Sex, Chocolate and JewelryWritten by Sam Serio
Forget about 1960's Flower Power credo: "Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll." Toss out your DVD of steamy 1989 erotic thriller "Sex, Lies, and Videotape." In health-conscious, food-obsessed, "bling"-oriented 21st Century, we seem to have stopped hurtling forward and started to move backwards Everything old is new again and we're returning to a kinder, gentler era when gentlemen and ladies enjoyed sex, chocolate, and jewelry as language of love. Our Love Affair with Chocolate 3,000 years ago, Indians of Central America poured molten chocolate from one pot to another to create bitter drink with a froth on top, part they liked best. Spanish conquistadores and missionaries took beverage back to Europe, where it became fashionable with aristocracy, who added sugar to it. Today, three centuries later, hot chocolate remains a favorite drink shared by friends, family…and lovers. For a "pulse" on 21st Century chocolate, there's no better place to go than annual Fancy Foods Show. This year, chocolate beverage of choice was a hot chocolate reminiscent of "nectar of gods" preferred by Mayans and Aztecs. The steamy treat is made with a high-cocoa-content dark chocolate and (in response to low-carb craze, no doubt) less sugar. How does this cocoa fit in with romance? Chocolate bars are replacing coffee bars and liquor bars as meeting place of choice for singles with a taste for love…and sweets. In New York City, popular midtown hotspot "The Chocolate Bar" serves hot chocolate drinks including Classic Hot Chocolate, Spicy Hot Chocolate, and White Chocolate Caramel and iced chocolate beverages including Chocolate Shakers (served over ice, with espresso and whipped cream) Our Love Affair with Sex When it comes to sex, every forty years seems to signal arrival of a new wave of permissiveness and freedom. In 20's, world embraced "The Flapper Era"…and one another…with abandon. Tough times in 30's and 40's put an end to jazz babies, and gave birth to tough, no-nonsense, almost asexual Rosie Riveters who didn't have time for pleasures of flesh. (And a good thing, too, since men were at war.)
Sapphire is September's BirthstoneWritten by Sam Serio
If you're still young enough to remember your birthday, you probably also remember special birthstone assigned to it. But at your age, we bet you don't really know SIGNIFICANCE of your birthstone and what power ancients felt would be bestowed about you by wearing it. September Birthstone: Sapphire Birthstone Properties: Brings physical and emotional balance. Alternative Birthstone: Agate Sapphire is birthstone for September and gemstone given for anniversaries of 5th and 45th years of marriage. Taken from Greek word for blue, "sapphirus", sapphires have a time-honored tradition with priests (who considered them symbolic of purity) and king s (who considered them symbolic of wisdom.) Sapphires were mined as early as 7th Century BC in India and what is now Sri Lanka. Today they are found in Sri Lanka, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Kashmir, Myanmar, Thailand, China, Madagascar, and United States. Against Which All Others Are Measured Sapphires, like rubies, are a variety of corundum. The sapphire's color spectrum includes pink and lavender varieties, a rare orange hue, and, of course, velvety blue sapphire that earned gemstone its name. Because of way in which corundum crystals are formed, large sapphires are rare…and valuable. The priceless 563-carat Star of India, on display at New York City's Museum of Natural History, is largest and most famous of "star sapphires" (sapphires that are cut to reflect light from inclusions within stone to reveal a bright six-legged star pattern).