the present moment

News Mash: Mindfully mindlessly, via meditation, is great for your health!

Do you know what it means to be ‘mindful’?

If not…

Well, maybe you should:

[via Time] The Mindful Revolution ~By Kate Pickert

The raisins sitting in my sweaty palm are getting stickier by the minute. They don’t look particularly appealing, but when instructed by my teacher, I take one in my fingers and examine it. I notice that the raisin’s skin glistens. Looking closer, I see a small indentation where it once hung from the vine. Eventually, I place the raisin in my mouth and roll the wrinkly little shape over and over with my tongue, feeling its texture. After a while, I push it up against my teeth and slice it open. Then, finally, I chew — very slowly.

I’m eating a raisin. But for the first time in my life, I’m doing it differently. I’m doing it mindfully. This whole experience might seem silly, but we’re in the midst of a popular obsession with mindfulness as the secret to health and happiness — and a growing body of evidence suggests it has clear benefits. The class I’m taking is part of a curriculum called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, an MIT-educated scientist.

The raisin exercise reminds us how hard it has become to think about just one thing at a time. If distraction is the pre-eminent condition of our age, then mindfulness, in the eyes of its enthusiasts, is the most logical response.

…[Read More]

The fastest way to a healthier, happier you?

Is learning to be in-tune with yourself.

Physically, and mentally.

By gifting yourself with the one gift, we so seldom GIVE ourselves, by doing nothing more…

Than by doing NOTHING.

Take a few minutes out of your day.

Just a few, to start with, is all it takes.

Relax.

Breathe.

Meditate.

[via NaturalNews] Meditation is just as effective as antidepressant drugs in treating anxiety or depression, but the present momentwithout the side effects, according to a study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University and published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The study was funded by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The researchers analyzed the results of 47 prior randomized, controlled trials conducted on a total of 3,515 people suffering from depression, anxiety, insomnia, heart disease, chronic pain, stress and other health conditions. In all the trials analyzed, mindfulness meditation had been compared to a placebo or to other treatments.

Mindfulness meditation consists of the regular practice, often 30 to 40 minutes per day, of a person remaining aware of their surroundings (such as sounds), thoughts and emotions, without forming attachment to their outcomes. This is in contrast with concentration practices, in which a person focuses on a single thought or activity (such as chanting or looking at a candle) to the exclusion of all other thoughts.

…[Read More]

And take, firmly in hand?

The opportunity to rejuvenate yourself….

Mindfully mindlessly, via meditation.

Hand of God

News Mash: Your thick cerebral cortex sees? The ‘Hand of God’!

Ever wanted to know…

Just where God is found in the brain?

Cause apparently Science found it:

[via Medical Daily]Where Is God Located In the Brain? Importance of Religion Is Related To Thickness Of The Cerebral Cortex ~By

Made entirely of gray matter and distinguished by its characteristic folds, the cerebral cortex is the brain’s outermost layer covering the hemispheres.

Now, researchers from New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University found the importance of religion or spirituality to individuals may be linked to the thickness of their cerebral cortices.

“Importance of religion or spirituality, but not frequency of [house of worship] attendance, was associated with thicker cortices in the left and right parietal and occipital regions, the mesial frontal lobe of the right hemisphere, and the cuneus and precuneus in the left hemisphere,” wrote the authors in their study, published this month in JAMA Psychology.

…[Read More]

And…

In case you were ALSO wondering?

NASA found God’s omnipresence…

In the sky as well:

[via Space] ‘Hand of God’ Spotted by NASA Space Telescope (Photo) ~By Tanya LewisHand of God

Religion and astronomy may not overlap often, but a new NASA X-ray image captures a celestial object that resembles the “Hand of God.”

The cosmic “hand of God” photo was produced when a star exploded and ejected an enormous cloud of material, which NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, glimpsed in high-energy X-rays, shown in blue in the photo. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory had imaged the green and red parts previously, using lower-energy X-rays.

“NuSTAR’s unique viewpoint, in seeing the highest-energy X-rays, is showing us well-studied objects and regions in a whole new light,” NuSTAR telescope principal investigator Fiona Harrison, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a statement.

The new image depicts a pulsar wind nebula, produced by the dense remnant of a star that exploded in a supernova. What’s left behind is a pulsar, called PSR B1509-58 (B1509 for short), which spins around 7 times per second blowing a wind of particles into material ejected during the star’s death throes.

As these particles interact with nearby magnetic fields, they produce an X-ray glow in the shape of a hand. (The pulsar is located near the bright white spot in the image but cannot be seen itself, NASA officials said.)

…[Read More]

Oh, yes…

My thick cerebral cortex, appreciates you, NASA.

It really does.

Wow.

Someone stop the world

News Mash: NIght shift work is bad for you…As bad as a hit on the head!

Working night shifts?

Bad…

For your health, so says Science.

And since I work night shifts?

“Dang & blast!” So says me.

Ugh.

[via DailyMail]Night shifts can damage your health: Odd sleep cycle can cause problems in DNA

  • The researchers delayed the bedtime of 22 healthy men and women by four hours a day for three days
  • Blood tests showed that when sleeping normally, 6 per cent of their genes were timed to be more or less active at certain times of the day
  • When following a night shift-like pattern of sleeping during the day and being awake at night this rhythm was ‘profoundly disrupted’

By Fiona Macrae

Working night shifts throws the body into chaos, scientists have warned.

They showed that a topsy-turvy sleep cycle causes havoc deep inside DNA.

This could help explain everything from why jet lag makes us feel so lousy to why shift work is linked to a host of health problems from obesity to diabetes.

The Surrey University researchers delayed the bedtime of 22 healthy men and women by four hours a day for three days, until they were going sleep when they would normally wake up and vice versa.

Blood tests showed that when sleeping normally, 6 per cent of their genes were timed to be more or less active at certain times of the day.

For instance, some genes involved in defending the body against disease worked harder during the day than at night.

But when following a night shift-like pattern of sleeping during the day and being awake at night, this rhythm was ‘profoundly disrupted’.

Researcher Dr Simon Archer told the BBC: ‘Over 97 per cent of rhythmic genes become out of sync with mistimed sleep and this really explains why we feel so bad during jet lag or if we have to work irregular shifts.’

…[Read More]

Not only that…

But add to the fact that I often skip sleep altogether, on days that I am off, so I can get my sleep cycle back in sync with normal people?

Apparently just as bad, if not more so…

Than getting hit in the head:

[via DailyMail]A lack of sleep ‘damages the brain in a similar way to being hit on the head’

  • The study results confirm the importance of a good night’s sleep
  • Lack of sleep is associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MS

By Daily Mail Reporter

Someone stop the world

Ever feel like you’ve been hit on the head after a bad night’s sleep? According to scientists, the thought isn’t as far-fetched as it seems.

A study found going without sleep for just one night causes changes in the brain similar to those that occur after a blow to the head.

The researchers said the healthy young men examined in the study showed a spike in the same chemicals which indicate brain damage.

…[Read More]

Hmmm.

When it comes to my job…

And my life?

Apparently there is just no winning on this score for me.

I am so screwed right now…

[Source]

My job?

Apparently is giving me brain damage.

*blinks*

Figures.

Ugh.

slightly haunted

News Mash: A drug erases traumatic memories? This Pennsylvania couple could use a dose!

Have any life-altering drama-trauma you would like to forget?

Lucky for you…

Science might have the very drug?

Just for you:

[via counselheal]Drug erases traumatic memories… ~by Cheri Cheng

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition often caused by a traumatic experience that involves Brainsymptoms such as severe anxiety. One of the most common treatment options for PTSD is psychotherapy, which reenacts the traumatic experience for the patient in a safe and controlled environment. Now, according to a new study, researchers identified a drug that has the potential to improve the treatment of PTSD.

For this study, neuroscientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) examined the effects of a type of drug called an HDAC2 inhibitor. This type of drug can make the brain more malleable. The researchers found that when rats were given the HDAC2 inhibitor, the rats’ traumatic memories could be removed. The researchers believe that if this drug were to be given to patients who did not respond well to psychotherapy, the effects of therapy would ideally be improved.

…[Read More]

It treats those suffering from PTSD you say?

Come on, Science…

Why limit yourself?

There is a whole new target group that needs to be considered:

People looking to sell their home!

What?

It is far more fitting, than one might initially consider at the onset:

[via Cleveland.CBSLocal]Pennsylvania Couple Advertises House As ‘Slightly Haunted’slightly haunted

DUNMORE, Pa. (AP) — Between the mysteriously banging doors, the odd noises coming from the basement, and the persistent feeling that someone is standing behind them, homeowners Gregory and Sandi Leeson are thoroughly creeped out by their 113-year-old Victorian.

So when they put the house in northeastern Pennsylvania up for sale last month, they advertised it as “slightly haunted.”

Then things got REALLY weird.

There were calls from ghost hunters. An open house attracted lots of curiosity seekers, but no legitimate buyers. And a former resident came out of the woodwork to tell the couple that when he was a kid, he found a human skull in the basement — the same basement whose door Sandi Leeson once barricaded because she swore she could hear the clicking of a cigarette lighter emanating from the subterranean depths.

It’s enough to make her husband wonder whether he did the right thing when he playfully wrote about the home’s spooky charms:

“Slightly haunted. Nothing serious, though,” says the listing on Zillow’s real-estate site. It goes on to describe 3:13 a.m. screams and “the occasional ghastly visage” in the bathroom mirror.

The listing attracted local and national media attention. Now the Leesons just need an actual buyer for the four-bedroom home, on the market for $144,000.

“I tried to word it with a little bit of a sense of humor,” says Greg Leeson, a 35-year-old who works in information technology, but “I don’t think it has helped with marketing. We’re not really getting very many interested buyers. We’re getting a lot of nonsense people.”

Spring should bring more traffic. But if it doesn’t sell, Leeson said they might consider renting it out — by the night — to folks looking for spooky thrills.

…[Read More]

See?

Told ya so.

Pffft…

And you doubted me.

*shakes head sadly*

How silly are you?!

good habits hack

News Mash: Your brain, bad habits and how long it takes to form new ones!

When it comes to being the best person you can be…

Just so you know?

Your brain is a real bastard…

In that it does it darndest to prevent it:

[via Cracked]5 Ways Your Brain Tricks You into Sticking With Bad Habits ~By

Bad habits can ruin your life. Whether you’re gorging on Haagen-Dazs or dressing up like a Power Ranger and flaying hobos every night, you know on some level that things have to change, or disaster will follow. But no matter how badly you want your life to be different, things just keep plowing on the way they are. Why?

Because your brain has a long list of diabolical mechanisms intended to keep your habits exactly as they are.

#5. Your Brain Thinks Your Future Self Is a Different Person

You knew you had to be up at 7 a.m. for a big exam. But there you were, at one in the morning, watching every minute of a double feature on cable including Timecop and a second showing of Timecop. On a conscious level, you knew you were screwing yourself. But on a subconscious level, you always think of the tomorrow version of you as a completely different person. That guy can deal with the consequences; the night version is watching some f****** Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Well, don’t feel so bad. Science says that this feature is built into your brain.

Brain scans have shown that different parts of our brain light up when we’re thinking of ourselves versus when we’re thinking of other people. That part makes sense — your brain is partitioned out into separate regions for yourself and for everyone else because you have to look out for yourself first. But where it gets weird is that in some people, when they’re asked to think about their future selves, the region that lights up is the one reserved for other people.

In other words, if someone asks you to think about what you’ll look like in 20 years, your brain treats it as though you’re trying to picture some bizarre stranger. Now think about what that means in terms of your ability to fix what’s wrong in your life. What motivation do you have to abstain from your 14th peanut butter doughnut today just to help out some droopy manimal in the future? Logically, you understand that you’re endangering the person you’ll become, but subconsciously, your brain doesn’t have the sympathy to spare for that poor slob, and just wants to enjoy the doughnut.

#3. Your Willpower Is a Finite Resource

Of course, what is probably more likely to trip you up during your 10 weeks of learning to be the type of person who jogs every morning isn’t some uncontrollable circumstance, but your own lack of motivation. Specifically, this shows up as the sense that, because you’ve been so good with the jogging, you owe it to yourself to take a break.

Once again, scientists can get this same result in the lab — exercising your willpower in one instance simply makes it more difficult to exercise it in the next. There’s even a term for it now: willpower depletion. It is every bit as depressing as it sounds.

For instance, in one study, scientists asked one group of students to memorize a two-digit number, and another group a seven-digit number. They then offered both groups a choice between cake and fruit salad. Amazingly, the students who memorized the longer number were twice as likely to choose the cake. It’s as though the simple act of remembering five extra digits was enough to reduce their willpower to a trembling white flag.

Then you have this study, which tried it from the opposite direction: Volunteers were shown a plate of freshly baked cookies and a plate of radishes. Half of them were instructed to take a cookie, and the other half were instructed to take a radish. All were then asked to complete a difficult geometric puzzle. Bizarrely, those who had been told to take a radish gave up on the puzzle after only eight minutes, while those who were told to take a cookie stuck with it for a full 19 minutes.

Even though no physical effort was involved, simply being forced to resist cookies actually depleted the volunteers’ will to solve a puzzle, because apparently we never really stop being toddlers.

…[Read More – See All Five Ways HERE!]

But…

On the flip-side?

Oh, my friends…

There are ways to work around your often very contrary brain.

The trick is?

Knowing how it WORKS:

[via BrainPickings]How Long It Takes to Form a New Habit ~by

“We are what we repeatedly do,” Aristotle proclaimed. “Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state,” William James wrote. But how, exactly, do we rewire our habits once they have congealed into daily routines? We already know that it takes more than “willpower.”

When he became interested in how long it takes for us to form or change a habit, psychologist Jeremy Dean found himself bombarded with the same magic answer from popular psychology websites and advice columns: 21 days. And yet, strangely — or perhaps predictably, for the internet — this one-size-fits-all number was being applied to everything from starting a running regimen to keeping a diary, but wasn’t backed by any concrete data. In Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick (public library) — which also gave us this fascinating read on the psychology of self-control — Dean, whose training is in research, explores the actual science of habits through the existing empirical evidence on habit-formation. He cites one influential study that gives a more concrete answer to the elusive question of how long it takes for a new habit to take root:

In a study carried out at University College London, 96 participants were asked to choose an everyday behavior that they wanted to turn into a habit. They all chose something they didn’t already do that could be repeated every day; many were health-related: people chose things like “eating a piece of fruit with lunch” and “running for 15 minutes after dinner.” Each of the 84 days of the study, they logged into a website and reported whether or not they’d carried out the behavior, as well as how automatic the behavior had felt.

This notion of acting without thinking — known in science as “automaticity” — turns out, perhaps unsurprisingly, to be a central driver of habits. And it helps illuminate the real question at the heart of this inquiry: How long did it actually take for people to form a habit? Dean writes:

The simple answer is that, on average, across the participants who provided enough data, it took 66 days until a habit was formed. As you might imagine, there was considerable variation in how long habits took to form depending on what people tried to do. People who resolved to drink a glass of water after breakfast were up to maximum automaticity after about 20 days, while those trying to eat a piece of fruit with lunch took at least twice as long to turn it into a habit. The exercise habit proved most tricky with “50 sit-ups after morning coffee,” still not a habit after 84 days for one participant. “Walking for 10 minutes after breakfast,” though, was turned into a habit after 50 days for another participant.

