• An alcoholic beverage is any drink that contains more than a minimal amount of ethanol or ethyl alcohol. This is achieved by a process called fermentation, which is the natural result of yeast digestion of the sugars found in ingredients like fruit, cereal grain or other starches. Almost any source of sugar and yeast can produce alcohol. An alcoholic beverage, a depressant when consumed in low doses causes euphoria and sociability but when consumed in high doses causes intoxication, stupor and unconsciousness. Long term consumption of alcoholic beverages can lead to alcohol abuse, physical dependence and alcoholism.

    Tiny traces of ethanol may be present in non-alcohol beverages, including juices. Some beer, wine and spirit drinks although designed to look and taste like alcoholic beverages, contain very little ethanol in them and are hence termed as ‘non-alcohol beverages’.

    Alcoholic beverages, although recipes vary are broadly classified into three categories:

    • Beer:

      It is typically made with barley that is sprouted and roasted, cooked with water, fermented with yeast and then flavoured with the flowers of the Hops plant.

    • Wine:

      Wine is made from grapes and sometimes other fruits that are made into a juice and then fermented.

    • Distilled Spirits:

      These are made from grain, fruit or other sugar sources that are first fermented and then distilled in a heating and cooling process that concentrates the alcohol.

    Alcohol is one of the most widely used recreational drugs in the world. Archaeologists have discovered Stone Age jugs that have lead them to believe that fermented drinks existed as early as the Neolithic Period (10,000 BC). Animals also react similar to humans when they consume alcohol.

    Health Effects:

    Alcoholic beverages have been classified as a Group 1 Carcinogen. Studies show that alcohol consumption can cause cancer in the female breast, colorectum, larynx, liver, oesophagus, oral cavity and pharynx. It is a probability that alcohol is also the cause of pancreatic cancer. Alcohol in carbonated drinks is absorbed faster by the body than alcohol in non-carbonated drinks. The short term effects of alcoholic beverages include psychological effects on the user, a flushed appearance in the face, lethargy, sedation, balance problems, blurred vision, respiratory depression and pulmonary aspiration. The long term effects of alcohol on the body includes increase in the risk of heart disease, stroke, atrial fibrillation, reduce in life expectancy, cancer, liver cirrhosis and alcoholism.

    Uses of alcohol:

    Alcohol can be used as aperitifs and digestifs, the former is used to serve before a meal to stimulate appetite while the latter is used to improve digestion after a meal. They can also be used as flavouring agents in making stocks and for braising and are also a source of food energy as many of the alcoholic beverages contain carbohydrates. The laws on alcohol regulate the manufacture of alcoholic beverages, thereby seeking to reduce the adverse health effects and social impacts of alcohol consumption.

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  • Body odor can be a highly embarrassing condition that has a variety of causes. It is an unpleasant smell that is given off from live bacteria that breed in specific areas of an individual’s body. Here are some guidelines to understand what exactly causes body odor and some simple tips to keep yourself free from body odor.

    It is a common misconception that body odor is caused by sweat. Sweat by itself is odorless. It comprises 99 percent water with some dissolved salts like sodium and potassium. However, sweat when combined with some bacteria that are known to breed especially in the folds of the skin or damp regions like the underarms, inner sides of the thighs or near the groin, is what causes an offensive smelling odor. The apocrine glands that are located near the genitals or other hairy regions, apart from producing sweat also create a slightly viscous substance that is an ideal breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. This condition may be further aggravated in those who experience excessive sweating.

    One of the immediate and most practical ways of eliminating or reducing body odor is regular bathing and maintenance of hygiene especially in the folds of the skin and other areas that are prone to sweating.

    If you exercise regularly and are prone to sweating, it is advisable you use a gently scented soap or shower gel to first get rid of the stench. Always wash off any cleansing agents that you use thoroughly with water and ensure that you dry the skin all over the body well, giving special attention to the fingers, toes, armpits, and genitals.

    You could then opt to use a deodorant which is available both as a roll on or in spray form. While deodorants do not act on the stench causing bacteria, they do to some extent mask the odor caused by the bacteria.

    If you sweat a lot or live in a very humid climate, you could additionally use an antiperspirant deodorant combination skin product. The antiperspirant essentially inhibits the flow of sweat to the surface of the skin. Hence, by reducing the sweat produced, they also partially inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

    As a further precaution against body odor, you could opt for one of the colognes and deo sprays that are available at various price bands in the men’s cosmetics and skincare products line up. Be careful about overdoing the perfume or cologne, for even a pleasant smell may turn out to be overwhelming, especially when you are in a closed or air-conditioned space.

    However, the bottom line to overcoming body odor is to ensure that you keep all parts of your body clean and dry, for body odor causing bacteria thrive only in warm and moist areas.

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  • Have you ever wondered what are the differences between a college and a university? Some people ponder as to why some institutions are called colleges while the others go by the name universities. Most people assume that colleges refer to private institutions whereas universities are funded by the state. There are yet others who think that a university provides better quality education than a local college. In reality though, the difference between colleges and universities are much harder to define.

