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Today is March 21, 2021

 

World Poetry Day

Historians believe that poetry is one of the earliest forms of communication, and one that may even predate literacy. Poetry was once a means of recording history and telling stories.

Derived from the Greek “poieo,” meaning “I create,” poetry has long been a language prized for its aesthetic qualities and ability to convey emotions in a way that routine prose cannot.

Poetry is also closely related to musical traditions, as it often features verses that are lyrical in nature. Repetitive verses and rhythm were assets in early oral traditions because they made lengthy or important stories easier to remember and retell. Many believe that the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor and the Epic of Gilgamesh are some of the earliest forms of poetry.

Even though poetry is largely associated with professing thoughts of love and affection, classical thinkers employed a three-pronged classification for classic poetry. These included epic, tragic and comic. Later, poetry was identified as epic, lyric and dramatic. Lyric poems were short and often personal. This gave rise to dramatic verse and the modern-day evolution of performance poetry.

Today, poetry is classified in various categories, from ballads to couplets to sonnets to limericks.

Various nations are known for their styles of poetry, such as the Japanese haiku or the French rondeau. And while there are rules that govern particular types of poetry, there also are rule-breakers who create poetry as unique as their thoughts.

Anyone who can take pen to paper – or cursor to screen – can create poetry. Poetry is one of the more lasting forms of self-expression, and one that figures to continue withstanding the test of time.

 

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Healthy Fats Day

Fat can be confusing as it pertains to diet. If asked to describe fat in a single word, many people might be inclined to say, “Bad.” However, fat is more complicated than that and is actually an essential component of a healthy diet.

According to the American Heart Association, between 25 and 35 percent of a person’s daily calories should consist of fat. Not all fats are the same, and food typically contains both saturated and unsaturated fat. Understanding the distinction between the two can help people make sound dietary decisions.

What is saturated fat?

According to the online medical resource Verywell Health, saturated fats have no double bonds in their chemical structure. It’s because of that structure that saturated fats have a solid consistency at room temperature. Saturated fat can be found in various foods, including animal meat, coconut oil, cheese, butter, milk, and processed meats, such as bologna and sausage. Prepackaged snacks such as cookies and crackers also may contain saturated fats.

What is unsaturated fat?

Unsaturated fats contain one or more double bonds in their chemical structure and are typically liquid at room temperature. Not all unsaturated fats are the same. Some are monounsaturated fats, which contain only one doubled in their structure. Examples of monounsaturated fats include canola oil and olive oil. Polyunsaturated fats are those that contain two or more double bonds in their structure. Safflower oil, sunflower oil and corn oil are some examples of polyunsaturated fats.

Is one type of fat worse than another?

Part of the difficulty surrounding dietary fat is conflicting studies regarding its effects on overall health. Saturated fat has long been considered unhealthy, and the AHA recommends that less than 6 percent of daily caloric intake consist of saturated fat. Some studies have indicated that high amounts of saturated fats are linked to an increased risk for heart disease, while other studies refute such claims.

Is one type of fat better than another?

Unsaturated fats are generally considered more beneficial to overall health than saturated fats. The AHA recommends that people should get most of their daily fat intake from unsaturated fats, which can be found in foods such as nuts, olives and avocados. Fish such as tuna and salmon also are good sources of unsaturated fats.

Fats and how they fit into a healthy diet can be difficult to understand. Adults can consult with their physicians to determine which foods and fat sources are right for them

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National Clean Out Your Closet Week

Homes are getting bigger, but it seems like people are still lamenting a lack of storage space.

National Public Radio says the average American home has nearly tripled in size during the last 50 years. Despite that, 10 percent of Americans still need to rent off-site storage, according to a report in the New York Times Magazine. Self-storage facilities are one of the fastest-growing commercial real estate segments, and the Self Storage Association says there are more than 50,000 storage facilities in the U.S. alone. The commercial real estate company CBRE, Ltd., says there are roughly 3,000 self-storage facilities across Canada, and 65 to 85 percent of self-storage tenants are residential users.

Improving storage at home can be a cost-effective alternative to renting storage space. With these easy tips, homeowners can maximize space immediately.

Utilize track storage systems

Closets may be plentiful, but if not efficiently utilized, space may still seem lacking. Track closet storage systems often make greater use of closet space than traditional shelf and hanging rod systems. Customizing closets using track systems or other modifications can improve utility of all closets in the house.

Invest in storage beds

Storage beds typically feature cubbies or drawers within a platform-style bed frame. It’s a practical home storage solution, and does not require any building.

Think vertically

Maximize spaces by looking up and down for storage possibilities. Items that are not used frequently, such as seasonal decorations or travel suitcases, can be stored in high spaces. Shelving on walls can go as high as necessary and be put to use in awkward wall areas, such as in corners or under eaves.

Invest in storage benches/ottomans

A stopping area inside the front door replete with a storage bench can house shoes, umbrellas, hats, backpacks, and other items, keeping them tidy and out of sight. In living rooms, look for chests or ottomans that are decorative and functional. Store throw blankets or board games inside.

Recess drawers or shelves

Gain more storage by recessing a chest of drawers into what is called the “knee wall” of homes that have sloped ceilings in attics and upstairs bedrooms. Utilize these short walls in an efficient manner by sinking drawers or shelves into them, without taking up floor space.

Rafter shelving

While in the attic (or a garage), add hanging shelves to rafters or exposed beams to create off-the-floor storage as well.

These are just a few of the handy ways to improve the interior storage space in a home.