Wednesday, August 27, 2008

French cookery scientist Hervé This says that the 10-minute boiled egg is the wrong way to go about cooking your eggs. Temperature and not time is the governing factor to gloriously boiled eggs.

Recall that when an egg cooks, its proteins first unwind and then link to form a rigidifying mesh. But not all its proteins solidify at the same temperature. Ovotransferrin, the first of the egg-white proteins to uncoil, begins to set at around 61 degrees Celsius, or 142°F. Ovalbumin, the most abundant egg-white protein, coagulates at 184°F. Yolk proteins generally fall in between, with most starting to solidify when they approach 158°F. Thus, cooking an egg at 158°F or so should achieve both a firmed-up yolk and still-tender whites, since at that low temperature only some of the egg-white proteins will have coagulated.

"Cooking eggs is really a question of temperature, not time," says This. To make the point, he switches on a small oven, sets the thermostat at 65°C, or 149°F, takes four eggs straight from the box, and unceremoniously places them inside. "I use an oven in the lab; it's easier. But if the oven in your kitchen is not accurate, cook eggs in plenty of water, using a good thermometer." About an hour later -- timing isn't critical, and the eggs can stay in the oven for hours or even overnight -- he retrieves the first egg and carefully shells it. "The 65-degree egg!" he announces. The egg is unlike any I've eaten. The white is as delicately set and smooth as custard, and the yolk is still orange and soft.

From biancolo)

Get Rid of Ants - wikiHow

Get Rid of Ants - wikiHow

How to Get Rid of Ants

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Few pests are harder to get rid of than ants once they've established themselves in your home. If you're tired of stumbling upon a swarm of ants on a regular basis, you'll need to make a concentrated effort to keep these uninvited guests away. This article will review every course of action available to you--why it works, whether it's safe around pets and kids, and how to do it properly.


  1. Shut down the ant buffet. The reason ants are coming into your humble abode is because it's a free-for-all (or at least it was at some point in the past, and they're hoping it might be again). The cleaner you keep the house, the less they'll have to eat, and the more they'll look elsewhere for goodies.
    • Wipe down all surfaces. Tables and counter tops should be regularly sprayed and cleaned with a mild bleach or vinegar solution. Sweep, mop and vacuum regularly.
    • Put food in air-tight containers. This has the added bonus of keeping the food fresher.
    • Keep the sink clean: no dirty dishes, no standing water for ants to drink, no food in the drain.
    • Put pet food bowls in a slightly larger bowl and add some water to the larger bowl, creating a moat around the pet food that the ants can't cross (too bad you can't put one of those around your house!).

  2. Squish the scouts. Colonies regularly send out lone ants to check for food sources. If you see an individual ant strolling across your coffee table, don't let it make it back to the nest alive. It'll tell the colony where you spilled the apple juice. If the scout made it back to the nest and brought back some friends, they'll be following a scent trail, single file. Unless you're ready to bait them as described below, kill them all. Quickly.
    • Spray the trail with all purpose cleaner or a bleach and vinegar solution, then wipe it up with a wet paper towel. Only do this if you can get them all, however, because spraying like a mad man might encourage them to split up, go home, and establish new colonies.[1]
    • For a less hands-on solution, vacuum them all up, then vacuum some talcum powder or diatomaceous earth to finish them off.

  3. Barricade your home. Since ants are tiny, they can find thousands of tiny doorways into your residence. Some of them of are easy to identify; others will only be discovered when there's a parade of ants of marching through them.
    • Seal windows, doors, and any cracks the ants crawl through with caulk. An additional benefit with this is better temperature control and lower energy bills. Plus, it's the least risky method when kids or pets are involved.
    • Line suspected entryways with deterrent substances.
      • Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder that kills ants by pulling all the moisture from their bodies. Since it's so absorbent, however, it's only effective in dry environments.[2] You also don't want anyone in the house (pets included) sniffing it up.
      • Talc in various forms is presumed to deter ants, although the mechanism is poorly understood.[3] Tailor's chalk and baby powder usually contain talc and can be used to create a barrier for ants. Regardless of which form of talc you use, keep in mind that there are concerns about the potential carcinogenicity of talc,[4] although baby powder is used by many parents nonetheless.*Many sources recommend using normal chalk, but this is made of gypsum, not talc, and could be the result of confusion with "ant chalk" (an insecticide that looks just like normal chalk; outlawed in the US in the '90s, but still sold in Chinatowns illegally).*Some baby powder brands are made of corn starch and will not work effectively against ants. Check the ingredients.
      • Cornmeal can be used as a weapon against ants, and it's not poisonous to people or animals. Ants eat it and after consuming water, the cornmeal swells inside their digestive organs, causing them to die.[5]
      • You can also apply scents and substances that ants simply don't like for various reasons: vinegar, peppermint oil, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper, whole cloves, and bay leaves. Some of these might be harmful to pets and irritating to curious children.

