The ABCs of technology decoded

Here are few steps to help yourself when it comes to unfamiliar technology. You won’t have to go looking for a gadget ‘expert’ for help

Being a gadget enthusiast can be difficult at times. Besides the endless self-imposed search for perfection when it comes to devices and the way they function, you also end up being tech support for everyone around you.

After many occurrences of being called over by people to help fix speakers and set their email right, you sort of sigh internally and go along for the ride.

That said, one has to draw the line somewhere, so here’s a little guide of common statements and misconceptions that most new adopters of technology inadvertently end up with:

Every glitch you encounter is not a virus: In fact, viruses are quite rare these days, and inbuilt firewalls on computers and mobile app stores are now generally good enough to protect from most threats. Relax, there’s a solution, and it usually does not involve formatting the device in question.

Quad-core phone processors and ‘high memory’ computer video cards are not always great: The number of times I’ve had to reason with outraged people unable to fathom how their ‘quad core phone’ is slowing down is way too high. There are other numbers involved, a little research and reading reviews can help with that. After all, that steal price these devices sport was not achieved by wizardry.

What is the cloud?: Fancy term for storing content online instead of on a physical device. When something is uploaded to ‘the cloud’, it’ll be available to all your devices that can download it. Even if your device is lost or destroyed, your content remains safe. Well, mostly (some Hollywood celebrities may disagree).

Can you please fix this, this, this…and that too?: Sure, fixing stuff and enjoying the occasional look of wonderment on your face is what makes the task worthwhile. But here’s a tip, most problems can be solved by taking the time to go through all the options available in the ‘Settings’ menu. The one with the gear icon. There you go.

No, don’t explain it to me, just fix this. I’ll call you again if there’s a problem:Technology isn’t that hard to grasp, and can be quite fun, so take a moment to learn to operate the device you just spent hard-earned money on. Your gadget won’t try to take over the world if you mess up, and if it does, your local tech guy will ring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

These are just the basics, but they will go a long way towards helping you learn and get genuine help when needed.

And the day you start your own Whatsapp group and begin annoying large groups of people with pictures of cats, accidental typos and motivational quotes, you’ll know you have arrived. Enjoy!

Improving flash memory: New molecular storage devices could bridge memory gap.

New molecules could be the key to solving a looming problem with flash memory storage, researchers say in a new report published in the journal Nature today.

Flash memory is a popular form of commonly used in devices such as smartphones, cameras and memory sticks. However, there is a physical limit to the minimum size of the current design of data cells, which currently use metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) components. These are difficult to manufacture at a scale below 10 nanometers, effectively setting an upper limit on the amount of storage it is physically possible to fit onto conventional silicon chips .

Scientists have previously suggested that using individual molecules to replace conventional data-storage components in flash memory could help create small devices capable of holding large amounts of data. However, attempts to design these molecules have faced significant practical barriers such as low thermal stability and high resistance, which has limited their use in pre-existing technologies.

A team from the University of Glasgow’s Schools of Chemistry and Engineering and Rovira i Virgili University in Spain have developed a possible solution to these problems using metal-oxide clusters known as polyoxometalates (POMs).

Professor Lee Cronin, Regius Professor of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, led the research team. He said: “Conventional flash memory uses transistors whose design allows them to ‘remember’ whether they have been turned on or off after they’ve been removed from a power source. Those transistors’ positions correspond to binary, allowing data to be stored.

Nanoscale polyoxometalate clusters. Credit: Laia Vila Nadal, Felix Iglesias Escudero, Leroy Cronin, Cronin Group, School of Chemistry, University of Glasgow

“We’ve been able to design, synthesise and characterize POM molecules that can trap charge and act as flash ram, as well as dope of the inner core of the clusters with selenium to create a new type of memory we call ‘write-once-erase’.

“The POM clusters provide a balance of structural stability and electronic activity and their electronic functionality is tunable, making them suitable as storage nodes for flash memory.

Nanoscale polyoxometalate clusters. Credit: Laia Vila Nadal, Felix Iglesias Escudero, Leroy Cronin, Cronin Group, School of Chemistry, University of Glasgow

“One major benefit of the POMs we’ve created is that it’s possible to fabricate them with devices which are already widely-used in industry, so they can be adopted as new forms of without requiring production lines to be expensively overhauled.”

