Measles: The MMR scandal shows us why science matters.

A fertilizer that cannot detonate bombs.


The key to fertilizer bombs is the ammonium nitrate.

When mixed with a fuel like diesel, this agricultural staple becomes the highly explosive, raw ingredient for many improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Now, researchers from Sandia National Laboratories have developed a fertilizer that can’t detonate a bomb. And Sandia has decided not to patent or license the formula. Instead, they’re waiving ownership rights, making it freely available in hopes of saving lives, according to a press release earlier this week.

Ammonium nitrate was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and in 65 percent of the 16,300 homemade bombs in Afghanistan in 2012. The Department of Defense’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization issued a call last year for ideas on how to neutralize ammonium nitrate as an IED explosive.

Sandia’s Kevin Fleming came up with a fertilizer formula that’s as good as ammonium nitrate in helping plants grow — but nonexplosive.

The ammonium ion is only weakly attached to the nitrate ion, and the ions can be separated by adding a compound they would rather cling to. Iron sulfate is a readily available compound that steel foundries throw away by the tons.

When mixed with ammonium nitrate, the iron ion “grabs” the nitrate and the ammonium ion takes the sulfate ion. Iron sulfate becomes iron nitrate and ammonium nitrate becomes ammonium sulfate. This reaction occurs if someone tries to alter the fertilizer to make it detonable when mixed with a fuel.

“The ions would rather be with different partners,” Fleming explains. “The iron looks at the ammonium nitrate and says, ‘Can I have your nitrate rather than my sulfate?’ and the ammonium nitrate says, ‘I like sulfate, so I’ll trade you.’”

Ammonium sulfate and iron nitrate are not detonable, even when mixed with a fuel.

Iron sulfate in fertilizer adds iron and helps neutralized soil pH. And it wouldn’t cost more to produce.

Source: Smart Planet


GE Trees May Be Even More Damaging to the Environment than GE Foods.

Genetic engineering (GE) of our food supply amounts to a massive science experiment being performed on mankind, without consent or full disclosure. Although the biotech industry continues to claim GE products are safe, the truth is that no one knows what the long-term effects will be, because no one has done the necessary studies.

The loudest proponents of GE are the ones who stand to profit the most, and they don’t seem terribly concerned about the human or environmental costs.

What do we know for certain? We know genetic engineering is riddled with unpredictable effects… so we should expect the unexpected.

You may not realize that this reckless genetic experimentation is not limited to your food supply. Besides being used to create drugs and “Frankenfish,” they’ve also created vaccine-containing bananas, goats that produce spider silk in their milk, venomous cabbage, chemotherapy chicken eggs, and even glow-in-the-dark cats.1

As creepy as some of these things are, the application that may have the greatest potential for global disaster are GE trees created to serve the desires of the paper industry.

Deforestation is already an enormous problem, and the last thing we need is to further stress our precious native forests and the flora and fauna that depend on them.

The documentary featured above discusses how GE trees may adversely impact ecological systems on a grand scale, with potentially catastrophic effects. A Silent Forest: The Growing Threat, Genetically Engineered Trees is hosted by Dr. David Suzuki,2 an award-winning geneticist and author of 52 books.

‘The Greatest Threat to Native Forests Since the Chain Saw’

As Dr. Suzuki explains, the problem with genetic engineering has to do with the fact that GE plants and animals are created using horizontal gene transfer (also called horizontal inheritance), as contrasted with vertical gene transfer, which is the mechanism in natural reproduction.

Vertical gene transfer, or vertical inheritance, is the transmission of genes from the parent generation to offspring via sexual or asexual reproduction, i.e., breeding a male and female from one species.

By contrast, horizontal gene transfer involves injecting a gene from one species into a completely different species, which yields unexpected and often unpredictable results. Proponents of GE assume they can apply the principles of vertical inheritance to horizontal inheritance, and according to Dr. Suzuki, this assumption is flawed in just about every possible way and is “just lousy science.”

Genes don’t function in a vacuum — they act in the context of the entire genome. Whole sets of genes are turned on and off in order to arrive at a particular organism, and the entire orchestration is an activated genome.

It’s a dangerous mistake to assume a gene’s traits are expressed properly, regardless of where they’re inserted. The safety of GE is only a hypothesis, and in science, initial hypotheses typically end up being wrong. GE foods are promoted as if they’ve been found to be safe, which is the farthest thing from the truth.

Why this rush to apply this science before testing it? The simple answer is, those promoting it stand to profit enormously from it. The timber, pulp, bioenergy, and fruit industries are rushing ahead with GE trees, with only their paydays in mind. As the film states:

Genetic engineering of trees is the greatest threat to the native forests since the invention of the chain saw.”

Why Genetically Engineer Trees?

Trees as being genetically engineered to give them unnatural characteristics, such as the ability to kill insects, tolerate toxic herbicides, grow abnormally fast, or have altered wood composition. The paper pulp industry has to remove lignin from wood pulp before it can be used to make paper, which is an expensive part of the process. So, the biotech industry is working to create trees with lower lignin content. The problem is, lignin is what gives trees their structural integrity.

It’s what allows trees to stand strong in wind and other weather, and to withstand diseases and damage from insect and animal browsing. Low lignin trees are weaker and less able to withstand these environmental stresses. Dead low-lignin trees also decompose faster, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere more quickly, which contributes to climate change.

The best thing for trees is to not use them for paper. Paper doesn’t need to be made from wood pulp, because there are more Earth-friendly materials such as agricultural wastes, recycled material, hemp, tobacco and even banana leaves.

Fruit trees are being genetically engineered for disease resistance. However, contamination of wild and organic fruit trees by genetically altered DNA has already had devastating consequences on nearby groves. For example, GE papaya plantations have contaminated much of the organic and wild papaya trees in Hawaii.3 Nearly 20,000 papaya seeds from the Big Island and Oahu revealed GMO contamination. Eighty percent of the seeds tested were from organic farms, and the remainder were from wild trees and backyard gardens.

Contamination with GE DNA has caused many organic Hawaiian papaya growers to lose their plantations and/or their organic certification. Hawaiian GE papayas have now begun developing black spot fungus, so they have to be heavily sprayed with toxic fungicides every 10 days.

This is so typical of what happens to GE plants — they are weaker and more susceptible to disease and end up needing massive amounts of chemicals, usually in the form of herbicides and pesticides — to remain viable. This is particularly tragic because there ARE so many far superior alternatives. Later this year, I will be reviewing many of the newer high performance agriculture techniques that far surpass virtually ANY benefit of GMO technology. I am currently identifying the leading experts in the US in this area.

It is crucial to have an alternative to the increasingly pervasive GMO technology as the list of adverse health effects from these toxic chemicals is growing all the time. For example, the herbicide glyphosate (the active agent in Roundup) has been linked to miscarriages, premature births, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The only winner in this scenario is the biotech industry because it manufactures both the GE seeds and the toxic chemicals required to grow them. The biotech industry has created the problem, as well as the “solution” that makes them rich.

The Spread of Seed and Pollen Is Uncontrollable. Period.

Genetically engineered trees vastly differ from other annual GE crops like corn and soybeans because trees can live for decades and even centuries in the wild. Once GE trees escape the confines of their plantation, they are extremely difficult to eradicate. For this reason, the risks, regulation and assessment needs of GE trees are even greater than those of agricultural GE products like corn and soy.

Disrupting forest ecosystems endangers the health of the entire planet. Native forests have been called the “lungs of the earth,” providing food and wildlife habitats everywhere. Forests absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, filter water and release it back into the atmosphere. Many tree species, such as pines and poplars, can spread their pollen and seeds over great distances. Pollen can blow hundreds or even thousands of miles, opening the door for native forests to be dusted with GE pollen.

The contaminating of native forests is both inevitable and irreversible, according to the Global Justice Ecology organization.4Some tree varieties are widespread throughout the world, and some are able to interbreed with similar species. Some tree types are highly invasive, such as Eucalyptus, a “bully” that has spread out of control across California. Once wild tree species are contaminated, GE trees could take over vast geographical areas, and there is no do-over! You can recall a bad drug, but you can’t recall a bad tree.

Industry’s Answer to Cross-Contamination: The Terminator Gene

The biotech industry realized tree contamination would be a problem, so they developed the “terminator gene.” This gene causes the plant to produce a toxin that’s supposed to prevent its seeds from being viable, thereby preventing cross-contamination. Like the Terminator’s promise “I’ll be back,” Mother Nature trumps human ingenuity when it comes to nature’s drive to reproduce. Even the originators of the terminator gene admit it’s impossible to ensure 100 percent sterility.

The problem is, even a small amount of slippage can spread sterility to our native forests.

Consider the scenario of a native forest sitting adjacent to a GE tree plantation. Once contaminated, 95 percent of the native forest trees may become sterile, meaning they would produce no nuts, no seeds, no fruit, and no flowers or pollen. This renders the forest uninhabitable to native wildlife and rapidly degrades the soil. This phenomenon is already being seen around the 100 to 150 GE tree test plots5 in the southern part of the US.

Monsanto’s Love Child, ArborGen

GE tree plantations may threaten to destroy global ecosystems and local farmers’ livelihoods, but they promise to make the biotech industry rich. Genetically engineered trees and other crops become the property of the company that patented the seeds from which they grew. Monsanto has stolen more than 15 million dollars from farmers whose crops were contaminated by no fault of their own.

Once a farmer’s crop is contaminated, they can be sued by Monsanto, which manufactures the majority of the world’s GE seed. Even if only one percent of the crop is contaminated, patent law dictates that Monsanto gains possession of 100 percent of the crop. If this patent law goes unchallenged, ALL of the world’s natural resources could end up owned exclusively by biotech industry magnates.

The majority of GE research and development on trees has come from a company called ArborGen, the industrial “love child” from a tryst between Monsanto, International Paper, Westvaco and Fletcher Forests.6 Although Monsanto dropped out of the partnership early on, ties between Monsanto and ArborGen remain.

Barbara Wells, who was ArborGen’s CEO and President from 2002 to 2012, spent 17 years with Monsanto and headed its RoundUp Ready Soy division in Brazil. Similar parallels exist with ArborGen’s new CEO, Andrew Baum, and its VP of Business and Product Development, David Nothmann — who also happens to serve on committees in the Department of Energy and USDA.

The government has doled out numerous grants — well over $1 billion — to bioenergy companies and scientists to further the development of new bioenergies, many of which center on GE. The USDA is doing everything it can to hasten the approval of GE technology and silence the opposition. According to Global Justice Ecology:

“In April 2011, the USDA announced a new plan that would allow biotech companies to conduct their own environmental assessments. Under the National Environmental Policy Act, the USDA is responsible for studying the environmental risks of GMOs. Part of the strategy of the USDA’s new plan is to speed up the deregulation process and take it out of the public arena, reducing the ability of GMO watchdog groups to weigh in. This plan is a direct result of the numerous cases that the USDA has lost in court due to their poorly conducted environmental assessments of potentially dangerous GMOs.

On February 22, 2012, the USDA announced a plan to cut in half the review time for new GMO products from 3 years to 13-16 months. Part of this acceleration would be accomplished by accepting public comments after making the final decision in the Environmental Assessment, eliminating any real ability for the public to have input.”

Final Thoughts

GE tree plantations threaten to spoil native forests, displace local farmers, and destroy sustainable economies. Self-sufficient communities will be forced to leave their lands and find livelihoods elsewhere. Pollen and seeds from GE trees are impossible to control, even with “terminator gene” technology, and find a way to cross-pollinate wild trees with grim ecological consequences. Pollen from GE trees may also cause brand new allergies that we may or may not be able to successfully address. Despite the obvious dangers, the profit-driven biotech industry, with the full backing of the US government, is pushing GE trees forward with ever-increasing zeal. That said, there are some things YOU can do to help preserve our precious native forests:

  • Refrain from buying paper products made from trees/wood pulp; instead, buy recycled paper (toilet paper, tissue paper, writing paper, computer paper); Greenpeace and NRDC have handy downloadable guides for buying recycled, Earth-friendly paper products
  • Eliminate your need for toilet paper altogether by installing in a bidet
  • Say no to napkins, especially when you’re handed a stack of them; use cleaning cloths instead of paper towels
  • Cut back on printing; ask yourself if you really need to print a document; use both sides of a paper before tossing it; use old receipts for notes; reuse wrapping paper, or make your own from newsprint or magazines
  • Opt out of the yellow pages7

For more information about GE trees, visit Global Justice Ecology. To sign the Petition to Prohibit GE Trees, or Donate to the Global Justice Ecology Project, visit And be sure to support GMO labeling campaigns.

Keep Fighting for Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods

While California Prop. 37 failed to pass last November, by a very narrow margin, the fight for GMO labeling is far from over. The field-of-play has now moved to the state of Washington, where the people’s initiative 522, “The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” will require food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients. As stated on

“Calorie and nutritional information were not always required on food labels. But since 1990 it has been required and most consumers use this information every day. Country-of-origin labeling wasn’t required until 2002. The trans fat content of foods didn’t have to be labeled until 2006. Now, all of these labeling requirements are accepted as important for consumers. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also says we must know with labeling if our orange juice is from fresh oranges or frozen concentrate.

Doesn’t it make sense that genetically engineered foods containing experimental viral, bacterial, insect, plant or animal genes should be labeled, too? Genetically engineered foods do not have to be tested for safety before entering the market. No long-term human feeding studies have been done. The research we have is raising serious questions about the impact to human health and the environment.

I-522 provides the transparency people deserve. I-522 will not raise costs to consumers or food producers. It simply would add more information to food labels, which manufacturers change routinely anyway, all the time. I-522 does not impose any significant cost on our state. It does not require the state to conduct label surveillance, or to initiate or pursue enforcement. The state may choose to do so, as a policy choice, but I-522 was written to avoid raising costs to the state or consumers.”

Remember, as with CA Prop. 37, they need support of people like YOU to succeed. Prop. 37 failed with a very narrow margin simply because we didn’t have the funds to counter the massive ad campaigns created by the No on 37 camp, led by Monsanto and other major food companies. Let’s not allow Monsanto and its allies to confuse and mislead the people of Washington and Vermont as they did in California. So please, I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can, regardless of what state you live in.

  • No matter where you live in the United States, please donate money to these labeling efforts through the Organic Consumers Fund.
  • If you live in Washington State, please sign the I-522 petition. You can also volunteer to help gather signatures across the state.
  • For timely updates on issues relating to these and other labeling initiatives, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
  • Talk to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the Washington initiative.
  • Source:


Why Your Brain Craves Music ?

musicIf you’re a music lover, you already know that turning on the tunes can help calm your nerves, make stress disappear, pump up your energy level during a workout, bring back old memories, as well as prompt countless other emotions too varied to list.

Even if you’re not a music aficionado, per se, there are compelling reasons why you may want to become one, which were recently revealed by a series of new research.

Music Prompts Numerous Brain Changes Linked to Emotions and Abstract Decision Making

When you listen to music, much more is happening in your body than simple auditory processing. Music triggers activity in the nucleus accumbens, a part of your brain that releases the feel-good chemical dopamine and is involved in forming expectations.

At the same time, the amygdala, which is involved in processing emotion, and the prefrontal cortex, which makes possible abstract decision-making, are also activated, according to new research published in the journal Science.1

Based on the brain activity in certain regions, especially the nucleus accumbens, captured by an fMRI imager while participants listened to music, the researchers could predict how much money the listeners were willing to spend on previously unheard music. As you might suspect, songs that triggered activity in the emotional and intellectual areas of the brain demanded a higher price.

Interestingly, the study’s lead author noted that your brain learns how to predict how different pieces of music will unfold using pattern recognition and prediction, skills that may have been key to our evolutionary progress. Time reported:2

“These predictions are culture-dependent and based on experience: someone raised on rock or Western classical music won’t be able to predict the course of an Indian raga, for example, and vice versa.

But if a piece develops in a way that’s both slightly novel and still in line with our brain’s prediction, we tend to like it a lot. And that, says [lead researcher] Salimpoor, ‘is because we’ve made a kind of intellectual conquest.’

Music may, in other words, tap into a brain mechanism that was key to our evolutionary progress. The ability to recognize patterns and generalize from experience, to predict what’s likely to happen in the future — in short, the ability to imagine — is something humans do far better than any other animals. It’s what allowed us (aided by the far less glamorous opposable thumb) to take over the world.”

Why Music Makes Us Feel United

So far we’ve covered that music is involved in both emotional and intellectual centers of your brain, but music also has an, almost uncanny, ability to connect us to one another.

Separate research published this month showed one reason for why this might be. When listening to four pieces of classical music they had never heard before, study participants’ brains reacted in much the same way. Areas of the brain involved in movement planning, memory and attention all had similar activation patterns when the participants listened to the same music, which suggests we may each experience music in similar ways.

The study’s lead author noted:3

“We spend a lot of time listening to music — often in groups, and often in conjunction with synchronized movement and dance … Here, we’ve shown for the first time that despite our individual differences in musical experiences and preferences, classical music elicits a highly consistent pattern of activity across individuals in several brain structures including those involved in movement planning, memory and attention.”

Co-author Daniel Levitin, PhD, expanded:4

“It’s not our natural tendency to thrust ourselves into a crowd of 20,000 people, but for a Muse concert or a Radiohead concert we’ll do it … There’s this unifying force that comes from the music, and we don’t get that from other things.”

Music Relieves Anxiety Better Than Drugs and Benefits Premature Babies

If you want a more concrete example of music’s powers, a meta-analysis by Levitin and colleagues found some striking benefits of music after reviewing 400 studies.5 Among the data was one study that revealed listening to music resulted in less anxiety and lower cortisol levels among patients about to undergo surgery than taking anti-anxiety drugs. Other evidence showed music has an impact on antibodies linked to immunity and may lead to higher levels of bacteria-fighting immune cells.

Still more research revealed that playing music in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) improved the health of premature babies with respiratory distress or sepsis.6 When parents sang to their babies, or sounds mimicking those in the womb were played, numerous benefits occurred, including changes in heart rates, sucking behavior and parents’ stress levels. The researchers noted:

“Entrained with a premature infant’s observed vital signs, sound and lullaby may improve feeding behaviors and sucking patterns and may increase prolonged periods of quiet–alert states. Parent-preferred lullabies, sung live, can enhance bonding, thus decreasing the stress parents associate with premature infant care.”

Taken together, the latest research makes a strong case for using music as a therapeutic tool for babies and adults alike.

Why Music Should be a Part of Your Workouts, Too

Many people instinctively don a headset linked to their favorite music when hitting the gym, which makes sense since certain types of music can motivate you to run faster, or keep going even though you’re fatigued, giving you a better workout. Additionally, research has shown that listening to music while exercising boosted cognitive levels and verbal fluency skills in people diagnosed with coronary artery disease (coronary artery disease has been linked to a decline in cognitive abilities). Signs of improvement in verbal fluency areas more than doubled after listening to music compared to that of the non-music session.7

Listening to music while exercising can also improve your performance, increasing your endurance by 15 percent,8 and your movement will likely follow the tempo of the song. For instance, in one study when the music’s tempo slowed, the subjects’ exertion level reduced as well.9 And when the tempo was increased, their performance followed suit.

Your body may be simply responding to the beat on a more or less subconscious level, but the type and tempo of the music you choose while working out may also influence your conscious motivation.

What Music Is Best?

When a song gets you energized and rearing to go, you’ll know it, and these are the types of songs you probably naturally add to your workout playlist.  For that matter, when a song makes you feel relaxed, eases your anxiety or pain levels, or boosts your mood, you’ll know it too, as selecting music is a highly personal – and highly intuitive – process. In other words, only you know the “best” music for you, and that will inevitably change – not only day to day with your mood but also over time with the different chapters of your life.

For now, technology has given us a simple way to harness the power of music by allowing you to create different playlists for exercising, relaxing, working and other important aspects of your day so you can instantly access the right music for your mood or activity. You can also listen to music over Internet radio using free services like Pandora, which will actually create stations for you based on your musical tastes.

However, my favorite music source is Spotify, which I believe is the new model for listening to music. Rather than purchase music in iTunes or CDs prior to that, you simply rent it. Spotify has access to over 16 million songs and most likely has well over 95% of the music you would ever listen to. For $10 a month you can play all of your favorite music on your phone, tablet, computer or home stereo system. They even have high-quality bitrates at no extra charge. I have been using them for about a year and am very pleased.

Whatever method you choose, making music part of your lifestyle is a simple yet powerful way to enhance your health and your life.


Strong, Healthy Living via Plant Based Diets.

431801_511419568894240_39767336_nOne should eat to live, not live to eat. ~Benjamin Franklin

I recently had an experience that I think may change my life forever and I would like to share it with the world as I think it would add to the current debate on global development and sustainability. It is based on an idea that has been passed down generation to generation by some of the world’s greatest thinkers and it could have enormous implications for the future of our economy.
This year I started a Masters degree in Sustainability and shortly after starting this degree I began thinking about ways I could lighten my footprint on the world. This was always going to prove challenging given the state of the environment and economy at the beginning of the 21st Century.

After reading a book called “How Bad are Bananas?” by Mike Berners-Lee I came to the conclusion that we could have a major contribution to Sustainability as individuals through the way we eat for two reasons:

1. Because it is something we do every day

2. Because the standard Western-diet including a considerable intake of meat and other animal products has a substantial impact on the environment (in fact, according it is actually our greatest impact).

So, I committed myself to follow a vegetarian diet for 1 week.

After discussing with a friend, he recommended I watch “Forks over Knives” to further explore my idea.

I found this movie very inspiring as it carefully outlined the role of a plant-based diet in preventing (and in many cases curing) a variety of chronic illnesses, using the largest nutritional study ever conducted and various case studies – many from the Cleveland Clinic, one of the world’s most renowned clinical institutions in the world. So here comes the real challenge. I was so convinced that I took on their 28-day challenge – to cut out ALL animal products from my diet.

Just two weeks later I was given an enormous gift.

Since I was 10 years old, I have struggled with unbearable stomach pains. About once a month a pain would arise in me (called gastritis), which made it very uncomfortable during the day and I would be unable to sleep during the night. The following day the pain would pass. Although I was eventually given a diagnosis, which put me at rest knowing what the pain was, I was never able to get rid of the symptoms and still suffered a great deal. Until one day, when I noticed something special. After adopting this diet, I realised my symptoms gradually begin to disappear. They now happen much less frequently and are much more bearable, and when the episodes occur they tend to reverse, leaving before the end of the evening.

Since then, I have set upon researching this idea in greater depth to see whether other people would want to do it and how they might go about it and I have come across a range of interesting arguments. The following are some of what I think are some encouraging ideas. “Thrive Forward” is an online platform led by Brendan Brazier that provides advice on a range of topics including how to eat more sustainably, how to improve strength and endurance training, how to reduce stress and how to improve sleeping patterns. Also, Rip Esselystn, former firefighter gave an inspirational TEDtalk, in which he breaks down some of the key points from “Forks over Knives”, and shows how to create a habit of eating a plant-based diet, while presenting several examples of delicious meals.

It’s also interesting to see what some of the world’s greatest minds (athletes, politicians, scientists, doctors, philosophers and artists) have thought about vegetarianism. Hippocrates and Hoffman (founder of the American Cancer Society) advocated diet as the primary way to prevent and treat disease. In Ancient Greece, it was believed the best athletes in the Olympics should consume a plant-based diet for optimal performance. Ultra-marathon runner Scott Jurek, former President Bill Clinton, cricketers Chris Lewis and Greg Chappell, Paul McCartney, Thomas Edison, Gandi, Plato, Pythagoras… (the list goes on!) have all flourished on a plant-based diet.

