Posts Tagged ‘alternative medicine

31
May
11

5.31.2011 … End of May … School is almost out!

Mount Vernon, travel, DC, history, historic preservation:  Mount Vernon is one of my favorite places … what does it take to make a 18th century garden historically accurate?As she surveys the fruit orchard, boxwood parterres and flower borders, a couple of gardeners plant clumps of golden-flowered calendulas near the grapevine trellises. They are putting the final touches on a fundamental reworking of Washington’s pleasure garden. Begun last August and now virtually complete, the new garden re-creates what experts believe is a far closer representation of the one Washington knew in the late 18th century.

Gone is the tall boxwood edging, along with the crescent flower beds at the apex of the garden. The paths are wider, the garden beds fewer but much larger. Bands of decorative plants wrap around what is essentially a vegetable garden — the area devoted to veggies has grown fivefold and occupies a quarter of the space. Even though the “high garden” was the landscape jewel of the estate, Washington “wasn’t about to let something beautiful take away from something that was necessary,” said Dean Norton, Mount Vernon’s director of horticulture.

via George Washington’s Mount Vernon pleasure garden revamped for authenticity – The Washington Post.

bookstores, eBooks, technology:  Maybe the two will work together … there is a certain pleasure in walking around a bookstore.

250 independent bookstores around the country now sell Google eBooks on their websites. However, it takes some tech savvy and effort to educate customers about these new resources.

via QR Code Tools for Independent Bookstores – GalleyCat.

random, missing persons, hiking the Appalachian Trail:  There is no such thing as disappearing for a few days for personal reasons.  Blessings to the family for the safe reurn of Mr. Hill.

A Matthews man missing since early last week in Washington, D.C., was found early today in Asheville, D.C. Metro police said this morning.

Lt. Ralph Neal, watch commander for the 2nd District, told the Observer that his department got a lead that Matthew Hill, 26, who was last seen Tuesday morning, was safe and had been found in Asheville.

“He apparently didn’t let anyone know where he was at,” Neal said. “We asked the police in Asheville to make contact with him there.

“He just left on his own — for personal reasons. I guess he just wanted to get away.”

via D.C. police: Matthews man found alive in Asheville | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

American auto industry, subcompacts, Great Recession, Recovery?:  I want a subcompact hybrid for my next car .

After years of being outgunned by Japanese rivals, the American auto industry has made small cars a central part of its strategy, seeking to capitalize on a fundamental shift in the preferences of consumers in an era of fast-

By refocusing on small cars and de-emphasizing the gas-guzzlers that had long sustained the industry, General Motors and Ford in particular are preserving jobs and positioning themselves to prosper. Their efforts are already paying off in the marketplace. Ford’s tiny Fiesta is the best-selling subcompact in the United States this year, and G.M.’s Chevrolet Cruze outsold every other compact car in America last month except the segment-leading Honda Civic.

Nearly one in four vehicles sold in the United States in April was a compact or subcompact car, compared with one in eight a decade ago. Of the small cars sold in April, about 27 percent were American models, compared with 20 percent a year earlier. Data on sales in May will be released on Wednesday.

via American Compacts Gain Ground as High Gas Prices Change Tastes – NYTimes.com.

middle east uprisings, natural human rights, philosophy:  A lot to think about here …

Revolutions are based upon complaints.  These complaints can arise from practical concerns, like having food at an affordable price, or from more theoretical or social concerns, such as being able to publicly speak one’s mind.  Both are grounded in an understanding of what people ought to be able to enjoy as citizens of a country.  This expectation of fundamental entitlements is what we talk about when we talk about human rights.  But whether or not every person on earth has certain rights just by virtue of being a person alive on the planet — a concept I will refer to here as natural human rights — is a question of some controversy.  In these times, when new questions of rights, complaints and subsequent conflicts seem to arise anew each week, it’s worth knowing where we stand on the matter.

The way we think about the turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa is also conditioned by the way we understand human rights.  If natural human rights exist, then the autocrats in charge that suppress them are wrong and they should either create a constitutional monarchy or a democratic republic.  If natural human rights do not exist, then the whole process is one of political negotiation that on the one hand involves peaceful protests and on the other involves bloody civil war.  Our entire understanding of these events requires us to take sides.  But how can we do this?

via Are There Natural Human Rights? – NYTimes.com.

YouTube, media, education:  So now they have a school on how to create a viral video … please explain how you make money for this?

Vanessa Wilson was back in class last week for the first time since law school. Only this time, she said, she wasn’t bored.

Ms. Wilson, 27, was one of the winners of a recent talent search sponsored by YouTube. Her prize was a boot camp at Google’s Manhattan offices, where some of YouTube’s most successful stars led sessions on how to create a viral video, build an audience and bolster a brand.

Some of the tips that, with luck, might one day lead to a six-figure income? Don’t upload videos on Friday afternoons. Send e-mails to at least a dozen key bloggers and ask them to post a link. Surprise your audience. Don’t forget: there is key light, front light, flood light. And never, ever put the word sex in a title or tag. It could cost you some of the advertising revenue that YouTube shares with its content creators.

The boot camp is part of YouTube’s campaign to find its own original high-quality video content. Facing fierce competition from Web video services like Hulu, iTunes and Netflix, YouTube is looking to increase the range of content and improve the quality of its channels as it continues to try to make more money, even after doubling revenue, according to Google’s last quarterly report.

via At YouTube Boot Camp, Future Stars Polish Their Acts – NYTimes.com.

random, health, pests:  I am definitely a mosquito magnet!

Some folks seem to be magnets for mosquitoes, while others rarely get bitten. What makes the little buggers single you out and not the guy or gal you’re standing next to at the Memorial Day backyard barbecue?

The two most important reasons a mosquito is attracted to you have to do with sight and smell, says Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida in Vero Beach. Lab studies suggest that 20 percent of people are high attractor types, he says.

Mosquitoes are highly visual, especially later in the afternoon, and their first mode of search for humans is through vision, explains Day. People dressed in dark colors — black, navy blue, red — stand out and movement is another cue.

Once the mosquito keys in on a promising visual target, she (and it’s always “she” — only the ladies bite) then picks up on smell. The main attractor is your rate of carbon dioxide production with every exhale you take.

via The Body Odd – Why some people are mosquito magnets.

technology, health, alternative medicine, electronic pain relief, TENS:  Not to get to personal, but my broken humerus is not healing and the pain is increasing … today I was given this to device, a TENS, and I hope it works!

Nerve pain can become a chronic and frequent nightmare for many people. Although there are medications to take, some people would rather opt for a non-drug treatment. Electronic pain relief options can be used to a varying degree of relief. These systems interrupt the pain signals reaching the brain.TENS UnitThe transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit, also known as TENS, uses small battery operated devices to block pain signals. Electrodes are placed on the skin where the pain is originating. High-frequency electrical pulses are then sent to nerve fibers and pain signals are then prevented from reaching the brain. When no pain signal reaches the brain, then no pain is felt. Accompanying the unit will also be the self-adhering electrodes that can be reused, towelettes to clean the skin and gel to help with any irritation if you have sensitive skin.

via Electronic Pain Relief | eHow.com.

Wikipedia, college, education:  Very fascinating use of technology and online resources in an educational environment.

A Virginia Tech graduate student hit save on her overview of the state workers’ compensation commission one spring day, but before her professor could take a look at it, someone else began deleting entire sections, calling them trivial and promotional.

It wasn’t a teaching assistant on a power trip — it was a Wikipedia editor known only as “Mean as custard.”

“I had worked on it for almost an entire day,” said Amy Pearson, a public administration master’s student. “It was kind of shocking.”

This school year, dozens of professors from across the country gave students an unexpected assignment: Write Wikipedia entries about public policy issues.

The Wikimedia Foundation, which supports the Web site, organized the project in an effort to bulk up the decade-old online encyclopedia’s coverage of topics ranging from the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 to Sudanese refugees in Egypt. Such issues have been treated on the site in much less depth than TV shows, celebrity biographies and other elements of pop culture.

Many students involved in the project have received humbling lessons about open-source writing as their work was revised, attacked or deleted by anonymous critics with unknown credentials.

In the fall, Rochelle A. Davis, an assistant professor at Georgetown University, told undergraduates in her culture and politics course to create a Wikipedia page about a community they belonged to, then use that research to develop a thesis for an academic paper.

“Collectively, they were the best papers I’ve ever read at Georgetown,” Davis said. She said students benefited from vetting their ideas with a wider community — a practice that could help academics at all levels. “This is where we are going,” she said. “I think that’s a good thing.”

via Wikipedia goes to class – The Washington Post.

14
Jul
10

‎7.14.2010 … talked to the molls … guess what they dont have, but love in South Africa … RANCH DRESSING!

friends, relationships, followup:  What do you think? Are best friends bad for kids?  Who are your friends?

We talked about categories — family, chosen family, neighbors, close male friends, collective friends (i.e. whole groups, some members of which we are closer to than others but generally considering the whole group friends), friends with common experiences (contingency friends, perhaps… from “the kids’ soccer team” or “the PTA,” relationships which sometimes fade when the context does), neighbor friends (people whom we can call to check on the dogs or make sure we turned off the stove).

via Friends for the Journey, or Parts thereof « Holy Vernacular.

green, environment: 7 square miles???

Seven-square miles of a Greenland glacier broke up on July 6 and 7, moving the edge of the glacier a mile inland in one day, the furthest inland it has ever been observed. While such calving of glaciers isn’t rare, seeing it happen at high resolution by satellite in almost real time is.

via Big chunk of Greenland glacier breaks off – Science Fair: Science and Space News – USATODAY.com.

food, garden, travel, vocabulary:  When we were in China in ’07, at one point we were starving for western junk food, and our guides ordered french fries … 5 huge orders … and then asked if we would like tomato jam with that … when we realized they were asking if we wanted ketchup, we broke out laughing.

Tonight with our bountiful tomato harvest, we will make our first batch of tomato jam! Recipe – Tomato Jam – Recipe – NYTimes.com.

culture, families:  They ask hard questions some times.

Doctors, and the parents who look to them for advice, need a way to integrate their standards of honesty with what we know about preventing substance abuse — and with new research that makes it clear we know a lot more today than anyone did when we were young. (Which may help explain some of the dumb decisions made by so many of us, including me.)

In particular, scientists understand much more about the neurobiology of the teenage brain and the risks of experimenting with drugs and alcohol during adolescence. While we used to think the brain was relatively mature by 16 or 18, in fact it is still developing into the mid-20s.

“If the way it’s presented is, ‘This is risky, and I hope that you don’t have to touch the hot stove to find out you get burned,’ they don’t have to take the same chance.”

And finally, after all the cautions and the anxieties, it’s essential to come back to the positives — “always remembering to notice the good about your child,” Dr. Williams said.

After all, the most important message a parent can give is not about the mistakes that can derail a child, but about the joys of finding your way.

Tell your child, in Dr. Simkin’s words, that “I would prefer you to work on finding your passion, finding what in life you want to do” — and celebrate that potential.

And for that very reason, Dr. Williams said, “I would like them to have every brain cell they can have.”

The Press:  I think this goes too far.

We have entered a momentous period in the history of the American press. The invention of new communications technologies—especially the Internet—is transforming the human capacity to speak, perhaps as monumentally as the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. This is facilitating the largest and fastest expansion of global economic growth in human history. Free speech and a free press are essential to a dynamic economy.

This system needs to be revised and its resources consolidated and augmented with those of NPR and PBS to create an American World Service that can compete with the BBC and other global broadcasters. The goal would be an American broadcasting system with full journalistic independence that can provide the news we need. Let’s demonstrate great journalism’s essential role in a free and dynamic society.

via Lee Bollinger: Journalism Needs Government Help – WSJ.com.

culture, families:  Toxic children … even the name is unsettling.

“The central pitch of any child psychiatrist now is that the illness is often in the child and that the family responses may aggravate the scene but not wholly create it,” said my colleague Dr. Theodore Shapiro, a child psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical College. “The era of ‘there are no bad children, only bad parents’ is gone.”

I recall one patient who told me that she had given up trying to have a relationship with her 24-year-old daughter, whose relentless criticism she could no longer bear. “I still love and miss her,” she said sadly. “But I really don’t like her.”

For better or worse, parents have limited power to influence their children. That is why they should not be so fast to take all the blame — or credit — for everything that their children become.

via Mind – Accepting That Good Parents May Plant Bad Seeds – NYTimes.com.

education, culture:

“I have to assume that in every class, someone will do it,” he said. “It doesn’t stop them if you say, ‘This is plagiarism. I won’t accept it.’ I have to tell them that it is a failing offense and could lead me to file a complaint with the university, which could lead to them being put on probation or being asked to leave.”

Not everyone who gets caught knows enough about what they did to be remorseful. Recently, for example, a student who plagiarized a sizable chunk of a paper essentially told my friend to keep his shirt on, that what he’d done was no big deal. Beyond that, the student said, he would be ashamed to go home to the family with an F.

As my friend sees it: “This represents a shift away from the view of education as the process of intellectual engagement through which we learn to think critically and toward the view of education as mere training. In training, you are trying to find the right answer at any cost, not trying to improve your mind.”

This habit of mind is already pervasive in the culture and will be difficult to roll back. But parents, teachers and policy makers need to understand that this is not just a matter of personal style or generational expression. It’s a question of whether we can preserve the methods through which education at its best teaches people to think critically and originally.

via Editorial Observer – Cutting and Pasting – A Senior Thesis by (Insert Name) – NYTimes.com.

fashion, technology:

But savvy competitors grasped how significant the Web would be for trend spotting and grabbed market share. Worth Global Style Network, known as WGSN, was founded in 1998 and now boasts 36,000 unique users. It sped up fashion forecasting with “up-to-the-minute information with no time delay” from a network of 200 trendspotters around the world, says Sally Lohan, the company’s West Coast content director.

Another rival, Stylesight, founded in 2004, has image banks and customizable trend analyses available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Turkish.

Fashion bloggers, who spot local trends around the world and post new photos constantly, also help retail buyers, and they do it free of charge. “It is very easy to find out what’s going on in Shanghai and Tokyo with a click of a mouse,” says Bloomingdale’s fashion director Stephanie Solomon, who says she looks to Tobe not for ideas, but rather for confirmation of her own fashion hunches. For example, she says she placed big bets for spring 2010 on nautical stripes long before Tobe weighed in on the trend (and she was relieved to see that Tobe confirmed her instincts).

via Trend Forecaster Tobe Report Gets Trendy Again – WSJ.com.

Apple iPhone: Up until the iPhone 4 flap, buying Apple was a no-brainer.

That’s just astounding. The folks at Nokia, RIM, etc., should hang their heads in shame.

via You Can’t Appreciate How Completely Apple Has Humiliated The Cellphone Industry Until You See These Charts.

technology, business, Great Recession:

That is the hope of an increasing number of investors who are turning to the science of artificial intelligence to make investment decisions.

With artificial intelligence, programmers don’t just set up computers to make decisions in response to certain inputs. They attempt to enable the systems to learn from decisions, and adapt. Most investors trying the approach are using “machine learning,” a branch of artificial intelligence in which a computer program analyzes huge chunks of data and makes predictions about the future. It is used by tech companies such as Google Inc. to match Web searches with results and NetFlix Inc. to predict which movies users are likely to rent.

via ‘Artificial Intelligence’ Gains Fans Among Investors – WSJ.com.

Davidson, education internships:  Davidson is supporting 20 research projects this summer.  What a great thing! And what a great internship!

Allison’s research project aims to answer the question: Can a business corporation, as an entity that is distinct from the employees, shareholders, and other members that compose it, be held morally responsible for its actions? More specifically, she is addressing the role of corporate structure (e.g. its written policies, unwritten corporate culture, etc.) in defining the corporation’s moral status.

via » Research at Davidson: Allison Drutchas.

Two days later I was sporting an official badge, revising policy manuals, performing employee housing inspections, and passing Ambassador Thorne on the compound. I have made courtesy calls to the head of each embassy section, and enjoyed meetings with the ambassadors of the Tri-Mission (because Rome is the home to an unusual case of three independent US Embassies: Italy, the Holy See, and the UN).

I have had the unique pleasure of exploring Villa Taverna, the home of the U.S. Ambassador to Italy, and I have gone days speaking only Italian because all but two officers in my section are locally-employed Italians. This weekend I will have the opportunity to assist in the visit of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and on Monday I will have a private tour of the French Embassy, which contains many Michelangelo works.

There appears to be no end for me to the surprises at the Ambasciata Americana! For the first time in my life, I am seriously considering a career with the US Foreign Service. Ciao a tutti e tanti abbracci!

via Good Call! |.

health, alternative medicine:

But for those who can take the heat and cope with the pollen, spending more time in nature might have some surprising health benefits. In a series of studies, scientists found that when people swap their concrete confines for a few hours in more natural surroundings — forests, parks and other places with plenty of trees — they experience increased immune function.

Stress reduction is one factor. But scientists also chalk it up to phytoncides, the airborne chemicals that plants emit to protect them from rotting and insects and which also seem to benefit humans.

via Really? – The Claim – Exposure to Plants and Parks Can Boost Immunity – Question – NYTimes.com.

food, random:

Would I recommend it? Reservedly, yes, but mostly because afterward you can honestly say you’ve eaten a burger made out of bacon, and not many people can say that. If you don’t care about the “honor” of it, I suggest sharing it with at least one other person, because it’s not likely you’ll actually want to eat more than half. I suggest uncured bacon so the salt doesn’t make your blood pressure spike. Cook it the way I did unless you want it to bathe in its own fat as it cooks. Oh, yes, and wash it down with something with a bite to it, because otherwise the taste of the bacon fat will likely overwhelm your palate.

via The Great Bacon Odyssey: Bacon, the Other Crispy Brown Meat | GeekDad | Wired.com.




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