Here’s What Happens to Your Spine When You’re Constantly Texting

Spine Phone Texting
Kenneth Hansraj

A spinal surgeon explains why your cell phone habits are hurting your neck

Your Candy Crush addiction might be harming your neck more than your productivity, according to new research.

Looking down at your phone can add up to 60 pounds of pressure on your spine, depending on the angle. That’s according to a new studyfrom spinal surgeon Dr. Kenneth Hansraj and published in Surgical Technology International.

People spend two to four hours per day on average with their heads tilted downward in activities like texting and reading, the study said. Over the course of a year, that time adds up to 700 to 1,400 hours of excess stress on the cervical spine, or up to 5,000 hours for high school students. Over time, this causes a hunched-forward position and increases the risk of spinal wear and tear.

It’s “nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues,” Dr. Hansraj wrote in the report. But people can take preventative steps by looking at their phones while maintaining good posture, defined as having one’s ears aligned with their shoulders.

Why Opioids May Not Be Best for Your Chronic Pain.

Opioids— drugs like OxyContin® and Percocet® — are powerful painkillers. But opioids aren’t usually best for chronic pain.

“Today, pain specialists rarely prescribe opioids for chronic pain unless it’s cancer-related,” says Richard W. Rosenquist, MD, Chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Pain Management.

Lessons learned 

It wasn’t always that way. From late 1980s through early 2000s, physicians tried to improve the way they treated chronic pain by prescribing opioids for more people. They believed that by taking the highly addictive drugs only as prescribed, patients wouldn’t become addicted. This thinking was quickly proved wrong.

“Reality caught up with us,” says Dr. Rosenquist. “Over the years, we learned that dependence on opioids develops quickly.”

The consequences have been making headlines ever since. Just a few examples include:

  • 15,000 to 18,000 U.S. deaths per year due to overdose of prescription opioids
  • “Pill mills,” or business that dispense opioids inappropriately for profit, quickly springing up (and later cracked down on)
  • Growing rates of addiction to heroin. Why? This less-expensive opioid is commonly turned to by addicts  for cost reasons or when their pill mill gets shut down

Other downfalls

These powerful pain killers aren’t only highly addictive. Experts also learned that they:

  • Don’t provide adequate pain relief long-term. “After a while, patients are lucky to get 20 or 30 percent relief,” says Dr. Rosenquist. “Often, improvement in function and general well-being is even lower.”
  • Cause unwelcome side effects. Weakened immune system, hormone imbalances, respiratory depression, sedation and constipation are just a few. For some patients, opioids make their pain worse.

When are these drugs appropriate?

Opioids are best for treating short-term pain. For chronic pain, Cleveland Clinic physicians prescribe them only for cancer pain or when other treatments don’t work. Even then, they’re used only in low doses. Plus, they are continued only if the patient’s function (not just their level of pain) improves.

If you’ve taken opioids long-term

If you’ve taken these pain killers for a long time, see a pain management specialist. He or she can re-evaluate the cause of your pain.

“If you were taking antibiotics for a urinary tract infection but your infection wasn’t going away, you’d stop using the antibiotics and try something else,” says Dr. Rosenquist. “The same is true with opioids and chronic pain.”

Pain management specialists can offer an array of other more potentially successful treatments — with fewer side effects.


Chemtrails: Learn How to Protect Yourself From These Treacherous Poisons

Short of living in a hermetically sealed house and only eating food grown indoors, dodging the dangerous ramifications of chemtrails is nearly impossible. Unfortunately, these poisonous aerial sprays have become a day-to-day reality for most – requiring individuals to fortify themselves with detoxifying food and supplements in order to avoid serious disease. Whether enjoying a humble apple or specifically targeting heavy metals with chlorella, addressing the virulent effects of geoengineering is an exceptionally important daily routine.

Poisoned from above

The toxins found in chemtrails infiltrate every aspect of our lives, from the air we breathe to the water we drink and the food we eat. Is it any wonder that physical and mental diseases are increasing at a staggering rate? Astoundingly, these aerial sprays often contain the following bizarre mix of pathogens and poisons:


Pseudomonas fluorescens 

Linked with biological warfare, severe blood inflections, coughing fits and vertigo.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Associated with pneumonia, bronchitis, ear and eye infections, meningitis, cystic fibrosis and joint and muscle pain along with gastrointestinal disorders.

