dzerzhinsk-toxic-apocalypsePhoto credit

5.  Dzershinsk, Russia—population 300,000:  The largest chemical weapons site in Russian history.   Between 1930 and 1998, 300,000 tons of toxic waste was improperly disposed of within the borders of this town.  Some pollutants exceed safe limits of exposure by 17,000,000 times.

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6.  Niger Delta, Nigeria—population 31,000,000–Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill 2010:  In the last 50 years, there have been more than 6800 oil spills in the region, totaling from 9,000,000 to 13,000,000 barrels since oil drilling began in Nigeria.  The 700,000-square-kilometer Niger Delta is one of the largest and most significant wetlands in the world, with most of the Delta’s 31,000,000 population depending on the land for their livelihood.

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7.  Lake Karachai, Russia:  Decades-long dumping ground for the Soviet Union’s nuclear waste.  Dubbed one of the most polluted sites on Earth, Lake Karachai is so toxic that standing on its shores for only one hour delivers a lethal dose of radiation.

Despite thousands of concrete blocks dumped into it to prevent the shifting of radioactive sediment, the lake and its area will continue to be toxic for hundreds of year.

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8.  Linfen, China:  A city dubbed China’s Chernobyl where laundry hung out turns black before it dries, though it had been known for its clean spring water and fertile farmland in the 1980s.   A booming coal industry producing inefficient power plants and employing legal and illegal coalmines changed the city from an ecological paradise into a pile of ash.

Source:  Discovery News, August 8, 2013



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1.  Fatberg:  A 15-ton blob of congealed fat in a London sewer.  It’s a byproduct of the lasting damage to the environment a single community can cause.

It’s a threat to human life as well because there’s plenty of Fatberg waddling around above the sewers.

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2.  The Great Ocean Garbage Patch:  An accumulation of 13,000 pieces per square kilometer of plastic over an area some calculate as twice the size of Texas.  As it breaks down into confetti-size bits, it releases chemicals into the water and then enters the food chain, where it’s a threat to marine and avian wildlife.

It’s also a threat to the human life that eats the wildlife because basically, we’re eating our own pollution.

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3.  Jiapingtang River, China:  A river outside of Shanghai supplying drinking water to over 23,000,000 people.  Last April 16,000 rotting pig carcasses had to be removed.  After the removal, about 1,000 dead ducks surfaced and were also removed.

Since April, the river has turned an inky black with a thin layer of slimy algae on its surface and smells like a backed-up drain.

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4.  Blood-red Trinity River, Dallas TX:  A river fed with pigs’ blood originating from the nearby Columbia (meat) Packing Co, Inc.

Source:  Discovery News, August 8, 2013  And other sources


6417366-an-image-of-a-woman-s-waist-while-she-is-pinching-the-love-handles-on-either-side-of-her-hipBelly dancing is an aerobic workout offered in many gyms and health clubs across the nation.  In addition to being more fun than elliptical trainers, it strengthens core muscles most people don’t exercise in a regular trip to the gym.

Any kind of dancing is a good aerobic workout.  It promotes general fitness, conditions the heart and respiratory system, stimulates the immune system and increases stamina.

It also tones the nervous system, reduces stress, develops balance and coordination, increases oxygen flow throughout the body and imparts a sense of well-being and empowerment.

Just compare the expression on the face of a jogger to the expression on the faces of a couple doing the swing—dancing is fun!

SOURCE:   Dr Andrew Weil’s Tip of the Day, August 18, 2013


17282121-woman-suffering-from-heart-gamesResearch headed by Canadian Martha Mackay, a cardiac nurse, concluded there were no gender differences in rate of chest or arm discomfort, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, clammy skin and feelings of indigestion during a heart attack.

She did find, though, that women were more likely than men to experience throat, jaw and neck discomfort.  And that women are less likely than men to believe they’re having a heart attack and are more likely to delay getting treatment.

Dr Weil’s take:  Doctors tend to treat women less aggressively than men.  Women are less likely to receive drugs such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors or even aspirin after a heart attack.

The incidence of bypass surgery and angioplasties are much lower among women than among men.

Women compose only 25% of all participants in research studies concerning the heart.

Dr Weil suggests that doctors and researchers are in need of consciousness-raising concerning women and heart disease.

SOURCE:   Dr Andrew Weil’s Weekly Bulletin, August 8, 2013


????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????One destination we shouldn’t have to puzzle out.

I won’t tell you how many times I have to stop and think about how many bs are in Caribbean.  Or where the y goes in amethyst.

Part of the problem is that I ignore a lot of my own spelling errors because I know that the frizzled red underlining means Big Brother Spell Check is waiting to jump in and make me look good.

The other part of the problem is because of how our brains work.

Kathryn Schulz, author of Being Wrong, says the brain is the original autocorrector.  It takes sensory messages and alters them to what is logical for us to see, whether it’s filling in a blind spot in our vision or ignoring errors on the printed page.

The following internet classic is an example of what Schulz is proposing:

“Icdn’uolt blveiee taht I cluod aulacity uesdnathrd waht I was rdanieg:  the phaonmneel pweer of the hmuan mnid.”  (Big Brother SC just lurched off to a dark corner and is whimpering and sucking his thumb.)

As long as a misspelled word starts and ends with the correct letter, our brains automatically rearrange the rest of the letters to form a word that fits in the context and syntax of the other words in its sentence.

While we can override or ignore Spell Check, there’s no fool-proof way to override or ignore how our brains handle spelling mistakes.  To correct our text, we need to force ourselves to look at words in a way that violates everything our brain has always done and wants to continue to do in the situation.

If I just slowly reread text I’ve written, I’ll probably publish something with an error or two in it.  What helps me is to slowly reread the text aloud.

When I taught high school English, I was unaware of the Catch 22 our brains held for us, but I did know it was difficult to edit my own words.  So I urged my students to correct their spelling errors and then trade their written work with another student, each underlining the other’s spelling errors.

They learned to recognize misspelled words; unfortunately, they weren’t all on the students’ own papers.  But they all had an appreciation of the importance of checking and double-checking their own work, as best they could.

Source:   Smart Planet Daily, August 9, 2013 



jumping-bush-cricket2011big3There’s more to nature than meets the ear.

And when the calls of birds, insects and amphibians are recorded and translated by noted musician, educator and naturalist Lisa Rainsong, I promise that you’ll experience the calls of the natural world in a new dimension.

Here’s the link to Lisa’s Running and Jumping in the Bushes:

Lisa is an interesting and entertaining speaker; you can contact her through her website.


13175678-young-couple-lying-in-bed-problem-conflictDon’t ever doubt that the body’s most important sex organ is the brain.  What’s going on in our heads easily overrides the physical components of  functional sex organs and appropriate hormone levels.

1.  Strained Relationship Issues will undermine a couple’s love life.  Conflicts relating to money, children or relatives are carried into the bedroom and are best resolved on the other side of the door.

2.  Performance Anxiety becomes more of an issue when couples reach their 50s.  Worry about performance can make any kind of performance impossible, let alone a 10.

3.  Body Image and Poor Self-esteem inhibit couples from initiating or responding to sexual advances.  Childbirth, weight gain and thinning hair affect persons’ feelings of desirability.

4  Expectations and Past Experiences can complicate sexual relationships.  Though we’re born with a natural sex drive, family, religious background and our peers can color our attitudes to sex, for better or for worse.

5.  Stress and Lifestyle Changes sap energy and sex drive.  Health and financial concerns, newborn children, aging parents and job security create competing demands that can weaken sexual desire.

Source:  Harvard Medical School He althbeat, August 15, 2013