Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Future of Medicine Is Now

From cancer treatments to new devices to gene therapy, a look at six medical innovations that are poised to transform the way we fight disease

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Who’s the next Ravi Shankar?

The legendary sitarist is gone, but legions of Indian performers have taken up his torch as world music ambassadors VIDEO


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Why Persuasion is an Art, Not a Science

There is over 60 years of research into behavioral science and managers and executives should learn to use these tools to drive profits says Steve Martin, a director and behavior expert at consultancy Influence at Work.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Radical Stem Cell Treatment Saves Man's Sight

A year ago, Canadian Taylor Binns was slowly going blind after developing a rare and painful eye disorder that affected his corneas. Today, he's driving, reading and living a normal life because of a revolutionary stem-cell treatment completed by a team of doctors at Toronto Western Hospital.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Slavery's Global Comeback

There are now twice as many people enslaved in the world as there were in the 350 years of the transatlantic slave trade.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Power of Concentration

Though the concept originates in ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Chinese traditions, when it comes to experimental psychology, mindfulness is less about spirituality and more about concentration: the ability to quiet your mind, focus your attention on the present, and dismiss any distractions that come your way. The formulation dates from the work of the psychologist Ellen Langer, who demonstrated in the 1970s that mindful thought could lead to improvements on measures of cognitive function and even vital functions in older adults.
Now we’re learning that the benefits may reach further still, and be more attainable, than Professor Langer could have then imagined. Even in small doses, mindfulness can effect impressive changes in how we feel and think — and it does so at a basic neural level.
In 2011, researchers from the University of Wisconsin demonstrated that daily meditation-like thought could shift frontal brain activity toward a pattern that is associated with what cognitive scientists call positive, approach-oriented emotional states — states that make us more likely to engage the world rather than to withdraw from it.

Aerobic exercise trumps resistance training for weight and fat loss

Aerobic training is the best mode of exercise for burning fat, according to Duke researchers who compared aerobic training, resistance training, and a combination of the two. The study, which appears Dec. 15, 2012, in theJournal of Applied Physiology, is the largest randomized trial to analyze changes in body composition from the three modes of exercise in overweight or obese adults without diabetes.
Aerobic exercise was also a more efficient method of exercise for losing body fat. The aerobic exercise group spent an average of 133 minutes a week training and lost weight, while the resistance training group spent approximately 180 minutes exercising a week without shedding pounds.
The combination exercise group, while requiring double the time commitment, provided a mixed result. The regimen helped participants lose weight and fat mass, but did not significantly reduce body mass nor fat mass over aerobic training alone. This group did notice the largest decrease in waist circumference, which may be attributed to the amount of time participants spent exercising.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Science of Our Optimism Bias and the Life-Cycle of Happiness

“If I expect as little as possible, I won’t be hurt,”Susan Sontag famously wrote in her diary. And yet we’re wired to expect a lot — and to expect great things. So argues neuroscientist Tali Sharot in The Science of Optimism: Why We’re Hard-Wired for Hope — a short, absorbingTED Book summarizing Sharot’s own research, as well as that of others in the field, using a combination of neuroimaging and behavioral science to explore why we’re “more optimistic than realistic,” what this might mean for our everyday well-being, and whether it’s due to the specific architecture of our brains.
Lowest points of happiness by country...

Three Crucial Ways To Motivate Yourself To Do Anything

I don’t want to write this. I want to go back to bed and sleep for a month.
How do you get motivated when you just don’t feel it?

Read more:

Eyewire: a citizen science quest to map the connectome

t’s time to mobilize a global community of citizen neuroscientists to trace the 3D structure of J Cells and understand how retinal connectomes relate to visual perception. — Eyewire
MIT’s Seung Lab has released EyeWire, which will enlist “citizen scientists” to to map the 3D structure of neurons by analyzing nanoscale brain images using web browsers and mobile devices.

10 facts on the state of global health

Collecting and comparing health data from across the globe is a way to describe health problems, identify trends and help decision-makers set priorities.
Studies describe the state of global health by measuring the burden of disease – the loss of health from all causes of illness and deaths worldwide. They detail the leading causes of deaths worldwide and in every region, and provide information on more than 130 diseases and injuries across the world

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Repair damaged eyes with stem cell discs

Engineers have developed a new technique to graft a biodegradable disc loaded with stem cells onto damaged eyes.

