Clarion Front Cover

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CORONADO HIGH MOVIE UPDATE

George Clooney Snags A Writer For His Drug Smuggling Drama Coronado High  image
As a filmmaker, George Clooney has shown a deep passion for bringing audiences true stories that are stranger than fiction. To date, he’s helmed the bizarre Chuck Barris biopic Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the celebrated Edward R. Murrow-centered docudrama Goodnight and Good Luck, and the star-stuffed World War II drama The Monuments Men. For his next venture, Clooney is turning to drug smuggling, and he’s picked up a solid accomplice. THR reports George Clooney and producing partner Grant Heslov have hired Debora Cahn to pen the screenplay for their upcoming drama Coronado High. Like those movies mentioned above, Coronado High finds its inspiration in real-life events, in this case that of Lou Villar, a hippie teacher and swimming coach in 1969 Cornado, California, who decided to enlist his students in a plan to smuggle pot from Mexico. In a plan perfect for dopey surfer teens, they transported the illegal drugs via surfboards. Remarkably, this wonky beginning built up a drug empire that was worth $100 million at its peak, and branched out to Mexico, Morocco and Thailand. Of course, this higher learning organization was eventually taken down by the DEA. Debora Cahn drew Hollywood’s first notice with The Special Program, her adapted screenplay of the Washington Post article Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency that earned a coveted spot on the Black List. Coronado High will mark the first screenplay of Debora Cahn’s to be produced. She is far more established as a TV writer, having penned episodes of such celebrated and adored series as The West Wing and Grey’s Anatomy. Clooney and Heslov entrusting her with this assignment speaks well of her skills, as does her two Emmy nominations for her work on Grey’s Anatomy. On top of that, Cahn has some solid sources of inspiration from which to pull. Smokehouse, Clooney and Heslov’s production banner, has secured the rights to Joshua Bearman’s investigative article “Coronado High,” which broke this wild story down. “Coronado High” was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Multimedia, 2014, and you can buy it here, if you’re interested.

We first got word of Coronado High back in April of 2013, when George Clooney’s acquisition of the yet-to-be-published Bearman article made headlines. Now you might think it’s strange that an article can get a movie deal before being published, but Bearman and Clooney had a pretty special relationship at this point. See, Joshua Bearman wrote the article that inspired Argo, the docudrama that won Clooney a Best Picture Oscar for his hand in producing. With a working relationship like that, it makes perfect sense that a Clooney would have an inside line on the Coronado story. And if his instincts on Cahn are right, the two-time Oscar winner could be polishing a third statue before long.

 

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DOG LOVE


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SILENCE REST AND SOLITUDE

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By: Thai Nguyen


It’s amazing how tuned out we become to the motor of the air-conditioner and refrigerator — the sudden silence is a startling reprieve. Likewise, we become numb to the buzz of our technology saturated world.

Smartphone users check their device every 6.5 minutes, which works out to around 150 times a day. Silence is replaced with a cacophony of communication, and solitude is replaced with social media.

Indeed they’re an endangered species: silence and solitude; yet great revelations and benefits are found in them. Here are ten:

1. Bypassing Burnout
Too often, our culture assigns self-worth with productivity. Whether it’s asking what your country can do for you, or what you can do for your country, the question remains — what can be done? It’s a one-way ticket to burnout.

Solitude allows for a break from the tyrant of productivity. And rather than being in opposition, doing nothing helps with doing much. Promega is a company with on-the-job “third spaces” where employees are able to take solitude breaks and meditate in natural light. The health benefits have resulted in improved productivity levels for the company. And will do the same for us.

2. Heightened Sensitivity
For many, attempting ten days of silence would be akin to walking on water. Vipassana silent retreats are exactly that; participants are instructed to refrain from reading, writing, or eye contact.

One hundred scientists went on a retreat for research and noted that shutting off the faculty of speech heightens awareness in other areas. Beginning with breathing, that focus and sensitivity is then transferred to sights, sounds, sensations, thoughts, intentions, and emotions.

3. Dissolving Tomorrow’s Troubles
Alan Watts argues that our frustration and anxiety is rooted in being disconnected — living in the future, which is but an illusion.

Silence brings our awareness back to the present — where concrete happiness is experienced. Watts makes the distinction between our basic and ingenious consciousness; the latter makes predictions based on our memories, which seem so real to the mind that we’re caught in a hypothetical abstraction. It plans out our lives with an abstract happiness, but an abstract happiness is a very real disappointment.

The future falls short of what the present can deliver. Silence and solitude pulls us out and immerses us back in the present.

4. Improves Memory
Combining solitude with a walk in nature causes brain growth in the hippocampus region, resulting in better memory.

Evolutionists explain that being in nature sparks our spatial memory as it did when our ancestors went hunting — remembering where the food and predators were was essential for survival. Taking a walk alone gives the brain uninterrupted focus and helps with memory consolidation.

5. Strengthens Intention and Action
Psychologist Kelly McGonigal says during silence, the mind is best able to cultivate a form of mindful intention that later motivates us to take action.

Intentional silence puts us in a state of mental reflection and disengages our intellectual mind. At that point McGonigal says to ask yourself three questions:

“If anything were possible, what would I welcome or create in my life?”
“When I’m feeling most courageous and inspired, what do I want to offer the world?”
“When I’m honest about how I suffer, what do I want to make peace with?”
Removing that critical mind allows the imagination and positive emotions to build a subconscious intention and add fuel to our goals. McGonigal explains, “When you approach the practice of figuring this stuff out in that way, you start to get images and memories and ideas that are different than if you tried to answer those questions intellectually.”

6. Increases Self-Awareness
The visceral reaction of cussing at a loved one or over-disciplining our children often comes with regret. It happens when we’re completely governed by actions, and absent of reasonable thought.

In silence, we make room for the self-awareness to be in control of our actions, rather than under their control. The break from external voices puts us in tune to our inner voices — and it’s those inner voices that drive our actions. Awareness leads to control.

Practice becoming an observer of your thoughts. The human will is strengthened whenever we choose not to respond to every actionable thought.

7. Grow Your Brain
The brain is the most complex and powerful organ, and like muscles, benefits from rest. UCLA research showed that regular times set aside to disengage, sit in silence, and mentally rest, improves the the “folding” of the cortex and boosts our ability to process information.

Carving out as little as 10 minutes to sit in your car and visualize peaceful scenery (rainforest, snow-falling, beach) will thicken grey matter in your brain.

8. “A-Ha” Moments
The creative process includes a crucial stage called incubation, where all the ideas we’ve been exposed to get to meet, mingle, marinate — then produce a eureka or “A-ha” moment. The secret to incubation? Nothing. Literally; disengage from the work at hand, and take a rest. It’s also the elixir for mental blocks.

What’s typically seen as useless daydreaming is now being seen as an essential experience. Professor Jonathan Schooler from UC Santa Barbara says, “Daydreaming and boredom seem to be a source for incubation and creative discovery in the brain.”

9. Mastering Discomfort
Just when you’ve found a quiet place to sit alone and reflect, an itch will beckon to be scratched. But many meditation teachers will encourage you to refrain, and breath into the experience until it passes. Along with bringing your mind back from distracting thoughts and to your breathing, these practices during silence and solitude work to build greater self-discipline.

10. Emotional Cleansing
Our fight/flight mechanism causes us to flee not only from physical difficulties, but also emotional difficulties. Ignoring and burying negative emotions however, only causes them to manifest in stress, anxiety, anger, and insomnia.

Strategies to release emotional turbulence include sitting in silence and thinking in detail about what triggered the negative emotion. The key is to do so as an observer — stepping outside of yourself as if you’re reporting for a newspaper. It’s a visualization technique used by psychotherapists to detach a person from their emotions, which allows you to process an experience objectively and rationally.

MePen

About the author.
Thai’s family fled from Vietnam after the war, and made it to Australia. His diverse background and passion for people includes being a 5-star chef specializing in nutrition-rich menus; and an international kick boxer and personal trainer. After attending seminary and helping people on their spiritual journey, he is now completing his Masters degree in Psychotherapy. You can follow his work at TheUtopianLife.com | @ThaiWins

 

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CAT CAFE

slide_379512_4489154_freeWould you like a cat with that pumpkin spice latte?

Cat Town Cafe became the first permanent cat cafe in the U.S. when it opened its doors last week in Oakland, California. Founded by cat lovers Adam Myatt and Ann Dunn, Cat Town Cafe is a “cross between a coffee shop and an adoption center,” according to Mashable.

The concept of cat cafes started in Taiwan with the idea that customers can enjoy a hot beverage and get in some quality cat time.
“Cat cafes are places where people go to hang out, have a drink, and of course, observe and play with cats,” the Cat Town Cafe Indiegogo page explains.

Customers have the option of either walking in or making a reservation before their visit to Cat Town Cafe, where they order drinks and food and then walk into what Mashable describes as “an elaborate play area” to spend time with six to 12 cats at a time.

The hope is that the Cat Town Cafe kitties will find forever families. Each cat is available for adoption, and the cafe gets them out of local shelters. The venture is an extension of Dunn’s rescue organization, simply called Cat Town, which “[targets] the cats least likely to be adopted from Oakland’s municipal shelter,” its website reads. “Through our foster-based program, Cat Town allows sensitive cats to blossom and find great permanent homes.”

Funds for the cafe came from an Indiegogo campaign that raised $40,000; another $20,000 was donated by Pet Food Express.

Mashable notes Cat Town Cafe has been a huge success so far, with reservations completely booked for the first three weekends.

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Magic Mushrooms

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The active ingredient in the psychedelic drug, psilocybin, seems to completely disrupt the normal communication networks in the brain, by connecting “brain regions that don’t normally talk together,” said study co-author Paul Expert, a physicist at King’s CollegeLondon.

The research, which was published today (Oct. 28) in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, is part of a larger effort to understand how psychedelic drugs work, in the hopes that they could one day be used by psychiatrists — in carefully controlled settings — to treat conditions such as depression, Expert said. [Trippy Tales: The History of 8 Hallucinogens]
Magic mushrooms

Psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, is best known for triggering vivid hallucinations. It can make colors seem oversaturated and dissolve the boundaries between objects.

But the drug also seems to have more long-lasting effects. Many people report intensely spiritual experiences while taking the drug, and some studies even suggest that one transcendent trip can alter people’s personalities on a long-term basis, making those individuals more open to new experiences and more appreciative of art, curiosity and emotion.

People who experiment with psilocybin “report it as one of the most profound experiences they’ve had in their lives, even comparing it to the birth of their children,” Expert told Live Science.

Making connections

Scientists have long known that psilocybin binds to a receptor in the brain for serotonin, a brain chemical that plays a role in mood, appetite and sleep, but exactly how the drug transforms the whole brain’s pattern of communication isn’t clear.

In past work, Expert’s colleagues had found that psilocybin spurred the brain into a more dreamlike state, and that the drug decreased brain activity.

In the current study, the team used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the brain activity of 15 healthy volunteers — once after they had taken a placebo, and once after they took the hallucinogen psilocybin. (The team chose only people who had reported past positive experiences with magic mushrooms to prevent them from panicking inside the claustrophobic MRI machines.)

The team then compared the brain activity of the individuals on and off the drug, and created a map of connections between different brain regions.

Psilocybin dramatically transformed the participants’ brain organization, Expert said. With the drug, normally unconnected brain regions showed brain activity that was synchronized tightly in time. That suggested the drug was stimulating long-range connections the brain normally wouldn’t make. After the drug wore off, brain activity went back to normal.

Drug’s effect

Psilocybin may create a brain state akin to synesthesia, a sensory effect in which one sense stimulus (such as a number) always gets paired in the brain with another (such as a color or a sound), the researchers wrote in the paper. People with synesthesia may see certain colors when they hear music, or always see the number 3 in yellow, for instance, Expert said.

The findings could help scientists who are studying the drug as a potential treatment for depression, Expert said. Past work has found that people tend to be happier even after using psilocybin just once, but scientists would need to get a much better picture of how the drug impacts the brain before using psilocybin to treat depression, Expert said.

The research could ultimately also help answer bigger questions of the mind, like how people construct a sense of self.

“Through studies such as these we can really begin to tackle the questions of how we achieve coherent experiences of ourselves in the world around us, and understand what makes this break down,” said Mitul Mehta, a psychopharmacology researcher at King’s College London, who was not involved in the study.

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AFTER WALMART

You can now find a Walmart in most towns and cities. Usually taking up an average 2.5 football fields of space, they are almost always massive, preying on our programmed materialism with cheap goods usually made in third world countries. So what happens when one of them closes? Usually not much, but one town in Texas had another idea.

Instead of letting this massive building sit vacant, officials in McAllen, Texas did something pretty amazing. They transformed the vacant property into the largest single floor public library in America.

Books and knowledge over goods? I like this idea. Check out some of the images below:

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Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

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A new type of brain cell has been discovered

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A strange new type of nerve cell, or neuron, has been observed in the brain that transmits information without involving the cell body – and, incredibly, it appears to be better at transmitting information than regular brain cells.
Neurons rapidly fire messages around our bodies by transmitting electrical signals to one another. Although these cells vary in shape and size, they all have the same general design: signals are received by a nerve cell’s finger-like dendrites, transmitted through its round cell body, and then passed on via the cell’s long, thin axon.
However, a team led by researchers from Heidelberg University in Germany have discovered a new type of neuron in the brain, which bypasses the cell body altogether and has the axon attach directly to a dendrite.
They described the new cell in the journal Neuron at the end of September.
Just like a bypass road on a highway, this new cell shape speeds up the transmission of information to other neurons.
“Input signals at this dendrite do not need not be propagated across the cell body,” Christian Thome, a neuroscientist from Heidelberg University and one of the lead authors of the study, explained in a press release.
The researchers discovered the cell in the hippocampus of mice, the brain region associated with memory. The neurons in this region are known as pyramidal cells because of their triangular cell bodies.
To investigate how the axon was connecting in these cells, the reserachers used fluorescent red protein that attached to the base of these pyramidal axons. They were expecting them to connect to the cell body, but instead were surprised that many were in fact attaching to a dendrite.
“We found that in more than half of the cells, the axon does not emerge from the cell body, but arises from a lower dendrite,” said Thome.
They then tested whether these special axon-attached dendrites behaved differently to regular ones, by using a form of the neurotransmitter glutamate, a chemical released by nerve cells to transmit messages, that can be activated with light.
Using a high-resolution microscope, the scientists aimed a beam of light directly at a specific dendrite, triggering the glutamate, and activating a signal into the neuron.
They found that the dendrites connected directly to an axon responded strongly to even the smallest spike in neurotransmitter, and were therefore much better at passing a message on.
“Our measurements indicate that dendrites that are directly connected to the axon, actively propagate even small input stimuli and activate the neuron,” said Tony Kelly, the co-author, from the University of Bonn, also in Germany, in the release. The researchers are calling this new method of transmitting signals ‘privileged synaptic input’.
Using a computer simulation, they found that this effect would be particularly enhanced when the messages from other dendrites was slowed down by suppressing signals in the cell body.
“That way, information transmitted by this special dendrite influences the behaviour of the nerve cell more than input from any other dendrite,” said Kelly.
The next step is for them to figure out which biological functions are being sped up by these special dendrites.

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CODE BROKEN

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Scientists have been trying to decipher the mysterious “Phaistos Disk” ever since the 4,000-year-old clay disk was discovered in 1908 on the Greek island of Crete.

But no one seems to have been able to translate the mysterious language inscribed on the disk, which dates back to 1700 B.C. and the height of the Minoan civilization — until now.

Dr. Gareth Owens, who has been studying what he cheekily refers to as the “first Minoan CD-ROM,” has figured out not only what the language sounded like but also some of the meaning it conveys, Discovery News reported.

“In collaboration with John Coleman, professor of phonetics at Oxford, we spent six years producing the best possible reading,” Owens, a linguist researcher with the Technological Educational Institute of Crete, told The Huffington Post in an email.

The disk can be read in a spiral direction from the outside rim to the inside. Using what previous studies have shown about Cretan hieroglyphics, and the scripts Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B from ancient Greece, the researcher was able to identify three key words:

IQEKURJA, which may mean “pregnant mother” and/or “goddess.”
IQE, which may mean “mother” and/or “goddess” and which appears repeatedly on the disk.
IQEPAJE or IQE-PHAE, which may mean “shining mother” or “goddess.”
Owens concluded that the disk may contain a prayer to a Minoan goddess.

“The goddess mother has been suspected for a century because of what we think we know about Minoan religion, but the point was to prove it linguistically,” Owens said in the email. “The proof is in the pudding.”

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GREY’S ANATOMY WRITER

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Debora Cahn will adapt “Coronado High” for Columbia, which Clooney is producing with his Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov.

Debora Cahn, who was a longtime writer/consulting producer on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, has been tapped to pen Coronado High for Columbia Pictures.

George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing via their Smokehouse banner, as is David Klawans.

Coronado High is based on an article byJoshua Bearman, the same journalist whose article for Wired became the basis for the Oscar-winning movie Argo (which Clooney and Heslov produced with Ben Affleck).

Bearman’s Coronado piece, first published on the Atavist, told of how starting in 1969, a hippie teacher in the sleepy naval beach town of Coronado, Calif., and some high school students came up with the idea of smuggling pot from Mexico via swimming and paddling surfboards. Out of that rose a 1970s criminal empire, one that was eventually taken down by the DEA.   

Cahn started her screenwriting career as a staff scribe on The West Wing, even winning a WGA award. She wrote The Special Program, which was near the top of last year’s Black List. The feature script was an adaptation of Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency by Washington Post investigative reporter Barton Gellman.

Cahn, who is repped by CAA (and also reps Atavist) and Hansen Jacobson, also did a production rewrite on Too Big to Fail for HBO and director Curtis Hanson.

 

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FEAST OF FRIENDS

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Jim is about to punch the camera and the cameraman.