    A college is a smaller institution that generally offers undergraduate and degrees. Some colleges like community colleges and junior colleges offer only two-year programs, but most colleges offer a Bachelor’s degree and sometimes even an associate degree. A university, on the other hand, is an institution that offers both undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees. Universities typically offer a graduate program that leads to a master’s degree or a Ph.D. Some universities offer a special program where students can earn both an undergraduate degree as well as a graduate degree in a short period of time. As universities have more students enrolled in them than a college has, they offer more classes and programs. These institutions may also have medical or law school for students interested in pursuing professional degrees.

    Most of the times, the thin line between a college and a university can appear to be blur. However, there is no questioning that both of them are academic equals. Choosing the best out of the two completely relies on the individual need of the student. If a student is looking for a variety of classes under one campus, then the university may be the right choice for him/her; but if the student is looking for a smaller, more personalized classroom setting and a personal interaction with the professors, then a college would best suit his/her needs. Anyone with plans on just getting a bachelor’s degree would fit better in a college as the name of the college, in the long run, might not be as important as you fitting in.

    Some universities in spite of offering students a graduate program prefer to call themselves colleges simply because of the tradition. Another common factor between colleges and universities is that both these institutions offer a graduate program and they can both be either public or private. The term ‘going to college’ can mean going to a college or a university in the United States. Admission requirements for universities and colleges differ only according to selectivity; some colleges are more selective than universities.

    In spite of all the differences between colleges and universities, they are both great academic centers, which challenge the mind of students and mold them to be the best that they can be in the near future. Colleges and universities help a student to become a great citizen of the nation first, so that they can make an impact on the society with their professional careers.

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  • Insecurities, believe it or not, affect both men and women of all ages and cultures equally. The pressure on men to be successful, be the responsible head of a family and basically be a ‘man’ is enormous. Male insecurities are more often than not, dusted beneath the carpet and not acknowledged or addressed correctly. Physical, emotional and financial insecurities top the list of the most common male insecurities and without having to feign braveness, let us list some of these common fears faced by men.

    Physical insecurity

    To be of a particular height and weight, to have toned abs like celebrities and sports stars with specific sizes of chest, waist and biceps, to have a head full of natural black, brown or blond hair, to have a penis in a particular shape and size and to perform in the bedroom exceptionally well, or to not have a paunch, or not have excess body hair or a physical disability, or not matching the particular color of eyes or shape of nose with a greatly admired idol, are all ideas thrust upon men either by society or by themselves. But it is ridiculous to want to look like someone else, while the focus should actually be on being fit and healthy. Men are mostly judged on the way they look, walk as well as their bank balance too.

    Emotional insecurity

    ‘Men don’t cry’ is a myth. Men worry about being liked by their parents, partners, bosses, and friends. They might be shy to open up to strangers, take the first step in a relationship, discuss or even acknowledge they have issues, fear about being judged wrongly, it is all there in their minds. While being dominant, getting angry, having an ego, appearing strong in all circumstances, are considered typical traits of men, it is completely normal to be different from this stereotype that the society has engulfed the men. Being compassionate, patient, forgiving, thoughtful and sensitive is perfectly normal for men too. Men do have emotional needs which are mostly looked down upon by the traditional society we live in.

    Financial insecurity:

    To be the breadwinner of a family, and supporting others financially in the present and providing for everyone’s future needs too, can be a huge burden on men. Making sensible plans with the available money to meet growing needs and working sincerely in a chosen profession with passion should automatically answer your needs. Also, accepting that other adults in the family are capable of being financially independent is only fair to yourself.

    The current trend is to spend billions of dollars on treatments, corrective procedures, therapy sessions with psychiatrists and yoga teachers who charge the Earth and then some, and consult outrageously expensive freelance advisors to improve the earnings from your business or investments. These common male insecurities should be curbed as it may affect the men. Ultimately realizing and understanding that every man has a specific genetic code and is a unique individual in his own right, and comparisons are unfair is what matters. Be kind, to you first.

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  • Cooking can be defined as the art, technology and craft of preparing food for consumption with or without the aid of fire. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world. It reflects the environmental, economic and cultural trend of the place. Preparing food with heat or fire is definitely an activity that is unique to only the human race and it came into existence more than two million years ago. There are many recipes that can be prepared without the use of fire as well. At times, like with the cooking of a ceviche, which is a traditional South American dish where fish or meat is cooked with the acids present in lime or lemon juice, cooking occurs through chemical reactions that does not require heat. The following cooking techniques are used to cook different types of food items as per its requirement.

    Let’s take a glimpse at the various methods of cooking practiced by people all over the world:

    • Broiling:

      This method makes use of radiant heat from an overhead source to cook food. By placing the food to be broiled on a preheated metal grate where radiant heat from the overhead cooks the food, you get attractive crosshatch marks on the food item from the metal grate.

    • Grilling:

      Although very similar to broiling, grilling uses the heat source located beneath the cooking surface. The crosshatch mark usually indicates that the food has been grilled.

    • Roasting and Baking:

      These are both processes where food is surrounded with dry, heated air in a closed environment. Roasting usually refers to meat and poultry whereas the term baking refers to fish, fruits, pastry items and vegetables.

