Harvard Scientists Urge You to Stop Drinking Milk.

Vegans may have had it right all along; while raw, organic milk offers numerous health benefits, a Harvard researcher and pediatrician argues that conventional milk and dairy products alike are a detriment to your health – thanks to added health-compromising sweeteners.

Harvard Scientists Urge You to Stop Drinking Milk

The age-old saying that drinking milk is one of the keys to good health received a strong rebuttal from Harvard pediatrician David Ludwig who argues that dairy products with added sweeteners are a detriment to one’s health.

Drinking reduced-fat milk inadvertently encourages the consumption of added sugars. There have been countless pieces of research concluding the ill effects of sugar-sweetened beverages and the over-consumption of sugar has been tied to obesity, diabetes, inflammatory-related pain, and much more.

Ludwig’s recommendation: less is more, and some people might be better off drinking no milk at all.
Humans, like cows, get all the calcium they need from a plant-based diet. If you are concerned about daily calcium intake, there are many alternatives to milk.

Ludwig says: “we can get plenty of calcium from a whole range of foods. On a gram for gram basis, cooked kale has more calcium than milk. Sardines, nuts seeds beans, green leafy vegetables are all sources of calcium.”

While saturated fat was discredited for decades, full-fat dairy (raw, organic, and from grass-fed cows) has been found in research to potentially promote heart health, control diabetes, aid in vitamin absorption, lower bowel cancer risk, and even aid in weight loss. But while pure dairy could promote your health, conventional dairy may prove damaging.

Before you drink your next glass of conventional milk, please educate yourself as to what you are consuming. You’d be surprised that there could be painkillers, antibiotics, and much more lurking in your milk.


Harvard Scientists Urge You to Stop Drinking Sweetened-Milk

Three Daily Servings of Reduced-Fat Milk An Evidence-Based Recommendation?

Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease

How Much Food from the Dairy Group Is Needed Daily?

What’s in Your Milk? 20+ Painkillers, Antibiotics, and More

Whitewash: The Disturbing Truth About Cow’s Milk and Your Health

The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health




Jurors Speak Out About Raw Milk Case.

Story at-a-glance

  • Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger was charged with four criminal misdemeanors and acquitted of three of them for supplying raw milk to members of a private buying club
  • Hershberger admitted to violating a holding order on his food products, and was convicted on this count, but jurors were angered because they were told to only judge whether he violated the order – NOT whether the holding order was valid
  • Since Hershberger had been acquitted of the charges, it means that the state had no right to be barring Hershberger from accessing his food in the first place; the holding order was not valid
  • Several of the jurors were so moved by the case that they now want to join Hershberger’s buying club to be able to access raw milk for their families, noting that this is an issue of food freedom
  • raw-milk

Under the guise of protecting public health, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection targeted Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger, who was charged with four criminal misdemeanors for supplying a private buying club with raw milk and other fresh produce grown on his farm.

After the recent listeria outbreak from pasteurized cheese actually killed someone, it makes you wonder why raw dairy products are unfairly targeted even when sold under private contracts which is protected directly by the constitution.

State prosecutors tried to convict Hershberger for operating a retail food establishment, a dairy farm and a dairy plant without a license. However, since he only supplies food to paid members in a private buying club, he maintained that he was not subject to state food regulations.

The trial has become a symbol for the war being waged against raw milk in the US, where aggressive regulators are attacking small farmers producing wholesome raw food products for loyal customers.

Fortunately, the trial ended mostly favorably for Hershberger and made such an impact on the jurors that several are now interested in getting their own raw milk from Hershberger’s farm.

Jurors Angered Over Injustices Against Hershberger, Want to Join His Buyer’s Club

On May 25, Hershberger was acquitted of three charges of producing, processing and selling milk without state licenses. Then the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion to revoke Hershberger’s bail and instead send him to jail for a fourth charge of violating a holding order.

This required that he not sell any food or milk from his store as a condition of his bail. Hershberger openly admitted that he had violated the order and broke seals to get into his coolers, in part to retrieve food to feed his own family.

As a result, jurors had no choice but to find him guilty of this charge, and he was sentenced to pay a $1,000 fine plus $513 in court costs. Hershberger avoided jail time and the maximum possible fine of $10,000, but several of the jurors noted that state prosecutors and the county judge withheld key information that would have exonerated him of even the hold-order charge.

Specifically, the jury only determined whether Hershberger had violated the hold order… not whether the holding order was valid. Since he had been acquitted of the charges that led to the holding order being placed, it means that the state had no right to be barring Hershberger from accessing his food in the first place.

Baraboo News Republic reported:1

“’… we weren’t allowed to judge whether the holding order was valid,’” [juror Michele] Bollfrass-Hopp said. She added that since Hershberger was acquitted of the other charges that the state used as its basis for placing the holding order, the order itself should have been been a moot point. ‘You have to have common sense when you apply the law.’”

Several of the jurors were so moved by the case that they now want to join Hershberger’s buying club to be able to access raw milk for their families, noting that this is an issue of food freedom.

