January 28, 2015

South Africa's 'ghost boy' trapped inside his body

What a remarkable story and testament to the power of love.  How many parents, in a similar situation, would have given up or begged doctors to end his life.  After all who would want to live like that.  Instead, we see endurance, fortitude and love begetting more love and happiness.

Man Awakens After 12 Years in a “Vegetative State,” Says “I Was Aware of Everything”

In the 1980’s, 12-year-old Martin Pistorious became seriously ill with what doctor’s believed was Cryptococci Meningitis. His health started deteriorating and Martin lost his ability to move, make eye contact and even speak to others. His doctors told his parents, Rodney and Joan Pistorious, to bring him home and let him die. They told them he was as good as a vegetable.  However, he didn’t die.  Joan said, “Martin just kept going, just kept going.”

According to NPR news, his father would get up at 5 o’clock in the morning, get him dressed, load him in the car, take him to the special care center where he’d leave him. Rodney said, “Eight hours later, I’d pick him up, bathe him, feed him, put him in bed, set my alarm for two hours so that I’d wake up to turn him so that he didn’t get bedsores.”

For twelve years, Martin’s family cared for him without any sign that he was improving. Joan started to despair and even told her son, “I hope you die.”  Today she acknowledges that was a horrible thing to say but says she just wanted some sort of relief. Remarkably, now Martin is 39-years-old and says he was totally aware of everything going on around him.

South Africa’s 'ghost boy' tells of waking from coma but finding himself trapped
Martin Pistorius spent eight years awake but unable to communicate with his family or medics, forced to watch Barney, the children's TV show, reruns

 Martin Pistorious

“Everyone was so used to me not being there that they didn’t notice when I began to be present again,” Mr Pistorius, who wrote a book entitled, Ghost Boy, about his experience, told NPR. “The stark reality hit me that I was going to spend the rest of my life like that - totally alone. It’s a very dark place to find yourself because, in a sense, you are allowing yourself to vanish.” His mother’s words to him were his lowest point, he said.  “Every time she looked at me, she could see only a cruel parody of the once-healthy child she had loved so much.”

The turning point came, he said, because of his desperation to escape the daily re-runs of Barney, the children's television program about a purple dinosaur, in front of which he was placed by staff at the care home where he spent his days. “I cannot even express to you how much I hated Barney,” Mr Pistorius told NPR.  He taught himself to tell the time by the sun so he could work out when he would be able to escape from the cartoon marathon.
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Eventually, when he was 25, one of the therapists that worked with him picked up on his almost imperceptible smiles and nods, and asked for him to be referred for further tests.  “Happiness surged through me. I was Muhammad Ali, John McEnroe, Fred Trueman. Crowds roared their approval as I took a lap of honor,” Mr Pistorius said.

In the years that followed, Mr Pistorius learned to use a computer to communicate, taught himself to read and write and trained as a web designer.
In 2008, he met his wife Joanna, a social worker living in the UK, and fell in love.  “I’d experienced love as a boy and man, as a son, brother, grandson and friend, I’d seen it between others and I know it could sustain us through the darkest of times,” he said. “Now it was lifting me closer to the sun than I ever thought I would fly.”

Today, the couple live in Harlow, Essex and Mr Pistorius speaks through a voice synthesiser and moves in a wheelchair.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:23 PM | Permalink

January 24, 2015

"The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection"

Johann Hari writes The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think

If you had asked me what causes drug addiction at the start, I would have looked at you as if you were an idiot, and said: "Drugs. Duh." It's not difficult to grasp. I thought I had seen it in my own life. We can all explain it. Imagine if you and I and the next twenty people to pass us on the street take a really potent drug for twenty days. There are strong chemical hooks in these drugs, so if we stopped on day twenty-one, our bodies would need the chemical. We would have a ferocious craving. We would be addicted. That's what addiction means.
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Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It's how we get our satisfaction. If we can't connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find -- the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. He says we should stop talking about 'addiction' altogether, and instead call it 'bonding.' A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn't bond as fully with anything else.

