March 27, 2017

Busy! Back after April 18!

Hi all,

Due to an overload of professional and personal obligations for the next few weeks, I'll be away from the blog.  I'll be back after Tax Day rolls around on Tuesday, April 18.

And yes, that is the correct day.   April 15 falls on a weekend, and Monday, April 17 (the next business day) is Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia; it is recognized as a Federal holiday.  So we get a few extra days this year to file and pay up to Uncle Sam.

See you after April 18!

Oh, and by the way ... Does anyone else have a dog who loves celery?  My Husky-mix Sid sure does!

"Celery!  Yummy crunchy good!"

"Ahhhhhh.  I think I will practice my Yoga moves while eating my organic celery!"

Happy Taxes, everyone!

Mary Rae Fouts

March 21, 2017

Gardening - Here's a video peek at what's happening in my gardens!

A new video to share a bit of what's been going on in my gardens, February - March 2017.  And some gardening with dogs Sid and Lexi, too, of course.  😃  Enjoy!

Happy gardening, everyone!

Mary Rae Fouts

March 20, 2017

Meet Laura Pierson, 17-year-old Math Genius

I typically do not use the word genius to describe someone.

But this young lady deserves the title.

Photo Credit:

Meet 17-year-old Laura Pierson, a student at the College Preparatory School in Oakland, CA.  And Math Whiz ... Math Genius, more accurately .... extraordinaire.

Laura recently placed 6th among 1,749 high school seniors in the prestigious national Regeneron Science Talent Search.  Her entry? A presentation of the use of theoretical algebra to study the representation theory of mathematically symmetric groups.1

Got that?  And Laura won an $80,000 prive for her 6th place finish.  A few more things about this remarkable young lady:
  • She will attend Harvard University next year.
  • Math has been a fun and interesting passion for Laura since she was a young child. She has been a member of the Berkeley Math Circle since 5th grade, and started taking college level ... yes, college level ... math courses in middle school.
  • But Laura is not just about math.  Among other activities, she is active in theater (as both a performer and technician), enjoys dancing, and loves art.

Read more about this incredible young lady and her award in this East Bay Times article.

Oh, and Laura hopes to use her math skills to solve society's problems. And I just bet she finds success.  And inspires many people along the way.

Congratulations, Laura. You go, girl!

Mary Rae Fouts

1Symmetric group. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL:

March 16, 2017

Frankenpoultry Lab Grown Chicken Meat: Would you eat it?

Not just any kind of chicken.
Lab grown chicken and duck meat.  
For eatin'.

Meet Frankenchicken!
Photo Credit:
One thing's for certain:  Kentucky Fried Chicken this is not.

Let's talk about that eatin'.  Would you eat lab grown meat or poultry?  I would not.  Heck, just thinking of Frankenpoultry is enough to make me turn and run ... Fast!

If slow roast chicken - the real thing - was good enough for my Grandma, it is good enough for me.

Oh, and rather ironic that the startup company that developed this Frankenchicken is named Memphis Meats.  Wouldn't the name of Memphis Frankenmeats be more appropriate and honest?

For more info, check out this blog article from the San Jose Mercury News blog techbeat.  At $18,000 a pound, I doubt you'll see this Frankenchicken in your grocer's poultry cases any time soon.

(Note:  original post revised to correct company name.)

Mary Rae Fouts

March 14, 2017

Porto's Bakery and Cafe: How long would you wait in line for Cuban cheese rolls and potato balls?

According to today's California Today column at, apparently many people would wait.  And wait.  For hours, in fact, at the opening of the new Cuban restaurant Porto's Bakery and Cafe in Buena Park, California.

Porto's Bakery and Cafe features Cuban baked goods and comfort food.  Oh, and Porto's is wildly popular.  Their 3 Southern California locations sell more than 2 million - yep, 2,000,000 - cheese rolls and potato rolls a month.

That's a lot of cheese and potato.  The potato roll is a soft mashed potato ball filled with seasoned ground beef, then fried to a golden brown.  I'm generally not a fan of fried foods, but that does sound like delish comfort food, if I do say so myself.  And all for a budget price of $0.98!  Here's a photo:

Photo credit:
Oh, and just how many people waited in line at the opening of Porto's Bakery and Cafe?

1500.  Yep, a line of 1500 people waited hours to get into the restaurant.  Check out the opening day festivities here.

Now if Porto's Bakery and Cafe would only come to Northern California!

Mary Rae Fouts