Monday, December 10, 2012

In Girl’s Last Hope, Altered Immune Cells Beat Leukemia

Desperate to save her, her parents sought an experimental treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, one that had never before been tried in a child, or in anyone with the type of leukemia Emma had. The experiment, in April, used a disabled form of the virus that causes AIDS to reprogram Emma’s immune system genetically to kill cancer cells.
The treatment very nearly killed her. But she emerged from it cancer-free, and about seven months later is still in complete remission. She is the first child and one of the first humans ever in whom new techniques have achieved a long-sought goal — giving a patient’s own immune system the lasting ability to fight cancer.
To perform the treatment, doctors remove millions of the patient’s T-cells — a type of white blood cell — and insert new genes that enable the T-cells to kill cancer cells. The technique employs a disabled form of H.I.V. because it is very good at carrying genetic material into T-cells. The new genes program the T-cells to attack B-cells, a normal part of the immune system that turn malignant in leukemia.
The altered T-cells — called chimeric antigen receptor cells — are then dripped back into the patient’s veins, and if all goes well they multiply and start destroying the cancer.
The T-cells home in on a protein called CD-19 that is found on the surface of most B-cells, whether they are healthy or malignant.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

The iPad as a Hand-Held Darkroom

To transfer the photos from your camera, you plug a connector into the base of your iPad, connect your camera with a USB cord, then turn the camera on. The iPad will detect that the device is connected and allow you to select which images you would like to import. It’s quicker than a Polaroid.
The immediacy of digital has pushed photographers to want to edit their photos and then share them right away. A number of applications allow you to do this, some free and some costing as much as $20.
For a list: Link

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

This is the most viewed TED talk with over 20 million downloads in over 150 countries, and continues to be downloaded over 10, 000 times a day..

There are two main themes in the talk. First, we're all born with deep natural capacities for creativity and systems of mass education tend to suppress them. Second, it is increasingly urgent to cultivate these capacities -- for personal, economic and cultural reasons -- and to rethink the dominant approaches to education to make sure that we do. One reason the talk has traveled so far is that these themes resonate so deeply with people at a personal level. I hear constantly from people around the world who feel marginalized by their own education.
There are two main themes in the talk. First, we're all born with deep natural capacities for creativity and systems of mass education tend to suppress them. Second, it is increasingly urgent to cultivate these capacities -- for personal, economic and cultural reasons -- and to rethink the dominant approaches to education to make sure that we do. One reason the talk has traveled so far is that these themes resonate so deeply with people at a personal level. I hear constantly from people around the world who feel marginalized by their own education

The Power of Negative Thinking

Both ancient philosophy and modern psychology suggest that darker thoughts can make us happier

Fortunately, both ancient philosophy and contemporary psychology point to an alternative: a counterintuitive approach that might be termed "the negative path to happiness." This approach helps to explain some puzzles, such as the fact that citizens of more economically insecure countries often report greater happiness than citizens of wealthier ones. Or that many successful businesspeople reject the idea of setting firm goals.
Just thinking in sober detail about worst-case scenarios—a technique the Stoics called "the premeditation of evils"—can help to sap the future of its anxiety-producing power. The psychologist Julie Norem estimates that about one-third of Americans instinctively use this strategy, which she terms "defensive pessimism." Positive thinking, by contrast, is the effort to convince yourself that things will turn out fine, which can reinforce the belief that it would be absolutely terrible if they didn't.
But the pro-goal consensus is starting to crumble. For one thing, rigid goals may encourage employees to cut ethical corners. In a study conducted by the management scholar Lisa Ordóñez and her colleagues, participants had to make words from a set of random letters, as in Scrabble. The experiment let them report their progress anonymously—and those given a specific target to reach lied far more frequently than those instructed merely to "do your best."
Goals may even lead to underachievement. Many New York taxi drivers, one team of economists concluded, make less money in rainy weather than they could because they finish work as soon as they reach their mental target for what constitute a good day's earnings.
The ultimate value of the "negative path" may not be its role in facilitating upbeat emotions or even success. It is simply realism. The future really is uncertain, after all, and things really do go wrong as well as right. We are too often motivated by a craving to put an end to the inevitable surprises in our lives.
This is especially true of the biggest "negative" of all. Might we benefit from contemplating mortality more regularly than we do? As Steve Jobs famously declared, "Remembering that you are going to die is the best way that I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose."

