Thursday, April 30, 2009

Green tea zaps zits

Did you know that green tea can treat acne? You do now:

Green tea is said to work best as a home remedy for acne when used from the inside out—in other words when you drink it. . . . Also, simply placing a warm tea bag on acne lesions helps provide instant soothing effects, helps draw out toxins and promotes faster healing.


Cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. Click the above pic for a supermassive, superspectacular panorama.


—Mellow Monk


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Green tea and amyloidosis

Consider yourself fortunate if you have never even heard of amyloidosis. The good news, however, is that green tea is emerging as a possible treatment for the disease.



Just as every snowflake is unique, no grain of sand is the same as any other. (After talking about amyloidosis, I had to post a cheery picture.)


—Mellow Monk


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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Green tea ale

Great Lakes Brewery's Green Tea Ale is getting great reviews.


If any of you try some, I'd love to hear about it.



I like the "tea" symbol (茶) and the teahouse icon in the center of the label.


—Mellow Monk


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Monday, April 27, 2009

Box-diving Maru redux

Remember Maru, the cardboard box-obsessed cat?


Well, he's back—and taking on bigger challenges:





—Mellow Monk


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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Time-lapse video of wavy clouds

Here's a great video to sip green tea to:





—Mellow Monk


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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tulips against a blue sky

I spent a few relaxing minutes this morning, tea in hand, mellowing out to this simple but beautiful image of tulips against a clear blue sky.



Then again, they also look like giant Triffid tulips!


—Mellow Monk


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Friday, April 24, 2009

Super takoyaki balls in Tokyo

This Is Gonna Be Good—a great blog that, "in the spirit of Tony Bourdain, treats food as adventure"—reviews the fare offered by a takoyaki food van in Akihabara.



Mobile food factories like this are a common sight throughout Japan, although perhaps not quite as ubiquitous as vending machines.


—Mellow Monk


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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Calm-A-Sutra tea video contest

Attention, all up-and-coming filmmakers: The Tea Council of the USA is having its third annual scholarship competition, Calm-A-Sutra of Tea, which "challenges college students to create a one- to two-minute video about the positive benefits of black, green, white or oolong tea in order to win a $15,000 scholarship."


Not bad, eh?


Here is last year's winner, titled "Interrogation." It's actually quite funny and very well done.





—Mellow Monk


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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tokyo stereographics

A stereographic is a photograph taken in such a way that it makes the subject look like its own little planet. Here is a slew of stereographics of Tokyo locales.


I promise you that this will make for a very offbeat green tea break.



"The river which flows into the sky."


—Mellow Monk


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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hungry for Japanese

Are you hungry for Japanese—the language, that is?


If so, you should check out Hungry for (Mostly Japanese) Words, which bills itself as offering "mini-lessons in Japanese daily," such as this one:

'Proper' employees vs. バイト and others

In Japanese working society, a 正社員 (せいしゃいん seisha-in) is a full time employee, literally translated as a 'real' or 'proper' company member. Being a 正社員 means that one gets full benefits, a year-end bonus, and historically (though not since the early '90s) lifetime employment.


An amazing sunset at Borneo's Sutera Harbor. Click for the spectacular full-size version.


—Mellow Monk


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Monday, April 20, 2009

Now you're cooking with tea

This article on using tea in cooking includes a recipe for green tea eggs—which is also recommended in The Low-Carb Cookbook.



Click for more examples of the work of Russian artist Alex Andreev, who calls his style "hermetic.”


—Mellow Monk


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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Please don't trample the geisha

Please try not to be too intrusive or aggressive when photographing the maiko or geisha on Hanamikoji street.



Like superstars, but without the superstar paychecks.


—Mellow Monk


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Friday, April 17, 2009

Is green tea an appetite suppressant?

Green tea may be a natural appetite suppressant, according to a study published in Clinical Nutrition.



A night scene of Yokohama's‘ Minato Mirai district.


—Mellow Monk


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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Green tea protects the liver

A study published recently in the Journal of Biomedical Science found that green tea can reduce or prevent acute liver injury.



Well I just couldn't post a picture of livers, now could I?


—Mellow Monk


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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You light up my life, Northern Lights

They look like something out of a science fiction movie but aren't. The Northern Lights are simply Mother Nature strutting her stuff.



Imagine being able to see this out of your window. (Taken in Nuuk, Greenland.)


—Mellow Monk


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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Be mellow at work. You’ll reduce your stress and your chances of losing your job.

