Lifestyles: Columnists

Apr. 24, 2014 @ 10:15 AM

Could stethoscopes be spreading germs?

Q. I frequently see medical personnel in their scrubs with their stethoscopes around their necks in the hospital cafeteria or even nearby restaurants. I wonder how often they sanitize those stethoscopes. They seem oblivious to the possibility that they might be spreading germs.


Apr. 24, 2014 @ 09:13 AM

Paying homage to a photographer who saw Durham through his lens

There are a lot of people who love Durham and North Carolina, but no group is more enamored of our area than photographers, and the Will Grossman competition has been organized to encourage that love. This year’s theme was “People, Places and Things in North Carolina.” All photographs must be made in the state.  Beyond that rule, the artists could interpret those guidelines any way they wanted. 


Apr. 22, 2014 @ 12:30 PM

Food chat: gridiron edition

When I was in high school, there was a story about one of the coaches, Coach P.  Another coach took a honey bun off his desk and ate it.
When Coach P found out what had happened, he picked up the thief by his shirt, held him against the wall of the office, and growled a warning.


Apr. 22, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

Coconut oil not a villain

A single coupon did more than just save me money, it opened my eyes.
Looking at that $1 coupon for Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread I couldn't help but recall the days when I deemed coconut oil as the poster child for bad fats.


Apr. 17, 2014 @ 10:22 AM

At NCMA, a fusion of cultures and art

There is an image of Mickey Mouse, with a skeletal body and his gloved hand poised like a gun. There is a Sun-Maid raisin box, labeled “Sun Mad” with the image of the girl on the box changed to a ghastly skeleton. There is a portrait of Cesar Chavez with the Nike swoosh emblazoned on his cap. And there is a sweet 15-year-old dressed in her coming-of-age finery. These are just some of the images by the 44 artists in the exhibition “Estampas de la Raza.”


Apr. 15, 2014 @ 10:51 AM

In defense of excess

In some places it’s called speculoos, which kind of sounds like a medieval medical/torture device.

It’s also known as biscoff.  That reminds me of a wrestling move. “Holy Moses! He’s giving him the old biscoff maneuver! That’s gonna hurt!”

But to me, the very best name for it is cookie butter.

 

Apr. 10, 2014 @ 10:17 AM

In Durham, a surfeit of still lifes

It is becoming a habit, working the art scene in downtown Durham. This past week I was back at it and Cynthia Aldrich’s exhibition of still lifes in three dimensions started me thinking about the genre and some of its history; it also sent me on a still life search in other galleries. A still life is usually a picture of inanimate objects; they are still.  Sometimes a dead animal or cut flowers are included; the animal no longer moves and the cut flowers will quickly die.


Apr. 08, 2014 @ 02:39 PM

Prostate drug acts like dimmer switch on sex drive

Q. Doctors rarely if ever tell patients about sexual side effects of medication. A case in point is the prostate-shrinking medication finasteride.


Apr. 08, 2014 @ 10:49 AM

A healthier cheeseburger macaroni dish

While perusing the contents of my pantry, a friend came across an older box of Hamburger Helper and asked "how can you have that in your pantry when you write about such healthy foods?"

I explained that my fondness for Hamburger Helper bloomed at a time when I didn't closely read product ingredient lists and sometimes still get the taste for it.
My friend then rattled off the ingredient list: "Enriched macaroni, cornstarch, salt ..."


Apr. 08, 2014 @ 10:24 AM

Taking goulash to new heights

What if I told you that you could cook a dish better than a world-famous chef?
And what if I told you it’s a one-pot meal, that’s both cheap and easy?
The chef is Chef Boyardee, and the dish is beefaroni (wait … stay with me, I’m going someplace with this).


Apr. 03, 2014 @ 09:41 AM

At CAM, N.C.’s commitment to the arts

Art is not simply paintings or sculpture worked in traditional media or even photographs done in the most complicated digital imaging available; art is all of those things plus beautifully crafted wood boxes that hold landscapes made of layers of paper, pieces of machinery that rotate by sensor, filament that falls in space like controlled fire or a documentary about modern-day Afrikaners who see themselves in post-South Africa apartheid as victims.
The Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh is hosting the 15 winners of the 2013 N.C. Arts Council Artists Fellowships and the work is strong, creative, new and smart. 


Apr. 02, 2014 @ 11:51 AM

Sixteen home remedies for canker sores

Q. I was having a serious bout of canker sores, with two deep ones on my tongue and several new ones. I could hardly eat.
I read the suggestions in your "Home and Herbal Remedies" book, but I had none of the items mentioned. The discussion got me thinking, though, and I tried swishing Pepto-Bismol around in my mouth before going to bed.


Apr. 01, 2014 @ 10:02 AM

I’m chopped to pieces

“Chopped” is a show on Food Network. Four chefs are confronted by three baskets with four mystery foodstuffs in each. With them, they must cook an appetizer course, then main course, and finally dessert. The time is limited, and the pressure is immense. 
After each round, one contestant is eliminated, so at the dessert cook-off only two remain.
The Kid and I are big fans of the show, and do lots of back-seat cooking.


Mar. 27, 2014 @ 10:47 AM

Fine art among the shelves

Department stores and original art are not a usual pairing, but the local Nordstrom sees it differently. Beginning just six months ago, the store created a new space and invited its visual merchandising team to come up with an original use for it. The idea, put forward by Ashley Reynolds, was to create a gallery and invite local artists to show and sell their work in the space.
It caught fire. Everyone loved it, from her teammates, to the store manager to corporate headquarters, and so have the artists, Kelsey Melville and Chieko Murasugi, who were the first two to exhibit. The space is situated on the second floor where customer service used to be; it is a prime location near the restrooms and the elevator.


Mar. 25, 2014 @ 10:03 AM

Rocket, ma’am

I always get blue around St Patrick’s Day.
While refrigerators all over the country are stocked with corned beef and cabbage, the fridge at Chez Matthews is barren.
I adore Irish boiled dinner. When there’s a steaming slab of pink beef within reach, I lose all shame and self-control.  I can eat my weight in that stuff.