Yanci, a Dog Memory

by George Lynch

 We’ve raised 11 ½ foster puppies for a guide dog organization. We pick up a puppy about 8 weeks old, raise it, exposing it to noises and stores etc and then return it on call somewhere between 18 – 24 months. This is a story about one of them.

We took Yanci, our guide dog puppy, back to the organization recently. She had lived with us for 19 months. We got her when she was two months old. She was a good dog. She was fun. She seemed to blend into the family as if she had always been a part of it. She was smart; of course all prospective guide dogs are, but she seemed to be a bit more perceptive than some of the other dogs we have had. She somehow could differentiate between the times we were getting dressed to take her out for a walk and when we were getting dressed to do something that did not involve her. She talked to us. At around three o’clock every afternoon, if we were not fixing her dinner, she would talk to us. Her food had to sit for 20 minutes before she could eat it and that used to drive her nuts. She would trot from room to room and come in and nudge me with her nose and look at me as if to say “What are you doing? The food is there, I am here. What’s going on? Let me have it!”.

She was a beautiful dog, full of color. She had a black and bronze coat covering a blonde inner fur. When we groomed her, it was the undercoat that came out. She had a whitish wide ring around her shoulders and whitish circles around her eyes that might make you think of a raccoon. Her paws were streaked with black and copper. She was a good dog. Of course you know that you have to give them up when you get them – that’s part of the deal; but when you know you are giving them up forever, that is a bit hard.

The day we came back from the organization after dropping her off, we got a Christmas card and a picture of our last guide named Hickory from his new visually impaired master in Boston. That seemed to assuage our sadness a bit. It seemed to remind us of why we go through all of this, why we subject our emotions to such turmoil.

The house is empty. When we get up in the middle of the night to leave the bedroom, we still shuffle our feet out of habit. We got used to doing that so as not to step on a sleeping dog. But, of course, the dog is not there anymore. She used to sleep on a towel in our room but would relocate during the night. She would get up, find a new place, and then drop like a sack of potatoes onto the new spot WHUMP!   Then after squirming around a little bit to get just the right position, she would emit a long sigh, sort of a guttural, yet high pitched expulsion of breath.

Every time she changed position, we’d be roused – not necessarily actually waking up but aware in subconsciously that the dog was up and moving. Sometimes the dog wanted to wake us up. If she was having, let us say, intestinal problems and needed to go out, she would come to my side of the bed and stick her nose in my face. If I didn’t react quickly enough (read- let’s wait and see if Linda takes her out) the dog would run around to my wife’s side of the bed which was near a wall. She would stand next to the wall and vigorously wag her tail, slamming it against the wall– Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham!

In the morning, as I came out of the bathroom, she would greet me about two feet off the floor – bouncing, bouncing, bouncing. She seemed to be saying Hey Dad, it’s snowing outside!   Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s throw sticks in the woods, let’s run, let’s run, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon. Then she would tear down the stairs, into the dining room, through the kitchen, down the hall, skid around the corner and flash back up the stairs and rip into the bedroom and again drop like a sack of cement and watch me. The minute I sat on the lounge in our bedroom to put on my shoes she was on me. She would go right for my feet. These things are annoying you know, annoying while they are happening. But when they are not happening … something seems to be missing. It is too quiet, too calm.

We are slowly returning to life as a normal family. We don’t have to walk the dog first thing in the morning in the rain or snow. We don’t have to walk in the woods to throw sticks. We are not bothered anymore in our sleep. I can tie my shoes in peace. Normal family life– and it isn’t much fun.

 

 

Depression Mother–Photo

Image result for depression photo lange

They were called Oakies, the many despised Oklahomans who had lost their farms during the  drought and windstorms of the Dustbowl and Great Depression in the 1930’s and headed to California to make a miserable living picking crops and suffering abuse and exploitation.  John Steinbeck tells their story in his absorbing novel, Grapes of Wrath, retold in a good movie.

Image result for lange depression photosImage result for lange depression photosImage result for lange depression photos

 

The photograph that has become known as “Migrant Mother” is one of a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and her children in February or March of 1936 in Nipomo, California. Lange was concluding a month’s trip photographing migratory farm labor around the state for what was then the Resettlement Administration.  source

There are true accounts of people walking our of their houses during a dust storm and being found dead later only a few yards from home.

Lange later wrote how she got the picture: I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean- to tent with her (five) children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it. (From: Popular Photography, Feb. 1960).  source

What happened to the woman in the picture, Ms. Thompson? She survived and had 4 more children.I heard Bob Dotson tell about interviewing her in a retirement home for the NBC Today Show, His stories are collected in his book, American Story; a Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.  

Peppers–Why are they hot? Why do we eat them?

British Broadcasting Company    The Why Factor

The chilli pepper is a work of ‘evolutionary elegance’. Its complex chemistry can fool our brains. Why do we eat something that causes us pain?

Mike Williams explores the origins and history of chillies,thought to be the hot and humid climates of Bolivia and northern Brazil before being spread through the world by Portuguese colonists in the 15th entury. He finds out that ancient chillies were not hot.

 

Pepper stand at market in Texas, with                                                                                                    Scoville scale.

 

Dr Josh Tewkesbury from the University of Washington explains why the chilli pepper developed heat and why human beings are one of the only mammals in the world to actually enjoy eating them. We unlock the pungency and flavour of chillies in curries with chef and writer Roopa Gulatti. And we uncover their power and punch in powder and pepper spray with Dr Anuj Baruah, a biotechnologist in the north-eastern state of Assam, India, who extracted the chemical compound inside the chilli for India’s ministry of defence.

Award winning science writer and journalist, Deborah Blum gives her analysis of the chemistry inside the chilli and its development to explain why she thinks that plants like chillies are ‘formidable military machines’. Finally, Mike tastes one of the world’s hottest – the bhut jolokia – also known as the ghost or poison pepper.

LISTEN to 18-minute radio show

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More radio?  LISTEN to 17-minute radio show on ghosts

We join a group of ghost hunters in England on a spooktacular tour of a derelict orphanage; Mike meets the cultural historian Dr Shane McCorristine in the birthplace of the Victorian ghost story; and the psychologist Professor Christopher French explains the mind’s capacity to produce hallucinations.

102-year-old doctor

 

Germany’s oldest student, 102, gets PhD denied by Nazis

 Dean of the university’s medical faculty said Ms Rapoport had been “brilliant” in her exam

Listen to 10-minute radio piece with Dr. Rappaport’s comments.

A 102-year-old German woman has become the world’s oldest person to be awarded a doctorate on Tuesday, almost 80 years after the Nazis prevented her from sitting her final exam.

Ingeborg Rapoport (then Syllm) finished her medical studies in 1937 and wrote her doctoral thesis on diphtheria – a serious problem in Germany at the time.

But because of Nazi oppression she has had to wait almost eight decades before being awarded her PhD.

Her mother was a Jewish pianist.

So, under Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic race laws, Ingeborg was refused entry to the final oral exam. She had written confirmation from Hamburg University that she would have received her doctorate “if the applicable laws did not prohibit Ms Syllm’s admission to the doctoral exam due to her ancestry”.

Now the university has set right that wrong.

Three professors from Hamburg University’s medical faculty travelled last month to Ingeborg’s sitting room in east Berlin to test her on the work she carried out in pre-war Germany.

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Ingeborg Rapoport said she was very nervous as she was examined by Hamburg University academics

They were impressed and a special ceremony took place at Hamburg University Medical Centre on Tuesday, in which she finally received the PhD that the Nazis stole from her.

“It was about the principle,” she said. “I didn’t want to defend my thesis for my own sake. After all, at the age of 102 all of this wasn’t exactly easy for me. I did it for the victims [of the Nazis].”

To prepare for last month’s exam, Ingeborg enlisted friends to help her research online what developments there had been in the field of diphtheria over the last 80 years.

“The university wanted to correct an injustice. They were very patient with me. And for that I’m grateful,” she told Der Tagesspiegel newspaper.

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A life in medicine

1912 – Born in Cameroon (Germany colony)

1938 – After studying medicine in Hamburg, prevented by Nazis from defending PhD thesis on diphtheria

1938 – Emigrates to US, meets Mitja Rapoport

1952 – Moves to East Berlin with family

1958 – Qualifies as paediatrician, becoming professor in 1964

1973 – Retires but continues her work as scientist into her eighties

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In 1938, as Germany became an increasingly dangerous place for Jews, Ingeborg fled to the US where she went back to university, finally to qualify as a doctor.

Within a few years she met her husband, the biochemist Samuel Mitja Rapoport, who was himself a Jewish refugee from Vienna.

But, by the 1950s, Ingeborg suddenly found herself once again on the wrong side of the authorities.

The McCarthy anti-communist trials (McCarthyism) meant that Ingeborg and her husband were at risk because of their left-wing views. So they fled again – back to Germany.

This time Ingeborg Rapoport went to communist East Berlin, where she worked as a paediatrician.

Eventually she became a paediatrics professor, holding Europe’s first chair in neonatal medicine, at the renowned Charite hospital in East Berlin.

She was given a national prize for her work in dramatically reducing infant mortality in East Germany.

But for all her achievements, winning back at the age of 102 the doctorate stolen from her by the Nazis must rank among her most impressive.

 

Dancing Mother

 

It’s probably worth a trip just to feel  the joy in this piece atop a fountain in the lobby of the relatively new Women’s Hospital of Evanston Hospital.  The hospital is 1/2 mile from our house to the west and Lake Michigan to the east.

Jenna was born there.  Ben was born at the hospital before  Women’s was built.

 

 

Barry Johnston, Mother and Child.      Woman and baby are life-size.

Flow of water down fountain walls is soothing to see and hear

Flow of water down fountain walls is soothing to see and hear.

mom babyYou have to be there to see the baby’s face.

 

VIDEO photographer’s interpretation.

When They Lose Some Parts?

 

Instead Of Replacing Missing Body Parts, Moon Jellies Recycle

The long “oral arms” of the adult moon jelly, Aurelia aurita, extend from near its mouth, in the center of the bell.  Magnus Manske/Wikimedia Commons

Moon jellies have an unusual self-repair strategy, scientists have learned. If one of these young jellies loses some limbs, it simply rearranges what’s left until its body is once again symmetrical.

“We were not expecting to see that,” says Michael Abrams, a graduate student in biology at the California Institute of Technology.

All creatures have tricks to heal themselves. If you get a cut, your skin will form a scar. And some sea creatures, like starfish and sea cucumbers, can regenerate lost body parts.

So a couple of years ago, when Abrams and some colleagues started growing moon jellies in the lab, they decided to explore what these jellies could do.

“We started doing kind of old-school experiments, where you just sort of cut off pieces and see what happens,” recalls Abrams.

Each young jellyfish is tiny and looks like a snowflake, Abrams explains, with eight arms and a mouth in the center. He tried chopping them in half with a razor blade.

“If you imagine cutting them in half, that means you’ve now got four arms on one side and no arms on the other side,” he says.

He thought the lost limbs might regenerate. But, no. Instead, over a couple of days, the remaining limbs moved around the body until the little jellyfish was once again symmetrical.

“Rather than four arms on one side, you had sort of an x shape, like a cross,” he says.

In fact, no matter how many arms he cut off, these little jellies would rearrange what was left to re-create a symmetrical pattern.

Upon injury, juvenile jellyfish reorganize their bodies to regain symmetry.iUpon injury, juvenile jellyfish reorganize their bodies to regain symmetry.  Courtesy Michael Abrams, Ty Basinger, and Christopher Frick, California Institute of Technology/PNAS

His adviser, Lea Goentoro, was intrigued. “It could be a really different strategy of surviving from injuries,” she says, “so I just thought, well, we just need to look at this a bit more.”

The team did a bunch of studies, which are described in the current Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

What they learned is that the jellyfish heal themselves by swimming. As a wounded jellyfish struggles to move through the water with its remaining limbs, its muscles contract and relax. This movement creates forces that push on the body’s elastic, jelly-like material, reshaping it until the limbs are once again evenly spaced.

The lives of these jellyfish absolutely depend on them being symmetrical, says Ty Basinger, who did some of the experiments.

“If they are asymmetrical, they won’t swim, they won’t move through the water column, they won’t feed normally,” he says.

Basinger says this strategy for regaining function, without regaining a limb, could prove useful for designing future materials or technologies.

“When we think about fixing something that’s broken, we often think about replacing the part,” says Basinger. “Here we have an observation in nature where it’s doing something different.”

Chimps Drink Alcohol

 

Earlier in my lifetime, it was important for people to believe that humans were essentially different from “lower”  animals (how else justify slaughter houses?) with such evidence of their lack of language, failure to use tools or to show higher emotions. Now we know they not only use tools but make them.  They have complex communication with vocalizations and gestures.  They exhibit compassion and grief.  Now we learn they like to have a drink, too.   rjn

My head hurts

Chimpanzees found to drink alcoholic plant sap in wild

They have shown an understanding of language and a sense of fairness, and now humans’ closest primate cousins have even been found to share a taste for alcohol.

Scientists studying chimpanzees in the Republic of Guinea have seen evidence of long-term and recurrent ingestion of ethanol by apes.  The 17-year study recorded chimps using leaves to drink fermented palm sap.

Some drank enough alcohol to produce “visible signs of inebriation”.

The study – published in the journal Royal Society Open Science – revealed their tipple of choice is naturally fermented palm wine, produced by raffia palm trees.

Opportunistic drinking

In the Bossou area of Guinea, where this research took place, some local people harvest “palm wine” from the trees – tapping them at the crown, and gathering the sap in plastic containers, which they collect in the mornings and evenings.

Researchers working in the area had already witnessed chimpanzees climbing the trees – often in groups – and drinking the naturally fermented palm sap.

Wild chimp drinking palm wine with a leaf sponge (c) Gaku Ohashi
The chimpanzees use leaf sponges in their palm wine “drinking sessions”

The chimps used drinking tools called leaf sponges – handfuls of leaves that they chew and crush into absorbent sponges, dip into the liquid and suck out the contents.

To work out the extent of the animals’ indulging, the scientists measured the alcohol content of the wine in the containers and filmed the chimps’ “drinking sessions”.

The research team, led by Dr Kimberley Hockings from Oxford Brookes University and the Centre for Research in Anthropology in Portugal, worked out that the sap was about 3% alcohol by volume.

“Some individuals were estimated to have consumed about 85ml of alcohol,” she said, “the equivalent to 8.5 UK units [approximately equal to a bottle of wine]”.

“[They] displayed behavioural signs of inebriation, including falling asleep shortly after drinking.

“On another occasion after drinking palm wine, one adult male chimpanzee seemed particularly restless.

“While other chimpanzees were making and settling into their night nests, he spent an additional hour moving from tree to tree in an agitated manner. Again pure speculation, but it’s certainly something we would like to collect further data on in the future,” the researcher told BBC News.

Alcohol can be toxic, and although there have been unconfirmed anecdotes of non-human primates consuming it in the wild, this is the first time that researchers have recorded and measured voluntary alcohol consumption in any wild ape.

In addition, chimpanzees’ apparent taste for a tipple adds to an evolutionary story about humans’ common predilection for alcohol. Another recent study by Matthew Carrigan, from Santa Fe College in the US, showed that humans and African apes shared a genetic mutation that enabled them to effectively metabolise ethanol.  Prof Richard Byrne, an evolutionary biologist from the University of St Andrews, commented that the evolutionary origin of that gene could be that it “opened access to good energy sources – all that simple sugar – that were accidentally ‘protected’ by noxious alcohol”.

“And presumably, whatever its evolutionary origin, it is that adaptation which makes me able to enjoy a good malt,” he added.

Dr Catherine Hobaiter, from St Andrews University, said: “It would be fascinating to investigate the [behaviour] in more detail: do chimps compete over access to the alcohol? Or do those who drank enough to show ‘behavioural signs of inebriation’ have a bit of a slow day in the shade the next morning?”

Dr Hobaiter added: “Even after 60 years of studying [chimpanzees], they are constantly surprising us.”

Indigenous People–No Back Pain!