Mycoplasma fermetans incognitus 

A bioengineered pathogen connected with Gulf War illness and chronic fatigue.


Attacks the skin, leading to eventual death. Morgellons is a “mystery” pathogen, as scientists aren’t sure whether to classify it as a bacteria or virus.


Ethylene dibromide (EDB) 

An EPA-banned toxin that damages the liver and respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

Heavy Metals


Carcinogenic. Compromises the cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, neurological, reproductive and respiratory systems.

Nano-aluminum-coated fiberglass (CHAFF)

Impairs brain function. Linked with emotional instability, paranoia, poor memory, irritability, decreased alertness, mood disorders and bad judgment.


Damages the nervous, respiratory, digestive, renal and immune systems.


Promotes cardiac arrhythmias, paralysis, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders and respiratory failure. Barium is also implicated in neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis.

Detoxifying daily habits

If we want to protect ourselves from this health-harming madness, a few select foods and supplements can help.


Pulls heavy metals from tissue and encapsulates toxins to prevent reabsorption in the digestive tract.


Absorbs heavy metals in the intestines and assists with removal.


Eliminates mercury, lead and aluminum from the body.

Kombu seaweed

Rich in heavy metal-absorbing alginate.

Oxygenated silver

Destroys bacteria, viruses and fungus.

Activated charcoal

Binds to heavy metals for safe removal from the body.

As a powerful detoxifier of heavy metals, parasites, pollutants, bacteria, fungi and viruses, bentonite clay is an excellent defense against chemtrails. For internal consumption, only ingest the food grade variety known as calcium bentonite clay. It can also be used in the bath for gentle detoxification through the skin.

Additionally, DMPS (sodium 2,3-dimercaptopropane-l-sulfonate) is a sulfuric acid salt which is extremely effective in removing heavy metals from the body. In laboratory tests, when an intravenous shot of DMPS was given, 90 percent of heavy metals were excreted through the kidneys after 24 hours. Oral supplementation is also an option, although it’s considered less effective.

Ultimately, the discontinuation of spraying is the best protection against the health-ravaging consequences of chemtrails. Practical steps for stopping the assault can be found here.

PLZ Article Banner Chemtrails: Learn How to Protect Yourself From These Treacherous Poisons

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Margarine or Butter: The Heart-Healthiest Spreads .

Butter. Yogurt butter. Olive-oil margarine. There’s no end to the variety of spreads available today. How do you know which ones are healthy for your heart?

You can’t go by total fat. If most of the fat is heart-healthy monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat, that’s a good thing. But if there is even a miniscule amount of trans fat, that’s a problem.

Heart & Vascular Institute dietitians Julia Zumpano, RD, LD, and Kate Patton, RD, LD, break down nine types of spreads for you below.

Margarine or Butter: The Heart-Healthiest Spreads (Infographic) HealthHub from Cleveland Clinic


Canada starts prescribing heroin to drug addicts .

Doctors in Vancouver, Canada, have become the first medics in North America to administer prescription heroin to drug addicts. The treatment will only be given to a group of patients who failed to respond to traditional therapies.

“For this group the addiction is so severe that no other treatment has been effective,” David Byres, vice president of acute clinical programs at Providence Health Care, told Canadian media.

AFP Photo / Philippe Huguen

“The goal is stabilization,” The Globe and Mail Newspaper cited Byres as saying.

The program will be performed in Providence Crosstown Clinic in Canadian city.

Byres added that the treatment is only prescribed for those patients for whom traditional therapies such as methadone have failed to work at least 11 times.

Canadian doctors are trying the treatment on a group of 202 patients, of which 120 have received diacetylmorphine (heroin) prescriptions.

However, only 26 addicts will get their first heroin treatment next week, as so far there are only enough drugs for that number of people.

According to Byres, a doctor should write a prescription and submit an application to the federal Special Access Program (SAP). When the form is approved, then the clinic receives the drug for the patient.

The average cost of one patient’s treatment is $27,000 per year, said Byres, adding that it is covered by the clinic.

“When they come into the clinic, not only do they receive treatment for their addiction; they receive primary care or medical treatment, they can get counseling, they can get mental health care,” Byres said.

The procedure will be highly controlled with patients having to visit the clinic three times a day to receive their doses at scheduled time in the morning, afternoon, and evening, said Dr. Scott MacDonald, lead physician at Crosstown Clinic.

