Look your best – who said love is blind?
— Mae West
“Not all cats are affected by catnip. According to Cat Behavior Associates, the “catnip response” is hereditary, and one-third of all cats lack the gene that enables them to feel the high. Even a cat who does have the gene won’t be affected by catnip until they’re at least six months old.”
Freddie Parker Westerfield, B.E.
The study, which was published in the science journal Cell, found that temporarily shutting down chronic pain is part of animals’ survival behaviors when searching for food.
According to a press release, approximately 300 neurons are capable of shifting the brain’s focus to hunger, thus eclipsing the effect of chronic pain.
The Penn team also discovered that the neurotransmitter NPY is primarily responsible for selectively suppressing pain responses. This research could potentially be applied in humans to ameliorate chronic pain after injuries and serve as an alternative to opioid medications.
My Dad lived by specific culinary principles:
If he had known that June 17 was National Eat Your Vegetables Day he would have celebrated with a loaf of french bread & butter downed it with a Pepsi and a cinnamon roll for desert.
Each vegetable has its own nutritional content though generally, they contain a little protein or fat and varying proportions of :
When eating a diet consisting of the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, it may help
It is recommended by the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, to consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables per day. This recommendation may vary, however, depending on age and gender. For most vegetables, one serving is equivalent of 1/2 to 1 cup and can be eaten either raw or cooked.
Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived a tree.(I frequently start my writing with “Once upon a time” as it lends a universal appeal to readers young and old.) Its trunk was crooked and all its bark was peeling. Big roots spread all around the tree, some deep in the earth and some growing above the ground. The Tree lived in a park with other trees of its own kind on the far edge of town. Every day many dogs of differing sizes and persuasions came to claim the tree as their territory.
One day, after years of being claimed,the tree yelled at a big black dog with pointy ears and a black nose sniffing around its roots, “I am NOT your territory!” The big black dog didn’t care what the tree thought, claimed it for its own and walked on looking for more territory.
Within minutes a little white dog with floppy ears and a wet nose sniffed out where the big black dog had been. “I am a tree not a fire hydrant!,” the tree yelled at the little white dog who ignored the tree, claimed it for its own and walked on looking for more territory.
The tree, ever alert for impending indignities, spotted a medium-sized dog with shaggy brown hair and a pink nose approaching. Finally, after many years of being claimed by many dogs, the tree figured out that actions speak louder than words. So it picked up its roots and walked away.
The end of my tail
In my hope
Bahá’ís are encouraged to see in the revolutionary changes taking place in every sphere of life the interaction of two fundamental processes. One is destructive in nature, while the other is integrative; both serve to carry humanity, each in its own way, along the path leading towards its full maturity. The operation of the former is everywhere apparent–in the vicissitudes that have afflicted time-honoured institutions, in the impotence of leaders at all levels to mend the fractures appearing in the structure of society, in the dismantling of social norms that have long-held in check unseemly passions, and in the despondency and indifference exhibited not only by individuals but also by entire societies that have lost any vital sense of purpose.
Though devastating in their effects, the forces of disintegration tend to sweep away barriers that block humanity’s progress, opening space for the process of integration to draw diverse groups together and disclosing new opportunities for cooperation and collaboration. Bahá’ís, of course, strive to align themselves, individually and collectively, with forces associated with the process of integration, which, they are confident, will continue to gain in strength, no matter how bleak the immediate horizons. Human affairs will be utterly reorganized, and an era of universal peace inaugurated.
(Universal House of Justice, To the Bahá’ís of Iran, 2 March 2013)
“A team of researchers from UCLA and the University of Adelaide studied 35 non-demented adults who were from 45 to 75 years old. They gave each study participant the International Physical Activity Questionnaire to determine how many hours on average they spent sitting and how much physical activity they got each day. Each study participant also underwent a high-resolution MRI scans of his or her brain.”
A study with only 35 people has many limitations and does not prove that sitting will make part of your brain thinner. “Maybe in this study, the people who were more likely to sit more each day also were more likely to be less active socially, have less stimulating jobs, or have other circumstances that could be affecting their brains. Alternatively, could thinning medial temporal lobes somehow be affecting their behaviors so that they sat more? More studies are needed to figure out what is actually happening.”
“Nonetheless, this study does add to the concern that “sitting is the new smoking”, which by the way nothing to do with “cigarette butts.” Other studies have associated regularly sitting for lengthy periods of time with increased risks of obesity, diabetes, muscle and back problems, cancer, and other health problems.”
Now I’m learning that the brain centers largely responsible for remembering are connected to the creativity centers.
“We have a lot of knowledge about what happens when we are in a constant state of fight-or-flight. And those examples come from syndromes like PTSD, experiencing terrible situations for a long period of time. Here we come to a concept of brain plasticity, which basically means that what you’re experiencing can change your brain. It can make your brain grow so that it’s nice and fluffy and strong or it can shrink it down.”
“PTSD, high stress, can shrink the size of your temporal lobe and increase the size of the amygdala structure that is processing fear information. It also shrinks the size of a key brain area that I’ve studied for the last 25 years called the hippocampus, which is critical for long-term memory.”
“The hippocampus has been more recently implicated in creativity and imagination. Because what imagination is, is taking those things you have in your memory and putting them together in a new way. So just in the way that the hippocampus allows us to think about the past and memory, it also allows us to imagine the future. Long-term stress is literally killing the cells in your hippocampus that contribute to the deterioration of your memory. But it’s also zapping your creativity.”
In 1995 I contracted an invisible “illness”. Out of nowhere I experienced excruciating burning pain in my hands, arms and legs followed by years of gastrointestinal, cardiological, dermatological and emotional symptoms. At the onset I was also in peri-menopause and experiencing mood swings, wildly, uncontrollably ric-o-shaying swings between happy to annoyed – which I’m minimizing for public consumption.
Back then fibromyalgia was not recognized by the medical community as a “real” ailment. Doctors considered it to be a syndrome: Unexplainable, unverifiable and psychosomatic. It was a Hysterical Middle Aged Woman’s Syndrome, as doctor after doctor told me. based on test, after expensive test coming back negative. I was told nothing was wrong with me and to go home and “Get a life”.
Forever imprinted in my memory is an appointment with the chief of neurology at one of Los Angeles’ major medical schools (the doctor and medical center shall remain nameless because this is a true story) He reviewed the test findings, looked at me knowingly – as if we shared a secret – and said, “You’re a psychotherapist. You know about psychological issues”. He leaned forward, compassionately touching me on the knee and winked, “Go home, live a good life and take up a hobby like kick-boxing.” The only reason I winked back was to blink away the tears that were threatening to disrupt the façade that I wasn’t a hysterical middle-aged woman.
I searched for anyone – gynecologists, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, environmental specialists, acupuncturists, immunologists, chiropractors – to name to what I had, to give what was invisible to everyone but myself a label other than HYPOCHONDRIAC. I looked fine, acted fine, and thousands of dollars of medical tests came back negative. All I took away from the 100’s of doctor’s visits was a stack of psychiatrist’s cards doctors handed to me on the way out of their office.
Check out Carolyn Thomas’ My Heart Sisters –“You look great!” – and other things you should never say to heart patients and lots of other great posts about invisible illness.
May 12th was chosen as it is the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She was believed to have suffered from ME/CFS.
Carmine is a very stable and reliable natural food dye that can be used to create a wide range of colours – pinks, oranges, purples, as well as reds.
Click here to read the entire article: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-43786055
Need to catch up? Here’s what happened to me:
So far I’ve worked on CATNIPblog posts, worked on Peggy & my Happiness project, started reading a new book and watched far too much TV. My “rear-end” is already beginning to hurt as much as my foot.
I have more time on my hands (and feet) than ever yet have less focus than ever. Looking for something creative to add to my sit-down-activities I decided to finish pages (upon pages) I started years ago in my many journals.
Today I picked a page that required no thought, just schmearing a bit of paint with my finger and doodling with marking pens. I have no clue why I wrote the fishy-poem I remember from childhood on the page.
Fishy fishy in a brook
Papa catch ’em with a hook
Mama fry ’em in a pan
Baby eat ’em like a man
Non-stop writing, stream of consciousness, free writing . . . it doesn’t matter what you call it – it can change your brain, change your day, change your relationships, change your life.
I’m not being overly dramatic as there is a body of research which shows that simply putting pen to paper changes your brain.
It can be anything in the past, the present or the future.
In 1982 the Dance Committee of ITI founded International Dance Day to be celebrated every year on the 29th April, the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), creator of modern ballet. The intention of the International Dance Day Message is to celebrate dance, revel in the universality of this art form, cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers, and bring people together with a common language – dance.
“Why do we allow clutter to accumulate? . . . it’s because we don’t want to make decisions about throwing things out. We think we might need that item someday. Blame the psychological effect called loss aversion. Humans are averse to losses. Our brain says, “If we get rid of it, then we’ve lost it.”’
