The History of the Martini

The venerable Martini. Perhaps the most famous cocktail, and certainly the mixed drink with the most myths, stories and lore attached. It is also the one cocktail that has a following and its own brand of snobbery. You usually don’t here two people arguing over a Planters Punch.

The basic martini recipe is as simple as you can get. Traditionally, a Martini is made with gin and dry white vermouth, although, recently the Vodka Martini has become much more popular. The standard modern martini is a five parts gin or vodka to one part vermouth although few bartenders today would follow that model. The ingredients are shaken or stirred with ice, strained and served “straight up” without ice in a chilled cocktail glass, and garnished with an olive.

Martini purists are upset that vodka is now the liquor of choice when people order a martini. They insist it should be called a ‘Vodka Martini’ or if they are really picky a ‘Bradford.’

The amount of vermouth to be added is also a subject of great debate. The less vermouth, the drier the Martini. Today the most common was of mixing the vermouth is the coat the ice cubes in vermouth and then throw out the excess vermouth. Some progressive bars now use vermouth spritzers to coat the ice (thus saving a lot of vermouth).

Shaken or stirred?

According to true Martini drinker, because vermouth mixes easily and uniformly with its solvent (gin or vodka), a martini should always be mixed in a stirring glass. For purists, shaking “bruises” the gin and also chips the ice watering down the Martini.

However, thanks to novel and movie spy James Bond, who ordered his Martinis “Shaken, not stirred,” the Martini is more often shaken these days.

Shaken aficionados say, as with scotch, a little water creates a more rounded taste. They also claim the shaking action adds oxygen to the drink and sharpens the taste and distributes the vermouth more evenly.


The generally accepted origin of the Martini begins in San Francisco in 1862. A cocktail named after nearby the town of Martinez was served at the Occidental Hotel. People drank at the hotel before taking the evening ferry to Martinez across the bay. The original cocktail consisted of two ounces of Italian “Martini and Rosso” sweet vermouth, one ounce Old Tom sweet gin, two dashes maraschino cherry liquid, one dash bitters, shaken, and served with a twist of lemon. By the end of the 19th century the Martini, had morphed into a simpler form. Two dashes of Orange bitters were mixed with half a jigger of dry French vermouth, and half a jigger of dry English gin, stirred and served with an olive.

But it was Prohibition and the relative ease of illegal gin manufacture that led to the Martini’s rise as the predominant cocktail of the mid 20th century.

With the repeal of Prohibition, and the ready availability of quality gin, the drink became progressively dryer, with less vermouth being added.

The first reference to vodka being used in a Martini was in the 1950s but it was the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming and subsequent films that raised the profile of the vodka martini in the 1960s. In the novel Casino Royale, Bond’s recipe for his “vespa martini” was three parts Gordon’s gin, one part Russian vodka, a half measure of Kina Lillet aperitif, shaken until ice-cold, served with a slice of lemon. By the second Bond novel, Live and Let Die, Bond was drinking conventional vodka Martinis.

In the seventies and eighties the martini was seen as old fashioned and was replaced by more intricate cocktails and wine spritzers. But the mid 1990s saw a resurgence in the drink and an explosion of new versions. These new specialty martinis can be made with combinations of fresh fruit juices, splashes of cream, and brightly colored liqueurs.

Instead of the traditional olive, cocktail onion, or lemon twist, new garnishes such as marinated capers, fresh herbs, coffee beans or sun-dried tomatoes are being used.

Today, the Martini in all its versions has returned to its position as the world’s preeminent cocktail.


The Martini comes with its own folklore and many past martini drinker have their own recipes for coming up with the perfect or the driest Martini. The quest for dryness has taken on bizarre proportions.

Winston Churchill’s recipe called for pouring gin into a glass and then simply bowing in the direction of France. Alfred Hitchcock’s recipe called for five parts gin and a quick glance at a bottle of vermouth. Ernest Hemingway liked to order a “Montgomery”, which was a martini mixed at a gin:vermouth ratio of 15:1 the odds at which, allegedly, Field Marshall Montgomery would want before going into battle.

In the 1958 movie Teacher’s Pet, Clark Gable mixes a martini by turning the bottle of vermouth upside-down and then running the moistened cork around the rim of the glass before filling it with gin

The classic seventies TV show MASH took a satirical swipe at this dryness fetish. ‘Hawkeye’ working on his still says to his fellow military doctors “I’m pursuing my lifelong quest for the perfect, the absolutely driest martini to be found in this or any other world. And I think I may have hit upon the perfect formula…You pour six jiggers of gin, and you drink it while staring at a picture of Lorenzo Schwartz, (the inventor of vermouth.)”

Source by Kevin Marsh

Big Puffy Nipples – Help and Advice From a Fitness Professional

Big Puffy Nipples [or areolae in medical terms] are one of the most common manifestations of the condition known as gynecomastia. The word itself is of Greek derivation as a lot of medical and biological terms are:

  •     ‘gyne’= woman
  •     ‘mastos’= breast.

It is quite a common in males right from puberty to old age and, regardless of the age of the individual, causes a lot of mental anguish and embarrassment. I know this first-hand from my work as a Fitness Instructor as I have been involved right from encouraging a guy to see his doctor in order that he can get a diagnosis through to helping a guy after diagnosis, particularly with exercise programs and nutritional advice.

I know that it is difficult for a lot of men, regardless of age, to talk about their big puffy nipples even to a fitness professional such as myself but it is so important for a client to do this because then I can help him on a definite course of action. It is vital that the client gets a professional diagnosis and any advice and encouragement from someone like myself is not only good but necessary. So I repeat…the first thing that anybody with the condition must do is to make an appointment with their doctor first! I may be biased but the second thing a guy needs to do is see a fitness professional!

For those adolescent males who have the problem, the good news is that 93% will see it disappear within 3 years, once the hormones settle down. For the 7% in whom the problem remains, the cause will be fairly easy for your doctor to pinpoint. The remedies may well be adjustments of a dietary or lifestyle nature or medical measures to tackle the hormonal imbalance lying at the root of those big puffy nipples.

The two hormones involved are Androgen and Estrogen, with Estrogen being the feminising one and therefore present in too large a quantity as compared with the Androgen hormone. In other words, the normal balance of the two  hormones is upset.

In more mature males more possible causes come into play:

  • Some drugs/medications prescribed for other problems can cause hormonal imbalance. Again, a  physician will be able to rectify this.
  • Anabolic Steroid abuse will do the same. My advice is never to take any such substances in an effort to achieve quick muscle gains and turn a deaf ear to any of your peers who tell you that it’s alright  to do so. There have been many cases of bodybuilders who not only developed puffy nipples but had to resort to surgery to remove excess glandular tissue growth!
  • Marijuana abuse will also cause hormonal imbalance resulting in feminine-looking breast tissue, particularly under the areolae. My advice to the small number of individuals that I have encountered in the gym who smoked cannabis has always been to get help to give up the weed. In the UK we have many people who can help, from doctors through’ to specialist counsellors and all western countries have a lot of help available. For my part, I know from experience that getting a man on to a regular workout program will help enormously as the body produces its own ‘feel good’ substances called endorphins which help take away the craving for cannabis.
  • Alcohol in excess quantities will do likewise. What is an excess quantity? A maximum of 25 units of alcohol per week is reckoned to be the safe limit for men, a unit being a half pint glass of beer/lager or a small glass of wine. So enjoy a drink but don’t overdo it!
  • The ageing process can cause a hormonal imbalance resulting in gynecomastia. So all over 60’s should be aware of this and ensure that they do not carry excess weight, don’t consume too much alcohol and undertake regular exercise, with both cardiovascular and resistance work being necessary. Most fitness centres encourage seniors with reduced rates so take advantage!

There are many other possible causes, some serious in themselves, where gynecomastia is an added effect. These are dealt with elsewhere on my website  but those above tend to be the most common causes of big puffy nipples.

Many men try to hide their condition by adopting poor posture, wearing baggy t-shirts , sweaters etc. Some even spend $100 to $200 dollars [or more] on compression garments worn underneath these. Indeed, there are literally dozens of manufacturers of such underwear! It’s your choice if you wish to go down this route but my advice here is to regard these garments as a temporary measure! Here are five pointers to bear in mind when shopping for compression underwear:

  • Ensure that the garment fabric is of a three- dimensional stretch type.
  • Ensure that the garment is made of ‘lycrasoft’ or ‘tactel’ blends for softness and therefore comfort.
  • Ensure that the fabric is ‘breathable’, allowing moisture to wick away and air to enter.
  • Ensure that the fabric has an anti-microbial feature built in to prevent the growth of bacteria, mildew and moulds.
  • Ensure that the garments are of sufficiently good quality to withstand at least 30 extreme washes.

However, sooner or later remedial action must be taken and the good news is that there are now available other drug-free, natural approaches. I have investigated many of these over the last two years and include the best on my  website, together with lots more information for those guys with big puffy nipples.

I hope that the above help and advice is useful to you and remember, you do not have to resort to expensive surgery!

Source by Bruce Barker

Types of Mediators to Select From

When consideration mediation, one should consider the type of mediator he or she desire. Additionally, the type and style the mediator normally used during the process should match the personality of the disputing parties. In this regard, there are three basic types of mediators to select from. They are the social network type, the authoritative type, and the independent type mediators. Additionally, one should be careful in making a selection by doing some research if that opportunity is available.

The social network mediator is normally an elder from a town or village. This person could also be a highly respected community leader or tribal chief. There is also the possibility for a clergy person to fit this role. This type of mediator is normally concerned with the future outlook of maintaining the long-term relationship of the parties. One must take into consideration, that if in the minds of the disputing parties the mediator is one who will be neutral, then the mediator is a neutral party. The parties actually select this mediator because they really feel that the mediator can and will be fair.

The next type of mediator is the authoritative mediator. This type of mediator may bring a certain type of behavioral mannerism to the mediation session. He or she is normally well-respected, in the upper ranks of management, and has managerial authority whereby a decision can be made. Additionally, this mediator has influence over the parties and can enforce the agreement once one is drafted. This mediator is capable of disciplining the parties if a decision is not made. He or she also has influence over the outcome. This type of mediator normally work in the same environment or place of employment with the parties; he or she may be the president of a corporation where the parties are employed.

The third type of mediator is the independent type mediator. This mediator is the furthest removed from the situation. Furthermore, he or she will also have the furthest form of neutrality and impartiality from the disputing parties in terms of distancing. This person has no ties with anyone or any organization. This individual mediator has no stake in the outcome; however, he or she is still very much engaged in the negotiation process with the parties to obtain an agreement.

These are the basic three types of mediator to select from. Once again, conducting the applicable research to select the best type to match one’s personality to achieve the most effective and efficient outcome is best.

Source by Joseph Spence, Sr.

Epileptic Encephalopathies – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Epileptic encephalopathies are a group of medical conditions characterized by epilepsy which is difficult to treat and usually progressive in nature. This group comprises of eight age related syndromes which include Early Myoclonic Encephalopathy, Ohtahara Syndrome, West Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, myoclonic status in non-progressive encephalopathies, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, and epilepsy with continuous spike waves. Usually refractory to standard anti-epileptic drugs, these conditions cause a progressive cerebral dysfunction and related physical, mental, and cognitive disabilities. These conditions are usually seen in early childhood and are believed to be due to brain damage resulting from excessive bursts of electrical impulses, during the maturation stage of the brain. Severe cognitive, behavioural and neurological defects can be seen with these conditions, which may even cause early death. Affected individuals who survive to their teens display a reduction in the symptoms of epilepsy; however, residual neurological and cognitive defects are significant.

Most of the syndromes included in epileptic encephalopathies need to be treated aggressively with a combination of new anti- epileptic drugs. These may partially control the convulsions: however, the overall prognosis in most affected individuals remains extremely poor. In such a scenario, Ayurvedic herbal medicines can be judiciously utilized as supportive therapy in order to treat the refractory convulsions, improve and/or prevent cognitive, behavioural and neurological deficits and related symptoms, and improve long-term survival. Though being traditionally refractory to standard treatment, supportive and additional herbal medicines, given in combination and in high doses for prolonged periods – often several years – can bring about significant improvement and maintain the beneficial effect.

Herbal medicines which are useful in these conditions need to perform the role of reducing excessive electrical discharge in the brain cells, and preventing brain damage, as well as preserving and improving the brain’s structural and functional ability to the maximum extent possible. Herbal medicines useful in the treatment of these conditions include Ashwagandha, (Withania somnifera), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Shankapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina), Khurasani Ajwayan (Hyoscyamus niger), Pippalimool (Piper longum), Bala (Sida cordifolia), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), and Haridra (Curcuma longa).

Other herbal and herbomineral combination medicines useful in the treatment of these disorders include Bruhat Vat Chintamani Ras, Maha Vat Vidhvans Ras, Vat Gajankush Ras, Brahmi Vati, Sarpagandha Ghan Vati, Dashmoolarishta, Ashwagandharishta, Shankhpushpi Syrup,Saraswatarishta, and Unmadgajkesri Ras.