“It is a difficult therapy to take,” MacDonald said. “People need to come to this clinic three times a day in order to get their medication.” Also the patients will be divided into eight groups.

Reuters / Yves Herman

Nurses will perform an initial assessment. Then a patient will receive their dose of diacetylmorphine and a syringe. They will have 10 minutes to administer the drug. After that they will be under staff observation and if everything is fine they will be able to leave the clinic.

“This is safe, evidence-based treatment,” MacDonald said. “When people first come off the street, they are often unstable. But within a few weeks here and sometimes it’s just days—we see a remarkable turnaround.”

Vancouver doctors were allowed to give heroin injections to a selected group of patients by BC Supreme Court in May.

“There are scientists and researchers, clinicians, who have worked in the area of addictions for decades, who believe that this is a good decision,” Health Minister Rona Ambrose said following court’s decision.“I’m happy to provide you with some their accounts.”

Heroin assisted treatment is allowed by health services in some European counties such as Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

Foods To Avoid? 10 Things In Americans’ Favorite Foods That Are Banned In Other Countries.

Americans Still Eat These Banned Foods
Americans keep eating foods containing ingredients banned in other countries because of health hazards.

In a country so consumed with counting calories, the gluten-free fad, and fast food, the ingredients section on the back of packages are widely overlooked and riddled with internationally banned foods. The health center Mercola has compiled a list of the worst offenders, and they include harmful additives, growth hormones, and genetically engineered ingredients laced throughout foods designed to satiate the unsuspecting American appetite. Maybe the reasons behind why these foods are banned in other countries will fill our bellies with enough disgust and fear, we won’t be hungry for harmful ingredients any longer.

Americans Still Eat These 10 Foods & Ingredients Banned Around The World:


1. Farm-Raised Salmon 

Banned in Australia, New Zealand, and Russia.

Salmon has been a hot debate topic in the past decade, especially at a time when overfishing and other environmental concerns are pushing to the forefront. Farmed fish feedlots hold up to one million fish in an area the size of two football fields and are becoming more popular as the world’s fish stocks decline and the American appetite continues to grow. Studies have found contaminants found in farmed salmon are well below the tolerance levels approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but they exceed the safety levels for frequent consumption by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Farmed salmon don’t have a lot of room to swim, don’t follow their natural migration patterns, and have an unnatural diet of grains, which is why they’re fattier than wild salmon and contain 50 percent less omega-3 fats and protein. They’re grown with a mix of antibiotics, vitamins, drugs, and chemicals and don’t have wild salmon’s natural color, so they’re fed a synthetic astaxanthin to achieve the pinkish-red shade. Nearly 90 percent of the toxins farmed salmon contains can accumulate in your body, and if you’re pregnant it can pass on to your newborn baby and secrete through breast milk.

2. Ractopamine-Tainted Meat

Banned in Russia, Mainland China, Taiwan, and 160 countries across Europe

Ractopamine, also known as Paylean and Optaflexx, is a drug fed to livestock to reduce the fat content and enhance muscle, making the meat more profitable per animal. It was originally used to treat asthma and is found in 45 percent of pigs, 30 percent of ration-fed cattle, and an unknown percentage of turkeys. As much as 20 percent of Ractopamine may remain in the meat you purchase with a drug label warning “Not for use in humans” and “individuals with cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution to avoid exposure.”

Ractopamine is linked with decreases in reproductive function and increased death and disability. In humans, it’s known to affect the cardiovascular system, causing hyperactivity, chromosomal abnormalities, and behavioral changes. It’s the meat additive you didn’t expect to land on your plate. But how are you supposed to stop ordering and buying it if you don’t pay attention to what exactly you’re eating?

3. Genetically-Engineered Papaya

Banned in the European Union.

In the 1990s, the ringspot virus greatly threatened the Hawaiian papaya crop. They were genetically engineered to resist the virus, but by 2004 Hawaii reported a widespread contamination of papaya crops by the new variant. Five years later, nearly 20,000 papaya seeks from the islands were contaminated with genetically modified organisms, more commonly known as GMOs, and cows fed the variety suffered a wide range of illnesses. After three generations of cows, they were still experiencing intestinal damage, multiple-organ damage, massive tumors, birth defects, premature death, and near or complete sterility from the GMOs.

Yet, genetically modified papayas remain as the only commercially grown GMO fruit in the U.S. because they were grandfathered in by Hawaii’s County councilmen because it was deeply ingrained in their tradition and made them financially profitable.

