Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Health Tip In A Nutshell

Here's a health tip in a nutshell: Eating a handful of nuts a day for a year — along with a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fish — may help undo a collection of risk factors for heart disease.

Spanish researchers found that adding nuts worked better than boosting the olive oil in a typical Mediterranean diet. Both regimens cut the heart risks known as metabolic syndrome in more people than a low-fat diet did.

"What's most surprising is they found substantial metabolic benefits in the absence of calorie reduction or weight loss," said Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital.

In the study, appearing Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the people who improved most were told to eat about three whole walnuts, seven or eight whole hazelnuts and seven or eight whole almonds. They didn't lose weight, on average, but more of them succeeded in reducing belly fat and improving their cholesterol and blood pressure.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai Massacre

MSNBC is reporting that only 3 Americans have been injured in the Mumbai attacks; yet, yesterday evening, CNN was reporting that Americans and Britons were being targeted by terrorists. Odd mismatch, in my opinion.

We have to be very careful when watching news organizations as the constant stream of half-information and misinformation can confuse even them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ponder This: "Thoughts From Within" Woody's Poem

82 Tourists Murdered in India

Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 82 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hold Your Breath! Don't Sell Your Stock!

I'm no expert, but I am holding onto my small stock portfolio. Until I sell it, I have (in my mind) only lost money on paper. Once I sell, that loss is realized. Who wants to sell low!? I'd rather wait it out. My financial advisor reminded me not long ago that the longest 'bear' market in U.S. history was '30 months.' Well, this bear market may be one of, if not the, worst bear markets in U.S. history, but it certainly hasn't come close to being as long as 30 months!

Hold your breath. Don't sell.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vetting Clinton

Seems rather odd to me that suddenly, Hillary Clinton has to be vetted because she might be considered for the appointment of Secretary of State. What, pray tell, would have happened if the Democrats had selected her as their candidate for the presidency of the United States? Would we not have had the SAME issues with Bill Clinton's connections around the world? Sheesh.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Hope

Someone I sort of know said that government can not save us. I never thought that it could. But, I have new hope that our election of Barack Obama is the beginning of a better way of life for Americans. Surely, we can work together to make this country more respected in the rest of the world.

Look at us: we are so hated by so many countries. This is just sad. We are a generous people; a giving nation. Yet, people around the world burn our flag! or stomp on the image of our president.

We have turned our eyes inward to a point that we have failed to see that the world has turned its face against us.

Let's support our president-elect, and make the world a better place to be.

Let's support our president-elect, and make our country the greatest place to be.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For Love of Ants: Edward O. Wilson

Taking a Cue From Ants on Evolution of Humans
Published: July 15, 2008
Edward O. Wilson has become one of the world’s best-known biologists through his urge to create large syntheses of knowledge and his gift for writing

Monday, July 14, 2008

Beautiful World

Sitting in my brother's living room, looking out at Mount Evans in the close distance, thinking about how beautiful the world actually is. From the airplane yesterday, I remember seeing the fields laid out like verdant squares and circles and odd trapezoids, thinking the same thing: the world is a gorgeous place, green and blue with grass, trees and waterways.

I haven't quite figured out whether we human beings as a species will recognize, really realize, that this is the only home we have.

I hope so.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008

Garden Girl: "Urban Sustainable Living"

Rice Field Art

The Angry Faces In China: Govermental and Public

In the May 3rd - May 9th, 2008 issue of the ECONOMIST is a report on China's recent descent into anger. The ECONOMIST writes that even as the Chinese government is angry at the West, the Chinese people are angry at their government...
"Chinese rage has focused on the alleged "anti-China" bias of the Western press... China's defenders have gone on to denounce the entire edifice of Western liberal democracy as a sham.... China's rage is out of all proportion to the alleged offences [of the West]. It reflects a fear that a resentful, threatened West is determined to thwart China's rise. The Olympics have become a symbol of China's right to the respect it is due... China, like India, is a land of a million mutinies now. Legions of farmers are angry that their land has been swallowed up for building by greedy local officials. People everywhere are aghast at the poisoning of China's air, rivers and lakes in the race for growth. Hardworking, honest citizens chafe at corrupt officials who treat them with contempt... and the party still makes an ass of the law and a mockery of justice.
Herein lies the danger for the government. Popular anger, once roused, can easily switch targets."

The government of China, according to the Economist, is hoping to "restore its rightful place at the center of world affairs" and gain its people's loyalty and respect through nationalistic pride. The government is trying to "distract Chinese people from their domestic discontents by breathing fire at foreigners." But, the Economist also strongly suggests eventually the Chinese government will have to tackle its internal problems: pollution, human rights abuses, and corruption. "The Chinese people will demand it."

Jesus Breaks Bread Before His Death

Big Cross In Texas


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Blind Climber "Sees" With His Tongue

Photo credit: Beth Wald

Terrorist's House Must Be Destroyed

Hours after three people were killed when a terrorist in a bulldozer went on a rampage in downtown Jerusalem, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the attacker's east Jerusalem home must be destroyed.

Olmert held consultations in his office following the attack and Jerusalem officials said that the prime minister was expected to discuss the possibility of destroying the terrorist's home with Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann. He is also set to discuss taking away National Insurance Institute (NII) rights from the terrorist's family.

Following the attack, US President George W. Bush phoned Olmert and offered his condolences to the Israeli people.

Olmert received news of the attack while in the Knesset plenum. Incidentally, the Knesset approved the first reading of a bill to take away rights and even Israeli citizenship from terrorist's families.

Hamas: "A Natural Reaction To The Daily Aggression Against Our People"

MSNBC reports:
JERUSALEM - A Palestinian man plowed an enormous construction vehicle into cars, buses and pedestrians on a busy street Wednesday, killing at least three people and injuring at least 45 before he was shot dead by an off-duty soldier.

Traffic was halted and hundreds of people fled in panic through the streets in the heart of downtown Jerusalem as medics treated the injured.

Three Palestinian militant groups took responsibility for the attack, but Israeli police referred to the attacker as a "terrorist" acting on his own.

The attack took place in front of a building housing the offices of The Associated Press and other media outlets. A TV camera captured the huge front loader crushing a vehicle and an off-duty soldier killing the perpetrator by shooting him in the head several times at point-blank range as onlookers screamed.

A half-dozen cars were flattened and others were overturned by the Caterpillar vehicle. A bus was overturned and another bus was heavily damaged. Israel's national rescue service confirmed three deaths, and the bodies lay motionless on the ground covered in plastic.

A woman sprinkled water over a baby's bloodied face, a rescue worker stroked the hair of a dazed elderly pedestrian and a loved one raised the bleeding leg of a woman sitting outside the overturned bus.

"I saw the bulldozer smash the car with its shovel. He smashed the guy sitting in the driver's seat," said Yaakov Ashkenazi, an 18-year-old seminary student.

The attack occurred in an area where Jerusalem is building a new train system. The project has turned many parts of the city into a construction zone.

Wednesday's attack represented a departure from militants' previous methods, which were mostly suicide bombings and shootings.

The three organizations that took responsibility for the attack included the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, which is affiliated with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The other two are the Galilee Freedom Battalion, which is suspected of being affiliated with Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a fringe left-wing militant group.

The Hamas militant group, which runs the Gaza Strip and is currently maintaining a fragile cease-fire with Israel, said it did not carry out the attack but nevertheless praised it.

"We consider it as a natural reaction to the daily aggression and crimes committed against our people in the West Bank and all over the occupied lands," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Newest Medical Technology Promotes Indiscriminant Spending

Increasing use of the scans, formally known as CT angiograms, is part of a much larger trend in American medicine. A faith in innovation, often driven by financial incentives, encourages American doctors and hospitals to adopt new technologies even without proof that they work better than older techniques. Patient advocacy groups and some doctors are clamoring for such evidence. But the story of the CT angiogram is a sobering reminder of the forces that overwhelm such efforts, making it very difficult to rein in a new technology long enough to determine whether its benefits are worth its costs.

Some medical experts say the American devotion to the newest, most expensive technology is an important reason that the United States spends much more on health care than other industrialized nations — more than $2.2 trillion in 2007, an estimated $7,500 a person, about twice the average in other countries — without providing better care.

No one knows exactly how much money is spent on unnecessary care. But a Rand Corporation study estimated that one-third or more of the care that patients in this country receive could be of little value. If that is so, hundreds of billions of dollars each year are being wasted on superfluous treatments.

Barack Obama Supports Faith Based Groups in Community Service

Obama unveiled his approach to getting religious charities more involved in government anti-poverty programs during a tour and remarks Tuesday at Eastside Community Ministry, which provides food, clothes, youth ministry and other services.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bear Attacks Girl During Alaska Bike Race

...the (14 year old) girl was fortunate to be wearing a bike helmet because the bear had bitten her head.

The animal attacked the girl around 1:30 a.m., during the darkest part of the morning.

"It's not light enough to read, but it's light enough to see your way," Hill said of the conditions one week after the summer solstice. Riders could see rocks, trees and the trail but may have been using headlamps or a bike headlight, Hill said.

The girl called 911, and dispatchers heard someone struggling to breathe. She whispered one word — "bear" — and the line went dead, Hill said.

Following procedure for when an emergency call is cut off, dispatchers called the number back. Another rider heard the phone ringing, stopped to investigate and spotted the teen off the trail.

"That rider was able to pick up the phone and talk with the police department," Hill said.

One more rider appeared and stayed until emergency workers arrived. That took courage in the darkened forest, knowing a bear had attacked and could again, Hill said.

"It had to be extremely unnerving, if not terrifying," Hill said.

Honeybees Are Disappearing: Is the Human Race Doomed?

Honey, I'm Gone
Abandoned Beehives Are a Scientific Mystery and a Metaphor for Our Tenuous Times

By Joel Garreau
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 1, 2007; C01

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tomatoes Tainted With Many More Cases Resulting

The outbreak’s source remains a mystery. Food and Drug Administration investigators have spent the past week inspecting farms in parts of Florida and Mexico and the warehouses and other stops those farms’ tomatoes made on the way to market.

The government continues to urge consumers nationwide to avoid raw red plum, red Roma or red round tomatoes unless they were grown in specific states or countries that FDA has cleared of suspicion. Check FDA’s Web site — — for an updated list. Also safe are grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached.