Aug 27, 2009

How to Cool Burns from Chili Peppers

Chili peppers, such as jalapeno, cayenne, and habanero peppers, contain capsaicin, which is the main ingredient in pepper spray. Capsaicin can add flavor and spiciness to food, but can also cause an extreme burning sensation which can last for minutes or even hours. If your mouth is burning up, here's how to cool off. These tips will likely work on your skin, too!


1. Drink milk. There's a protein found in milk called casein that acts like a detergent against capsaicin. It'll actually pull the capsaicin compounds away from the nerve receptor binding sites in your mouth. Drink at least a half cup, making sure you rinse your mouth well first.[1] You can spit it out, but you won't get as much relief in your throat that way.

* The colder the milk is, the more effective it is against the burning sensation.
* If you don't have any milk, you may be able to soothe your mouth with the casein in cottage cheese, cold plain yoghurt or ice cream.
2. Drink sugar water. Mix a tablespoon or more of sugar with a cup water and use it to rinse out your mouth. Cold sugar solution (10%) at 20°C/68°F is about as effective as whole milk at 5°C/41°F[2] but the relief only lasts while the mixture is still in your mouth so you'll need to keep rinsing and spitting until the pain subsides.
3. Drink alcohol. Capsaicin is soluble in alcohol, so drinking a beer or a shot can help wash it away. It's not nearly as effective, however, as milk.[4]
4. Rinse your mouth with oil. Capsaicin is also soluble in vegetable oils[4] so swishing some around in your mouth might help. Keep in mind that oil has been found to be only slightly more effective than water in relieving pepper burns, so use it only if nothing else is available.[1]

5. Eat some chocolate. The capsaicin in peppers is more soluble in fat than aqueous based solutions (ie beer, water, even low-fat milk). The high fat content of most chocolate bars will help to remove some of the capsaicin from your mouth. Milk chocolate generally has a higher fat content than dark chocolate and therefore should give better relief.

Unverified Folk Remedies

1. Try any of the following folk remedies, but keep in mind that these methods have not been verified in a reliable third party source.
* Cheese, for the same reason as milk.
* Eat some cucumber. This is in fact a common way to deal with too much heat in the food in Indonesia and Thailand.
* Curries and other hot dishes are almost always accompanied by copious amounts of rice in India, because all starchy foods combat the burning sensation. Potato will work as well, as will bread. Chew well, so that the tongue is "washed" by the rice, potato or bread.
* Use salt. Salting the food or eating salty chips can soothe the burn.
* Try honey. Sopapillas with honey are served with spicy foods in some restaurants.
* Pepto Bismol may stop the burn.
* Try taking a tablet of Benadryl.
* Try eating a raw carrot. There's no trick to swishing it around. Just take a bite and the burn will significantly diminish.
* White toothpaste can significantly reduce the burning from habaƱero oils on the skin. It will likely work in the mouth and/or with other peppers.
* Coconut milk works very well to cut the burn and modulate the heat level of a spicy recipe.
* Bite into a slice of lemon, orange or other citrus fruit or drink a citrus juice. The acid in the fruit will relieve the burn.


* The burning sensation will fade away on its own over time (6-8 hours).


* Avoid getting peppers in your nose, eyes, or any other openings, which is a very painful experience. Pepper spray is made from chili peppers, so if you have happened to have been sprayed in the past, you know what this feels like.
* Avoid getting on open cuts.
* Wash your hands before (and after, of course) using the bathroom (no explanation needed).
* Be careful handling eye contacts after handling spicy peppers. Capsaicin is difficult to fully remove and does not completely wash away with soap and water. If you wear contacts, it is best to use gloves while handling peppers.


We want our revolution...


Aug 24, 2009

Sticky Fingers

I buy a lot of used LPs, mostly from Half Price Books and The Salvation Army, but also from any "thrift store" I happen to be near. I pay anywhere from 50¢ to $5 for the discs (usually less than $5, and sometimes more for a rarity).