  4. Bring down the nest. If ants continue to raid your home, you're going to have to raid theirs--except that you're too big to get inside. If you're able to locate the nest, however, you can pour several gallons of boiling water into it and that'll be that. But if you don't know where they're coming from, your only alternative is to bait them.
    • Pick your poison. Mixing boric acid powder or borax with sugar water is the most common bait (that is what a popular commercial ant poison, Terro, basically consists of). Boric acid affects ants both externally (when in powder form; similar to diatomaceous earth) and internally (when ingested).[6] The ants bring the poison (borax or boric acid) with them to the colony and spread it around. If you get the quantity and timing just right, you can wipe out a large colony, but it might take several weeks to a few months.[7] A bait that's too strong will kill the ants before they make it home, and a bait that's too weak will only weaken the colony temporarily, so here are some recipes that people have had success with:*1 cup water, 2 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons boric acid[8]*3 cups of water with 1 cup of sugar and 4 teaspoons of boric acid.[9]
    • Remove any deterrents (from previous steps) and wait for the ants to show up. Don't lure new ants with the bait; you could attract new colonies.[10] Once there's a trail, place the bait next to it (not on it, or else you'll interrupt their march home).
    • If you have pets and/or children around (see Warnings below) put the bait in a jam jar. Screw the lid tightly and seal with adhesive tape. Pierce two or three small holes in the lid, and smear the outside with a little bit of unpoisoned bait. If you're concerned about the jar getting knocked over and the poisoned bait spilling out, loosely pack the inside with cotton balls.[11]
    • Just to cover all the bases, leave out some peanut butter bait as well (peanut butter mixed with borax or boric acid powder). Ants' cravings vary depending on the needs of the colony (sometimes they want sweets, sometimes they want something oily)[12] so providing both will increase the likelihood that they'll take the bait.
    • Give them as much fresh bait as they'll take, replenishing it as needed, and let them bring it back to their nest (no squishing or killing!). Once they've had their fill, remove all bait; you don't want to attract a neighboring colony.


A video explaining some of the more common solutions for ant eradication.


  • Ants love aphids and scale--particularly, the sweet, sugary substance they make. Treat outdoor plants for aphids and scale during the spring and summer months (when they are abundant) and ants will have less to hang around for.
  • If you see an ant that's a little larger than all the rest, it might be a queen produced by a large colony and looking to establish a new nest. Make sure it doesn't get a chance.[13] Queens are usually 2-3 times larger than workers, possess wings before mating, have very large abdomens.[14]


  • Use gloves and a breathing mask if using any ant-deterring substances. At best, they're irritants; at worst, they're poisonous.
  • Contact with boric acid or borax can have negative effects:[15][16]
    • inhalation can cause mild irritation; if this happens, let the person get fresh air
    • does not irritate intact skin
    • can be irritating to eyes; rinse and seek medical attention if symptoms persist for more than 30 minutes
    • if more than a teaspoon is swallowed by an adult, drink two glasses of water and seek medical attention

  • Planting mint around your house and garden may deter ants, but they can be invasive, so speak to a knowledgeable garden centre before planting it directly in the ground.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations















  15. (PDF)

  16. (PDF)

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Get Rid of Ants. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Separation of Sense and State: A Clarification for the People of the Church in Northern Colorado

I am reprinting here a letter from the archbishop of Denver in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's incorrect public statements on abortion and when life begins:

To Catholics of the Archdiocese of Denver:

Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate tend to take a hard line in talking about the "separation of Church and state." But their idea of separation often seems to work one way.

In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. And that warrants some interest,not as a "political" issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.

Interviewed on Meet the Press August 24, Speaker Pelosi was asked when human life begins. She said the following:

"I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time.And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition . . . St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose."

Since Speaker Pelosi has, in her words, studied the issue "for a long time," she must know very well one of the premier works on the subject, Jesuit John Connery's Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective (Loyola, 1977). Here's how Connery concludes his study:

"The Christian tradition from the earliest days reveals a firm antiabortion attitude . . . The condemnation of abortion did not depend on and was not limited in any way by theories regarding the time of fetal animation. Even during the many centuries when Church penal and penitential practice was based on the theory of delayed animation, the condemnation of abortion was never affected by it.

"Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term, abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion."

