PostHeaderIcon Morning Coffee 1.33 for Firefox

If your daily routine includes perusing the same websites and you use Mozilla’s Firefox browser, there’s a great addon for you called Morning Coffee.

Morning Coffee appears as a button on your toolbar. You configure it by adding the urls of the websites you check each day. Once it’s set up, click the Morning Coffee button and the sites will automatically open in separate tabs. You can even configure different websites for different days of the week.

You can download Morning Coffee 1.33 here.

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PostHeaderIcon Five Cups of Coffee a Day May Prevent Alzheimer’s.

According to Gary Arendash, a researcher at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in Tampa, Florida, giving Alzheimer’s mice the human equivalent of five cups of coffee, or 500 milligrams of caffeine, a day has plaque-busting effects and reverses symptoms of impaired memory in aging Alzheimer’s mice.

Arendash presented data that shows caffeine can reduce levels of two enzymes that play a role in the complex process of amyloid plaque formation.

“I don’t know of any drug under development that can address and suppress both of these enzymes,” Arendash said.

If preventing Alzheimer’s is as easy as drinking coffee, why do so many elderly Americans develop the disease? Arendash says the average American drinks only 150 milligrams of coffee a day and reduces intake with age.

Arendash’s institute has recently started clinical trials to determine if coffee will also prevent or treat Alzheimer’s in people.

“Caffeine could be a surprisingly effective treatment against this disease,” Arendash said. “It’s almost too good to be true.”

Source: Bloomberg

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PostHeaderIcon Chocolate-Espresso Torte

This torte has the light texture and deep chocolaty appeal of a flour-less chocolate cake but it’s a little easier to handle because the small amount of flour gives it some structure. The espresso makes the torte not too sweet; use decaf if you have guests who don’t drink regular coffee after dinner.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces (1 stick); more for the pan
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso or double-strength coffee, cooled to room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sifted, finely ground espresso beans (from about 1 heaping tablespoon whole beans)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour; more for the pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with kitchen parchment. Butter the parchment and lightly flour the pan, shaking out the excess.

In a small, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, melt both chocolates and the butter, stirring frequently. Set aside. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer if you have one, or an electric mixer, whip the eggs, sugar, brewed espresso, ground espresso beans and salt on medium-high speed until thick and voluminous, at least 8 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and mix in the butter-chocolate mixture. Turn off the mixer. Sift the flour over the batter and fold until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Set a plate over the torte and carefully invert onto the plate; peel off the parchment. Flip the torte back onto the rack to cool completely before slicing. Serve with a little whipped cream or a scoop of coffee ice cream, if you like.

— Adapted from Fine Cooking magazine, April/May, 1999

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PostHeaderIcon Coffee May Protect Against Ovarian Cancer

OnMedica News reports that a study in the journal Cancer suggests that drinking more coffee and team may prevent the development of ovarian cancer, especially in the absence of oral contraceptive or hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

The findings follow on from the publication this week of research showing that high caffeine consumption can double the risk of miscarriage (see Researchers: Caffiene may double risk of miscarriage).

The the health and dietary habits of over 110,000 women were tracked as part of the long-term US Nurses Health Study.

The results of the study showed that there did not seem to be any association with smoking―either current or past but caffeine intake seemed to be protective. Those drinking the most caffeine, including tea, every day were 20% less likely to develop the disease than those drinking the least.

You can read the entire article here.

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PostHeaderIcon Drinking Coffee Reduces Stroke Risk in Women

A study recently published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, shows that women who drank four or more cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of stroke by 20% as compared to women who had less than one cup of coffee per month. Drinking two to three cups per day reduced risk by 19%. Drinking a cup five to seven times a week reduced risk by 12%.

Read the American Heart Association News Release here.

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PostHeaderIcon Coffee May Help Prevent Cavities

Science Daily reports that a new research study indicates that coffee might help prevent cavities.

The Feb. 27th print issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Chemical Society, states that coffee made from roasted coffee beans has antibacterial activities against certain microorganisms, including Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), a major cause of dental caries.

You can read the entire story here.

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PostHeaderIcon Coffee: The New Health Food for the 21st Century

There is a drug that could lower your risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and colon cancer. It could also lift your mood and treat headaches. It could even lower your risk of cavities.

If you think it sounds too good to be true, think again.

Coffee, our much maligned but much beloved beverage, has been making the headlines for its therapeutic and preventive qualities. From lowering your risks for type 2 diabetes, to preventing dental caries, coffee is moving to the forefront of health foods for the 21st century. And the real news seems to be that the more you drink, the better.

Read more of the latest findings at WebMD.com here

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PostHeaderIcon Run Your Own Coffee Shop

Think you’ve got what it takes to run a coffee shop? Now you can try it without the financial risk. Check out:

http://armorgames.com/play/57/coffee-shop

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PostHeaderIcon The Four M’s of Great Espresso

Brewing good espresso is both an art and a science that has been studied for years.

In Italy,  the heartland of espresso,  these studies have culminated in a balance of four factors, referred to as the ‘4 Ms’: the bean mix or blend (miscela), the grinding process (macinazione), the espresso machine (macchina) and the person making the espresso (mano).

Miscela

While there are some single-origin coffees that make good espresso, great espresso is pulled from a blend of coffees. Blending for espresso allows you to produce the shots that have the flavor, aroma and the crema (yummy) that you want from your espresso. There are virtually no single-origin coffees that guarantee the same richness as a well chosen blend.

Macinazione

Grinding the coffee beans breaks the beans up into small particles that are ready for brewing. The size of those particles affects the flavor and interacts with the passage of water through coffee.

Macchina

The espresso machine makes the water pass through the coffee. It must be clean and in good working condition.

Whatever machine you use, it must be able to extract espresso from 7 grams (+/- 2 grams) of finely ground coffee by producing 1-1.5 ounces of extracted beverage under 9 bar (135psi) of brewing pressure at brewing temperatures of between 194 and 204 degrees Fahrenheit, over a period of 25 seconds (+/- 5 seconds) of brewing time.

Mano

The skill of the barista is of great importance as well, in spite of sophisticated today’s equipment. The barista controls the grind, the dosing, the brewing. He ensures the cup is pre-heated and serves the resulting cup to the consumer with the proper care that a good espresso deserves.

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PostHeaderIcon Just Because…STS-125 Atlantis Wallpapers

Following a smooth countdown and picture-perfect liftoff, space shuttle Atlantis and a crew of seven astronauts are in space. STS-125’s 11-day mission is to service NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Atlantis lifted off at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday, May 11th at 2:01 p.m. EDT.

Being a big fan of the space program, I usually make myself walls of the ongoing mission.  I figured I may as well share them. Photo credits are noted in the lower left corners.

Click the small image to load the full size 1600×1200 image.

Night falls on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida following rollback of the pad's rotating service structure, or RSS, revealing space shuttle Atlantis in all its glory.

Night falls on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida following rollback of the pad's rotating service structure, or RSS, revealing space shuttle Atlantis in all its glory.

Under a dry, hot, cloud-washed Florida sky, space shuttle Atlantis roars off Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida with its crew of seven for a rendezvous with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Under a dry, hot, cloud-washed Florida sky, space shuttle Atlantis roars off Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida with its crew of seven for a rendezvous with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

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