31 May 2009

Third Eye Meditation

Buckminster FullerImage via Wikipedia

Third Eye Meditation: "There are many techniques to practice meditation and this is yet another of them. The third eye is your gateway or door to your inner world, your Self, and being more in yourself is a sure way of being centered and focused in your day to day activities."

By Jewels @ HubPages

From Denny: Excellent short article that strips away the veneer of pretense to show the practicality of spirituality. An easy read to get you started on learning about meditation. Intriguing free ebook offered as download too - more for intermediate meditators.

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30 May 2009

Can Science Rekindle Romantic Flames?

From Denny: This video is a bit amusingly light-hearted but also serious about the science. Forget about those relationship counselors; go pay a visit to your local scientist as they feel they have the best answer. New research about the brain discovers how to rekindle a stale relationship!



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29 May 2009

Video: Virus Crisis

From Denny: This National Geographic video puts into perspective what has changed in our world for the past few decades. In the last 30 years more than 30 mysterious diseases have emerged because of globe.

My random thought is that maybe it's a good thing this global downturn has occurred. Why? It prevents large populations from being too mobile, thus easily spreading diseases. All transportation industries are down right now. Maybe that's a good thing until researchers can catch up with some cures to these mutating viruses in our midst!



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28 May 2009

Childrens Food Allergies Linked to Obesity

Silhouettes representing healthy, overweight, ...Healthy, Overweight, Obese Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: A new children’s health study has found that food allergies may be linked to obesity. This was a larger study involving over 4,000 children from the ages of 2 – 19.

What did researchers find?

Being overweight or obese was strongly linked to allergic reactions to foods such as peanuts, eggs, (cow’s) milk and other common allergens. They also discovered that overweight or obese children were 25% more likely to have allergic reactions to at least one food, maybe more. In the study, 50% of the overweight or obese children were more allergic to milk than children of normal weight.

Inflammation plays a role in allergies

Researchers also found levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, with an association of being overweight. What this suggests is that systemic inflammation might also play a role in developing allergies.

Study’s author weighs in

The study’s lead author is Dr. Cindy M. Visness who is an epidemiologist with Rho, Inc. Rho, Inc. is involved in clinical trials as a provider for research and statistical services. “While there’s nothing conclusive about our findings, this is one more motivation to try to prevent obesity in children.”

Summary

This study doesn’t prove that obesity actually causes allergies. Other explanations for the association of obesity and allergies are possible such as inflammation. Inflammation occurs from being overweight.

What it does strongly suggest is that overweight children would have fewer allergic reactions to food by lowering their weight. This finding warrants more study about obesity and food allergies. Meanwhile, this is good information for parents overseeing their children’s nutrition.

This study was published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, May 2009.


Written by Denny Lyon

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27 May 2009

Video: How Flu Viruses Attack

flu virusImage by lesleyhyphenanne via Flickr



From Denny: National Geographic tells us about how the flu virus attacks, mutates and becomes contagious, resulting in an outbreak such as we have see recently with the Swine Flu pandemic. No available embedding of this video so you will have click the link, go here.

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26 May 2009

Video: Smallpox as Mystery

From Denny: National Geographic does a number of good videos about viruses which I will be featuring this week. Knowledge is power! Take a look at what our ancestors had to deal with before vaccines. We live in a world that is blessed!





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25 May 2009

Memorial Day Poems



From Denny: These are a selection from many wonderful poems written with heavy hearts and great sincerity about the reality of how war affects us all. The old men who send young men to war rarely stop long enough - or at all - to consider their haste to anger and action affects the entire nation for generations to come.

The following are not glory poems but rather the perspectives of those involved in war be they one soldier, a POW, a mother, a daughter, a citizen who knew none of them but felt a duty to pray for them constantly, knowing the personal cost war would bring to all. They span several wars from the Civil War to WWII, the Korean War and today's Iraq and Afghanistan War.

These poems came from the comprehensive Memorial Day site where there is much more than poems to view. Please take a look today as you remember those who came before us.

For the link to the Memorial Day Poems post at my poetry blog, The Social Poets, go here.



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24 May 2009

Knifty Knitting Websites



Knifty Knitting Websites: "Every knitter out there knows that knitting can be a pricey hobby, especially when using high quality yarn and always looking for new patterns.

Here's a list of helpful websites with free patterns, knitting tips, and fairly priced yarns! Go forth and knit!!!"

By AshleyVictoria @ HubPages, one of my new HubPages friends

From Denny: Packed full of useful information is this article! If you already knit because you know needlework helps manage stress AND is a great way to be artistically creative or you are interested in learning how to knit, this little gem of an article is the place to visit!

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23 May 2009

How to Treat Spider and Varicose Veins



How to Treat Spider and Varicose Veins: "Besides a physical exam from your local doctor, you can have x-rays or ultrasound pictures of the vein taken by a physician who specialzies in vein therapy to locate the root problem and if it warrants strong action.

However, it is suggested you discuss your health issue with a doctor in person who specializes in vein treatment or phlebology. You need to fully understand which treatment choices are best for your particular condition. In these type of cases, each case involving varicose veins is not the same."

By ocbill @ HubPages, a new HubPages friend

From Denny: Very useful overview of a common problem, especially for women after pregnancy. New solutions to age old problems. Often, varicose and spider veins run in families. Yes, today there are solutions so you don't have to feel uncomfortable in a swimsuit at the beach this season! Take a look.

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22 May 2009

Brain: Meditation: Grow the Brain, Grow Your IQ



From Denny: Looks like science is beginning to catch up with what the truly spiritual people already know! Meditation makes us more intelligent! And now science has figured out the obvious.

Who did the study?

The study was published in the journal NeuroImage by the researchers from The University of California at Los Angeles.

Regular meditation has been found to enlarge the size of the brain. For those who have been meditating for a very long period of time brain scans revealed they had significantly larger amounts of the little grey cells.

Which area of the brain was larger?

Researchers using an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanned the brain's hippocampus because it is the area of the brain that is associated with our memory and learning ability. They found the area to be much larger in those who practiced regular meditation.

What was found in those who did not practice meditation?

Turns out the areas of their brains linked to emotion were much larger. The study inferred that with a larger emotionally area it is more difficult for a person to control their emotions.

What are the benefits of meditation to our brains?

It helps tremendously to maintain emotional control. Those who meditate are better focused and can control their emotions far better than those who do not meditate. Another benefit is reduced levels of stress which help boost the immune system. Some of this has been known from previous studies.

What has not been known until now about the link between the brain structure and meditation?

They studied 44 people, only half had practiced meditation for 5 - 46 years. They tended to meditate for between 10 - 90 minutes each day. Deep concentration was said to be part of their meditation routine.

The MRI scans verified "significantly larger cerebral measurements in meditators." It is these changes in the brain structure that might explain why meditators "have a singular ability to cultivate positive emotions," according to Eileen Luders, lead researcher, "The differences in brain anatomy might give us a clue as to why meditators have these exceptional abilities." The brain has been proven to change its structure over time as revealed in previous studies.

Summary

Researchers found in meditators increased brain size in the area of the right hippocampus and in the right frontal cortex, enlarging the brains' measurements.

For now researchers are speculating about this area of the brain so closely linked to our emotions. Eileen Luders wonders, "These might be the neuronal underpinnings that give meditators' brains the outstanding ability to regulate their emotions and allow for well-adjusted responses to whatever life throws their way."

Written by Denny Lyon
Copyright 21 May 2009
All Rights Reserved

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21 May 2009

Video: The Cosmic Joke

From Denny: Saw this YouTube video from fellow blogger Mystic Dave's blog (Mystical Musings and Politics). It has beautiful art work and a simple message that will make some people laugh out loud at to why they didn't "get it" before now! This little video discusses the very beginning start position to attain spiritual development successfully. Take a look!



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20 May 2009

How to keep yourself beautiful all the time



How to keep yourself beautiful all the time

By gr8archer45 (Pakistan) @ HubPages (USA)

From Denny: This delightful writer has a mountain of useful practical tips for getting that glowing skin (written in very good English). YouTube videos provided on making your own facial scrubs and masks as well as how to do your own French manicure at home. Take a look!

Photo by dichohecho @ flickr

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19 May 2009

Video: Putting Your Love to the Test

From Denny: Now this is really cutting edge. Scientists do a scan of 3 areas of the brain to see if you are in love with your spouse. They check for lust, attachment and romance areas of the brain. Very interesting explanations of what the scan depicts.

Watch this video as a writer from Esquire decided to find out how his brain looked in love with his wife vs. how he thought about a sexy actress. Brave or very stupid guy; you decide.



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18 May 2009

Flaxseed Oil and Weight Loss

flax seedsImage by digiyesica via Flickr

Flaxseed Oil and Weight Loss: "Dieting is very frustrating for most people. There is so much information out there now no one wants to bother to read it. Here is a fairly brief explanation of how including flaxseed in your diet can help with weight loss."

By readabook @ HubPages

From Denny: What an easy read about a frustrating subject AND a practical tip to add to our diet that actually works without negative side effects! Take a look at this short article from one of my friends over at HubPages.

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17 May 2009

Video: Get a Guilt-Free Summer Tan

From Denny: OK, I'm so fair that I regularly use SPF 50 - or 72 when I can find it - just to go pull a few weeds. When I "tan" naturally people are always telling me to go get some sun. So, I get to tell them this IS my dark tan! :) Oh, well, at least I can tan a little; my father could not tan at all. He would burn as red as a cooked lobster, then turn pale again: not even a slight tan.

I'm always skeptical of chemical anything. So, ask a lot of questions before you submit to a chemical tan. Look for natural ingredients. Take a little time and research what goes on to your skin, especially when it will be there for days or weeks. Your skin acts like a lung, breathing in substances and absorbing into your blood stream good things or not so good things. Eventually, substances make it into our body's fat stores, lurking to cause problems another day perhaps decades away.

For now, this chemically sprayed tan looks like a good alternative to baking and broiling in the summer sun. The cancer risk is far lower than direct exposure to the sun. Our global weather is becoming increasingly hotter every year with the melting of the glaciers who once kept us cooler. Keep the awareness that now the sun is less skin-friendly than when you were a child and the weather was milder. Just think of the folks in Australia who wear sun screen most of the year and stay indoors as much as possible. They were once a beach-loving culture just like America but the high rate of skin cancer changed all that. We may have to go to the same strategy eventually.



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16 May 2009

Video: Our Food is Making Our Kids Sick

From Denny: While I'm a fresh foodie and not much for processed foods primarily because of awful taste, texture and smell, this video will open your eyes.

Robyn O'Brien, a young mother of 4 children (in 5 years, guess how busy she is!) is interviewed. She wrote a book after discovering how difficult it is to detect what is in daily foods at the grocery store. Her daughter is severely allergic to eggs and labels don't always record them as not required by law. She reveals many other eye-opening facts in this video you will want to know. She talks about how our FDA regulates our food supply vs. the Europeans and much more.



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15 May 2009

Video: Widow Finds Peace in Helping Others in Their Time of Need

From Denny: Another stellar person who discovered that paying it forward is the strongest way to heal and keep your balance after the tragic loss of her firefighter rescue husband.

Her foundation in her husband's name, Gerry Nevins Foundation, has given away over $200,000 and helped 40 families in great need. She often counsels new widows in the early months after their loss as she understands how lost they feel at this time.

She is a strong person who has taken a tough life test and made something good from it, strengthening herself and inspiring those around her!



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14 May 2009

Video: Creative Living Teacher

From Denny: This lady is really something! "So many people who are living broken lives are numb to the beauty out there and their many options... that makes it difficult for them to recover. You have to have hope to rebuild your life."

She works with the homeless to get them back into feeling life again on a positive and joyful level as her joy is contagious! Now that's healing!






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13 May 2009

Video: Improve Those Bikini Swimsuit Abs!

From Denny: Ah, the annual ritual of shaping up for swimsuit season... All right, everyone, time to get busy yet again! :)Let's at least get an "A" for effort! From a Pilates instructor.


12 May 2009

Video: Learning to Deal with Aggressive Kids

From Denny: This is a great resource for parents in need of learning how to parent more positively. Programs like this are needed across the nation as we move into stressful times with job loss and reduced incomes. Parents need all the support from many groups.



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11 May 2009

Finding of 1st Autism Gene

The puzzle piece ribbon is used by some autism...The puzzle piece ribbon is used by some autism societies Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: The first gene linked to autism has been found by researchers. They believe it may account for as much as 15% of cases diagnosed.

Researchers speculate the problems underlying other cases could be changes in brain connections as reported in three recent studies published in the journals of Nature and Molecular Psychiatry.

Right now the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are that autism affects one in 150 children in America. Obviously, these new findings cannot offer hope for an immediate treatment, it does contribute to the explanation of the underlying cases of the disease.

From Dr. Raynard Kington, National Institutes of Health acting directory: "These findings establish that genetic factors play a strong role in autism spectrum disorder. Detailed analysis of the genes and how they affect brain development is likely to yield better strategies for diagnosing and treating children with autism."

What is the range of autism disease?