Needless to say, these things are often very dirty, even to the point of being unplayable due to mold, dirt, grease, and paper residue (I don't buy severely scratched LPs). A really good record cleaning machine costs between $500 and $1000. That's out of my price range.

So, I use cheaper (but effective) methods. These range from the quick (and dirty) to more time consuming methods.

For starters, I'll clean a new-to-me disc with my old Discwasher brush, using a homemade cleaning concoction involving lots of distilled water, some 91% IPA, and a drop of Dr. Bonner's unscented soap. This is an effective cleaning method for the least filthy discs.

Dirtier discs get the steam treatment, wherein I spray concentrated distilled-water steam onto a record, and wipe it dry with a micofibre cloth. This a scary method, as newer LPs ('70s and up) will buck and warp under the steam heat, but quickly return to normal. Scary indeed.

For the most serious cleanings, I use wood glue (I may steam it first). I spread the glue in a thin layer over the surface of the disc (Titebond II seems to work best), using an old credit card as the spreader. I then let the glue dry completely (no translucent areas), which takes 4 to 8 hours. I then use my thumbnail to lift a small area near the edge, and carefully peel the entire mask away.

It seems to work quite well. This methodology emanates from European record collectors (who can't be wrong... they're Euro!). Click on the title of this post for more info.

The peeled mask of Titebond II wood glue. If you try and play it on your turntable, all you hear is, "Paul is dead. Paul is dead."

Aug 19, 2009

On this day...

Aug 19, 1692

Five women and a clergyman were executed after being convicted of witchcraft in Salem, MA.

In other news...

The discovery of gold in California was reported by the New York Herald.

Gene Roddenberry was born in El Paso, Texas. Roddenberry's first career was as an airline pilot. Later, he created the TV series Star Trek.

U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton was born in Hope, Arkansas (the same year that Klipsch & Associates began making the Klipschorn).

Severe flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Diane, in the Northeast United States, claimed 200 lives.

Two dogs were launched in a satellite into Earth's orbit by the Soviet Union.

Re: New.

Reformation, revival and renewal

We need ... a holistic or integrated vision of renewal in
every dimension of the church's life.

The Roman Catholic word for this, at least since Vatican
II (1963-65), has been "aggiornamento", the process of
bringing the church up to date in order to meet the
challenges of the modern world. It implies that the world
is changing rapidly and that, if the church is to survive,
it must keep pace with this change, although without either
compromising its own standards or conforming to the

Protestants use a different vocabulary to describe the
continuously needed restoring and refreshing of the church.
Our two favorite words are 'reform', indicating the kind of
reformation of faith and life according to Scripture which
took place in the sixteenth century, and 'revival',
denoting an altogether supernatural visitation of a church
or community by God, bringing conviction, repentance,
confession, the conversion of sinners and the recovery of
backsliders. 'Reformation' usually stresses the power of
the Word of God, and 'revival' the power of the Spirit of
God, in his work of restoring the church. Perhaps we
should keep the word 'renewal' to describe a movement which
combines revival by God's Spirit with reformation by his
Word. Since the Word is the Spirit's sword, there is bound
to be something lopsided about contemplating either without
the other.

--John Stott, from "The Contemporary Christian" (Leicester and Downers Grove: IVP, 1992), p. 258.

Aug 13, 2009

Suffer Fools Gladly

suffer fools gladly

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

[edit] English

[edit] Verb

to suffer fools gladly

1. (idiomatic) To be tolerant of stupidity or incompetence in other people.
* 1611, King James Bible, 2 Corinthians 11: 19.

For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.

* 1912, George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion

He was, I believe, not in the least an ill-natured man: very much the opposite, I should say; but he would not suffer fools gladly.

[edit] Usage notes

* Nowadays more usually used in the negative, as a description of what someone does not do.

Aug 9, 2009

An argument for the existence of God.

"The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason."

-- John Cage

Aug 8, 2009

Are you experienced?

"Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows."

-- David T. Wolf

Aug 2, 2009