Category Archives: Health affairs

Nature exposure is associated with a range of physical and psychological well-being benefits

Already, all my life I am convinced and promote people going out into nature and enjoy the surroundings. I always advised people who had physical as well as mental problems to get out into nature and do a lot of exercise. I also advised people to come to terms with their own bodies as much as possible, accept that body as it was given to them, or work on it in such a way that it fell more in their line.

“Positive body image is important not only in its own right, but has other beneficial effects, including more positive psychological wellbeing.

say also scientific researchers.

In contrast to previous studies which have focused on the impact of blue and green natural environments on body image outcomes, the Medical University of Silesia research

“is the first to show the positive impact on body appreciation from spending time in snow-covered environments.”

Lead author Dr Kamila Czepczor-Bernat, of the Medical University of Silesia, said:

“A body of evidence now exists showing that nature exposure – living close to, frequenting, or engaging with environments such as forests and parks – is associated with a range of physical and psychological wellbeing benefits.

Senior author Viren Swami, Professor of Social Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), added:

“Natural environments help to restrict negative appearance-related thoughts and shift attention away from an aesthetic view of the body and toward greater appreciation of the body’s functionality.

“Our findings demonstrate the importance of ensuring that everyone can access restorative natural environments, which may be a cost-effective way of promoting healthier body image, and highlight that there are significant benefits of being outside in nature, whatever the weather.”

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From a polio stricken lady about wheelchairs and freedom

Terry Austin received his first wheelchair as a gift from the United States nonprofit organisation March of Dimes that works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Growing up, going to church every Sunday was one of those never-miss activities for her family. She loved church because that’s where her friends would be. Her father was always her pastor.  Her father was a large man. He fought with the Marines in World War II and was wounded in the battle of Iwo Jima. He was the strongest man she ever knew, and she had a healthy fear, whether he was around or not.

When she was so young that the doctors had no conscience memory in her adult brain, she saw so many. Her earliest memories were of Dr. Matchett, an orthopedic surgeon who was assigned the task of helping her regain what she had lost to polio. She says

I remember him because of his gruff bedside manner. His training included treating wounded soldiers on the European battlefield during the war. {Prescription for the Church}

She dreaded visits to Dr. Matchett because he scared her.

His grey hair was perfectly coifed into a one-inch flat top, and he barked out orders to his nurse as if he were still a Colonel in the Army. Every time he saw me, he would grab my crooked foot, twist it straight, and say to my mom,

“This is the way it should look, and when he’s old enough, I’m going to fix it.”

It was painful; I hated it. When I turned 17, he did what he promised and fixed both of my feet, and made it possible for me to wear normal shoes. Prescription for the Church

Several years later she recognises

As painful as it was visiting Dr. Matchett if it were not for him repairing my feet and other stuff he did with my spine, I wouldn’t be here today. He knew what was needed for me to live to old age. The gruff doctor had a special place in our family, and we learned that when he said something was needed, we should listen. Years later, when he died, my mother sent his obituary to me, and I’ll admit, I grieved. Prescription for the Church

It was a few days before she started first grade in the small town of Eads in southeastern Colorado that she received her first wheelchair. Up until that time, the only way she could move around was to crawl on the floor or have someone carry her. Even having a wheelchair, she did not experience complete mobility. Stairs were always a problem, and her polio-weakened arms didn’t allow her to get too far away or traverse difficult terrain.

She writes

Things improved some when I was eleven and began walking on crutches. I continued to use a wheelchair for school and other times that required walking long distances, but now freedom was greater. Whenever Sharon would drag me shopping, I often waited in the car, which could be a long wait. When we went to the mall, I would typically walk in and find a central location where I could watch other folks shopping. {How to Live Free}

For her freedom came in the form of an electric wheelchair.

For the first time in my life, I was free to go places without help, without stopping to rest, and without worrying about a fall. Freedom is great. I didn’t especially enjoy shopping, but I did enjoy following Sharon up and down the store aisles and wandering around the mall. Conference Centers and parks were now a part of my world. Freedom is a great thing. {How to Live Free}

Read more: > How to Live Free

In that article she directs our attention to what we call the “Ten Commandments” within the context of freedom. She agrees that it seems strange to associate freedom with what we have always understood are binding rules. She writes:

Every preacher, worth his weight in communion wafers, has preached a series of sermons on keeping God’s commandments with a heavy emphasis on obedience. Obeying them certainly brings blessings, but they are still rules.

But let’s rethink this for a moment. The Israelites had been enslaved people for ten generations. They knew how to live according to rules imposed on them by a master. The last thing that would have interested them was more rules.

Jesus specifically did not come to “abolish” what they considered the law. He was there to “fulfill” or complete it. In other words, to bring it to complete fulfillment. Listen to what He said. Free people don’t murder because they have no need to be angry. Free people don’t commit adultery because they’re free from the lust after another man’s wife. Free people have no need to lie because the truth is enough. Free people don’t need revenge because God has given them everything they need.

When we are free from stuff, we are free from greed, anger, covetousness, and all the other emotions that separate us from others. We like to tell people that God is all we need, yet we live as if we are enslaved to other stuff. It’s inconsistent to say God has set me free, but it really makes me angry when you disagree with me, or I’m jealous of what you have, etc. We find ourselves living like the Israelites after leaving Egypt, wishing for what we left behind. {How to Live Free}

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Positive thoughts, Religious affairs

Antrodia Camphorata

to remember:

  • Antrodia = genus of fungi in the family Fomitopsidaceae = effused-resupinate = lie stretched out on the growing surface > hymenium exposed on outer side + turned out at edges to form brackets.
  • Most species found in temperate & boreal forests > cause brown rot.
  • Antrodia includes some medicinal fungi >  Antrodia camphorata = highly valued medicinal mushroom in Taiwan (known as Niu-Chang), where it is commonly used as an anti-cancer, anti-itching, anti-allergy, anti-fatigue, and liver protective drug in Taiwanese Traditional medicine.
  • three distinct phylogenetic lineages with the Antrodia genus

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Preceding

Antrodia mushrooms a well kept secret

Antrodia Camphorata , harta karun dunia

Antrodia is a genus of fungi in the family Fomitopsidaceae. Antrodia species have fruiting bodies that typically lie flat or spread out on the growing surface, with the hymenium exposed to the outside; the edges may be turned so as to form narrow brackets. Most species are found in temperate and boreal forests, and cause brown rot. Some of the species in this genus are have medicinal properties, and have been used in Taiwan as a Traditional medicine.Contents [hide]
1 Description
2 Medicinal properties
3 Classification
4 Distribution
5 Species
6 References

Description

Antrodia are effused-resupinate, that is, they lie stretched out on the growing surface with the hymenium exposed on the outer side, but turned out at the edges to form brackets. When present, these brackets are typically white or pale brown. The pores on the surface of the hymenium may be round or angular. The context is white…

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Filed under Ecological affairs, Health affairs, Nature, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

Antrodia mushrooms a well kept secret

Polypores (Ganoderma sp.) growing on a tree in Borneo

In our previous posting we had it about different sorts of birches. Today this brings us to the birch polypore, birch bracket, or razor strop, and other fungi on birches. Polypores belong to a large order of pore fungi within the phylum Basidiomycota (kingdom Fungi) that form large fruiting bodies with pores or tubes on the underside. there are about 2,300 known species.

The inedible birch fungus Polyporus betulinus causes decay on birch trees in the northern United States and is a common bracket fungus and, as the name suggests, grows almost exclusively on birch trees. The brackets burst out from the bark of the tree, and these fruit bodies can last for more than a year.

By the genus Ganoderma several species, including the well-known reishi, or lingzhi, mushroom (G. lucidum), are commonly used in traditional Asian medicine and have received growing interest by researchers for use in the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

牛樟芝1.jpg

Antrodia cinnamomea, a fungus species described as new to science in 1995.

For hundreds of years, the Taiwanese have used antrodia mushrooms harvested from high-altitude Cinnamomum Kanehirai trees to treat a variety of ailments. Studies show that compounds in antrodia mushrooms fight biochemical radicals, boost energy levels, and even give powerful support to a multitude of biochemical processes that naturally take place across your entire body.

The flat, ruffled orange mushrooms grow far away on high-altitude Cinnamomum Kanehirai trees in Taiwan, where locals have treasured their incredible health-enhancing effects for hundreds of years. Antrodia cinnamomea has been found to produce anti-obesogenic, anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic effects in high-fat diet-fed mice.

The annual market is worth over $100 million (US) in Taiwan alone. 