“Can the process of removing physical clutter help us release negative emotional attachments in our lives? O’Reilly says there is a basic, intrinsic pleasure in increasing order.”
“O’Reilly has found that people will organize things as a way to relax and pass the time. An example he finds noteworthy is walking down the aisle of an airplane and observing people playing solitaire on their laptops.”
Why do pets and livestock tend to have “drooping ears?”
“Wolves, for example, have perky, upright ears. But the ears of many dogs are distinctly floppy. Darwin saw this odd trait in many domesticated species — “cats in China, horses in parts of Russia, sheep in Italy and elsewhere, the guinea-pig in Germany, goats and cattle in India, rabbits, pigs and dogs in all long-civilized countries.”
“A century later, an ambitious (and adorable) experiment in the Soviet Union proved him right. At the time, Vladimir Lenin’s pseudo-scientific dogma had no room for classical genetics. So Russian geneticist Dmitry Belyayev disguised his own research as the study of animal physiology. He retreated to Siberia and attempted to domesticate the silver fox.”
“Belyayev took 130 foxes from fur farms and started a breeding program. He only picked the tamest foxes — those that seemed less jumpy around humans, and less likely to bite — as parents. When their pups were grown, he’d pick the tamest ones to breed again.”
“In just a few dozen generations, Belyayev’s foxes were tame. And, lo and behold, their ears were distinctly floppier. Just as Darwin suspected, the change in behavior had caused an unexpected change in appearance.”
“This surprises just about everyone, but actually, almost everything we eat comes back out via the lungs. Every carbohydrate you digest and nearly all the fats are converted to carbon dioxide and water. The same goes for alcohol.”
I have no words – which happens, as you know, infrequently. It is so worth taking 40 minutes of your time to watch, listen and admire this remarkable film, remarkable woman and creative expression at its most powerful
“One of the categories that gets very little attention at the Academy Awards is Best Documentary Short, usually featuring an impressive selection of international short films that are not always easy to watch. One of the films nominated as a Best Documentary Short from 2017 is one called Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405, directed by Frank Stiefel. If you live in Los Angeles, you know the 405 is one of the worst highways to drive and almost always has traffic. The film examines the life of LA-based artist Mindy Alper, who has struggled her entire life with mental disorders and depression, even though she produces remarkably deep, honest work. This short runs 40 minutes, but it’s worth a watch to get an inspiring look inside the mind of a tortured artist. You can find out more about Alper on the film’s official site after you’ve watched this. Enjoy.”
In anticipation of National Napping Day, observed annually the day following the return of daylight saving time, I’ve taken 2 hour naps every day for a week. National Napping Day is supposed to provide everyone with the opportunity to have a nap and catch up on the hour of sleep they lost due to the spring forward time change. Personally, I would prefer no time change and instead of N.N.Day we had a National No-Time-Change Day.
Mid-afternoon naps are an integral part of many cultures, and scientifically proven to be good for you.
William Anthony, Ph.D., a Boston University Professor and his wife, Camille Anthony, created National Napping Day in 1999 as an effort to spotlight the health benefits to catching up on quality sleep. “We chose this particular Monday because Americans are more ‘nap-ready’ than usual after losing an hour of sleep to daylight saving time,” Anthony said.
After retiring I have more and more time but, as you’ve noticed, there have been fewer and fewer posts on CURIOUS. I have a “tendency” to accomplish things when faced with deadlines and commitments. My other “tendency” is procrastination when left to my own devises.
Peggy, my co-collaborator on CATNIPblog, has provided both – deadlines & commitment. She sets up the posting schedule and my commitment to her provides the impetus.
Because Curious to the Max is my first love – been posting since 2009 – I’ve asked Peggy to help me schedule more CURIOUS posts. She agreed (without completely knowing what she was getting into) to help, although I have not relinquished editorial control. CURIOUS to the Max will stay true to: “Curious STUFF that makes me love, learn and laugh”
The first international Women’s day was celebrated in 1908. A group of 15,000 women marched on New York streets, demanding their rights. Every year on 8th March the world joins in to support, raise, inspire and motivate women across all fields of work. The purpose of this day is to focus on themes such as innovation, portrayal of women in the media, or the importance of education and career opportunities.
Grapes Versus Raisins
“When a fruit is dried, its components become concentrated. Whether one is better than another it apparently depends on why you are eating grapes or raisins to begin with.”
