Happy Rosh Hashanah

Dear readers, listeners and fellow bloggers:

Good afternoon. Yesterday, Sunday September 25, one of the two holiest Jewish Holidays started at sundown and will conclude at sundown on Tuesday September 27. Rosh Hashanah celebrates the start of the Jewish New Year and together with the upcoming Yom Kippur represent the holiest dates for he Jewish Faithful. The Jewish calendar is based on the Moon movements, unlike the Gregorian calendar, which is based on the Sun movements. Families get together for a nice dinner, exchanging vows of health and happiness.

In the picture above you can see our son Gian Luca praying at the Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem, during his 2019 scholarship trip to Israel, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Birth Right Israel.

To all our Jewish relatives and friends, we are enthusiastically wishing them Shanah Tovah.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay distant.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

What is the scientific basis of Food Addictions?

Recently we watched six episodes of a Netflix series titled Chef’s table: Pizza where they describe the culinary excellence of six pizzaioli, three Americans, two Italians and one Japanese. Of course, they completely ignored the fabulous pizza makers of both Argentina and Uruguay where millions of Italians flocked from the 1880s to the 1930s, in one of the greatest human migrations of History. We are the proud descendants of those hardy peasants and workers that build those countries up. And being produced by “Americans” (sic), they failed to acknowledge the origin of Pizza.

Pizza is the perfect example of the kind of foodstuff providing us Umami pleasure. For centuries the Western civilizations recognized four types of taste: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Until a Japanese scientist doing research in Leipzig in 1908 unmasked the mystery that Oriental cuisines had treasured for centuries: a fifth taste. Why did Europe and North America take so long to catch up with the Japanese? Because the recalcitrant colonial mentality of Westerners dismissed “what the chinks or japs eat” as disgusting fare based on strange sauces and fermented fish.

Umami is a taste provided to our palate by glutamate, a chemical compound, when it is associated with 5’ribonucleotides like insoate and guanylate. Japanese were more attuned to that delicate taste because they have used dashi for centuries; it is similar to the Western style soup stock but it is produced from dried seaweed kombu. Kikunae Ikeda developed the scientific concept of Umami when he was doing research on glutamate in the laboratory of Wilhem Ostwald in Leipzig, Germany. He stayed there from 1899 to 1901, doing research on basic elements of food like tomato, asparagus, fermented meats, and cheeses, etc., recognizing the taste of dashi. After extensive research efforts, Ikeda could isolate glutamate from kombu and prepared it in the form of salts of sodium, potassium, and calcium. Glutamate had been isolated from wheat in 1866 by Rithausen, who had found it to be insipid in taste. Thus, is how the infamous monosodium glutamate (MSG) came into being.

Note. This reproduction of Kikunae Ikeda was taken from Wikimedia Images.

In 1913 Shintaro Kodama, a disciple of Ikeda, identified 5 inosinates in dried bonito, a key component in the preparation of dashi; he found that the combination of glutamate and 5’nucleotides like inosinate and guasylate enhanced the intensity of Umami in certain foods. This work had been inspired by the earlier writings of Huizu Miyake, the first Japanese scientifically trained medical doctor who wrote that “good taste promotes the digestion foods.” That is a critical observation that paved the way for the industrial use of glutamate additives in the commercial food industry to generate addiction to it. Glutamate, together with other 70 types of Excitocins, arouse a pleasant excitement in humans by commandeering our Dopaminergic system, the neurological basis of Pleasure and Euphoria. (Sex also excites it) That is why we get so addicted to glutamate-laden tomato sauce, parmesan, prosciutto. Moreover, it is present in great quantities in fermented meats and vegetables. Now the sushi we consume in upscale restaurants is hardly made with freshy prepared rice anymore as they prefer to ferment it for at least one week before using it. Don Julio, one of the best grills of Buenos Aires, only serves aged meats and sausages in its menu. Mother Nature endowed our mothers’ milk with plenty of glutamate, basis of our lifelong bonding with the marvelous creatures that granted the Gift of Life to all of us.

Ikeda made the first scientific presentation of his discovery to his peers in the USA meeting of the International Congress of Applied Chemistry in 1912 with a paper titled “On the taste of the salt of glutamic acid.”  But it went largely ignored until a joint meeting of the American Chemical Society and the Chemical Society of Japan in 1979 in Hawaii brought this issue back into its well-deserved public limelight. Julius Maggi, a pioneer of the European food industry, designed appliances in the late nineteenth century to grind peas, beans, lentils, etc., to make nutritious and tasty dehydrated soups so the working women could have a ready meal for their children when they arrived exhausted from their factory jobs. Maggi teamed up with Fridolin Schuler, a physician, to design the first ready-to-made soup based on hydrolysate in the Swiss market in 1886; in 1908 he introduced his still famous soup cubes.

Note. This image of Juius Maggi was taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Some studies have indicated that incorporating the Umami taste in low salt food increases its attractiveness, an important feature for the cuisines of nursing homes to entice older people to try their dishes, even though they use little salt. Moreover, these products increase the salivation of these older people, a key stimulant to eat. Blaylock and Weiner in their book titled Excitocins: the taste that kills claimed that there were scientific studies in animals that showed how the over-excitation of their dopaminergic systems produced neurological damage. However, better structured animal studies and later clinical trials in humans, should be designed to clarify it. As many issues in life, there should be an equilibrium with lessened collateral effects.

Our Roman ancestors used Garum, a mixture of fermented fish to put some savor in those Legionnaires’ rations in their extended warring campaigns in Europe and Asia. It is certainly an inherited taste seared in our genes. We can still remember how our wife at the time (the mother of our children) insolently took a rounded piece of Pecorino cheese (we had bought it in an Asti market to ferment it further) out of our hotel room’s fridge and dumped it in the wastebasket. We know that its strong odor was diffusing around, attracting the attention of the cleaning staff, but that did not excuse her brutal sabotage.

Madonna Santa!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Does a Parallel Universe really exist? Part II

We have already started discussing in a previous article whether a Parallel Universe really exists, prodded by some material generously provided by our dear son Gian Luca. Continuing our discussion of the physical possibility that more than one Universe might exist along ours, we will now start discussing the ideas of some renowned physicists and philosophers, some for and others against that theory. We will rather take the time to expose other people’s ideas so you, dear readers, can eventually form an informed opinion. Of course this will oblige us to dig in this interesting topic in depth so eventually we all will learn something about it. Remember that nobody is born “knowing anything” except the uniquely distinctive  smell of our dear mothers’ flesh that we pick up on our way down from their vaginas along the inside part of their legs.

Muchas gracias Mamita querida !!!

Note. This reproduction of Jan Matejko’s Astronomer Copernicus was taken from Wikimedia Commons.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jan_Matejko-Astronomer_Copernicus-Conversation_with_God.jpg

Today we will discuss the theory of Dr. Max Tegmart, a Professor of Physics in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), that believes there might be four types:

a) Type I: it assumes that Space is Infinite. and we share the same physical laws of other universes similar to ours but at a distance so insurmountable that no messages of any kind can be interchanged with these realms. We can emit to and receive messages from the universes that can be reached by our best telescope, which at present is the NASA’s Hubble Telescope.

b) Type II: these parallel universes might be influenced by the inflationary pressures that might explain the expansion of our own universe. The Inflation and the Ekpyrotic Theories claim that this scientifically proven expansion is making communication between “us” and “them” much more difficult.

c)  Type III: this is the type of alternate universe we usually picture, which consists of a parallel version of ours, coexisting in different physical spaces. The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics says that for every possible quantum option A in this universe, there is another universe in which the option B did come to fruition; it is called the wave function collapse.

d) Type IV: in this alternative explanation, those parallel universes obey to physical laws that are very different from the ones governing ours. Is this possible?

