Redirection

Thursday, June 4, 2020

A Morning In The Garden










Those are from Tuesday. After a long time, I started drawing again. Anyway, the weather has changed so hopefully I'll have more time to post!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Pentecost Weekend News And Iron Age Village

So today is the 2nd Pentecost Day, an official holiday here in the Netherlands. The reason posting has been so scarce so far is simply because we continue having some exceptionally good weather. At least good for us common folks, not for agriculture as we are experiencing a drought right now. Water level is so low in our water tank in the garden that we have to use water from the nearby ditch, as most others do, too. Luckily, we still have enough as some of the smaller ditches in other parts of town have dried out.

Anyway, it's great weather to be outside (especially now with the long weekend) and not a good weather to sit behind the computer screen!

In other news, it's a great day today. Churches finally opened their doors to public in the morning service, though the amount of visitors is currently restricted to 30. Ours operate on a schedule starting with the letter A so obviously it won't be our turn to go for quite some time yet. Zoos and museums opened, too, but you have to book a place online beforehand. May be, if they still have place we'll go next weekend.

And, last but not least: today at noon all the restaurants, cafes and pubs will open their doors to public. To sit inside, you have to book, but as far as I know, terraces are open to anyone. Saturday evening we went to the beach first time this year and they were all busy preparing. I'm not sure I'm going to drink something somewhere right away, but I'm sure going to look:) It's nice to know that life is getting back to normal.

What does it all have to do with Iron Age though? Simple, yesterday I found this great documentary which I'd like to share with you:




I hope you'll enjoy it!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

You Can't Have It Both Ways, Gentlemen!

Here is an example of young woman being basically called a golddigger because she wants to marry a guy with a stable income and stay home.

By men calling themselves traditional no less. I guess their idea of "tradwife"" doesn't include a breadwinner husband to provide for her. They will whine about how bad and materialistic modern women are while forgetting one thing: marriage in traditional societies is much more a money-based transaction then in our modern liberal one, where most women have their own income or can easily get a job when needed.

Most women in the 1950s or before didn't marry chronically unemployed losers. At least, not on the level of lower middle class and higher. I personally own a Dutch 1960s book on manners which includes a section on proposing to a girl. The would-be husband is then supposed to be interrogated by the girl's father about his family connections going all the way to Grandpa and about his own income perspectives. Until early 1960s, the parents over here had the right to veto any marriage of children under 30 (yes, 30!)

Romantic stories written in the 1930s-1950s show that a "decent man" wouldn't propose to a girl until he could offer her at least the same standard of living as she enjoyed in her father's house (I read somewhere that in countries like Iran it's still an expectation).

Yes, things changed, I'm aware of that. Now it's common for young girls to waste the best years of their lives on penniless work-shy "artistic" types and for mothers of nursing infants to leave them in the stranger's care and help pay the mortgage and the bills.

Yet, it's rather amusing that there are men around us who ostensibly wish for return to "patriarchy" without intention to fulfill a traditional patriarchal man's duty: to provide for his wife and kids. Do some women have unrealistic expectations? Sure. Some men do, too, btw. However, it's a perfectly reasonable thing for a young woman who wants this kind of life to expect that her husband has a steady income and a house which he can afford without her cosigning the mortgage papers. 

It would be a lot easier, btw, if young people of both sexes put some money aside before marriage instead of spending it on night clubs and vacations, and if their parents  (and grandparents) did the same, like it's still happens among Easterners.

Once again, you can't both have your cake and eat it, too, and it's true for both men and women.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

What Did I Do Today?

I baked this:






And here is  the recipe.

I only changed a couple of things this time. I used plain full fat yogurt (3.2%) instead of Greek yogurt (10% fat) and I used 1tbsp of bottled lemon juice instead of freshly squeezed one. I didn't adjust sugar amounts at all which means that the pie is rather on a sweet side. And, it's really delicious!

Monday, May 25, 2020

Visiting A Roman Villa

These pictures from our last year vacation in Germany were supposed to accompany the book review about the Roman kitchen. The villa is authentic and not a reconstruction:





















Friday, May 22, 2020

Roman Kitchen

A book review. I bought this book by Jutta Meurers-Balke and Tuende Kaszab-Olchewski during my last vacation in Germany, in August 2019 and it took me about a year to read it. I would have enjoyed it much more if it were in the language I could understand better than German.

Anyway, it starts with a short introduction about Roman colonies all over the world and then switches to Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, later called CCAA, a Roman province situated somewhere between and around modern Cologne and Bonn. We get a short historical review about the life there in pre-Roman times, archeological discoveries concerning Romans, and general info about their food and meals.

Next chapter goes into great detail about Roman dining rooms, their furniture, their kitchenware and their kitchens with colour photos and drawings. We also learn about what the army ate and where they kept their oil and fish sauce.

Then the real fun starts as each food group is given its own chapter: grains and bread, legumes, vegetables, fruit, nuts, meat, poultry, eggs, fish, spices, herbs, olive oil, honey and the drinks. I learned that Romans ate all sorts of nasty stuff like wolves (yes, wolves!) and that being to a great extent lactose-intolerant, they mostly consumed dairy in the form of cheese and left milk drinking to Germanic barbarians. They also had some disgusting ceremonies with wine and wine mugs in the form of (I'm sorry to say it)  Priapus (don't let your minor children google it).

Makes you wonder why the EU authorities promote this Roman stuff so much, lol!

The last chapter deals with the transition period between the Roman times and late Middle Ages, and says among other things, that a) the population switched from cereal to livestock farming and hunting and they started consuming more meat than grain (kinda goes against paleo diet theories) and b) they started drinking less alcohol due to the influence of the Church.

I'd recommend this book to everyone interested in Romans and able to read German:)

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Careers For Future Housewives

What to do before you find your dream husband:

Job ideas for the future homemaker

 The future is not female, the future is family. Alena Kate Pettitt
 


Friday, May 15, 2020

Pandemic 10$ Shopping Challenge

Another great video from Quaint Housewife:



She is so creative and inspiring, I always enjoy watching her.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Corona Crisis, Vaccines, Bill Gates And Other Fun Things

That stuff is fascinating.

Well, we had a great discussion about vaccines, so I thought we should probably have another one:)

I watched a video by a young Dutch doctor yesterday who was wondering whether it's true that our normal life can't be resumed until we have a vaccine against corona virus, why doesn't the government promote healthy lifestyle more and whether a person without any medical education like Bill Gates should be in the business of promoting medical treatments like vaccinations. I would say that it sounds like reasonable questions.

