Puff the Magic Dragon [via Nina Reznick]

'A Puff A Day' Can Keep Alzheimer's Away, Says Cannabis Researcher

Cannabis may be an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease, says Dr. Gary Wenk of Ohio State University. That's because Alzheimer's is linked to brain inflammation and cannabis has known anti-inflammatory properties.

Wenk's research has found that early detection of brain inflammation can determine whether someone will develop Alzheimer's disease nearly 40 years before it sets in. He says that while brain inflammation happens naturally as people age, it can also be induced by injury or trauma. So athletes and anyone else who has suffered a blow to the head might want to look into medical marijuana now to offset the lingering effects of their injuries later.

Even at very low dosages - as little as "a puff a day" - brain inflammation was noticeably reduced, Dr. Wenk found after experimenting on lab rats. Those results have inspired Wenk to tell his students, "that if their patients were in a car accident and had a severe head injury, the first thing they should tell their patient to do is start smoking marijuana heavily for the next few weeks because it would protect the brain."

Award-winning image shows murmuration of starlings in shape of giant bird... [via Nina Reznick]

Daniel Biber / SWNS

This is the mesmerising moment a murmuration of starlings took the form of a giant bird while being targeted by a bird of prey.

Daniel Biber, 53, captured the breathtaking snap after observing thousands of birds and scouting locations over a four-day period.

 Like clouds in the sky, the giant flocks often take on weird and wonderful - and sometimes graphic - moving forms and shapes.

And the birds made for a startling spectacle when they assembled over the Costa Brava in northeastern Spain in front of Mr Biber's eyes.


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The Typewriter [via Pat Francke]

Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) was an American composer of short, light concert pieces; many of which were introduced by the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler. As with all his other compositions, Leroy Anderson wrote The Typewriter for orchestra, completing the work on October 9, 1950.

This particular orchestration was performed in a June 12, 2011 concert by members of the National Orchestra and Chorus of Spain in Madrid. The (typewriter) soloist is Alfredo Anaya. Watch his expressions and actions throughout the video...wonderful!

Many of the younger crowd-- who may see this video--won't remember the old typewriter. But us geezers remember it well. That was a long time ago. You will find this rendition absolutely delightful.

This is for all the ancients who remember what a typewriter was! Enjoy!

Australia's version of "The Far Side"

Whyatt is Australia’s equivalent of Gary Larson, cartoonist of “The Far Side”. These are some of his best down under cartoons.

From Drinking in America: Our Secret History by Susan Cheever [via Nina Reznick]

The legendary and almost mythical Johnny Appleseed (whose real name was John Chapman and who lived from 1774 to 1845) helped usher in a hard-drinking era in American history:

"One of the most smoothed-over stories in American history has to be that of the itinerant, animal loving, humbly dressed John Chap¬man, who planted frontier nurseries that grew into apple orchards in Pennsylvania and up and down the Ohio Valley. Chapman came to be universally loved and known as Johnny Appleseed. Although children's books and Disney drawings often feature Chapman literally sowing apples out of a hand-sewn burlap bag, he was far more or¬ganized than that -- luckily for his crops and for his very happy customers.

"An American Saint Francis of Assisi (according to one story he put out a cooking fire rather than hurt some mosquitoes) crossed with Paul Bunyan and Henry David Thoreau, he strode into the national consciousness as smoothly as apple cider. There he stayed, enshrined in our most sentimental frontier myths, the subject of dozens of sanc¬tified children's books and depictions, like The Legend of Johnny Ap¬pleseed, the 1948 film from Walt Disney Studios that tells the story of a skunk-loving apple farmer led west by an angel who sings an apple song. ...

Chapman, born in 1774 in Massachusetts, was ... a devout student of the popular teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, whose many American followers embraced a secular humanist creed. He had a system for growing apple trees. He would find seeds from the leav¬ings of cider mills and plant them to become nurseries for orchards. He seemed to have an instinct about where people would want to settle -- on riverbanks, at the confluence of the primitive roads begin¬ning to be built -- and it was in those places that he planted. By the time a community had grown up, Chapman had apple trees to sell. Then he would leave the plantings in the care of local farmers and re¬turn every two years to oversee the crop.