…[Read More]

The best way to defeat ANY enemy?

Know it well.

“If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Even IF the enemy…

Is yourself.

The same sage advice

exercise is fun

News Mash: 3 in 4 teens need to exercise more…Even if it’s just a little!

The majority of kids today?

Apparently…

Out of shape.

[via MyFoxNY]3 in 4 teens fail to meet fitness guidelines ~by LINDSEY TANNER

CHICAGO (AP) — Young teens aren’t exactly embracing the government’s Let’s Move mantra, the latest fitness data suggest.

Only 1 in 4 U.S. kids aged 12 to 15 meet the recommendations — an hour or more of moderate to vigorous activity every day.

The results are based on about 800 kids who self-reported their activity levels and had physical exams as part of the 2012 National Youth Fitness Survey.

Government researchers won’t call the results disappointing, but lead author Tala Fakhouri of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “There’s always room for improvement.”

The CDC released partial results Wednesday from the fitness survey, which involved kids aged 3 to 15. Other results from the same survey are pending and include fitness data based on more objective measures including treadmill tests.

Fakhouri said the nationally representative results provide useful information for initiatives that aim to increase kids’ fitness, including the Let’s Move anti-obesity campaign launched by first lady Michelle Obama in 2010.

Kids in the survey reported on which physical activities they did most frequently outside of school gym class — basketball for boys and running for girls.

While few met guidelines established in 2008 for activity that raises the heart rate and makes you breathe harder, most said they did at least an hour of exercise at that level during the previous week. Overall, about 25 percent said they got an hour of that kind of exercise every day

Obese kids were less active than normal-weight girls and boys. Overweight girls were slightly less active than normal-weight girls, but levels were similar among overweight and normal-weight boys.

“It’s definitely very concerning to see that our kids are engaging in such a limited amount of physical activity each day when we are still battling” an obesity epidemic, said Dr. Stephen Pont, an Austin, Texas, pediatrician and chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ section on obesity.

…[Read More]

Little do they know…

Or their parents know?

It really doesn’t take much effort to reap the benefits of exercise:

[via Jezebel]Science Decides That Even a Teensy Bit of Exercise Is Good for You ~Doug Barryexercise is fun

After much debate, it is becoming clear that moving around is better for your organism than not moving around. For instance, you wouldn’t want to eat a Nutella ham sandwich and then just sit around; you’d want to move. Almost immediately after swallowing your last bite, in fact. You could wrestle a pet or move furniture around — anything, really, even if you don’t work up enough of a sweat to incinerate all traces of the sandwich from your body.

These are the findings (more or less) of a new study about holiday gluttony published today in The Journal of Physiology.


One of the study’s researchers, James Betts, explained that the results suggest that weight gain and weight loss aren’t explained in simple caloric formulas. Exercise has lots of swell health benefits even if it isn’t vigorous enough to burn off all the calories a person takes in, say, during the holidays, when most of the Western world falls into a pattern of indiscriminate consumption.

…[Read More]

A little bit?

Goes a long…

Long way!

go home science

News Mash: When it comes to music and your child’s intelligence? Science contradicts itself!

So…

Let me see if I get this, Science.

What you are telling me here?

Is that while LISTENING to classical music will make your child smart…

[via DailyMail]Playing classical music to your child can improve their listening skills later on in life

  • Playing classical music to young children boosts their concentration and self-discipline as well as their social skills
  • The Institute of Education, University of London examined a scheme that introduces children to classical music in assemblies and classes
  • Teachers said it increases pupils’ listening power, musical knowledge, aspirations and in some cases improved their English

By Sarah Harris

Playing classical music such as Beethoven and Mozart to young children boosts their concentration and self-discipline, a new study suggests.

Youngsters also improve their general listening and social skills by being exposed to repertoires from composers including Ravel, Shostakovich and Mendelssohn.

In addition, they are likely to appreciate a wider range of music in later years, according to a study from the Institute of Education, (IoE), University of London.

…[Read More]

Your child learning to actually PLAY…

Complex, musical pieces?

Will. Not.

[via TheGlobeAndMail] Music won’t make your kids smarter, Harvard researchers say ~by Dave McGinn

If you’ve got your kid in piano lessons because you think it will make her smarter, Harvard researchers have some bad news for you.

Despite widespread belief to the contrary, there is little to no evidence to conclude that music improves intelligence.

“More than 80 per cent of American adults think that music improves children’s grades or intelligence,” Samuel Mehr, a doctoral student in the Harvard graduate school of education, said in a statement. “Even in the scientific community, there’s a general belief that music is important for these extrinsic reasons. But there is very little evidence supporting the idea that music classes enhance children’s cognitive development.”

…[Read More]

Oh, yeah…

Sure.

Makes perfect sense to me.

*shakes head sadly*

go home science [Source]

love math

News Mash: Of Math & Love!

When it comes to love…

There is more to it than you ladies realize.

namely?

Math.

[via BrainPickings] The Math of Love: Calculating the Odds of Finding Your Soulmate ~by Maria Popova

The science of why there are roughly 871 special someones for you out there.