We are now about 2.5 months into this crisis and it's evident that there are many things we still don't know for sure about this new disease. Before proceeding I'd like to put a disclaimer first. I'm not a doctor. I have some very basic medical education and I'm not licensed currently to practice medicine in any form. If you have any health problems you should seek help from qualified specialists anyway and not rely on stuff you read online. Below is my opinion based on my interpretation of facts (or what the news reports present as facts).

So what do we actually know? I think few would still doubt that this new sickness exists. It's also obviously different from flu in some ways and probably more infectious and more lethal. How much more? We don't know. Some say it has basically the same fatality rate, while others will claim anything from twice to 10 times as lethal.

The reason we don't know for sure it's because generally, only people with certain symptoms are tested, and then some will claim that the tests can give either false positives or false negatives, so they aren't 100% reliable. We also don't know exactly how many die as not everyone who dies with corona symptoms is tested, while on the other hand, some terminally ill patients who get covid-19 and who would probably die anyway are written down as the victims of the epidemic.

So as you all can see, it's a mess.

We do know about things like viral load (the more virus particles you get, the sicker you become) and that hand-washing and social distancing help, and also that the majority of new infections happen indoors, not outdoors (especially in care facilities), so the lockdowns in all probability helped slow the spread.

We also know that the primary risk group are the elderly (defined as everyone over 70 here) which some attribute to the vitamin D deficiency, chronically sick (especially heart and lung diseases) and obese/overweight (here they stated early on that 80% of fatalities were overweight, not sure if it changed later), so yes, the campaign about healthy diet and lifestyle definitely couldn't hurt.

As for vaccines, whether you are pro- or against them, a simple look at history will tell you that even before vaccines, most people didn't die during an epidemic. Even during plague, only about 1/3 of the population died. Some people are naturally not susceptible to (some) diseases while others will get only slightly sick. Otherwise, the mankind would have died out long ago. Also, when you look at the situation in the Third World countries where I doubt that everybody is up-to-date on their vaccinations, tetanus isn't the death case number one (but pneumonia is).

Again, from history we know that the infectious diseases come and go. Some circumstances like wars, natural disasters, overcrowding etc can cause outbreaks but after some time, they tend to subside and life goes more or less back to normal. Thus, stating that life could never ever be normal without an anti corona vaccine is probably somewhat exaggerated.

 However, modern liberal, open-borders, constant travelling, socialising and eating out society generally took a hit and without vaccine, we can't really say when it will get back to normal completely. Some people will still continue to be very cautious even after the restrictions are lifted, so in that sense, yes, without the feeling of safety provided by this vaccine life probably never will be the same again.

Should people be worried about potential vaccination campaign? Personally I could relate. It takes years normally to create a vaccine and establish its safety (and still many will complain about side effects, sometimes severe) and yet we are told in the news that an anti Covid19 vaccine could be on the market in a couple of months. How safe will it really be? And how effective?

There is still no effective vaccine against common cold (which they say is related to coronavirus) and and even though we have a malaria vaccine (again, something which is said to somehow resemble the covid-19 disease, they even use antimalarial medication to treat it) , it's relatively ineffective. In such a situation, I fully understand the reservations many people have about essentially, playing the role of a laboratory rat.

Do various political actors, including governments use the current situation to try and achieve some objectives/gains? Yeah, why not? Isn't it like this with basically everything that happens? Never let a good crisis go to waste. So if you are in the business of producing/selling vaccines, you'd naturally want to sell a new miracle cure, wouldn't you?

 If you are an opposition party, you could try and score some points by attacking the current government for its inaction or too zealous action, depending on the situation. One thing is sure, the common folk aren't given all the facts and they never will be, and another fact is that the opposition isn't always righteous and alternative media could try to spin the situation for some profit, too.

I think we should all try and behave reasonably in the current situation. Use your common sense, take rational precautions, don't go too deep into the rabbit hole. If you are a supporter of traditionalism, should you really be that upset about the current state of affairs?  Liberalism right now is taking a hit everywhere. Borders are closed. Bugman lifestyle cancelled. Pandemics happen, just like hurricanes and tsunamis. Natural disasters aren't a conspiracy. But taking vitamin D supplement can't harm, either:)

Anyway, that's my thoughts on the current events. You can share yours in the comments!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Teenagers Then Vs Now

Teenagers in the late 1970s

Interesting. I do agree we as a society have a problem, and not only with teenagers. It often starts by young children already.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Vaccinations: For Or Against

We had a demonstration today against, among other things, vaccinations. Apparently, there is a story doing rounds on the social media that Microsoft (WHO, Bill Gates, you name it) is planning to inject everyone with a microchip under the guise of vaccination against corona. I have friends in other (European) countries which tell me something similar.

Of course, I think that the story itself is ridiculous nonsense typical for conspiracy theories spread on (chiefly) American "truth" websites, but it doesn't change the fact that there is still a big controversy surrounding vaccines, their side effects and how useful they really are in preventing dangerous diseases. Personally I don't think that vaccination should be mandatory.

Some of these vaccines (such as the one against flu) have a high failure rate, while others protect against diseases that even 20 years ago, weren't considered dangerous at all (like chicken pox). I can perfectly well remember myself having it and recently read with great surprise on an American site (here it's still not offered last time I checked) how chicken pox is a horrible horrible disease and the urgent need to vaccinate against it. With such wildly exaggerated stories spread by  health experts, it's easy to understand why so many people don't trust the official medical advise on the issue.

Another problem with vaccines appears to be that the immunity they give is restricted to several years, unlike the natural immunity against diseases like measles which lasts the whole life. Still, there is a big difference between say, measles, and tetanus, or polio. Yes, I'm aware of the story that polio wasn't really eradicated by the vaccines, and is still lurking somewhere, but the fact remains that since the vaccination programs started there has been no  polio outbreaks here in Europe. In fact, since 1994 there have been no polio cases in the Netherlands at all. And those in the 1990s who got it were Christians who had refused vaccinations because of religious reasons.

Personally I don't see any connection between faith/religion and the decision to well or not vaccinate. For me, it's purely the question of health. There are many dangerous diseases out there, but there are also well-documented vaccine complications (and no, I don't think the parents of the vaccine victims are just lying for some nefarious reasons).

In my opinion, it is possible that many of these diseases are less dangerous than we are told and could be controlled by the historically proven methods such as quarantines, stricter border controls and the like, but as we are now witnessing with corona, it would make the modern way of life (globalism, consumerism, open borders and generally bugman lifestyle) if not impossible than at least, more difficult, and that is the real reason the authorities are pushing them.

The funny thing is that the same people who protest against vaccines also protest against quarantines which is how infectious diseases have been traditionally dealt with, but it's a topic for another discussion...

