Alicia Martin NaturalSociety May 2, 2012
Alicia Martin NaturalSociety May 2, 2012
It will take just 37 seconds to read this and change your thinking..
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.
His bed was next to the room’s only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end.
They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..
Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days, weeks and months passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.
It faced a blank wall..
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.
She said, ‘Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.’
There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.
by Kate Morin June 20, 2012
Slathering on sunscreen is never enjoyable. Does that stuff ever blend in completely? While it’s always important to spread on at least a thin layer of sunblock (yes, you can go for the easy spray-on, super-blend stuff), some other super powerful UV-blockers are hiding right in the produce aisle.
Are you having an allergy-free summer? You may have Fido to thank for that.
By ALEXANDRA SIFFERLIN June 20, 2012
If you’re a dog person, your kids might be in luck. Research suggests that children who grow up in homes with pets are less likely to develop allergies, and now a recent study by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, sheds some light on why.
Working with mice, the scientists found that exposure to house dust from homes with a pet appeared to protect the mice against a common virus called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which infects the lungs and breathing passages and is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. (In adults, it usually causes run-of-the-mill cold symptoms.) Severe infections in infancy are linked with an increased risk of developing respiratory problems like asthma later on.
Lead researcher Kei Fujimura and her team looked at three groups of mice. One group was fed house dust from homes with dogs, and then exposed to RSV; a second group was infected with RSV without exposure to dust; and a control group of mice was not exposed to RSV or dust.
The study found that the mice that ingested house dust and were exposed to RSV didn’t develop the telltale symptoms of infection, such as lung inflammation and mucus production — these animals looked just like the controls. The researchers then examined the microbes living in the protected animals’ guts, and found that the types of bacteria they harbored were different and more diverse than the bugs in the RSV-infected animals guts.
|STEVEN PUETZER / GETTY IMAGES|
What do gut bugs have to do with asthma? Potentially a lot. Researchers are discovering that the microbiome, as it’s known — the vast community of good bacteria and viruses that live in and on the human body, including in the intestines — not only play a vital role in basic bodily functions like digesting food, producing vitamins and fending off infection, but may also contribute to the development of chronic conditions and diseases like obesity, cancer and asthma.
Our bodies begin to acquire these crucial microbes at birth, during our journey through the birth canal. From that point, exposure to everything — from grandparents to pets — influences the makeup of the microbiome. It’s theorized that microbial exposure in infancy, when the immune system is maturing, may help protect children against later allergies and asthma.
In earlier work, Fujimura found that house dust from homes with cats and dogs had significantly different types of bacteria than dust from homes without pets. And previous studies have suggested that early life pet exposure and ownership is associated with reduced risk of asthma. “This led us to speculate that microbes within dog-associated house dust may colonize the GI tract, modulate immune responses and protect the host against an asthmagenic pathogen, RSV,” she said in statement about the study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Francisco.
The findings support the hygiene hypothesis of allergy and asthma development, which posits that exposure to germs in childhood helps strengthen the immune system, reducing the risk of childhood respiratory and allergic diseases. Studies have shown, for instance, that kids who grow up on farms and around livestock are less likely to develop asthma and allergies than those who live in more sterile urban environments.
“Everybody appreciates the fact that we’re all missing something big in asthma,” Dr. Robert Mellins, a pediatric pulmonologist at Columbia University, told ABC News. “People have appreciated that viral infections clearly have an association, and this kind of experiment is interesting because it suggests a mechanism of how that could come about.”
Fujimura concludes that identifying the specific species of microbes and the precise mechanisms that underlie the protective effect of dog-associated house dust could help researchers better understand and treat allergies and asthma.
Children need protection from ‘predatory marketing,’ study author says
CBC News Posted: Jun 22, 2012
Breakfast cereals for children increasingly contain more whole grains and less sugar, but U.S. food companies have focused advertising on their least healthy offerings to kids, a new study suggests.
Researchers at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity checked into the nutritional quality and marketing of cereals for their Cereal Facts report.
Overall, nutritional quality improved for 13 of the 14 brands advertised to children.
For 22 varieties of cereal that were available in the U.S. in both 2008 and 2011, 45 per cent had less sodium, 32 per cent had less sugar, and 23 per cent had more fibre, the researchers said.
At the same time, cereal makers increased advertising directed at children for some of their least nutritious products:
Children saw more TV ads for the remaining seven child-targeted brands, including Reese’s Puffs, Froot Loops, and Pebbles.
Post launched a new Pebbles “advergame” website, and General Mills launched new sites for Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Kellogg nearly doubled banner advertising on children’s websites, such as Nickelodeon.com and Neopets.com, for its child-targeted brands.
The report’s authors concluded that cereal companies have made small improvements to the nutrition of products targeted to children, but those cereals are still far worse than the cereals marketed to adults.
Regular Cheerios and Frosted Mini-Wheats have some of the highest nutrition scores, but ads for those products are more likely to be targeted at adults, the report said.
“It is obvious that industry regulating itself is a failure. If there is to be any hope of protecting children from predatory marketing, either public outcry or government action will be necessary to force the companies to change,” study co-author Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center, said in a release.
Before 1999, some cereals had up to 16 grams of sugar and now most have no more than 10 grams per serving, the Better Business Bureau’s Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative said.
The group includes Kellogg, General Mills and Post, which have agreed to follow nutritional criteria for products they advertise to children under the age of 12.
The findings will be presented on Sunday at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues conference in Charlotte, N.C.