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Mushroom health: There are at least 2,000 varieties, but which are best?

By Susan Burke March The Journal of Wild Mushrooming is a fascinating resource for all things mushrooms. They say there are 10,000 described species in North American alone, but that may represent only a third to a fifth of what’s really out there! In percentages, 50% are inedible, 25% edible but tasteless, 20% will make […]

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Enjoy Cuenca’s famed Rio Tomebamba but beware of his evil brother Julián Matadero

The word “Cuenca” means “watershed” which is appropriate. A confluence of four rivers run through town on their way to the Amazon. In fact, the town’s full name, “Santa Ana de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca” pays tribute to the Tomebamba, Yanuncay, Tarqui and Machangara rivers. The Rio Tomebamba flows along the border between the historic […]

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Look on the bright side of life. You’ll live longer!

By Mark Mahoney As societal pressures ramp on a daily basis, our states of mind and outlook on life are tempered by many factors.  A new decades-long epidemiologic research study identifies a strong correlational (not causal) association between optimism and “exceptional longevity,” which is described as living to age 85 or older.  It noted that […]

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Río del Lavandería

Almost four years ago, I caught a bus for line #19 and rode it to its termination point west of Cuenca. It was a year before our truck, El Fantasma, would make his berth wherever Edie and I went. I entered the Yanuncay Valley on foot that day by way of Via Soldados, which was […]

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Digestive troubles? Don’t suffer! Here are some smart solutions.

By Consumer Reports Just about everyone experiences digestive problems on occasion. They’re some of the most common complaints in doctors’ offices. But for more than 10 million people, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea or heartburn are a regular occurrence. When your doctor can’t find an underlying reason for the problem, it’s dubbed a “functional” gastrointestinal disorder, […]

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The headlines say that red meat is healthful, but is that what the research really says?

By Gina Kolata Public health officials for years have urged Americans to limit consumption of red meat and processed meats because of concerns that these foods are linked to heart disease, cancer and other ills. But on Monday, in a remarkable turnabout, an international collaboration of researchers produced a series of analyses concluding that the advice, […]

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English rocks and it’s no wonder why it’s become the world’s default language

English, the ugly-duckling lovechild of a tense marriage between old Saxon and French, is now the world’s flagship language of commerce. Why? Because learning English is as easy as driving Spanish highways. No rules, only exceptions, and spoken accents don’t matter! People from Scotland have no trouble understanding Texans. (Aussies can always resort to pen […]

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Breakfast at La Guarida offers a morning performance as good as the late show

By Sylvester Grahame Danger is a common companion of artists. They understand that a fresh perspective requires calculated risk and that this offers hidden surprises good and bad, making astute planning an absolute necessity. This challenging environment is clearly on display, and celebrated, in Andres Zambrano’s theatrical restaurant and creative space, La Guarida at Calle […]

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Baby Boomers are dining out less often; One reason is that almost 20% of them are dead

By Hugh Robert Don’t look now, but there’s a whole new generation of restaurant customers coming. As the Baby Boomer generation begins to “age out” of the restaurant market, a new demographic, Generation Z, is replacing them. Boomers, whose affluence as well as sheer numbers have made them a prime target market for restaurants, especially […]

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Why do athletes have such bad teeth?

British Olympic and professional athletes could be damaging their teeth by regular using sports drinks, energy bars and gels, according to a study. Researchers from University College London surveyed 352 female and male athletes across 11 sports, including cycling, swimming, rugby, football, rowing, hockey, sailing and athletics. The study concluded that elite athletes had poor […]

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The climate crisis is real. What can you do?

Editor’s note: This is the last of an eight-part series about the climate and biodiversity crises. John Keeble is a former Guardian and London Evening News journalist. He is part of Cuenca’s thriving hiking, cycling and writing communities. You can download free his latest novel, Beyond Extinction, via www.johnkeeble.net. To read part one of the […]

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