So what do you think about vaccines? Feel free to share!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2020

From The Home Front: Corona News May 2020

So how have we all been doing? I'm glad to tell you that the situation is slowly getting better. Though they are now performing 4 times as many tests as a couple of weeks before, the infection rates appear to be slowing down.  There are fewer people dying and fewer in IC. Supermarkets are full once again, and even flour and paracetamol are back on the shelves.

Dentists and IKEA got open this week, and both have it very busy:) Primary school children will go back to school again 11 May, though not for the full week, and kids under 12 are allowed to practice team sports, while children aged 12-18 are allowed to practice sports where social distancing is possible. They will review the rules again 20 May and I hope that the shooting range will finally get open so that my husband can practice again.

All the restaurants, pubs etc are still closed and will probably stay so till the end of summer, however many now serve takeaway. Campings are getting open, too. All the nail polish studios and hairdressers are still closed, I'm getting quite good at cutting hubby's hair, lol! You're still supposed to practice social distancing, not have too many visitors at the same time etc etc, but everyone is slowly getting more relaxed.

I think the current crisis highlighted some problems with modern economy. Manufacturing and agrarian sector, supermarkets, stores which sell essential goods are all doing fine, and the hardest hit of all are superficial branches such as entertainment (professional football, theater etc),  vacations, restaurants and so on and so forth. If a country's economy is for a big part service economy which is dependent on tourism and endless consumption of luxury goods/unnecessary services such as exotic vacations and endless eating out, there will be trouble.

Same is true when the economy is dependent on import too much. Luckily, we still have a lot of own production and are to a great degree food secure, with the exception of wheat which we partly buy from Germany and France. I don't know about the latter, but Germany will keep on trading with us so here we are safe, though I hope we'll increase wheat growing in the near future.

I'm quite impressed by the way our Prime Minister has handled it so far.  Though we were largely unprepared in the beginning, the government quickly took all the necessary measures, improved IC capacity and did everything possible to restrict economic damage. We aren't out of it yet, but there is light in the end of the tunnel.

How is it going in your neck of woods? Feel free to share!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Bronze Age Warfare

Other things are going on outside corona crisis (which thankfully, appears to be getting better in our neck of woods:)

A team led by Newcastle University examined thousands of marks on Bronze Age swords and staged experimental fights using replica weapons to better understand how they might have been used in the Bronze Age and the combat techniques that were needed.

Bronze - cast by mixing copper and tin – is softer than steel, meaning that it can be easily damaged. Until now, much speculation has focused on the possibility that because they are easy to damage, the ancient weapons were ceremonial rather than intended for battle.

However, the research findings, published in the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, indicate that not only were they used in active combat, but would have required fighters to use lots of skill and very particular techniques to minimise the amount of damage.

Read the whole article (and watch a video) over here:

Bronze age swords

Monday, April 27, 2020

King's Day

Today is the birthday of our king, but for many people it's been a stay-at-home day instead. Luckily, we have our garden/summer house so we went there:






















It was the last warm and sunny day so far.

Happy Birthday Willem Alexander and all the family!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Digging A Hole

This masterpiece was discovered by my husband:



I guess Wind Rose got a new fan:)

Thursday, April 23, 2020

How To Make An Ideal Sandwich

This below is my own invention and I'm quite proud of it:) I've been eating it every day since Monday!

Take two slices of brown bread and pour some olive oil (extra virgin, of course!) on one of them, and spread hummus on the other (mine is with lime and coriander)






Add a slice of chicken filet:



then cheese (I'm really a cheese head, it's one of my absolute favourite foods)

(cats like cheese, too:)

top it with the slices of boiled egg:

I like mine soft. Oops, it was too soft so I couldn't slice it properly, but it was delicious nevertheless!

Cover and squeeze slightly (you don't really need salt or pepper since packaged chicken filet is high in sodium and hummus is spicy):


Enjoy! Since the beginning of March we haven't eaten out due to the corona crisis, and I don't trust takeaway that much (I mean who knows which hands touched it and whether they were washed properly) so as most other people (according to statistics) we spend more money on fun foods, which we probably wouldn't ordinarily eat quite so often (like hummus which isn't very cheap, but I love it).

What about you?


Monday, April 20, 2020

New Dietary Guidelines + My Review

This is a free translation from Dutch Health Ministry's dietary guidelines.

Fruit and Veg:

at least 200g of vegetables. That's about what we usually eat every day anyway.

at least 200g of fruit. This one was new for me though we normally eat fruit every day, like one apple, one banana etc. Fruit is expensive, btw, and there has been some info passed around that too much can be bad for you, I even once posted a video on this topic. However, I've done some research which points out that fruit has lots of fibre and won't raise your blood sugar too much unless you eat tons of it/drink fruit juice instead. Definitely something to work on.

Fat and Oil:

Substitute butter and hard margarine with liquid margarine/vegetable oils.

This one is kinda strange. There is a difference between health effects of eating butter vs hard margarine or olive oil vs other vegetable oils vs butter. I would say, avoid all forms of margarine and probably most of the oils except virgin olive oil, cold pressed. Some butter is OK. There is some controversy going on whether to cook with virgin olive oil,  personally I use it for cooking/baking.

Fish:

Eat  (preferably fatty) fish once a week. Twice a week is even better, imo, and that's what we usually do (sometimes thrice even). Since fresh fish is expensive I chiefly buy frozen and canned.

Carbohydrates:

Substitute refined with unrefined, like brown rice, whole grains etc. Eat at least 90g of  unrefined carbs per dag. Not sure how they arrived at this number but agree generally.

Legumes:

Eat legumes every week. Agree generally, with exception of soy. Research shows eating legumes extends life.

Nuts: Eat at least 15g unsalted nuts per day. Again, not sure how they arrived at this number, but it probably won't hurt. I should admit I'm not a big fan of nuts, my husband eats a lot but salty variety (unfortunately, lol!). Something to work on?

Meat: Limit consumption of red, and especially processed meat. This is very vague. There is a difference between processed vs red meat in terms of health. They also don't tell you anything as to how much to limit it. I think there was a research called Oxford research which showed that processed meats should be limited to 20g per day and they had numbers for red meat, too, but I forget how much it was. I do remember they discovered that those who ate less than 70g red meat per week had increased mortality, too. We mostly eat red meat 2-3 times a week. White meat, btw, had no correlation with mortality at all so I guess you can eat it every day, as long as it's not processed?


Dairy: Eat some portions of dairy per day, including milk and yogurt. Again, rather vague but they explain it further that they apparently mean two 150g portions of milk/yogurt. Another website said 3 portions. They also say nothing about full fat vs skim which Is good I guess. Dairy is generally good for you, unless you are lactose intolerant. There is some evidence that milk can protect you from infections, and the same is true about yogurt. (No, it doesn't increase congestion). Strangely, they say nothing about eggs. Recent research shows eating an egg a day is good for you, and 2 can't hurt, either.

