When Your Doctor Suggests Regular Mammograms, This Is What You Need To Say Back


Dr. Ben Johnson: I wrote a book for women, The Secret of Health Breast Wisdom because we, as a medical society, are giving women breast cancer with our demanding that they get mammograms. Mammograms cause breast cancer. Period. So mammograms are not healthy for women. Women should not be getting routine mammograms. That’s crystal clear, published in the peer review literature.

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And yet today, if a woman went to her gynecologist or family doc, she would have this shoved down her throat, extreme coercion to get this mammogram that is causing breast cancer. It’s not saving lives. You have a 4% increased risk of dying if you get mammograms, period.

Ty Bollinger: So the detection technique that we’re using, the primary technique that we use to detect breast cancer, is causing breast cancer.

Dr. Ben Johnson: Absolutely, it’s a terrible test; you know smashing women’s breasts and then irradiating with cancer-causing radiation. And then it’s so insensitive. For women under 50, it’s only like 52% effective, sensitive. That means 52 is pretty close to 50, right?

Ty Bollinger: Yeah.

 Dr. Ben Johnson: So about half. That means that half the women that have breast cancer, it would not detect their cancer. That’s a terrible test. And so there are much better tests. And yet this is what’s still being crammed down women’s throats today. Terrible test causes breast cancer.

Ty Bollinger: And it doesn’t detect, it detects 50% and causes cancer. You said there were better options. What are better options there for detecting breast cancer?

Dr. Ben Johnson: Well there’s two better options. If you’ve got a lump, if you think you’ve got something, ultrasound is great. It’s a test of anatomy. Mammograms are tests of anatomy. Ultrasounds are tests of anatomy. MRIs are tests of anatomy. So if you’ve already got a lump, you want a test of anatomy.

So, that would be like an ultrasound because they can see the lump, they can see its consistency. They can see where there’s calcium in it. And they can look at blood flow because tumors are going to have increased blood flow. So, for instance, a sensitivity of ultrasound is up around 80%. It’s much higher than mammograms. And the sensitivity is higher too.

But if you’re looking for prevention, if you’re talking about screening, there’s really only one device out there, and that is thermography. An infrared thermal camera. Nothing touches the lady. Nothing smashes her breasts. There’s no cancer causing radiation.

 As we sit here, we are omitting heat in the spectrum called infrared. There’s infrared, visual, and ultraviolet. So this is the infrared spectrum of light, which our eyes don’t see, but which is very detectable by the camera. The military developed this so that they could see people sneaking at them at nighttime and so that they could shoot down missiles and things because they’re producing heat.

Ty Bollinger: Sure, like night vision goggles.

Dr. Ben Johnson: There you go. Night vision goggles are infrared goggles. So we use it as a medical application to detect hotspots in the breast.

Well long before there was a tumor there, there were cancer cells. Probably 8 to 10 years before there was a tumor, there were cancer cells starting to grow. Two cells, four cells, 16 cells, 144 cells, etc. It takes about eight years until you get to about a centimeter in size for a mammogram or an ultrasound to detect it. Well, that’s too late. Because of that one-centimeter tumor, about five-sixteenths of an inch, less than half an inch, is about one billion cells.

When you get to one billion cells, cancer has already eroded into the lymphatic system and the venous system, and it’s shedding cancer cells all through the body. So that’s why mammograms—one of the many reasons mammograms don’t save lives,
it is NOT early detection. That’s one of the little lies they’ve propagated along. “Early detection saves lives. Get your mammogram today.”

Ty Bollinger: Right.

Dr. Ben Johnson: Well, that statement’s true. Early detection does save lives. It’s just that mammography is not early detection; it’s too late. And then the cancer-causing radiation. So the long and the short is you’re causing much more breast cancer with mammograms than you are detecting.

The Truth About Cancer

The Truth About Cancer

The Truth About Cancer is committed to ending the cancer pandemic once and for all. Every single day, tens of thousands of people, just like you, are curing cancer (and/or preventing it) from destroying their bodies.

They are dedicated to helping others take matters into their own hands by educating them on real prevention and treatments.

Source:http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com

Geneticist David Suzuki Says Humans “Are Part Of A Massive Experiment”


  

gmo

 

 

We are doing our part to try and spread the word about GMOs, (genetically modified organisms) but we’re not the only ones. Multiple public figures, scientists and researchers have been speaking out about GMOs for a number of years. For example, not long ago a former Canadian Government Scientist at Agriculture Canada, Dr. Thierry Vrain (one of many) spoke out against GMOs. Another prominent public figure, Geneticist David Suzuki has been a long time advocate against GMOs, and has been speaking out about how they can be hazardous to human health as well as the environment. Below, I’ve provided a video example of Suzuki explaining why he feels the way he does about GMOs. Public figures with a wide audience can have a great impact on the consciousness of the masses, they are great ‘tools’ for waking more people up to the reality that GMOs can  be harmful to human health as well as the environment. It’s time to pay attention, do your own research and to question what you’ve been told. We can no longer trust branches of the government that deal with food and health, we must not take their word for it, it’s better if you actually look into it yourself rather than blindly believing what your are told.

 It doesn’t seem to be much of a debate anymore, it’s clear that GMOs can indeed be harmful to human health. There is a reason why a majority of countries around the world have permanently banned GMOs, so what’s taking North America so long? One reason might be the fact that biotech corporations like Monsanto seem to be above the government and influence policy, but thankfully these things are changing. Big Island, Hawaii has recently banned all GMO products and bio-tech company products. Various bills calling for moratoria on GE food include Vermont, North Dakota, Boulder, Colorado, San Francisco and more.

This large movement against GMOs is not based on belief, multiple researchers and scientists all around the world have shown that GMOs can be harmful. Here is a study that shows how Bt toxins found in Monsanto crops can be damaging to red blood cells, and potentially cause leukemia. Here is another one that shows how GMO animal feed caused severe stomach inflammation and enlarged uteri in pigs. There have been multiple studies linking GMOs to cancer, and a range of other diseases. Scientists all over the world have come together to show their support for the ban of GMOs.

Along with GMOs come the pesticides, which have been linked to cancerparkinson’sautism and alzheimer’s, to name a few.

As you can see, alternative media outlets are not the only ones doing their research. Most who investigate this topic, and do the research for themselves will come to the same conclusions. This is what David Suzuki and many others have done as well.

By slipping it into our food without our knowledge, without any indication that there are genetically modified organisms in our food, we are now unwittingly part of a massive experiment.

 The FDA has said that genetically modified organisms are not much different from regular food, so they’ll be treated in the same way. The problem is this, geneticists follow the inheritance of genes, what biotechnology allows us to do is to take this organism, and move it horizontally into a totally unrelated species. Now David Suzuki doesn’t normally mate with a carrot and exchange genes, what biotechnology allows us to do is to switch genes from one to the other without regard to the biological constraints. It’s very very bad science, we assume that the principals governing the inheritance of genes vertically, applies when you move genes laterally or horizontally. There’s absolutely no reason to make that conclusion.

Below is an article written by David Suzuki and Faisal Moola. At the beginning concerns with the 210 release of the super-genetically modified corn called ‘SmartStax,’ are mentioned which has now shown to be harmful to human health and banned all over the world. This article was written in 2009, but still has some good information.

By David Suzuki with Faisal Moola

In gearing up for the 2010 release of its super-genetically modified corn called ‘SmartStax’, agricultural-biotechnology giant Monsanto is using an advertising slogan that asks, ‘Wouldn’t it be better?’ But can we do better than nature, which has taken millennia to develop the plants we use for food?