To Yelp Or Not To Yelp? Lawsuit Puts The Chill On Bad Reviews

The next time you're about to post a scathing review of a business on a site like Yelp or Angie's List, you might want to think twice.
This week, a housing contractor named Christopher Dietz sued a former customer for $750,000 in defamation charges for what she wrote in a review on Yelp.
Jane Perez wrote that there was damage to her home and that jewelry was missing after she'd had work done from Dietz's company, Dietz Development LLC.
On Thursday, a judge took the unusual step of ordering Perez to take down parts of those reviews.
The lawsuit itself, Goldman says, is a reminder that even though we have the freedom to voice our opinions on the Internet, we also own those words and can be held responsible for them.
"Most people don't realize that they're betting their house ... every time they put their opinions out into the public discourse," he says. "When people realize that, it becomes incredibly inhibiting."

Friday, December 07, 2012

College goals shift the way teens speak

Teenagers who want to attend major research universities cut nonstandard language from their speech more often than those who plan to stay close to home.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Hours After A Meal, It's The Memory That Matters

It's no surprise that how much a person eats determines how full they feel right after a meal. But it's the memory of that meal, and not the meal itself, that matters a couple hours later. So does this mean you trick yourself into thinness? Probably not. But it does tell us something about the role that manipulating memory may play in calorie intake.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Scott Kelby's Annual Gear guide

For the photographers out there..


Startup Revolution Venn Diagram

The Case for Drinking as Much Coffee as You Like

 A summary of various studies on coffee..

But that caffeine is only mechanism behind coffee's health effects is supported by a small study of 554 Japanese adults from October that looked at coffee and green tea drinking habits in relation to the bundle of risk factors for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes known together as metabolic syndrome. Only coffee -- not tea -- was associated with reduced risk, mostly because of dramatic reductions observed in serum triglyceride levels.

So aside from caffeine, just what are you getting in a cup, or two, or six? Thousands of mostly understudied chemicals that contribute to flavor and aroma, including plant phenols, chlorogenic acids, and quinides, all of which function as antioxidents. Diterpenoids in unfiltered coffee may raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. And, okay, there's also ash which, to be fair, is no more healthful than you would think -- though it certainly isn't bad for you.

Top 10 Diet and Fitness Discoveries

Time Magazine's Top ten lists:
Top ten diet list  Link
Top ten fitness list : link
Top ten medical breakthroughs: Link

For Second Opinion, Consult a Computer?

SAN FRANCISCO — The man on stage had his audience of 600 mesmerized. Over the course of 45 minutes, the tension grew. Finally, the moment of truth arrived, and the room was silent with anticipation.

At last he spoke. “Lymphoma with secondary hemophagocytic syndrome,” he said. The crowd erupted in applause.
Professionals in every field revere their superstars, and in medicine the best diagnosticians are held in particularly high esteem. Dr. Gurpreet Dhaliwal, 39, a self-effacing associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, is considered one of the most skillful clinical diagnosticians in practice today.
Just how special is Dr. Dhaliwal’s talent? More to the point, what can he do that a computer cannot? Will a computer ever successfully stand in for a skill that is based not simply on a vast fund of knowledge but also on more intangible factors like intuition?
When working on a difficult case in front of an audience, Dr. Dhaliwal puts his entire thought process on display, with the goal of “elevating the stature of thinking,” he said. He believes this is becoming more important because physicians are being assessed on whether they gave the right medicine to a patient, or remembered to order a certain test.
Without such emphasis, physicians and training programs might forget the importance of having smart, thoughtful doctors. “Because in medicine,” Dr. Dhaliwal said, “thinking is our most important procedure.”

Monday, December 03, 2012

She’s Got Some Big Ideas

A nice profile of one of my favorite blogger's

SHE is the mastermind of the one of the faster growing literary empires on the Internet, yet she is virtually unknown. She is the champion of old-fashioned ideas, yet she is only 28 years old. She is a fierce defender of books, yet she insists she will never write one herself.

At precisely 9:30 on a chilly Saturday morning, Maria Popova slips out of her apartment in Brooklyn, scurries down a few stairs and enters a small basement gym. A former recreational bodybuilder from Bulgaria, Ms. Popova is the unlikely founder of the exploding online emporium of ideas known asBrain Pickings.
Her exhaustively assembled grab bag of scientific curiosities, forgotten photographs, snippets of old love letters and mash notes to creativity — imagine the high-mindedness of a TED talk mixed with the pop sensibility of P. T. Barnum — spans a blog (500,000 visitors a month), a newsletter (150,000 subscribers) and a Twitter feed(263,000 followers). 

Taking a Stand for Office Ergonomics

THE health studies that conclude that people should sit less, and get up and move around more, have always struck me as fitting into the “well, duh” category.
But a closer look at the accumulating research on sitting reveals something more intriguing, and disturbing: the health hazards of sitting for long stretches are significant even for people who are quite active when they’re not sitting down.
Suppose you stick to a five-times-a-week gym regimen, as I do, and have put in a lifetime of hard cardio exercise, and have a resting heart rate that’s a significant fraction below the norm. That doesn’t inoculate you, apparently, from the perils of sitting.
The research comes more from observing the health results of people’s behavior than from discovering the biological and genetic triggers that may be associated with extended sitting. Still, scientists have determined that after an hour or more of sitting, the production of enzymes that burn fat in the body declines by as much as 90 percent. Extended sitting, they add, slows the body’s metabolism of glucose and lowers the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol in the blood. Those are risk factors toward developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

This Eye Hospital On A Plane Takes Flight To Keep Sight Alive

Blindness is a huge--but usually totally treatable--problem in the developing world, but many local health services don’t have the resources to combat it. The solution? Just fly in a high-tech eye hospital.
The Flying Eye Hospital is the world’s only plane-meets-eye hospital, converted from a DC-10 aircraft. Quite literally a hospital with wings, the plane has visited more than 77 countries and conducted 279 training and service programs in 154 cities since 1982.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

We look right below the eyes to judge faces

 — In the first crucial moment of determining another person’s identity, gender, and emotional state, we often glance just below the eyes


At least for the three important tasks investigated—identity, emotion, and gender—below the eyes is the optimal place to look, say the scientists, because it allows one to read information from as many features of the face as possible.
“What the visual system is adept at doing is taking all those pieces of information from your face and combining them in a statistical manner to make a judgment about whatever task you’re doing,” says Eckstein.

Dealing with Doctors Who Only Take Cash


As to why doctors decide to switch to a concierge practice, the answer is almost always frustration.
“About four years ago, one insurance company was driving me crazy saying I had to fax documents to show I had done a visit,” said Stanford Owen, an internal medical doctor in Gulfport, Miss. “At 2 a.m., I woke up and said, ‘This is it.’ ”
Dr. Owen stopped accepting all insurance and now charges his 1,000 patients $38 a month.
“When I decided to abandon insurance, I didn’t want to lose my patient base and make it unaffordable,” he said. “I have everything from waitresses and shrimpers to international businessmen. It’s a concierge model, but it’s also the personal doctor model.”
Dr. Owen, who once had three nurses and 10 examining rooms, said it was now just him and a receptionist. He has become obsessed with keeping overhead low, but he said that, for the first time since the 1990s, his income was going up.
The biggest concern for a doctor is running afoul of insurance regulations that prevent doctors from billing twice for the same service — for the care, which is submitted to the insurance company, and for the concierge fee, if the fee doesn’t cover something extra. Some insurance companies also bar doctors from offering concierge services.
David Hilgers, chairman of the law firm Brown McCarroll, said the risk to a doctor with a practice dependent on Medicare reimbursements was particularly acute.
“Medicare will not allow you to charge a patient in addition to what the government pays,” Mr. Hilgers said. “There is a risk of losing your practice and your license and being penalized by the federal government for doing so.”

Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality?


Sommer was baffled by this development but didn’t immediately grasp its significance. (It was nearly a decade before the word “immortal” was first used to describe the species.) But several biologists in Genoa, fascinated by Sommer’s finding, continued to study the species, and in 1996 they published a paper called “Reversing the Life Cycle.” The scientists described how the species — at any stage of its development — could transform itself back to a polyp, the organism’s earliest stage of life, “thus escaping death and achieving potential immortality.” This finding appeared to debunk the most fundamental law of the natural world — you are born, and then you die.
“There’s a shocking amount of genetic similarity between jellyfish and human beings,” said Kevin J. Peterson, a molecular paleobiologist who contributed to that study, when I visited him at his Dartmouth office. From a genetic perspective, apart from the fact that we have two genome duplications, “we look like a damn jellyfish.”
This may have implications for medicine, particularly the fields of cancer research and longevity.
Hydrozoans, he suggests, may have made a devil’s bargain. In exchange for simplicity — no head or tail, no vision, eating out of its own anus — they gained immortality. These peculiar, simple species may represent an opportunity to learn how to fight cancer, old age and death.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How Nicholas Kristof Uses His Pulpit To Engage People With Empathy

How Nicholas Kristof Uses His Pulpit To Engage People With Empathy

One advantage of social media is brevity. The other night, gunmen tried to assassinate one of my heroes, a Congolese doctor and anti-rape campaigner named Denis Mukwege. If I had tried to write a column about the attack, most readers would have immediately tuned out. But they let me inflict tweets on them even if they’re not hugely interested in the topic, because I can’t entirely put them to sleep in 140 characters. So Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ enable me to toss out little updates and tidbits that don’t merit a column--or would bore people if they did--but that are part of the mosaic of modern life
How can activist writers best combat “compassion fatigue” in their writing?
My concern with this issue led me to the research in social psychology and neurology about how we can connect with our readers. A scholar named Paul Slovic has in particular done fascinating research in this field. To me, the lessons of this research are two-fold. First, tell an engaging individual story to suck people in. Second, show that it’s not hopeless, but that progress is possible. That was our strategy in Half the Sky.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Starvation hormone markedly extends mouse life span, researchers report

DALLAS – Oct. 16, 2012 – A study by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers finds that a starvation hormone markedly extends life span in mice without the need for calorie restriction.
FGF21 seems to provide its health benefits by increasing insulin sensitivity and blocking the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling pathway.  When too abundant, growth hormone can contribute to insulin resistance, cancer, and other diseases, the researchers said.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Self-Taught Teen Prodigy From Sierra Leone Wows MIT Engineers [VIDEO]

he latest installment of the THNKR’s Prodigies YouTube series highlights Sierra Leone teen Kelvin Doe, who is visiting the U.S. as a guest of MIT.
The 15-year-old is a self-taught engineer, who has never taken an engineering or electronics class. Combining scrap metal, baking soda and acid, he created a battery to power his family’s home. He also broadcasts news and music as DJ Focus on the radio, using an RF transmitter he created.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sierra Leone Holds A Vote, Not A War, On Diamonds

Sierra Leone's "blood diamonds" helped fuel atrocities in the impoverished West African nation in the 1990s. The war has now been over for a decade, and the country's most valuable resource is no longer known as the product of a conflict. But it remains a contentious issue.
As Sierra Leoneans go to the polls Saturday, the country's diamonds are at the heart of political parties' manifestos. Opposition parties accuse the government of mortgaging lucrative diamond fields for a "pittance," while President Ernest Bai Koroma boasts of his "ambitious" efforts to transform the industry.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stalking Big Fut in Sierra Leone

After flying from New York City to Dakar to Banjul to Freetown, riding a bus to a dock, taking a boat across a bay to a 4X4 truck that travels up and down roads that transition from broken pavement to muddy earth, I stand at the front of a classroom -- one that is empty of children. Today, 30 adults sit in row after row of benches, some bending forward with heads propped on elbows as if they have been waiting a long time. And they have.
Each has come forward with one goal in mind -- to help protect their community. The danger outside these doors sounds almost comical to a Westerner's ears: Big Fut. Except this is no myth. Not in Sierra Leone or the other 79 countries where lymphatic filariasis -- or Big Fut, as it is known in Krio -- is endemic.
These are community health volunteers, and they are heroes in my eyes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Best, Worst Breakfasts for Your Health

Fast-food breakfast sandwiches could be “a time bomb in a bun”—and eating even one fat-laden morning meal has immediate adverse effects on your arteries, according to a new study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress meeting in Toronto.
Another study linked having whole-grain cereal for breakfast with reduced levels of cortisol, a stress hormone linked to both weight gain and a tendency to accumulate belly fat. A large waistline is the leading warning sign of metabolic syndrome, which quintuple risks for type 2 diabetes and triple it for heart attack.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Big brain lets larva ‘see’ without seeing

The very simple eyes of a fruit fly larva can see just enough light to allow the animal’s relatively large brain to assemble that input into images.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Same Doctor Visit, Double the Cost

Reno in the news again for healthcare...

My friend and gym buddy, David Hubbard, shares his story...

Insurers Say Rates Can Surge After Hospitals Buy Private Physician Practices; Medicare Spending Rises, Too

After David Hubbard underwent a routine echocardiogram at his cardiologist's office last year, he was surprised to learn that the heart scan cost his insurer $1,605. That was more than four times the $373 it paid when the 61-year-old optometrist from Reno, Nev., had the same procedure at the same office just six months earlier.
"Nothing had changed, it was the same equipment, the same room," said Dr. Hubbard, who has a high-deductible health plan and had to pay about $1,000 of the larger bill out of his own pocket. "I was very upset."
But something had changed: his cardiologist's practice had been bought by Renown Health, a local hospital system. Dr. Hubbard was caught up in a structural shift that is sweeping through health care in the U.S.—hospitals are increasingly acquiring private physician practices.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Eyes may explain why bird plumage ‘pops’