“The trial was about freedom, Bollfrass-Hopp said. ‘That’s what it comes down to. It was about our freedom to choose the food that goes into our mouths. That was the underlying theme,’ she said.”2

Regulators Are Worrying About the Wrong Kind of Milk…

If you believe that you have the right to choose what type of food you’re ‘allowed’ to purchase and eat, then you can understand just how much is at stake when state and federal regulators start attacking this very basic right.

Farmers and consumers should be able to engage in private agreements for food without regulatory oversight of any kind, yet states like Wisconsin have rather successfully disguised their attacks on freedom by claiming they are ‘protecting’ consumers from the villainous raw milk.

Assuming it is produced with high standards, however, raw milk is no more a threat to public health than sunshine or natural supplements (against which similar “public-safety” wars have been aged). You’re actually more likely to get sick from pasteurized milk than from raw milk!

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows there are about 412 confirmed cases of people getting ill from pasteurized milk each year, while only about 116 illnesses a year are linked to raw milk.3 And research by Dr. Ted Beals, MD, featured in the summer 2011 issue of Wise Traditions,4 the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, shows that you are about 35,000 times more likely to get sick from other foods than you are from raw milk!

That federal and state regulators are wasting time and resources prosecuting farmers supplying consenting customers with wholesome food is just outrageous, especially when they allow truly dangerous foods – like poultry, beef, pork and eggs raised on CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) – to be sold freely…

Dr. Beals wrote:5

“From the perspective of a national public health professional looking at an estimated total of 48 million foodborne illnesses each year [from all foods]… there is no rational justification to focus national attention on raw milk, which may be associated with an average of 42 illnesses maximum among the more than nine million people (about 0.0005 percent) who have chosen to drink milk in its fresh unprocessed form.”

Should You Really Be Afraid of Raw Milk?

The same regulators who defend the use of mercury in your dental fillings and fluoride in your drinking water want you to be afraid… very afraid… of a wholesome food known as raw milk.  I currently use about one pound of raw butter per week, and for those who have tasted the difference will never return to pasteurized products.

Cream, butter, yogurt, milk – it all tastes so significantly better in the raw form, there is an inherent recognition it is better for you. There are also well documented differences, raw milk is:

  • Loaded with healthy bacteria that are good for your gastrointestinal tract
  • Full of more than 60 digestive enzymes, growth factors, and immunoglobulins (antibodies)
  • Rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which fights cancer
  • Rich in beneficial raw fats, amino acids, and proteins in a highly bioavailable form, all 100 percent digestible
  • Loaded with vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, and K) in highly bioavailable forms, and a very balanced blend of minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron) whose absorption is enhanced by live lactobacilli

Pasteurized milk is another food entirely, as the price of killing the pathogenic bacteria with pasteurization is that you also kill the good bacteria that helps digest milk, fight infection and make it such a nourishing food. Plus, proteins and enzymes are completely destroyed or denatured, made less digestible and less usable by your body. Not to mention, cows raised in CAFOs, from which most pasteurized milk comes, are NOT raised in a manner that makes their milk suitable for drinking raw (or at all, in my opinion).

CAFO cows are typically raised on high-protein, soy-based feeds instead of fresh green grass, and instead of free range grazing, they stand in cramped, manure-covered feed lots all day. These conditions are perfect for the proliferation of disease, and yes, this milk MUST be pasteurized in order for it to be safe to drink.

These cows also need antibiotics to keep them well, and some are also given genetically modified growth hormones to increase milk production. Needless to say, these hormones and antibiotics also wind up in the milk. Quite simply, the Big Dairy businessdepends on pasteurization, and that is why their powerful lobbyists will stop at nothing to persuade government agencies to keep raw milk bans in full force.

This Is About Much More Than Milk; Your Food Freedom Is at Stake

It’s encouraging that Mr. Hershberger’s trial had a mostly positive outcome, and was so overwhelmingly unjust that even the jurors are angry about it. Still, right now your food freedom is on the chopping block. In North Dakota, a new bill threatens to make herdshare illegal. In New Mexico, a bill has been introduced that would ban the sale of raw milk, while a proposed regulation in Illinois that is currently in the drafting stage would similarly restrict access to raw milk.

But this fight for food freedom isn’t just for those who love raw milk – it’s for everyone who wants to be able to obtain the food of their choice from the source of their choice. So please, get involved! I urge you to embrace the following action plan to protect your right to choose your own foods:

  1. Get informed: Visit www.farmtoconsumer.org or click here to sign up for action alerts.
  2. Join the fight for your rights: The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) is the only organization of its kind. This 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization provides a legal defense for farmers who are being pursued by the government for distributing foods directly to consumers. Your donations, although not tax deductible, will be used to support the litigation, legislative, and lobbying efforts of the FTCLDF. For a summary of FTCLDF’s activities in 2012, see this link.
  3. Support your local farmers: Buy from local farmers, not the industry that is working with the government to take away your freedoms.4


Source: mercola.com





New Study Finds Sunlight Boosts Nitric Oxide Production.

