Hello to all, all this time later… just to let you know that I’m still alive. Been through so much, more than you could imagine… but pain, heartbreak and trauma are what fuels my creativity, working on some new material.
Watch this space, R.
How time flies!
Some time ago my friend Gerry opened his store Woven Stories, which has been going strong. I put him into contact with another one of my friends from Nepal, Kiran Acharya, and they started working together to their mutual satisfaction. Gerry is now importing Kiran’s goods on a regular basis and has found him to be a dependable and trustworthy business partner.
If anyone reading this would like to import handmade Nepalese goods from Kiran or recommend him to a friend or a business you know, please do not hesitate. Kiran’s home was destroyed in the last earthquake and can use all the business that we might be able to send his way. This is YOUR opportunity to make a difference!
Here are just some of the products he exports:
And here are some more:
Christina Sanchez, a molecular biologist from Compultense University in Madrid, first reported in 1998 that TetraHydroCannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, induces tumor cell suicide while leaving healthy non-tumor cells alone. She discovered that when exposed to THC, tumor cells not only ceased to multiply and proliferate but also destroyed themselves, both in lab tests and animal trials.
A Harvard study from 2007, which remains the most comprehensive ever released on THC’s potential to combat tumors, also found that in just three weeks, doses of THC were able to cut lung cancer tumor growth in half in mice subjects and were able to reduce cancer lesions by even more.
Chemical components of Cannabis, called cannabinoids, activate specific receptors found throughout the body to produce pharmacologic effects, particularly in the central nervous system and the immune system. Commercially available cannabinoids, dronabinol and nabilone, are FDA approved drugs for the treatment of cancer-related side effects.
When inhaled or consumed, cannabis cannabinoids are incorporated into the body’s natural endocannabinoid system that regulates a lot of biological functions such as appetite, food intake, motor behavior, and reproduction among others. Because of this, tumor cells are thrust into a state of apoptosis, meaning they self-destruct.
To read more click the link at the top!
* Note from Ralphie: Why don’t we start this everywhere??? *
There is an entire day during a festival in Nepal that is entirely dedicated to dogs. It’s called the Kukur Tihar or Kukur Puja where Hindu citizens celebrate man’s loyal best friend. On this day, the dogs are spoiled with love and attention to thank them for their loyalty and friendship.
This is the type of festival that people would like go to, can someone please send China the memo?
We also recently reported on a different kind of dog festival in China called Yulin festival, where more than 10,000 dogs are tortured and cooked before being served to festival goers. However, a 65-year-old retired teacher paid more than a $1000 to save 100 dogs that she now house at her animal shelter.
From Terrell Suggs:
Help us flood Congress with calls and emails this Thursday demanding they leave the Internet alone by adding a widget to your website, blog, or tumblr asking your visitors to join the Internet Vote and call Congress and oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Putting a secret deal like the Trans-Pacific Partnership on a Fast Track is absurdly undemocratic. There’s no public oversight, and to us, that’s just not okay. The Internet Vote on Thursday is the opposite of that — it’s a day to remind lawmakers that transparency and openness are how politics are supposed to work.
This is the same tactic that we’ve used as the backbone of our campaigns to stop SOPA, defeat CISPA, and win net neutrality. So, we know it works.
We also know that to make it powerful enough, we need people like you with websites, blogs, and tumblrs to be the frontrunners, leaders, and heroes on this. It’s the key ingredient to raising the bar and making sure the Internet shows up in numbers that Washington can’t ignore.
History as we know it has done a great disservice to its true heroes. Is it merely a record of a series of victories of one people over another, where the winners are called heroes? Then it is a misrepresentation of the facts! For this is but the outcome of a series of conflicts between the aggressors in one group against the aggressors of another, where usually the majority of the population of both groups would much rather be left alone to live their lives in peace.
What if we were to ignore the aggressors and write a history of the meek? The aggressors will in the end always lose, because of the immutable truth that an act of kindness always outweighs one of cruelty, which is somehow encoded into the human genome and will ever cause love to prevail over hate. Any tyranny, however long, will inevitably crumble because of our simple humanity.
