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The Blind Abbot

The Blind Abbot

The cinnamon simple syrup is equally tasty in hot chocolate or Chai tea.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey
  • 1 ounce chilled freshly brewed coffee
  • 3/4 ounce Galliano Ristretto
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Whipped cream and ground cinnamon (for serving)

Recipe Preparation

  • Combine whiskey, coffee, liqueur, cinnamon syrup, and bitters in a cocktail shaker; fill shaker with ice. Shake until outside of shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into an Irish coffee glass and top with whipped cream and cinnamon.

Recipe by Pamela Wiznitzer, Grace, NYC,Reviews Section


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1. Sicherer SH, Noone SA, Koerner CB, et al. Hypoallergenicity and efficacy of an amino acid-based formula in children with cow’s milk and multiple food hypersensitivities. J Pediatr 2001138:688-693.

2. Borschel MW, Ziegler EE, Wedig RT, Oliver JS. Growth of healthy term infants fed an extensively hydrolyzed casein-based or free amino acid-based infant formula: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Clin Pediatr. 201352(10):910-917.

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2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks cold plant-based butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes

6 Tbsp or 3/4 stick cold plant-based shortening, cut into 1/4 inch cubes

3 Tbsp cold vodka (can be substituted with more cold water)

1) mix the Dry ingredients + butter & shortening

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. For sweet pie crust, add the sugar now. For savory pie crust, add the shiitake mushroom powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and ground pepper. Using a fork or pastry blender, cut the plant-based butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Take extra caution that you don’t over mix.

2) Add the cold liquids

Drizzle half of the chilled water and vodka over the mixture, then gently toss using your fingers. Drizzle the remaining half in and repeat. Now, use the open palm of your hand to press down the dough to compress it. Break up the dough with your fingers and compress it again. Cut the dough in half inside the bowl with a spatula.

3) chill

Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap, then compress it to a 4 inch. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days. This dough can also be frozen for later use for up to 6 months. The chill step allows the dough to absorb the water, which will yield a softer, more elastic dough that is less likely to break and crumble. If you’re working in hot weather conditions, it’s a good idea to stick the dough in the freezer for a few minutes while you’re multi-tasking. The goal is to have a cool crust go into a hot oven so the crust “pops” from the packets of fat and water. This is what creates a flaky crust!

4) get rolling

Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to 12 inch x 12 inch size. Rolls of parchment paper for home use are 12 inches long, so you can use the box as a ruler. Unwrap one of the dough disks, place onto a sheet of the parchment paper, then cover it with the other sheet. Roll the dough out from the center, until it reaches the edges of the paper. Remove the top layer of parchment and carefully flip the dough over into a pie plate. Now, remove the remaining parchment and form the dough to the plate by gently lifting the crust with one hand and pushing it into the plate with the other.* Using scissors, cut off the dough so that 1/2 of it extends beyond the pie plate.

*Don’t worry if you have to patch the pie crust - this is normal. It’s easily patched and repaired by lightly wetting each part to be joined with water, then grafting on an extra piece of dough. Once it comes out of the oven, your repairs likely won’t be noticeable! It’s helpful to have a pastry brush and a glass of water on hand to easily wet the dough and patch it as necessary.

5) finishing touches

Go around the perimeter and tuck and fold the outer edge under the crust, so that it’s uniform with the edge of the pie plate. Flute the dough if you’d like that wavy look on the edges by placing a finger against the inside edge of the pastry and, using the thumb and index finger of the other hand, press the pastry around the finger. Otherwise you can press the edges down with the end of a fork to shape.


Add your filling to the bottom crust unless you need to pre-bake - skip to Step 7 first for tips on that. Roll out the other disc of pie dough as directed in Step 4. Using a pastry cutter or scissors, cut the top crust so that it’s the same diameter as the outer diameter of the pie shell. Fill a small bowl with water and using a brush or your finger, coat the outside top edge of the pie crust shell. Now take the rolled out top crust and remove the parchment from the top. Carefully flip it over the top of the pie. Once it’s centered, remove the other piece of parchment and use scissors to cut the excess off the of the top so that it matches bottom. Go around the perimeter and tuck and fold the outer edge under the crust, so that it’s uniform with the edge of the pie plate. Follow the instructions in step 5 to flute the dough or press the edges down.


This decision is recipe-specific - if you’re using a filling that doesn’t need to be baked because it will set when chilled, or a filling that is especially wet, you’ll want to pre-bake so that the crust can crisp up and not get soggy. This is also known as blind-baking.

How to pre-bake:

Place your pie crust in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours. This will allow the gluten to relax so it’s doesn’t pull together as much during baking.

Poke the bottom of the crust with a fork about 8-10 times to create holes for steam to escape.

Line the pie crust with tin foil and add pie weights atop the foil. (Pro tip - dried beans make great pie weights!) The foil will keep the walls of the pie crust from sliding down while under heat.

Place the pie on a cookie sheet on the lowest rack in the oven. The cookie sheet will draw extra heat to the bottom of the crust, allowing it to bake at the same rate as the upper parts of the crust.

Bake for 15 minutes then remove foil and pie weights. Rotate the crust 180 degrees, and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the crust is golden.

Gov. Abbott breaks tradition and eschews blind trust

AUSTIN - On a job-poaching trip to the Big Apple last week, Gov. Greg Abbott took part in a bit of Wall Street pageantry normally reserved for superstar athletes, celebrities and corporate executives: he rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange.

However, Abbott - who has owned and traded an array of high-profile stocks since the 1990s, according to state filings - has taken a new approach to the stock market since becoming governor.

His office says Abbott in recent months sold the last shares he owned in a publicly traded company - a Chinese online retailer - and that the governor won't be doing any trading or buying of stocks and bonds while he's serving as the equivalent of Texas' CEO.

Abbott aides also say he's also eschewing another option for his financial portfolio that has become popular with recent Texas governors: folding his assets into a blind trust, a vehicle some politicians use to create a firewall between their public service and personal business dealings.

"Gov. Abbott believes the public should know about the investments he has and as result, has decided not to shield them from disclosure by putting them in a blind trust," said Abbott spokesman Matt Hirsch.

That decision breaks with a tradition established by former governors Rick Perry and George Bush, who both owned vast stock holdings in public companies, along with land.

Abbott aides point out that a blind trust for the governor's holdings would be unnecessary because he doesn't own any land or interest in businesses.

Personal financial statements filed with the state also show over the years he's steadily divested stock in individual companies in favor of index funds and mutual funds whose investments are publicly disclosed. Throughout the years, Abbot dabbled with stock in high-profile companies like AOL, Dell, General Electric and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to name a few, state filings show.

A blind trust was created by Abbott when he listed his sprawling 5,700 square-foot west Austin house on the market for roughly $2.5 million, but the trust was dissolved once the property sold in May. And Abbott has no plans to put any other assets into a blind trust while serving as governor, Hirsch said.

Politicians set up blind trusts to avoid potential conflicts of interest that might make headlines. Before Bush and Perry, former Gov. Bill Clements also used a blind trust.

Public interest advocates in Texas have long questioned whether blind trusts set up by state politicians are an attempt to thwart public transparency. As examples, they point to Bush and Perry, who both absorbed criticism when each benefitted in separate instances from business deals while in office with a blind trust.

Experts, however, note that blind trusts create more flexibility by allowing a financial adviser to invest aggressively in things that otherwise might create a conflict or political blowback.

They can also be expensive and generally don't serve any real purpose unless a politician needs to mask a substantial amount of financial activity, said Ken Gross, a Washington D.C. ethics lawyer who has helped presidential candidates set up blind trusts.

"Politicians, particularly those in high offices, like them because it has a nice ring to it as far as the public is concerned," said Gross, a former Federal Elections Commission lawyer. "But I'm not a huge fan because you can't blind current holdings. Putting them into a blind trust doesn't erase them from your mind."

Personal financial disclosure filings show that very few state politicians actually use a blind trust.

Land Commissioner George P. Bush set one up in 2012 while running for office, and a spokeswoman for the General Land Office said Bush does not vote or weigh in on any state business tied to campaign donors, former clients or business associates.

Attorney General Ken Paxton, under investigation for alleged security fraud violations, has said he would set up a blind trust for numerous companies and properties after coming into office this year, though it's not clear if he has. A consultant contracted to serve as his personal spokesman declined to provide any details of his blind trust, as did the attorney general's office.

Former Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a multimillionaire, reluctantly set up a blind trust in 2009 only after he was the subject of an inquiry into whether he had fully disclosed enough information about his vast wealth.

But his successor, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who owns stock in dozens of public companies and claims ownership in several businesses, including radio stations in Houston and Dallas, has shunned the idea in favor of keeping his investments public.

Patrick "relies on money managers to manage his investments and has little involvement in their decisions," said Keith Elkins, a spokesman for the lieutenant governor. "Although it's much more work listing every item, he believes it is more transparent and open than using a blind trust."

State Rep. Tom Craddick, faced pressure before becoming speaker in 2003 to set up a blind trust for his vast network of holdings after questions about whether Craddick or his daughter Christi, now chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, profited in the past from his handling of legislation. Craddick agreed publicly to set one up and then never followed through, according to state filings.

"It was one of those things where there was a call to do it, and he said 'yeah' and the call went away and his desire went away," said Austin lobbyist Bill Miller, who served as a spokesman for Craddick at the time.