"In general, seeds like those that Johnny Appleseed carried did not grow edible apples. Most edible apples are grown from grafts in which pieces of trees that bear a certain kind of apple are grafted onto other trees to create the best eating apples. Apples grown from seeds are usu¬ally small and sour. They are called spitters for obvious reasons. They are 'sour enough,' Henry David Thoreau wrote, 'to set a squirrel's teeth on edge and make a jay scream.' But apples grown from seeds are very good for one thing -- making hard cider. Furthermore, apple cider was almost the only way the settlers could experience sweetness. Sugar was rare. Honey was hard to get.

"Johnny Appleseed was not carrying the possibility of eating apples; his mission was something quite different and more mature than Dis¬ney's 1948 movie version. Far from being the American Saint Francis, John Chapman turned out to be the American Dionysus. No wonder everyone was glad to see him coming down the western roads! 'The reason people ... wanted John Chapman to stay and plant a nursery was the same reason he would soon be welcome in every cabin in Ohio,' [Michael] Pollan writes [in The Botany of Desire]. 'Johnny Appleseed was bringing the gift of alco¬hol to the frontier.'

"Until Prohibition, most apples were used to make cider, which was always fermented to create a healthy drink with a healthy punch¬ -- about 10 percent alcohol. By freezing cider and siphoning off the alco¬holic content, which did not freeze, farmers made the more powerful applejack -- often as high as 66 proof. 'It takes a leap of the historical imagination to appreciate just how much the apple meant to peo¬ple living two hundred years ago,' Pollan writes. 'By comparison, the apple in our eye is a fairly inconsequential thing -- a popular fruit (sec¬ond only to the banana) but nothing we can't imagine living without. It is much harder for us to imagine living without the experience of sweetness, however, and sweetness, in the widest, oldest sense, is what the apple offered an American in Chapman's time, the desire it helped gratify.'

"Digging further into his research, Pollan became even more con¬vinced that, although Chapman did not frolic in the orchards with naked maidens, he was very much like the mythical Greco-Roman God of drunkenness, Dionysus. By teaching man how to ferment grapes, Dionysius had given men the gift of wine. American grapes were too sour to be fermented successfully, so the grape was replaced with the apple. In his book The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer writes that Dionysus was also the patron of cultivated trees and the discov¬erer of the apple. Although, as Pollan points out, Chapman's sexual experimentation was limited to trees in orchards, in many other ways he came to represent the twining together of man and the natural world symbolized by the earlier god. 'As I delved deeper into the myth of Dionysus, I realized there was much more to his story, and the strangely changeable god who began to come into focus bore a remarkable resemblance to John Chapman. Or at least to 'Johnny Appleseed,' who, I became convinced, is Dionysus's American son.' The success of Johnny Appleseed was just one of many factors con¬tributing to drinking in nineteenth-century America. As Chapman was floating down the Ohio River carrying his seedlings in a hollowed-out log, or headed farther west for Indiana, the United States had reached a crisis in the amount of drinking that was done on a routine and daily basis by almost everyone."

Are octopuses aliens from outer space that were brought to Earth by meteors?

Octopuses are aliens. That’s the claim being made by a team of 33 researchers published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

They are not referring to aliens in a metaphorical sense, but literal aliens from outer space.

Since the paper was released on Sunday, a trickle of news coverage has turned into a torrent, with increasingly alarming headlines about octopuses and their extra-terrestrial origins.
It will not come as a surprise to many to learn that these claims have been roundly mocked by the scientific community, who have branded the paper – published in Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology – as ridiculous and unscientific.

What are the claims being made?

They suggest the Cambrian explosion, a sudden burst of life that occurred around 540 million years ago, was the result of extra-terrestrial intervention.

The paper asks whether this event, which saw the rapid emergence of most of the main animal groups that still exist on Earth today, was “terrestrial or cosmic”. Their conclusion is the latter.
How do the scientists suggest this would work?

Specifically, the researchers propose the idea that alien viruses crashed to Earth in a meteor, infected a population of primitive squid and caused them to evolve into octopuses.

Another theory they suggest is that fertilized squid or octopus eggs were delivered to Earth by a meteor.

The idea is essentially a reimagining of the “panspermia” hypothesis, which suggests that life on Earth was “seeded” by space dust or asteroids crashing into Earth. One of its first proponents, Chandra Wickramasinghe, is one of the authors of the new paper.
Why do the researchers look at the octopus in particular?

Octopuses are weird. They are molluscs, meaning they are closely related to snails, and yet they are incredibly intelligent.

On top of their large brains and sophisticated nervous systems, the authors of the new paper list camera-like eyes, flexible bodies and ability to camouflage themselves by changing color and shape as evidence of their extra-terrestrial origins.

So suddenly did these features appear in the octopus family tree that “it is plausible then to suggest they seem to be borrowed from a far distant ‘future’ in terms of terrestrial evolution, or more realistically from the cosmos at large,” the authors write.

“Such an extraterrestrial origin as an explanation of emergence of course runs counter to the prevailing dominant paradigm,” they continue. This is a strong contender for understatement of the century.
What reason is there to doubt the claims being made in the paper?

There are plenty of reasons. First off, as Mark Carnall from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History pointed out in a series of tweets, not one of the paper’s authors is a zoologist.

Much of the authors’ speculation rests on the idea that the genetics of octopuses and their relatives are mysterious – yet a 2015 paper published in Nature revealed the octopus genome, so this is rather disingenuous.

In fact, octopus genes suggest they fit into the generally understood theory of the evolution of life on Earth, and require no alien invasion. They are thought to have split from the squid lineage around 135 million years ago.

Molecular geneticist Professor Karin Moelling of the Max Planck Institute Molecular Genetics, who was asked to review the report, concluded that it "cannot be taken seriously”.

The primary reason for doubt given by Professor Moelling is that there is “no evidence at all”.
Haven’t I heard something about octopuses being aliens before?

Writers are fond of comparing octopuses to aliens due to their unusual appearance and great intelligence. Philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith, who has written a book about octopus intelligence titled Other Minds, has described them as “the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien”.

On top of that, this is not the first time octopuses have been mistakenly labelled aliens by the press.

An unfortunately worded press release concerning the Nature paper describing the octopus genome led to a slew of online news pieces in 2015 about researchers finding “alien DNA” in these creatures.

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Yoga Class with YGB Ambassador Nihan Hantal  
June 10, 2018

"I start my day with a thanking session for the breath that I take in the morning, for living healthful and blissful with everything that I have. Some people weren't born as fortunate as we are, but they also have simple needs and beautiful dreams as ours. I believe that it is our duty to share what we own with the community in any conditions which can be financial help or just a motivational conversation or just a big hug and smile, what ever available for us. This was my starting point for creating charity events in my own country, then Yoga Gives Back found me, when I decided to spread my gratitude to global area. Yoga gave me a lot that can take a book for me to write down, now it is my turn to give back by yoga."

Nihan was born in Istanbul and studied political science and international relations at university in Istanbul and New York. She has been doing yoga since 1999 and took her yoga teacher training course at OM Yoga Center New York in 2008. After the course, she quit everything in return for a life of Yoga. She does yoga, teaches yoga, and teaches workshops and teacher trainings all around the world including UK, India, Italy, South America, Cyprus and Turkey.

Kemankes Karamustafa Pasa Mah Mumhane
Cad Galata Sarap Iskelesi Sok Mumcu Han No 2 Kat 4 Karakoy Beyoglu / Istanbul
Yoga Class with Betsy Arias and Gilberto Arias - June 16 & 17, 2018Gilberto Arias, Studio owner, Pilates Master Teacher Trainer and Certified Yoga Teacher, currently teaches All levels of Yoga and Pilates.

Gilberto developed the Ananda Pilates method integrating classical pilates exercises and techniques with modern fitness to speed up the process of change. He aims to empower and inspire the Ananda team of instructors and community to lead healthy and happier lifestyles. 

Betsy Arias, original co-founder of Ananda studios and Prima Yogini is a Certified and Registered Expert Ashtanga Yoga teacher (E-RYT 500) with Yoga Alliance at the 500 hr level. She has practiced yoga for over 21 years, and has practiced Ashtanga, Iyengar, Power Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga, Hot Yoga and other modalities. She is also a certified Sports nutritionist, Pilates reformer instructor and a second level Reiki practitioner certified in Usui Shiki Ryoho. She is the Director of Ananda's Yoga Teacher Training, which is an internationally recognized Yoga instructor training program and registered with Yoga Alliance. Her passion is teaching pure, traditional Yoga to upcoming instructors, children, teens and adults in a safe, caring and judgment free environment to bring the benefits of Yoga & Pilates into the lives of the general public in the region. She continues her Yoga studies and practices regularly between India and the United States under internationally recognized teachers.

Ananda Yoga and Pilates
7105 N Mesa ste F

EL Paso Texas 79912


Flow Energy Yoga with Wendy Chan June 15, 2018

In conjunction with International Yoga Day, join Yoga Gives Back ambassador Wendy Chan for a rejuvenating and energizing Friday Morning at the YOGA SEEDS GREEN ROOM to support a good cause. This public holiday, flow with your breath and open your heart to all possibilities.

Practice is suitable for all levels. Sign up now at https://iydwithyogaseeds.eventbrite.sg

*All proceeds will be donated to Yoga Gives Back

For enquiries, email recharge@yogaseeds.com.sg or WhatsApp/SMS 8322 1251.

Yoga Seeds Green Room at Aramsa
1382 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 Bishan Park 2, Singapore 569931

Yoga class with Philippa Bellis June 20, 2018

Sara Hall
Rundle Road, Aigburth, Liverpool, Merseyside, England

Heroic in WW II, Ike Won 34th Presidency and Sparked Biggest Bull Market in US History by Howard Bryan Bonham

IkeThirty-fourth President’s Signing of Favorite Bill Stimulated US Economy

Even though his broad smile always came easily, America’s thirty-fourth president, Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower (1954—1961), instead must have laughed gleefully in his eight years in the White House. For his pension portfolio, like those of other Americans, was in a catch-up mode; and legislation he pushed and signed was a very important economic stimulus bill, passed in Congress by wide margins.
Ike and most American investors profited from the powerful head winds of the colossal World War II bull market ex post, during which the S&P 500 Index soared by  397.3 percent in real dollars, over the fifty years following the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. The bill Ike backed became one of those game changers in the stock market. Just during his eight-year stay in the White House, the Dow climbed higher by 152.7 percent, in real dollars, not far from doubling. Another way of stating this is that in approximately one-sixth the time, stock performance during Ike’s market watch was 2.6 times greater than average eight years in the stock market’s 50-year bull market.*

Ike laughingIn a grand way, the market bonanza was like a bonus presented by Lady Luck to the thirty-fourth president, who had been Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe in World War II. In that role, he oversaw the fierce Normandy amphibious invasion onto the shores of northern France in 1944. Sloshing and zigzagging like crazed attackers, Allied attackers dropped or advanced in a display of raw courage that shifted the winning of the war from the fascist Axis powers to America and her Allies.