 

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Preceding

Dramatic winter displays

Subsequent message:

Antrodia Camphorata

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Filed under Ecological affairs, Health affairs, Nature

Concerns about puberty blockers

It seems that the prescribing of puberty blockers to kids nearly always sets them on the path to cross-sex hormones and surgery. In the US, they can be given to those as young as eight or nine.

These drugs have been described as reversible (although the NHS is not so sure), lifesaving and as giving children a pause to work out who they are. They are part of the “trans affirmative” healthcare demanded by activists and to question this is to be deemed transphobic. The more children who identify as trans, the more these drugs that block the production of oestrogen or testosterone are given out.

In the UK, there have been worries about brain development, and after Dr Hilary Cass’s review, the Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock – which had seen a huge uptick in the number of girls being prescribed blockers – was shut down. She said that instead of buying teenage girls time to make a decision, “puberty-blockers may disrupt that decision making process”.

After years of demonising ‘terfs’, the New York Times, a bastion of liberal thought, finally accepts that more research is needed on puberty blockers.

Read more about it: Even the New York Times is waking up to the truth about trans

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New form of body exercises gaining popularity

Physical therapies and body exercises

Regularly, some body technique is promoted. Since the 1980s, techniques have thus passed where the utmost of the body was demanded, while other techniques focused on just a few parts of the body. In addition, yoga techniques have come and gone only to reappear in a different form.

Photo by Cliff Booth on Pexels.com

In recent years, many even went so far as to make exercise an essential part of their lives or even came to adhere to a body cult. Thus, in the early 21st century, a kind of new religion or body cult began to replace traditional religions.

People wished to feel good in their skin and were willing to go very far in this and even invest a lot of time, energy and money in it. But there were also many who actually wished to distance themselves from money and matter. For them, materialism was the enemy of our society and dependence on the matter was reprehensible and one had to train the mind to become master of the body again, through appropriate exercises on both spiritual and physical fleets. Several people were convinced that all facts (including facts about the human mind and will and the course of human history) are causally dependent upon physical processes, or even reducible to them.

Because of the augmented stress in our industrialised world or so-called developed countries, a lot of therapies were also doled out.

Physical therapy is a professional career which has many specialties including musculoskeletal, orthopedics, cardiopulmonary, neurology, endocrinology, sports medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, women’s health, wound care and electromyography. Neurological rehabilitation is, in particular, a rapidly emerging field. PTs practice in many settings, such as private-owned physical therapy clinics, outpatient clinics or offices, health and wellness clinics, rehabilitation hospitals facilities, skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, private homes, education, and research centers, schools, hospices, industrial and these workplaces or other occupational environments, fitness centers and sports training facilities

File:Fitness Magazine January 2015.jpg

Fitness, a United States-based women’s magazine, focusing on health, exercise, and nutrition, launched in 1992.

As we entered this century, a lot of health mags found the publishing market while only fitness magazines left the magazine shelves. Though there appeared men’s and women’s magazines which also centred largely on well-being, body form, exercise, nutrition, health, and beauty. For a while, wellness was the fashion word. Lots of magazines presented several adverts for wellness farms and all sorts of wellness programs.

After all the years of hard, intense exercise with a lot of sweating, place was made for gentil exercises and feel good cures.

An aerobics class

All the brutal violence of the 80s with Aerobics, among others, now seems to have been pushed under the carpet for good. It has finally dawned on several people how bad such ‘good sweat and suffering’ programmes are bad for the body. It has taken several medics years to rid people of such techniques that do more harm than good.

However, a large part of the population has become aware that one has to take care of the heart and treat the body respectfully to know how to handle multiple things smoothly. One came to see that for doing cardio or cardio-respiratory exercise there is no need in such high intensity exercises but has to come to low-intensity enough that all carbohydrates are aerobically turned into energy via mitochondrial ATP production. Medium- to long-distance running or jogging, swimming, cycling, stair climbing and walking, have proven to be more effective and less damaging than the overpopular Jane Fonda Workout or Aerobics. The American actress, political activist, and former fashion model spawned imitators and sparked a boom of women’s exercise classes, opening the formerly male-dominated fitness industry to women, and establishing the celebrity-as-fitness-instructor model. The horrible “Feel the burn!”, became a common saying lots of people really started to believe, along with the proverb, “No pain, no gain.” The exercise motto that promises greater value rewards for the price of hard and even painful work, has been luckily now pushed in the corner. It is true that one has to put in the effort to achieve something and it is not all that simple. Effort is a must, but it should not be at the expense of a healthy body.

Something of a revelation to devotees of hard, intense exercise, Zone 2 is one of this year’s key fitness talking points. Influential US well-being podcasters such as the American neuroscientist Andrew Huberman and the Canadian-American physician Dr Peter Attia who focuses on the science of longevity, have been recommending Zone 2 to their many thousands of listeners.

In January 2021, Huberman started the “Huberman Lab Podcast”, focused on neuroscience and science-based tools.In those podcast s he gives attention to breathing/breathwork and the visual system influence the autonomic nervous system, stress, and other brain states, including sleep.

On his podcast Huberman said:

“Getting 180-200 minutes of Zone 2 cardio per week has enormous positive effects on longevity and general health.”

Stress, he says, is not just about the content of what we are reading or the images we are seeing. It is about how our eyes and breathing change in response to the world, as well as the cascades of events that follow. Both these bodily processes also offer us easy and accessible releases from stress. By doing body exercises the wrong way we build up negative stress.

If you need to run and catch your train, you want all the things that go along with stress to go pursue that train. But if the stress response is spontaneous or excessive, it can start to feel pathological.

In the previous decades those exuberant fitness programs won terrain because lots of women wanted to lose weight.

“Despite reaching epidemic proportions, obesity has been wandering in the wilderness of medical lexicon.”

says Attia.

It is striking and distressing to see how several fat people have been added in recent years. Notwithstanding so many fitness programmes and all kinds of diet items and drinks, obesity has increased enormously. (Today the definitions of overweight and obesity are based primarily on measures of height and weight—not morbidity.) Since obesity is often the on-ramp to cancer, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s, we sincerely need to do something against this worrying increase.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity varied across countries, across towns and cities within countries, and across populations of men and women. In China and Japan, for instance, the obesity rate for men and women was about 5 percent, but in some cities in China it had climbed to nearly 20 percent. In 2005 it was found that more than 70 percent of Mexican women were obese. WHO survey data released in 2010 revealed that more than half of the people living in countries in the Pacific Islands region were overweight, with some 80 percent of women in American Samoa found to be obese. {Encyc. Britannica}

The fattening population has everything to do with culture and lifestyle habits among which eating and exercise habits are the main ones.

People need to be aware that it is not about being physically engaged to the point of giving up. On the contrary, one should exercise in a balanced way and not overload the body. It comes down to finding the right balance.

Zone 2 training means exercising at a level of exertion where your body is working, but not very hard – at this level your body is able to use fat as fuel rather than carbohydrates. As you work harder and move up into Zone 3 and beyond you will switch to using carbohydrates, a quite different state in which your heart, lungs and muscles are under stress and will need time to recover. (You know this switch is happening when breathing becomes harder and you are gasping or panting.)

Thanks to its turbocharging effect on our cells’ mitochondria Zone 2 cardio exercises have a very positive effect on the metabolism, improving blood sugar levels and reducing insulin resistance.

The cardio is linked to lower rates of a whole raft of diseases including type 2 diabetes, dementia, stroke and heart disease.

Dr Richard Blagrove, senior lecturer in physiology at Loughborough University, says:

“In terms of both health and performance, Zone 2 training can be really advantageous. I don’t feel bad about getting on my stationary bike and reading a book for an hour.”

Photo by Rui Dias on Pexels.com

Yes, even in a simple and not too strenuous way, one can train their body and work on it. Of course, it is even better to get out now and then, say twice a week, to fully focus your mind on movement in, say, a beautiful green environment. Though such ‘biking’ can lay down an “aerobic base” before one goes training further and build to more intense modes of exercise for competition later in the year.

For the rest of us, Zone 2 can be transformative.

Blagrove points out.

Former professional cyclist and fitness coach at ATP Performance Andy Turner lost 24kg through this kind of movement.

“Zone 2 makes you better at utilising fats as a fuel source and it can help level out your blood sugar. Longer-duration aerobics work can sometimes be forgotten, now it’s all about time-efficient, 30-minute, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).”

HIIT cannot be done every day without strain and risk. It can take 48 hours or more for your body to recover from a session and unsurprisingly this does not speed up as you grow older, whereas Zone 2 provides its many benefits in a sustainable way.

Zone 2 works best in a mix with some high-intensity training – three Zone 2 sessions a week with two HIIT blasts is a good mix.

Zone 2 is the place where your body is working, but not very hard. Technically this is 60-70 per cent of your maximum heart rate, but I would recommend an easier way, namely to check the Talk Test. If one trains properly and performs breathing correctly, one should be able to simply converse without getting out of breath. If you were to call someone during a Zone 2 workout, you should be able to use complex sentences, not just sentiments such as “Help!” or “Taxi!”.

I hope now some more people will put aside that wrong thought of having to suffer to have some successful training. One should not do penance for having sinned by going to a dinner or party. Physical exercise should never continue as a punishment. It should be an enjoyable activity so that it is also a liberating activity.

Always take of your body, because it is the only one you got.

Photo by Chevanon Photography on Pexels.com

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Preceding

Happy First Day of Spring: Spring Cleaning!

What would you do if…? Continued trial

”For The Moment Of Happiness”

Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~

7 Ways To Boost Your Immune System in Lockdown

Be it in May or September: Run the race

Do you have painful creaky knees

Reasons to be cheerful

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Additional reading

  1. Strength of older people can be boosted by resistance training
  2. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  3. The focus of multiculturalism in Europe on Muslims and Jews
  4. Why are we surprised when Buddhists are violent?
  5. Spreading good cheer contagious

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Celebrate

Celebrate” – channelled spiritual message from The Circle of The Light of The Love Energy – Channelled by Kay Meade.

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  5. Simple way of getting fit at home.
  6. How to Squeeze Fitness into Your Day?
  7. Relaxation or exploitation? The commodification of yoga as a colonial practice
  8. How do you prepare for yoga as a beginner?
  9. Today: “Now we have to understand…how we can tune our mind to Infinity. ” – Yogi Bhajan
  10. Trusted Sources: a Journey, Comfort and Wheeeeee
  11. Is Hot Yoga Right for Me? @ClevelandClinic
  12. What Are the Advantages And Benefits of Meditation Courses And Classes NYC?
  13. I Tried Nude Yoga…And It Was Nothing Like What I Expected (via Yoga Journal)
  14. Kicking it old school on Fitness Friday
  15. My Day At The 3rd Lehurutshe Annual Mandela Cycling & Sports Day
  16. CHA Celebrates 10 Years of Helping Residents Lose Weight, Lower Blood Pressure and Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
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Filed under Being and Feeling, Fashion - Trends, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

About a fleshless diet

Normally the Divine Creator provided enough food in the vegetable world.

However, not all fruits were to be eaten like that either. God had provided two trees in the Garden of Eden that man had to keep away from. But the mannin or 1st woman found this difficult and wished to be like God and be able to do things He could. She also tempted her husband, who went along with her story. They ate of the fruit of the “Tree of Knowledge of good and evil” (or Tree of moral) and gained insight into their futility and fragility. After they became aware of their mistake they hid from God at first, but after He found them and gave them another chance to be honest He placed them out of the Garden of Eden. From then on, it was not so easy for man to earn a living and he had to work for his food. At that time though, man was still aware that he should not inflict harm on any sentient creature.

As time progressed, humans began to crave more and/or become more greedy. Man was no longer content to just eat fruit and vegetables, and longed to eat things with flesh and blood. After some time man wanted also to eat ‘living beings‘ by which he first went for animals. In later years, certain peoples also came to eat other human beings, though that is not what God wanted.

The wrong ideaa  lot of people have about the People of God is that because they offered sacrifices that they would have eaten regularly meat. But that is not so. The offerings of pigeons and lambs in the Old Testament were done as an act of repenting, giving to God what He had given to them, showing that they could take distance from it and showing gratitude to the Elohim, but this also in a way that they showed respect for life.

Ascetic Jewish groups and some early Christian leaders disapproved of eating meat as gluttonous, cruel and not according to the Torah. Some Christian monastic orders ruled out flesh eating, and its avoidance has been, for several centuries, a penance and a spiritual exercise even for laypersons.

Today for many people, it is very difficult to go back to the origin of God’s Wishes. In a certain way, it would not be bad for man himself and for nature, when we would come to eat again those things the Elohim had in mind for our food.

Because man wanted to eat more and more meat, the flesh or other edible parts of animals, he had to replenish his meat supply and watched his livestock grow bigger and bigger, with those animals eating grass from deforested fields and thus being less able to purify the air, while their pee and poo polluted the air more. Thus, the world was burdened to a great extent, which would not have happened had he kept to God’s first thought.

The 17th and 18th centuries in Europe were characterized by a greater interest in humanitarianism and the idea of moral progress, and sensitivity to animal suffering was accordingly revived. There were several philosophes, and Protestant groups that came to promote and adopt a fleshless diet as part of the goal of leading a perfectly sinless life.

In the late 18th century the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham asserted that the suffering of animals, like the suffering of humans, was worthy of moral consideration, and he regarded cruelty to animals as analogous to racism.

It should not surprise us that the first vegetarian society was formed in England in 1847 by the Bible Christian movement, founded by William Cowherd in Salford, North West England in 1809. Those Bible Christians put great emphasis on the independence of mind and freedom of belief, stating that they did not presume

“to exercise any dominion over the faith or conscience of men.”

Their idea of and believe in free will and that the original sin did not taint human nature and that humans by divine grace have free will to achieve human perfection, made many consider the Bible Christian Church to be a sect.  The Bible Christian Church (1815) was a dissident group of Wesleyan Methodists desiring effective biblical education, a presbyterian form of church government, and the participation of women in the ministry. The group, having a Pelagian approach, originated in Devonshire and spread to Canada (1831), the United States (1846), and Australia (1850), although O’Bryan left the society over administrative differences and began an itinerant evangelism in the United States (1831). The Bible Christians joined with other dissident Methodist groups in 1907 to form the United Methodist Church.

Today, vegetarianism and veganism have changed roles for many.

Veganism denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. It also promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment.

writes Hesh Goldstein in the NaturalNewsBlogs about health: How and why I chose veganism. She continues

The word “vegan” is newer and more challenging than “vegetarian”. “Vegan” includes every sentient being in its circle of concern and addresses all forms of unnecessary cruelty from an essentially ethical perspective. With a motivation of compassion rather than health or purity, “vegan” points to an ancient idea that has been articulated for many centuries, especially in the world’s spiritual traditions.

“Vegan” indicates a mentality of expansive inclusiveness and is able to embrace science and virtually all religions because it is a manifestation of the yearning for universal peace, justice, wisdom and freedom. {How and why I chose veganism}

We as humans should not think that everything is just ours and can be used by us as we see fit. We must realise that the Creator of the universe has loaned us the world. We are allowed to name and use things there ourselves. But that use should be done with respect. Just killing animals does not show respect at all.

We are therefore expected to have the right attitude towards how we treat things around us.

It is nice to see that there is a new trend and that the contemporary vegan movement is founded on loving-kindness and mindfulness of our effects on others. Hesh Goldstein finds it revolutionary

because it transcends and renounces the violent core of the “herding culture” in which we live. It is founded on living the truth of interconnectedness and thereby minimizing the suffering we impose on animals, humans and bio-systems; it frees us all from the slavery of becoming mere commodities.  {How and why I chose veganism}

We must recognise it has become time we reorganise ourselves and find ways to come back in balance with nature.

The suppression of awareness required by our universal practice of “commodifying”, enslaving, and killing animals for food generates the built-in mental disorder of denial that drives us toward the destruction, not only of ourselves, but of other living creatures and systems of this earth.

Because of this practice of exploiting and brutalizing animals for food has come to be regarded as normal, natural and unavoidable, it has become invisible. Eating animals is thus an unrecognized foundation of consumerism, the pseudo-religion of our modern world. Because our greatest desensitization involves eating, we inevitably become desensitized consumers devoid of compassion and caring little of how what is on our plate got there. {How and why I chose veganism}

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Preceding

A bird’s eye and reflecting from within

Warm-blooded, feathered vertebrates

Less… is still enough

Away with it oh no! – Weg er mee, oh neen

Grain for the heart

Looking at man’s closest friend

Weight loss that works

Having a problem with wonkiness…

Do you feel or love writing about Food

Is Organic food even safe?

