90% of People Have Cancer-Causing BPA In Their System. Here’s How to Avoid It

Bisphenol-A, commonly known as BPA, is a chemical used to harden plastic. For the past 40 years, since its discovery, BPA products are everywhere. Seriously! Look around you, everything from water bottles to the linings of canned foods are ridden with BPA. With that, more than 90% of the Western population currently have traces of BPA in their bodies right now.

While many companies and databases have made serious strides to reduce the amount or use of BPA in their products, it is still a widely used plastic product. Avoid putting the health of yourself and loved ones at risk by educating yourself on the hidden BPA product culprits and how to avoid them for the betterment of your health.

The Dangers of BPA


Prior to 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration claimed that BPA products classified as “safe”. However, as of late, animal studies and medical research have raised concerns on this categorization and expressed concerns for the potential side effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and hormonal balances – especially in women and children.

Upon contact with BPAs, your body treats this chemical like estrogen in the body. With that, pregnant women and children during critical stages of their development have been medically urged to avoid BPAs at all costs. Linked to issues like cancer, infertility, brain nervous system and cardiovascular abnormalities, obesity and diabetes (to name a few), BPAs toxicity to the human body is no joke.

Surprising Products Containing BPA

Despite the recent widespread awareness of BPAs chemical traces in every products, there is no shortage of surprises for where BPA may be hiding in your products. In fact, even if you make an effort to buy “BPA-free” food and beverage products, its uses have become so mainstream, that you may be unknowingly exposing yourself and loved ones to its toxins on a regular, potentially daily, basis!

Store Sales Receipts

Thermal paper receipts, ones that you get with every store transaction, can contain BPA as a component of the heat sensitive coating that allows for inkless printing. The reason? This coated paper technology provides consistently speedy and cost-effective printing.

According to the Danish Environmental Protective Agency, the traces of BPA found in receipt are relatively minor. While recent research has yet to prove that BPA is readily absorbed through the skin, it’s best to avoid these receipts whenever possible – plus, you’ll be doing the environment a huge favor in the process.

Plastic Cooking Utensils

Plastic, especially with consistent high heat, has the tendency to melt. With that BPAs can leach into your otherwise “BPA-free” foods. Be sure to buy either wooden or nylon cookware or if you must use plastic, only use it on extremely low heats or to simply mix cold ingredients.

Toilet Paper

According to a comprehensive Danish study, many mainstream toilet paper and recycled paper product brands contain BPA. Similar to store receipts, while the impact of BPA absorption on the skin remains highly understudied, it’s better to be safe than sorry and avoid rubbing hormone-disrupting BPA traces on genital areas.

The Importance of the EWG Database

The EWG has created the first comprehensive and easily searchable database of a whopping 16,000 processed food and drink packaging material that may contain BPA. The list is comprised of thousands of food and beverage items and categories, offering consumers unparalleled access to researched and dependable information.

Their mission is founded in the belief that consumers have the basic right to know what is in the foods they are purchasing and consuming on an everyday basis. What is more, the uncensored access to product information that may be compromising to their health! To find the scores of the products you have already purchased and make educated consumer choices in the future, head over to the EWG database: http://www.ewg.org.

Easy Tips for Avoiding BPAs

The EWG BPA product database has been instrumental to product awareness. But why stop there! Incorporate these simple and easy tips into your daily routine to ensure that you’re not consuming BPAs in excess or unknowingly.

Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/J-xv2UD9TxQ

How to Deal with Job Burnout and Workplace Stress

Job burnout is a type of stress that can consume you physically, mentally, and emotionally. When you see the signs of job burnout in your life, you should look for ways on how to deal with it because it will not go away on its own.

The first step in combating job burnout is to acknowledge its existence. Yes, it will be hard, especially if you’re just starting out in your career, but there’s really nothing to worry about because experiencing burnout early in your life has no negative long-term consequences compared to encountering it when you’re much older and more seasoned.

The important thing is to prepare yourself for some major life changes since overcoming job burnout requires more than a muscle twitch.

Workplace stress is normal, but only to a certain extent. If you feel like all you’re getting from the office are bad vibes and back pains, then maybe it’s time to quit. However, you should only submit that resignation letter when you’re 100% convinced that the misery of your situation is out of your control.

Your boss is rude and incompetent, sure, but is he that important that you would quit a perfectly respectable and decent job? Can’t you maybe tune out his lack of professionalism and just focus on improving yourself? Sometimes, external factors can extinguish your fire, but it’s ultimately you who can light it up again. A little shift in perspective can go a long way.

2. Take a more upbeat lifestyle

Do you feel like anxiety and depression are a part of your work life? You sit in front of the computer all day, barely batting an eye. Technology is supposed to make your life easier, yet somehow you manage to make every day seem more like a drag. A sedentary lifestyle generally has that effect.

How to Deal with Job Burnout and Workplace Stress


True, job burnout makes it a lot more difficult to get up and move around, but if you really want to be done with it, you should at least exert some effort and try to move a muscle. There are a number of things you can do to make your lifestyle more dynamic. According to the blog of call center company IBEX Global, a good way to amp up your energy is to join social activities like “fun runs, concerts, and out-of-town company vacations.” These activities will not only keep you engaged, they will also lower your stress levels.

3. Do something worthwhile

How to Deal with Job Burnout and Workplace Stress


If your life revolves around your job, then you will really get burnt out one way or another. You need to divert your attention to something else—say, a new hobby—when you’re not at work. This is one of the best hacks to manage your daily stress. Take up photography or writing. You may even try arts and crafts. Just do something that you love and one that gives you personal gratification. It has to be unrelated to your profession; otherwise, you’re just wearing yourself out further .

4. Take off your superhero mask

How to Deal with Job Burnout and Workplace Stress


Staring at the computer and wondering what to do when you’re burned out at work will not solve your problem. If you really want an answer, then take a break, turn off your iPad, and just fly off to an island somewhere. You can clear your head better when you’re physically away from your stressor. And no, don’t even try to argue against a real vacation. Even Iron Man needs a trip to the Caribbean. Switch off your work mode for a while and think things through while sunbathing in a faraway beach.

5. Be your own time-keeper

How to Deal with Job Burnout and Workplace Stress


One of the tell-tale signs you’re burning out is when you’re crammed up with a lot of projects during the weekend. Having a pile of work-related paperwork in your desk doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in demand or that you’re the MVP of your team. It just means that you don’t know when to say no. Letting work eat into your personal time is like giving a stranger a ticket that reads: “Rob me, I’m defenseless.” The thing is, you’re far from being defenseless. You can take control of your time if you will it. You just have to set boundaries that define where your work life stops and where your personal life begins.

6. Savor every minute

How to Deal with Job Burnout and Workplace Stress


Want tips to recover from career stress? How about take things slowly? You’d really get burnt out if you keep on rushing through everything. Taking things slowly doesn’t mean that you have to be a slow poke. That would undoubtedly affect your career in a negative way. No, taking things slowly means shutting off your autopilot mode while traveling to work. It means focusing on the significance of each moment. Why not look outside the bus window and observe life as it happens rather than scroll through your Facebook feed for two whole hours? Surely, you’ll find more wisdom and inspiration in real, unconditioned events.

7. Click pause and rewind

How to Deal with Job Burnout and Workplace Stress


You will find numerous ways to hide your career burnout if you look hard enough, but you won’t be able to apply them unless you click pause, rewind your life, and reassess your goals. jOB Burnout is still a vague concept, but everyone can agree that it does no good to anybody. If you know that you’re burnt out, it’s time for you to take a step back and reevaluate your life. What is your top priority?

What are your hopes and dreams?

What are your values?

What makes you happy and gives you meaning?

What is the most important thing that you can’t live without?

Find the answers to these questions before you make any major decision. These will serve as your guiding principles in choosing a path that is burnout-free and happiness-enriched.

8. Unleash your brave and quirky side

How to Deal with Job Burnout and Workplace Stress


Maybe the reason why you’re unmotivated is that you follow a monotonous routine every day. Maybe you have a daily plan of action that governs your every move from the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed. Although some would argue that this kind of lifestyle establishes stability, this can actually be dangerous because too much stability is unhealthy. If you’re someone who follows a pattern, then what makes you different from a programmed robot?

Think about the last time you did something that is beyond your regular routine. When was it—a decade ago when you were still a teenager? Cut the monotony in your life and bring back the thrill. It doesn’t matter if you’re a banker, a call center agent or a clerk. Surely, you have an exciting version of you. Let that version shine through.

9. Rekindle your ties

How to Deal with Job Burnout and Workplace Stress


When you feel insecure and unmotivated, turning to your family and friends for support usually helps. Reconnecting with your loved ones is one way to feel a sense of purpose. Out of all the tips to overcome burnout, this one is probably the most guaranteed. Trace the people who have impacted your life in the past—relatives, old buddies, workmates or even famous personalities. Try to find in them again the inspiration that you need.

10. Live for the silver lining

How to Deal with Job Burnout and Workplace Stress


Science has proven that job dissatisfaction corresponds to high-stress levels. If you’re always complaining about how your job sucks, you’re doing harm to no one but yourself. Hasn’t it ever occurred to you that job burnout can be a product of mental conditioning? If you’re always thinking negatively, then you’d eventually feel physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. The people who get the best in life are those who know how to greet the sun.

Optimism can go a long way in improving your well-being. It will create positive ripples not only in your career but also in your personal relationships. Practice positive thinking. Celebrate little achievements. Appreciate everything that is good. When you watch the clouds, never mind the rain. Look out for the silver lining.

Job burnout is something you will surely encounter sooner or later. Knowing how to combat it now is winning half the battle. Be vigilant for the signs of this energy vampire and know how to combat it once it strikes.

Magnesium, NOT Calcium, Is The Key To Healthy Bones

The belief that calcium is the holy grail of what builds strong bones is absolutely ingrained in our society, but has no basis in reality–calcium is but ONE of the many minerals your body needs for building strong bones. Dietary intake of magnesium, not necessarily calcium, may be the key to developing healthy bones during childhood, according to new research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in the USA.


Take a Second Peek At Calcium Claims

The mainstream engine has been promoting the use of calcium to prevent weak bones for decades. Age-old myths that calcium supplementation builds strong bones and teeth are reinforced in almost institution. But how effective is calcium supplementation?

A 2004 study showed that people with excess calcium in their coronary artery and who take statins have a 17-fold higher risk of heart attacks than do those with lower arterial calcium levels; researchers concluded that the two most definitive indicators of heart attack were LDL levels and calcium build-up.

A 2007 study showed that calcium from dietary sources has more favorable effects on bone health than calcium from supplements in postmenopausal women (Am J Clin Nutr 2007).

A 2008 study found calcium supplements are associated with a greater number of heart attacks in postmenopausal women (BMJ 2008)

A 2010 meta-analysis showed calcium supplements (without coadministered vitamin D) are associated with increased risk for heart attack (BMJ 2010)

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), food will always be the best source of calcium: “People who get the recommended amount of calcium from foods do not need to take a calcium supplement. These individuals still may need to take a vitamin D supplement. Getting too much calcium from supplements may increase the risk of kidney stones and other health problems.”

“Calcium supplements have been widely embraced by doctors and the public, on the grounds that they are a natural and therefore safe way of preventing osteoporotic fractures,” said the researchers, led by Professor Sabine Rohrmann, from Zurich University’s institute of social and preventative medicine.

“It is now becoming clear that taking this micronutrient in one or two daily [doses] is not natural, in that it does not reproduce the same metabolic effects as calcium in food,” they added.

Most supplements on the supplement market today contain calcium carbonate which is an inferior form of calcium and manufacturers attach a simple chelating agent like citric acid to make it more absorbable, however the end product is inferior to other calcium supplements such as calcium orotate, which is the only known form of calcium which can effectively penetrate the membranes of cells.

Another fact most people are unaware of is the myth promoted by the dairy industry that consuming pasteurized dairy products such as milk or cheese increases calcium levels. This is totally false. The pasteurization process only creates calcium carbonate, which has absolutely no way of entering the cells without a chelating agent. So what the body does is pull the calcium from the bones and other tissues in order to buffer the calcium carbonate in the blood. This process ACTUALLY CAUSES OSTEOPOROSIS. Milk definitively does not do a body good if it’s pasteurized.

Magnesium and Increasing Awareness

The new data from Professor Steven Abrams and his colleagues at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston finds that intake and absorption of magnesium during childhood are key predictors of total bone mineral content and bone density – while dietary calcium intake was not significantly associated with such measures.

Effects Of Secondhand Pot Smoke: Exposure May Be Just As Harmful To Blood Vessels As Tobacco

A new study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that secondhand smoke is dangerous to our cardiovascular system, regardless of whether it comes from marijuana or tobacco.

Laboratory rats who were exposed to secondhand smoke from a marijuana cigarette had a similar problem with their blood vessels’ ability to widen as rats who were exposed to tobacco secondhand smoke. Rats exposed to marijuana smoke for one minute took 90 minutes to recover fully, about three times as long as it took for those exposed to tobacco.

Secondhand smoke

“While the effect is temporary for both cigarette and marijuana smoke, these temporary problems can turn into long-term problems if exposures occur often enough and may increase the chances of developing hardened and clogged arteries,” said senior author Dr. Matthew Springer, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco’s Division of Cardiology, in a statement.

Springer and his colleagues were motivated to conduct their study after feeling that there was little public attention being paid to the possibility that marijuana smoke can be harmful.

“There is widespread belief that, unlike tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke is benign,” Springer said. “We in public health have been telling the public to avoid secondhand tobacco smoke for years, but we don’t tell them to avoid secondhand marijuana smoke, because until now we haven’t had evidence that it can be harmful.”

The truth is, we’re still not even really sure how harmful directly smoking marijuana is to our hearts. A2014 study found that serious heart problems rarely occur immediately following cannabis use. Anotherfound that a marijuana smoker’s risk of heart attack within a hour was five times greater compared to nonsmokers — a very small risk comparable to an especially strenuous bout of sex or exercise. Yet another study found an increased risk of death among patients who already suffered an earlier heart attack and who regularly smoked pot.

But longer-term studies are lacking, much less those looking only at secondhand smoke. And there’s some evidence to suggest that there might be a sort of “marijuana paradox,” where the inhaling of marijuana can temporarily increase the risk of some cardiovascular problems, but the active cannabinoids contained in it can also slow down the progression of atherosclerosis (the hardening and narrowing of arteries).

That theory lines up well with some of the findings of the current study. When the researchers removed tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the marijuana cigarettes they exposed their rats to, the blood vessel disruption could still be seen; the same thing happened when they removed the paper the cigarette was rolled in. The later experiments indicate that the burning smoke itself, rather than the active components of marijuana, may be to blame for the rats’ narrower blood vessels.

Still, while animal studies are an important tool for discovery, we can only glean so much from them. Springer and his colleagues acknowledged that their study is far from the final word on the subject, but they hope their results can motivate other scientists to look more closely at marijuana.

“Increasing legalization of marijuana makes it more important than ever to understand the consequences of exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke,” they concluded. “It is important that the public, medical personnel, and policymakers understand that exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke is not necessarily harmless.”

Conflict Resolution Skills For A Healthy Relationship: Focus On The Future, Says Study

Future-thinking during present conflicts could help couples overcome differences and approach things in a more positive light, research finds.

Everyone wants to know the key to maintaining a healthy relationship for the long term, and it may be as simple as overlooking current conflicts and focusing on the future, a new study finds. Published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, the study found that “future-thinking” could aid partners in overcoming present obstacles.

“When romantic partners argue over things like finances, jealousy, or other interpersonal issues, they tend to employ their current feelings as fuel for a heated argument,” said Alex Huynh, a doctoral candidate in psychology and lead author of the study, in a press release. “By envisioning their relationship in the future, people can shift the focus away from their current feelings and mitigate conflicts.”

Future-thinking involves not only focusing on goals for the future, but also stepping outside of the current squabble to gain perspective. In the study, the researchers examined individuals as they reflected on a recent conflict with a romantic partner or a friend. They were divided into two groups, with one group asked to report how they would feel about the conflict a year from now, and another group asked to describe how they currently feel. The participants wrote out responses, which the researchers then studied to see how they portrayed senses of forgiveness or positivity.

futurefuturefutureFuture-thinking during present conflicts could help couples overcome differences and approach things in a more positive light, research finds.Pixabay, public domain

Future-thinking had an impact on both feelings and reasoning strategies, and it also helped people view their relationships and conflicts in a more positive light, the researchers concluded. When participants were asked to project their mindset into the future, and imagine their relationship a year from now, they exhibited more forgiveness, reason, and positivity when interpreting the conflict or event.

Of course, there are plenty of other factors that go into maintaining a healthy relationship. Some of those could be simple things like putting your phone aside when you’re with your significant other, playing video games together, or saying “please” and “thank you” frequently — as well as more complex efforts that take patience, like remaining aware of being too selfish and being mindful of your partner’s emotions. But when it comes to conflict resolution, at least, stepping outside of the box and looking at the bigger picture — especially in the future — could make a difference.

“Our study demonstrates that adopting a future-oriented perspective in the context of a relationship conflict — reflecting on how one might feel a year from now — may be a valuable coping tool for one’s psychological happiness and relationship well-being,” said Huynh in the press release.

Whole Foods Vegan Diet May Be Effective For Weight Loss, Getting A Flat Stomach

This might sound deceptively simple, but I’d start by replacing low-nutrient, high-calorie foods with lower-calorie, nutrient-dense ones.

Years ago, I too dreamed of getting a flat stomach. One that I didn’t need to suck in when sitting down. Basically, a stomach that looked good regardless of the rise of my pants or the type of shirt I wore.

I have always been physically active, so I had an feeling that changing my diet was likely to be the solution I was looking for. I just wasn’t sure where to start.

I began experimenting with different ways of eating fewer calories than my body burned each day, and I successfully lost the belly fat. Then proceeded to gain it back and lose it again several times over the next few years.

I only stepped off this rollercoaster when I decided that I no longer wished to eat animal products.

Looking back, the amount of food I had to limit myself to as an omnivore in order to lose the fat and keep it off on was often mentally unsatisfying.

Since switching to a fiber-rich, whole food vegan diet, I’ve noticed that I eat more but have less body fat, including around my stomach [area].

That’s the beauty of caloric density; most plant-based food contain far fewer calories (and generally more nutrients) than the same volume of animal-food.

Do you need to follow a vegan diet to eat fewer calories? Absolutely not.

However, if you’re like me, a vegan diet based on whole plant foods can make it much easier to eat less without feeling hungry.

I went from measuring portions and limiting fats and carbohydrates to eating to my heart’s content without losing my flat stomach — something I imagined impossible years ago!

I won’t lie: A vegan diet is not always easy, especially in social situations. But over time, you’ll develop a variety of troubleshooting tips to help you deal with any challenges.

All-in-all, a vegan diet is not the only solution to weight loss. But for me, it’s been the most sustainable, enjoyable and definitely the most nourishing.

If you’d like to maximize the way the vegan diet affects weight loss, here are some simple action steps you can take today:

  1. Go online and search for vegan alternatives to your favorite meals and snacks. These recipes should be made up (as much as possible) of whole foods.
  2. Make sure that vegetables make up at least half of each meal.
  3. Learn to trust your body; eat only when you feel hungry, and stop eating when you feel full (this takes some time to getting used to, so don’t fret if you don’t succeed right away; it gets easier with time)!
  4. Track your meals and snacks in an online food journal so you can adjust what you eat according to your nutrient needs.

9 tips on how to stand out, according to a psychiatrist

Diana Vreeland famously said, “You don’t have to be born beautiful to be wildly attractive.”

Her wise words are supported by science. All too often we assume good looks and charisma are innate qualities bestowed to a handful of lucky people at birth.

Research suggests otherwise. There is so much more to personal appeal than being pretty. Attractiveness and magnetism have much more to do with inner radiance and easily adaptable aspects of yourself.

Now, it’s your turn to shine.

Here are nine strategies you can use to make yourself irresistible.

 smiling girl, happy, confidence

1. Enhance your charisma

Inspire a gravitational pull by lowering the intonation of your voice at the end of your sentences, reducing how quickly and often you nod your head and pausing for two full seconds before you speak. These subtle behavioral changes convey presence, power and warmth.

2. Dress the part

Clothes have an impact on how people see you and on how you see yourself. Make an effort to look tidy and pulled together. Research shows that dressing in flattering, well-tailored clothesincreases personal appeal. Wearing something you feel good in also boosts self-confidence and openness.

3. Strike a power pose

An easy way to improve sex appeal and feel more powerful is to improve your posture. Not only does better posture attract positive attention, it can actually make you feel stronger and improve your mood.

4. Be interesting and interested

Strive to be a good listener. Giving someone your full attention is a powerful seduction tool. That means leaving your phone in your handbag and resisting the impulse to take a photo of your entrée.

5. Smell good

People who smell nice are perceived as more likeable. Studies show that personal grooming matters a great deal. Taking the time to take care of oneself — filing your nails, washing your hair, applying a fragrance — isn’t vain or “high maintenance.” On the contrary, self-care is considered a sign of psychological health and is appealing to others.

