Triple Star System Paves Road to Understanding Gravity

 

triple star system pulsar

Triple star systems could play a more important role than we first thought. http://www.bbc.co.uk/

A new study published in the scientific journal Nature documents the discovery of a very peculiar triple star system. Astronomers believe that observation and analyzation of this triple star system could potentially resolve lingering discrepancies in some of Einstein’s theories concerning gravity. In fact, this particular triple star system could eventually lead to unraveling the secrets of gravity.

Related Article: Our Special Time in the Universe

This triple star system is roughly 4200 light years from Earth and is composed of a pulsar and two white dwarfs orbiting each other within a space smaller than Earth’s orbit of the sun.  The pulsar closely orbits a white dwarf star while a second white dwarf star orbits the pair from a distance. While a triple star system like this one has been found before, this is the first time such a strong interaction between the orbiting objects has been observed.

According to Scott Ransom of the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, VA:

This triple star system gives us a natural cosmic laboratory far better than anything found before for learning exactly how such three-body systems work and potentially for detecting problems with general relativity that physicists expect to see under extreme conditions. This is a fascinating system in many ways, including what must have been a completely crazy formation history, and we have much work to do to fully understand it.

triple star system binary

An easy way to imagine a stellar trio. http://www.miqel.com

Pulsars are created in the presence of a supernova. Under the intensity of a supernova, burnt out stars can collapse and turn into a dense, highly magnetized ball of neutrons. A pulsar emits radio-waves in the same way a lighthouse emits light. Pulsars can only be seen when the beam of radio waves is pointing at the Earth. While pulsars all spin at different rates, the pulsar in the study spins at an extremely rapid rate of 366 times per second. Due to its incredible rotation speed, this type of pulsar is called a millisecond pulsar. Finding this millisecond pulsar triple star system is important because

This is the first millisecond pulsar found in such a system, and we immediately recognized that it provides us with a tremendous opportunity to study both the effects and nature of gravity. The gravitational perturbations imposed on each member of this system by the others are incredibly pure and strong.

Binary and triple star systems appear all over the galaxy. Even our sun is likely part of a larger binary solar system. While the systems can vary in formation, most are formed in a very similar fashion to the triple stellar system described in the study.  Two of the stars form a binary system and the third star orbits the pair at a far greater orbit. If the system isn’t constructed this way it becomes unstable, leading to a star being ejected at high velocities away from the pair.

Related Article: New Type of Hypervelocity Star Found: Just Passing Through

So as is usual with cosmological physics, the hardest aspect of reading any study is figuring out why we should care about the discovery of a special triple star system. The thing is, gravity is a rascal when it comes to theories of the universe. It simply doesn’t fit into any modern quantum theories. The Einstein Equivalence Principle states:  

The outcome of any local non-gravitational experiment in a freely falling laboratory is independent of the velocity of the laboratory and its location in spacetime.

This eventually led to the Strong Equivalence Principle, which states:

The gravitational motion of a small test body depends only on its initial position in spacetime and velocity, and not on its constitution. The outcome of any local experiment (gravitational or not) in a freely falling laboratory is independent of the velocity of the laboratory and its location in spacetime.
triple star system earth gravity

Gravity is stranger than you think. http://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/

The equivalence principle holds true in most experiments, but in the quantum world it completely falls apart. Einstein’s theory of general relativity holds true for massive celestial bodies, but the miniscule world of quantum physics is a different realm entirely.

Related Article: Long Distance Quantum Teleportation is Reality

Countless attempts have been made to create a Grand Unified Theory of physics involving a single equation that would involve all forces currently known to man. The problem is that gravity constantly throws a wrench in the spokes of every unified theory physicists come up with. Simply put, the reason this study of a unique triple star system is so important is that by observing the activity of a triple system with such pure and strong gravitational interactions, it may shine light on how gravity functions at the quantum level. This could one day lead to a single unified theory of everything. Physics would no longer be a class, just a single equation you could plug and chug information into and get answers.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12917.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25598051#FBM325422

http://phys.org/news6428.html

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1994MNRAS.267..161K

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1968QJRAS…9..388E

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivalence_principle#The_Einstein_equivalence_principle

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/forces/unigrav.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Unified_Theory

 

Menstrual Cups: The Sustainable Period

The Diva Menstrual Cup

The Diva menstrual cup

The menstrual cycle is something that every woman becomes familiar with during her lifetime. How each woman deals with it is a personal choice, but not one that goes without major consequences on both her health and the environment. The common Western way to handle a period often involves tampons and pads.  There is another option, however, that you may have never heard of. Something that is becoming increasingly popular due to both the health benefits and positive environmental effects is a device called a menstrual cup. The Mayo Clinic‘s Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D tells us that

A menstrual cup is a bell-shaped device worn inside the vagina during menstruation to collect menstrual fluid. Menstrual cups provide a viable alternative to pads and tampons. Menstrual cups are typically made of silicone or other nonlatex materials.

*Note: This article will specifically address why menstrual cups are a good alternative to traditional tampons and will not discuss sanitary napkins in depth as the internal use of tampons and menstrual cups makes them more comparable in manner than menstrual cups and sanitary napkins.

[no_toc]

 

Health Effects

To better understand the health benefits of menstrual cups, it’s important to understand the health effects of tampons. To fully grasp this let’s take a look at what tampons are made of, and how they’re produced. Remember that all of these items are inserted into the body and held internally for extended periods (4-8 hours) for about a week every month.

 

Material Production 

According to Wikipedia:

The majority of tampons sold are made of rayon, or a blend of rayon and cotton. Organic cotton tampons are made from only 100% cotton.

Rayon is a semi-synthetic fiber manufactured mostly from wood pulp using a chemical process.  The production process of rayon might make a person second guess the use of this fiber internally, but what’s wrong with cotton? According to the Organic Trade Association:

Cotton is considered the world’s ‘dirtiest’ crop due to its heavy use of insecticides, the most hazardous pesticide to human and animal health. Cotton covers 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land yet uses 16% of the world’s insecticides, more than any other single major crop (1). Aldicarb, parathion, and methamidopho, three of the most acutely hazardous insecticides to human health as determined by the World Health Organization, rank in the top ten most commonly used in cotton production. All but one of the remaining seven most commonly used are classified as moderately to highly hazardous (1). Aldicarb, cotton’s second best selling insecticide and most acutely poisonous to humans, can kill a man with just one drop absorbed through the skin, yet it is still used in 25 countries and the US.

That sounds healthy.

 

Chemical Processing and Dioxin

After the cotton is grown and harvested it must be bleached to make it a pleasant looking bright white. In the past this process involved a chlorine gas bleaching process which produces a poison called dioxin.  Kotex addresses the issue of dioxin on their website stating that,

KOTEX® tampons are bleached using Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) processes which significantly minimize the potential for dioxin formation during bleaching.  Using extremely sensitive analytical studies, independent laboratories are unable to find any dioxin created by the bleaching process in KOTEX® tampons. These tests measure amounts as low as one-half part per trillion. To put this into perspective, one part per trillion is equivalent to one drop of water in over 11 million gallons. 

menstrual cups contain no dioxin

Menstrual cups contain no dioxin. Even though dioxin seems totally safe…
the-tap.blogspot.com

That doesn’t sound so bad, but according to the World Health Organization,

Once dioxins have entered the body, they endure a long time because of their chemical stability and their ability to be absorbed by fat tissue, where they are then stored in the body. Their half-life in the body is estimated to be seven to eleven years. Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.

not to mention that,

Due to the omnipresence of dioxins, all people have background exposure, which is not expected to affect human health. However, due to the highly toxic potential of this class of compounds, efforts need to be undertaken to reduce current background exposure.

Natracare, a producer of 100% organic cotton tampons, informs us that Elemental Chlorine Free bleaching is in fact, not free of chlorine, and therefore not free of dioxin. It is simply free of the pure element of chlorine in gas form. Natracare uses a 100% totally free from chlorine bleaching process and wins my vote for best tampon out there.

 

Toxic Shock Syndrome 

Another health risk, and one of the largest worries of tampon users, is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a type of staph infection that arises when a tampon provides a breeding ground for bacteria in the vagina during menstruation. This risk is more associated with the semi-synthetic rayon fibers than cotton, but a potential risk exists with any tampon. The Playtex website and informational insert in all Playtex packages states that,

Tampons are associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). TSS is a rare but serious disease that may cause death. The incidence of TSS is estimated to be between 1 and 17 cases of TSS per 100,000 menstruating women and girls per year.

Some might argue that this means TSS is rare, but let’s take a closer look. The US Census reports that in 2011 there were approximately 72,677,000 women between the ages of 15 and 49 alive in the United States. I will make what I believe to be a modest estimate and say that a quarter of this population uses tampons to help with her menstrual cycle, which comes to 18,169,250 women using tampons. So, if 1-17 out of every 100,000 will get TSS, my calculations conclude that between 181 and 3,088 women in the United States will get TSS every year. The CDC does not require TSS infections to be reported so the data concerning infections is not complete.  Menstrual cup producer Lunette urges people to,

Keep in mind that it is scientifically proven that menstrual cups don’t change the composition of blood during the time the cup is kept inside the vagina. There are no reported cases of TSS in connection with use of menstrual cups since the cups were invented in the 1930’s. The Lunette menstrual cups hold 25 ml (size 1) or 30 ml (size 2). As a comparison, a tampon that absorbs this amount (25 to 30 grams) is dangerous and even illegal in some countries, because of the risk of TSS.

Related Article: Natural, Living Pesticides TSS is a serious disease related to tampons, but according to Natracare a Canadian study found no connection to 100% all cotton tampons and TSS. While one study isn’t conclusive it’s a good sign for all cotton, organic tampons.

 

Dryness and Tearing

Although TSS is the most significant health risk associated with tampon use, it’s not the only disadvantage. Tampons absorb fluid from the vagina, disrupting the delicate vaginal ecosystem. The dryness associated with tampon use causes vaginal health problems. Inserting and removing tampons with no lubrication can cause tears and rips in the vaginal wall leading to increased risks of infection and diminished health. Vaginal discharge is the body’s way of cleaning and protecting the vagina.  The Mayo Clinic links “inadequate vaginal lubrication” as a cause of vaginal yeast infections. WEB MD says that:

A tampon inside a dry vagina can cause significant irritation as well as microscopic tears in the skin. The irritation and tears can later open the door to infection.

Menstrual cups leave the vaginal ecosystem intact and don’t alter the environment. Many menstrual cups are made of medical grade silicone and their role is to collect the menstrual blood, not absorb it. This difference creates a healthier environment in the vagina, allowing the vagina to continue protecting itself.

 

Environmental Benefits

Pads_and_tampon_garbageMost commercial tampons and pads are one time purchase and use items. This means that every menstrual cycle a female has is a burden to the environment. All of the tampons and pads she uses head straight to the landfill and take years to decompose, all the while leaching dioxin and pesticides into the ground. The Chic Ecologist says that

 A typical woman can use anywhere between 8,000 to 17,000 tampons in her lifetime.

That’s a lot of tampons. In the book Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation Elissa Stein and Susan Kim discuss the idea of menstrual cups. This idea is discussed enthusiastically and with the same reasoning used in this article.

Think about it… at roughly thirty bucks a pop, menstrual cups can be quite the bargain! And considering that the average woman will throw away 250 to 300 pounds of pads, plugs, and applicators in her lifetime, one would also save oneself significant guilt about dumping all that waste into our already-stressed environment.

Slate magazine states in an article about greener periods that period related waste is a small percentage of total female produced waste, but let’s consider the accumulated effect of all women of menstruating age. If we take another look at the number of women in the US between the ages of 15 and 49 (approximately menstruating age) and assume that half of them are menstruating (accounting for pregnancies and other circumstances) then that leaves 36, 338,500 women menstruating and producing 250-300 pounds of menstrual garbage each, for an accumulated total of over 9 billion pounds of trash. All produced from periods. So yes, maybe looking at the total amount of trash that we as individuals produce every year makes our menstrual waste seem small, but factor in total accumulation and all women, and the number becomes very significant. For each person using a menstrual cup instead of tampons and pads, the environment is benefited by having that much less waste in landfills. This in itself is an instantaneous reward for the new menstrual cup user, but what if using a menstrual cup could help the environment even more? Now this part has no real science behind it that I could find, but some people claim that menstrual blood is a great fertilizer. The website Holy Hormones hearkens back to the Native Americans and their practices saying that,

There are also native tribes that would return the sacred life-giving blood back to the earth. They would sit over seeds and let the sacred blood flow directly on the seeds or on newly planted seedlings.

So even if the menstrual blood collected in the menstrual cup is not used as a fertilizer the impact on the environment through lack of landfill waste is truly something amazing.

Related Article: The “Friends of the Indian” and How They Treated Their Friends

 

Impact on the Budget 

The average American woman can spend upwards of $1900 in her lifetime (40 years) on feminine products such as tampons and pads. Comparatively, menstrual cups cost as little as $104 for a 40 year period.  This is because they are a one time purchase for up to 10 years and can cost as little as $26 each. So in addition to the significant impact these products can have on the environment and women’s health, they can also ease stress off the budget. Even if you opt for the slightly higher price menstrual cups the savings over a lifetime are significant enough. The company which produces the Keeper estimates that over a 10 year period the average woman would spend $400 on pads and tampons, whereas the cost of one Keeper is $35 for the same 10 year time span.

Related Article: The 20 Biggest Wastes of Money and How to Avoid Them

 

Choosing and Using a Menstrual Cup

797px-Fleurcup_and_tamponsEveryone is different. Choosing the best menstrual cup is dependent upon one’s size. To help you choose which cup is best suited to your flow and size I suggest a visit to menstrualcup.co to view their comparison chart. I highly suggest watching an instructional video before using a menstrual cup as it can be difficult to use if not done properly. There are many different brands, the most popular being the Diva Cup, and the Moon Cup. If you’re American and want to support an American company the Keeper and the Moon cup are the only menstrual cups made in America, and they’re darn tootin’ proud of it. To answer some frequently asked questions about menstrual cups check out the Diva Cup’s FAQ list and the Moon cup’s Q&A page. You can of course read many, many testimonials all over the internet, but I’ll give you my own personal experience below (I sincerely hope it’s not TMI).

 

My Personal Experience

I use a menstrual cup. I use the moon cup size B for women who haven’t given birth. I also use an IUD which makes my periods really, really heavy. Personally, I was spending $105 a year on feminine products before I switched (Did I mention I have a heavy flow?). Over a 40 year period that adds up to over $4000 I would have to pay had I stuck to traditional feminine hygiene products. Given the choice between spending $104 and $4000 on something I don’t even like, I’ll choose $104 every time, thank you.

The moon cup also holds more than any legal absorbency tampon, making my heavy flow days a lot easier, because that means less trips to the bathroom. I initially switched based entirely on the cost aspect. My decision was also influenced by a quickly approaching 10 month journey around the Eastern Hemisphere (Asia, Australia and New Zealand). I was only bringing a 30 liter backpack and didn’t want the hassle or stress of finding feminine products in Asian countries or bringing them with me in such a small bag. I ordered the moon cup and had it for two cycles before my trip. I’ll admit it was a little rough going at first, and after watching a few instructional videos and a little “at home practice” it became easier. I successfully took my menstrual cup through China, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, compost toilets in Australia, and living out of a car in New Zealand (100% public restrooms).

Despite my initial reasons for switching my favorite aspect since the switch is the environmental effect, followed closely by the health benefits. I have much less irritation surrounding my menstrual cycle and because I’m still using the same menstrual cup I haven’t had  any environmental waste since I switched.

Would I recommend buying a menstrual cup? Yes!

totalwomenscycling.com

totalwomenscycling.com

 

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/menstrual-cup/AN01770

http://www.kotexfits.com/faqs/products/#a3

http://www.kotexfits.com/faqs/products/#a13

http://www.ejnet.org/dioxin/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampon#Design_and_packaging

http://www.natracare.com/p113/en-GB/Your-Health/Chlorine-bleaching.aspx

http://www.natracare.com/en-GB/

http://www.ota.com/organic/environment/cotton_environment.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_green_lantern/2010/03/greening_the_crimson_tide.1.html

http://www.thechicecologist.com/2010/04/the-environmental-impact-of-everyday-things/

http://women.webmd.com/features/below-belt-gynecology-secrets-you-need-know?page=3

http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/factsheets/dioxin.htm http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs225/en/

http://jezebel.com/5890058/this-is-how-much-it-costs-to-own-a-vagina-an-itemized-list

http://www.ecomenstrual.co.uk/shop/Menstruation.html

http://www.nerve.com/news/love-sex/what-your-vagina-costs-cash-money-wise

http://www.susunweed.com/An_Article_wisewoman8.htm

http://lunapads.com/blog/2011/02/ob-tampons-diva-cup/

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dhpc&field-keywords=the%20keeper&sprefix=the+kee%2Chpc&rh=i%3Ahpc%2Ck%3Athe%20keeper

http://menstrualcup.co/compare-cups/ http://www.mooncup.co.uk/ http://divacup.com/

http://lunapads.com/blog/2011/02/ob-tampons-diva-cup/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15572078

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs225/en/

 

Fracking Worse Than You Think: Delusional America and Special Interest Gangs

fracking water

Mam, your water’s just fine, a pungent gasoline smell is normal nowadays. news.nationalgeographic.com

A recent peer reviewed study has revealed that greenhouse gas emissions from drilling and fracking are 50% worse than previously thought. According to the Harvard study US fossil-fuel-industry methane leaks are dramatically higher than the official estimates have claimed. Not surprisingly, the coal seam gas industry in Australia (one of the largest in the world) has rejected the study outright.

The report, published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, directly challenges the EPA’s decision to cut its methane emission (produced from fossil fuel extraction) estimates by 25% for 1990 – 2011. The report states that:

We find that [methane] data from across North America instead indicates the need for a much larger adjustment of the opposite sign

Fracking is altering the climate far faster than we first thought. However, before we continue with fracking, let’s first understand the difference between Australia’s coal seam gas and America’s natural gas.

Coal Seam Gas Vs. Natural Gas:

As an end-use product, coal seam gas is the same as natural gas...The only difference between CSG and natural gas is in the way that it is formed by nature. CSG is composed predominantly of methane and small percentages of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The coal seam is both the source and the reservoir, which is different from the sandstone reservoirs of conventional oil and shale gas. As coal forms over millions of years, large quantities of methane-rich gas are generated and trapped in coal seams by water and ground pressure. CSG is trapped in the coal in tiny fractures, or cleats, under hydrostatic pressure. CSG is extracted at low pressures from coal.
Shale gas is methane held within shale layers, rather than a coal seam. Shale is much harder than coal and always requires fracturing ('fracking') to allow the gas to flow.
fracking graphic

Seems pretty technical boys, just throw in all the chemicals you can’t pronounce. http://www.usatoday.com

While natural gas produces less CO2 than coal, the savings become irrelevant when considering the amount of methane that is sprayed into the atmosphere from methane leaks at well sites and while transporting the fuel. The reason for all the worry is that methane traps about 20 times more heat over a 100 year period compared to CO2, despite remaining in the atmosphere for less time.

Related Article: What is the Solution to Smog? A Vacuum! 

A natural gas addiction has infected the U.S. with fracking spreading across the country like a viral epidemic. Fracking is the process of harvesting natural gas, or shale gas.  It involves mixing dangerous chemicals with large quantities of water and sand and injecting the mixture into shale wells at extremely high pressure. It is for this reason that fracking is believed to be poisoning well water all across the U.S. and in other areas of the world. According to the NRDC (Natural Resources Defence Council):

Over the last decade, the industry has drilled thousands of new wells in the Rocky Mountain region and in the South. It is expanding operations in the eastern United States as well, setting its sights most recently on a 600-mile-long rock formation called the Marcellus Shale, which stretches from West Virginia to western New York.  Fracking is a suspect in polluted drinking water in Arkansas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming, where residents have reported changes in water quality or quantity following fracturing operations.

fracking U.S.

The U.S. is ripe for the fracking! http://www.geomore.com

Immense wells of shale gas are spread across most of the U.S. mainland.  These sites each undergo several fracking pumps. Although the media portrays natural gas as the new and improved, next-gen, problem free energy source, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Pipeline incidents and injuries abound and reports of polluted drinking water continue to pop up across the nation with greater frequency. Studies have directly linked shale gas fracking to:

The EPA still has not issued its report on the effect of fracking on drinking water. Despite all of the science pleading with us to reconsider our actions, fracking continues unimpeded.

Related Article: A Cheaper Alternative to Pollution

 

Fracking Denial and Delusions

By far the worst issue surrounding fracking is that as a whole, we still seem to have no clue that fracking is even taking place, let alone destroying the water supply and decimating the health of 1000’s of people as well as the land.  I suppose this isn’t surprising though as many nations are just as clueless about climate change. Afterall, climate denial is a real thing, actively and directly supported by a large number of the 90 institutions that are responsible for climate change since the industrial revolution. So, why shouldn’t the natural gas and fracking industries involve the same type of nonsense?

 

fracking climate

Superhuman denial abilties…
http://www.frankejames.com/

The truth is that human beings, especially us good ol’ Americans, will buy into anything given the opportunity. People are often fooled into passionate belief, and the denial campaigns and propaganda of billion dollar industries do a great deal of fooling.

Related Article: Climate Change too Fast for Evolution 

Let’s consider climate change again: Many Americans continue to believe that climate change is either a hoax or an over-dramatized issue.  This ignorance is a wrench in the spokes of global progress, especially in light of increasingly volatile weather patternsincreasing extinctions in land and marine lifewarnings from scientists across the globe; and the potential loss of trillions of dollars due to the costly effects of climate change.  This is cognitive dissonance in its purest form: we know the facts, but we are refusing to change.

 

Crony Capitalism and Special Interest

Despite America’s lack of progress in reducing emissions, most Americans’ desire a green, renewable energy policy. This applies to fracking as well; a large number of Americans are completely against it. Unfortunately though, oil, coal, and gas companies are at the top of the special interest dole list.

Special interest comes in the form of better government subsidies, tax cuts, court rulings, and allowances. We all know it takes place, and it has been widely practiced and wildly accepted. It is called crony capitalism, and it has been an an ongoing, yet somehow overlooked problem in America.

Related Article: Team Red = Team Blue

fracking george bush

No. Well, for the entertainment value, yes. bigdanblogger.blogspot.com

When Bush appointed Dick Cheney to lead an energy task force to revolutionize America’s energy policy, Cheney quickly organized a private meeting with fossil fuel giants at the head of the fracking movement. Companies such as Exxon Mobil, Conoco, Shell Oil, BP America and Chevron made the top of the list.  Today, these companies are still given billions of dollars in tax cuts and subsidies despite raking in hundreds of billions of dollars in private profit. According to PBS:

In 2005, Bush, who has received more from the oil and gas industry than any other politician, signed an energy bill from the Republican-controlled Congress that gave $14.5 billion in tax breaks for oil, gas, nuclear power and coal companies. The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was based on recommendations by Cheney’s energy task force, also rolled back regulations the oil industry considered burdensome, including exemptions from some clean water laws. All of this transpired only one year after Congress passed a bill that included a tax cut for domestic manufacturing that was expected to save energy companies at least $3.6 billion over a decade.

During the time that Bush and Cheney, both of whom are former oil executives, have been in the White House, the oil and gas industry has spent $393.2 million on lobbying the federal government. This places the industry among the top nine in lobbying expenditures. The industry has also contributed a substantial $82.1 million to federal candidates, parties and political action committees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 80 percent of the industry’s contributions have gone to Republicans.

It is clear that special interest is taking place and is supporting companies in defiance of America’s health, wealth, and overall best interest. The truth is that a complete multi-industry infiltration of the U.S. government has taken place. Men and women with stake in the fracking, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and more are casting votes and making decisions that directly benefit the industries and leave citizens stripped of their money and power.

 

Monsanto the Usurper

The most obvious example of a corporation infiltrating the U.S. government is that of Monsanto. Monsanto, in case you didn’t know, is responsible for destroying thousands of local farms, using known harmful herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides, using chemicals responsible for colony collapse disorders in bees, and much more.

Related Article: The Senate is Useless and Should be Dismantled

Monsanto and Monsanto products are banned in several countries.  Numerous petitions to cut government ties to Monsanto have circulated, yet to no avail.  I wonder, why they didn’t succeed?

First, follow this link to view a list of 71 senators who voted against your right to know if what you are eating is GMO. Oh, and that’s despite 90% of the population saying they would be in favor of mandatory labeling.

fracking monsanto us

Whoa, there must be some huge cracks in the U.S. government for these people to slip through. https://www.facebook.com/GrowFoodNotLawns

Next, check out the following list of U.S. government/Monsanto ties and the answer will be obvious.

David Beier 
MONSANTO POSITION: Head of Government Affairs for Genetech, (Now Monsanto)
FEDERAL POSITION: Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to Vice President Gore

William Conlon:
MONSANTO POSITION: Worked for Monsanto’s Legal Team
FEDERAL POSITION: Department of Justice

Sam Skinner:
MONSANTO POSITION: Worked on Monsanto’s Legal Team
FEDERAL POSITION: Department of Justice

Robert Fraley:
MONSANTO POSITION: Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
FEDERAL POSITION: Serves as advisor in public agencies, including the USDA, among others

Michael A. Friedman:
MONSANTO POSITION: Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs at G.D. Searle &Co. (Merged with Monsanto)
FEDERAL POSITION: Acting Commissioner of the FDA

Marcia Hale
MONSANTO POSITION: Director of International Government Affairs
FEDERAL POSITION: Assistant to President Clinton and Director of Government Affairs

Arthur Hull Hayes:
MONSANTO POSITION: Consultant to Searle’s (merged with Monsanto) Public Relations Firm
FEDERAL POSITION: Previously was FDA Commissioner

John L. Henshaw:
MONSANTO POSITION: Director of ESH Quality & Compliance
FEDERAL POSITION: Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Labor

Rob Horsch:
MONSANTO POSITION: Vice President of Product and Technology Cooperation
FEDERAL POSITION: Advisor to the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy

Michael Kantor:
MONSANTO POSITION: Board of Directors, also represented Monsanto as a lawyer
FEDERAL POSITION: U.S. Secretary of Commerce

Gwendolyn S. King:
MONSANTO POSITION: Monsanto Board Member
FEDERAL POSITION: Commissioner of SSA 1989-1992

Richard J. Mahoney:
MONSANTO POSITION: CEO of Monsanto for 14 years
FEDERAL POSITION: Serves as Director of U.S. Soviet, Japanese and Korean Trade Councils, a Member of the U.S. Government Policy Committee

Margaret Miller:
MONSANTO POSITION: Oversaw the Approval of rBGH, was a top Monsanto scientist
FEDERAL POSITION: In, 1991, Margaret was appointed Deputy Director of the FDA

George Poste:
MONSANTO POSITION: Sits on Monsanto’s Board of Directors, previously a Monsanto Animal Specialist
FEDERAL POSITION: In 2002, Poste was appointed head of Bioterrorism division of Homeland Security

William D. Ruckelshaus:
MONSANTO POSITION: Member of the Monsanto Board of Directors
FEDERAL POSITION: In 1970, he was the first Chief Administrator for the EPA, later the acting director of the FBI, then Deputy U.S. Attorney General

Donald Rumsfeld:
MONSANTO POSITION: Previous CEO of Searle (merged with Monsanto), he successfully had ASPARTAME legalized while in that position.
FEDERAL POSITION: Appointed to Secretary of Defense in 1975, then appointed to Secretary of Defense again in 2002

Suzanne Sechen:
MONSANTO POSITION: Worked on Monsanto-funded rGBH in connection with her graduate work at Cornell University
FEDERAL POSITION: FDA Reviewer on Scientific Data

Robert B. Shapiro:
MONSANTO POSITION: Previously the President and CEO of Monsanto, Chairman and CEO of Nutrasweet, and Chairman and CEO of Monsanto
FEDERAL POSITION: Previously Served as President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and on the White House Domestic Policy Review of Industrial Innovation

Islam Siddiqui:
MONSANTO POSITION: Former Vice President of CropLife America, which represented Monsanto
FEDERAL POSITION: Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the Trade Representative

Michael Taylor:
MONSANTO POSITION: Former Attorney for Monsanto for seven years, previous h Head of the Monsanto Washington D.C. Office
FEDERAL POSITION: Former FDA Deputy Commission for Policy. In 2010, appointed by the FDA as a senior advisor of the FDA Commissioner

Dr. Charles Thomas:
MONSANTO POSITION: Previous Monsanto Researcher in charge of the Manhattan Project, creating the atomic bomb. Later, became Monsanto’s Chairman of the board.
FEDERAL POSITION: Previously Served as a consultant to the National Security Council and as a U.S. Representative of the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Commission

Clarence Thomas:
MONSANTO POSITION: Former lawyer for Monsanto, a notorious chemical polluter. Thomas would later cast the decisive vote in 2000 on the Supreme Court, ratifying the stolen election that put George W. Bush Jr. into office
FEDERAL POSITION: In 1991, was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court

Anne Veneman:
MONSANTO POSITION: Previously served on the Board of Directors of Calgene, a Monsanto Biotech subsidiary
FEDERAL POSITION: In 2001, was appointed Head of the USDA

Jack Watson:
MONSANTO POSITION: Former Staff Lawyer with Monsanto in Washington D.C.
FEDERAL POSITION: Chief of Staff to President Carter

Seth Waxman:
MONSANTO POSITION: Hired by Monsanto to prosecute two Farmers who fought against Monsanto’s Seed Policies in 2002
FEDERAL POSITION: Former U.S. Solicitor General

Dr. Virginia Weldon:
MONSANTO POSITION: Retired Senior Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto
FEDERAL POSITION: Previously, was a member of the FDA’s Metabolism & Endocrine Advisory Committee

Rufus Yerxa:
MONSANTO POSITION: Former Chief Counsel at Monsanto
FEDERAL POSITION: In 1993, was nominated as U.S. Deputy to the World Trade Organization

Toby Moffett:
MONSANTO POSITION: Monsanto Consultant
FEDERAL POSITION: U.S. Congressman (D)

Dennis DeConcini:
MONSANTO POSITION: Monsanto Legal Counsel
FEDERAL POSITION: U.S. Senator (D)

Josh King:
MONSANTO POSITION: Director, International Government Affairs
FEDERAL POSITION: White House Communications (Clinton)

Carol Tucker-Forman:
MONSANTO POSITION: Monsanto Lobbyist
FEDERAL POSITION: White House Appointed Consumer Advisor (Clinton)

Linda Fisher:
MONSANTO POSITION: Vice President, Government & Public Affairs
FEDERAL POSITION: Deputy Administrator EPA (Clinton, Bush)

Lidia Watrud:
MONSANTO POSITION: Manger, New Technologies
FEDERAL POSITION: USDA, EPA (Clinton, Bush, Obama)

Hillary Clinton:
MONSANTO POSITION: Rose Law Firm, Monsanto Counsel
FEDERAL POSITION: U.S. Senator (D), Secretary of State (Obama)

Roger Beachy:
MONSANTO POSITION: Director, Monsanto Danforth Center
FEDERAL POSITION: Director USDA, NIFA (Obama)

 

How to Patch a Sinking Ship

It appears that industries spanning every sector, including fracking, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and more are playing a game with the U.S. government, swapping players each season for their own sake, not mine and yours. When congress, the congress of the people, stops acting in the people’s best interest we have a serious problem. Right now we are in the heart of the danger zone. What are we to do?

permaculture fracking system

So, let’s make this happen immediately. shadesofgreeninc.org

In a capitalistic society you are a consumer first and foremost.  A capitalistic society feeds on your spending, and it feeds you with the sweet satisfaction of ‘things.’  You have power in your purchases; use your buying power to support sustainability-minded companies. If companies are getting away with infiltrating and orchestrating sections of the government, then why not make sure they are excellent companies willing to appease, not disease the masses.

Buy local, support the little guy. Sure, it may sometimes be more expensive, but try not spending your money on a few of your monthly non-essentials and you’d be surprised how quickly your savings add up.

Related Article: Income Inequality in America

Become more independent and deplete your dependence on ‘the system’ by making purchases with awarenessFind satisfaction in the little things and start wanting less. Become more aware of how each and every decision you make affects the rest of the world.  Imagine that everyone else on planet Earth is you; what effect would you like to have on yourself?

Grow a garden, go foraging for food, or keep honeybees. Learn about permaculture and begin practicing a zero-waste lifestyle. It’s way easier than you think, and is actually really fun.

Arguably the most important thing you can do is vote. Contact your elected officials  and tell them what you think. Demand that they act as your representative, not a rogue speaker. Help fight fracking by joining organizations that fight to stop it.

Educate yourself and spread awareness about issues that are important to you.

Consider. Constantly consider the effect you are causing.

 

 

 

Source:

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/harvard-fracking-study-rings-methane-alarm-bells-in-australia-20131126-2y87s.html#ixzz2lu8UBq6R

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/03/12/factbox-csg-australia

http://epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/ch4.html

http://www.dartgas.com/content/Document/Factsheets/What%20is%20CSG.pdf

http://www.nrdc.org/energy/gasdrilling/

http://www.nature.com/news/is-fracking-behind-contamination-in-wyoming-groundwater-1.11543

http://www.nicholas.duke.edu/news/radioactive-shale-gas-contaminants-found-at-wastewater-discharge-site

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/fracking-could-cause-elevated-levels-of-air-pollutants-near-gas-wells/256158/

http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2012/03/reproductive-problems-death-animals-exposed-fracking

http://www.npr.org/2012/01/05/144694550/man-made-quakes-blame-fracking-and-drilling

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/monsanto-petition-tells-obama-cease-fda-ties-to-monsanto/2012/01/30/gIQAA9dZcQ_blog.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/epa-data-links-groundwater-contamination-fracking-2012-10

http://www.dangersoffracking.com/

http://www2.epa.gov/hfstudy

http://www.fractracker.org/map/

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/americans-uninformed-about-fracking-says-new-study-16762

http://www.pewresearch.org/2006/02/28/both-reds-and-blues-go-green-on-energy/

http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/347/oil-politics.html

http://www.organicconsumers.org/gefood/countrieswithbans.cfm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/monsanto-petition-tells-obama-cease-fda-ties-to-monsanto/2012/01/30/gIQAA9dZcQ_blog.html

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27635.cfm

http://justlabelit.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Mellman-Survey-Results.pdf

http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/pages/robert-fraley-bio.aspx

http://organicconsumers.org/monsanto/revolvedoor.cfm

http://www.rense.com/general33/legal.htm

http://www.aiard.org/meetings/2004forum/horsch.htm

http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/pages/gwendolyn-king-bio.aspx

http://www.nytimes.com/1983/08/02/business/talking-business-with-mahoney-of-monsanto-farm-subsidy-complications.html

http://organicconsumers.org/monsanto/revolvedoor.cfm http://www.gao.gov/assets/200/196503.pdf

https://webapp4.asu.edu/directory/person/629659

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Rumsfeld#Career_in_government_.281962.E2.80.931977.29

http://www.gao.gov/assets/200/196503.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_B._Shapiro

http://www.gao.gov/assets/200/196503.pdf

http://www.nap.edu/booksearch.php?booksearch=1&record_id=4548&term=monsanto&chapter=338-353

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/07/supreme-court-monsanto-seeds_n_1946361.html

http://www.organicconsumers.org/corp/veneman.cfm

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/business/justices-signal-a-monsanto-edge-in-patent-case.html?_r=0

http://beckerexhibits.wustl.edu/mowihsp/bios/weldon.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rufus_Yerxa

http://www.organicconsumers.org/corp/foremancfa.cfm

http://one.gaslandthemovie.com/take-action/contact-elected-officials

 

 

 

https://wondergressive.com/news/90-companies-responsible-climate-change/

https://wondergressive.com/news/fooling-people-into-passionate-belief/

https://wondergressive.com/news/warning-weather-hazards-ahead/

https://wondergressive.com/news/unprecedented-changes-and-extinctions-occurring-in-marine-life/

https://wondergressive.com/news/climate-change-too-fast-for-evolution/

https://wondergressive.com/news/costly-climate-changes/

https://wondergressive.com/news/ask-an-astrobiologist-global-warming-and-what-to-expect/

https://wondergressive.com/news/indiana-blue-laws-exemplify-crony-capitalism-time-to-punish-politicians/

https://wondergressive.com/news/mystery-of-the-dyingdisappearing-honeybees-solved/

https://wondergressive.com/news/bowman-monsanto-court-case/

https://wondergressive.com/news/afraid-to-wake-up-conquering-fear-and-living-the-lives-we-want/

https://wondergressive.com/news/the-wonderful-healthier-life-changing-and-life-lengthening-world-of-fasting/

https://wondergressive.com/news/awareness-and-dealing-with-rejection/

https://wondergressive.com/news/edible-landscapes/

https://wondergressive.com/news/healthy-honey-bees/

Butterflies Drink Turtle Tears

 

Researchers from the Tambopata Research Center in Peru have recently observed butterflies in the Amazon swarming the heads of turtles to drink their tears. The reasons for the butterflies’ seemingly strange behavior is to attain the precious salts found in the turtles’ tears and eye balls.

Sodium is so precious in the rainforest because it is over 1,000 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, a major source of salt in the region.

Related Article: Surprises of the Amazon

Interestingly, butterflies in the eyes doesn’t seem to be all that bad of a situation. Although it may temporarily hinder the turtles’ vision, an eye ball feeding frenzy does little to no direct harm to them. Phil Torres, one of the lead researchers of the study, explains that:

The turtles have enough tears to feed the butterflies simply because the butterflies are taking so little.  They simply uptake salts through a process similar to absorption by placing the proboscis on the salt-laden and passively ‘feed.’

Torres explained that he has also seen bees attempt the same sodium harnessing technique, but that butterflies are a walk in the jungle compared to the annoyance of bees. He believes this is largely due to the annoying wing buzzing taking place, you know, on the turtles eyeball!

Related Article: The Profound Intelligence and Intuition of Elephants

Surprisingly, tear sucking isn’t that strange of an activity for butterflies, as they have also been observed obtaining sodium from

animal urine, muddy river banks, puddles, sweaty clothes and sweating people[.]

The weirdest part is that  in other areas of the world where butterflies and turtles coexist in the same environment this behavior does not take place. It seems to be an anomaly of the rainforest, a phenomenon of the Amazon.

Richard C. Vogt, a researcher at the National Institute of Amazonian Research in Manaus, Brazil remarks that

I have been studying turtles in the wild — from the northern U.S., Mexico and Amazonas — for over 50 years and have never seen butterflies drinking tears of turtles[.]

Simply awesome. Turtles secrete excess sodium through their tears, and the butterflies are somehow able to detect this surplus of sodium, latch on to what must seem to them a gigantic, terrifying creature, and lap up their sweet,or rather salty cry juice.

Here’s a video, the only video, from Perunature.com, of butterflies drinking turtle tears:

Related Article: Dolphins Show Unending Compassion

Is it possible that the relationship is a symbiotic one? Could it be that the butterflies are providing a beneficial enzyme or chemical to the turtles, or that the decrease in eye sodium, however minute, is a relief to the turtles?

Maybe the simple answer is that turtles cry for the world, and butterflies only want to mop up the sadness.

Go nature!

Related Article: A Group of Prominent Scientists Agree: Animals are Just as Conscious as Us

 

Sources:

http://news.discovery.com/animals/insects/amazonian-butterflies-drink-turtle-tears-130912.htm

http://www.livescience.com/39558-butterflies-drink-turtle-tears.html

http://www.perunature.com

Immortal Animals and the Human Link

 

 

Since time mmemorial, humans have coveted and sought the fabled ‘fountain of youth.’  To live forever is a notion reserved for science fiction and vampire dramas, but what if it were possible? For a select few animals, immortality is a reality.

*Note: While there are various more animals that effectively resist the effects of aging, this list is only composed of animals that are thought to be truly immortal, not just long lived.

 

Hydra: 

 

Hydra are tiny creatures that can be found in most freshwater lakes, ponds, and streams.  As they are only a few millimeters long they require a microscope to be observed.  While these minuscule organisms might slip right by the naked eye, biologists and other scientists are transfixed on studying them.  The reason is that hydra don’t age, not even slightly; they are truly immortal.

The source of hydra immortality lies in their ability to maintain telomere length. Each time a cell divides, telomeres, additional strands of DNA at the end of chromosomes, shorten and get chipped away. This is what causes aging and the corrupted replication of cells in all life forms, including humans.  This aging process, or senescence as it is called in the scientific community, leads to age related illnesses such as cancer, and eventually death.  In hydra, telmores never get shorter.  Although it is unknown precisely how hydra maintain their telomere length so impeccably, recent studies have revealed that a gene called FoxO, which has a direct influence on stem cells, is likely the answer.  When FoxO activity is reduced in Hydra their powers wane and they suddenly show signs of aging.

Related Article: Immortality Formula: YOLF

This is particularly exciting because FoxO is also responsible for stem cell activity in humans.  Greater FoxO activity is routinely found in people with abnormally long lifespans, like centenarians. It may be possible to increase FoxO activity from an early age, maintain levels of stem cells in the body, and thus increase human lifespan by 1000’s of years; maybe even forever.

 

Jellyfish:

 

Jellyfish come in all shapes and sizes, but one particular jellyfish is especially baffling; the immortal jellyfish.  Technically called Turritopsis nutricula, the immortal jellyfish has the ability to, at any strage of its life, completely reverse its aging process.

Jellyfish begin as small polyps on the ocean floor. These polyps branch off and eventually grow into medusas, or sexually mature jellyfish, with tentacles and the traditional jellyfish-look we all know and adore.  The immortal jellyfish holds the title of being the only animal with the ability to revert back into a sexually immature state after being sexually mature.  The medusa form of the immortal jellyfish reverses the aging process through a method known as cell transdifferentiation.  This process transforms cells into a different cellular state, including earlier states. As the cells transform, the medusa retracts its tentacles and head into itself, turns back into a polyp, embeds itself back into the ocean floor, and starts life all over again.

For some human perspective, imagine all the cells in your body suddenly transforming into stem cells as your body shrinks and reverts back into an infantile state. From deathbed to birthing room in the blink of an eye.

Related Article: Aging Process is Similar to Replicating CDs: Story of Telomeres

Interestingly, immortal jellyfish have a choice to drink from the fountain of youth or not.  While some jellyfish reset life early on, others choose to brave the struggle of old age and eventually die without the opportunity for a second chance. Who can really blame them though?  Without Wondergressive or pirated entertainment, what’s the point of living?

 

Lobsters:

 

Lobsters, the hallmark of a luxury dinner and recently discovered abundant power source, are also immortal. While scientists have never found a 10,000 year old lobster lurking on the ocean floor, at the cellular level, they age at a negligible rate.  As long as lobsters are not hunted, fatally injured, or killed by disease, they could live indefinitely. It gets even stranger, as lobsters become more fertile as they age:

They don’t slow down or become weaker or more susceptible to disease. They don’t get infertile — older  lobsters are actually more fertile than younger ones.

This is unprecedented!  Ladies, can you imagine getting menopause out of the way when you are 10 and being at the height of your sexual activity when you are 90?  Welcome to the life of a lobster.

Related Article: Cyborg Lobsters Power a Digital Watch

Scientists believe that like hydra, lobsters are able to beat the aging process through the maintenance of its telomeres, as lobsters produce a large amount of telomerase, the enzyme responsible for ensuring the health and longevity of telomeres.

As lobsters age, they continue to grow larger and larger, making it easy to guess the age of a lobster based on its size.  The largest recorded lobster ever caught was in Nova Scotia, Canada, weighed 44.4 lbs and was believed to be 50 years old.

 

Planarian Flatworms:

 

Planarian flatworms are non-parasitic worms that are found all over the world; in saltwater, freshwater, soil, and more. They are very common, and come in the asexual and sexual variety, take your pick.  No matter which type you choose, you’ll still be choosing another immortal animal.

Related Article: Fly Away Home: Birds Evolve With Automobile Traffic

Through plentiful adult stem cells and a high production of telomerase, planarian flatworms have an infinite regenerative ability.  This incredible regeneration applies not only to the general maintenance of its body, but also to an unprecedented level of repair in the event of physical damage.

Planaria can be cut into pieces, and each piece can regenerate into a complete organism. Cells at the location of the wound site proliferate to form a blastema that will differentiate into new tissues and regenerate the missing parts of the piece of the cut planaria.