Story at-a-glance

  • Sunlight causes your skin to produce nitric oxide, a critical compound for maintaining blood pressure that reduces your risk for heart attack and stroke
  • Benefits of sunlight exposure vastly outweigh risks of exposure. Evidence shows your risk of dying from skin cancer is 80 times lower on average than your risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke
  • Nitric oxide enhances blood flow, promotes blood vessel elasticity, lowers blood pressure, and functions as a signaling molecule in your brain and immune system
  • Elevated uric acid drives up blood pressure by inhibiting nitric oxide; overconsumption of fructose is the most significant factor underlying elevated uric acid levels in the US and other Western nations
  • The “melanoma epidemic” is grossly overstated; research shows 90 percent of melanoma surgeries are for benign lesions; the latest science suggests appropriate UV exposure is protective against melanoma.
  • sunlight-skin

By now, you are probably aware I am a strong proponent of sun exposure and its many health benefits. Most of those benefits come from the boost in vitamin D, but a new UK study suggests sunlight’s benefits extend far beyond vitamin D.

In fact, exposure to the sun may be one of the most important steps you can take in preventing heart disease and stroke. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh discovered that when sunlight touches your skin, nitric oxide is released into your bloodstream,1 and nitric oxide is a powerful blood pressure lowering compound.

Researchers have concluded sun exposure may even prolong your life by significantly cutting your heart attack/stroke risk. The abstract for the study was published online in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology on April 15, 2013.2

The Edinburgh researchers mentioned an absolutely stunning statistic. For every one skin cancer death in northern Europe, between 60 and 100 people die from stroke or heart disease, related to hypertension.

Knowing that your risk of dying from heart disease or stroke is 80 times greater on average than from skin cancer really puts it in perspective.3 While higher vitamin D levels also correlate with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, oral vitamin D supplements do not appear to benefit blood pressure, and this latest study may be telling us why.

Researcher Richard Weller stated:

“We suspect that the benefits to heart health of sunlight will outweigh the risk of skin cancer. The work we have done provides a mechanism that might account for this, and also explains why dietary vitamin D supplements alone will not be able to compensate for lack of sunlight.”

You are My Sunshine

Research is illuminating a forever-growing list of sunlight’s health benefits. This isn’t really surprising when you consider the fact that we evolved hunting and foraging under the sun.

This team of researchers found that your body’s production of nitric oxide is separate from its production of vitamin D, so it follows that there are two completely separate sets of benefits. Until now, increased vitamin D had been thought to be the sole explanation for the sun’s health benefits, but it appears from these latest findings that vitamin D is only one part of the story.4

Besides the benefits derived from increased vitamin D, the sun also provides relief from a wide variety of health problems from mechanisms separate from vitamin D. For a comprehensive overview, refer to our previous article on the sun’s benefits, but here are just a few:

  • Improved mood and energy levels through the release of endorphins
  • Better melatonin regulation and synchronization of your biorhythms
  • Suppression of the symptoms of fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis
  • Treating skin diseases (including psoriasis, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis, and scleroderma) and antibiotic-resistant infections, such as MRSA
  • Treating tuberculosis, neonatal jaundice, and possibly T cell lymphoma

Why Care About Nitric Oxide?

The researchers found that sunlight triggers your skin’s production of nitric oxide. Why is this significant? Because nitric oxide is crucial for maintaining healthy blood pressure, helps prevent atherosclerosis, and plays a role in modulating immune system function.

Your skin contains large stores of nitrite and nitrate, but only the nitrite is biologically active. Sunlight appears to prompt conversion of nitrate to nitrite and nitric oxide (NO). Please don’t confuse nitric oxide (NO) with nitrous oxide (N2O), or “laughing gas,” the anesthetic gas used by dentists.

Nitric oxide is such an important compound that it was dubbed “Molecule of the Year” by Science magazine in 1992, followed by the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine for its discovery as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system. Your blood vessels require the amino acid L-arginine for the synthesis of nitric oxide, since L-arginine is its precursor in your body.

By helping to regulate your blood pressure, nitric oxide enhances blood flow. Nitric oxide signals the smooth muscle cells in your blood vessels to relax so that your vessels dilate and your blood flows more freely, which helps your arteries stay free of plaque. When you have inadequate nitric oxide, your risk for coronary artery disease increases.

If your blood is flowing freely, then nearly every physiological process will function better. If your blood is sluggish, then important cells and nutrients can’t reach the areas that need them. It’s like getting the tow truck to the scene of the accident… no tow truck means no repairs.