Community Farming

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Find also to read

  1. Man was created to be a vegetarian
  2. The figure of Eve
  3. We won’t cut meat-eating until we put the planet before profit
  4. Seed banks: the last line of defense against a global food crisis
  5. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #10 Health
  6. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #12 Conclusion
  7. Ecological economics in the stomach #3 Food and Populace
  8. Today’s thought “Killing and eating” (January 05)
  9. Today’s thought “Allowed to have dominion over the universe” (January 02)
  10. Today’s thought “Rooted and built up in him” (November 14)
  11. Food as a Therapeutic Aid
  12. Cap 3000 a Valhalla blinding consumers

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Related

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  17. Famous vegetarians and their favorite recipes
  18. Starting a Vegetarian Diet
  19. My truth on vegetarianism
  20. Vegetarian Challenge
  21. Make a Veg Pledge
  22. World Vegan Day
  23. Vegetarianism beyond plant and flesh
  24. The Rise of Plant-Forward Diets: How Consumers Are Changing Their Eating Habits
  25. Veganizing Bangladesh
  26. Parsi Veg Food? Yes, It’s A Thing!
  27. Debunking the frequent fallacies of veganism.
  28. Can Being Vegetarian & Practising Mindfulness Of Buddha Avert Pandemics?
  29. day 3: vegetarianism
  30. The Flexitarian Diet: The Best Diet for Sustained Weight Loss?
  31. Why I don’t eat meat on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
  32. Meat
  33. The Ethics of Eating Animals
  34. Vegetarian women a third more likely to experience later life hip fracture, study finds 
  35. Study Finds That Vegetarian-Vegan Middle-Aged Women Are 33% Are More Likely To Fracture Their Hip Than Meat Eaters
  36. We probably shouldn’t do anything about wild animal suffering
  37. Meat industry propaganda and the climate crisis

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With the ear shut off from the world

Foto door Marcelo Chagas op Pexels.com

Walking down the street or in shops, one encounters many young people who have earphones on or wear earbuds and seem to be far from the world. On the street, it is noticeable because their attention is more on what is entering their heads through the speakers than what is happening around them.

There has been much talk of late about how the streetscape of our towns and cities, not to mention our workplaces, have drastically changed since lockdown. But the biggest change, despite footfall finally starting to rise and working from home slowly tailing off, is the silence.

It is not that we have suddenly become a more reserved country, or even that we have been struck dumb by the slew of problems that are confronting the nation and the world right now. No, it is the ubiquity of a generation of digital natives listening to devices in their ears that put them at one step removed for everyone else around them.

Foto door Marcelo Chagas op Pexels.com

One could say that, as it were, the young have decided not to be too confronted with the real world. Even down to the restrooms or canteen(s) in companies, one finds a large proportion of workers glued to their smartphones, either following up with their digital friends or playing games but making no effort to make friends at work or in real life.

At the beginning of the smartphone, it was mainly the very young, but during the Corona period, many older people joined the younger generation.

Whether it be on public transport, in a shopping centre or in the middle of a bank of desks in the office, a sizeable slice of the 25 to 40-year-old working population is, thanks to their headphones, with us but not with us: no chatter in the sandwich queue; no rows over pushing in; not even a flicker of recognition and a meeting of eyes. For those like me whose heads are unadorned by any tech, it can feel like walking on to the set of some dystopian sci-fi drama.

Strangely enough, many of those youngsters are not aware of their asocial behaviour. Those millennials looking for flexible working opportunities in such cases do not see all the time the same faces, so they could have contact with different people all the time. Hot-desking and shared spaces with work benches, touchdown points or social hubs, where staff can work in a group or on their own in a more informal setting, are more attractive to millennials and generation X than old-fashioned rows of desks with fixed computers and telephones.

For those businesses that prefer to stick with a more traditional office layout, flexibility comes outside the building, by allowing staff to work from home or remotely. Such remote work gives even less opportunity to socialise with work colleagues. However, it should not be forgotten that social interaction is a very important element in being human and in providing well-being for the individual. Social interaction is something that gets pushed aside completely by those earbuds, earphones or headphones.

You may say a big start to that evolution was given by Apple’s chief executive officer, Steve Jobs, who recognised potential in the nascent personal media player market and commissioned Apple engineer Jon Rubinstein to create a product in keeping with Apple’s minimalist, user-friendly style. Small white earbud headphones became an iconic trademark of the product in Apple’s pervasive and award-winning advertising campaigns.

Those youngsters are not interested in older phones the workplaces offers. Millennials will expect to use high-quality, reliable and covetable products at work to match their home devices and choose to bring in their own favoured, newer and higher performing smartphones and laptops to use at work. Top-notch Wi-Fi is also a must for millennials, who will expect high-speed connectivity anywhere they choose to work, whether that’s at a set workstation, from a hot desk, outside in the grounds or in a meeting room.
With a very high connection speed, the younger generation hopes to be in touch with ‘them’ and what interests them directly all the time. Time does not play much of a role here, which is why we see several young people walking down the street while all the time we hear them talking on the air to someone unseen.

Alison DaSilva, executive vice-president of CSR Research & Insights at Cone says about the Millenials

“Millennials view social media as a place to curate and share content that reflects their values – and this generation is enthusiastic about showing how their work is making an impact in the world,”

Foto door Jess Bailey Designs op Pexels.com

Danger lurks – from the millennials cycling or e-scooting along with the headphones on, eyes open but minds firmly in another reality; or for the pedestrians halfway through a conversation relayed through pods or headphones and prone to stepping into the traffic at any moment because they are blanking out those finetuned skills an older generation has developed to listen out for traffic approaching from your blindside.

Looking at these young people, it seems as if we may assume that they have chosen to dwell in their own chosen lifestyle. Cristina Odone, head of the family policy unit at the Centre for Social Justice confirms

“When millennials spend so much time with these big headphones over their ears, it sends out a clear message that they are choosing to be in a world of their own.”

And that, she adds,

excludes everyone else, including their own families.

It is predicted that by 2027 half of the UK will own headphones, with current trends seeing half of that ownership concentrated in the 25 to 45-year-old age groups and just 12 per cent in the 55-plus demographic.

None of the users seem to think about the dangers of neither distraction nor hearing damage. The NHS offers official advice that such headphones used too much or with too much volume have the potential to damage hearing.

We each are born with around 15,000 auditory hair cells in each of our ears that are all we will have for the rest of our lifetime to transmit sound to our brains. And they don’t like being blasted out by headphones any more than they do being assaulted by massive banks of speakers at pop festivals.

If you follow NHS guidelines, you will wear your headphones for no more than an hour at a time, followed by at least a five-minute interval before putting them back on again. Yet with current research showing that the younger group of users in their late teens and 20s often have them on for up to seven hours a day.

Foto door Ju00c9SHOOTS op Pexels.com

Most important, though, the experts say, is selecting the right volume. It should not be above 60 per cent. Some models, aimed at cautious parents of younger children, have a built-in volume lock switch.

But we are convinced that a very different danger is also totally overlooked, namely the element of socialising. It is not just the physical damage to ears that should be worrying us.

It’s the less obvious cost of the social and human obstacles they are creating,

says Julia Samuel, psychotherapist, bestselling author and presenter of the Therapy Works podcast.

Headphones, she believes, have the potential to damage the emotional growth of those whose daily ritual as they leave the house is to put them on precisely at the moment when they could be engaging with the world.

“They are placing a barrier in the whole interactive and interweaving between mind and body,”

she says,

“because they limit the amount of input wearers are getting from outside.”

They can cause, she worries,

“a deficit of connection with those around you and leave you a little emptier and a little chillier”.

*

Please find to read:

How millennials in the workplace are shaping today’s businesses

How headphone dependency is widening the generation gap

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‘Growing pains’ is a misnomer

Growing pains are common, but there’s little consensus on their scope or cause, writes Elizabeth Chang in The Washington Post. A recent review of studies on growing pain found that

“only half of the studies mentioned lower limb pain; only 48 percent of the studies reported that the pain came in the evening; and only 42 percent said it was episodic or recurrent,”

writes Chang. More than 8 in 10 studies didn’t specify the age that the pains emerged, and a whopping 93 percent made no reference to growth. Studies floated a variety of causes, including

“issues related to anatomy (hypermobility, knock knees, or low-bone-mineral density, for example), psychological issues such as stress, vascular issues such as skeletal blood flow, and metabolic problems such as low vitamin D levels.”

But the evidence supporting any one of them is thin to non-existent. [The Washington Post]

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Bird and birdsong encounters improve mental health, study finds

Research suggests visits to places with birdlife could be prescribed by doctors to improve mental wellbeing

One swallow may not make a summer but seeing or hearing birds does improve mental wellbeing, researchers have found.

The study, led by academics from King’s College London, also found that everyday encounters with birds boosted the mood of people with depression, as well as the wider population.

The researchers said the findings suggested that visits to places with a wealth of birdlife, such as parks and canals, could be prescribed by doctors to treat mental health conditions. They added that their findings also highlighted the need to better protect the environment and improve biodiversity in urban, suburban and rural areas in order to preserve bird habitats.

Full story here

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Filed under Health affairs, Nature, Positive thoughts, Welfare matters

Exercises to do to live longer

If you want to live a long life, get moving. And if you are already moving? Move more.

At the beginning of September, a global study was published that found that being active could cut the risk of being diagnosed with any type of breast cancer by 41 per cent and that excess sitting could double the risk of being diagnosed with cancer. Slightly horrifying news for the deskbound among us and just another reminder that regular exercise is not really a lifestyle choice, it’s a necessity.

To counteract the big killers – stroke, heart disease and various cancers – taking regular exercise is a smart preventative measure.

But which type is the best and how much should we do?

Combining different types of exercise appears to be the best approach, strength training does seem to play a vital role in longevity.

Find out more:

  • Running
  • Gardening
  • Lifting weights
  • Walking
  • Resistance training
People exercising
The best exercises to do to live longer. Adding years to your lifespan is not merely about keeping fit – it’s the type of exertion that counts.

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Gender, genderless, androgyny, bisexuality, cisgender and transgender

How many children between 10 and 14 are not going through a phase where they wonder who or what they are?

Photo by SLAYTINA on Pexels.com

In some countries, such as Belgium among others, there is a view that there are not two genders but that genderless people should be taken into account, i.e. people who feel neither male nor female and often have no need for a person ‘of the opposite sex’. In Belgium, they are given the designation X under their gender. The genderless, a grammatical category, often designated as male, female, or neuter, used in the classification of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and, in some languages, verbs that may be arbitrary or based on characteristics such as sex or animacy and that determines agreement with or selection of modifiers, referents, or grammatical forms.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

In other countries, such as the United States of America, then, people who feel genderless or feel that they are in a body of another gender are more likely to be regarded as “devilish” and are taunted and humiliated, as well as dismissed as perverts. For many citizens over there it is normal that the man should have the highest position and that the woman should be considered the lower one, and coloured people the lowest. Equality is out of the question, whilst in other countries, it is not the priority at the moment. Worse is it when there are people who admit they feel attracted to both sexes, male and female. From searching by whom they feel most at ease, some enjoy their being with both genders and enjoying sex with as well as male as female persons. such persons are often between two camps; for one group they are cowards, not gay enough, unfaithful, untrustworthy, indecisive, and confused, for others, they are doing it for attention, or just for sex and their own selfish physical satisfaction. In some cases it is also part of the experimenting, looking for their own particular favourite, on the way to gay or on the way to find out that they are sitting in a wrong appearance male or female body. For lots of people, their wondering and feelings, being afraid of what others would say, make them suppress their sexuality and their true inner feelings. For most Americans, it seems that only the “normal” (heterosexual) kind is valid, making it very difficult for those who feel differently, to express their feeling or to accept what they really are.

In the USA, there is a very dangerous development going on at the moment, with a certain grassroots group wishing to have all kinds of books removed from libraries and schools. Books for children and young adults containing themes of race, gender and sexual identity received an “unprecedented” number of challenges last year, the American Library Association (ALA) has said, reflecting a growing national trend of attempted censorship. The challenges came from conservative parent groups and others. In some cases, the group says, librarians and elected officials were threatened with violence by members of the Proud Boys and armed activists at school board and library board meetings. In April, Pen America, a non-profit organisation that works to protect freedom of expression in the US, reported that 1,586 bans were implemented in 86 school districts across 26 states in the nine months to the end of March. The challenges reported to ALA in 2021, it said, represented the highest number of attempted book bans since the list began more than 20 years ago.

Already two years ago Republican state Rep. Tony Randolph introduced a bill that would outlaw marriage equality, permanently legalise conversion therapy, ban changes to legal gender markers, and block the passage of LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.

In February 2020 House Bill 1215 (prohibit the state from endorsing or enforcing certain policies regarding domestic relations) was the third in a trio of anti-LGBTQ bills brought to the state’s legislature, the House passed a bill that criminalised trans-affirming medical care for minors. The other, Senate Bill 88, would require mental health providers to out kids expressing gender dysphoria to their parents. Anti-LGBTQ lawmakers and organisers use the state as a test case for the nation, experts say.

Kara Ingelhart, a staff attorney at Lambda Legal, characterises HB 1215 in particular as one of the most comprehensive bills to date targeting LGBTQ people.

Such laws and attacks from thought-limiting groups are also happening also more in some countries of Eastern Europe, where one can see that people’s freedoms and rights are gradually becoming more and more restricted.

“We don’t allow children’s parents to decide whether or not they can drink underage, whether they can smoke underage, whether they marry underage, and we certainly should not allow a child to be disfigured in a horrible way, in an irreversible procedure before they’re 18 years of age,”

Rep. Williams Lamberth, R-Portland, said.

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) said they require parental consent to treat minors who are being seen for issues to those receiving gender-affirming care and never refuse parental involvement for those under 18. VUMC officials said they began their Transgender Health Clinic because

“transgender individuals are a high-risk population for mental and physical health issues and have been consistently underserved by the U.S. health system.”

“We have been and will continue to be committed to providing family-centered care to all adolescents in compliance with state law and in line with professional practice standards and guidance established by medical specialty societies,”

officials said in the statement.

In some countries, people go so far as to consider it plausible that those who dress or behave differently from their physical appearance may be freely harassed, humiliated in words but also in deeds, even raped.

Photo by Alexander Grey on Pexels.com

Countries already immersed in a civil — rather, uncivil —war between two distinct political ideologies, the last five years seem to have come into a #MeToo rage and starting another uncivil war between the two genders.

During childhood, it often happens that parents want to steer their children into certain role patterns that are traditionally constructed. The search for “being” and dealing with attraction towards others, be they persons of the opposite or same sex, is part of growing up and belongs to peculiarities of puberty and adolescence that most young people have to go through.

During the search for one’s own personality and sexual identity, it does happen more than once that a conflict situation arises between parents and child because the parent cannot enter the child’s own emotional world and feels hurt or feels a sense of failure because the child chooses a different sex than the parent has in mind.

In September of this year Tennessee lawmakers made their way into the discourse about providing gender-affirming care. Matt Walsh — a Daily Wire conservative commentator, who questions LGBTQ rights — said he considered the care to be that of castration and mutilation to minors and adults.

According NHS England most children who believe that they are transgender are just going through a “phase”, and therefore  it has announced plans for tightening controls on the treatment of under 18s questioning their gender, including a ban on prescribing puberty blockers, outside of strict clinical trials. The last few years in the states as well as in England we could see more clinics where such puberty inhibitors or hormone blockers, medicines used to postpone puberty in children.

Several campaign groups in Britain, receiving taxpayers’ money have told teachers to drop all gendered toilets and language – and not to tell parents if they change their child’s identity.

The Cass Review, commissioned by NHS England, has found

“there is a disproportionate number of children on the spectrum, in care, same-sex attracted or with trauma in their background who identify as trans.”

Victoria Atkins, who has responsibility for the Government’s gender equality policy, expressed concern that a rising number of teenagers were seeking “life-changing” medical interventions. Young people were undergoing treatment to change their gender because they regard it as

“an answer to questions they are not asking themselves”,

the minister said.

“It may simply be a case of greater awareness, it may be that for some they see it as an answer to questions they are perhaps not asking themselves. We need to be particularly alert to this with regard to young people. The treatments are so serious and life-changing, I’m a little cautious of the use of those treatments because of the potential for the rest of their lives.

“Lots of questions are rightly being asked about how we treat young people, people whose bodies perhaps haven’t developed yet.”

The NHS  services note that there is a need to change the services because there is currently

“scarce and inconclusive evidence to support clinical decision-making”.

NHS England says that the interim Cass Report has advised that even social transition, such as changing a young person’s name and pronouns or the way that they dress, is not a “neutral act” that could have “significant effects” in terms of “psychological functioning”.

Parent groups and professionals have long raised concerns that NHS medics have taken an “affirmative” approach to treating children, including using their preferred names and pronouns.

The proposals say that the new clinical approach will for younger children

“reflect evidence that in most cases gender incongruence does not persist into adolescence” and doctors should be mindful this might be a “transient phase”.

Instead of encouraging transition, medics should take “a watchful approach” to see how a young person’s conditions develop, the plans state.

When a prepubescent child has already socially transitioned,

“the clinical approach has to be mindful of the risks of an inappropriate gender transition and the difficulties that the child may experience in returning to the original gender role upon entering puberty if the gender incongruence does not persist”.

In March 2022 there were 5,500 children on an NHS waiting list for gender swap treatment at the Tavistock and Portman Trust’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) in London, after a “surge in demand”.

In 2010/11 this were only 138 children and in 2020/21 a 17-fold increase could be noted, that number had grown to 2,383 children.

Could the surge in demand for help and treatment possibly be linked to a global pandemic and the three lockdowns that left vulnerable youngsters imprisoned, isolated and glued to their screens?

By January 2021, a report compiled by the Care Quality Commission showed that the waiting list had already reached 4,600. In March, Stephanie Davies-Arai, founder of campaign group Transgender Trend, explained that during those lockdowns,

“life stopped, really – so adolescents at that stage in their lives, where they’re really searching for their identity, turn online”.

Photo by Alexander Grey on Pexels.com

The public consultation documents say that change is necessary against a backdrop of a sharp rise in referrals to the gender identity service, from just under 250 in 2011-12 to over 5,000 last year.

In recent years there has also been a spike, with

“the number of referrals currently at 8.7 per 100,000 population per year in 2021-22 compared to four per 100,000 in 2020-21 and 4.5 per 100,000 in 2019-20”.

On the day that Tom Daley marched into the Commonwealth Games with a pride flag bearing trans colours, the health service announced in July that it would be closing the Tavistock and replacing it with two regional centres based in specialist children’s hospitals.

Trans-ideology according to some is the inevitable culmination of left-wingers deconstructing gender and sexuality in the 1960s cultural revolution. Several conservatives are asking for a serious look at the consequences of the previous era of free expression of opinion and free sex.

Gay activists discredited the notion of aberrant sexual activity. Feminists said gender was a construct and a prison. This coincided with a new take on children, insisting they weren’t miniature versions of their parents but autonomous human beings who should control their own destiny, even their education.

The move is aimed at taking a more “holistic” approach to treating children and looking at the reasons why they are questioning their gender.

It is expected that the regional centres will be operating by the spring, whilst long-term plans for the gender identity services for under 18s, based on the final recommendation of the Cass review, will come into effect in 2023-24.

Rather than being delivered by therapists and hormone specialists, the new clinical teams will include experts “in paediatric medicine, autism, neurodisability and mental health”.

The proposals note that a “significant proportion of children” who are referred for treatment have neuro-development issues or family of social problems.

The new treatment teams will be led by a medical doctor and the service will only take referrals from GPs and other NHS professionals.

NHS England will also “strongly discourage” young people from buying hormones from private clinicians and will not accept clinical responsibility for the treatment of those who have done so.

Is one prepared to bear the consequences that children with yet serious questions regarding their identities and gender have to resolve, and how?

How exactly does the NHS plan to clear up the mess and plan for the fallout of mental health issues that will emerge?

The consultation on the plans closes in December.

It is the task of the adults to help children to accept themselves as they are and to get them to feel happy in their own bodies, even when it is not fitting in the general traditional idea of the mainstream. Parents and health workers should not teach them that mutilating their genitals and living inside a skin costume of the opposite sex is the way to peace and contentment, because studies have shown this is not the case. A life lived in medicalised pretence is not a happy or healthy one.

But we should be open to helping those who have come into adult age, and even when for some that may look late, when they are in their twenties and then changing, there are still many years to come to live in a ‘renewed body’.

Let’s hope the tide is turning, for the sake of our children.

 

+

Preceding

A Progressive Call to Arms

Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms

Times of overcorrections

Who Am I That I Could Hinder God?

Do the concepts of male and female need to have a formal official definition

The Catholic synod on the family and abortion

Looking at an American nightmare

++

Additional reading

  1. What’s church for, anyway?
  2. Anti-Semitic incidents in Australia in 2012 highest ever on record
  3. Human relations 2013
  4. Study says highlighting gender leads to stereotypes
  5. 2014 Culture
  6. Same sex realtionships and Open attitude mirroring Jesus (Our View)Same sex relationships and Open attitude mirroring Jesus (Some View on the world)
  7. Tony Campolo Calls for Full Inclusion of LGBT Into the Church
  8. Two synods and life in the church community
  9. 2015 Human rights
  10. Cincinnati outlaws quoting the Bible
  11. In Eastern Europe the Foundations of the European Union in danger
  12. Right-wing fundamentalist Christians to dictate the U.S.A.
  13. Rights of Polish people in danger
  14. Living in this world and viewing it
  15. Problems with church counseling for gay people
  16. A selection of The Telegraph articles for Sunday 2022 October 23
  17. The Telegraph Front Page for Monday 24 October 2022
  18. Oppressive language of anti-Jehovah people does more than represent violence
  19. Intermarriage and Protecting the state of the Jewish and/or Jeshuaist family
  20. Belonging to or being judged by
  21. Need to Embrace People Where They Are

+++

L'égalité n'est pas secondaire face aux défis majeurs de notre époque. Croire l'inverse reviendrait à prendre le problème à l'envers.

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  6. We’re All Going to Die: Doctors
  7. Shocking News from the White House!!!: EU, transgender peoples, bathrooms and disagreements.
  8. Transphobia: a debate that is perhaps wisest to sit out.
  9. Imprecise pronouns
  10. Oh, come on, or: Srsly?
  11. Gender-neutral, or: Girly
  12. America’s (Two) Social Commandments
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  16. How The Australian has run a Holy War on transgender youth
  17. Let them serve: Defence drops ban on transgender soldiers
  18. Unprecedented South Dakota Bill Aims to Erase LGBTQ People From Public Life Entirely
  19. When is the right time to reveal your gender identity?
  20. A trans woman has been found beaten and strangled to death in her own home
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  33. Ask The Passengers, and coming out
  34. Street harassment, and silence
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Filed under Being and Feeling, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Questions asked, Welfare matters

The rise of digital self-harm

More and more teens are targeting themselves online, a practice known as “digital self-harm,” reports Chantelle Pattemore in Healthline.

Typically, an adolescent will create an anonymous account, and then uses it to

“send hateful, threatening, or humiliating messages or threats”

to themselves, said Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. According to Hinduja’s research, the share of adolescents who engaged in the practice rose from 6 percent in 2016 to 9 percent in 2019. It’s not exactly clear why teens digitally self-harm; they could be looking for attention, attempting to decipher who is “on their team,” or simply trying to punish themselves, Pattemore writes. And it can be very difficult for parents to figure out if their child is digitally self-harming, but if you suspect yours is, be sure to reach out to a mental health professional for guidance. [Healthline]

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Health affairs

Some wanting a #childfreemillennial in an ‘overpopulated’ world

In the late 1970s and early ’80s by the central government of China there was an official program initiated to restrict the amount of children, reduce the growth rate of China’s enormous population, making that today there are not enough youngsters to pay for the older generation. There were even forced abortions and sterilizations (the latter primarily of women).

The one-child policy produced consequences beyond the goal of reducing population growth. Most notably, the country’s overall sex ratio became skewed toward males—roughly between 3 and 4 percent more males than females.

It seems now several youngsters also have preference not to have children. They seem to forget that when they would be over 60 there shall be no children able for them to take care. The consequence of not wanting children is not providing a generation who shall be at work whilst the elders would be retired, so that there would not be money to provide for those retired people. Something which has become a huge problem in China.

We wonder if those who now say it will be great to have a child-free life still would say that when they passed the age to have children. shall they still say

“You’ve slept in, woken up to a tidy home, it’s quiet, and you’ve got the rest of the day to potter around, no interruptions. A child-free life is a good life.”

when they find themselves in that quiet home where they are just with themselves and nobody to continue their family generation.

The above message floats over a video that captures a scene of serene domesticity. Posted on TikTok a few days ago, it has already racked up more than 100,000 views.

The video’s creator, “Danni ‘childfree’ Duncan”, who seems mainly to be concerned about his own freedom, is among those who have been able to start a movement under their generation which clearly has decided not to have children. That movement even has its own hashtags (#childfreebychoice and #nothavingkids).

One could easily think that all this is a whim of short duration. But we rather have the impression that these young people do not really realise what their childless life might be in a few years.

However, we obviously cannot ignore or overlook this movement, because it involves not just a few but thousands of women all over the western world.

This craze is just one small part of a wider, and highly significant, demographic issue: across much of the world, birth rates are plummeting.

On Nov 15 this year, the global population is expected to reach eight billion. The United Nations predicts it could grow to about 8.5 billion by 2030 before peaking at 10.4 billion in the 2080s. After that – and some predict it will happen 20 years earlier – the world’s population will start to fall.

Some on the other hand argue that we here in the West should curb births because in the poorer countries, far too many children are coming into this world and thus will overpopulate it. In certain countries they thought lots of children would die because of Covid or because of global warming disasters. In the industrialised countries there was a growth of babies born.

