The Most Dangerous Situation Humanity Has Ever Faced.

The most dangerous situation humanity has ever faced is upon us, and no one is even watching! Starting in November, the operation to remove 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel under the plants damaged Reactor Number 4. If things go wrong, this could set off a catastrophe greater than we have ever seen before. An operation of this scale has never been attempted before and is full of danger.

The New York Times reports, “Thousands of workers and a small fleet of cranes are preparing for one of the latest efforts to avoid a deepening environmental disaster that has China and other neighbors increasingly worried: removing spent fuel rods from the damaged No. 4 reactor building and storing them in a safer place.” The Japan Times reports, “In November, Tepco plans to begin the delicate operation of removing spent fuel from Reactor No. 4 [with] radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Removing its spent fuel, which contains deadly plutonium, is an urgent task. The consequences could be far more severe than any nuclear accident the world has ever seen. If a fuel rod is dropped, breaks, or becomes entangled while being removed, possible worst case scenarios include a big explosion, a meltdown in the pool, or a large nuclear fire. Any of these situations could lead to massive releases of deadly radionuclides into the atmosphere, putting much of Japan – including Tokyo and Yokohama – and even neighboring countries at serious risk.” Former United Nations advisor Akio Matsumura says removing the materials “an issue of human survival.” Mycle Schneider and Anthony Froggatt said in their World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013, “Full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date.”

The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is preparing to remove more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together. The reason being, they need to be removed from a third floor of a building that is vulnerable to collapse should there be another earthquake. The procedure will take about a year. Each fuel rod weighs approximately 660 pounds and is 15 feet long. Spent fuel rods also contain plutonium, one of the most toxic substances in the universe.

The danger of this mission is very real. What was once done with a computer controlled process that memorized the exact locations of the rods, down to the millimeter, is now being done by humans with a very real danger and high risk that a rod can be dropped or broken or even gets too close to an adjacent fuel rod. If the 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet above ground collapse, it will even affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods located 150 feet away from reactor 4. In both cases, they are not protected by a containment vessel. This would certainly cause a global catastrophe that would affect us for centuries. “The biggest risk of a meltdown crisis wasn’t the reactors themselves but the spent fuel pools sitting atop them, particularly the one above reactor 4, which still contains about 1,500 nuclear fuel assemblies. I would say the crisis opened a Pandora’s Box,” said Hiroshi Tasaka, a professor at Tama University who has a doctorate in nuclear engineering.

Spent fuel rods must be kept submerged under at least 20 feet of constantly circulating cold water for at least five years after being removed from the reactor core. Spent reactor fuel cannot be simply lifted into the air by a crane as if it were simple cargo. In order to prevent severe radiation exposure, risk of fire, and possible explosions, they must be transferred at all times in water and heavily shielded structures into dry casks.

An analogy presented to us by Arnie Gundersen, a veteran U.S. nuclear engineer and director of Fairewinds Energy Education who used to build fuel assemblies, wants us to look at this situation like a pack of cigarettes. If you pull a cigarette straight up, it will come out, but these racks have been distorted. Now, if you pull a cigarette straight out, it’s most likely to break and release radioactive cesium and other gases into the air. “I suspect we’ll have more airborne releases as they try to pull the fuel out. If they pull too hard, they’ll snap the fuel. I think the racks have been distorted, the fuel has overheated, the pool boiled, and the net effect is that it is likely some of the fuel will be stuck in there for a long, long time. The net effect is they have the bundles of fuel, the cigarettes in these racks, and as they pull them out, they are likely to snap a few. When you snap a nuclear fuel rod, that releases radioactivity again, so my guess is, its things like krypton-85, which is a gas, cesium will also be released, strontium will be released. They’ll probably have to evacuate the building for a couple of days. They’ll take that radioactive gas and they’ll send it up the stack, up into the air, because xenon can’t be scrubbed, it can’t be cleaned, so they’ll send that radioactive xenon up into the air and purge the building of all the radioactive gases and then go back in and try again,” Gundersen said.

