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Monday, December 9, 2013

Lost Spanish Fort Revealed

"A team of archeologists discovered
the remains of a long-lost 16th century Spanish garrison in western
North Carolina that predates the earliest English settlements in North
America by decades. Established in 1567, Fort San Juan was just one of
at least six military installations built by the Spanish across the
Appalachian mountain range, stretching from the coast of South Carolina
to eastern Tennessee—and the only one of the forts scientists have
located so far."

"Spanish explorer Juan Pardo established the
fort in 1566. It survived only a year and a half before the neighboring
Mississippian tribe burned the Spanish settlement and killed all but one
of the soldiers."

Note: "Had the fort lasted a little longer and
allowed the soldiers to have stumbled upon the gold laden creeks
nearby, everything south of the Mason-Dixon Line
might have been claimed by Spain. The Spanish crown would have
basically brought all the forces of colonialism down on top of the
Carolina Piedmont."

Discover magazine Jan/Feb .2014

http://www.history.com/news/archaeologists-discover-oldest-colonial-fort-in-u-s-interior

Stigmatizing Female Promiscuity....

"..... enforced MAINLY by women."

"Sex
is coveted by men. Accordingly, women limit access as a way of
maintaining advantage in the negotiation of this resource. Women who
make sex too readily available compromise the power-holding position of
the group, which is why many women are particularly intolerant of women
who are, or seem to be, promiscuous."

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/11/19/science/a-cold-war-fought-by-women.html

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674955394

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hungry Brain Syndrome

The brain’s prime directive to eat and
defend against the loss of fat emerged early in evolution, because just
about every creature that ever trotted, crawled, swam, or floated was
beset by the uncertainty of that next meal......

....."hunger,
blood sugar, and weight gained per calorie consumed all ratchet up when
our sleep is disrupted and our circadian rhythms—the 24-hour cycle
responding to light and dark—thrown into disarray. All this is
compounded by stress, which decreases metabolism while increasing the
yen for high-calorie food......."

The hormone Leptin is produced and released by fat cells to signal satiation to inhibit appetite and influence metabolism.

The opposite effect is created by the hormone Ghrelin (anti Leptin).

http://discovermagazine.com/2011/jun/06-new-suspect-in-obesity-epidemic-our-brains#.UqMaj2S9Kc2

"The
findings that ghrelin is produced in mucosal endocrine cells of the
stomach and intestine, and that ghrelin is measurable in the general
circulation indicate its hormonal nature."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11891007/?i=5&from=/10604470/related

Note:
I believe the production of ghrelin is stimulated also by gut microbes
(especially those that thrive on high glycemic foods whenever these
sources of nutrition are minimized).

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Maintaining Optimal Weight

Staying at an optimal weight range
requires more than counting calories and exercising properly. You need
to, also, tend to your gut flora. Though everyone's microbial ecosystem
is somewhat unique, if you encourage an internal ecosystem that is built
up by your eating sugar, corn fructose, processed foods (even in small
amounts) etcetera, then you will have a hard(er) time controlling you
weight.

My experience:
If I eliminate foods that are sugary
or too easy to digest, then I feel a deep seated hunger in my gut (not
my stomach mind you). This, despite the fact that I keep my belly full
with good nutritious solid low-glycemic foods. This low level feeling of
angst is the microbes that specialize in high-glycemic foods. After
their numbers are reduced, the feeling goes away. Furthermore, my weight
stays the same until their numbers
are reduced -- then, suddenly, pounds shed readily and keep shedding.
That is, unless I make the mistake of eating as much as just one Oreo.


http://samslair.blogspot.com/2011/08/ecosystem-inside-microbiome.html?m=1

http://samslair.blogspot.com/2012/10/ted-technology-entertainment-and-design.html?m=0

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Assisted Living: Before Signing Move In Contract

Assisted living is not inexpensive. The charges are for "rent" and for "add ons" (personal service charges). Be sure of what is included in the rent charge and what is considered 'extra' -- it varies. Dispensing medications will be an extra, for example.

Also, be aware that you'll likely pay an amount equal to one month rent in advance and it'll be labeled as some sort of community fee. [Note: the value you receive varies from place to place. Met their activities director, if they have one.]

