Science


Christmas cactus turned Easter CactusWe’ve had this “Christmas” cactus in our bathroom for a year and a half. It was blooming when my in-laws bought it for us in October. A few weeks ago, it decided to bloom again (it actually looked better before the cat decided to nibble off all the buds). I’m a little worried about what the blooming says about the temperature we keep our house since, according to this website, Christmas cactus will bloom if you expose them to 50-55 deg F. I’m thinking about renaming it our Easter cactus.

white and green asparagusWhite asparagus can give a vegetable that looks a little funny a new sense of style. Mix it with the green kind and you’ve got a lovely dish that’s more interesting to look at (and therefore more likely to be eaten).

I haven’t priced it, but apparently the white asparagus is more expensive than the green variety. Did you know that it’s the same stuff? You can make your own (assuming you’ve got an asparagus patch) by simply putting a box over the growing asparagus. No sunlight=no photosynthesis=no green. But because the stem grows from a root that contains all the nutrients, the lack of light doesn’t really affect its growth that much.

No asparagus patch? Why don’t you plant one this spring? Buy two year old crowns (vs seeds) and you can have a small crop this year. And a larger crop for the next 10-15 years. Just remember to let the last few stems grow out completely at the end of the season to store nutrients in the roots for next year.

Interesting looking vegetable melodies Works for me. Go check out Shannon for more healthy living tips.

We had asparagus last night. This morning my pee smelled. Coincidence…no, not exactly. Appearently asparagus contains a sulfur containing compound called mercaptan which is broken down by an enzyme which creates a stinky compound, methanethiol. Which ironically may be a narcotic at high concentrations (don’t worry I didn’t go drinking my pee).

Appearently some people don’t have the enzyme to make the stinky compound and others don’t have the receptor to smell the compound. Lucky me, I got both. How about you?

Note: if you can’t smell it, you’re going to have to find a smelly friend’s pee (you might want to refer to them as a friend who’s pee smells) to figure out if you’re missing the enzyme or the receptor. You could ask them to smell your pee, but I suggest asking for one of their samples so as to not make it awkward 😀