First physical evidence of why you’re a morning or night person.

They say the early bird catches the worm, but night owls may be missing far more than just a tasty snack. Researchers have discovered the first physical evidence of structural brain differences that distinguish early risers from people who like to stay up late. The differences might help to explain why night owls seem to be at greater risk of depression.

Around 10 per cent of people qualify as morning people or larks, and a further 20 per cent are night owls – with the rest of us falling somewhere in between. Your lark or night owl status is called your chronotype.

Previous studies have suggested that night owls experience worse sleep, more tiredness during the day and consume greater amounts of tobacco and alcohol. This has prompted some to suggest that they are suffering from a form of chronic jet lag.

To investigate further, Jessica Rosenberg at RWTH Aachen University in Germany and colleagues used diffusion tensor imaging to scan the brains of 16 larks, 23 night owls and 20 intermediate chronotypes. They found a reduction in the integrity of night owls’ white matter – brain tissue largely comprised of fatty insulating material that speeds up the transmission of nerve signals – in areas associated with depression.

“We think this could be caused by the fact that late chronotypes suffer from this permanent jet lag,” says Rosenberg, although she cautions that further studies are needed to confirm cause and effect.

Skewed body clocks

Although the team controlled for tobacco and alcohol use, it’s possible that gene variants that skew people’s body clocks towards nocturnal living could affect the structure of the brain. It’s also not clear whether the structural changes have any implications for people’s health.

“It’s interesting that there are individual differences, but we need to understand what is causing them and find ways of creating environments in which those differences can be attenuated,” says Derk-Jan Dijk, director of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre in Guildford, UK, who was not involved in the study.

Rosenberg suggests that people’s work schedules should change to fit in with their natural sleep patterns, but Djik says there may be an easier way. For example, research published last month suggests that night owls who cut their exposure to artificial light and boosted their exposure to sunlight found their body clocks shifted towards earlier waking and sleeping



8 Foods Even The Experts Won’t Eat.

Food scientists are shedding light on items loaded with toxins and chemicals–and simple swaps for a cleaner diet and super-sized health. Experts from different areas of specialty explain why they won’t eat these eight foods.
Clean eating means choosing fruits, vegetables, and meats that are raised, grown, and sold with minimal processing. Often they’re organic, and rarely (if ever) should they contain additives. But in some cases, the methods of today’s food producers are neither clean nor sustainable. The result is damage to our health, the environment, or both. So we decided to take a fresh look at food through the eyes of the people who spend their lives uncovering what’s safe–or not–to eat. We asked them a simple question: “What foods do you avoid?” Their answers don’t necessarily make up a “banned foods” list. But reaching for the suggested alternatives might bring you better health–and peace of mind.
1. The Endocrinologist Won’t Eat: Canned Tomatoes
Fredrick Vom Saal, is an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A.
The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”
The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe’s and Pomi. Exposure to BPA Causes Permanent Damage In OffSpring
2. The Farmer Won’t Eat: Corn-Fed Beef
Joel Salatin is co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming.The problem: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. But more money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.The solution: Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers’ markets, and nationally at Whole Foods. It’s usually labeled because it demands a premium, but if you don’t see it, ask your butcher
3. The Toxicologist Won’t Eat: Microwave Popcorn
Olga Naidenko, is a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group.
The problem: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize–and migrate into your popcorn. “They stay in your body for years and accumulate there,” says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.
The solution: Pop organic kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix. Make it organic and use coconut oil. If You’re Still Eating Microwave Popcorn, You’re Not Fully Grasping The Health Consequences
4. The Farm Director Won’t Eat: Nonorganic Potatoes
Jeffrey Moyer is the chair of the National Organic Standards Board.
The problem: Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes–the nation’s most popular vegetable–they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. “Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won’t,” says Moyer, who is also farm director of the Rodale Institute (also owned by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Prevention). “I’ve talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.”
The solution: Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn’t good enough if you’re trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh.Budget tip: Organic potatoes are only $1 to $2 a pound, slightly more expensive than conventional spuds.
5. The Fisheries Expert Won’t Eat: Farmed Salmon
Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, published a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish.
The problem: Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. “You could eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer,” says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. “It’s that bad.” Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.
The solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon. Farmed Fish vs. Wild Fish: How Healthy Is The Fish At Your Favorite Grocery?
6. The Cancer Researcher Won’t Drink: Milk Produced With Artificial Hormones
Rick North is project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society.
The problem: Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. “When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract,” says North. “There’s not 100 percent proof that this is increasing cancer in humans,” admits North. “However, it’s banned in most industrialized countries.”
The solution: Buy raw milk or check labels for rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones, or organic milk. These phrases indicate rBGH-free products. Why Do Humans Still Drink Milk?
7. The Biotech Specialist Who Won’t Eat Convenional Soy: GMO Unfermented Soy
Michael Harris is biotech specialist who has directed several projects within the biotech sector including those for genetically engineered food. He has been a consultant, manager and director for companies such as Xenon Pharmaceuticals and Genon Corporation.
The problem: Genetically engineered food is a cause of great concern due to the manipulation of DNA and genetic code including transfers from one species to another. Fermented Soy Is The Only Soy
Food Fit for Human Consumption and since almost 90% of soy in the world is genetically modified, if you are not ensuring sources are organic, long-term health problems are inevitable, especially since soy has been found to affect hormonal balance and even cause cancer.
The solution: Check labels to ensure soy is Non-GMO or organic and never consume unfermented sources. If possible contact the company to find out exactly where the Non-GMO soy was obtained.
8. The Organic-Foods Expert Won’t Eat: Conventional Apples
Mark Kastel, a former executive for agribusiness, is co-director of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods.
The problem: If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it’s just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers,” he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson’s disease.

How to wash the pesticide from produce.

Organically farmed produce is better than conventionally farmed produce. This statement has been backed variously by scientific studies and empirical evidence to that effect. However, organically farmed crops are not everybody’s cup of tea for all sorts of reasons, including that the wallet factor is high.The least we can do then, to help ourselves is thoroughly wash our fruit and vegetables, thereby making them cleaner and safer to consume. Some old fashioned cleaning materials either combined or used by themselves are known to reduce the impact of eating sprayed produce.

Practical and cheap

Hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar put separately into dark spray bottles and sprayed at the same time but separately on the fruit and vegetables, and subsequently rinsed in water is meant to render them clean.

Another simple and effective way to clean produce is by soaking it in water and adding sea salt or rock salt with lemon juice and letting it sit for ten minutes before rinsing out and using.

A slightly more ingredient and labour intensive cleaning mix is created by using vinegar, baking soda, grapefruit seed extract and one cup of water. Mix the lot and put the solution into a spray bottle. Spray the fruit and vegetables and leave for an hour before rinsing and using. Vinegar is a great bacteria killer and can be used just by itself to clean the produce, especially if you consider how much it would have been handled before you eat it.

Everything is energy

Finally, if we go by the theory that everything in the manifest world is ultimately energy, then why not change the energetic basis of the food we eat? Offering gratitude before eating and asking the food to enhance your health is one way – this is called using intention to change the nature of things. This is possible say the spiritual teachers and enlightened masters. For as the old saying goes: if you change the way you observe a thing, the thing that is being observed will change.

Sensory Deprivation Chamber: Would You Get Into One?

First introduced by Neuro-psychiatrist John C. Lilly in 1954, a Sensory Deprivation Chamber is a light-less, soundproof enclosure, filled with salt water that is kept at skin temperature.

In this chamber a person will float weightless on the water with their senses deprived (hence the name Sensory Deprivation Chamber). They are unable to see or hear anything, all while because of the water being the same heat as your body, subjects have been noted to have said “it all just fades away” and all that’s left is the mind.

In this pitch black pod, you float on the surface of a pool of water set at body temperature. Sight, sound and eventually touch are all muted so only your thoughts remain. It is an experience that makes the user feel weightless.