Scientists and philosophers have been debating lately which are the Laws of Physics that rule all these possible universes, without arriving at a clear, unified explanation. Dr. Stephen Hawking has sagely cautioned us that we should always take with a grain of salt any possible interpretation of every general law of Physics. He said:

“Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes the fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?”

Note. This image of a very young Stephen Hawking was taken from Wikimedia Commons.

We will continue exposing the ideas and critiques of renowned scientists and philosophers in future articles of this series so we can study and ponder them together.

 Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

 What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.         

Is the Western societies’ Abundance really over?

One of the more lasting consequences of the tragic pandemic we have gone through for almost two years—besides the worst legacy of millions of lost lives, including some dear members of our own family—is the firm certitude that society changed. No longer we have the hopeful belief that tomorrow will be better than our present, with the suspicion that there might be another pandemic in the near future, with unforeseeable social, economic, and human costs to each and every one of us. No exceptions.

The barbaric Russian invasion of Ukraine has compounded all those fears of the inhabitants of the European continent, long accustomed to the economic bonanza and social harmony that the Post-World War II institutional order brought them. The raw images of civilian casualties from a senseless war in Europe has shaken the confidence of the still wealthy Europeans with the fear of worse times to come. One of the most affected countries has been France, with a generalized shutdown of all public lights at 9 PM sharp and the draconian restrictions of energy expenditures.

Note. This reproduction of Camille Pisarro’s Bountiful Harvest was taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Kim Willsher recently wrote in a The Guardian article: “Emmanuel Macron has warned the French they are facing sacrifices and what he called ‘the end of abundance’ at his government’s first cabinet meeting after the summer holidays. The president, speaking before ministers at the Elysée, said the country was at  a ‘tipping point’ and faced a difficult winter and a new era of instability caused by climate change and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine…His cautionary and sombre speech, which were immediately criticized as ill-judged and a snub to the country’s out-of-work and poor who had already made sacrifices, came after a summer of extreme temperature, widespread wildfires , droughts and rains.”

In our book Emotional Frustration – the Hushed Plague we predicted that Western societies would make a re-evaluation of the critical role played by Minorities and the poorest members of society—overwhelmingly hired by the service industries to keep our communities functioning in times of extreme duress like a pandemic. The French unions reacted angrily to Macron’s words as they prepared to resist any legislative move to curtail their earned labor, unemployment, and pension benefits. However, the rest of French society tends to grudgingly agree that all the segments must share the sacrifices to affront the upcoming energy shortages next winter. The shortage of fuel and gas will not impede the social manifestations of discontent.

In Germany, the ruling coalition government announced several measures to counter the dire consequences of inflation and high energy prices for consumers. They are:

  1. One-time payment of Euro300 to consumers to cover their energy costs.
  2. A planned price cap for the basic energy consumption of the families.
  3. Retirees will also receive that stipend, but students will receive Euro 200.
  4. The successful 9 Euro ticket implemented last summer to use the public transportation all over the country will be extended with a higher price.

In a Bloomberg News Online article, Julian Lee predicts that rapidly replenishing gas and fuel storage capacities and reducing the amount of energy consumed by the citizenry will not be enough to stem the nefarious effects of Russia’s shortage. At present Germany has replenished 80% of their gas storage but their functionaries believe that they need to quickly find more alternate sources of fuel for the winter. The interrupted gas delivery system from Algeria to Europe, now supplying only the Iberian Peninsula, as it stops at the French frontier, will be eventually completed. However, the national interests still complicate the negotiations as the French insist that it should stop in their country and not proceed along to Germany and others.

These draconian measures will certainly have lasting psychological and physical effects on the inhabitants of Western Europe that we will pointedly discuss in future articles.

