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Quips and Some Thought ❀ 7.3
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Reservations Collection  

Smooth Thinking

One should stick to one's assets and advocate what promotes life.

Bear fruit and spread your influence - maybe you can afford it.

Some forms of vanity may reflect unfulfilled, personal elegance.

One can definitely try to be with gentle persons, those whose inner life stream can be felt to be very good and rewarding in itself.

You can't reason a lot with an army in need of fuel - in need of soldiers.

Remain staunch to thrive. One should also do one's very best so as not to get ensnared.

No matter what the carpenters tell you, or how often they say they like you, contracted carpenters are not actually real friends.

It should be well to tap fit, artistic fairness and fluency from within yourself.

It can take a long time to become young. [Cf. Pablo Picasso]

Culture is one thing and varnish is another. [Emerson]

Youth could be trained to revolt really effectively against some sad weight of conformity that lies on moms and dads. [With Howard Mumford Jones]

Birches

Birch in winter
Birch in Sweden in winter

The common name birch is derived from an old Germanic root, birka. The Proto-Germanic rune berkanan is named after the birch.

Birches are regarded as pioneer species, rapidly colonising open ground.

Birches are generally small to medium-size trees or shrubs. The fruit is a small samara. The bark is practically imperishable. The wood is close-grained with satiny texture and can take a fine polish; its fuel value is fair.

The birch's bark and slender habit makes it popular. The fruits also attract flocks of feeding, small birds in autumn and winter.

The birch can withstand quite a lot of air polution, and may grow in most open positions. Some birches grow quickly to a medium height (10-15m); they could therefore be excellent choices for a new garden. The foliage is not massive and is fine to look at; in autumn leaves may turn yellow.

The timber is quite good for furniture, hard and durable. The twigs have been used for beating and massaging.

Birch leaves may be used to add flavour and taste to foods, including potatoes and porridge. The leaves contain much glukose in spring, and may be used for making a sweet and tasty tea.

Milk products last longer in vessels of birch, due to the effects of betulin.

People in Europe and America have used birch bark for hats, canoes, wigwams, scroll, fans, musical instruments, shoes, clothing, boxes, casks, buckets, and fishing implements.

Birch sap is used to make sugar syrup and wine. Xylitol, a tooth-friendly sugar alcohol sweetener that is roughly as sweet as sucrose, is largely derived from birch too, and is used as a non-artificial sweetener in chewing gums and pastilles. Other applications include toothpaste, fluoride tablets and mouthwashes. The pharmaceutical industry uses xylitol as a sweetener in its products. Xylitol has no known toxicity in humans, and can boast of many health benefits as well.

The outer part of the bark has been used as the substratum of sod roofs and birch-bark roofs. The bark is very durable, and can be easily cut, bent, and sewn, which made it a valuable building, crafting, and writing material, since pre-historic times. The oldest known Buddhist manuscripts (some of the Gandharan Buddhist Texts), from Afghanistan, were written on birch bark.

[Wikipedia, s.v. "Bjørk, birch," birch bark," and "xylitol"]

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