Lost Posture: Why Indigenous Cultures Don’t Have Back Pain

MICHAELEEN DOUCLEFF  source

Primal posture: Ubong tribesmen in Borneo (right) display the perfect J-shaped spines. A woman in Burkina Faso (left) holds her baby so that his spine stays straight. The center image shows the S-shaped spine drawn in a modern anatomy book (Fig. I) and the J-shaped spine (Fig. II) drawn in the 1897 anatomy book Traite d’Anatomie Humaine. Courtesy of Esther Gokhale and Ian Mackenzie/Nomads of the Dawn

Back pain is a tricky beast. Most Americans will at some point have a problem with their backs. And for an unlucky third, treatments won’t work, and the problem will become chronic.

Believe it or not, there are a few cultures in the world where back pain hardly exists. One indigenous tribe in central India reported essentially none. And the discs in their backs showed little signs of degeneration as people aged.

Many ancient statues, such as this one from Greece, display a J-shaped spine. The statue’s back is nearly flat until the bottom, where it curves so the buttocks are behind the spine.  Courtesy of Esther Gokhale/Gerard Mackworth-Young

An acupuncturist in Palo Alto, Calif., thinks she has figured out why. She has traveled around the world studying cultures with low rates of back pain — how they stand, sit and walk. Now she’s sharing their secrets with back pain sufferers across the U.S.

About two decades ago, Esther Gokhale started to struggle with her own back after she had her first child. “I had excruciating pain. I couldn’t sleep at night,” she says. “I was walking around the block every two hours. I was just crippled.”

Gokhale had a herniated disc. Eventually she had surgery to fix it. But a year later, it happened again. “They wanted to do another back surgery. You don’t want to make a habit out of back surgery,” she says.

This time around, Gokhale wanted to find a permanent fix for her back. And she wasn’t convinced Western medicine could do that. So Gokhale started to think outside the box. She had an idea: “Go to populations where they don’t have these huge problems and see what they’re doing.”

Over the next decade, Gokhale went to cultures around the world that live far away from modern life. She went to the mountains in Ecuador, tiny fishing towns in Portugal and remote villages of West Africa.

Esther Gokhale’s Five Tips For Better Posture And Less Back Pain

Try these exercises while you’re working at your desk, sitting at the dinner table or walking around, Esther Gokhale recommends.

1. Do a shoulder roll: Americans tend to scrunch their shoulders forward, so our arms are in front of our bodies. That’s not how people in indigenous cultures carry their arms, Gokhale says. To fix that, gently pull your shoulders up, push them back and then let them drop — like a shoulder roll. Now you’re arms should dangle by your side, with your thumbs pointing out. “This is the way all your ancestors parked their shoulders,” she says. “This is a natural architecture for our species.”

2. Lengthen your spine: Adding extra length to your spine is easy, Gokhale says. Being careful not to arch your back, take a deep breath in and grow tall. Then maintain that height as you exhale. Repeat: Breathe in, grow even taller and maintain that new height as you exhale. “It takes some effort, but it really strengthens your abdominal muscles,” Gokhale says.

3. Squeeze, squeeze your glute muscles when you walk: In many indigenous cultures, people squeeze their gluteus medius muscles every time they take a step. That’s one reason they have such shapely buttocks muscles that support their lower backs. Gokhale says you can start developing the same type of derrière by tightening the buttocks muscles when you take each step. “The gluteus medius is the one you’re after here. It’s the one high up on your bum,” Gokhale says. “It’s the muscle that keeps you perky, at any age.”

4. Don’t put your chin up: Instead, add length to your neck by taking a lightweight object, like a bean bag or folded washcloth, and balance it on the top of your crown. Try to push your head against the object. “This will lengthen the back of your neck and allow your chin to angle down — not in an exaggerated way, but in a relaxed manner,” Gokhale says.

5. Don’t sit up straight! “That’s just arching your back and getting you into all sorts of trouble,” Gokhale says. Instead do a shoulder roll to open up the chest and take a deep breath to stretch and lengthen the spine.

“I went to villages where every kid under age 4 was crying because they were frightened to see somebody with white skin — they’d never seen a white person before,” she says.