We are living in a time where the world is experiencing great transitions. Progressing to new heights, capitalism has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. But a global financial crisis has hit us on the head, demanding us to think about the way we’re living on this planet. We are beginning to see the limitations of our current model and the need to think ever more critically about global trade and economic prosperity. So what can we do as individuals?

While society may influence the decisions we make (sometimes for great benefit) we are living in an age where many of us have instant access to enormous amounts of information via the Internet. You can watch movies, read books, and go online to do your own research come to your own consensus about this diet. Eat to live, not live to eat.



The Most Viral Personal Growth Article on the Internet.

lifeI’ve decided to say a few things about the most popular post here on, the one titled “15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy”, which at the time of this writing is probably the most viral personal growth article on the Interent.

I could even go as far as saying that this is the world’s most shared article, at least on Facebook, because it totaled an impressive 1,170,000 Million shares in only around two months, but feel free to contradict me on that in case you’ve seen posts with more than 1170K Facebook shares.

Anyway to put things into perspective, I have a list that Facebook published last year, that shows which were the most shared articles in the US on Facebook in 2011, and once you’ll check it out, you’ll see that all of the names that are listed are massive scale news sites such New York Times, CNN, Yahoo, Wall Street Journal or The Huffington Post, on which by the way, we were also mentioned.

This is to make you aware of how much of a hit the “15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy” article turned out to be in just a short period of time, and to inform you that its popularity has made me ask myself a few questions and helped me determine some of the things I want to do in the future.

Some of the questions were how can I improve my writings, and the answer to that would probably be to focus more on the typos and grammatical errors, or what type of subjects should be discussed in the future, should I focus more on the positive side of things?

I also asked myself, what is it that people love the most about PurposeFairy, and what really makes PurposeFairy PurposeFairy?

The popularity of the above mentioned post has also motivated me to aspire on taking things to the next level with this site, whatever that may be, because we are definitely living in an era where people are turning away from the ‘conventional’ things that were believed to bring happiness, and are now willing more than ever to find their inner values and bring balance in their own lives. I feel there is a shift happening and I would really love to see what your thoughts are on this. Do you think this is only my perception or would you say this is in fact how reality looks at the moment?

Feel free to use the commenting section below or our Facebook community page to express how you would define PurposeFairy in a few words, and how would you envision the site in the future. I would also like to say thank you to everyone who has already shared the ‘“15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy” article and to those who will do so from now on.


Gaining Clarity: Are You a Woman Who Forgot to Dream?

womanThe woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. ~Albert Einstein

Are you a woman who doesn’t have a clear vision of what you want your life to be like?

So many women have no idea how to take a dream or desire, set an intention, then craft a plan to accomplish that dream.

Girls are told they can get an education, dream about the future, but as they make that happen; family, religious and societal norms pressure them into service to their jobs, to their families, partners and children. Yes participation in all those areas of life is important, but many times women don’t know how to balance other’s needs with needs of their own. Guilt ensues and your own needs are long forgotten.

It took me a long time to acknowledge that the situation was a crutch so I wouldn’t have to acknowledge that I let go of my dreams and I wasn’t living up to my potential nor meeting my needs.

Women are taught throughout their lives that their dreams aren’t as important as meeting everyone else’s needs and in fact it is selfish to put themselves first. It’s so tragic because when a woman is fulfilled she reaches her true potential and everyone’s needs are exponentially met.

Here are some small steps to start understanding your needs and reigniting your dreams: (Don’t worry we are just trying to bring your needs, dreams and desires to the surface and to the present … baby steps here.)

1. List your excuses

List what you put off because you; don’t have the money, don’t have the time, can’t find someone to watch the kids, etc. Don’t put anything on your list that benefits anyone else, this list is about YOU; your wants, your desires, your dreams. This is about you being selfish. Yes, selfish.

2. Write

Write down some of your old dreams or the dreams that are lingering in your recent memories. These would be the “that would be so nice…” kind of dreams or the “I would love to do that…” kind of dreams. Don’t forget the “I could never do that…” dreams that you toss aside as well.

3. Choose one thing

Just choose one thing that you want to do. Start making some notes on what it will take to reach that goal. For example, we will use “lose 15 pounds” as a quick example. How would you go about doing that?

Keep a food journal, log what you eat and how you feel physically and emotionally afterwards.

Increase your physical activity (not beating yourself up about what you don’t do now).

Learn about different foods; what to minimize and what to include in your diet.

Learn about chemicals and toxins in your environment and how they might be sabotaging your efforts.

Incorporating new habits to manage chronic stress.

Journal every day about the things that emotionally weigh you down.

Keep moving – take breaks in the day to move your body in enjoyable ways.

Break down your larger goal of 15 pounds into smaller increments.

Realize that the 15 pounds isn’t a destination; your focus is on the journey to reach the goal. This keeps you present in the Right Now.

Start building your support network of like-minded cheerleaders.

Give yourself the gift of time. You need to ditch the “I need it done now” mentality.

The point here is to take any dream, desire or task and start breaking it down into actionable steps. You can apply this same formula to increasing your income, starting your dream job, getting off the pharmaceuticals, or ditching a detrimental habit.

4. Brainstorm

Start brainstorming and writing notes about how you are going to make those dreams a reality. The words “no way”, “can’t”, “shouldn’t”, “if” have no place in your journaling.

These are some of the first steps to help you awaken what you have left dormant in your in your heart and life. You don’t need to see the whole staircase, you just need to make that first step up.



How Science Can Deceive You about Your Cell Phone.

In an interview with, Magda Havas, PhD, associate professor of Environment & Resource Studies at Trent University, Canada shares many of the deceptions surrounding cell phone science.

As an expert in radiofrequency radiation, electromagnetic fields, dirty electricity and ground current, she is uniquely qualified to shed light on why it may appear as though cell phones are perfectly safe, when in fact the science itself shows the radiation cell phones emit is anything but …

Deception Apparent at All Levels of the Scientific Process

Deception starts even before a study begins, as soon as the funding source is determined. If it’s an industry-funded study, the results are likely to overwhelmingly favor industry. And if they don’t, confidentiality agreements typically have been signed that prevent the research from ever seeing the light of day.

What this means is that even if you scour the scientific literature to determine what the consensus is on any given health topic, what you’ll find is an overwhelming preponderance of data in favor of the industry that in no way, shape or form reflects the reality of what the empirical results of the scientific investigation that went into that specific product actually revealed. “No Risk Found” might be the message, when significant risk was found.

Havas notes research by Dr. Henry Lai, a University of Washington scientist in cellular and molecular engineering, who reviewed 85 papers on the DNA-damaging effects of the type of microwave radiation that comes from cell phones. Seventy-five percent of the studies that showed no genotoxic effects were funded by the wireless industry or the military, while 80 percent of those that showed a connection were not.

In reality, only university researchers who are not beholden to industry funding are technically “free” to share and report their science, but even then, many are harassed if they attempt to do so. As TIME reported:3

“… independent studies on cell phone radiation found dangers at more than twice the rate of industry-funded studies — though because the cell phone industry is the source of much of the funding of cell phone studies, there are far more of the latter.

… Time and again … industry has been able to twist science just enough to stave off the possibility of any regulation — and finds that researchers are afraid of challenging the status quo, lest they find themselves suddenly out of a job, denied the lifeblood of research money.

Most of the few brave researchers who challenge the prevailing wisdom on cell phone radiation — like the electrical engineer Om Gandhi or the bioengineer Henry Lai — are senior scientists, secure in their positions and their tenure. But a young researcher just starting out is far more vulnerable to industry pressure. Science isn’t as pristine as we imagine it.”

