Wednesday, November 15, 2017

'No-Shave November' participants often miss the point behind the cause?

Camel City Bikefest Best Beard Contest!

Why exactly are people forgoing shaving this month, again?

With the first week of November gone, participants of “No-Shave November” are already touting “Movember” as the reason behind their new facial and body hair endeavors. And as much as “No-Shave November” has woven itself into the cultural fabric of our generation, the purpose behind it has long been forgotten. Even I had to remind myself why people participate in “No-Shave November.”

Jody Goodwill
Apart from using the month of November to try out a new facial hair look (or leg hair look for those ladies so inclined), the purpose of No-Shave November has been left behind for bigger and better hair goals. “No Shave November” is a unique way to raise cancer awareness. “What better way to grow awareness than with some hair?” the “No-Shave November” website asks visitors. The goal of No-Shave November is “to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free,” says the site. “Donate the money you usually spend on shaving and grooming for a month to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.”

If you look up the hashtag #noshave on Instagram, though, very little of the message put forth by No-Shave November is present. Most of the posts have nothing to do with cancer awareness (there are, of course, people who post links to donation pages and proudly support “Movember” for all it is, but they make up a small minority). Sadly, No-Shave November has become more of a cultural event than a charity cause. People skip out on the razors, shaving cream and other grooming products during November but the real reason for doing so — to raise cancer awareness — is being replaced with a month-long adventure into the depths of hair growth.

Thankfully, there are exceptions. UT’s Inter-fraternity Council participates in No-Shave November and does a great job raising awareness of the cause behind the name. But as with many things that are driven by social media, the message behind the “No-Shave” lifestyle has gotten lost along the way to stardom.

If you’re participating in “Movember,” more power to you. Don’t forget why you are, though. There’s a difference between growing your hair out and fighting cancer via growing your hair out. If the latter isn’t your goal (and no worries if it isn’t), call your hair experiment something else. “No-Shave November” is a term that has been coined by cancer advocates, including the American Cancer Society. Unless you plan on adhering to the goals set forth on the “No-Shave November” website, name your month of no shaving something else. Or, even better, consider hopping on the cancer-awareness bandwagon. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

National Taco Day History

National Taco Day

Last year Americans ate over 4.5 billion tacos! We love our Tacos! That’s 490,000 miles of tacos, which could take you to the moon and back or if you prefer, could, at 775-million pounds, equal the weight of two Empire State Buildings.

The word taco is the Mexican equivalent of the English word sandwich. The tortilla, which is made of corn or wheat, is wrapped or folded around a filling that is generally made of spiced proteins - beef, pork or fish.

For National Taco Day this October 4, consider the countless variations you can create using traditional meats or with seafood, chicken, beans, cheese, and eggs. Yank out your garnishes – salsa, cilantro, avocado, tomatoes, onions and lettuce and you have a dish of great versatility and variety.

Some Taco History

For a dish so widely available, the history of the taco is really unknown. But according to taco expert Jeffrey M. Pilcher, the word originates from the silver mines in Mexico in the 18th century, when taco referred to the little explosives workers used to extract the ore.

These were pieces of paper wrapped around gunpowder and placed into holes carved into the rock. “When you think about it, a chicken taquito with a good hot sauce is really a lot like a stick of dynamite,” says Pilcher in an online article at “The first references [to the taco] in any sort of archive or dictionary come from the end of the 19th century. And one of the first types of tacos described is called tacos de minero—miner’s tacos.

So the taco is not necessarily this age-old cultural expression; it’s not a food that goes back to time immemorial.”
till others claim tacos predate the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico in the 16th century. Anthropologists say there is evidence suggesting inhabitants of the lake region of the Valley of Mexico ate tacos filled with small fish. The fish were replaced by small live insects and ants in the states of Morelos and Guerrero, while locusts and snails were favorite fillings in Puebla and Oaxaca.

Taco Bell is believed to have pushed the widespread popularity of Mexican food in the U.S. Founded in California in 1962, the chain of fast-food restaurants serves up a variety of Tex-Mex foods to more than two billion customers in 5,800 restaurants in the U.S. alone.

The hard-shell taco was invented long before Taco Bell, a discovery that would aid their expansion across North America. The U-shaped version is first noted in 1949 in a cookbook by Fabiola Cabeza de Vaca Gilbert. A device that would hold the taco in its U-shape as it deep fried helped in the mass production of this product. Kits are now available everywhere.

Taco Types

There are many traditional varieties of tacos, some of which include Tacos de Cabeza, which are the brain, tongue, eyes, and lips of a cow’s head. Others include crispy tripe tacos, shrimp tacos, and Tacos dorados, which mean fried tacos. Called flautas because of their flute shape or taquito, these tacos are filled with cooked and shredded chicken or beef and rolled into a tube or flute shapes and deep-fried until crispy.

Taco al Pastor, which means shepherd’s style taco, is the most popular variety in Mexico. It generally consists of spiced pork, which is cut in slivers from a vertical spit over an open flame. Breakfast tacos are served at many restaurants, especially in the American Southwest. This fried corn or flour tortilla is rolled and stuffed with a mixture of meat, eggs or cheese and topped with onions, salsa, and avocado. Huevos rancheros, anyone?

Ensenada, Mexico is said to be the birthplace of the fish taco, a claim many of the city’s restaurants try to make their own. The best place to sample them is at any of the small food stands that line the streets around the Mercado Negro, Ensenada’s fish market. The fish tacos served are small pieces of battered, fried fish in a hot corn or wheat tortilla.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Emotional! Songs lyrics, images all patriotic and Jesus honoring - SPECTACULAR!

When the Soldiers sing, BATTLE HYMN OF REPUBLIC with the fireworks going off over the top of the Lincoln Memorial - they even included THIS portion of lyrics: [Christ's name was invoked!]

"In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on."

 Other performance of the Army Choir singing: