* Thanks to Andrea Spratt who sends me these photos because she loves me and because she loves to torture me.
Reduce Your Risk
Consider this number: 10 million. That's how many cases of cancer are diagnosed worldwide each year. Now consider this number: 15 million. That's how many cases of cancer the World Health Organization estimates will be diagnosed in the year 2020 -- a 50 percent increase -- if we don't get our act together.
Most cancers don't develop overnight or out of nowhere. Cancer is largely predictable, the end result of a decades-long process, but just a few simple changes in your daily life can significantly reduce your risk. Here are 31 great tips.
1. Serve sauerkraut at your next picnic. A Finnish study found that the fermentation process involved in making sauerkraut produces several other cancer-fighting compounds, including ITCs, indoles, and sulforaphane. To reduce the sodium content, rinse canned or jarred sauerkraut before eating.
2. Eat your fill of broccoli, but steam it rather than microwaving it. Broccoli is a cancer-preventing superfood, one you should eat frequently. But take note: A Spanish study found that microwaving broccoli destroys 97 percent of the vegetable's cancer-protective flavonoids. So steam it, eat it raw as a snack, or add it to soups and salads.
3. Toast some Brazil nuts and sprinkle over your salad. They're a rich form of selenium, a trace mineral that convinces cancer cells to commit suicide and helps cells repair their DNA. A Harvard study of more than 1,000 men with prostate cancer found those with the highest blood levels of selenium were 48 percent less likely to develop advanced disease over 13 years than men with the lowest levels. And a dramatic five-year study conducted at Cornell University and the University of Arizona showed that 200 micrograms of selenium daily -- the amount in two unshelled Brazil nuts -- resulted in 63 percent fewer prostate tumors, 58 percent fewer colorectal cancers, 46 percent fewer lung malignancies, and a 39 percent overall decrease in cancer deaths.
4. Pop a calcium supplement with vitamin D. A study out of Dartmouth Medical School suggests that the supplements reduce colon polyps (a risk factor for colon cancer) in people susceptible to the growths.
5. Add garlic to everything you eat. Garlic contains sulfur compounds that may stimulate the immune system's natural defenses against cancer, and may have the potential to reduce tumor growth. Studies suggest that garlic can reduce the incidence of stomach cancer by as much as a factor of 12!
6. Sauté two cloves of crushed garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then mix in a can of low-sodium, diced tomatoes. Stir gently until heated and serve over whole wheat pasta. We already mentioned the benefits of garlic. The lycopene in the tomatoes protects against colon, prostate, and bladder cancers; the olive oil helps your body absorb the lycopene; and the fiber-filled pasta reduces your risk of colon cancer. As for the benefits of all of these ingredients together: They taste great!
7. Every week, buy a cantaloupe at the grocery store and cut it up after you put away your groceries. Store it in a container and eat several pieces every morning. Cantaloupe is a great source of carotenoids, plant chemicals shown to significantly reduce the risk of lung cancer.
The Power of Antioxidants
8. Mix half a cup of blueberries into your morning cereal. Blueberries rank number one in terms of their antioxidant power. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are unstable compounds that can damage cells and lead to diseases including cancer.
9. Learn to eat artichokes tonight. Artichokes are a great source of silymarin, an antioxidant that may help prevent skin cancer. To eat these delicious veggies, peel off the tough outer leaves on the bottom, slice the bottom, and cut off the spiky top. Then boil or steam until tender, about 30-45 minutes. Drain. Dip each leaf in a vinaigrette or garlic mayonnaise, then gently tear the fibrous covering off with your front teeth, working your way inward to the tender heart. Once there, gently scoop the bristles from the middle of the heart, dip in a little butter or lemon juice, and enjoy!
10. Coat barbecue food with a thick sauce. Grilling meat can create a variety of cancer-causing chemicals. But researchers from the American Institute for Cancer Research found that coating the meat with a thick marinade and thereby preventing direct contact with the charring flames reduced the amount of such chemicals created. Another tip: Precook your meat in the oven and then throw it on the grill to finish.