Since the dawn of recorded history, poets and philosophers have pondered the nature of love and, in recent times, so have scientists. But can the concrete lens of science really be applied to something as seemingly abstract and amorphous as amore? Joe Hanson, mastermind of the wonderful science-plus compendium It’s Okay To Be Smart, has a new online show in partnership with PBS and the latest episode explores what the search for extraterrestrial life can teach us about our odds of finding that much-romanticized human soulmate, using the Fermi paradox, the Drake equation, and a lesson in love from Carl Sagan — who, with his timelessly magnificent Golden Record love story, should know a thing or two about the wisdom of the heart.

…[Read More]

Not a fan of math?

That’s OK…

Don’t let that fact intimidate you too much.

Cause the math?

Fairly easy to understand:

[via DailyMail]No one said finding The One would be easy: The average women will kiss FIFTEEN men, enjoy TWO long-term relationships and have her heart broken TWICE

  • Research also shows women have four one-night stands, and men six
  • Six out of ten Brits said they despaired of ever finding ‘The One’
  • A quarter said their partner is not who they imagined it would be

By Daily Mail Reporter

It will be of little comfort to the woman who has just had her heart broken for the second time.

But the next man she falls for could well  be ‘the one’.

The average woman will suffer heartbreak twice before she meets the man of her dreams, according to a study.

love math
The research suggests that before settling down, a woman will go on four disastrous dates and be stood up once. But she will also have fallen in love twice, lived with one partner and had four one-night stands.

Men, on the other hand, face being stood up twice and will have six one-night stands before they meet their ideal partner. This figure could be coming down, though, because a separate study suggests that men are becoming less afraid of commitment.

They also want to settle down at a younger age than a decade ago, a survey of 2,000 adults by dating site eHarmony found.

The average young man is ready for a committed relationship from the age of 22, two years younger than ten years ago.

…[Read More]

Especially given the fact?

Oh, yes…

It eventually works in your favor.

Ya. MATH!

Oh, wait–Wha?!

What’d I just say?

no matter who you are

News Mash: Reading is good for your brain? Yes. Hollywood movies? Not so much!

You have a choice, quick: Watch a movie, or read a book?

What’s it gonna be?

Just be advised, however…

Your critical faculties are under attack!

And, thanks to stupid Hollywood…

When you least expect it.

Insidious bast**ds!

[via HotAir]Study: Sentimental films make you more liberal 

Todd Adkins, of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, said audiences seemed to turn off their critical faculties when they reach the cinema.

‘Viewers come expecting to be entertained and are not prepared to encounter and evaluate political messages as they would during campaign advertisements or network news,’ he said.

Dr Adkins’ research, published in the journal Social Science Quarterly, was based on a study of 268 students who were asked about their political views, shown a film and then questioned again.

Half identified themselves as politically conservative.

…[Read More]

Solution?

Simply this…

Read. A. Book.

Really, it’s not that hard.

Not only that?

But your brain’s critical faculties will thank you for days

By way of “boosted” functioning abilities:

[via Independent]Brain function ‘boosted for days after reading a novel’ ~Tomas Jivanda

Being pulled into the world of a gripping novel can trigger actual, measurable changes in the brain that linger for at least five days after reading, scientists have said.

The new research, carried out at Emory University in the US, found that reading a good book may cause heightened connectivity in the brain and neurological changes that persist in a similar way to muscle memory.

The changes were registered in the left temporal cortex, an area of the brain associated with receptivity for language, as well as the the primary sensory motor region of the brain.

Neurons of this region have been associated with tricking the mind into thinking it is doing something it is not, a phenomenon known as grounded cognition – for example, just thinking about running, can activate the neurons associated with the physical act of running.

“The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist,” said neuroscientist Professor Gregory Berns, lead author of the study.

“We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense. Now we’re seeing that something may also be happening biologically.”

…[Read More]

Knowing this…

Is there really a choice?

Hollywood movies UNDERMINE your brains natural reasoning abilities…

Whereas books?

Reinforce your brain as the powerhouse it naturally wants to BE.

So?

Read a book.

Try it…

Just ONE.

You will be better for it and…

You just might actually enjoy yourself.

no matter who you are [Source]

yikes i see what you did there

News Mash: Sorry Kim, but that Birkin will NOT compensate for your inner fragilities!

Whoa.

Did anyone else see the ugly *** purse Kanye West got his honey boo-boo…

Which, is it just me?

Or is it saying something pretty ugly about how he views his soon-to-be in-laws?

[via Jezebel]Here’s the Hideous Naked Demon Birkin Bag Kanye Got Kim for Christmas ~Callie Beusman

This Christmas, Kanye West got Kim Kardashian a one-of-a-kind Birkin bag. It is one-of-a-kind because it bears a customized mural of a psychosexual nightmare loosely based on the monkey Jesus fresco and/or The Mask starring Jim Carrey (a seminal art film).

yikes i see what you did there

…[Read More]

Art.

*blinks*

Overall…

That is pretty much what everyone in the media is calling this gagtastic handbag.

Simply Kanye’s appreciation of art, gifted to his love.

