INSPIRATIONAL: Rewire your brain to avoid decline

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sian Williams: how to rewire your brain to avoid decline
The former BBC News presenter Sian Williams explores new research showing that simple lifestyle changes can help reverse mental decline

By Sian Williams
3:00PM BST 15 Aug 2015

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I learn a lot from being with Scilla and meeting all these other brilliant minds, coming up with ways to protect ours. Dementia will affect one in three of us over 65. That’s frightening, but being acutely stressed about it will only make our cognitive function worse.

Scilla takes time to relax, sleep well, walk and see friends – as good a way as any of, not just protecting our brains, but getting on with life.

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Wow, that’s not “good news”.

The good news is that there are some evidenced-based tactics to avoid it.

Hope so. 

I’ve seen the “nursing homes” and that’s not living.

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INSPIRATIONAL: Peanut Butter Smell Test for Alzheimer’s

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Peanut Butter Smell Test for Alzheimer’s

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An ingenious group of researchers at the University of Florida discovered all we may need is some peanut butter and a ruler.

Considering that the left side of the brain primarily processes what we smell through our left nostril and the right side of our brain covers the right nostril and Alzheimer’s strikes the left side more than the right, what if you performed the following experiment?

Close your eyes and mouth and breathe normally through the nose. Then close one nostril and hold a foot-long ruler out from the open nostril. After their eyes, mouth, and one nostril were closed, the container of peanut butter was opened at the bottom of the ruler and moved closer 1 cm upon each exhale until the person indicated that they detected the odor. Then they repeated the whole procedure again using the other nostril.

In the normal elderly controls, they smelled the peanut butter as soon as it came within an average of 18 centimeters, which is about 7 inches from either nostril. And in the right nostril of Alzheimer’s patients was about the same, 7 inches. No difference, but in their left nostril, only 2 inches. The peanut butter had to get all the way up to 2 inches before they could detect it through their left nostril. And this happened every single time, left nostril impairment of odor detection was present in all the patients with probable Alzheimer’s disease.

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You can bet I’ll be testing myself with peanut butter.

Amazing that these folks came up with a cheap and easy way to dispositively test for the disease.

Truly inspirational.

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INSPIRATIONAL: Our gut microbes are the key to the obesity epidemic

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Everything you think you know about diets is WRONG: Counting calories is a total waste of time, it’s bacteria in your gut that make you fat and finally, cheese, alcohol and chocolate can all help

  • Professor Tim Spector, a leading genetics expert, finds compelling evidence as to why calorie-controlled diets don’t work
  • He believes with the right regimen of diet and exercise, we can be happy, healthy – and lean – and keep the pounds off for life
  • Author of new book The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat

PUBLISHED: 18:46 EST, 11 May 2015 | UPDATED: 07:30 EST, 12 May 2015

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Calorie-controlled diets don’t work.

Many of us may have suspected as much for years — but now there’s compelling evidence in a new book by Professor Tim Spector, a leading genetics expert at King’s College London.

What’s more, he’s offering a tantalising new theory about what really makes us fat — which could revolutionise our approach to weight loss.

As one of the scientists leading worldwide research into the trillions of bacteria living in our stomachs, Professor Spector believes they hold an amazing power over our health and moods — and that our modern diet may be having a negative effect on them.

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I agree about calorie counting. I watched my Aunt struggle with weight. Calorie counting all the way. Yet, her sisters were all “normal”; one was down right thin.

There has to be more to regulating weight than a simplistic input = output equation.

The body is a complex interrelated system that’s evolved over a gazillion years.


No hope for me. Since I’m the one in the family most like her. Some said we looked alike or that I was her kid.


Doomed, I say. Doomed.

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INSPIRATIONAL: Putin carried a photograph of his father

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Bright, Sunny Day
By Anne Williamson
May 12, 2015

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But there are still living veterans, who, like me, saw the Russian president leave the post-parade luncheon for visiting heads of state to plunge into a stream of three hundred thousand Russians marching in memory of “The Immortal Brigade.”  Each participant carried a picture of a family member, who had served in the struggle to defeat the mighty Huns.

A relaxed and upbeat Putin carried a photograph of his father, a submariner. (A U.S. president in similar circumstances would have been accompanied down the stairs and into the square by a crowd of 40 Secret Service thugs, a motorcycle police escort and several detachments of armed marines.)

Maybe it was a publicity stunt, but I don’t think so. Only two body guards were visible, and each kept a close but discreet distance while Putin mingled freely with crowds of ordinary Muscovites.

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This certain puts a different spin on the evil Putin. (And, I have no doubt the KGB officer in him has much to atone for.)

“The Immortal Brigade”!

“27 million dead” fighting the Nazis.

That’s huge.

And, they should have a parade.

For peace.

Dona Nobis Pacem

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INSPIRATIONAL: Separation of Gooferment and Education!

Friday, March 20, 2015

162. SIR KEN ROBINSON: Full body education
By Gav on October 10, 2014

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Sir Ken Robinson is a leading authority on education and creativity. A former professor of education, he now advises governments and businesses around the world and is one of the most sought-after speakers on education. The quotes used in the comic are taken from Robinson’s now-famous 2006 TED talk How schools kill creativity. It is the most viewed TED talk ever, and also one of the funniest in my opinion (gotta love that dry British humour). If you haven’t seen it, then stop what you’re doing and go watch it.

Robinson explains that the school system was invented in the 19th century to meet the needs of rapid industrialisation and is extremely outdated, focusing way too much on left-brain academic learning. “If you think of it, the whole system of public education around the world is a protracted process of university entrance. And the consequence is that many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not, because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatised.”

He gives the example of Gillian Lynne, a world-renowned dancer and choreographer, who as a student was terrible at school and most likely would have been diagnosed with ADHD today. Luckily, a specialist noticed that Lynne wouldn’t sit still and was naturally dancing to the music playing in the office and suggested to Lynne’s mother that she send the child to dance school. (Robinson explains it a lot better than I just typed it).

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Gooferment Skrules are for a time that has past. 

We need to separate Gooferment and Education!

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INSPIRATIONAL: Bishop Egan reminded me of Bishop Sheen

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cardinal Egan, Former Catholic Archbishop of New York, Dead at 82
Edward Michael Egan, the ninth archbishop of New York, died Thursday afternoon of cardiac arrest, according to the Archdiocese of New York.

He was 82 years old. From 1985 to 1988, he served as auxiliary bishop and vicar for education of the Archdiocese of New York. He served as bishop of Bridgeport, Conn., for 12 years before becoming Archbishop of New York in May 2000.

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I’m not a big Church guy.

I literally ran into him by Saint Pat’s as we were crossing the street by Saint Pat’s.

I immediately recognized him with the simple gold chain.

I sputtered “I’m most sorry Your Eminence”.

He smiled and said: No problem, my child, I am sure we were both absorbed in our Rosaries.” 

To which, I replied: “Fraid not; although do I get partial credit for having mine.” As I whipped mine out of my suit jacket. 

His response: “Well, I think it;s like car keys, you have to use it.”

He touched my forehead with the Bishop’s cross as was on his way.

He was the second Bishop I’d ever met that did that. Do they learn that in “bishop school”?

Funny the things one remembers.

Requiescat In Pacem

With sadness.

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INSPIRATIONAL: “Dif-tor heh smusma”

Friday, February 27, 2015


“Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”).

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He inspired my generation.

LLAP, Mister Spock.

Requiescat In Pacem


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