A newsletter from the publisher of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
To ensure delivery of this newsletter add firstname.lastname@example.org to your white list or e-mail address book.
Remember to bookmark our site http://www.almanac.com for fast, easy access!
If you’d like to view this newsletter in your browser, paste the following link into your
browser’s location or address bar: http://www.almanac.com/news
If Candlemas [February 2] be mild and gay,
Go saddle your horses and buy them hay;
But if Candlemas be stormy and black,
It carries the winter away on its back.
In this issue, you’ll find information on these topics:
Test buds of peaches and other sensitive fruits for freeze damage. Bring in a few twigs cut from the trees and place them in a vase of water. If the twigs bloom in a week or two, expect blossoms in the spring and a crop next summer and fall.
Cut poles for peas, beans, and other climbers now. Peel off the bark and set them in a dry area until they are needed.
Keep this in mind while pruning: Fruit usually grows on the horizontal branches, rather than the vertical ones. Vertical branches may be trained to become horizontal by weighting them down for a few weeks.
For more gardening ideas, go to our Gardening Pages.
We hope you found this newsletter “new, useful, and entertaining” – just like The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Thanks for reading and sharing it.
Feel free to forward this message to a friend.
You are receiving this e-mail message because you subscribed at our Web site: Almanac.com
If you do not wish to receive our regular e-mail newsletter in the future, please click here: Unsubscribe
It’s true: Hot chicken soup and lots of garlic help to reduce cold symptoms. Modern science now backs that up. Try Granny’s Best Chicken Soup from our archives.
And some studies suggest that virtually any way to inhale steam is beneficial. So, savoring a steaming cup of herbal tea may be a good idea.
Other home remedies said to prevent colds in the first place are: garlic, onions, thyme, sage, and vitamin C, used regularly. Or, if you dare, a daily sandwich of whole wheat bread, raw yellow onion, a half-inch of horseradish, slice of meat, cheddar cheese, and brown mustard. According to old-timers, this really works!
The Old Farmer’s Almanac
P.S. Forward this e-mail message to a friend. It’s a quick and easy way to let someone know all the news at Almanac.com.
February 2 — Groundhog Day/Candlemas
On February 2, some people think only of those critters that look for their shadows: Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and Wiarton Willie in Wiarton, Ontario. In fact, there is a bit more to the day than that.
February 2 is also Candlemas Day. In the Christian tradition, it is the day that a year’s supply of candles is blessed.
February 2 is 40 days after Christmas and is known as the Feast of the Purification among Christians. "Februa" was the month for cleansing, when Yule greens were removed from homes and churches, and old brush and debris were burned to prepare the fields for the next sowing. February 2 is exactly halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Oh, about those groundhogs: If they see their shadows, expect six more weeks of winter.
February 5 — Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday
Mardi Gras is French for "fat Tuesday"—the final feasting before the fasting of Lent, which begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. Fat Tuesday is also called Shrove Tuesday, a name that comes from the practice of shriving–purifying oneself through confession—prior to Lent.
So much sun as shines on Shrove Tuesday, so it shines all Lent.
It’s the year of the rat! The Chinese zodiac follows a 12-year cycle and the animal designations are always used in the same sequence.
A Winter Warm-up in a Glass
Looking for something special to serve friends who just drop in? Try this fruity glogg, a traditional Scandinavian drink, prepared here without alcohol.
Real Hot Chocolate
Make a cup of hot chocolate from scratch, and you will never want to go back to the prepackaged stuff.
Fruit Root Soup
A delicious hot soup for a cold day. Uses root vegetables in season and a pear.
Winter Chicken-Mushroom Soup
Chicken stock with many healthy vegetables. Serve hot with a slice of crusty bread.
To find more great recipes to make for cold winter days, go to our Recipe Search.
© 2008, Yankee Publishing Inc. All rights reserved
Yankee Publishing Inc., P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444, USA, (603) 563-8111
The original story can be found at The Catholic Review.
