Thursday, June 22, 2006

The wonders of Kimchi: "Kimchi, for the uninitiated, is the national dish of Korea. Its origins go back centuries. At its most basic, it's fermented cabbage. At its hottest, it can be a sinus-cleansing sojourn in purgatory. Kimchi is the key player in "panchan," the multiple side dishes arrayed like steppingstones in Korean cuisine. There are endless varieties of kimchi -- cabbage, turnip, radish, mustard leaf, eggplant, etc. -- and most contain wincing amounts of salt and often eye-popping levels of chili pepper. Its combustible qualities notwithstanding, kimchi, according to a 2005 report in Health magazine, is considered one of the four healthiest foods, along with soy, yogurt and olive oil. Most Koreans eat kimchi with every meal, and many adherents of kimchi believe it has salutary, almost supernatural, properties. There seems to be no ailment kimchi can't cure or alleviate, from a painful hangover to a nagging cold. So revered is kimchi that there's even a kimchi museum in Seoul, where visitors can ogle plastic displays of kimchi. The curator of the museum, Park Chae-lin, has been quoted as saying, "I think kimchi practically defines Korean-ness."

Premenstrual professor says premenstrual syndrome does not exist: "Pre-menstrual tension, post-natal depression and menopausal outbursts do not exist, controversial research has claimed. Instead these are "catch-all" diagnoses being used as an excuse by women to explain the stressful effects of their modern lives. University of Western Sydney's professor of women's health and psychology Jane Ussher yesterday claimed women's unhappiness was being wrongly diagnosed as a product of their reproductive bodies. Drawing on 20 years of research - including in-depth interviews with British and Australian women - Professor Ussher said PMS and PND were products of repressed rage stemming from social pressure. "I would argue that PMS and PND are essentially a form of repressed rage women feel, rather than a medical illness," she said." [She got the rage bit right]

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