Gokhale took photos and videos of people who walked with water buckets on their heads, collected firewood or sat on the ground weaving, for hours.

“I have a picture in my book of these two women who spend seven to nine hours everyday, bent over, gathering water chestnuts,” Gokhale says. “They’re quite old. But the truth is they don’t have a back pain.”

She tried to figure out what all these different people had in common. The first thing that popped out was the shape of their spines. “They have this regal posture, and it’s very compelling.”

And it’s quite different than American spines.

If you look at an American’s spine from the side, or profile, it’s shaped like the letter S. It curves at the top and then back again at the bottom.

But Gokhale didn’t see those two big curves in people who don’t have back pain. “That S shape is actually not natural,” she says. “It’s a J-shaped spine that you want.”

In fact, if you look at drawings from Leonardo da Vinci — or a Gray’s Anatomy book from 1901 — the spine isn’t shaped like a sharp, curvy S. It’s much flatter, all the way down the back. Then at the bottom, it curves to stick the buttocks out. So the spine looks more like the letter J.

“The J-shaped spine is what you see in Greek statues. It’s what you see in young children. It’s good design,” Gokhale says.

So Gokhale worked to get her spine into the J shape. And gradually her back pain went away.

Then Gokhale realized she could help others. She developed a set of exercises, wrote a book and set up a studio in downtown Palo Alto.

Now her list of clients is impressive. She’s helped YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report. She has given classes at Google, Facebook and companies across the country. In Silicon Valley, she’s known as the “posture guru.”

Each year, doctors in the Bay Area refer hundreds of patients to Gokhale. One of them is Dr. Neeta Jain, an internist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. She puts Gokhale’s method in the same category as Pilates and yoga for back pain. And it doesn’t bother her that the method hasn’t been tested in a clinical trial.

Healthy spines in the Western world: The J-shaped spine is often seen in photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.Library of Congress

“If people are finding things that are helpful, and it’s not causing any harm, then why do we have to wait for a trial?” Jain asked.

But there’s still a big question looming here: Is Gokhale right? Have people in Western cultures somehow forgotten the right way to stand?

Scientists don’t know yet, says Dr. Praveen Mummaneni, a neurosurgeon at the University of California, San Francisco’s Spine Center. Nobody has done a study on traditional cultures to see why some have lower rates of back pain, he says. Nobody has even documented the shape of their spines.

“I’d like to go and take X-rays of indigenous populations and compare it to people in the Western world,” Mummaneni says. “I think that would be helpful.”

But there’s a whole bunch of reasons why Americans’ postures — and the shape of their spines — may be different than those of indigenous populations, he says. For starters, Americans tend to be much heavier.

“If you have a lot of fat built up in the belly, that could pull your weight forward,” Mummaneni says. “That could curve the spine. And people who are thinner probably have less curvature” — and thus a spine shaped more like J than than an S.

Americans are also much less active than people in traditional cultures, Mummaneni says. “I think the sedentary lifestyle promotes a lack of muscle tone and a lack of postural stability because the muscles get weak.”

Everyone knows that weak abdominal muscles can cause back pain. In fact, Mummaneni says, stronger muscles might be the secret to Gokhale’s success.

In other words, it’s not that the J-shaped spine is the ideal one — or the healthiest. It’s what goes into making the J-shaped spine that matters: “You have to use muscle strength to get your spine to look like a J shape,” he says.

So Gokhale has somehow figured out a way to teach people to build up their core muscles without them even knowing it. “Yes, I think that’s correct,” Mummaneni says. “You’re not going to be able to go from the S- to the J-shaped spine without having good core muscle strength. And I think that’s key here.”

So indigenous people around the world don’t have a magic bullet for stopping back pain. They’ve just got beefy abdominal muscles, and their lifestyle helps to keep them that way, even as they age.

source

Esther Gokhale’s Five Tips For Better Posture And Less Back Pain

Try these exercises while you’re working at your desk, sitting at the dinner table or walking around, Esther Gokhale recommends.

1. Do a shoulder roll: Americans tend to scrunch their shoulders forward, so our arms are in front of our bodies. That’s not how people in indigenous cultures carry their arms, Gokhale says. To fix that, gently pull your shoulders up, push them back and then let them drop — like a shoulder roll. Now you’re arms should dangle by your side, with your thumbs pointing out. “This is the way all your ancestors parked their shoulders,” she says. “This is a natural architecture for our species.”

2. Lengthen your spine: Adding extra length to your spine is easy, Gokhale says. Being careful not to arch your back, take a deep breath in and grow tall. Then maintain that height as you exhale. Repeat: Breathe in, grow even taller and maintain that new height as you exhale. “It takes some effort, but it really strengthens your abdominal muscles,” Gokhale says.

3. Squeeze, squeeze your glute muscles when you walk: In many indigenous cultures, people squeeze their gluteus medius muscles every time they take a step. That’s one reason they have such shapely buttocks muscles that support their lower backs. Gokhale says you can start developing the same type of derrière by tightening the buttocks muscles when you take each step. “The gluteus medius is the one you’re after here. It’s the one high up on your bum,” Gokhale says. “It’s the muscle that keeps you perky, at any age.”

4. Don’t put your chin up: Instead, add length to your neck by taking a lightweight object, like a bean bag or folded washcloth, and balance it on the top of your crown. Try to push your head against the object. “This will lengthen the back of your neck and allow your chin to angle down — not in an exaggerated way, but in a relaxed manner,” Gokhale says.

5. Don’t sit up straight! “That’s just arching your back and getting you into all sorts of trouble,” Gokhale says. Instead do a shoulder roll to open up the chest and take a deep breath to stretch and lengthen the spine.

 

Deep Wells at Wilmette Library

Just now a contractor is drilling four 500-foot-deep wells or bore-holes in the front yard of our library as a start on the new geo-thermal heating/cooling system.  In summer, pumps will drive a warm water-glycol solution  down the 5″ sealed pipes transferring the heat to the earth and bringing up the solution at about 50 degrees..  In winter, a cold solution will be pumped down to transfer to earth and the fluid will come up at about 70 degrees.  This requires a lot of electricity, but the overall fuel cost is much less than for a conventional heating/cooling system.

Click blue for illustrated explanation:   GeoExchange System

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At Ball State University in Indiana, all campus buildings will soon be heated and cooled with this kind of system working out of  3600 bore holes!  More.

Walking Fish Threatens Australia

Aggressive ‘walking’ fish is heading south towards Australia, scientists warn.

The climbing perch, which can live without water for six days, has spread across Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and is believed to be advancing towards Australia

The climbing perch can survive for up to six days without water

The climbing perch can survive for up to six days without water Photo: Alamy

The climbing perch, an invasive and exceedingly aggressive freshwater species which drags itself between waterholes, can survive for up to six days without water and has already made its way to islands off Australia.

Scientists monitoring the fish’s progress now believe it can survive in saltwater and is set to head for the Australian mainland, possibly by catching a ride in a fishing boat.

The fish was discovered on two small Australian islands in late 2005, about three to four miles south of Papua New Guinea.

“I still think the chances of it getting to Australia by swimming are quite low,” said Dr Nathan Waltham from James Cook University.

“There is more chance it will arrive in the bottom of a fishing boat or as discarded live-bait fish.”

The climbing perch, or Anabas testudineus, has tended to overpower native species in new environments and can hibernate in the mud of dry creek beds for up to six months.

It is able to destroy larger creatures by swelling up after being swallowed to block the predator’s throat, thereby choking adversaries or forcing them to starve.

“It does seem to be able to handle a little bit of salt,” Dr Waltham said. “In our trip up there in December we found it in some hyper saline water holes, so there is some ability to resist exposure.”

In the past 30 to 40 years, the climbing perch has spread across Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Scientists have been working with local communities on small islands north of Australia to assist with preventing it from further advancing.

Herbert Warusam, a ranger on Saibai Island, a Torres Strait island north of Queensland, said: “We are now actively monitoring climbing perch in our wetlands and educating local fisherman to report sightings. It is important we don’t let them travel beyond our Island.”

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WALKING CATFISH–FLORIDA

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