We don’t really know. And that in itself is a problem. The corn, developed by Monsanto with Dow AgroSciences, “stacks” eight genetically engineered traits, six that allow it to ward off insects and two to make it resistant to weed-killing chemicals, many of which are also trademarked by Monsanto. It’s the first time a genetically engineered (GE) product has been marketed with more than three traits.

Canada approved the corn without assessing it for human health or environmental risk, claiming that the eight traits have already been cleared in other crop seeds — even though international food-safety guidelines that Canada helped develop state that stacked traits should be subject to a full safety assessment as they can lead to unintended consequences.

One problem is that we don’t know the unintended consequences of genetically engineered or genetically modified (GM) foods. Scientists may share consensus about issues like human-caused global warming, but they don’t have the same level of certainty about the effects of genetically modified organisms on environmental and human health!

A review of the science conducted under the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development in 2008 concluded that “there are a limited number of properly designed and independently peer-reviewed studies on human health” and that this and other observations “create concern about the adequacy of testing methodologies for commercial GM plants.”

Some have argued that we’ve been eating GM foods for years with few observable negative consequences, but as we’ve seen with things like trans fats, if often takes a while for us to recognize the health impacts. With GM foods, concerns have been raised about possible effects on stomach bacteria and resistance to antibiotics, as well as their role in allergic reactions. We also need to understand more about their impact on other plants and animals.

Of course, these aren’t the only issues with GM crops. Allowing agro-chemical companies to create GM seeds with few restrictions means these companies could soon have a monopoly over agricultural production. And by introducing SmartStax, we are giving agro-chemical companies the green light not just to sell and expand the use of their “super crops” but also to sell and expand the use of the pesticides these crops are designed to resist.

A continued reliance on these crops could also reduce the variety of foods available, as well as the nutritive value of the foods themselves.

There’s also a reason nature produces a variety of any kind of plant species. It ensures that if disease or insects attack a plant, other plant varieties will survive and evolve in its place. This is called biodiversity.

Because we aren’t certain about the effects of GMOs, we must consider one of the guiding principles in science, the precautionary principle. Under this principle, if a policy or action could harm human health or the environment, we must not proceed until we know for sure what the impact will be. And it is up to those proposing the action or policy to prove that it is not harmful.

That’s not to say that research into altering the genes in plants that we use for food should be banned or that GM foods might not someday be part of the solution to our food needs. We live in an age when our technologies allow us to “bypass” the many steps taken by nature over millennia to create food crops to now produce “super crops” that are meant to keep up with an ever-changing human-centred environment.

A rapidly growing human population and deteriorating health of our planet because of climate change and a rising number of natural catastrophes, among other threats, are driving the way we target our efforts and funding in plant, agricultural, and food sciences, often resulting in new GM foods.

But we need more thorough scientific study on the impacts of such crops on our environment and our health, through proper peer-reviewing and unbiased processes. We must also demand that our governments become more transparent when it comes to monitoring new GM crops that will eventually find their ways in our bellies through the food chain.

Sources:

http://davidsuzuki.org/blogs/science-matters/2009/09/more-science-needed-on-effects-of-genetically-modifying-food-crops/

GMO Update/More Info

 

In 1996, Steven M. Druker did something very few Americans were doing then — learn the facts about the massive venture to restructure the genetic core of the world’s food supply. The problem of unawareness still exists today, but it’s getting much better thanks to activists like Druker.

Druker, being a public interest attorney and the Executive Director of the Alliance For Bio-Integrity, initiated a lawsuit in 1998 that forced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to divulge its files on genetically engineered foods.

He’s recently published a book on the lawsuit (2015). In the book, Druker provides details of his experience, and he’s also released the documents on his website showing the significant hazards of genetically engineering foods and the flaws that the FDA made in its policy.

It’s called Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.

The book has some very impressive reviews. For example, David Schubert, Ph.D., molecular biologist and Head of Cellular Neurobiology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies said that this “incisive and insightful book is truly outstanding. Not only is it well-reasoned and scientifically solid, it’s a pleasure to read – and a must-read.”

Stephen Naylor, Ph.D., CEO and Chariman of Mai Health Inc., an individual who spent 10 years as a Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Pharmacology and the Mayo Clinic stated that Druker’s “meticulously documented, well crafted, and spell binding narrative should serve as a clarion call to all of us.” 

Joseph Cummins, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus of Genetics at Western University in London, Ontario believes that Druker’s book is a “landmark” and that “it should be required reading in every university biology course.” 

John Ikerd, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Missouri further accentuated the previous statements by saying that the evidence is “comprehensive and irrefutable; the reasoning is clear and compelling. No one has documented other cases of irresponsible behaviour by government regulators and the scientific establishment nearly as well as Druker documents this one.” 

In publishing his book and filing this lawsuit, Druker exposed how the agency covered up the warnings of its own scientists about the risks, lied about the facts, and then ushered these foods onto the market in violation of federal law.

Dr. Jane Goodall wrote the foreword to the book,

“As part of the process, they portrayed the various concerns as merely the ignorant opinions of misinformed individuals – and derided them as not only unscientific, but anti-science. They then set to work to convince the public and government officials, through the dissemination of false information, that there was an overwhelming expert consensus, based on solid evidence, that GMOs were safe.”

Check out the book here.

It’s also noteworthy to mention that Druker has actually served on the food safety panels at conferences held by the National Research council and the FDA, presented lectures at numerous universities, met with government officials throughout the world, and conferred at the White House Executive Offices with a task force of President Clinton’s Council on Environmental Quality.

You can also check out his website, where he has published key FDA documents revealing hazards of genetically engineered foods and the flaws with how the agency made its policy. 

A Summary On The Issue With More Shocking Revelations From WikiLeaks

Today, things have changed and more people in America have started to ask more questions, as well as demand labels on genetically engineered food products. This is thanks to the work of people like Druker, but there is still lots to do, and much to tackle in order to get to the bottom of this GMO debate.

Ask yourself: why are dozens upon dozens of countries across the world completely banning the import or growth of genetically modified foods in their countries? Several of them have already cited numerous environmental and human health concerns, and others have simply stated that they’d like to do more research.

When it comes to the actual research, it’s concerning that the World Health Organization (WHO) has zero long term studies showing the safety of GE foods.

The only long term study that has been conducted was in November 2012 in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology by Gilles-Eric Seralini and his team of researchers at France’s Caen University (source). It was a very significant study that made a lot of noise worldwide, and the first of its kind under controlled conditions that examined the possible effects of a GMO maize diet treated with Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide.

The study found severe liver and kidney damage as well as hormonal disturbances in rats fed with GM maize in conjunction with low levels of Roundup that were below those permitted in most drinking water across Europe. Results also indicated high rates of large tumors and mortality in most treatment groups.

The study was retracted in North America, but then republished in multiple journals in Europe, one of them being Environmental Sciences Europe (source).

The North American retraction was the result of strong commercial pressure pressure of North American biotech companies, like Monsanto, but the re-published studies in Europe (above, for example)  were even more up-to-date and put to rest its previous criticisms.

This is a great example of the politicization of modern day science.

This fact was also made clear by WikiLeaks documents:

Resistance to the advent of genetically modified foods has been pronounced across Europe. The continent features some of the strictest regulations governing the use and cultivation of GMO products, and public skepticism about biotech goods is quite high – a fact not lost on American diplomats. In a lengthy report dating from late 2007 , a cable issued by the State Department outlined its “Biotechnology Outreach Strategy, ‘which, among other things, recognized the European Union’s ‘negative views on biology’ and committed as a national priority to limiting them (O7STATE160639).

