Monday, 31 August 2015

1928 August 31 Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera opens in Berlin

The Threepenny Opera / Berlin

  • Berliner Ensemble 1 Bertolt-Brecht-Platz Berlin, Berlin, 10117 Germany
This seminal 1928 classic by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill was directed by Robert Wilson in 2007. In Wilson's production, the tale of Mackie Messer, Polly Peachum and the Whores of Turnbridge takes place in a setting that is influenced by German Expressionism and the shattering, seductive world of Weimar-era cabaret.
Robert Wilson (direction, set and light design); Ann-Christin Rommen (co-direction); Serge von Arx (co-set design); Jacques Reynaud (costumes); Andreas Fuchs (light design); Jutta Ferbers, Annika Bardos (dramaturgy); Hans-Jörn Brandenburg, Stefan Rager (musical direction)
More information and tickets can be found here.

Ella Fitzgerald - Mack The Knife (High Quality) - YouTube

Identification and quantification of phenolics in Australian native mint (Mentha australis R. Br.)

Volume 192, 1 February 2016, Pages 698–705


We investigated the phenolic compounds of Mentha australis, an Australian native mint.
Nine phenolic acids and flavonoids were identified from the plant.
Neoponcirin and biochanin A were identified for the first time in the Mentha genus.


Australian native mints have traditionally been used by the aboriginal people for natural remedies; however, their bioactive components have not been studied. Antioxidant capacity and composition of phenolic compounds of Mentha australis R. Br., Lamiaceae were investigated for the first time. Phenolic compounds were analyzed by HPLC photodiode array detector, liquid chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry, tandem mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Aqueous methanolic extract of the mint exhibited comparable antioxidant capacity to the common spearmint. Major compounds identified in the extract were rosmarinic acid (160.4 ± 0.85 μg mg−1 purified extract), neoponcirin (145.0 ± 0.42 μg gallic acid equivalent (GAE) mg−1), narirutin (30.3 ± 0.02 μg GAE mg−1), chlorogenic acid (15.4 ± 0.05 μg mg−1) and biochanin A (9.6 ± 0.06 μg GAE mg−1), while minor compounds were caffeic acid, apigenin, hesperetin and naringenin. Neoponcirin and biochanin A were identified for the first time in the Mentha genus.


  • Mentha spp.; 
  • Native mint; 
  • Phenolics; 
  • LC–MS; 
  • NMR

Corresponding author.

many Americans have been making the mistake of calling sweet potatoes "yams."

What's The Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams?

Posted: Updated:
Before you reach for the candied yams this Thanksgiving, there's something you need to know. They're not actually yams! All this time, many Americans have been making the mistake of calling sweet potatoes "yams." But there's actually a difference. It turns out sweet potatoes and yams are not even related. They are two different species of root vegetable with very different backgrounds and uses.
So why the confusion? The U.S. government has perpetuated the error of labeling sweet potatoes "yams." In most cases sweet potatoes are labeled with both terms, which just adds to the confusion. Since there are two types of sweet potatoes, one with creamy white flesh and one with orange, the USDA labels the orange-fleshed ones "yams" to distinguish them from the paler variety. Ok, so that sort of makes sense. But why call the orange-fleshed ones "yams" in the first place? So to understand the difference between yams and sweet potatoes, we have to dig a little deeper (tuber pun intended).
Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) come in two main varieties here in the States. One has a golden skin with creamy white flesh and a crumbly texture. The other has a copper skin with an orange flesh that is sweet and soft. All sweet potato varieties generally have the same shape and size -- they are tapered at the ends and much smaller than the aforementioned yams.
Americans have been calling the orange-fleshed variety of sweet potatoes "yams" since colonial times when Africans saw familiarities in them to the tuberous variety. The USDA decided to label them as "yams" to differentiate the two varieties. Both varieties of sweet potato, including "yams" can be widely found in supermarket.
Yams (family Dioscoreaceae) are native to Africa and Asia and other tropical regions. Yams are starchy tubers that have an almost black bark-like skin and white, purple or reddish flesh and come in many varieties. The tubers can be as small as regular potatoes or grow upwards of five feet long.
The word yam comes from an African word, which means "to eat." The yam holds great importance as a foodstuff because it keeps for a long time in storage and is very valuable during the wet season, when food is scarce. For eating, yams are typically peeled, boiled and mashed or dried and ground into a powder that can be cooked into a porridge. Yams can be found in international markets, such as those that specialize in Caribbean foods.
For more information on sweet potatoes, visit the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.
For more on the nutritional value of sweet potatoes vs. yams, visit

So, the big question is: What do you call sweet potatoes?

