Transparent Snail, Zospeum tholussum, Discovered In Croatia (PHOTOS)

Green – The Huffington Post
Transparent Snail, Zospeum tholussum, Discovered In Croatia (PHOTOS)
By Laura Poppick, LiveScience Staff Writer:

A new snail species with a beautifully translucent shell was recently discovered more than 3,000 feet (914 meters) underground in a Croatian cave.

transparent snail

The new snail completely lacks eyes and shell pigmentation. Neither would serve a purpose in the complete darkness of the cave. Credit: Jana Bedek

A team of cavers and biologists with the Croatian Biospeleological Society discovered Zospeum tholussum in the Lukina Jama-Trojama cave systems of western Croatia — one of the 20 deepest cave systems in the world — on an expedition to determine the cave’s depth. The team collected all animal specimens found along the way, since deep cave crevices are often promising places to find new species, and happened upon one live sample of the new snail, along with eight empty shells. [The 7 Longest Caves in the World]

The team presented the elegant snail to taxonomist Alexander Weigand at Goethe-University in Frankfurt, Germany, for help in identification. Weigand determined that this particular species had never before been found, but that it is related to other known species.

The new snail and other related species are particularly slow-moving, even by snail standards.


Different views of the living specimen (solid border) and empty shell (dotted border). Credit: Alexander Weigand, Subterranean Biology

“They only creep a few millimeters or centimeters a week, and mainly in circles, grazing at one point where they live,” Weigand said.

Weigand suspects that the snail travels in water currents or catches a ride on other cave animals, such as bats or crickets, to get from one place to another more efficiently.

The species is described this week in the journal Subterranean Biology.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct the number of empty shells the team found. They found eight empty shells, not two.

Follow Laura Poppick on Twitter. Follow OurAmazingPlanet @OAPlanet, Facebook and Google+. Original article at LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet.

Images: One-of-a-Kind Places on Earth Amazing Mollusks: Images of Strange & Slimy Snails Amazing Photos: The Little Things in Life

Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Childhood Pesticide Lessons And A Father’s Life
At Civil Beat we recently received a visit by several pro-GMO and pro-pesticide farmers. They argued that pesticides and GMOs are tools that farmers in Hawaii need to be competitive.

And maybe that is true, but one of the farmers offered an array of anecdotes that he felt highlighted the safety of the pesticides that are used in Hawaii. Among other things, he mentioned that his wife had walked around, while pregnant, during pesticide spray preparations.

Do you think she would do something like that, he asked us, if it were dangerous?

My guess, from very personal experience, is yes. Plenty of people would — and do — every day.

My father was one of them.

Let me share a little family history. My dad, Charlie Pape, got a job as a teenager in the late 1950s as a campus gardener in the school district in Los Angeles. Later he became a gardening supervisor.

But to his youngest son, in the mid-1970s, he was the strongest man around. He had forearms like Popeye and the biceps of a bodybuilder (without the vanity gym visits).


And in my earliest memories, he was already working those muscles on weekends — in addition to his work for the school system — tending the greenery around commercial sites like banks, nascent computer companies and corporate offices.

Like so many gardeners — and many farmers here — he used the tools of his trade, including pesticides and herbicides. There was fierce competition to secure those weekend jobs through a competitive bidding process so he had to be good and he had to be fast enough to make the work be worth it. And he was convinced that the chemicals he used were safe for a strong, healthy man like him.

My parents were divorced and they lived across the city from one another, so weekends with my dad meant time on “the jobs.”

From the time I was eight years old, his truck would pull up in front of my mom’s house loaded with gardening tools as the sun rose on Saturday mornings. He’d tap the horn and wait. My two brothers and I would get dressed, climb into his car and head to the first of our weekend work sites.

In temperatures that often ran well into the 90s, sometimes reaching triple digits, he would dish out fatherly lessons about hard work, meticulousness, the value of labor and accidentally — I’d learn later — how little we knew about the powerful chemicals that people like him used.

Outside a large Great Western Bank with an expansive parking lot marred by cigarette butts, beer cans and discarded newspapers, he would hand out rakes, hoes and pickup pans. Then he’d point us toward areas of the landscaping that we were supposed to tend to. “The weeds — gotta get the weeds,” he’d say as a mantra to motivate his sleepy sons — a mantra that we repeat with smiles to this day.