Initial attention paid to the State Department’s part in pushing industrial manufactures on its allies obscured the even bigger role it played in assuring a place for genetically modified agricultural products (GMOs) in a region that largely wanted nothing to do with them. The American campaign promoting biotech products was a worldwide effort. In all, some 1,000 documents from the Cablegate cache address this effort, a significant number of which originate in Europe. U.S. diplomats on the continent gave considerable attention to insuring the interests of American biotech firms in Europe – Whether through “education” programs, government lobbying, or outright coercion – as well as stripping down European Union regulations designed to act as a bugger against them. Available cables published by WikiLeaks suggest that the United States invests considerable time, effort, and expense in its operations on behalf of the American biotech firms.

Source:http://www.collective-evolution.com

Whatever, We’re Probably Living In A Hologram Anyway, Says Neil deGrasse Tyson


Look around you. Your shoes, that tree, the Starbucks cold brew you’re clutching—it’s all very much right here in the real world. But what if the “real world” we live and move around in is just a computer simulation? Neil deGrasse Tyson, everyone’s favorite astrophysicist, thinks there’s a very high chance that everything we know is just a hologram. He’s just one of a growing number of people who believe it.

 

Philosopher Nick Bostrom proposed the simulation hypothesis in 2003, and the belief has only snowballed since then. Most notably, Elon Musk and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson have jumped on the nothing-we-know-is-real bandwagon. Tyson hosted the 2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate at the American Museum of Natural History, which addressed this question head-on: Is the universe a simulation? At the event, Tyson was joined by panelists Lisa Randall, a theoretical physicist at Harvard; Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at MIT; David Chalmers, a professor of philosophy at NYU; Zohreh Davoudi, a theoretical physicist at MIT; and James Gates, a theoretical physicist at the University of Maryland.

The opinions on the simulation hypothesis varied (Chalmers had a real mind-boggler: “We’re not going to get conclusive proof that we’re not in a simulation, because any proof would be simulated.”). Tyson himself said, “I think the likelihood may be very high. […] it is easy for me to imagine that everything in our lives is just a creation of some other entity for their entertainment.” But whether or not everyone is in agreement about the matter, the concept is legitimate enough for the top minds in theoretical physics to meet on and parse out.

It’s Time To Meet Your Simulator

 Okay, let’s play along. Say nothing is actually real and we’re all just a bunch of cosmic holograms living out our lives in someone’s elaborate computer simulation. Who is that someone? Martin Savage, a physicist at the University of Washington, has some thoughts. Savage, along with two colleagues, published a paper that explores this issue in November 2012. In a conversation with Talk Nerdy To Me, Savage explains that the simulators may be our own descendants from the far future. Whoa. In the same way archaeologists dig up bones and other artifacts to piece together our past, perhaps future generations will have the ability to recreate simulations of how their ancestors (us) once lived. Yes, maybe your great-great-great-great-great-grandkid is studying you right this second. Hi, kiddo!

2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation?

Watch the video discussion. URL:

Source:curiosity.com

The internet is freaking out over this spooky prediction by Carl Sagan about the future.


It’s disturbingly accurate.

 
 Back in 1995, everyone’s favourite astrophysicist, Carl Sagan, published a book called The Demon-Haunted World, which warned against the dangers of pseudoscience and scientific illiteracy, and encouraged its readers to learn critical and skeptical thinking.

Pretty standard stuff for a socially conscious scientist, but one passage in particular has been blowing up on Twitter this week, and it’s not hard to see why.

 Somehow, (we’re not saying time machine, but probably time machine) Sagan managed to predict the state of things as they are today – and it’s unnervingly accurate.

We’re talking the decline in manufacturing jobs; people feeling hopeless about politics; politicians refusing or unable to represent the public interest; and brilliant, revolutionary technologies that never seem to change the lives of anyone but the 1 percent.

The result? Sagan predicts people will opt for superstition and pseudoscience over reality – and even more concerning, he says the public will be intellectually incapable of distinguishing between what makes us feel good, and what’s actually true. Fake news, anyone?

Yep, this passage has got it all:

So did Sagan somehow know enough about society in 1995 that he could accurately predict what life would be like in a couple of generations, or are we all reading too much into it?

Oddly enough, the way we interpret this kind of prediction actually has a lot to do with how we interpret horoscopes – one of Sagan’s biggest bugbears.

 Horoscopes have nothing to do with reality, but they owe their enormous success to the fact that humans tend to see what they want to see.

So while we can be pessimistic about the future of society as a whole, humans are generally pretty optimistic about their individual future prospects – a concept known as optimism bias.

It’s actually an evolutionary survival tactic – and that’s something horoscopes directly tap into.

As Tali Sharot, a cognitive neuroscientist from University College London, explains for TIME:

“You might expect optimism to erode under the tide of news about violent conflicts, high unemployment, tornadoes and floods and all the threats and failures that shape human life. Collectively we can grow pessimistic – about the direction of our country or the ability of our leaders to improve education and reduce crime. But private optimism, about our personal future, remains incredibly resilient.”

Thanks to humanity’s optimism bias, you could show someone all the statistics related to divorce, cancer, and average lifespan, and more often than not, they’ll choose to believe that those negative experiences won’t happen to them.

So when we see horoscopes that tell us we’re going to meet our soulmate or get a big promotion this month, we choose to believe it, and don’t tend to go back and fact-check it – the horoscope has already done its job by making us feel good.

A similar thing goes on when we’re presented with a spookily accurate prediction of the future – part of the cognitive bias that’s wired into all humans is that we are drawn to details that confirm our existing beliefs.

As Matt Novak points out over at Gizmodo: “[I]t’s important to remember that the ‘accuracy’ of predictions is often a Rorschach test. An interpretation of a particular prediction’s accuracy usually says a lot about the people interpreting them, and their own hopes or fears for the future.”

We also need to put these predictions into context, because once you read past the viral passage, you’ll see that Sagan is kinda trying to blame the state of things in the future on… Beavis and Butthead?

“The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.

As I write, the number one video cassette rental in America is the movie Dumb and DumberBeavis and Butthead remains popular (and influential) with young TV viewers. The plain lesson is that study and learning – not just of science, but of anything – are avoidable, even undesirable.”

How delighted Sagan would be to know that in 2016, more young people were watching David Attenborough than The X Factor. Mind-numbing television is actually the least of our problems right now.

But even with all that said, we do have to give props to Sagan for coming up with a really cracking prediction for the beginning of 2017. Let’s hope for better things to come in the months and years ahead.

Source:sciencealert.com

The smartphone is eventually going to die, and then things are going to get really crazy.


One day, not too soon – but still sooner than you think – the smartphone will all but vanish, like beepers and fax machines before it.

Make no mistake, we’re still probably at least a decade away from any kind of meaningful shift away from the smartphone. (And if we’re all cyborgs by 2027 , I’ll happily eat my words. Assuming we’re still eating at all, I guess.)

Yet, piece by piece, the groundwork for the eventual demise of the smartphone is being laid by Elon Musk , by Microsoft, by Facebook, by Amazon, and a countless number of startups that still have a part to play.

And, let me tell you: If and when the smartphone does die, that’s when things are going to get really weird for everybody. Not just in terms of individual products, but in terms of how we actually live our everyday lives and maybe our humanity itself.

Here’s a brief look at the slow, ceaseless march towards the death of the smartphone – and what the post-smartphone world is shaping up to look like.

The short term

People think of the iPhone and the smartphones it inspired as revolutionary devices – small enough to carry everywhere, hefty enough to handle an increasingly large number of our daily tasks, and packed full of the right mix cameras and GPS sensors to make apps like Snapchat and Uber uniquely possible.

But consider the smartphone from another perspective. The desktop PC and the laptop are made up of some combination of a mouse, keyboard, and monitor. The smartphone just took that model, shrunk it down, and made the input virtual and touch-based.

So take, for example, the Samsung Galaxy S8 , unveiled this week. It’s gorgeous with an amazing bezel-less screen and some real power under the hood. It’s impressive, but it’s more refinement than revolution.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Tellingly, though, the Galaxy S8 ships with Bixby , a new virtual assistant that Samsung promises will one day let you control every single feature and app with just your voice. It will also ship with a new version of the Gear VR virtual reality headset, developed in conjunction with Facebook’s Oculus.

The next iPhone, too, is said to be shipping with upgrades to the Siri assistant, along with features aimed at bringing augmented reality into the mainstream .

And as devices like the Amazon Echo , Sony PlayStation VR , and theApple Watch continue to enjoy limited but substantial success, expect to see a lot more tech companies large and small taking more gambles and making more experiments on the next big wave in computing interfaces.

The medium term

In the medium-term, all of these various experimental and first-stage technologies are going to start to congeal into something familiar, but bizarre.

Microsoft, Facebook, Google and the Google-backed Magic Leap are all working to build standalone augmented reality headsets, which project detailed 3D images straight into your eyes. Even Apple is rumored to be working on this, too .

Microsoft’s Alex Kipman recently told Business Insider that augmented reality could flat-out replace the smartphone, the TV, and anything else with a screen. There’s not much use for a separate device sitting in your pocket or on your entertainment center, if all your calls, chats, movies, and games are beamed into your eyes and overlaid on the world around you.

apple airpods in ear

Meanwhile, gadgetry like the Amazon Echo or Apple’s own AirPodsbecome more and more important in this world. As artificial intelligence systems like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Samsung’s Bixby, and Microsoft’s Cortana get smarter, there’s going to be a rise not just in talking to computers, but having them talk back.

In other words, computers are going to hijack your senses, more so than they already do, with your sight and your hearing intermediated by technology. It’s a little scary. Think of what Facebook glitches could mean in a world where it doesn’t just control what you read on your phone, but what you see in the world around you .

The promise, though, is a world where real life and technology blend more seamlessly. The major tech companies promise that this future means a world of fewer technological distractions and more balance, as the physical and digital world become the same thing. You decide how you feel about that.

The really crazy future

Still, all those decade-plus investments in the future still rely on gadgetry that you have to wear on you, even if it’s only a pair of glasses. Some of the craziest, most forward-looking, most unpredictable advancements go even further – provided you’re willing to wait a few extra decades, that is.

This week, we got our first look at Neuralink, a new company cofounded by Elon Musk with a goal of building computers into our brains by way of “neural lace,” a very early-stage technology that lays on your brain and bridges it to a computer. It’s the next step beyond even that blending of the digital and physical worlds, as man and machine become one.

Assuming the science works – and lots of smart people believe that it will– this is the logical endpoint of the road that smartphones started us on. If smartphones gave us access to information and augmented reality puts that information in front of us when we need it, then putting neural lace in our brains just closes the gap.

Ray Kurzweil

Musk has said that this is because the rise of artificial intelligence – which underpins a lot of the other technologies, including voice assistants and virtual reality – means that humans are going to have to augment themselves just to keep up with the machines. If you’re really curious about this idea, futurist Ray Kurzweil is the leading voice on the topic .

The idea of man/machine fusion is a terrifying one, with science fiction writers, technologists, and philosophers alike having very good cause to ask what even makes us human in the first place. At the same time, the idea is so new that nobody really knows what this world would look like in practice.

So if and when the smartphone dies, it’ll actually be the end of an era in more ways than one. It’ll be the end of machines that we carry with us passively and the beginning of something that bridges our bodies straight into the ebb and flow of digital information. It’s going to get weird.

And yet, lots of technologists already say that smartphones give us superpowers with access to knowledge, wisdom, and abilities beyond anything nature gave us. In some ways, augmenting the human mind would be the ultimate superpower. Then again, maybe I’m just an optimist.

Make no mistake, we’re still probably at least a decade away from any kind of meaningful shift away from the smartphone. (And if we’re all cyborgs by 2027 , I’ll happily eat my words. Assuming we’re still eating at all, I guess.)

Yet, piece by piece, the groundwork for the eventual demise of the smartphone is being laid by Elon Musk , by Microsoft, by Facebook, by Amazon, and a countless number of startups that still have a part to play.

And, let me tell you: If and when the smartphone does die, that’s when things are going to get really weird for everybody. Not just in terms of individual products, but in terms of how we actually live our everyday lives and maybe our humanity itself.

Here’s a brief look at the slow, ceaseless march towards the death of the smartphone – and what the post-smartphone world is shaping up to look like.

The short term

People think of the iPhone and the smartphones it inspired as revolutionary devices – small enough to carry everywhere, hefty enough to handle an increasingly large number of our daily tasks, and packed full of the right mix cameras and GPS sensors to make apps like Snapchat and Uber uniquely possible.

But consider the smartphone from another perspective. The desktop PC and the laptop are made up of some combination of a mouse, keyboard, and monitor. The smartphone just took that model, shrunk it down, and made the input virtual and touch-based.

So take, for example, the Samsung Galaxy S8 , unveiled this week. It’s gorgeous with an amazing bezel-less screen and some real power under the hood. It’s impressive, but it’s more refinement than revolution.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Tellingly, though, the Galaxy S8 ships with Bixby , a new virtual assistant that Samsung promises will one day let you control every single feature and app with just your voice. It will also ship with a new version of the Gear VR virtual reality headset, developed in conjunction with Facebook’s Oculus.

The next iPhone, too, is said to be shipping with upgrades to the Siri assistant, along with features aimed at bringing augmented reality into the mainstream .

And as devices like the Amazon Echo , Sony PlayStation VR , and theApple Watch continue to enjoy limited but substantial success, expect to see a lot more tech companies large and small taking more gambles and making more experiments on the next big wave in computing interfaces.

The medium term

In the medium-term, all of these various experimental and first-stage technologies are going to start to congeal into something familiar, but bizarre.

Microsoft, Facebook, Google and the Google-backed Magic Leap are all working to build standalone augmented reality headsets, which project detailed 3D images straight into your eyes. Even Apple is rumored to be working on this, too .

Microsoft’s Alex Kipman recently told Business Insider that augmented reality could flat-out replace the smartphone, the TV, and anything else with a screen. There’s not much use for a separate device sitting in your pocket or on your entertainment center, if all your calls, chats, movies, and games are beamed into your eyes and overlaid on the world around you.

apple airpods in ear

Meanwhile, gadgetry like the Amazon Echo or Apple’s own AirPodsbecome more and more important in this world. As artificial intelligence systems like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Samsung’s Bixby, and Microsoft’s Cortana get smarter, there’s going to be a rise not just in talking to computers, but having them talk back.

In other words, computers are going to hijack your senses, more so than they already do, with your sight and your hearing intermediated by technology. It’s a little scary. Think of what Facebook glitches could mean in a world where it doesn’t just control what you read on your phone, but what you see in the world around you .

The promise, though, is a world where real life and technology blend more seamlessly. The major tech companies promise that this future means a world of fewer technological distractions and more balance, as the physical and digital world become the same thing. You decide how you feel about that.

The really crazy future

Still, all those decade-plus investments in the future still rely on gadgetry that you have to wear on you, even if it’s only a pair of glasses. Some of the craziest, most forward-looking, most unpredictable advancements go even further – provided you’re willing to wait a few extra decades, that is.

This week, we got our first look at Neuralink, a new company cofounded by Elon Musk with a goal of building computers into our brains by way of “neural lace,” a very early-stage technology that lays on your brain and bridges it to a computer. It’s the next step beyond even that blending of the digital and physical worlds, as man and machine become one.

Assuming the science works – and lots of smart people believe that it will– this is the logical endpoint of the road that smartphones started us on. If smartphones gave us access to information and augmented reality puts that information in front of us when we need it, then putting neural lace in our brains just closes the gap.

Ray Kurzweil

Musk has said that this is because the rise of artificial intelligence – which underpins a lot of the other technologies, including voice assistants and virtual reality – means that humans are going to have to augment themselves just to keep up with the machines. If you’re really curious about this idea, futurist Ray Kurzweil is the leading voice on the topic .

The idea of man/machine fusion is a terrifying one, with science fiction writers, technologists, and philosophers alike having very good cause to ask what even makes us human in the first place. At the same time, the idea is so new that nobody really knows what this world would look like in practice.

So if and when the smartphone dies, it’ll actually be the end of an era in more ways than one. It’ll be the end of machines that we carry with us passively and the beginning of something that bridges our bodies straight into the ebb and flow of digital information. It’s going to get weird.

And yet, lots of technologists already say that smartphones give us superpowers with access to knowledge, wisdom, and abilities beyond anything nature gave us. In some ways, augmenting the human mind would be the ultimate superpower. Then again, maybe I’m just an optimist.

Source:businessinsider.in

Male Brain Author Brizendine on Sex, Love, Why Men Cheat.


Despite all that old talk about Mars and Venus, men and women are much more biologically alike than not. But differences in the way our brains are built shed light on everything from the way we flirt to the way we fight to how we raise our boys, says neuropsychiatrist Dr. Louann Brizendine in her provocative new book, The Male Brain. The author talked to TIME about sex, the daddy brain and why some men may be built to cheat.

You immediately address the stereotype that guys have one-track, sex-crazed minds. Biologically speaking, is it true?
I think that’s probably more emblematic of the female experience of the male than what’s actually going on in the male brain. Certainly the male brain is seeking and looking for sex. But it is also very much seeking and looking for partnership and for choosing “the one.”

You say the “area for sexual pursuit” is 2.5 times larger in the male brain than in the female brain. Do you worry that people will read that and decide your book confirms the stereotype?
I think there is a kernel of truth in stereotypes. But [understanding human biology] doesn’t give males a pass on being civilized or any parent a pass on having to train their sons.

You write that sex and love are linked. How?
The sexual circuitry releases huge amounts of dopamine. The reward system in the brain basically gets triggered during sex and orgasm and then feeds back on the rest of the brain, making it want to do that again and again — and wanting to seek out the person that you’re having that lovely experience with again and again. So at some point, the love circuits and the sex circuits get gradually bound together. The sexual part of that experience gets more and more attached to that [particular] female, and gradually merges with that circuitry and identifies that person as “the one.” Not all men get that, as we know, but the majority of men do.

In humans they have identified, so far, about 17 different lengths of [the vasopressin receptor gene]. There are several studies that have shown that those males with the longer version are more likely to be married, and their wives are more likely to say they have a happy, successful marriage and there hasn’t been any infidelity. The ones with the shorter ones are more likely to be bachelors.

Doesn’t suggesting that a propensity to cheat is hard-wired in some guys give unfaithful husbands the perfect excuse?
I don’t think it lets you escape responsibility, but I think it lets one honor that underlying impulse and then realize why it’s so important to have all the religious and social principles that we’re raised with. No matter what [a boy’s] genes are, we need to be laying out good role models for how one behaves in one’s life. I feel very strongly: this is not an excuse for men to behave badly. But it is something to help men have a deeper insight into themselves, and women to have a deeper insight into men.

This type of interaction goes on lots and lots between the couples that come to my office: she just wants him to talk to her about how she’s feeling about something before he launches into giving her the solution. And he feels like, well, what good will it do just to wallow in the feelings? I think one of the things that women don’t focus on or appreciate is that our men really want to make us happy. He’s the fix-it man. He really does want to be our hero, and that’s how he expresses his love.

What happens when a guy is becoming a father?
The hormone testosterone is going down and the hormone prolactin is going up in the male brain, because he is smelling the pheromones of his pregnant wife. Prolactin is the hormone in females that makes breast milk. We don’t know what it’s doing in males yet. We assume it has something to do with making the daddy-brain circuits. By the time the baby is born, he’s able to hear infant cries much better. So something about his auditory-perceptual system has actually changed. His sex drive has gone down along with his testosterone. Therefore his brain is being primed to be a caretaker. If he doesn’t get some alone time [after birth] with the baby, however, the daddy brain won’t develop fully.

You think both men and women have deep misunderstandings of what drives the opposite sex. What are the biggest?
I think the biggest is that all men want is sex. The equivalent for women is that we are all emotional, and all we want is commitment.

Source:time.com

Reena Aggarwal: What does the failure of AHCA mean for women’s healthcare? 


Despite the AHCA failing, plans to defund Planned Parenthood in the US will damage women’s healthcare choices, says Reena Aggarwal

reena_aggarwalThe Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a game changer for women’s health. Prior to the ACA, 1 in 6 Americans were uninsured—non pregnant women were twice as likely to be uninsured compared to pregnant women, and 25% of women of reproductive age were uninsured at some point over the course of one year. [1,2] The ACA expanded federal funding to increase Medicaid eligibility which  resulted in 20 million previously uninsured individuals gaining coverage, and women of reproductive age who did not have health insurance dropping by a third. [3]

During the Republican Party’s recent failed attempt to “repeal and replace” the ACA, women’s healthcare came under fire. One element of the ACA was the requirement that all insurers cover an array of ten “essential health benefits” which spanned maternity care and preventive services (vaccinations, screening, and contraceptive coverage) at no extra cost. In order to make the American Health Care Act (AHCA) more palatable to the House Freedom Caucus (a group of strict fiscal Conservatives in the Republican Party), these essential benefits were taken away to allow individual states to decide what counted as “essential.” It is worth remembering that prior to ACA, the majority of insurers either had no maternity benefit, or it was prohibitively expensive (high deductibles and co-pays). If a woman became unexpectedly pregnant and discovered her plan did not cover maternity, and then tried to change plans, pregnancy would be a considered a pre-existing condition and she could therefore be denied coverage. Adding a maternity benefit to all health insurance policies prevented discrimination and also prevented women paying more for health insurance. Without health insurance, childbirth can cost anything up to $20,000 in the USA, but whilst the maternity benefit has raised premiums overall, it made childbirth affordable for millions of families. However, now that President Trump has said he will allow “Obamacare to explode” due to the instability of insurance markets, there is legitimate concern that with no federal oversight private insurers may remove essential benefits from their plans, which could leave millions of women without maternity coverage.

Additionally, in an effort to appease the pro-life agenda of more Conservative Republicans, the AHCA had proposed defunding Planned Parenthood by removing federal funding. From the creation of Margaret Sanger’s birth control organization in 1916, Planned Parenthood has grown into a global not for profit organization providing comprehensive family planning and related reproductive health services. It has received federal funding since 1970 when President Nixon wrote that, “no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition” and brought into being the Title X Family Planning Program with broad bipartisan support. The purpose was to ensure all people, not just the wealthy, could plan their families. The 1976 Hyde Amendment banned federal funding for abortions, so despite receiving Title X funding and being reimbursed by Medicaid for providing services, Planned Parenthood cannot use these funds to pay for abortions. Opponents of abortion attest that by allocating money to Planned Parenthood for the provision of other medical services allows other funds from philanthropic organizations to be re-allocated for abortions.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted that by removing federal funding from Planned Parenthood about 15% of women in low income areas would lose care by affecting “services that help women avert pregnancies” and the additional births “stemming from the reduced access” would add to federal Medicaid spending. This is because Planned Parenthood is the sole source of publicly funded contraceptive care in the United States offering comprehensive methods including more expensive (but reliable) long acting reversible contraception (LARCs), alongside STI testing, mammograms and cancer screening. Abortion care accounts for only 3% of services. Many of their clients are young, immigrant, low income women whose only source of care are their services as clinics often operate medically underserved areas making it the “safety net” for marginalized women. [4]

President Trump blamed the House Freedom Caucus (vehemently pro-life) for helping to save Planned Parenthood by opposing the AHCA. At the end of April, the US government faces an expiration of their spending bill to fund federal government and in order to pass a new resolution, calls to deny federal funding to Planned Parenthood may become a non-negotiable condition. President Trump needs the funding bill to pass as many of his policies hinge upon this—for example, increasing defence spending and funds to build a border wall between Mexico and the United States. Despite failing to pass AHCA, last week, Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking senate vote to pass legislation allowing states to withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood and other providers performing abortions.

By resuscitating these measures, women covered by Medicaid will no longer be able to choose Planned Parenthood clinics for their care. Unless alternative services are provided, this would be catastrophic for women’s reproductive choices and health needs. The US abortion rate has declined 14% between 2011-14 and in 2014 was at the lowest rate since 1973 when abortion was legalized. This is attributed to education and contraception coverage. [5] Without publicly funded family planning care, it is predicted that US teen pregnancies could be 73% higher than they are now. [6] Some commentators have suggested that women look for other providers or even move states. Lest we forget restriction of contraception and abortion services in Romania led to one of the highest maternal mortality rates in Europe.

Removing federal funding from Planned Parenthood doesn’t prevent abortions—it hurts women’s choices by denying them access to affordable contraception or screening services. Removing maternity care from the essential health benefits in insurance policies means it will cost women more to have coverage. Both of these are unconscionable. Sean Spicer, suggested “men and women beyond maternity age and young people paying for end of life care” did not make “sense.” This exposes a lack of understanding about health insurance and the role of essential health benefits. Despite AHCA failing, there is a very real danger that the hostility toward abortion will roll the clock back to the discriminatory policies before the ACA was implemented, and make it harder for women to prevent an unintended pregnancy (already 1 in 2 pregnancies is unplanned), have care throughout their pregnancy, and maintain their health needs. President Trump once espoused that his healthcare plans would cover “everyone”—let’s hope he remembers to do just that for the 50.8% of the American population who are women.

Reena Aggarwal is a specialist registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and a research fellow at Ariadne Labs in Boston. Twitter @drraggarwal

Competing interests: None declared. 

  1. Institute of Medicine. America’s Uninsured Crisis: Consequences for Health and Health Care. Washington DC; 2009.
  2. Kozhimannil KB, Abraham JM, Virnig BA. National Trends in Health Insurance Coverage of Pregnant and Reproductive-Age Women, 2000 to 2009. Women’s Heal Issues. 2012;22(2):e135-e141. doi:10.1016/j.whi.2011.12.002.
  3. Gold RB, Starrs AM. US reproductive health and rights: beyond the global gag rule. Lancet Public Heal. 2017;2(3):e122-e123. doi:10.1016/S2468-2667(17)30035-X.
  4. Understanding Planned Parenthood’s Critical Role in the Nation’s Family Planning Safety Net | Guttmacher Institute.
  5. Behind the Declines. Guttmacher Policy Rev. 2017;20.
  6. Teen Pregnancy | Guttmacher Institute. https://www.guttmacher.org/united-states/teens/teen-pregnancy. Accessed March 31, 2017.

Source:http://blogs.bmj.com

The Spiritual Consequences of Alcohol Consumption | The Costa Rica News


Although it is mass produced, mass promoted, legal, and ingested by a multitude of people all over the world, most people don’t ever consider or understand the spiritual consequences of drinking alcohol.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the etymology of the Word alcohol. Etymology means the root of the word… where it is derived from.

alternative medicine costa rica

The word “Alcohol” comes from the Arabic “al-kuhl” which means “BODY EATING SPIRIT”, and gives root origins to the English term for “ghoul”. In Middle Eastern folklore, a “ghoul” is an evil demon thought to eat human bodies, either as stolen corpses or as children.

The words “alembic” and “alcohol”, both metaphors for aqua vitae or “life water” and “spirit”, often refer to a distilled liquid that came from magical explorations in Middle Eastern alchemy.

In the words of writer and health enthusiast, Jason Christoff –  “In alchemy, alcohol is used to extract the soul essence of an entity. Hence its’ use in extracting essences for essential oils, and the sterilization of medical instruments. By consuming alcohol into the body, it in effect extracts the very essence of the soul, allowing the body to be more susceptible to neighboring entities most of which are of low frequencies (why do you think we call certain alcoholic beverages “SPIRITS?”). That is why people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol often black out, not remembering what happened. This happens when the good soul (we were sent here with) leaves because the living conditions are too polluted and too traumatic to tolerate. The good soul jettisons the body, staying connected to a tether, and a dark entity takes the body for a joy ride around the block, often in a hedonistic and self-serving illogical rampage. Our bodies are cars for spirits. If one leaves, another can take the car for a ride. Essentially when someone goes dark after drinking alcohol or polluting themselves in many other ways, their body often becomes possessed by another entity.”

I became aware of this phenomenon years ago when I was given a spiritual vision. In this vision, I was transported as an observer above a popular bar and nightclub. Above the venue where a variety of ghoul-like entities. Inside the bar were people drinking alcohol, socializing, dancing, and so on. I watched as certain people became very drunk. I saw their souls, while connected through a thread, exited the body. I understood that the soul was leaving the body because of the great discomfort of being in a body highly intoxicated with alcohol. When the soul exited the body, other non-benevolent entities entered or latched on to their vacant shells. Once the entities took hold of the body, they used the body to play out all kinds of dark acts, such as violence, low-level sexual encounters, destructive behaviors, rape, and more.

Years later, while reading a book called Mans Eternal Quest, by Paramahansa Yogananda, this spiritual master clearly explained the exact same thing as I was shown in the vision.

I began to look back over my life and remember situations where I saw dark spirits hanging around people who had become very drunk. Let me elaborate a bit when I say I saw these entities … I have had the abilities of clairvoyance (the ability to perceive things beyond the natural range of the senses … which can include: ESP, extrasensory perception, sixth sense, psychic powers, second sight; telepathy, and more) , clairaudience ( the ability to perceive sounds or words from outside sources in the spirit world), and the experience of being a spiritual intuitive and empath since childhood. I have the ability to see energies and spiritual manifestations that most people don’t see. As I looked back over my life I could remember many incidents of encountering non-benevolent spirits in the presence of intoxicated individuals. I also have had experiences of looking into the eyes of a few people who were surely “possessed” by dark energies that were not their own.