So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.

He points to the experience of Portugal where decriminalization of drugs has been a great success.

An independent study by the British Journal of Criminology found that since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. I'll repeat that: injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. Decriminalization has been such a manifest success that very few people in Portugal want to go back to the old system. The main campaigner against the decriminalization back in 2000 was Joao Figueira, the country's top drug cop. He offered all the dire warnings that we would expect from the Daily Mail or Fox News. But when we sat together in Lisbon, he told me that everything he predicted had not come to pass -- and he now hopes the whole world will follow Portugal's example.
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This isn't only relevant to the addicts I love. It is relevant to all of us, because it forces us to think differently about ourselves. Human beings are bonding animals. We need to connect and love. The wisest sentence of the twentieth century was E.M. Forster's -- "only connect." But we have created an environment and a culture that cut us off from connection, or offer only the parody of it offered by the Internet. The rise of addiction is a symptom of a deeper sickness in the way we live -- constantly directing our gaze towards the next shiny object we should buy, rather than the human beings all around us.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:00 AM | Permalink

January 23, 2015

Health roundup: Coffee, nuts, brain food, a drink a day, a lunch hour walk and chilly feet

From Well at the New York Times

The Benefits of a Lunch Hour Walk - even gentle lunchtime strolls can perceptibly — and immediately — buoy people’s moods and ability to handle stress at work.

A Drink a Day to Lower Heart Failure Risk - A new study, in the European Heart Journal, followed 14,629 people for 24 years, starting at an average age of 54. It found that moderate drinkers have a lower risk of heart failure than either heavy drinkers or abstainers.  Compared with abstainers, men who drank up to a drink a day — a glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer or a shot of liquor — had a 20 percent reduced risk, and women a 16 percent reduced risk, of heart failure. The advantage gradually declined with heavier drinking.

Coffee May Cut Melanoma Risk -  slightly.  Drinking four or more cups of coffee was associated with a 20 percent risk reduction compared with those who drank none.

Eating nuts may be better for you than taking statins

London Telegraph. Brain food: 6 snacks that are good for the mind  .Blueberries, salmon, avocado, whole grains, broccoli, dark chocolate.

Chewing gum for 10 minutes can be just as effective as flossing

Salt 'is less of a health threat the older we get': Study finds there is no link between consumption in over-70s and mortality

Why juicing might not be so healthy after all…experts have warned of its dangers labelling it ‘as bad as Coca-Cola’ They claim juice is to blame for weight gain, diabetes and dental problems.  Whole fruit is better.

Chilly feet CAN increase the risk of catching colds and flu, leading expert warns 
Many people carry the bugs which cause colds and flu in their nose already, without it causing symptoms that make them ill.  But if the temperature of their feet drops, it causes a change in the whole body which leads to their nose becoming cold, he explained. …and the blood vessels in the nose to constrict,' ....
‘Your skin goes white, the inside of your nose and throat goes white and blood flow to the nose is reduced.
‘The white cells that fight infection are found in the blood, so then there are fewer white cells to fight the virus.’

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:06 AM | Permalink

Bigger every year

Annual March for Life, Washington, D.C. 2015.

 2015March-For-Life...

650,000 marched, over half under the age of 30.  So why is the national news media almost completely silent about it?

John C. Wright writes  this

My question for the reader is this: why can the Morlocks not even admit the size and vehemence of the opposition here?  What is gained by pretending we do not exist?  Or, to ask a more precise question, would not striking the pose that they are opposing such a large and bold movement allow them to portray themselves as heroes, and gain them more?

They cower before the weather, and before the Koch Brothers, which do not threaten them at all, but these marches display the strength of a society that bids fair to abolish abortion in our lifetimes.

The young and highly motivated survivors of the antinatal holocaust are gathering, and they see the economic disaster overpopulation scaremongers have done them, they can see the demographic disaster of Europe.