Autism is actually a spectrum of diseases. It can be severe with a profound inability to communicate with others which is what the public is most familiar. It can be found as mental retardation. The milder symptoms are known as Asperger's Syndrome.

The medical field has always been at a loss to explain the phenomenon of autism. What they do know is that autism tends to run in families which suggests an underlying genetic cause.

From Dr. Thomas Insel who is director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH): "Previous studies have suggested that autism is a developmental disorder resulting from abnormal connections in the brain. These three studies suggest some of the genetic factors which might lead to abnormal connectivity."

What did an international study do?

Researchers studied the DNA of 12,000 people. There were volunteers who were unaffected by autism and there were those who came from autism affected families.

From Dr. Hakon Hakonarson at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who also worked on the study: "We estimate that the variants we discovered may contribute to as many as 15 percent of autism spectrum disorder cases in a population."

Another researcher who worked on the study, Tony Monaco, Wellcome Trust Center for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford (Britain): "Most of the genes that have been identified in these studies are involved in the connections between neurons called synapses."

"This does seem to fit with what we know from brain scans - people with autism may show different or reduced connectivity between different parts of the brain."

People with autism are not the only ones to exhibit these mutations though.

From another doctor who worked on the study, Dr. Daniel Geschwind, University of California at Los Angeles, "While this gene variant is common in the general population, we discovered that it occurs about 20 percent more often in children with autism."

From Dr. Margaret Pericak-Vance, University of Miami, providing additional information, "Until now, no common genetic variant has been identified with such overwhelming evidence to support its role in autism spectrum disorders."

Written by Denny Lyon





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10 May 2009

Study Eyes Autism and Brain Size

Do you find my brain? - Auf der Suche nach mei...Image by alles-schlumpf via Flickr




From Denny: Published 4 May 2009 in the Archives of General Psychiatry is a new study about the brain size in autistic small children. The study was done at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

What part of the brain did researchers focus?

There is a region deep in the brain that helps control emotions. It also regulates attention and reads social cues from eye contact. This region of the brain is called the amygdala.

Who was studied?

The scientists studied two-year-olds with and without autism.

What did these researchers find?

What was quite a surprise is that autistic children exhibited a more enlarged amygdala where non-autistic children did not. This unusual distinction persisted in the follow-up screening of these same children two years later.

How is this study helpful?

For autism researchers this study adds insight into the brain size anomalies of autism and could help doctors diagnose autism.

Most of all, this study could help develop new interventions that help strengthen young childrens' social functioning.

Written by Denny Lyon

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09 May 2009

Video: Update on Swine Flu Stats

From Denny: The health folks are claiming this swine flu is milder than expected - that's the good news. The bad news? It is spreading rapidly. One day it's 400 cases and the next day it's up to 700, almost doubling here in America.

What's a bit disconcerting is to look at the USA map showing the flu has spread all across the country. Then view the world map and all of North America is engulfed in this outbreak.




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08 May 2009

Video: 1st Face Transplant Patient Speaks Out

From Denny: All I can say is Awesome! This is quite a feat of engineering and medicine - and perserverance on the part of the patient. She still faces another two years of surgery. This was the first phase just for reconstructive ability to be able to smell again, to eat and drink normally again - all things the rest of us take for granted. Take a look.


Watch CBS Videos Online

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07 May 2009

Video: How Much is Mom's Job Worth?

From Denny: Since this is Mother's Day weekend coming up, I found this an interesting video. Mothers wear so many hats and it is a high stress job, thought you might like to know a woman's worth as a stay at home mom (or dad) as well as a working mom. Compiled by salary.com for years now! Take a look!



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06 May 2009

Blogger Interviews Porn Queen Stormy Daniels While Waiting on Jury Duty

Stormy Daniels, American pornographic actress.Image via Wikipedia



From Denny: Been on jury duty since Monday and the days are getting longer so not able to post much. Maybe tomorrow will be a shorter day!

Looks like Cheeky Quote Day is sidelined for today. Will a true story of what happened to me today do in its place? I'm up for a second-degree murder case. Probably will sit around all day waiting to be rejected. That's what happened today after 10 hours of jury selection.

I did get to chat up the staff. Talked to a sheriff who the local news station had promised to interview about his time in Iraq but didn't - clearly he needed to talk about it - so as any good blogger with a journalism degree, well, I jumped on the interview, duh! He's with the Army 239th, an MP and just got back from Iraq a few months ago. He proceeded to tell me about what it was like serving over there.

Real sociable guy and it sure surprised me when he started talking but I figured it was good for him to get the stress out. I mean, how many warriors actually tell you how many kills? And worse, how many were Iraqi children, armed with hand grenades and ordered by their parents to come kill Americans? Sad but true tale.

While he acknowledged it was a tough decision to choose self-defense and claimed it didn't bother him, I figured it did upset him and that's why he was telling me all about it. Soldiers from many wars often start talking around me and I hear the most amazing stories of personal trauma.

It isn't always what people tell you as true but rather the fact that they are talking about something so horrific while claiming it doesn't bother them. Of course it bothers them, why else would they need to talk about it? I don't waste time judging, just accept and listen. Talk about a lot to process for them.

***



Now the highlight of today's jury service was going to lunch at a little eatery known as The Roux House. We noticed the local TV news crew outside, went in and there was a big commotion at the back of the restaurant. We peeked in and it turns out a new politician was announcing her candidacy.

Who was it? Turns out it's the porn queen, Stormy Daniels, who was the regular prostitute for years for Louisiana's Senator David Vitter. Yep! The former pro is running against her customer!

I found it amusing. On her way out she stopped to talk to everyone at the few tables and so I took the time to interview her about her candidacy. Turns out ABC News was there too. I asked some very easy questions to give her a chance to prove herself. I'll try to blog tomorrow about the interview. What a hoot! When was the last time you had the opportunity to interview a porn queen AND attend a bizarre event in the weirdest world of Louisiana politics? It was a definite two-fer! :)










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05 May 2009

Video: Forgiveness Smarter Than Revenge For Your Health

From Denny: First news report I've seen on this health phenomenon properly examined to validate the viewpoint of many, me included. No one has ever claimed that forgiveness is an easy attitude to adopt, learn and practice. The alternative to not learning to do so is amazingly devastating on your own health!

"Are people more apt to seek revenge or offer forgiveness when they've been wronged? Sunday Morning's Martha Teichner examines our capacity to forgive."


Watch CBS Videos Online

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04 May 2009

Building Up Your Immunity

Building Up Your Immunity

"With so much public attention on the latest H1N1 virus, aka swine flu, various clinicians are reminding everyone to wash hands for at least 20 seconds, cover mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing, and to dispose promptly of soiled tissues.

However there is one more activity that you can add to the “clean regime.”

Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of the interaction between the mind of an individual and the observable world and how their subsequent behavior affects the immune system of the body, resulting in either health or illness."

By Profmaggy @ HubPages

From Denny: Some wise words in this short article about boosting your immune system during this flu season scare.

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03 May 2009

Video: Walking is Best Medicine

"Fitness expert Leslie Sansone showed Maggie Rodriguez how to add walking to your workout routine."

From Denny: When you can't go outside for a pleasurable and exercising walk, this fitness expert has come up with a fun routine to basically walk in place and yet get that cardio we all need. She does it to music and it can be done by all fitness levels. There is a small amount of strenth training too.

Beats moping around inside the house when you can't go outside in the fresh air! If you have children you can invite them to join you in a family exercise fun!


Watch CBS Videos Online

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02 May 2009

Video: CDC Races To Find Vaccine

"The Centers for Disease Control is trying to find a vaccine for the H1N1 virus. Dr. Jon LaPook reports on their progress and Dr. Jennifer Ashton tells Katie Couric about symptoms of this flu."

From Denny: With this news video you get a look literally inside the CDC offices (Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia) where they have been ramping up for the past couple of years to address a pandemic. The CDC has set up this office for around the clock monitoring, literally 24/7.

Interviewing a doctor about this flu seemed counterproductive since the medical community still doesn't have a handle on it yet. How can they predict what to do or not do based on no understanding of how the infection mutates?

Still the video is worth watching to help you think about what to do as this situation progresses. Definitely, there was sound advice for people with compromised immune systems: cancer patients on chemo, young children and the like.


Watch CBS Videos Online

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01 May 2009

Video: Panic Over H1N1 Virus

"There is great concern throughout the U.S. over the potential lethality of the H1N1 influenza virus. As Nancy Cordes reports, officials are debating as to how to handle this outbreak."

From Denny: This is a news story about how educators are treating this season's unexpected flu. What has officials in the nation concerned, whether educators or medical professionals, is how this strain of flu is so radically different than disease of the past.

This flu spreads quickly from person to person. It is so unique it has never been like any other. The numbers of suspected or confirmed cases is rampant, and it has demonstrated an ability to kill.


Watch CBS Videos Online



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