Study Designs Often Knowingly Deceive

There are numerous ways to “rig” a trial so that it produces the desired results. In the cell phone realm, for instance, studies have found an increased risk of tumors after a period of 10 years of use among moderate to heavy users, levels that would be considered very light users by today’s standards. In order to water down this finding, industry-funded research may focus on light cell phone users only.

For example, defining a ‘regular user’ as someone who used a cell phone once a week, or limiting the study to a shorter period of time where one would not expect to find risk, or excluding business users of cell phones (usually the heaviest users) from the analysis, as in the Danish Cellphone Subscriber Cohort study, which was roundly criticized by scientists worldwide.4 The end result is a study appears to show that cell phones are “safe,” when in reality it has intentionally removed the variables that would show harm.

Of the Danish Cellphone Subscriber Cohort study, which continues to be paraded out with updates repeating the same flawed conclusions, Don Maisch, PhD of EMF Facts in Australia says:

“How could the glaring error of excluding corporate subscribers from the analysis be overlooked and the fact that all new subscribers post 1995 were relegated to being considered as non-users. As the old saying goes, ‘rubbish in rubbish out.'”

According to Swedish investigative journalist Mona Nilsson, the Danish study is now being put forth as the “gold standard of epidemiology” in efforts to reverse the IARC decision that classified RF as a ‘Possible Carcinogen,’ along with claims that the Interphone study found no risk, which, she said, “clearly showed increased risks for today’s normal users.”

Nilsson says:

“The most striking deception in EMF science I know of is the CEFALO study, and calling the results ‘reassuring.’ Not only did the results indicate the opposite, increasing risks for children using mobile phones, but the study was clearly manipulated by the treatment of the cordless phone exposures.”

The CEFALO study, a four-country, industry-funded study, “Mobile Phone Use and Brain Tumors in Children and Adolescents: A Multicenter Case–Control Study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute,5 is a clear example where the study’s conclusions and the PR are contradicted by the study’s results, says Camilla Rees of

It showed a 274% increased risk of brain cancer from cell phones, in children ages 7-19; that children have nearly 4x the risk compared to adults; that younger children have greater risk of brain cancer than older children; and that girls have greater risk of brain cancer than boys“.

The spin included:

  • “The authors found little or no evidence that mobile phones increase brain tumor risk, and the single positive association could be explained by bias or chance”when in fact the data show multiple positive associations.
  • “The lack of genotoxicity of mobile phone radiation has been confirmed by experimental animal and laboratory studies”(citing only 2 papers from 1999 and 2001 vs. the multiplicity of papers showing genotoxicity published in the last decade.)
  • No conflict of interest statements from the authors were included, while many of the study’s authors are known to be linked to industry and to other research supporting industry’s interests.

The Interphone study, which cost more than $30 million to carry out (part of which was funded by the mobile phone industry) and was intended to provide the final word about cell phone brain tumor risks, is one of the most notorious examples of this.

When the results initially came out, they ignited a lightening storm of media headlines, many claiming, falsely, that the study found no link, or unclear evidence, linking cell phones to brain cancer. But when you look at Interphone’s results in light of its design flaws, and include the information contained in two appendices, they paint a very dangerous picture for the health future of regular, every day cell phone users. reports:

“Note that two Appendices in the International Journal of Epidemiology show very different results than those published in the article, “Brain tumour risk in relation to mobile telephone use: results of the Interphone international case control study.

How is it that in the very same journal results from the same study can appear so different? Appendix 1 shows an 84% increased risk of meningioma for those who used a digital phone 1,640 or more hours. And those who used both digital and analog phones, or if the type of phone was unknown, had a 343% increased risk of meningiomas. But the original article published on Interphone results showed a decreased risk of meningiomas, or no risk at all, from cell phone use.

Appendix 2 shows much higher risk of gliomas than what was published in the original article. There is no good explanation for the very different results published for gliomas and meningiomas, nor any sense to publishing the appendices separately from the study itself unless one wanted to lower the reader’s chances of seeing them. A video of the Interphone study design flaws featuring Lloyd Morgan can be found at

While certain media outlets continue to claim that regular cell phone use is unlikely to cause brain cancer, you should know that Interphone found “heavy users” of cell phones–aka very light users today–were found to have an approximately doubled risk of glioma, a life threatening and often-fatal brain tumor, after 10 years of cell phone use.

In other words, depending on your cell phone use you may be doubling your risk of a potentially fatal brain tumor. If you’re a heavy user, your risk is likely much higher. A team of international EMF activists — the International EMF Collaborative – even released a report detailing 15 serious design flaws of the Interphone study, “Cell Phones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern,” highlighting what they call a ‘systemic-skew’ in the design that underestimated brain tumor risk (calculated subsequently to be a 25% underestimation).7 Among them:

  1. Categorizing subjects who used portable phones (which emit the same microwave radiation as cell phones) as ‘unexposed’
  2. Excluding many types of brain tumors
  3. Excluding people who had died, or were too ill to be interviewed as a consequence of their brain tumor
  4. Excluding children and young adults, who are more vulnerable to the effects of radiation and who now use cell phones heavily

The Interphone study also has data on two other tumor types, acoustic neuromas and salivary gland tumors, which have been associated with cell phone use in the past. But the information was mysteriously left out of the published results, and some of the most damning results of what was published were only published in an Appendix to the study only available online, results that were not to be found in the study’s abstract or media headlines. After closely reviewing the facts and the flaws of Interphone, the report concluded:

  • There is a risk of brain tumors from cell phone use
  • Telecom-funded studies underestimate the risk of brain tumors
  • Children have larger risks than adults for brain tumors

A subsequent mathematical analysis, “Re-evaluation of the Interphone Study: Application of a Correction Factor,” presented at the Bioelectromagnetics Society meeting in Seoul, Korea in 2010 by Lloyd Morgan, calculated there was at least an approximately 25% underestimation of risk in the Interphone study’s results.8

Even the Way Science Is Published and Reported Makes a Major Difference in Perception

Research journals tend to be more likely to publish studies that show dramatic results, positive results, or results from “hot” competitive fields. Some journal editors also get money from industry to act as consultants or expert witnesses in hearings, and this obviously poses a conflict of interest regarding which studies end up being published.

Even then, once a study makes it into a journal, a study may leave crucial data out of the abstract (which is the only part most people read), making it appear favorable when it’s not. Then the media will pick up on the study, and continue to further spread the misleading information. Typically, when the media reports a study about the risks of cell phones, they will counter it with input from an industry “expert” who reaffirms that cell phones are safe. This goal of ‘balancing the coverage’ gives the impression that the jury is still out regarding cell phone risks, when in reality there are now too many studies showing harm to ignore, and the long-term trend data is starting to accumulate.

For example, in a presentation recently in San Francisco at the American Public Health Association conference, a poster by Yueh-Ying Han, PhD et al presented evidence showing that in the years 1990-2009 in the U.S. the incidence of gliomas in people less than 50 years of age is increasing for males and females. In all the age groups considered (<20 yrs, 20-29, 30-39 and 40-49) the increases were statistically significant or very near significant.

We have also recently seen a doubling of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the worst kind of brain cancer, in Denmark, in the last 10 years, and similar findings in Australia.9 It would certainly be more helpful if journalists would read and ponder the evidence, and then draw their own conclusions, instead of merely enabling a public forum (i.e. “he said, she said”) that only helps to publicize what manipulators of the information would like people to believe — that there is no consensus and no certainty about risks. An excellent book on how industries with commercial interests can manipulate science, manufacture perceptions about risks, and influence policy is “Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health.”

Sometimes, due to design flaws in EMF studies, the results can be fantastical, even showing RF exposure has protective effect for brain tumors, as was found in certain Interphone studies. If the flaw systematically underestimates the risk of brain cancer, as the Interphone study does, this pushes down the risk to where it becomes protection. Of course, this is just an artifact of the design flaws. Yet, despite the design flaws, the Interphone study found a more than doubled risk of brain tumors among the highest users of cell phones. Because of the systemic underestimation of risk, the more than doubled risk found is higher than was published.