Stay distant.. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

 

Old Fashioned Mood Booster

Dear readers, listeners, and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. After a pause of almost two months from our longstanding blogging and podcasting endeavors, we confess that we feel a little lazy to resume our tasks. What should we do to boost our energies? Pondering this issue, we remember how our dear grandmother Yolanda and our mother Gladys used to re-energize us when we were feeling down due to a childhood disease, an excess of scholarly duties, etc. They dutifully went to the friendly quarter’s butcher shop and bought liver steaks. They prepared it very simple with just a little salt and plenty of parsley on a grill.

As you can see in the picture above, we emulated our Italian American ancestors and did just the same last week when we happened to come across some nice liver steaks in the Presidente Supermarket of West Brickell in Miami. Fortunately, that bustling quarter of Miami has lately become the market zouk of this multicultural and multiethnic modern Casablanca of the Americas, with varied produce choices.

You are cordially invited to share our homemade prescription for Nostra Fiacca.

Buon appetito!!!

Thank you, Presidente Supermarket, for taking us back to our happy childhood.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Piccola preghiera per la Pace in Ucraina

Dear readers, listeners, and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. Sadly, the war of Russian aggression in the Ukraine has dragged on for more than 6 months already, causing thousands of innocent civilian victims in that country, including hundreds of innocent children, besides many thousands of fallen soldiers in both camps. Every one of them has either a loving mother, or a wife, or a sister or a daughter that is now bitterly mourning them.

A total tragedy for the Ukraine, a part of the European continent, which has not witnessed this kind of barbaric aggression since the Nazis invaded it almost 80 years ago.

After an obligatory pause of two months, we would like to start our blogging and podcasting season with a humble prayer for the Peace in Ukraine in Italian. Why that language? God’s ear may be much more attuned to its mellifluous intonations; that is why Saint Peter, after his arrival from the Middle East, built our church there.

Note. This reproduction of Michelangelo’s Pietà was taken from Wkimedia Commons.

 

Gloria a Dio nell’alto dei cielo e pace in terra agli uomini di buona volontà

Noi ti lodiamo, ti benediciamo, ti adoriamo, ti glorifichiamo, ti rendiamo grazie

Tu che toglie i peccati del mondo, abbi pieta di noi peccatori

Tu che togli tutti i pecati del mondo, accogli la nostra supplica

Tutte le mamme, sposi, sorelle et figli in Ucraina ed Russia hanno sofferto molto

Accogli nostra supplica di trovare un po di pace per questi due nazioni in guerra

Accogli nostra supplica di illuminare i cuori di suoi dirigenti diventatati insensibile

Tacci i fusilli ed i cannoni per fare I guerrafondaie ascoltare gli urli dei vittime

Questi uomini ed donne hano bisogno di essere punglolati per tuo indice

Fatelli sedere a la tavola di negoziazioni prima di due prossime Nativita

Auguriamo una festivita Cattolica ed Ortodossa pacifica per gli ukraini ed russi

Signore, pietà     Cristo, pietà     Signore, pietà

 

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

We’ll be back in September !!!

Dear readers, listeners and fellow bloggers:

Good morning to you all over the planet. Thank you very much for being so loyal to us and dutifully read and appreciate our writings these two months that we have been on vacation. We checked the stats almost daily and found out that we have new fans as far away as Lithuania, Japan, Canada, Argentina, etc. Merci beaucoup à tous nos nouveaux  lecteurs et nouvelles lectrices de la Belle France et bienvenu(e)s; nous aurons plus d’articles dans notre belle langue de Molière cette année en votre hônneur. Bises.

We are coming back with renewed energies and enthusiasm to research and produce meaningful articles on Wellness, Health Care Justice, Physician and Nurse Burn-Out and of course  Supernatural, Superstitions and She. “our new baby.” We are actively engaged with our Literary and Hollywood agents to not only produce a book deal with a major publisher but also a movie deal with a major Hollywood studio. As we have more details , we will readily let you know as YOU MADE THESE POSSIBLE. THANK YOU.

As you can see we are right now busily preparing all the boxes for our move tomorrow to our new apartment. All Alone. Because no woman wants to take care of us.

In order to console ourselves in our painful solitude we have been preparing hearty soups like this one with carrots, onions and cinnamon sticks.  As the old Castilian saying goes: “entre la sopa y el amor, la primera es la mejor.” (between soup and love, the first one is the best)

Thank you God Almighty for giving us health and strength to continue our writing and podcasting endeavors !

Until next time!

Hasta la próxima!

A bientôt!

Ci vediamo!

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

P.S. Our dear readers in Kenya were the very first ones to read this article when we put it up . Like the Kenyan marathon runners, you are always the very first at the finish line. And Mauritius is always the runner up with the lovely Sharvina.

ASANTE SANA.

Happy Fourth of July !!!

Dear readers and fellow bloggers;

Good morning. Today we celebrate the Fourth of July in our Unique United States of America (UUSA)  remembering July 4th. 1776 when the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, cutting ties with Great Britain.

After emigrating to this country in 1982, we have been working tirelessly in our medical profession, and also our literary career in the past few years as well. to build a home for our children and leave an honorable legacy of our passing through our Planet Earth.

Note . Soldiers of the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) march in formation during the 57th Presidential Inauguration, Washington, Jan. 21st, 2013. Taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Thank you for giving us the privilege of working, studying and raising a nice family in this Unique United States of America (UUSA)

Happy Fourth of July to all our fellow American citizens !!!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please call us.

Don’t leave me alone.

You are welcome, President Joe Biden !!!

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. Yesterday we discovered a letter in our mail stack that somehow had been overlooked and pushed to the bottom of the pile. How preposterous! It was a thank you letter graciously written by none other than President Joseph Biden himself on October 26, 2021 , which arrived at approximately the time of our birthday on November 5th, 2021.

In Mid- October we had sent several copies of our book duly dedicated and signed to some notables in this country and abroad. We felt that thanks to the efforts of the Biden/Harris administration, we had been able to get the Pfizer vaccines on time, sparing us from certain Death if we had been infected in the street or taking care of our patients.

President Biden starts his letter like this: ” Thank you for sending such a thoughtful gift. I greatly appreciate the warm welcome you and so many of our fellow Americans have extended to me and my family.”

Then he proceeds to explain why we have to set aside our differences to face challenges. What really moved us was that he seemed to have picked up a concept that we used in our letter. We told him that we were proud to live in the Unique United States of America. He said: “If we look ahead in our uniquely American way and set our sights on the Nation we know we can be, we will meet this moment.” If I am dreaming, please don’t wake me up.

He finished his missive by thanking us again for our gift. And he expressed a personal wish. “I look forward to writing the next great chapter in the American story with you.”

Count with us, President Joseph Biden to keep working for the greatness of the UUSA.

Thank you for that fabulous birthday gift that you sent us last November.

Note. Vice-President Kamala Harris has not sent us a thank you note yet. Women !!!

God Bless the Unique United States of America!!!

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Happy Father’s Day

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good afternoon, Happy Sunday and Happy Father’s Day to all of you wherever you are. Today in the USA we celebrate the man who has, together with our mother, given us the Gift of Life. Even though you departed almost ten years ago, we remember you Papá Mario in our morning prayers and in our professional careers of physician and writer, both of which were supported by you. Not only you supported us financially and timely in our big endeavors, but you lived all the convoluted paths with great excitement and joy. We still remember that day in March 1974 when we sat down in the Auditorium of the Medical School of the Universidad Nacional de La Plata to register for studies. You took over the paperwork and filled all of it. Suddenly you laughed heartily and said: “You are supposed to do this, not me…Ha…Ha…Ha.”

This picture was taken in the rooftop restaurant of the Victoria Plaza Hotel of Montevideo in 1992. It shows from left to right, our daughter Noël Marie, our Father Mario and Yours Truly.

Muchas gracias Viejo Querido!!! Te quiero muchissimo y te extraño como loco todos los dias.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do yo think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.