Protein Discovered In Bacon Linked To Higher Intelligence

Bacon

Scientists have recently discovered a protein in bacon that is linked to increased cognitive performance.

The protein, called Secondary Carnitine Polypeptide (SCP), releases hormones that increase blood flow to the brain, thus improving transmission time between neurons and allowing for more neurons to fire simultaneously. The result is enhanced mental clarity in tasks focused on sequential reasoning and abstraction.

“It’s like dousing your brain cells in Gatorade,” said Dr. Christopher P. Boaranski, director of research and founder of the SCP Research Lab in Upstate New York. “Instead of tiring out and having a prolonged refractory period between firing, the SCPs are able to transmit several signals before needing a rest, and even then, there is a shorter ‘recharge’ time before they’re ready to fire again.”

To measure SCP’s effectiveness, Dr. Boaranski and his colleagues organized a blind cross-sectional longitudinal study of 240 students from a local college campus. Each student was assigned to a diet that included either two pounds of cooked crispy bacon meat a day or the caloric equivalent in other, SCP-“weak” foods such as tofu or turkey bacon. Another group was used as a control and received no change in their diet. The students then took weekly aptitude tests that measured their ability in areas of math, language and memory as well as cognitive reaction times.

“In the control group, we saw a 3 to 7 percent score improvement over the course of the study. These results were anticipated, as the average person improves cognitively with repetitive testing,” said Dr. Boaranski. “In the bacon meat group, we saw a 28 to 48 percent improvement, which is incredible for just a single dietary modification. In the group that ate the SCP-‘weak’ foods (tofu and turkey bacon), we actually documented a decrease of minus 13 percent in cognitive ability.”

This discovery comes in the wake of the World Health Organization publishing a study last year that showed diets with large consumptions of red meats to be associated with an increase in cancer diagnoses.

“We certainly don’t suggest anyone go out and start consuming pounds and pounds of bacon each day… there are some real disadvantages to overconsuming bacon,” said Dr. Boaranski. “But, as it turns out, bacon not only tastes amazing, it also makes you way smarter than people who don’t eat it.”

The next step is to isolate the protein into a powder for use as a nutritional supplement. This could help combat “lifter’s lurgy,” the post-workout fogginess bodybuilders experience while trying to add up the number of sets they’ve done, or be used as a pre-test stimulant for students.

Dr. Boaraski says he has already received interest in pre-orders for the powder prior to development. Since the powder would fall under the category of a natural supplement, there would be no requirements to have the substance approved by the FDA, thus greatly accelerating the time it will take for the powder to be available in the retail market.

“We are very eager to start putting SCP into other products,” Dr. Boaranski says. “There’s a whole new industry opening up here, and we certainly don’t want to be caught wallowing in the mud.”

For more information about the SCP Research Lab, please visit here.

You Won’t Believe What This Celebrity Does For A Day Job!

Life doesn’t always take the route you expected. Unanticipated opportunities and bumps in the road add twists to previously straight highways into the future. But amid changed plans is the possibility to thrive where you’ve been placed.

Doug Allen singing the National Anthem at a NHL Sabers hockey game.
Doug Allen singing the National Anthem at a NHL Sabers hockey game.

Just ask Doug Allen. At one time, he dreamed of success on the stage. Now, he follows two passions, singing the National Anthem for NHL Buffalo Sabers games at night and serving at the Buffalo City Mission during the day. He deeply enjoys and is passionate about both roles.

Nighttime at the First Niagara Center finds Doug Allen dressed in a tux, singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before each Buffalo Sabers hockey game. He’s been doing this since 1992 and became the main anthem singer in 2005. The ecstatic fans know him for his amazing voice and the way he glides across the ice, pointing toward them every time he sings, “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

To those in the stands, he’s a celebrity. He’s performed at their weddings and birthday parties and posed countless times for their cameras. (He’s even been featured as a cake topper for one fan’s son!) Few of these star-struck fans know of or could even imagine the completely different and humbling role he assumes when he’s not singing at the rink.

