Archive for November 25, 2014

Gain from Getting Back to Nature

November 25, 2014 Leave a comment


Posted by Arthur Gutch on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 @ 04:46 PM

Ten years ago a walk in the woods with our family dog dramatically changed my life. The ten years prior to my dog-walk awakening had been mired in what you might call…non-movement related activies. Too many hours focused on the computer screen writing or late nights working without pause had put me into a state of utter staleness. Getting back to nature was a way to reconnect my mind and body, but it also shed some light on a more intriguing concept, that maybe there was a benefit to simply “being in nature”.

Author_DogFor those of you that suffer from chronic non-movement syndrome (CNMS) or lack of nature there is a cure…move more in your nearest natural setting, whether it be a park, a backyard, cornfield or if your lucky a nearby natural forest. Once you start the process of re-balancing by investing time in natural surroundings you may wonder why it took you so long to get to this place of renewal! An author who has taken a pen to this subject is Richard Louv in “The Nature Principle” published in 2011. In his book the author touts the restorative powers of the natural world. He discusses the need for more balance and the mind/body/nature connection also called vitamin N. He takes a deep dive into the use of technology and natural experience to increase intellligence, creative thinking and productivity – the hybrid mind.

nature-principle-cover-lrgWhy is this important to you as an author

As an author you need to use your mind to develop wonderfully unique ideas, stories and solutions to problems so it seems reasonable that if nature could provide some additional energy to get the juices flowing then so be it. It may be that you can re-fuel a nascent primal power that is activated by touching tree bark, holding dirt in your hands or by simply taking in the sky and the natural surroundings, allowing you to access a new reservoir of health, well being and enhanced writing!

How can a writer or self published author leverage nature!

1. Remove yourself from technology. Re-balancing away from technology and getting a daily dose of nature can help to counteract the ill-effects of technology. We are surrounded by and being bombarded with apps, web pages, e-mail, texts, vociemail and other bits and bytes of information that is according to many having both a positive and negative effect on our minds and body. Don’t get me wrong, technology is great but there is growing evidence that indicates some serious side-effects of technology overuse.

2. Try some physical activity in nature. My walk with the dog lasted almost 10 years until I decided running might be better. Now its running five miles, four times a week on the trails. Trail running is amazing! You don’t need to run, you can walk or skip for that matter. The point is that being physical in nature is a very natural event for humans, or at least it used to be when eating required it. Do aworkout in nature and according to many experts reap more rewards than if inside. Exercise adds oxygen to your system, which fuels your brain for better writing. Do some simple exercises in the woods or backyard or park and get the maximum impact.

3. Give yourself a regular mental shot in the arm.Once you start spending more time in nature, as crazy as it may sound you begin to look at things a little differently. If you are already spending time in nature the effects may not be as pronounced. It’s only after you consistently invest the time in the natural expereince that you begin to see things new and differently.

To wrap this up it is the opinion if this writer that there is something to “being in Nature” and in the age of the machines that we love there is certainly room for another outlet to fuel or passion and energy for getting the word out!

Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!

Categories: Uncategorized

Sweeping New Controls on Ozone Emissions

November 25, 2014 Leave a comment

NY Times

(blog note:)Now let’s help AM4U Inc to clean the world’s fresh water supplies:

NOV. 25, 2014

The sweeping regulation, which would aim at smog from power plants and factories across the country, particularly in the Midwest, would be the latest in a series of Environmental Protection Agency controls on air pollution that wafts from smokestacks and tailpipes. Such regulations, released under the authority of the Clean Air Act, have become a hallmark of President Obama’s administration.

Environmentalists and public health advocates have praised the E.P.A. rules as a powerful environmental legacy. Republicans, manufacturers and the fossil fuel industry have sharply criticized them as an example of costly government overreach.

The proposed regulation would lower the current threshold for ozone pollution from 75 parts per million to a range of 65 to 70 parts per million, according to people familiar with the plan. That range is less stringent than the standard of 60 parts per million sought by environmental groups, but the E.P.A. proposal would also seek public comment on a 60 parts-per-million plan, keeping open the possibility that the final rule could be stricter.


Emissions from a power plant in Kentucky. The sweeping regulation will aim at smog from power plants and factories across the country.CreditLuke Sharrett for The New York Times

Public health groups have lobbied the government for years to rein in ozone emissions and said the regulation was one of the most important health decisions Mr. Obama could make in his second term.

“Ozone is the most pervasive and widespread pollutant in the country,” said Paul Billings, a senior vice president of the American Lung Association. “Ozone is linked to a wide range of serious health consequences — not just asthma, coughing,wheezing and cardiovascular diseases, but the ultimate health effect premature death.”

William Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, said, “For the past several years, the public has been living with a false sense of security about whether the air they’re breathing is safe. Ozone is not only killing people, but causing tens of millions of people to get sick every day.’’

But industry groups say that the regulation would impose unwieldy burdens on the economy, with little public health benefit.

“Further tightening the current ozone standards — the most stringent ozone standards ever — is a major concern because of the potential cost and impact on the economy,” said Howard Feldman, director of regulatory affairs for the American Petroleum Institute, which lobbies for the oil industry. “Air quality has improved dramatically over the past decades, and air quality will continue to improve under the existing standards. The current review of health studies has not identified compelling evidence for more stringent standards, and current standards are protective of public health.”