Or to put it in the blunter words of the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

"Destruction of the embryo in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed on this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder."

Ardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil. In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or "ensouled."

But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide. In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong.

Of course, we now know with biological certainty exactly when human life begins. Thus, today's religious alibis for abortion and a so-called "right to choose" are nothing more than that - alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief.

Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life. It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it. Catholics who make excuses for it - whether they're famous or not - fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith.

The duty of the Church and other religious communities is moral witness. The duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth. A proper understanding of the "separation of Church and state" does not imply a separation of faith from political life. But of course, it's always important to know what our faith actually teaches.

Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
+Archbishop of Denver

James D. Conley
+Auxiliary Bishop of Denver

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wonder Woman!

Christians Insulted

This article is reprinted from Catholic Online. I chose to reprint it in its entirety because it is important, and the author asked his readers to do so.

Catholic Online

Opinion: Barry Lynn/'Americans United' Insult Rick Warren and Christians

By Deacon Keith Fournier
Catholic Online

Barry Lynn impugned Rev. Rick Warren, disparaged orthodox Christians of every confession,promoted an anti-faith agenda and misrepresented the Civil Forum at Saddleback Church.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - I was driving down the road in Chesapeake, Virginia and decided to turn on National Public Radio for their spin on the news of the day.

While turning the dial (even the expression dates me in the digital age)I happened upon the “Diane Rehm Show” just in time to hear her guests opine on the now famous Saddleback Forum, where evangelical Protestant Pastor Rick Warren hosted both Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain for an historic event during the Presidential campaign of 2008.

The topic of the hour-long program was “Religion in the 2008 Presidential Campaign”. The guests were John Meacham, an editor of Newsweek and co-moderator of "On Faith”; John Green, senior fellow in religion and American politics, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and a director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron in Ohio; and, Reverend Barry Lynn, the Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the author of "Piety & Politics".

Rev. Barry Lynn is the self appointed watch dog who runs “Americans United for the Separation of Church and State”; a well funded 501 c3 exempt public policy and educational organization. I am well acquainted with Rev. Lynn.

For years, while I served as the first Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), in the 1990’s, a public interest law firm committed to an authentic view of religious freedom, we crossed paths quite a few times. He still regularly debates my friend, the Chief Counsel for the ACLJ, and noted Supreme Court Advocate, Jay Sekulow.

I will admit something up front.

I believe that Barry Lynn’s interpretation of the Establishment Clause, Free Speech Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is simply wrong. It is not faithful to history, it is not a proper reading of Constitutional law, it is not good for the public order and it does not promote or serve the common good.

This clause was never intended by the American founders to prevent religious groups from full participation in the public square not to censor out religious speech or the religious speaker from civic participation.

The “Establishment Clause” is better understood as an “anti-Establishment Clause” because it was intended to prevent the erection of a National Church. Of course, as a Catholic, I am quite sensitive to the fact that the early colonies were not, for the most part, very Catholic friendly. However, over time, that changed.

And, properly understood, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution has allowed for a robust diversity of religious expression (or non-expression) and the flourishing of a dynamic model of religious freedom in America. That is, when it is properly interpreted and applied.

Sadly, Rev. Lynn wants to erect a Wall far greater in scope than the metaphorical wall which has been used in Establishment clause jurisprudence to explain the American notion of separation. His notion of a wall would expunge religious expression from the public discourse and impede the freedom of the Church to speak to the great moral issues of the age.

That became quite obvious as he excoriated Rev. Rick Warren and the Saddleback Forum in his comments and responses on this radio show.

Please, do not misunderstand me. Barry Lynn is a rather likeable fellow in person. He is just plain wrong on the Constitution and he is, unfortunately, an anti-Christian bigot in Christian clothes. He has failed repeatedly in his efforts to frighten people into thinking that anyone who believes that religious practice and expression is a “good” which promotes the common good is, in reality, some kind of nut and a threat.

Fortunately he has also failed in his tiring efforts to persuade the public to accept his own apparent belief that orthodox Christians and other religious people can not really make good Americans.However, on this radio program he tried again. It reminded me of the old "No Name" party, the virulently anti-Catholic group which tried to disparage catholics in America for so many years.

In the early days of my own work as a Constitutional lawyer, my Catholicism was a problem for Rev. Barry Lynn. Because of me, and others like me, he was unable to convince folks that all Christian people with whom he disagreed over the Right to Life and a host of other issues were all “fundamentalists”. He wanted to denigrate us all by assigning us to what he hoped to argue was a small segment of Protestant Christianity, the "fundamentalists', who were a threat to the Republic.

So, Barry Lynn joined the ranks of those back then who came up with the phrase “religious right” and then slowly expanded its definition in order to use it as a verbal weapon against most orthodox Christians, be they Protestant, Evangelical, Orthodox or Catholic.

Well, as this radio program unfolded, it became clear that Barry Lynn is still singing the same old tired song.

He quickly fell into his habit of verbal abuse, calling Reverend Rick Warren, the Pastor of Saddleback Church who hosted the Forum, a member of the “Far Right”. He accused him of having only a veneer of concern for issues other than abortion.He consigned him to what Lynn considers the narrow “right wing” and he ridiculed him.

He actually dismissed the commendable concerns for the poor demonstrated by Rev. Warren and his congregation and his teaching on other issues such as environmental stewardship as some kind of subterfuge on his part. It was just plain awful!

As the questioning unfolded, Rev. Lynn continued to mock Rev. Warren rather than to actually discuss the issues which came up in the Forum. He referred with disdain to the Pastor’s best selling book, “Purpose Driven Life”, dismissing its phenomenal sales in a peevish way. He noted that he had written books and never sold that number.

Of course, the comment gave rise to the obvious. I found myself speaking in my car and saying "earth to Barry, maybe your books were not as helpful to people". In fact, they are filled, as is all his communication, with bigotry against classical, orthodox Christians.

He lumped Rev. Warren and those who attended the event at Saddleback Church among thos he has consigned to that favorite boogeyman class of his, the “religious right”. Again, it was interesting to see that never once in this interview did Barry Lynn deal with people like me, Catholic Christians who were delightfully surprised as the evening at the Saddleback forum unfolded.

Instead he issued his dire warnings, indicating that this helpful event was some kind of threat to America. The tenor of his responses to the host’s questions and his answers to call ins to the show were all aimed at perpetuating his favorite tactic of guilt by association.

Anyone who watched the event, attended it or spoke favorable of it were consigned to irrelevance as a part of the small minority of Evangelical Protestants he views as being “on the fringe”.

Diane Rehms’ repeated efforts to call these folks “Values Driven” voters did not resonate with Lynn. He took every opportunity to paint them instead as a threat to the American order. He disparaged both Presidential candidates for even participating in the Forum, attributing their participation an example of the danger of some kind of creeping “theocracy” in America.

I tried to call in to the show from my cell phone but was unable to get through. So, I did something I have never done before. Once I returned to my office I sent an E-Mail to the show which I now set forth for my readers:

“I am appalled that Barry Lynn is allowed to go unchallenged in his effort to dismiss the Saddleback Forum as promoting some kind of "theocracy" and playing to some fringe of "evangelical" Protestant voters.

"I am a Catholic Deacon, a constitutional lawyer and a trained theologian. I am whole life/pro-life (accepting the entire spectrum of life issues from the womb to the tomb) pro-poor, pro-peace, pro-marriage and family. I opposed the Iraq war. I have always opposed capital punishment.

"In opposing every induced abortion as the taking of innocent human life, I insist that Science has only confirmed what our conscience has already told us all along, these children are our neighbors and it is always wrong to kill your neighbor.

"These kinds of positions are not simply based on the teaching of my Church, though I do seek to inform my life by my Catholic faith. Rather, my pro-life position, respecting every lifefrom conception to natural death, my insistence on giving a love of preference for the poor, my opposition to misguided militarism is all based upon reason and the Natural law.

"I am neither "liberal" nor "conservative" in the common political parlance. I am offended by Barry Lynn trying to marginalize the role of Catholics, other Christians, and other people of faith and people of good will who are simply exercising their faithful citizenship.

"Barry Lynn kindles fear. He mocks those with whom he disagrees, a sign of his inability to truly debate the issues he has made a living off of re-presenting over all these years like a broken record. His latest effort on this program to compare orthodox Christians to militant Islamic extremists with his absurd innuendos of censorship and to charge them with such insane notions as wanting to destroy books is an example of his own bigotry and his desire to feed the misguided fears of others.”

Barry Lynn impugned Rev. Rick Warren, disparaged orthodox Christians, promoted an anti-faith agenda and misrepresented the Civil Forum at Saddleback Church.In this interview and in his responses to listeners, he also showed his errant misunderstanding of the meaning of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution's protection of the freedom of speech, the free exercise of religion, the freedom of assembly and the proper role for people of faith and religious institutions in the American experiment in ordered liberty.

- - -

Deacon Keith Fournier asks that you join with us and help in this vital mission by sending this article to your family, friends, and neighbors and adding our link ( to your own website, blog or social network. Let us broadcast, we are PROUD TO BE CATHOLIC!