Doug Allen spreading salt to melt ice at the City Mission
Doug Allen spreading salt to melt ice at the City Mission

During the day, Allen is the facilities coordinator at the City Mission. He melts ice, checks lights, and tackles things that need fixing. It’s not the glamour he looked forward to as a recent graduate with a degree in music education from Houghton College over 20 years ago. In fact, it started out as a job he worked while pursuing a master’s degree. But it’s been somewhere he’s been able to serve for over two decades.

Why doesn’t Allen try to push for more success if he has the voice for it? The answer lies in the dedication he has to following God’s leading. If God has placed him as “the Anthem Guy” and a “maintenance man,” Allen is going to give these jobs his all.

Allen hasn’t let disappointment from his earlier dream hold him back. Instead, with his humility, music-making abilities, and care for others, he’s forged a new kind of adventure.

Sometimes A Simple Gesture Shows Who Someone Really Is

12809588_10204917531772261_2384137872810786150_n

 

Jonathan A. Stormz

I watched as this young kid was walking pass, stopped and walked over to this sleeping homeless man; touched him and began praying over him… This was an amazing sight! I pray this kid becomes a leader amongst his peers, and continues on this path…

I HAD to post this!!

A Guy In New York Is Selling Air For $800 A Bottle!

Is there such a thing as finely crafted, sociologically responsible bottled air?  Apparently there is!

In Houghton NY, at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, a guy named Sean Avery has begun the first American based artisan air company called Appalachian Air Company and is selling what he calls a much more premium air.

“I first heard about selling air in a news story about two women in Europe,” states Avery. “I said to myself, this is something that needs to be of a higher quality and I am the man to do it.”

Melanie and Francesca De Watts, a pair of sister over in the British Isles, are using solid nets to “harvest” the air around the English countryside and then selling it for over $200 to  people in smog infested China.

Avery’s price is much higher, as in $799.95 per 32oz bottle.

According to Avery, the extra cost gets you several benefits: they put their air through a 27 step purification process to ensure it’s as clean as possible, and you can even order it infused with fruit, or captured at certain heights for certain clarities.  It is also Gluten Free, GMO Free, BPA Free, Vegan Friendly, Free Range, Fair Trade and USDA Organic.

I’m personally waiting for the New Mexican desert, Hot Sand, which I am sure will have an amazing texture and taste!

Visit their website at www.AppalachianAirCo.webs.com

The April Fools Joke That Fooled Them All

bigstock-April-calendar-55706249-1024x768Every year, April 1st is a day to demonstrate your ability to use food coloring, packaging tape, air horns, and other carefully selected materials in one amazing plan to prank your friends and family.

Placing a bucket of water above a doorway is an old standby…but the rise of the internet has provided a new outlet for people to take April Fools to the next level, playing pranks on larger audiences—pranks like the one Houghton College pulled in 2015.

FMG0LFKG7DY6LJ3.RECT2100

Any student who attends this small Christian college will agree that it gets cold in the winter. Located about an hour from Buffalo, New York, Houghton’s campus gets its fair share of snow. The solution? Create a way to keep the temperature at 74 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

Houghton sent out a press release this past April that $84 million dollars had been raised to construct a bio-dome over its campus. But unlike the dome covering a tropical island resort in Germany (the real-life place on which the prank dome had reportedly been based), Houghton’s dome would be transparent and translucent.

Houghton College Bio-Dome
Houghton College Bio-Dome

The press release contained quotes from college personnel, information about the material to be used in construction (Living Polycarbonate Plastic (LPP)), and the ways the dome would lessen energy/snow-related costs for the college. It even included an artist’s rendering, which depicted the campus, complete with a swimming pool and palm trees, beneath a giant bubble.

It looked real enough to be believed; major news agencies, TV, radio and newspapers even ran it as a legitimate story.

It was also ranked as one of the best April Fools jokes of 2015 by Buffalo.com and on Blog.Case.org.

Laughter is an important part of anyone’s life, and even colleges can take the time to generate a few chuckles. It’s never too early to begin planning the next elaborate prank. What will you do this coming April Fools?

Original press-release here

This Guy Thinks God Wants Him To Be Homeless, You Won’t Believe What He Does!

Does this homeless man feel called by God to be homeless and serve those in need?

Author: Hi Uan Kang Haaga
Photography: Hi Uan Kang Haaga
Story from “29 Stories of February: Story Fifteen”

Lance hasn’t seen his three kids in 18 months.  He has been on 19th & Pennsylvania, NW for 15 months. Everybody who has been to Foggy Bottom area [Washington, D.C.], knows Lance. He is a permanent fixture of the area, and when I tell him that he must have been here longer than 15 months, he says, “Everyone says that! Everyone says I’ve been here forever, but no, just 15 months.”Lance, a homeless man on the streets of Washington D.C who distributes needed necessities to other homeless people. Lance is featured in story #15 of 29 Stories of February

He felt his whole life that he should be a minister, but he joined the Navy, and worked as a chef.  After losing custody of his children, he felt God say that he should stay on this street corner, between the World Bank and the IMF, a block from George Washington University, and two blocks from the White House.  He has only left the corner when forcibly removed by the Metropolitan Police during blizzards and storms.

119A6627 (1)

To every person walking by, he says, “God bless you, thank goodness its Friday, you have a blessed day weekend!”  He reminds couples that they should remember Valentines day coming up, to enjoy the weekend, and that God loves them.
119A6649

He is always playing WGTS 91.9, the Christian radio station, and he is surrounded by supplies for the homeless: water, food, hygiene products and clothes for women, toilet paper, gloves and hats.

119A6613

I told him that I’ve met several homeless women who desperately needed sanitary pads and clothes around the city, and he agrees that the need is great.  Many cannot get access to bathrooms when they need it, and he hands out rolls and rolls of toilet paper to help out.  Many people around the city donate supplies so that he can help others experiencing homelessness.

Untitled-1

Lance has contributed to District Displaced, a project giving instant cameras to people experiencing homelessness, and encouraging them to share their story through photography.  He tells those walking by to remember the homeless; that they are on the street whether its cold or hot.  To see his photos, click here.

For more stories from the project, “29 Stories of February”, click here.

This College Student Is Laying Down Tracks And Is About To Jump Out In A Big Way!

Imagine being in college full-time, busy with classwork, homework and everyday craziness… now imagine all of that and at the same time writing music, performing in a band and recording a professional soundtrack!  This is the life of Houghton College junior Laura Johnson and she is about to launch a full album of original music under the name “The Sorrow Estate,” becoming the first student in the college’s 133-year history to independently release a full album of music while in school.

News-Page-Pic

 

“It took seven years of writing for me to get to a point where I feel like my songs are complete,” said Johnson, a writing major with minors in communications and music.

Johnson’s group has already recorded their first three songs at Starfields Productions in Buffalo, N.Y., and plan to record the rest of the songs at EMA Productions.  They have also had their crowdfunding campaign featured on the front of Indiegogo’s website.

News-Page-Pic

The project was set in motion with help from Johnson’s music professors and connections as well as the funding she hopes to receive from a IndieGogo funding campaign. Johnson, who wrote all ten tracks on the record, both sings and plays guitar.

The Indiegogo campaign has already received over $1,700 in the first five days, funding 35 percent of the total $5,000 goal.

“I have guided her with regard to the final mix of the project at an amazing studio and mix engineer in Rochester, N.Y.,” said Houghton music industry professor Kevin Jackson, who has mentored Johnson throughout this process. “Laura has been consistently writing. It hasn’t just transpired overnight. She has poured herself and her soul into her songs and music.”

Johnson’s band comprises James Johnson, bass; Marc LeGrand, lead guitar; Chelsea Lee, vocals and piano; and Shehan Rodrigo, drums.

The smooth-sounding folk/alternative album will be released this May with some lucky supporters receiving a personal house concert. One of the most popular singles is “Let’s Just Be” and can be heard here.  To learn more, visit indiegogo.com/thesorrowestate.

He Owned The Dream, And Then Made it Happen!

Have you ever been so passionate about something that you would do anything to achieve your dream? Paul Bussi sure did! He set his sights to get paid to photograph alpine ski racing at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics—and he did it.

Photo by Thor Kallerud

As a skier, instructor, and photographer, Paul is constantly focusing on a goal. He started his career by pursuing social work but eventually realized it was not what he was truly passionate about.

Skiing was his real passion, so he moved west, became a ski instructor, and never turned back. Paul held the position for 17 more years. He also owned a small outdoor painting business to keep him busy during the summers.

