The Watering Hole, Tuesday February 18, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics

Putting his money where his mouth is... retired hedge fund executive willing to spend up to $100 million this year to challenge climate deniers running for office, according to this article from the New York Times.

“A billionaire retired investor is forging plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election, seeking to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers.”

Read more here.

West Virginia take me home… but don’t drink the water. Another coal slurry spill. As much as people hate fracking and oil drilling, coal is the most environmentally disastrous energy source in the world. There isn’t even a close second. John Denver, are you sure you want to go there?

Biosolids contain more harm? Duke University researchers are looking in the the effects of anti-microbial chemicals are having on soil decomposition. Biosolids are what your sewage treatment plant spreads on parks, farm land fields or bag as fertilizers for sale. They are supposed to be tested by federal regulation for pathogens and heavy metals but chemicals are a different story. It is expensive and complicated to test the right now, but some may contain chemicals harmful to he environment. Read on.

First Clinton and now Al Gore... going vegan. May be old news to some of you but I just uncovered it. Al Gore likes lentils and carrots. Fiftysomething Diet: Is It Time to Go Vegan? Here is the science behind it.

Watering Hole: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 – It Takes Strength

This year has been a difficult year for me.  It’s been a year that has been particularly brutal to my physical and mental health.

We sold our home of 16 years in June and until we moved into our new home on December 6, we were nomads.  Living out of a suitcase isn’t all it’s cranked up to be.  It’s been a stressful 6 months which taxed me emotionally.

Throughout the summer, I experienced severe pain in my left knee, muscle spasms in my left leg, numbness in the first toe on my right foot, migraine headaches, and extreme fatigue.  Since I didn’t have insurance at the time, I put off seeing the doctor until September as that is when my Medicare Part B took effect.  To make a long story short, I was able to convince the doctor to test me for Lyme Disease.  I was even able to get her to start me on Doxycycline.  Sure enough, I had Lyme Disease.  It has taken several months to recover from this devastating disease.  Lyme Disease is serious business.

Next up, I get an exam from my “new” doctor in Eugene, Oregon.  Because of my age, he decided to give me an ECG (electrocardiogram).  The results were not what I wanted to hear.  I have a left ventricular block which means that my heart is working overtime.

I told you that to tell you this.  Blood flow blockage is not a good thing.  I decided to consult the expert, Dr. Dean Ornish.  He recommends diet changes and exercise along with meditation and something else.  Dr. Ornish suggests that we practice “forgiveness, altruism, compassion, and service” and that “it takes strength and courage to forgive; those who are afraid to look weak often preach vengeance and violence”.  He mentions that he was inspired by Nelson Mandela and he quotes from Mandela’s book, “Long Walk to Freedom,”

It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black.  I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed.  A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness.  I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me.  The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.

When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both.  Some say that has now been achieved.  But I know that that is not the case.  The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed.  We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road.  For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.  The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.

This made me start thinking.  If I truly want to regain my health, then along with diet and exercise, I need to be more positive about life, more forgiving of others, and less angry about things that I cannot change.

We all have the power to create our own view of life.

This is our Open Thread.  Enough about me.  Now it is your turn to Speak Up!

Watering Hole: Monday, January 16, 2012 – Vitamin D

There’s a been a lot of chatter lately regarding the value of Vitamin D.  It seems like this vitamin prevents any disease or disability (only fooling around with this statement).  There are some really crucial benefits to Vitamin D.  Here are a few:

  • Needed for the absorption and metabolism for calcium and phosophorus.  These elements are vital to bone formation and other various functions within the body.
  • As an immune system regulator, it may arm the immune system against the common cold.
  • There may be a connection between insufficient Vitamin and the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Some studies are beginning to show a lower risk of some cancers in people with higher Vitamin D levels.
  • WebMD has a more information regarding the benefits of Vitamin D.

With all this good news about Vitamin D and our health, what would be the best sources for us to get this valuable vitamin?  That would be our bodies.  There is no risk of overdosing when our body manufactures Vitamin D.  Supplements are another source of Vitamin D.  When using supplements as a source, then it is advised that no more than 2000 IU be taken daily as an overdose may occur.  This is one reason that Vitamin D levels in the blood should be measured on a regular basis.  When the body manufactures Vitamin D, it also creates another chemical which stops the Vitamin D production when blood reaches its optimal level of Vitamin D.

Doctor Oz has a good animation on how the body manufactures Vitamin D.

People living above 40 degrees latitude have a difficult time getting sufficient Vitamin D during the winter months.  This is where supplementation with Vitamin D 3 may help.  Another source would be 4 to 6 minutes, depending on skin type, under tanning lights 2 or 3 times/week. In the warmer climates and the warmer weather, step outside for a walk in the sunshine.

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!