Its first use was in Neuro-physiology, to answer a question as to what keeps the brain going and the origin of its energy sources. One hypothesis was that the energy sources are biological and internal and do not depend upon the outside environment. It was argued that if all stimuli are cut off to the brain then the brain would go to sleep.

Lilly decided to test this hypothesis and, with this in mind, created an environment which totally isolated an individual from external stimulation. From here, he studied the origin of consciousness and its relation to the brain. From then on it has been used for various treatments such as Stress Therapy, Alternative Medicine, and Meditation. Research at the Human Performance Laboratory at Karlstad University concludes that regular flotation tank sessions can provide significant relief for chronic stress-related ailments. Studies involving 140 people with long-term conditions such as anxiety, stress, depression and fibromyalgia found that more than three quarters experienced noticeable improvements.

Would you get into a Sensory Deprivation Chamber? Have you been in one? What’s your thoughts? 


The Biggest “mistake” Most of Us Make in Life.

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” ~ Lao Tzu

As a counsellor and wellness coach I regularly I dish out words of wisdom from the clarity I have uncovered over many years of wandering the globe, sitting with masters, facing my shit and investigating life.  Any clarity and wisdom I have uncovered can only ever arise after making a few doozie mistakes.

Believe me I’ve had my fair share of falling over flat on my face… oops! So I want to share one of my biggest oversights. The biggest mistake I have made in my life that has had the most painful impact and has been the biggest lesson.

I wonder if you have made the same mistake?

To be honest I don’t even really like the word mistake. It is a really negative word for such a natural and essential part of life. Mistakes are what help us to navigate our lives. They are a golden opportunity to re-clarify our values and to the test out the results of our thoughts and actions.

So the biggest mistake most of us make in life is… not loving and accepting ourselves as we are.

For most of my childhood and into my twenties I was on a quest to be perfect. I gave it a damn good shot. I lived under a constant pressure to be some-one better than who I was. I wanted to be better, faster, wiser, kinder, prettier, more successful. It was an immense pressure to live under. When I found myself on a spiritual path, the constant measuring tape and criticism was still present. Even my meditation practice was fueled by a striving for perfection.

It was painful. I never measured up against my own unfair and ridiculous expectations of myself. I was addicted to fixing and improving myself.

This changed significantly a few years ago when I met a master in India who stopped me in my tracks. She introduced me to the perfection of my true nature that exists at the core of my being. Finally the perfection that I was striving for was revealed. It was there all along, only overlooked. It is the essential nature of all humans at the core… shining in all its brilliance… yet overlooked by a fixed idea of how things should look on the surface.

Ahhhh the relief!

Finally I could relax into being my imperfect self. I could finally celebrate my annoying tendencies. Every so often I can feel the pressure arise as I feel the weight of expectation but the pain of not measuring up is a great reminder and a signpost to relax back into my delightful imperfection.

Since then life is more like an experiment. I playfully try things out and if they don’t work I go back to the drawing board. The outcomes of my efforts have nothing to do with my self worth, they are merely a playful experiment. Yippee! This is when life really becomes fun!

I love the analogy of the diamond. It is the most precious, valuable and sort after stone in the world. It is created by high pressure and temperature over millions of years. The word diamond comes from a Greek word meaning unbreakable. Every single diamond that has ever been created by nature is flawed.  Diamonds are created with different colours, sizes and clarity. All are beautiful and special just as they are.

Just like us! We are all gorgeous, stunning, brilliant creatures just as we are.  Flaws and all.

One of the biggest gifts that we can give ourselves is to wake up to our true nature and love and adore who we are right now.  So your homework is to look at yourself in the mirror everyday and look into your eyes.  Look all the way to the core. See the perfect sparkle in your eyes and look for the sparkle in others around you.

Go shine dears ones! Sparkle bright. Stop trying to fix yourself and radiate just as you are. Don’t wait until this happens or that happens until you will accept yourself. Whatever you have done, whatever is your particular darkness, you are worthy to have the light burst from the wildly vibrant depths of who you are.