Plant Protein: Eat more plant- and less animal-based protein as showed in other guidelines. Again, vague. Also, there is a difference in types of plant protein. If you substitute your daily steak with soy, you may very well become infertile, and it goes both for men and women. However, if you just eat vegetarian 1 or 2 days a week, you'll probably be fine.

Tea: (really, there is a guideline on tea consumption:) drink 3 cups of tea (450g) per day. Sometimes I do think they are pulling it out of their...wherever. Of, course, there is nothing wrong with drinking tea and I think they want people to consume more tea than coffee or sugary/alcoholic drinks, which is fine, but why only black/green tea? I'm caffeine intolerant and mostly drink herbal teas or water with honey and I don't think my health suffered because of black tea avoidance:)

Sugary Drinks: avoid sugary drinks as much as possible. Agree fully.

Alcohol: none or in any case, no more than 1 drink a day. They are probably right on this one, too.

Salt: 6g per day. Not sure about this one so won't comment.

Supplements: Not necessary unless recommended. Disagree, Vitamins/supplements can often improve your health in many ways. Agree that you shouldn't just blindly take them whenever you feel like it but do some research and exercise caution. I think we benefited greatly from cod liver oil, personally, and probably everyone in our climate should supplement with some vitD in winter.

Well, that's about all. Thoughts?


   

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Keep Calm And Eat Marmalade Sandwiches

Here is some feelgood news for you all:

a 99 year old British lady survives corona virus:

What's more, great grandmother Rita Reynolds reckons she's found the secret to defeating the infection - eating marmalade sandwiches...

Yup, if Rita survived The Blitz by hiding under her kitchen table and reading a book, she's unlikely to have been too fazed by this whole scenario.  

That's exactly the type of person who you could expect to survive this sort of thing:)

She isn't the only one and not even the olldest any more:

A 106-year-old woman has recovered from coronavirus and been released from the hospital...

“I think the secret of her old age is that she is physically active and very independent,” she continued. “She had a hip operation back in December and within 30 days she was walking again. She really is amazing and I know all the family can’t wait to see her. She has quite a few fans!”

See above:)

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Work-Life Balance In Medieval Europe

Talked to someone in Norway today. Their government basically gave everyone 3 months vacation, paid out of the emergency fund. Of course, they are an independent country and don't have to support their less well-to-do neighbours (the privilege of not being a part of the EU), but it's another topic:)

Apparently, some people would consider such a long hiatus immoral somehow, yet historically speaking, people in Middle Ages used to have a much better work-life balance than we do now:

In her essay, the professor revealed that records from 13th century England show many families only worked 150 days a year on their land and in the 14th century, even servants often only worked 175 days a year. 

Their working days, though technically longer, were much more leisurely, too:

A typical working day in the medieval period stretched from dawn to dusk work was intermittent - called to a halt for breakfast, lunch, the customary afternoon nap, and dinner. 

'Depending on time and place, there were also mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshment breaks.'

While the article compares long medieval holidays with much shorter American ones, I should say that even in Europe, people typically don't enjoy 25 weeks vacations:

The medieval calendar was filled with holidays - official [church] holidays included not only long "vacations" at Christmas, Easter and midsummer but also numerous saints' and rest days. 
'In addition to official celebrations, there were often weeks' worth of ales - to mark important life events (bride ales or wake ales) as well as less momentous occasions (scot ale, lamb ale, and hock ale). 
'All told, holiday leisure time in medieval England took up probably about one-third of the year.' 

In light of this, 90 days off in Norway don't look like something really extraordinary, do they now?

Read the whole article over here.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday



File:Assisi-frescoes-entry-into-jerusalem-pietro lorenzetti.jpg

The image comes from Wiki Commons

It's Palm Sunday  today and the weather is beautiful. We watched the church sermon live online this morning and spent the rest of the day in our garden.

I'll post more tomorrow, have a blessed day!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Egg Cakes

I think the correct name for them would be scones, but that's how they were called in the original recipe which comes from a Dutch magazine, and I  cut it out so long ago (and never tried, shame on me!) that I actually forget which magazine it was and can't give a credit to anyone (I think it was some lady's invention  for her kids' breakfast but I'm not sure). I changed it slightly anyway, so I guess I can just share it with you:)

You will need:

200g flour (the recipe calls for almond of spelt, but since we still have flour shortages I used pancake mix: 20% buckwheat 80% white flour. It turned out fine but the scones were somewhat dry)
3TBSP honey (again, I used 3 tsp, as a result they weren't sweet, but we ate them with butter and jam anyway)
4eggs
1 1/2tsp baking powder
a bit lemon juice, salt

Warm the oven to 180*C, and line the baking tray with baking paper. Mix all the ingredients, and form round cakes with a table spoon, you should get 8 - 10 cakes. Bake for 10 minutes, serve for breakfast, lunch, or just by a cup of tea. Enjoy!



Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Should We Blame Women For Everything?

There is a group of people online who habitually appears to engage in doublethink: on the one hand, the females of the species are the weaker vessel never progressing past a teenage stage in their mental development and should at all times defer to male judgement (ever heard of the woman being the most responsible teenager in the house?), while simultaneously all the troubles of modernity come solely from women and it's up to women to change the world for the better.

In other words, women at the same time lack agency completely AND are the only persons with agency who can produce real change.

Sounds schizophrenic, doesn't it? Like much of what passes for deep right wing commentary on the internet, actually, if you think of it.

Historically speaking, women have always been viewed as more passive and thus having less agency than men (but not totally lacking it, otherwise they couldn't be held responsible for any crime), and by the same principle, men were viewed as the guardians of society, not women, as the s8x which is more active, aggressive, and thus having more agency.

And if women have less agency, you can hardly blame them for all of the world's problems. Some time ago I did a series of historical articles about some 19th century personalities who fought and sometimes died for the new liberal world order, and guess what? They were all men. In every war and revolution, men are always the primary agents with women filling supportive roles, and those internet warriors expecting women to fight their battles for them against the said order, are well, delusional.

The funny thing is that many of the ardent antifeminists online espouse some variant of libertarian philosophy and have a deep-seated distrust of all authority, yet seem to think that women should obey them unconditionally. It just doesn't work this way. First, here is some news for you, guys: Anglo-libertarianism has never been a tradition in continental Europe or other parts of the world, it's something which the victors of the last war forced upon most countries. For thousands of years, tradition in the West didn't mean "limited government" and "human rights", but rather "blood and soil" and "throne and altar", liberalism and later libertarianism were the result of the Enlightenment.