Every other eon a shining beacon pops up and all are drawn to it. And however much the aggressors seek to either pervert it or use it for their own ends, the core of the message is never lost, that kindness is stronger than might. We need no books or laws to know this in our bones. Forget about kings and knights and men bearing arms, the true heroes of history are those who seek nothing but the welfare of others, for whom lying, cheating or the taking of a life is anathema. We salute you all, whatever your nationality, gender or the colour of your skin.
Australian researchers have come up with a non-invasive ultrasound technology that clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques – structures that are responsible for memory loss and a decline in cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.
If a person has Alzheimer’s disease, it’s usually the result of a build-up of two types of lesions – amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles. Amyloid plaques sit between the neurons and end up as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules, a sticky type of protein that clumps together and forms plaques.
Neurofibrillary tangles are found inside the neurons of the brain, and they’re caused by defective tau proteins that clump up into a thick, insoluble mass. This causes tiny filaments called microtubules to get all twisted, which disrupts the transportation of essential materials such as nutrients and organelles along them, just like when you twist up the vacuum cleaner tube.
As we don’t have any kind of vaccine or preventative measure for Alzheimer’s – a disease that affects 343,000 people in Australia, and 50 million worldwide – it’s been a race to figure out how best to treat it, starting with how to clear the build-up of defective beta-amyloid and tau proteins from a patient’s brain. Now a team from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at the University of Queensland have come up with a pretty promising solution for removing the former.
Publishing in Science Translational Medicine, the team describes the technique as using a particular type of ultrasound called a focused therapeutic ultrasound, which non-invasively beams sound waves into the brain tissue. By oscillating super-fast, these sound waves are able to gently open up the blood-brain barrier, which is a layer that protects the brain against bacteria, and stimulate the brain’s microglial cells to activate. Microglila cells are basically waste-removal cells, so they’re able to clear out the toxic beta-amyloid clumps that are responsible for the worst symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
A study in the journal Biochemical Pharmacology, published July 2014, elaborates upon a unique mechanism of cannabinoids’ anti-cancer activity. It is notable for demonstrating how cannabinoids work synergistically with the body’s immune system to stop cancer, unlike traditional treatments which destroy the immune system in the process of stopping cancer.
Researchers tested the effects of CBD, THC, and an endocannabinoid analogue called methanandamide on two lung cancer cell lines, A549 and H460, along with cells from a lung cancer patient. It found these compounds increased expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) on the cancer cells, which made them more susceptible to white blood cells called lymphokine-activated killer cells (LAK). However, normal cells were not affected this way, showing yet again that cannabinoids can selectively target abnormal cells while leaving healthy tissue alone.
LAK cells are a very powerful part of the body’s natural anti-cancer defense system. In fact, direct administration of LAK cells has been tested for cancer treatment, along with interleukin-2, a cellular signaling protein that activates LAK cells. This has shown promise, but like most pharmaceutical interventions there are unpleasant side effects. Using cannabinoids is a safer and potentially more effective way to take advantage of the body’s natural LAK cells.
366,563 have signed. Let’s get to 500,000
India produces cheap HIV, malaria and cancer drugs, but Big Pharma wants to stop this, to sell their own products at higher prices. Their fierce lobby has got the US to push their line hard, even threatening trade sanctions if India doesn’t change its patent laws which put people before profits. Now pressure is rising as talks begin on a new investment treaty.
Before Obama flies, let’s build a million-strong call to protect India’s proud role as the pharmacy to the world’s poor, make it a mega media story while he is there and then deliver it with our own common sense trade plan developed by experts that protects access to medicine. Add your name now. To sign click the link at the top!!!P
Are all terrorists Muslims? Or all Muslims are terrorists? Well, open your eyes, read, and think again. Not all Muslims are terrorists. Yes, agree but the number is not even close to what many think. The fact is in the last five years, less than 2% of all terrorist attacks in the European Union were “religiously motivated”.
A ThinkProgress analysis puts forth these surprising but real figures for the West and conservatives to ponder:
The Charlie Hebdo massacre incited shock, disgust and horror across the world. However, in the global outburst of solidarity and denunciation of cruelty, a fact was lost that so few of the terrorist attacks carried out in European Union countries were actually related to Islamist militancy. A majority of terrorist acts in EU, in reality, were carried out by separatist organizations.
To read more click the link at the top!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 45,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Biram Dah Abeid is a leading anti-slavery activist in Mauritania, the country with the highest prevalence of slavery in the world1. The organisation he founded, the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement2 has fought for the freedom of countless men, women and children.
Mauritania fully outlawed slavery in 2007 but has systematically failed to end it in practice. It has fallen to activists like Biram to fight for people’s’ freedom and they face regular harassment and harsh treatment in their campaigning.
As you read this Biram and his fellow activists are sitting in a prison cell for their work to end slavery in Mauritania — and we need your help to secure justice. A huge wave of international pressure now could force the Mauritanian government to prioritize ending slavery and stop the harassment of anti-slavery activists.
Please call on the Mauritanian government to free Biram Dah Abeid and his fellow anti-slavery activists.
To sign the petition, please <click here!>
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have found a bottle used hundreds of years ago to ward off witches and evil spirits.
The “witch bottle” was found during a dig to pave the way for the £5.4m restoration of the Old Magnus Building by Newark and Sherwood District Council.
The grade two listed structure on Appletongate will house the UK’s first National Civil War Centre when it opens in spring next year, backed by £3.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The 15-centimetre green glass bottle probably dates from the 1700s. Similar bottles were once filled with fingernails, hair and even urine, all contents linking a building with its owner, to ward off witches’ spells.
Will Munford, of Pre-construct Archaeological Services, said: “We often forget that people were very superstitious – it was part of their everyday lives. They thought that secreting such personal objects would offer protection from malign forces.”
Bryony Robins, Old Magnus Building project manager with Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “We hope to display the bottle when the National Civil War Centre opens next year.”
Beautifully written, kudos!
As gift of darkness, I’ll give you light. The words jumble all into me. And crowd the spaces and fill the holes. There is nothing left here but the beautiful poetry of silence and pages, rustling pages lit by candles, me cornered and reading and wishing the world away. I hold the books dear because they connect me to the rest. Source of my thoughts, experiences and words. Entire landscapes, lifetimes boiled down. To pages. To pages I read. In the dark. Where they cannot find me.
It’s easier to hide here. Easier to stay here. From the buses and the trains and the sun and the world. And the hard cold ingredients of reality. Jobs and salaries and bank accounts. In this darkness is solace. In this darkness my light.
On Tuesday in Brooklyn I sat in the chair and listened. And Dayo told me, gave me the punch…
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Doctors Without Borders is asking our supporters to leave messages of encouragement for our staff working in Ebola projects in West Africa. Most are national staff who come from the countries and communities where the disease is taking an enormous toll, and they are experiencing the devastating effects of Ebola at home, as well as at work. Let them and all of our staff know you support their efforts and please SHARE this post. Photo by Caroline Van Nespen/MSF
From Kim and Ralphie:22
Cannabis patent for use against autoimmune diseases!!??
From Fundación PROTEGER:
… with respect!
Go to www.battleforthenet.com:
On September 10th, sites across the web will display an alert with a symbolic “loading” symbol (the proverbial “spinning wheel of death”) and promote a call to action for users to push comments to the FCC, Congress, and the White House. Note: none of these tools actually slow your site down; they tell your visitors about the issue and ask them to contact lawmakers.
Be creative! Grab peoples’ attention with a loading symbol, and link to tools for emailing and calling lawmakers (e.g. battleforthenet.com). Whatever you decide, tell us you’re participating, announce it publicly, and commit to getting *one* person or company with a *bigger* reach than you to join in as well. Got a question? Contact us.
From I fucking love science:
This week in science!
Sliding stones: http://bit.ly/1tR0uYv
Quantum photograph: http://bit.ly/Y3ZrsH
Water vapour: http://bit.ly/Z3I77e
From Angel Vivaldi: