Where does Iberian Ham Comes From?

Iberian ham comes from Iberian pigs, that are grown in a special way, that makes the meat have a unique flavor. In the Iberian, Peninsula pig are grown up in large fields where they walk around feeding on acorns until they reach a certain age and are harvested.

“The black Iberian pig lives primarily in the central and southwestern region of the Iberian Peninsula, which includes both Portugal and Spain. In Spain, the Black Iberian Pig is typically found in the provinces of Huelva (Denomination of Origin Huelva), Córdoba (Protected Denomination of Origin Valle de Los Pedroches), Cáceres, Badajoz (Protected Denomination of Origin Dehesa de Extremadura), Salamanca, Ciudad Real and Seville. In Portugal, the central and southern regions have an abundance of this species, with a predilection for the Alentejo region. In Portugal, the Black Iberian Pig is commonly referred to as or Porco Alentejo. The Black Iberian Pig is ingrained in the local Portuguese culture and tradition, with annual festivals in their honor, such as the Feira do Porco Preto, an annual festival in the region of Ourique.

The hams are labeled according to the pigs’ diet and the percentage of the pigs’ Iberian ancestry, with an acorn diet and pure-bred Iberians being most desirable. The current labeling system, based on a series of color-coded labels, was phased in starting in January 2014.

Characteristics

  • The finest is called jamón ibérico de bellota (acorn). This ham is from free-range pigs that roam oak forests (called dehesas) along the border between Spain and Portugal and eat only acorns during this last period. It is also known as jamón ibérico de Montanera. The exercise and diet have a significant impact on the flavor of the meat; the ham is cured for 36 months. This grade is divided into two subtypes:
    • Black label — Identifies jamón 100% ibérico de bellota produced from pure-bred Iberian pigs fed as above.
    • Red label — Identifies jamón ibérico de bellota from free-range pigs that are not pure-bred, but also fed exclusively on acorns during the final period. Since 2014, the percentage of Iberian ancestry in the animal must be specified on the label.
  • The next grade is called jamón ibérico cebo de Campo. This ham is from pigs that are pastured and fed a combination of acorns and grain. As of 2014, this ham bears a green label.
  • The third type is called jamón ibérico de cebo, or simply, jamón ibérico. This ham is from pigs that are fed only grain. The ham is cured for 24 months. As of 2014, this ham bears a white label.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam%C3%B3n_ib%C3%A9rico

If you are interested in learning more about the Iberian Ham and it’s production system you can check this link:

https://www.mapfre.com/mapfrere/docs/html/revistas/trebol/n70/pdf/Articulo2-en.pdf

What Is A Myth?

Myths are traditional stories that come from past generations. They represent the culture and beliefs of many people and are rich and creative. The characters in myths are magical creatures with interesting powers. In this article, we will learn about myths and where they came from.

“A myth is a traditional story consisting of events that are ostensibly historical, though often supernatural, explaining the origins of a cultural practice or natural phenomenon. The word “myth” is derived from the Greek word mythos (μῦθος), which simply means “story”. Mythology can refer either to the study of myths or to a body or collection of myths.[4] Myth can mean ‘sacred story’, ‘traditional narrative’ or ‘tale of the gods’. A myth can also be a story to explain why something exists.

Human cultures’ mythologies usually include a cosmogonical or creation myth, concerning the origins of the world, or how the world came to exist. The active beings in myths are generally gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, or animals and plants. Most myths are set in a timeless past before recorded time or beginning of the critical history. A myth can be a story involving symbols that are capable of multiple meanings.

A myth is a sacred narrative because it holds religious or spiritual significance for those who tell it. Myths also contribute to and express a culture’s systems of thought and values, such as the myth of gremlins invented by aircraft technicians during World War II to avoid apportioning blame. Myths are often, therefore, stories that are currently understood as being exaggerated or fictitious.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth

What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a profession of a therapist, it involves a specific set of skills and scientifically defined processes that aim to improve a person’s life. This is a great video on the subject.

“Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change and overcome problems in desired ways. Psychotherapy aims to improve an individual’s well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills. Certain psychotherapies are considered evidence-based for treating some diagnosed mental disorders.

There are over a thousand different psychotherapy techniques, some being minor variations, while others are based on very different conceptions of psychology, ethics (how to live) or techniques. Most involve one-to-one sessions, between client and therapist, but some are conducted with groups,[1] including families. Psychotherapists may be mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, or professional counselors. Psychotherapists may also come from a variety of other backgrounds, and depending on the jurisdiction may be legally regulated, voluntarily regulated or unregulated (and the term itself may be protected or not).” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychotherapy

“In almost all countries and communities around the world, there is one central (usually unvoiced) suspicion that arises whenever someone lets slip that they are ‘having therapy’: they are crazy.
Getting therapeutic help should – ideally – be an ordinary and wholly unsurprising thing, like getting a haircut or going to the dentist, but it remains a very peculiar and frowned-upon recourse. Partly, that’s because the therapeutic industry currently looks deeply unimpressive. Some rather awkward people are employed in it, operating from shabby basement offices, often with dodgy credentials. A rag bag of questionable services gets labeled with this catch-all term. An industry that should be as dominant and financially significant as Audi or Nike struggles for basic recognition. There is plenty of good work being done, but it isn’t overly visible…”

 

How Art Can Change Society? By Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis is a curator and historian based in New York. She describes how art ( Photography and Music) and I dare add Film, change society. And it is that way.

One of the great challenges today is that we often feel untouched by the problems of others and by global issues like climate change, even when we could easily do something to help. We do not feel strongly enough that we are part of a global community, part of a larger web. Giving people access to data most often leaves them feeling overwhelmed and disconnected, not empowered and poised for action. This is where art can make a difference. Art does not show people what to do, yet engaging with a good work of art can connect you to your senses, body, and mind. It can make the world felt. And this felt feeling may spur thinking, engagement, and even action.

As an artist, I have traveled to many countries around the world over the past 20 years. On one day I may stand in front of an audience of global leaders or exchange thoughts with a foreign minister and discuss the construction of an artwork or exhibition with local craftsmen the next. Working as an artist has brought me into contact with a wealth of outlooks on the world and introduced me to a vast range of truly differing perceptions, felt ideas, and knowledge. Being able to take part in these local and global exchanges has profoundly affected the artworks that I make, driving me to create art that I hope touches people everywhere.

Art also encourages us to cherish intuition, uncertainty, and creativity and to search constantly for new ideas; artists aim to break rules and find unorthodox ways of approaching contemporary issues. My friend Ai Weiwei, for example, the great Chinese artist, is currently making a temporary studio on the island of Lesbos to draw attention to the plight of the millions of migrants trying to enter Europe right now and also to create a point of contact that takes us beyond an us-and-them mentality to a broader idea of what constitutes we. This is one way that art can engage with the world to change the world.” https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/why-art-has-the-power-to-change-the-world/

Sand Mandalas, The Wheel of Life

Venerable Lama Losang Samten walks us through the symbolism and meaning in The Wheel of Life, an ancient Buddhist sand mandala. Samten is a Tibetan-American scholar, sand mandala artist, former Buddhist monk, and Spiritual Director of the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia. He is the author of Ancient Teachings in Modern Times: Buddhism in the 21st Century.

Transcript: My name is Losang Samten. I’m from Tibet, born in Tibet and then fled Tibet in 1959 at the age of 5. I came to Nepal first and then eventually came to India. And so I grew up in India and then eventually came to the United States in 1988. Ever since then I’ve been creating a lot of ancient Tibetan sand mandalas. Of course all the mandalas are tradition but some of the mandalas are such – all are so beautiful but sometimes it’s hard to explain to the general public who do not have that much background of Buddhists and Buddhist philosophy.