Once, a study assessing risk of lymphoma from GSM mobile phone radiation exposure in mice actually showed increased weight gain in mice that had already died. James C. Lin, a Commissioner of International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), described this observation in The Radio Science Bulletin.10 He said:
“There are also some rather glaring inconsistencies in the published data. For example, some or all of the mice were dead after 18 or 20 months, but had weight gains up to 26 months.”

This is especially noteworthy, given Lin is an ICNIRP Commissioner.

The “Non-Replication Replication” Study

Common, according to Lloyd Morgan, are these “non-replication replication studies,” or studies that pretend to “improve” the initial study that found adverse health effects. An ‘improved” study is by definition not a replication, thus it become a non-replication, replication study. The most egregious example of this was the non-replication, replication study that reported mice that had died continued to gain weight.” The journal that published the study, Radiation Research, has been called “The Cult of Negative Results” in a lengthy expose by Microwave News that is well worth reading.11

Morgan says:

“Many years ago at a Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS) meeting there was a study that purported to find no expression of stress genes from exposure to 50 Hz electromagnetic fields. Following the presentation, I asked the presenter if he had used a pure 50 Hz sine wave. He replied, ‘Of course.’ I responded, ‘I guarantee you that if you had turned the sine wave off and on once a minute you would have found an effect.’ 

His reply was all telling. He said ‘But Reba Goodman, says it must be turned off and on every 20 minutes.’ It was all telling because he knew the literature and had designed the study to not find an effect, which is what he was reporting.  This is but one of many techniques used to not find anything.”

Another book on deceptions in science is “Bending Science: How Special Interests Corrupt Public Health Research.” The authors explain both financial and legal tactics political and corporate advocates use to discredit or suppress research on potential human health risks, such as scientists finding “their research blocked, or themselves threatened with financial ruin.” Sadly, not just corporations, but their attorneys, government agencies and think tanks have evidently been caught suppressing or mis-communicating science on matters of public health and safety.

Misleading Information Often Spread by the Media

Sometimes the media itself is responsible for spreading inaccurate and misleading information, such as occurred with an article published in The Economist last year,12 which included such statements as “Concerns about the danger posed to human health by radio waves are misplaced — and increasingly irrelevant.”

A team of more than two-dozen international experts in the field rebutted the article and gave extensive corrections to the technical errors and misleading statements in the article,13 but it appears no correction was ever published, though it was distributed widely to editorial staff and management at The Economist. As for why The Economist chose to publish such a misleading and incompletely researched article in the first place, the experts questioned:14

“Readers are left to wonder whether the significant advertising revenues generated from cellphones may account for The Economist’s lopsided and misleading editorial. One analysis of U.S. newspaper advertising conducted by in 2010 showed that print ad space from telecommunications businesses was estimated to be between 1.77% and 11.40% of total print advertising space during the sample period.

How much advertising revenue does The Economist and its related entities receive from telecommunications advertising, and what steps has The Economist taken to ensure balanced reporting on this vitally important industry?”

The highly misleading information in The Economist article, with no byline on the article, circulated globally to Economistreaders, who are located in 90 countries, and in 30 languages. It is hard to undo this kind of damage. Forbes magazine, too, has recently been showing its stripes, with the article, “How Activism Distorts The Assessment Of Health Risks” by Geoffrey Kabat.15The author tries to make the case that the landmark International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) decision to classify RF radiation as a Class 2B Possible Carcinogen overstates the risk.

According to Lloyd Morgan:

“Geoffrey Kabat is a well known tobacco ‘scientist’ who published papers funded by the tobacco industry. Could his attack on the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer be a continuation of his history?”

EMF Facts Consultancy in Australia says:16

“Kabat’s connections with the tobacco industry over the years have been well documented. A search of internal industry documents finds Kabat’s name listed as an industry resource more than 7,000 times, showing his involvement with, among others, Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, American Tobacco Company, and CIAR … The data and design of the Enstrom and Kabat secondhand smoke study has been widely criticized. Even the British Medical Association, the publisher of the journal that printed the study, described the research as being “fundamentally flawed.” The misuse of data and flawed methodology are two very significant faults in the study.”

Kabat’s book, “Hyping Health Risks: Environmental Hazards in Daily Life and the Science of Epidemiology,” featured on the Columbia University Press website, is described as showing:

” …that a variety of factors can contribute to the inflating of a hazard. These include skewed reporting by the media, but also, surprisingly, the actions of researchers who may emphasize certain findings while ignoring others; regulatory and health agencies eager to show their responsiveness to the health concerns of the public; and politicians and advocates with a stake in a particular outcome.”

Interesting. This is an example of masterful spin — accusing others of the things of which industry itself is guilty. In the case of tobacco, we all know the industry was guilty of lying. It may have taken decades to work through the courts, but finally, in November 2012, a court ruled the tobacco industry must publically admit they lied.

According to Reuters: 17

“Major tobacco companies that spent decades denying they lied to the U.S. public about the dangers of cigarettes must spend their own money on a public advertising campaign saying they did lie, a federal judge ruled … “

We expect to ultimately see similar punishment for the telecom industry, and its executives, who knowingly blanketed the population in radiation that was impossible for billions of people to avoid.

Around the same time that the Forbes article was published, published an article18 mentioning that article and one other in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, “False Positives in Cancer Epidemiology,” both reinforcing the same themes.

The article in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention19 was authored by Joseph McLaughlin and Robert Tarone. They are founders of the International Epidemiology Institute (IEI), according to Lloyd Morgan, and the architects of what became the Danish Cellphone Subscriber Cohort Study, widely criticized for its deceptions (see “British Medical Journal’s Upcoming Cell Phone Study Deeply Flawed20), and prior to creating the for-profit IEI, were long-term staffers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which references the deeply flawed and widely criticized Danish Cohort study as evidence of ‘no risk’.

According to Morgan:

“This appears (the Forbes Magazine article and the ‘epimonitor’ article) to be an orchestrated campaign to challenge the IARC finding that RF radiation is a ‘Possible Carcinogen.’ One can only wonder if this constellation of spin has been funded by the reported hundreds of millions of dollars allocated to refute the IARC results.”

Camilla Rees of says:

“The IARC decision to classify RF radiation as a ‘Possible Carcinogen’ was the first instance providing an official scientific basis on which governments, schools and parents could legitimately call for precautionary behavior regarding these radiation-emitting devices. A backlash on the IARC decision from the cell phone industry was to be expected, and we are now seeing it getting underway.”

She adds,“But what people need to remember is that some scientists say the IARC classification is still not strong enough, and that RF should have been classified as a ‘Probable Human Carcinogen’ (Class 2A) based the existing science.”

Credible Cell Phone Studies Being Wrongly Attacked

Dr. Franz Adlkofer, who led the landmark REFLEX study, conducted by 12 institutes in seven countries, that confirmed the likelihood of long-term genetic damage in the blood and brains of users of mobile phones, and other sources of electromagnetic fields, and who was initially accused of fraud by Professor Alexander Lerchl of the German Commission on Radiological Protection, and then totally exonerated, had the opportunity recently to present on institutional corruption at Harvard Law School’s Safra Center for Ethics, in a presentation called “Protection Against Radiation is in Conflict with Science.”21

“In May 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified high frequency electromagnetic fields including cell phone radiation as merely “possibly carcinogenic” for humans, Adlkofer said, but he pointed out that studies such as REFLEX were not taken into account in reaching that determination. Had they been, he said, the classification likely would have changed from “possibly” carcinogenic to “probably.”

In addition to attacking Dr. Adlkofer, Professor Lerchl has of late been proactively attacking studies by Lennart Hardell from Orebro University in Sweden. These high-quality independent studies show an increased risk for brain tumors in long-term users of mobile and cordless phones and were an important basis on which IARC classified RF radiation as a ‘Possible Carcinogen.’ Dr. Hardell has responded in “A fairy tale by Alexander Lerchl and Mikko Paunio without scientific credibility.”22

At the Harvard Safra Center for Ethics, Dr. Adlkofer said:23

“The practices of institutional corruption in the area of wireless communication are of enormous concern, if one considers the still uncertain outcome of the ongoing field study with five billion participants. Based on the unjustified trivializing reports distributed by the mass media by order and on account of the wireless communication industry, the general public cannot understand that its future wellbeing and health may be at stake.