MONASH U. (AUS) —Varying ability to see UV light may account for birds’ wild diversity of color, such as the brilliant blue plumage that male fairy-wrens use to stand out from their surroundings.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Best Times to Buy Clothing

The best day of the week to buy clothing online

Read more:


I am still in a state of disbelief that I had the privilege of seeing Thibault Cauvin in concert here in Reno last night...
Sad that only 20 people came...after he had two sold out shows in New York City at the Carnegie City Music Hall....well I am sure he will be sold out in San Francisco tonight...
Thank you, Larry Aynesmith, head of the Sierra Guitar Society,  for bringing him to Reno and for a night I will never forget...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Brain map predicts people’s ‘visual world’

U. PENNSYLVANIA (US) — Scientists have created a map of vision in the brain based upon an individual’s brain structure, even for people who cannot see

Nearly 100 years after a British neurologist first mapped the blind spots caused by missile wounds to the brains of soldiers, Perelman School of Medicine researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have perfected his map using modern-day technology.
Their result can, among other things, guide efforts to restore vision using a neural prosthesis that stimulates the surface of the brain. The study appears in the latest issue of Current Biology.

How to Raise High-Achieving Kids

Here’s a novel recipe for raising successful kids: see that they’re born overseas, but bring them to America before they hit their teens.
That, at least, is the implication of a new study by sociologists at Johns Hopkins University who tracked 10,795 adolescents into young adulthood.
Basically, the sociologists found that the immigrant teens beat the pants off native born children in academic achievement and, as adults, psychological well-being. American born children of immigrants also seemed to enjoy an advantage. The researchers adjusted for socioeconomic background and school conditions, so they were comparing apples to apples.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Body’s ‘pre-feelings’ may detect the future

NORTHWESTERN (US) — Your body may anticipate what’s going to happen—even before your brain has an inkling of what’s to come, researchers report.

Friday, October 26, 2012

You Are What You Eat..

Humans run on a fuel called food.  Yet economists and other social scientists rarely study what people eat.  We provide simple evidence consistent with the existence of a link between the consumption of fruit and vegetables and high well-being.  In cross-sectional data, happiness and mental health rise in an approximately dose-response way with the number of daily portions of fruit and vegetables.

One major note: the researchers caution that reverse causality may be an issue. That is, rather than fruit and vegetables causing well-being, it may be that well-adjusted people prefer eating a lot of fruit and vegetables. The authors recommend additional “randomized trials to explore the consequences for mental health of different levels of fruit-and-vegetable consumption.”

The Island Where People Forget To Die

This is a good article that touches not only upon diet, but also lifestyle, community etc...
(I can see myself spending my days playing guitar and hanging out with friends and family in Ikaria :)


Ikaria, an island of 99 square miles and home to almost 10,000 Greek nationals, lies about 30 miles off the western coast of Turkey. Its jagged ridge of scrub-covered mountains rises steeply out of the Aegean Sea. Before the Christian era, the island was home to thick oak forests and productive vineyards. Its reputation as a health destination dates back 25 centuries, when Greeks traveled to the island to soak in the hot springs near Therma. In the 17th century, Joseph Georgirenes, the bishop of Ikaria, described its residents as proud people who slept on the ground. “The most commendable thing on this island,” he wrote, “is their air and water, both so healthful that people are very long-lived, it being an ordinary thing to see persons in it of 100 years of age.”
This Following the report by Pes and Poulain, Dr. Christina Chrysohoou, a cardiologist at the University of Athens School of Medicine, teamed up with half a dozen scientists to organize the Ikaria Study, which includes a survey of the diet of 673 Ikarians. She found that her subjects consumed about six times as many beans a day as Americans, ate fish twice a week and meat five times a month, drank on average two to three cups of coffee a day and took in about a quarter as much refined sugar — the elderly did not like soda. She also discovered they were consuming high levels of olive oil along with two to four glasses of wine a day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Presenting the Work of A Master Craftsman...

Anders Eliasson is a fantastic luthier, renown for his flamenco and classical guitars.
He is based out of a small town in Spain: Huelva. He builds each of his guitars by hand and is quite well respected for his artistry....I feel very fortunate to have learned about his work...

Below is  the link about a very special guitar...(at least to me)
Uveal blues

Building guitar number 100   Link

Here is a video of Anders playing some Fandangos on this Flamenco Blanca:
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