The Doors drummer John Densmore is delighted that unfinished 1968 documentary Feast Of Friends is to be officially released at last – even though he admits: “It’s not a masterpiece.”

And he’s glad that the band’s only UK appearance, at London’s Roundhouse, is included in the package, which goes on sale via Eagle Rock on November 10.

Feast Of Friends was left incomplete after finance was withdrawn as a result of frontman Jim Morrison’s arrest for allegedly exposing himself in Miami – for which he was pardoned in 2010.

Densmore tells MusicRadar: “Not too much more was planned at the time – we didn’t have too far to go on it. The label didn’t step in, though. We were getting a little worried because we were putting a lot of money into this thing. Of course, Ray Manzarek and Jim were like, ‘So what?’ That was their world pretty much. So the project kind of stopped at a point, but what’s there is great – I’m sure glad that we have it.

“What pleases me about this release is that the Roundhouse performance is being included. For years I’ve said that, even though it’s black and white, it’s our best performance on film.”

He believes the documentary shows they were more like the Beatles than the Stones backstage. “It wasn’t crazy; everything was pretty subdued – unless Jim was drinking. Then we’d be worried: ‘Oh, God, is Jim going go over the line, or is he going have just the right balance?’ Of course, all of that chaos and danger kind of made us who we were.”

And despite the dramas of dealing with Morrison when he did go too far, Densmore insists they never considered trying to hold him back. “We knew Jim was magic. There’d be times when we’d be riffing on a groove, and then he’d go off and do some wild poetry or confront the audience. But the whole time we’d lay down a bed of sound and keep that going while he did whatever was on his mind.”

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The Hyacinth House

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“What are they doing in the Hyacinth House? 

What are they doing in the Hyacinth House? 

To please the lions this day “…….

It’s official! The house at 8216 Norton Avenue where Jim Morrison and Pam Courson once lived is now a bed and breakfast. The property also boasts a plaque stating “Last U.S. Home of Jim Morrison”.

Cheri Woods the owner of the Norton Avenue house, which she calls ‘Cheri Amour’ has a long track record of trying to exploit the property and its association with Morrison and Courson for profit. She’s sold vials of dirt from the property calling it ‘Doors Dirt’, the appliances, and against zoning laws has rented the house out and given quick tours for $20. This past spring Woods applied for and has been granted a Cultural Resource Designation paving the way for her to make the property a bed and breakfast.

Yesterday a rental listing went live online for monthly rentals of the house. Of course the main attraction is being in the same space as Morrison and Courson, sleeping in their master bedroom, or sitting in the same living room where Morrison gave his last U.S. interview to Ben Fong-Torres. The house boasts easy access to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and the Sunset Strip (“for the exciting night life where you will rub shoulders with the stars”). The listing also assures, “We are the location of choice for entertainment industry luminaries!” You can also bring your pets to stay with you.

A few drawbacks, no central air though a couple of rooms have window unit air conditioners, and a minimum stay of 30 days. How much does this all cost? Average price $3000 for the month. If you would like more information on staying at the Norton Avenue house or you would like to see a slideshow of the interior, visit Jim Morrison’s Last U.S. Home at Roomorama. Tell them Jim sent you.

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Tough Cop Rescue

 

dfgJack Mook may have a tough exterior, but make no mistake — the Pittsburgh police detective has a heart of gold.

On Sept. 16, the 45-year-old bachelor officially became the adoptive father to 15-year-old Josh and 11-year-old Jessee, Trib Total Media reported. Unfortunately, the two brothers had lived through years of abuse and neglect before falling into the care of Detective Mook.

In the winter of 2012, Mook — a 22-year police department veteran — grew suspicious after Josh and Jessee stopped showing up for training sessions at the Steel City Boxing gym where Mook volunteers, CBS News reported. Mook knew the majority of kids he works with at the gym are underprivileged and living in difficult situations, and he wanted to check in on Josh and Jessee.

“Mostly, kids that come in this gym are street kids,” he told the outlet. “Many of them have been born into poverty.”

After Mook tracked down Josh at school, he learned the harsh reality of the brothers’ circumstances. Josh and Jessee had been living in foster care — in a “dilapidated home [with] roaches [and] rats,” according to KDKA Morning News.

“They have had it as worse as any other kid that’s lived in the city of Pittsburg, living conditions wise,” Mook told CBS News. “I had enough of it.”

Mook figured out how the brothers could live with him instead of returning to foster care — “I slept the best I ever did that night,” Josh told CBS News of staying with Mook for the first time. And in September — seven years after he’d originally met the brothers — the Pittsburgh bachelor made it official and adopted Josh and Jessee.

“I’m very happy,” Jessee said after the adoption, according to Trib Total Media. “His house is clean, he has great rules, and I know he’s going to make me a better man in life.”

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Martin Scorsese is Producing a Documentary on The Grateful Dead

 

Grateful_Dead_(1970)_(1)Martin Scorsese will co-executive produce an authorized feature documentary on the Grateful Dead in honor of the band’s 50th anniversary. Deadline Hollywood is reporting that the film will be directed by Amir Bar-Lev, who is known for his films The Tillman Story and Happy Valley. Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux will serve as the film’s music supervisor.

According to Deadline Hollywood, the currently unnamed project will include never-before-seen footage of concerts and backstage antics, along with new interviews from surviving members Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and others from the Grateful Dead circle.

A statement from Lesh, Weir, Hart and Kreutzmann reads, “Millions of stories have been told about the Grateful Dead over the years. With our 50th Anniversary coming up, we thought it might just be time to tell one ourselves and Amir is the perfect guy to help us do it. Needless to say, we are humbled to be collaborating with Martin Scorsese. From The Last Waltz to George Harrison: Living In The Material World, from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones, he has made some of the greatest music documentaries ever with some of our favorite artists and we are honored to have him involved. The 50th will be another monumental milestone to celebrate with our fans and we cannot wait to share this film with them.”

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GENTLE CAT

544038051b7ae.image544038036b3ce.imageAs Edwin Gehlert drew his last breaths in a hospital bed at the VA Center, the World War II veteran was surrounded by his wife, daughter, son-in-law, a nurse — and an orange tabby cat named Tom.

Tom lay on a bookcase and watched over the emotional scene in Gehlert’s room in the Salem VA Medical Center’s Hospice and Palliative Care unit. The cat almost seemed like a member of the medical team providing end-of life-care, and in a way, he was.

For more than two years, Tom has lived in the hospice ward, where he roams the hall freely like a doctor making his rounds, nibbles treats sneaked to him by patients and brings comfort to old soldiers and their families during an emotional time.

“I didn’t leave the hospital that day in sorrow or tears over losing my daddy,” said Pam Thompson, Gehlert’s daughter. “I had so much joy in my heart, I almost felt guilty. It was not a sad day. Tom was the reason for that.”

Tom, a cat rescued from an animal shelter, is about 7 years old. He had been on the job only a few days when Gehlert arrived for in-patient hospice care in May 2012. The staff had been inspired to bring a cat to the unit after some of them read a book about a cat who comforted Alzheimer’s patients in a nursing center in Rhode Island.

The Salem VA staff thought a cat would help ease the suffering and stress for patients and their families. They adopted a male tabby from the Animal Care Center of Salem as an experiment, not knowing whether patients — or even the nurses and doctors on duty — would approve of a cat prowling the halls.

Now, it’s hard for some of those same workers to imagine life in the ward without Tom. Families have thanked the staff for Tom’s calming presence. He’s even become the subject of a children’s book written by a local first-time author, whose own father died in the hospice and palliative care unit in 2012.

Tom has made the final hours of many veterans easier for families to endure.

“My husband had a beautiful passing because of that cat,” said Elizabeth Gehlert. “I had such joy in my heart.”

Finding Tom

Dottie Rizzo, the Salem VA’s palliative care coordinator, knew about hospitals across the country that had introduced therapeutic animals such as cats, dogs and fish into their hospice and palliative care departments.

“One in California even has a miniature pony,” Rizzo said, noting that representatives from those hospitals reported positive experiences for patients and families.

For more than 30 years, studies have shown that animals provide health benefits for humans. People who own dogs often have lower blood pressure than those who don’t. Recent studies have shown that contact with animals might even increase humans’ levels of oxytocin, a hormone that helps the body heal and makes people calmer and happier. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia have shown improved brain activity and social skills after interacting with animals.

Rizzo and Laura Hart, a physician assistant, were among the first Salem VA staffers to read “Making the Rounds with Oscar,” a book written by Dr. David Dosa, a geriatric physician in Providence, Rhode Island who recounted how a cat named Oscar roamed a nursing center filled with many patients with dementia. Dosa wrote that Oscar seemed to have a gift for knowing when patients were about to die, as he curled up on their beds during their final moments.

After they read the book, Rizzo, Hart and others immediately sought a suitable cat for their department. They contacted the Animal Care Center of Salem, where office worker Lisa Tyree helped them find Tom at a local animal shelter.

When the skinny tabby was brought to the hospice and palliative care unit, some workers were concerned about animal allergies and the potential mess a cat would leave behind. Rizzo told them that if any problems arose, Tyree would adopt the cat.

The staff named him Tom. He’s been the “hospice cat” ever since.

“It’s been wonderful,” Rizzo said.

During Tom’s first week on the floor, Rizzo said that “he participated in three of the deaths,” which makes it sound as if he was an acting physician or nurse. Like the cat in “Making the Rounds with Oscar,” she said Tom often seems to know when a patient’s final hours have arrived.

“He shows up at the right time,” she said.

‘It’s Knothead!’

Erwin “Skip” Wyman awoke from a recent late-afternoon nap and saw Tom curled on top of the blankets near his feet, as if he was snuggled in his own kitty bed.

“I won’t kick you out of bed, even though you’re just an old Tom,” Wyman said.

Wyman, 79, an Air Force veteran who was stationed in Alaska during the tense early days of the Cold War, had been in the hospital for a couple of weeks. After being diagnosed with lung cancer five months ago, he moved from his home in Florida to live with his daughter in Lynchburg, so that he could be closer to the Salem VA.

When he came to the hospice and palliative care unit, he was told that there was a cat that lived on the floor. Some patients don’t want a cat coming into their room, but Wyman was happy to meet Tom, who reminded him of a cat his family had as a pet when his children were young — a cat named Knothead.

“The first time he saw the cat on the hall, he said. ‘It’s Knothead!’” said his daughter, Jane Winston.

Now, Wyman believes Tom is a reincarnation of Knothead. Tom comes and goes as he pleases, sometimes spending hours in Wyman’s room before heading off on his rounds.

“He laid on that chair an hour and a half today,” Wyman said, as he ignored a made-for-cable movie on the television. “He had never come up and stayed on the bed before, but this is the second day he’s done that.”

Wyman grew up in rural Connecticut, where the neighbors had a farm and animals. When he and his twin brother were just 4 years old, they liked to wander to a stone wall where they could feed carrots to a horse.

“I like animals, period,” he said.

Sixth sense?

Since almost the beginnings of recorded history, animals — especially cats — have been credited with having extrasensory powers that enable them to perceive imminent events, such as deaths. Some of the stories are folkloric and rife with superstitions of primitive ages. Other stories can be explained scientifically. For example, some evidence has shown that certain animals might be able to predict earthquakes through hypersensitive hearing or other sensations.

Mark Wadstrom, a veterinarian at the Salem clinic that helped find Tom, said that animals have long shown abilities to perceive things that humans do not.

“Animals have compassion,” he said. “I’ve been practicing 23 years and there’s an innate ability in certain animals that allows them to recognize people in their final stages. I don’t have a great explanation why that is. But when we have an animal in its last stages at the clinic, you’ll see it comforted by other animals.”

Many scientists and doctors don’t believe cats have any special extrasensory powers when it comes to predicting death. They say a cat might visit a dying person because it followed other people into the room, was attracted to warm blankets or sought food.

Edwin Gehlert’s family, however, will have none of that.

Gehlert was the first patient to arrive after Tom made his debut at the VA. A World War II Army veteran who had served in Europe, Gehlert and his wife were from outside of Philadelphia and had moved to Roanoke to be closer to their daughter’s family in Eagle Rock. In April 2012, he suffered a serious stroke and had been at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital before going into hospice care, which the Salem VA provides for free for all military veterans.

Tom’s appearance in her father’s room when he was dying was “beyond a coincidence in my eyes,” said Thompson, Gehlert’s daughter, who was also in the room.

“Everybody has their own beliefs and can think what they want to think. The morning Daddy died, Tom moseyed in and out a lot and was low-key. As it got closer to the time that Daddy was getting close [to death], he made his presence more known. When Daddy was very, very close to taking his last breath, Tom jumped up on the bed.”

A few minutes after her father died, Tom put his paw on Gehlert’s hand. Thompson took a photograph.

“It was as if God was talking to me through Tom,” she said. “It was almost like God saying, ‘I’ve got ahold of him. He’s going to be OK.’ … It was absolutely mind-boggling.”

‘Coming home’

Other families have had similar experiences.

Sharon Herndon of Roanoke said she was “elated” to see Tom after her father, Kenneth Francisco, was admitted to hospice care in late November 2012. Her father, who served in the Army Air Corps at the tail end of World War II and was called back to duty during the Korean War, had dementia and had suffered a series of strokes. Tom was a regular visitor to his room, his daughter said.

“It felt like coming home, the way the room was set up, the way Tom was in there,” Herndon said. “Every time we were there, Tom was in there with him.”

After her father died, Herndon was inspired to write her first-ever book, “Tom the Angel Cat,” a story for children about her experiences at the VA. Connor Jones, a fifth-grader at Mountain View Elementary School whose artwork has raised money for charity, drew illustrations for the book.

Herndon has sold a couple of hundred copies of the self-published book, which is available at Amazon.com under her author’s name, Kai Herndon. She and Connor held a book signing at the VA in September, when she donated a book to the hospice and palliative care staff.

“It’s my way of saluting my dad,” Herndon said of her book. “Tom gave me inspiration. I really wanted to do something for the VA and the good work they do. They really helped me.”

As much comfort as Tom brings to terminally ill patients, perhaps it’s the families he helps the most.

“Some people say he’s a godsend,” said Wadstrom, the veterinarian.

Thompson, who misses her father every day, agreed:

“I’d give that cat a golden bed if I could.”

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Forgotten Words

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October 16 is World Dictionary Day, marking the birthday of the great American lexicographer Noah Webster. Born in Connecticut in 1758, Webster published his first dictionary, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, in 1806, but it was his two-volume American Dictionary of the English Language published in 1828 (when he was 70 years old) that earned him his place in history as the foremost lexicographer of American English.

The statistics alone speak for themselves: Webster’s American Dictionary took him 28 years to complete. In preparation he learned 26 languages, including Old English, Ancient Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. The final draft listed and defined 70,000 words, more than any other dictionary in history (and 30,000 more than Samuel Johnson’s dictionary had almost a century earlier). 1 in every 6 of Webster’s words had never been listed in a dictionary before; as a dictionary of American English, he radically chose to include a whole new vocabulary of emerging Americanisms like squash, skunk, hickory, chowder and applesauce for the very first time. And he famously took the opportunity to push through his ideas on English spelling reform – some of which took (center, color, honor, ax), and some of which didn’t (dawter, wimmen, cloke, tung).

Despite all of his efforts, Webster’s dictionary sold just 2,500 copies on its publication and he was compelled to mortgage his home in New Haven to fund a second edition in 1840. Three years later, having never quite gained the recognition his work deserved in his lifetime, he died at the age of 84. Today however, as both a literary and scholarly achievement Webster’s 1828 dictionary is widely regarded as both the first truly comprehensive dictionary of American English, and as one of the most important dictionaries in the history of our language. So to mark World Dictionary Day – and to celebrate what would be Webster’s 256th birthday – here are 26 of some of the most curious, most surprising and most obscure words from Webster’s Dictionary in one handy A to Z.

AFTER-WISE (adj.)
Defined by Webster as “wise afterwards or too late” — or in other words, the perfect term for describing that feeling of knowing exactly what you should have said (or done) after the opportunity to say it (or do it) has passed you by. Other useful after- words on Webster’s list were after-game (a subsequent scheme or plan), after-supper (the time between supper and going to bed), and after-tossing (the rolling of the sea after a storm has passed).

BABBLEMENT (n.)
“Senseless prattle” or “unmeaning words,” according to Webster. To twattle, incidentally, is to gossip or chatter.

CYCOPEDE
Cycopede is all but unique to Webster, who defined it as both a variation of cyclopedia (as in encyclopedia), and as a term for the entire “circle of human knowledge.”

DAGGLE-TAIL (adj.)
As a verb, to daggle is “to befoul” or “dirty”, or more specifically, “to trail in mud or wet grass”. The adjective daggle-tail ultimately describes someone “having the lower ends of garments defiled with mud.”

EAR-ERECTING (adj.)
Another of Webster’s clever compound adjectives, this time describing any sound that “sets up the ears”.

FOPDOODLE (n.)
The perfect name for “an insignificant fellow” — Webster described this word as “vulgar and not used.”

GASTRILOQUIST (n.)
An old-fashioned word for a ventriloquist, or as Webster explains, “one who so modified his voice that it seems to come from another person or place.”

HUGGER-MUGGER (n.)
On the rare occasions when hugger-mugger appears in modern English, it’s typically used to describe a state of noisy confusion or uproar. According to Webster, however, it was a “low cant word” synonymous with privacy or clandestineness — doing something in hugger-mugger, he explained, meant doing it in absolute secrecy.

ILLAQUEATION (n.)
A formal word for “the act of ensnaring; a catching or entrapping.”

JACKPUDDING (n.)
A jackpudding is a “merry-andrew” or “a zany” according to Webster — in other words, a joker who acts the fool to make other people laugh.

KISSING-CRUST (n.)
As loaves of bread expand in the oven as they’re cooked, a kissing-crust forms when they spread so far that they touch.

LONGINQUITY (n.)
Derived from the Latin word for distance, longinquity is a formal word for remoteness or isolation, or for any vast distance in space or time.