“About nine months after the pandemic, we see what we call a ‘baby bump,’”

said Martha Bailey, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of the authors of a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

After more than a year, lots of people having been in lockdown, in those countries with economic unemployment we could notice more children being born than normally in the same period over a year. In several countries, lots of 80+ and 90+ people died from the Coronavirus, but still, we can see that the number of 70-79 year-olds increased a remarkable percentage.

We should be aware that usually in countries where conditions for survival are more difficult that more children will be born there, but also more deaths will occur. In the West, similarly, with improved living conditions and a reduction in child deaths, we have had a reduction in births.

The few decades of projected global population growth that remain will be driven by a small number of undeveloped countries, many in the Sahel region of Africa. In countries like Niger, which has the world’s highest fertility rate, economic conditions remain so harsh that women continue to have an average of six or more children in order to survive.

In contrast, for most of the rest of the world – including Britain – it’s a baby bust. And it’s happening now. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), women born in 1975 had on average just 1.92 children. This compared with the average 2.08 children produced by their mothers’ generation (taken as women born in 1949) and is far below the 2.1 children needed for the existing population to replace itself. For a country it is accepted that, to maintain stability in a country, an overall total fertility rate of 2.1 is needed, assuming no immigration or emigration occurs. A total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.1 is known as the replacement rate. Generally speaking, when the TFR is greater than 2.1, the population in a given area will increase, and when it is less than 2.1, the population in a given area will eventually decrease, though it may take some time because factors such as age structure, emigration, or immigration must be considered.

Last year, the French were urged to have more children after the number of births in the country slumped to its lowest level since the Second World War, with 1.83 children born per woman, compared with 2.02 more than a decade earlier. The birth rate in Spain also dropped to a historic low last year, hitting just 1.19 children born to every woman – a 29 per cent fall compared with a decade earlier.

And in parts of Asia the situation is even worse. South Korea’s fertility rate sank to its lowest ever in 2020, a meagre 0.84 children per woman, giving the country the lowest birth rate in the world.

If, on average, women give birth to 2.1 children and these children survive to the age of 15, any given woman will have replaced herself and her partner upon death.

If young people have now decided not to have children, it means that in a few years’ time, we will indeed have a reduced number of people in several countries but there will also be a very ageing population for which not enough young people will be able to care, a problem China is now facing.

Europe and the U.S.A are already facing a similar problem too because although fertility rates remain well above the replacement rate in many parts of the world, the global TFR has declined significantly since 1970. The decline may be so drastic that populations are expected to halve by 2100 in more than 20 countries, including Spain, Portugal and Japan.

While some may think that humans will have to move to other planets due to overpopulation, some also realise that there will be an emerging population reduction. Elon Musk, the billionaire Tesla chief executive, has called it

“one of the biggest risks to civilisation”.

But why, when living standards and freedoms have never been higher, are women across the globe having so few children or rejecting the concept of motherhood altogether? And what if anything can policymakers do to reverse the trend?

What we should be concerned about is why young people, if not out of selfishness, do not want to bear children. Is it because those twens consider children an economic drain caused by housing, education cost and other costs.

Economic stresses and spiralling house prices mean more couples will feel they can’t afford children,

explains Lyman Stone, chief information officer at Demographic Intelligence.

To promote “no children” may also just be an excuse to avoid such an obligation to share each other with a third party and if they find they can no longer have children, hide it behind their so-called “no children policy”. It looks like many youngsters do not want to invest time or money in any other beings in their relationship. Most of them want leisure time, and time to focus on their own well-being and development.

The reverse of the leisurist coin is the “workist” mindset, in which they value their job very highly as a source of meaning and purpose in their life. Getting higher in work has become a very important factor, and that goal of reaching a high position is considered much more important than having children.

Like leisurism, it is not hugely compatible with parenthood. More than one study has suggested a correlation between workist attitudes – which Stone says are prevalent among a growing share of adults – and lower fertility.

A survey last year by the Pew Research Center in the US found a rising share of childless American adults said they were unlikely to ever start a family. Some 44 per cent of non-parents aged 18 to 49 fell into this category, up from 37 per cent in 2018. While some cited financial reasons, climate change or their lack of a partner as a reason, the majority (56 per cent) said they probably wouldn’t have children because they just didn’t want to.

It’s a group that’s becoming more vocal. In 2015 and 2017, the NotMom Summit – billed as one of the world’s first major conferences for women without children – was held in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2021, Erin Spurling, a British woman in her mid-30s, created the Childfree Lounge, an online community for women without children.

Many of those no-children lovers say they love their freedom, spontaneity and peace and quiet. They often also value time alone or just with a partner or even want to change partners regularly.

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Find also to read

Child-free by choice: The birth rate crisis gripping the West

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Additional reading

  1. How the pandemic created an unexpected “baby bump”
  2. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #4 The Family pact
  3. Ecological economics in the stomach #3 Food and Populace
  4. How to look back at Cop26
  5. What effect does population have on climate change?
  6. Overpopulation not the cause of overusing our earth

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The Lancet COVID-19 Major Covid-19 Commission report

Alex Washburne, one of the authors of the Lancet’s paper major Covid-19 Commission report, said:

“We examined whether SARS-CoV-2 was synthesised in a lab. We studied a common method for synthesising [coronaviruses] in the lab.

WHO welcomes the overarching recommendations of The Lancet COVID-19 Commission’s report on “Lessons for the future from the COVID-19 pandemic,” which align with our commitment to stronger global, regional and national pandemic preparedness, prevention, readiness and response. At the same time, there are several key omissions and misinterpretations in the report, not least regarding the public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and the speed and scope of WHO’s actions.

On 30 December 2019, WHO received the first alerts of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan, China, and notified the IHR focal point, seeking further information from Chinese health authorities the next day.

On 1 January 2020, WHO activated its Incident Management System to manage daily action. The team, which includes focal points on clinical care, infection prevention and control, diagnostics, logistics, communications and more, met daily throughout 2020, into 2021 and continues to meet this year.

As well as mentioning facilities in Wuhan, the report noted that “independent researchers have not yet investigated” US labs, and said the National Institutes of Health has “resisted disclosing details” of its work.

The report comes as controversy swirls the commission chair, the economist Prof Jeffrey Sachs.

At a conference in Madrid earlier this year, he said he was “pretty convinced” that Sars-Cov-2

“came out of US lab biotechnology, not out of nature”

–  a claim that has since been widely promoted by Chinese diplomats.

In August, Prof Sachs also appeared on a podcast hosted by Robert F Kennedy, Jr – one of the world’s most prominent anti-vaccine commentators – to discuss his beliefs, just days after Instagram and Facebook suspended an account led by Mr Kennedy for repeatedly sharing what the platforms said was Covid misinformation, especially around vaccines

Researchers found the fingerprint.

“That fingerprint is in the SARS-CoV-2 genome.”

said Alex Washburne.

Viscount Matt Ridley, who co-authored a book on the origin of the coronavirus, called the new work a “hugely important study”.

“Evidence that strongly suggests SARS-CoV-2 was engineered may have been hiding in plain sight all along,”

he said.

Prof Francois Balloux, the director of the UCL Genetics Institute, said it was

“the strongest piece of evidence to date against a simple scenario of strict zoonotic origin for SARS-CoV-2”.

Prof Kristian Andersen, evolutionary biologist and professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute, called the work “nothing more than poppycock dressed up as science”.

“In plain language – this is uninformed nonsense and it’s simply not worth engaging with this b*******,”

Prof Anderson said.

The academic also said the paper is

“so deeply flawed that it wouldn’t pass kindergarten molecular biology”.

The pre-print claims to have found telltale signs that the coronavirus was sliced up in a lab and stitched back together again, leaving behind “a very subtle but identifiable fingerprint”.

The team believe they have spotted “sticky ends” on the end of DNA fragments that have been moved around using enzymes.

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Image credit: tenkende / 123rf

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Don’t teach your kids to fear the world

All parents want their children to stay safe. But

“teaching [kids] that the world is dangerous is bad for their health, happiness, and success,”

writes Arthur C. Brooks in The Atlantic.

Some research suggests that the perception of the world as a threatening place makes people more suspicious and less tolerant of others, and less inclined to take even moderate risks. People who hold such negative views of life are also less healthy, less satisfied, more depressed, and worse at their jobs than their more positive peers. Plus, teaching kids to fear their surroundings won’t necessarily keep them safe.

A general state of fear can actually make a person less likely to take threats seriously (a self-defense mechanism to control our fear) and undermine precautionary behavior (by degrading the ability to address danger rationally),”

writes Brooks.