State politicians are required to disclose some of information about their blind trusts, including the name of the trustee who will oversee investments.

Public interest advocates say blind trusts often amount to nothing more than a ruse since elected officials in Texas don't tend to liquidate current assets, allowing them to know what went into the trust. And in some cases, instead of an independent money manager, politicians have appointed a family member or close friend as a trustee.

For example, Dewhurst installed his brother Eugene and longtime business associate Martin Young as trustees.

In the case of Land Commissioner Bush, state filings show his blind trust is run by Craig Stapleton, a former co-owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team with former Gov. George W. Bush, who as president appointed Stapleton to serve as U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic and France.

A spokeswoman for the land commissioner said Stapleton's appointment as Bush's trustee does not create a conflict.

"Mr. Stapleton is a professional financial adviser who must, and does, adhere to the highest standard of professional conduct, which includes compliance with requirements for Commissioner Bush's personal financial statement," said Brittany Eck, spokeswoman for the General Land Office.

Paxton's press staff in the attorney general's office, and his paid personal spokesman, declined to say who has been appointed trustee of the blind trust.

John Courage, state chairman of the watchdog group Common Cause, said in order for the public to have trust in a politician's blind trust all of the assets should be liquidated and the cash put into a trust run by an appointed trustee or an unaffiliated money manager who cannot be told what investments to make.

"Some of these politicians should have a blind trust, but too often a politician will know the trustees of these blind trusts and that means they are not truly blind," he said. "There's already too much suspicion that people in elected office are in it for themselves to gain financially."

Greg Abbott pushes to block disabled Texans’ lawsuits against state

AUSTIN — Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has said he supports the Americans with Disabilities Act, has tenaciously battled to block the courthouse door to disabled Texans who sue the state.

In a series of legal cases in his three terms, Abbott’s office has fought a blind pharmacy professor in Amarillo who wanted reflective tape on the stairs to her office two deaf defendants in Laredo who asked for a qualified sign language interpreter in their courtroom and a woman with an amputated leg. In that case, the state argued she was not disabled because she had a prosthetic limb.

Abbott, who has used a wheelchair since a tree fell on him while he was jogging and crushed his spine almost 30 years ago, applauds the 1990 federal law. It has helped provide the ramps, wide doors and access that allow him to give speeches and meet with constituents.

While Abbott, the leading Republican contender for governor, benefits from the ADA mandates that guide businesses, builders and cities, he believes it is unconstitutional to force the state to comply. He has argued that his duty is to protect the state’s autonomy and its taxpayers by using all legal tools available to him — including the argument that the state is immune from disability lawsuits brought under the ADA.

“It’s the attorney general’s duty to zealously represent the interests of the state of Texas, and in these cases that meant raising all applicable legal arguments in litigation where Texas was sued in court,” said Abbott spokesman Jerry Strickland.

Abbott’s office has been aggressive on the issue. The state has frequently lost, even before conservative courts such as the Texas Supreme Court. And yet when there has been a trial, it has won several of the cases, with arguments that beat back the charges of discrimination.

Advocates for the disabled say Abbott's office has worked to deny ADA protections by repeatedly and falsely claiming that impaired Texans don't have the right to sue the state for discrimination. Abbott declined several requests from The Dallas Morning News to discuss the matter.

It touches on two key elements of Abbott’s campaign to succeed Gov. Rick Perry. He is touting his record of defending conservative legal principles. But Abbott also is highlighting his disability as evidence of his toughness. In campaign speeches and videos, he notes that he has “literally, a spine of steel” as a result of the accident.

And his likely Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis, is already raising questions about his performance as attorney general on issues such as school finance.

In most disability cases, Abbott’s office has claimed sovereign immunity for Texas. Such immunity, granted in the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, says a state can’t be sued without its consent.

It’s an argument that stops a case dead in its tracks and asks the court to toss the suit. If the state wins, the suit is over before a trial can be held to examine the merits of the case.

On ADA claims, federal appellate courts have established exceptions to a state’s claim of immunity. For instance, if a state agency accepts federal funding, it implicitly accepts federal rules and waives its immunity, the courts have said.

Critics say Abbott has shown himself to be obstinate in claiming sovereign immunity on ADA issues, even though federal courts have shot down the argument numerous times in the past nine years.

“The law is the law is the law,” said James Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, a nonprofit group that has fought the state on several sovereign immunity claims in disability cases and won. “And the law is not ambiguous.”

Strickland said sovereign immunity as applied to disability claims is complex, and each case raises distinct legal and fact issues.

He cited a 2006 U.S. Supreme Court case, which exhorted courts to look at ADA cases and sovereign immunity “on a claim-by-claim basis.” That is what the state is doing, he said.

In the past, Abbott has suggested, though, that lawsuits are an appropriate way for the disabled to secure accommodations under the ADA.

When Gov. George W. Bush appointed Abbott to the Texas Supreme Court in 1995, the state quickly settled an ADA lawsuit over making the court building accessible to wheelchairs. Ramps and other renovations were made just before Abbott was sworn in.

At the time, Abbott said it was “ironic” that the Supreme Court, “the gatekeeper of the law,” had to be sued to comply.

"Unfortunately, there are occasions where you do have recalcitrant business owners or entities that do not understand the requirements of the ADA, or even worse, who do understand the requirements of the ADA and refuse to comply despite attempts at negotiations," Abbott told the Austin American-Statesman at the time.

He added: “And in those circumstances, then a lawsuit is certainly warranted.”

In at least nine ADA cases identified by The News, the state has claimed sovereign immunity in federal court and lost.

Yet the argument is still raised, as recently as December.

Twin brothers Issai and Noe Garcia were involved in a Laredo bar fight and placed in a diversion program by a state district judge. The brothers are deaf, so the court relied on a deaf education teacher to interpret with sign language during several hearings.

But state law requires a certified interpreter, which the teacher was not. In addition, the judge ordered the brothers into an anger management program, which lacked interpreters.

A lawsuit seeks to require the Webb County district courts to provide qualified interpreters. District courts fall under state jurisdiction, so the attorney general’s office is handling the case. Abbott’s office has asked the federal judge hearing it to dismiss the lawsuit claiming sovereign immunity.

Harrington, the advocate for the disabled whose office is helping represent the brothers, pointed out that if their case were in municipal or county court, there would be no question. Cities and counties don’t have sovereign immunity protection and must follow the ADA.

“But if it gets to district court — the more serious, high-powered courts — they shouldn’t have interpreters. How does that make sense?” Harrington asked.

For former Texas Tech University Health Sciences professor Elaine King Miller, who was suffering a degenerative eye disease, the question was whether the university would provide her, among other things, reflective tape on the stairway and voice-recognition software for typing on her computer.

It took a five-year legal fight with the state. In 2005, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for her to pursue a discrimination suit.

In the often-cited case, the court determined that the university waived its sovereign immunity protection from ADA lawsuits when it accepted federal funding.

“It was a long, hard road to get there,” said Miller’s attorney, Bradley Howard.

Miller’s requests weren’t unreasonable or brought in the name of activism, he said.

“She’s a businesswoman. She’s mainstream. Conservative in many respects. She didn’t make any requests that were out of bounds,” Howard said.

In the end, the state prevailed on the merits of the case. Miller and a co-plaintiff won, though, on a separate issue of gender discrimination when the jury determined Texas Tech paid them less and passed them over for tenure in favor of less qualified men.

Even in state courts, Abbott’s office has tried to block lawsuits from going to trial. In 2004, it argued before the Texas Supreme Court that a woman with one leg could not claim disability discrimination because she wore a prosthesis that remedied her mobility.

The all-Republican court rejected the argument, issuing a unanimous, written opinion just three weeks later. The court usually considers cases for months, even years.

The ruling opened the case to trial, which the state also won on the merits. The jury found that Evelyn Little was frequently passed over for a job as a food service worker in the state prison system on issues not related to her disability.

Deputy Solicitor General Andy Oldham said there are good reasons why the state tries to block lawsuits from going to court, even when it has a strong case. Good lawyers use all the tools at their disposal, he said.

“If a litigant had two valid reasons — sovereign immunity and the meritlessness of the suit — she would always assert both,” Oldham said. “Suggesting that the lawyer should waive the first argument and use only the second is akin to asking a boxer to fight with one hand tied behind his back.”

While those bringing the lawsuits might believe they are only asking for “a reasonable accommodation,” there is usually disagreement on what that entails, he said.

“It’s wrong to suggest that the state is unwilling to make any accommodation just because it refused to do everything that the plaintiff wanted,” Oldham said.

Dennis Borel, executive director of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, said that advocates’ frustration stems from Abbott’s office consistently seeking immunity for Texas agencies, regardless of the claim.

“When you invoke the sovereign immunity defense, you’re not responding to the merits of the case,” he said. “You’re simply saying the state is immune for its violations of the ADA and therefore there’s not even a point of having a day in court.”

Brian East, senior attorney for Texas Disability Rights, said the repeated efforts to raise sovereign immunity against the disabled cuts off the chance to fix problems.

“I wouldn’t say they were hostile,” East said of the attorney general’s legal team. “They are hostile to the notion that individual citizens might have redress against the state, in general. They are not targeting people with disabilities specifically, but doing what they can to limit the rights of individuals to use the courts in civil rights cases against the state.”

ADA claims against the state are largely limited to protecting civil rights, such as equal treatment under the law. Also, Texas has state laws that provide protections on building accessibility and employment.