Also, "rugged individualism" isn't necessarily "right-wing", and not all collective action is wicked communism, either. In fact, there are many countries in the world with a very weak central government, like Somalia or Afghanistan, and yet keyboard libertarians never want to move there, by some reason.

Well, how does it tie to women's question, you'll ask? Simply this: too many of self-professing online antifeminists apparently dream of something like Little House on the Prairie situation, with the nuclear family totally isolated in the wilderness with the wife and kids totally depending on the good will of the father (who doesn't have to be legally married to the mother of his children so that she will have no recourse at all should he abandon her  because government wedding licenses are evil communist statism).

So the woman is totally subjected to the man, who lives in some sort of libertarian paradise. Well, it may sound appealing, but it's hardly traditional. Every community had distinctions between legal marriage, concubinage and just sleeping around. It was Catholic (and later, national) churches which kept records of legal marriages, which were very important since bastards couldn't inherit. In fact, my husband was able to trace his family genealogy to 1400s and guess what? All his ancestors were legally married with church records proving it.

Married couples lived in communities with extended family often near by, and ready to jump in when a conflict arose, with parishioners and neighbours nosing around and laws protecting the vulnerable. Married women always had rights, not only duties and their role as mothers and housewives was viewed as important and revered in society.

You see, the key point is "society" and "community", something which most libertarians have no use for. Do whatever thou will seems to be a leading principle for many, yet this principle comes out of satanism, not Christianity. Feminism didn't arise on its own, because one day women just decided to rebel against their menfolk, it's a part of a much bigger rebellion against authority and God's order. You can't fight feminism while promoting rebellion on other fronts.

That is not to say that we should always automatically obey authorities, even when they are issuing wicked and unjust decrees. There is place for things like civil disobedience,  protests etc but the general attitude of rebellion isn't an exception nowadays, but rather the rule. And, as I have mentioned earlier, the same people who deeply mistrust any authority (especially church authorities because the pastor told them not to j88k off while watching p0rn  because all pastors are wicked feminists who always believe women) somehow change their tune when talking about female submission and obedience. Another example of wanting to have your cake and eat it too, I guess.

There is another trend online of constantly blaming working mothers for working. Yes, in an ideal situation, the wife and mother shouldn't work, but many women who work nowadays do it not because of general wickedness but because their husbands fully encourage and sometimes demand it, because of the general acceptance of the bugman consumerist lifestyle with its unending demands, and especially because some are in a fragile economic situation. In fact, those who are pro-family shouldn't favour economic libertarianism, but vice versa, a society which offers more protection to those less fortunate.

I know that my country does it, that's why I'm freer with my criticism but it's not the same everywhere. You hardly can blame all working women for the way the neoliberal system functions and constantly droning on how evil all those working mothers are while not trying to reform the system built on usury and debt is hardly helpful. To sum it up, if your life s*cks, it's not always because some woman is trying to get you. Instead of trying to change human female nature, may be try to change the society which values financial concerns above all?

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Is Quarantine Biblical?

I still disagree with this guy's doctrine, but he actually does make a lot of sense:



Here is an article dealing with the issue from a Reformed perspective:

Rebellion Is Rebellion

Rebellion without a cause, currently glamourised in the West, is the result of the Revolutionary Spirit in my opinion (feminism is a part of it, strangely enough many internet personalities spend a lot of time decrying it while having a generally rebellious attitude themselves).

BTW, in my country religious gatherings aren't officially prohibited, because our Constitution guarantees freedom of worship and the government doesn't have the authority to cancel church, but they had a meeting with representatives of different religious confessions, including Moslems and they all decided to voluntarily submit to government recommendations to save lives. So this Sunday we followed a live stream (with video) from our church with 4 people present in the building: our preacher, the organ player, an elder and a deacon.

Catholics and some Evangelicals cancelled church gatherings even before we did, though Catholic churches will stay open for prayer/burning candles. In general, every country will have its own approach to the situation which is fine, because we are all different. Up till this point, I'm generally content with the way our government has handled the situation. They made some mistakes in the beginning, but started taking measures early enough which apparently work fairly well. Tonight our Prime Minister will tell us more. I'm curious!

P.S. I guess I should explain why denialism triggers me so much. Imagine you just lost a beloved relative. Funeral is going on, people come in and say, "condolences", "we wish you strength", "we'll pray for you" etc. Then some person comes in and tells you: "Well, I don't get it why you are so upset! Your relative was older and not that healthy any more and anyway, people are dying every day!" I don't know how you would feel, but my first reaction would be to slap them. Whatever your thoughts are on the issue and how different countries are handling in, please have a bit of respect for our dead.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Friday Update: Your Friendly Neighbourhood Edition

We had a robbery in the next street a couple of days ago. It was the 4th in our town, but three others were supermarkets, not a family with small kids. The neighbours on WhatsApp expressed the opinion that the robbers should be summarily shot and I'm inclined to agree. Overall though it was less crime since people are staying home more. Less traffic jams, less accidents, cleaner air etc. I guess every cloud has a silver lining?

Well more than hundred deaths per day today (yesterday was 78), but still far cry from Italy and Spain. One of my overseas relatives got stuck in Spain, btw, but luckily was evacuated just in time. We still can go outside over here, but with no more than 2 at a time not counting kids. I guess we are lucky, since my husband hears from his Polish colleagues that in Poland you aren't allowed out at all, unless for essential shopping or work, with a fine of 1000 euro (the fine here is 400).

So I went to my garden yesterday and we went for a walk this evening, because I'm getting kinda crazy from sitting inside all the time, especially when you consider the fact that it's sunny and warm. Everybody was nicely keeping his distance and there were in general few people. I guess we are pretty disciplined in our town, unlike some other places:)

Of course, we also have a roof terrace and I spent quite a bit of time there this week. Overall, I sort of got accustomed to the new way of life, and since my social life got reduced to phone calls and messages I discovered I finally had time to clean the house. Since housekeeper doesn't come any more I kinda have to do everything myself and overall it's going better than I thought (though it's a bother, of course:)

In other news, Prince Charles of UK tested positive but as far as I know has no symptoms, but Boris Johnson is sick with virus and has fever and coughing. Cats are quarantined, too, not sure, if I allow them to go outside since now they are saying a cat can catch it from humans, but not transmit, but who knows??? When outside they come in contact with other cats, so...

Well, that's all our news for today.

How are you all doing?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Heroes Among Us

An Italian priest who gave a respirator to a younger coronavirus patient he did not know has died of the disease.

Father Giuseppe Berardelli, 72, died in hospital in Lovere, Bergamo - one of the worst-hit cities in Italy.

