Closing Time

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Be Happy


Uploaded on Jul 1, 2011

Is happiness a skill? Modern neuroscientific research and the wisdom of ancient contemplative traditions converge in suggesting that happiness is the product of skills that can be enhanced through training and such training exemplifies how transforming the mind can change the brain. 

Kent Berridge, Richie Davidson, and Daniel Gilbert speak at the Aspen Ideas Festival
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Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah


Leonard Cohen Credit Dominique Issermann

  Leonard Cohen: Darkness and Praise

The email from the boy began: “Did anything inspire you to create Hallelujah?"

Later that same winter day the reply arrived: 
“I wanted to stand with those who clearly see God’s holy broken world for what it is, and still find the courage or the heart to praise it. You don’t always get what you want. You’re not always up for the challenge. But in this case — it was given to me. For which I am deeply grateful.”
The question came from the author's son, who was preparing to present the hymn to his fifth-grade class. The boy required a clarification about its meaning. The answer came from the author of the song, Leonard Cohen.
Cohen lived in a weather of wisdom, which he created by seeking it rather than by finding it. He swam in beauty, because in its transience he aspired to discern a glimpse of eternity.
There was always a trace of philosophy in his sensuality.
He managed to combine a sense of absurdity with a sense of significance, a genuine feat.
He was a friend of melancholy but an enemy of gloom, and a renegade enamored of tradition.
Leonard was, above all, in his music and in his poems and in his tone of life, the lyrical advocate of the finite and the flawed.
Leonard sang always as a sinner. He refused to describe sin as a failure or a disqualification. Sin was a condition of life. 

“Even though it all went wrong/ I’ll stand before the Lord of song/ With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!”
The singer’s faults do not expel him from the divine presence. Instead they confer a mortal integrity upon his exclamation of praise. 

He is the inadequate man, the lowly man, the hurt man who has given hurt, insisting modestly but stubbornly upon his right to a sacred exaltation.

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”  

He once told an interviewer that those words were the closest he came to a credo.  

The teaching could not be more plain: fix the crack, lose the light.
  
Here is a passage on frivolity by a great rabbi in Prague at the end of the 16th century:

“Man was born for toil, since his perfection is always being actualized but is never actual,” 
he observed in an essay on frivolity.
“And insofar as he attains perfection, something is missing in him.  In such a being, 
perfection is a shortcoming and a lack.”

Leonard Cohen was the poet laureate of the lack, the psalmist of the privation, who made imperfection gorgeous.



Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/opinion/my-friend-leonard-cohen-darkness-and-praise.html?ribbon-ad-idx=3&src=trending



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Living with a sense of purpose in life




Conclusion:

A sense of purpose in life also gives you this considerable advantage:
"People with a sense of purpose in life have a lower risk of death and cardiovascular disease."

The conclusions come from over 136,000 people who took part in 10 different studies.

Participants in the studies were mostly from the US and Japan.


The US studies asked people:
  • how useful they felt to others,
  • about their sense of purpose, and
  • the meaning they got out of life.


The Japanese studies asked people about ‘ikigai’ or whether their life was worth living.

The participants, whose average age was 67, were tracked for around 7 years.

During that time almost 20,000 died.
 
But, amongst those with a strong sense of purpose or high ‘ikigai’, the risk of death was one-fifth lower.

Despite the link between sense of purpose and health being so intuitive, scientists are not sure of the mechanism.

Sense of purpose is likely to improve health by strengthening the body against stress.

It is also likely to be linked to healthier behaviours.

Dr. Alan Rozanski, one of the study’s authors, said:
“Of note, having a strong sense of life purpose has long been postulated to be an important dimension of life, providing people with a sense of vitality motivation and resilience.
Nevertheless, the medical implications of living with a high or low sense of life purpose have only recently caught the attention of investigators.
The current findings are important because they may open up new potential interventions for helping people to promote their health and sense of well-being.”

This research on links between sense of purpose in life and longevity is getting stronger all the time:
  • “A 2009 study of 1,238 elderly people found that those with a sense of purpose lived longer.
  • A 2010 study of 900 older adults found that those with a greater sense of purpose were much less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Survey data often links a sense of purpose in life with increased happiness.
No matter what your age, then, it’s worth thinking about what gives your life meaning.”



Read More:

Find out what kinds of things people say give their lives meaning.
Here’s an exercise for increasing meaningfulness
And a study finding that feeling you belong increases the sense of meaning.

The study was published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine (Cohen et al., 2015).




A sense of purpose in life
Link: http://www.spring.org.uk/2015/12/here-is-why-a-sense-of-purpose-in-life-is-important-for-health

Monday, August 11, 2014

Texas Tick Causes Meat Allergy


A tick bite can make you allergic to red meat


An adult female deer tick (L), dog tick and Lone Star tick are shown in the palm of a hand.  GETTY IMAGES


A bug can turn you into a vegetarian, or at least make you swear off red meat. 


Doctors across the nation are seeing a surge of sudden meat allergies in people bitten by a certain kind of tick.

This bizarre problem was only discovered a few years ago but is growing as the ticks spread from the Southwest and the East to more parts of the United States.

In some cases, eating a burger or a steak has landed people in the hospital with severe allergic reactions.

Few patients seem aware of the risk, and even doctors are slow to recognize it.
 As one allergist who has seen 200 cases on New York's Long Island said, "Why would someone think they're allergic to meat when they've been eating it their whole life?"
The culprit is the Lone Star tick, named for Texas, a state famous for meaty barbecues. The tick is now found throughout the South and the eastern half of the United States.

Researchers think some other types of ticks also might cause meat allergies; cases have been reported in Australia, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Japan and Korea.


Here's how it happens: 
The bugs harbor a sugar that humans don't have, called alpha-gal. The sugar is also is found in red meat - beef, pork, venison, rabbit - and even some dairy products. It's usually fine when people encounter it through food that gets digested.
But a tick bite triggers an immune system response
, and in that high-alert state, the body perceives the sugar the tick transmitted to the victim's bloodstream and skin as a foreign substance, and makes antibodies to it. That sets the stage for an allergic reaction the next time the person eats red meat and encounters the sugar.
At the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, "I see two to three new cases every week," said Dr. Scott Commins, who with a colleague, Dr. Thomas Platts-Mills, published the first paper tying the tick to the illness in 2011.
Allergic reactions can be treated with antihistamines to ease itching, and more severe ones with epinephrine. Some people with the allergy now carry epinephrine shots in case they are stricken again.

Doctors don't know if the allergy is permanent.
 Some patients show signs of declining antibodies over time, although those with severe reactions are understandably reluctant to risk eating meat again. Even poultry products such as turkey sausage sometimes contain meat byproducts and can trigger the allergy.



Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-tick-bite-can-make-you-allergic-to-red-meat/

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Whale Shark

Catch of the Day: Whale Shark


A fisherman transports a dead whale shark after it was caught in fishermen's net, in Yangzhi county, Fujian province, August 1, 2014. REUTERS-Stringer

A fisherman transports a dead whale shark after it was caught in fishermen's net, in Yangzhi county, Fujian province, August 1, 2014. 
REUTERS/Stringer




Thursday, July 18, 2013

There is no completely safe dose or form of alcohol


No safe dose or form of alcohol

JAMES C. SALWITZ, MD | CONDITIONS | MAY 20, 2013



We live in a strange world. What would happen if tomorrow a common sedative was found to cause 21,000 cancer deaths every year? What if it resulted in breast cancer, mouth cancer, hepatoma and esophageal malignancies, and if the average patient lost 19 years of life? What if the drug also killed by cirrhosis, massive upper GI bleeding, accelerated dementia, and for good measure slaughtered thousands innocent children in car accidents.

Do you think this caustic concoction would last in the pharmacies for a month … a week … a moment? Of course not. Let us raise a drink to that.



One month ago, we believed that in the United States only 2% of breast cancer is caused by alcohol, and that the highest risk is in Italy at 11%. Now Dr. David Nelson, of the National Cancer Institute, has published datashowing that more than 15% of breast cancer in America is from alcohol. Equally horrifying is that alcohol consumption results in an estimated 18,200 to 21,300 yearly cancer deaths. This includes not only breast cancer (60%), but also upper airway and esophageal cancer, especially in men.

No big deal you say, you don’t drink much? The NCI research found, as have multiple prior studies, that there is no safe minimum. While it is true that the more alcohol you drink the more likely you are to die of tumor growth, most of the cancer in this study occurred in people that drink less than one and half drinks a day. This is made worse by smoking, obesity, estrogen, limited exercise or inherited genetics, but cannot be completely avoided no matter how little one imbibes.

Now the good news. While we know alcohol also causes mouth, throat, and liver cancer, it has not been proven to increase colon or pancreatic neoplasm rates. In addition, we know from the Iowa Women’s Health Study that drinking women, who take more than 300mcg of folic acid daily, are less likely to get breast cancer. Kind of a hangover-anti-cancer-morning-after pill; pretty pale comfort.

There is an ongoing debate about the dangers of alcohol verses its potential benefit. Studies appear to show that modest alcohol intake in older persons decreases atherosclerotic heart disease, diabetes and stroke, while the negative affects seem to be more in younger populations and include not only cancer, but hepatitis, pancreatitis, trauma, domestic violence, fetal alcohol syndrome, osteoporosis and multiple forms of brain damage. Nelson’s added information showing higher cancer risks than we assumed, will likely change the balance of the conversation.

There will never be a randomized trial of alcohol intake, and the science is complex. However, there can be no doubt that alcohol destroys millions of lives and many more than we thought die by cancer. In the end, drinking is a personal decision we make regarding lifestyle, risk and how we treat our bodies, of which we are each given only one. Nonetheless, this disturbing study should reinforce the fact that there is no completely safe dose or form amount of alcohol. Friday night? Perhaps a double club soda and lime. Cheers to your health.

James C. Salwitz is an oncologist who blogs at Sunrise Rounds.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

TAGGED AS: MEDICATIONS

 Source: http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2013/05/completely-safe-dose-form-amount-alcohol.html



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Brain Freeze



Why do we get Brain Freeze? [Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia]


Have you ever wondered why you get “brain freeze” when you eat something cold such as ice cream or a milkshake? That sudden pain in your forehead is known in medicine as sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.

It is caused by having something cold touch the roof of the mouth (palate), or the total immersion in water that is generally below 15°C (or 10°C or even 5°C for some acclimated open water swimmers). It is believed to result from a nerve response causing rapid constriction and swelling of blood vessels or a “referring” of pain from the roof of the mouth to the head.


An ice cream headache is the direct result of the rapid cooling and rewarming of the capillaries in the sinuses. 
A similar but painless blood vessel response causes the face to appear “flushed” after being outside on a cold day. In both instances, the cold temperature causes the capillaries in the sinuses to constrict and then experience extreme rebound dilation as they warm up again.
In the palate, this dilation is sensed by nearby pain receptors, which then send signals back to the brain via the trigeminal nerve, one of the major nerves of the facial area. This nerve also senses facial pain, so as the neural signals are conducted the brain interprets the pain as coming from the forehead—the same “referred pain” phenomenon seen in heart attacks. 

Brain-freeze pain may last from a few seconds to a few minutes. Research suggests that the same vascular mechanism and nerve implicated in “brain freeze” cause the aura (sensory disturbance) and pulsatile (throbbing pain) phases of migraines.

How do we stop brain freeze? WikiHow explains.
Find more interesting stories on the official Neuroscience Facebook page
How do we stop brain freeze? WikiHow explains.

Find more interesting stories on the official Neuroscience Facebook page


Source:  http://wisciblog.com/2012/05/29/why-do-we-get-brain-freeze-sphenopalatine-ganglioneuralgia/

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Levity never hurts a person thus, this funny article is included here for your enjoyment.


Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. 

— Lord Byron

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

RULES OF WORK


Lessons for a satisfying, successful career.


1. There is no plan.

2. Think strengths, not weakness.

3. It's not about you.

4. Persistence trumps talent.

5. Make excellent mistakes.

6. Leave an imprint.










From book: Johnny Bunko - The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need

By Dan H. Pink
Illustrator Rob Ten PaS


 WWW.JOHNNYBUNKO.COM