As seen on Shark Tank and tried by me - ICE CHIPS candy made with Xylitol, available in lots and lots of different flavors

I order certain groceries online that I can't get locally and sometimes when you order a certain dollar amount, they throw in a 'free' gift with purchase.  My last order included a package of free samples and this new-to-me candy was in it.  "Ice Chips" which are sugar free candy 'chips' and 'shards' and 'pieces' flavored in various different choices and sold in a little tin similar to the well known Altoids tins that have been around forever and I love because I reuse them in so many ways around the house.

Apparently these were featured on the TV show Shark Tank (episode 408 or something like that) except I haven't watched television since the Fall of 1999 (or was it 1998?) so I've never seen Shark Tank nor do I care.  What I DO care about is this candy is pretty tasty, my family ended up liking them, my college aged daughter and her friend returned the empty tin to me and left it on the desk in my office as a plea for me to please order more!  They loved them.

They are made with Xylitol - which I already love and use in cooking and baking because we don't do sugar in this house. Xylitol is a natural sweetener similar to sugar, but has about a third the calories as table sugar, and is a healthy alternative for diabetics.  Not only does it make an excellent sugar substitute, but it aids in the prevention of dental cavities, and reduces plaque formation because it can’t be utilized by bacteria in the mouth. This means Xylitol doesn’t promote tooth decay which is why dentists and nutritionists encourage the use of xylitol in candy and gum. 


Ice Chips Candy

Ice Chips Coffee Cream Candy pieces in a 1.76 oz tin
Like an Iced Vanilla Latte complete with caffeine for that anytime pick-me-up.  Ice Chips candies are sugar-free and safe for diabetics.  Made from Birchwood Xylitol (made in the USA),  coffee extract, natural cream (MILK) trace amounts of Cream of Tartar and Calcium Stearate.

I checked online and you can order them from various places and it says you can even buy them at Walmart but I checked for locally availability and the two Walmarts in my area don't show them as available, but I can order them.  Personally I did not like the Pina Colada flavor - but that's because I don't like coconut and pineapple flavored anything.  My 20 year old daughter however loved them and finished the tin.  I cannot WAIT to buy the peppermint, black licorice, strawberry daquiri, lemon and coffee n' cream flavors.  I plan to keep a tin in my purse as well as my vehicles center consoles.

Related products available through Amazon if you can't find them locally;
Lemon Ice Chips
6 count variety pack - Ice Chips
3 pk. Coffee N Cream Ice Chips
Strawberry Daiquiri Ice Chips


She didn't ask ME but..... (My own thoughts on a Dear Abby question/answer)

This truly is just the coffee talking... as I'm sipping iced coffee enhanced with coffee flavored energy drops and waiting for the last 10 minutes of a load of laundry to finish.  Not in the mood to read the news, I clicked on Dear Abby, which I normally don't read but about once every 5 or 6 months I'll click if I need to pass a few minutes reading 'something'.

Today I see this one:

DEAR ABBY: I do a lot of home canning, and last year our farm was very profitable. I canned more than 300 jars of jellies, juices, applesauce and soups. I gave many of these away as gifts.
My dilemma is, most of the time no one gives me the jars back. Canning jars are the most expensive part of canning. Would you please help me get the word out to return the jars when they are empty? — DEBBIE IN DERBY, N.Y.

DEAR DEBBIE: I’m glad to put out the word. But don’t you think it would be more effective if you simply asked that the jars be returned if the recipients want to continue receiving these generous gifts from you? Attaching a “Please return to (blank)” label might help.

Seriously?  'Debbie' complains to Dear Abby that no one gives canning jars back when she's given them a food gift in them?  Wow.  Let me say that my grandmother's canned, my Dad and Mom canned, and yes, I can.  We give gifts of pickles, jams, jellies, and the meal in a jar mixes and layered baked good mixes in them as gifts and NO ONE I know in my own family or my circle of friends who home-can EVER 'expect' the jars back.  Ever.  And if you DO want your jars back (which is fine if that's what you want) then for pete's sake just ASK when you give the gift or put a cute little label on the jar.