1/279th of a piece of planarian flatworm can be cut from its body and will grow into a new, completely independent flatworm within a few weeks.  You can slice and dice this animal into hundreds of pieces and you’ll just be left with more worms!

Related Article: The Most Dangerous Animal and How We Can Defeat It

Even more interestingly,

if the head of a planaria is cut in half down its centre, and each side retained on the organism, its possible for the planaria to regenerate two heads and continue to live.

Imagine if every time you cut yourself shaving a mini-you started writhing and growing in the sink.  In this way, the planarian flatworm can continuously regrow itself and remain immortal through countless copies.

 

Tardigrades:

 

Tardigrades are also called waterbears, or moss piglets, because under a microscope, that’s exactly what they look like. They are one of the most well known extremophiles; animals that can survive under conditions fatal to most other forms of life.  They are usually around 1 millimeter in length and can be found absolutely everywhere on the planet, from common streams, to moss in your backyard, to the top of the Himalayas, and even in newly discovered ecosystems.  They prefer places with lots of moisture, but as you’ll soon see, it really doesn’t matter to them where they live.

Related Article: New Ecosystem Discovered: Glacier Mice

Although Tardigrades aren’t immortal in the same sense as the animals listed above, they have the incredible ability to survive in nearly every environment known to man, including the vacuum of space, by entering a state of suspended animation called cryptobiosis where their metabolism reaches near zero.  They can stay in this state for more than ten years, return to normal, and go right back into the suspended state for another 10 years of rest and relaxation.  They are their own cryogenic tanks.

 

Tardigrades have been observed surviving extreme conditions such as:

  1. Temperatures above 300 F

  2. Temperatures lower than -328 F

  3. Pressure of more than 6,000 atmospheres (six times the pressure of water in the Mariana trench)

  4. More than 10 years without water

  5. Extremely lethal human doses of gamma, heavy ion, and UV radiation

  6. The vacuum of space

Tardigrades are naturally indestructible, and if they desire to be, are also immortal.
All of these animals and their remarkable anti-aging abilities are creating new opportunities for scientists to actually discover and synthesize the ‘fountain of youth.’  In fact, many prominent scientists believe that the solution(s) to old age and even death is right around the chronological corner.  According to Aubrey de Grey, a British researcher on aging and life extension, the first human being to live to 1000 years old has already been born. It might even be you…

 

 

Source List:

BBC Nature: Nature’s Guide to Immortality 

UCI.edu: Senescence in Hydra

Wondergressive: Telomere and Aging

PNAS: FoxO is a critical regulator of stem cell maintenance in immortal Hydra

Extreme Longevity: Hydra Immortality Linked to Human Lifespan 

Developmental Biology: The Immortal Life Cycle of Turritopsis

JSTOR: Reversing the Life Cycle

Cell Transdifferentiation 

Wondergressive: Hollywood is Pirating Hollywood

Wondergressive: Cyborg Lobsters Power a Digital Watch 

HowStuffWorks: 400 Pound Lobster

Telomeres and Cellular Aging

Guinness World Records: Heaviest Marine Crustacean

Encyclopedia Britannica: Planarian 

PubMed: Planarian Regeneration

PubMed.gov: Stem Cells and Regeneration in Planarians

NewScientist: Regenerating Animals

Wondergressive: New Ecosystem Discovered: Glacier Mice 

Youtube: Tardigrades First Animal to Survive in Space

IWU.edu: Tardigrades 

Journal of Zoology: Longterm Anhydrobiotic Survival

Survival of Tardigrades in Extreme Environments

Current Biology: Tardigrades Survive Exposure to Space

Nature: Preserving Tardigrades Under Pressure

PubMed.gov: Radiation Tolerance in the Tardigrade

Discovery.com: Immortal Animals Reveal Anti-aging Secrets

TED: We Can Avoid Aging

Additional Related Resources:

Wondergressive: Cannabis Cures Cancer and Everything Else: A Thorough History and Review

Wondergressive: Obesity and Low-Carb Fads 

Wondergressive: The Great Vitamin D-ficiency 

Wondergressive: Green Tea Health

Wondergressive: Low-carb/Low-calorie Diet Produces Compound That Blocks the Effects of Aging

Wondergressive: The Wonderful, Healthier, Life Changing and Life Lengthening World of Fasting

 

A Delicious Cure – Honey As An Antibiotic & Much, Much More

Honey has been touted for ages as a health food. Made by a regurgitation of nectar, spit, and goodness, it feeds the entire colony of bees in which it was made. It’s no secret how delicious it is.

However, honey is magical. Seriously, what I use to dip my chicken nuggets with is a never-rotting, disease-fighting, babypreserving (NSFW), bacteria-killing, wound-healing miracle substance. It genuinely blows my mind.

sweet, sweet honey (Source)

Mmm, this bee’s got it right. Time for some sweet, sweet honey action. (Source)

Records of the human consumption of honey date back as far as 21st century BC, being documented in the cuneiform writings of Babylon and in biblical times, even naming Palestine as the “land of milk and honey”. It was said to be used as currency, once as highly valued as the status of those who could afford it. Primitive practitioners, such as Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) and Hippocrates (460 BC – 370 BC), would also use it’s healing properties to aide your ailments of varying severities. Well, if you were around back then, I’m sure that’s one of the best options you had.

However, in today’s hustle bustle one-pill-fits-all world, such a simple compound has gone largely unnoticed, garnering attention only as alternative medicine, not quite making it into mainstream. To add to it’s confusion, the positive effects are very well-documented and are far from outlandish.

Let’s get started.

 


What are the nutritional benefits of honey?


 

For starters, despite it’s overtly obvious sweetness, it is not sugar. It is made of over one hundred different compounds, all of which have enough sustenance to support life in this form.

It has vitamins, minerals, amino acids (18 to 20 of them!), and loads of other things that I’m not-so-sure that we know. Not every bee nor flower is unique and there are numerous blends of honey on the market. It is a heart stimulant, a cholesterol killer, and has an interesting property as an inverse syrup, meaning that it is instant energy for those who may need it. It makes for quite a rich nutritional profile (PDF, pg 469) and is a much safer alternative to those horrible sugar-substitutes. The invulnerable Livestrong also recognizes these benefits, even going so far as to state that it is the right thing for diabetics to use as opposed to sugar. They go on to add that it allows for much better blood glucose control and has an anchor spot on the glycemic index, not causing your metabolism to spike erratically. Otherwise, it could ruin your appetite or cloud your mind – especially if you’re sensitive to sugar.

 


What are the medicinal benefits of honey?


 

Remember how I stated that honey doesn’t go bad? That it kills bacteria? Well, that’s absolutely true! Honey is an anti-microbial due to it’s low water content, oxidizing qualities, and high acidity level. Also, due to a lovely compound called Methyglyoxal, it is able to snuff out bacteria and resist the spread of disease and germs.

In fact, modern medicine has commercialized bandages made entirely out of honey due to these qualities. Studies have shown that honey applied topically causes healing time to shorten on wounds, ulcers, and burns – as much as four days sooner in some cases! When traditional bandages don’t work, honey steps in.

Seasonal allergy sufferers may also have a case for honey. Although there has yet to be a peer-reviewed study on the matter, it has been shown anecdotally and via small-scale research that locally-obtained honey will gradually eliminate the immunoresponse to allergens in the air. It’s amazing how simple of a concept it is: since bees obtain the pollen from floral sources near where you live (which causes typical allergy symptoms in most sufferers), ingesting their honey will slowly build up your resistance towards those irritants. Has your mind been blown yet?

 

If one had unlimited resources and a considerable amount of free time, I could spend hours writing about the benefits of honey. One might think you’re crazy to believe that such an innocuous substance like the spit of a honey bee could provide us with such benefits, but the data tells the story. I didn’t even dive into the more traditional benefits like cough treatment, skin care, and the like. I strongly encourage you, Wonder Reader, to dive more into the matter and discover what lies beneth this magical sweet substance.

And your Lord inspired the bee(s), saying: “Take your habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. (68) Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you).” There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for mankind. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think. -Qu’ran (16:68-69)

 

Want your own honey? Check out Amazon for a world of choices!

 

Further Reading and Major Data Sources:

Does eating ‘local honey’ help prevent allergies?

Health effects of honey – Wikipedia

Honey – Wikipedia

Honey History – The history of honey as food

Is Honey Good for You? | Mark’s Daily Apple

National Honey Board

Substituting Honey for Refined Carbohydrates Protects Rats from
Hypertriglyceridemic and Prooxidative Effects of Fructose

Hey Cat-Lovers, You Have a Mind-Controlling Parasite

Isn’t it fun to pretend we have control over our bodies? Isn’t it fun to believe that freewill isn’t some fanciful bit of make-believe? I don’t know about you, but that’s one of my favorite late night drunken fantasies (oh yeah, gettin off (or not) to the illusion of choice). Really though, the bag of chemicals we live in is a precarious balance of hormones, enzymes, and other gook, teetering the high wire of sanity by the tiniest margins. If that statement needs any justification, maybe give PCP a try.

The excretions of other life forms have altered our realities and actions for epochs, so the idea is nothing new. Usually we think, however, that these things are mostly under our control. From licking a toad, contracting the stomach flu, or perhaps a total personality makeover after a blow to the head, our body’s chemicals and fluids determine everything. So, keeping that in mind… there’s a good chance you, at this very moment, have a mind-controlling parasite, making your decisions for you. It happens all the time.

Look:

But that’s just ants, right? And they’re stupid.

Nope. And it’s not just ants, either. Countless species are chemically manipulated; there are zombie snailssuicidal grasshoppers, and even, of course, YOU…

Half of the world’s population is currently infected with a fun-loving little fucker known as Toxoplasma, the sci-fi sounding name of a cat poop dwelling parasite that will make you crazy.

Try saying it out loud. Toxoplasma. You’ll feel pretty badass.

Now look to your left. Look to your right. You have a 50% chance of infection of…Toxoplasma. (You said it out loud, right?)

Come on. You can’t be serious?

We already knew bacteria were controlling our minds, but now there’s this little fella, too. He lives in cat poop, we breathe him in, and he sets up shop in our nervous system, excreting enzymes that lead to schizophrenia and overall bat-shittedness (not necessarily a bad thing). Essentially, I get infected, I get this hankering for another cat, then I get more infected, I adopt the conviction “who needs men?” and before you know it my home soon becomes a den of feline chaos.

It seems that society’s obsession with lolcats is actually all a part of some master plan being orchestrated by this little bastard. It flips our brain’s chemistry to, you guessed it, love cats.

The heated war between dog people and cat people will rage for centuries more, but now we know about all the fuss over our feline friends: we are victims of a cat conspiracy to take over our internet memes, one poop at a time.

They sure are cute, though.

 

Sources:

The Sonoran Desert Toad (erowid.org)

A Model of Personality Change (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

Little Mind Benders (sciencenews.org)

Parasitic Mind Control (youtube.com)

Enslaved Ants Regularly Stage Rebellions (wondergressive.com)

How to Control an Army of Zombies (nytimes.com)

World’s Deadliest: Zombie Snails (youtube.com)

Suicide Grasshoppers Brainwashed by Parasite Worms (nationalgeographic.com)

Toxoplasmosis-Schizophrenia Research (stanleyresearch.org)

The Secret World of Bacteria (wondergressive.com)

A Note on the Top 1% (wondergressive.com)

 

The Secret World of Bacteria

 

Warning: this article should not be read within proximity to sandpaper or pumice rocks as there is a high likelihood of sanding down one’s skin in terror. This one gets gross, kiddies.

One of the many benefits already seen since the inception of the Human Microbiome Project in 2007 is the outrageous discovery that only 10% of our body is human.

What kind of madman rant are you going on this time, Qwizx?

As it turns out, crazy as it may sound, the overwhelming majority of cells within/out our person are bacteria. In fact, we are a staggering 90% non-human. Swimming amidst the estimated 10 trillion cells constituting your selfness are something like 100 trillion individual little critters that call your life-fluids home. In a microscopic landscape of terrain, legions of monsters are swathing, swarming, warring, breeding, breathing and all-out taking over the slabs of meat we self-reference as “I.”

100 trillion is a big number, maybe too large for a human mind to fathom, so instead, let’s imagine it this way: There are currently 7,000,000,000 people in the world (that’s billion, with a B)… There are 14 THOUSAND times that many (our current planetary population) bacteria wiggling inside you this moment, Jacuzzi-ing in your tear-ducts as you read this. When I say bacteria, by the way, I mean these things (thank you, electron microscopes)…

Cluster of E. Coli sipping margaritas by the lake of sulfur in hell, or…

Setting up camp in a clump of uranium like it ain’t no thang

Essentially, research teams have gathered data that redefines humanity, suggesting the body is a superorganism “whose metabolism represents an amalgamation of microbial and human attributes.

Life always finds a way, just not necessarily humanoid life. A genomic sequencing study has recently discovered high numbers of hydrothermal vent eubacteria on prosthetic hip joints. This wouldn’t be a big deal, considering the plethora of ghouls infesting people, accept hydrothermal vent eubacteria are a species once thought only to live in the blackness of the ocean’s depths (you know, cause surviving on uranium isn’t scary enough).

(below) At Steve’s liver for the weekly orgy and ritual-sacrifice (BYOB) 

By no means is this exclusively shiver-inducing news. Like when Copernicus realized the earth revolved around the sun, this is a “discovery,” meaning it was always true, just now it’s news to us. No need for mass panic, cause this is how it’s supposed to work, and always has. However, there are some interesting implications:

Hurray, no more lonely Saturday nights!

Imagine our bodies, now, as a planet onto themselves, where bacteria pay their property taxes, vote, and even take their kids to little league in the small intestine. We humans are not individuals, but a collective, a civilization or a conglomerate, united in a symbiosis where each individual creepy-crawly plays his part on the whole. Sure, just like in human civilizations, there are the equivalent of warring gang factions, and like we always do, these sparse rebels gets all the focus (I’m looking at you, gonorrhea.), but our microscopic brothers and sisters are absolutely essential to our  continued existence.

If we’re like a corporation, hell yeah, I get to be the CEO.

Not quite. Sorry. We’re more like the semi-dipshit boss wrapped around his employees’ fingers. The sneaky scallywags just let us think the best ideas are ours so we can save face; the germs are in charge. Through the clever excretion of chemicals, our fuzzy little friends manipulate our lives in almost every conceivable way, from our health to straight up mind-control. However, don’t panic; it’s less like “Invasion of the Body-Snatchers,” and more like the Futurama episode where Fry eats the vending machine egg salad and becomes an Ubber-Fry.

Cuddly fella literally tugging at heart strings.

The NIH’s Human Microbiome Project plans on cataloging the entire human microbiome, or metagenome, and thus far only approximately 1% of this microbiota has been characterized and identified.  They’ve just begun to peak into the Pandora’s box of possibilities from our neighbors to the nano, so, I don’t know about you, but I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for sensory enhancing super parasites.

By all means, keep washing your hands, but these guys are unavoidable. See that cute fella hiding in the upper-left corner of this close-up of dust (below), the Kraken-lookin spawn of Lucifer posing for a cameo in your nightmares? He’s everywhere.

(technicolor added for enhanced terror)

 

As a final gut-wrenching thought, even if you just brushed your teeth, here’s a close-up of just some of the things currently crawling on your tongue.

 

 Sources:

hmpdacc.org

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov (2, 3, 4 times)

mpkb.org

scientificamerican.com

news.sciencemag.org

watchcartoononline.com

 

A Note on the Top 1%: Psychopaths or Superhumans?

 

A few days ago, we looked into the coming rise of a new species being developed by the technocrats; it’s nigh. Spectacular as this notion is, as it turns out, the next stage in human development has already arrived, interlaced inconspicuously amongst us, as though “They Live” were a documentary.

Doesn't anyone have a goddamn stick of gum?!

Doesn’t anyone have a goddamn stick of gum?!
http://www.releasedonkey.com

You see, everyone loves a good ethnic slur, but under our thin veil of cultural, linguistic, economic, and pigment differences, it’s understood that we’re all one collective unity of mankind. Hi, brothers and sisters. So with the utmost love and respect for all y’all round the globe (minus Canada, America’s ceaseless punchline), we can all join hands in an orgy of discrimination against the one group that’s not like the others. Proudly, I’ll stand on my soapbox of an anonymous keyboard and proclaim something we’ve all long suspected, but never voiced: “yuppies aren’t human.”

…Literally… Let me explain

If there’s one thing I’d gleaned from my last stint in the psych-ward (like you didn’t suspect), it’s how, like an uncured slab of beef, the lines between mental illnesses, unfortunately, are neither cut nor dry (consider the utter failure of the DSM). A great deal of consensus, however, stands in the psychologist community to where these muddied lines can be drawn, and the word “psychopath” is not a term bandied lightly, folks. A psychopath, apparently, is not always the image immediately drawn to mind of some knife wielding pariah, glazed in dried mustard and animal-semen (gross), prowling the subway adorned only in a single strategically-placed pool-floatie, who passes the day lobbing “Jesus saves” paper-airplane pamphlets at jaded urbanites. Nah, he’s probably wearing a silk tie, Gucci perhaps.

Psychopaths, in fact, while occasionally criminal masterminds, are masterful social chameleons, often indistinguishable from the crowd. Preconceived notions blown. A new theoretical analysis suggests that psychopathy is not merely a mental disorder, though, but rather the psychopath is a separate new sub-species of human altogether, a new animal. No joke. Sure, Patrick Bateman may lob revving chainsaws upon fleeing call-girls, but he wasn’t human, so it’s copacetic.  Evolution, it seems, just won’t take a day off. Psychopathy is categorized with traits of:

 

  • glib and superficial charm
  • grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
  • need for stimulation
  • pathological lying
  • cunning and manipulativeness
  • lack of remorse or guilt
  • shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
  • callousness and lack of empathy
  • parasitic lifestyle
  • poor behavioral controls
  • sexual promiscuity
  • early behavior problems
  • lack of realistic long-term goals
  • impulsivity
  • irresponsibility
  • failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  • many short-term marital relationships
  • juvenile delinquency
  • revocation of conditional release
  • criminal versatility

To sum all that up, psychopaths (henceforth redubbed Homo PsychopathiusTM) are highly-intelligent, calculating, manipulative machines of self-interested ambition, lacking the capacity for conscience due to the inability to feel emotion. They are a manifestation of the cliché wolf in sheep’s clothing as a predator in white-collar work clothes, and these things aren’t human.