Photo by Dan Stebbins

By 2008, Paul decided that, after years of making photography a hobby, he would start taking it more seriously. He wanted to incorporate his photography with skiing, so he made it his goal to become a photographer at the Winter Olympics. He just had to figure out how to get that job.

He first contacted the US Ski Team and photographed some of them. However, he quickly realized that photojournalism was the pathway to his goal, so he started a portfolio. He submitted some photographs to The Associated Press, but that, too, was a dead end.

In 2012, Paul went to a portfolio review in New York City and spoke with a representative from Sports Illustrated who suggested he start at small organizations. He took the advice and got a position at US Press Wire, where he got the opportunity to photograph the Men’s and Women’s World Cup and the X Games.

Shawn White at the X Games: Photo Credit- Paul Bussi-USA TODAY Sports
Shawn White at the X Games: Photo Credit- Paul Bussi-USA TODAY Sports

 

During this time, USA Today Sports was acquiring US Press Wire—and as it worked out, that was Paul’s ticket to the Olympics. By July, 2013, the company had his ticket and credentials all lined up for the 2014 Winter Olympics. His goal became a reality.

(Paul Bussi, USA TODAY Sports 2

Paul’s story shows how, sometimes, dreams take several years to accomplish, but if we’re dedicated to pursuing our passions, dreams can become reality. Career paths and money do not determine our success; rather, we thrive most when we live out our dreams and do something we truly enjoy.

Dec 6, 2013; Beaver Creek, CO, USA; Alexander Bouillot (FRA) during the men's downhill at the FIS alpine skiing World Cup at Beaver Creek Mountain. Mandatory Credit: Paul Bussi-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-164538 ORIG FILE ID: 20131206_jla_bb8_212.jpg
Alexander Bouillot (FRA) during the men’s downhill at the FIS alpine skiing World Cup at Beaver Creek Mountain. Credit: Paul Bussi-USA TODAY
 Krasnaya Polyana, RUSSIA; Marit Bjoergen (NOR) (02) passes the Olympic rings as she leads Therese Johaug (NOR) and Charlotte Kalla (SWE) in the ladies skiathon during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center. Mandatory Credit: Paul Bussi-USA TODAY Sports
Krasnaya Polyana, RUSSIA; Marit Bjoergen (NOR) (02) passes the Olympic rings as she leads Therese Johaug (NOR) and Charlotte Kalla (SWE) in the ladies skiathon during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center. Mandatory Credit: Paul Bussi-USA TODAY Sports

 

10349202_10152395635531273_5957112318227039857_n


1907654_10152395634711273_5180455106427750311_n

 

Until Death Do Us Part: A Real Life Fairytale

”Until death do us part,” these words are heard at weddings around the world, and for many, those same words conjure the image of a long-lasting marriage with the fairytale ending;  an elderly couple holding hands for one last night’s sleep before both passing together onto the next life.  Now insert reality…as these fairytale endings are more a thing of fiction than fact…usually seen only in movies.

9283513_1280x720

That was until we were contacted by Doug Strong , a second generation Houghton College graduate. You see, Doug’s connection to Houghton began well before he was born; over 70 years ago, when his mother, Mary Tiffany  (Class of 1940), began her freshman year at Houghton College in the fall of 1937. At that time, each new student was given an upper-class ‘big sister’ or ‘big brother’ to help orient them to new and sometimes overwhelming experience of college life. Mary‘s ‘big sister’ was a junior also named Mary, Mary (Madwid ’38) Hurd.  Mary Hurd helped Mary Tiffany find her way around campus, get through ‘Frosh Week,’ navigate dorm life in Gayeodaeo and the occasional tea party on the quad. Houghton was also where Mary Tiffany met the love of her life and husband to be, Clinton Strong  (class of 1941). And in 1944, after each had graduated, they were married.

2

Over the next 60 plus years, Mary and Clinton led a fulfilling life together: Mary taught high school and worked as a librarian at the Buffalo Public Library while Clinton was studying hard in medical school and doing his residency.  He set up his family physician practice in Holland, N.Y. and she volunteered with several organizations.