MAFFLE (v.)
To stammer or stumble on your words. To faffel means the same thing.

NUNCUPATORY (adj.)
If something is nuncupatory then it exists in name only. The word can also be used to describe a verbal rather than written agreement.

OBAMBULATE (v.)
Literally means “to walk about.” The horseback equivalent, incidentally, is to obequitate — or “to ride about.”

PACKTHREAD (n.)
The strong string or twine used to wrap parcels? That’s packthread.

QUADRIN (n.)
A quadrin was old copper coin, which Webster explains was “in value [worth] about a farthing”. Its name can also be used figuratively of any tiny amount of something, or an insignificant amount of cash.

RAKESHAME (n.)
“A vile, dissolute wretch” — also known as a rampallion, a scroyle, a runnion, a pander, a cullion and (if they seem destined to a life of crime) a crack-rope.

SHEEP-BITE (v.)
To sheep-bite is “to practice petty thefts” according to Webster. Some of his other criminally underused S-words include scantle (“to divide into small pieces”), scranch (“to grind with the teeth”), stalactical (“resembling an icicle”), squabbish (“thick, fat, heavy”) and stramash (“to beat,” “to destroy”). Less useful is sniggle, defined as “to fish for eels by thrusting the bait into their holes.”

TARDIGRADOUS (adj.)
“Slow-paced; moving or stepping slowly.”

UPTRAIN (v.)
To uptrain is “to educate” — literally “to train up.”

VERNATE (v.)
Derived from the Latin word for the spring, to vernate is “to become young again.”

WRANGLESOME (adj.)
To wrangle is “to dispute angrily” or “to involve in contention,” according to Webster. So if you’re wranglesome, then you’re “quarrelsome and contentious.”

XEROPHAGY (n.)
Xerophagy is “the eating of dry meats,” according to Webster, who described the practice as “a sort of fast among the primitive Christians.” In all, he listed just 13 words under X in his dictionary – which is 13 more than Samuel Johnson, who instead stated that “X is a letter which, though found in Saxon words, begins no word in the English language.”

YOKE-MATE (n.)
Also called a yoke-fellow, a yoke-mate is “an associate or companion.”

ZUFFOLO (n.)
Z fairs slightly better than X in Webster’s dictionary, with a total of 85 entries in all. A zuffolo, he explains, is “a little flute… especially that which is used to teach birds.”

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MY KINGDOM FOR A HORSE

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King Richard III’s last moments were likely quick but terrifying, according to a new study of the death wounds of the last king of England to die in battle.

The last king of the Plantagenet dynasty faced his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field on Aug. 22, 1485, only two years after ascending the throne. The battle was the deciding clash in the long-running Wars of the Roses, and ended with the establishment of Henry Tudor as the new English monarch.

But Richard III’s last moments were the stuff of legend alone, as the king’s body was lost until September 2012, when archaeologists excavated it from under a parking lot in Leicester, England. Now, a very delayed postmortem examination reveals that of nearly a dozen wounds on Richard’s body, only two were likely candidates for the fatal blow. Both were delivered to the back of the head

Battle scars

The initial analysis of Richard III’s skeleton highlighted the king’s scoliosis and battle scars, including at least eight wounds on the skull. In the new postmortem, detailed today (Sept. 16) in the medical journal The Lancet, scientists took a deeper look, recording 11 injuries on Richard’s skeleton that occurred around the time of death, including nine injuries to the skull.

Chart shows dagger, sword and halberd wounds to the king’s skeleton.A study of the Medieval king’s skeleton reveals traumatic wounds he received at the time of death. 

Three of the skull injuries were “shaving injuries” to the top of the head, said study researcher Sarah Hainsworth, a professor of materials and forensic engineering at the University of Leicester. These shallow, glancing blows would have sliced the scalp and shaved the skull bone. They would have bled heavily, but would not have been fatal unless untreated. Notably, patterns of striations in the wounds revealed the same weapon probably created these injuries, Hainsworth told Live Science. 

“If you took a block of cheese into your kitchen and used a serrated blade to cut it, you would see these marks that are characteristic of the blade,” she said. Those marks are very similar across the three skull wounds.

But Richard III was almost certainly brought down by more than one man — and more than one weapon. A knife or dagger likely left a 0.4-inch-long (10 millimeters) linear wound on his right lower jaw; he also had a penetrating dagger wound to his right cheek. A keyhole-shaped injury to the top of his head was almost certainly caused by a rondel dagger, a needlelike blade often used in the late Middle Ages. That wound would have caused both internal and external bleeding, but would not have been immediately fatal.

The deathblows likely came from a sword or a bill or halberd, which were bladed weapons on poles often used on the battlefield. At the base of Richard III’s skull, researchers found two wounds, one 2.4 by 2.2 inches (60 by 55 mm) and one 1.21 by 0.67 inches (32 by 17 mm). This wound was in line with another, about 4 inches (105 mm) away on the internal wall of the skull, as well as in line with damage to the top vertebrae. In other words, it appears that the blade entered the head, sliced through the brain and hit the opposite side of the skull. 

The postmortem also revealed two wounds to Richard III’s body. One, likely delivered as a blow from behind with a fine-edged dagger, damaged the right 10th rib. Another, a 1.2-inch-long (30 mm) scrape to the pelvis, delivered through the right buttock, had the potential to be fatal. But that wound was almost certainly delivered after death, Hainsworth said, because Richard III was wearing armor on the battlefield that would have protected him.

This CT reconstruction shows how a blade could have entered Richard III’s right buttock, scraping the pelvis as it went.Pin It This CT reconstruction shows how a blade could have entered Richard III’s right buttock, scraping the pelvis as it went.

Interpreting trauma on a 500-year-old skeleton is difficult, because soft tissue is missing, Heather Bonney, a human remains researcher at the Natural History Museum, London, who was not involved in the research, said in a statement. However, Bonney said, the findings provide a “compelling account” of Richard III’s death.

Last moments

Either of the penetrating head wounds would have been fatal very quickly, Hainsworth said. The findings mesh with near-contemporary accounts of the battle, which hold that Richard III’s horse had become mired in mud, forcing him to dismount. He had either removed or lost his helmet, leaving his head and face vulnerable.

“He was surrounded, probably by a number of people with medieval arms,” Hainsworth said. “He was a warrior, he was a knight, he was a trained fighter, but he would have seen other people die on the battlefield, so he would be very aware of, if you like, what was in store for him.”

The researchers can’t say for sure in what order the wounds were delivered, but historical accounts hold that Richard was kneeling with his head bent forward when the fatal wounds were delivered — a tale consistent with the large wounds to the base of the skull. Richard’s face was actually less mutilated than many battle casualties of the time, Hainsworth said. The choice to spare his face was likely deliberate, she said, as the victors would want to leave no doubt that it was really Richard they had killed.

After death, Richard’s body was stripped of armor and slung over a horse to be taken to Leicester for public display. It was then, Hainsworth said, that the wounds to the back and buttock were likely made as a final humiliation to the defeated king.

“It would have probably been quite quick,” Hainsworth said of Richard III’s death. “But, I would imagine, nonetheless quite frightening.”

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THE MORRISON TRYPTICH

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On October 9, 1970 The Doors were in the process of recording “L.A. Woman”, the last album they were contracted for with Elektra Records. However, Jim Morrison was planning for a future past the release of the album. In the spring of 1971, Morrison was laying plans to release a poetry album without the involvement of the other members of The Doors. In The Doors office that day Jim Morrison started a correspondence with artist T.E. Breitenbach about creating the cover art for his poetry album.

In 1970 T.E. Breitenbach was a college student, in a band, and was a Doors fan who liked Morrison’s surrealistic imagery. Breitenbach wrote Morrison a fan letter telling him he was an artist and offering to paint an album cover for The Doors. Morrison must have immediately thought of his poetry album (in late March of ‘69 he had previously recorded some poems) and sent Breitenbach a letter describing an idea for a triptych that would include: “The left panel depicting a radiant moon-lit beach and an endless stream of young naked couples running silently along the waters edge, on the beach a tiny infant grins at the universe and around its crib stand several ancient old people; the center — a modern city or metropolis of the future at noon, insane with activity; the last panel– a view through a car windshield at night on a long straight desert highway.” Along with the letter, Morrison sent autographed copies of his self-published poetry “The New Creatures” and “An American Prayer” with the promise that if Breitenbach came up with something in the next 4-5 months, “I’m sure I can use it.”

Breitenbach did indeed finish the triptych for Morrison and when he contacted The Doors office was informed by The Doors secretary Kathy Lisciandro that Morrison was in Paris. Before Morrison left for Paris, on December 8, 1970 (Morrison’s 27th birthday), he went into the Village Recorders Studios with John Haeny who was to produce the poetry album. Morrison also signed a contract with Jac Holzman and Elektra Records on December 31, 1970 for the poetry album. Haeny was supposed to fly to Paris in August of ‘71 to finish up the project with Morrison. Had Morrison not died in Paris on July 3, 1970 it is quite probable that he would have finished the poetry album and used Breitenbach’s triptych.

When the surviving Doors (Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Robby Krieger) decided to record Morrison’s poems from the December 1970 poetry sessions they didn’t know that Morrison had commissioned a triptych from Breitenbach. The triptych and its genesis only became known when Breitenbach contacted Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner who forwarded it on to Jerry Hopkins who wrote the original manuscript of the Morrison biography “No One Here Get’s Out Alive.”

T.E. Breitenbach went on to a successful career as a painter and illustrator as well as dabbling in film scoring and acting. For more information on T.E. Breitenbach, his work, or the Jim Morrison triptych visit T.E. Breitenbach’s website.

http://www.tebreitenbach.com/morrison.htm

 

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The Flying Doctor Happy Birthday

Dr William B Davis AKA The Flying Doctor is seventy seven years old today and still making house calls.

Happy Birthday Doc and many more to come.

Al Graham. 

Editor Coronado Clarion

FRONTCOVERPROOF

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Sebastian Bieniek Artiste

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Soul Cat

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Five-year-old Iris Grace Halmshaw of Market Harborough, Leicestershire was diagnosed with autism in December 2011. Since that time, her parents, Arabella Carter-Johnson and Peter-Jon Halmshaw, have been navigating the process of helping their daughter flourish and live her life to the fullest. One of the more remarkable discoveries in this journey has been the blossoming friendship between Iris and her cat, Thula.

Arabella tells The Dodo that she and her husband had been considering a therapy animal for Iris after reading several articles about animals having positive effects on children with autism. After an unsuccessful look at Equine Therapy (Iris had little interest in horses), the family thought about a therapy dog. However, Iris and the prospective therapy dog didn’t really click, as Iris didn’t enjoy being licked and found the dog’s hyperactivity to be upsetting. The family even spoke to various cat rehoming centers and tried out a therapy cat instead, but Iris didn’t have much interest in any of the cats.

Arabella says that “By this point I was getting sick of the idea, I couldn’t carry on with trying out different animals, it wasn’t fair on anyone and not helping Iris at all.”

During Christmas of 2013, however, everything changed. A family member’s Siberian cat was in need of temporary boarding while her owners were abroad, and Arabella and Peter-Jon opened their home to the furry guest. Arabella noticed that Iris and the cat immediately connected with one another. “It was then I realised that I just hadn’t found the right animal yet.”

Arabella was right. Maine Coon kitten Thula was just the right temperament and personality for sensitive Iris. When the two finally met, it was love at first sight. “Thula just settled right in and it was as if she was always here at home with us.”

Thula has since become Iris’ close companion, serving as a wonderful partner for snuggling and naps. The fluffy feline is also Iris’ “faithful assistant” when it comes to painting, one of the five-year-old’s favorite pastimes. Iris’ parents initially encouraged her to paint as a way of assisting with her “speech therapy, joint attention and turn taking.” However, Arabella and Peter-Jon soon discovered that Iris had an amazing natural ability for painting, as well as an “incredible” two-hour concentration span when she worked.

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AQUAMAN

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The news: Aquaman. The Little Mermaid. Spongebob Squarepants. These are just some of our most recognizable heroes who can breathe underwater. And though it seems like the stuff of fiction, breathing underwater may soon be very much a reality.

A group of scientists at the University of Southern Denmark have developed what they’re calling a “crystalline materials that can bind and store oxygen in high concentrations.” In other words, they’ve figured out how to pack a room’s worth of oxygen into a bucket full of crystals.

“A few grains contain enough oxygen for one breath, and as the material can absorb oxygen from the water around the diver and supply the diver with it, the diver will not need to bring more than these few grains,” professor Christine McKenzie said in a release. “When the substance is saturated with oxygen, it can be compared to an oxygen tank containing pure oxygen under pressure — the difference is that this material can hold three times as much oxygen.”

Unlike other substances that also react with oxygen, the developers of what’s being called the “Aquaman Crystal” are likening it to a sponge that can absorb and hold oxygen, rather than simply react to it and lose the elements’ life-sustaining properties.

So now what? Just as the substances’ nickname implies, the obvious application is underwater breathing. As McKenzie pointed out, the crystal (known formally as {(bpbp)Co2II(NO3)}2(NH2bdc)](NO3)2 * 2H2O) can almost be compared to an oxygen tank, which could have dramatic implications for underwater divers. That said, there’s still the need to consider pressure changes underwater, as well as the fact that, most of the time, humans don’t breathe pure oxygen, but a mix of oxygen and other natural gases.

Nevertheless, the very fact that this technology now exists opens up the floodgates for further research into unique opportunities and could eventually mean diving and breathing underwater is hardly more than a passing concern made easy through these crystals.

But on top of that, besides just allowing eager divers more time underwater, the “Aquaman Crystals” could be a major boon to lung cancer patients who need to carry around small (but heavy and burdensome) oxygen tanks to sustain regular breathing levels. McKenzie said that very little of the crystals are necessary to hold a lot of oxygen, which means that someone with lung cancer could be free to carry around the equivalent of a handful of crystals as a replacement of their heavy oxygen tank.

It’s the kind of application that makes what might seem like cool but otherwise needless scientific advancement very useful for medicine and general human development.

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Organize Your Fridge

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Depression: Not Just In Your Head

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Depression touches people differently, making dealing with the condition more of a personal experience than a universal one. Some describe the illness as a dark cloud, while others liken it to being trapped in an empty space.

Regardless of how it personally feels, what many people don’t know is that the illness can also take a physical toll on the body. Those symptoms, combined with the emotional side effects, have the potential to be draining.

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS

Headaches. These pains can be one of the hallmark physical signs of depression, particularly in adolescents, says John F. Greden, M.D., executive director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center. While most people report that their depression headaches are dull, sometimes the illness can cause tension headaches, Everyday Health reported. Depression can also put people at greater risk for developing migraines.

Indigestion. People with depression may experience stomach problems as well, Greden says. Additionally, digestive issues such as colitis or stomach ulcers may be worsened by extreme stress or depression, Everyday Health reported.

Lack of energy. “So many people with varying types of depressions complain of fatigue, making it one of the more common symptoms,” Greden explains. Studies have also shown that depression can lead to decreased motivation and poor job performance. Without being diagnosed with the depression, many people tend to think this lack of energy is a result of other physical illnesses, like hypoglycemia or other thyroid issues, Greden adds.

Appetite and weight changes. Depression has the potential to significantly alter eating habits. This could mean eating too much or too little, and as a result, weight gain or weight loss.

Joint and muscle pain. “Depression makes pains that people have worse and it may even be associated with the onset of certain pains,” Greden says. “There’s an intensification of joint and muscle pains.” Research suggests that there is even a strong association between fibromyalgia and depression.

Sleep loss. A change in sleep patterns is one of the most common warning signs of depression (“there’s this certain restlessness that occurs,” Greden says). Depression also has been linked to insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea.

Nausea. As part of the stomach problems caused by depression, people may experience queasiness and nausea, as well as diarrhea, which is also a resulting symptom of anxiety.

EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS

Anxiety. Even though they’re different disorders, depression and anxiety can commonly occur together, according to the Mayo Clinic. This has the potential to yield other physical symptoms like a racing heartbeat, sweaty palms and even panic attacks, Greden says.

Brooding and obsessive rumination. “The worst part of depression is that it narrows the field of vision into a very small tube so they can’t see the options,” Adam Kaplin, M.D., an associate professor in the departments of psychiatry and neurology at Johns Hopkins University, previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. This includes obsessive focus on the bad and ignoring the good. Research has shown that relentless focus on the negative and moody reflection over what has gone wrong may have a strong link to depression.

Excess worry over physical health. With everything going on in the body, it’s easy to dismiss depression as an option when everything feels so physically painful. “It’s difficult to go to work, to concentrate, to laugh or focus on your assignments when you’re hurting in this way,” Greden says.

Tearfulness. The illness can result in tearfulness and feelings of sadness during a depressive episode. While many people associate depression with this specific emotion, it’s important to note that depression and sadness are not the same thing. “Depression is a clinical term — and a lot of times when people say they’re depressed, they really mean sad. The words that we use are very powerful and it’s important to make that distinction,” David Kaplan, Ph.D., chief professional officer of the American Counseling Association, previously told HuffPost Healthy Living.

COMBINATION OF SYMPTOMS

“If people have a lot of physical symptoms, and they have associated mood changes, the clinician ought to be considering that they’re linked to underlying depression,” Greden says. The simultaneous occurrence of the two types of symptoms can have a life-altering effect, from feelings of anger and guilt to dangerous thoughts about suicide. It’s important to pay attention to the prevalence of both the physical and the emotional signs in order to address those potential hazards, Greden adds.

“Unfortunately, in health care, we tend to split the mind and body sometimes,” he says. “So if someone complains of their physical symptoms … that’s what clinicians tend to target. So, that preponderance of physical symptoms for people who also have the mood symptoms sometimes tends to overwhelm the underlying cause. But [the symptoms] go together. They hold hands. They’re all part of the same syndrome.”

