Friday, June 5, 2009

Different Perspectives On The World

View From Afar
The Earth from 30 million miles.

To find out what water
might look like on alien worlds, a group of researchers decided to see how Earth's oceans would appear from afar, as if from another planet.

Using the Deep Impact/EPOXI spacecraft, currently headed for a rendezvous next year with Comet Hartley 2, they peered back at Earth from more than 30 million miles (50 million kilometers) away, tracking the way reflected light changes as oceans rotate in and out of view.

From that distance, Earth's surface features were blurred, but the presence of water passing through the spacecraft's view increased the planet's blueness. Landmasses, on the other hand, lent a reddish hue. The team of researchers was able to assemble from those color variations a rough map of the liquid and land boundaries on Earth, presented in a paper set to be published in the Astrophysical Journal.

No Surprise

Great picture of burning cigarette from Sci-Am article.

Health and life insurance companies in the US and abroad have nearly $4.5 billion invested in tobacco stocks, according to Harvard doctors.

“It’s the combined taxidermist and veterinarian approach: either way you get your dog back,” says David Himmelstein, an internist at the Harvard Medical School and co-author of a letter published in this week’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The largest tobacco investor on the list, the 160-year old Prudential company with branches in the US and the UK, has more than $1.5 billion invested in tobacco stocks. In total, seven companies that sell life, health, disability, or long-term care insurance, have major holdings in tobacco stock.

These are the private companies that are lobbying against universal health care.

Clouds On Titan

The Cassini spacecraft captured earthlike clouds in motion.

Balancing Act

Your inner ear can be a trip

Researchers found that 1 in 3 adults over age 40 had signs of inner-ear dysfunction. This translates to 69 million people nationwide. And nearly a third of the people in this group (more than 22 million people) were unaware of their balance problems, as they'd had no symptoms suggesting anything was wrong. These people were three times more likely to have a serious fall than those with a healthy sense of balance. And the risk of falls was 12 times higher among those with inner-ear problems who'd experienced dizziness or other symptoms.

The likelihood of inner-ear problems increase dramatically as people get older, with 85 percent of those over age 80 having these balance issues.

If we are aware that we are likely to have balance problems, there is a good chance we can avoid falls by being alert to the slightest changes in our weight distribution. At least I will be a little more careful the next time I walk on a tight rope.

Keeping It Real

Mark's, "authentic", garage, where we practice. 6/4/09

I am really enjoying
the band. It's good to sing and play.

Potatoes Are Good For You

Organic potatoes contain 5,000 anti-oxidant points.

I ran across an interesting piece on TV about potatoes having 5 times the anti-oxidant content as broccoli. I did not know that. It turns out that potatoes are really good for us, except when they are covered in pesticides, or made into French fries. 81% of the potatoes we eat in restaurants are cooked with the pesticides still on them, so it's probably a good idea to ask if they use organic potatoes. As for French fries, the intense heat changes the chemical composition in a bad way, (Acrylamide - a possible carcinogenic in humans -forms during deep frying.) The non-organic potatoes had a lower amount of antioxidants than those grown without chemicals.

How can I get this antioxidant rich food, without pesticides or Acrylamide? Baked or boiled organic potatoes. "Tater salad", anyone?

Alan And Don Stopped By

Chrissy's brother, Alan and his good friend Don. 6/5/09

Alan and Don were here in Redding to take care of some matters regarding Don's fathers estate. It was good to see them. They were headed back to Oakland today, so they will miss the exciting Shasta Blues Society Yard Sale/Picnic in the Park, tomorrow. It was good to see them. Alan is enjoying singing with a vocal group in the Bay Area. We talked about getting them on You Tube, soon.

Our Distinguished President

Obama in Cairo.

I am so proud to be represented by an intelligent, educated president. I received an email from the White House, yesterday that contained a video of the presidents speech in Cairo. It was amazing how adroitly he covered so many issues, from so many perspectives. One example of this would be when Obama spoke of Keith Ellison, ""And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers — Thomas Jefferson — kept in his personal library." That is a much more effective means of achieving peace, than dropping bombs on mud huts.

Todays Relatively Appropriate Song;
Give Peace A Chance - John Lennon


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