Ayurvedic Panchkarma procedures like Shiro-Basti, Shiro-Dhara, Nasya, Basti and full body massage followed by steam fomentation of medicated decoctions, may also be useful in the treatment of epileptic encephalopathies. Medicines like Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) and Dashmool (Ten herbal roots) are especially useful in these procedures. Shiro-Basti involves the retention of medicated oils on the scalp, while Basti involves the use of medicated enemas using oils or decoctions. Several courses of these procedures may be required in patients who are refractory to other treatments.

Ayurvedic herbal medicines can provide an additional as well as supportive role in significantly controlling symptoms, improving quality of life, and increasing the overall life span of affected individuals suffering from these conditions. Ayurvedic herbal treatment thus has a significant role to play in the management and treatment of epileptic encephalopathies.

Source by Abdulmubeen Mundewadi

Depression and Anxiety Contribute to Opioid Misuse, Suggests Study

Advancement in the field of neuroscience has identified how a change in a person’s mindset can alter his or her perception of pain. Besides the common risk factors, other elements, such as tissue damage, psychology, and environment, play a significant role in determining the way a person perceives his or her pain. The tailoring of new, innovative and improved medications to address acute or chronic pain that are commonly marketed as prescription opioids has assisted people overcoming all kind of pain.

Mental disorders, such as anxiety disorders and depression, uniquely add a range of unpleasant emotional feelings that tend to exacerbate physical pain. These disorders greatly dictate the way pain is experienced that suggests that mood disorders, especially depression and anxiety, can aggravate pain, as well as alter a person’s thoughts, behaviors and quality of life.

Due to the worsening of pain, a large number of prescription painkillers are prescribed to adults with such mood disorders. This ever-growing trend has become a matter of concern due to the close relationship between opioid abuse and mental disorders. This demands a thorough reflection over the kind of medications being prescribed to people.

51% of prescriptions go to adults with mental disorders

A study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine suggests that adults with anxiety and depression are consuming excessive amounts of prescription pills. The study by the researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the University of Michigan has been published at a time rife with the problem of opioid addiction in the United States.

Although the prevalence of mental disorders is only 16 percent among adults, approximately half of all prescription opioids are consumed by them. This highlights a major gap in the distribution of prescription painkillers, especially among people suffering from mood disorders. From the 115 million prescriptions written for opiates every year, 60 million are meant for the individuals with mental illnesses. This is quite an eye-opening data that demands adequate remedial measures.

Brian Sites, a professor of anesthesiology and orthopedics at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and lead author of the study, said, “Pain that you may report as a two out of 10, someone with mental health disorders- depression, anxiety- may report as a 10 out of 10.”

While prescription opioids could improve depressive symptoms in the short-term, individuals with depression are more likely to experience intensified pain and are less able to cope with it. As a result, individuals with mental disorders are more likely to appeal to the doctor for more opioids.

Doctors may be beguiled into prescribing more pain pills

To ascertain the prevalence of prescription dependency among the individuals with anxiety and depression, the study used national surveys of 2011 and 2013. The respondents provided information on their health and medication regimen. Based on the data and response, the researchers found that over 7 million people out of 38.6 million individuals with anxiety and depression are prescribed opioids each year. The findings suggest that adults with mental disorders are more likely to use prescription opioids (18.7 percent) than those mentally sound (5 percent).

The study also sheds some light on how doctors may be coerced to overprescribe opioids in the case of individuals with anxiety and depression. Most often, opioids are administered for a range of reasons, such as injuries, physical pain and recovery from an operation. However, due to the potent euphoric effects of these medications, there is a huge risk of developing an addiction to them in a very short span of time.

Because mental disorders and substance use share a notorious affinity for one another, it can be an arduous task for doctors to gauge a patient’s pain levels accurately. At times, even well-meaning doctors are susceptible to overprescribing pain pills while being empathetic to their patients. In addition, almost half of all opioids are prescribed by a primary care physician who is also no stranger to individuals with mental disorders.

Dealing with addiction

Opioid addiction has hit the U.S. badly. However, opioid abuse is also found to be colliding with the increased prevalence of mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety disorders, which are aggravating the misuse of opioids. These two conditions also tend to coexist in many cases that can lead to a more complicated diagnosis of co-occurring disorders.