Also know that you may be liable for a penalty equal to one month's rent if you move your loved one out for a non-medical reason (say, if you choose to move your loved one to a different facility). These things are in the contract -- so take your contract home and read it before signing it. The longer the contract, the more "thorough" you need to be in reading and understanding it.
[Note: Beware a place that uses a sexy young lady to sell you their package. Finding a good facility is like finding a good used car. It can be done, but you have to do some tire kicking. Elder care can be a real racket.]

To help avoid being scammed, I suggest you let a senior adviser help you. I used one from "A Place For Mom" to help me find a facility for my mother. Simply contact them and you'll be off to a good start. They will prove invaluable.They earn a fee if you choose a place they refer you to (much as a rental agent does when you are searching for a home for yourself). Even if you don't utilize them in this capacity, their website forum and newsletters will be a good resource.
They found me a place for my mother that gave us a huge price break simply because they had vacancies they needed to fill-- and the quality of care is even better than the "expensive" place where I'd had my mother.

My personal situation was that my mother was not easy to deal with. Instead of being able to transition my mother in a sane manner from her home, I was forced into using my time in crisis management until she deteriorated to the point that I could move her without her fighting it excessively. As a consequence, I wound up putting her in an overpriced assisted living facility (that also had a memory care unit, in case that soon became necessary). I'd not had the time nor the energy to properly educate myself. As a consequence, we burned through a lot of money and were headed toward a Medicaid application -- until I later found a better option after the initial move.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Marital Arguments & Your Health:

It’s how you fight, and how you
react to and resolve conflict, that matters.
 And, the impact on your
physical health varies dramatically,
depending on whether you’re a man or a woman. 
One fighting style in particular
garnered special attention.
So-called “self-silencing” – keeping quiet
during a fight – is especially damaging to
 women’s health, whereas
bottling it up did ‘not’ have a measurable
 impact on the physiology of men…
women who don’t speak their minds have a higher
mortality rate than women who always
 spoke their minds (depression,
eating disorders, heart disease). 
Additionally, the way you interact
during marital arguments is as important
a heart risk factor as whether
you smoke or have high cholesterol. 
For women, whether a husband’s
arguing style is warm or hostile had
 the biggest impact on her heart health.
Interestingly, the level of warmth or
hostility had no impact on men’s heart health. 
Instead, the men’s heart risk
increased if disagreements with his
wife involved a ‘battle for control’
– regardless of whether he, or his wife,
was the one vying for control.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/10/18/how-to-make-a-difference-in-your-marriage-and-your-health.aspx

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rising Sea Levels: Doggerland's Tale

The lowlands of present day Finland are reminiscent of Doggerland --  

before it was finally submerged by rising sea levels about 8000 years  
ago. [Note: This is within the same time frame that the lands of the  
legendary Garden of Eden (at the head of the Persian Gulf) were  
submerged & the fabled 'Noah's Flood' aka 'Black Sea Deluge'  
occurred].
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_Eden#Under_the_Persian_Gulf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea_deluge_theory

"Doggerland" is a name given by archaeologists and geologists to a
former landmass in the southern North Sea that connected the island of
Great Britain to mainland Europe during and after the last Ice Age."
In another couple hundred years, coastal regions around the world
will be in a  condition similar to Doggerland and the Finnish lowlands.
One only has  to look at  currently exposed coral reefs sitting well
above sea level  and inland in  Florida from the last interglacial
period to be aware of that.The variable  in the time line is the level of
increased greenhouse  gases which are  accelerating and amplifying the
current process of  global warming.  The  only real 'unanswered
question' is whether or not  'methane hydrate  gasification' will become
a self-sustaining cycle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doggerland

Music to listen to while you study the above:
"Kun Mun Kultani Tulisi"
http://tinyurl.com/465kn3j

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Noah's Flood Defined


Black Sea Flood

"The Legend: In the story of Noah’s Ark, the book
of Genesis says Noah lived during a time when all other people on Earth
were evil. God became angry and decided to create a giant flood to kill
everyone except Noah and his family. God told Noah to build a boat
called an ark, big enough for himself, his wife, his sons, their wives,
and at least two of every animal. Once the ark was built, God sent a
rainstorm that lasted 40 days. The deluge rose higher than the tallest
mountain. When the waters receded, Noah’s family and animals left the
ark and repopulated the Earth."

