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SPRING FLINGING

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Yes, it’s just a string and a spool! –A spherical spool attached to one’s finger with a cord that is looped around the grooved middle of the spool. When run up and down the cord with skillful throws and jerks, the spool takes positions and does tricks.

It’s been around since ancient Egypt and was played with by Greek youths in 500 B.C. There are reports that Napoleon and his army played with yo-yos just before the Battle of Waterloo. The yo-yo was very popular in the Philippines, and it was a Filipino American, Pedro Flores, who made the yo-yo popular in the United States and the rest of the world in the 1920’s. He sold his company to D.F. Duncan, Sr. who trade-marked the name “yo-yo” and set up his factory making wooden yo-yos in Luck, Wisconsin, which then became the “Yo-yo Capital of the World”.

Contemporary yo-yo culture, however, now includes innovative techniques, sophisticated technologies, large online communities, yo-yo collecting, and international competitions for individuals and teams. Most competitions consist of two parts—compulsory tricks and freestyle. Yo-yo enthusiasts are making efforts to include yo-yoing as an Olympic sport.

Major technological innovations since the 60’s include the automatic return and the ball-bearing yo-yo. Other innovations include the transaxles, free-spinning plastic sleeves, friction pads and O-rings, wide variety of shapes, and materials improvement. A number of yo-yo accessories are available as “after-market” modifications—players buy items, such as ceramic bearings, friction stickers, brake pads, or weight rings, separately from the yo-yo to augment performance over the original model shipped from the factory.

Today’s yo-yo manufacturers feature new materials from titanium to exotic woods; unique names such as Oxygene and Syzgy; and limited editions like “Ride the Void”. Recent innovations include an aluminum body, the auto-return clutch system, and a brake pad response system. China has become the top selling yo-yo market.

How to Select a Yo-Yo:

  • There is no single best yo-yo. Certain shapes and models are better suited to various tricks and to different styles of play, as well as different skill levels.

General Guidelines: Skill Level

  • For Beginner—Select standard fixed axle with a take-apart design (so one can more easily untangle knots) and an auto-return mechanism.
  • For Intermediate—Select transaxle yo-yo, as longer spin times make learning tricks easier.
  • For Advanced—Select ball-bearing yo-yo.

General Guidelines: By Style of Play/Tricks

  • Imperial or Standard—Best for looping, as having weight towards the center gives increased stability in the air.
  • Butterfly—Best for string tricks, as the wide gap makes it easier to catch the yo-yo on the string.
  • Modified—Good for both looping and string tricks, as the weight around the rims creates the extra circular inertia that causes the yo-yo to sleep long.
  • Off-string—this yo-yo requires two hands, as the string is not attached to the yo-yo. The Chinese Diablo is a giant version of this type.

Use:

  • Adjust string according to your height.
  • Find the correct string tension for each trick.
  • Basic yo-yo techniques include sleeping, looping, freehand, and off-string.

Care and Maintenance:

  • Do not overtighten a take-apart yo-yo.
  • New strings are safer and perform better. Replace string when it looks dirty, shows signs of wear, or feels stiff or hard.
  • Help maintain wooden axles by placing a small amount of wax on the last few inches of the axle end of the string.
  • Placing a couple of drops of light oil on a bearing yo-yo will help it to sleep and return better.

Wacky Facts:

  • The yo-yo is said to be the first toy to fly in outer space. In 1985 NASA sent a basic spinning yo-yo on the Space Shuttle Discover to see what effect microgravity would have on it. In 1992 the yo-yo again made its way into space on the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
  • The highest priced yo-yo, signed by Richard Nixon(!) and presented to country music singer and fiddler Roy Acuff at The Grand Ole Opry in 1974, was auctioned off for $16,029.00.
  • In 1968, activist Abbie Hoffman was cited for contempt of Congress for “walking the dog” (a yo-yo trick) during a session of the House Subcommittee on Un-American Activities
  • Many yo-yo enthusiasts also enjoy sporting yo-yo shaped objects, such as cell phones, salt and pepper shakers, clocks, and cocktail shakers.

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Written by dawnbryan

March 16, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

FOR THE IDES OF MARCH: CAESAR SALAD

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DEFINITION

A classic Caesar Salad is made of romaine lettuce dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, egg (raw or lightly coddled), Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, parmesan cheese. This mixture is tossed in a wooden bowl, then sprinkled with croutons, adding texture.

PROVENANCE

The Caesar Salad is generally believed to have been invented in Tijuana, Mexico, on July 4,1924 by Cesar Cardine, an Italian immigrant and restaurateur. Originally, the leaves were arranged on a plate so that they could be eaten as finger food.

Greatly enjoyed by Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson (later the Duchess of Windsor), she helped to popularize it both in the United States and Europe. Julia Child , also a Caesar Salad enthusiast, has said she was served by Cesar Cardine himself when she was a child.

In 1956, three years before Cardine’s death, the master chefs of the International Society of Epicures in Paris proclaimed the Caesar Salad to be “The greatest recipe to originate from the Americas in 50 years”!

In the late 70’s Caesar Salad was discovered by the fast-food industry, resulting in an amazing increase in the production of romaine lettuce–from almost no production in the 70’s,  to the cultivation of more than 16,000 acres in the 90’s, to today’s growing of over 80,000 acres.  With his sister Rosa, Cardine produced Cardine’s Original Famous Caesar Dressing which is still available today.

HOW TO SELECT MAIN INGREDIENTS

  • Romaine Lettuce (sometimes called Cos Lettuce because it came from the Aegean Island of Cos)–Look for boldly colored, firm heads, heavy for their size and with tightly closed leaves. Select heads that have been cut close to the leaf stems. Avoid heads that are wilted and leaves that have brown edges, rust, or holes. Large white milky ribs and some leaf tips on outer leaves can be quite bitter.
  • Eggs–Purchasing eggs from cage-free, organically-certified and organically-fed chickens will help to assure quality and freshness while significantly reducing any potential of salmonella poisoning.
  • Croutons–For authenticity, prepare croutons from a loaf of rustic Italian bread.

HOW TO STORE MAIN INGREDIENTS

  • Romaine Lettuce–Rinse and dry the lettuce, place in plastic or special “greens” bag for refrigeration up to one week.
  • Eggs–Store eggs in coldest part of the refrigerator and never leave unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours. Throw out any eggs which have an odor or any cracks or breaks.
  • Croutons–Croutons will last about 1 week if stored in an airtight container on shelf or in refrigerator; up to 6 months if stored in a freezer in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag. If croutons contain butter, store in refrigerator or freezer to avoid rancidity.

HOW TO USE

  • As an appetizer course, a salad course, an entree for lunch or dinner
  • Dressing sometimes includes pounded anchovies or anchovy garnish, garlic, Dijon mustard, blue cheese, and/or capers.
  • Salad variations include grilled chicken, bacon, meat, shellfish or fish.
  • Buon appetito!   Cin-cin!

WHOLISTIC  CONCERNS

  • Although the primary Caesar Salad ingredients are very healthful, questions remain about the safety of eating raw eggs. The major concern is contracting salmonellosis (from the salmonella bacteria), which can result from the improper preparation, handling, or refrigeration of infected eggs. It is uncommon and, in healthy people, it is usually a benign, self-limiting illness.
  • Raw eggs should not be used in any food prepared for pregnant women, young children, or those whose health/immune systems are compromised.

TIPS

  • There is a special tossing technique used at tableside which requires the tosser to skillfully break 2 eggs onto the romaine, then gently roll over and round the leaves.

WACKY FACTS

July 4 is National Caesar Salad  Day.

The Ides of each month was a standard way of saying the 15th of the month And the Ides of March was originally an especially  festive day, celebrating the God Mars. On this day In 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was stabbed (23 times) to death, after having been forewarned by a seer on his way to the Senate. Subsequently The Ides of March has become a symbol of foreboding, as immortalized in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar–“Beware, the Ides of March.”

According to the Guinness Records, in October 2007, Tijuana Mexico broke the world’s record for the largest  Caesar Salad, weighing  in at over 2 tons!

“Bewitched”  had an episode about Samantha’s  attempting to make a Caesar Salad and having to call on Julius Caesar for help.

http://www.thequlaipedia.com

Written by dawnbryan

March 11, 2015 at 11:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

ECO-CONSCIOUS ENTERTAINING TIPS FOR EARTH DAY

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Entertaining that is eco and socio-conscious as well as healthy  does not have to consist of brown invitations, brown napkins, brown bags, brown rice, and brown breads. It is possible to have a party which is green and glamorous–as well as multi-colored! And to be aware of what you are buying, using, doing and its impact on the environment and on others.