State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, offered legislation in 2005 that would have waived the state’s sovereign immunity in ADA claims.

“It’s a very fundamental right that we treat all our citizens with dignity and respect,” Hinojosa said.

He said there were a number of opponents, but objections from Abbott’s office “carried a lot of weight and influence.”

“Their position is one of state rights, that this is a federal statute, and the state ought to be immune from implementing the law but also from being sued for ignoring the law,” Hinojosa said.

Strickland, the Abbott spokesman, said the agency did not oppose the measure but “informed the Legislature about the legal effect of the bills in question.”

Hinojosa noted that Abbott has said it is his duty to defend the state against all lawsuits. But “now that he is running for governor, he will have the opportunity to support legislation” to better protect the disabled, he said.

Follow Christy Hoppe on Twitter at @christyhoppe.

AT A GLANCE: Some cases

During Greg Abbott’s tenure as attorney general, his office has fought lawsuits that disabled people have brought against state agencies. In numerous instances, the attorney general has made sovereign immunity claims — that states are shielded from these suits under the 11th Amendment. The state has lost on that argument repeatedly but has continued to push such claims. A sampling of cases:

McCarthy vs. Hawkins

Details: In September 2002, the state was sued on behalf of 25,000 disabled Texans stuck on years-long waiting lists to obtain community-based services. The suit contended the state was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide appropriate accommodations.

Abbott's argument: The state is immune from lawsuits brought under the ADA.

Ruling: In September 2004, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said state officials are liable and do not have immunity from lawsuits brought under the ADA. Two years later, the state settled the suit with a pledge to greatly increase Medicaid-funded services in the community over the next six years.

Miller vs. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Details: As part of a larger case, a legally blind Texas Tech professor accused the university in 2000 of failing to accommodate her by, among other issues, denying her voice-recognition software for her computer and declining to place reflective tape on the stairs leading to her office.

Abbott's argument: The state is immune from such lawsuits.

Ruling: The issue of sovereign immunity from the disability law went to the 5th Circuit, which ruled against the state in August 2005. "If the involved state agency or department accepts federal financial assistance, it waives" sovereign immunity, the court said. At the subsequent trial, a jury found the university discriminated against the professor based on her gender but not her disability.

Meyers ex rel. Benzing vs. Texas

Details: Disabled drivers filed a class action suit in 1997 arguing that Texas was violating the ADA by charging fees for handicapped parking placards.

Abbott's argument: A state judge rejected sovereign immunity arguments, and the state sought to have the case moved to federal courts, making a sovereign immunity claim again.

Ruling: The 5th Circuit called the state's argument "novel" but pointed to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that found once a state asks for and is granted federal court jurisdiction, it has waived sovereign immunity. In 2009, the state settled the lawsuit, agreeing to pay $24 million, including refunds for the placard fees.

Espinoza vs. Texas Department of Public Safety

Details: A woman who used crutches or a motorized scooter after contracting rheumatoid arthritis as a child went to renew her driver's license in 2000, after 17 years of driving without incident. Because of her mobility issues, DPS declared her a potentially dangerous driver and required that she would have to take the driving test again.

Abbott's argument: Sovereign immunity should prevent a suit.

Ruling: The 5th Circuit denied immunity in August 2005. The case proceeded to trial, and the state won.

Durrenberger vs. Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Details: Jeremy Durrenberger, whose hearing is impaired, tried repeatedly to visit his inmate friend in Hughes prison unit. The visiting room had glass dividers, and Durrenberger was supposed to use a phone system to communicate with his friend. He asked for a voice amplifier to be installed on the phone used by visitors so he could hear. The department said it could not afford the devices, estimated to cost between $15 and $100 each, throughout the prison system.

Abbott's argument: The case should be dismissed based on sovereign immunity.

Ruling: A federal judge granted Durrenberger summary judgment in December 2010, with further hearings ordered on lawyers' fees and damages.

Little vs. Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Details: Evelyn Little, who had her left leg amputated at the knee, used a prosthetic and was able to complete long work shifts. She had worked as a food manager at nationally recognized restaurants. She applied for state jobs as a food manager on more than 14 occasions between 1995 and 1999 but was never hired. She sued for employment discrimination.

Abbott's argument: Little was not disabled because the prosthesis solved her disability.

Ruling: The Texas Supreme Court found in October 2004 that she was disabled and ordered a trial on the merits. A jury found that issues other than Little's disability led to her not being hired.

One word, two syllables: beefy. The Impossible Burger won the faux-beef competition almost unanimously. The package of raw Impossible meat resembled real raw ground beef, complete with bright red "blood" and little white particles of fat. The raw material was a little mushy and greasy shaping it into patties felt similar to handling any ground meat. This brand was also the most beef-like in the way that it cooked—fat excreted from the patties, which sizzled and seared nicely along the edges. The center of the patties remained pretty moist, while the outsides became slightly crumbly.

In the blind tasting, the Epi staff was pretty impressed with the Impossible Burger’s flavor, noting that it was “fatty, savory, and meaty.” The product was nicely seasoned straight out of the package and had a whiff of smokiness that paired well with its umami-rich, slightly gamey flavor. Impossible credits this quality to the use of heme, an iron-containing compound that’s found in meat (and is responsible for the metallic tang of blood). They’ve concocted a man-made version by inserting soybean plant DNA into a genetically engineered yeast that can ferment to produce the molecule. After one bite, one tester said, “This is straight-up beef!” (While some tasters found it a bit odd, it did make matters even beefier that gristle-like nubbins were laced throughout the meat, as well.) You’ll find Impossible Burger at grocery stores in 12-ounce portions, which allows you to form patties of your preferred thickness. (Or use it for other dishes.)

Ground beef patties, minus the cow.

Photo by Joseph De Leo, Food Styling by Anna Stockwell

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IMPORTANT: The device may inaccurately indicate hypoglycemia. The results of the clinical study conducted for this device showed that 40% of the time when the device indicated that user sensor glucose values were at or below 60 mg/dL, user glucose values were actually in the range of 81-160 mg/dL. Therefore, interpretation of the FreeStyle Libre Pro Flash Glucose Monitoring System readings should only be based on the trends and patterns analyzed through time using the reports available per the intended use.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Remove the Sensor before MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or diathermy treatment.

WARNINGS/LIMITATIONS: The FreeStyle Libre Pro System does not provide real-time results and patients should adhere to their blood glucose monitoring routine while using the system. If a sensor breaks, contact physician and call Customer Service. Patients with high levels of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) or salicylic acid (used in Aspirin) or severe dehydration or excessive water loss may experience inaccurate results with this system. The FreeStyle Libre Pro System is not approved for pregnant women, persons on dialysis, or recommended for critically-ill population. Sensor placement is not approved for sites other than the back of the arm and standard precautions for transmission of blood borne pathogens should be taken. Review all product information before use or contact Abbott Toll Free (855-632-5297).

For full indications for use and safety information, see more here.

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Part I. Personal Portraits: Success Stories About Living with Diabetes and Blindness

My Tree Branch Cane How I Became Blind and Then What

by Ed Bryant

From the Editor: The following article first appeared in the Voice of the Diabetic, Volume 10, Number 4, Fall 1995, published by the Diabetes Action Network (DAN) of the National Federation of the Blind. It was updated in March 2009. Ed Bryant has been one of the formative figures since the DAN was founded as the NFB Diabetics Division in 1985. When Karen Mayry became too ill to continue as president of the division, Ed unhesitatingly took on that task in addition to editing the quarterly publication, which he had done from its beginning. Here is the story of how one man found the organization that shared his personal philosophy:

Diabetes is a sneaky disease. It usually takes fifteen to twenty years for chronic complications to be noticed, and many can stem from the disease. Here are my story and some observations about blindness.

Fifty years ago I was diagnosed with early-onset diabetes. After the initial shock of discovering I had sugar diabetes and learning how to give myself insulin injections, my lifestyle returned to one of a very busy and active teenager. The only differences were that I had to give myself one shot a day and watch my diet. Eating a lot of sweets could cause problems.

At first I did not adhere to good diabetes practices. I was not good at watching what I ate and drank. I did what my peers did, and I felt just fine. I was not worried about my diabetes. Then, after I'd had the disease almost sixteen years, I began to notice blurred vision. It was like looking through a smoky haze.

At first I didn't pay much attention. In St. Louis, where I was administrative manager for a corporation specializing in child photography, my job required a lot of paperwork. I assumed I needed to see an eye doctor and get glasses. But I didn't get glasses, and with time my vision deteriorated. Finally, admitting I'd been foolish, I saw an ophthalmologist, who diagnosed proliferative diabetic retinopathy. I had no functional vision in one eye, and the prognosis for the other was not good. The doctor recommended I see a diabetes specialist and get my disease under good control. Then, maybe, he could give me laser treatments.

I immediately saw a physician who specialized in diabetes. I worked to regulate my disease far more closely. In time, with my diabetes under good control, the vision in my functional eye became substantially better. I was elated. I could see well enough again to do almost anything. Working as a photographer, I had driven in every state in America, and of course I thought driving a car was essential to everyone's lifestyle. Now I could even drive my little blue sports car again.

When I revisited my ophthalmologist, we decided to try vitrectomy surgery in my bad eye. With luck the surgery would restore some of my vision. It failed, as did a second vitrectomy on the same eye several months later. I knew that by law I was legally blind, but I didn't consider myself blind since I had so little trouble getting around and doing what I wanted to do.