11. Every time you go to the bathroom, stop by the kitchen or water cooler for a glass of water. A major study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1996 found that men who drank six 8-ounce glasses of water every day slashed their risk of bladder cancer in half. Another study linked the amount of water women drank to their risk of colon cancer, with heavy water drinkers reducing their risk up to 45 percent.
12. Take up a tea habit. The healing powers of green tea have been valued in Asia for thousands of years. In the West, new research reveals that it protects against a variety of cancers as well as heart disease. Some scientists believe that a chemical in green tea called EGCG could be one of the most powerful anticancer compounds ever discovered.
13. Have a beer tonight. Beer protects against the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, known to cause ulcers and possibly linked to stomach cancer. But don't overdo it. Drinking more than one or two alcoholic drinks a day may increase your risk of mouth, throat, esophageal, liver, and breast cancer.
14. Throw some salmon on the grill tonight. Australian researchers studying Canadians (go figure) found those who ate four or more servings of fish per week were nearly one-third less likely to develop the blood cancers leukemia, myeloma, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Other studies show a link between eating fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, and tuna, as well as shrimp and scallops) with a reduced risk of endometrial cancer in women. Ah, those amazing omega-3s at it again!
15. Take a multivitamin every morning. Many studies suggest getting the ideal levels of vitamins and minerals can improve your immune system function and help prevent a variety of cancers.
All Together Now
16. Get about 15 minutes of sunlight on your skin each day. You've heard of the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D haven't you? Turns out we've been so good at heeding advice to slather on sun lotion and avoid the sun's rays that many of us aren't getting enough of this valuable nutrient. Researchers find that getting too little vitamin D may increase your risk of multiple cancers, including breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, and stomach, as well as osteoporosis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and high blood pressure.
The best source? Exposure to UVB rays found in natural and artificial sunlight. About 15 minutes a day ought to do it. Avoid overexposure, of course. That can increase your risk for cancers of the skin. You can also get vitamin D in your calcium supplement if you choose a supplement that contains both.
17. Carry a shot glass in your beach bag. Then fill it with sunscreen and rub it all over your body. A shot glass holds about 1.5 ounces, which is how much sunscreen dermatologists estimate you need to protect yourself from the cancer-causing UV rays of the sun. Repeat every two hours.
18. Cut a kiwifruit in half, then scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Now eat! Kiwi is a little hand grenade of cancer-fighting antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and copper. You can also rub a couple of cut kiwifruit on a low-fat cut of meat as a tenderizer.
19. Use a condom and stick to one partner. The more sexual partners a woman has, the greater her risk of contracting human papillomavirus, or HPV, which causes cervical cancer. Having an unfaithful husband also increases her risk.
20. Cut out high-fat animal protein. A Yale study found that women who ate the most animal protein had a 70 percent higher risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, while those who ate diets high in saturated fat increased their risk 90 percent. So switch to low-fat or nonfat dairy, have poultry or fish instead of beef or pork, and use olive oil instead of butter.
21. Have your partner feed you grapes. They're great sources of resveratrol, the cancer-protecting compound found in wine, but don't have the alcohol of wine, which can increase the risk of breast cancer in women. Plus, the closeness such an activity engenders (we hope) strengthens your immune system.
22. Sprinkle scallions over your salad. A diet high in onions may reduce the risk of prostate cancer 50 percent. But the effects are strongest when they're eaten raw or lightly cooked. So try scallions, Vidalia onions, shallots, or chives for a milder taste.
23. Make a batch of fresh lemonade or limeade. A daily dose of citrus fruits may cut the risk of mouth, throat, and stomach cancers by half, Australian researchers found.
24. Take a 30-minute walk every evening after dinner. That's all it takes to reduce your breast cancer risk, according to a study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Turns out that moderate exercise reduces levels of estrogen, a hormone that contributes to breast cancer. When 170 overweight, couch potato women ages 50-75 did some form of moderate exercise for about three hours a week, levels of circulating estrogen dropped significantly after three months. After a year, those who lost at least 2 percent of their body fat had even greater decreases in estrogen. Another study linked four hours a week of walking or hiking with cutting the risk of pancreatic cancer in half. The benefits are probably related to improved insulin metabolism due to the exercise.
25. Buy organic foods. They're grown without added pesticides or hormones, both of which can cause cellular damage that may eventually lead to cancer.
26. Learn to love dandelions. Using commercial pesticides on your lawn may increase your risk of cancer, since most contain pesticides such as 2,4-D (linked to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) and MCPP (associated with soft-tissue cancers). Plus, pesticides used solely on lawns don't have to go through the same rigorous testing for long-term health effects as those used on food. And, as E/The Environmental Magazine noted in a 2004 article, no federal studies have assessed the safety of lawn-care chemicals in combination, the way most are sold.
27. Buy clothes that don't need to be dry-cleaned. Many dry cleaners still use a chemical called perc (perchloroethylene), found to cause kidney and liver damage and cancer in animals repeatedly exposed through inhalation. Buying clothes that don't require dry cleaning, or hand washing them yourself, can reduce your exposure to this chemical. If you must dry-clean your clothes, take them out of the plastic bag and air them outside or in another room before wearing.
28. Choose cucumbers over pickles, fresh salmon over lox. Studies find that smoked and pickled foods contain various carcinogens.
29. Switch from french fries and potato chips to mashed potatoes and pretzels. A potential cancer-causing compound called acrylamide forms as a result of the chemical changes that occur in foods when they're baked, fried, or roasted. Not surprisingly, many foods with the greatest amounts of acrylamide are also some of the worst-for-you foods, such as french fries, potato chips, and baked sweets. Although the results aren't final yet, Michael Jacobson, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, estimates acrylamide causes between 1,000 and 25,000 cancers per year. His agency has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to set limits on the amount of acrylamide foods can contain. The FDA is studying the issue.
30. Go for a spray-on tan. They're available in most tanning salons these days and, unlike tanning beds, there's no evidence that they increase your risk of skin cancer.
31. Call up your bowling pal and hit the lanes. A study from the State University of New York at Stony Brook found that men with high levels of stress and those with less satisfying contacts with friends and family members had higher levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in their blood, a marker for the development of prostate cancer.
* via BuzzFeed!
As if flying isn't already bad enough, here's another reason to avoid the airways:Continue reading...
Seems your intestinal gases expand the higher you rise in altitude, which can lead to some uncomfortable bloating, pain and embarrassing moments -- for you and your seat mates.
And many of the strategies we follow to cope with air travel can actually, er, backfire, says Dr. Patricia Raymond, a gastroenterologist who practices in Chesapeake, Va.
Chewing gum or sucking on candy to reduce the pressure in our ears while the plane is ascending can cause us to swallow even more air. Same for drinking caffeinated sodas -- the more fizz, the more volume, she says.
The expansion of gases at high altitudes has been a topic addressed by the aeronautics industry for years.
"Everybody has noticed this," Raymond said about the expansion of air at higher altitudes. "Even though they don't serve an awful lot of food anymore on the planes, the bags of chips are inflated like a little pillow. It wasn't a little pillow on the ground."
The same thing happens in people. Most people carry about 400 milliliters of gas in their intestinal area, about the volume of a small cantaloupe, she said. But people experiencing gassy problems may carry as much as a liter of gas. That volume at sea level can more than double at 30,000 feet.
Fortunately for your neighbors, most of the resulting flatulence is odorless because it's due to excessive air. But passing this type of gas "can be relatively embarrassing because of noises," said Raymond, who is a medical consultant for CharcoCaps Homeopathic AntiGas capsules.
* Thanks to Althea for this!!
Chimp Steals Gun From Zookeeper In Japan: Watch the video!
* Realization while devouring Obama's recent speech in Berlin.
There's a list to help you avoid cellphone radiation but number one is so frightening I couldn't read further.
10 Tips: Cell Phones & Limiting Radiation Exposure (KDKA) There is a new warning about the health dangers of cell phone use. The director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC Cancer Centers has issued the new advisory.
Practical Advice to Limit Exposure to Electromagnetic Radiation Emitted from Cell Phones:
1. Do not allow children to use a cell phone, except for emergencies. The developing organs of a fetus or child are the most likely to be sensitive to any possible effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields.
My right ear feels a little throbby and hot right now...
...according to the report by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit research group in New York as reported in today's NY Times.