4. Flame Retardant in Drinks

Banned in Japan and 18 European countries.

In 1977, the FDA itself approved brominated vegetable oil (BVO), a patented flame retardant used in sodas and sports drinks in the U.S. Recently Coca-Cola and PepsiCo announced they’re working on removing the controversial BVO from their drinks as a result of petitions. The FDA permitted the use of BVO on an “interim basis” pending additional studies to prove its safety or health dangers, but decades later they never conducted those studies.

Bromine toxicity can cause skin rashes, acne, loss of appetite, fatigue, and cardiac arrhythmias. It’s been linked to major organ damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and a slew of other health consequences. Despite animal studies proving it was harmful back in the 70s, it still made its way into Mountain Dew, Sunkist, Powerade, Gatorade, Squirt, Fresca, and Fanta.

5. Processed Foods with Artificial Food Colors and Dyes

Banned Norway and Austria. If it’s not banned in a country outside of the U.S., it requires a warning label.

Red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6, and blue 2 weave their way into the American ingredients list of a wide variety of foods. They’re the most commonly used dyes in the U.S., found in mac-and-cheese, cheddar flavored crackers, Jell-O, and children’s cereals. With more than 3,000 food additives, preservatives, flavorings, colors, and other synthetic ingredients in our foods, research says we’re at risk for cancers, birth defects, allergies, behavioral changes, and increased hyperactivity in kids.

6. Arsenic-Laced Chicken

Banned in the European Union.

Chronic arsenic exposure can cause anemia, headaches, skin lesions, low blood pressure, kidney damage and failure, increased risk of diabetes, miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight, and infant mortality. What is arsenic doing in our chicken? Since the 1940s, farmers have been feeding livestock arsenic to fight off disease; however, they now use it to make animals grow quicker and make the meat appear pinker and fresher. It’s not a carcinogen itself, but when it’s consumed by our body it converts into a cancer-causing form. In 2007, nine billion domesticated chickens were still being fed Roxarsone, an arsenic-based feed drug. That’s 70 percent of the chickens grown, slaughtered, and lined up in grocery aisles.

7. Bread with Potassium Bromate

Banned in the European Union, Canada, and China.

Potassium bromate helps make the dough more elastic and to hold up better on the bread hooks that move it through commercial baking factories. It has been linked to kidney and nervous system damage, in addition to thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort, and even cancer.

Bread with Potassium Bromate by

Bread with Potassium Bromate by

8. Olestra/Olean

Banned in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Procter & Gamble created this cholesterol-free fat substitute for their fat-free snacks. It was the snacking industry’s answer to their high-fat problem and swiftly approved by the FDA in 1996. People began reporting diarrhea, cramps, leaky bowels, and anal leakage after eating what they thought to be a healthier alternative to indulging. But in 2011, Purdue University researchers published a study that found rats who were fed foods with Orlean gained more weight than those fed a high-fat diet with regular fat potato chips. (You can also find the fake fat in French fries.) Doctors soon discovered their body’s had a difficult time absorbing fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E, and K.

9. Preservatives BHA and BHT

Banned in Japan and the European Union.

At high doses, it causes cancer in animals and can cause organ system toxicity, allergic reactions, and hyperactivity. It’s found in anything from meat, to butter, beer, and breakfast cereals.

The potent antioxidant butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and its cousin butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), prevent fatty or oily foods from going bad because they attack the oxygen molecules to slow down oxidation. When food is exposed to the air, it weakens and degrades into toxic and foul-smelling foods. At high temperatures, vitamin E is an effective alternative to BHA and BHT and can keep foods stable and preserved in the grocery store.

10. Milk and Dairy Products Laced with rBGH

Banned in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Canada, and the European Union. In order to increase a cow’s milk production, scientists invented a rBGH, a synthetic version that mimics a natural hormone produced in their pituitary glands, known as bovine somatotropin. When rBGH came onto the market, the United Nations Safety Agency ruled unanimously not to endorse it in 1999, and eventually U.S. milk was internationally banned from being imported into their countries. In the U.S., approximately one in six dairy cows are injected with growth hormones on a regular basis, causing pus and antibiotic contamination and 16 other adverse health effects.  Milk rBGH by Merola.comMilk rBGH by Milk rBGH by

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