During the daytime my only troubles came while facing direct sunlight. My main difficulties were at night. Unless an area was well lit, I had trouble seeing where I was going. Late one evening I started walking home. The area was well lit, but as I progressed, there were fewer and fewer street lights. Soon I could barely see my path. At a wide point in the sidewalk, landscapers had planted a preposterously huge tree right in my way. I was walking at a pretty good clip―I ran into the tree. After my very close encounter and a few frank words to that tree, I walked the rest of the way home. As I look back, I can only laugh. If I'd had more wisdom, I'd have been using a long white cane. Then I could have avoided both possible injury and the tree.

Several years later my employment was phased out, and I found myself out of work. I moved to Columbia, Missouri, home of the University of Missouri. I would work out my future from there. I had been offered upper middle-management positions with several different companies with very lucrative salaries.

As soon as I told prospective employers I was legally blind or that I had a severe eye problem, their offers vanished. The jobs were either no longer available, or offered to me at wages less than half their original offer. It didn't matter that I could do the work proficiently. My experience in business administration and public relations didn't count. When employers heard the words "blind" or "legally blind," they immediately assumed I was incapable of doing the job.

I was out one night in Columbia when a friend accidentally poked me in my good eye. I felt excruciating pain. My ophthalmologist recommended a retina surgeon in Memphis, Tennessee. The specialist told me the eye was in bad shape however, vitrectomy surgery might help. Once again I underwent surgery. However, it allowed me to see only in a very limited way.

In the following few months I lost my vision completely. I was totally blind. I lived in an apartment, and I really had no way to get around. After having managed my personal business and being independent for years, I found it very difficult to let anyone help me. My parents offered to build an extra room onto their home so I could live there. Although the offer was loving and gracious, I would never consider such a thing. I'd always been an independent person, and, if I'd moved into my parents' home on a rural route, I would have been more or less trapped, since the area had no bus service and the cost of a taxi to and from the country was very high. I couldn't expect my parents to provide my transportation everywhere. They had their own life.

I was an active person, used to traveling independently. I decided to keep my apartment. I had no wish or reason to become dependent on others. I knew I was perfectly capable of doing the things I'd always done. My biggest problem was not being able to draw up my own insulin. For three or four years my mother drew up a seven-day supply every week until I learned of devices that allowed blind people to draw up their own insulin accurately. Such a device allowed me to self-manage my disease.

My blindness made me angry and frustrated. Like many other newly blind folks, I felt trapped and limited in what I could do. The fact was that I was blind. But it seemed unreasonable to give up and abandon independence simply because I couldn't see. I began to realize that in actuality I wasn't limited. I could function very well in my apartment. I knew where everything was. And with a little ingenuity I discovered I could cook and do anything in the kitchen. Every day I discovered alternative techniques that allowed me to do things just as well as I had done them when I was sighted. I was learning how to help myself.

I telephoned Missouri's Bureau for the Blind and asked for a white cane and someone to show me how to use it. After waiting two or three weeks, I got angry. How could I be independent if I had to stay in my apartment? So one day I took a hatchet and a kitchen broom and went outside, using my broom as a cane. I headed for a spot where I knew a little tree was located, and I chopped off a long branch. Returning to my apartment with my prize, I chopped and whittled until the branch developed into what I called a cane. I didn't know anything about cane dimensions, but I figured it should be about as tall as I was. I ended up with a makeshift cane about six feet long.

I went for short walks. I chuckle about it now, but I was probably a danger to society with my tree branch cane I was certainly a danger to myself. The end of the cane kept getting stuck in the ground, and I came close to rupturing my midsection on many occasions. Even though my cane was homemade out of a tree branch, it helped me to get around the apartment complex and many nearby roads. I had all the confidence in the world.

At last the man from the Bureau for the Blind arrived, bringing me a better cane. After he left, I went for a walk. The top of my new cane reached somewhere between my navel and breastbone. I had to bend over as I walked with it, and it was obviously too short, but I could do a lot better with it than with my tree branch. I knew where the city bus stopped, so I took a bus downtown and spent the afternoon exploring.

I never had any formal mobility lessons, but I trained myself without great difficulty. I finally moved to the downtown area, primarily because there were sidewalks. I lived in a high-rise apartment close to the University. There were many social activities, and something was always happening. I could always find plenty for a guy like me to do.

At some point I found out about the National Federation of the Blind. After attending a few meetings, I was more impressed with it than with any other organization I had ever been involved in. It was a united body of blind people doing everything possible to serve blind people, without regard to the cause of their blindness. Federation philosophy ran parallel to my own observations, made since I had become blind, that much of the general public simply does not understand blindness. Many friends, neighbors, and family members simply pity the blind person, thinking he or she is not capable of doing very much. Along with the pity and sympathy comes a great deal of discrimination, due to society's many myths and misconceptions about the blind and blindness. The situation is improving, but we in the National Federation of the Blind still need to spread the word.

The key word is “education.” We Federationists are aware that, with proper training and use of alternative techniques, we can do just about anything we decide to do. The NFB knows that society's perception of inabilities can mislead blind people. If all they hear is talk of their helplessness and that they can't, they may become convinced and think themselves into helplessness and inactivity. This holds true as well for blind diabetics, told incorrectly by many that they cannot draw insulin, test blood glucose, or perform the other tasks of diabetes self-management.

Limitations, for most blind people, are self-imposed. The NFB strives to enlighten society about the capabilities of blind people while striving to improve the way many blind people think about themselves. We encourage them to think "I can" rather than "I can't." We are a self-help and advocacy organization. We show blind folks they are not alone and that, whatever their situation, they have options. Our members are living proof that blindness is not synonymous with inability.

On Living with the Nuisance of Diabetes

by Mike Freeman

From the Editor: Mike Freeman is currently the president of the NFB's Diabetes Action Network he originally wrote this article several years ago, soon after receiving his diagnosis of diabetes. This autobiographical profile vividly illustrates Mike's healthy and constructive attitude toward his blindness and diabetes. Here is how he describes his experience:

My name is Mike Freeman, and I am currently president of the National Federation of the Blind of Washington and second vice president of the NFB’s Diabetes Action Network. I am five feet, nine inches, and I have been just about totally blind since birth one eye has been removed, and I see only a bit of light with the other. I became diabetic in March 2005, so my blindness is not due to diabetes. I was born prematurely, and, because the eyes are among the last organs to develop and partly because of the medical measures taken to keep me alive, my retinas detached due to abnormal blood vessel growth and caused my blindness. I read Braille and use a long white cane to assist me in travel. I have been a member of the National Federation of the Blind since 1977.

I hold a BA in physics from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and an MS in physics from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico. I am an information technology specialist, writing automated procedures to control exchange of data with the Internet while not compromising computer security for the Bonneville Power Administration under the U.S. Department of Energy. This agency markets electric power from the federal hydroelectric projects in the Pacific Northwest and wheels power for other northwest utilities.

As late as the summer of 2004, I was not diabetic my blood sugar level was normal. I became sick with the flu in December 2004 and didn’t fully recover until halfway through January 2005. It was then that I first noted symptoms of diabetes—increased frequency of urination, increased thirst, and dry skin with cracking that didn’t immediately heal. Moreover, I noticed that my penis was sore and that there was some discharge. Since I knew I did not have a sexually transmitted disease, this was a puzzle. By March I noticed some difficulty in orientation and concentrated thinking. Then, on a trip to Seattle, my legs cramped and caused me to fall several times. I am told that I also had the fruity breath of someone in ketoacidosis. I did not lapse into a coma but was fairly close to it. When I came out of the fog, the emergency room physician told me I had diabetes, that I was on an insulin drip, and that I would be on insulin for the rest of my life. (Indeed, I have been using it ever since.) Apparently he must have ordered a C-peptide test and/or an anti-GAD test. From that he learned that I had virtually no insulin left in my system. I have what is called latent autoimmune diabetes of adults—LADA—which is basically type 1 diabetes, except that I got it as a middle-aged adult rather than as a child, teen, or young adult. My doctors and the hospital staff had an extremely healthy attitude about my blindness. There was no question that I would learn to handle my diabetes without assistance. The attitude amounted to: “Fella, you’re in the army. You’re going to learn to handle this by the time you leave here!” and I did.

At the moment I use an insulin pen to administer Novalin 70/30 insulin twice a day, and I test my blood glucose using a talking blood glucose meter three to four times a day. My A1c has ranged between 5.6 and 7, and so far I show no signs of diabetic complications.

Right from the start I found the support of the National Federation of the Blind and the Diabetes Action Network to be of immense help. Needless to say, all DAN literature is suffused with the can-do attitude of the National Federation of the Blind, embodying its philosophy that with training and opportunity blindness can be reduced to the level of a physical nuisance. Having been a member of the NFB for many years, I was well acquainted with this philosophy. But it was most helpful to see this philosophy carried into the realm of diabetes. The DAN literature was clear and concise and told me virtually everything I needed to know to get started.

I supplemented this helpful information by reading lots of diabetes information on the Internet, in books from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and some I purchased through I learned and learned. The more you know about diabetes, the better you can deal with the disease. I believe that those who aim to “conquer” or “fight” diabetes are wrong one does not fight or conquer diabetes one lives with diabetes. Yes, it can be quite a nuisance at times. But, like blindness, that’s all it is for me—a nuisance. Through being involved in DAN, I try to help others gain this knowledge and confidence. Neither blindness nor diabetes has stopped me from enjoying life.