BUILDING a home, like getting married, is not for the faint of heart. It is a rare individual (or couple) who can manage the mix of high expectations, inexperience and a ballooning budget in service of a goal — a home! — so freighted with meaning, and come out unscathed.Continue reading...
Architects complain that they are asked to behave more like mental health professionals than designers, clients complain that their architects and their mates do not understand them, and the stories of couples coming asunder, or of clients suing their architects, are legion. There are no hard numbers on exactly how many unions, either professional or marital, come to grief or end up in litigation as a result of bungled attempts at homemaking, but there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest a lot of broken hearts.
* There's more where that came from here!
This image makes me want to cry. So tragic. For the record, I refuse to call him Wacko Jacko because calling him that is like pointing to a homeless person and laughing, "you don't have a house! you don't have a house!"
* via BuzzFeed.
For more info on the fellas click here.
* Thanks to Amy Wood for this!!
Yet the rating system has bred an attitude toward wine that ignores context, which is perhaps more important a consideration to the enjoyment of wine than anything else. The proverbial little red wine, so delicious in a Tuscan village with your sweetie, never tastes the same back home in New Jersey. Meanwhile, the big California cabernet, which you enjoyed so much with your work buddies at a steakhouse, ties tucked between buttons, doesn’t have that triumphant lift with a bowl of spaghetti.
So true!!! Context is everything and thank god for it because that's how a not so good bottle of wine is delicious when imbibed in the company of good friends!
I am so completely obsessed with Veronica Mars. I'll admit that when I started watching the show, which I did simply because I love and have to watch all PI/sleuth/detective related shows, I wasn't immediately captured by it. It was easy to mock the oh-so-clever writing and the silly setting but last night I had a major realization: Veronica Mars is the coolest girl on earth. The character really is an impressive blend of precocious, sarcastic, funny, sweet, not syrupy sweet and delightfully devious. If reincarnation is true, please please please let me be her (or Jerri Blank of course)! Thank god I have a job because otherwise I would have spent today stalking my postman for the season three dvds I ordered last night.
This book was a heart-wrenching and eye-opening read. Grisham tells the story of Ron Williamson and makes you realize how colossally human we are: Our actions are mostly fueled by good yet our pathologies intervene. Also, we harbor the capacity to commit cruel acts solely for ego survival as painfully portrayed by the Ada, Oklahoma police department. While it was certainly troubling to read the process of how such an atrocity happened, the book is also, as the best investigative journalistic works are, thoughtful, illuminating and gripping. Grisham's first foray into non-fiction proves that his storytelling skills are sharpest in this genre!
* Thanks to my dad for the recommendation - Of course I already had it ready and waiting on my bookshelf!
* Thanks to Althea for this!
Talk of the Nation, June 30, 2008 · When a video clip on the Internet gains widespread popularity through e-mail and other venues of Internet sharing, it becomes what's known as a "viral video." The often highly pixelated and wobbly images have such an air of authenticity about them that it's hard to watch without thinking, "Maybe I can make a video that goes viral!" The truth is, it's not only harder than it looks; people are paid a great deal of money to make things go viral.
Internet entrepreneur Jonah Peretti, hula-hooping viral video star Lauren Bernat and TV Week contributing writer Daisy Whitney talk about the highly controlled world of "viral video" and what's real, what's fake and how video became a big gun in the online marketing arsenal.
What's so thrilling about an unsolved murder case? A lot, I say!
After about 20 years, the high-profile Martin Tankleff murder case has drawn to an end. Tankleff is a free man, no one else has been charged with the crime, yet he hasn't been fully exonerated by the state. End of story?Continue reading...
If you still feel unsettled, you're not the only one. To some, the overturning of his conviction is a just conclusion to the case; others read it as a twist in a bigger mystery.
Arie Kruglanski, a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, has uncovered psychological underpinnings in the tension people feel over unsolved crimes and other disturbing uncertainties in life: it's all driven by a fundamental "need for closure."
A desire to have a clear conclusion to any story is natural, Kruglanski says. Whether you're anxiously turning the pages of a detective novel or mulling over the conspiracy theories that have kept the Kennedy assassination alive for decades.
