Looking At The Top Of Their Head

It is another weekend and more time to stray from the politics of the day….for at least a couple of days….

Go out to a family restaurant some time and watch the people at their tables…..how many are avoiding talking and instead are looking at some electronic screen or another?

Teenagers seem to be the worse….but did you know that it could be hazardous to their mental health?

The number of ways in which the smartphone has made our lives easier is vast. Whether it’s using Shazam to identify a song on the radio or having a sophisticated camera at the ready 24/7, the smartphone era ushered in by the iPhone has fundamentally changed the way the world uses and interacts not only with technology but also with each other. While there is no shortage of examples that illustrate how the smartphone has improved our lives, a more interesting and novel thought experiment would have us explore some of the more detrimental side effects associated with our collective addiction to smartphones and society’s unending need to constantly stay connected.

Tackling this very topic, a fascinating piece from Jean M. Twenge of The Atlantic articulates that adolescents who have grown up in a world dominated by smartphones are more prone to a variety of mental health problems than adolescents from previous generations. Twenge categorizes kids born between 1995 and 2012 under a group she calls iGen and the problems she’s seen in these kids — who have never known a life without the internet — transcends gender, class and ethnicity.

Source: Smartphones are causing a mental health crisis in teens | New York Post

I am so glad that my granddaughter has found that she enjoys board games with the old guy….plus she is in the school band and she enjoys books.

Now go and enjoy the beginning of your weekend….be well, be safe….chuq

Its The Farts!

Most people on WP have a cat or a dog and they post on their antics, moods, photos ……(I’ll get back to our furry friends in a moment)……

Awhile back there was a theory floated out there that the dinosaurs because of their immense size and their diet were allowing massive amounts of methane into the air….more simply…the did a lot of farting.

Then there was the theory that all the cows across the globe were farting constantly and thus the methane level was rising across the world.

Now back to the cats and the dogs……

A UCLA professor isn’t saying anyone who cares about the environment should get rid of their beloved pet dog and/or cat. But he’s not not saying that either. It’s widely accepted that eating meat is bad for the environment for a number of reasons, and it turns out our pets eat a whole lot of meat—in fact a country comprised only of the US’ cats and dogs would place fifth in global meat consumption, according to a press release. Professor Gregory Okin was interested in the environmental impacts of our pets and—in a paper published Wednesday in PLOS One—calculates that American cats and dogs create about 64 million tons of carbon dioxide per year due to eating meat. That’s equivalent to the yearly output of 13.6 million cars. “The numbers are surprisingly large,” he tells the Sacramento Bee.

All told, cats and dogs account for 25% to 30% of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the US. Okin says that’s “huge.” And yet, he’s “not saying people should go out and kill their animals or feed them something that isn’t appropriate”—like an all-veggie diet. Okin does identify a number of possible ways to lessen the problem: people could transition to vegetarian pets, such as hamsters, birds, and chickens (which have the added benefit of providing protein for their owners); the pet food industry could get more sustainable and find alternate sources of protein; and, according to the Santa Monica Mirror, pet owners can make sure they’re not over-feeding their dogs and cats.

If the climate is changing then these “scientists” want to blame our furry friends.

Does not matter to me….my two dogs may fart as much as they like….please just do it another room.

Time for some figs, bleu cheese and honey…..the grill will be busy today…..I will be making a hand made pizza….a meat lovers of course…….be well, be safe…..chuq

Aging Sucks!

Another weekend begins and I have been dealing with lots of issues so a couple of days away from the “news crawler” would be nothing but a good deal.

There is an ad on TV these days about sending in your spit so they can analyze your ‘telemeres”…it is an aging thing…..and now some research has been done along those lines…..

To err is human—our own cells do it all the time. But new research suggests that when it comes to aging, there may be a workaround. Scientists report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that they triggered cells to produce the protein telomerase, which lengthens the telomeres at the ends of chromosomes. (Telomeres shorten as we age.) The scientists used cells taken from 17 children with the rare genetic condition progeria, which causes them to age fast and typically die in their teens. Before the therapy, the kids’ cells would “multiply very poorly and then die,” Cooke tells Vice. After delivering RNA right into the cells to spur the production of telomerase, they saw a “dramatic improvement” as cells “proliferated normally.”

The study is small and the research is young, and many experts are highly skeptical. One professor of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia goes so far as to call attempts at telomere lengthening “snake oil,” and says that while telomeres shorten as we age, the correlation isn’t perfect and doesn’t necessarily signal good health or longevity. Plus, there may be at least one evolutionary benefit to telomeres shrinking over time; when cells become too short, they stop dividing and die. At least in the case of cancerous cells, that’s a defense mechanism. Meanwhile, a study out of New King’s College London published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology finds that bipolar disorder may shorten telomeres faster, while patients treated with lithium appear to reverse that effect.

They say another sign of old age is when we start talking to ourselves……my grandfather once said…”when you talk to yourself you talk to a better class of people”…..

Believe it or not….but there has been some research done in this field…..

Talking to yourself doesn’t mean you’re crazy. In fact, the habit might be downright smart. That’s the takeaway from a new study in Scientific Reports, which involved two separate experiments. In the first, researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan monitored the brain activity of 29 students who were asked to review neutral and disturbing images and talk about how they felt while referring to themselves in the first and third persons, reports Today. In the second, researchers asked 50 participants to internally reflect on painful experiences in the same way. In both cases, “third person self-talk” allowed participants to better regulate their emotions to relieve stress, researchers say. “It kind of switches you to a different mode of experiencing negative emotions when you use your name rather than the word, ‘I,'” says the lead researcher.

Indeed, when students were met with disturbing images, activity in the regions of the brain involving emotions decreased within one second of third person self-talk, reports Newsweek. Both experiments also showed referring to oneself in the third person required no more effort than referring to oneself in the first person and much less effort than other forms of emotion regulation, like positive thinking. With third person self-talk, “it’s like you’re viewing [a situation] from an outsider perspective” and gaining “a tiny bit of psychological distance,” researcher Jason Moser explains, per a release. “It really does help.” An example, he says, would be to tell yourself, “Jason is really scared” and explain why during a stress-inducing situation. Moser even says psychologists should recommend it for those struggling with anxiety and stress. (Hearing voices might not be bad, either.)

This old fart is going to have some snacks and wine…..see you guys tomorrow….chuq

“Guardians Of The Galaxy”

Another Summer Sunday and my granddaughter has a deal for me…..a coupon book in support of the High school band…of course I’m in.

How many have the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy”?

Guess what…if you liked the movies and would like to be a “super hero” then NASA has a job for you….

Want to become a Jedi? This is probably as close as you could possibly get: NASA is looking for someone to protect Earth and other planets in our known universe. The agency is accepting applications for the full-time post of “planetary protection officer,” a position created after the signing of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty—which sought to keep the peace in space by, among other things, barring countries from sending weapons of mass destruction to other planets. The main job of the planetary protection officer, however, isn’t to search the stars for bombs. Rather, the goal is to keep earthlings from contaminating space and returning spaceships from contaminating Earth, per Business Insider.

It’s a pretty sweet gig, and not just because it comes with a salary ranging from $124,406 to $187,000 a year. The three-year appointment (with a possible two-year extension) involves traveling the world visiting space centers and the rovers and other equipment each plans to send to space. Nabbing one of only two such full-time posts on the planet won’t be easy, though. NASA is looking for a candidate with an advanced degree in physical science, engineering, or mathematics, plus “demonstrated experience planning, executing, or overseeing elements of space programs of national significance” and “demonstrated skills in diplomacy.” Think you’ve got the right stuff? Applications will be accepted until Aug. 14.

Since I am a nerd…I will apply for the gig….I have degrees in international relations and conflict management and resolution……both could be very useful in dealing with the prospects of meeting and dealing with our alien brothers and visitors…..as well as those Earthers that plan something nefarious for the space around us.

Source: UNITED NATIONS SPACE COMMAND DEFENSE FORCE – Home

Source: Legislation for ‘Space Corps’ Military Branch Introduced By House Armed Services Committee

Whatcha think?

Latest Health Stories

Today my daughter’s family will join me and my better half for burgers on the grill…..my daughter and I will probably argue politics and stuff….great fun!

If this was not a Saturday then these words would be about the new health care bill….but since it is the weekend the post will be about the findings in the fields that deal with Health and medicine….

In the past we have heard a lot about the connection between football, concussions and death….well there is a hew study of the brains of 111 football players…..

Research on 202 former football players found evidence of brain disease in nearly all of them, from athletes in the NFL, college, and even high school. It’s the largest update on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a brain disease linked with repeated head blows. CTE was diagnosed in 177 former players or nearly 90% of brains studied, but the report, published Tuesday in JAMA, doesn’t confirm that the condition is common in all football players. Rather, it reflects high occurrence in samples at a Boston brain bank that studies CTE. Many donors or their families contributed because of the players’ repeated concussions and troubling symptoms before death, reports the AP.

That includes 110 of 111 brains from former NFL players; 48 of 53 college players; nine of 14 semi-professional players, seven of eight Canadian Football league players, and three of 14 high school players. The disease was not found in brains from two younger players. The average age of death among all players studied was 66. There were 18 suicides among the 177 diagnosed. “There are many questions that remain unanswered,” says lead author Dr. Ann McKee, a Boston University neuroscientist: “How common is this” in the general population and all football players? “How many years of football is too many?” and “What is the genetic risk? Some players do not have evidence of this disease despite long playing years,” she notes.

Maybe keeping your children from playing the sport would help prevent a lot of the concussion problems….just a thought.

For well over 50 years there has been lots of research into the different strains of cancer and its cure….a recent study on cancer came to some pretty amazing conclusions…….

Cancer is a man-made disease fuelled by the excesses of modern life, a study of ancient remains has found.

Tumours were rare until recent times when pollution and poor diet became issues, the review of mummies, fossils and classical literature found.

A greater understanding of its origins could lead to treatments for the disease, which claims more than 150,000 lives a year in the UK.

There you have the updates in the health field….now go have a good day and enjoy some time to yourself……
See you guys tomorrow…..chuq

Time On The Virtual Couch

Disclaimer:  I personally think that shrinks are a waste of time and money….a good bartender is more accurate and profound than any shrink I have ever met.  I am sure that they may have helped someone out there but in my situation they were useless…if not worse.

With that said there is a news piece swirling around the net about our fearless leader, DJ Trump…..and his mental status.

The story is about the “Goldwater Rule”……(how many of you went…HUH?)

The Goldwater rule is the informal name given to Section 7 in the American Psychiatric Association‘s (APA) Principles of Medical Ethics,  which states it is unethical for psychiatrists to give a professional opinion about public figures they have not examined in person, and from whom they have not obtained consent to discuss their mental health in public statements.

Now that you are caught up on the “rule” let us continue……

A psychiatric group has told its members they’re not obligated to adhere to something called the “Goldwater Rule,” which has long prevented members of the profession from commenting on the mental health of public figures. The American Psychoanalytic Association emailed its members this month to that effect, though the Atlantic explains it wasn’t so much a change in policy as a reminder that the Goldwater Rule is not officially part of the group’s ethical guidelines. One thing of note: This APA has 3,500 members, but the larger American Psychiatric Association, with 37,000 members, still has the rule in place. The development comes amid lots of chatter about President Trump’s behavior, which is “so different from anything we’ve seen before” in a president, a past leader of the smaller APA tells STAT. Coverage:

  • Milestone? The move “represents the first significant crack in the profession’s decades-old united front aimed at preventing experts from discussing the psychiatric aspects of politicians’ behavior,” writes Sharon Begley at STAT. In a statement, however, a spokesperson emphasized that the group isn’t encouraging members to go against the Goldwater Rule, notes Time. It’s just that “we don’t want to prevent our members from using their knowledge responsibly,” adds the former leader.
  • Still opposed: The American Psychiatric Association reiterated that its own policy is unchanged. In March, the group formally reaffirmed its view that it’s unethical for doctors to speculate on the mental health of a person they haven’t personally evaluated. The full policy is here.
  • ‘Gag rule’?: Last week, Dr. Leonard Glass of Harvard wrote an essay in Psychiatric Times likening the Goldwater prohibition to a “gag rule” and calling it “an unacceptable infringement on my right and duty.” In the essay, he resigned from the American Psychiatric Association.
  • Why Goldwater: In 1964, about 1,200 psychiatrists responding to a magazine survey declared conservative candidate Barry Goldwater unfit for the presidency, explains the Los Angeles Times. He later sued for libel and won, and the larger APA’s ethics board established the rule in 1973.

An expert weighs in: You don’t have to search the topic long before finding someone arguing that Trump has narcissistic personality disorder. Well, the psychiatrist who literally wrote the definition for that disorder wrote a much-publicized letter to the editor earlier this year to the New York Times in which he states clearly that Trump doesn’t meet the criteria. “He may be a world-class narcissist,” writes Allen Frances, “but this doesn’t make him mentally ill, because he does not suffer from the distress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder.”

Now if you have made it this far…..

If you are a regular reader then you already know that I am by no stretch of the imagination a Trump supporter…..so this conclusion may be a bit of a surprise………

I agree with the “Goldwater Rule”…..there should be NO analysis of the person without a professional visit and then the privacy of the person should be protected.

So these reports are nothing more than a MSM reach for readers…..serves little purpose of good…..it only feeds the innuendos…..

With that said……I do feel that he is NOT a person that should ever have been elected….he is suppose to represent the people of this country and he fails miserably on that front.  I dislike the way he mocks people that is not what a good leader does…..he cannot remember that his stay in DC is about the country not his personal agenda…..I personally feel that he does have some sort of disorder that needs immediate treatment.

Move America forward or go the Hell away!

MKUltra

40 years ago the CIA project named MKUltra was exposed to the world…experiments in mind control…..

“Project MKUltra” was the name given to an illegal program of human experimentation conducted by the US Central Intelligence Agency, which investigated mind control. The 1975 Church Committee hearings exposed the operation – and on July 20, 1977 a Freedom of Information Act request uncovered a cache of 20,000 documents relating to it.

Below is an article in Sputnik International a Russian government publication….that aside it is a pretty good write on the program in question….I am sure that it is not printed as an FYI piece but rather as an embarrassment to the US government……keep that in mind as you read the piece…..

The origins of MKUltra lie in 1945, and Operation Paperclip — the secret transfer of top Nazi scientists to the US. Armed with extensive documentation on unethical Nazi human experimentation, including research into mind control, a clutch of military programs related to mental manipulation and behavioral modification were launched — including Projects CHATTER, BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE.

Headed by former chemist Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, MKUltra began in April 1953 on the orders of then-CIA Director Allen Welsh Dulles

Source: July 20, 1977: CIA Mind Control Project MKUltra Docs Released for First Time – Sputnik International