Torry's top ten good things about the NBA lockout

November 18, 2011 in Torry's Top Ten by Torry Stiles

10. Perhaps a few more kids will choose to actually study and graduate.
9. The women of the WNBA will be able to brag about getting a paycheck.
8. We all might start caring about IU again.
7. It’s gonna be a lot less crowded at BW3.
6. We won’t spend months claiming that this is another “building season” for the Pacers.
5. Conseco Fieldhouse may show a profit.
4. Charles Barkley is off the air.
3. ESPN may bring back more cheerleader competitions and Australian Rules Football.
2. Indy only has one losing team to gripe about.
1. Fewer commercials for $200 tennis shoes.

Signs of the times

November 18, 2011 in Opinion by Submission For The Southside Times

Dick Isenhour
The Reluctant
Curmudgeon

A number of my friends on Facebook are posting inspirational sayings and slogans, such as:
“Apologizing does not always mean you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.”
“Dear God, I wanna take a minute, not to ask for anything from you, but simply to thank you for all I have.”
The sayings are posted with sincerity, but they don’t always resonate with me. Here, though, are some that always inspire me:
• There’s never enough time to do something right, but always enough time to do it over.
• Be nice to your children. They may decide which home you go to.
• A drunken man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts.
• Gun control is being able to hit your target.
• Beware of computer technicians with screwdrivers.
• Life is too important to take seriously.
• Not all of your co-workers are your friends.
• Do you walk to work or carry your lunch?
• Honk if you love peace and quiet.
• Three out of two people have trouble with fractions.
• I used to be a lifeguard, but some blue kid got me fired.
• I may be left-handed, but I’m always right.
• Get over it; build a bridge.
• If a man is speaking in the middle of the forest and his wife is not there to hear him, is he still wrong?
• Pro is to con as progress is to congress.
• It’s better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.
• As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in public schools.
• If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not your thing.
• Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.
• My mind is like a computer, and I should have made a backup.
• I’d like to help you out. Where is the door?
• Humpty Dumpty was pushed.
• Fools and their faces are often found in public places.
• If you don’t like the way I drive, get off the sidewalk.
• Duct tape is like the Force; it has a light side and a dark side and it holds the universe together.
And my longtime favorite:
• Our ancestors arrived here on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.

Great American Smokeout should snuff secondhand smoke, too

November 18, 2011 in Opinion by Submission For The Southside Times

Bruce Hetrick
Guest Columnist

Six years ago, I lost my wife, business partner and the stepmother of my twin sons to a smoker’s cancer. She was 49 years old.
Pam Klein never smoked in her life. But in her 25 years as a journalist, she spent countless hours in smoke-filled rooms. She was just doing her job, and it killed her.
The Great American Smokeout offers life- and health-saving benefits to smokers who quit. But all the smokers would have to snuff it out to safeguard workers exposed to second-hand smoke.
That’s not likely to happen, so cities, counties, states and nations throughout the world have protected employees by enacting laws that make workplaces smoke free. While our neighbors in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin have passed strong smoke-free workplace laws, Indiana has not. While Fort Wayne, Muncie, Bloomington and other Indiana communities have gone smoke-free, Indianapolis and Greenwood continue to have watered-down laws that leave many workers exposed.
Smoke-free workplace legislation inevitably sparks debate between health advocates and (most often) bar owners. The former say government has a right to intervene to safeguard workers. The latter say business owners should decide who’s exposed to what. But the risks are increasingly beyond debate.
In 2006, the Surgeon General of the United States issued a 700-page report on the dangers of second hand smoke. It found “massive and conclusive scientific evidence” of the “alarming” public health threat posed by secondhand smoke. It said smoking bans are the only way to protect non-smokers.
While many people rightfully associate lung cancer with smoking and secondhand smoke, that’s not the only problem. The Surgeon General’s report said, “Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems and more severe asthma.”
In adults, “exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and causes coronary heart disease and lung cancer.” Bottom line, said the Surgeon General, “There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.”
Some argue that separate smoking sections or special ventilation systems can clear the air of this deadly hazard. But the Surgeon General’s report says otherwise. “Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposures of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke,” said the report.
Instead, the only way to clear the air is to prohibit smoking where people work.
All over the nation and world, the communities we compete with for jobs, conventions and tourism are going smoke free. The longer we put that off, the more we’ll be at a disadvantage for quality and quantity of life, severity of health problems, cost of health care, cost of health insurance and more.
It’s too late for Pam. But there’s still time to protect the physical and fiscal health for all the other workers. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just blowing smoke.