Not only is nitric oxide important in regulating blood pressure, it also functions as a signaling molecule in your brain and immune system. Besides sitting in the sun, you can increase your nitric oxide levels with a few natural supplements and techniques:

  • Calcium and magnesium rich foods and supplements, and vitamins C and E
  • Olive extract
  • Bitter melon
  • Electrical acupuncture
  • Taking a warm bath, or by breathing in and out through one nostril (close off the other nostril and your mouth)

According to the CDC, high blood pressure is the second greatest public health threat in the US. According to the CDC, 36 million people in the US have uncontrolled high blood pressure, and 14 million of them don’t even know it—quite alarming considering uncontrolled high blood pressure can be deadly when it results in a heart attack or stroke. But insufficient nitric oxide is just one factor contributing to the high blood pressure epidemic.

High blood pressure is associated with insulin and leptin resistance and elevated uric acid levels. One of the things driving up uric acid levels is overconsumption of fructose, and to a lesser degree, grains, beer and caffeine. Fructose breaks down into a variety of waste products, one of which is uric acid. Uric acid drives up your blood pressure by inhibiting nitric oxide in your blood vessels. In fact, 17 out of 17 studies demonstrate that elevated uric acid levels lead to hypertension.

According to the latest research, the safest range for uric acid is between 3 and 5.5 milligrams per deciliter, and there appears to be a steady relationship between uric acid levels and blood pressure and cardiovascular risk, even down to the range of 3 to 4 mg/dl. The ideal uric acid level appears to be around 4 mg/dl for men and 3.5 mg/dl for women.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear About Melanoma

Melanoma is the most lethal form of skin cancer. However, your risk of dying from it pales in comparison to your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, as discussed earlier. And the rates of melanoma so often quoted by government officials may be grossly inflated, based on recent data.

A report in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology5 claims that 90 percent of melanoma surgeries are actually unnecessary removals of benign lesions and not melanoma at all, raising questions about the accuracy of the “melanoma epidemic.” The lead author of the report attributed the unnecessary excisions to an increased awareness by patients who see anti-sun promotions, such as “melanoma awareness” campaigns, and worriedly run into clinics demanding treatment. The report highlights the necessity of getting a second, and perhaps even a third opinion from a specialized clinic before going under the scalpel.

Unfortunately, what this means is that while the melanoma epidemic appears to be real if you go by surgical statistics, those stats actually paint a misleading picture if 90 percent of “melanoma cases” are not really melanoma! Sensible exposure to UVB light (adequate exposure without allowing your skin to burn) may actually protect you from melanoma, whereas UVA radiation is associated with skin damage. For example, indoor workers actually have a higher risk of melanoma than outdoor workers,suggesting that chronic sun exposure may indeed have a protective effect.

Melanoma studies are just now beginning to look at variables such as gender and affected body area. For example, one newJournal of Investigative Dermatology study found differences in skin cancer distribution patterns between men and women6. We need many more studies such as this before we can draw definitive conclusions about how the sun can increase—or decrease—your risk.

Basic Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Heart

Sunlight will provide enormous health benefits with respect to increasing your nitric oxide production, enhancing your vitamin D levels, and helping regulate your blood pressure, which in turn will reduce your overall cardiovascular risk. But you cannot stop there! You must also address other diet and lifestyle factors, starting with the basics.

  • Proper Food Choices

For a comprehensive guide about which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my comprehensive nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you should focus your diet on whole, ideally organic, unprocessed foods that come from healthy, sustainable and preferably local sources. For the highest nutritional benefit, eat a good portion of your food raw.

Most people (although there are clearly individual differences) should strive for a diet high in healthful fats (as high as 50-70 percent of the calories you eat), moderate amounts of high quality protein, and abundant vegetables. Non-vegetable carbohydrates should be a fairly minimal part of your diet. Sugar, and fructose in particular, can act as a toxin when consumed in excess, driving multiple disease processes in your body including insulin resistance, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and systemic inflammation.

  • High Quality Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats

If you want to increase your overall health and energy level and prevent health conditions like heart disease, cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s, and a host of other diseases, one of the most important strategies at your disposal is increasing your intake of omega-3 fats and reducing your intake of processed omega-6 fats. An animal-based omega-3 fat like krill oil is incredibly good for your heart and brain.

  • Comprehensive Exercise Program, including High-Intensity Exercise

Even if you’re eating the best diet in the world, you still need to exercise—and exercise effectively—if you wish to optimize your health. You should include core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and the right kind of stretching, as well as high-intensity “burst” type activities. Consider combining this with intermittent fasting to supercharge your metabolism.

  • Optimize Your Vitamin D

The important factor when it comes to vitamin D is your serum level, which should ideally be between 50-70 ng/ml year-round, and the only way to determine this is with a blood test. Sun exposure or a safe tanning bed is the preferred method, but a vitamin D3 supplement can be used when necessary. According to the latest research, most adults need about 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D per day to achieve serum levels of about 40 ng/ml.

If you take supplemental vitamin D, you also need to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin K2, as these two nutrients work in tandem to ensure calcium is distributed into the proper areas in your body. Vitamin K2 deficiency is actually what produces the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, which includes inappropriate calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries. Fermented vegetables can be a great source of vitamin K2 if you ferment your own using the proper starter culture. Gouda and Edam cheese are also good sources.

