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Interesting Facts for January 2016

Did you know?

  • At the moment of conception, you spent about half an hour as a single cell.
  • There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.
  • Your body gives off enough heat in 30 minutes to boil half a gallon of water.
  • The enamel in your teeth is the hardest substance in your body.

Got any interesting facts or trivia to share? Please tell us below.

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TRIVIAL PURSUIT FACTS YOU MIGHT FIND USEFUL

North America and Africa
Percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28
Percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38

Ohio
There are no natural lakes in the state of Ohio; every one is manmade.

Pitcairn Island
The smallest island with country status is Pitcairn in Polynesia, at just 1.75 sq. miles/4.53 sq. km

Rome
The first city to reach a population of 1 million people was Rome, Italy in 133 B.C.
There is a city called Rome on every continent.

Siberia
Siberia contains more than 25% of the world’s forests.

S.M.O.M.
The actual smallest sovereign entity in the world is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (S.M.O.M.). It is located in the city of Rome, Italy; has an area of two tennis courts; and as of 2001 had a population of 80, 20 less people than the Vatican. It is a sovereign entity under international law, just as the Vatican is.

Many people say they are too busy to cook, but no one seems to be too busy to eat!

This is often remedied by a lot of eating out, take-out, and make-do meals. I’d like to encourage people cook and eat at home, so here are some of my tried-and-true tips for making cooked-from-scratch meals a daily reality, even after the most exhausting days:

Make sure your pantry and freezer are stocked with good-quality ingredients for quick and/or “emergency meals.” My pantry standbys include canned beans, quick-cooking grains (like couscous and bulgur), white and sweet potatoes, and pastas. Plus, prepared sauces like marinara, barbecue, Thai peanut, and salsa. In the freezer are whole wheat English muffins, veggie burgers, pita bread (for quick pizzas), corn and wheat tortillas. Basic frozen veggies include corn, peas, green beans, and spinach (all organic if possible!). With fresh produce on hand, there are a myriad of nearly-instant meals that can be created with these basics.

Plan three full meals for the week ahead, allowing for two nights of leftovers. And do so BEFORE you go grocery shopping to prevent running back and forth to the store all week for ingredients. There is nothing worse than walking into the kitchen after a long day without a clue as to what you want to make. I try to practice what I preach, but whenever there is a week that I’ve left unplanned, I really regret it! Just 15 or 20 minutes of meal planning per week saves lots of time and simplifies your life immeasurably.

On Sunday, try to prepare a couple of basics for the week to come. Cook some plain brown rice (or other grain), bake some potatoes, sweet potatoes, or squash. Bake a quick bread or muffins, or prepare a good pasta sauce. Knowing that you have even one item that’s already prepared when you enter the kitchen at 6:00 is a sweet feeling, and the rest of the meal then comes together quickly.

Once a week, make a big one-pot meal that can stretch to two nights—a hearty soup or stew, chili, a casserole, or something that can be prepared in a crockpot. Then, all you need is a simple salad and fresh whole grain bread to accompany the meal.

Keep it simple! You need not spend hours cooking or use dozens of ingredients to create tasty meals

The ant nebula

The ant nebula, a cloud of dust and gas whose technical name is Mz3, resembles an ant when observed using ground-based telescopes. The nebula lies within our galaxy between 3,000 and 6,000 light years from Earth.