Contrary to popular belief, the life of a food critic boils down to more than just making snide comments about dishes and restaurants. The job entails more than going to high profile restaurants to determine whether the food they serve is as good as the management wants the public to believe it to be. Food critics are people who not only judge famous cuisine; they do it for the public. They discriminate the good from the bad so the general population has a good idea of what to eat, and where to go to enjoy good food. More than that, it is also the job of a food critic to find the diamonds in the rough, and bring the unnoticed and underrated restaurants and dishes of today into full view of the people.
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While every culture has differences in what is considered proper etiquette during dinner (and the definition of a “formal” dinner varies from place to place as well), most agree on one of two styles of formal dining: American and English. Both are considered by many to be respectful to the dinner host, and are designed to minimize mess and spills during and after the meal. The diner (person who dines) must become familiar with the formal dinner setting in order to avoid using utensils the wrong way.

The formal dinner table setting is iconic, with most utensils placed side by side in the order of which the food is going to be served. Directly in front of the diner is the dinner plate. A salad plate is placed on top of this, and a napkin is neatly to top it off. In the case of formal restaurants, is also accompanied by the place card. If soup is served, then the soup bowl is placed on top of the salad plate. The position of the plate is meant to serve as a center; a fixed point that under most circumstances should not move during the entire dinner, and the soup bowl and salad plate are removed as the diner moves to the following course.

To the left of the dinner plate are the forks. They are arranged from left to right in the order of which the courses are served. Therefore, the salad fork is to the far left, and the dinner fork is located closest to the dinner plate. Between these two, any number of forks except the dessert fork and cocktail fork is placed, depending on what is to be served. For example, if the waiter is serving fish, then the fish fork goes between the salad and dinner forks. All forks on this side of the plate are placed with their handles facing to the diner.
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One of my friend’s boys cannot enjoy the sweetness of bread. According to his mother, he cannot take bread or any baked foods because he is allergic to yeast. To keep him from having yeast based allergic reactions, the family usually avoids giving him any foods that might have a trace of yeast in them. That story is shared by millions of people across the globe and the number is still rising. The same can be said about corn allergies which are also on the rise. Ill look at what causes these allergic reactions in the body, some of the symptoms and treatments.

What causes allergic reactions?

An allergy is the body’s reaction to non harmful substances it considers invaders. As a result, it releases chemicals such as histamine which work by repelling the substance. Histamine has several effects on the body including inflammation.

Since the body will react abnormally to a harmless substance, the substance has to be initially recognizable by the body’s immune system. As such, the substance has to be present inside the body. From this, any autoimmune reaction such as yeast allergy actually develops over time. In most cases, the affected person will have a hard time trying to identify the causing agent since it might be something they consume daily.

Symptoms

The symptoms of an allergic reaction will vary from one person to another. How severe the reaction is will also depend on how much histamine the body produces to get rid of the allergy trigger. Some common symptoms found in both yeast and corn allergies include the following.

Swelling in the throat, tongue, lips and face is usually one of the initial signs of an allergic reaction to either yeast or corn. The swelling is the result of inflammation caused by histamine buildup in the oral tract in preparation of elimination of the causing agent.

Gastrointestinal problems such as bloating and nausea are also a common symptom found in both types of allergies. This can also be accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting as the body tries to get rid of the yeast or corn.

Another common symptom associated with both allergy types is the development of a skin rash. The rash is usually itchy and inflamed.

Difficulty breathing and dizziness are also associated with yeast and corn allergies. These conditions arise when the airways become constricted due to swelling.

One of the more severe yeast and corn allergy symptoms is anaphylaxis. This is a condition where the respiratory system goes into shock and breathing becomes impossible. It is usually quite rare but there are recorded cases of deaths resulting from this allergy symptom.

Treatment and prevention

Treatment of either corn or yeast allergy usually involves taking medications to counter the effects of histamine. In severe cases where the patient goes into anaphylactic shock, emergency medical treatment is necessary since the condition is life threatening.

Preventive measures usually involve avoiding products which contain either allergen. This however can be difficult since yeast and corn are included as ingredients in many food and medical products.


A while ago, I came across a high school friend that I hadn’t seen for years. It was a great moment for me as it offered the opportunity to catch up. For her however, it was more or less an uncomfortable moment. She spotted a red bump on the bridge of her nose. I noticed it was an acne breakout but didn’t want to probe on the issue further since I didn’t want to offend her.

During our conversation, she happened to mention about the acne nodule on her nose. “It’s nothing. You should have met me when I had acne on my scalp.” She said lightheartedly. “Acne on the scalp?” I wondered. Id never heard about this condition so I went on to further research it. Since both affected my friend at some time, I’ve decided to between these two types of acne.

How do the conditions develop?

Acne is a condition that affects the skin. It develops when sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria accumulate in the pores of the skin clogging them. The result is a slight bump on the skin which can be inflamed or not.

Nodular acne occurs when the pimple that forms from a non inflammatory form of acne grows in size and goes untreated. As such, the walls of the pimple might collapse spilling the contents deep into skin tissue. The result is a raised pimple that’s inflamed and large.

Scalp acne on the other hand develops when bacteria, dead skin cells and skin oils accumulate within hair follicles clogging them. The result is a red inflamed bump that surrounds a single hair.

Differences

Although both are inflammatory types of acne, there are three major differences between them. First, acne nodules develop on skin pores while acne on the scalp develops in the hair follicle. Second, acne on the scalp develops closer to the surface of the skin than nodules. Third, acne on the scalp appears as small pimples while nodules are usually larger and about 1 inch in diameter.