Published on SavannahNow.com (http://savannahnow.com)
By Dana Clark Felty
Created 2008-01-26 00:30
For some Christians, the Shroud of Turin exists as proof of the miraculous story of Jesus Christ.
For others, the linen cloth represents a fascinating 13th-century hoax.
Barrie Schwortz doesn’t intend to change the minds of believers or
skeptics. But he hopes to draw those who are undecided into the
centuries-old mystery of the shroud.
Schwortz has traveled the world during the past 30 years sharing his
experience as a photographer in the first scientific team given
permission to study the shroud.
On Tuesday, Schwortz will give a presentation at St. James School on Montgomery Crossroad.
Schwortz, a professional photographer, was part of the Shroud of
Turin Research Project, a team in 1978 that conducted the first
in-depth scientific examination of the cloth.
Despite being called a "scientific study," the effort lacked the sterile environment of a laboratory, Schwortz said.
"We examined the shroud in the 400-year-old Royal Palace of Turin
with 400-year-old dusty tapestries hanging on the walls and frescoes on
the ceilings," he said. "It was the best that could be done considering
no one had ever been given permission to examine the shroud this way
The team included scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory,
Sandia National Laboratories, NASA and Schwortz’s alma mater, Brooks
Institute of Photography. The group spent a year and a half preparing
for the trip.
At first, Schwortz wasn’t sure he wanted to go.
After all, he’s Jewish.
"I was sort of not even certain I wanted to participate in something
like this when I was first approached," he said. "But as a photographer
in the technical and scientific fields, the image on the shroud is what
The team went to Turin hoping to learn how the image of a man who
appears to have been beaten and crucified appeared on the cloth.
In the end, Schwortz said the team could only determine what they believe didn’t produce the image.
It was not formed by common man.
"It’s not a painting, not a photograph, not an etching, not a
scorch, not a burn, not a man-made image of any kind," Schwortz said.
"But we cannot give you a simple explanation for how the image got on
The Roman Catholic Church has taken no official stand on whether the
shroud is the one mentioned in the New Testament. According to the Book
of Mark, Joseph of Arimathea bought a linen cloth, took Jesus’ body
down from the cross, "wrapped him in the linen cloth and laid him in a
tomb which had been hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against
the entrance of the tomb."
Whether the shroud is that same linen cloth isn’t important for now, church leaders say.
"A good number of high-ranking officials venerate the Shroud of
Turin as a relic of Christ, but that can’t be proven," said the Rev.
Douglas Clark, editor of Southern Cross, the newspaper of the Catholic
Diocese of Savannah. "The thing that is important is what it reminds us
Controversy has swirled around the origins and make-up of the Shroud
of Turin almost since it was first captured in pictures by Italian
photographer Secondo Pia in 1898.
According to popular belief, Pia nearly dropped the negative plate
as the image emerged in his darkroom. He believed he was looking at the
face of Jesus.
The shroud has remained in the custody of the Archdiocese of Turin, Italy, for centuries.
In 1988, the archdiocese authorized a series of scientific tests on
pieces of the shroud, including independent carbon-14 dating by three
laboratories. The results showed a 95 percent certainty that the cloth
was made between the years 1260 and 1390.
Some shroud experts have rejected the tests.
That includes Schwortz, who said he believes the shroud is authentic.
"In a nutshell, I believe that the Shroud of Turin wrapped the
crucified body of Jesus of Nazareth," he said. "See, that’s not a
religious statement, but a statement of historical information and
In nearly every presentation he makes, someone inevitably asks him
how seeing the supposed image of Jesus affected his spiritual beliefs.
Although he does not attend a synagogue, Schwortz said seeing the shroud led him to rediscover a deep faith in God.
"You can’t be involved in something like this without confronting your own religious beliefs," he said.
Schwortz’s religious background makes no difference to John Roth, a
Savannah Catholic who invited the photographer to St. James School to
"Because we’re Catholic doesn’t mean that there aren’t other
phenomenally gifted people around the world who have great insights
into things who don’t happen to be Catholic," Roth said.