Disaster an unwanted house guest

November 18, 2011 in Opinion by Sherri Coner-Eastburn

For all of my life, I have heard that death comes in threes. And actually, I have witnessed that enough times in the past 51 years to wonder if it might actually have a lot of truth to it.
But here’s another little fact. I’m thinking that while death might visit three times, so does disaster. At least in my house, Disaster moves right in, makes herself at home and wears out her welcome.
Let me just offer you examples of this theory. And by the way, there are three.
A few days ago, my mom surprised me with an amazing pair of fluffy, soft, way-too-large footed pajamas. I happen to like for my pajamas to be huge. That way I can get lost in them.
Exactly three days ago, I hurried through the house—because that’s my only gear—and the right foot of my sexy jams got hung somehow on the bottom corner of the door. Imagine how surprised I was to suddenly just be stopped in mid-air, like a monster grabbed my foot.
I then bonked my elbow on the water heater, trying to turn around—which is not an easy task when you’re wearing footed pajamas. When I bent over to yank at the fabric, I lost my balance—because the bottoms of the “footed” part happen to be slick—and fell for 20 minutes.
Yesterday I chose to wear an old pair of black hose under my good black skirt, hoping that if I could kept my old knees toasty warm all day, they wouldn’t scream as much that night. Well…. the second of the three disasters occurred as I made my way through a very crowded room to greet people. The waistband of that pair of hose began to slide downward. So there I am, trying to casually make my way toward the ladies room. By that time, I was walking like a geisha girl since the hose were on their way to my ankles.
I had no choice but to yank them back up, however, since I haven’t shaved my legs for at least three years.
This morning, I get mascara on my tired eyes, and brag on myself that I am actually ahead of schedule for once. Two seconds later, I start to blink like crazy because an eyelash is irritating my left eye. So I grab for a wash cloth to hopefully poke at the lash… and the cloth just so happens to have a giant glob of soap on it. Which goes directly into my eye. Which burns so bad I might pee my pants. Which makes my eyes water. Which makes the fresh mascara travel in wet rivers down both cheeks.
OK three. I get it. And Disaster, move out of here for a while. I need a nap.

Why do we dislike water!

November 18, 2011 in Living by Wendell Fowler

When wild animals, cavemen, Druids, Celts, kings and princesses took a drink from their wells, your glass of water was part of those wells.
Life-sustaining water has been here since the creation of earth. Humans would not exist today if not for water. Greek philosopher Empedocles held that water is one of the four elements, along with earth, wind and fire. Water is essential to your survival, as one cannot survive more than three days without it. We lose two to three liters of water per day under normal conditions, but more in hot, dry or cold weather.
Got an energy shortage? That’s the first sign your blood, tissues and organs aren’t getting adequate water, and your liver and brain are the least tolerant of dehydration. Blood is mostly water, not Mountain Dew, and your muscles, lungs and brain all contain a lot of water. Your temple needs water to control body temperature and to provide a means for nutrients that nourish your organs.
Water transports oxygen to your cells, helps you think clearly, removes waste and protects your joints and organs. A headache and a strong odor to your urine, along with a yellow or amber color, indicate you’re not getting enough pure water. Water is necessary for your earth suit to digest and absorb nutrients and, in addition, detoxifies the liver and kidneys, flushing noxious waste from the temple.
Slake your morning thirst with good ole plain water. Ineffective flavored vitamin waters are “dead” and a waste of money. First thing in the a.m., I gulp an 8 oz. glass of filtered water. You just woke up from an eight-hour nap, so after some rehydrating water, blend a fresh fruit smoothie to replenish your glucose levels. Sugary caffeinated frou-frou drinks and nasty juice boxes are not re-hydrating. But you already knew they deplete your blessing of health. Caffeine has some virtues, so don’t throw the coffee grounds out with the dishwater; just ditch the sugar and whipping cream.
Unfortunately, man treats the largest, most unexplored ecosystem, the ocean, as his personal dumping ground. Soon, wars will be fought over potable water rights and we’ll no longer be able to take it for granted. Thoreau would freak out.
Rope swinging from a tree as a giggling youngster then plunging into a sun dappled, tree- lined pond is but a memory of the past. Yep, we are seeing the future in our lifetime. Back in the 60’s, the Beach Boys warned us in song that lakes, ponds, creeks, rivers, estuaries, bays and entire coastlines have all gone bad. From the earth or from the sky, miraculous water cleanses and purifies our holy temples as well as our mutual earth.