Father and Son Duo Tackle Diabetes

by Gail Brashers-Krug

From the Editor: The following story first appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of Voice of the Diabetic, our former quarterly publication that not only dealt with managing diabetes, but frankly and constructively addressed the disease's ramifications. Tom and Eileen Rivera Ley have been NFB leaders from the time they joined the organization as students. Here is the inspiring story of their challenging life today:

Five-year-old JonCarlos Rivera Ley looks just like his papa, Tom. JonCarlos inherited his charming smile, his delightful singing voice, and his goofy sense of humor. And a year ago JonCarlos also inherited his father’s type 1 diabetes.

But JonCarlos enjoys an important advantage that most diabetic children do not. He has an arsenal of the three most important weapons against a chronic disease like diabetes: know-how, a positive attitude, and terrific role models. One of JonCarlos’s advantages comes from the fact that both his parents are blind.

Step Outside Your Fear

But how can blindness possibly be an advantage? JonCarlos’s mom Eileen, who has been legally blind since birth, explains: “Tom and I know that being blind can be rather frustrating at times, but it doesn’t mean that a good life is over. We accept that we have to make adjustments, and we get on with life.”

Tom, a thirty-nine-year-old devout Christian and self-described math geek, lost his sight to diabetes at age seventeen. He is currently undergoing dialysis three times a week while awaiting a kidney transplant. Nevertheless, he is relentlessly upbeat, positive, and energetic. “You can always think of reasons why you can’t, if you’re coming from a position of fear. But if you step outside your fear and try, you can usually figure it out.” Much of Tom’s hopefulness comes from his strong faith. “I truly believe that God allows struggles in our lives for our good. For example, if I had not become blind, I would never have met my wonderful wife or had my children.”

JonCarlos’s fourteen-year-old sister Maria agrees: “My parents have never let disabilities stand in their way. Some people think that, because my parents are blind, I do everything for them or that I get away with lots of stuff because they can’t see. But it’s not that way at all. Mom and Tom are super independent, and, trust me, my mom never lets me get away with anything.” Maria is really proud of her family. In fact, Maria recently gave a speech to her entire middle school about the strength she and her little brother have gained from their parents’ approach to adversity.

Find the People Who Know

The Leys put their positive attitude to work to handle their son’s diagnosis. “When JonCarlos developed diabetes,” Eileen says, “we knew that handling diabetes would be a lot like handling blindness. The key was to find the real experts, people living with the problem every day. Those people are always out there, folks who are living with the problem and have already found solutions.”

The Leys learned this networking strategy from the National Federation of the Blind. When Tom became blind in high school due to diabetic retinopathy, he and his parents were distraught. A gifted math and science student, Tom had dreamed of becoming an electrical engineer. Shortly after he became blind, his father took down a volume of the encyclopedia from the bookshelf and opened it to “blindness.” There he read that blind people succeed at many jobs, “and,” Tom recalls with a smile, “lo and behold, one of the jobs listed in the encyclopedia was electrical engineer.”

That experience planted the seed of hope, but hope began to bloom fully when Tom met the National Federation of the Blind. Joanne Wilson, then president of the NFB of Louisiana, reached out to Tom. “It was truly amazing. She did things that I never dreamed blind people could do. She had five children.” Tom adds, “Every time I talked to her, she would mention something new, and I’d think, ‘How does she do that? How does she go grocery shopping, or do her job?’ ” Dr. Wilson introduced Tom to people in the NFB Diabetes Action Network, who taught him how to manage his diabetes independently.

Eileen joined the Federation while a student at Harvard College. Her life has never been the same since. “It was a real relief to meet other blind people who were achieving their goals. It took a lot of pressure off me. I no longer had to be a super blind woman. I could just be myself.”

Over the years Tom and Eileen have benefited from the advice and support of dozens of successful blind people. Today Tom is a software development manager for UPS, and Eileen is a strategic planning and fundraising consultant. Now they mentor others dealing with blindness and diabetes.

The Leys reached out to another, different supportive community when JonCarlos was just nine months old and was diagnosed with severe hemophilia, an extremely rare genetic bleeding disorder. Eileen: “We were shocked—no one in our families had hemophilia. But we handled it the same way we handled blindness: we knew the key was to find people who had done it before.” They found the Hemophilia Foundation of Maryland and through the foundation’s families learned how to manage their son’s hemophilia and, Eileen adds, “still help him have a normal childhood.” With special IV infusions of a blood clotting factor every other day, JonCarlos’s hemophilia is controlled.

Before JonCarlos developed diabetes, Eileen recalls, “Tom would worry every time JonCarlos seemed thirsty. I told him not to be silly. ‘Come on,’ I said, ‘you know the odds are very low, and we already have the hemophilia to deal with.’ ” But, when their son turned four, he began to be thirsty all the time and have a constant, itchy skin rash. As the familiar symptoms mounted, Tom and Eileen grew more concerned. “Finally we had a long, tense talk at three in the morning. Tom was very upset. He left the room to be alone for about a half hour and then came back and said, ‘Okay, I’m done feeling sorry for myself. We’ll test him in the morning.’ ”

When Tom and Eileen learned that JonCarlos had diabetes, they immediately put their NFB experience to work again. First they sought advice from their friends in the NFB's Diabetes Action Network, who assured Eileen that she could manage the glucose testing and insulin dosing safely and effectively. Next they set about finding other families raising diabetic preschoolers. Eileen recalls, “While we were in the hospital dealing with the diagnosis, a dear friend got on the Internet and found the Children with Diabetes Website. Through it she found several families in our area who have other boys JonCarlos’s age with diabetes.” With the support of those families Tom and Eileen learned things like how to train their son’s babysitters and preschool teachers.

Managing Diabetes Is All Day, Every Day

Of course their positive attitude does not mean that the Leys are Pollyannas. They recognize the challenges and fears of raising a diabetic child. Eileen recalls, “I couldn't believe my little boy had yet another chronic disease. When he was first diagnosed, I was nauseated all the time. Of course Tom has diabetes, but he manages it on his own. He's the family expert, but he was at work and I was home with JonCarlos. Managing diabetes is all day, every day. I was terrified that I would forget to give him his insulin or give him the wrong food or something.”

JonCarlos’s diagnosis was particularly difficult for Tom. Tom recalls, “I had so many mixed feelings. I had gone blind and gotten kidney disease as a result of my diabetes. I didn’t want my son to have to suffer. Now, with all the intensive therapies and better insulins, I’m hopeful he won’t have to suffer complications at all.”

He continues, “I don’t want to sugar-coat it. Diabetes is a tough disease. You have to be a fulltime manager of your diabetes. You’re always thinking about it, always planning for it throughout the day. The sooner you embrace this life and accept it as your new normal, the sooner you can move on and keep living your life.”

Managing with Adaptations

Managing diabetes can be challenging for anyone, but it is even more so for blind people. As Tom explains, “There are three basics to day-to-day management: giving insulin, testing blood sugar, and counting carbs. Those are all things that blind people can’t do without some adaptation.”

The Leys employ a number of adaptations to manage JonCarlos’s diabetes. For administering insulin, they use the NovoPen Junior by Novo Nordisk to administer Novolog and the OptiClik by Aventis to administer Lantus insulin. The two pen devices are shaped differently, which greatly simplifies identification. The dials on the ends of the pens measure the insulin, and they make audible clicks for accurate dosing. Before switching to his insulin pump, Tom used the Count-a-Dose, a device that provides audible clicks so that a standard syringe can be accurately filled without sight.

For testing blood sugar, the Leys use both talking and nontalking blood glucose meters. Tom uses a talking meter, the ACCU-CHEK VoiceMate, while JonCarlos uses a traditional meter with a visual display, the ACCU-CHEK Compact, and reports the numbers on the display to his parents.

Counting carbs is a bit more challenging. “When a new food comes into the house,” Tom explains, “we put a label on it, in Braille and large print, with the serving size and the carbs per serving. After a while we've come to know from experience how many carbs are in our favorite foods.” The Leys use their talking computer to access special Websites like where they can find carb counts.

One of the most helpful strategies they used in managing JonCarlos’s diabetes, Eileen recalls, was educating their friends and family on how to manage the disease. “When we first started meeting parents with diabetic children, we heard stories of parents who could never go out on a date or leave their children at all and grandparents who wouldn’t watch their grandchildren because they were afraid of dealing with the diabetes. There was no way we were going to accept that.” Eileen invested some time in explaining diabetes management to the parents of JonCarlos’s friends, “and now he goes on playdates like any other little boy.”

But even a glance at this remarkable family reveals that JonCarlos is not like any other little boy, and his family is not like any other family. Diabetes, blindness, kidney failure, hemophilia—it seems that they can overcome anything. Eileen laughs, “One of the diabetes educators I know told me that blind diabetics like Tom are a real inspiration to her sighted patients. She tells them, ‘If these blind people can manage their diabetes and not complain, then you can do it too.’ ”

The Extraordinary Days of Dick Connors An Orientation and Mobility Instructor Takes His Own Vision Loss in Stride

by Margaret Cleary

From the Editor: The following story about Dick Connors was originally printed in the Winter 2009 edition of Voice of the Diabetic. Margaret Cleary, director of admissions and diabetes educator at the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts, explains how Dick's life experience required him to put his professional theory into personal practice. Here is the story:

Richard Connors (known to most as Dick) has had diabetes for fifty-one years, and he knows a lot about it. Now vice president of community services at the Carroll Center for the Blind, Dick has held various positions during his forty-plus-year tenure at the Newton, Massachusetts, center: orientation and mobility (O&M) instructor, residential rehabilitation director, and technology services director. In an interview Dick vividly described to me four extraordinary days that have shaped his view of diabetes, blindness, and life.