10 – Potentilla and Rubus medicinal plants: potential non-Camellia tea resources

Medicinal Plants
Chemistry, Biology and Omics
2015, Pages 373–430


Wild rose wines have high phenolic and ascorbic acid content.
High antioxidant activity of wines from R. rugosa and R. canina confirmed.
Wild rose wines reduce mutation intensity induced by MNNG in dose-dependent manner.


The purpose of this study was to determine the concentration of biologically active compounds (polyphenols and l-ascorbic acid) in Rosa canina L. and Rosa rugosaThunb. wines. The antioxidant capacity and antimutagenicity of the wines were also investigated. Aged and young wines contained phenolics levels of 2786–3456 and 3389–3990 mg/L GAE, respectively. The final concentrations of ascorbic acid were 1200 for Rosa rugosa Thunb. and 600 mg/L for Rosa canina L. R. rugosa and R. canina wines revealed high antioxidant activity in different assays (with ABTS, DPPH, and DMPD radicals). Expressed in terms of Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), the activity ranged from 8 to 13.5 mM. Significant differences were found between the tested wines terms of their reactivity against the ABTS and DMPD radicals. The wines inhibitedin vitro N-methyl-N′-nitro-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) and the number of induced His+revertants increased in a dose-dependent manner by 16–48% in SalmonellaTyphimurium TA98 and 12–52% in Salmonella Typhimurium TA100. Wines from dog rose (Rosa canina L.) showed a greater ability to reduce mutations.

Chemical compounds studied in this article

  • Vitamin C (PubChem CID: 54670067); 
  • Gallic acid (PubChem CID 24721416);
  • Chlorogenic acid (PubChem CID 1794427); 
  • Ferulic acid (PubChem CID: 445858);
  • Syringic acid (PubChem CID: 10742); 
  • p-Coumaric acid (PubChem CID: 637542);
  • Quercetin rutinoside (PubChem CID: 5280805); 
  • Quercetin glucoside (PubChem CID: 25203368)


  • Wild rose; 
  • Rosa canina L.; 
  • Rosa rugosa Thunb.; 
  • Food analysis; 
  • Food composition;
  • Fruit wines; 
  • Fermentation process; 
  • Polyphenols; 
  • Vitamin C; 
  • Antioxidants;
  • Antimutagenicity; 
  • Bioactive non-nutrients

Corresponding author. Tel.: +48 426313492; fax: +48 426365976.

Medicinal Plants Chemistry, Biology and Omics 2015, Pages 373–430 Cover image 10 – Potentilla and Rubus medicinal plants: potential non-Camellia tea resources

Medicinal Plants
Chemistry, Biology and Omics
2015, Pages 373–430

10 – Potentilla and Rubus medicinal plants: potential non-Camellia tea resources


Potentilla and Rubus plants of the family Rosaceae are broadly distributed in the Northern Hemisphere and contain abundant secondary metabolites, especially various types of phenolic compounds and terpenoids. Some plants in these two genera are used as non-Camellia herbal tea in folk medicine, while others are also found to have multiple medicinal and food values. Polyphenols of Potentilla and Rubus have drawn increasing attention due to their potent antioxidant properties and their noticeable effects in the prevention of various oxidative stress-associated diseases such as cancer, inflammation, and diabetes. In the past few years, the identification and development of phenolic and other components or extracts from various plants of Potentilla and Rubushave become a major concern. In this review, we provide an updated and comprehensive overview on phytochemical ingredients and their bioactivities and molecular pharmacognosy of Potentilla and Rubus. The antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, and antidiabetic activities of various components and extracts are summarized. Cardio-, neuro-, and hepatoprotective effects are discussed. These studies, as well as progress in molecular pharmacognosy, provide hints for sustainable exploitation and conservation of Potentilla and Rubus non-Camelliatea resources.


  • Potentilla; 
  • Rubus; 
  • Non-Camellia tea; 
  • Phytochemistry; 
  • Bioactivity; 
  • Phylogeny