Symptoms

Both being inflammatory types of acne, the main symptom is intense itching and swelling in the affected area. The inflammation might create a sensation of heat as the body tries to combat the bacteria. Another common symptom is redness in the affected area. One symptom that’s unique to acne of the scalp is that it can lead to loss of hair if damage to the hair follicle occurs.

Treatment options

It’s usually recommended that you try and treat the acne from within your body. The reason for this is that acne development is linked to what you include in your diet and lifestyle factors. Eating a diet rich in vitamins and zinc which are essential for your skins normal functioning will place you on the path of quick recovery.

Topical treatments are also available. These serve different functions including unclogging the pores, exfoliating dead skin cells and killing bacteria. Some of the popular and effective topical acne treatments available for these two conditions include benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.


Since childhood, I’ve always been drawn towards people with personalities that aren’t too radical. I prefer people who are peaceful and want to create lasting mutual relationships. Such people just give me an energy boost even when I’m down. I’ve come to learn that there are sixteen personality categories. Each person falls into one of these categories. This led me to do some research into the personalities I’m drawn towards and found two that fit the description, infp and enfj personality types. I’ll look at these in a little more detail.

The enfj

The enfj is a fairly small group comprising about 2% of the population. Amazingly, this 2% comprises our leaders and influencers. These include teachers and politicians. What draws me towards this personality type is their willingness to help other people out. People under this category will show genuine interest and concern for others.

The enfj is an excellent communicator and is driven by principles. They won’t be afraid to communicate what they feel and think be it through emotion or by relaying facts.

Enfj relationships are grounded on the principle of making their partners happy. The enfj personality will seek out a partner with a goal of having a lasting relationship. Due to the fact that they want their partners to be happy, the enfj won’t hesitate to keep track of the relationship and get regular confirmation from their partner that everything’s ok.

This personality type tends to want to avoid conflict. They will do what it takes to avoid confrontations with their partner. One shortcoming of this trait is that partners might end up viewing the enfj as needy and overly protective of the relationship. If a relationship fails, the enfj will be filled with a sense of guilt and see themselves as the reason why the relationship hit the ground. This is even if they aren’t the cause of the ended relationship.

The infp

The infp is also a fairly small group that comprises around 4% of the population. This group comprises the artistic type that tends to see the brighter side of things even when they look grim. A particular trait that draws me towards this personality type is their sense of virtue and principle. Their actions aren’t based on the outcome but on whether the action has a sense of right in it.

This personality type is a good communicator and will usually use art as a way of expression. Interested in the world around them, they are excellent learners and will even try to learn a couple of languages to communicate more effectively.

Infp relationships are grounded on the principle of loving all but trusting a few. They tend to choose a few people whom they can get into a relationship with. If chosen as a partner, you can be assured that the infp is looking for a lasting and mutual relationship. This personality type is continuously seeking the perfect relationship and will work towards achieving this goal.

Interestingly, the infp will respect their partner’s independence while still trying to help them improve. Like the enfj, this personality type is diplomatic and avoids conflict at all cost.


About a month ago, I accompanied a friend of mine to the podiatrist. Her foot was swollen from a sprain. The pain was so severe she had to use crutches. As she was being attended to, I took time to explore the podiatrist’s office and came across some interesting charts on the walls. These were describing different foot conditions. One of these was sinus tarsi. I took time to read the chart and learned a lot about this condition. Its symptoms were similar in a way to those on my friend. Some of the things I learned about this condition include the following.

What is sinus tarsi syndrome?

Sinus tarsi is a clinical condition that affect the sinus tarsi cavity located between the ankle and heel bone. This cavity contains ligaments and joint capsule which play a role in foot stability.

What causes this condition?

There are two main causes of this condition. The most common cause is a sprained foot where the ankle rolls out. Another common cause is repetitive strain on the ligaments in the sinus tarsi caused by walking or running on a flat foot.

sprained foot

Some of the factors that contribute largely to the development of sinus tarsi include muscle weakness in the foot. Inappropriate footwear with an excessively flat foot can also contribute to this condition. Poor flexibility of the foot can affect its motion which can lead to straining of ligaments in the sinus tarsi cavity. Other contributing factors include poor training and poor foot biomechanics.

Who is at risk?

Anyone can develop this condition. However, athletes are the most vulnerable as their trades usually demand abnormal twisting of the foot.

What are the symptoms?

The common symptoms of this condition are pain and swelling around the sinus tarsi cavity. The patient may also experience tenderness in the tissue around this area. Symptoms are usually more severe in the morning and will disappear as the patient walks.

How is the condition treated?

From what I learned, most patients with this condition will heal successfully when placed under a physiotherapy program. The time it takes to completely heal largely depends on the severity of the condition and patient compliance. It can take anything between a few weeks and months.

Some of the procedures involved during the physiotherapy program include the following. First, the patient is required to rest the affected foot from any activities which cause pain. This includes walking and crutches may be required. The patient then undergoes the RICE regime which includes rest, application of ice, application of pressure through compression and, elevating the affected foot. After symptoms disappear, the patient then undergoes flexibility and strengthening program where the foot is gradually reintroduced to normal activity. Other treatment options for this condition include orthoses, appropriate footwear, painkillers for the inflammation and, exercising the foot.

Only in severe cases is surgery recommended as a treatment method. In this case, the pediatrician will make their recommendation after ensuring that all possible treatment methods have been ineffective and surgery will be the only way to correct the condition.