  • Stress Reduction and Emotional Housekeeping

Your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease, from heart disease to depression to cancer, and yet it’s the factor most often neglected. Stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day. Meditation, prayer, energy psychology tools such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), and yoga are all viable options that can help you relieve stress and clear out hidden emotional blocks.

  • Avoid as Many Chemicals, Toxins, and Pollutants as Possible

This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, pesticides and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.

  • Earthing, or Grounding Yourself to the Earth

When walking barefoot on the earth, free electrons transfer from the ground into your body through the soles of your feet. These free electrons are some of the most potent antioxidants known to man. Experiments have shown that these electrons decrease pain and inflammation, improve heart rate, promote sound sleep, and make your blood less viscous, which has a beneficial impact on cardiovascular health.

Lack of grounding due to widespread use of rubber or plastic-soled shoes has contributed to the rise of modern diseases by allowing chronic inflammation to proliferate unchecked. So the more you can walk barefoot on the ground, the better. Ideal locations are the beach, close to or in the water, and on dewy grass. If you spend much time indoors, you may want to consider investing in an Earthing mat.

  • Drink Plenty of Fresh, Pure Water Every Day
  • Get Plenty of High-Quality, Restorative Sleep

How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help Optimize Your Health

Additionally, a robust and growing body of research clearly shows that vitamin D is absolutely critical for good health and disease prevention. Vitamin D affects your DNA through vitamin D receptors (VDRs), which bind to specific locations of the human genome. Scientists have identified nearly 3,000 genes that are influenced by vitamin D levels, and vitamin D receptors have been found throughout the human body.

Source: mercola.com



9 Unique Ways to Avoid the Happiness Trap.

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things. ~Albert Einstein

The underlying motivating factor for all of us is the illusion of happiness. We act in certain ways because we think it will make us happy or fulfilled.


In reality, happiness doesn’t occur as a result of attaining anything. It is purely an organic emotion. Reverse engineering happiness does not work. However, understanding yourself will help increase the likelihood of happiness.

You should never chase happiness. Instead you should actively practice and pursue the following in order to increase your chances for being happy.

1.  Gratitude

I know, it’s easier to take things for granted. Gratitude, after all, does not offer any immediate or tangible benefits. But wise people understand that the power of being genuinely thankful is intrinsic and invaluable. Tell someone that you really appreciate their help, love, or support. Before you go to sleep at night, mentally tick off three quality things you are grateful for.

2. Generosity

Like gratitude, generosity doesn’t really offer immediate and tangible benefits. Giving signifies wealth. No, not monetary wealth, but instead a richness in character. Do something anonymously generous and reap personal benefits.

3. Forgiveness and acceptance

This is hard. To forgive someone means loving yourself. This means seeing yourself in the faults of the other person. You’ve made mistakes before; and you are sure to make them in the future. To forgive involves accepting the past and being able to move on. You will not be able to progress mentally if you still harbor feelings of resentment. Say “I forgive you,” to someone—even to yourself—and mean it.

4. Decisiveness

An indecisive realm is an uncomfortable place to be in. That awkward space between two decisions leaves you feeling uncertain and uncomfortable. Being indecisive is a decision in itself—a passive, poor, and unwise one. Take a stand. If you won’t, someone else will, for you.

5. Being with real people

No, the Internet cannot be your only source of companionship. No, texting, email, and Skype are not sufficient replacements for real interaction. Take the time to have a real conversation with someone you care about. Place the maintenance of quality relationships high in your priority list.

6. Proper work/play balance

You must work. You must play. You must work to feel a sense of contribution. You must play to maintain sanity. Any balance that is off-kilter will result in dissatisfaction and a sense of despair and unhappiness. Every one of us has a different balance they have adapted themselves to. You can alter the ratio of work and play in your life. That is entirely changeable. But you must discover which balance leaves you feeling emotionally healthy and physically alert. Experiment. Work more; work less. Try it out. Find out what works and do everything in your capability to make that lifestyle a reality.

7. Physical health

Adopting a healthy physical lifestyle is really not so difficult. The problem is, many of us try to take on too much at once. Physical health does not have to require pain and sweat, blood and tears. Tiny changes, believe it or not, is the secret to great health. Commit to a very small act to support a healthier you. This might include parking a few blocks farther from work or school. Or try stretching every other day. Spend 5-10 minutes today researching the basics of a sound nutritional diet. Once you have made your tiny change a habit, you can now progress to the next level of health. Commit to a larger change. Before you know it, you’ll be an a much more energetic, happy, and vibrant stage. This is the power of compounded effort.

8. Emotional health

One of the most important skills you can possess is the regulation of emotional health. This means being in touch with how you are feeling and understanding that it directly affects your productivity, finances, health, and literally every part of your life. Emotions create action. Identify the triggers that make you feel negative. Avoid them or find out a strategic way to resolve those issues. Find the triggers that make you feel joy. Intelligently contemplating your emotional triggers puts you in control.

