Carbonation alters the mind’s perception of sweetness

ScienceDaily: Dieting and Weight Control News
Carbonation alters the mind’s perception of sweetness
Carbonation, an essential component of popular soft drinks, alters the brain’s perception of sweetness and makes it difficult for the brain to determine the difference between sugar and artificial sweeteners.

IQ link to baby’s weight gain in first month
New research shows that weight gain and increased head size in the first month of a baby’s life is linked to a higher IQ at early school age.

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
Reverse Aging? Study Offers Proof That Lifestyle Change Fights Aging On Cellular Level
In a small but unprecedented study, scientists on Tuesday said they had proof that a healthy lifestyle helps the body’s cells fight ageing.

The strategy is structured around a whole-food, plant-based diet, moderate daily exercise, yoga-based relaxation and stress management, they said.

Researchers recruited 35 men, 10 of whom were asked to follow this lifestyle, while the other 25 were not asked to make any lifestyle changes at all.

In addition to the diet and daily physical and mental routines, the 10 also attended weekly sessions for three months where their new skills were reinforced by specialists, including a one-hour weekly “support” session.

After five years, the scientists assessed the participants for a hallmark of biological ageing called telomeres.

Telomeres are nubby pieces of protein that are attached to the end of chromosomes. They help to protect the precious strings of DNA code when a cell replicates.

They are often likened to the tips of shoelaces. As the telomere wears down, its protection erodes too, and so does the risk that the DNA is not faithfully replicated in the daughter cell, which boosts the risk of cellular malfunction and then disease, including cancer.

Looking at the length of telomeres thus gives a telltale of cellular lifespan.

Among the 10-man group, telomere length increased significantly by an average of 10 percent over the five years — and it was higher among those who had adhered most faithfully to the new lifestyle.

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Among the “control” group, though, telomeres had shrunk by three percent on average.

The study has limitations as the number of recruits was small, and it was conducted as part of an investigation into prostate cancer.

In addition, the research was not empowered to test whether lifestyle changes affected the risk of cancer.

But, say its authors, its focus on the vital telomeres was carried out scientifically and over the long term.

This is what makes it new compared with evidence that is anecdotal or only short-term.

“The implications of this relatively small pilot study may go beyond men with prostate cancer,” said Dean Ornish, a professor at the University of California in San Francisco, who led the study.

“If validated by large-scale randomised controlled trials, these comprehensive lifestyle changes may significantly reduce the risk of a wide variety of diseases and premature mortality.

“Our genes, and our telomeres, are a predisposition, but they are not necessarily our fate.”

Ornish is the founder of the not-for-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute at the university. He has vigorously promoted in medical presentations and books the argument that lifestyle changes, especially a shift in diet, can protect against disease.

The study appears in the journal The Lancet Oncology.

Weekly Rune: Hagalaz
2013-09-16-Hagalaz.jpg Hagalaz — Hail — Change is coming. Whether it’s the one we’ve wanted, or the one we need, is likely in the eye of the beholder.

The affirmation driving Hagalaz is that we’ve finished what we were working on. As the first Rune of the second aett, with Hagalaz we can rest peacefully in knowing that a cycle has completed, and it ended well. The wisdom we take forward from that is critical, though more so is the knowledge that we can experience joy — Wunjo — the final Rune of the first aett.

Allow me to clarify. Sometimes when we see Hagalaz come up in a cast, tension sets in. Considered a between-states Rune, the condition of hail rarely sets up good feelings. That Nature can turn on a dime and the best we can do is react, is what it is. Most of the time that sort of transition is not subtle. After all, the hardest thing about joy is sustaining the memory of it through hard times — unexpected hard times, in particular.

The presence of this Rune at this time isn’t to undo what we’ve created for ourselves. It isn’t to throw us back into the tailspin of wondering if the Universe is against us. In fact, it’s proof that it isn’t. The force of Hagalaz is in moving with the flow, greeting change instead of fighting it. When we can realize that hail eventually has to melt, adversity eventually gives way to collusion, we master the abrupt life force of Hagalaz. Holding that awareness while embodying some shred of joy is icing (pun).

Go into this week open to what comes. It maybe a needed change, or it may muck up the works on all fronts. Ultimately, Hagalaz isn’t about the change, itself, at all, but how well we deal with it.

Originally published at Intentional Insights.

Green – The Huffington Post
Senate Republicans Claim Ron Binz, Obama Energy Nominee, Is Out Of ‘Mainstream’
WASHINGTON — Republicans on the Senate Energy Committee say they are concerned that President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the nation’s top energy regulator has views they consider to be outside the mainstream. Specifically, Republicans said they were troubled by a comment by former Colorado regulator Ron Binz that natural gas may be a “dead end” fuel.

Republicans also said they were concerned that Binz was not truthful when he assured them that he was not part of a coordinated effort by a green-energy group and a Washington lobbying firm to boost his nomination to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the panel’s top Republican, told Binz she was not convinced that his views were “compatible with FERC’s mission” to regulate interstate transmission of electricity, oil and natural gas.

Binz told the panel he had spoken “inartfully” at a March forum and said he fully embraces use of natural gas, at least for the next two decades.

Climate Change: A Religious Perspective
Nowadays, two groups have mainly polarized the discussions about global warming and the Environmental Protection Act. On one end, the religious right and its pundits have been very active in denying climate change and making mockery of any meaningful environmental protection measures. On the other end, environmentalists, who are ignoring and/or ridiculing the role of religious upbringing in shaping people’s attitudes toward the environment, are undermining the importance of spreading their message across a large group of people.

Science, religion and preservation are not necessarily mutually exclusive in their approach to this important subject. In Islam, seeking and accepting knowledge, respect to the environment, preservationism, and respect of other forms of life are part of the faith. There are no contradictions within Islam for Muslims to accept the scientific research of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), and it is a part of its belief system that humans will suffer the consequences for any abuse of the earth’s natural resources.

It is without doubt that had humankind practiced a balance between enjoying the earth’s natural resources without being wasteful and preserving the environment for future generations, the world would be today a very different place. Furthermore, such a concept would have made it easier for the environmentalists to convey their messages to others. We would not have reached the edge today from run away Carbon Dioxide increases into the atmosphere that not only threaten our climates, but also our very existence. Pollutants and overfishing are destroying a great food resource, while gluttony and waste in food distribution further threaten a clean and healthy food supply. Food has now become an entertainment with non-stop television commercials promoting a lifestyle where people live to eat instead of eating to survive.

We are in a vicious adaptation to the needs of consumerism; everything must be fun and entertaining. This demand for convenient and immediate gratification has, for example, led to the mass production of petroleum based plastic products that not only leach PCB’s into the food and water supply, but also create the ubiquitous waste of bottles and bags that swirl along our highways and have formed a giant whirlpool of plastic garbage in the Pacific Ocean further decimating wildlife and our food supply.

“Corruption appears on land and sea because of (the evil) that man’s hands have done, so that He may make them taste a part of what they have done, in order that they may return.” (Quran 30:41)

Contrary to other religious beliefs, in Islam, humans have to take full responsibility for their actions and not expect divine intervention to mollify their abuse of the world’s resources. Sadly some environmentalists have failed to make the distinction that not all religions are inherently antagonistic toward exploring meaningful solutions to halt the degradation of our environment. The Quran teaches us that men are the caretakers of the earth (Quran 2:30), and are responsible for maintaining it. This belief is part of the Muslim tradition. While definitely not a part of the history of secular movements who tend to advocate, “Enjoy life as much as you can” which has contributed to the neglect of so many important aspects of our ecosystem. As a result our rain forests, aquifers, and waterways have suffered and cannot be expected to continue to sustain man’s endless appetite for more “stuff.”

Water conservation in Islam is more a matter of principle. The Prophet (pbuh) forbids wasting this precious resource even when it is available in abundance. He also cautions against its waste even while performing certain religious rites.

“Do not waste water even if you were on the bank of a flowing river.” (Prophet Mohammed [pbuh])

Interestingly, one of his sayings was promoted by a water bottling company in Australia to stress the importance of conserving water. It is a developmental lesson with profound meaning that should be taught to all children. Just imagine our planet if we raised our children to respect the waters of our earth from the smallest springs to the mighty oceans. How much more would they appreciate the water flowing from the tap?

It has been counter-productive just to blame religion per se for obstructive solutions to rectify and address climate change, instead of focusing on the impact that consumerism has had on the ecosystem. The Quran has clearly laid down a balanced and commonsensical approach, wherein individuals are instructed to enjoy the good things of life, but not become intoxicated with their pleasures and abuse them. The “live as if there is no tomorrow” way of life only serves to further degrade our environment by encouraging everyone to consume more and more of the earth’s natural resources. The Islamic position, however, (often not reflected in the Muslim world today) of believing in “life is a test” is overlooked as is the belief that we will be held accountable for our actions. Even a skeptic would admit the benefits of this concept, which should make one at least pause and be more conscious of the squandering of the earth’s resources.

Good News – The Huffington Post
Washington Heights Fire Causes Neighbors To Rescue Man From Burning Apartment (VIDEO)
Neighbors came to the rescue of a man trapped inside a burning apartment in Washington Heights on Monday.

ABC reports the victim was working to refinish the floors of the apartment, located on West 172nd Street, when a fire suddenly broke out.

He climbed onto fifth floor windowsill of the building and screamed for help.

The superintendent of the apartment building next door, Roscindo Lopez, along with two other Good Samaritans, heard the victim’s cries and sprung into action.

The rescuers used a ladder to stretch it across a fire escape. One of the men then used the ladder to walk across it and bring the victim to safety.

“They made their way across, as soon as close enough to grab, he tackled them onto the fire escape,” said Frank Gonzalez, one of the rescuers.

