‘Oil Pulling’: Does It Really Whiten Your Teeth?

Can swishing oil in your mouth for 20 minutes a day really whiten your teeth, sweeten your breath, improve your skin and get rid of your migraines? More to the point, is it even possible to swish oil in your mouth for that long without gagging? We’re talking about an ancient Indian folk remedy called oil pulling that suddenly has found new life, thanks to popular actresses trying it and social media sites such as Pinterest helping spread the word. Oil …

Stoke the Flames With These Fireplace Tips

In many parts of the country, it’s time to stoke up the fireplace or woodstove for a little extra heat. Here are some hearth-warming tips to keep in mind: Heating With Wood Can Save: According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, burning one cord of wood generates the heat equivalent of  200 gallons to 250 gallons of fuel oil. Based on our most recent fuel oil bills and the cost of a cord of wood from a firewood supplier, that much …

Wave Goodbye to $3 Gasoline

First the bad news: Gasoline prices are at a summertime high. Now the really bad news: Sometime soon we might look back on these as the good old days. AAA’s Chris Plaushin, testifying on July 16 before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said prices may never go below $3 a gallon again. The next day, prices inched up to an average of $3.66 a gallon for regular unleaded, according to Michael Green, who tracks prices for AAA. That’s …

The Oilman Who Helped Bring Us ‘Masterpiece Theatre’

In the 1970s, author and social commentator Tom Wolfe joked that the first letter in PBS stood for petroleum, because oil money underwrote so much public broadcast programming. Wolfe had a point. One of the network’s most acclaimed shows, Masterpiece (originally Masterpiece Theatre), got its start in 1971 thanks to a $490,000 grant from Mobil Oil. That largess was the doing of Mobil chairman Rawleigh Warner Jr., who died on June 26 at age 92 in Hobe Sound, Fla. The public probably …