Seriously–That’s all you idiots see?

OK.

Let’s look at just ONE of the psychological functions of art.

And in THIS case?

Really the only one, in this instance, that matters:

[via Brain Pickings] Art as Therapy: Alain de Botton on the 7 Psychological Functions of Art ~by Maria Popova

‘We hunger for artworks that will compensate for our inner fragilities and help return us to a viable mean. We call a work beautiful when it supplies the virtues we are missing, and we dismiss as ugly one that forces on us moods or motifs that we feel either threatened or already overwhelmed by. Art holds out the promise of inner wholeness.’

…[Read More]

Yeah.

Anyone else see it better now?

Kanye?

Twisted that he would give his love such a ugly thing.

Even more twisted?

The fact that his love is so narcissistically  deranged…

That she would need to carry it.

Wow.

each of us

News Mash: Light reflects on us, and in us, in amazingly different ways!

We glow light from within…

In different ways and varying degrees?

When it comes to the emotions we feel.

Science has discovered that our bodies decidedly display this very telling ‘light’:

[via DailyMail]Love DOES make us warm inside while disgust turns our stomach: Graphic reveals how emotions cause real physical symptoms

  • A study found that different emotions affect the body in different ways yet these effects are the same across cultures
  • Love is felt right down to the toes and happiness suffuses the whole body
  • Angry people are more aware of their head and arms – this could be because they are subconsciously preparing for a fight
  • Sadness leaves the limbs feeling weak and disgust is primarily felt in the throat and digestive system

By Fiona Macrae Science Correspondent

If you’ve ever felt a warm glow inside when in love or hot headed with anger, there may have been more to it than you thought.

Scientists have suspected for a long time that emotions are connected to a range of physiological change and now a study has shown that emotional states are associated with specific sensations regardless of a person’s culture.

each of us

The research visually shows that heartbroken people really do feel an ache in their chest, weak with sadness or feel happiness spreading over their entire body.

Yellow shows the regions of increased sensation while blue areas represent decreased feelings. People feel happy from head to toe, anger can literally make someone feel hot-headed and depression leaves people feeling numb

Being in love makes a person feel a warm glow everywhere apart from their knees, perhaps hinting that there may be something in the popular saying that the object of a person’s affection makes them ‘weak at the knees’.

Sadness leaves our limbs feeling weak and we are extra-aware of activity in our chest – and heart.

Depression also leaves us feeling weak, while disgust is felt in the throat and digestive system.

Basic emotions including anger and fear cause an increase in sensation in the upper chest area, which could be because we are subconsciously preparing for a fight.

…[Read More]

But did you know?

Our face reflects IN light…

In different ways and varying degrees.

An utter metamorphosis of being:

[via The Blaze]Watch How Her Face Dramatically Changes in Different Light Settings ~

An online video purports to reveal how the looks of an individual’s face can change in different light settings.

The video, originally uploaded in April, started again circulating on the Internet Tuesday after website The Daily Dot offered a story on it.

Individuals commenting on YouTube enchanted by the lighting’s effect.

“Creepy,” wrote one person.

…[Read More]

Light  makes us who and what we are.

Whether it is cast upon us…

Or glowing from within.

just what the doctor ordered

News Mash: Get ready for New Years Eve…Eat your mashed potatoes!

With New Years right around the corner…

THIS (below) is a report many of you will be grateful for.

Because alcohol, you see?

CAN be beneficial.

And to the point?

It actually BOOSTS your immune system:

[via Medical News Today]Moderate alcohol consumption ‘boosts immune system’

Many of us enjoy a drink or two to celebrate the festive season. And now, researchers say the odd glass of wine with dinner may actually benefit our health – as new research suggests it can boost the immune system and improve its response to vaccination.

This is according to findings published in the journal Vaccine.

The study researchers, led by Ilhem Messaoudi of the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, say their research may help lead to a better understanding of how the immune system works, and how to improve its ability to respond to vaccines and infections.

To reach their findings, the researchers trained 12 monkeys (rhesus macaques) to consume alcohol freely.

Prior to this, the monkeys were vaccinated against smallpox. One group of the monkeys was then allowed access to either 4% alcohol, while the other group had access to sugar water. All monkeys also had access to normal water and food.

The monkeys were then monitored for a 14-month period and were vaccinated again 7 months into the experiment.

During this time, the investigators found that the monkeys’ voluntary alcohol intake varied, just as it does in humans. This led the investigators to divide them into two groups.

The first group consisted of monkeys that were “heavy drinkers” – defined as having a blood ethanol concentration (BEC) more than 0.08%. The second group was deemed “moderate drinkers,” with a BEC of between 0.02-0.04%.

Moderate alcohol consumption ‘enhanced vaccine response’

The researchers found that before the monkeys had free access to alcohol, they all demonstrated comparable responses to the vaccinations. But after alcohol consumption, they all showed different vaccine responses.

…[Read More]

However…

The key word in the above report is “moderation”.

A word that often has little to do with alcohol consumption over the New Years holiday.

In that case?

THIS (below) report just come in handy:

[via DailyMail] Don’t want a hangover? Eat mashed potato before that first drink ~By Diana Pilkington

Waking up with a pounding head, a delicate stomach and mouth as dry as a desert is an all-too-familiar scenario for many over the festive season.