9. Possess the magic ingredient

This is the most important tip. The magic ingredient is something that genuinely excites you—something that challenges you. Passion, some people call it. Purpose, some people call it. Every one of us has a need for excitement and thrill. Perhaps you lost that sense as you grew older and more cautious. Decide to actively recover it! If you are already passionate about something, take it to the next level. Never settle for complacency. Youmust grow to feel satisfied, challenged, and thus, happy.

Source: Purpose fairy


Solving obesity crisis: Strawberries in parking lots.

What’s better than fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables? How about fresh, locally-grown, free fruits and vegetables, all within an easy walk of your home or office?


Such is the philosophy behind the growing movement of public produce.

Perhaps you’ve heard of guerrilla gardening, whereby rogue citizens trespass onto neglected property to cultivate pansies and potatoes, roses and rhubarb, in an illicit attempt to better their community.

Planting a million trees a year

Haitian ‘miracle tree’ fights disease

Haitian slum builds ‘Garden of Eden’

Or maybe you’ve witnessed a couple of plum and pear trees filled with ripe fruit, wedged in that public zone between the sidewalk and the curb. Or a lone apple tree in the corner of your neighborhood park. These fruit trees were likely planted by citizens in an effort to bring fresh, free produce to their community brethren.

In cities throughout the world, citizens are facing rising costs for fresh produce and declining health from the Western diet, characterized by energy dense, nutrient poor fast foods. It is now cheaper to gorge oneself on Big Macs and Whoppers than it is zucchini and tomatoes.

In case you haven’t heard, instances of obesity and type 2 diabetes have skyrocketed throughout Europe, North America, and Asia, paralleling the prevalence of prepackaged, processed foods in our diet. Just two decades ago, not a single state in America reported a prevalence of obesity greater than 15% of its adult population. Today, not a single state can make that claim. According to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three Americans are obese today. And only 25% of adults consume the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables.

Our children’s health is at stake, too. The CDC also reports that in many communities, half of the pediatric diabetes cases are type 2 (a disease stemming from a poor diet). Not too long ago, the total number of pediatric type 2 diabetes cases was nil.

So what does the CDC recommend to halt our plummeting health? More exercise, fruits and vegetables. It’s that simple. By making fresh, free produce as plentiful and accessible as cheap fast food, we can get healthy again. And communities across America are digging in to do just that.

Seattle city officials are about to break ground this summer for what they are calling America’s first public food oasis. In a city where over 2,000 people are on a waiting list for a community garden plot, municipal leaders are seeking ways to bring more fresh, locally grown produce to the public.

It is now cheaper to gorge oneself on Big Macs and Whoppers than it is zucchini and tomatoes. 
Darrin Nordahl

So city officials came up with an idea for a food forest. They will plant a seven-acre public park with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts that will rival any produce market. The menu of foods includes yuzu citrus, guava, honeyberries, and persimmon; standard fruits like apples, pears, raspberries and blueberries; nut trees popping with walnuts and chestnuts; and a variety of culinary herbs.

Years before Seattle cultivated their idea for a food forest, city planners in Provo, Utah, have been planting public crops outside City Hall. Faced with a limited maintenance budget, city officials decided they couldn’t afford to plant and maintain the planters that welcomed citizens to City Hall. So city planners decided they would plant the grounds themselves. Only they chose pumpkins, cucumbers, melons, beets, tomatoes and potatoes as their plants. Their philosophy is simple: come to City Hall to pay your parking ticket, leave with a fresh, vine ripened tomato.

Public produce is not only taking root throughout America, but in Canada as well. Kamloops, British Columbia instituted their first public produce garden smack in the middle of downtown along the bustling Victoria Street. It was a huge success, and they’ve relocated to a bigger plot this season. In Calgary, the Forestry Department is planting orchards in neighborhood parks as part of a strategy to bring fresh fruit to neighborhood kids and families. Todmorden, West Yorkshire in the U.K. infuses all its public spaces — parks and town squares, sidewalks and street medians, parking lots and even graveyards — with fruits and vegetables, free to all.

Seattle city officials are about to break ground this summer for what they are calling America’s first public food oasis. 
Darrin Nordahl

But is providing fresh free produce to the people the role of local government? As long as municipal policymakers strive to reduce social inequity and increase the quality of life for their citizens, I think it is. Access to healthy, low cost food helps assure the health, safety, and welfare of citizens every bit as much as other services city governments provide.

Today, food plays a significant role in the health and wealth of communities. One in four San Franciscans cannot afford all the food they need, according to theSan Francisco Food Bank. Former Portland Mayor San Adams noted that his city has one of the highest populations of hungry and malnourished citizens in the United States. Chicago’s Planning Department enacted a local food policy “Eat Well, Live Healthy,” to help bolster the diet and food education of Chicagoans.

These cities aren’t waiting for programs and policies from the federal government. They need action now; and City Hall acts faster than Capitol Hill. Besides, the most transformative seeds of change must first be sown at home.

