Tag: learning

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Coffee

  1. Science confirms: the more coffee you drink, the longer you will live! – Did you know that coffee is a major source of antioxidants?  There are also major studies that show coffee drinkers have a lower risk of dying from total and cause specific mortality.  A study in the New England Journal of Medicine states, “… after adjustment for tobacco-smoking status and other potential confounders, there was a significant inverse association between coffee consumption and mortality.”  I love this image from AuthorityNutrition.com:
    From the looks of it, the magic number of cups a day is 4-5 for both men and women. 🙂
  2. Lighter roasted coffee has more caffeine that darker roasted coffee – According to Wikipedia (and other sites as well), Caffeine diminishes with increased roasting level: light roast – 1.37%, medium roast – 1.31%, and dark roast – 1.31%.
  3. Coffee is a fruit!  That is right, it is not really a bean, it is a fruit.  What we call coffee beans are actually seeds of this fruit that somewhat resembles a cherry.  Among other things, the seeds are separated from the fruit, and the seeds are dried, which gives us what is known as a green coffee bean.  Now, the next time someone says you have had too much coffee, just remind them that you are getting your daily fruit intake.
  4. You can thank coffee for the webcam.  No, coffee didn’t invent the webcam, but an empty coffee pot (the Trojan Room Coffee Pot) inspired it. Coffee drinkers at the University of Cambridge were tired of walking to the coffee pot to only find it empty, so the webcam was invented to monitor the coffee pot.
  5. Civet Coffee has been called the most expensive coffee in the world.  At $700 a liter, that is not hard to believe.  It is not a type of coffee though, but instead it is coffee that has been specially processed.  Civet coffee is made from coffee beans that have been eaten and excreted by the Asian Palm Civet, a wild cat from southeast Asia.  Yes, you read right.  People actually pay for coffee that comes from beans dug out from the dung of a cat.  SIGH.  No thank you.
  6. Apparently it is just a rumor that Civet Coffee is the most expensive.  Black Ivory Coffee actually takes the award.  It is not fished out of cat dung, but instead, it is fished out of elephant dung!  EWWWW!  Get this: it sells for $1100 a liter!  Again, SIGH.  No thank you.
  7. Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world every day.  Just for comparison’s sake, there are 12.7 billion cups of oil consumed in the US daily (18.89 million barrels a day x 672 (the number of cups in a barrel)).  That means coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, behind oil.
  8. Coffee can protect against Alzheimer’s and Type 2 Diabetes.  Like I need another excuse to drink a cup!
  9. You may have heard of The Bible Belt, but did you know there is a Bean Belt?  All of the world’s coffee is grown between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, otherwise known as the Bean Belt.
  10. Though coffee snobs, of which I am one, mostly think of the region that the bean comes from, there is another consideration.  The type of bean.  Most coffee sold is Arabica, but there is another common bean: Robusta.  According to www.thekitchn.com, Arabica tends , “to have a sweeter, softer taste, with tones of sugar, fruit, and berries.”  Robusta has, on the other hand, ” [a] stronger, harsher taste, with a grain-like overtone and peanutty aftertaste.”  Oh, and Robusta has twice the caffeine.  Even so, I, for one, prefer Arabica.

Playing the Blues

This may come to a surprise to those who know me: I have a real appreciation for blues music.  The truth is, I like all kinds of music, from classical to country, pop to rap, blues to jazz, and everything inbetween.  However, blues is a music style that I really enjoy, and I have long had a fascination with blues harmonica.  In fact, about ten years ago I began teaching myself blues harmonica, and though I was never very good, I sure did enjoy it.  I have recently decided to pick this hobby back up, and am in the midst of teaching myself once again.

Lee Oskar Harmonica

Lee Oskar Harmonica

When I first started playing harmonica, I did considerable research into the instrument, and I finally decided Lee Oskar was the best brand for what I wanted.  The thing I liked most is that their instruments are easily repairable.  I still laugh a little at this decision, because I have yet to have a need to repair one, but it is nice to know they can be repaired if necessary.

You may be wondering what blues harmonica sounds like.  I thought you might ask this, so I have rounded up a few links for you to check out:


On of the links above comes from www.modernbluesharmonica.com, which happens to be the site I am using for my lessons. So far I am liking his style better than the books and CDs I listened to years ago when I first picked up a harmonica with the intent to learn it. Now to simply follow through with this and learn to play something more than simple tunes. 🙂


I am genuinely interested in many, many things.  I can go from gardening, to marketing concepts, to photography, to home coffee roasting, to playing the harmonica, to card tricks — all in a few minutes.  When I begin to have an interest in something, I usually learn enough about whatever it is to converse intelligently or to even do it.  The one area of interest that comes to mind where I haven’t done this is languages.

Though I took Spanish in high school and college, and I can understand a little of it, I would neither consider that a language I know, nor is it one I am particularly interested in.  In fact, the first language that interested me was a modern created language: Esperanto.  I taught myself some Esperanto, though I have long since forgotten all of that.  In fact, it was at that time I decided I just don’t have a mind to learn languages.

The desire to learn languages has only grown since then though, but for different reasons.  For example, I really want to learn Hebrew, the original language of most of the Old Testament.  I also really want to learn Aramaic, which I believe is the original language of much of the New Testament (yes, I know many of you will disagree — that is a post for later).  Because of the heart I have for the Choctaw people, I want to learn Choctaw.  Did you know that English is a second language to most Choctaw adults?  I think it would be nice to converse with them in their language.  Finally, I want to learn Chickasaw because it is the tongue of my ancestors.

I am not sure what order I would like to learn these in, but part of my thinking is this:  Choctaw and Chickasaw are closely related, and if I learn one, the other should be easy to pick up.  I can probably kill two birds with one stone.  Hebrew would probably be the most useful.  Aramaic is a real interest, but honestly, it doesn’t really compare in importance to me as the other three.

I have found free courses for Choctaw online, and I already have some Hebrew learning resources, so what I am thinking of doing is attempting to learn two languages at once: Choctaw and Hebrew.  That may sound like total craziness, but we learn two things at once throughout our lives, don’t we?