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HANGING GARDENS

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Miracle Above Manhattan
New Yorkers can float over busy streets in an innovative park.
By Paul Goldberger
Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

Parks in large cities are usually thought of as refuges, as islands of green amid seas of concrete and steel. When you approach the High Line in the Chelsea neighborhood on the lower west side of Manhattan, what you see first is the kind of thing urban parks were created to get away from—a harsh, heavy, black steel structure supporting an elevated rail line that once brought freight cars right into factories and warehouses and that looks, at least from a distance, more like an abandoned relic than an urban oasis.

Until recently the High Line was, in fact, an urban relic, and a crumbling one at that. Many of its neighbors, as well as New York’s mayor for much of the 1990s, Rudolph Giuliani, couldn’t wait to tear it down. His administration, aware that Chelsea was gentrifying into a neighborhood of galleries, restaurants, and loft living, felt the surviving portion of the High Line, which winds its way roughly a mile and a half from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street (a section farther south was torn down years ago), was an ugly deadweight. They were certain this remnant of a different kind of city had to be removed for the neighborhood to realize its full potential.

Never have public officials been so wrong. Almost a decade after the Giuliani administration tried to tear the High Line down, it has been turned into one of the most innovative and inviting public spaces in New York City and perhaps the entire country. The black steel columns that once supported abandoned train tracks now hold up an elevated park—part promenade, part town square, part botanical garden. The southern third, which begins at Gansevoort Street and extends to West 20th Street, crossing Tenth Avenue along the way, opened in the summer of 2009. This spring a second section will open, extending the park ten more blocks, roughly a half mile, to 30th Street. Eventually, supporters hope, the park will cover the rest of the High Line.

Walking on the High Line is unlike any other experience in New York. You float about 25 feet above the ground, at once connected to street life and far away from it. You can sit surrounded by carefully tended plantings and take in the sun and the Hudson River views, or you can walk the line as it slices between old buildings and past striking new ones. I have walked the High Line dozens of times, and its vantage point, different from that of any street, sidewalk, or park, never ceases to surprise and delight. Not the least of the remarkable things about the High Line is the way, without streets to cross or traffic lights to wait for, ten blocks pass as quickly as two.

New York is a city in which good things rarely happen easily and where good designs are often compromised, if they are built at all. The High Line is a happy exception, that rare New York situation in which a wonderful idea was not only realized but turned out better than anyone had imagined. It isn’t often in any city, let alone New York, that an unusually sophisticated concept for a public place makes its way through the design process, the political process, and the construction process largely intact. The designers were landscape architect James Corner of Field Operations and the architecture firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, who joined forces to produce the winning scheme in a competition that pitted them against such notables as Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl, and landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh.

Their plan struck a balance between refinement and the rough-hewn, industrial quality of the High Line. “We envisioned it as one long, meandering ribbon but with special episodes,” Corner told me. “We wanted to keep the feeling of the High Line consistent but at the same time have some variations.” The design included sleek wooden benches that appear to peel up from the park surface, but also kept many of the original train tracks, setting them into portions of the pavement and landscape. Working with Dutch landscape architect Piet Oudolf, Corner recommended a wide range of plantings, with heavy leanings toward tall grasses and reeds that recalled the wildflowers and weeds that had sprung up during the High Line’s long abandonment. (The line, which opened in 1934, was little used after the 1960s, although its final train, carrying frozen turkeys, didn’t travel down the track until 1980.)

Early in the two and a half decades that the High Line was unused and untouched, an obsessive rail buff named Peter Obletz purchased the elevated structure for ten dollars from Conrail with the intention of restoring it to rail use. Obletz’s ownership was held up in a five-year legal battle, which he lost. He died in 1996 but is, in a sense, a spiritual parent of the High Line preservation effort. So is photographer Joel Sternfeld. During the derelict years he made striking images of the High Line as a ribbon of green snaking through an industrial cityscape. Widely reproduced, his photographs played a significant role in building a constituency for saving the line for public use. Sternfeld showed that this clunky industrial object really could look like a park.

high-line-section-3-11thave-537x358 jshighlinephoto from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com

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Resurrection Of The Lizard King

The Doors

Feast of Friends, a Doors documentary that the band members produced themselves on their 1968 summer tour, is finally getting a proper release. The feature, which was never completed, was screened to generally negative reviews at film festivals during frontman Jim Morrison’s lifetime, but the reason it has taken nearly half a century to come out on home video is because of the singer’s legal issues at the time. The new release, due out November 11th, will feature remastered audio and video.

“It’s a fictional documentary,” Jim Morrison says in the film’s trailer. “I can’t say too much about it, because we’re not really making it. It’s just kind of making itself.”

Director Paul Ferrara, who also made the 1969 Morrison showcase HWY: An American Pastoral, began work on Feast of Friends in April of 1968. The film includes off-stage commentary and concert performances. The band members funded the project themselves, but stopped the revenue stream after Morrison was arrested in Miami for allegedly exposing himself to an audience.

In addition to the main film, the DVD and Blu-ray will include bonus features. The newly made Feast of Friends: Encore uses additional footage shot for the original film, including shots of them playing poker and Morrison talking with the main feature’s “Minister at Large” character, as well as footage of the group recording “Wild Child” in the studio. It also highlights a solo Robby Krieger performance, a Morrison poem and an altercation with photographer Richard Avedon.

The release will also include The Doors Are Open, a 1968 British documentary about the group centered on the band’s final performance at London’s Roundhouse. This feature has also been remastered and restored.

Finally, it will include The End, which captures the group performing their epic song in Toronto at an August 1967 concert alongside interviews with Krieger, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densemore and Doors manager Danny Sugarman.

The legacy of Feast of Friends stems from a grainy copy of the film that has been circulating on the bootleg market for decades. The print purportedly belonged to Morrison and was something that he had taken with him when he moved to Paris in 1971. According to legend, the singer left the film in a paper bag at a friend’s house, days before his death.

 

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King Richard III’s Final Moments Were Quick & Brutal

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Richard III’s last moments were likely quick but terrifying, according to a new study of the death wounds of the last king of England to die in battle.

The last king of the Plantagenet dynasty faced his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field on Aug. 22, 1485, only two years after ascending the throne. The battle was the deciding clash in the long-running Wars of the Roses, and ended with the establishment of Henry Tudor as the new English monarch.

But Richard III’s last moments were the stuff of legend alone, as the king’s body was lost until September 2012, when archaeologists excavated it from under a parking lot in Leicester, England. Now, a very delayed postmortem examination reveals that of nearly a dozen wounds on Richard’s body, only two were likely candidates for the fatal blow. Both were delivered to the back of the head. 

Battle scars

The initial analysis of Richard III’s skeleton highlighted the king’s scoliosis and battle scars, including at least eight wounds on the skull. In the new postmortem, detailed today (Sept. 16) in the medical journal The Lancet, scientists took a deeper look, recording 11 injuries on Richard’s skeleton that occurred around the time of death, including nine injuries to the skull.

Chart shows dagger, sword and halberd wounds to the king’s skeleton.A study of the Medieval king’s skeleton reveals traumatic wounds he received at the time of death. 
Three of the skull injuries were “shaving injuries” to the top of the head, said study researcher Sarah Hainsworth, a professor of materials and forensic engineering at the University of Leicester. These shallow, glancing blows would have sliced the scalp and shaved the skull bone. They would have bled heavily, but would not have been fatal unless untreated. Notably, patterns of striations in the wounds revealed the same weapon probably created these injuries, Hainsworth told Live Science. [See Images of King Richard III’s Battle Injuries]

“If you took a block of cheese into your kitchen and used a serrated blade to cut it, you would see these marks that are characteristic of the blade,” she said. Those marks are very similar across the three skull wounds.

But Richard III was almost certainly brought down by more than one man — and more than one weapon. A knife or dagger likely left a 0.4-inch-long (10 millimeters) linear wound on his right lower jaw; he also had a penetrating dagger wound to his right cheek. A keyhole-shaped injury to the top of his head was almost certainly caused by a rondel dagger, a needlelike blade often used in the late Middle Ages. That wound would have caused both internal and external bleeding, but would not have been immediately fatal.

The deathblows likely came from a sword or a bill or halberd, which were bladed weapons on poles often used on the battlefield. At the base of Richard III’s skull, researchers found two wounds, one 2.4 by 2.2 inches (60 by 55 mm) and one 1.21 by 0.67 inches (32 by 17 mm). This wound was in line with another, about 4 inches (105 mm) away on the internal wall of the skull, as well as in line with damage to the top vertebrae. In other words, it appears that the blade entered the head, sliced through the brain and hit the opposite side of the skull. [See Infographic of Richard III’s Battle Wounds]

The postmortem also revealed two wounds to Richard III’s body. One, likely delivered as a blow from behind with a fine-edged dagger, damaged the right 10th rib. Another, a 1.2-inch-long (30 mm) scrape to the pelvis, delivered through the right buttock, had the potential to be fatal. But that wound was almost certainly delivered after death, Hainsworth said, because Richard III was wearing armor on the battlefield that would have protected him.

This CT reconstruction shows how a blade could have entered Richard III’s right buttock, scraping the pelvis as it went.Pin It This CT reconstruction shows how a blade could have entered Richard III’s right buttock, scraping the pelvis as it went.
Credit: Appleby, et al. Perimortem trauma in King Richard III: a skeletal analysis. 
Interpreting trauma on a 500-year-old skeleton is difficult, because soft tissue is missing, Heather Bonney, a human remains researcher at the Natural History Museum, London, who was not involved in the research, said in a statement. However, Bonney said, the findings provide a “compelling account” of Richard III’s death.

Last moments

Either of the penetrating head wounds would have been fatal very quickly, Hainsworth said. The findings mesh with near-contemporary accounts of the battle, which hold that Richard III’s horse had become mired in mud, forcing him to dismount. He had either removed or lost his helmet, leaving his head and face vulnerable.

“He was surrounded, probably by a number of people with medieval arms,” Hainsworth said. “He was a warrior, he was a knight, he was a trained fighter, but he would have seen other people die on the battlefield, so he would be very aware of, if you like, what was in store for him.”

The researchers can’t say for sure in what order the wounds were delivered, but historical accounts hold that Richard was kneeling with his head bent forward when the fatal wounds were delivered — a tale consistent with the large wounds to the base of the skull. Richard’s face was actually less mutilated than many battle casualties of the time, Hainsworth said. The choice to spare his face was likely deliberate, she said, as the victors would want to leave no doubt that it was really Richard they had killed.

After death, Richard’s body was stripped of armor and slung over a horse to be taken to Leicester for public display. It was then, Hainsworth said, that the wounds to the back and buttock were likely made as a final humiliation to the defeated king.

“It would have probably been quite quick,” Hainsworth said of Richard III’s death. “But, I would imagine, nonetheless quite frightening.”

 

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NO DRIVING-TEXTING


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You already know texting while driving is ridiculously dangerous, and in many place even illegal, but the cops can’t enforce what they can’t see, right? Not so fast.

If you think you can get away with a quick message to your friend while cruising to get your morning coffee, you might end up with a ticket thanks to a new type of sensor gun.

When a cell phone is being used, it emits radio frequencies that can be picked up and detected. The frequency varies depending on what the phone is being used for—data, voice calling and, of course, texting—which can give a person away if they happen to be secretly tapping away at their phone out of view of any passersby.

A company in Virginia called ComSonics wants to turn this type of sensor into a pointable device that could be used by law enforcement in the same way a radar gun is. If an officer could target your vehicle with the device and detect a texting signal, they might be able to pull you over without ever actually seeing the violation take place.

Privacy hawks take note: The device would only be able to sense that a phone is being used for a specific purpose, and it cannot record or translate that signal into something readable. It’s simply designed to detect.

Of course, proving that a text was being typed out by the driver could be difficult to pull off, especially if a vehicle contains multiple occupants who could be texting. However, if a texting frequency is beaming from your car and you’re the only one in it, that’s going to be pretty hard to explain to an officer.

The device itself is reportedly nearing production, but would need to be tested and adopted by law enforcement agencies and approved by any state or local governments before it is put to use.

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“SNAP OUT OF IT”


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There’s been a lot of dialogue surrounding depression — particularly in light of recent events — as people struggle to understand why and how it affects people in the ways that it does. And for the 350 million people worldwide who do struggle with the condition, it can be just as hard to articulate its effects as it is to understand it.

Depression can make people feel like their minds have completely rebelled against them. From a lack of will to physical pain, it can cause people to function poorly at work, in school and in social activities, according to the World Health Organization. Many people who experience depression can also experience symptoms of anxiety.

But those factors are just the start. Below, find nine things people with depression know to be true (and what others can do to help alleviate them).

The frustration that comes when someone suggests you can “snap out of it, suck it up”

The hard truth is, depression is not the sort of thing you can just wake up and be over one morning — and suggesting such may be sending an unsupportive message. According to John F. Greden, M.D., the executive director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center, these phrases often stem from a lack of understanding of mental illness.

“When [loved ones] don’t understand what’s happening, their responses are ‘suck it up’ and ‘stop feeling sorry for yourself,'” Greden tells The Huffington Post. “It’s not understood that these are underlying illnesses and chemical abnormalities, so what they’ll do is use these phrases. … These comments are probably one of the worst irritations.”

People constantly confusing depression with sadness.
It’s a common misconception that depression is just a result of being overly sad. But as David Kaplan, Ph.D., chief professional officer of the American Counseling Association, stresses, the two are not one and the same.

“People throw around the word ‘depressed’ a lot,” Kaplan previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. “Depression is a clinical term — and a lot of times when people say they’re depressed, they really mean sad. The words that we use are very powerful and it’s important to make that distinction.”

There is no such thing as a little victory.

For those who deal with chronic depression, there are no little victories because every accomplishment is a big victory.

While everyday, routine motions come naturally to most people, for someone who is depressed, they are much harder feats, explains Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at the University of South Florida. “Why do depressed people lie in bed? It isn’t because of great snuggle time under the blankets. It’s because depressed people can’t bring themselves to get out of bed,” he wrote in a Psychology Today blog. “Almost any activity or task becomes a painful ordeal, even things as simple as taking a shower or getting dressed.”

Lack of energy means more than your run-of-the-mill afternoon slump.
That 3 p.m. slump you feel when you need your third cup of coffee hardly compares to the drop in energy that occurs when you’re in a depressed state. Because of this lack of motivation, depression can sometimes make you feel like your muscles don’t work, Greden explains. “It makes it really difficult to go to work, to concentrate, to laugh, to keep your focus on assignments, when you’re hurting in this way,” he says.

There are physical symptoms — and they’re just as taxing as the emotional ones.

“At one point, everyone considered depression to be a mood state, and that’s a huge misconception,” Greden says. “Depression, for most people, actually involves major physical symptoms. And as a result, people don’t consider themselves depressed and they think something else is wrong.”

When someone experiences depression, physical ailments you already have can be made worse, Greden explains. Other physical symptoms include restlessness, indigestion, nausea, headaches, and joint and muscle fatigue. “These physical symptoms as well as the mood symptoms affect their routine life patterns,” he notes. “They’re all tied together.”

Things that used to be fun aren’t quite as enjoyable.
Depression can impact even the smallest pleasures in life. Hanging out with friends, fun activities like golfing and even intimacy with romantic partners all seem less exciting than they were before, Greden says. “Depression makes your life dramatically different.”

This lack of interest, coupled with the physical symptoms, are all major red flags when it comes to identifying the condition. To help someone who may be experiencing this downturn, Greden suggests approaching him or her with an open mind and continuous support, which includes offering to help find treatment.

The difficulty that comes with communicating your emotions.
When you’re experiencing depression, it can be challenging to put into words what’s going on in your mind when you know that not everyone around you feels the same way — especially when there’s a stigma around your illness. Only 25 percent of adults who experience mental health issues feel that people are sympathetic toward people struggling with mental illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Depression is a negative view of self, of the world and of the future,” Greden explains. “Everything is sort of being seen through dark-colored glasses. … It’s pretty common, when people are depressed, for them to think that no one understands them — and that’s a really tough place to be.”

The disorder is not one-size-fits-all. Each person experiences depression in his or her own way — and because of this, experts recommend practicing empathy with loved ones who may be struggling. “Symptoms differ, causes differ, treatments differ,” Greden explains. “Jobs, relationships, families — everything gets changed by this illness.”

As HuffPost blogger Hannah Sentenac explains in a piece on life lessons she learned from depression, everyone’s journey is different: “For some people, medication is crucial. For others, long term psychotherapy might be the answer,” she wrote. “Whatever works. I’m not suggesting that my path is best for anyone but me. But I am suggesting that everyone has a path to healing — and the most important thing is to keep after it. Don’t ever give up.”

There are ways to help others break through the throes of depression, Greden says. That includes shedding any thoughts that could be perpetuating a stigma about mental health. “We need so much more openness, transparency and understanding that it’s OK to talk about depression as an illness,” he explains. “It’s not a weakness. It’s not a moral shortcoming. It’s not something people brought on themselves. And understanding that is a pretty powerful beginning to helping a loved one with depression.

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BEST BITES

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Did you know that the series of events that led to the invention of the cheeseburger can be traced from Genghis Khan to a (probably pimple-faced) teenage fry cook in Pasadena? Of course you didn’t. But it’s still true. Turns out that a lot of the quintessentially American foods we eat every day were invented in moments of culinary genius by kids, innkeepers, and just plain hungry people all over this great nation. Their stories deserve to be told.

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HOT DOG: NEW YORK, NY – 1860s-70s

While the classic frankfurter (or “dachshund” sausage) was developed back in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, it wasn’t until an innovative German immigrant in Brooklyn (probably Charles Feltman) served them up in rolls that the hot dog that we know and love today began to take shape. They were further popularized (and some would say perfected) in Chicago in 1893, when a vendor at the World’s Columbian Exposition sold them to the hungry masses. Apparently, the rolls were used as a serving implement because the white gloves typically given to customers to handle the sausages kept getting stolen.

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CHEESEBURGER: PASADENA, CA – 1926

Hamburgers were based on meat patties eaten by nomadic Mongols under Genghis Khan in the 12th century. The humble cheeseburger, however, owes its inception to a cheeky, 16-year-old kid in Pasadena. Back in 1926, Lionel Sternberger, the son of the owner of a little sandwich joint called The Rite Spot, decided to slap a piece of American cheese on top of a burger patty as it was frying. Thus, the cheeseburger was born (although they called it a “cheese hamburger”), and Genghis Khan’s spirit could be at peace, knowing that his work was finally complete.

 

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BUFFALO WINGS: BUFFALO, NY – 1964

OK, so maybe this one’s a bit obvious, but not everyone knows that it was Teressa Bellissimo, co-owner of the Anchor Bar with her husband Frank, who first whipped up Buffalo wings in response to a sudden Friday-night surge of customers (led by her son Dominic) hungry for meat. Due to a shipping mistake, the Anchor Bar was awash in chicken wings instead of the usual backs and necks used for their spaghetti sauce, so Teressa decided to fry them up and douse them in hot pepper sauce, thus creating the signature bar food of every Friday night for the rest of time.

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REUBEN SANDWICH: NEW YORK, NY – 1914

There’s a bit of debate surrounding the origins of the Reuben sandwich (corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing), with some folks audaciously opining that it was invented in Omaha in 1920, but its first reference in print (in a 1926 edition of Theatre Magazine, of all publications) points to a special sandwich made at the now-defunct Reuben’s Delicatessen by proprietor Arnold Reuben in 1914. And if there’s one thing we trust, it’s old theater magazines.

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Weapons In Trees

Long after the dust from the last battle has settled, the dead have been laid to rest and the confetti from the victory parade has been swept into the gutter, the nature continues to bear the scars of human conflicts. A remarkable series of photos taken in a Russian forest have been making the rounds on social media sites, showing what happens over time to instruments of carnage discarded in the woods.

The striking images depict rifles, artillery shells, grenades and sapper shovels embedded in tree trunks – essentially swallowed up by the natural surroundings in a silent act of protest against human folly. 

Echo of war: Described by a web user as a Mannlicher Carcano rifle circa 1891, this rusted out weapon has embedded itself in the trunk of a tree growing in a Russian forestEcho of war: Described by a web user as a Mannlicher Carcano rifle circa 1891, this rusted out weapon has embedded itself in the trunk of a tree growing in a Russian forest 
Deadly machine: This Maxim gun from the 1930s was likely used during World War II that raged in Europe between 1939 and 1945

 
Deadly machine: This Maxim gun from the 1930s was likely used during World War II that raged in Europe between 1939 and 1945
Dangerous exhibit: Even today, nearly seven decades after Victory Day, it is still possible to come across an old unexploded bomb or a granade, like this one that somehow became lodged inside a tree

Dangerous exhibit: Even today, nearly seven decades after Victory Day, it is still possible to come across an old unexploded bomb or a granade, like this one that somehow became lodged inside a tree 

A Red Army helmet with a tree growing through it

 
This tree was a skinny sapling when this helmet landed on it, possibly in the heat of a firefight
 Nature’s triumph: These trees were skinny saplings when the helmets landed on them, possibly in the heat of a firefight  
Remember the fallen: According to some estimates, more than 14million Soviet solders and officers perished in the Great Patriotic War

 
Remember the fallen: According to some estimates, more than 14million Soviet solders and officers perished in the Great Patriotic War

Some of the most powerful images in the sequence show slender trees growing through gaping holes in Soviet Army helmets.

The shape and condition of the protective gear suggest that the helmets belonged to Red Army servicemen during World War II.

Given that each of the hard-hats is damaged, their owners most likely had met a violent end.

It is likely that the helmets came to rest on young saplings during a battle. Over time, the maturing trees widened the bullet holes, and the helmets essentially became impaled.

Alexander Ostapenko, a Soviet military history enthusiast and World War II re-enactor from Kolomna, Russia, shared some of the images on his VKontakte social media account.

In a message to MailOnline Thursday night, Mr Ostapenko revealed that most of the photos have been taken in the area of the Neva Bridgehead, known as Nevsky Pyatachok, which was the site of one of the most crucial campaigns during the devastating Siege of Leningrad that lasted from September 1941 to May 1943.

The Red Army lost about 260,000 servicemen while fighting to reopen land communications with the starving, decimated city, which had been cut off from the rest of the country by invading German forces.

Some of the so-called exhibits in this outdoor military museum include a Maxim gun circa 1891; a Mannlicher Carcano rifle circa 1891, and a 75milimeter shell from a light field gun. 

According to some estimates, the Soviet Union lost about 20million people, both military and civilians, over the course of four years between 1941 and 1945. At least 14million of the casualties were soldiers and officers.

The poignant photos capturing the rusted out vestiges of World War II overwhelmed by trees drive home the message that in the end, after all the medals were handed out to heroes and all the peace treaties were signed, the only true victor is nature. 

Resting place: A 75milimeter shell from a light field gun burrowed into a tree somewhere in Russia

Resting place: A 75milimeter shell from a light field gun burrowed into a tree somewhere in Russia

Marker: A sapper shovel with its corroded metal blade wedged firmly in a tree and its rotting wooden handle sticking out

Marker: A sapper shovel with its corroded metal blade wedged firmly in a tree and its rotting wooden handle sticking out
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Come On Baby Light My Spider

Jumping Spider Face

Update:

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The co-author of “American Sniper” testified Thursday that former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle did not want to name former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura as the man Kyle allegedly punched in a California bar in 2006.
Jim DeFelice testified as part of Ventura’s defamation lawsuit against the estate of Kyle, who was killed in Texas last year.
One of Ventura’s attorneys asked DeFelice why he did not contact Ventura about the section describing the bar fight when he was researching the book, the Star Tribune reported.
“It was not Jesse’s book,” DeFelice responded.
In his 2012 book, Kyle wrote that he punched a man he called “Scruff Face.” Kyle later identified the man as Ventura, also a former SEAL.
Ventura maintains that Kyle never hit him and that his reputation was damaged by Kyle’s story.
In a video deposition aired earlier in the court case, Kyle stated that he did not want to embarrass any SEAL with revelations in the book and did not want Ventura’s name used. Ventura’s name appeared in early drafts shown on a large screen in the courtroom Thursday.
Attorney John Borger, one of the lawyers for Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, described the early version of the book as a “rough draft,” with DeFelice conducting additional interviews “to nail down details.”
Ventura’s attorneys pointed out other elements in the drafts of the book and in tapes and transcripts of phone conversations between Chris Kyle and DeFelice that indicated that Kyle gave different versions of what happened on the night of Oct. 12, 2006.
According to the documents, Kyle told DeFelice that he punched Ventura in the eye, Ventura fell and hit his head, and Ventura appeared on television several days later with a black eye.
No evidence has been introduced in the trial, now in its eighth day, that Ventura was struck in the eye, hit his head or that anyone later saw him with a black eye after the incident in a Coronado, California, bar.
Testimony could wrap up Friday, and the 10-member jury could be deliberating by early next week.

He’s just an ordinary guy, burning down the house.

Fire officials said a West Seattle man on a quixotic quest to rid his home of a vile spider ended up torching his abode on Tuesday evening.

The man told firefighters that he saw a spider in his laundry room and decided the best way to take care of it was with a lighter and a can of spray paint. He set his wall on fire, then the blaze quickly spread.

Man Burns Down House Trying To Kill Spider With Homemade Flamethrower

The building, which is a rental home, will cost roughly $40,000 to repair… It will cost another $20,000 to repair or replace the contents of the home.

The Red Cross is finding temporary housing for the man and a woman who lived with him.

This isn’t the first incident involving spiders, open flames and incredibly poor judgment. Back in June, a Kansas woman set fire to her house in pursuit of a wily arachnid.

She told authorities that she used a lighter to ignite some towels in the hopes of killing a spider.In 2012, a California man set fire to his home while attempting to clear cobwebs with a blowtorch.

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HEDGEHOG LOVE

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BEATLE DOG WHISTLE


Paul McCartney
 By: Alan Graham
Paul McCartney has always been a dog-lover and animal activist. But he also likes to have some mischievous fun with them from time to time.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band closer “A Day in the Life” includes a 15-kilocycle whistling noise, the same sound as a police dog whistle. Humans cannot hear it as it really sounds, but it can make your canine perk up. Paul discussed the little-known detail publicly for the first time in a recent interview with BBC’s Zane Rowe.
Sgt. Pepper’s itself was something of a response to the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. This little wrinkle is about as subtle a nod as it gets.
“We’d talk for hours about these frequencies below the sub that you couldn’t really hear and the high frequencies that only dogs could hear. We put a sound on Sgt. Pepper that only dogs could hear,” he said.
This wasn’t exactly a big revelation: the 1987 book The Beatles Recording Sessions notes that John Lennon came up with the idea to add the sound at the end of the song on the “run-out groove” of the vinyl record, just after the final piano chord but before the incomprehensible chatter that closes the song. Re-pressings of the vinyl did not include this final part, but remastered CD editions of Sgt. Pepper’s did.
“If you ever play Sgt. Pepper watch your dog,” he added

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CORONADO CLARION AUTUMN ISSUE 2014 (FRONT COVER)

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OLD SOULS

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14 Signs You’re An Old Soul

1. You tend to think a lot about everything. You’re always finding deeper meaning in your relationships, simple interactions with strangers, and in the world around you.

2. You enjoy solitude and use it as a time to reflect on your life and everything going on in it. You continually seek out higher understanding and are incredibly introspective about life.

3. You’ve always had maturity far beyond your years. When you were a child people commented on how mature you were and you probably enjoyed sitting at the adult’s table as opposed to the children’s table. It’s not that you couldn’t have fun being a kid, it’s just that sometimes you thought the adult conversations were far more interesting.

4. You take pleasure in simple things like drinking coffee and reading the news, having breakfast with friends, cooking a great meal, or reading a good book.

5. You have a philosophical outlook on life and see the world on a larger scale than most people. When you’re faced with problems you try to see it as a learning experience and consider your struggles as just a part of your overall journey.

6. You don’t put a lot of value on owning expensive, material items. You find you get so much more out of your personal relationships and experiences than from anything you could ever own.

7. You focus on self-actualization and find enjoyment out of self-expression through writing, art, music, or other outlets.

8. You’re sensitive and spiritual in nature. You tend to rely on your gut instinct about things because it’s rarely wrong. You just get “a feeling” about things and can read people well.

9. You feel connected to certain time periods and find yourself more interested in the art, history, or culture from that decade.

10. Even if you have a large social circle full of friends and acquaintances you’ve always felt kind of different than everyone else. You might not call yourself a loner necessarily but you’re definitely comfortable with being alone and understand the difference between being alone and being lonely.

11. Regardless of where you go you seem to be the kind of person strangers feel inclined to talk to. Something about you makes others want to spill their life story within just minutes of meeting you.

12. You feel a sense of separation from yourself and the “real world” at times. You recognize there’s the way you think about life in terms of money, possessions, relationships, etc, and then there’s the conventional approach to life most people have. You don’t believe either one is better, just different.

13. You have a high level of empathy and acceptance towards others and understand the importance of forgiveness. Because of this your friends always go to for advice or to tell you a secret they wouldn’t tell anyone else. They know you’ll listen to them without judgment.

14. You savor the quiet moments in life that might seem old fashioned to others. Maybe this means going on a Sunday drive in the country or writing a letter (a real letter, not an email) to a friend that lives across the country. 

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REPELLANT BRA

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Nearly two years ago, the gruesome gang rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi left many Indians shocked and saddened. Tens of thousands took to the streets of the capital, urging the government to act.

Eventually, lawmakers passed stringent new anti-rape legislation. But for some concerned citizens like Manisha Mohan, changing the law wasn’t enough. The 22-year-old engineering student wanted to give women a way to defend themselves against attackers, something that went beyond mace, pepper spray or mixed martial arts. So over the past year, Mohan and two of her fellow students developed a rape-repellent bra that can shock and burn attackers.

Manisha Mohan and her fellow students came up with the idea for the rape-repellent bra after the Delhi gang rape in 2012.
It’s called Society Harnessing Equipment, or SHE for short, and here’s how it works: The bra contains a pressure sensor connected to an electric circuit that generates a shock of 3,800 kilovolts, which is severe enough to stun an attacker and severely burn his hand.

“It won’t be enough to immobilize the assailant or potential rapist,” Mohan says, “but that gives enough time for back up.”

The moment its pressure sensors are activated, the bra’s built-in GPS also alerts the police and the victim’s parents to the location where the attack is taking place.

SHE- Society Harnessing Equipmen inventors Recieving their Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award
Mohan, right, and her partners receive an award for their invention in New Delhi.

False alarms are possible, but Mohan says the bras are designed and calibrated to prevent this. The force of a hug, for instance, won’t create a shock, and there’s an on and off switch that a woman can use when she’s traveling through a dangerous neighborhood.

Those who have worn the bra say it’s comfortable. “It is light like any other bra, and one really cannot [tell] a difference,” says a young woman, who asked not to be named.

Mohan is still fine-tuning the sensors, so she hasn’t decided when she’ll start shipping the bras to stores or how much they’ll cost. But the timing seems right. Reports of crimes against women in India, such as rape, murder and kidnapping, increased by 26 percent last year compared with the previous one.

Not only does the bra send an electric shock, but it also alerts the police.
A bra, of course, may not actually drive down the number of attacks against women; many attacks occur in India’s rural hinterland, where few are likely to be able to afford it. But in a country that has a dubious record of ensuring women’s safety, Mohan and others think the device can help.

“My dream,” Mohan says, “is to see women walk free anywhere and anytime.”

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The Un-Burger

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It just wouldn’t be summer without burgers. These nicely grilled and perfectly topped buns are part of what makes the warm months so great. But if you’re looking to eat healthy — or if you just don’t eat meat — than you’re unable to partake in the best grill outs of the season. We’re here to right that wrong with veggie burgers.

The awesome thing about veggie burgers is that they’re incredibly versatile. You can make them with nearly any vegetable that’s in season during the summer. There is a catch: a good veggie burger is hard to come by. So many times can these meat-less burgers be dry, bland or just disintegrate in your hands. That’s why we set out to find the greatest veggie burger recipes we could find, ones that even meat-eaters would enjoy. We were wildly successful. Try any of the recipes below and you’ll see what we mean.

slide_358026_3970806_free slide_358026_3970780_free Mushroom Veggie Burger. A101201 Food & Wine Chef's Diet March 2011 slide_358026_3970810_free slide_358026_3970782_free slide_358026_3970783_free slide_358026_3970784_free slide_358026_3970785_free slide_358026_3970789_free slide_358026_3971070_free slide_358026_3970788_free

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VERY OLD MONEY

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gold-nero-coinDigging through a cave in central Britain, archaeologists uncovered 26 ancient gold and silver coins belonging to the Corieltauvi tribe, a group of people that lived in Britain before the Roman conquest.

Archaeologists previously found collections of coins like these in other parts of Britain, but this is the first time they have ever been discovered buried in a cave. The discovery of the coins was a surprise, because they were found at a site called Reynard’s Kitchen Cave, which is located outside the Corieltauvi’s usual turf.

“It might be that we have a member of the tribe living beyond the boundary that is more usually associated with the territory,” Rachael Hall, an archaeologist at the National Trust who led the excavation, told Live Science in an email. [The 7 Most Mysterious Archaeological Discoveries on Earth]

Back in 2000, a group of almost 5,000 Corieltauvi coins were discovered in Leicestershire. This more recent find at Reynard’s Kitchen Cave might be additional evidence that members of the tribe once hoarded coins. Hall and the team speculate that the coins were hidden to ensure they weren’t stolen, and whoever buried them may have planned on returning to the site to dig the coins up again.

The discovery included 20 Iron Age coins, three Roman coins and three coins from much later eras, according to a treasury report prepared by Ian Leins, curator of Iron Age and Roman coins at the British Museum. While the coins are not all from the same time period, Hall and the team of archaeologists said it’s common to find collections of coins from different times, in the same way that, for example, U.S. coins from earlier decades are still circulating among newer coins.

Archaeologists are still unsure how Iron Age coins were used, but it is unlikely they were used as money to purchase items. They were more likely used as a means for storing wealth, given as gifts or offered as sacrifice. The three Roman coins discovered predate the Roman invasion, so archaeologists believe the coins may have been given as gifts.

A climber seeking shelter in the cave first discovered four of the coins, which prompted a full-scale excavation by the National Trust and Operation Nightingale, a group that helps injured military members recuperate by having them perform field archaeology.

The monetary value today of the coins discovered is around two thousand pounds (about $3,400 USD). The collection of coins officially qualifies as “treasure” under the United Kingdom’s 1996 Treasure Act, which means it is valuable enough that it needs to be reported to authorities and offered up to museums.

Earlier excavation of Reynard’s Kitchen Cave revealed animal bones and pieces of pottery. The coins will be put on display later this year at the Buxton Museum in Derbyshire.

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ELEPHANT SHIELD

 

elephants

With the increased range of rockets fired by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the Gaza Strip, Israel’s major population centers in the center of the country are firmly within their reach.

Just this morning, several rockets were intercepted over Tel Aviv by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system; yesterday, rockets were fired as far north as the port city of Haifa – the furthest Gaza terrorists have ever been able to reach. And it’s not just millions of people at risk.

A remarkable video from the Safari zoo in the city of Ramat Gan, which borders Tel Aviv, shows how animals, too are being forced to cope with the onslaught.
In the footage, a herd of elephants can be seen reacting to air raid sirens by quickly forming a tight unit around their young.

The scene was captured by zookeeper Sagit Horovitz, who said she chose to stay behind – in a safe place -as people rushed to find shelter.
She said that although the elephants obviously did not know what was going on, they sensed that something was amiss.

“First of all, they sensed something they are not familiar with – a noise which they do not usually hear… and then they hear the very loud ‘boom’… Their instinct is to come together and protect the herd.”