To Sarah Weinman, a writer, critic and blogger specializing in crime fiction, the public fascination with the Tankleff case resonates with the magnetism of a good mystery novel. "As long as something is unresolved, there's still the potential for resolution. There's still suspense," she says. "Suspense is a very powerful, very provocative emotion or feeling."
But we vary in our desire for conclusiveness. "Some people, because of their temperament or because of the way they were brought up, find uncertainty more unpleasant than other people," says Kruglanski. That could play out in their social interactions and politics as well--in ways that society may view as positive or negative.
Marty Tenkleff is finally freed after being wrongfully convicted and locked up for 17 years. Here's an Op-Ed by Philip Lerman, former co-executive producer of "America's Most Wanted.
The last sound my parents heard was the glass smashing against the wall, and the slam of the front door.Continue reading...
My stepsister Jackie, in a schizophrenia-fueled rage, had picked up the nearest object and flung it across the room before running off again, as she had so many times before; most likely to hop the train into Manhattan, to hang out on the streets until she cooled down, or got hungry, or both, at which time she'd come back home.
Only this time, she never came back.
That was 30 years ago; her disappearance and, as we came to believe, her murder (although her body was never found), remain unsolved.
And so it was with very mixed feelings that I received the news this week that the district attorney will not retry Marty Tankleff for the murder of his parents. My friends in New York all feel very relieved - proud, even - that a miscarriage of justice has been righted (though some, like the detectives involved in the case, feel otherwise). There is a fragile sense of order that is shattered, like that glass against the wall, when we hear that an innocent man sits behind bars for 17 years. And while we can never give Tankleff back those years, we at least feel a sense of fairness, of order restored, when that awful wrong is undone.
Perfectionism seeps into the psyche and creates a pervasive personality style. It keeps people from engaging in challenging experiences; they don't get to discover what they truly like or to create their own identities. Perfectionism reduces playfulness and the assimilation of knowledge; if you're always focused on your own performance and on defending yourself, you can't focus on learning a task. Here's the cosmic thigh-slapper: Because it lowers the ability to take risks, perfectionism reduces creativity and innovation--exactly what's not adaptive in the global marketplace.
Yet, it does more. It is a steady source of negative emotions; rather than reaching toward something positive, those in its grip are focused on the very thing they most want to avoid--negative evaluation. Perfectionism, then, is an endless report card; it keeps people completely self-absorbed, engaged in perpetual self-evaluation--reaping relentless frustration and doomed to anxiety and depression.
We dined at Momofuku Ko last night to celebrate our 3-year wedding anniversary (actual date is 7/7 but trying to get a Momofuku Ko reservation on a specific date is impossible so...) and it was pretty amazing. The dishes were delectably tasty (David Chang seems to have cornered the market on this culinary skill). My favorites were the fluke in buttermilk and poppy seeds, the split pea soup with crawfish and mushroom, the soft-boiled egg with caviar and chips and the short ribs. While the wine pairing was worth doing once and certainly fun - we made it more fun by ordering two levels of the wine pairing and asked not to be told which level we were getting so Jonah and I played the taste-test game! - I have to say it was too much booze for me. Next time, I would love to share a bottle of wine or sake instead. What also made the experience phenomenal was watching David Chang in action: It's crystal clear that he is having the time of his life doing what he loves and being adored for it. So cool to see people glowing in their spotlight. Also, a typical New York restaurant thing happened. The couple sitting next to us told us that two women had posted on craiglist saying they had a Ko reservation for four for that night and were looking for two men to join them and that those interested could send along their photos. Of course we eagerly anticipated watching this group walk in and scrutinizing their dinner partner choices but alas they must have arrived after we left. The guy who told us this also reluctantly admitted that he had tried for over four months to get his reservation. Lastly, I was tickled to find that David Chang was pretty shy upon being asked which parts of Japan he liked most. He timidly responded that he loved Tokyo but not Osaka and the Kansai region. Hoped for more (in my efforts to have us become BFF) but I suppose the chef's gotta cook!
P.S. Taking photos wasn't allowed which is why there are not photos.
* Thanks to Mark for adding to the piglet trend!
* Thanks to Zee for the glee!