After the Tuesday event, Roth will drive to Naples, Fla., for a
convention of Legatus, a Catholic business executives’ group created by
pizza magnate Tom Monaghan.
Schwortz said he often speaks to church groups about the shroud and
sometimes encounters emotionally charged listeners on both sides of the
Although his presentation may not give doubt to true believers of
the shroud, he believes the facts present a challenge to those
unwilling to consider the possibility that it’s genuine.
"I’m not a minister or a missionary, or a rabbi even," Schwortz
said. "But it does, in fact, provide a real enigma to those who may
want to reject the whole concept of Christianity."
ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2008) — After a transplant surgery, anti-rejection drugs for the organ recipient are a must, but with prolonged use can have serious side effects, including infections, heart disease and cancer. A team led by Joshua Miller, MD, a researcher at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, is working with Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s department of organ transplantation to enroll qualifying subjects in a new research study that seeks to transplant stem cells from a kidney donor’s bone marrow into the recipient, with the hope of gradually eliminating the need for anti-rejection drugs. If research proves successful, it would mean a dramatic change in the post-transplant quality of life for the transplant recipient.
The first subjects to participate in the study underwent kidney transplant surgery on Thursday, Jan. 10. Sharon Flood of Pingree Grove, Ill. donated her kidney to her brother Steven Yelk of Gurnee, Ill., who suffers from polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which causes cysts filled with fluid to form throughout the kidneys. Eventually, these cysts take over the healthy kidney tissue and the kidneys fail. "Our family is very close and there are seven brothers and sisters, I was thrilled to learn that I was a match and would be able to help Steven," Sharon commented before the surgery.
Joseph Leventhal, MD, PhD, transplant surgeon, associate professor of surgery and director of the Living Donor Renal Transplant Program at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, preformed the kidney donor’s surgery and Michael Abecassis, MD, MBA, chief of the division of transplantation, and dean of clinical affairs for Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, performed the recipient’s surgery.
"The surgery was successful, everything went according to plan and the new kidney is functioning well," said Dr. Abecassis. From here, the kidney recipient will begin the experimental portion of the study.
This study is open to HLA-identical sibling kidney donor and recipient pairs. HLA, or human leukocyte antigen, is one of a group of proteins found on the surface of white blood cells and other cells that play an important part in the body’s immune response to foreign substances. These antigens vary from person to person, and an HLA compatibility test is performed before organ transplantation to find out if tissues match between a donor and a recipient.
The study is limited to only HLA-identical sibling pairs because these siblings genetically have a more similar set of immunologic markers than a non-related HLA-identical pair. Because this population has the closest genetic relationship, they have the best chance for success with the study. Overall, HLA-identical siblings have very low rejection rates for kidney transplants but until now have still required immunosuppressive drugs to be taken for life.
How does it work?
Stem cells are formed at the marrow and are common blood cells from which other specialized blood cells, like immune cells, develop. These stem cells are considered important to help prevent rejection of the kidney transplant. By transplanting these cells from the kidney donor into the recipient, the study seeks to prove that the stem cells will mature in the recipient’s body and will allow his immune system to accept the new organ as his own.
For the kidney donor, the laparoscopic surgery occurs in the standard manner. After the kidney is removed, bone marrow is drawn from the donor’s hip bone. About three months following the surgery, the donor undergoes two procedures called leukopheresis, happening one day apart, where stem cells mobilized from the marrow are collected so that they can be given to the kidney recipient to help his body acclimate to the transplant.
Approximately one month before the transplant surgery, the recipient undergoes leukopheresis to draw white blood cells which are stored in a lab for later testing. After transplant surgery, the recipient receives four separate infusions of donor stem cells.
The stem cells are infused into the transplant recipient via an IV in a procedure that lasts about 15 minutes. The first infusion is five days after surgery, the next is about three months after surgery, then six months and finally nine months after the transplant. During this time the recipient is treated with Campath-1H, a potent antibody used extensively at Northwestern to prevent rejection, in addition to the other standard anti-rejection medications. About a year after the surgery, the subject is weaned off of one anti-rejection drug, then another. There are also ongoing tests to ensure the recipient is tolerating the kidney.