“What was beautiful to see was that this was done without any regard for ‘social status’ within the group,” she pointed out.

“You can see that there is one elephant that is standing a bit further away from the others at the beginning, but she moves towards the rest and they all accept her, despite the fact that in general she is a bit of an outsider and doesn’t involve herself with the others.

“It’s as if in a time of crisis… it’s like neighbors in the same building; everyone gets together in the bomb shelter even if they are not best friends. Something unites during difficult times,” Horovitz said.

“The most heartwarming aspect of it was that they gathered together in a way that specifically protects the calves. Of course they don’t actually understand what is going on – but they know something not quite right is happening and their instinct is to gather together and protect each other, and more than anything to protect their children.”

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SUPER COP

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INDIANAPOLIS – A 3-year-old Huntington, Indiana boy became the youngest Sheriff Deputy in the United States on Wednesday.

Wyatt Schmaltz was sworn in by the Huntington County Sheriff with the help of a state trooper in his hospital room.

Wyatt is a patient at Riley Hospital for Children and is battling stage 4 cancer of the nervous system.

Wyatt is not an honorary deputy, he is an actual deputy. He was recognized for the courage he has demonstrated in his young life.

“We have given him all the powers of a real Sheriff Deputy, which are to carry out the orders of the Sherrif,” said Huntington County Sheriff Terry Stoffel. “Right now, his only orders are to get better.”

Wyatt was just diagnosed in April. He has another surgery ahead of him, more chemotherapy and then a stem cell transplant.

We wish Wyatt and his family all the best!

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HEALTHY LEMMON SODA DRINK

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Miraculous healing combination: EFFECT 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy!

Why did not we know about this miraculous cure and why we still didn’t try it? Because there are organizations that have an interest, common people not to know about the miraculous healing properties of the combination of lemon and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Therefore, from now onwards, spread the words about this simple but amazing cure to the people that really needs it!
lemon and baking soda
Many people die while this secret is jealously kept in order to not affect the interests of the large corporations.
Lemon has strong anti-carcinogenic properties that are already been proven. Beside that it has many other useful features. It has a very strong effect over cysts and tumors. This fruit can cure cancer, it is tested on all types of cancer, and if baking soda is added it will have even bigger effect, because it will normalize the pH value in the body.
Also lemons have very strong anti-microbial effect with very wide range of activity against fungal and bacterial infections. Lemons are effective against worms and internal parasites. It is a powerful antidepressant and regulates the blood pressure, reduces stress and calms the nerves.
Lemon
An interesting fact is the source of this information: It comes from one of the largest producers of medications, which says that after 20 laboratory tests conducted since 1970 until now it has been proved that: Lemon destroys carcinogenic cells in 12 forms of cancer. Also it prevents the spread of carcinogenic cells and has 10,000 times stronger effect than medications such as chemotherapy, anticancer drugs and narcotic products.
Even more interesting is the fact that this kind of treatment with baking soda and lemon only destroys the carcinogenic cells and does not affect the healthy cells.
baking soda
The preparation is very simple, mix 2 dL (aprox. 6.8 oz) lemon juice with one teaspoon of baking soda in a cup, optional you can diluted the mixture with a distilled water and the miraculous drink is ready! Consume the drink before breakfast on a empty stomach for better effect. To have even bigger effect it is best to use organic lemon. Organic lemon is 100 times more efficient than lemon grown with artificial fertilizers and sprayed with chemicals.
Also an interesting fact is that this remedy does not have the terrible side effects that are typical for the chemotherapy.

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PARENT FAIL

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I generally am quite an optimistic person. I tend to believe that everything will work out for the best unless the evidence is overwhelmingly to the contrary, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not prone to drama. That’s why when I say that modern parenting is in serious trouble — crisis, even — I hope you’ll listen, and listen carefully. I’ve worked with children and their parents across two continents and two decades, and what I’ve seen in recent years alarms me. Here are the greatest problems, as I see them:

1. A fear of our children.
I have what I think of as “the sippy cup test,” wherein I will observe a parent getting her toddler a cup of milk in the morning. If the child says, “I want the pink sippy cup, not the blue!” yet the mum has already poured the milk into the blue sippy cup, I watch carefully to see how the parent reacts. More often than not, the mum’s face whitens and she rushes to get the preferred sippy cup before the child has a tantrum. Fail! What are you afraid of, mum? Who is in charge here? Let her have a tantrum, and remove yourself so you don’t have to hear it. But for goodness’ sake, don’t make extra work for yourself just to please her — and even more importantly, think about the lesson it teaches if you give her what she wants because she’s thrown a fit.

2. A lowered bar.
When children misbehave, whether it’s by way of public outburst or private surliness, parents are apt to shrug their shoulders as if to say, “That’s just the way it is with kids.” I assure you, it doesn’t have to be. Children are capable of much more than parents typically expect from them, whether it’s in the form of proper manners, respect for elders, chores, generosity or self-control. You don’t think a child can sit through dinner at a restaurant? Rubbish. You don’t think a child can clear the table without being asked? Rubbish again! The only reason they don’t behave is because you haven’t shown them how and you haven’t expected it! It’s that simple. Raise the bar and your child shall rise to the occasion.

3. We’ve lost the village.
It used to be that bus drivers, teachers, shopkeepers and other parents had carte blanche to correct an unruly child. They would act as the mum and dad’s eyes and ears when their children were out of sight, and everyone worked towards the same shared interest: raising proper boys and girls. This village was one of support. Now, when someone who is not the child’s parent dares to correct him, the mum and dad get upset. They want their child to appear perfect, and so they often don’t accept teachers’ and others’ reports that he is not. They’ll storm in and have a go at a teacher rather than discipline their child for acting out in class. They feel the need to project a perfect picture to the world and unfortunately, their insecurity is reinforced because many parents do judge one another. If a child is having a tantrum, all eyes turn on the mum disapprovingly. Instead she should be supported, because chances are the tantrum occurred because she’s not giving in to one of her child’s demands. Those observers should instead be saying, “Hey, good work — I know setting limits is hard.”

4. A reliance on shortcuts.
I think it’s wonderful that parents have all sorts of electronics to help them through airline flights and long waits at the doctor’s office. It’s equally fabulous that we can order our groceries online for delivery, and heat up healthy-ish food at the touch of a button on the microwave. Parents are busier than ever, and I’m all for taking the easy way when you need it. But shortcuts can be a slippery slope. When you see how wonderful it is that Cayou can entertain your child on a flight, don’t be tempted to put it on when you are at a restaurant. Children must still learn patience. They must still learn to entertain themselves. They must still learn that not all food comes out steaming hot and ready in three minutes or less, and ideally they will also learn to help prepare it. Babies must learn to self-soothe instead of sitting in a vibrating chair each time they’re fussy. Toddlers need to pick themselves up when they fall down instead of just raising their arms to mum and dad. Show children that shortcuts can be helpful, but that there is great satisfaction in doing things the slow way too.

5. Parents put their children’s needs ahead of their own.
Naturally, parents are wired to take care of their children first, and this is a good thing for evolution! I am an advocate of adhering to a schedule that suits your child’s needs, and of practices like feeding and clothing your children first. But parents today have taken it too far, completely subsuming their own needs and mental health for the sake of their children. So often I see mums get up from bed again and again to fulfill the whims of their child. Or dads drop everything to run across the zoo to get their daughter a drink because she’s thirsty. There is nothing wrong with not going to your child when she wants yet another glass of water at night. There’s nothing wrong with that dad at the zoo saying, “Absolutely you can have something to drink, but you must wait until we pass the next drinking fountain.” There is nothing wrong with using the word “No” on occasion, nothing wrong with asking your child to entertain herself for a few minutes because mummy would like to use the toilet in private or flick through a magazine for that matter.

I fear that if we don’t start to correct these five grave parenting mistakes, and soon, the children we are raising will grow up to be entitled, selfish, impatient and rude adults. It won’t be their fault — it will be ours. We never taught them any differently, we never expected any more of them. We never wanted them to feel any discomfort, and so when they inevitably do, they are woefully unprepared for it. So please, parents and caregivers from London to Los Angeles, and all over the world, ask more. Expect more. Share your struggles. Give less. And let’s straighten these children out, together, and prepare them for what they need to be successful in the real world and not the sheltered one we’ve made for them.

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AN ANCIENT SOLDIER’S LETTER

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A newly deciphered letter home dating back around 1,800 years reveals the pleas of a young Egyptian soldier named Aurelius Polion who was serving, probably as a volunteer, in a Roman legion in Europe.

In the letter, written mainly in Greek, Polion tells his family that he is desperate to hear from them and that he is going to request leave to make the long journey home to see them.

Addressed to his mother (a bread seller), sister and brother, part of it reads: “I pray that you are in good health night and day, and I always make obeisance before all the gods on your behalf. I do not cease writing to you, but you do not have me in mind,” it reads. [In Photos: Gladiators of the Roman Empire]
“I am worried about you because although you received letters from me often, you never wrote back to me so that I may know how you …” (Part of the letter hasn’t survived.)

The back of the letter contains instructions for the carrier to deliver it to a military veteran whose name may have been Acutius Leon who could forward it to Polion’s family. Although the Roman Empire had a military postal system, Polion appears not to hPin It The back of the letter contains instructions for the carrier to deliver it to a military veteran whose name may have been Acutius Leon who could forward it to Polion’s family. Although the Roman Empire had a military postal system, Polion appears not to have used it, entrusting the veteran instead.
Credit: Image courtesy Bancroft Library at the University of California BerkeleyView full size image
Polion says he has written six letters to his family without response, suggesting some sort of family tensions.

“While away in Pannonia I sent (letters) to you, but you treat me so as a stranger,” he writes. “I shall obtain leave from the consular (commander), and I shall come to you so that you may know that I am your brother …”

Found in an ancient Egyptian town

The letter was found outside a temple in the Egyptian town of Tebtunis more than a century ago by an archaeological expedition led by Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt. They found numerous papyri in the town and did not have time to translate all of them.

Recently Grant Adamson, a doctoral candidate at Rice University, took up the task of translating the papyrus, using infrared images of it, a technology that makes part of the text more legible. His translation was published recently in the Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists.

Adamson isn’t sure if the soldier’s family responded to his pleas, or if Polion got leave to see them (it’s unlikely), but it appears this letter did arrive home.

“I tend to think so. The letter was addressed to and mentions Egyptians, and it was found outside the temple of the Roman-period town of Tebtunis in the Fayyum not far from the Nile River,” Adamson wrote in an email to Live Science.

Polion, who lived at a time when the Roman Empire controlled Egypt, was part of the legio II Adiutrix legion stationed in Pannonia Inferior (around modern-day Hungary)

He may have volunteered for the pay and food legions got. However, that doesn’t mean Polion knew that he was going to be posted so far away from home.

“He may have volunteered and left Egypt without knowing where he would be assigned,” writes Adamson in the journal article. According to the translation, Polion sent the letter to a military veteran who could forward it to his family.

remains of the ancient settlement of Tebtunis as it appeared in 2003.
Pin It A recently deciphered papyrus revealing a soldier’s letter home was found at Tebtunis, an ancient town in Egypt. It was discovered along with many other papyri over a century ago by archaeologists Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt, but had not been translated until now. This image shows remains of the ancient settlement of Tebtunis as it appeared in 2003.
tebtunis-settlement

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BAD HAIR DAYS

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Back in the day, hair dryers and perm machines looked like they would eat your brain.

A roundup of photos of the vintage devices that makes you think think we sure did — and still do — some absolutely insane things for beauty.

How wouldn’t some of these scare you off from the salon? Many of the apparatuses resemble some crazy machines from sci-fi movies that are meant to hurt you not curl your hair. Some look more like vacuums than dryers. You’d have to be kind of daring to stick your head in one of them.

But despite the menacing aspect of these vintage machines, it’s pretty neat to see how far we’ve come in 80 or so years. The whole photoset — worth a look over at Dark Roasted Blend — will make you glad our beauty tech has evolved so much.

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RESURRECTION OF THE LIZARD OPERA

Almost a year later, as if to celebrate something magical, return the Other Sides Of The Doors, the band that faithfully reproduces the sights and sounds of the spectacle of the doors.

Saturday, July 12 The Other Sides Of The Doors will play at the Rock Walk In Poodle 55-Cavallotti in Ventimiglia.

Chosen by Alan Graham (ex-brother in law of the same Jim Morrison) to interpret a Rock Opera produced by him in honor of the king
lizard, which will see the light at the end of 2014, in which the 4 guys from Turin will re-arranged version of a particular song with classical musicians.

The same Alan presented them with these words: “Now, as a new wine, The Other Sides Of The Doors Tribute band from Turin, led by Fabio Cubisino, which has the same playful spirit of the brash young Jim Morrison, are a fresh representation of the Swinging Doors. So when I thought that I would never be able to listen to their music live again, I am happily surprised to announce that the Other Sides Of “The Doors” are alive and well and now I can say … The Doors will never die ever.

A quasi un anno di distanza, come per celebrare qualcosa di magico, tornano gli Other Sides Of The Doors, la band che ripropone fedelmente nelle atmosfere e nei suoni lo spettacolo dei doors.

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Sabato 12 luglio gli Other Sides Of The Doors suoneranno al Barbone In Rock Passeggiata Cavallotti 55 -a Ventimiglia.

Scelti da Alan Graham (ex cognato dello stesso Jim Morrison) per interpretare una Rock Opera da lui prodotta in omaggio al re
lucertola, che vedrà la luce a fine 2014, nella quale i 4 ragazzi torinesi riproporranno una versione arrangiata in modo particolare dei brani insieme a dei musicisti classici.

Lo stesso Alan li ha presentati con queste parole: “Adesso come un nuovo vino, Gli Other Sides Of The Doors, Tribute band di Torino, capitanata da Fabio Cubisino, che ha lo stesso spirito giocoso sfacciato del giovane Jim Morrison, sono una rappresentazione fresca dei mitici Doors. Così, quando ho pensato che non avrei mai più potuto ascoltare la loro musica dal vivo di nuovo, io, sono felicemente sorpreso di annunciare che gli Other Sides Of “The Doors” sono vivi e vegeti e ora posso dire: …I Doors non moriranno mai.

di Mario Guglielmi

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Why The Bass Notes Moves Us


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Bass notes lay down beats in music worldwide, and new research may reveal why that is — the ear responds better to rhythms set by deeper sounds, scientists say.Although melodies in the foreground of music are often dominated by higher tones, rhythms in the background of music are often made up of by lower tones, such as the bass lines of jazz and blues, the left-hand, low-pitched rhythms of ragtime piano, and the pulses of bass drums in electronic, pop and dance music.

“Music in diverse cultures is composed this way, from classical East Indian music to Gamelan music of Java and Bali, suggesting an innate origin,”said study co-author Laurel Trainor, director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind and a neuroscientist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada.

To find out why lower tones might dominate rhythms in music, Trainor and her colleagues had 35 volunteers listen to two simultaneous streams of computer-synthesized piano tones, each of a different pitch. A tenth of the time, the lower tone occurred 50 milliseconds too early; another tenth of a time, the higher tone occurred 50 milliseconds too early.

In one set of experiments, the researchers scanned the brain activity of the volunteers as they listened to these streams of tones, revealing the brains of the participants responded more strongly when the lower tones were off beat. In another set of experiments, the investigators had the volunteers tap their fingers in time with the streams of tones, and they discovered the participants altered their finger tapping to follow changes in timing of the lower tones more often than for the higher tones. [Incredible Technology: How to See Inside the Mind]

These findings suggest people are better at detecting mistakes in a rhythm’s timing when they occur with lower tones, which could explain why lower tones dominate musical rhythms. The fact these findings were seen even with the eight volunteers in the experiments who did not have any musical training suggests this discovery may reflect innate aspects of human biology.

“There is a physiological basis for why we create music the way we do,” Trainor told Live Science. “Virtually all people will respond more to the beat when it is carried by lower-pitched instruments.”

The researchers suggest this effect might originate in the cochlea, the part of the inner ear that sends electrical signals to the brain in response to sound vibrations. Their computer models of the inner ear suggest the cochlea is more sensitive to changes in rhythms that are made up of lower tones.

Previous work by Trainor and her colleagues found that people are better at perceiving the higher-pitched of two simultaneous sounds. This could explain why melodies are commonly conveyed by higher tones, Trainor said.

The findings also suggest that “for some people with poor rhythm, the problems might arise actually in cochlea of the ear,” Trainor said. “But at the same time, timing and rhythm are subsequently processed in many different cortical and sub-cortical areas [of the brain], so their problems could be in any of these regions as well.”

The researchers do note that higher-pitched sounds can also contribute to rhythms. “Indeed, high-pitched instruments can carry important rhythmic aspects — for example, in jazz, higher-pitched instruments often add rhythmic interest by playing off the beat, so the rhythm is an interaction between different instruments,” Trainor said. “What we are saying is that most typically the bass-range instruments lay down the basic beat, and that we are best at perceiving that beat when it is in the lower-pitched instruments.”

In the future, the researchers would like to study how early this effect might appear in children. This work suggests this effect originates in the inner ear, meaning it should arise early in development, but there may be contributions from the brain as well

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CAT LOVE

 

sleeping-kittenFor cat lovers, there are few sounds as precious as a beloved feline’s purr. The purr — which is produced through intermittent signaling of the laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles — is often interpreted as a sign of contentment, but the real reasons for this vocalization are a bit more complicated.

First of all, not all purring indicates pleasure. Cats also purr when they are nervous or in pain, leading some experts to believe that this uniquely feline vocalization is actually a method of self-healing.

A domestic cat’s purr has a frequency of between 25 and 150 Hertz, which happens to be the frequency at which muscles and bones best grow and repair themselves. It is, therefore, speculated that cats naturally evolved their purr over time as a survival tactic — a biomechanical healing mechanism that ensured speedier recoveries.
Of course, cats purr even when they aren’t injured. Many domestic cats purr to indicate hunger, for example. A recent study out of the U.K. shows that some cats have even developed a special purr to ask their owners for food. This “solicitous purr” incorporates cries with similar frequencies as those of human babies. These conniving kitties have tapped into their owners’ psyches — all for more kibble.