With an untappable spigot of raw uninhibited self-interest at its disposal, Homo Psychopathius often rises to the top of whatever organization/ field it sets its aim at. They are natural visionaries, innovators, and leaders of men, so it just makes sense that, statistically, the career with the highest propensity for psychopathy is nothing less than the CEO.

Over the last few decades, as you’ve undoubtedly noticed, the global power regime has shifted reigns from the uber-nation to the empire-corporation being the vaster colossus of influence. Our ruling class, then, are the highly-competent next stage in evolution, being more adapted for the major-leagues without the nuisance of those silly outdated oddities called feelings. Further still, note this list of the top ten careers Homo Psychopathius are found in, not forgetting the psychopath, more often than not, is at the forefront head of his field:

 

1. CEO
2. Lawyer
3. Media (Television/Radio)
4. Salesperson
5. Surgeon
6. Journalist
7. Police officer
8. Clergy person
9. Chef
10. Civil servant

Wait! Wait! Wait! Holy shit! What are you saying?

This thing is smarter than you, vastly more driven to power. It controls the companies you work for; it represents your legal system, decides what news you hear, tells you what to consume (down to a science), holds your life in its hands, arrests your deviants, propagates your religions, and it dominates your politics… oh yeah, and cooks your food (never trust a guy with a set of personally engraved knives, I guess).

We’re not alarmist here. Rather, I propose a happy compromise over this news: as successful as these things have proven themselves to be, rising to the apex of society, I offer that we humans dutifully permit this new animal to take the reins (cause it already has) as the new dominant species of the planet. You win, psychopaths. Game over. Anyway, our outdated human machine doesn’t mind serving as the structural base for your mighty overlord will. We’re more suited for playing Minecraft, masturbating, and following your orders. It’s kinda what we’re good at. If it’s not overly presumptuous of me to assume the diplomat between our 2 great peoples, let me be the first of my kind to say, “I vow my allegiance. All hail the morlocks! (I’m on board, guys. Eat someone else’s kids.)”

Fellow sapians, kinda brings the whole “Occupy Wall Street” thing into a new light, huh? Looks like the X-Men comics had it right all along: the 1% with all the powers really were the next stage of human evolution.

Take it; leave it; use it as an excuse to embrace your inner asshole.

Either way, let the hate mail commence.

 

 

 

Sources:

Wondergressive: The Singularity is Nigh Upon Us

I’m Here To Chew Bubblegum

Ari Shaffir: The Amazing Racist

Wondergressive: Impossible to Distinguish Sane from Insane

Wondergressive: You Might be a Psychopath

CBS: DSM New Psych Bible

People Claiming to be Jesus

Psychopath: a New Subspecies

Patrick Bateman

Psychopathy List

PubMed.gov: Genetic Risk for Psychopathy in 7 Year Olds

PubMed.gov: Corporate Psychopathy

Psychopathy and the CEO

Corporate Psychopaths and Global Financial Crisis

Corporate Psychopaths: Bullying and Unfair Supervision

MSN: 10 Sneaky Care Dealer Tricks

Who Runs the World: Global Corporate Control

Minecraft

Morlock

Occupy Wall Street

Engineering the Perfect Morning in 8 Easy Steps

[no_toc]

Have you had your coffee yet? Stretch it out; it’s okay. Nothing quite like the old cigarette and cup of joe to kick start the day into gear, or maybe leisurely scrolling a Wondergressive post on the john is more your speed. Remember when you’d spring to life hours before the sun, like, say on Christmas morning? You couldn’t fall asleep from excitement and erupted from slumber like the rambunctious little meth-head every kid is. Well guess what friends… we can have that majesty again, and not just once a year, but every morning. Check out these 8 simple steps to supercharging your mornings and life:

1)

If you’re reading an article on this site, you’re probably pretty smart, and kudos to you already, so maybe you’ve heard of this thing called the REM cycle. Turns out the number of cycles is not as important as we’d previously imagined; rather, timing is the key. Those non-hangover days when, even with a full 8 hours, you feel like a monkey’s been bludgeoning you with a bag of unripe oranges (maybe the 6th cup will do the trick), most likely your alarm sounded mid-REM cycle, and this is a big deal. If the cycle is interrupted, this is a day of grogginess. Contrarily, rising between REMs leaves you alert and rested. A REM cycle is 90 minutes, give or take, so instead of getting a solid 8, aim for a solid 7.5 hours a night. You’ll be walking on (not sunshine) regular terrain, throwing away the old “I’m just not a morning person.” Likewise, 6 hours (optimal on average) or less will do the trick as well, though you may want to nap later with the latter. Easy-peezy. If you need to be up at 7am, hit the pillow at 11:15pm (15mins to fall asleep). With the demons of drowsiness never again jabbing your skull, it’ll be much easier to…

2)

Wake up early. I promise this is an easy step. Was it ever hard to roll out of the race-car to pillage Santa’s haul? If you’re awesome, and I’ll bet you are, you have a to-do list 6 pages deep and it’s become more of a “shit that’ll happen when I win the lottery” list. What a vicious, unending cycle, especially since “buy lottery ticket” is on that list. But you’re clever and ambitious; you know what to do to find those extra hours to get it all done: wake up early. Like we’ve already seen, 6 hours is a great amount of sleep where you’ll feel peak-rested. Congratulations, you’ve just found an extra 2 hours of private time every day (6 extra years of consciousness added to your life). While the world hits snooze, you can…

3)

Set an isochronic alarm. Good odds you’re reading this on your phone/mp3/alarm clock/everything, and you can set an alarm to sound any noise you’d like (if you don’t know how, Google it). Trythis iso-tone. It’s a sound that, when heard, snaps the mind into high gear (Make sure to check out the science behind isochronic tones– it’s pretty cool but beyond the scope of this article). No need to shut it off, by the way. This tone makes a great background to your…

4)

Dream journal. Why dream journal? It’s fun, for one. Keeping a journal of your dreams is like sharing an intimate conversation with your subconscious; never mind if you don’t have dreams (you do, everyone dreams every single night), start with anything, even a vague memory of a color, and details will start flooding back as the pen lurches rapidly to scrawl them. Even these few minutes of creativity, because they’re first thing, set a tone of greatness for the rest of the day, although no one will hold it against you if you still need…

5)

Coffee. Yes, have your coffee if that’s your thing (did you think I’d say you couldn’t?), but that delectable god-nectar takes a bit to brew, so in the meantime, we’ll be needing an empty stomach anyway for…

5.5)

Exercise. It doesn’t take much to get the job done; we’re not training for the Olympics. 10-15 minutes of easy calisthenics right at waking gets the blood flowing and kick starts the metabolism so your breakfast won’t sludge into more mass about the spare-tire, but burn to fuel your freshly invigorated body. Thanks, science.

6)

Read. Let’s leave off the Looney Tunes this morning, or if that’s not your style, no newspaper or CNN. Instead, over the oats and bacon, we’re going to read 10 pages (that’s it, easy) of self-help. Are you in the school that thinks self-help books are for a bunch of losers who need to pat themselves on the back? Okay, a lot are, but check outthese self-help books (or for the kleptos). A mere 10 pages a day will amount to 1,300 books over your lifetime. Fun side-note: Theodore Roosevelt read an entire book every single day, even while he had his hands full with all that presidenting.

7)

Take a cold shower. This will be the hardest step to adhere to, but well worth the sacrifice. According to Dr. Kruse, the benefits of becoming “cold adapted” include:

  • Optimization of hormone levels
  • Fertility and reproductive fitness
  • Strengthened adrenal function
  • Reversal of diabetes and thyroid disorders
  • Increased immune function
  • Pain management
  • Deepened and improved sleep
  • Increased sense of well being and better attitude
  • and, it may be helpful with serious neurological diseases and eating disorders

Sounds cool (groan over shitty pun).

8)

Meditate. I’ll bet you’ve heard good things. Here’s your chance, and if you’re afraid of looking silly, no one else is up yet anyway. Here’s a beginners guide if you’re unfamiliar. That’s it. Have fun y’all, and enjoy your new, awesome life.

 

Sources:

WebMD: Stages of Sleep

PubMed.gov: Effects of Interrupting REM sleep

Iso-tone

Science of Isochronic Tones

How Dreams Work

Reasons to Exercise in the Morning

Goodreads: Self-help Books

Cracked.com: Facts About Famous People

Dr. Kruse: Cold Showers

How to Meditate