. While popular in foods and drinks, cardamom is equally admired in traditional medicine. Perhaps most interesting is its airway relaxant potential in the treatment of asthma. Read more…

Photo Credit: Robin (FotoosVanRobin/Flicker)

Flavor without the Calories: Scientists Create a Digital Taste Simulator

Think of any task and chances are someone is developing a new mobile electronic device for it. Technologies exist that pay for your coffee, track your UV light exposure, and even drive your car, but can one also simulate flavor? With that question in mind, scientists led by Nimesha Ranasinghe at the National University of Singapore are developing a device that can scintillate your tongue with sour, bitter, salty, and sweet tastes without the use of any chemicals or actual food. Read more…

Photo Courtesy: Ranasinghe, N. et al. 2012. Tongue mounted interface for digitally actuating the sense of taste. 2012 16th Annual International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC): 80-87

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Magic: the Gathering - Recent Planes

THEROS
Theros is ruled by an awe-inspiring pantheon of gods. Mortals tremble before them, feel the sting of their petty whims, and live in terror of their wrath.

RAVNICA
A worldwide cityscape of grand halls, decrepit slums, and ancient ruins. Looming over it all presides the vast—and vastly powerful—City of Ravnica.

FIORA
Fiora is a world of political intrigue, where government factions vie for power and hope to control Paliano, the High City. Despite its scenic vistas, Fiora is one of the most dangerous planes a Planeswalker can visit.

Read all about ‘em at http://magic.wizards.com/en/story/planes

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