    • Sautéing:

      The process of sautéing uses conduction to transfer heat to the food from a hot sauté pan with the aid of a small amount of hot fat.

    • Pan-frying:

      The method of pan-frying food shares similarities with both the processes of sautéing and deep-frying. This cooking method transfers heat by conduction from the pan to the food, using a moderate amount of oil.

    • Deep-frying:

      Here heat is transferred by conduction to the food from the pan submerged in hot fat.

    • Poaching:

      Poaching is usually associated with delicately flavored foods that don’t require a lengthy cooking time to tenderize them like fish, eggs or fruits. There are two types of poaching submerged and shallow poaching.

    • Simmering:

      Food items like tender cuts of meat that usually require a lengthy cooking time to help tenderize them through a long, slow cooking process are simmered.

    • Steaming:

      Steaming is a moist heat cooking method in which heat is transferred from steam to the food being cooked by direct contact.

    • Braising:

      Braising employs both dry and moist heat cooking and is used to tenderize large pieces of meat. The liquid which is used for the same will enhance the taste of the dish.

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  • When you think of date nights, the first thing that comes to the mind is a quiet dinner with your significant other, or a picnic with the cane hamper, sandwiches, wine and cheese, or at the most, a walk along the sandy beach with the waves washing your feet. But over the years, these date night ideas have all cliched and overdone. There are a lot more interesting ways to turn your special date night into an exceptional experience for you and your someone special. Here are a few ideas which will make your date night a memorable one. No matter what you and your partner agree to do, what really matters is that you spend some quality time together, happily.

    You could take your partner to a game/sporting activity of his/her liking: to a swimming pool or the beach even to skinny dip, to the local football, basketball or hockey matches, or you could take them to a bowling rink, or to a golf course. You could try fantasy football on the computer too, and let them place bets on their favorite players. A visit to archery or shooting range or a fishing trip or biking on some local trails, or ice skating together too will be a great choice if your partner is a physically active person. If adventure sports are your choice, then you can opt for sky diving, white water rafting, rappelling, snowboarding, or register yourselves for a marathon or a triathlon race to test your physical and mental stamina and strength. Basically, any activity that deals with outdoor sports and exercises their muscles, while at the same time giving them a chance to win or lead, would earn you brownie points.

    A visit to the latest movie that is screened in theaters close to you, or to a play or concert of your partner’s favorite artist, to a live stand up comedy show, to painting or piano lessons if your partner is the artsy kind, to a museum or an art exhibition also might be exciting depending on the preferences of your partner. A drive to an organic farm, or a food festival to savor new foods from across the world, or strawberry plucking in summer and pumpkin harvesting in the Halloween season, to a game of laser tag or a fun paintball session in the park with the grass under your feet, a trip to the ghost house in the neighborhood mall, pitching a tent in a quiet place of your choice and cooking and sleeping under the stars, would all bring back the fun and romance in your life. All these date night ideas would definitely impress your loved one.

    There are a zillion and more ideas to have fun on a date night. Try them all right away, what are you waiting for?

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  • The intensity of extreme sports is highly different from your normal physical activities in terms of the adrenaline rush levels being higher on the former. Unique places around the world have its own designated extreme sports that have drawn in crowds in large numbers. These sports are risky and dangerous when performed without safety or backup. The ultimate satisfaction from performing such feats is the capability to overcome psychological and physical limitations in our day to day world. Some of the major advantages that most extreme sports doers have reported are:

    • Thrill

      Most people say that they experience a certain thrill from the rush of such extreme sports. This can be attributed to the fact that these sports generate adrenaline rush which triggers the fight or flight response when avoiding harmful risks. Part of this adrenalin rush is the hyperactive release of other hormones that instill a feeling of satisfaction and pleasure when the sport is completed. This has been scientifically proven through the dilated pupils, labored breathing, and elevated heart rate in individuals immediately after completion of extreme sports activities. People who got that experience go back for more to either the same sport to others to feel that refreshing experience.

    • Boost self-confidence

      Scientific studies have shown that the participation in extreme sports contributes to a feeling of conquest in those with low self-esteem. By getting through a sport they not only experience the thrill but feel elevated from the successful completion of such sport harmless. Most importantly, it leads people to adapt over time and alter their mental state to survive without the fear of being left out. Participation in these sports is beneficial in the long run as individuals tend to reminiscence these experience during their hard time and self-motivate themselves towards progression.

    • Conquer fear

      Every human has some inherent fear which haunts us throughout our lives. While we grow out of a few of these, we have others that take its place and stay with us as driving factors at various points in our life. Taking to these extreme sports occasionally helps battle our temporary fears and allows the participant to have a sense of accomplishment. This helps us battle our everyday smaller fears by comparing the magnificence of our achievements against such trivialities.

    • Balance out stress

      Every once in awhile we want to jump off a cliff and run away from our troubles. Engaging oneself in extreme sports ensures that we get to feel a sense of flight that helps balance out the stress. Having such occasional breaks leads to a healthy lifestyle as well.

    Extreme sports have a positive impact on an individual’s life. It brings immense joy and satisfaction which in turn keeps him/her going. Hence, one must make sure he/she indulges in one of the sport activity.

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