Too simple for her to figure out???

Very hot drinks 'probably' cause cancer???

If you missed it, this news article shares that apparently a UN agency shared that if you like your coffee hotter than 150 degrees, it may cause cancer.  That sucks for me because I like mine 190 degrees.  And if it's cooled down, the taste changes and I don't like it anymore.

According to what I read, it's not just coffee; it's any hot drink hotter than 150 degrees - including tea.

Interesting... but I'm not about to give up my hot, strong, black coffee yet!


Paris (AFP) - Very hot drinks probably increase the risk of cancer, a UN agency said Wednesday, but coffee -- once feared to be a carcinogen -- is safe if enjoyed at "normal" temperatures.

Tea and mate, a popular South American herbal infusion, may also be harmful if drunk hotter than 65 degrees Celsius (150 degrees Fahrenheit), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported.

"It doesn't matter what the liquid is," said epidemiologist Dana Loomis, who took part in a review of the world's most popular hot beverages. "What matters is the temperature."

With more than 1.1 billion cups of coffee consumed around the world every day, the industry welcomed the beverage's removal from the list of "possibly cancerogenic" substances.

"Today we can brew or buy a cup with even more confidence thanks to science," said Bill Murray, president of the US-based National Coffee Association.

The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, which closely tracks research in this field, said coffee is typically consumed below 60 C.

"IARC's assessment on very hot beverages is therefore not associated with normal coffee consumption," secretary general Roel Vaessen said in a statement.  The IARC amassed all the available scientific literature -- more than 1,000 studies -- on cancer and coffee or mate, also popular in the Middle East.

Both drinks had been classified as "possibly cancerogenic to humans" since 1991, when the last evaluation was done.
But evidence gathered since then could not link either drink -- at "normal serving temperature" -- to an elevated cancer risk, said the IARC, an agency of the UN's World Health Organization (WHO).

For some types of cancer, there are clues that coffee may even be beneficial.

A few studies, the agency said, showed a positive association with a lower risk of cancer of the uterus, liver and breast.
Taken together, the available data suggested "there is inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of coffee drinking," it concluded.

As for mate -- typically drunk piping hot -- the IARC found that high temperature, not the drink itself, was probably behind an observed link with cancer of the gullet -- the pipe that transports food and fluids from the throat to the stomach.
Mate is often sipped through a metal straw that delivers the infusion directly to the throat.

"The single study that examined cold mate drinking showed no association with oesophageal cancer," the agency said.
This prompted the reviewers to look at research into cancer and hot beverages other than mate.

In places such as China, Iran, Turkey and South America, tea or mate is traditionally drunk at about 70 C, as are milky teas in parts of Africa and central Asia. Many of these regions have elevated gullet cancer rates.

The data pointed to "significantly increased relative risks for drinking very hot tea and very hot beverages," the agency found.

And in lab studies, water at 65-70 C boosted oesophageal tumours in mice and rats.

The analysis concluded that "very hot" beverages were "probably cancerogenic to humans".

Partly due to a lack of research, the IARC could not make any finding for drinking very hot water.

"It is too speculative at this point," Loomis told journalists prior to the report's release.

The research had taken account of lifestyle factors that could have skewed the data, such as participants' alcohol or tobacco use -- high risk factors for oesophageal cancer.

The analysis does not measure the degree of risk associated with drinking very hot tea or coffee.

According to the WHO, cancer of the food pipe accounts for about 400,000 deaths out of eight million total cancer deaths every year.

Outside experts pointed out that most people in Europe and the United States contracted a different type of oesophageal cancer to those in Asia and South America.

"Besides, most people in the UK drink tea with milk, which lowers the temperature of the drink to a safe level," Tim Underwood, a professor in surgery at the University of Southampton, said via the Science Media Centre.

For Colin Berry, a pathologist from the Queen Mary University of London, the report said nothing about how many hot drinks would have to be consumed to raise cancer risk.

"Without knowing what exposure and for what time, the information does not give you any useful information about which group might be at risk of what..." he said.

Last one - Part 3 in my series of Coffee Themed T-shirts for Men

Final coffee themed men's t-shirts post for Father's Day!  Whew.  I had to do 3 of them because I found too many that I thought were pretty cool.  This one has 3 different Star Wars themed coffee versions because they were similar, but different.  Plus, that second black Star Wars t-shirt option comes in either black or blue.

For guys that enjoy their t-shirts... and their coffee.

Star Wars Coffee - May the Froth Be With You
  • 6.1 oz. 100% Heavyweight Cotton
  • Standard Fit
  • High Quality

Jacted Up Tees Star Wars Coffee Men's T-Shirt - Small Black (173)
  • Preshrunk 100% Cotton Jersey Knit
  • 5.3 oz. Gildan
  • Taped Neck and Shoulder
  • Black or Blue

Part 2 - Coffee Themed T-shirts for Men!

If you already saw part one, you'll know why there is a part 2.  Because I went looking for coffee themed t-shirts for guys and found more than just a 'couple' and I wanted to point you in the direction of more of them that I found!  I thought they were cool, so you know, you might too.

Here is part 2 of this theme:  Coffee themed t-shirts for guys

Coffee Lovers Gift Ideas Answer is More Coffee What was the Question T-Shirt
  • 100% cotton (preshrunk), Sport Grey is 90%/10% cotton/poly. This shirt has seamless double needle collar with double-needle sleeves and hem with a taped neck and shoulders.
  • The design is printed with new age printing technology, direct-to-garment. It is printed with a water-soluble and eco-friendly ink.
  • It is cured with a heat treatment process to ensure the color-fastness and lasting durability of the design.
  • Authentic ThisWear ® design printed with pride in the United States. This is not an unauthorized replica/counterfeit item. This is an original inspired design and does not infringe on any rights holders rights. Words used in the title/search terms are not intended to imply they are licensed by any rights holders.

icustomworld Ok, But First Coffee T-shirt White Wake Up Love Coffee Shirt L Gray
  • Unisex T-shirt
  • %100 Cotton and Pre-Shrunk
  • Super cute and trendy t-shirt to wear all year around
  • Machine Washable.Visit Product Description for more details.
  • Size range S - 5XL

Hello Darkness My Old Friend Coffee Funny Mens & Ladies Unisex Fit T-Shirt
  • Brand new Mens/Ladies Unisex Fit T-shirt. This is a Unisex Shirt so it will be a Baggy Fit *Sleeves are folded for the photograph*
  • Fast Dispatch
  • No Quibble Moneyback Guarantee
  • Shirt sizes (To Fit) - Small 34-36" chest, Medium 38-40" chest, Large 42-44" chest, X-Large 46-48" chest and XX-Large 50-52" chest.

Men's Coffee Themed T-shirts - an American Sign Language Coffee T-shirt!

With Father's Day coming up I decided I'd post a couple coffee-themed t-shirts because they are just super cool, and guys like t-shirts (usually more than a tie) and well, you know, anything with a coffee theme is a good thing.  But... as I started to look for coffee themed t-shirts I found like, a bajillion of them that I liked. 

Here is 1... 

Coffee - ASL - Sign Language - Coffee Lover Men's T-Shirt
  • Hollywood Thread T Shirt
  • Let people read your thoughts without opening your mouth with this unique T-shirt!
  • Made with 100% combed, ring-spun cotton. Llightweight, breathable and super soft
  • Double stitched and ribbed neckband is super comfortable and durable. Tagless label for additional smooth feel

Cultural Differences: Foreign students studying at US Universities are cheating - but is their tuition dollar so important that schools won't crack down on them?



Foreign students studying at US universities are seen to cheat more than American students, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

Citing data from 14 large public universities, The Journal noted that public universities recorded 5.1 reports of alleged cheating per 100 international students, compared to one report of cheating per 100 American students.

The Journal requested data from 50 different public universities with student bodies heavy with foreign enrollment, though only 14 were able to provide complete data for the 2014-15 academic year.

At nearly every school, reports of cheating involving foreign students were twice as high, ranging up to as much as eight times as high at some institutions.

Faculty interviewed about the phenomenon attributed it to the fact that foreign students either don't understand or accept US standards of academic integrity, according to The Journal.

But responses varied on why standards of academic integrity differed between American and foreign, especially Chinese, students.

"In China, it's OK to cheat as long as you're not caught," Lanqing Wang, a Georgia Institute of Technology student originally from Shanghai, told The Journal.

Others weren't as willing to say that cheating was acceptable in China and, instead, pointed to intense pressure to succeed.

"In China, our culture puts a lot of pressure on students," Paidi Shi, vice president of a Chinese student group at the University of California at San Diego, said. "We are more likely to find a shortcut to get a good grade."

Still, others attributed at least some of the issue to the fact that cheating may be more obvious in foreign students.

For example, if a foreign pupil with poor written English suddenly turns in a perfect paper, then a professor would likely scrutinize it more than if an American student did so, even if the American student had plagiarized.

The Journal's analysis isn't the first time reports about cheating being common among Chinese students have surfaced. Law-enforcement officials have recently investigated test-taking scams where Chinese students hire testing proxies to take tests like the SAT or GRE.

In 2015, more than a dozen current and former US college students from China were arrested and pleaded guilty to participating in such a cheating scheme, according to The Hechinger Report.

The number of foreign students in American schools has been surging over the past decade. Last year, 1.13 million foreign students were enrolled in the US, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing US Department of Homeland Security data. That number represented a nearly 50% increase from 2010 and an 85% increase from 2005, according to The Journal.

While universities are working to tamp down on pervasive cheating among international students, it's not as straightforward a process as one might expect. To start, the desire to retain foreign students who pay higher tuition than their American counterparts could conflict with schools' motivations.

"I can assure you that somewhere someone at the university is doing a calculus about how much tuition they would lose if they start coming down hard on students who cheat." 


Pondering over coffee....

After I read this mornings news article I happened to be in the kitchen at the same time as my college-aged daughter, home from school for the summer.  I mentioned to her, "Hey, you know how universities are trying to get more and more kids from overseas because they can get full tuition payments so they make more money?"  "Yeah...."  "I just read an article this morning about a study that was done showing that foreign students are more likely to cheat than American students."  "Oh absolutely.  I know that because I see it all the time at my own school!"

Our conversation ended by circling back to the topic of tuition.  Schools in the past few years have been trying desperately to lure overseas students in and bending over backwards to get them.  Full foreign student tuition is big bucks for the universities... so really, is it in their best interest to try to stop the cheating?

Personally I would say "yes" because it's those same 'students' that will be your doctor, your surgeon, your lawyer, your financial advisor and banker.

Different cultures have different standards.

........ such a long, very large topic really.  So many branches into other topics.

Anyway.  This was just a tiny little 'pondering' and typing out some thoughts while I sipped the last of my morning coffee.

Eh, it's just the coffee talking again.

Related:  CNN Exclusive: Doctors cheated on exams
Related:  Chinese students are hiring 'gunmen' to take the tests that will get them into American colleges
Related:  Inside the World of China’s Hired Test-Takers
Related:  Special Report: Why India's medical schools are plagued with fraud
Related: Cheating Pervades India’s Education System

Related products available through Amazon;
Culture Shock! India: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette
The Chinese Mind: Understanding Traditional Chinese Beliefs and Their Influence on Contemporary Culture