Then, after raking up a blanket of fallen yellowed leaves around the planters, he’d put a thin paper mask over his mouth and sling a red canister that looked like a primitive fire extinguisher over his shoulder. Wielding a clinical-looking copper-colored sprayer in one hand, he’d relegate me, the youngest son, to the interior of his truck.

“Stay in there; this poison’ll kill you,” he’d say. Then he’d venture off to spray particularly resilient weeds.

The meaning of the words didn’t really sink in, but the few times when he realized that I had opened the door and gotten out of the truck, I got an ear-full, with the threat of plenty more.

Sometimes, as we prepared to leave the site, he’d stop to trim a few overgrown tree branches with a lumbering tool that reminded me of the grim reaper. I stayed in the truck.


My father never liked doctors much. For one, they tend to speak in a perplexing language, a little like scientists or lawyers, and my dad didn’t trust any of them. He preferred people who did real things, who made something or fixed something. So he avoided doctors whenever possible.

But in his 40s, a birthmark on the end of my dad’s nose began to grow. A few years later, strange lumps, like giant mosquito bites, appeared on his shoulders, his back, his neck. To him, they were like weeds on his body that he couldn’t cut or spray away.

He went to a doctor and was diagnosed with cancer — non-Hodgkin lymphoma — and he began treatment. He was so dedicated to his weekend jobs that he tried to continue to work on them even as his legs began to go numb. And after he gave the jobs up, he would cruise around town with his second wife to see if the people who replaced him were doing a satisfactory job. A little cancer wasn’t going to stop a supervisor.


He started chemotherapy, and he began to lift small weights to keep his arms functional despite the chaos coursing through his lymphatic system. If he was going to win his battle with the elements, it would be one muscle fiber at a time.

His sense of humor, never gentle, took a darkly humorous turn as his “chemo” went on.

There was a phase of remission.

But within a year, the cancer returned. The treatments became more exhausting. My dad’s forearms somehow remained muscular even as he began aging at high speed.

In the course of two years, a remarkably fit and strong man in his 50s became the stereotypical cancer victim. He was hairless and aged. There were dark circles under his eyes and his skin looked tired and strangely pale. Pain accompanied him everywhere except when the medicine hid it.

When then-professional baseball player Daryl Strawberry visited cancer patients in Los Angeles, followed by journalists, his photograph appeared in the local newspaper. The prototypical cancer victim who appeared next to the sports star in that picture was my father.

Charlie Pape came from sturdy, healthy, long-living stock. His father was a mechanic who kept working on cars until he was 85. The old man walked miles each day until he was 90, and died the following year after a mercifully brief illness. My grandmother died days before her 96th birthday.

But my dad seemed to age a decade in the space of 10 days. He stopped eating and then sank into a delirious, heavily medicated sleep. He was 57.


After he died, my grandmother asked me to clean out the garage where my dad had stored many of the tools and chemicals that he used.

I had grown up in and around that garage so I knew there were a lot of things that children weren’t supposed to play around with in there. But I didn’t expect to find a number of decades-old white canisters of DDT buried among the other infamous chemicals. (Just figuring out how to dispose of them wasn’t easy.)

From the moment my dad got sick, my brothers and I wondered whether he had been right when he said that this “poison’ll kill you.”

The truth is that it is very difficult to be 100 percent certain about what causes many cancers. There are just too many dangerous products around us.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the more common cancers in the United States. says that it accounts for around 4 percent of all cancers in our country.

My brothers and I decided not to transform our lives into a search for the truth that would likely, from a scientific perspective, never come to fruition.

But I have learned some things that might be relevant to people in the fight over pesticides here. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is, scientists say, the result of changes in DNA that occur after birth, rather than via genetic inheritance. Such dangerous mutations are likely the result of exposure to, among other things, cancer-causing chemicals like benzene and certain types of weed-killing insecticides and herbicides. Yes, the sort of chemicals that my father used for three and a half decades. That said, research continues to define the exact link.

Scientifically speaking, any definitive answer has already been slow in coming, and that may not change any time soon.

But as the debate about biotech, GMOs and pesticides continues to roil Hawaii, I can empathize with farmers who aren’t too different from my dad, who labor to find a way to earn a living in a tough, competitive profession.

And I know that for them, it can be tempting to believe people who tell you that their new tools are safe because it makes the daily grind of work easier. Some of the farmers who visited our offices at Civil Beat also noted that back when they were kids, they were sometimes showered in DDT because people didn’t know better.

On the other hand, as the son of an unromantic gardener with a dark sense of humor, I have limited patience for utopian solutions that ignore the basic needs of real people who are trying to get by.

But I do wonder why the companies that have produced a new generation of pesticides since my dad’s death don’t integrate their past mistakes and a meaningful mea culpa into the way that they address popular concerns about newer pesticides and genetically modified crops and foods.

One way to do that would be for biotech companies to be transparent about the chemicals and genetically modified foods they provide. Afterward, people can decide whether they want to buy them or not.

In journalism, we seek transparency from government. Is it asking too much to apply that to what we eat as well?

Regardless, “Trust us” clearly isn’t enough to a lot of consumers, and especially not to many people who live near the land where farmers and biotech companies spray.

Ultimately, I have a lot more to learn about pesticides, their benefits and their long-term dangers.

While I continue to learn, there is one thing that I am certain about. As I teach my boys how to rake leaves and “get those weeds” on the windward side of Oahu, I know that my dad will never meet his grandsons. I just don’t know exactly why.

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
How Being an ACoA Impacts Our Adult Intimate Relationships
Growing up in a family where there is parental addiction shapes how we learn to live in intimate relationships. Anxiety levels around the kinds of behaviors that surround addiction and the inevitable relationship despair worms its way into our hearts. It’s especially true when we watch those we love change into people we hardly recognize, which takes its toll on how we learn to be in intimate connection with those close to us. So, living with addiction often engenders an anxious sort of hyper-vigilance: we “wait for the other shoe to drop,” we “walk on eggshells.” We scan the faces of the people around us, the people we want to be close to for mood shifts, for reasons not to trust them.

The Setup

Maintaining a relationship with another person who is hiding an addiction can feel like a dance in which routines that circulate around drinking or eating, for example, become rigid and uninterruptible. Or there are hidden behaviors that make the family system feel fake, superficial or tense. Since family members organically make the myriad small and large relational adjustments that living with addiction inevitably demands, everyone gets drawn into the awkward dance. They learn to adjust their expectations not to expect normal behavior, not to take for granted that plans and people can be counted on. They learn that those they love can have terrible, frightening and sometimes immoral hidden sides. They learn to hide their true feelings because if they let them out, there will likely be some sort of explosion, implosion or painful scene. Over time the cumulative stress of the sorts of relationship dynamics that surround addiction can be traumatic, and something inside of us changes.

The sad news is that ACoAs often import the kinds of behaviors and expectations that we learned in childhood into our adult, intimate relationships. We layer our childhood experiences onto our partners and all too often recreate some of the relational turmoil that we experienced as kids, whether or not addiction is present. Long after the stressor is removed, in other words, we live as if it’s still present. The booze or drug may not even be there, but the behaviors and attitudes we learned are still with us. And so is the hidden resentment, confusion and hurt. When that old pain gets triggered we overreact, underreact, or alternate between the two — we explode, implode or shut down.

Wired for Overreaction

ACoAs can have larger-than-appropriate reactions to slights and stresses in relationships that are based as much on experience as on what is happening in the here and now. The trauma we experienced as kids left us with an emotional deregulation. We have trouble living in four, five and six, we cling instead to extremes. We shoot from zero to 10 in the blink of an eye, not knowing just how we got there. We get triggered. Something occurs in the present that hurts us and that sets off old, unresolved and oftentimes unconscious pain from the past. The unconscious content of that pain jettisons to the surface and lands on whoever is closest.

The kid in us gets hurt or mad all over again. And we feel helpless and confused all over again. Because we may never really have made sense of what was happening in our families as children, when old pain gets triggered, it’s often that wordless, confused and unprocessed emotion that surfaces. Consequently as adults we don’t know where it’s from or what to do with it.

Why Didn’t We Just Get Over It?