Sometimes quitters are winners

November 18, 2011 in Front Page News by Submission For The Southside Times

Today marks the American Cancer Society’s 36th Great American Smokeout, a day when smokers are encouraged to quit or to make a plan to quit. By doing so, smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life—one that can lead to reducing cancer risk.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., yet more than 46 million Americans still smoke. However, more than half of these smokers have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year.
Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. The American Cancer Society can tell you about the steps you can take to quit smoking and provide the resources and support that can increase your chances of quitting successfully. Here are some tools and tips.

Making the decision to quit
Once you’ve decided to quit, you’re ready to pick a quit date, a very important step. Pick a day within the next month as your Quit Day. Picking a date too far away can allow you time to rationalize and change your mind. But you do want to give yourself enough time to prepare and come up with a plan. Circle the date on your calendar. Make a strong, personal commitment to quit on that day.

Prepare for your Quit Day
Quitting smoking is a lot like losing weight: it takes a strong commitment over a long time. Smokers may wish there was a magic bullet—a pill or method that would make quitting painless and easy. But there is nothing like that. Nicotine substitutes can help reduce withdrawal symptoms, but they work best when they are used as part of a stop-smoking plan that addresses both the physical and psychological components of quitting smoking.
Here are some steps to help you prepare for your Quit Day:
Pick the date and mark it on your calendar.
Tell friends and family about your Quit Day.
Get rid of all the cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car and place of work.
Stock up on oral substitutes—sugarless gum, carrot sticks, hard candy, cinnamon sticks, coffee stirrers, straws and/or toothpicks.
Decide on a plan. Will you take medicines? Will you attend a stop-smoking class? If so, sign up now.
Practice saying, “No thank you, I don’t smoke.”
Set up a support system. This could be a group program or a friend or family member who has successfully quit and is willing to help you. Ask family and friends who still smoke not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out where you can see them.
If you are using bupropion or varenicline, take your dose each day of the week leading up to your Quit Day.
Think back to your past attempts to quit. Try to figure out what worked and what did not work for you.
Successful quitting is a matter of planning and commitment, not luck.

Your Quit Day
On your Quit Day:
Do not smoke. This means none at all; not even one puff!
Keep active—try walking, exercising, or doing other activities or hobbies.
Drink lots of water and juices.
Begin using nicotine replacement if that is your choice.
Attend stop-smoking class or follow your self-help plan.
Avoid situations where the urge to smoke is strong.
Avoid people who are smoking.
Reduce or avoid alcohol.
Think about how you can change your routine. Use a different route to go to work, drink tea instead of coffee. Eat breakfast in a different place or eat different foods.

Dealing with withdrawal
Withdrawal from nicotine has 2 parts: the physical and the mental. The physical symptoms are annoying but not life-threatening. Nicotine replacement and other medicines can help reduce many of these symptoms. Most smokers find that the bigger challenge is the mental part of quitting.
If you have been smoking for any length of time, smoking has become linked with nearly everything you do—waking up in the morning, eating, reading, watching TV, and drinking. Even if you are using a nicotine replacement, you may still have strong urges to smoke.

Avoid temptation
Stay away from people and places where you are tempted to smoke. Later on you will be able to handle these with more confidence.

Change your habits
Switch to juices or water instead of alcohol or coffee. Choose foods that don’t make you want to smoke. Take a different route to work. Take a brisk walk instead of a coffee break.