“Okay,” you say, “But what if someone comes and picks all the ripe tomatoes? Or the pears?”

That could very well happen. And if it does, I’d say you have a successful public produce garden.

Source: CNN

Graphene could make internet one hundred times faster.

The use of graphene in telecommunications could dramatically accelerate internet speeds by up to a hundred times, according to new research by scientists in the University of Bath’s Department of Physics.


In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers from the Centre for Graphene Scienceat the Universities of Bath and Exeter have demonstrated for the first time incredibly short optical response rates using graphene, which could pave the way for a revolution in telecommunications.

Every day large amounts of information is transmitted and processed through optoelectronic devices such as optical fibres, photodetectors and lasers. Signals are sent by photons at infrared wavelengths and processed using optical switches, which convert signals into a series of light pulses.

Ordinarily optical switches respond at rate of a few picoseconds – around a trillionth of a second. Through this study physicists have observed the response rate of an optical switch using ‘few layer graphene’ to be around one hundred femtoseconds – nearly a hundred times quicker than current materials.

Graphene is just one atom thick, but remarkably strong. Scientists have suggested that it would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil to break through a single sheet. Already dubbed a miracle material due to its strength, lightness, flexibility, conductivity and low cost, it could now enter the market to dramatically improve telecommunications.

Commenting on the report’s main findings, lead researcher Dr Enrico Da Comosaid: “We’ve seen an ultrafast optical response rate, using ‘few-layer graphene’, which has exciting applications for the development of high speed optoelectronic components based on graphene. This fast response is in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, where many applications in telecommunications, security and also medicine are currently developing and affecting our society.”

Co-Director of the Centre for Graphene Science at Bath, Professor Simon Bending added: “The more we find out about graphene the more remarkable its properties seem to be. This research shows that it also has unique optical properties which could find important new applications.”

In the long term this research could also lead to the development of quantum cascade lasers based on graphene. Quantum cascade lasers are semiconductor lasers used in pollution monitoring, security and spectroscopy. Few-layer graphene could emerge as a unique platform for this interesting application.

Source: http://machineslikeus.com

Grossly warped ‘nanographene’.

Chemists at Boston College and Nagoya University in Japan have synthesized the first example of a new form of carbon, the team reports in the most recent online edition of the journal Nature Chemistry.


The new material consists of multiple identical pieces of grossly warped graphene, each containing exactly 80 carbon atoms joined together in a network of 26 rings, with 30 hydrogen atoms decorating the rim. Because they measure slightly more than a nanometer across, these individual molecules are referred to generically as “nanocarbons,” or more specifically in this case as “grossly warped nanographenes.”

Until recently, scientists had identified only two forms of pure carbon: diamond and graphite. Then in 1985, chemists were stunned by the discovery that carbon atoms could also join together to form hollow balls, known as fullerenes. Since then, scientists have also learned how to make long, ultra-thin, hollow tubes of carbon atoms, known as carbon nanotubes, and large flat single sheets of carbon atoms, known as graphene. The discovery of fullerenes was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996, and the preparation of graphene was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010.

Graphene sheets prefer planar, 2-dimensional geometries as a consequence of the hexagonal, chicken wire-like, arrangements of trigonal carbon atoms comprising their two-dimensional networks. The new form of carbon just reported in Nature Chemistry, however, is wildly distorted from planarity as a consequence of the presence of five 7-membered rings and one 5-membered ring embedded in the hexagonal lattice of carbon atoms.

Odd-membered-ring defects such as these not only distort the sheets of atoms away from planarity, they also alter the physical, optical, and electronic properties of the material, according to one of the principle authors, Lawrence T. Scott, the Jim and Louise Vanderslice and Family Professor of Chemistry at Boston College.

“Our new grossly warped nanographene is dramatically more soluble than a planar nanographene of comparable size,” said Scott, “and the two differ significantly in color, as well. Electrochemical measurements revealed that the planar and the warped nanographenes are equally easily oxidized, but the warped nanographene is more difficult to reduce.”

Graphene has been highly touted as a revolutionary material for nanoscale electronics. By introducing multiple odd-membered ring defects into the graphene lattice, Scott and his collaborators have experimentally demonstrated that the electronic properties of graphene can be modified in a predictable manner through precisely controlled chemical synthesis.

Source: http://machineslikeus.com


Brain discovery could help schizophrenics.


The discovery of brain impairment in mice may eventually lead to better therapies for people with schizophrenia and major depression.

Studying rodents that have a gene associated with mental illness, Michigan State University neuroscientist Alexander Johnson and colleagues found a link between a specific area of the prefrontal cortex, and learning and behavioral deficits.

While much work needs to be done, the discovery is a major step toward better understanding mental illness. While antipsychotic drugs can treat hallucinations related to schizophrenia, there essentially is no treatment for other symptoms such as lack of motivation or anhedonia, the inability to experience pleasure.