It’s not just the pain you have to worry about.

Having a hangover could also make you a danger behind the wheel, suggests a recent study from the University of the West of England, which found that hungover drivers made significantly more mistakes even once the alcohol had cleared their system.

Hangovers occur for several reasons.

As alcohol is a diuretic (triggering the production of urine), it causes dehydration, which in turn leads to symptoms such as headache, dry mouth, reduced concentration and irritability.

Meanwhile, blood-sugar levels drop because the body produces too much insulin in response to the high sugar content of alcohol.

This contributes to a throbbing head, as well as driving the rampant hunger that many drinkers experience.

Alcohol also irritates the stomach and disrupts sleep, causing nausea and exhaustion the next day.

Many people have their theories about what causes hangovers, how to avoid them and how best to treat them. We talked to the experts to find out the truth behind the popular theories …

It’s sensible to avoid drinking on an empty stomach, as food slows down the speed at which alcohol gets into the system.

Dr Nick Read, a gastroenterologist and medical adviser to the IBS Network, says: ‘It’s not about lining your stomach as such — but if you put fat in your stomach before a drink, once it gets into the duodenum [the first part of the small intestine] it will slow down gastric emptying, so that drink will not be emptied so quickly from the stomach.

just what the doctor ordered

‘This means you’ll get drunk less quickly, which could mean a milder hangover.

‘In some cultures, they drink olive oil before alcohol for this reason.

‘The same applies to mashed potatoes: some people say you should have two spoonfuls with plenty of butter before a drink.

‘It’s the fat in the butter that’s important.’

…[Read More]

Mashed potatoes.

Hangover cure?

Sure, OK…

Pass it this way!

[Source]

New Years Eve, I am READY for you!

bubbles of doom

News Mash: Deadly ferrets, bubbles of existential doom & “Merry Christmas!”

What?

No idea why some scientists are freaking out over the fact…

That some other IDIOT scientists are trying to make the H5N1 bird-flu virus more dangerous to humans:

[via Independent]’Untrue statements’ anger over work to make H5N1 bird-flu virus MORE dangerous to humans ~by Steve Connor

Some of the world’s most eminent scientists have severely criticised the arguments used by some influenza researchers who are trying to make the H5N1 bird-flu virus more dangerous to humans by repeatedly infecting laboratory ferrets.

[Source]

More than 50 senior scientists from 14 countries, including three Nobel laureates and several fellows of the Royal Society, have written to the European Commission denouncing claims that the ferret experiments are necessary for the development of new flu vaccines and anti-viral drugs.

They also said it is “untrue” to state that the new mutations in the laboratory strain of H5N1, which have enabled the bird-flu virus to be airborne transmissible between ferrets and, potentially, people, have already been seen in nature.

The letter signed by 56 eminent scientists, many of whom are national science academicians, was designed to correct “misstatements” made by the president of the European Society of Virology, Professor Giorgio Palu, who they claim made “incorrect” assertions about the need to carry out the research in an earlier letter he had sent to the Commission.

…[Read More]

Because, honestly…

In the overall scheme of things?

Doesn’t really matter.

The Universe is gonna crush us into a ball of disposable energy bits…

At any time now:

[via io9]New calculations suggest the Universe could collapse at any time

All things being equal, the universe is set to continually expand, eventually ripping itself to shreds in about 22 billion years. But Danish scientists say an expanding bubble of existential doom could crush the Universe into a tiny ball. And crazily, the odds of this collapse is higher than previously thought.

bubbles of doom

This theory isn’t actually new. But the scientists who conducted the new study say previous calculations were incomplete. Their new, more precise calculations, now show that (1) the universe will probably collapse, and (2) a collapse is even more likely than the old calculations predicted.

…[Read More]

And now, with THAT happy thought?

Just wanted to wish you and yours…

A very Merry Christmas!

Enjoy it…

While you still can!

*smiles*

Because between the hubris of Science and the nefarious nature of the universe…

It very well could be your last.

Mwhahahahaha!

[Source]

Happy thoughts, right?

Just thought you needed some this close to the craziness of holidays and all.

And, no, please…

Don’t thank me.

It was my pleasure.

we beat the x factor

News Mash: X Factor Suffering From ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’? Most likely.

And before you scoff at the possibility?

Yes…

‘Broken heart syndrome’ is a real thing:

[via CBS Miami]Broken Heart Syndrome Really Does Existsuffering from BHS

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — How many times have you heard someone say they’re so sad about something that they have a broken heart? More often than not, they don’t really have a broken heart but it can actually happen.  Broken heart syndrome is a serious medical condition caused by sadness.

When Janet Ghise’s 14-year-old dog, Maggie died unexpectedly at a kennel while she was on vacation, she was devastated.

“She was just the nicest dog,” said Ghise.

So upset, she nearly died of a broken heart.

“I said to my husband, ‘I’m going to the doctor’s, to the cardiologist, to see if he can fix my broken heart.’ It’s exactly what I said,” Ghise said.

Luckily, she just happened to have a doctor’s appointment a few days later.