Why do the Left pretend real threats to their hellish hegemony do not exist, but flaunt in comical excesses of emotion their pantomimes gestures of exaggerated opposition to utterly unreal and imaginary dangers?
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:44 AM | Permalink

January 17, 2015

"I’m now retired, so I have no scientific career to protect by spreading lies."

A retired climate professor and glacier expert publicly declared global warming to be a good thing.

That's  Dr. Terry Hughes, professor emeritus of earth sciences and climate change at the University of Maine,
in an interview by the College Fix.

But what he wants people to understand is that climate change researchers and politicians collude to create fear of a disaster that will never happen. -  climate cycles overlap with election cycles, which helps politicians “get electoral visibility by pounding the panic drums.”

“You will never read or hear any of this from the scientific and political establishments,” Dr. Terry Hughes, professor emeritus of earth sciences and climate change at the University of Maine, told The College Fix. “I’m now retired, so I have no scientific career to protect by spreading lies.”

He said he thinks dire global warming predictions are really all about lassoing federal research funding and votes.

“Too many (the majority) of climate research scientists are quite willing to prostitute their science by giving these politicians what they want,” the glaciologist added.

His reasons for why global warming is a good thing, Hughes told the Capital Journal, is that “atmospheric CO2 would greatly increase agricultural production,” “thawing permafrost would increase by one-seventh Earth’s landmass open to extensive human habitation,” and “if the sea level did rise, there would be a global economic boom,” among other arguments.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:47 AM | Permalink

Miscellany 3

In Aeon, How Stories Change Hearts and Minds

One man talked about his identification with Santiago, the beleaguered fisherman in Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. The man said he sometimes felt an inner pull to go back to his drug habit, but that Santiago’s will to persevere motivated him to stay a sober course. ‘The fictional character was alive for the student at that crucial moment, an inspiration, a stranger become a friend,’ Waxler writes. ‘It was not an exaggeration to say that a story had caught this student’s attention and perhaps saved his life that day.’ In a study of 600 participants, rates of criminal activity declined by 60 per cent compared to only 16 per cent in a control group.

Something Amazing: Gravity Glue

Vinepair's United States of Alcohol

 United-States-Of-Alcohol-Map click for full size

You won'f forget the Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation commercial for veteran dogs.

The Beautiful Math Inside All Living Things from RealClearScience

For most evolved life, efficiency is everything. It is in pursuit of this perfection that some of nature's most astounding patterns have arisen. Ever count the petals of a flower or the spirals of a pinecone? Each will always be a number from the Fibonacci Sequence, in which the previous two numbers add up to the next: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, etc……At first, this is mind-boggling. Why would Nature do this? But as YouTube educator Vi Hart pointed out, the reason is beautifully simple. Plants want to maximize the amount of sunlight they receive, so logically, each petal should never completely block another out. "This design provides the best physical accommodation for the number of branches, while maximizing sun exposure," the University of Georgia's Nikhat Parveen described.

The Victorian Fight Against Filth Mud was ubiquitous on London’s streets during Victoria’s reign. It was mostly horse dung, plus particles of iron and cobblestone…..Lady F.W. Harberton ( Florence Wallace Pomeroy, wife of Viscount Harberton), who campaigned for sensible female attire, claimed to describe the flotsam caught up in a trailing skirt during a walk through Piccadilly—including a piece of pork pie, orange peel, cigar ends, toothpicks and part of a boot.

The murder that has obsessed Italy On 26 November 2010, Yara Gambirasio, 13, went missing. Three months later her body was discovered in scrubland nearby. So began one of the most complex murder investigations in Italian history, which will reach its climax later this year.