I also remember a psychology course I once took. In part of this course, we studied advertising and the effects on humans. We looked at the advertising for alcohol. A master teacher of this subject illuminated the fact that most alcohol advertisements are embedded with hidden messages and images – not typically perceivable to the common sight, yet perceived through the subconscious. Knowing how powerful the subconscious is in our decisión making, feelings, reactions, beliefs, etc., the slick sales teams of alcohol (as well as tobacco and other products) used this sinister technique to trick us into buying their products and joining the societal cult of mental apathy and cultural obedience. Many of these hidden messages and images were extremely sexual – working to influence some of the basest urges and primal nature of humans. Let this example bring you to a place of curiosity and questioning. Why have the marketing teams felt the need to trick us and coerce us through subliminal messages to buy products that are harmful to the human body and to our soul?

alternative medicine costa rica

How many times have you or someone you know, after becoming quite intoxicated with alcohol, behaved in a manner uncommon to them? Perhaps you experienced the changing of voice, violence, sexual promiscuity, ingesting of harmful substances, destruction to property, conflictual behavior, and other negative expressions. Consider these experiences and ask yourself – is this the manifestation of light, love, and positivity? Do these occurrences represent a path of consciousness and health?

It is a known by many that ingesting alcohol depresses the nervous system, kills brain cells, is toxic to the liver, weakens the immune system, and has many other harmful effects.  We are taught that long-term alcohol use can lead to unwanted weight gain, diseases of the liver, lowering of intelligence, and negative effects on hormones. Drinking alcohol while pregnant can lead to birth defects, mental retardation, and deformities in the developing fetus. Yet still, it is mass promoted and supported by our mainstream culture. Have you ever considered that alcohol is a slick tool of the supporters of the Matrix (global mind control and oppression program) to keep people on a path of disempowerment and sickness?

We have to ask why is alcohol legal throughout most of the world, yet in many countries, and specifically the United States, psychedelics are illegal. The conscious and safe use of psychedelics or “visionary medicines”are known to assist in mind expansion, to initiate spiritual experiences where people have communed with the divine, healed numerous physical and spiritual ailments, increase intelligence, help to re-pattern the brain in a positive way, assist people in aligning with their soul’s purpose, and have inspired many people to create great works of art and other innovative creations. It seems that these substances would definitely be banned and discouraged if there truly is an agenda seeking to oppress the human potential and keep us “in the dark” regarding who we are as spiritual beings, our innate potential, and the path to empowerment.

As we strive to heal, awaken, and transform our world – I pray that we wise up to the dirty trick played upon humanity in regards to alcohol. Non-benevolent forces have wanted to keep us oppressed, disempowered, and asleep.

How many of us have seen families broken and lives lost because of alcohol and alcoholism?

Do you think it makes us smarter or healthier or overall better people?

It’s time to change things.

Let’s stand behind replacing the rampant abuse of alcohol with more health enhancing practices and activities –

and learn how to live awakened and empowered lives!

Before I close this writing, I want to share a little more about the history of the word alcohol. There have been some people who look into the etymology and discover this explanation –

“alcohol (n.)  – 1540s (early 15c. as alcofol), “fine powder produced by sublimation,” from Medieval Latin alcohol “powdered ore of antimony,” from Arabic al-kuhul “kohl,” the fine metallic powder used to darken the eyelids, from kahala “to stain, paint.”

Paracelsus (1493-1541) used the word to refer to a fine powder but also a volatile liquid. By 1670s it was being used in English for “any sublimated substance, the pure spirit of anything,” including liquids. Sense of “intoxicating ingredient in strong liquor” is first recorded 1753, short for alcohol of wine, which was extended to “the intoxicating element in fermented liquors.” In organic chemistry, the word was extended 1850 to the class of compounds of the same type as this.”

drug addiction costa ricaUpon further research, we can find that in ancient Egypt, the eyes of both men and women were lined top and bottom with a thick black powder known as kohl, kajal, or mesdemet. The outlined eye resembled the almond-shaped eye of the falcon god Horus observed in the Eye of Horus glyph. It was believed that this shape invoked the god´s protection and warded off evil spirits.

Yet if one were to dig deeper, as a true scientist, researcher, or truth seeker does, you will also discover these interesting facts…

  1. Dr. Rachel Hajar, an accomplished modern-day editor, author and medical advisor, while researching an article on alcohol for her online medical journal, found additional meanings in ancient Arabic texts;
  1. Al kol: Genie or spirit that takes on varied shapes or a supernatural creature in Arabic mythology.
  1. Al kol: Any drug or substance that takes away the mind or covers it.”
  1. The word alcohol is also linked to the fixed star in astronomy known as Algol- also known as “the Demon’s head.”
  1. The current Arabic name for alcohol (ethanol) is الغول al-ġawl – properly meaning “spirit” or “demon”.

It is not a coincidence that alcohol has often been referred to as spirits. There is a deep history behind this intoxicating substance. There are layers of information throughout our culture, sometimes we have to look below the surface of things to find the fullness of truth. I encourage you to deeply consider the information shared here, look at the effects of alcohol in your life, in the lives of the people you know, and in society at large. Make conscious, informed, and health enhancing decisions. The more people who awaken to truth and seek health and liberation from mind control agendas, the more likely we are to make positive changes and co-create a world we feel good about living in.

Source:http://thecostaricanews.com

Aging Populations Are Not a Crisis.


The idea that an aging global population is an economic crisis is an effort to con us into accepting neoliberal reforms.

The idea that an aging global population is an economic crisis is an effort to con us into accepting neoliberal reforms. 

As a professor of education for almost 20 years and eldercare giver for more than 10 years, I’ve spent the better part of my life experiencing how policy shapes practices of care.

Simply put, the lives of young people are intimately tied to the health and well-being of older adults. That is, social expenditure at the beginning and end of life makes for greater social stability for all.

For example, funding after school programs enables 50 million working parents to keep their jobs and, thus, provide better care for their children; and Meals on Wheels helps keep the elderly in their homes, which not only enables better care, but also does so at a fraction of the cost.

While other nations have figured out that economies of care pay in dividends, the US continues to struggle with balancing the people vs. profits equation. Trumpcare would have only exacerbated this calculus with the greatest impact imposed on society’s most vulnerable — the young and the old. As such, the AARP, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Hospital Association (AHA) played no small part in the bill’s downfall.

While the AARP and others may have wrestled a momentary stay against draconian cuts to health care, the impasse seems insurmountable. Or is it? While groups opposing and groups supporting GOP visions of a market-based system differ across multiple variables, both ultimately factor in age-as-cost (the aged = deserving class, worthy of cost, vs. the aged = human surplus, expendable cost). In other words, they all treat the elderly as if they exist out of any particular socioeconomic or cultural context. It is only within modernist, capitalist societies, that the aging body is prefigured as a crisis of decreased labor power and increased social expenditure.

Indeed, policy analysts have long obsessed over the coming “demographic storm,” linking the “crisis” of global aging to everything from declining GDPs to threatened global security. Such predictions, however, not only presume that neoliberal capitalism will continue unabated, but also the particular view on aging that arises from that presumption. Yet, both are on their way toward obsolescence.

So, what if the coming demographic shift was actually an opportunity and not a crisis? Stated differently, what if we allowed ourselves to imagine life beyond neoliberalism and in a post-productive society?

In this scenario, the aging masses present a tremendous opening for rethinking the outmoded relationships we have drawn between work and existence, economic growth and production, and age to declining yield.

For instance, rather than perceive the aging workforce as a drag on productivity, why not imagine the increasingly healthy population of 50- to 64-year-olds as a flexible labor pool that could potentially relieve work stress for younger adults?

Instead of engaging in global hand-wringing about rising unemployment, why not plan for a work-life that includes intentional career breaks, with an older workforce filling the gaps?