What I’m showing to you here this image is called Wheel of Life. In our language. It’s called grid pa’i ‘khor lo. The wheel of life which in many ways is fascinating and also me as an artist to display this art in the schools, especially the schools and kids can understand a lot better and not only just intellectually understand better but something to relate to in their life. So what is the Wheel of Life in the mandala or in design, the middle there are three animals? And the three animals are a snake, a rooster and pig. Three animals are there. They’re also chasing to each other, connecting to each other which means what is their causes of suffering? What makes us so difficult? What makes our wheel so stressful? So each animal means something. Not the animal itself but represents something what we’re going through on a day to day basis.

So the pig represents the ignorance, lots are due to our emotions, special negative emotions and the difficulties and frustrations and even killing each other are due to the ignorance – not seeing the true nature of the reality. And unfortunately sometimes we as a pure teaching either Buddhism or Christianity and Judaism and Islam and all of this, even though due to how to peace – due to how to create human peace and happiness but some individuals due to the ignorance use as a killing tool in the name of the religion. So it’s the pig, the animal, which in the middle symbolizes ignorance.

Two other animals are there too and the snake represents the anger. Hatred is such a big problem in my life or anybody’s life in today and the past due to our relationships, due to anything – anger is really damaging. When Buddha designed this what was original was a pig and a snake. In the rooster case we really don’t know if the original was a rooster or a pigeon. There’s a little different – scholars have a different interpretations. So that’s why when I draw sand mandalas sometimes I draw it as a rooster, sometimes I draw it as a pigeon to both will be happy. No too much conflicts. And so the pigeon represents – either the pigeon or the rooster represents the greed, the greed, the greed. We see that today in the twenty-first century and so much greed and all these problems in the modern society.

Damaging for the environment, damaging for many different things is truly greed. So which I said earlier in the beginning of my conversation these are the three – the ignorance and the greed and the anger are the difficult ones. So these are the causes of the suffering. Suffering rises from nothingness. Suffering rises from due to something there previously, something happened and because of that and rises. So that’s why the wheel of life is so famous in the Buddhist field and especially in Tibet or Mongolia and Bhutan or some of the ancient Buddhist temples, wheel of life is on the campus.

In a way the monastery or nunnery is like your university. So big campus. In Tibet one monastery is like a 20,000 or 30,000 monks who are living there and study there, debate there and that’s they’re home. So either in the library or meditation room, somewhere wheel of life is always they paint it on the big wall. So that’s the middle of the design of the wheel of life. And the second design there and now I’m talking about the middle. And the second circle of the wheel of life there is black and white or day and night sort of it symbolizes. More of these three animals, there’s more difficulties, less of those – there’s more joy. So sometimes we call it as good karma and bad karma.

What are the Scariest Folk Stories?

Urban legends are true or false we will never know. The truth is that we really enjoy hearing about them, let’s keep reading about this interesting legends.

Aka Manto (The Red Cape)
In Japan, the bathroom is a terrifying place to be. There are tons of urban legends of bad things that can happen to you inside a public restroom. Aka Manto is said to be an extremely handsome spirit who was so attractive in life that he would cover his face with a mask to avoid unwanted advances. He now hides in the last stall of school bathrooms and when you enter he comes out and asks ” Which do you prefer, a red cape or a blue cape?” Uh oh.
If you say red he will slit your throat and your blood will flow down making it look like you’re wearing a red cape. If you say blue he will choke you until you turn blue. If you ask for another color he will drag you down to hell. So hopefully you have a good imagination and can come up with an answer quickly to avoid these scenarios. Like “No thank you, I don’t really need a cape” or maybe you can distract him by asking him a question, like “where did you get your cape?” The important thing is to stay calm, and Never to go to a public bathroom by yourself. This legend may have originated around 1935 when there were rumors of a man in a red cape who was hiding in an elementary school basement. In the 1980’s there were Stories of girls who were kidnapped in bathrooms inspiring all kinds of scary stories of the Red Cape.
Another version of this story is Red Paper, Blue Paper. Girls who go into the bathroom hear a man in the next stall ask them, “Do you want red paper or blue paper?”. If you answer red, he will skin you alive and wear your skin like a cloak. If you answer blue, he will drain all of the blood from your body leaving you to suffocate. If you ask for yellow, he will drown you in the toilet. Hopefully, by saying “no paper” he will leave you alone, but….