And a cat’s purr, like their meow, is also a form of communication. A mother cat teaches her kittens to purr when they are just a few days old. This helps the deaf and blind newborns locate their mother more easily, and may also serve as an early bonding mechanism.

But even the experts concede that, sometimes, a purr is just a purr. One veterinarian — Kelly Morgan of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine — likens the purr to the human smile.

“People will smile when they’re nervous, when they want something and when they’re happy, so perhaps the purr can also be an appeasing gesture,”

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FISH MALL

Down a nondescript soi in old town Bangkok lies a relatively unknown hidden gem. Without a good knowledge of Bangkok geography, one would be hard pressed to believe anything interesting lies behind this gate.

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New World shopping mall, a four storey former shopping mall. Originally constructed as an eleven storey building. It was found to be in breach of old town Bangkok’s four storey limit on building heights. The top seven floors were demolished to adhere to building codes in 1997. In 1999 the mall burned due to suspected arson committed by a competitor in the area. The disaster resulted in several casualties, and the building has remained abandoned ever since. Not having a roof, the basement floor remains under several feet of water year round.

At some point in the early 2000′s an unknown person began introducing a small population of exotic Koi and Catfish species. The small population of fish began to thrive and the result is now a self-sustained, and amazingly populated urban aquarium

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JIMI HENDRIX MOVIE

'All Is By My Side' Set

Imagine making a movie about Jimi Hendrix without any Jimi Hendrix music on the soundtrack. No wonder “All Is by My Side” — starring Outkast’s André Benjamin as the guitar god of psychedelic blues — has still not been released.

The movie, focusing on Hendrix’s first trip to London, was written and directed by screenwriter John Ridley, who won an Oscar for adapting “12 Years a Slave.” It premiered last fall in Toronto, and was screened at other film festivals. Though it was scheduled for a June release, the movie has now been moved back to a generic “September” timeline.
Hendrix’s family hopes no one ever sees it.

“We have made a point in the media that this André 3000 movie is not authorized by our family and it has no music written by Jimi,” the legend’s sister Janie Hendrix, the executor of his estate, wrote in an e-mail.
In a letter last month to the Seattle Times, Hendrix’s brother Leon wrote, “I recently learned that my name was credited on [this] film and that my family photos have been used. I have never given my permission for either nor have I ever spoken to Ridley or any of his people.”
Hendrix’s English girlfriend Kathy Etchingham is also hoping “All Is by My Side” is lost in a purple haze, because of a scene showing Hendrix beating up her character, playe

Kathy Etchingham at the unveiling of an English Heritage Blue Plaque honoring Hendrix.
Etchingham told reporters in London “Jimi was never violent toward me” and described him as “a gentle person — funny, entertaining, articulate.”
The movie also stars Imogen Poots, recently seen in “Need for Speed” and “That Awkward Moment.” She plays Linda Keith, a model who was the inspiration for the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday” and who helped Hendrix’s career get off the ground.
It’s a shame Benjamin’s talents are wasted on a movie that doesn’t include Hendrix’s music. Though a publicist for “All Is by My Side” said, “The film is receiving critically acclaimed reviews. We are 89% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.”
Meanwhile, two other Hendrix movies are being developed. Janie is working with ICM on an authorized biopic, which will feature the guitarist’s music. And British filmmaker Ol Parker plans to direct Anthony Mackie in “Jimi,” about the last nine days before
Hendrix overdosed in 1970 at the age of 27.

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“I GOT YOU BABE”

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All creatures need comfort and companionship, not just humans.

A photo of two shelter dogs who, without a real home and people to love them, found friendship in one another, is making its rounds on the Internet this week.

The touching image shows Delaware, a friendly 8-month-old a pit bull mix, and Kyra, a playful 1-year-old Lab mix, spooning together in their shared space at the Fulton County Shelter in Atlanta, Georgia.

 Every year, millions of cats and dogs end up in animal shelters all over the country, according to The Humane Society, and this picture serves as a reminder to get out there and adopt some lovable dogs.

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WAG THE DOG

 

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It’s commonly believed that dogs wag their tails to convey that they are happy and friendly, but this isn’t exactly true.

Dogs do use their tails to communicate, though a wagging tail doesn’t always mean, “Come pet me!”

Dogs have a kind of language that’s based on the position and motion of their tails. The position of a dog’s tail reveals its emotional state.
When a dog is relaxed, its tail will be in its “natural” position, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

This natural position differs between breeds. The tails of most dogs, for example, hang down near their hocks, or heels. But pugs have tails that curl upward, and greyhounds have tails that rest slightly between their legs.

If a dog is nervous or submissive, it’ll hold its tail lower than its natural position, and will tuck its tail under its body if it’s scared. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a tail held higher than normal may indicate the dog is aroused by something, while a vertical tail indicates aggression.

A tail held straight out means the dog is curious about something.

Tail wagging reflects a dog’s excitement, with more vigorous wagging relating to greater excitement.

In 2007, researchers discovered that the way a dog wags its tail also gives clues about what it’s feeling.

Specifically, a tail wagging to the right indicates positive emotions, and a tail wagging to the left indicates negative emotions.

This phenomenon has to do with the fact that the brain’s left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, and vice versa. Research on the approach-avoidance behavior of other animals has shown that the left hemisphere is associated with positive-approach feelings, and the right hemisphere is associated with negative-avoidance feelings.

Interestingly, a 2013 study found that dogs understand the asymmetric tail wagging of other dogs — a right-wagging tail relaxes other canines, while a left-wagging tail makes them stressed.

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CRACKER BARREL

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A 73-year-old Vietnam veteran was fired from a Cracker Barrel earlier this month after giving a corn muffin to a man he thought looked homeless.

Earlier this month, Joe Koblenzer was working his shift at a Cracker Barrel in Venice, Florida, when a man walked in and asked if he could have some condiments. Koblenzer loaded a few packets into a bag and added a corn muffin as well.

“He looked a little needy. He asked if I had any mayonnaise and some tarter sauce,” Koblenzer told ABC local affiliate WWSB. “He said he was going to cook a fish. … I got it for him. As I walked out I put a corn muffin in.”

Not long after, Koblenzer was let go from his job.

In a statement issued to media, Cracker Barrel said this was not the first time he had given away food:

Mr. Koblenzer has worked as a host at Cracker Barrel’s Sarasota [County] store since April 2011. During the time he was employed, he violated the Company’s policies regarding consuming food without paying or giving away free food, on five separate occasions. Mr. Koblenzer received multiple counselings and written warnings reminding him about the company’s polices and the consequences associated with violating them. On the fifth occasion, again per Company policy, Mr. Koblenzer was terminated.

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RESCUED

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SILENT HEROS


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Not all heroes walk on two legs.

Three years ago, photographer Charlotte Dumas took a look at the search and rescue dogs of 9/11, a decade after the animals worked to find survivors in the rubble of the twin towers and the Pentagon. The result is her “Retrieved” photo series.

“These animals were all at the same place at the same time, one decade ago, for the same reason: to work,” Dumas wrote on her website. “That experience unites them, and was the incentive for me to pursue this subject and to photograph the dogs.”

Dumas says that the images on the news of these dogs relentlessly searching the rubble day and night stuck with her. Many years after their service, these dogs live all over the U.S., and, with the help of FEMA, Dumas tracked down 15 of them to create these striking portraits of retired canine heroes.

“I can still recall these images clearly,” she wrote on her website. “The dogs searched and comforted, they gave consolation to anyone involved. Seeing these pictures, I was also comforted. They somehow emanated a spark of hope amidst this scene of destruction.”

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THREE SISTERS

Three Sisters Over 100 Years Old Share Their Secrets to a Long Life
From left: Ruth Branum, Rubye Cox and Rose Shloss
To live a long and happy life, just listen to sisters Rubye Cox, Ruth Branum and Rose Shloss, who are each over 100 years old. 
So how exactly did the women – who survived the Great Depression and the World Wars and were witness to the dawn of electricity, among other things – live this long? “My motto in life has been, ‘I would rather wear out than rust out,’ ”  said Branum, 

Three Sisters Over 100 Years Old Share Their Secrets to a Long Life| Real People Stories

From left, ca. 1926: Rubye Cox, Ruth Branum and Rose Shloss

Whether it was managing her grocery store for 30 years or staying at home, she stressed the importance of staying active. 

Cox, 110, a former teacher, attributes it to her belief in a higher power: “Faith can relieve life’s stresses.” 

As for Shloss, 101, who worked in payroll for the U.S. Treasury, she credits the family’s healthy eating habits. 

The sisters and their four other siblings (who have all passed) grew up cooking from scratch, using ingredients grown on their farm in Muskogee, Okla. 

After being separated by distance for over 10 years, the sisters were reunited for the first time on April 10. 

An employee at Rose’s Brookdale senior living community in Sarasota, Fla., connected the sisters with Wish of a Lifetime, a nonprofit helping seniors fulfill their late-in-life desires. The foundation, which has a partnership with Brookdale, organized the reunion at Rubye’s Rhode Island nursing home and paid for the travel arrangements.

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ANCIENT CHARIOTS

 

Chariot-Burial-Discovery-1An ancient burial containing chariots, gold artifacts and possible human sacrifices has been discovered by archaeologists in the country of Georgia, in the south Caucasus.

The burial site, which would’ve been intended for a chief, dates back over 4,000 years to a time archaeologists call the Early Bronze Age, said Zurab Makharadze, head of the Centre of Archaeology at the Georgian National Museum.

Archaeologists discoveredthe timber burial chamber within a 39-foot-high (12 meters) mound called a kurgan. When the archaeologists reached the chamber they found an assortment of treasures, including two chariots, each with four wooden wheels.

 

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RESILIENCE

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I I I I I

I I Remembering the day I found out that my aunt had cancer. Although she was the most positive person I had ever met, I still worried about how she would handle such an overwhelming diagnosis.

Looking back, now that her cancer is in remission, she continues to be the most positive person I know. But even more than that, she is what I call an elegant spirit.

Cancer, in my aunt’s world, was a small valley hidden amongst the many glorious peaks of her life. While she may have had some moments of despair as we all do when we find ourselves alone in our thoughts, unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel, she never showed this to the world outside.

She never complained. During her treatment, she continued to go to work and share her passion. She turned long days of chemotherapy in the hospital into a party with her friends where they would share stories, laugh and play cards.

Life threw her an arrow, and she, an archer herself, caught this arrow and created her bow. She knew that she could not control the fact that this arrow had come to her, but her bow could hold it stable. Instead of defeating her, the arrow ultimately strengthened her.

As a physician, I have met many such elegant spirits. Their resilience is awe-inspiring. They have the ability to handle even the most devastating diagnosis.

How then, do people cultivate such strength? And how can we do that for ourselves?

Here are five things resilient people have in common:

1) They practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the art of paying attention to your life on purpose. Mindful people monitor the thoughts that come through them. However, instead of reacting to their negative thoughts, they observe them like a storm that is passing through.

Furthermore, they pay attention to what is right in their lives. They give it strength and value, thereby turning up the volume on the beauty that surrounds them.

They understand their role in the universal flow of life. They realize that they are a part of a divine cycle of life and death.

And in this understanding, they remain like the eye at the center of a tornado.

The world will continue to change around them. But at the center of this tornado, is their mind, where there is tranquility and calm.

2) They don’t compare themselves to others

They don’t spend their time feeling sorry for themselves. They realize that every soul has a different journey and therefore it is pointless to compare the path of your life with someone else.

They are continually trying to be the new and improved version of themselves. And as long as they are better than they were yesterday, they know they are on the right path.

They are their own measuring stick of success.

3) They understand that after every big setback is an even bigger transformation

I remember in medical school when part of our rotation was to learn how to deliver bad news to patients, I shadowed a physician who informed a young 40-year-old woman that she had stage four breast cancer.

Immediately, without missing a beat, this woman said, “I know one thing. After every big setback is an even bigger transformation.”

Resilient people understand this. They see difficulties as stepping stones to a transformation.

4) They find humor in everything

Laughter, in its very highest form, is a spiritual practice. It connects us to the part of our soul that heals. When we laugh with others, we gain a sense of interconnectedness and belonging.

Laughter may help lower our blood pressure and increase our vascular blood flow. It can do wonders for our health.

Resilient people look for reasons to laugh. They find humor in the mundane. They understand that paying attention to the ordinary is what makes life extraordinary.

5) They do not try to control their lives

Gary Zukav wrote about elegant spirits like this:

The journey of a hawk depends on both the hawk and the wind. The wind is your life. It is all the things that happen from the time you are born and the time you go home. Elegant spirits don’t know what will come up next, the same way that hawks don’t know which way the wind will blow next.
This doesn’t bother them, because they don’t try to control their lives any more than hawks try to control the wind.
Resilient people do not try to control their lives. They surrender to the flow of the wind. They adjust their sails and ride the next wave of their life.

People that have overcome hardships, tremendous obstacles or disease often feel that life goes from black and white in the before to many beautiful colors in the after. The have turned up the volume of beauty in their lives. They practice mindfulness. They stop comparing themselves to others. They find humor in everything.

And they know that they have been transformed.

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NEW BRAIN

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A young American paralysed in a swimming accident has become the first patient to move his hand using the power of thought after doctors inserted a microchip into his brain.
Ian Burkhart was able to open and close his fist and even pick up a spoon during the first test of the chip, giving hope to millions of accident victims and stroke sufferers of a new bionic era of movement through thought.
Onlookers described the moment he was able to move by the sheer force of concentration as like watching “science fiction come true”.
Doctors at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center created the “Neurobridge” technology, whereby a microchip reads patients’ thoughts in order to replace signals no longer transmitted by their broken bodies, in conjunction with engineers from Battelle, a non-profit research centre.
While doctors have seen some success in recent years in getting stroke victims to manoeuvre robotic arms using their thoughts, Mr Burkhart is the first to move his own body.
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Paralysed woman uses mind to control robotic arm 16 May 2012
Paralysed from the chest down during a swimming accident four years ago, the 23-year underwent surgery in April to drill into his skull and implant a chip into his brain.
At just 0.15 inch wide, the chip has 96 electrodes which ‘read’ what he is thinking and is housed in a port inside his skull.
After weeks of practice sessions, when Mr Burkhart focused intently on wiggling his fingers while the chip responded by moving an animated hand on a computer screen, the first proper test took place last week.
Ian Burkhart uses the power of thought to move his hand, having had a microchip inserted in his brain (Youtube/ MediaSourceTV)
The port was connected to a computer which decoded the messages sent by his brain and beamed them to a sleeve containing electrodes which was placed around his forearm.
One journalist said that when he was “plugged in” Mr Burkhart resembled Neo, the Keanu Reeves character from “The Matrix” film series.
Mr Burkhart’s first attempt at using his thoughts to move his hand exceeded all his doctors’ expectations. While they had hoped he would be able to move one finger, he was able to curl his seemingly dead hand into a fist, open it out flat and pick up a spoon.
The signals sent by the computer had triggered electrodes in the sleeve which stimulated the muscles in his hand, causing them to move in the same way they would if a message had been sent directly by the brain.
Afterwards, he told CBS: “Today was great. To be able to open and close my hand and do those complex movements that I haven’t been able to do for four years was great.
“Physically, it was a foreign feeling. Emotionally it was definitely a sense of hope and excitement to know that it’s possible.”
Dr Ali Rezai, Mr Burkhart’s surgeon, said: “I do believe there will be a day coming soon when somebody who’s got a disability – being a quadriplegic or somebody with a stroke, somebody with any kind of brain injury – can use the power of their mind and by thinking, be able to move their arms or legs.”
Mr Burkhart was injured at the age of 19 after diving into the water during a trip to the beach with his friends. Unbeknown to him, a shallow sandbank was hidden under the waves, causing catastrophic damage to his spinal cord.
His friends rescued him and he was airlifted to hospital, but has had to rely on friends and family to perform even the most basic tasks, describing the loss of independence as the most difficult part of dealing with his accident.
From Columbus, Ohio, Mr Burkhart had been a keen lacrosse player before his accident. Determined not to give up on life, he went on to take a college degree and coached his old high school lacrosse team to the state championship finals.
His doctors say he was driven to volunteer to take part in the trials out of a desire to help others in the same position as himself.

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Abandoned Malls

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COOL CATS

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MUST LOVE SERVICE DOGS

 

o-SERVICE-DOG-570A Louisiana Best Western hotel that rejected a family with a service dog may get permanently terminated from the brand it represents.

Beau Vaughn has a rare type of epilepsy that requires him to always be accompanied by his assistance dog, Chip, who can sense when the boy is about to have a seizure, WAFB reported on Tuesday. While the Vaughns are not required to alert a hotel when they are coming with the service animal, Beau’s mom, Karen, always does, just to be considerate.

But instead of getting an OK from the Baton Rouge establishment that is required by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the North Carolina mom got an email saying that their reservation had been canceled because the hotel isn’t “pet friendly.”

After WAFB reported the disheartening situation, the story went viral, leading advocates to call and complain and even threaten to riot.

The owner of the local Best Western told WAFB that it had made a “mistake,” but the corporate office didn’t take the situation lightly.

On Thursday, the news outlet reported that the corporate office decided to restrict the hotel from using the Best Western name and the hotel’s future association with the brand is still being determined.

“We provide extensive training to ensure our hotels understand and address the needs of guests with special needs,” the company said in a statement. “We deeply regret the matter and we will continue to proactively communicate ADA requirements and training to Best Western branded hotels to ensure all guests are treated with the utmost dignity and respect.”

This case is particularly concerning considering how critical of a role such dogs play in the lives of people who live with conditions similar to Beau’s.

Brianna Lynch also has epilepsy and has frequent seizures. She sometimes even forgets to breathe, which can send her into an episode.