"The Evidence: In 1993,
oceanographers used sonar to survey the floor of the Black Sea—and found
evidence supporting the story after all. Submerged beneath the surface
were ancient streambeds, river-cut canyons, and shorelines.
High-resolution seismic reflection profiles showed a
former land surface buried in the seafloor sediments. Drill cores from
the seafloor contained roots of shrubs covered by marine mud..... over
7,000 years ago, the Mediterranean began to rise, breaching rocks along
the Istanbul Strait, a waterway that helps form the boundary between
Europe and Asia today. The event caused the Mediterranean to spill into
the Black Sea, triggering a catastrophic flood."

"Were early
farmers in the area forced to flee as their world disappeared
underwater? Archaeologists found the rising waters coincided with the
onset of the initial migration of farming cultures into Europe and the
floodplains of Mesopotamia. Wherever they came from, the first farmers
arrived in southern Mesopotamia shortly after the filling of the Black
Sea. Did they bring the story of a great flood that destroyed their
world?"

About a great American flood:
http://discovermagazine.com/2012/jul-aug/06-biblical-type-floods-real-absolutely-enormous#.UkR0k2S9Kc0

Read more about Noah's flood and a few other great floods (go to page 2 of 2):
http://discovermagazine.com/2012/jul-aug/06-biblical-type-floods-real-absolutely-enormous#.UkT1FD-JJHR

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Apes Not Our Ancestors

About 18 million years ago, geologic forces in Africa up thrust a north-south mountain barrier that separated "Proconsul africanus" into two groups. Those to the west evolved into apes and those to the east into hominids that had access to the seashore and sea foods rich in amino acids essential to brain development. Primitive tool use coincided that increased procurement levels of these and other protein rich foods.
Hominids are our human ancestors.'

Welfare Is Welfare

"In America, 7 out of 10 people receive more in government benefits than they pay in taxes. Some of these beneficiaries are the poor collecting various welfare benefits including food stamps, cash assistance and Medicaid. But it's not just the poor who feed at the trough of our vast welfare state. Most seniors get far more from Social Security and Medicare than they contribute and payroll taxes. Giant corporations get $100 billion in direct payments and subsidies from the government. The military squanders billions on weapons systems it does not need in order to fund jobs in key lawmakers districts.
Conclusion: Welfare is welfare."

NationalReview.com

Friday, September 20, 2013

Global Warming Basics

Fact: Greenhouse gases are steadily increasing.
Fact: Greenhouse gases slow down the escape of heat from the Earth's surface.
Fact: This results in increased overall earth temperature.
Fact: Temperature increase yields a shift in weather patterns.
Result: Climate change is amplified by overall warming of the Earth.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Spiritual Law of Non-interference


In most circumstances, it's
best to mind your own business. However, if laws are being broken,
children being endangered, etcetera, to not get involved would be wrong.

"Non-interference
is one of the great laws of the universe that is followed always by the
beings from the higher realms. Would that it were so in the lower
realms. There is a fine line between being helpful and being
interfering. It is a very fine line indeed."
http://www.esotericonline.net/m/blogpost?id=3204576%3ABlogPost%3A43986


Google:
Spiritual Law of Non-interference

Watch example of violation consequences:
Gunsmoke S07E15 The Do Badder

Pitbulls And Their Owners

Pitbulls have their place in the world. But the typical person is not capable of providing them with the training and level of care that they need and deserve. Therefore, I judge most (not all) Pitbulls and their owners to be a liability.

Aside from the headlines that pure Pitbulls have made, another tragedy is their being bred into the general dog population. The owners of these other dogs also share responsibility for what I regard as poor judgement. Neutering and spaying as options have an integral part in society for all animals (naked apes included).

One tragic consequence is the higher number of Pitbulls and Pitbull mixes that have to be destroyed because their owners either negligently or unwittingly did not provide their dogs with what they needed. Watch the Dog Whisperer for some insights.