INVITATIONS AND DECORATIONS

Here are some wonderful ideas for your eco-conscious party.

  • Electronic invites are not only easy, but very environmentally friendly
  • Arranged centerpieces of fresh or dried fruit or vegetables (edible), as well as flowerpots and small trees (reusable), make wonderful spring and summer decorations. Send these gifts home with guests or deliver to a hospital or nursing home
  • Create entirely edible centerpieces, using (takeout) chopsticks skewered with fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses
  • Use decorative cloth napkins–or bandanas. Tie them with bamboo, hemp, or raffia
  • Large leaves can become place cards when written on with non-toxic ink
  • Collect wine corks to use as place card holders; slit and insert paint chips or cardboard with guest’s name.
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FOOD AND DRINK

Look for foods which are organic (regulated by USDA), biodynamic (sustainable, self-contained system, where everything on the farm is re-used or recycled), and/or sustainable (sustains rather than degrades the environment, and is economically viable).

  • If at all possible, THINK and BUY LOCALLY. Saves transportation costs, supports local economy, stays fresh longer, and tastes better. Local organic eggs and artisanal cheeses are widely available throughout the year
  • For drinking, serve filtered ice water in pitchers rather than bottles; use organic teas and fair trade coffees; purchase local (if possible), organic wines and liquors. 50 states now produce their own wines. Look for beverages in recyclable glass bottles.
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  • Prepare the meal around one main dish, which incorporates various fresh vegetables and/or fruits, such as gazpacho with various toppings.
  • Prevent waste by purchasing and preparing food in appropriate quantities.
  • Offer at least one dish for vegetarians, which is free of animal fats/products.
  • Barbecue with grass-fed beef and sustainable seafood for better taste as well as greener event

PARTY FAVORS

For a final eco-chic touch, send guests home with seed packets, bulbs, small potted plants or their own bandanas, soybean or beeswax candles. Homemade cookies, jams, small breads, vinegars, and pickles all lend a nice homey touch.

 

FUN IDEAS AND TIPS

  • Combine your party with a Spring Clean-up event for your neighborhood, local park, school or playground, nearby empty or parking lots, or with an exchange or tag sale to help your guests with their spring house and garage cleaning
  • Organize a salt or honey tasting ,which also educates guests about the various ecological and taste choices available
  • For a really special event, purchase and release butterflies indigenous to your area and beneficial to the environment
  • Live music will save electricity, and using your iPod will provide music without lots of gear
  • Use beeswax or soy candles and organic soaps in powder room/guest bathroom
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  • Have your event during daylight hours to conserve power
  • For green chic, try recycled cardboard made into everything from vases and bowls to tables and room dividers. Objects made by Liquid cardboard(tm) are 100% recycled and recyclable–even the glue is vegetable. This coffee table is from Chairigami, 100% cardboard, and only $85!
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                             DON’T FORGET THAT EARTH DAY 2012 IS SUNDAY, APRIL 22!

Written by dawnbryan

March 27, 2012 at 1:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Yo-Yo’s

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Although the origins of the yo-yo are unclear, it is believed that it most likely originated in China. Even in ancient Egyptian temples, drawings of objects have been seen in the shape of yo-yos. The first historical mention, however, was a 500 B.C. vase painting of a Greek youth playing with a yo-yo. Greek records describe toys made of wood, metal, or painted terra cotta. Such vases, as well as an actual terra cotta disk, can be found in the National Museum of Athens, Greece. There are indications that the toy once served as a weapon; and Philippine historical records indicate that 16th-century hunters used rocks tied to cords to throw at wild animals, thus enabling retrieval of the rock.

In 1791, a print was circulated of the Prince of Wales whirling his bandalore (yo-yo). As a result, the now immensely popular plaything  became known as the Prince of Wales’ toy: any person of fashion had to own one. In  June 18, 1815, Napoleon and his army were seen relaxing with their yo-yos before the famous Battle of Waterloo.

Back in the Philippines the natives were becoming experts at making and using the toy; carving and playing with yo-yos became a national pastime .

