Why You Should Reduce Cellphone Radiation Risk for Children and How You Can – The Epoch Times

10 July, 2014 at 10:46 | Posted in Body & Mind, Children, Environmental issues, health, IT and Media, Science, Society, sustainable development, Technology | Leave a comment
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By June Fakkert
Epoch Times

NEW YORK—Scientists don’t all agree about how much electromagnetic radiation risks cellphones and other devices pose to fetuses and young children, but governments, health organizations, and insurance companies are advocating precautions.

The rapid development of a baby in the womb is a stunningly delicate process, and disruptions to it can have life-long repercussions.

“We know that exposures that occur during pregnancy can have life-long impact due to these window periods of vulnerability that occur as the brain grows and develops,” said Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, an integrative pediatric neurologist board-certified in adult and child neurology and pediatrics. She spoke at a recent press conference for the BabySafe Wireless Project, an initiative to raise awareness about risks of electromagnetic exposure in young children.

Children have smaller brains, thinner skulls, softer brain tissue, and a higher number of rapidly dividing cells, which makes them more susceptible to damage from cellphone exposure than adults, Dr. Shetreat-Klein said.

“Disturbing scientific data continues to be revealed regarding the effects of cellphone radiation on developing brains.”

One such study was lead by Dr. Hugh Taylor, chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale University School of Medicine.

Researchers put cellphones in the cages of pregnant mice, turned some of the cellphones on continuously during the pregnancy, and kept others completely off. The young mice whose mothers were exposed to radiation from the activated cellphones were more hyperactive and had poorer memories than the young mice whose mothers lived with the powered-off cellphones.

“They were running around these cages bouncing off the walls, not a care in the world, something that in our eyes resembles attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children,” Taylor said at the press conference.

Electromagnetic Fields and Common Sense

Underlying the debate about the risks of electromagnetic radiation is the fact that electromagnetic fields can be natural—such as the build-up of ions in the air before a thunderstorm, as well as manmade—such as the energy of a microwave oven that boils your tea water in two to three minutes.

The frequency of an electromagnetic field determines its effect on the human body. So while we aren’t afraid of being exposed to pre-storm air, common sense (and manufacturer safety mechanisms) stop us from sticking our hands into an active microwave to see if our water is hot.

The frequency of the radiation emitted by cellphones, tablets, and Wi-Fi routers falls somewhere between storm air and microwaves, and their safety profile is a murky gray area that requires consumers to stay informed and aware, and to take precautions—even if the science isn’t conclusive.

Cellphone Safety Standards

A reason researchers aren’t likely to definitively prove that cellphone radiation harms children is that it would be unethical to conduct necessary studies. Such experiments would require test and control groups, and no parent would sign up their child to be in the test group, Dr. Devra Davis points out.

Davis is the president of Environmental Health Trust and award-winning author of “Disconnect: The Truth About Cellphone Radiation, What the Industry Is Doing to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family.”

According to Davis, cellphones were originally tested on full-grown men and have never been tested on women and children.

Cellphone safety standards have also not been updated in 17 years, since smartphones, tablets, and Wi-Fi became ubiquitous, and the sight of a radiation-emitting device in a child’s hand became common.

Now toy manufacturers produce plastic teething cases with colorful plastic bells and whistles that allow the youngest babies to get really close to their screens, reminding Davis of the baby suits that were once made with asbestos fibers.

The take-home message is one of precaution—that every parent can limit young children’s electromagnetic exposure.

You can keep yourself updated on Twitter with #knowyourexposure

Below is a summary of what some concerned parties say about radiation and exposure to children:

Governments

The United States government does not acknowledge known risk of using cellphones that have a specific absorption rate (SAR—the amount of radio frequency absorbed by the body) of 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg) or less.

The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland rated the Apple iPhone 4 at 1.07 W/kg and the Samsung SGH-E330 at 1.17 W/kg. Nokia and Motorola phones tested lower, according to the report.

The European Parliament recommends that schools and classrooms “give preference to wired Internet connections, and strictly regulate the use of mobile phones by schoolchildren on school premises.”

French law requires that all cellphones sold in the country have SAR clearly labeled as well as the recommendation that users limit cellphone exposure to their heads by using a headset. It also bans advertising cellphones to children under 14 years old and bans giving or selling any device specifically designed for children under 6 that emits radio frequency.

Israel has banned Wi-Fi in preschool and kindergarten classrooms and limited the Wi-Fi to an hour a day in first- to third-grade classrooms.

Belgium has banned the sale of mobile phones to children under 7.

Organizations

The World Health Organization reports that so far “no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use”; however, it also cautions that “the electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phones are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

High priority on the World Health Organization’s research agenda is developing a better understanding of the effects of radiation in utero and on young children.

The German Academy of Pediatrics advises that parents limit children’s use of mobile phones.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said that children “are disproportionately impacted by all environmental exposures, including cellphone radiation,” in a letter last year urging the Federal Communications Commission to adopt radiation standards that protect children. The AAP also recommends no screen time for children under the age of 2.

Insurance Companies

In the past, Lloyds of London and Swiss Re, two major re-insurers, have both refused to cover cellphone companies for health-related lawsuits filed by cellphone users.

In 2010, Lloyds wrote that “EMF cases could be more complex than asbestos claims” and in its 2013 report on emerging risks, Swiss Re put the “unforeseen consequences of electromagnetic fields” in the highest impact category for 10 years down the road.


10 Ways to Reduce Your Wireless Exposure

BabySafeProject.org gives the following tips:

1. Avoid carrying your cellphone on your body (that is, in a pocket or bra).

2. Avoid holding any wireless device against your body when in use.

3. Use your cellphone on speaker setting or with an “air tube” headset.

4. Avoid using your wireless device in cars, trains, or elevators.

5. Avoid cordless phones, especially where you sleep.

6. Whenever possible, connect to the Internet with wired cables.

7. When using Wi-Fi, connect only to download, then disconnect.

8. Avoid prolonged or direct exposure to Wi-Fi routers.

9. Unplug your home Wi-Fi router when not in use (that is, at bedtime).

10. Sleep as far away from wireless utility meters (“smart” meters) as possible.

via Why You Should Reduce Cellphone Radiation Risk for Children and How You Can – The Epoch Times

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The Seven Emotional Factors in Chinese Medicine

29 June, 2014 at 09:04 | Posted in Body & Mind, Chinese culture, health | Leave a comment
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By Jennifer Dubowsky, http://www.tcm007.com

Last month, I wrote about “The Six Evils” which is how Traditional Chinese Medicine classifies the external causes of disease. Today I’m going to talk about the internal causes of illness which are called the “Seven Emotions” and are Anger, Fear, Shock, Grief, Joy, Pensiveness and Worry. These emotions are considered the major internal sources of disease in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Remember how you felt when you fell in love? When you were unjustly accused of wrongdoing? When some jerk took your parking space and smirked at you from the window? Yes? Then I don’t have to convince you that emotions have a huge effect on our bodies. Think about how your chest and stomach tighten when you are upset or how your heart beats faster and adrenaline rushes through your veins when you are angry or afraid.

Emotional responses can cause a cascade of chemical reactions in the body stimulating some organ systems and shutting down others. It is normal and healthy to have emotional responses. However, when the reactions are severe and/or prolonged, they can injure your organs and make you more vulnerable to disease.

In Chinese Medicine, the Seven Emotions are each associated with an organ. Therefore, it follows that if you have a strong negative emotion, the organ associated with that emotion will be affected.

Below, I have listed the Seven Emotions and their associated organs.
1. Anger – Liver
2. Fear – Kidneys
3. Fright/Shock (acute condition) – Kidneys/Heart
4. Joy – Heart
5. Pensiveness (excessive thinking and mental stimulation.) – Spleen
6. Worry – Spleen/Lungs
7. Grief – Lungs

For example, prolonged grief will affect your lungs. The reverse is also true – if you have a long term physical problem, let’s use your lungs again, you will be affected emotionally and you may experience feelings of sadness. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation.  Here’s another example: if you carry a lot of anger with you for a long time, it will begin to affect the health of your liver and cause an imbalance. Also, if you have chronic liver disease, you might develop a shorter temper, have trouble tolerating frustration, and even become depressed.

This ancient concept of the Seven Emotions illustrates the importance of holistic treatment of disease because our bodies are not isolated parts. The WHOLE person needs to be treated. A disease or physical problem affects the rest of the body and the mind. Healing includes treating all the psychological, physical and spiritual imbalances.

Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in downtown Chicago, Illinois, since 2002. Dubowsky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Illinois in Chicago and her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. During her studies, she completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Dubowsky has researched and written articles on Chinese medicine and has given talks on the topic. She maintains a popular blog about health and Chinese medicine at Acupuncture Blog Chicago. Adventures in Chinese Medicine is her first book. You can find her at www.tcm007.com.

via The Seven Emotional Factors in Chinese Medicine

See also: Stay Balanced Emotionally, Feel Healthier Instantly—What Ancient Chinese Doctors Say

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10 Tips for Eating for Your Genes and Jeans

9 June, 2014 at 10:40 | Posted in Body & Mind, Food, health | Leave a comment
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By Dr. Frank Lipman, http://www.drfranklipman.com

Most of us believe that age related diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, adult onset diabetes, stroke, cancer, etc. are the inevitable consequences of aging, but we are now finding out that this is not necessarily true. We actually have a lot more control over how we age than you might think. Healthy aging is mainly the result of how we “communicate” with our genes – through our diet, our lifestyle and the environment we bathe them in.

Healthy habits nurture healthy genes.

When most of us think of genes, we think of the ones that determine particular characteristics such as whether we have brown hair, blue eyes or long legs, or those that predict specific childhood diseases. These are our genes that are “fixed” and are only few in number. By far the vast majority are the thousands of genes that direct all our biochemical processes that render us susceptible to the many chronic diseases so many people are experiencing today. While we are each born with a set of genes – a baseline set of conditions which we can’t change – we can change how they are expressed.

This means that most genes in and of themselves do not create disease. Rather the likelihood of developing disease and disability is determined by the way we live our lives and by the choices we make. You may have the genes for and be susceptible to heart disease or diabetes or arthritis, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will get those diseases. In other words, these genes do not cause disease per se unless they are thrust into a detrimental environment, one conducive to expressing these genes as chronic disease.

There are multiple factors in your diet, environment and lifestyle that affect your genes and how you age. Many of these are within your control. Of all the factors, diet is the easiest to control and probably the most important determinant of how our genes are expressed.

A revolutionary new science, Nutrigenomics, is showing how different foods may interact with specific genes, how food “talks” to our genes and how our genes express themselves after the conversation. It is confirming that food provides potent dietary signals that directly influence the metabolic programming of our cells and modify the risk of common chronic diseases. It is telling us that food is information, that it contains “instructions” which are communicated directly to our genes.

Armed with this information, your genes commandeer various metabolic actions and affect millions of critical biological processes, including cholesterol levels, aging, hormone regulation, weight gain and loss, and much more. Eat the right foods and they will send instructions to your genes for good health. Eating the wrong foods however, sends messages for disease.

What we are finding out is that there is so much more to food than just the nutrients we have discovered thus far. Real food is packed with thousands of compounds which have a complex and dynamic relationship with one another and your genes. With processed foods however, these micronutrients have either been altered or are missing, and therefore they can never deliver the same beneficial messages to your genes. Just as a computer program won’t function well when it gets fed bad data, neither will your body. Once you understand that food is “data” or complex information that the body uses to direct the multifaceted actions that keep us vibrantly alive, it’s easy to understand that loading up on junk food is like taking the fast lane to a giant system failure.

Foods loaded with sugar, trans fats and chemicals, and foods processed beyond recognition, are simply “bad data” for human consumption. I call these “food-like substances” because they are not real food. If you eat these regularly, your body stops working properly.

It makes perfect sense, when you think about it. When you bathe your genes in an unhealthy environment, like the one created when you eat junk food, your genes “miscue”metabolic actions that can trigger disease. For example your body responds to “food-like substances” as if they are “foreign bodies.”  This prompts an inflammatory response as your body tries to protect itself. Over time, continued consumption can lead to the development of a low grade chronic inflammatory condition which is now becoming recognized as an important precursor to a variety of more serious forms of illness.  Bottom line: the food you eat affects the functioning of your genes.

Top 10 Tips for Eating for Your Genes

1) Eat real food i.e fresh, whole, unrefined and unprocessed food. Food is more than a delivery system for nutrients containing protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Real food is more than the sum of its parts, it’s about how it all works together, about the integrity of the information or the total message. Although you should know how to read food labels, most real food does not come with a label – vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grass fed meats, wild fish, organic eggs and chickens etc.

Read more: 10 Tips for Eating for Your Genes and Jeans

How Organic Farming Naturally Deters Pests Without Chemicals

5 June, 2014 at 07:01 | Posted in Body & Mind, Environmental issues, health, sustainable development | Leave a comment

Yellow and Orange peppersBy Ethan A. Huff, contributing writer to Natural News

The federal government has awarded a $750,000 grant to Washington State University WSU in Pullman to investigate the merits of organic farming in eradicating pests without the use of chemicals. Inspired by a survey conducted by researchers at nearby Oregon State University, the research project to be funded with the grant will look at how organic growing methods such as crop rotation, biodiversity and utilizing insects rather than killing them with pesticides can actually help solve the problems that plague conventional agriculture.

Heading the project is Bill Snyder, a professor of entomology at WSU, who with the help of his colleagues will analyze DNA collected from both the stomachs of predator bugs and from crops to see how the complex interactions between the two can provide sustainable solutions to the problem of crop pests. Entitled “CSI: Organic,” the three-year project will investigate the apparent successes of organic farming to identify the logistics behind how it is both beneficial and preferable to modern, chemical-based agricultural methods.

Specifically, Snyder hopes to learn more about the intricacies of predator bugs and how they affect soil health in order to figure out ways that, as an entire system, bugs, crops and soil can co-exist in harmony with one another to keep everything in a proper balance. Diversifying crops, for instance, rather than growing just one type of crop over a large acreage is one way that organic farming helps keep pests in check.

“We hope that we learn some really general lessons about how to make pests less of a problem,” says Prof. Snyder, as quoted by The Seattle Times, about the endeavor. “I’m glad when I see an aphid on something I get [at the store,] because at least I know it’s really organic.”

Read more: How Organic Farming Naturally Deters Pests Without Chemicals

‘Organic’ From China Exposed

23 May, 2014 at 10:59 | Posted in Body & Mind, China, Environmental issues, Food, health, sustainable development | 1 Comment

The shocking truth about ‘organic’ foods grown in the world’s worst environmental cesspool

By Mike Adams, Naturalnews.com

When it comes to foods, superfoods and even nutritional supplements from China, “organic” is largely a hoax. This is my opinion, of course, but I’ve been researching the issue quite extensively as the key decision maker for new products in the Natural News Store. And I’ve come to the conclusion that “organic” from China is largely a fraud. Here’s why…

First off, you’re going to be shocked to learn that there is no limit to how much mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic and aluminum is allowed in “organic” products.

It’s a fact: USDA organic standards place NO LIMITS on levels of heavy metals contamination of certified organic foods. Even further, there is no limit on the contamination of PCBs, BPA and other synthetic chemicals that’s allowed in certified organic foods, superfoods and supplements.

At this point, you’re probably shaking your head in disbelief and thinking, “No, that can’t be true. Organic standards must check for heavy metals and chemical contamination, right?”

No! “Organic” certifies a process of how food is grown or produced. It certifies that the farmer doesn’t add pesticides, herbicides, petroleum-based fertilizer, metals or synthetic chemicals to the crop (among other things), and it certifies that the soil must be free from such things for a certain number of years before organic certification is approved.

But organic certification does nothing to address environmental sources of pollution such as chemtrails, contaminated irrigation water, and fallout from industrial or chemical factories that might be nearby. A certified organic farmer can use polluted water on their crops and still have the crops labeled “organic.”

For this reason: the environment in which organic foods are produced is critical to the cleanliness of the final product.

Organic farming in a clean environment produces clean, organic foods. But organic farming in a polluted environment produces contaminated organic foods. And China is one of the most polluted chemical cesspools on the planet. The pictures on the right show some scenes from China, a country suffocating under a pollution nightmare.

As you view these pictures, ask yourself: Would you eat food grown there? Even if it were sold by Whole Foods and labeled “organic?”

China is an environmental nightmare

China is a nation that has virtually no environmental regulation enforcement. In China, anything goes: You can dump mercury into rivers. You can spray raw human sewage sludge on crops. You can produce factory-made chemicals and blow the waste products right into the air through smokestacks. In China, many rivers are so toxic that, from time to time, they actually catch on fire and burn.

It’s so bad that a Chinese environmental official was recently offered over US$30,000 to take a 20-minute swim in a local river.

He DECLINED. Why? Because the river there is so polluted that swimming in it would mean certain death.

It is this water that’s often used in “organic” food and superfood production in China. So even though the farmer is following organic process standards, he may be using irrigation water that’s wildly contaminated with metals, chemicals and even pesticide residues. He may be spraying hormone drugs on the crops because there’s a pharmaceutical factory upstream.

Here’s the kicker: In a country with virtually no environmental laws, “organic” food production is largely a fraud because environmental sources contaminate the foods or superfoods being produced there.

There are some exceptions to this, by the way. Notably goji berries are grown at high altitude, far away from the pollution of China’s cities and rivers. Goji berries sourced from China tend to be very clean and have very low levels of contamination. There are no doubt other exceptions to the rule, but the difficulty is in knowing what to trust that comes out of China.

In North America, “organic” is legitimate precisely because North America has far more strict environmental standards. Organic is clean food, responsibly produced, and consistently less contaminated than conventional food. The same is true across Europe, where organic standards are also strict. But in China, “organic” is often a joke. Almost a hoax, in my opinion.

And the laboratory tests bear this out. For example, we just published an investigative story on chlorella showing that “organic” chlorella from China is polluted with nearly ten times the aluminum level of “organic” chlorella from Taiwan. And the cleanest chlorella we found in terms of metals contamination was actually a non-organic chlorella produced in Korea.

China is a nation that lacks Ethics

Remember, too, that China is a communist regime. It is a country where all religion has been outlawed and the people are never taught ethics or morality. They have no moral compass. Across China, the majority of the population believes that the best way to get ahead is to CHEAT, lie and steal, even if it means harming someone else in the process.

Remember: China is the country where they put melamine in infant formula, knowing that it will kill little children. China is the country where the paint on children’s toys contains obscene levels of brain-damaging lead. China is a nation of shortcut-takers who will doanything to cheapen a product as long as they can cover it up and trick the buyer. This is why “made in China” has, for decades, been synonymous with “crap quality.”

Here’s a little note that will interest pet owners: If you buy pet treats made in China, you are murdering your pet with the most insane chemicals imaginable. The stuff that goes into some pet treats made in China is highly toxic and causes cancer. This is one of the main factors behind the alarming rise of cancers among dogs and cats in North America.

All this isn’t just secondhand information, by the way: I lived in Asia for two years and traveled extensively throughout the region. I speak a fair amount of Mandarin (Chinese), and I’ve interacted with lots and lots of people from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. I can tell you that Taiwan is a country with much greater honesty, integrity and quality than China. In Taiwan, religion is allowed and openly practiced (Buddhism, mostly). In Taiwan, there is a sense of responsibility to customers. There is a philosophy of striving for quality. Taiwan is to China like revolutionary America was to the British Empire. Taiwan is a island nation of hard-working, creative, innovative entrepreneurs, and when I look to import products from Asia, I always try to find it in Taiwan first because I know Taiwan means quality.

But in China, it’s exactly the opposite: There is no sense of responsibility to customers. The overriding philosophy is to screw the customer, even on the very first order, knowing that the customer will never buy from you again! In China, the idea is to CHEAT people rather than make them happy. You see this all the way to the top of the government which is, of course, a police state communist regime where laws are enforced at gunpoint against a completely disarmed and helpless population that has no rights. China is a culture of corruption, deception and exploitation.

Now, of course, there are people in China who rebel against all this. There are exceptions to the rule, and there may even be some honest organic food producers in China that buck the trend. Not all mainland Chinese are bad people. Many wish to overthrow the corrupt government and restore freedom, liberty and justice to the country. But because they are all disarmed (China has no Bill of Rights), they are powerless against a dictatorial government. They are slaves to the system.

Health Ranger Select brand BANS all foods, superfoods and ingredients from China except for goji berries

I made a decision months ago to ban anything produced in China from my own label, with the exception being goji berries. If a food, superfood or supplement has my name on it, I will not use ingredients sourced from China unless I know and can VERIFY the end-product cleanliness of the product.

So if you see the “Health Ranger Select” brand or the “Storable Organics” brand, know that it’s clean and very carefully sourced.

We source from the USA, Canada, European countries, Peru and even Thailand for some ingredients. Mexico is acceptable for some ingredients as well. But China is a big red flag. I simply can’t trust that most foods, superfoods or supplements from China are going to be consistently clean and honest.

China is the kind of country where you order a sample of a raw material — say pomegranate juice powder — and the first batch you receive is really clean and passes all the lab tests. So you order 5000kg of the stuff, and when it arrives, it’s all full of lead and pesticides.

Chinese medicine herbs from China are notoriously contaminated with lead. The same is true for green tea and many other ingredients that naturally absorb heavy metals.

All sorts of products at Whole Foods, by the way, are grown in China but certified “organic.” What a joke.

Given that China has virtually no environmental enforcement whatsoever, the very idea that something grown in China can be certified “organic” is absurd. Without a clean environment, you can’t product clean food even if you follow organic growing standards.

So why do so many formulators and food companies in the USA still buy ingredients from China? Because they’re CHEAP.

Buying from China means higher profit

Here’s the dirty little secret of the natural products industry… and yes, the “dirty” is quite literal in this case: Raw materials from China are cheap! Across the board, raw materials (foods, superfoods, supplements) from China are about 1/4th the cost of materials grown in North America or Europe.

This means getting your ingredients from China grants your product a lot more profit in the marketplace. For those selling through Whole Foods — whose product shelves are littered with ingredients made in China — this profit margin is essential to economic survival.

If you’re buying a superfood powder sold at Whole Foods and paying $50 at retail, the actual ingredient cost that goes into that superfood canister is often as little as $5. So sourcing those materials from China is crucial to having the margins. Whole Foods might only pay your company $22 or so for a product they sell at $50. So your company has to buy the materials, pay for shipping, insurance, labor, packaging, formulations and everything else and still somehow make a profit to stay in business. So you source from China. You make a really nice-looking label, you get it “certified organic” with a nice USDA logo on it, and you sell it to Whole Foods which adds another layer of legitimacy to the product.

But inside the bottle, there could be mercury hiding in there. Or pharmaceutical residues. Or pesticide residues. Or just about anything, including melamine.

Now, obviously Whole Foods has a level of quality control in place, and they do require C of A’s for products they carry. But China is expert at FAKING these documents and tricking importers, formulators and manufacturers.

In China, the idea of forging a laboratory analysis document is no big deal. Fabricating fake documents is routine. You have to understand the philosophy of these people living without any code of ethics, surviving under a police state communist regime: There are no ethics. No values. No moral compass. Forging a fake lab report is no different to them than planting seeds: it’s just one more step needed to make money. There is no moral difference in their minds between telling the truth and lying. It’s a “relativistic” morality philosophy.

I’m not saying all people in China are liars and deceivers. But a lot of them are. Anyone who has actually lived there for any length of time knows exactly what I’m talking about. This is a country where deceptive manufacturers take white sesame seeds and coat them in toxic black ink just to sell them as “black sesame seeds.” This is a country where infant formula producers spike their formula with kidney-destroying melamine in order to make an extra five cents a pound, even while killing babies by the thousands. THEY DON’T CARE. China is a nation that has abandoned morality and even attacked it. This is a country where the Falun Gong group of meditation advocates and yoga practitioners is arrested and thrown in prison by an extremely oppressive, dictatorial government.

Look, cultures are different everywhere around the world. You want to hang out with really nice, intelligent and honest people? Get yourself some Dutch friends. They’re the most upstanding, moral, educated bunch of folks you’ll ever meet.

You want to hang out with highly-innovative rule followers? Get yourself some German friends. They follow the rules. And they’re smart, innovative people on top of that. Brilliant minds. Some of the greatest scientists in history came out of Berlin.

You want some friends who are wildly creative? Those are Americans. Americans make the best movies, the best music (well, along with UK musicians anyway), and a lot of the best computer software on the planet. Americans are rebels. They break the rules and forge a new path. America is a nation founded on rebellion.

But if you’re looking for people who will stab you in the back in a business deal, go the China. There, you will find the most back-stabbing, dishonest cheaters and liars you’ll probably ever meet, short of Nigera’s “Prince Nubula” whose emails promise you’ll receive a million dollars if you only send them $5,000 first.

Why you won’t hear this truth anywhere else

I know that telling the truth is unpopular and not politically correct. I’m not interested in winning a popularity contest. What I’m doing here is flat-out telling the truth that most other people are too afraid to say on their own: The very idea of “organic” coming out of China is a disturbing contradiction.

And organic standards have a huge gap in the fact that they don’t require foods to actually be free from mercury or other contaminants. Overall, organic is a wonderful standard and I’ve been a strong advocate of organic, but when a “USDA organic” label is slapped on a product grown in China, you really have to scratch your head and say, “Yeah, it might be organic, but is it clean?”

It may be, but you just don’t know until you test it. “Organic” grown in the USA can be assumed to be clean, but organic grown in China must be assumed contaminated unless proven otherwise.

Until China enforces some really strict environmental standards, “organic” from China is largely a fraud in my opinion. It’s a hoax. You can lie to yourself and say, “Well it’s ORGANIC so it must be clean!” but you’ll be swallowing mercury, lead, pesticides and other synthetic chemicals in various amounts.

Laboratory tests confirm everything I’m telling you here. This is the dirty little secret of the organic food industry that nobody’s talking about.

China’s environmental nightmare

Just how polluted is China’s environment? As I mentioned above, it’s so bad that a Chinese environmental official was recently offered over US$30,000 to take a 20-minute swim in a local river. He declined the offer, as would any sane person.

Are these the same rivers that are being used to produce “organic” crops in China? You have to wonder. A river can be so inundated with smelting factory runoff and chemical pollution that even bacteria struggle to survive in it; yet this water can be legally sprayed on crops that are exported to America as “organic.”

If you buy “organic” foods, superfoods or supplements grown in China, you need to know about this.

As The Guardian reports:

“A recent government study found that groundwater in 90% of China’s cities is contaminated, most of it severely. The head of China’s ministry of water resources said last year that up to 40% of the country’s rivers are “seriously polluted”, and an official report from last summer found that up to 200 million rural Chinese have no access to clean drinking water.”

By the way, this is another story altogether, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that China is headed for an environmental collapse. The country has polluted itself far beyond the point of long-term sustainable life. Children are being born as mutants. Rivers support no fish life. Soils are building up obscene levels of contaminants and becoming so toxic that crop yields are affected. Cities are so filled with airborne pollution that the mere act of breathing causes cancer. And on top of that, China’s one-child policy has resulted in mass gendercide where baby girls are routinely — and yes, I mean ROUTINELY — murdered, drowned, suffocated, etc., because the family wants a son, not a daughter.

In its quest for economic power, China has poisoned itself to death, and now it’s only a matter of time before the nation collapses in a cesspool of toxicity and lies. The economic “boom” of China is nearly over, and it will be followed by an environmental implosion so huge and disgusting that the world will be absolutely horrified. Remember: China is so corrupt that it won’t stop factories from openly dumping toxic waste directly into the groundwater supplies. Instead of acknowledging the source of pollution, Chinese officials simply accept bribes and cover it up. The corruption in China is so deeply rooted in the culture that honesty and accountability can never overcome the deception.

With some exceptions, when you buy food grown in China, you are buying food produced in the most toxic environment on planet Earth, grown by some of the most deceptive and most corrupt liars and back-stabbers on the planet, all ruled by one of the most dictatorial and tyrannical governments history has ever known. That about sums it up.

Ultimately, China has a terminal environmental crisis on its hands, compounded by an eternally corrupt, dictatorial communist regime government that oppresses freedom and outlaws religion while forcing families to kill their own baby girls under its population control mandates.

In summary, China suffers from:

• An environmental nightmare
• An almost complete abandonment of morals and integrity
• A deeply corrupt communist police state political system that mandates the mass murder of baby girls

Is this the vibe you really want to be putting into your body?

Originally published by http://www.naturalnews.com

via ‘Organic’ From China Exposed

Where Do Our Thoughts Physically Exist?