I have been around all kinds of dogs and have always had one or two (usually from the pound). And because of my experience, I always avoid being too close to aggressive breeds. I also know to give any and all dogs I don't know well their space.

What I really hate is dog owners who keep their dogs on a chain instead of providing a proper enclosure.
Even worse are people who let their female dogs have puppies that they wind up dumping on the side of the road.

I partially judge a person by the canine company they keep and how well they keep it. I don't blame the dog. Them, I all too often have to feel sorry for.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Social Jet Lag

Irregular sleep patterns associated with intense
weekday work may drive diabetes and obesity. And sleep deprivation
boosts the risk of hypertension, Alzheimer's, even cancer."

"Social jet lag" is experienced by those who sleep short on workdays,
then stay up later but sleep longer on weekends. If that is your
pattern, you are more likely to be depressed and obese....  if you don't
get enough or get it at the wrong times, you expose yourself to a wide
range of health consequences."

"Endocrinologists had begun
untangling the connection between sleep deprivation, diabetes, and
obesity more than a decade ago. This year her team discovered that sleep
deprivation impedes the metabolism of glucose, the sugar that powers
the body, in fat cells by a startling 30 percent. Lack of sleep affects
appetite, too: A 2012 Swedish brain-scan study identified
heightened activity in the right anterior cingulate cortex—a brain
region associated with hunger control—in the sleep-deprived. "

"....short
sleep combined with insomnia heightened the risk of hypertension... And
there are health penalties of varying when we sleep, regardless of the
total amount."

".... Also dysfunction of the pancreas, which
produces the insulin that regulates sugar in the blood. As a result, the
strain of extreme time shifting led to a form of hyperglycemia that
foreshadows diabetes."

http://discovermagazine.com/2013/jan-feb/9-social-jet-lag#.Ugu5mmS9Kc0

Friday, August 2, 2013

The 'Morning-after' Pill vs. RU-486

"The hormones on the Plan B pill prevent pregnancy only by blocking ovulation. If a woman is already pregnant, Plan B does not work."

"There is an abortifacient being used regularly across America, but it's not Plan B. RU-486 is a drug that's used to end pregnancies of less than eight weeks."

http://m.theweek.com/article.php?id=244242

"Critics also worry that instead of being a "Plan B" for emergencies, the morning-after pill will become the only plan some young people have for contraception, leading them to shun condoms and become more vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases. In response, women's health advocates argue that research shows that at least 30 percent of 15- and 16-year-olds are already having sex, and will continue to do so whether or not they have access to Plan B."

My Comment: If social conservatives would do a decent job researching STDs, they'd realize that fear of pregnancy is nothing compared to the multitude of STDs that cause a multitude if health ailments. There a couple of dozen common types; but there are many many more that cause or trigger many variants of disease. This is a new field of study.

Note: "When you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone they have had sex with for the last ten years, and everyone they and their partners have had sex with for the last ten years.... people can get tested for STDs, be told that they are clean, and then transmit dormant STDs the tests did not detect. Most tests today pick up the majority of the infections they are testing for. The problem is that many people believe they have been tested for all STDs when, in reality, they have been tested for only a few.

Recently a high school girl was considering sleeping with her boyfriend. She was a virgin, but he had been with eleven girls. If his previous partners were as sexually active as he had been (and depending on the types of STDs), she could be exposing herself to the possible infections of more than two thousand people if she slept with him once."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Cooperation Instinct

"In a dog-eat-dog world, people still 
cooperate, collaborate, and help each other out. Our species’ urge to work together has remained 
an evolutionary paradox, seemingly at odds with Darwinian theory—until now.....

NOTE: "At the multicellular level of cooperation that defines an organism, there is genetic mechanisms in place that allow cells and organs to cooperate. Between individual organisms there exist various levels of internal biological mechanisms and external social mechanisms that foster cooperation that builds social connections and societies."

"There are five crucial mechanisms that drive supercooperation in highly social species like ours:

"The first mechanism is Tit for Tat, or direct reciprocity—“I will if you will”—which represented the first outbreak of cooperation in the prisoner’s dilemma simulation."

