Archive for November, 2009

Whitney gave a sincere, stirring performance at the American Music Awards. (pic:Getty Images)

Whitney Houston gave a sincere, stirring performance at the American Music Awards (pic: Getty Images)

We all love a comeback story.

At the American Music Awards last night, when Samuel L. Jackson announced that Whitney Houston would be performing her first live television performance in five years, I’m sure some of the her fans watching were a little anxious, hoping that she could pull it off.

Well, she did, with a stirring performance of “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength“. There were also moments of that soaring voice that has distinguished her career. The camera showed Reba McEntire teary-eyed and Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Kristina quietly beaming at her mother’s success. Whitney was presented with the International Artist of the Year award, and in her speech, she thanked her fans for standing by her through the years.

Sometimes, we need a feel-good story, to give some inspiration, some hope. Or just to feel goodwill towards another person. God bless everyone who is going through any pain or any challenges, whether emotional or financial. The phoenix can rise again.

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Apples display at Bellagio Gardens

A magnificent fall display featuring apples. The photo was taken at the Bellagio Gardens in Las Vegas.

Fall is the season for apples. With all the varieties available for cooking as well as for decorating, I’m jotting some random thoughts on the fruit:

  • When I was a kid, eating green apples with salt was a favorite treat. In the tropics, where I grew up, the apple had the cachet of being a somewhat exotic fruit for us. My friends and I enjoyed the salt-dipped apples while we sat in our shady backyard, yakking about games and the other neighborhood kids.
  • Today, one of my favorite apple treats is homemade apple crumble, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • The texture of raw apples helps to “scrub” or clean the teeth.
  • In China, apples symbolize peace.

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 Microwave oven

The microwave oven has changed the way we spend our time in the kitchen.

Can you imagine it? The microwave oven has become such a fixture in our lives and in our kitchens that we use it, without much thought, almost everyday.

We heat our food in it, we boil water for our tea or coffee in it, and some people cook dishes from scratch in the microwave. In the United States, the “convenience food” capital of the world,
you can have all your meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, even `freshly made’ desserts – with microwavable meals that you buy in the freezer section in the supermarket. Just take it out of the box and nuke it.


Popcorn and sandwiches are popular microwave snacks.

Not that it’s healthy, but there’s a huge variety of food that you can eat without putting a saucepan on the stove.

I got thinking about this when I happened to read about the history of this ubiquitous appliance. The first microwave oven for home use was introduced in October 1955 by the Tappan Stove Company of Ohio. Its size was 24”x24”, almost the size of a small conventional oven or a television set. And it cost a whopping $1,300!

As they say in the famous line, you’ve come a long way, baby, So, happy belated birthday to the microwave oven, one of the modern inventions that have revolutionized our lifestyle, like the automobile and the computer. Wonder if we will see another such innovative invention in the near future.

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