8 May, 2014 at 09:27 | Posted in beyond science, Body & Mind, Science, Spirituality | 1 Comment



By Tara MacIsaac
Epoch Times

Philosophers have wondered for ages how mind and matter relate to each other, and modern physics is chiming in on the debate. Here’s a look at a few theories about where or in what way our thoughts physically exist.

Noosphere, Related to the Internet

Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest and paleontologist, wrote of a conceptual “noosphere” in the first half of the 20th century. He predicted that at a future stage of humanity’s development a membrane containing our collective thoughts and experiences would envelope the world.

In “The Phenomenon of Man,” he wrote: “Is this not like some great body which is being born—with its limbs, its nervous system, its perceptive organs, its memory—the body in fact of that great living Thing which had to come to fulfill the ambitions aroused in the reflective being by the newly acquired consciousness?”

Many have made a connection between De Chardin’s noosphere and the Internet. Could the Internet be considered a realm in which our collective consciousness exists?

Thoughts Exist in Other Physical Dimensions

Bernard Carr, a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Queen Mary University of London, says our consciousness interacts with another dimension. Albert Einstein stated that there are at least four dimensions. The fourth dimension is time, or spacetime, since Einstein said space and time cannot be separated.

Carr reasons that our physical sensors only show us a 3-dimensional universe, though there are actually at least four dimensions. What exists in the higher dimensions are entities we cannot touch with our physical sensors. He said that such entities must still have a type of space in which to exist.

“The only non-physical entities in the universe of which we have any experience are mental ones, and … the existence of paranormal phenomena suggests that mental entities have to exist in some sort of space,” Carr wrote.

Read more about Carr’s theories: “Astronomer Says Spiritual Phenomena Exist in Other Dimensions”

Our Thoughts Transcend Time?

Dean Radin, PhD, has done studies to show our thoughts may have an effect on physical reality, but it may not be in the present or future as we expect. It is possible that our thoughts in the future affect our past reality, he says.

Radin is the chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a non-profit organization founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell and dedicated to consciousness research. Radin is also adjunct faculty in the department of psychology at Sonoma State University and he has held appointments at Princeton University and several Silicon Valley think-tanks among other institutions.

He has tested the ability of human intention to affect physical reality using a random number generator (RNG). He is not the only scientist who has used an RNG to test mind-matter interaction, but he is unique in his focus on the ability of future intentions to affect the past.

Most RNG tests focus on a forward-in-time, standard cause-effect model. A person has an intention and it is expected to affect the future result, or number generated. Radin opened his experiment to the idea that a future intention may affect past results and found “the observed results may be better modeled as a process running backwards in time from a future ‘target,’ rather than as a more complex process running forward in time trying to hit that target,” according to his study published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration in 2006.

“Some forms of apparent MMI [mind-matter interaction] may involve processes that are more consistent with retrocausal ‘pulls’ from the future than with causal ‘pushes’ from the present.”

Vast Realm Between Particles

Stanford University Professor Emeritus William A. Tiller hypothesizes that our thoughts have a physical effect on a “new level of substance … which appears to function in the physical vacuum (the empty space between the fundamental electric particles that make up our normal electric atoms and molecules).”

He says he has been able to measure this hitherto invisible substance, but only when it interacts with the substances we can conventionally measure. This interaction seems to occur when spurred by human intention, suggesting our thoughts physically exist in this realm.

Read more about Tiller’s theories: “Stanford Physicist: Vast, Powerful Realm Between Particles Influenced by Human Consciousness”

via Where Do Our Thoughts Physically Exist?

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Crime gangs expand into food fraud

7 May, 2014 at 09:49 | Posted in Body & Mind, Food, health, Society | Leave a comment

Draft EU report says increasingly sophisticated techniques being used to counterfeit and adulterate food

By Jamie Doward and Amy Moore
The Guardian

Organised gangs are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their use of technology to perpetrate widespread food fraud, according to experts.

A rise in criminal targeting of the food and drink sector is being blamed on the huge mark-ups that can be made by passing off inferior products as premium goods, coupled with the fact that there is little oversight and lenient penalties for those caught.

Concerns about the role organised crime is playing in the endemic diluting of virgin olive oil has seen the UK government appoint a specialist testing company to establish if the grade declared on the label is genuine. Olive oil is recognised by the EU committee on the environment, public health and food safety as the product most at risk of fraud by gangs, in particular Italian crime syndicates. Other foods attracting the interest of organised crime, according to the committee, include fish, milk, honey and rare spices such as saffron.

The committee has warned that it “is concerned about signals indicating that the number of cases is rising and that food fraud is a growing trend reflecting a structural weakness within the food chain.” In a draft report, it claims that “recent food fraud cases have exposed different types of food fraud, such as replacing key ingredients with cheaper alternatives, wrongly labelling the animal species used in a meat product, incorrectly labelling weight, selling ordinary foods as organic, unfairly using origin or animal welfare quality logos, labelling aquaculture fish as wild, counterfeiting and marketing food past its use-by date.”

Hilary Ross, a lawyer who specialises in food security issues and has contributed to the government’s forthcoming Elliot review into the integrity of the UK’s food chains, produced in response to the horsemeat scandal, said that the nature of the threat posed by criminal gangs to the food chain was changing.

“In terms of criminal activity they are becoming ingenious,” she said. “If one thing is detected they move on to another. But there is not one magical science cure that tests for everything. You have to know what you are looking for.”

Read more: Crime gangs expand into food fraud| World news | The Observer

Understanding the Yin and Yang of Foods

3 May, 2014 at 07:17 | Posted in Body & Mind, Chinese culture, Food, health | 1 Comment


By Margaret Trey, Ph.D.

The ancient Chinese philosophy of yin and yang may sound obscure and difficult to understand for many of us living in the West. Yet when we understand a few basics about the yin and yang nature of foods, we can put our knowledge to very practical use, such as weight loss and cutting cravings.

Let us begin with the story about Doreen (not her real name), who was one of my regular clients years ago. One time, upon my return from a three-week vacation, she came to see me saying she felt bloated and was experiencing difficulty focusing on her job at a stock exchange.

Her body was indeed very bloated around the abdomen. I asked what she had been doing, and she promptly told me that she was trying to lose weight. She had been going to the gym, attending yoga classes, and had put herself on a weight-loss diet. But despite these efforts, she found her yoga leggings were feeling even tighter in the waist.

I asked Doreen what she had been eating. “Oh, very healthy foods,” she replied.

To get a more precise response, I asked Doreen what she had eaten for dinner, lunch, and breakfast the day before, and she said she had eaten mainly fruits, like watermelons, pineapples, mangoes, apples, and grapes, as well as lots of salad.

According to yin-yang philosophy, raw and cold foods are both yin. The nature of yin energy is relaxing but also expansive, which was evident in her expanded belly. Another symptom of an expanded yin condition is the inability to focus.

I told Doreen that if she really wanted to get rid of her distended feeling and to lose the weight around her waist, she should immediately stop her raw-food diet.

To help normalize her yin condition, I recommended she eat more yang foods such as different types of whole grains, sea vegetables, miso, sea salt, and root vegetables, and that she cook her food. This diet worked. Once she found the right balance of yin and yang foods, her bloating disappeared, and she felt much better.

Yin and Yang Qualities of Foods 

You can use the chart below to help you understand the yin and yang qualities of foods.