[The Atlantic]

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Snoring and apnoea a serious problem

For those who have a partner who snores, it can be really an annoying problem.

According to YouGov, around 52 per cent of adults are regular snorers?

Obstruction ventilation apnée sommeil.svg

Obstructive sleep apnea: As soft tissue falls to the back of the throat, it impedes the passage of air (blue arrows) through the trachea.

Snoring is the hoarse or harsh sound that occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat. It happens upon the intake of breath during sleep, a recurrent state of reduced responsiveness to external stimulation that is accompanied by complex and predictable changes in physiology and is caused by the vibration of the soft palate and vocal cords. It is known that nearly everyone makes some noise in his or her sleep during the night, or when having a nap, during the daytime. Snoring is often associated with a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), but not all snorers have OSA.

Sleep contrasts with wakefulness, in which state there is an enhanced potential for sensitivity and efficient responsiveness to external stimuli. The sleep-wakefulness alternation is the most-striking manifestation in higher vertebrates of the more-general phenomenon of periodicity in the activity or responsivity of living tissue.

Snoring is more common in the elderly because the loss of tone in the oropharyngeal musculature promotes vibration of the soft palate and pharynx. It is also more common in men than in women, and it occurs most often in obese persons.
Children’s snoring usually results from enlarged tonsils or adenoids.

Whatever the cause, snoring is always associated with mouth breathing and can be corrected by removing obstructions to normal nasal breathing or by altering the sleeping position so that the affected individual does not lie on his back. Big problem is when there are moments when the person stops breathing. Snoring or apnoea prostheses are also very helpful devices.

A bed partner or family member may observe individual snoring or appear to stop breathing, gasp, or choke while sleeping. In severe cases this may occur once every minute during sleep and in turn may lead to profound sleep disruption. In addition, repetitive interruption of normal breathing can lead to a reduction in oxygen levels in the blood.

It can happen by people who are too fat, but also by thin persons who have a set-back chin (retrognathia), and it may be for this reason that patients of East Asian heritage are more likely to have sleep apnoea without being overweight.

Not only can snoring be annoying for the sleeper himself but also for the person accompanying him.  It can be a nuisance to the partner.

“Lots of people say that they snore when they’re flat on their back,”

says Guy Leschziner, professor of neurology and sleep medicine at King’s College London and author of The Secret World of Sleep.

“The reason for that is because the tongue tends to move backward a little bit, sometimes the jaw retracts and that narrows the airway. And when the airway’s narrower and floppy, you’re more likely to get this reverberation of the soft tissues.”

In some cases, snoring can reach up to 100 decibels, the same as a passing truck, and unsurprisingly, it can have a major impact on a partner’s sleep.

Mayo Clinic in the US found that women get 13 per cent less sleep per night when their partner is snoring, something which can lead to deep resentment over time. One UK survey of 2,000 people found that 68 per cent were woken up by their other half snoring, while 12 per cent even cited it as a contributory factor for divorcing their partner.

Scientists from the Mayo Clinic in the US found that women get 13 per cent less sleep per night when their partner is snoring, something which can lead to deep resentment over time. One UK survey of 2,000 people found that 68 per cent were woken up by their other half snoring, while 12 per cent even cited it as a contributory factor for divorcing their partner.

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Please come to read more about snoring that can disturb sleep, affect your health and drive a long-suffering partner insane, but with the help of the experts you can make a change:

How to stop snoring and avoid being banished to the sofa

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Long-term consequences of acute Covid on the brain

As new research shows Covid is associated with an elevated risk of dementia, we examine how to protect your grey stuff in midlife and beyond.

Brain health is dependent on many different factors

It is common to feel a bit fuzzy-headed and fatigued in the days and weeks following a bout of Covid but in some rare cases, it appears that the virus may actually precipitate cognitive decline.

This summer, the Lancet Psychiatry journal published one of the first major studies looking at the long-term consequences of acute Covid on the brain. Using health records from more than 1.2 million patients across the UK, US, Australia and five other countries, the study found an increased risk of neurological problems in the months and years following infection.

One particularly concerning example of this is in over-65s, who were found to have a slightly elevated risk of dementia after contracting Covid. Medical experts still do not know why exactly this is the case, and there is a worry that it will place greater strain on the NHS in the coming years.

> Read more about it: Eight (scientifically-proven) ways to keep your brain healthy

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Reasons to be cheerful

By Maire Bonheim,
NEWSLETTER EDITOR
Gannet smashes through water off Shetland Islands at 100kmph

A frosty sunrise over the Gwda River in Poland, an entrant for the Royal Meteorological Society’s Weather Photographer of the Year 2022 competition. Click the image to see 20 spellbinding photographs. Credit: Krzysztof Tollas

This week, scientists revealed that dogs cry tears of joy when their owners return home. It’s a sign of how close the human-pooch relationship can be: they become overwhelmed with emotion due to the release of oxytocin, the cuddle hormone.

Adults are advised to do 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, but many people don’t reach this target, especially in older age. Luckily, a 10-minute daily walk in your 80s could be enough to save your life, a new study suggests. And here’s how you can turn a walk into a health-boosting workout.

A “hidden” Van Gogh masterpiece has been recreated, 135 years after the celebrated artist painted over it. An X-ray showed that Van Gogh created a portrait of two nude wrestlers, but later reused the canvas and painted a floral still life. Now, two British scientists have revealed what the original masterpiece would have looked like using X-rays, Artificial Intelligence and 3D-printing.

Researchers from Oxford University have “definitively” debunked the belief that statins cause aches and pains, according to a “monumental” new study. Instead, any muscle pain experienced is likely a natural side effect of ageing. Statins can significantly lower cholesterol and cut the risk of heart attacks, so this is great news for GPs, who can now reassure their patients about the potential side effects.

Brittany and Briana, who grew up in Delaware in the United States, are identical twins who always dreamed of marrying a pair of identical twins. So they set off for the annual Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio, and found their dream match. Now they all live together in a house in Virginia with their ‘quaternary twin’ sons. The photos are… discombobulating.

Finally, Rosie Millard is living my utopian life. She decided that a year in Provence simply wasn’t long enough – and bought a home just outside the village of Ménerbes. Her delightful story is what Francophile dreams are made of.

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Preceding

Do you have painful creaky knees

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Do you have painful creaky knees

Painful creaky knees? You might feel like popping a pill, but you’d be better off exercising.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 10 per cent of men and 18 per cent of women over 60 years of age

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 10 per cent of men and 18 per cent of women over 60 years of age and occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones gradually thins.

Although the last 20 years have brought big breakthroughs in treatments for inflammatory arthritis (including rheumatoid), osteoarthritis has seen much slower progress. There are still no disease-modifying treatments, only symptom control, and the latest draft of NICE guidelines has recently downgraded long-term use of painkillers in favour of exercise, weight-management and behaviour change.

For years, the choreologist Marcus Ampe promoted special exercises to get rid of pain, instead of poisoning the body with painkillers. Before his retirement, he also gave special therapeutic classes to help people recover from accidents and from several body ailments.

A big problem is when people have a lot of pain, they often do not feel much for going to move more. But they have to go over that step. Crossing the threshold of the initial pain.

To move, is probably the opposite of what you want to do, and of what your osteoarthritis seems to be telling you, but the evidence is rock-solid. Exercise helps in multiple ways.

“It improves nutrition and blood flow to the joint, lines up the joints, strengthens muscles, improves stability and restores function,”

says Dr Benjamin Ellis, consultant rheumatologist and senior clinical advisor for Versus Arthritis. Avoiding activity because of osteoarthritis pain kicks off a vicious “deconditioning cycle”.

Marcus Ampe always promoted exercise but warned not to overdo it. Though he also was a certified Aerobics teacher, he always dis-advised ordinary people to do that sort of exercises. It is namely much better to do a proper balanced workout or to take Kounovsky, Pilates or social dancing or modern jazz classes.

He, like other experts, advises that any exercise is good, even walking or gardening.

“Whatever you enjoy, whatever you’re doing, do more,”

says Holden.

“A recent study found that just walking will reduce the pain from early knee osteoarthritis and also make it much less likely to progress – so it’s potentially preventative.”

The latest research suggests that paracetamol performs no better than a placebo for osteoarthritis, while strong and potentially addictive opioids bring more risk than benefits.

A lot of people seek refuge in medication but would do better to resort to herbs or phytotherapy and homoeopathy and a healthy schedule of exercises that will further help them move better and easier again.

> Please do find: Five ways to tackle the joint pain of arthritis

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