The dramatic rescue was caught on video.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
What 8 Highly Successful People Wish They Had Done Differently
New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg might believe that the secret to success is never taking lunch or bathroom breaks, but many successful people would disagree with him. Looking back on their careers, quite a few high-powered business leaders, politicians and entertainers say they wish they hadn’t worked so hard, and that they had instead spent more time with their families.

The mistake is a common one. Overworking — often to the detriment of our most important relationships — is one of the most universal end-of-life regrets, according to Bronnie Ware, palliative care specialist and author of The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

“All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence,” Ware writes.

Need some motivation to step away from the screen for a family dinner? Here are eight highly successful people who say that their greatest career mistake was working too hard.

Barack Obama

obama family

In an essay titled “Being the Father I Never Had,” written in honor of Father’s Day, the President wrote about his desire to be the best parent he could possibly be for daughters Sasha and Malia. He expressed regret for time spent away from the girls when they were younger, and resolved to be there for them more as they grew up.

“When Malia and Sasha were younger, work kept me away from home more than it should have,” Obama wrote in People magazine. “At times, the burden of raising our two daughters has fallen too heavily on Michelle. During the campaign, not a day went by that I didn’t wish I could spend more time with the family I love more than anything else in the world.”

Paul McCartney

paul mccartney

When a fan asked McCartney what he would do if he had a time machine, the former Beatles member said that he’d go back and spend more time with his mother. Although his lack of family time wasn’t due to overworking — she died when he was just 14 — the sentiment still stands. McCartney has said that his love for his mother, and eventually letting go of his pain over losing her, inspired one of the band’s greatest hits and most moving songs, “Let It Be”:

At night when she came home, she would cook, so we didn’t have a lot of time with each other. But she was just a very comforting presence in my life. And when she died, one of the difficulties I had, as the years went by, was that I couldn’t recall her face so easily. That’s how it is for everyone, I think. As each day goes by, you just can’t bring their face into your mind, you have to use photographs and reminders like that. So in this dream 12 years later, my mother appeared, and there was her face, completely clear, particularly her eyes, and she said to me very gently, very reassuringly: ‘Let it be.’

Martha Stewart

martha stewart twitter

The 71-year-old’s one regret, looking back at her life and career? “That I haven’t had more children,” she said in a NEW YOU magazine profile. “But my daughter has two babies now, so the family is growing.”

Aung San Suu Kyi

aung san suu kyi

Burmese politician and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has accomplished incredible feats in her career — but she has regrets in her personal life. The dissident spent the past 20 years under house arrest in Rangoon, 2,000 miles away from her family in Oxford, England. Suu Kyi had the option to reunite with her family in the UK, but she knew that if she chose to leave, she might never be allowed to return and lead her people — so she stayed.

“Of course I regret not having been able to spend time with my family,” Suu Kyi told the BBC. “I would like to have been together with my family. I would like to have seen my sons growing up. But I don’t have doubts about the fact that I had to choose to stay with my people here.”


usher kids

Hip-hop singer and producer Usher said that he regretted not slowing down to spend time with his sick father before it was too late. His father’s final words, asking his son for forgiveness for not being around more when he was younger, inspired Usher to write a heartfelt song for his son called “Prayer For You.”

“Instead of being there when he was sick, I was working,” the R&B star told Contact Music. “There was no amount of money that could have fixed my father’s health, but I could have just spent that time with him.”

David Kim

david kim baja fresh

Since adolescence, David Kim, the CEO of an investor consortium that operates chain restaurants like Sweet Factory, La Salsa, Cinnabon, Denny’s and Baja Fresh, was motivated to work hard and succeed so that he could support his parents, who were first-generation immigrants from Korea. But sitting on his father’s deathbed years later, he had a change of perspective that forced him to reevaluate his definition of success.

“I regret not spending enough time with him, especially before he was going to go,” Kim (pictured above on an episode of “Undercover Boss”), told World magazine. This change in heart led Kim to quit his job so that he could spend more time with his wife and three children, while also working on his passion project Ignite Enterprise, a business education company for entrepreneurs.

Erin Callan

erin callan lehman brothers

Earlier this year, Former Lehman Brothers CFO Erin Callan — who left her job in 2008 just months before the company went bankrupt — wrote a New York Times opinion piece, “Is There Life After Work?”, expressing her thoughts on work-life balance and the sacrifices she made for her career.

“I don’t have children, so it might seem that my story lacks relevance to the work-life balance debate,” Callan wrote. “Like everyone, though, I did have relationships — a spouse, friends and family — and none of them got the best version of me. They got what was left over.”

Now, Callan says that although she can’t make up for lost time, she is learning to find gratitude and appreciate the life she has.

Billy Graham

billy graham and me

Evangelist Billy Graham, “America’s Pastor,” confessed that if he could have done one thing differently, he would have avoided political conflicts and spent more time with his family.

Looking back, Graham told HuffPost Politics that he would “spend more time at home with my family, and I’d study more and preach less.”

Is There Life After Email? Yes, And It’s Amazing
I worked at, the 15th most popular website in the world to write The Year Without Pants, a book about what we can learn from the amazing and progressive culture they use to get work done.

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo


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