Much of the investigation focused on DNA evidence from Ignito 1 (unknown 1)
If Ignoto 1 really was the son of the late Giuseppe Guerinoni, the only explanation was that, somewhere out there, was his illegitimate child. “It became,” Ruggeri says, “an investigation within an investigation.” She was now hunting a woman, presumably in middle- to old-age, who 30 or 40 years ago had had an affair with a married man, now long dead, and given birth to a boy who went on to murder Yara Gambirasio.
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Long-forgotten infidelities and old suspicions surfaced. Bonicelli laughs as he describes how his journalists discovered five illegitimate children in two small villages: “Five! We could have started a gossip magazine. It was like an open sewer: we were receiving anonymous letters, stories, people telling us about backgrounds and cuckolds.” A society which had always prided itself on its sense of loyalty and traditional Catholicism, suddenly discovered the betrayals in its midst. “Perhaps the point is this,” Bonicelli wrote in an editorial, “we don’t know each other any more.”

The Overprotected Kid A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:15 AM | Permalink

January 9, 2015

Glimmers of hope from Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates

For the first time, I see glimmers of hope coming from the Muslim world.  While U.K. Prime Minister Cameron insists that the caliphate announced by ISIS, otherwise known as Islamic State is not Islamic despite all the evidence otherwise and President Obama said the same last September, 2014, the courageous al-Sisi, the  President of Egypt, the world's largest Arab country, before an assembly of leading imans on New Year's Day called upon Muslim leaders and scholars to carry out a "religious revolution."

Roger L. Simon reports on his  Extraordinary Speech on Islam

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made an extraordinary speech on New Year’s Day to Cairo’s Al-Azhar and the Awqaf Ministry calling for a long overdue virtual ecclesiastical revolution in Islam.  This is something no Western leader has the had the courage to do, certainly not Barack Obama, despite his Muslim education.

Accusing the umma (world Islamic population) of encouraging the hostility of the entire world, al-Sisi’s speech is so dramatic and essentially revolutionary it brings to mind Khrushchev’s famous speech exposing Stalin. Many have called for a reformation of Islam, but for the leader of the largest Arab nation to do so has world-changing implications.

Here are the key parts as translated on Raymond Ibrahim’s blog:

It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.  Impossible!

That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world.  It’s antagonizing the entire world!

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our  hands.


For that speech, Simon thinks al-Sisi deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

Michael Leeden writes It’s a huge story. And it’s been spiked, at least for the moment.

Sisi knew that there was no possible compromise. He knew, and knows, that this is a battle to the death. He’s either going to destroy the Islamists, or they’re going to do him in.
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President Sisi is in a position similar to ours in Iraq after the defeat of Al Qaeda and Iran. He has defeated the Muslim Brotherhood, and he is pressing his advantage, liquidating the leaders the Brothers had elevated over the course of eighty-odd years, and in the last week he delivered the blockbuster speech and became the first president in Egyptian history to attend Coptic Christmas celebrations in Cairo.

It’s a very big deal. If he wins, the jihadis, and, along with them, the ideological mass movement Sisi has challenged will be gravely damaged. If he loses, we face very grave consequences indeed.

Daniel Pipes, An Arab Prince Denounces Islamism

Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the crown prince of Bahrain (an island kingdom in the Persian Gulf and home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet)…proposes to replace "War on Terror" with his formulation: a "War on Theocrats." … In perhaps the outstanding line of the speech, he states that "it is the ideology itself that must be combatted. It must be named, it must be shamed, it must be contained, and eventually it must be defeated."
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Salman's remarks fit into a growing trend among Muslim politicians directly to confront the Islamist danger. Two recent examples:
• the nearby United Arab Emirates government has placed the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and many other non-violent groups on its terrorism list on the grounds that they engage in incitement, funding, and the other precursors of terrorism.
• The government of Egypt issued an INTERPOL arrest bulletin for Yusuf al-Qaradawi, 88, the hugely influential spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, for "incitement and assistance to commit intentional murder, helping … prisoners to escape, arson, vandalism and theft.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:25 AM | Permalink

Now in Paris, the recurring problem of Islamist terror

The horrific massacre in Paris by Islamists against specific people at Charlie Hebdo horrified the world and marked a new stage in the War against the West by radical Islamists.  We can expect more of these smaller foreign and home-grown Islamist attacks throughout Europe and here in the United States for decades to come. 