While her family is vigilant about watching over their little girl, they’ve had to also elicit the help of Charlie, a Great Dane, who can detect when Brianna is about to have a seizure.

“Charlie is so sensitive to her needs — if the other dogs get boisterous, he will stand by her side to ensure she doesn’t get knocked over,” the girl’s mom, Arabella Scanlan, told the Irish Times. “We know, when he is acting strange, she is going to have a seizure.”

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How Anxiety Influences Your Health

 

When you think of someone struggling with anxiety, what do you picture?

Do you see a bubbly mom with an infectious laugh, picking her two boys up from school and taking her sister on shopping trips? Do you imagine a talented performer, illuminating the stage with her charisma and a guitar? How about a successful, aspiring policy maker, making his way through law school one class at a time?

Chances are you think of none of these things. But you should.

Last week, Anna Clendening, a 20-year-old contestant on this season’s “America’s Got Talent,” shared her struggle with anxiety and depression at her audition. Her inspiring story and impressive performance received praise from the judges, the audience and thousands of fans. It also received skepticism of whether or not it was actually true. Regardless of whether it’s genuine or a “made-for-TV moment,” Clendening’s story prompts a poignant point: The disorder is not one-size-fits-all.

Anxiety and panic disorders affect approximately 40 million American adults each year — among them are teachers and students, journalists and entrepreneurs. It affects moms and dads. It can affect anyone, because it’s a condition that doesn’t discriminate.

The symptoms of anxiety are stark: You’re chronically stressed; sometimes you suffer from excruciating panic attacks or struggle with health complications. The thought of getting on a plane, or seeing a spider, or being in a room full of strangers can turn your blood to ice. You live in constant fear of what’s around the corner — and that is a terrifying reality to deal with.

But while anxiety may rule the lives of those who suffer from it, the condition doesn’t always define those lives. And many people tend to lose sight of that. In fact, there are a multitude of public figures — from celebrities to presidents — who have battled some form of an anxiety disorder, and most of America is none the wiser.

Someone incredibly close to me struggles with anxiety, but that’s not the first thing I say about her when I describe who she is as a person. In fact, many people don’t even know that she’s affected by the condition — and that’s because she refuses to let it dictate her life.

Yes, many people with anxiety are reserved, stressed and aloof. They can also be captivating and thrilling on a stage. These mannerisms are only a few pieces of the puzzle. Anxiety isn’t a personality trait — it’s a complicated condition that can touch even the brightest of people. The fact remains that there is still a stigma around a mental health issue that a lot of us don’t fully understand — and that is what we should be picturing when we think of anxiety.

Throat troubles. That croaky, squeaky voice that seems to have possessed your vocal chords is your immediate reaction to a stressful situation. When anxious feelings creep in, fluids are diverted to more essential locations in the body, causing spasms in the throat muscles. This results in tightness, making it dry and difficult to swallow.

Liver reactions. When the body undergoes stress and anxiety, the adrenal system produces an excessive amount of the stress hormone cortisol. That hormone production leads the liver to produce more glucose, the high-energy blood sugar that engages your “fight or flight” reactions. For most people, this extra blood sugar in the body can be simply reabsorbed with no real damage. However, for those at risk for diabetes, the extraneous blood sugar could potentially cause health issues.

Skin reactions. That cold, clammy sweat or your warm, flushed cheeks is the body’s outward sign of immediate stress — all due to a change in blood flow. When we experience anxiety, the body’s “fight or flight” system pushes more blood to your muscles — a useful reaction when there’s an immediate need for it. However, a long-term, overexposure to this reaction has the potential to make the skin age faster. Other skin reactions include perspiration and even increases in histamine, which can result in swelling. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, severe stress and anxiety can also trigger eczema outbreaks.

An active spleen. Anxiety doesn’t just engage the obvious organs like our brains and our hearts, but it even affects internal functions like our spleens and blood cells. In order to distribute more oxygen to the body that may have been depleted during the stressful situation, the spleen discharges extra red and white blood cells. Your blood flow also increases by 300 to 400 percent during this process in order to prep the rest of the body for added demands.

Tense muscles. When you start to feel anxious, the body naturally tightens up, creating strain on large muscle groups. Chronic stress and anxiety can exacerbate this tension, which can result in headaches, stiff shoulders, neck pain and even migraines. People in a constant state of stress also are at a higher risk for chronic musculoskeletal disorders.

After a while, chronic anxiety can have an effect on…

Your heart. Anxiety and chronic stress sufferers are more at risk for cardiovascular problems due to a constant increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure and overexposure to cortisol. According to the American Psychological Association, long-term stress can also lead to hypertension, arrhythmias and an increased risk for heart attack or stroke.

Your lungs. Studies have shown that there is a relationship between those who suffer from anxiety disorders and asthma. People who suffer from asthma are also more likely to experience panic attacks. According to research conducted by the University of Sao Paulo, there could also be a link between anxiety, asthma and its effects on balance.

Your brain. The most prominent reaction to anxiety is the psychological response to the condition. Chronic stress and anxiety can affect areas of the brain that influence long-term memory, short-term memory and chemical production, which can result in an imbalance. Additionally, chronic stress can constantly activate the nervous system which can in turn influence other systems in the body, triggering physical reactions, wear-and-tear on the body, fatigue and more.

People who suffer from anxiety also often have trouble falling asleep due to ruminating over worrisome thoughts. Approximately 54 percent of people say stress and anxiety influences their ability to drift off and more than 50 percent of men and more than 40 percent of women have trouble focusing the next day as a result, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Your immune system. Exposure to stress can take a negative toll on the immune system, causing the function to become suppressed due to the body’s “fight or flight” reaction. Studies have also found that when you’re stressed, you’re also more likely to catch a cold and more susceptible to infections and inflammation.

Your stomach. When your body experiences stress, it doesn’t properly regulate food digestion. Chronic and extreme stress can also have long-term effects on your intestines and what nutrients they absorb, causing reflux, bloating, diarrhea and sometimes even loss of bowel control.

Long-term stress and anxiety can also alter the body’s metabolism, which could lead to weight gain and possibly obesity. One study found that the constant release of cortisol in the bloodstream can reduce insulin sensitivity, and other recent research also discovered an association between adults who suffer from anxiety and physician-diagnosed ulcers.

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SUPER DOGS

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MAC

If you’re going to spend your life with your hands hovering over a keyboard, you might as well do it right. Or at least make the experience as tolerable as possible.

And while most Mac users know basic keyboard shortcuts — command + “X” to cut, command +”V” to paste, etc. — there are so many more life-altering, time-saving tricks to be discovered. Let us lead you into the light.

1. If your boss walks by while you’re reading this article, press…

COMMAND + W

Command + W quickly closes the current tab on your web browser, which is helpful if you’re trying to sneak in a cat video (or worse) at work.

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2. If your boss walks by and basically everything you’re reading is incriminating, press…

COMMAND + H

Command + H hides the current application and all of its windows. Because, let’s face it, sometimes more than one tab can be incriminating.

3. If you’re drowning in a sea of windows…

COMMAND + OPTION + M

Command + Option + M minimizes all your windows so you can create the illusion of a fresh start. But remember, “starting over” really just adds to the mess.

4. If you need to cut through the clutter, press…

COMMAND + F3

Command + F3 pushes all your open applications out of the way so you can actually see your desktop, so you can procrastinate dealing with impending application overload.

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5. To become a tab-scrolling expert, press..

COMMAND + 1 (and so on)

Command + a number helps you easily scroll through the respective tabs in your web browser, so you can quickly see what you need and, more importantly, click out of what you don’t.

6. If you’re kind of picky about your computer volume, press…

OPTION + SHIFT + F11

and

OPTION + SHIFT + F12

Option+Shift+F11+F12 will lower or raise the volume in smaller increments than the typical volume symbols. WHO KNEW?

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7. If you need to add a little psychedelic flavor to your day, press…

CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + 8

Control+Option+Command+8 reverses the colors on your screen. Now try going back and forth real, real fast. You will be transfixed.

8. If you don’t want to watch the entire hour-long YouTube video of your niece’s dance recital, press…

1, 2, 3 (and so on)

1, 2, 3 will advance the video to 10 percent completion, 20 percent completion, 30 percent completion, respectively (and so on and so forth). Take that, little niece.

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9. If you frequently write words like “antidisestablishmentarianism,” press…

OPTION + DELETE

Option+Delete deletes entire words so you don’t have to hold down the delete key forever. Unfortunately, there is not a keyboard shortcut to ending your insufferable wordiness.

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10. If your vocabulary isn’t quite as advanced, try…

CONTROL + COMMAND + D

Control+Command+D will define any highlighted word. Look at you, all literate now!

11. If formatting copied text drives you insane, try…

CONTROL + COMMAND+V

Control+Command+V pastes your copied text without including its formatting. Your formatting problems have now been disappeared.

12. If you’re a fast reader or a little spastic, try

COMMAND + UP

and

COMMAND + DOWN

Command+Up and Command+Down will make your scroll jump. This command will have you hopping through the text for a speedier, if not slightly erratic, reading experience.

13. If the feeling of the sun on your face has been permanently replaced with the feeling of your retina display on your face, try…

CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + EJECT

Control+Option+Command+Eject quickly shuts down your computer so you can get outside, you crazy, pasty kid! No, but seriously, go the heck outside.

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A Bridge Too Far

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Morrison In Translation

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KÖP NU

IRJM back cover -Italian I remember book cover (eng) 800 I remember book cover (French) 800 I remember book cover (swedish) 800 I remember book cover (Italian) 800

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ALL THE PRETTY HORSES

Horses are as strong as they are majestic, and are undeniably one of the most beautiful animals on Earth. They’re also very diverse and come in a surprisingly large variety of colors. In this list are some of the rarest variations of horse color that exist… I’ve been around horses my whole life, and some of these I hadn’t even heard of before. They’re stunning! They may seem fairly common, but grey horses are actually the result of artificial breeding selection. All grey horses’ hair eventually fades to white, but a grey horse’s skin is black, whereas a white horse’s skin is pink.

The Cremello Akhal-Teke

Dappled Grey
Pinto
Perlino
Buckskin
Silver Dapple Pinto
Red Rabicano
Sabino
Silver Buckskin
Sooty on Buckskin
Grullo
Classic Champagne
Leopard spots
Blue Roan
Red Roan
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SNAIL COOL

Ukrainian photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko is passionate about the less obvious and more fragile parts of nature, where little creatures like insects, molluscs, reptiles and amphibians dwell. Living in their own macro world, these little things probably don‘t even notice the curious Mishchenko as he captures the most intimate and sensitive moments of their delicate lives.

Here’s a collection of Mishchenko’s summery photography in which he has documented the everyday lives of snails in their natural environment in a splendid way. Slow down and enjoy!

 
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WRONG WORDS

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Some people just can’t seem to get the difference between “they’re” and “their” and “there.” One is a contraction of they are, one is the possessive form of they, and one talks about a place or location. It’s not rocket science. But there are plenty of other words people mix up as well simply because they sound the same or similar. We asked our Facebook friends to tell us about the words people constantly confuse. Here are just a few of their responses. Have any to add? Let us know in comments.

1. Tack and Tact
They may sound alike, but the two are radically different. The verb tack means to attach or add and the noun tack means a tiny nail, a course of action, or the direction of a ship. The noun tact means diplomacy or skill in handling a sticky situation.

2. Moot and Mute
Have you ever heard someone say “It’s a mute point”? WRONG. A moot point is one that need not be decided or debated, due to a change of circumstances. Mute can mean muffle, to refrain from speech, or someone who can’t speak, depending on whether the word is used as a verb, adjective or noun.

3. Peek and Peak and Pique
Now things are getting complicated. Although these three words sound the same, peek means to get a quick look at something, while peak means a topmost point like a mountain peak, and pique means to excite someone or get them interested in something.

4. Arc and Arch
Both words may be based on the same root word, arcus, from the Latin. But arc is a noun meaning a line or shape that is curved like part of a circle whereas arch, as a noun, is a curved symmetrical structure and, as a verb, is to have the curved shape of an arch.

5. Affect and Effect
This one is so common some people might not even realize there’s a difference. But affect means to influence, as in “my friend’s delay affected my plans,” whereas effect is usually a noun meaning a result, as in “the effect was amazing.”

6. Flout and Flaunt
This mixup is somewhat understandable. But flout usually has a more negative connotation. It means to openly disregard something such as to “flout convention.” Flaunt, on the other hand, is to display (something) ostentatiously, especially in order to provoke envy or admiration.

7. Mould and Mold
There’s not even a mould in American English or a mold in British English. Yet people mix these up all the time. Mould is simply the British spelling of mold, which means a frame for shaping something, to shape in a mold, or any of various fungi.

8. Horde and Hoard
Since neither of these homophones are extremely common, there can be confusion. But horde is a noun meaning a huge crowd or mob whereas hoard, as a noun, refers to a supply of something that has been stored up and, as a verb, means to gather up and store away.

9. Pour and Pore
As you pore over pore and pour, remember that pour means to tip a liquid out of a container and pore, as a verb, means to examine closely and, as a noun, means a small opening in the skin. Of course, there’s also poor, which means someone who is impoverished.

10. Rein and Reign
Hold your horses. Rein refers to the actual strap attached to a horse. It’s also used as a verb, meaning to control. A reign, however, is to rule over a kingdom or a period of time during which a particular ruler oversees a kingdom. Oh, yes, and rain, of course, falls down from the sky.

11. Founder and Flounder
As nouns, these words are both pretty cool. Founder means someone who starts something whereas a flounder is a fish. Verb-wise, though, to founder is to sink or fail completely and to flounder is to struggle or move with difficulty.

12. Gauge and Gage
For sure, it’s easy to confuse these two. But gauge is an instrument that is used for measuring something and gage is a token of defiance or a glove or cap cast on the ground to be taken up by an opponent as a pledge of combat. At least that’s according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

13. Further and Farther
Many of our Facebook friends commented on this pair. But they are indeed different. Farther is used in relation to physical distance whereas further means to a greater degree. If you still have a hard time, just say to yourself “in a galaxy far, farther away” as a reminder to use farther when speaking of distance.

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MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

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A German museum has traced the author of a 101-year-old message in a bottle.

A fisherman pulled the beer bottle out of the Baltic Sea near Kiel, Germany, last month, according to Holger von Neuhoff of the International Maritime Museum, Agence France-Presse reports.

Inside the bottle is a postcard dated May 17, 1913, but much of the writing on the postcard is illegible, von Neuhoff told AFP.

Based on the address, researchers were able to identify the author of the message as Richard Platz, the then 20-year-old son of a baker. Platz died in 1946, but a genealogist was able to locate his 62-year-old granddaughter, Angela Erdmann, in Berlin, according to the report.

Erdmann was given the chance to hold the bottle at the museum last week, where the postcard will be on display.

Previously, the oldest message found in a bottle spent nearly 98 years at sea and was discovered in April 2012, according to Guinness World Records.

 

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ZOEY & JASPER

What do you get when you pair a rescue dog and a cherub-faced baby? Complete and utter adorableness.

Grace Chon is a mother and commercial photographer living in Los Angeles. She is also the camerawoman behind the Tumblr photo series “Zoey and Jasper,” featuring her 7-year-old dog, Zoey, and her 10-month-old son, Jasper. Zoey is a rescue dog from Taiwan, and she is little Jasper’s best friend. So it makes sense why Chon would want to capture some of their cutest moments.

“Zoey is very shy and it took her seven months to warm up to Jasper,” Chon told The Huffington Post. “We didn’t want to rush things and let her decide when the relationship could begin. One day she rolled over onto her belly and let Jasper pet her! And ever since then their relationship has continued to blossom. She’s the first to run to his room in the morning and lays by my feet when I’m feeding him.”

Photographing the twosome was apparently Chon’s sister’s idea.

“I’ve always dressed up my dogs in silly costumes, so naturally when I had a baby I started collecting some hats for photos,” Chon added. “One day I put one on Zoey and I had the epiphany that baby hats look ridiculously adorable on dogs too! My sister had the brilliant idea of sitting them side by side in a photo.”

Those who saw her work loved the snapshots.

“The response was immediate and I just kept going with it,” she said. “I love my dogs fiercely (I’m a crazy dog lady through and through!) and it was really important to me that my dogs have a great relationship with Jasper. Zoey has exceeded my expectations as a big sister and I’m so glad I’ve found a fun activity that involves both of them!”

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FRIENDS FOR LIFE

Who says animals, even different kinds, can’t be best friends? In fact, their playful interactions with each other can teach us a little something about our own friendships: None of us are exactly the same, yet we all share commonalities, and the things that bring us together as friends are often stronger than the things that divide us.

To prove it, we need only look to these adorable animal pals. Prepare for your heart to melt as these animals remind you what friendship is all about …

Being able to rest your weary head on theirs.

And seeing past someone’s rough exterior.

To know they need a hug, even if they don’t know they need it.

Friendship is about tiny gestures.

And knowing exactly how gentle to be.

Putting differences aside.

Or embracing similarities.

But always supporting each other.

Friendship is making each other laugh.

Looking foolish together.

Or hanging out and watching others look foolish.

Look!

Friendship is protecting one another.

Sticking together.

Knowing what’s “deer” to one another.

And always having each other’s back.

But also respecting their space.

Friendship is about being there if they need a helping hand. Or wing.

But it’s also stopping friends from acting stupidly.

Knowing when some tough love is necessary.

While still always accepting them for who they are.

Friendship is flocking together, like birds of a feather.

Even if only one of you has feathers.

Or neither of you does.

Making friends can be about the young and the new.

Or the tried and the true.

Friendship is funny like that. It’s sometimes unlikely.

You never know what will connect you.

But just that something does.

And you know when it works.

Because hey, we all look up at the same sky, right?

All you really have to do is just take a chance and put yourself out there.

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CLARION AUTUMN ISSUE 2014 BACK COVER

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