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Showing posts from January, 2009

Coffee Can Make You Smarter Now---and Later: New Dementia Study From Sweden

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The National Coffee Association has reported that 61% of coffee drinkers say that coffee makes them more mentally focused.

Many of us feel that coffee makes us more alert and happier too.

And now a group of researchers have published an article in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease reporting new data on the coffee-mental health link: Drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of developing dementia by 65%. These statistically significant results are based on data compiled over a 21-year period on 1,409 middle-aged adults.

The Study was conducted in Sweden by Dr. Miia Kivipelto, an associate professor of Neurology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Like the rest of Scandinavia, Sweden has a robust (and, in my opinion, enviable) coffee-drinking culture. Average per capita consumption per year is 7.9 kg, compared with 4.2 kg in the United States.

Like other researchers, Dr. Kivipelto is not 100% clear on why coffee has positive effects on mental health. She does, howeve…

Drinking Coffee (and Cocoa) in Honor of MLK, Jr.

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For two cold, snowy days in mid-January, groups of friends gathered together to drink coffee (and cocoa) in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Moms, dads, grandparents, friends, and kids got together to raise a cup in honor of a man, who enjoyed comfort, community, and coffee as much as any of us.

We honored him by energizing ourselves with coffee (and cocoa).

The history of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (MLK Day), which was established in 1983 and then implemented in 1986, reflects a long struggle for recognition. In fact, it wasn't observed in all 50 states until 2000. In 2007, only 33% of employers gave the day off.

With President-Elect Obama coming into office on Tuesday, January 20th, the 2009 take on the holiday is certainly different---and in many ways the same. Some people will be home from work. Many people will need to or choose to work. In our community, all schools will be closed, but that's not the case everywhere. We are fortunate to live in a well-educated and super-tol…

Coffee and the Wayback Machine: Drinking Coffee in the 1970's

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At this very moment, we are all deeply and beautifully mired in one huge "historical moment" also known as "a time of historical significance" and it is really wonderful. It feels very good. It's as if you want to capture it and then pause and replay at will to keep this feeling that anything is possible. That is not to say that there aren't terrible, harsh reminders of an equally disturbing reality---just that right here, we will soon be celebrating the inauguration of a new President.

Pondering the notion of thousands of years can be depressing and maybe even disorienting, but when I find myself in that space, I brace myself with a cup of coffee. Coffee itself boasts a history that is long, vivid, and celebrated. This august beverage was first "discovered" by the Ethiopian goatherder Kaldi in 850. Starting around 1000, the Turks took over by cultivating coffee and by 1475, there were signs of a burgeoning coffee shop trend when Kiva Han was opene…