Yin Qualities
Expanding
Large
Cold/cooling
Moist
Purifying/weakening
Farther away from the equator

Texture and Shape
Long
Light and soft
Less dense/Loose structure

Plant Growth
Upward
Above ground
Rapid (less time to grow)
Thrive in hot weather

Taste and Nutrients
Sweet/Sour
Fatty
Higher in potassium
Lower in sodium

Colors
Greens and whites

Season and Cooking Style
Winter
Raw Foods
Boil/steam/blanche

Yang Qualities
Contracting
Compact or small
Hot/warming
Dry
Fortifying/strengthening
Nearer to the equator

Texture and Shape
Round
Dark and hard
More dense/Tight structure

Plant Growth
Downward
Below ground
Slow (more time to grow)
Thrive in cold weather

Taste and Nutrients
Salty/Bitter
Lean
Lower in potassium
Higher in sodium

Colors
Reds and oranges

Season and Cooking Style
Summer
Cooked Foods
Nishime (stew)/bake/deep-fry/BBQ

When you learn to identify the yin and yang characteristics of foods you, it can help you choose foods that best support your genetic disposition, existing constitution, and lifestyle. This includes the location you live. For example, if you live in a cold temperate region, it is best to go easy on coconut oil, which is more suited for the tropics or warmer climates.

To determine if a food is more yin or more yang, there are four important factors to consider:

• Where it grows: Does it grow near the equator or in a cool temperate climate?
• How it grows: Does it grow fast or slowly? What direction does it grow in?
• Sodium and potassium content: How much sodium does it have compared to the amount of potassium?
• Warming and cooling: What effect does it have on the body? Does it warm or cool the body?

Yin foods have a cooling effect. They are larger, have more potassium, and grow above and away from the ground. Yang foods have a warming effect, are more compact and smaller, have more sodium, and grow beneath the ground.

It is important to remember that the dietary needs and requirements of different people living in different parts of the world will be different based on climate. So wherever you live, consider eating foods that were eaten by the traditional societies and communities who lived there.

Also, whenever possible, choose foods that are wholesome, not irradiated, genetically modified, or contaminated with chemicals or pesticides. Buy organic, locally grown, and in-season foods to maximize your nourishment.

How to Balance 

According to ancient Taoist philosophy, good health is a state in which the opposing and interconnected forces of yin and yang are balanced in the body. So, if you are naturally more yin, you should eat more yang foods, and when you become more yang, you can eat more yin foods.

Most people need to eat both yin and yang foods to achieve balance. When your yin and yang energies are balanced, you will feel calm, and your moods won’t bounce up and down like a yo-yo.

If you, like Doreen, eat a lot of fruits and green leafy salads, which are all foods grown above and away from the ground, you may become yin, cold, unfocussed, and have trouble completing tasks. Simply eating more root vegetables, whole grains, and fish and less cold salads, sugar, and fruits will help you to regain balance.

And if you eat too much yang food, you may feel uptight, stressed, overly focused, and unable to relax. To correct this imbalance, it is better to eat foods toward the center of the Yin and Yang Food-Balance Chart. This includes whole grains, vegetables, and locally grown fruits.

Likewise, it is important to match different cooking methods with different seasons. Do more light cooking in summer and on warmer days, and more baking, pressure-cooking, stewing, and nishime dishes with root vegetables in winter and on colder days.

During summer or if you live near the equator, it is fine to eat tropical fruits, such as watermelons and coconuts, which are more yin. If you live in the tropics, eating too much meat and other yang foods may make you feel contracted and uptight. However, for those living in cold climates, like the Inuit, eating mostly yang foods, such as meats, helps the body to stay warm.

Understanding the yin and yang energies of foods will help you to understand how to use food as natural medicine. You will know that it is better to have warm miso soup (yang) than to have cold tropical juice or fruit if you have an inflamed throat or swollen glands, which generally indicate a yin condition.

A Balanced Diet Cuts Cravings 

Chemicals, alcohol, and sugar are on the extreme yin end of the fulcrum. Salt, eggs, and red meats are on the extreme yang. Whole grains, various kinds of vegetables, nuts, and white-fleshed fish are in the middle of the spectrum. When we crave foods, it’s usually the foods at either ends of the spectrum—be it chocolates or salty snacks.

Cravings are a way your body talks to you. It is the body’s natural way of seeking balance. If you eat more foods on one end of the spectrum, you will crave foods on the other end of the chart. For instance, if you eat a lot of salty yang foods, your body will crave sweets and sugar to balance itself.

Traditional meals often have a good yin-yang balance. For example, meats (yang) are traditionally served with wine (yin), and tempura or fried foods (yang) are served with a dainty dish of grated daikon (yin). So the next time you eat something extremely yang, remember to balance it with something yin.

It is best to eat the foods toward the center of the fulcrum of the balance chart. If possible, avoid or reduce your intake of sugars, and use salt sparingly. The key is moderation and choosing foods that maintain balance.

Taking Care of Ourselves 

Most of us work and study hard and find it is easy to neglect caring for ourselves.

We often do not give ourselves adequate time to relax, eat wholesome meals, and do the things that truly recharge us. The longer we live an unbalanced lifestyle, the more difficult it is to regain our equilibrium.

Fortunately, the human body is resilient and can bounce back from the stresses and challenging life situations. Choosing to eat foods that help to restore our health and vitality can greatly support recovery, improve our lifestyle, and bring balance into all aspects of our lives.

If you are looking for inspiration to start your journey, you can read some of the other articles I wrote about how different foods can be used as natural remedies to restore health and balance. To find these articles, simply type my name into the search field at TheEpochTimes.com.

Some past article topics were: How apples can alleviate mild food poisoning and remove gallstones, how carrots and daikon can dissolve solidified fat deposits, how lotus root can help get rid of mucus, how adzuki bean tea can revitalize and tonify the kidneys, and how sweet vegetables can help curb sugar cravings.

Dr. Margaret Trey has a doctorate in counseling from The University of South Australia. Also trained in oriental medicine, shiatsu, and macrobiotics, Dr. Trey is a wellness advocate, counselor, and researcher focusing on the positive effects of meditation.

via Understanding the Yin and Yang of Foods

Trauma of life is passed down in SPERM, affecting mental health of future generations

30 April, 2014 at 07:46 | Posted in Body & Mind, Science | Leave a comment

By Emma Innes

  • The changes are so strong they can even influence a man’s grandchildren
  • They make the offspring more prone to conditions like bipolar disorder

The children of people who have experienced extremely traumatic events are more likely to develop mental health problems.

And new research shows this is because experiencing trauma leads to changes in the sperm.

These changes can cause a man’s children to develop bipolar disorder and are so strong they can even influence the man’s grandchildren.

Psychologists have long known that traumatic experiences can induce behavioural disorders that are passed down from one generation to the next.

However, they are only just beginning to understand how this happens.

Researchers at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich now think they have come one step closer to understanding how the effects of traumas can be passed down the generations.

Read more: Trauma of life is passed down in SPERM, affecting mental health of future generations | Mail Online

Honey: Studies Reveal Its Healing Properties

26 April, 2014 at 07:49 | Posted in Body & Mind, Food, health, Science | 2 Comments

By Sonja Flesch-Reiss
Epoch Times Staff

How sweet it is! It appears that researchers have struck gold—liquid gold—in their research work at Waikato Honey Research Unit, Waikato University, New Zealand, on the use of honey applied topically to wounds. Research findings confirm that honey, long used in folk medicine, can be more potent than antibiotics and free of side effects.

Peter Molan, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, heads the Waikato Honey Research Unit. He cites the story of a patient’s wound that had persisted for 20 years. Infected with a strain of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, an English woman’s armpit continually oozed from an abscess long after it had been drained. Nothing seemed to help, and the pain prevented her from working.
In August 1999, she read about the wound-healing properties of honey. She persuaded doctors to apply honey as a poultice to the wound, and a month later the wound was completely healed. She has been able to work since then.

In other tests, scientists applied well-known varieties of honey, such as manuka from New Zealand and jelly bush from Australia. Both are available for medicinal purposes; unfortunately, hospitals rarely use them. The Sydney study confirmed that honey can effectively replace antibiotic wound creams. As one physician put it, “Honey can be considered alternative medicine.”

Several medical studies, including one from researchers at the University of Sydney, have verified honey’s efficacy in healing wounds and curing infections when used topically.

Sydney scientists confirmed what has been known for thousands of years: Honey has profound healing properties. Jars of the liquid-gold elixir have been found in a Pharaoh’s tomb. (One stash, unearthed thousands of years later, was found to be quite fresh.)

The ancient Greeks and other peoples throughout the ages have used honey. Until World War II, honey, with its bactericidal properties, was used in the treatment of wounds. With the arrival of penicillin and other antibiotics in the 20th century, honey’s medicinal properties were forced to take a backseat. But that may soon change.

Australian researchers have disclosed one possible explanation for the potent antimicrobial properties of honey. The University of Sydney Medical School’s Dr. Shona Blair has found that applying diluted honey to a moist wound produces hydrogen peroxide, a known antibacterial agent. The group’s research further demonstrated that honey is powerful even against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Scientists are still trying to get to the root of honey’s germ-fighting properties and speculate that one of honey’s components, methylglyoxal, modifies other components in the honey, thus preventing bacteria from triggering the release of new, honey-resistant strains. Thus far, their specific research has used honey harvested from bees that frequented tea tree bushes and trees— shrubs and trees of the genus Leptospermum, which is native to Australia and adjacent areas.

Honey applied topically is also known to reduce edema. Edema increases the deterioration of purpuric skin lesions that may lead to necrosis. Honey applied in the early stages of meningococcal skin lesions may be helpful. Additionally, reports of honey’s effectiveness in the treatment of gangrene suggest it could play a beneficial role in reducing the number of amputations resulting from meningococcal septicemia.

When used on burns, honey reduces scarring. I can attest to this from my own experience. During a recent cooking stint, carelessness on my part resulted in my developing a huge blister on one of my fingers. Though I did not have bee honey that was a product of the tea tree shrub, I smeared fireweed honey on the blister. The burning subsided within a few minutes, and the next morning the blister had disappeared without a trace.

Never underestimate the healing powers of remedies derived from nature, like those good old traditional folk cures that have withstood the test of time—in honey’s case, for thousands of years.

With additional reporting by Christina Riveland.

Reference: bio.waikato.ac.nz/honey/

From the above Web site: “The Honey Research Unit was set up in 1995, with financial support from the New Zealand Honey Industry Trust …”

Read this article in German

via Honey: Studies Reveal Its Healing Properties

Six in 10 Brits now sleep deprived because of smartphones and computers

11 April, 2014 at 07:53 | Posted in Body & Mind, health, IT and Media, Science | Leave a comment


By Sarah Knapton

The number of Brits reporting to be sleep deprived has jumped 50 per cent with many more now using smartphones and computers before bed which can disrupt sleep, the University of Hertfordshire has found.

The number of sleep deprived Brits has risen by 50 per cent in a year as people increasingly use smartphones and computers before bed.

Nearly six in ten people in Britain now get seven hours of less sleep a night putting them at risk of cancer, diabetes and heart attacks, it has been warned.

Academics at the University of Hertfordshire found that 80 per cent of people are making it worse by using technology before sleeping which exposes them to disruptive blue light.

Blue light is present in morning light so late night gadget use can trick the body into speeding up the metabolism and making sleep more difficult.

Read more: Six in 10 Brits now sleep deprived because of smartphones and computers – Telegraph

Amazing – Unlocking a car with your Brain

7 April, 2014 at 08:09 | Posted in beyond science, Body & Mind, Funny things :-), Science | Leave a comment

Professor Roger Bowley unlocks his car from various distances, using waves from his key, brain and a big bottle of water.

The Incredible Story of How Leopard Diabolo Became Spirit

5 April, 2014 at 08:57 | Posted in Animal welfare, animals, Body & Mind, Spirituality | Leave a comment

The incredible story of how leopard Diabolo became Spirit – Anna Breytenbach, “animal communicator”.

This is a very touching story about an angry and sad black panther who had been badly treated in the zoo where he previously had been. See the heartwarming story of a miraculous transformation to a much more healthy black panther and hear his story.

Science Behind Illusion, It’s More Than Sleight-of-Hand

2 April, 2014 at 08:19 | Posted in Body & Mind, Funny things :-), Science | Leave a comment

By Tara MacIsaac
Epoch Times

WASHINGTON—You’re more easily distracted than you think.At the annual USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, self-described deception specialist Apollo Robbins revealed how he manipulates weaknesses in human perception. He can also control people’s minds—using insights into the human psyche.

1. Flicker Test

Similar photos with multiple differences were displayed on a large screen during Robbins’s presentation at the festival. He had audience members raise their hands based on the number of differences they perceived between the photos. The varying perceptions showed that many people can fail to see sometimes very obvious changes in their surroundings if their attention is divided.

Apollo Robbins
Apollo Robbins (C) shows volunteers cards, demonstrating to the rest of the audience that people can’t see what they’re looking for if their attention is diverted elsewhere—the volunteers are looking for the card on Robbins’s forehead and it takes them a long time and many hints to realize it’s there. (Tara MacIsaac/Epoch Times)

2. Saccadic Eye Movements

Robbins had the audience look at their two index fingers. With this concentration on fixed points, the space in between is actually filled by a memory image. A person becomes blind to what’s presently there.

Magicians induce saccadic eye movement, the rapid movement of eyes between fixed points, to hide their tricks from subjects.

Apollo Robbins
Audience members look at their index fingers as directed by Apollo Robbins as he illustrates a principle of human perception at the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., April 27, 2014. (Tara MacIsaac/Epoch Times)

A study on human perception as it is manipulated by magicians lead by Stephen L. Macknik at the Barrow Neurological Institute and published in Nature in 2008 states: “Change-blindness studies have shown that dramatic changes in a visual scene will go unnoticed if they occur during a transient interruption, such as a blink, a saccadic eye movement or a flicker of the scene, even when people are looking right at the changes. However, observers can also miss large gradual changes in the absence of interruptions.”

The study noted that magicians have long intuitively manipulated perception, and watching their methods can further science’s understanding of consciousness and cognition.

3. Getting Close

Apollo Robbins
Apollo Robbins gets close to a volunteer so he can nab the volunteer’s wallet and watch and perform other sleight-of-hand tricks. (Tara MacIsaac/Epoch Times)

The more intimate the relationship is between two people, the more comfortable they are getting physically close to each other. People have comfort zones around them—they start to feel uncomfortable if people they don’t know get too close.

A magician tries to subtly get in close without the person feeling anything is unusual, without the person really noticing. This is how Robbins managed to steal the wallet of an audience member.

But how he managed to take the credit cards out of the wallet, seal them in an envelope, and put them into a zipped up pouch inside his jacket remains a mystery—or at least a feat so amazing it stunned the audience even as Robbins demystified illusions.

4. Leading a Person to Make Certain Choices

Robbins uses psychology to predict what choices a person will make and to guide him or her toward the choices that will fit the trick.

He showed a slide in which four different objects were presented to a volunteer.

Apollo Robbins
A slide shown at the 2014 USA Science & Engineering Festival by Apollo Robbins. A volunteer in the film was asked to choose one of the four objects before him. (Tara MacIsaac/Epoch Times)

The volunteer was asked to select one of the objects. A cup was lifted under which was an object identical to the one chosen. The object under the cup wasn’t put there by slight-of-hand after the volunteer made the choice. It was there all along on the premise that the volunteer would choose that particular object.

How did Robbins know which object would be chosen?

One of the four pieces was dramatically different from the rest. The volunteer is less likely to pick that one, as it seems like the obvious choice. Robbins then stokes some suspicion in the volunteer by the way he shuffles the other three pieces, subtly guiding the volunteer to choose the yellow piece.

The volunteer is most likely to choose the piece the magician seems to direct him away from. The volunteer’s desire to make the choice independently actually plays into the magician’s trick.

Even after explaining his technique, Robbins successfully guided an audience member to make the choices he wanted in another trick.

Apollo Robbins
Apollo Robbins (L) has a volunteer choose a number from a phone book, illustrating the subtle ways in which he can guide people to make the choices he wants them to while they believe they are acting independently. (Tara MacIsaac/Epoch Times)

He had a young woman pick a phone number out of a phone book. He directed her through a series of choices, seeming to allow her complete freedom. He had her open to a seemingly random page and gave her the option of flipping to other pages. She declined, deciding to stay on that page. He offered her a choice between the left or the right page. She chose the left. He asked her to choose one of the four rows on the page. She chose the second, and he implied that she was thwarting his attempts to guide her.

He ran his finger along the row and had her tell him when to stop and whether he should his finger up or down.

He got eight other volunteers to hold yellow envelopes on the stage. When the woman eventually picked a phone number, the eight volunteers pulled numbers out of their envelopes. The numbers in the envelopes displayed in order the telephone number she had chosen.

Apollo Robbins
Volunteers display numbers they pulled out of envelopes revealing the exact 8-digit number seemingly chosen at random from a phone book by another volunteer. (Tara MacIsaac/Epoch Times)

Epoch Times was a media sponsor of the annual USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., April 26–27, 2014. The USA Science & Engineering Festival is a national grassroots effort to advance STEM education and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. See more articles on the USA Science & Engineering Festival.

via Science Behind Illusion, It’s More Than Sleight-of-Hand

5 Keys to Mental Toughness

7 March, 2014 at 09:28 | Posted in Body & Mind, health | Leave a comment

Learn how to handle stressful situations with confidence and skill

By Peter Andrew Sacco

Some people associate the concept of mental toughness with aggression, violence, or anger. Mental toughness is the ability to stand firm in the positive and proactive thoughts that you have created for yourself and remain determined to follow through into creating positive feelings and actions.

It is a commitment to doing what is right because you know it will make your life better. The truest and toughest battles most people will ever fight are the battles that start and finish in their minds.

The best method for improving mental toughness and maintaining it is to apply these basic yet simple principles. If you practice these simple suggestions and boost your motivation to discipline your mind because you truly want to see positive change in your life, then you will be able to handle stressful situations with confidence and skill.

1. Don’t blow things out of proportion. Try to keep things in perspective; don’t magnify them into being worse than they are or have to be.

When things go bad repeatedly over a period of time, we may start to stereotype every bad thing that happens as “Murphy’s law.” Everything bad or unfortunate that can happen will happen. Do you know why? You are continually using the same negative magnifying glass to look at them.

Some individuals take minute situations and blow them into catastrophes. Always ask yourself this simple question, “What difference will this make a year from now?”

2. Try to avoid all-or-nothing thinking. When you think in terms of extremes, you set ourselves up for failure. Basically, you will always need to be perfect to avoid failure.

For example, you want to do well, but when something doesn’t turn out the way you expected, you view the outcome as bad. As a result, you extrapolate the performance into who you are—making yourself a “bad” person because your performance was bad.

In order not to “be bad” you try too hard to be good, leading yourself to make further mistakes because of the added pressure you’ve placed on yourself. Perfectionism makes it hard to be perfect!

3. You can’t please everyone all of the time. If you try to keep everyone happy, thinking everyone will like you, then you are in for a major shock. When you try to be a people-pleaser, you submit to others and become passive, deviating from your main goal—being assertive, which helps you accomplish your goals.

As soon as you become passive, you are more inclined to dislike certain people and situations because you have compromised yourself and no longer feel comfortable.

Catering to the needs and whims of others will get you quickly on your way to becoming a procrastinator—not only to their demands, but also for what you would like to achieve.

I heard a statistic that asserts that 10 percent of the people you meet will never like or accept you no matter who you are, what you do for them, and so on. So focus on the other 90 percent, but be sure to never have your rights or needs taken away or compromised.

4. Don’t bog yourself down with “uncertainty questions” such as, “Why me?” “When will things change?” “Will any good breaks ever come my way?” Oftentimes, when things go bad, you seek answers of an absolute nature. Let’s face it, not all questions have answers you can understand.

When you question yourself, you sometimes analyze things to death, causing stress. Did you know that when you ask questions of a negative nature, you tend to focus on negative experiences and create corresponding visual experiences? If you believe in the law of attraction and affirmations, this theory will hold true when you are asking yourself a question.

If you are placing your focus on something negative, since “like attracts like,” you will be bringing more negativity your way.

Did you know some experts claim that your memory file cabinets get compromised when you dwell on negative experiences? It takes twice as much energy to dwell on the negative than on the positive. Perhaps that is why you are so tired.

5. Take one day at a time. Enjoy the present moment and be in the moment. There are always enough worries in today, so why spend energy on thoughts of tomorrow?

Too many people want instant change. In fact, we are all changing instantly, because our bodies (cells) and the situations around us are always changing and evolving. People want to see tangible results instantly. But that is not how it works.

The exercise in mental toughness is to develop moment-to-moment awareness. Focus on your thoughts. Hit the delete button whenever a negative one comes on the screen and replace it with a positive one immediately. How does one do this? Keep your thoughts focused on the present. It will take practice, but you will succeed at it with time, but not months or years.

Disclaimer: This is in no way designed to diagnose, classify, or treat mental health problems or addictions. You should always consult with a licensed or trained professional when seeking an actual diagnosis or assessment. 

Dr. Peter Sacco has been working with individuals in private practice and support groups since 1995. He specializes in anger-management classes, overcoming addictions, individual coaching, and counseling. He teaches courses in addiction studies, police studies, criminal psychology, and education at universities and colleges in the United States and Canada. Petersacco.com

via 5 Keys to Mental Toughness

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