“Most vitamin C in grapes and some heat-sensitive phytochemicals are destroyed in the drying process, but clearly plenty survive, as seen in antioxidant testing. Raisins generally contain little resveratrol, a much-studied antioxidant found in red grapes and wine, either because the raisins are made from green grapes (naturally low in resveratrol) or because the compound is destroyed during drying.”
“Researchers have found that ounce for ounce as measured by standard test, raisins contain almost three times the amount of antioxidants as their original grape counterparts. Antioxidants are important in promoting and maintaining good health and optimal growth, and are essential in the treatment and prevention of certain chronic diseases, especially cancers.”
“When dried, the antioxidants found within grapes becomes concentrated–but unfortunately, so does the amount of sugar. Many people suffering from diabetes or other conditions in which sugar consumption is an issue are already often cautioned against eating large amounts of fruits due to the high sugar content.”
“Along with the concentration of antioxidants and sugar that occurs when grapes are dried to form raisins, comes a concentration in calories. In general, raisins contain significantly more calories than grapes. In fat, a half cup of raisins contains approximately 250 calories, while the same serving of grapes contains only 30 calories.”
Raisin vs Raisin
“Golden raisins are particularly high in antioxidants because the sulfites used to preserve their color while drying prevent some of these compounds from oxidizing. People allergic to sulfites need to avoid most golden raisins.”
There were no art classes – because of the holiday – for over a week. For some unexplained reason I began to wonder why I was taking drawing classes. Previous to retirement the only “extra-curricular” activities I did had a purpose – professional enrichment, teaching others, meeting requirements etc. I have no desire (we won’t talk about talent) to exhibit or sell nude drawings . . . For some reason, simply seeking personal enjoyment seemed strange at best and hollow at worst.
I’m still not sure why my disquiet and only share it wondering if you, too, have questioned just doing something simply for self-enjoyment?
Dear Human-beings and other fans,
My human is finally feeling more normal . . . as least for her as I’ve never been completely convinced she was “normal” to begin with. The virus that took up residence in her body at end of December lasted for a month . . . and then triggered fibromyalgia symptoms.
The good news was Canines don’t catch human virus.
The bad news was nothing I could do would persuade her to let me take her for walks.
Skunk Bear YouTube
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDH&WC
Canine Dog Health & Wellness Consultant
The only good thing about Valentine’s day is the candy and I never get any. I sit alone, no valentines, no candy, no romance. The only thing I get is dog food.
As a psychotherapist I knew that one of the biggest pitfalls of all relationships* was “seeing” others through the clouded lens of our own eyes. We humans tend to think everyone feels as we do and should understand what we know. It’s hard to take someone else’s position because we live in the bubble of our unique experiences and interpretations. In psychological terms it’s called projection. I was surprised to see this phenomena in artwork.
During the breaks in life drawing I noticed that many (not all) drew the model in “their own image”: Short students tended to draw the models legs too short; stocky students drew her a bit too stocky and; muscular students created muscular images.
The challenge I had as a therapist (not to mention as a human being) was to look beyond surface presentations, what I “thought” I knew and see my client’s situation/feelings/thinking not only from their perspective but within a larger framework.
Being a therapist was a gift. It forever helped me understand that perception always informs and colors my experiences, to look for larger patterns and see beyond what appears “obvious”. Most of the time I can see blessings behind every tragedy, and opportunities created with every mistake & mis-step.
Drawing, too, is about perspective. This session the class was so crowded I had to sit closer to the model stand than usual. It forced me to draw what my eye actually saw rather than what I thought I saw. For example, In the first drawing the foot (or my outline of the foot) is as long as his head – simply because his foot was closer to me.
Bet you can tell what was eye-level to me in this next drawing!
This last sketch was a 2 minute quick warm-up which always begins the drawing sessions to help our hands loosen up and draw what our eyes actually see not what our brains think we see.
To read more click here:
Just a quarter cup of walnuts provides nearly 100% of the recommended daily intake of DHA.
Journal Reference: Marshall G. Miller, Barbara Shukitt-Hale. Berry Fruit Enhances Beneficial Signaling in the Brain. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Michael Davis Ford’s Theater part 2
(Watch the secret service behind the President trying not to laugh)
Thanks Sharon M.!
a painter´s attempt to conquer the great white canvas
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I rhyme to see myself, to set the darkness echoing. (Seamus Heaney, from Personal Helicon)
Fighting the monsters everyday of my life
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Things that amuse and bemuse me as I wander the wilderness that is invisible chronic illness.
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