By not worrying about losing your job, you will not only avoid unnecessary stress but also improve your chances of not losing your job.


So just sit back, brew up some green tea and relax.


But don't forget to get some work done—that will improve your prospects, too.



What, me worry?


—Mellow Monk


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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Catch a wave

Along the border between Utah and Arizona is a magnificent red-rock formation known as The Wave.



Sorry, youngsters. No skateboarding allowed.


—Mellow Monk


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Friday, April 10, 2009

Bladerunner Tokyo

Remember the Harrison Ford science fiction film "Bladerunner"?


Dark Roasted Blend has put together a collection of large-format photos of Tokyo that look like they could have been taken in the futuristic city depicted in the film.



More pictures of Tokyo's Rainbow Bridge here.


—Mellow Monk


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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Two cool sites for students of Japanese

It sure is a brave new world today.


In the old days, if you wanted to look up the meaning of a Japanese word, you had plod through a paper dictionary.


But no more.


Now, not only are there online dictionaries like Goo, but there's even the super-fast dictionary Nihongodict.com: Type in an English or Japanese word, and its other-language equivalent appears almost instantaneously.


Another cool resource: clickable kanji lookup by radical at Denshi Jisho (Electronic Dictionary).



This has nothing to do with learning Japanese. Instead, it's just a mellow photograph of a circumhorizon arc, also known as a summertime halo.


—Mellow Monk


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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Kinkakuji in winter

A Japanese blogger has posted some beautiful photographs of the Golden Pavilion Temple (Kinkakuji) in the wintertime.


Of these pictures, this one is my favorite.



The titular structure in Yukio Mishima's Temple of the Golden Pavilion.


—Mellow Monk


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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Green tea, guardian of the emperor

In traditional Chinese medicine, the heart is considered the emperor of all the body's organs. And so green tea, with all of its cardio-protective effects, can be considered the Emperor's guard—a most sacred duty indeed.



I would feel like an emperor gazing down at this magnificent sight somewhere in the Sino-Tibetan mountains.


—Mellow Monk


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Monday, April 06, 2009

Blissful Buds reviewed at Multiple Infusions

Lewis at the tea blog Multiple Infusions has kindly reviewed our Blissful Buds Green Tea.



Our Blissful Buds Green Tea as brewed by Lewis.


—Mellow Monk


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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Now more than ever—the simplicity of tea

The more complicated our world gets, the more we seek out respite in pockets of simplicity.


Thus even "captains of the Internet" and former quad-cappuccino-quaffing techie types are discovering the soul-soothing tranquility of tea.



Business guru Tim Ferriss prepares a pot of mellow.


—Mellow Monk


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Friday, April 03, 2009

As soon as it's bottled, green tea starts losing its catechins

A study published recently in the Journal of Food Science found that brewed green tea in storage lost a "highly significant" 32% of its catechins after 6 months.


When you consider how long it takes for a batch of bottled tea to be trucked from the factory to the warehouse to the supermarket to your home, it is easy to see that that by the time you actually twist the top off your bottled green tea, it will most certainly not contain the amounts of EGCG and other catechins indicated on the label.


This is yet another reason to brew your own tea.


If you want, you can read the entire article (PDF).



So remember—finish your cup of green tea before you head off for Greece.


—Mellow Monk


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Thursday, April 02, 2009

In which we review a wonderful pair of Yoga Hyde pants

The women folk here at Mellow Monk recently had the opportunity to try a pair of yoga pants from Yoga Hyde. This particular pair, which you can see modeled in the photo below, are Hyde's Engineered Seam Yoga Pants.


All who tried the pants were absolutely delighted with them. The jersey fabric—a 95% cotton, 5% spandex blend—is substantial and supportive yet soft and unrestricting, as you can see from the high-kick executed by the Monkette in the photo.


As one of the reviewers said, these pants are not only comfortable enough to wear all day, but she wishes she could wear them to the office, too.


After all, you never know when you will need to execute a swift, accurate high-kick.





—Mellow Monk


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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Yanaka, the twice-burned pagoda

In Tokyo's Yanaka district, on the grounds of the Yanaka Cemetery, once stood a pagoda. Originally built in 1664, the Yanaka Pagoda burned down in 1771 but was rebuilt in 1791.


After standing for over 160 years, however, the pagoda burned down once again, this time in a sad, bizarre case of double-suicide arson. Today, only the foundation remains.



The late pagoda in wintertime. Another nice image can be found here.


—Mellow Monk


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