“To tell you the truth, I was really short of breath, but I didn’t put any weight on it. I thought, well, this is because I’m upset,” she said.

“She walked into the office, and she just did not look well,” said Dr. Jeffrey Friedel, a cardiologist. “She was very pale; she was breaking out in a cold sweat. She was short of breath, and she was complaining of a lot of chest pressure.”

He sent her to the hospital where a heart cath showed the problem, an actual illness called broken heart syndrome.

“The heart becomes severely weakened in a very characteristic shape, and it’s usually in response to an intensely stressful event,” said Dr. Friedel. “They can be in heart failure, they can be in shock; and in the worst case scenario, they can present in full cardiac arrest.”

The symptoms, EKG, and blood tests can be just like a heart attack. But it’s not.

“With broken heart syndrome, there’s no blockage to explain this extent of heart damage,” Dr. Friedel said.

It’s seen after the death of a loved one, after an argument, after extreme emotional turmoil.

“There’s this intense surge of stress hormones that basically damage the heart,” Dr. Friedel said.

…[Read More]

And because it is…

If anyone is suffering from it these days?

It’s Simon Cowell.

Cause it looks like his influence and time in the spotlight?

Is at an end:

[via ShowBiz411]Simon Cowell X Factor Season Finale Beaten by Charlie Brown Xmas Re-run! ~by Roger Friedman

Simon Cowell’s “X Factor” came to an ignominious end on Thursday night. The battered series not only finished third in its time slot, it drew fewer viewers than a rerun of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” first aired on CBS in 1965. It’s been on TV every year since then. Last night the ABC special pulled 6.41 million total viewers vs. “X Factor” with 6.22 million.

we beat the x factor [Source]

“Charlie Brown” was only from 8 to 9pm. “X Factor” was on from 8 to 10pm. Adding insult to injury, CBS’s “The Millers” aired from 8:30pm to 9pm on that network and scored 7.54 million pairs of eyes.

The only good news for “X Factor” is that in its final hour, people did tune in for the curiosity value. But Cowell’s assertion this week that “X Factor” would be back certainly doesn’t seem that certain. The show has drifted downward all this season. It’s fair to say that both “X Factor” and “American Idol” are ready for retirement. If “Idol” doesn’t do well this coming season, that should be it.

…[Read More]

Thank.

You.

Lord!

Now?

Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease…

Let the Kardashians be next!

[Source]

Bye, bye, bye!

mind-wandering state

News Mash: Wanna be happier? Stop being distracted, put down your cell phone!

Those of you who have a cell phone know…

Just how attached to it you really are.

But how HAPPY does it make you?

You would be surprised to learn…

Not so much:

[via Daily Mail] Happiness is resisting answering your mobile: People who can ignore texts or calls are likely to be more contented

  • New study revealed phone addicts are less likely to be happy
  • Those who can’t resist a ring are also more likely to suffer anxiety
  • Social network sites also listed as sources of stress

By Paul Thompson

If you are constantly on your mobile phone, most onlookers might think you have lots of friends and a busy social Those attached to the phone are likely to be less happy than those who can resist a ring or a message alert, says a studylife.

However, those attached to the phone are likely to be less happy than those who can resist a ring or a message alert, says a study.

Avid mobile phone users also suffer from higher anxiety while students see their class work suffer with lower marks than those who are able to switch off.

Researchers studied more than 500 students to look at their daily phone usage and gauge how it affected their outlook on life.

They found that far from making people feel more connected to friends the phone only heightened their anxiety as many felt obligated to keep in constant touch.

They found users suffered heightened anxiety as many felt obligated to keep in constant touch.

…[Read More]

But, if this is true…

WHY is it true.

The fact that your cell phone is making you unhappy has a direct correlation to the fact that it distracts you.

Constantly.

And a distracted person…

Does NOT a happy person make.

[via BrainPickings] The Science of How Your Mind-Wandering Is Robbing You of Happiness ~by

Why the secret of life remains in the living.

“The main thing is to get what little happiness there is out of life in this wartorn world,” Clare Boothe Luce advised her young daughter, “because ‘these are the good old days’ now.” And yet most of us are conditioned to escape into the past, into the future, into our to-do lists — to wander off away from the present, even as we chronicle the moment in real-time on various lifestreaming platforms.

If you’ve read any of these seven essential books on happiness or taken the sage advice of Jackson Pollock’s dad, the research findings from his Track Your Happiness project Matt Killingsworth shares in his TEDxCambridge talk will be of no surprise. Still, there’s something grounding about the unequivocal empirical evidence of something most of us intuit on some level, often with great discomfort:

People are less happy when they’re mind-wandering, no matter what they’re doing.

mind-wandering state
Strikingly enough, that mind-wandering is a cause rather than a consequence of unhappiness is at once jarring and heartening — it suggests that by training our minds to be more fully present, we’d be honing our capacity for happiness, something Eastern philosophy has long maintained. But perhaps the most surprising and most commanding finding is that even when people’s minds wander off to pleasant things, they’re less happy than when they are fully present in the moment…

…[Read More – See the WHOLE fantastic article HERE!]

Stay in the NOW.

Focus on the PRESENT…

Put the freaking phone down every once in a while.

Trust Science…

You will only be happier for it.