Read the full story over here

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Friday, March 20, 2020

Keeping A Stiff Upper Lip

So we are all trying to do our best, though the circle is narrowing. There was a suspected case in the next street, and a friend's daughter had a contact through her work with an officially confirmed case. My husband has had a cold for more than 2 weeks but is still going to work, well, somebody has to keep industries of the country going I guess:)

The official advice is to stay home and only go out to work or store or walk your dog, with no more than 2 people at once. and as I have heard they are preparing a total lockdown including the German and Belgian borders (Germany still hasn't closed its border with us). So there is nowhere to run, either, it's just keep calm and carry on.

A relative of the relative in France sent an email saying that no one over 70 is offered any kind of treatment. A la guerre comme a la guerre, I guess. After all, that's what Macron said, that we are all fighting in a war:)

One could think that since I'm chiefly staying home, I must have lots of time and the whole house is shining...I wish it were the case but I'm getting constantly distracted by calls and messages from family and friends some of whom are close to a breaking point. At least, I still manage to sleep at night which is more than can be said of some others.

About cleaning, a pro-government newspaper actually ran an article about importance of good housekeeping to prevent spread of diseases. Apparently, microbes live in dust and dirt, especially household dust.Btw, I heard advice to wash everything with bleach to decrease the viral load. Naturally, folks in comments were asking how are you supposed to do all the regular dusting and cleaning the article suggests with both spouses working.

Makes one think that there was a good rationale between the traditional labour division, doesn't it?

Woke this morning thinking about that story:



While the situation on the ground isn't quite as desperate yet, there is a certain truth to it, it's only when you come face to face with eternity that you realise how much you love life.

P.S. I think the bit about removing veils makes the nature of their relationship quite evident, something which they knew how to express in those day without getting too explicit, unlike now. If they made it into a modern movie, we'd see close-ups of them in that garden! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Corona Chronicles Part 4, Economy And Staying Warm

So we went to the supermarket this evening. The reason we went so late was to avoid crowds which hang there the whole day. I mean how the heck am I supposed to keep 1.5m distance with all these folks running around? Well, I was incredibly lucky to find everything I basically needed, except fresh meat, that is.

The only items I could find was a) pig's tail, b) chicken liver, c) steak for 7 euro 2 portions. I thought chicken liver suits me just fine:) There was also no bread of any sort, but I managed to find some croissants for Saturday plus I have enough flour to bake my own. Flour is totally sold out, btw.

While many other businesses are taking a hit, supermarkets have had record sales last week, only surpassed by Christmas 2018 or so I heard:) Well, for some of us Christmas comes early this year. It's an ill wind and all that. Other sectors of economy are less fortunate. Luckily, my husband can keep on working and the government has promised them a compensation for their losses though some of seasonal workers will have to leave. On the positive side, less people less chance of catching anything (our own town has 2 confirmed cases right now but I hear they refuse to test unless you are practically dying).

So what do we know about the virus so far? It's not a flu virus, it's more like a mutated common cold virus which very easily turns into acute bronchitis if you are lucky and into full-blown pneumonia if you are not. Bronchitis is a nasty thing. I've had it two times and didn't particularly enjoy the experience. On the other hand, you will usually not die from it. So I bought anti-cough syrup of 2 kinds (codeine- and propolis- based) and other medications of the sort you have to rub upon your chest and breathe the damps of which hopefully, will increase our chances:)

A book I got as a present from my mom upon my marriage many years ago about food and health says if you have lung problems like acute pneumonia and tbc you should eat lots of dairy products, fish, eggs, meat bouillon and vitamin C. I have also done some research and apparently a big factor in not catching a cold in winter is simply to stay warm, that's why there are very few sick people in summer.

Here is the link to an NHS article on how to keep well in winter.

Things in Italy appear to be stabilising somewhat so keep calm and carry on! I promise next time I'll write about something else for a change...

UPDATE: Whatever you do, don't take ibuprofen or other NSAID, they appear to make matters worse, take paracetamol instead.  That's official French and British advice, our disease control center says it's not true. I don't know who to believe, but just thought it's noteworthy.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Corona News 3, Schools And Immune System


Some good advice from Sweden, from the Golden One.

In other news, though parents are officially allowed to keep their kids from school now, schools are still not closed, unlike in many other European countries, which brought with it a lively discussion about the 2 income family model and its consequences for society. An opposition leader posted a list of parties which voted for and against school closure. All the established parties, left, right and "Christian" were for keeping school open.

Those who voted for closing of schools were an interesting crowd: Muslim and Christian fundamentalists, immigration restrictionists (we have 2 varieties, for working class and a more sophisticated one), and a party for animals which is, surprisingly, quite good on many issues.

Now I have been following discussions on Twitter where people talk about how capitalism is detrimental for traditional family, as it's all about maximising profits, and I chiefly agree with many of their arguments. However, mainstream socialism, as we know it from the 20th century, supports the same two income model, as also proved by their voting patterns.

The conclusion: we need the Third Way. Fundie Catholics are right, distributism is probably the way to go!

Take care all of you and whatever happens, don't forget to wash your hands!

UPDATE:

As of now, all schools and nurseries are closed till 3 April, for the parents working in "essential" professions there will be care facilities functioning in school buildings. Our neighbours are organising volunteers to help the elderly, the sick and those who need childcare. My housekeeper offered to bring medicines around. I'm quite proud of them all.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Corona News Part 2, Should We Eat Pork?

The official news for today is 614 infected people, but...the government states that the family members aren't tested any more, even if sick, because there are not enough test kits. Since an average family consists of 4, the official numbers should be multiplied by 4 (and possibly more than that) for a more realistic picture.

The schools are still not closed yet, in contrast with many other European countries because of "working parents" evidently. Two-income lifestyle strikes again, I guess.

I have been doing some research online about the origins of the virus and came across a novel version, apparently there is a theory going around that it could have come not from eating bats, but from eating pork, especially undercooked pork, which seems to be a tradition in some parts of China. After more research I found a CDC paper addressing pig farmers which says that pigs can infect humans with flu viruses and vice versa, but you can't get it from eating "properly cooked" meat.

Makes one think, doesn't it? May be, Muslims are right about pork, after all? Also, why is it that the new virus can be treated by anti-malaria medication (chloroquine). Do we really understand the general virus nature and how they work?

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

From The Home Front - Coronavirus Edition

So by the last data we have 382 people officially diagnosed with corona-virus while 4 as far have died (3 were men, one a woman, all were elderly/in their eighties and possibly immunocompromised).  The majority appear to have been on vacation in Northern Italy or their contacts but they are still searching for the source of many infections in North-Brabant, the province which seems to be hardest hit as of now.

There is also talk on the internet that many exhibit the symptoms but are refused the test so it is speculated that the amount of those sick could in reality be much higher (which is very probable). I can understand the government trying to prevent general panic, but I hardly can understand those who still chose to go to Italy when it had already been known about many cases there.

An interesting situation is developing in Brabant about schools. On the one hand, it is recommended that both teachers and students alike stay home for as much as sneezing once (kids have been sent home for that) while on the other hand the parents are threatened with consequences if they keep children at home out of fear of infection.

There are definitely two camps online: the first consists of 2 incomers who *itch and moan and demand that the government provides them with free babysitters now that the schools and after school care are closing their doors, the second gleefully informs them that school is not free daycare, that they should raise their darn kids themselves, that they love money too much, and finally that they themselves (second camp supporters, that is) will keep their kids at home whenever they see  fit.

It's been fun to watch.

Stores in town are running short on flour, sugar, salt, honey, and canned goods. I have been doing shopping trips since last Thursday and have nearly enough at home to survive for about 4 weeks, since my freezer space is very limited I'm opting for canned/vacuum-packed above frozen as well.  The nearby supermarket hasn't run out of toilet paper yet, but they've had no flour for several days which is a bother since I recently bought a new bread-baking machine and am currently trying it out.

Instead of storing on flour, btw, I chose bread, fresh loaves to freeze and vacuum-packed which are good till middle May, plus Scandinavian crispbread. We eat lots of it anyway.

Situation in Northern Italy, from what I've gathered, is not looking fine right now.

How are things where you all live?

Feel free to share in the comments!

UPDATE: We now have at least one case in our city. Please pray for us!

Friday, March 6, 2020

The Nordic Bronze Age

An interesting docu:



A couple of things to notice, first, their culture was advanced and patriarchal, it's almost like these two things go together; second, they buried their dead instead of burning them like later generations did, so anyone claiming that cremation is "our ancestral tradition" needs to finally shut up.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Dangers Of The Internet


Today I'm not going to talk about the (very real) dangers of kids watching p*rn (something that would be forbidden in any civilised country), but rather about a more trivial matter: various online based self-help ministries which promise to drastically change your life/marriage/financial position etc for the better.

While there is obviously nothing wrong with trying to improve your quality of life, the problem with internet is its anonymity which necessarily means that the advice you get is (and should be) general only. For instance, you can find a lot of info about health and how to improve it, some of which can be really very good, but it hardly can substitute medical treatment when needed.

The same is true about child-rearing and marriage advice. There is no universal, one fits all technique applicable to raising children because they are all different and may need different approaches. More so, being Christians, we know that we all live in a fallen world and share a sinful nature. It means that you can do everything by the book and be the best husband or wife you possibly can, and still your marriage will fail.

Of course, there are some general principles which are too often disregarded nowadays and which, if followed consistently, generally tend to give better results than modern overly permissive parenting, but when we look at the Scriptures (and real life situations) we see that even children of the best parents can go astray (Adam, Abel and Cain; Noah and his sons etc). It doesn't mean, of course, that we shouldn't be trying to do our best, just that any manual which promises you 100% guarantee of best results is disingenuous.

When it comes to marriage, I have stressed many times that folks should be very careful in choosing a spouse. "Falling in love" is not a reason to get married when your future spouse exhibits immorality or abusive tendencies, and as Christians we shouldn't be engaging in "missionary dating". Don't marry unbelievers or people whose values are diametrically opposite to your own and who are unwilling to adjust.

Yet many people do exactly that and when their fairy tale starts falling apart, they turn to internet gurus for advice, and much too often, validation. Herein lies the problem, though: internet is not a real life. Instead of trying to use some fad technique (which are too often based on manipulation) why not ask advice from people around you, those you trust, like your parents, siblings or other relatives, and of course, your local church. It's especially true because different denominations will disagree about things like divorce and remarriage, for instance.

Yet, there is a category of people who apparently think that they are above such things like submitting to your local church authority, forgetting that it's the way NT church is supposed to function. There is at least, some degree of accountability in real community, there is none online. A pastor, priest or elder has undergone some training which includes dealing with conflicts and difficult marriages, yet anyone can set up a blog/twitter account/YouTube channel, you name it and start giving personal advice which is really a bad idea since it's impossible to get a clear picture of someone's situation in the relative anonymity of the internet.

Especially a lot of marriage advice circulating through various "spheres" is unbiblical, based on heathen understanding of human sexuality  and very possibly, dangerous. A lot of it comes from a weird fetish of some Americans for extreme libertarian ideas and opposition to every form of the government including church government. Yet, while the ideologues of this position basically are in rebellion against authority themselves, strangely they expect their wives and children to be in total subjection and treat them like Kings they are.

It just doesn't work this way, sorry guys. Little House on the Prairie recreated in modern times may sound awfully romantic, but in real life people are born into families, communities, tribes and countries, not into some weird Christian version of an Ayn Rand utopia (who was not even a Christian).

The rigid concept of marriage which many of these people promote and constant attacks on singles (unbiblical as well: I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I ...He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. 34There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 3) actually cause a lot of harm and portray a caricature of Chritian marriage.

It's like some of them  took the worst  progressive anti-Christian propaganda and decided to use it as the basis for their teachings (isn't it called "agree and amplify"). There is also too often very little wisdom demonstrated in addressing social problems of our time. Being a jerk isn't a necessary pre-condition to being a right-wing or traditional. Sometimes a jerk is just a jerk and is better avoided even if technically on "our" side. 

Please use discernment when being online:)
 

Monday, March 2, 2020

The Power Of Prayer

This is quite amazing:

Two randomised controlled trials tested the effect of remote intercessory prayer (praying for persons unknown) on outcomes in patients admitted to an intensive coronary care unit.1,2 Both studies showed a beneficial effect...

 The purpose of the present study was to extend these observations to patients with another severe disorder, bloodstream infection. As we cannot assume a priori that time is linear, as we perceive it,4 or that God is limited by a linear time, as we are,5 the intervention was carried out 4-10 years after the patients' infection and hospitalisation...

 Remote, retroactive intercessory prayer was associated with a shorter stay in hospital and a shorter duration of fever in patients with a bloodstream infection. Mortality was lower in the intervention group, but the difference between the groups was not significant. A larger study might have shown a significant reduction in mortality.

Read about the study over here. 


Saturday, February 29, 2020

At Least She Was Not A Housewife

“Women firefighters actually raised concern about what they have perceived as elevated rates of breast cancer among their cohort in San Francisco,” said Jessica Trowbridge, a graduate student at UC Berkeley and lead author of the paper. “As a team, we decided to conduct an exposure study looking at chemicals that are potential breast carcinogens.”...

San Francisco is ideal location for this investigation because it has more women firefighters than any other urban fire department in the country. Women make up approximately 15% of the San Francisco fire force, compared to about 5% nationwide. This is due, in part, to 1980s litigation and a consent decree that encouraged the department to hire more women and people of color.

“Women firefighters have benefitted from these well-paid, very honorable professions and now are facing similar concerns about the impacts on their health that studies have demonstrated in men,” Morello-Frosch said.

Women firefighters face high exposure to toxic ‘forever chemicals’ 

 Someone somewhere compared modern Western society to a demented old relative constantly trying to hang himself. You stop him once, you stop him twice then you start thinking whether you should even bother...

Thursday, February 27, 2020

A Decadent Chocolate Cake

Below is my version of an old recipe from Taste of Home which was originally called Fudge Layer Cake.

As you can see, I got rid of the layers and the filling, cut on the sugar significantly and changed a couple of other things, too, so you could probably call it a healthier version, though it's still quite chocolatey, so to say:)

For the cake, I used:

3/4c soft butter
ab 1c sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 squares dark chocolate (85% cacao)
1 1/2c spelt, 1/2 c wholewheat and 1c white flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1c buttermilk + 1/2c water

For the frosting, you'll need:

1c whipping cream (30%)
7squares dark chocolate (see above)
1/4c butter, cubed

Cream butter and sugar, then beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in melted chocolate. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt, add to the chocolate mixture alternatively with buttermilk and water. Pour into a baking pan, bake at ab. 175*C (350*F) for +/- 35 min or until done, cool.

While the cake is cooling, prepare frosting. Bring the cream to a boil, then remove from heat and dissolve chocolate and butter in it, stirring constantly. Transfer to a bowl and cool till spreading consistency (in the fridge for food safety), then frost the cake and let it set. Enjoy.

(Won't keep indefinitely and should always be refrigerated).

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Spring Fashions

I simply had to share this cute little dress with you:


Here is the close-up of the collar:


And of the pattern:



Isn't it a darling?:)

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Amazing Seniors

This is Britain, yes! in a positive sense: a 77 year old guy fights off a would-be robber:

The man pushes back the young lad, then throws up his fists and clocks him right in the jaw.

Be sure to watch the video, it's quite inspiring! It proves that you can be older and still in a decent shape.


Friday, February 21, 2020

Is This Why Modern Marriages Don't Work?

A rather interesting take:

Two income marriages aren't monogamous

To quote:

A woman with a job is provided for by the job, that is the husband. The man is the 2nd husband, it is not a monogamous marriage.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Watching TV Gives You Cancer

And other things.

We truly have a cancer epidemic in the West. While it's difficult to pinpoint precise reasons why someone gets it, there are well-known risk factors, and any recent success in fighting this deadly disease could probably be contributed more to the awareness campaigns promoting healthier lifestyle than any ground-breaking treatments , as this article shows:

 The rise and fall of cancer deaths track the rise and fall of smoking, with a lag of a couple of decades. Cigarette consumption in the U.S. more than doubled between 1930 and the early 1970s and has fallen steadily since then, according to the nonprofit site Our World in Data. Smoking raises the risk of many cancers but especially of lung cancer, which is by far the biggest killer, accounting for more deaths than colon, breast and prostate cancer combined.

Yes, it's not only about lung cancer, either:

Smoking causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon, and rectum, as well as acute myeloid leukemia (13).

The risks are higher if smoking is combined with alcohol consumption, but alcohol has quite a reputation of its own:

Alcohol use has been linked with cancers of the:

Alcohol may also increase the risk of cancers of the pancreas and stomach.

There appears to be the link to prostate cancer, too,  and to melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers. Still think it's cool to be a wine aunt or wine mom? What about alcohol and heart health? Grape juice appears to provide many of the same benefits:

Red wine is often praised in the media for its purported health benefits. But turns out, you don't necessarily have to drink alcohol to benefit from the health-boosting properties of red wine polyphenols: Grape juice made from red, purple, or other dark-skinned grapes contains those very same polyphenols! 

The next huge risk factor is being obese and overweight. Big may be beautiful to some people, but healthy it is not:


here is consistent evidence that higher amounts of body fat are associated with increased risks of a number of cancers (6), including:
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Esophageal adenocarcinoma
  • Gastric cardia cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Meningioma( brain tumor)
  • Pancreatic cancer.
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Thyroid cancer

Most impressive, don't you think so?

Kinda makes you want to hit this treadmill, doesn't it? But wait, exercise alone won't help, if you are generally sedentary, as sedentary lifestyle is another risk factor (with watching TV being the unhealthiest activity of them all):

Sedentary behavior was associated with a 24% greater risk of developing colon cancer, a 32% higher risk of endometrial cancer, and a 21% increased risk of lung cancer. When the researchers delved deeper into different types of sedentary habits, they found that watching TV was linked to a 54% higher risk of colon cancer and a 66% greater risk of endometrial cancer. For every additional two hours that participants spent sitting during the day, their risk of colon cancer rose by 8%, and their risk of endometrial cancer went up by 10%. They didn’t find a link between sedentary behavior and other types of cancer, including breast, prostate, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

It also increases the risk of kidney and bladder cancer. 

Contrary to some paleo claims, sugar on its own doesn't cause cancer, while processed meat does increase the risk modestly (according to a European study, I think it was Oxford EPIC study, the risk appears to raise when you consume more than 20g processed or 160g of red meat a day, with no risks attached to fish and poultry but I don't have the link any more), however, there is some link between sugar and cancer:

Consuming too many sugar calories can lead to obesity and high insulin levels, which would contribute to your increased cancer risk. Cut back on sugar-loaded foods such as candy, baked goods, sugary cereals, and sodas to reduce your cancer risk. Balance your diet with plant foods, fish, and whole grains—​parts of a healthy diet that have been linked to a lower risk of cancer. 

 There appears to be no one magic ingredient in your food which you just have to exclude not to get sick (outside alcohol, that it), it's more about overall healthy eating patterns and staying lean and fit.

And the last but not least, promiscuity: 

Experts found older women who had ten or more lifetime lovers were 91 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with the disease, compared to those who only had one.

Men aren't off the hook, either:

And promiscuous men saw their chances of a tumour rocket by 69 per cent.

 So to sum it up, the current research highlights 4 major risk factors for getting most types of cancer: smoking, drinking, being overweight/obese and sedentary lifestyle. Promiscuity and unhealthy diet contribute, too. There are of course, many more like stress, exposure to dangerous chemicals, in some cases family history, but most of those things are outside our control, unlike those factors listed above. Taking good care of your and your family's health is a good priority for everyone, so I hope this helps!

P.S. Here is the link highlighting the dangers of second-hand smoke. Among other things, it's linked to some cancers in children, like brain cancer. I seriously don't get it that some people still keep doing it...