The Deadly Hairdo
A stylish teenager in the 1960s was Tired of always teasing and spraying her hair to achieve the perfect beehive hairdo. She washed her hair in sugar water to get it to harden in place so she would never have to do it again. At night she would Wrap the beehive tightly in a towel to keep its shape and sleep on a special pillow that prevented her from knocking the shape out. Whenever it became itchy she would simply Spray it with more hairspray instead of actually washing it. One day her mother called her down to breakfast and when she didn’t respond, she went upstairs and found her daughter had died during the night. When she removed the towel Hundreds of tiny spiders began crawling out from her hair. As she looked closer she saw that the spiders had been gnawing away at the girl’s skull and had Eaten right into her brain, which was fully exposed and rotting.
Another version of this story is that there is a Guy with dreadlocks who goes into a barbershop to get them shaved off. As the barber starts cutting his hair, he feels something stinging his scalp. He thinks the barber is cutting his scalp and He gets angry and leaves. His girlfriend finds him the next day, suffering from multiple spider bites to the skull. Hygiene over vanity my friends, please wash your hair.

The Pishtaco
The Pishtaco is a South American Vampire who hunts people to steal their body fat. Stories of the Pishtaco began around the 1500’s when the Spaniards arrived in Peru. In the Andes region, in particular, Body fat represents strength and vitality and they made regular sacred fast offerings to their gods. When the Spanish came, the local people observed them using body fat for unusual purposes like Oiling their armor and dressing battle wounds. This along with the plunder and diseases they brought to the area created the Pishtaco.
The Pishtaco is usually pale and a stranger with tall boots and a beard, Wielding curved blades and human skin lassos. With their inferior body fat, the European monsters would ingest the stolen fat to benefit from better health and prosperity- sucking it from their victims or, in later times, taking it with a syringe.

What are The Most Disturbing Legends of All Times?

Legends and myths are so linked to cultures and personal beliefs. Some are so great and include many elements that become in well known international legends and those are the ones we will share with you. One of those famous and well-known legends goes to “La Llorona”, this interesting woman was known to appear to man which got drunk and were trying to go back home late at night and that is when “La Llorona” appeared and offered them to go with her, but man refused and were scared to death and many never again got drank.

Kuchisake-Onna, the Slit-Mouthed Woman  

One of the oldest urban legends from Japan. Kuchisake was either the wife or concubine of a samurai warrior and was extremely vain. When he discovered that she had been having an affair, he punished her by slitting her mouth from ear to ear and asks, “Who will think you are beautiful now?” The legend was told to warn women to be faithful but it gets creepy when the ghost of Kuchisake-Onna began approaching strangers and chasing children in the 1970s. The story is that Kuchisake-Onna wears a beautiful scarf or mask covering her face and asks them, “Am I pretty?” This is the beginning of a lose-lose conversation. If you say no, she is going to kill you with a pair of scissors. If you say yes, she will remove her mask, showing you her horrific scars and ask, “How about now?” If you say no, she’ll cut you in half. If you say yes, she will still kill you and slit your mouth, making you look like her, hopefully after you’re dead. Here’s a diagram in case you got lost…
There are also other variations of what she might do to you like for example she might follow you home and murder you in your sleep.
In the 1970’s there was a woman who was wearing a mask and chasing some children. She was hit by a car and killed and her mouth was slit from ear to ear. There have also been recent sightings of Kuchisake-Onna and the legend lives on that she follows people who are traveling alone at night.
Some clever people have managed to escape and given us their secrets so in case this happens to you, you’ll know what to do. If Kuchisake asks you, Am I Pretty?, try to confuse her by giving her ambiguous answers like, you are average, I’d give you about a 6, or So-so. Something like that. Or, you could try to turn the conversation around like, Do you think I’m pretty? While she’s thinking, you will have enough time to escape. You can also tell her you have a prior engagement, and she will pardon her manners and excuse herself. Other possible victims have just thrown candy or something at her while they run away… The legend has even spread to South Korea, where she appears with a blood red face mask.