The proposed ozone rule comes as the longstanding battle over Mr. Obama’s use of the Clean Air Act to push his environmental agenda is erupting in Congress and the courts. The ozone rules are expected to force the owners of power plants and factories to install expensive technology to clean the pollutants from their smokestacks

Categories: Uncategorized

Want Blue Eyes With That Baby?

November 25, 2014 Leave a comment



The Strange New World of Human Reproduction
Should a woman’s own 55-year-old mother bear the woman’s (gulp) triplets? Well, it’s happening. Where should society draw the lines here?
Welcome to the brave new world of technology-enhanced human reproduction with its promise of alleviating the heartache of infertility, and its dangers of crossing ethical and moral lines. At a time when more options are available for women to conceive on their own timetable, perhaps hone their embryos to be free of disease and defects, and postpone childbirth until it fits their schedule, human reproduction is veering into a future that doctors, scientists, and philosophers aren’t entirely prepared for.

The New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, assembled a series of panels last Thursday to explore the frontiers of reproductive technology from the routine-though-still-expensive IVF (in vitro fertilization) to PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) where parents can screen embryos for potential defects, and mitochondrial intervention that produces sensational headlines like “Meet the Three-Parent Baby.”

A panel titled “Where Babies Come From” explored the three-parent dilemma created when a second woman donates an egg to provide the future baby’s mitochondrial DNA. Even though there are then three genetic parents, Dieter Egli, a senior research fellow with the New York Stem Cell Foundation, hastened to assure people there are still just two parents, that the additional DNA is “not a necessary nor sufficient to claim parenthood.”

Other panelists rallied to the cause of “the invisible woman”—the second and generally anonymous egg donor. Charis Thompson, Chair of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, declared herself “a huge fan of multi parenthood. Let’s acknowledge the repertoire of people making a child. Let’s celebrate the whole damn lot so that everybody has a good life.”

Mitochondrial intervention is the practice of replacing DNA that carries a genetic disease. It is intended to prevent serious diseases like muscular dystrophy, but it is hugely controversial because it could open the door to people manipulating genetic material. It’s currently banned in the United States, but the FDA is studying its safety and its efficacy. The U..K. is further along in bringing the procedure to market. “It’s a social benefit to a very small number of people, ten people a year maybe in the U.K. Is it worth crossing this very bright line that could put us into the world of eugenics?” asked Marcy Darnovsky, executive director at the Center for Genetics and Society.

Eugenics is a word that made everyone at the event uncomfortable. The moderator of the panel titled “How Far is Too Far,” said she doubted that any high-school student today would even know what the word eugenics meant, or could believe that any government could be that heavy-handed in controlling reproduction. Reproductive technologies are lightly regulated, and scientific advances fueled by financial incentives could overtake ethical and moral considerations.

The mood was lightened considerably by the co-hosts of the podcast “Mom and Dad Are Fighting.” They described themselves as the opposite of experts, and they parried about such burning issues as when is it too old to start having kids, how many biological parents are too many, and in the year 2100, if there was a pill you could take to have a baby in three months, instead of nine, should everyone in the world have a right to that?

In the year 2100, if there was a pill you could take to have a baby in three months, instead of nine, should everyone in the world have a right to that?
Dan Kois, the dad in the duo, cut to the chasse when he observed, “With all these technologies, who decides who has the right to do these things, and who pays for it?” Alison Benedikt, the mom, said she wished she had her children earlier so she could look forward to a “third chapter” without children. “Now we’re all older parents,” she said of her peers.

In the panel on “Whose Business is Reproduction?” Deborah Spar, president of Barnard College, said she tells her students they shouldn’t see freezing eggs as a “magic cure all,” but that it might be an insurance policy. “If you make partner [at a law firm] and unfreeze your eggs at age 42,” you could be a big winner, she said. Still, she cautions women against falling for what is “a very clever marketing operation, but not necessarily a cure all for how to lead the perfect life.”

Asked if the ability to reproduce should be a human right, Spar said she would leave that for the philosophers to think about. “Not being able to become a mother at 65 is not a medical condition, it’s just tough luck,” she said. “With the definition of family changing, technology will always move faster than social norms, and both of them will move faster than the law.”
Spar has a new book titled The Baby Business: How Money, Science and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception. The word conception could be changed to deception as many entrepreneurs in the world of reproduction are in the business of selling false dreams. It’s an area particularly prone to inequality, Spar noted: “Infertility crosses all economic lines, it’s one area where Mother Nature is fair, for better or worse.” Women without the resources to pay thousands for IVF lose out twice, she said, once because they’re infertile, then because they can’t afford treatment. Unequal access to this brave new world was an ongoing theme, along with questions about emerging legal structures and how to guarantee anonymity for donors in an era of increasing openness and transparency. Panelists polled each other on whether they’d be upset if they learned they had been frozen as an embryo. The answer was no, but one said if her parents lied to her about it, she’d be really upset. On the other hand, said Jane Maienschein, Director of the Center for Biology and Society at Arizona State University, “Would you be upset if you learned someone was paid to gestate you, and we don’t know what happened to her.”

Camille Hammond, CEO of Tinina Q Cade Foundation, said simply that the pathways to parenthood are different. She found hers after five years of infertility when her mother—at age 55—delivered her daughter and son-in-law’s triplets. The foundation, named after her mother, provides financial help to needy families that are infertile. “Nobody wants to stand in the way of people having families,” says Hammond.

Categories: Uncategorized
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