"Next comes the much more advanced mechanism of indirect reciprocity, or reputation, when one individual is willing to help another not because of personal experience but because others have described having good prior encounters with that person."

"Nowak identifies the third mechanism as “spatial selection”—interaction born of living in proximity. Within a small area, social networks aid survival and cooperation flowers."

"The fourth is multilevel selection, involving larger groups like towns, tribes, or companies. These structures encourage cooperation among their members."

"The fifth mechanism is a version of the familiar kin selection, the tendency to cooperate with blood relations. Nowak believes blood ties might play a role—but one defined more by social cooperation than by the propagation of family genes."

 http://discovermagazine.com/2012/dec/29

Summary:
Altruism emerged because it gave some individuals an edge in the struggle to survive. The survivors passed the beneficial, altruistic genes to their descendants and so on and so forth until, over time, groups of survivors banded together to form a defensible nest. The motive of any one creature may have been selfish, but extreme cooperation was the happy result. When individuals were forced into the same space (because of the proximity of a food source, for instance), working together in large numbers of cooperative individuals gave everyone a better shot at survival. Kinship and inclusive fitness are much less important than previously thought.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Animals' Early Missing Link: Mesomycetozoeans

"In China's Guizhou Province, a thin band of rock crowded with fossils smaller than poppy seeds may reveal the origin of all the animals that ever lived."

http://cdn.media.discovermagazine.com/~/media/import/images/c/6/4/fossils.jpg

Prenote: "Without integrin genes (integrins), you don't get cellular cooperation. Cooperation is a fundamental aspect of evolution. Without it, you don't get construction or complexity in life."

"For decades the Chinese mined a phosphorus-rich layer of rock that winds through the hillsides of Guizhou Province and used it to make fertilizer for rice paddies. Then, in the 1980s, several geologists noticed fossils embedded in that layer, which they called the Doushantuo Formation. Viewed under a microscope, the fossils were exquisite—spherical and segmented on their surface, like a blackberry....
Then a paleontology student named Shuhai Xiao brought several hundred pounds of the rock to Harvard there in the 1990s. He noticed that the fossils, though all the same size, consisted of different numbers of cells: one, two, four, eight, and so on, up to around 1,000, roughly doubling with each increase. Xiao knew that it was unusual for a mature organism to stay the same size while undergoing successive rounds of cell division. Animal embryos, however, do so regularly...."

" All major groups of animals—an entire kingdom of multicellular life that today includes insects, worms, shellfish, starfish, sea anemones, coral, jellyfish, and vertebrates like us—bloomed suddenly in the fossil record during an evolutionary extravaganza known as the Cambrian explosion, which occurred 530 million years ago. But genetic studies of modern animals had suggested that all of these creatures evolved from a single-celled ancestor that lived at least 100 million years before that, leaving a huge gap between the estimated origin of animals and the appearance of the earliest known animal fossils. Xiao’s embryos helped fill that gap."

"The fossils also raised new questions. Why had adult specimens of the creatures never been discovered???"

"In 2011, a Doushantuo fossil was subjected to X-ray tomography ?(a 3-D scan) and obtained a beautiful image of its interior. This particular fossil was slightly different from most of the others, peanut-shaped instead of spherical. On its inside the fossil wasn’t crushed at all. It was magnificently preserved, just like Xiao’s embryos—but instead of fewer than 1,000 cells, it contained half a million.... The Doushantuo fossils weren’t embryos after all."

"In an embryo, Donoghue explains, you’d expect tissues, even organs, to develop by the time you have that many cells.” But the numerous cells in the peanut-shaped fossil were not differentiated into organs; they all looked alike. Donoghue now believes the fossils represent a more primitive ancestor of animals. To him they resemble spore sacs formed by modern single-celled organisms called " mesomycetozoeans", which sit between animals and fungi on the tree of life. Mesomycetozoeans reproduce by multiplying inside a sac that eventually ruptures, releasing thousands of individuals. If the Doushantuo fossils are more like spore sacs than like animal embryos, that would explain why no adult animal fossils have turned up."