Extraordinary Day Number One:In March 1957, in his twelfth year, Dick got the flu. His impression was that, although he did get better, he never fully recovered. Two months after he got sick, Dick’s mother took him to her doctor at the renowned Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. The doctor did some tests and then briefly left the room. He returned with a glass syringe and a vial of cloudy liquid, measured a dose, and told Dick to inject himself in the leg. Appalled and trembling, Dick injected himself with what turned out to be insulin. The doctor said he would have to do that every day for the rest of his life. Clutching a two-page diet, bottles of insulin, and urine-testing equipment, young Dick went home and tried to follow the doctor’s instructions.

During his teens Dick succeeded at keeping his diabetes in check—a success that he credits partly to his diet and largely to the unusual amount of exercise he got. He worked on a farm, and he also had a newspaper route that required bicycling several miles a day. It was when Dick went off to college that he began to have trouble controlling his diabetes he attributes that to inactivity. In his senior year he heard about the peripatology program at Boston College. “Ah,” he remembers thinking. “Here’s a chance to do something fascinating that requires walking.”

Extraordinary Day Number Two:Attending a lecture on vision impairment at Boston College, Dick felt his insides turn to ice as he heard the professor say, “Diabetes mellitus is the leading cause of blindness in adults.” Dick bolted from the room. A classmate ran out after him and caught up with Dick, who blurted, “I have diabetes.” Until then he had had no idea that diabetes and blindness were related.

After the initial shock Dick came to grips with the fact that he might one day lose his sight. But he wasn’t afraid. He even decided to work in the field of blindness. It was the possibility of kidney disease, more than anything, that scared Dick. Every twinge or back ache was cause to imagine the worst. Fortunately Dick has not been troubled by kidney disease—though he has suffered other complicating conditions, including a heart attack, a stroke, and Charcot’s foot. Every year he approached his regular ophthalmologic exam with apprehension. And every year his ophthalmologist would say: “Your eyes look excellent. You’d never know you had diabetes. Your eyes look beautiful.” In 2000, however, after having had diabetes for forty-three years, Dick was told by his doctor that he needed to see a retinal therapist to begin laser therapy. For several more years, however, Dick’s vision functioned normally.

Extraordinary Day Number Three:One morning in 2005 Dick awoke with no vision at all in his right eye. A vitrectomy failed to restore his eyesight. His left eye, meanwhile, continued to function. In 2006 Dick learned that he had an aneurysm in his functioning left eye that might one day burst. It was near the macula and too risky to treat. Dick went about his business as usual, working and driving.

Extraordinary Day Number Four: On September 6, 2006, Dick stopped for coffee on his way to work. Upon his return to the car, something suddenly started happening in his good eye.” He describes “a very long, winding, thick-bodied black snake” emerging from the center of his visual field. Realizing the aneurysm in his left eye had burst, he also knew he had only minutes to drive back home. He knew, too, that it would be the last time he ever drove. Now Dick knew for himself the condition about which he had counseled so many others over the years.

Dick coped with this extraordinary day as he had coped with the others. As soon as he could, he called his employer to recount what had happened and to say that he would be out for a few days. He called me at the Carroll Center and asked if I would perform a diabetes self-managing assessment and make recommendations. He called the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind to inquire about available services. He asked one of his staff members to provide orientation and mobility lessons to him. He also requested that a media aide with whom he had worked install a speech-recognition program on his computer.

A week later Dick returned to work using public transportation. Today his lengthy daily commute involves three bus changes. Dick likes to tell a story on himself when he gives O&M instruction: on his first day back to work, he got on a bus going the wrong direction.

He’s got it down now, though. With fifty-one years of diabetes and three-and-a-half years of blindness, Dick Connors gets to work, manages his diabetes, asks for help when he needs it, and performs his daily business as ever. “Now,” says Dick, “every day is an extraordinary day.”

Annette Gordon Loses Vision but Gains Confidence

by Elizabeth Lunt

From the Editor: The following article was first published in the Summer 2007 edition of Voice of the Diabetic. Annette Gordon continues to teach Braille and other skills to blind seniors in the Seniors Achieving Independent Living (SAIL) program at Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM). She is an active member in the Baltimore County chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland. Federation leaders in Maryland speak highly of Annette's contributions to the affiliate, noting particularly her occasional testimony before legislative committees of the Maryland General Assembly and her involvement in the national Washington Seminar. Here is her impressive story:

Annette Gordon says that for nearly twenty years she managed her diabetes the same way many Americans do: “I ignored it,” she explains, with a warm, rich chuckle that evokes her native Trinidad. “Big mistake.”

Neglecting her diabetes cost Annette her vision and her teeth. Now sixty-one, she wants to make sure that others don’t make the same mistake. “The doctors kept trying to talk to me about the diabetes, but I felt fine,” she says. “I thought there couldn’t be anything really wrong with me.” Annette chuckles again. “I’m going to shout it from the housetops,” she adds, “what a fool I was.”

Her first experience with diabetes was as a young pregnant woman. Her doctor told her she had gestational diabetes—a form of diabetes that is the result of pregnancy hormones. It usually goes away once the baby is delivered, but her doctor told her she should watch out because women with gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later. Annette ignored him. She felt fine, and she had young children to care for.

Years later, during a routine exam, Annette discovered that the first doctor’s prediction had come true. She had type 2, and her new doctor warned her to manage it. She ignored him too. Again she felt fine. One more doctor in her native Trinidad even told her he would not clear her for employment—a condition of getting a job there—until she dealt with it. She didn’t.

She says she doesn’t understand what she was thinking then, but notes that she was consumed with taking care of four children and didn’t have much money. “Poverty is a sad thing. You just want to do the best you can do for your children, not being aware that you need help for yourself,” she offers, still trying to understand how she could have ignored her diabetes for so long. She focused on getting her children to the point of self-sufficiency and didn’t feel sick anyway.

Finally, when she was forty-five, she noticed problems with her eyes and her teeth. Her jaw also began to ache. She never connected either ailment with the diabetes. By then she was living in the U.S., and she went to a new doctor. He explained to her that, even though she couldn’t feel her diabetes, it was harming her. Her uncontrolled blood sugar was damaging her eyes, gums, and teeth. She took her medicine—“when I remembered,” she says--but neglected her diet and did not exercise. Her vision and dental problems grew worse, but “everything happened gradually,” and she didn’t worry about her health.

Eventually her eye problems turned into legal blindness. The doctor told her it was diabetic retinopathy. “I didn’t even want to go out on my sun porch,” she recalls. She was terrified and felt trapped in the house. “I thought my life was over,” Annette says with a sigh. “I really did.”

But Annette’s life was far from over. Through the National Federation of the Blind her daughter found a skills program at Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM). At first Annette wasn’t interested. When her daughter took her to the first interview for the program, she “was mentally kicking and screaming,” she says with a laugh. She joined the skills program to get out of the house, but she refused to carry the white cane because then everyone would see that she was blind. “I was in denial…even though I was falling down and risking my life every time I crossed the street,” she confesses now.

Gradually Annette realized that she had a lot in common with people in the program, and she was inspired by her blind instructors. “It gave me back a lot of courage,” she recalls. “Here were all these people just like me, going places, involved in things.” She became determined. She decided to take on the more advanced life-skills training class, a rigorous eight-month program spent learning Braille, mobility, and kitchen skills, among others. She resolved to “work my darndest, and I did.” In the middle of the program she had to leave and go to Trinidad for three months to care for her ill mother and to help her daughter, who was having her first baby.

In Trinidad she was amazed at how much she could do. “You do not lose your natural instincts,” she says. “The baby didn’t know I was blind.” She managed to cook and care for her mother and her newborn grandson and returned to the U.S. to complete her program. “You have to cook a meal for twenty to thirty people to graduate, and I made dinner for thirty-three,” she recalls proudly.

Now Annette is working at BISM, where she teaches Braille to seniors and makes home visits to help them learn to cope with their blindness. She says she knows how they feel since she was there herself people get depressed when they have to change their lives and learn new ways without vision. But Annette tells them that her blindness also brought blessings and “opened up a bigger world for me.” She has done things as a blind person that she never expected to do, even when she had perfect vision. She learned to use a computer during her life skills course, and now, she says, “I use it for everything.” Overcoming her fear and learning so much has given her a new confidence. She describes herself as “more assertive” and sure that she can handle any challenge. “No more sniveling and crying for me,” she explains proudly“

I played around with diabetes for years and ignored it,” Annette admits, but she is now serious about her self-management and says she is “fighting tooth and nail.” She takes her medicine and watches her blood sugar and diet. What’s really working, she reports, is exercise. Her vision loss hasn’t slowed her down she walks as much as possible and says that she gets “really nice numbers” after a stint on the stationary bicycle.

Annette isn’t just active when she’s exercising—she was recently selected to be the NFB spokesperson in a national education campaign about the complications of diabetes. She is proud that she is helping to get the word out. “I’m loud,” she jokes. “When people hear me, they know it’s Annette.” She’s putting her voice to good use at NFB advocacy and outreach events as well, and she loves being a part of the organization. “I’ve never had so much fun in my life since I’ve been involved with the NFB and BISM,” she says.

Karen Mayry: A Pioneer in Blindness and Diabetes

by Barbara Pierce and U.S. Senator Tim Johnson

From the Editor: No collection of inspirational stories about blind diabetics would be complete without a profile of Karen Mayry. Longtime Federationists will remember Karen as a friend and tireless champion of issues unique to this community newer members will regret never having made her acquaintance. Everybody will agree that she epitomized the best spirit and work ethic of our movement. Karen was responsible for creating the Diabetes Action Network, the Federation forum for blind diabetics. It is only appropriate, then, that she be recognized in this volume.

Toward this end we reprint the remembrance of her life that was published in the February 2007 edition of the Braille Monitor, the general interest magazine of the National Federation of the Blind, featuring the remarks that U.S. Senator Tim Johnson made about her on April 8, 2004, as printed in the Congressional Record. Together these two pieces nicely describe Karen and her work. We can all be proud of what she achieved during her life blind diabetics have immeasurably benefited from her efforts. The two pieces follow:

We are deeply saddened to report the death of longtime NFB leader Karen Mayry on Tuesday, November 28, 2006, at the age of sixty-four after more than a half-century struggle with diabetes. She is survived by her devoted husband Marshall and her niece Gail Wagner, both committed Federationists for many years, as well as one brother and several other nieces and nephews. Karen was raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, and graduated from Hibbing High School in 1960 and Hamline University in St. Paul in 1964.

She taught school for one year before marrying Marshall Mayry in 1965. She taught in various schools for three more years, and in 1968 the Mayrys moved to Rapid City, where Karen was employed for several years as a juvenile probation officer. She began losing vision in 1965, and she was legally blind by her late twenties. Because of her strong determination and positive attitude in dealing with diabetes, blindness, and other health problems, she became one of two founders of the NFB’s Diabetes Action Network and the president of the National Federation of the Blind of South Dakota, a position she held for twenty-five years.

It would be impossible to list Karen’s contributions to blind South Dakotans and diabetics across the country. Her energy and determination were legendary. When she decided that something needed to be done, she simply did not stop until she had convinced or worn down the opposition. She gave generously of her wisdom, experience, and passion for equality and justice for all blind people. We have all benefited from her contributions.

Karen received countless awards, including recognition in the U.S. Senate by South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson on April 8, 2004, and the Jacobus tenBroek Award from the National Federation of the Blind in 1984. Our deepest sympathy goes to Marshall, Gail, Karen’s hundreds of close Federation friends, and those in the blindness community in South Dakota who will miss her mentoring spirit.

Congressional Record
Washington D.C.
Thursday, April 8, 2004
The Honorable U.S. Senator Tim Johnson

Mr. Johnson: Mr. President, I stand today to recognize an individual who is a dedicated advocate for the blind in this nation and especially in my home state of South Dakota.

Karen was raised in Hibbing, Minnesota. The second of five children, she learned at an early age to cope with people's afflictions. Her brother Robert was born with Down's Syndrome. It was from this early exposure that Karen gained some of the beliefs that would carry over into later life. At age eleven, Karen herself was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the disease that was to define the rest of her life.

In 1965 Karen married her longtime love, Marshall. While living in Tacoma, Washington, where Marshall was to finish out his military obligation, Karen found a job teaching in the Clover Park school system. In her first year on the job, she experienced her first hemorrhage in her right eye, which resulted in complete vision loss in that eye. Because of her love of educating children, she remained on the job teaching, despite experiencing a traumatic physical ailment.

Marshall and Karen moved to Denver, Colorado, after his military obligation was fulfilled. While in Denver, Karen lost still more of her vision and for all purposes became totally blind, then underwent eye surgery in the hope of restoring some vision to her right eye. The surgery was deemed a cosmetic failure. It was also at this time that Karen discovered she was beginning to experience renal failure.

In 1969 Karen and Marshall moved to Rapid City, where she was hired as a juvenile probation officer. She remained at this position for six years, until her renal failure had progressed so much that she was unable to continue her duties. As she experienced kidney failure soon after, her loving brother David offered one of his kidneys. After many months of complications delaying the surgery, the transplant was successful. Three weeks later she left the hospital, and her kidney functions have remained excellent for the past twenty-seven years.

Following the successful kidney treatment, she was approached by representatives of the National Federation of the Blind to become a member. The philosophy of the NFB matched her own: one of independence, and the abilities of blind persons--if given a chance. Soon after joining, she became active that same year and was elected NFB state president, a quite remarkable achievement.

Karen Mayry is the longtime president of the South Dakota Federation of the Blind. For many years she has provided tireless advocacy for the blind residents of South Dakota and for the disabled population of the state. Under her presidency the state affiliate has grown to five local chapters. She has proposed and lobbied for, and had legislation passed, which bettered the lives of blind South Dakotans. She has testified before the Senate, investigating transportation for the handicapped, and has annually made trips to our nation's capital to lobby for issues of importance to the blind of the country. She is dedicated to advocating issues of importance, and she is committed to breaking down the structural and attitudinal barriers that impact the blind and disabled community in South Dakota. Her list of organizations is vast, and her accomplishments and awards are countless.

Despite various physical ailments in recent years, Karen refuses to be sidelined and continues her stalwart advocacy. Her vitality and energy are commendable, and her advocacy and education over the years on issues affecting blind and disabled individuals have proven very successful. She works hard to educate and advocate for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which helps promote the skills and talents of the blind and educated the business community about the importance of hiring individuals with disabilities.

South Dakotans with disabilities have many fighters in their corner, and Karen Mayry is one of their most ardent advocates. Karen doesn't mince words with elected officials. I, for one, have appreciated her frankness and candor over the years. Her insight is valuable on important issues, not only on matters directly affecting blind residents, but also on issues vital to all South Dakotans, disabled and non-disabled alike.

As residents of my state prepare for the annual South Dakota Federation of the Blind convention in Sioux Falls, I take this opportunity to congratulate and commend Karen Mayry for her many years of outstanding advocacy work for the blind. I applaud her dedication and commitment, appreciate her advocacy, and wish her the best in her own individual battle to come. I look forward to continuing my work with Karen concerning issues of importance to the blind and disabled citizens of South Dakota. It is with great honor that I share her impressive accomplishments with my colleagues.

The Redwall Cookbook

One of the hardest and best things about Brian Jacques &aposRedwall&apos series is surviving through the lavish descriptions of delicious feasts. They make the mouth water, and the only time to effectively read these books is during the holidays when leftovers and goodies are abundant. Or during a good garden harvest.

Happily, there is this wee, handy cookbook with recipes and short Redwall stories. I haven&apost tried the recipes yet, but they look good and read well. And I am really looking forward to rea One of the hardest and best things about Brian Jacques 'Redwall' series is surviving through the lavish descriptions of delicious feasts. They make the mouth water, and the only time to effectively read these books is during the holidays when leftovers and goodies are abundant. Or during a good garden harvest.

Happily, there is this wee, handy cookbook with recipes and short Redwall stories. I haven't tried the recipes yet, but they look good and read well. And I am really looking forward to reading Redwall or Mossflower (or any of the other zillion Redwall books) aloud to my kids, and then serving them "Shrimp & Hotroot Soup" or "Foremoles Deeper'n Ever Pie" for dinner.

This is a difficult book to review. How exactly does one rate or review a cookbook, especially one that is just as much a fictional narrative as a collection of effective recipes?

Both story and recipes were very good, in my opinion. I&aposm not sure how exactly the recipes in the book were created, though did Brian Jacques do it himself (probably not, I&aposd assume), or at least help with it? Was a chef hired by the publishing company to work up some recipes that fit within the guidelines of the food This is a difficult book to review. How exactly does one rate or review a cookbook, especially one that is just as much a fictional narrative as a collection of effective recipes?

Both story and recipes were very good, in my opinion. I'm not sure how exactly the recipes in the book were created, though did Brian Jacques do it himself (probably not, I'd assume), or at least help with it? Was a chef hired by the publishing company to work up some recipes that fit within the guidelines of the foods described in the Redwall books? Was some entirely different method used? I don't know, but I can tell you that the recipes really do work, and some of them are as good as what I expected when I read about them in the books, which is significantly high praise.

We had originally planned to make more than half a dozen of these recipes as an experimental Redwall feast, but in the end, we tried three of them. The Summer Strawberry Fizz was a good carbonated drink, leaning sort of toward the desserty side. I would recommend adding a bit more ice cream than the proportion listed in the book, and maybe going a shade light on the strawberries as we finished the pitcher, we ended up with only a small amount of liquid at the bottom, and a lot of semi-solid strawberry mixture. For all of these recipes, I would suggest the cook tweak it to best suit their own needs.

The second dish that we made was the Loamhedge Nut Bread. It had some mild spiciness to it, but could have definitely used some butter or jelly (or both) to enliven it.

The third dish was the Hare's Haversack Crumble, and it was spectacular. Now I can see what Basil Stagg Hare was raving about when he talked about how great it is! This is a fantastic dessert that will impress anyone who eats it, whether or not they've ever read about the famous Redwall Abbey created by Brian Jacques. I love the Hare's Haversack Crumble!

One should not forget that The Redwall Cookbook is a story, too. Brian Jacques leads us back to the golden days of Matthias, Constance the Badgermum, Basil Stagg Hare and Mattimeo, days that I'm sure most Redwall fans miss very much. These are happy days described in the book, days without war and death and dire threats to the peaceful Redwall Abbey. We see Matthias, his son Mattimeo and the others living quietly and at peace, able to simply have fun at the abbey and revel in the lives that they have fought hard and sacrificed for so memorably to build for themselves and their young ones. Redwall is a wonderful place during peacetime it probably makes more than a few readers almost wish in a tiny corner of their hearts that they were a little animal, so that they could live there.

The Redwall Cookbook is a fine offering in every possible way, and I give it my full recommendation. I would rate it at at least two and a half stars. . more

Redwall books aren&apost complete without the mouth-watering feasts, so a cookbook companion is quite fitting for the series! The recipes are split up into four feasts, one for each season, with desserts and entrees, an appetizer, and a drink for each. Recipes include the perennial favorites October Ale, Summer Strawberry Fizz, Shrimp&apos n&apos Hotroot Soup, Deeper&apos n&apos Ever Turnip&apos n&apos Tater&apos n&apos Beetroot Pie, Cheese&apos n&apos Onion Hogbake, and Afternoon Scones. All recipes are relatively simple, but quite delic Redwall books aren't complete without the mouth-watering feasts, so a cookbook companion is quite fitting for the series! The recipes are split up into four feasts, one for each season, with desserts and entrees, an appetizer, and a drink for each. Recipes include the perennial favorites October Ale, Summer Strawberry Fizz, Shrimp' n' Hotroot Soup, Deeper' n' Ever Turnip' n' Tater' n' Beetroot Pie, Cheese' n' Onion Hogbake, and Afternoon Scones. All recipes are relatively simple, but quite delicious. What makes this even better is that each season has a story line*, highlighting the preparations for the feast. Many characters make an appearance, but I was especially delighted by Bungo the molebabe: MOST ADORABLE THING EVER. The illustrations that accompany the book are some of my absolute favorites of the entire series.

Very highly recommended if you like the Redwall series. Even if you don't cook, the stories and illustrations still make it a worthwhile!

*It seems like this is set in early Redwall times, as Matthias makes an appearance. I haven't read the original trilogy in a very long time, but some of the other names of characters do sound familiar to the first book as well. . more

The Redwall books are all very similar to one another, which is great, because the Redwall formula has so much to love. One of the most enjoyable characteristics of these books is their detailed descriptions of feasts and picnics full of delicious-sounding food.

In this cookbook, familiar recipes are categorized into the most appropriate season for example, Hare’s Pawspring Soup is in Spring and Veggible Molebake is in Autumn.

The recipes are generally excellent and great for discovering vegetab The Redwall books are all very similar to one another, which is great, because the Redwall formula has so much to love. One of the most enjoyable characteristics of these books is their detailed descriptions of feasts and picnics full of delicious-sounding food.

In this cookbook, familiar recipes are categorized into the most appropriate season for example, Hare’s Pawspring Soup is in Spring and Veggible Molebake is in Autumn.

The recipes are generally excellent and great for discovering vegetables you might not be familiar with like parsnips and rutabagas. On top of all that every recipe is accompanied by a short story or poem from Jacques and every page has beautiful original artwork by Christopher Denise.

I have enjoyed reading a few of the Redwall books whenever I can find them and get my hands on them. Unfortunately it has been such a long time since I visited within the confines of the Abbey. As a result I was surprised to see that there was a cookbook and chose to snoop it out since as the majority of Redwall readers know food plays such a vital role within the books.

The book started off with a great promise of things to come due to the introduction. When reading a book one finds themselves I have enjoyed reading a few of the Redwall books whenever I can find them and get my hands on them. Unfortunately it has been such a long time since I visited within the confines of the Abbey. As a result I was surprised to see that there was a cookbook and chose to snoop it out since as the majority of Redwall readers know food plays such a vital role within the books.

The book started off with a great promise of things to come due to the introduction. When reading a book one finds themselves often wondering about bits and pieces of the book. How did this come along? What made the author to think up this crazy yet workable idea? And very rarely do we get an answer although in this case Brian Jacques proves to answer the main question of why food is such a large part as well as indirectly why so many books also involves fighting of forces - good versus evil. It was an eye-opener and one I appreciated getting to know.

As for the book it is a split genre type, which makes it all the more intriguing. The general title leads the reader to believe that this is only a mere cookbook filled with recipes to take readers back to the nostalgic environs of the beloved series. Instead there isn't only a cookbook within the pages but a year's telling of Friar Hugo and his assistant Sister Pansy thus you have a new take on dinner and entertainment.

For me personally I found it a lot easier to skip over the recipes while I read through the story itself. Each season starts off with a seasonal poem then progresses into the story of some type of preparation for a seasonal feast. And then depending on which way the story is going is how the recipes are presented whether it is through recipe trading, watching a special dish being made by its main contributor or explaining dishes that form the feast/picnic. This then is how the book cohesively works together the different genres.

As for the recipes, most are pretty basic and simple without the need for a lot of ingredients or directions. Given the demographics of Redwall, the majority of the recipes run towards vegetarian and surprisingly a lot use honey instead of sugar for sweetening. Furthermore there is definitely more recipes leaning towards dessert foods rather than main courses or side dishes but at least what there is can help to flesh out your own meals. And I can't wait to try a few of these recipes out for myself.

Finally the last thing about this book is that it carries on the Redwall characters by providing brightly colored and detailed illustrations that captures the essence of the characters. These characters are extended by using Bungo and Friar Hugo as markers to mark whether recipes need adult cooks or are dibbun (child-friendly), with the latter being so infrequent. On the other hand, though, unfortunately there are no pictures on what the recipes themselves are suppose to look like as an end result.

In the end the book makes for a great Redwall addition if you like to learn more about the characters during their peacetime activities and a bonus to readers who are leaning towards a vegetarian-focused diet. Otherwise the book may be a hit or miss to other readers who aren't fans f either focus. . more

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In a nutshell : The Dude Diet is an awesome lifestyle that will help you feel better and look hotter without giving up the foods you love. The backstory : 8 years ago, I fell madly in love with a wonderful and hilarious food-loving dude named Logan. And since the first few months of our courtship were long-distance between Paris and New York City, I chalked up his batshit crazy decadent meal choices on dates to special occasion eating.

Epic Meal Time is a Canadian YouTube cooking show known for creating extremely high-calorie meals, generally out of meat products with particular emphasis on bacon and including alcohol especially Jack Daniel's. It debuted in October , and since then has started to release an episode every Tuesday.

Epic Meal Time

Брови его поползли вверх. Он был потрясен. Мидж и Бринкерхофф охнули в унисон.

Дэвид… Слава Богу. Я думала, что потеряла. Он потер виски, подвинулся ближе к камере и притянул гибкий шланг микрофона ко рту.

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Нам обоим грозит опасность. Сьюзан не верила ни единому его слову. Хейл подтянул ноги и немного приподнялся на корточках, желая переменить позу. Он открыл рот, чтобы что-то сказать, но сделать этого не успел. Когда Хейл перестал на нее давить, Сьюзан почувствовала, что ее онемевшие ноги ожили. Еще толком не отдавая себе отчета в своих действиях и повинуясь инстинкту, она резким движением согнула ноги и со всей силы ударила Хейла коленом в промежность, ощутив, как ее коленные чашечки впились в его мягкие незащищенные ткани. Хейл взвыл от боли, и все его тело сразу же обмякло.

Кто? - требовательно сказала. - Уверен, ты догадаешься сама, - сказал Стратмор. - Он не очень любит Агентство национальной безопасности. - Какая редкость! - саркастически парировала Сьюзан. - Он участвовал в разработке ТРАНСТЕКСТА.

Танкадо предложил бесценный математический метод, но зашифровал. Зашифровал, используя этот самый метод. - Сейф Бигглмана, - протянула Сьюзан. Стратмор кивнул. Сейф Бигглмана представляет собой гипотетический сценарий, когда создатель сейфа прячет внутри его ключ, способный его открыть. Чтобы ключ никто не нашел, Танкадо проделал то же самое с Цифровой крепостью. Он спрятал свой ключ, зашифровав его формулой, содержащейся в этом ключе.

Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, is believed to be the mastermind behind the 1993 plot to blow up the World Trade Center.

Offense: Known as the "Blind Sheikh," Abdel-Rahman is believed to be the mastermind behind the 1993 plot to blow up the World Trade Center. Before coming to the U.S. in 1990 (despite being on a State Department terrorist watch list), he had a history of ties to Islamic militant groups. In New York, he surrounded himself with loyal extremists while maintaining the façade of a wise, albeit ultra-conservative, sheikh to the New York-New Jersey Muslim community--until he shocked his community by issuing a fatwa encouraging Muslims to engage in violence against U.S. civilians.

Consequence/Punishment: He was convicted in 1995 with a group of nine men of "seditious conspiracy" and is now serving a life sentence in federal prison.

Effect on Community: Though moderate Muslims turned their back on the sheikh after he was exposed, Abdel-Rahman still commands a loyal following among Islamic extremists around the world, including Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda members. Islamic militants often cite his case as a rallying point. Abdel-Rahman remains committed to his beliefs.

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