Source by Barbara Odozi

Singapore – The Fine City

Singapore is famous for being the cleanest city in the world. Tourists will be astonished and impressed by the strict rules and regulations formed by the Singapore government. There are many posters in buildings and parks telling people what they should do, what they shouldn’t do and how much they will be fined if they break the rules. That is the reason why Singapore is called “the fine city”.

The Singaporean government wants to establish a clean and green country where all citizens are well educated and are considerately to others. Therefore they have set many strict rules as well as put a lot of instructions and reminders in public places so that people always remember what they aren’t allowed to do and everything is orderly. Children are taught at school and in their family, right from very early ages, about what they should do and how to behave in this society.

If you are a tourist visiting Singapore, you should be considerate and pay attention to every one of your actions. There are many things considered normal in your country but which are illegal in Singapore. You will be fined heavily if you litter or smoke in public places. Also remember to flush public toilets after using it so that you aren’t fined S$500.

It is summer and you enjoy lying on the beach sunbathing. However, if you are in Singapore, you mustn’t go nude or topless when sunbathing, even if it is your own back yard. It is forbidden in Singapore and you will be fined if you’re caught doing that.

Chewing gum is not forbidden in Singapore but bringing gum into the country in large amount is illegal and the gum seller can be sent to jail. Therefore, be careful with what you bring to Singapore. You can find more information about what is not allowed to be brought into Singapore by visiting the Singaporean customs’ website.

Drugs are strictly forbidden in Singapore. People trafficking, manufacturing, importing or exporting more than 15g of heroin, 30g of morphine, 30g of cocaine, 500g of cannabis, 200g of cannabis resin and 1.2kg of opium are sentenced to death. Possessing these amounts is also regarded as trafficking and equals a death penalty. Therefore you must not get involved in drugs in Singapore by any means.

Thanks to the strict laws of Singapore, this country is very safe and orderly. There is virtually no crime, no corruption and you are safe even when walking alone at night. There may be some pickpockets in crowded places. However, they are rare unlike any other Asian countries.

Every year a large number of tourists are fined during their stay in Singapore because they are unaware of the strict rules and regulations. You should read about its rules and regulations carefully before going there and be aware of every board, poster or sign you see. Being a decent person and showing your respect to others, you won’t encounter any problems and will have an enjoyable stay in this clean country.

Source by Michael Russell

How to File a Complaint Against a Texas Judge

Does a citizen of Texas have the ability to file a complaint against a Judge? The answer is yes. An amendment to the Texas Constitution passed in 1965 provides for the “State Commission on Judicial Conduct” to oversee and investigate allegations of misconduct by Texas Judges.

The Commission has authority over Texas judges, including appellate, district, county, justice and municipal level judges, visiting judges, and associate judges. It is made up of 13 members who serve six year terms with no compensation. These members consist of six judges from each of the various court levels appointed by the Texas Supreme Court, two attorneys appointed by the State Bar of Texas, and five citizen members who are not lawyers or judges appointed by the Governor. The Commission has a staff of 14.

If you think you received an improper ruling in a case, sentencing in a criminal case, or are moved to complain against an unpopular decision by the judge, these are not considered misconduct and your complaint will not be heard. This is normally calls for appellate review and these types of issues are handled by the appeals process.

If you feel you have a legitimate complaint you can call the State Commission on Judicial Conduct at (512) 463-5533 or (877) 228-5750. A telephone call is not sufficient to open an investigation. There is a complaint form which is used to open a file. The form may be obtained from:


P.O. BOX 12265

AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2265

You need to state in a concise manner the circumstances and the facts that led you to the belief of misconduct by the judge. Include any court documents or written evidence to support your complaint. Lack of judgment or diligence by a judge will not normally receive a review. Much more serious misconduct is required. Once the complaint is received by the Commission you will receive a written notice that the complaint is being investigated. If a reprimand, public admonition or warning is given by the Commission you will receive a copy of this as well.

The Texas Constitution requires that all activities of the Commission be confidential. The meetings are closed even to the person filing the complaint. They meet a minimum of six times annually and can review over 600 complaints during the year. According to the Commission, each complaint receives just consideration. Texans can usually plan on about 6 months for their complaint to be reviewed. That’s the average. Some can be quicker or take considerably longer depending on their complexity.

The commission has the authority to give a public or private admonition, a warning or reprimand. They do have the power to suspend a judge if charged with a misdemeanor involving official misconduct. This ruling is seldom given, and would normally be appealed by the judge involved.

Source by Ted Price