The people even distrust those scientists who warn. In democracies, it is a basic principle that above power and their owners are laws, rules, and regulations. Since in the area of wireless communication this principle has been severely violated it is in the interest of a democratic society to insist on its compliance.”

Fast forward to current efforts to disparage the validity of the IARC findings. “We come full circle,” says Lloyd Morgan,” when we become aware of the paper, “Boffetta P, McLaughlin JK, LaVecchia C, Tarone RE, Lipworth L, Blot WJ. False-positive results in cancer epidemiology: a plea for epistemological modesty. J Natl Cancer Inst 100:988-995 (2008).”

Are we surprised that we have come full circle to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the Institute where McLaughlin and Tarone (authors of “False Positives in Cancer Epidemiology”) decided to found IEI, which has been identified by “Doubt is Their Product’s” author, David Michaels, as one of the myriad “product protection firms” for hire to create doubt for industrial clients? ”

Much of the long history of deceptions in science regarding electromagnetic fields can be found in “Warning: Your Cell Phones May Be Hazardous to Your Health” by Christopher Ketcham, and in the book “Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Is Doing to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family,” by Devra Davis, PhD.

The hidden and important influence of the telecommunications industry on radiofrequency standard setting around the world has been exhaustively researched by Don Maisch, PhD of EMF Facts Consultancy in Australia, in the interest of establishing biologically relevant exposure standards, published as “The Procrustean Approach Setting Exposure Standards for Telecommunications Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation.”24 It examines, says Maisch, “the manipulation of telecommunications standards by political, military, and industrial vested interests at the expense of public health protection.”

The U.S. Government is Not Protecting You from Cell Phone Dangers

Despite the shenanigans, which we expect we’ll see more of, the link between brain damage and cell phone use has become too strong to deny. Last year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), reviewed relevant studies and declared that cell phones are possible cancer-causing agents because of the radiofrequency radiation (RF) they emit, in the same category as diesel engine exhaust, some pesticides, and some heavy metals. The expert panel ruled that there was some evidence that regular cell phone use increased the risk of two types of tumors – brain tumors (gliomas) and acoustic neuromas.

A cell phone is a two-way microwave-radiating device whose long-term use has been associated with not only brain tumors but seven cancers in all, including glioma, acoustic neuroma, meningioma, salivary gland tumors, eye cancer, testicular cancer and leukemia, along with a wide range of other biological effects.

Dr. Martin Blank of Columbia University, at the annual conference of the Institute for Bau (Building) Biology and Ecology, said that while there is not yet epidemiological data linking cell phone radiation to breast cancer, there is evidence from cell studies showing inhibition of the effects of Tamoxifen in electromagnetic fields, as well as evidence of tumors where women have placed cell phones in their bras, news that was featured recently on KTVU in the San Francisco Bay Area.25

Can this ruling potentially lead to future litigation in the U.S. and elsewhere? Can it somehow alter the insurance landscape? Yes, it can.”26

The cell phone industry, however, is one of the fastest growing and strongest global industries in the world today and may be even stronger than the pharmaceutical industry. As a multi-trillion dollar industry whose advertising dollars support and heavily influence media around the world, this industry is capable of wielding great power by making sizable political donations and through persistent lobbying efforts that influence and sometimes even directly shape government policies.

So while the dangers of cell phones will one day be as well known as tobacco dangers, and perhaps the companies will have to publically admit their deceit, there’s going to be a window when people are extremely vulnerable.  That window is right now.

Around the world, many countries are already adopting the Precautionary Principle. Russian officials have issued the recommendation that all children under the age of 18 should avoid using cell phones entirely. The UK, Israel, Belgium, Germany, India, France and Finland also urge citizens to err on the side of caution with respect to their children’s use of cell phones.

How to Protect Yourself

In the United States, public warnings are not yet commonplace, but it’s still important to protect yourself. You can minimize your exposure, and that of your loved ones, to electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices by heeding the following advice:

  • Children Should Always Avoid Using Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type.
  • Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters. As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call. If you’re pregnant, avoiding or reducing your cell phone use, and keeping it away from your body, is critically important.
  • Use a Land Line at Home and at Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness. SKYPE offers an online, portable number, with voicemail one can access via any Ethernet port while traveling, or via wireless access if necessary.
  • Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them as often as you do. And most importantly, do not even consider having any electronic or wireless devices in the bedroom that will interfere with the quality of your sleep, and if there is a wireless router, make sure it is turned off at night.

If you must use a portable home phone, use the older kind that operates at 900 MHz. They are not safer during calls, but at least many of them do not broadcast constantly even when no call is being made. Note the only way to truly be sure if there is an exposure from your cordless phone is to measure with an electrosmog meter, and it must be one that goes up to the frequency of your portable phone (so old meters won’t help much). As many portable phones are 5.8 Gigahertz, we recommend you look for RF meters that go up to 8 Gigahertz, the highest range now available in a meter suitable for consumers.

Alternatively you can be very careful with the base station placement as that causes the bulk of the problem since it transmits signals 24/7, even when you aren’t talking. So if you can keep the base station at least three rooms away from where you spend most of your time, and especially your bedroom, they may be less damaging to your health. Another option is to just simply turn the portable phone off, only using it when you specifically need the convenience of moving about while on a call.

Ideally it would be helpful to turn off your base station every night before you go to bed. EcoDect portable phones, which only transmit radiation when being used, have been introduced in Germany, where we are encouraged to learn that country’s Environmental Minister, Peter Altmaier, has named ‘Improving Protection from Electromagnetic Fields’ # 6 of his 10-Point Plan. We expect in time to see similar portable phones here.

You can find RF meters as well as remediation supplies at But you can pretty much be sure your portable phone is a problem if the technology is DECT, or digitally enhanced cordless technology.

  • Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.
  • Avoid Carrying Your Phone on Your Body as that merely maximizes any potential exposure. Ideally put it in your purse or carrying bag. Placing a cell phone in a shirt pocket over the heart is asking for trouble, as is placing it in a man’s pocket if he seeks to preserve his fertility. A new App for Android, “Too Close,” has been developed by a California company, Green Swan, designed to issue an alert any time a cellphone is too close to your head.
  • Don’t Assume One Cell Phone is Safer than Another: There’s no such thing as a “safe” cell phone. This is particularly true when it comes to SAR ratings, which are virtually useless in measuring the true potential biological danger as most all of the damage is not done by heat transfer, which SAR measures.
  • Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When it is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area, nor near a cell phone that is ‘On’ for lengthy periods.
  • Respect Others Who are More Sensitive: Some people who have become sensitive can feel the effects of others’ cell phones in the same room, even when it is on but not being used. If you are in a meeting, on public transportation, in a courtroom or other public places, such as a doctor’s office, keep your cell phone turned off out of consideration for the ‘second hand radiation’ effects. Children are also more vulnerable, so please avoid using your cell phone near children.

If you are using the Pong case, which redirects the cell phone radiation away from the head and successfully lowers the SAR effect, realize that in redirecting the radiation away from your head this may be intensifying the radiation in another direction, perhaps toward the person next to you, or, if in your pocket, increasing radiation intensity toward your body. Caution is always advised in dealing with any radiation-emitting device. We recommend cell phones be kept ‘Off’ except for emergencies.

  • Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded – and most of them are not – the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient radio waves and transmitting radiation directly to your brain.

Make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded. The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.

Source:  Dr. Mercola

A Few Extra Pounds Linked to a Longer Life.

extra-pounds (1)Provocative new research involving data from nearly 3 million adults suggests that a having an overweight body mass index (BMI) may be linked to a longer life than one that puts you within a “normal” weight range.