As kids when we were surrounded by family chaos, we felt overwhelmed. Because we were in a high state of stress, nature took over to protect us from harm: our fight-or-flight responses came into play. Our prefrontal cortex — the thinking, planning part — shut down along with the language part of our brain. Our muscles flooded with increased blood flow and we spurted adrenaline to prepare us for fight or flight… but we could do neither. Where would we have gone? So we froze and all of that feeling of fear, anxiety, and pain went underground and never got “right-sized” or brought back into balance. And because the adults we’d normally have gone to in order to express our scared feelings and get reassurance were often the ones causing the chaos to begin with, that pain remained unconscious and unprocessed. It is that very pain, anger, confusion and anxiety that is triggered when we try to create intimacy as adults. The very feelings of vulnerability, dependence, neediness and closeness that were part of our childhood relationships follow us into our partnering and parenting. And when there is unresolved pain, anger and loneliness attached to these feelings, that follows us, too. This buried pain is what gets triggered when we try to create closeness as adults. Hence, we overreact — we import the old angst into our new relationship. Even a mean look, a loud voice, rejection or anger can make us shiver inside and return to that helpless, frozenness we experienced as a kid. We’re that scared child all over again, locked in the body of an adult. Some of the ways in which ACoAs re-create old relationship dynamics in new relationships are through:

Transference: We transfer or project the relationship dynamics from a relationship in the past onto a relationship in the present.

Reenactment dynamics: We recreate the painful unresolved relationship dynamics from childhood that are still frozen and unconscious within us, in our relationships with our partners.

Projection: We project feelings that we cannot bear to sit with onto our partners and make the feeling about them or about the relationships rather than examine where it might be coming from within ourselves.

Eliciting responses: We vibrate feelings and unfulfilled expectations or negative expectations into the atmosphere of our relationship, which elicit corresponding responses from our partners — then we get what we expect.

When couples get into a conflict, here is some of what happens.

The Fight: Example A

We are triggered by the intense feelings accompanying intimacy, so we:

Blame our partner (or children) for what we are feeling.

Make our pain about our partner, rather than recognizing that the intensity of our reaction may have historical fuel.

Feel like a victim, see our partner as the aggressor and ourselves as the disempowered victim.

Collapse into helplessness and/or become aggressive and intimidate our partner.

Clearly this is a recipe for disaster when it comes to resolving conflict and getting to the other side of it. When we’re stuck in Fight A, we stay stuck and believe our only options are to keep fighting, disconnect, or self-medicate. The following is an example of how a couple might climb out of this stuck place.

The Fight: Example B

We get triggered by the intense feelings accompanying intimacy, so we:

Blame our partner (or children) for what we are feeling.

Make our pain about our partner rather than recognizing that the intensity of our reaction may have historical fuel.

Feel like a victim, see our partner as the aggressor and ourselves as the disempowered victim.

Collapse into helplessness and/or become aggressive and intimidate our partner.

But then we…

Back up, breathe, self reflect, take a moment to calm down, take a break.

Feel, articulate, and explore feelings that have been triggered.

Identify sources of transference that may be at the base of projected pain.

Identify possible historical sources of overreaction and overly intense emotions.

Separate the past from the present.

Talk about the issues that have been triggered from the past and move into talking about what is happening in the partnership that needs to be addressed.

Ask ourselves as a couple how our feelings, attitudes, and behaviors may be affecting our family relationships and your children.

Make a simple plan for trying out new attitudes and behaviors.

Kiss and make up.

As you notice, the fight looks very much the same in both scenarios — after all, we all fight. It’s normal. How we handle the fight is where the rubber meets the road, where real and lasting change can take place. Learning to use these triggered moments as growth moments can turn what could be a progressive disconnection into a progressive connection and a building of empathy and trust. Our trigger moments become deep healing moments. After all, it’s the deep love and trust that we long to feel, that is getting this pain to come alive again. Our very wish to connect can unblock the the frozen feelings that are in the way of connecting. As we process those feelings with our partner, we come to understand ourselves better and our relationship deepens. We become each other’s friend, rather than the enemy. We separate our past from our present. And then it’s time to move on. For ACoAs, this can be hard. We carry memories of endless scenes and fights that never got resolved, where the only solution was to stuff it, hide our feelings and pull away or to explode or self medicate. Time to start some new habits, have a fight, handle it, and live to fight another day. But in between, build trust, honesty, intimacy and good faith. In other words, enjoy life.

For a deeper look into how childhood dynamics get played out in adult relationships read “The ACoA Trauma Syndrome: How Childhood Pain Impacts Adult Relationships” by Tian Dayton Ph.D.

For a webinar on this subject by Jerry Moe and Tian Dayton go to

For more by Dr. Tian Dayton, click here.

For more on love and relationships, click here.

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo


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