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  • 11/25/15

    Q: In a recent survey almost 4 out of 5 of people say THIS about hosting Thanksgiving. What is it? Read More

Cora's Corner

Cora's Corner

All things Cora!
  • What it takes for a joke to really make us laugh!

    Scientists studying the brain mechanism responsible laughter and humor believe they've finally found the reason why some jokes make us laugh, and others don't.

    They say jokes that are direct and easy to follow are key ingredients for making people laugh.


    Researchers (from Oxford University) studied the reaction of 55 undergraduates to 65 different jokes from an online compilation of the 101 funniest jokes of all time.

    The majority of the jokes used in the study were produced by successful comedians. 
    Some were one-liners, others were longer and more complex and a third of the jokes were factual with reasonably undemanding observations of idiosyncrasies in the world.

    Subjects were told to rate the jokes on a scale from one (not funny) to four (very funny).

    Students found jokes that involved two characters and up to five back-and-forth levels of something known as 'intentionality' between the comedian and the audience to be the funniest.

    For example, an adult can comprehend up to five such levels of intentionality before losing the plot of a too-complex story. 

    (Conversations that share facts normally involve only three such levels.   Greater brain power is needed when people discuss the social behavior of others, because it requires them to think and rethink themselves into the shoes of others.)

    Read More
  • Proper Food Portions! (Just in Time!)

    Experts say that most people don’t know what a proper portion of food should look like, and even healthy food contains calories that can add up.

    A 2013 report looked at how portion sizes had changed over 20 years found that ready-meal portions for dishes such as lasagne had increased by as much as 50 percent. Plates and wine glasses keep getting bigger, too.

    Here are some portion guidelines that anyone can do.

    MEAT: PALM OF THE HAND- A serving of any meat should be the size of the palm of your hand (but not your fingers).

    WHITE FISH: WHOLE HAND- For white fish, the portion can be the size of your hand when laid flat, including your fingers.

    UNCOOKED SPINACH: TWO DOUBLE HANDFULS- You should have vegetables with every meal.

    SMALL FRUITS: TWO CUPPED PALMS- A portion of small fruit such as berries (or larger fruit cut up in a fruit salad) is roughly what you can fit in your cupped hands.

    VEGETABLES: CLENCHED FIST- Twice this amount of broccoli would technically count as two of your five a day, though variety is key.

    UNCOOKED PASTA: CLENCHED FIST- Carbs, for energy and fiber, should make up just a quarter of your plate. A portion of uncooked rice is also the size of your fist. Any more than this will pile on calories from extra sauce, too.

    NUTS: ONE PALM- A good portion is what you can hold in a cupped palm. 'Try to eat nuts and seeds one by one' to get the heart-healthy unsaturated fats, without too many calories.

    POTATO: CLENCHED FIST- Baking potatoes can be twice as big as a regular potato, so think about sharing. It's the same for sweet potatoes - but unlike white potatoes these would count as one of your five-a-day.

    OILY FISH: PALM OF HAND- One portion a week would give you enough heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.

    BUTTER: THUMB TIP- Any fat - butter, oil, and spreads such as peanut butter should be a serving no bigger than a teaspoon or the size of the end of your thumb, from the knuckle to the tip of the nail, and no more than two or three portions a day.

    CHOCOLATE: INDEX FINGER- A piece of chocolate the size of your index finger works out at around 100 calories, and this would be an appropriate treat.

    CHEESE: TWO THUMBS- Cheese should be around the length and depth of both thumbs. That’s around 125 calories here, giving a third of your daily calcium.

    CAKE: TWO FINGERS- A piece of cake should be the length and width of two fingers. This makes it around 185 calories - fine as a treat or snack.

    Read More
  • Thanksgiving Traditions That Are Costly...and How to Avoid Them!

    1. Hosting Thanksgiving at your place: The host is usually stuck paying for things like napkins, table cloths, decorations and most of the food. To help out your wallet rotate who hosts Thanksgiving with your family members.


    2. Traveling: Driving or flying can add up each year especially if you are visiting out of state relatives. The solution could be to host next year’s Thanksgiving and see your relatives every other year.


    3. Buying your cakes and pies: Pumpkin pie and pudding could be a Thanksgiving tradition but making your own cake or pie could be cheaper. If you don’t know how to bake ask relatives to bring their favorite dessert instead.


    4. Going to the movies: The average price of a movie ticket is now $8.61. Renting a movie from Redbox or your local library is a much cheaper option. Netflix or Hulu are cheaper options as well.


    5. Making too much food: This isn’t a problem if you don’t mind eating leftovers. However it’s  good idea to get an exact head count on how many people you’re hosting. Once you know how many guests you’ll have, don’t go overboard with the food.

    Read More


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