The Black Volga
Russia’s Phantom Death car
This type of car was the most lavish and expensive available at the time and was typically driven by the Communist Party and Soviet political officials. The legend of the black Volga automobile comes from the Soviet Union and spread throughout Eastern Europe. The Black Volga was a very high-end limousine with white curtains and rims that were spotted frequently in the streets in the 1960s. Reports were that women and children would disappear whenever this car came around. According to the legend, high-ranking Soviet officials drove the black Volga kidnapping young, pretty girls to be sex slaves of the highest ranking Soviet comrades. Another version is that children were kidnapped to harvest their organs or sell their blood to rich people suffering from leukemia around the world.
Not one eye witness could see the driver. Some theorize it was nuns or priests, Satanists, vampires, and body venders drove the vehicle.
If anyone was brave enough to challenge the Volga they would be dead within 24 hours. Many parents would make sure to walk their children home from school and told them to watch out for the Volga in case they were snatched and never seen again.

Buried Alive
The wife of an elderly man passes away after a long illness, leaving her husband devastated. He is stricken with grief and keeps denying that she is dead. He insists that she is still alive but since everyone thinks he is just in denial they sedate him and proceed with the funeral. They bury his wife in the family plot at the old man’s estate. That night, he keeps having nightmares of his wife trying to scratch her way out of the coffin and trying to escape. After a week of these nightmares, the family agrees to exhume the body. To everyone’s horror, when they open the coffin, they find the old lady’s hands all bloody with bent and broken nails and scratches on the inside of the lid.

La Llorona
The Weeping Woman
A great way to scare little ones into behaving is to tell them the myth of “La Llorona”, The Weeping Woman. The legend goes that there was a beautiful woman named Maria.

8 amazing facts about the new digital art museum “Google Culture & Arts Institute”

Did you know that Google has its own digital museum for culture and art fans? This incredible digital museum holds and infinite number of art collections, historical images, iconic memorabilia, etc. These are only 8 of hundreds of reasons why you should visit this new digital museum!

1.You can find Artists from all centuries
If you are an art fan, you can find a great number of artists and their most amazing creations on the new online platform.
From Rembrandt to Frida Kahlo, it´s all here!

2. There are Featured Projects made especially for you
You can learn something new every time you visit the “Google Culture & Arts Institute”.
Google partners with different sponsors to showcase art projects that can be interesting to different publics.
For example “We Wear Culture” can be interesting for people immersed in the fashion industry, while projects like “Women in India: Unheard Stories” or “Women in Culture” could be of interest for women and feminists from all over the world.

3. You can experiment with art like in real life and better
Try out experiments at the crossroads of art and technology, created by artists and creative coders with Google Arts & Culture.The selection of artworks are from Google Arts & Culture, shared by museums and archives around the world.
The section offers several functions such as TAG where you can search for artwork using just one word, just like when you browse on the web, you can use the word “Happy” or “Scary” and thousands of artworks related to the word from around history and time on your computer.
You can also explore artworks in 3D with Free Fall without leaving your computer or discover amazing connections between art pieces with Curator Table.

4. You can visit Museums from all over the world without leaving your chair in VR ( Google Cardboard)
The Google Arts & Culture Institute has partnerships with museums and archeological sites all over the world.
You can check out their history and all the artwork and treasures they hide without leaving your computer.


Now you can visit all the exhibits you want!

5. Art Mediums Universe
If you are interested in one art media in particular or want to investigate about oil paint or clay, you can find everything about it here.
From artwork to its main expositors, you can also check out online exhibits and organize your findings historically or even by color.
Here you find a universe of possibilities!

6. Art history in the palm of your hands
You can browse all over the history of art, from Impressionism to Minimalism and check out amazing pieces from each movement with just one click.