6. Show off your pearly whites

A smile works wonders. In addition to appearing more attractive, research shows a smile makes you look more approachable, fun, and engaging.

7. Glow from the inside

Complexion counts. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables brightens skin and promotes a healthy appearance. Carrots and tomatoes are natural skin-enhancers. Studies show they give a golden glow that is perceived as more attractive than a suntan.

8. Wear red

If you want to attract the attention of a potential mate, throw on a red dress. This is known as “the red dress effect.” In addition to drawing others to you, researchers believe that wearing red alters self-perception and makes you feel stronger and sexier. Red lipstick works, too!

9. Be nice

People who are kind are considered more attractive. This is known as the “halo effect” — people who are perceived as “good” become more beautiful in our eyes.

There is a little Buddha in everbody

There is a little Buddha in everybody, and that Buddha is in the form of Siddhartha.

Do you know who Siddhartha is? Before Buddha became Buddha he was Siddhartha. He was wandering, lost. He had tried everything but he couldn’t find; but he had that spirit of enquiry.

He said, ‘The world is all sorrow and I want to get rid of sorrow.’ Siddhartha understood everything is sorrow, but he did not know the way.

So everybody has a little Buddha inside of them, only he has to wake up.

Buddha tried this and that and that and this. He ran from pillar to post, he did technique after technique after technique, but nothing worked. Because while doing all this, his mind was outward, and when he got sick and tired of everything and dropped everything, that moment he got enlightened. This is the story as it goes.

So, when he got tired of trying hard and trying hard and trying hard, then he said, ‘Okay, let me just relax. I give up.’ So he gave up and sat, and the mind turned inward and then he became Buddha.

So turn the mind inward.

Unfortunately Buddha never got a Guru. He couldn’t get a Guru at that time. But Adi Shankaracharaya had a Guru. So he met the Guru and the path became much easier, smoother. He could just sit and go into Samadhi. But for Buddha to go into Samadhi and meditation was not possible. It was hard for him. So he fasted. Somebody told him to fast and he fasted, because he was a King from the royal family and he did not know about surrender, or about devotion, or about letting go. Doing, doing and doing, that is what he heard, and what he knew as he was trained. So the big ego, and that big doing, made him run around for several years.

Finally he gave up and then he got enlightened; that is how the story goes.

So that little mind inside of you doesn’t want to let go and to just give up, it goes on the trip of I want to do, and I want to do, and I want to do. I will achieve this and I will achieve that.

When you see, what is there to achieve? Then everything drops, you surrender, you let go and meditation happens. You know, it is like getting onto an Ayurvedic massage table. You just get onto the table and that is it, you don’t do anything. Everything is done for you; so even meditation will be done for you. You just sit and meditation will happen.

Underwater Discovery: 9,300-Year-Old Pillar Evidence of Advanced Society, Say Researchers

In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below.

At least 9,300 years ago, Stone Age hunter-gatherers in a now-submerged area of the Mediterranean Sea accomplished a feat beyond what today’s experts thought possible for the time: they cut a 15-ton limestone pillar with precision, drilled holes in it and transported it nearly 984 feet (300 meters). The monolith is 39 feet (12 meters) long.

Oceanographers studying the Mediterranean sea floor in the Sicilian Channel between Tunisia and Sicily in 2012 found the monolith 131 feet (40 meters) deep. In a new paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science, the researchers say this area became completely submerged about 9,300 years ago, give or take a couple hundred years. Before that, the area was shallow sea with an archipelago of several islands about halfway between the island of Sicily and the North African coast.

The area studied, the Pantelleria Vecchia Bank, is now undersea between Sicily and Tunisia. (Science Direct)
The area studied, the Pantelleria Vecchia Bank, is now undersea between Sicily and Tunisia. (Science Direct)
So it is assumed the pillar was carved at least 9,300 years ago. Researchers were able to date the stone of the monolith by extracting shell fragments from it. They found it has the same composition and age as limestone about 330 yards away, suggesting it was transported this distance.
The researchers say the discovery of this submerged pillar may require scholars to rethink the idea of “technological primitivism” among hunter-gatherers.

