School-Caused ER Visits

Leave a comment

Crux of The Danger of Back to School by Peter Gray:

  • The number of children’s psychiatric ER visits falls drastically during the summer vacation.
  • In Connecticut Children’s Mental Center in Hartford, it falls from an average of about 140 visits per month to about 70.

Antibiotics May Cause Obesity

Leave a comment

Crux of The Fat Drug by Pagan Kennedy:

  • In the 1950’s it was discovered that antibiotics causes domestic animals to put on more weight, and since then farmers add antibiotics to the feed in order to fatten their animals.
  • Antibiotics may have a similar effect in humans, contributing to the obesity epidemic.

Chronic Pain Can Be Relieved By Unlearning

Leave a comment

Crux of Yoga Offers New Hope for Chronic Pain by Kelly McGonigal:

  • If you repeat something many times, it becomes a second nature. This applies even to pain: “Through the repeated experience of pain, the nervous system gets better at detecting threat and producing the protective pain response. “
  • “The best way to unlearn chronic stress and pain responses is to give the mind and body healthier responses to practice.”
  • “Relaxation specifically has been shown to be healing for chronic pain. It turns off the stress response and directs the body’s energy to growth, repair, immune function, digestion, and other self-nurturing processes.”
  • Detailed instructions for pain relieving relaxation are given in the article, here is a small part: “Imagine that the breath is dissolving or massaging the tension and pain. […] try moving your attention back and forth between the uncomfortable area and a more comfortable area. […] Switching back and forth like this can teach the mind how to give the uncomfortable sensations less priority.”

Naps Are Good, But Not All Naps Are As Good

Leave a comment

Crux of The Perfect Nap by Sumathi Reddy:

  • “For a quick boost of alertness, experts say a 10-to-20-minute power nap is adequate for getting back to work in a pinch.”
  • “For cognitive memory processing, however, a 60-minute nap may do more good, [because] slow-wave sleep helps with remembering facts, places and faces. The downside: some grogginess upon waking.”
  • “90-minute nap will likely involve a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity and emotional and procedural memory, such as learning how to ride a bike.” Usually there’s no grogginess afterwards.
  • “the ideal time to nap is generally between the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Napping later in the day could interfere with nighttime sleep.”

Fruits Lower Risk of Diabetes, But Fruit Juices Increase The Risk

Leave a comment

Crux of New study finds that eating more whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, was significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes — but greater consumption of fruit juices was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes by Colin Manning:

“People who ate at least two servings each week of certain whole fruits — particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples — reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes by as much as 23 percent in comparison to those who ate less than one serving per month. Conversely, those who consumed one or more servings of fruit juice each day increased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 21 percent.”

Man’s Conquest of Nature is Only Temporary

Leave a comment

Crux of Terms of Surrender by John Michael Greer:

  • The belief in Progress has a central theme of Man conquering Nature and submitting her to his will: Disease is conquered by medicine, distance by motorized transportation, the soil by fertilizers, and so on.

  • “according to this way of looking at things, Nature is not supposed to put up more than a pro forma struggle or a passive resistance. Above all, once any part of Nature is conquered, it’s supposed to stay conquered—and of course that’s where the trouble creeps in, because a great many of the things we habitually lump together as Nature are refusing to go along with the script.”

  • For example, “A large and growing number of pathogenic microbes these days are already resistant to the antibiotics that used to treat them; new antibiotics brought onto the market start running into problems with resistant bacteria in a fraction of the time that was once necessary for resistance to emerge; and the transfer of antibiotic resistance from one species to another is becoming an increasingly troubling problem.”

  • But most people “respond with an overfamiliar sentence: “Oh, I’m sure they’ll think of something.” The increasingly frantic efforts of researchers to find new antibiotics and stay ahead of the remorselessly rising tide of microbial resistance get no more attention than the equally frantic efforts, say, of drilling companies to find petroleum deposits to make up for the increasingly rapid depletion of existing oil fields.”

  • Another example is The Green Revolution in agriculture: “The barrage of fertilizers and poisons the proponents of that movement turned on agriculture won a temporary advantage over the hard subsistence limits of earlier eras, but it was only temporary. The reckless use of artificial fertilizers turned out to have drastic downsides, while the poisons drove insects and weeds into exactly the same frenzy of intensive natural selection that antibiotics brought to the microbial world.”

  • “Farmers faced by resistant weeds and pests, like physicians faced by resistant microbes, are turning to increasingly desperate measures to get the same results that their equivalents got with much less trouble. That’s exactly the situation that’s driving the current fracking boom and bubble, too. Back in the glory days of petroleum exploration and discovery, drillers could punch a well a few hundred feet into the ground and hit oil; now it takes hugely expensive deepwater drilling, tar sands extraction, or hydrofracturing of shale and other “tight oil” deposits to keep the liquid fuel flowing, and the costs keep rising year after year.”

  • Since in the long term all those efforts will cease to be effective, “the age of petroleum, and everything that unfolded from it, was exactly the same sort of temporary condition as the age of antibiotics and the Green Revolution.”

Don’t Wash Your Chicken

Leave a comment

Crux of Washing poultry can spread pathogens by Ben Chapman:

  • “washing poultry just splashes bacteria all over you, your kitchen towels, your countertops, and any other food you have nearby, such as raw foods or salads.”
  • It is better just to cook the chicken as-is, because “The heat from the cooking process will kill any bacteria that are present.”

Older Entries