President Pushed “Interstate Bill” for  key City Evacuations from Nuclear Attack

As president, Ike signed the economic stimulus bill—“the Federal–aid Highway Act of 1956”—on June 29, 1956,  in the first year of his second term. Ike worked hard for its passage; however, mostly he urged it becoming law as a national defense bill. Capital expansion of infrastructure like roadways, underpasses, overpasses and bridges had become stalled in wartime America, as had most other industrial sectors.
The new interstate highway program created a 41,000 –mile “national system of accessible interstate and defense highways” which would also allow quick evacuation, in case of nuclear attack on key cities. Proof of its vital need to the nation was that thirty-five years after its origin, additions were still being made on the gigantic plan.
us road map ex post 1956 interstate bill
Diagram of New US Interstate System, ex post 1956.
Figured in 2016 dollars, the bill injected directly $499 billion into the US economy. In addition, the multi-year program had a huge multiplier effect on new construction and production of modern highways, automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, motels, restaurants, service stations, stores, office buildings, aircraft and airports, near highway turnouts. Today it is called simply,”The Interstate,” and makes it possible for a driver to travel on any highway in the system, and exit by others.

But to Romantics, Old Route 66 Was the “Mother Road” of America

Sadly, for auto and motorcycle romantics, the behemoth driving system replaced old Highway 66, America’s legendary fun road going west. You know the one—“Get your kicks on Route 66”—that King Cole sang in  mellowed tones.
Travel on the Chicago to Los Angeles road peaked in the 1930’s and 1940’s. BURMA SHAVE company had placed 7,000 signs along the route. The red and white advertisements furnished precious giggles to road-weary riders, during the somber days of the Great Depression and World War ll. Each line of a verse appeared on a separate sign, posted about 25 yards apart, along the road side.
Here’s a sample verse from the BURMA SHAVE Archives:

burma shave signs route 66
“Don’t lose your head
To gain a minute
You need your head
Your brains are in it.

US Nuking of Japan Created Two Super Powers with Technology to Split Atom

In regard to the interstate highway system’s feature of offering quicker evacuation from a nuclear attack, the US and countries in western Europe feared such attacks immensely, after WWII ended. (And they still do, of course.) Populations became keenly aware of the leveled destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Axis Japan, besides the killing of over 200 thousand inhabitants. The US Air Force thusly ended WW II suddenly, with only two bomb drops in August of 1945. Nazi Germany had surrendered a few months earlier, in May 1945.
During the war, the US and Russia were strange bedfellows; at first they were enemies, but when Hitler invaded Russia unexpectedly in 1941, they became allies, in a prime display of quick thinking by Russia. After the war, Russia and the US became extreme enemies again, especially so after Russia tested an atomic bomb in 1949. Both nations strived to  militarily and economically dominate key zones of the world; and the places sought were fraught with agents, human shadows performing dastardly deeds aimed at thwarting the enemy. They were considered the two superpowers in the world, for they had the arms and, of course “the bomb.”
When the Berlin wall came down in 1992, and the Soviet Union politically imploded in the rest of the 1990s, the US became the lone superpower in the waning years of the 20th century. Today, Russia causes trouble with America and the West only as a regional power, while China races en route to challenging the US as the world superpower.

General Eisenhower. . . Mr. Eisenhower. . . President Eisenhower

As for Ike, after the war he became Army Chief of Staff, did a short stint as president of Columbia University, and accepted President Truman’s request to bolster the infant NATO as Supreme Commander of that new european defense organization, from 1951 to 1952. Then, running as a Republican, he won the presidency of the United States, the first Republican since 1928 to do so. Finally, he and his First Lady, Mamie, retired for good on a farm they had bought earlier, near the site of the critical battle of the Civil War—Gettysburg!—near Gettysburg, Pa.

mamie eisenhowserThis all sounds right for one of America’s most heroic generals; well, yes, but what about his missing an extraordinary career on Wall Street by winning the American presidency, and who inspired Congress and investors to drive the stock market upward more than any other president ever has.
Runner-ups in this White House stock market derby are Presidents Bill Clinton and the 137.6 percent stock hike in his presidential terms, Calvin Coolidge and a 124.6 percent gain, Ronald Reagan’s 117.2 percent increase and Barrack Obama’s 108.4 percent increment. These market gains go beyond the 50-year bull market referred to above, however.