"Did a Sac of Spores Launch the Animal Kingdom?:
The genomes of several mesomycetozoeans have been sequenced, with surprising results. These single-celled organisms possess genes once thought to be a unique evolutionary invention of animals. Some of the genes control receptors called "integrins", which help cells attach to and communicate with one another, allowing formation of specialized organs and complex body plans .... in the simpler organisms, integrin genes may contribute to the formation of spore sacs."

"What is emerging from this work is a fascinating possible scenario for the humble beginnings of the mighty animal kingdom: A few thousand spore cells in the ocean, poised to scatter like dandelion seeds, may have decided to stick together and continue their experiment in group living for a little while longer. If so, insects, starfish, and even humans may owe their existence to a dust-size spore sac that wouldn’t explode."

http://discovermagazine.com/2012/dec/29-how-life-got-2028complicated

Tree of Life
http://www.google.com/search?biw=320&bih=356&tbm=isch&q=tree+of+life+phylogeny&revid=1061751257&sa=X&ei=v4fxUbGFOuimyQHY5YDQAQ&ved=0CDsQ1QIoAA

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Suburban Food Waste Disposal via Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Black Soldier Fly larvae have solved many problems relating to the disposal of food waste products for me. No longer do I have to collect grease in a special disposable sealed container to keep its scent from attracting houseflies or creating a mess in my garbage bin. No longer do I need a kitchen sink garbage disposal to dispose of fruit,vegetable and other waste that would otherwise smell and attract Pests. No longer do I ever have to wash out my curbside garbage bin.

I simply pour the grease into and toss the food scraps into an open bottomed compost bin that sits on the ground under a shady bush next to my back porch. I do not throw in yard waste -- that would disturb the mass of squirming larvae that voraciously devour my offerings.
[Although I would suggest a deep pile of grass clippings be laid down when first starting before you start adding scraps.]

When you first start, I suggest you do not do so in the cold season. Once established, the soldier flies will remain established as long as you feed them. In the winter, the larvae are generally inactive (except on warm days) so the scraps will increase in depth. But since the weather is cold, there is no odor. Come Spring, the soldier fly larvae activity booms and the surrounding wildlife benefits as they eat the escaping larvae as they leave the bin to pupate.
[Note: Do not throw raw meat waste in the cold season. In warm weather, they'll devour raw meat quickly before it can smell. ]

If you might occasionally overpower their ability to consume what you give them, it'd be best to place the bin downwind (NW in Austin). They'll target the stinkiest scraps first, so even then the odor would be of short duration. So, if you're slaughtering more chickens than usual, take this into account. And note that houseflies do not like the liquified conditions in the bottom of the bin. Indeed houseflies are somewhat repelled somehow by the presence of the larvae bin.

Note: When going on vacation, If you want to maintain a thriving population, I suggest you lay in a supply of food to be given to your larvae by whomever takes care of your house. I buy a big bag of birdseed at PetCo each June when it's on sale for this purpose. I finish off the bag in the winter by sharing it with the birds that no longer have soldier flies to eat.

During warm weather, the larvae leave the fly bin and are mostly picked off by birds in the day and toads at night. In the fly bin will be lizards that eat larvae (but they are so prolific that it doesn't matter). Thus the cycle of life is completed & strengthened by using food scraps in my "lazy man's compost bin"!

For more, google:
Raising Black Soldier flies

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Secret to Happiness???

....is lower expectations???

Too many choices is empowering, but can create some dissatisfaction:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO6XEQIsCoM&feature=relmfu


Brilliance without wisdom leads to darkness...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA-zdh_bQBo&feature=relmfu

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Low-cost Investing: Retirement Tool ...by Scott Burns

"Mutual fund" firms who charge more than 'ten basis points' (10 one-hundredths of one percent) should probably be avoided. Low-cost index funds from Vanguard, iShares, Schwab and State Street should seriously be considered.

http://assetbuilder.com/scott_burns/the_universal_retirement_tool

Lizards In My Texas Yard

I've seen five species of lizards in my yard recently:
1) Green Anole
http://www.google.com/search?biw=320&bih=416&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=mA6tUcqbNInxqAHqr4GQAg&q=green+anole+lizard&oq=green+anole&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.1.1.0l5.48107.62321.0.64001.32.28.0.1.1.5.537.6369.0j12j3j2j6j1.24.0...0.0...1c.1.15.mobile-gws-serp.ubb7WiB_WOk

