Archive for January, 2012

The wonders of pears

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Homer, famous author of the Odyessy, called pears “gift of the gods.” That was in 800 B.C. Thousands of years before and thousands of years later, there are many (including me) who would agree.

Did you know?

Pears were cultivated in 5000 B.C. in China by Feng Li, a Chinese diplomat as a commercial venture.
The Chinese believed that the pear was a symbol of immortality. (Pear trees live for a long time.)
In Greek and Roman mythology, pears are sacred to three goddesses.
Pears are members of the rose family.
There are more than 5,000 varieties of pears! (When I was at the farmer’s market a guy showed me 5 varieties last week; I was impressed.)
Pear trees can produce fruit for up to 100 years.
Pears were cultivated to become the sweet juicy taste we know today.
Pears are Powerfoods.
Pears:
have more nutrients per calorie than calories per nutrient (surprising since they are so sweet). They are what I call a Smart Carb.
are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, copper & vitamin K.
are often considered a hypoallergenic fruit that is less likely to produce an adverse response than other fruits by healthcare practitioners.
are often the first fruit fed to infants as a safe way to start.

Read more.

Cat planning something evil

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Watch video. You’ ll be surprised.

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Japanese firms look to animals to inspire innovative technology

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Biomimicry — an innovative trend that looks at animals and insects to inspire new and highly efficient technology– is becoming popular among manufacturing firms and researchers in Japan.

Read article.

Cobra cat

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Watch video.

Why humans keep pets

Friday, January 27th, 2012

In both the United States and Australia, 63% of households include pets, compared to 43% of British and 20% of Japanese households. In the United States, the proportion of households with pets is larger than those with children (522).

This relationship, dubbed the animal connection by Shipman, may have played an important role in human evolution, linking the traits that distinguish Homo sapiens from other mammals. How is it that some animals transitioned from food to friends, and what is the significance of this relationship?

The animal connection is the process by which pets or livestock become companions and/or partners, and are treated as members of the family. It refers to the close relationship between animals and humans starting 2.6 million years ago (mya), beginning with the use and study of animals by humans, and leading to regular social interactions. Today this is manifested in the adoption of animals and the care provided to them in the course of that relationship. The roots of this relationship may be found in the development of three often recognized traits of humans: making and using tools, symbolic behavior (including language, adornment, and rituals), and domestication of other species. Shipman views the animal connection as a fourth trait, tying the other three together and having an immense effect on human evolution, genetics, and behavior (2010: 522).

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The 8 Most Nutrient Dense Foods on Earth

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

We all know which foods we do best to avoid (right?). Despite the alluring appeal of Oreos, Mountain Dew or McAnything, processed foods provide little nutrition and a whole lot. But when it comes to the good stuff—what are the best foods to put into our bodies? While experts all agree we need a variety of foods for a healthy diet, do you know which are the healthiest of the bunch? The answers may surprise and delight you.

Read more.

Bunny eating carrot

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Lying on his back, fed by a person.

Watch video. Really cute.

Unlocking the Cholesterol Puzzle

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Many questions remain regarding the relationship between blood lipid levels and coronary heart disease. Studies that examine the effects of some of the most popular cholesterol-lowering drugs are ongoing; the effects of different diet modifications on cholesterol levels continue to be explored; and the exact mechanism that deposits plaque on artery walls remains to be discovered.

Read more.

Boxer loves to skateboard

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Watch video.

Three ways to relieve joint pain

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

The scientific evidence is conflicting.

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Some studies find a strong relationship between short, cold, damp days and arthritis flare-ups.

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Research from Tufts University suggests changes in barometric pressure worsen knee pain in people with arthritis, while colder temps can cause painful changes in joint fluid thickness.

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Other studies have found little or no link between weather and joint pain.

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Whether your aches are sparked by the weather or something else, these three steps can help you feel better.

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Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.

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