The research, which analyzed 97 studies in all, found that people with BMIs under 30 but above normal (the overweight range) had a 6 percent lower risk of dying from all causes than those who were normal weight, while those whose BMIs fell into the obese range were 18 percent more likely to die of any cause.1 The researchers wrote:

“Relative to normal weight … overweight was associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality.”

Do a Few Extra Pounds Make You Healthier?

The study results imply, at least superficially, that carrying some extra weight may help you live longer … or at the very least may not be as unhealthy as it’s made out to be. In a JAMA editorial, Steven Heymsfield, M.D. and William Cefalu, M.D. highlighted this notion:2

“The presence of a wasting disease, heart disease, diabetes, renal dialysis, or older age are all associated with an inverse relationship between BMI and mortality rate, an observation termed the obesity paradox or reverse epidemiology.

The optimal BMI linked with lowest mortality in patients with chronic disease may be within the overweight and obesity range.

Even in the absence of chronic disease, small excess amounts of adipose tissue may provide needed energy reserves during acute catabolic illnesses, have beneficial mechanical effects with some types of traumatic injuries, and convey other salutary effects that need to be investigated in light of the studies … “

Indeed, it is quite possible to be overweight and healthy, just as it’s possible to be normal weight and unhealthy. But for the vast majority of those who carry around extra pounds, health problems will often result.

The study has been heavily criticized for painting an overly simplistic picture of a very complex situation. For instance, it doesn’t tell you whether those living longer were afflicted with more chronic disease or whether their quality of life was otherwise impacted. And even more importantly, it used only BMI as a measure of body composition, and this is a highly flawed technique.

Many studies, such as one published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology,3 have actually found that a high BMI was associated with a lower risk of death, a phenomenon known as the “obesity paradox.” But these findings are typically only examples of how BMI is such a flawed measurement tool …

Why BMI is a Flawed Measurement Tool

If you’d like to know how much body fat you have and whether or not your levels put you into a weight category that might lead to health problems, most public health agencies, and therefore most physicians, promote the use of the BMI, which gauges weight in relation to height. But this method is quite flawed, as research suggests it may underestimate obesity rates and misclassify up to one-quarter of men and nearly half of women.4 According to lead author Dr. Eric Braverman, president of the nonprofit Path Foundation in New York City:5

“Based on BMI, about one-third of Americans are considered obese, but when other methods of measuring obesity are used, that number may be closer to 60%.”

One of the primary reasons why BMI is such a flawed measurement tool is that it uses weight as a measure of risk, when it is actually a high percentage of body fat that makes a person have an increased disease risk. Your weight takes into account your bone structure, for instance, so a big-boned person may weigh more, but that certainly doesn’t mean they have more body fat.

Athletes and completely out-of-shape people can also have similar BMI scores, or a very muscular person could be classified as “obese” using BMI, when in reality it is mostly lean muscle accounting for their higher-than-average weight. BMI also tells you nothing about where fat is located in your body, and it appears that the location of the fat, particularly if it’s around your stomach, is more important than the absolute amount of fat when it comes to measuring certain health risks, especially heart disease.

This is another useful tool that is leaps and bounds ahead of BMI as far as gauging your weight-related health risks is concerned. It is FAR better to monitor your body fat percentage than it is your total weight, as the body fat percentage is what dictates metabolic health or dysfunction – not your total weight.

Too much body fat is linked to chronic health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, while too little body fat is also problematic and can cause your body to enter a catabolic state, where muscle protein is used as fuel.

Body fat calipers are one of the most trusted and most accurate ways to measure body fat. A body fat or skinfold caliper is a lightweight, hand-held device that quickly and easily measures the thickness of a fold of your skin with its underlying layer of fat. Taken at three very specific locations on your body, these readings can help you estimate the total percent of body fat within your entire body.

You can also use a digital scale that determines body fat, which is what I use personally. I use an Eat Smart Precision GetFit Body Fat Scale that I picked up from Amazon for around $50. Although many body fat measurements can be inaccurate, they are nearly all more accurate than BMI, and are particularly useful to determine whether you are gaining or losing fat. Although the absolute value may be off, the direction you are going (whether your body fat is going up or down) will be very accurate, and this is an incredibly useful measure of whether you’re nearing your health goals or not. A general guideline from the American Council on Exercise is as follows:6

Classification Women (percent fat) Men (percent fat)
Essential Fat 10-13 percent 2-5 percent
Athletes 14-20 percent 6-13 percent
Fitness 21-24 percent 14-17 percent
Acceptable 25-31 percent 18-24 percent
Obese 32 percent and higher 25 percent and higher

Overweight Often Leads to Obesity…

It is quite clear that the more overweight you are, the greater the health risks become. So even if it were true that a few extra pounds are actually good for you, if you’re on a path of weight gain you’re on a slippery slope that could easily lead to obesity.

The most recent health report card issued for the United States predicts that half of all American adults will be obese by 2030. Obesity-related illness is predicted to raise national health care costs by $48 billion annually over the next two decades by adding another 7.9 million new cases of diabetes, 5 million cases of chronic heart disease and stroke, and 400,000 cancer cases…7 If you want to avoid becoming one of these statistics, I suggest you start to look at your weight as less a product of “calories in vs. calories out” and more the result of a faulty “fat switch.” According to Dr. Richard Johnson of the University of Colorado, author ofThe Fat Switch:

“Those of us who are obese eat more because of a faulty ‘switch’ and exercise less because of a low energy state. If you can learn how to control the specific ‘switch’ located in the powerhouse of each of your cells – the mitochondria – you hold the key to fighting obesity.”

Here are some highlights that Dr. Johnson explains in detail in his book:

  • Large portions of food and too little exercise are the result of your fat switch being turned on
  • Metabolic Syndrome is the normal condition that animals undertake to store fat
  • Fructose-containing sugars cause obesity not by calories but by turning on the fat switch
  • Effective treatment of obesity requires turning off your fat switch and improving the function of your cells’ mitochondria

I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book, which has been described as the “Holy Grail” for those struggling with their weight. Dietary sugar, especially fructose, is a significant “tripper of your fat switch,” which is why, if you are serious about losing weight, you’ll need a comprehensive plan that includes:

Source:  Dr. Mercola



Bedside Ultrasound Measurement of the Inferior Vena Cava Does Not Predict Hydration Status in Children.

IVC collapsibility index and IVC-to-aorta ratio did not correlate with central venous pressure 8 mm Hg.


In a prospective observational study at a pediatric critical care unit, investigators evaluated the correlation between two bedside ultrasound inferior vena cava (IVC) measurements and central venous pressure (CVP) indicative of dehydration (8 mm Hg). The two IVC measurements were percent decrease in IVC diameter between expiration and inspiration (IVC collapsibility index) >0.5 and IVC-to-aorta ratio 0.8.

In a convenience sample of 51 patients <21 years (median age, 5 months) with central venous catheters, 67% were intubated, 65% had a femoral central line site, 47% were admitted for cardiac diagnoses, and 10% were admitted for intra-abdominal diagnoses. Overall, 43% had CVP 8 mm Hg. For predicting CVP 8 mm Hg, an IVC collapsibility index >50% had a sensitivity of 14%, specificity of 83%, positive predictive value of 38%, and negative predictive value of 57%. Corresponding performance parameters of IVC-to-aorta ratio 0.8 were 18%, 81%, 38%, and 60%, respectively.

Comment: IVC collapsibility index has been shown to correlate well with CVP in adults (JW Emerg Med Mar 12 2010). The poor correlation between IVC measurements and CVP in the children in the current study may be secondary to the high incidences of intubation, with consequent alterations in intrathoracic pressure, and femoral central line sites, where soft tissue external pressure influences differ from those at other sites. However, until supportive evidence emerges, bedside ultrasound IVC measurements should not be relied on to estimate intravascular volume status in children.


Source: Journal Watch Emergency Medicine