"This is an exciting area of research which holds a great deal of promise if successful," says Dr. Abecassis. "We are excited to be the only center in the region offering this to qualifying patients."
Adapted from materials provided by Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Dialysis from the convenience of your home-Learn about your options!
Top doctors and health information NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Information for Transplant Patients with an Incompatible Willing Donor
Pope John Paul II
instituted World Day of the Sick on May 13, 1992, setting aside
February 11, Feast of our Lady of Lourdes, for its annual celebration.
On this day, the ill are encouraged to reflect on the Christian meaning
of suffering. The occasion also provides an opportunity for those
involved in health care to recall the roots of their healing mission.
Each year, the CHAC provides resource material to its institutional members to assist in marking this special event.
Message of the Holy Father: http://www.healthpastoral.org/text.php?cid=451&sec=5&docid=138&lang=en
Catholic Health Association: http://www.chac.ca/resources/worlddayofsick.htm
Full Moon Names for 2008 |
By Joe Rao
SPACE.com Skywatching Columnist
posted: 18 January 2008
06:23 am ET
Full moon names were bestowed by the Native Americans of what is
now the northern and eastern United States. A few hundred years
ago, those tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full
moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred.
There were some variations in the moon names, but in general
the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England on
west to Lake Superior. European settlers followed their own customs and created
some of their own names. Since the lunar ("synodic") month is roughly
29.5 days in length on average, the dates of the full moon shift from year to
Here is a listing of all the full moon names, as well as the
dates and times for 2008. Unless otherwise noted, all times are for the Eastern
Jan. 22, 8:35 a.m. EST — Full Wolf Moon. Amid the zero cold and deep
snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. It
was also known as the Old Moon or the moon after Yule. In some tribes this was
the Full Snow Moon; most applied that name to the next moon.
Feb. 20, 10:30 p.m. EST — Full Snow Moon. Usually the heaviest snows
fall in this month. Hunting becomes very difficult, and hence to some tribes
this was the Full Hunger Moon. This is also the night of a Total
Lunar Eclipse. North and South Americans will have a ringside seat for this
event and will take place during convenient evening hours. Observers in western
Europe and western Africa will see this eclipse from start to finish during the
morning hours of February 21.
Mar. 21, 2:40 p.m. EDT — Full Worm Moon. In this month the ground
softens and the earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of the robins.
The more northern tribes knew this as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of
crows signals the end of winter, or the Full Crust Moon because the snow cover
becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap
Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. This is
also the Paschal Full Moon; the first full moon of the spring season. The first
Sunday following the Paschal Moon is Easter Sunday, which indeed will be
observed two days later on Sunday, March 23. This will, in fact, be the
earliest Easter since 1913.
Apr. 20, 6:25 a.m. EDT — Full Pink Moon. The grass pink or wild ground
phlox is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names were
the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and — among coastal tribes — the
Full Fish Moon, when the shad came upstream to spawn.
May 19, 9:11 p.m. EDT — Full Flower Moon. Flowers are abundant
everywhere. It was also known as the Full Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.
Since the moon arrives at apogee less than 12 hours later, this will also be
the smallest full moon of 2008. In terms of apparent size, it will appear 12.3
percent smaller than the full moon of Dec. 12.
Jun. 18, 1:30 p.m. EDT — Full Strawberry Moon. Known to every
Algonquin tribe. Europeans called it the Rose Moon.
Jul. 18, 3:59 a.m. EDT — Full Buck Moon, when the new antlers of buck
deer push out from their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often
called the Full Thunder Moon, thunderstorms being now most frequent. Sometimes
also called the Full Hay Moon.
Aug. 16, 5:16 p.m. EDT — Full Sturgeon Moon, when this large fish of
the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water like Lake Champlain is most
readily caught. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because the moon
rises looking reddish through sultry haze, or the Green Corn Moon or Grain
Moon. There will be a Partial Lunar Eclipse that will be visible
from Europe, Africa and the western two-thirds of Asia with this full moon. At
its maximum 81 percent of the moon’s diameter will become immersed in the
Earth’s dark umbral shadow.
Sep. 15, 5:13 a.m. EDT — Full Harvest Moon. Traditionally, this
designation goes to the full moon that occurs closest to the Autumnal (fall)
Equinox. The Harvest Moon usually comes in September, but (on average) about
every three or four years it will fall in early October. At the peak of the
harvest, farmers can work into the night by the light of this moon. Usually the
full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few
nights around the Harvest Moon, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time
each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20
minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and
wild rice — the chief Indian staples — are now ready for gathering.
Oct. 14, 4:02 p.m. EDT — Full Hunters’ Moon. With the leaves falling
and the deer fattened, it is time to hunt. Since the fields have been reaped,
hunters can ride over the stubble, and can more easily see the fox, along with
other animals, which have come out to glean and can be caught for a
thanksgiving banquet after the harvest.
Nov. 13, 1:17 a.m. EST — Full Beaver Moon. Time to set beaver traps
before the swamps freeze to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another
interpretation suggests that the name Beaver Full Moon come from the fact that
the beavers are now active in their preparation for winter. Also called the
Dec. 12, 11:37 a.m. EST — Full Cold Moon; among
some tribes, the Full Long Nights Moon. In this month the winter cold fastens
its grip, and the nights are at their longest and darkest. Also sometimes
called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate
name because the midwinter night is indeed long and the moon is above the
horizon a long time. The midwinter full moon takes a high trajectory across the
sky because it is opposite to the low Sun. The moon will also be at perigee
later this day, at 5:00 p.m. EST, at a distance of 221,560 mi. (356,566 km.)
from Earth. Very high ocean
tides can be expected from the coincidence of perigee with full moon.
Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York’s Hayden
Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for The New York Times and other
publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for News 12
Westchester, New York.
If your newsletter is not in a form you can use go to this link.
Newsletter January 2008
|NEW! Off Highway Vehicles Section: DesertUSA has added Arizona listings, plus new pages on OHV ethics and sand duning tips to the OHV section. More…|
The Strange Tale of the Lady in Blue – Of
all the tales of lost treasure, ghosts, inexplicable lights,
apparitions, spirit horses, unsolved murders and disappearances across
the Southwest, the legend of María Jesus de Ágreda – the fabled "Lady
in Blue" – ranks among the most strange and mysterious of them all. More…
Southwest Collectibles – Navajo Weavings –
Navajo Mary McKibben, who began weaving at the age of six, said, "My
mother would take out my small loom and set it up beside her large
loom. I learned to weave sitting at her side… Weaving is a very
spiritual thing…when I weave I think of my relatives and my old
friends at school. " More…
Birthday Bash Road Trip on Route 66 – It
is that time of year again, when the leaves age. And so do I. Bummer.
Oh well. During this season, though, a wandering spirit always seems to
move me. I feel that I have to hit the road. More…
Powwow in Terlingua –
The main area is a circle called the Arena which is blessed before the
ceremonies. The only entrance faces East and non-Natives can only enter
it by invitation. The drummers sit in the center; they are the
Heartbeat of Mother Earth. More…
Seeing Red: The Calm of the Canyonlands –
Utah’s Canyonlands look as alien as Mars. Shades of red dominate the
landscape, swathes of it decorating every sheared-off cliff and jutting
spire. The pale blue sky, the scattered green vegetation, and the
rocks’ alternating bands of pale sandstone merely emphasize the deep
oranges visible in every direction but up. More…
Video of the Month – Rainbow Bridge –
Rainbow Bridge, the world’s largest natural bridge, is considered a
sacred place by the Navajo Indians, for whom personified rainbows have
stood as guardians of the universe. This natural wonder nestles among
canyons carved by streams en route to the Colorado River from Navajo
Mountain’s north flank. Until the formation of Lake Powell, this was
one of the most remote and inaccessible regions in the contiguous
United States. More…
Trip of the Month – Julian, California –
The entire township of Julian is a Designated Historical District. Its
image as an early California frontier town with pioneer store fronts,
historic sites and guided tours of Eagle and High Peak Mines accounts
for much of its modern appeal. More…
Valentine’s Day is coming: Need some help shopping for the perfect gift for your sweetheart?