2) Texas Spiny Lizard
http://www.google.com/search?q=texas+spiny+lizard&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Rw-tUYiMJcugyQH00oHYBw&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=320&bih=416


3) Desert Grassland Whiptails
http://www.google.com/search?q=Desert+Grassland+Whiptail&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=gg6tUfy2JYW3qAGFkIGQDg&ved=0CEoQsAQ&biw=320&bih=417


4) Mediterranean House Gecko
(Invasive
species)
http://www.google.com/search?q=MEDITERRANEAN+HOUSE+GECKO&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=DBCtUe3EJsb1rAHe0oCQBw&ved=0CFYQsAQ&biw=320&bih=416

5) American Legless Lizards
http://www.google.com/search?q=American+legless+Lizards&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=BxqtUdLZOcPOqwGwsYCwAw&ved=0CEwQsAQ&biw=320&bih=417

I've also seen an increase in bird species in the back yard. Plus, I've noted a dramatic decrease in spiders (due to an increase in the lizard and bird population). Why? It's because of the Black Soldier Fly larvae made available to them coming from the compost bin.
Note: I put only food scraps, grease, etcetera in it and the BSF larvae make short work of it. Houseflies are not attracted because of the BSF larvae en masse.

Besides providing a clean and easy disposal method for stuff that would otherwise attract house flies, my gray garbage barrel is kept clean.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Texas Legislators' Weak Ethics

"... banned is a requirement that elected officials publicly disclose any interest they hold in government contracts. Politicians’ financial-disclosure statements also will not be posted online for easy access by the public ... in Senate Bill 219 that is going to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk."

http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/senate-passes-final-version-of-ethics-overhaulnew-/nX4Dt/

Reshoring Beginning To Replace Offshoring

Increasing manufacturing, labor and shipping costs are causing factories to be
moved back to the USA more and more. Other factors are also involved:
Owners are tired of having to wait for slow moving container ships;
a weaker dollar has made foreign-made goods more expensive;
USA companies are becoming increasingly robotic.

The cost of manufacturing in China and the USA will soon be much more equal.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/made-usa-back-style-small-businesses

N. Korean Military: biggest in world (per capita)

On a per capita basis, North Korea is the most heavily militarized country in the
world, with 49 military personnel for every 1,000 residents. Israel has
23 per 1,000. The USA has 5.5 per 1,000. China has 1.7 per.

http://www.politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2013/may/10/jack-reed/sen-jack-reed-says-capita-north-korea-has-one-worl/

My Comment:
Since it was North Korea that invaded South Korea on the first place over 60
years ago and has remained a bellicose and extremely repressive
"hereditary totalitarian dictatorship", it would be foolish to ignore
the growing threat. Especially since China is less and less able to
influence their "psychotic stepchild".

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

DentaTreat Your Dogs' Teeth

I inherited an elderly Chihuahua with bad breath and very badly plaqued teeth. Fortunately, I was already familiar with DentaTreat --- a powdered cheese product that you simply sprinkle on the dogs' dry food. After two months, her teeth are almost white and her breath is normal dog breath. I predict normal looking teeth within another month and this means she won't lose her chompers.

Our Cairn Terrier used to have to have her teeth cleaned at the vet annually. But once DentaTreat came along, no more vet bills for that. All of my other dogs had had clean teeth from chewing bones and sticks, so this had been a new experience.
Read more by googling "DentaTreat".

http://www.wysong.net/products/dentatreat-dog-cat-supplement.php

Climate Change Basis

Since 1896, scientists have been puzzling about how much of a
temperature increase on Earth would occur if carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere doubled. This "climate sensitivity number", based on the
doubling of CO2, is predicted to be as low as 3 degrees F. by the few
optimists and as high as 8 degrees F. by the pessimists. Most believe
that the increase will be about 5 degrees F. overall.

As an'overall' average for the entire planet's surface, five degrees may not
seem like much; but, if you account that the ocean covers 70% of the
surface and yields less than a five degree increase, it highlights the
fact that the land temperatures will increase proportionately more (and
the poles will increase the most).

All this long term climate change is based on a doubling of CO2. Note that temperature lags behind
CO2 increases. At the present rate of CO2 increases
and the laggardly human response to correct this, we're looking at
eventual tripling or quadrupling of CO2. No computer model can predict
what will happen then.
http://www.google.com/search?q=co2+increase+temperature+change&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=GeqjUaCxD8TeqQHw2YDABQ&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=320&bih=416#biv=i%7C2%3Bd%7COeFYHz0vSs0XHM%3A

Chart:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/science/what-will-a-doubling-of-carbon-dioxide-mean-for-climate.html

Friday, May 17, 2013

Do Pessimists Live Longer?

The more people underestimate their future life satisfaction, the less likely they are to die early or become disabled. Pessimism about the future may encourage people to live more carefully. This holds true for all classes of people.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2013/02/28/pessimists-live-longer-lives-study_n_2781598.html

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Resistance Is NOT Futile

There is a black ant that raids an amber colored ants' broods and steals their young brood ants to then serve as slaves raising the young of the black ants. The lives of these slave ants are seemingly at an evolutionary dead end for their species.  That is until it was realized that the slave ants were "turning the tables" on their masters by neglecting and killing the black ants' young in the process of supposedly caring for them. The mortality rate for black brood ants is 60% where slave ants are the caregivers; but, where black ant colonies do not use slave ants, the mortality rate is only 20%. Thus, it seems that while mutinous ant slaves may not be able to save themselves, by rebelling they reduce the number of slave masters who prey on nearby relatives.                                             

http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/05-how-ant-slaves-overthrow-their-masters#.UYcIHVGtYt4

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

bin Laden Was Right About One Thing???

We could balance our federal budget by reducing our annual spending by $1 trillion each year. Then, if we reduced our spending by another $500 billion annually, we could eliminate our federal debt of $16+ trillion in 35 years. However, we currently add about $1 trillion to our national debt each year, thus weakening the value of the dollar and our economy.

Looks like Osama bin Laden's pre-9/11 predictions were prophetic. He knew from watching the Soviet debachel in Afghanistan where our Achilles heel was  to be found.... the "long term" costs of the Iraq Afghanistan war is at least $1 trillion annually.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reducing / delaying Risk of Dementias:

Reducing / delaying risk of dementias:

Homocysteine blood levels. Elevated blood levels of homocysteine — a type of amino acid produced by your body — may increase your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. When working properly, your body breaks down homocysteine using vitamins B-6, B-12 and folic acid (B-9). If this isn't happening properly, it may be because you don't metabolize these vitamins well, or you don't have enough of them in your diet. Blood tests can determine whether you have elevated homocysteine levels.

Lower your homocysteine levels. Early research has shown that high doses of three B vitamins — B-9 folic acid, B-6 and B-12 — help lower homocysteine levels and appear to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/folic-acid-foods/

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/vitamins-minerals/9-foods-rich-in-vitamin-b6.html

http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-high-in-vitamin-B12.php

Reduce Homocysteine levels:
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/mobileart.asp?articlekey=20052

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Godfather of Hindu Nationalism: Thackeray

Bal Thackeray, right-wing nationalist of the Shiv Sena party and champion of Hindutva (Hindu facism) recently died. Mumbai's native people, ethnic Marathi (original inhabitants of Mumbai's state of Maharashtra) turned out in force to mourn the death of the 86-year old admirer of Hitler's theories of ethnic cleansing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bal_Thackeray

Related blog posting:
http://girishshahane.blogspot.com/2012/12/this-mornings-accident.html

Friday, January 25, 2013

Boys & Girls Are Growing UP Too Fast

Boys and girls in the USA are hitting puberty almost 2 years younger than they did in the 1970s!  Obesity and estrogen-mimicking chemicals  are two of the main causes. Though long-term medical effects are of concern, perhaps even more significant is the fact that the brain still matures at the same old rate and life experience accumulates only so fast. This means that pre-teens are feeling impulses and urges earlier and enduring the consequences of risky behaviors longer.