“This study may well suggest that if we start targeting these brain-behavior mechanisms in people with mental illness, it may help to alleviate some of the cognitive and motivational symptoms, which to date remain largely untreated with current drug therapies,” said Johnson, MSU assistant professor of psychology.

The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Schizophrenia, a disabling brain disorder marked by paranoia and hearing voices that aren’t there, affects some 2.4 million Americans and runs in families, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The researchers conducted a series of experiments with two groups of mice – those with the gene associated with mental illness and those without the gene (or the control group).

In one experiment, related to cognition, the mice were presented with tasty food when they responded on one side of a conditioning box. After repeated feedings, the food was switched to the other side of the box. The mice with the mental illness gene had a much more difficult time learning to adapt to the new side.

In another experiment, related to motivation, the mice had to respond an increasing number of times each time they wanted food. By the end of the three-hour session, all mice with the mental illness gene stopped responding for food, while half of the control group continued on.

Johnson said the deficiencies may suggest a problem in the prefrontal cortex area known as the orbitofrontal cortex, and that further research should target this area.

His co-investigators include Hanna Jaaro-Peled, Akira Sawa and Michela Gallagher from Johns Hopkins University.

Source: http://machineslikeus.com


Big bang theory: how did dinosaurs have sex?

Dinosaurs were the largest animals to ever walk Earth, and they ruled the planet for more than 160 million years. The long-necked Argentinosaurus, with back vertebrae almost two metres high, possibly grew to 30 metres long and weighed up to 80 tonnes. So did the earth really shake for them when they mated?


The real question here though is: how did they really mate and what evidence do we have to reconstruct their sex lives?

The internet offers vague speculation. One website claims they probably didn’t have penises so must have used cloacal kissing, juxtaposing their massive bottoms together for the interchange of seminal fluid to the female, as do most frogs and many birds.

I disagree with this view, as evidence from living animals, close relatives of dinosaurs, implies they must have mated using copulation, and that the male must have had very large and flexible penises.

We now know with confidence that the meat-eating theropods, such asTyrannosaurus and kin, were the group that gave rise to the first birds about 160 million years ago.

This is established from a large number of exquisite fossils showing various feathered dinosaurs and early dinosaur-like birds from sites in northern China.

Crocodiles and their kin evolved from the last common ancestor of the dinosaur-bird group, so crocs can’t be regarded as “descendents of the dinosaurs” as some crocodile park ads would have us believe.

All male crocodiles have a penis and most primitive living birds also possess one, so it follows that dinosaurs must also have had a penis. The majority of living birds though have secondarily lost the penis. For them a mating is a simple, quick cloacal kiss where sperm is rapidly passed to the female.

So how did the dinosaurs do it? Biomechanics experts such as Professor McNeill Alexander of The University of Leeds claim that the weight of the malewould have rested on the females hips to mount from behind as elephants do, but the resulting stresses would have been massive.

Professor Roger Seymour from the University of Adelaide studied giraffes mating (see video below) and proved that the male’s blood pressure is roughly twice that of other mammals. Their hearts need be proportionately 75% larger due to the physiological constraints of the long neck and highly perched head.

Bearing this in mind, he suggested that, for long-necked dinosaurs, they could only have mated in a particular way. A dinosaur with, say, a ten-metre-long neck would have seven times the normal mammalian blood pressure. So rear mounting is not a big problem if one keeps the neck horizontal.

Just imagine a 70-tonne giant sauropod fainting after loss of blood pressure to the head at the time of orgasm while mounting its mate. Yes, the earth would have most certainly shaken for them.

New clues

Recent molecular studies of the major bird groups find that the ostriches and other primitive flightless birds are indeed the most ancient members of the living birds, with ducks and geese and some other waterbirds also very old lineages.

All these primitive living birds possess a penis, with ducks having the most bizarre types – a regular sized Argentine lake Duck has a corkscrew-shaped organ with a brush on the tip that measures up to 42 cm long.

So, it’s quite likely their distantly extinct ancestors, the meat-eating theropod dinosaurs also mated using an eversible penis, most likely a terrifyingly large one.

For an animal the size of Tyrannosaurus (14 metres long) to mate effectively the male organ would need be in the order of at least two metres long, and maybe a lot more if it happened to be cork-screw shaped like a duck’s.

It’s not unlikely that one day palaeontologists will find a fossilised dinosaur penis. Extraordinary soft-tissue preservation in fossils are coming to light each year along with new fossil sites being discovered.

Greater detail can be resolved in fossils using new technologies, such as micro-CT and synchrotron tomography. Recently, 380 million-year-old fossil fishes from Australia were found to have complete sets of muscles preserved.

A small dinosaur fossil found in the spring of 1981 in central Italy, namedScipionyx, revealed excellent soft tissue preservation, with clear impressions of the intestines, liver and some muscles. Such fossils offer hope.

I truly believe the day will surely come, probably when we least expect it, when a remarkable new dinosaur fossil pops up solving the age old mystery of how dinosaurs really did do the deed.

Source: http://machineslikeus.com