Areca nut

The areca nut is the seed of the areca palm, which grows in much of the tropical Pacific and South Asia, parts of east Africa. It is referred to as betel nut so it is confused with betel leaves that are used to wrap it; the term areca originated from the Kannada word adike and dates from the 16th century, when Dutch and Portuguese sailors took the nut from Kerala to Europe. Consumption is carcinogenic to humans. Various compounds present in the nut, including arecoline, contribute to histologic changes in the oral mucosa, it is known to be a major risk factor for cancers of esophagus. As with chewing tobacco, its use is discouraged by preventive efforts. Consumption by hundreds of millions of people worldwide – with southern and eastern Asian origins – has been described as a "neglected global public health emergency"; the areca nut is not a true nut, but rather the seed of a fruit categorized as a berry. It is commercially available in dried and fresh forms; when the husk of the fresh fruit is green, the nut inside is soft enough to be cut with a typical knife.

In the ripe fruit, the husk becomes yellow or orange, as it dries, the fruit inside hardens to a wood-like consistency. At that stage, the areca nut can only be sliced using a special scissors-like cutter. For chewing, a few slices of the nut are wrapped in a betel leaf along with calcium hydroxide and may include clove, catechu, or other spices for extra flavouring. Betel leaf has a fresh, peppery taste, but it can be bitter to varying degrees depending on the variety. Areca nuts are chewed with betel leaf for their effects as a mild stimulant, causing a warming sensation in the body and heightened alertness, although the effects vary from person to person; the areca nut contains gallic acid. The betel leaf chewed along with the nut contains eugenol, another vasoconstrictor. Tobacco leaf is added to the mixture, thereby adding the effect of nicotine. In parts of India, Sri Lanka, southern China, areca nuts are not only chewed along with betel leaf, but are used in the preparation of Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicines.

Powdered areca nut is used as a constituent in some dentifrices. Other traditional uses include the removal of tapeworms and other intestinal parasites by swallowing a few teaspoons of powdered areca nut, drunk as a decoction, or by taking tablets containing the extracted alkaloids. According to traditional Ayurvedic medicine, chewing areca nut and betel leaf is a good remedy against bad breath. Diplomat Edmund Roberts noted that Chinese people would mix areca nut with Uncaria gambir during his visit to China in the 1830s. After chewing a betelnut, the red residue is spat out. Accordingly, places have banned chewing this nut to avoid eyesores. Chewing the mixture of areca nut and betel leaf is a tradition, custom, or ritual which dates back thousands of years in much of the geographical areas from South Asia eastward to the Pacific, it constitutes an important and popular cultural activity in many Asian and Oceanic countries, including Pakistan, the Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Yap, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu.

How or when the areca nut and the betel leaf were first combined into one psychoactive drug is not known. Archaeological evidence from Thailand and the Philippines suggests they have been used in tandem for at least 4000 years. In Vietnam, the areca nut and the betel leaf are such important symbols of love and marriage that in Vietnamese the phrase "matters of betel and areca" is synonymous with marriage; the tradition of chewing areca nuts starts the talk between the groom's parents and the bride's parents about the young couple's marriage. Therefore, the leaves and juices are used ceremonially in Vietnamese weddings; the folk tale explaining the origin of this Vietnamese tradition is a good illustration of the belief that the combination of areca nut and the betel leaf is ideal to the point they are inseparable, like an idealized married couple. In the Indian subcontinent, the chewing of betel and areca nut dates back to the pre-Vedic period Indus Valley Civilization. In both India and Sri Lanka, it was a custom of the royalty to chew areca nut with betel leaf.

Kings had special attendants whose duty it was to carry a box with all the necessary ingredients for a good chewing session. There was a custom for lovers to chew areca nut and betel leaf together, because of its breath-freshening and relaxant properties. A sexual symbolism thus became attached to the chewing of the leaf; the areca nut represented the male principle, the betel leaf the female principle. Considered an auspicious ingredient in Hinduism and some schools of Buddhism, the areca nut is still used along with betel leaf in religious ceremonies, while honoring individuals in much of southern Asia. In Assam, it is a tradition to offer pan-tamul to guests, after tea or meals, served in a brass plate with stands called bota. Among the Assamese, the areca nut has a variety of uses during religious and marriage ceremonies, where it has the role of a fertility symbol. A tradition from Upper Assam is


Zoneait is an extinct genus of thalattosuchian crocodylomorph known from a single species, Zoneait nargorum, from the Middle Jurassic of Oregon. Z. nargorum was named in 2015 by paleontologist Eric Wilberg on the basis of several partial skulls and forelimb bones that were found in an outcrop of the Snowshoe Formation near the town of Izee. It is a member of Metriorhynchoidea, a clade of marine-adapted thalattosuchians that existed until the Early Cretaceous; the skeleton of Zoneait possesses several adaptations for offshore marine life but retains features characteristic of its land-living ancestors, indicating that it is a transitional form between the marine metriorhynchids of the late Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous, earlier non-marine crocodylomorphs. The Snowshoe Formation was deposited in a shallow marine environment within a tropical forearc basin, suggesting that Zoneait was a marine predator. Wilberg found that Zoneait is the sister taxon of Metriorhynchidae, which suggests that it should have been more extensively adapted to marine life than Teleidosaurus and Eoneustes were, but less adapted than true metriorhynchids like Metriorhynchus and Cricosaurus, which were marine.

Zoneait has a streamlined skull with eyes that faced laterally like those of metriorhychids, unlike the more upward-facing eyes of other non-marine aquatic crocodylomorphs. The shift in eye orientation is thought to reflect changes in feeding ecology; the forelimbs are not flattened into paddles as in metriorhynchids, but the ulna is reduced in length, indicating that forelimb reduction began at the lower limb and progressed upward. Taken together, the transitional features of Zoneait indicate that metriorhynchoids' adaptation of a marine lifestyle began with a shift in feeding ecology and only involved changes in swimming locomotion

Donegal School District

The Donegal School District is a school district covering the Boroughs of Marietta and Mount Joy and East Donegal Township and the southern portion of Mount Joy Township in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It is a member of Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13; the district operates one high school, one junior high school, one intermediate school, one primary school.. Source: Local School Directory Donegal Primary School K-2 Mount Joy, Pennsylvania Donegal Intermediate School 3-6 Marietta, Pennsylvania Donegal Junior High School 7-8 Mount Joy, Pennsylvania Donegal Senior High School 9-12 Mount Joy, Pennsylvania David Hickernell, State representative Bruce Sutter, Former Major League Baseball relief pitcher, HOF Class of 2006