DesertUSA Store has its virtual shelves stocked with some really unique
items. You won’t find most of these products in any of your local
shops. So please take a few minutes to browse through our items. We
promise, you won’t be fighting any crowds in the DesertUSA store!
|Treats for Your Sweetheart – Try the Romance of the Southwest!|
Prickly Pear Cactus, Mesquite Bean and Margarita jelly candies
– Half pound box featuring three mouth-watering candy selections.
Tantalize their tastebuds with flavors of the southwest from the fruits
of the desert, then share a Prickly Pear Margarita made with Prickly Pear Cactus syrup.
The syrup also makes exceptionally flavorful Wine Coolers, Spritzers,
and Prickly Pear Lemonade. The Syrup comes in 7 oz.,12 oz., 23 oz. and
1 gallon containers. Click Here for more information.
Give her the gift of Desert Queen – the inspired Desert Queen fragrance captures the scent of the elusive Queen of the Night cactus flower. Our special Desert Queen Gift Trio contains three of our most popular full-size
products: 1.7oz Eau de Parfum Spray, 8oz. Hand & Body Lotion and
8oz. Bath & Shower Gel, packaged in an attractive bag. Specially priced at $64.95! ($75.00 if purchased separately)
|For Your Dog . . .|
Joint Supplement – Do you have an older dog or a dog with arthritis or joint problems? Check out Nimble, a glucosamine product for dogs, that could help return them to pain-free movement. Click here for more information or to buy.
|Treasure Hunting . . .|
Are you a rockhound? James R. Mitchell’s Gem Trail Books cover the Southwest and are available in our online book store. A good "where to go book" with lots of maps. Click here to view rock & treasure hunting books.
Experience the excitement and mystery of Geode Hunting – at home! Break-At-Home Geodes
|Park DVDs . . .|
State and National Park DVDs –
Plan your Spring and Summer vacations to the great parks of the
American Southwest. DesertUSA has an extensive selection of park DVDs
including: Arches, Big Bend, Monument Valley, Death Valley, The Grand
Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Zion, Yellowstone, Red Rock Canyon and many
more. Click here to browse our park DVDs.
Ghost Mountain DVD the
story of Marshal South and his family’s adventure of living on Ghost
Mountain in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. To preview the DVD in Flash
Anza Borrego Seasons in the Desert. This stunning DVD covers the various regions of the park, as well as indigenous flora and fauna.
Joshua Tree NP DVD This is THE tool you need to plan a trip to Joshua Tree National Park.
revenue earned from our online reservation system and store sales are
used to support the maintenance and development costs associated with
the DesertUSA Web site. By placing reservations on DesertUSA’s
reservation system or by purchasing products from the Trading Post, you
are directly contributing to the future development and continued
maintenance of DesertUSA.
You can book reservations anywhere
in the World from the DesertUSA Web site. So be sure to try our online
reservation system for your next vacation and/or car rental. Make Reservations Now
Get ready for your visit to the desert with books, gifts and products available from the DesertUSA’s Online Store.
purpose is to provide a tool for discovery – a publication that
entertains, educates and explores with our readers, the beauty, life
and culture of the North American deserts. Visitors come to DesertUSA’s
Web site every month to read articles, participate in the Desert Talk
message board, shop in DesertUSA’s online store and explore the desert
DesertUSA encourages you to
forward a copy of the Digital Desert Newsletter to friends, family and
business associates who may be interested in receiving this newsletter
on a monthly basis.