They welcomed the blessing of a baby boy, Douglas, in 1956, and Clinton became known as the quintessential country doctor, the “Doc” who delivered over two thousand babies and braved blizzards on house calls to help those in need.

left to right: Mary (Madwid) Hurd, Clinton Strong, Mary (Tiffany ) Strong

They were known to be gracious hosts; holding leadership positions in both the community and in their church.

After Clinton retired from his practice in 1998, the two packed up and moved to a retirement community in Buckeystown, Md., and eleven years later, in 2009, as their care needs increased they relocated again to Cristwood Park retirement community in Shoreline, Washington. In both cases, their moves allowed them to be close to their son Doug and daughter-in-law Cynthia and their beloved grandsons Timothy and Nathaniel.

our-communities-full

When Clinton and Mary relocated to Washington, they were 90 and 91 years old. It was an emotionally difficult move for the both of them, Mary in particular as she was sad about leaving all of her lifelong connections on the east coast. But at the very first dinner at their new home in Cristwood Park (a senior citizen assisted living center), an elderly woman walked up to Mary, looked at her and asked, “Are you Mary Tiffany?” Surprised, Mary said, “Yes,” and then discovered that the woman was Mary (Madwid ’38) Hurd, her “big sister” from when she was a freshman at Houghton college. “Seventy years ago, I was assigned to help you get accommodated to Houghton,” Hurd said. “Now I will do the same for you here.”

For the last few years of their lives, Mary Hurd (and believe it or not, other Houghton alums at Cristwood Park) did in fact provide a connection for Mary and Clinton, 3,000 miles away from where they all first met some 70 years before at Houghton College.

Mary (Tiffany) Strong went to be with the Lord at the blessed age of 95 on Sunday, December 29, 2013.  One might say that this was a fairytale ending… but the story is not over.   You see, exactly five weeks later, also on a Sunday, Clinton, Mary’s husband of almost 70 years, also went to be with God.

mary-strong

It is stories like this that illustrate the true understanding of what the value of building true life-long relationships really mean.  In a world where education is often viewed as an “online” experience, going to and living at a college can help instill a deep connection to others, a sense of community that will reverberate throughout the decades of our lives.  Houghton is one example of a college that is not just a place with trees, roads and buildings, not just a thing you can passively do at your computer… it is part of the very foundation that will set the tone of who we will be for the rest of our lives.

Coffee + God = A Better World

What if a coffee was named after you? What if your daily routine could revolve around drinking, making, and smelling coffee? What if, through coffee, you could change the world for the better? Sounds like a dream, right? Well, this kind of life is a reality for Justin Carabello and his wife, Emily.

Emily and Justin Carabello - Photo: Jesse Fox
Emily and Justin Carabello – Photo: Jesse Fox

Coffee is not only their job but also a way to financially support those in need. The couple created a coffee company called Carabello Coffee based in northern Ky., just south of the Cincinnati, which builds relationships with coffee bean farmers from across the world, sells their coffee, and then puts money back into those communities.

Carabello Coffee

Beyond covering the cost of the beans and the roasting process, all proceeds from Carabello Coffee go directly to helping people in need. The business’ main ministry has been to support an orphanage in Nicaragua. The 18 children living there were rescued from a dump in 2007 and have been greatly blessed through funding from the roasting business. They have seen transformation in the kids from shy, scrawny, and underdeveloped to healthy and thriving. Coffee has truly helped these children be able to cherish life.

Carabello Coffee

Beginning in December of 2011, Justin and Emily started partnering with Luis Alberto Balladarez, a local Nicaragua coffee farmer, pastor, and friend from whom they had been buying beans. Luis provides 1,500 pounds of coffee to the couple to sell each year. In building this partnership, all Luis asked was that the company send their profit to people in need.

Luis
Luis

The couple has truly seen God be active in the ministry of their business. The couple came to many barriers while starting out. However, on every step of the journey, whenever they thought it might not go any further, God pulled things off they couldn’t even have imagined. Not only has coffee become a business for Justin and Emily, but they’ve also been able to live out and share the Gospel with nonbelievers through the process.

Justin and Emily’s story is a great reminder that even a small hobby, like roasting coffee, can turn into something powerful and help people all over the world. Whatever you enjoy doing, keep at it passionately, and dream big in what God can do with it!