Choose other things for your mouth:
Use substitutes you can put in your mouth such as sugarless gum or hard candy, raw vegetables such as carrot sticks, or sunflower seeds. Some people chew on a coffee stirrer or a straw.

Get active with your hands:
Do something to reduce your stress. Exercise or do hobbies that keep your hands busy, such as needlework or woodworking, which can help distract you from the urge to smoke. Take a hot bath, exercise, or read a book.

Reward yourself
What you’re doing is not easy, so you deserve a reward. Put the money you would have spent on tobacco in a jar every day and then buy yourself a weekly treat. Buy a book or some new music, go out to eat, start a new hobby, or join a gym. Or save the money for a major purchase.

could be a group program or a friend or family member who has successfully quit and is willing to help you. Ask family and friends who still smoke not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out where you can see them.
If you are using bupropion or varenicline, take your dose each day of the week leading up to your Quit Day.
Think back to your past attempts to quit. Try to figure out what worked and what did not work for you.
Successful quitting is a matter of planning and commitment, not luck.

Your Quit Day
On your Quit Day:
Do not smoke. This means none at all; not even one puff!
Keep active—try walking, exercising or doing other activities or hobbies.
Drink a lot of water and juices.
Begin using nicotine replacement if that is your choice.
Attend a stop-smoking class or follow your self-help plan.
Avoid situations where the urge to smoke is strong.
Avoid people who are smoking.
Reduce or avoid alcohol.
Think about how you can change your routine. Use a different route to go to work, drink tea instead of coffee. Eat breakfast in a different place or eat different foods.

Dealing with withdrawal
Withdrawal from nicotine has 2 parts: the physical and the mental. The physical symptoms are annoying, but not life-threatening. Nicotine replacement and other medicines can help reduce many of these symptoms. Most smokers find that the bigger challenge is the mental part of quitting.
If you have been smoking for any length of time, smoking has become linked with nearly everything you do—waking up in the morning, eating, reading, watching TV and drinking. Even if you are using a nicotine replacement, you may still have strong urges to smoke.

Avoid temptation
Stay away from people and places where you are tempted to smoke. Later on you will be able to handle these with more confidence.

Change your habits
Switch to juices or water instead of alcohol or coffee. Choose foods that don’t make you want to smoke. Take a different route to work. Take a brisk walk instead of a coffee break.

Choose other things for your mouth:
Use substitutes you can put in your mouth such as sugarless gum or hard candy, raw vegetables such as carrot sticks, or sunflower seeds. Some people chew on a coffee stirrer or a straw.

Get active with your hands:
Do something to reduce your stress. Exercise or do hobbies that keep your hands busy, such as needlework or woodworking, which can help distract you from the urge to smoke. Take a hot bath, exercise or read a book.

Reward yourself
What you’re doing is not easy, so you deserve a reward. Put the money you would have spent on tobacco in a jar every day and then buy yourself a weekly treat. Buy a book or some new music, go out to eat, start a new hobby or join a gym. Or save the money for a major purchase.

Special Olympian is a talented titan

November 18, 2011 in Front Page News by Clint Smith

Beech Grove resident Nick Newlon is a Special Olympics athlete, an exemplary employee, and a wildly-talented musician. But to describe this young man as a “triple threat” would be a hasty circumscription.
In the face of life’s challenges, Newlon, 20, has been surrounded by benefactors. Yet he’s been more than just a beneficiary—for every cent of support he’s received, Newlon has invested that currency in developing his talents and fortifying his abilities.
For years, Newlon has been competing in Special Olympics. And while you might witness Newlon and 19 of his teammates vying for first place in an event like the “plane pull” (a tug-of-war of sorts, with a 727 airplane), he’s just as quick to cheerlead his fellow contestants. “It feels like we’re all friends, and it feels good to be around them.”
Collective feats of strength aside, bowling is really Newlon’s bailiwick. After placing in the top three during the Indiana sectionals, Newlon will compete in the statewide Special Olympics bowling tournament on December 3 at Woodland Bowl. And any sort of “trash talking,” Newlon assures, is uttered in good clean fun.
Throughout the workweek, Newlon trades in his identity as an athletic competitor for a different designation: facilities assistant at Central Nine Career Center, where he was enrolled as a student before graduating in 2010 from Beech Grove High School. During his years at C-9, Newlon made an indelible impression. His former teacher, Tom Jacobs, who heads-up the graphic imagining technology department at the career center, remembers Newlon, “showing up every single day ready to learn, and he was always willing to go the extra mile.” Reflecting on his days as a student in Jacobs’s class, Newlon says, “Those days were crazy and good at the same time. Being in Mr. J’s class, and volunteering in his class, helped me work hard and be dedicated.”
Thanks to Newlon’s mother placing a phone call to Easter Seals, he met Nancy Washburn, who became his job coach and who later encouraged the young man to apply at his vocational alma mater. “We get along really well,” he says of Washburn. “Whenever I have a question, she does everything, to the best of her ability, to help me.” Newlon is quiet for a moment, pondering something. “It just helps having someone like her. And I’d just like to tell her thank you.”
Newlon’s daily duties vary at the career center, but whatever task is on the unpredictable list, he’s accompanied by his on-site mentor, John Showalter. “We have a good time,” Newlon says. “There’re days when we have to clean the bus garage, or other days things need to be fixed, but I just like the chance to know things—all sorts of different things.”
Despite his other interests and responsibilities, Newlon’s heartstrings remain finely tuned to the craft of bluegrass music. “I used to listen to my dad play guitar,” Newlon recalls. “I started playing mandolin when I was 8, and I bought my second mandolin when I was 14.” Shortly thereafter, Newlon acquired an F5 Gibson mandolin. Influenced by his heroes like Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, and The Stanley Brothers, it took little time for Newlon to assemble a bluegrass ensemble. Newlon is a member of the local group, the Battleground String Band, which is scheduled to perform live on Purdue University’s radio station, AM 920, from 7-9 p.m. on Jan. 8, 2012.
“It never really surprised me that Nick was so talented,” says Jacobs, cracking a grin. “So it wasn’t just his talent, it was that he had so many.”

Cranberries bog you down?

November 10, 2011 in Living by Wendell Fowler

Do you slather canned, high-calorie, candied cranberries on everything just once a year? It can be quite a bummer when fresh, health-giving, tart cranberries are everywhere in the late fall. Did you miss the memo warning us that food stored in cans holds cancerous BPA in the interior lining? That’s why fresh is eternally best.
In 1621, Pilgrims were introduced to the maroon orbs by wise American Indians, who were using cranberries to prepare pemmican, a nutritious, high-energy food. Early New England whalers and mariners ate vitamin C-rich wild cranberries to prevent scurvy. The nodding pink flowers with long pistils reminded them of the heads of cranes, so they called the plant the “crane berry,” which was later abbreviated.
Recent studies confirm what American Indians knew: cranberries are beneficial to health. Eating fresh cranberries, a small, evergreen shrub grown throughout North America, has been shown to improve immune function, thus reducing the frequency of winter colds and flu. Cranberries explode with vitamin C, fiber and proanthocyanidins that prevent the adhesion of certain of bacteria, including E. coli, associated with urinary tract infections on the urinary tract wall. The anti-adhesion properties also annihilate bacteria linked with gum disease and stomach ulcers.
“Cranberries contain the most antioxidant phenols compared to 19 commonly eaten fruits and should be eaten more often,” say research chemists at the University of Scranton.
These heavenly gifted antioxidants and phytonutrients help protect against heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Current research indicates approximately 10 ounces of cranberry juice is needed daily to achieve the bacteria-blocking benefits. For round-the-clock protection, snack on the gift of our creator at least once a day. Regularly drinking fresh juice, not juice debased with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, increases salicylic acid in your temple. This can reduce swelling and prevent blood clots, and fresh juice has antitumor properties. Plop them into your morning smoothie.
When cooked, sadly, the heat destroys the digestive enzymes and vitamins.
In season, Sandi and I stock our freezer with fresh cranberries so we won’t get ‘bogged’ down through the cold, gray winter.

I’ll take law for a $100

November 10, 2011 in Personal Finance by Steve Maple

If you’re hooked on Jeopardy, then this article is for you. The category is “Law.” The answers are at the end of the article. You will not be required to answer with a question.
Let’s play.
1. The most important U.S. government document.
2. The most important Indiana government document.
3. A grand jury criminal charge.
4. The document that distributes a decedent’s probate estate.
5. The owners of a corporation.
6. The federal agency that regulates deceptive advertising.
7. The federal agency that investigates age-discrimination complaints by employees.
8. An employee who is injured can file this claim against the employer
9. The person hired to help employer-employee contract disputes, such as in NBA strike.
10. The law that protects the author of a book.
11. The driver injured in an accident, which is the fault of another party, may sue for this.
12. The amount you may transfer upon death in 2011/2012 without paying federal estate taxes.
13. The Indiana agency you can apply to if you have unclaimed property.
14. The federal agency that enforces the “Superfund” cleanup law.
15. If your neighbor builds a fence on your property without permission, it is the tort of this.
16. If your child is age five, you receive a federal income tax-dependent deduction and this.
17. “Pepsi” name is protected by this law.
18. The maximum amount you are liable for when a thief uses your credit card.
19. If you are employed, then you and your employer pay this tax (four letters).
20. If seller advertises a low-price item, and the salesperson pushes a higher-priced item, then it is called this.

Answers.
1. Constitution 2. Constitution 3. Indictment 4. Last Will and Testament 5. Shareholders
6. Federal Trade Commission
7. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 8. Workers’ Comp. 9. Mediator 10. Copyright 11. Negligence 12. $5 million 13. Attorney General 14. Environmental Protection Agency 15. Trespass 16. Child tax credit of $1,000 17. Trademark 18. $50 19. FICA 20. Bait and Switch
If you answered all the questions correctly, then you are entitled to 10 weeks’ worth of free copies of this newspaper

Chocolate lava for chocolate lovers

November 10, 2011 in Recipes by Clint Smith

My wife said, “You should do something sweet.” But just as I leaned in to give her a kiss, she said, “No—I mean something sweet for your column.” So, dear reader, here we are.
Technically speaking, I’m not cooking, I’m baking. Still, akin to cooking, this recipe requires a fair amount of culinary judgment and a keen eye for how food behaves. One of the tricky elements is the “molten” component. The goal is to produce a cakey exterior, while maintaining the chocolaty, lava-like core; so you have to leave the batter alone long enough to bake, but remove the ramekins from the oven early enough to achieve this confection contrast.
Another thing—you can make a few substitutions to give this a (don’t giggle) healthy twist. Eggs provide moisture and act as an emulsifier, but they’re high in fat. To replace them, use ¼ cup of tofu for each egg (including yolks). Zero-calorie sugar substitutes are also a sneaky way to curve some of the guilt associated with ostensibly decadent recipes.
Regardless, the ingredients are minimal, the procedure is basic, and the result will likely earn you some appreciative kisses from someone sweet in your life.

Makes 4 cakes

3 large, cage-free eggs
3 large, cage-free yolks
1 cup powdered sugar (or zero-calorie sugar substitute), sifted
½ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
6 ounces unsalted butter
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 ounces milk chocolate chips
4 medium-sized ramekins
As needed, butter for greasing ramekins

1. Preheat conventional oven to 380° F. Thoroughly grease ramekins with butter, set aside.
2. In a mixer with whip attachment, briefly whisk eggs and yolks. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and flour. On the stove, bring some water to a boil in a saucepan; add chocolate and butter to a clean, dry bowl, and place bowl over top of the saucepan (this is called a double boiler). Allow butter and chocolate to melt together.
3. Add chocolate to eggs, and whisk in flour-sugar mixture until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared ramekins (about three-quarters up sides); place ramekins on a sheetpan and place in oven. Depending on ramekin size and oven calibration, bake for approximately 15-20 minutes.
4. Check for doneness—insert a toothpick: sides should be spongey, and center should be liquid. Remove from oven, allow to cool and set-up for several minutes before severing with ice cream (low fat, of course).