Despite Americans receiving a U.S. patent on the “improved construction of the toy, commonly called a bandelore” in 1866, the yo-yo did not become popular until a Filipino American opened the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company in Santa Barbara, California in 1928. Pedro Flores started his business with a dozen handmade toys, and within a year, was operating two additional factories in Los Angeles and Hollywood. This yo-yo was unique because it was the first one that did not have the string tied to the axle, but looped around the axle (looped slip-string), enabling the yo-yo to spin or sleep at the end of the string.ollywood.  

In 1929 American entrepreneur D.F. Duncan, Sr. bought the rights to the toy from Flores and trademarked the name yo-yo, prompting the factory’s location of Luck Wisconsin to dub itself “Yo-yo Capital of the World”. The Duncan yo-yo introduced the butterfly shape (reversing the halves of the traditional/imperial yo-yo), a design that allows the player to catch the yo-yo on the string easily. Following a sales decline, in 1962 Duncan launched a media campaign  which resulted in his selling over 45 million units.

The next two decades saw many innovations in yo-yo technology, including changeable axles, free-spinning plastic sleeves, clutches with spring-loaded weights, and the addition of ball bearings enabling the creation of new tricks previously not possible. One of the most significant: MIchael Caffrey patented the Yomega Brain, resulting in an automatic return of the yo-yo when the speed drops below a given threshold.

Called “Father of the modern yo-yo”, Tom Kuhn in 1990 produced the first ball bearing yo-yo that actually worked, ensuring long spin times and good return ability. 60-second ads on cable TV in the late 80’s along with nostalgia, helped create a new market, turning yo-yos into big business. Toward the end of the Century, Yomega partnered with HPK Marketing, creating Team HIgh Performance (skilled yo-yo artists and competitors) who toured the world, helping to create a yo-yo boom which even included McDonald’s.

Yo-yo materials have also improved throughout the years: high-end yoyos can be constructed of aluminum, steel, titanium, even magnesium, gold or copper, as well as exotic plastics and woods.

Contemporary yo-yo culture includes a large online community ( including blogs and forums) and yo-yo stores as well as yo-yo contests. There are 9 divisions to compete in: to allow for mid-routine replacements, competitors bring several yo-yos to the performance.

Purchasing

Although you can find some yo-yos at large retail stores, such as Toys-R-Us and Wal-Mart,  for a wide variety or specialty items, your best bet is one of the several on-line stores/sites. Most of these also give guidance with your selection and include instructional videos. There are very few actual stores that specialize in yoyo goods–Bird in Hand in Chico, California, is also the site of the National Yoyo Museum and the sponsor of the National Yoyo Contest.

Selection

For Collecting:

When yo-yo collecting, first decide on an area of focus, ie. plastic yo-yos, yoyos from a specific manufacture, wooden yoyos from a certain time period, ball-bearing yoyos…or you may wish to purchase yoyos that are really beautiful or just plain different. Once you decide what to collect, remember that the more collectible ones will have one or more of the following on one or both yo-yo halves: yo-yo name, name of manufacturer, year yo-yo was made, serial number, patent number. Yoyos that have none of this information–regardless of how exotic or beautiful–are worth very little to collectors.

There are several reference books which can be most helpful to the yo-yo collector, including Collectible American Yo-Yos, Chris Cook, and Lucky’s Guide to 20th Century Yo-Yos by Lucky Meisenheimer.

Overall when purchasing old collectible yo-yo’s, look for

–no loose halves

–no excessive scrapes on outside diameter of each half

–clear impressions o f the logo or clear sharp graphics

–decals as whole as possible

–repainting or shoddy repair work,

–loose ornamentation, ie. rhinestones.

For  Playing:

There is no single best yo-yo. Certain shapes and models are better suited to various tricks and different styles of play. When selecting for/as a beginner, a standard fixed axle yo-yo with a take apart design is a good start, but one with an auto-return mechanism speeds the learning curve. Fixed axles are the most basic type, as the axle does not move when yo-yo is thrown. Once you know the basics, you can move quickly to a transaxle model. Longer spin times make learning tricks easier.

Some websites list/suggest yo-yos for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Also consider yo-yo shapes. There are many different form factors, each with specific advantages, and newer shapes and technology continue to emerge; however, the three most popular configurations are

  –Imperial or Standard ,best for looping, as having the weight towards the center gives increased stability in the air;

 –Modified, good for looping or string tricks, as the weight around the rims creates the extra circular inertia that causes the yo-yo to sleep long;

–Butterfly, best for string tricks, as the wide gap makes it easier to catch the yo-yo on the string.

For the more skilled player, a number of yo-yo accessories are available as “after-market” modifications. These are meant to augment performance over the original model and include: different types of bearings, friction stickers, brake pads, weight rings, and slick strings.

When purchasing a yo-yo as a gift, consider the recipient’s skill level, age, and, if possible, style recipient plays or would like to play, as well as your budget. When possible, always purchase extra string with the yo-yo.

Use

Before playing with your yo-yo, adjust the string according to your height so that the body won’t hit the floor when you throw the yo-yo down. To do this: unwind the yo-yo completely, hold onto the string and set the yo-yo on the ground between your feet. Hold the string up in front of you, cutting it just above your waistline. Tie a loop at the end, then make a slipknot by pulling part of the string through the loop. Place slipknot on your middle finger behind the first joint and roll up your yo-yo ensuring that the string comes off of the top of the yo-yo when in your hand.

It is important to find the correct string tension for each trick: tricks that require a spinner or sleeper need a loose string; tricks that require looping need a tighter string. To loosen a string, let the yo-yo hang at the end of the string and turn the yo-yo counter-clock-wise several times; to tighten, simply turn it clock-wise several times.

Basic yo-yo techniques include:

Sleeping–keeping a yo-yo spinning while remaining at the end of its uncoiled string.

Looping–keeping the body of the yo-yo in constant motion.

Freehand–using counterweight as an additional element which is thrown from hand to hand

Off-string–launching yo-yo into the air to be caught again on the string

Maintenance

Taking care of your yo-yo will help to ensure that it works properly. If you have a take-apart yo-yo, it is important to not over-tighten it.

New strings are safer and perform better. the new one will make your fixed axle yo-yo sleep better and will make a transaxle more responsive. Be sure to replace the string before it breaks–when it looks dirty, shows signs of wear or fraying, or feels stiff or hard. If it becomes knotted and you have to use a narrow sharp object to cut it, be very careful not to nick the axle.

To replace string: dangle yo-yo at bottom of string; spin it counter-clockwise to loosen string. When axle loop opens, slip the string off of the yo-yo. To replace, slip axle-end loop over yo-yo halves and let yo-yo hang to ground. Tie a loop in the string at the level of your belly button and cut off the extra string. Lift yo-yo off of the ground and spin it clockwise to tighten the string. Once it’s tight enough to wind up, wrap the string around the axle and throw the yo-yo hard a few times. To really break in your new string, throw a few alternating (Gemini) loops!

For maintaining wooden axles, put a small amount of wax on the last few inches of the axle end of your string; Placing a couple of drops of light oil on a bearing yo-yo will help it to sleep and return better.

In addition to regular maintenance, some yo-yoers modify  their yo-yos to improve their appearance or achieve desired performance. These “mods” include satining, beadblasting, anodizing, recessing, siliconing, bearingization ,and dyeing.

Wholistic

For safety:

when you are going to yo-yo, be sure you have enough space. The farthest the yo-yo can reach is the le ngth of your arm plus the string’s length. Check behind you and the ceiling clearance if you are doing tricks like “Around the World”. Some tricks are more safely practiced outside.

Keep away from small children, as string could cause choking or other injury

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            Tips

Heavier yo-yos will have more angular momentum when spinning at a given speed, and will spin freely for a longer time.

The easiest way to correct the string tension is just to take the string off of your finger, letting the string hang down and unwind by itself.

Most strings will break after 6-8 hours of play.

Wacky Facts

–The Yo-yo is said to be  the first toy to fly into outer space. In 1985 NASA sent a basic spinning yo-yo on the Space Shuttle Discover to see what effect microgravity would have on it . In 1992 the yo-yo again made its way into space on the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

–The World Yo-Yo Contest is held annually in Orlando,. Florida

–Colored light-up yo-yos (with 8 LED’s ) are becoming popular among young persons.

–The highest priced yo-yo, signed by Richard Nixon and presented to Roy Acuff at The Grand Ole Opry in 1974, was auctioned off for $16,029.00.

–A giant yo-yo that can leave its string is called the Chinese yo-yo or the diablo.. It combines the leveling effect of a gyroscope with the control of a yo-yo.

Written by dawnbryan

April 27, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized