Nearly 40 million adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes.1 It is the leading cause of preventable death, accounting for 1 out of every 5 deaths in the U.S.2 Although smoking has declined by 4 percent over nine years, sales of e-cigarettes have risen an amazing 143 times from $20 million to $2.875 billion in sales per year.3
According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 130,000 cases of lung cancer diagnosed each year are attributed to smoking.4 New research now demonstrates damage to your DNA from smoking stays with you for decades.
Anyone impressed by the efficient way in which Britain has organised the Olympic Games might consider the stark contrast provided by the shambles of our national energy policy – wholly focused as it is on the belief that we can somehow keep our lights on by building tens of thousands more wind turbines within eight years. At one point last week, Britain’s 3,500 turbines were contributing 12 megawatts (MW) to the 38,000MW of electricity we were using. (The Neta website, which carries official electricity statistics, registered this as “0.0 per cent”).
It is 10 years since I first pointed out here how crazy it is to centre our energy policy on wind. It was pure wishful thinking then and is even more obviously so now, when the Government in its latest energy statement talks of providing, on average, 12,300MW of power from “renewables” by 2020.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Macquarie Group Ltd. and a partnership of First NZ Capital and Credit Suisse Group AG will manage the initial public offering of Mighty River Power Ltd. as New Zealand’s government starts the biggest round of state asset sales in more than 20 years.
The Treasury named the firms today as joint lead managers for the sale of a minority stake in the Auckland-based energy company. The IPO, planned for the second half of 2012, may raise about NZ$1.5 billion ($1.2 billion), people familiar with the matter have said.
New survey finds these types of violence affect the health of millions of adults
ATLANTA, Dec. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, according to findings released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story – more than 1 million women reported being raped in a year and over 6 million women and men were victims of stalking in a year, the report says.
“This landmark report paints a clear picture of the devastating impact these violent acts have on the lives of millions of Americans,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The information collected in this ongoing survey will serve as a vital tool in the Administration’s efforts to combat domestic violence and sexual abuse. And the report underscores the importance of our Administration’s work to combat domestic violence and sexual assault.”
Scientific studies have suggested that a wandering mind indicates unhappiness, whereas a mind that is present in the moment indicates well-being. Now, a preliminary UCSF study suggests a possible link between mind wandering and aging, by looking at a biological measure of longevity.
In the study, telomere length, an emerging biomarker for cellular and general bodily aging, was assessed in association with the tendency to be present in the moment versus the tendency to mind wander, in research on 239 healthy, midlife women ranging in age from 50 to 65 years.
Being present in the moment was defined as an inclination to be focused on current tasks, while mind wandering was defined as the inclination to have thoughts about things other than the present or being elsewhere.
According to the findings, published online on Nov. 15 in the new Association for Psychological Science journal Clinical Psychological Science, those who reported more mind wandering had shorter telomeres, while those who reported more presence in the moment, or having a greater focus and engagement with their current activities, had longer telomeres, even after adjusting for current stress.
As ordinary British people queue up at filling stations to pay disgustingly high petrol and diesel prices and record numbers of old people die of hypothermia in winter – unable to afford sufficient gas for heating – folk need to wake up to the obscene and dark political forces that are hell-bent upon removing their ability to maintain decent life-quality or even to survive at all. The truth is that even mainstream energy analysts are now admitting that THE WORLD IS AWASH WITH OIL AND NATURAL GAS (the Lawrence Solomon article from the Financial Post reproduced below being just one example).
Yesterday, the Australian Prime Minister launched the latest Federal Government statement, the – Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. The White Paper is full of jargon and superficial tags – such as “Australia’s 2025 aspiration”. While I am not critical of shorthand statements to capture a policy aim, when the substance that lies below the tag is either missing or based on false premises, then the hollowness of the policy statement is revealed. Such is the case in this document. It is littered with neo-liberalism and like previous statements, such as, “by 1990 no Australian child will be living in poverty”, which was made by a previous Australian Prime Minister in 1987 – to his regret ((Source). The pledge was not only impossible to achieve given the scale of the problem faced and the time before the pledge was due but the explicit embrace of neo-liberalism by that government also rendered the goal impossible. Poverty rates and inequality have increased since then as successive governments – Labor and conservative – have abandoned the government responsibility to achieve the related goals of full employment, equity in income distribution and broad social inclusion in economic outcomes. Yesterday’s White Paper release just continues that trend.
Children who develop asthma or allergies have an altered immune response to intestinal bacteria in the mucous membranes even when infants, according to a new study from Linköping University, Sweden, and Center for Advanced Research in Public Health, Spain. The results also suggests that the mother’s immune defense plays a role in the development of asthma and allergies in children.
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that affects approximately 2.5 million people worldwide. It is by no means a rare disease, yet it can make daily life stressful and overwhelming. Maintaining mental health is very important for all people but may be even more so for those with a physical ailment. Here are some ways to help improve your mental health and positive outlook when you’re living with Multiple Sclerosis.
Find a Support Network
When no one around you truly understands what it’s like to have MS, your mental well-being can suffer. Finding an MS support group puts you in contact with people who may have been dealing with the effects of MS longer than you, or are experiencing similar challenges. These groups offer advice, support, and empathy which can be hard to find in loved ones who do not fully understand the impact of MS.
Support groups do not necessarily have to meet in person. With the unlimited connections the Internet provides, online support groups are also a suitable and equally beneficial alternative for many people who are living with this ailment.
Meditation has been shown to both improve mental health and lessen chronic pain. Additionally, regular meditation can result in a more positive outlook and decreased stress levels. Learning to meditate without guidance can be a challenge, but with the rise of meditation in mainstream culture, it’s likely you have a knowledgeable instructor near you. You can also turn to online guided tutorials to learn how to meditate properly from the comfort of your home.
Find a Form of Exercise that Works for You
Though exercise with MS can prove difficult, simply being outdoors can improve your mindset. If possible, exercise provides added endorphins which have been shown to benefit mood. Even mild exercise such as a relaxed hike along a well-kept trail will work as an excellent mental health break. It’s difficult to be negative when surrounded by beautiful scenery, particularly if you make outings a part of your regular routine. Another great form of exercise for people with MS is swimming. Spending some time in the pool, whether you’re doing leisurely-paced laps or water walking, provides a great cardio workout while being easy on the joints.
Play Games for Your Memory
Memory loss is a fairly common symptom of MS, which can be both debilitating and frustrating. The ability to recall information is a key component to independence, which is something no one wants to lose. Playing games meant to maintain memory can help eliminate the aggravation of forgetfulness.
Remember the Positives in Your Life
Making a list of things you love, appreciate, and are grateful for can be a useful prop for bad days. Taking the time to remember how many things you have to be happy about is often one of the most mentally helpful activities a person can do. Pin the list somewhere you see it regularly and don’t be afraid to add to it. Positivity plays an enormous role in mental health and while it can be difficult to maintain, having a physical reminder or motivation, like a list, can help. Some studies are even showing that a positive outlook can improve your physical health alongside your mental wellbeing
Giving in to frustration can be easy, but remembering to care for your mental health and overall well-being is an important part of living. MS may mean more physical difficulties but it does not have to affect your mental health. With support, beneficial routines, and a positive outlook, you can live a more fulfilling life.
Lobbying by Falun Gong, a quasi-religious movement banned in China, has scored a public relations coup in Australia. Last week the Senate unanimously passed a motion urging the government to oppose the practice of organ harvesting in China. The motion, introduced by an independent senator, urged the government to ratify strict UN and European Council protocols on organ trafficking. The detailed European Council protocols aim to “[combat] organ trafficking through the establishment of competent authorities, the authorisation of transplantation centres, the establishment of conditions of procurement and systems of traceability”.
The senate motion also called on the government to follow the example of the United States in implementing a new visa requirement. In the United States, applicants for non-migrant visas classified as DS-160 must declare if they have been involved in the “coercive transplantation of human organs or body tissue”.
The motion came just a day after a Parliamentary briefing from former Canadian politician David Kilgour. The Falun Gong alleges that imprisoned members have been killed for their organs because Chinese are very reluctant donate their organs, even after death. In his book Bloody Harvest, Kilgour estimates — relying largely on inference from sketchy details — that thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have perished to supply a lucrative market in organ transplants. This is hotly denied by the Chinese government.
With every form of industry slashing costs and utilizing potentially dangerous new manufacturing technologies in an attempt to monetize and reduce workload, many of these companies are putting your health at risk. Such is the case with the clothing industry according to new research, which asks the question as to whether or not your clothes may be making you sick.
Some corporations have begun embedding something known as antimicrobial compounds into a number of common products including toothpaste, hand soaps, and even items within the clothing industry. The antimicrobial compounds are added to kill germs and odors, which appears to be beneficial at first glance. The truth of the matter, however, is that scientists have found that these antimicrobial chemicals may actually be damaging your thyroid in addition to your hormonal system.
“Power kills and absolute power kills absolutely.” -Lord Acton
The term democide is widely unrecognized in common everyday language due to its obscure nature, yet it is quite prevalent throughout the history of human existence. Redefined by the political scientist R. J. Rummel, democide is the murder of any person of group of people by the government of a nation, including genocide, politicide and mass murder. There are several variations for the definition of democide which have occurred throughout historical periods, in which these examples can include, but are not limited to, the murdering of political opponents by governments and the systematic killing of minority groups of people who pose an inherent threat or risk to the political, economic or cultural well-being of a nation.
Experts and scholars who have studied democide have come to the conclusion through statistical evidence that the number of people who have died through the acts of democide encompass, approximately, 4 times greater death toll than those people who have died through the acts of war (Scully, 1997a). Rummel (1994) presents that about 170 million people have died throughout the course of the 20th century due to democide, while other estimates represent higher figures of unconfirmed deaths with estimates that escalate from 200 to 350 million within the same time period (Rummel, 1993).
Large numbers of governments around the world, organizations, institutions and people are widely aware of the wars and military conflicts that occur in the world, in which consistent efforts have been applied to eradicate the acts of war and military combat between nations both nationally and internationally. Unfortunately, these have not been extensively covered by the media as other conflicts have. Thus, the majority of the people are not aware of the disturbing numbers and statistics of democide throughout the world in the last 100 years.
One of the major reasons of why governments have systematically killed thousands or millions of people in their respective countries lies in the ideologies, political and economic objectives. Democide is exercised to maintain or increase power, intimidate, subjugate, demoralize and dehumanize opposition (Bourne, 1918; Scully, 1997b) and to increase the power of the state (Bourne, 1918). Scholars have agreed that the majority of countries who have experienced high levels of democide are countries that were influenced by extreme leftist, communist or authoritarian ideologies, such as the Soviet Union, China, or Cambodia (Falconer, 2003; Scully, 1997a; Scully, 1997b).
Other trends have presented that impoverished countries where the income per capita is low, tend to have higher rates of democide, as it is argued that the income per capita is the best predictor of potential insurgencies and civil wars (Falconer, 2003). Countries with developed economies and a higher income per capita tend to have reduced levels of democide (Falconer, 2003). Scully (1997b) further explains, “Democidal governments in higher per capita income nations may exercise self restraint.”
Nonetheless, democracies are not entirely protected from the atrocities of democide, in fact some democracies have inflicted it on other systems (Scully, 1997b), as pathological thinking is borderless. Jung (1957) warned us that democracies consist of de-individualized (and de-based) persons and are prone to extreme individualists or arrant subjectivism.
Limited research has focused on the longitudinal implications of democide. Statistics show that millions of children end up as orphans, especially in the most impoverished areas of Africa where abandoned children lack the necessary social support for a good mental health. Neglected and abandoned children grow up with high levels of mental instability, hatred, and deep resentment (Whitfield, 1987). Furthermore, toughness comes at a price of emotional numbness and emptiness. These children are more likely to experience addictions, since their external environment of early adversity and suffering produces an abnormal brain development (Mate, 2008). This translates to an emergence of millions of children with behavioral problems, who may adopt nefarious lifestyles to become the statistics of an unproductive portion of society. Moreover, without undermining the horror experienced by the dead and living victims of democide, economies of countries are also affected. Scully (1997b) indicates that, on average, democide makes a country 20 percent poorer by reducing its tax base.
A democidal system dominated by pathological leaders, also termed as pathocracy by Lobaczewski (2004), perpetually functions due to public’s silence acquiescence and the unquestionable obedience to authority. Snow (as cited in Milgram, 1974) points to the importance of obedience when he writes: “When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.” Milgram’s (1974) obedience experiments have shown that public safety can be undermined by mentalities that have the facility to execute the most horrific acts while following orders from a higher authority. Moreover, in an article entitled “The Dangers of Obedience,” Laski (1929:6) wrote, “[…] civilization means, above all, an unwillingness to inflict unnecessary pain. Within the ambit of that definition, those of us who heedlessly accept the commands of authority cannot yet claim to be civilized men.”
The scope of democide throughout the history of humankind has been well documented statistically, and scholars remain clear that authority and power that governments have over their people can become pathological to satisfy the demands and wants of ruthless political individualists. Laski (1929) states, “government is necessary enough in all conscience, but there must be limits to its empire.” As many of the government’s crimes are carried out in the name of a greater good, the major philosophical flaw is the legalization, validation, normalization, even glorification of the use of violence or force to eradicate opposition. Let us not forget that violence begets violence, and even good intentions can become universal bullying. Many argue that some endings may justify the means, but others question these justifications as lacking ethical depth thus unworthy of any moral differentiation.
Alzheimer’s disease is currently at epidemic proportions, with 5.4 million Americans — including one in eight people aged 65 and over — living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figuresi.
By 2050, this is expected to jump to 16 million, and in the next 20 years it is projected that Alzheimer’s will affect one in four Americans.
You do not, however, have to feel powerless against this disease, as although there is no known cure as of yet, there are simple strategies available to significantly lower your risk.
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