Researchers say the discovery of this submerged pillar may require scholars to rethink the idea of “technological primitivism” among hunter-gatherers.
“This discovery provides evidence for a significant Mesolithic human activity in the Sicilian Channel region,” wrote Emanuele Lodolo and Zvi Ben-Abraham in their paper.

Lodolo and Ben-Abraham state that several factors lead them to believe the monolith or stone column was cut by humans and was not shaped by nature. They write that the monolith has a regular shape and three regular holes of similar diameter. It is composed of limestone of a nature similar to rocks not far away from where it was transported, but it differs from the rocks in the immediate vicinity.

A monolith found submerged between the coasts of Sicily and Tunisia, including a closeup of a hole in the monolith. (Science Direct)
“The presence of the monolith suggests extensive human activity in the [area],” they wrote. “It was cut and extracted as a single stone from the outer rectilinear ridge situated about 300 m [984 feet] to the south, and then transported and possibly erected. From the size of the monolith, we may presume that it weighs about 15 [tons].”

They did not speculate about the function of the monolith. But they assume it was in an important area, which is about halfway between Sicily and Tunisia. Sicily was inhabited possibly between 17,000 and 27,000 years ago, when there was a land bridge from the Italian mainland.

“The discovery of the submerged site in the Sicilian Channel may significantly expand our knowledge of the earliest civilizations in the Mediterranean basin and our views on technological innovation and development achieved by the Mesolithic inhabitants,” the authors wrote. “The monolith … made of a single, large block, required cutting, extraction, transportation, and installation, which undoubtedly reveals important technical skills and great engineering.”

The researchers even went so far as to state that: “The belief that our ancestors lacked the knowledge, skill, and technology to exploit marine resources or make sea crossings, must be progressively abandoned. The recent findings … have definitively removed the idea of ‘technological primitivism’ often attributed to hunter-gatherer coastal settlers.”

The Second Largest Number Of Female Smokers Are In India, After US

Cigarette consumption in India is falling steadily even as the number of women smokers is rising, making it home to the second largest number of female smokers after the United States.

The Second Largest Number Of Female Smokers Are In India, After US

According to the latest data on cigarette consumption given by the health ministry in Parliament, the consumption in 2014-15 was 93.2 billion sticks — 10 billion less than in 2012-13. The production of cigarettes too fell from 117 billion to 105.3 billion sticks in the same period.

In the face of this good news is the sobering finding of a global tobacco study, which showed that the number of women smokers in India went up from 5.3 million in 1980 to 12.7 million in 2012. The study, titled ‘Smoking Prevalence and Cigarette Consumption in 187 Countries – 1980-2012’ was carried out by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and released last year.

This jump in numbers constitutes only a marginal increase in prevalence (percentage of smokers in the above 15 population) from 3 per cent to 3.2 per cent. But it has been flagged as an area of concern by anti-tobacco activists who point out that it runs against the global trend of the rate of decline among women smokers being consistently faster than in men.

Incidentally, unlike most countries where cigarettes constitute over 90 per cent of tobacco consumption, in India, it is just about 11 per cent. Hence, while the decline is a positive development, its impact on burden of diseases caused by tobacco consumption remains limited as consumption is dominated by chewing tobacco, followed by bidis.

The Second Largest Number Of Female Smokers Are In India, After US

According to a 2009-10 survey by the health ministry on tobacco consumption among adults, 24 per cent of men and 17 per cent of women use smokeless tobacco, much higher than the proportion of smokers in that age group – 15 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. About 9 per cent of men and 1 per cent of women both chew tobacco and smoke it. The survey also showed that tobacco use was higher in rural areas – 52 per cent among men and 24 per cent among women, compared to 38 per cent and 12 per cent in the urban areas.

In the US, where almost a third of the population were smokers in 1980, ground-breaking research on diseases caused by tobacco use and sustained campaigns by the government and non-profit agencies has managed to bring down prevalence to around 17 per cent of the adult population.

“Every kind of tobacco consumption ought to be taxed, including the small-scale bidi and gutka manufacturers,” said Bobby Ramakant, an anti-tobacco activist with Corporate Accountability International. “This, along with pictorial warnings and adequately funded programmes to help people quit using tobacco, is the only way the National Tobacco Control Programme will work. It all depends on the government’s commitment to reduce non-communicable diseases. Tobacco use is a huge risk factor for many of these diseases, especially cancer.”

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