Perhaps it’s time to take seriously the idea of a universal basic income that would unhinge “work” from market imperatives, moving us toward forms of labor defined by love, service, education and justice. If nothing else, an older, more seasoned workforce would serve as a welcome intervention to the false notion that wealth buys happiness, pointing us toward a new horizon beyond the productivist logics of capital.

At the very least, if we are going to free our imaginations about the future, we need to refuse the manufactured crisis of aging as a politics being sold as yet another ruse for neoliberal reform strategies. Not just because we already know that subjecting health care to the “logic” of the marketplace will do more harm than good, but also because our collective refusal will help to disentangle aging from the discourse of crisis. Particularly as we approach the point of no return with climate change, replacing our fixation with profit margins and accumulation could prove to be an important first step to imagining lives measured by satisfaction and sustainability.

Toward this end, we first need to ensure the basic health and well-being of the elderly by joining the AARP, AHA and AMA in rejecting any legislation that places profits over people. Next, let’s change the narrative about the elderly-as-crisis, and shift toward more generative views that embrace the wisdom, composure and satisfaction that comes with age. Finally, we must hospice the neoliberal era toward its own death and accept what is already evident: lives defined by collectivity, reciprocity and balance hold the greatest promise for human beings and the rest of nature.

Source:truth-out.org

Dr. Maulik speaks about depression and mental health in India


Dr. Pallab Maulik is a leading expert on mental health. He has worked with the World Health Organization, Geneva, on mental health programs and clinically as a psychiatrist in India and Australia.

He is the Deputy Director and Head of Research at The George Institute for Global Health India and a Senior Associate with George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford.

The World Health day 2017 is a great opportunity and platform for us all to address depression and the stigma associated with it and build a continuous momentum to spread awareness and compassion towards people suffering from depression in India.

In this interview, Dr. Maulik speaks about the pressing need to address depression and mental health in India.

Q1. What are some of the common misconceptions about depression in our society?

Pallab: “People across the world perceive depression in different ways. Some define it as stress while some see it as ‘tension’, while some understand these as symptoms of depression. With lower awareness of depression especially in rural parts of India, some people see depression as a part of life and in more severe cases they feel this is an act of god and they are being punished.”

Q2. Do we have current data on the number of people suffering from Depression in India?

Pallab: ” Depression accounts for around 10% of all common mental disorders, according to National Mental Health Survey of 2016.”

“It’s estimated that around 150 million people in India suffer from mental disorders which needs to be treated.

“Out of these only 1 in 27 people receive any kind of treatment.”

Q3. How does this data compare to depression in other countries?

Pallab: “If you compare the rate or percentage and not the numbers, it is consistent with other parts of world. Around 10% of women and 5% of men are suffering from major depression across the world and this is consistent with Indian population as well.”

Q4. how prepared is India to tackle mental health illness from a policy and systems perspective?

Pallab: “We have a Mental Health policy that came into force only in 2014. The Mental Health act had not been revised since 1987. The new Mental Healthcare Bill 2016 recently approved on 24thMarch is a welcome relief but needs to be implemented. The much-awaited Bill is a key legislation that will provide stakeholders a better understanding to understand and tackle the rights of people with mental disorders and empower those suffering from mental disorders.”

“The law itself is not enough, we need to ensure that everyone especially the caregivers as well as the police and other stakeholders in society are sensitised to this new legislation that sees a person with mental disorder as someone having same rights as everyone else in society and makes it incumbent upon society to provide those rights.”

“If we look at the work done out of Project Atlas, it is very clear that we are severely under-prepared in term of resources. The latest mental health Atlas data shows we have very few psychiatrists, psychologists or mental health professionals compared to developed nations. The numbers are appalling and inadequate for a large country like ours.”

Q5. Do you feel depression and suicides in India are linked to socio-economic problems?

Pallab: “Depression has been found to be linked to poverty, and suicides as a result of depression then can also be linked to poverty. However, a number of risk factors play a role in causing depression and suicide, and being poor is not the only cause . For example, farmer suicides resulting from social economic problems while true need to be seen in the context of poor identification of any other risk factors and lack of mental health support in rural communities. These are suicides resulting from stress farmers are facing due to their debt, but also reflects how poorly we account for and manage other risk factors and provide for mental health services.

Q6. How things have progressed for Mental Health since when you worked at WHO, Geneva in 2000 and now in 2017?

Pallab: “Since 2000, things have started to progress well. The global mental health programs took roots around that time. There was a major incident that happened in India in 2001, in an area called Erwadi  in Tamilnadu around 28 people who visited a religious shrine were found burnt to death. Most were found tied to posts or trees as they were suffering from mental disorders and this place was used to ‘cure such persons from curses’. This resulted in a lot of international embarrassment for the government.

This led to Indian researchers and the Indian government focusing more on mental health and mobilizing resources to bring mental health into the focus of ministers at international and national forums. The movement of global mental health started to take root and attracted researchers from both developed and developing countries and this was facilitated by the efforts of World Health Organization, non-governmental organizations, and various key mental health researchers globally. Funding and support for mental health increased gradually globally, both for developing services and research, and a major focus has been on mental health in low and middle income countries.

“In India, we are just beginning to see some positives in the way the community perceives mental health.”

At least in urban settings, people are starting to discuss mental health in different settings. However, there still is a lot of negative perception about seeking professional care for mental illness.

Q7. How is The George Institute for Global Health contributing to improving the Mental Health of people?

Pallab: “We have been working in rural Andhra Pradesh including some Scheduled Tribe Areas in providing an innovative solution to identify and treat conditions such as depression, anxiety and suicide risk. We are empowering lay village health workers and primary care doctors to identify those conditions and provide appropriate treatment based on WHO guidelines within the community.”

“We have trained primary health workers across 42 villages and they could identify and treat people in the villages suffering from depression, anxiety or suicide risk using mobile technology based clinical decision support systems.”

“In addition, a large campaign to increase mental health awareness and reduce stigma related to mental health was organized in each village that incorporated multi-media approaches. We used brochures, videos of a person with mental illness talk about his experiences and a drama on mental disorders and the need to get treated was enacted educational in villages.”

“The results showed that the campaign led to significant increase in knowledge, attitude and behavior related to mental health, and reduction in stigma associated with help seeking. This was evident in more people accessing mental health services when screened positive.”

“A significant associated outcome that we observed as part of the programme is that community members have started talking with each other about stressful situations and discuss ways in which each one of them copes with such situations. This was a spontaneous outcome of the intervention and we are trying to understand if this seen across most villages or in just a few.”  
Q8. Do you have any message for organizations and professionals participating in the #LetsTalk campaign, awareness and activities?

Pallab: “People are often not aware about the symptoms of mental disorders and the need to get treated.  I appreciate and urge everyone to use this platform to educate people on symptoms and encourage them to come out and talk.”

“Focus on spreading the message for people to first get aware of the symptoms, if someone feels thay are suffering from depression, they need to talk to friends and family and if needed visit mental health professionals.”

Q10. What kind of sensitivity or sensibility is required from care givers or friends and family of people who are fighting depression?

Pallab: “Be neutral, don’t be subjective. Do not focus on passing advice or comments. People suffering from depression need to be heard.”

The key is to be emphatic and not be sympathetic. Be patient and hear them out. 

Q11. Do you have any message for people suffering from depression in India?

Pallab: “Identify your problem at an early stage and start treatment early. Treatment at early stage is easy, doesn’t need medication if identified early and can be managed through simple counselling techniques and by using coping strategies that can be adapted individually or through help at home”

“People should come out and talk about their problems.”