7. Discover an historical photographic treasure
If you are passionate about discovering photographs from the past, in here you can find infinite images, exhibits, memorabilia and documentaries from historical events like The Holocaust, The Cold War, The Cuban Revolution and many more.

8. Trump and Hilary Clinton and more iconic figures

You can browse historical images, videos, press scandals and more from any iconic figure that has transcended in time.
In here you can find out more than just what the media says about Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton. You can also investigate figures from other cultures and times.

Hilary Clinton 1969

Donald Trump and his former wife Ivana 1989

War is bad, very bad. Post-War is Worse, Much Worse says Bourdeaux

Wars were present in birth of human civilization. While we think the actual bloody battles are the problem, the reality is that the biggest problems happen on the mess left behind. War, one of the worst and most primitive facets of humanity still lingers on today, as the richest and most wise nations in the world still degrade their policy to violent solutions. And while the most honorable of men can be found in the loyalties and sacrifice of soldiers, it is rather ironic that it is their work that causes the deep pain of war.

The first war happened in the Mesolithic Cemetery Site #117 approximately 14,000 years ago. Wars through history are countless the only difference between each other are the damages left behind. The terrible results of a war are the hundreds or millions of people affected, some with just curable wounds and others no longer on this earth. During this episode of the war, many infrastructures on cities and towns affected are lost, hospitals and other necessary places form modern and safe living are totally ruined. Wars are supposed to be a fight between the nation’s armies but civilians are the bleeding heart that provides the boys and girls for ward, and then stays to pickup up the pieces while in one of the most violent and vulnerable situations on earth. Even the ones that are forced to migrate cause an even bigger global social trauma.
Civilians are affected by the appearance of diseases, famines, atrocities, genocides and epidemics that keep killing the population. It’s in is the destruction of social infrastructure, things that we all take for granted to the point of being oblivious to them, are the true gigantic monsters brought and left to stay, by the war. of Source: https://list25.com/25-deadliest-wars-in-human-history/.

On Richmond, American Civil War

Impacts of a war include crime and homicides increase which might last for years. Civil wars increase the exposure of civilians to diseases and deaths. Long bloody civil wars can make a population displace internally or as refugees. This person do not come back home after the war is over but stay in their new crowded homes for years. These camps were they live have bad food, dirty water turning this places in vectors of diseases, stress, and malnutrition affects the immune system.

Healthcare infrastructure is totally destroyed by the just-ended civil war. Cases as eradicating Guinea worm, river blindness, and others is a challenge in places where civil wars have affected seriously. The spread of AIDS in Africa is linked with soldiers and refugees running away from civil wars effects. Violence increase after civil wars, homicides, suicides and rape rates go up. One probable cause is the spread of weapons after the war is over. Economic growth is severely affected by this event calculated on 5 years after the war of negative impact on economic growth.

Bulgarian Refugee Children
Spanish Civil War 26 refugees killed

Health are systems are completely devasted in urban areas or rural areas were wars have occurred. Rebuilding this places will take time and resources probably not available. Human capital with clinical and medical training might be completely lost because maybe they might not be eager to come back. The complete city infrastructure is completely destroyed and clean water and safe food, medicine, clothes and other supplies can not be transported easily. Source: Article: The post-war public health effects of civil conflict by Hazem Adam Ghobarah, Paul Huth, and Bruce Russett. (2003)

Dr. Margaret Bourdeaux presents her TED talk with the theme: “Why civilians suffer more once the war is over”. In which she presents her points of view as a physician of heath care systems in places affected by civil wars. The circumstances of a post-war period on the civilians left after this fighting and bloody scenes. She exposes her idea on a magnificent and clear strategy on how to lead with a postwar recuperation period which consists of developing the strong and solid basis of a health care system that protects the vulnerable civilians.

War doesn’t just kill people; it destroys the institutions that keep society running, like utilities, banks, and hospitals. Physician and global health policy analyst Margaret Bourdeaux proposes a bold approach to post-conflict recovery that focuses on building strong, resilient health systems that protect vulnerable populations…..