In fluent French, the Islamic terrorists "Allahu Akbar" "Nous avons venge le Prophete" (We have avenged the Prophet)

First the predictable responses.  Islamists defend the attack.  British Islamist Anjem Choudary Defends Slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, by tweeting "Freedom of expression does not extend to insulting the Prophets of Allah" which uncomfortably echoes Obama's speech to the United Nations shortly after the Benghazi attack, ""The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

Or blame the Jews. Top comments on Al Jazeera’s Arabic language Facebook page: by Salim Mansour of Algeria. He said the Jews masterminded the attack in order to punish France for having recognized the State of Palestine and for voting in support of the State of Palestine in the Security Council. He added “And God only knows what the Jews are planning in the coming days”.

The American media protects us from  inconvenient truths.  NY Times Removes Mention of Islam, Quran from Paris Survivor’s Account .  Then unbelievably asks  “What What We Don’t Know: The reason Charlie Hebdo was targeted”

They worry about a largely imaginary Islamophobia, not about the murder of twelve of their fellow journalists by jihadists.    UK’s Telegraph headline on Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre story: “France faces rising tide of Islamophobia.    As Thomas McDonald points out , "A phobia is an irrational fear. In this case, it’s perfectly reasonable to be concerned about a religious movement that has rained blood on the world." 

While Slate, The Huffington Post, National Review online, the Daily Beast, Buzzfeed and the Daily Caller  and even Al Jazeera showed the satirical covers of Mohammed that Charlie Hebdo published, the  Associated Press, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, Time Magazine, New York Times, Fox News, All Censor Charlie Hebdo Pictures of Mohammed…

Said Mark Steyn, "The New York Daily News won’t even show [the cartoons],  dishonors the dead in Paris by not even showing properly the cartoons.  They pixelated Mohammed out of it so it looks like Mohammed has entered the witness protection program but they left the hooked-nose Jew in and that exactly gets to the double standard here."

Allahpundit. How do you censor the images those men died defending and then say “Je suis Charlie” with a straight face? And more to the point, how do you do it when those images are at the center of a major international news event?

Governments  and politicians evade.  German Interior Minister: Charlie Hebdo murders have nothing to do with Islam.  Howard Dean on the Charlie Hebdo murderers: “I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists. They’re about as Muslim as I am.”.  Turkey’s Erdogan to EU: Time to crack down on “Islamophobia”
Marine Le Pen’s party barred from national unity rally  Despite the French president calling for “unity” in the light of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the National Front were not invited to take part in Sunday’s rally for “national unity” in Paris.  Mark Steyn comments, "In the most recent national election in France, Marine Le Pen's National Front won. So the national unity rally excludes the most popular national party. That seems likely to work."

There are exceptions.  Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper: “The international jihadist movement has declared war They have declared war on anybody who does not think and act exactly as they wish they’d think and act. We may not like this and wish it would go away, but it’s not going to go away, and the reality is we are going to have to confront it.”

Fjordman, The West After the Charlie Hebdo Massacre

This was not some random crime. It was an act of war, as Geert Wilders correctly pointed out. It was an act of war the same way as the Jihadist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the USA. A war has been declared on Western civilization, yet Western ruling elites refuse to acknowledge this. They still treat Islamic attacks as a law and order problem. It is not. Not anymore.
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the country’s authorities were unable to prevent the attack. This is an indirect admission that Western authorities can no longer guarantee the safety of their citizens. There are now simply too many Muslims and potential Jihadists in a country such as France to keep effective control over all of them.
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Once you kill off the few people who are willing to die, the rest will quietly bow their necks. As long as the number of Muslims willing to kill is higher than the number of non-Muslims willing to die, they win. This is mathematics, not politics. Islam is a highly effective and evolved killer ideology.

Geert Wilders: “We have to close our borders, reinstate border controls, get rid of political correctness, introduce administrative detention, and stop immigration from Islamic countries. We must defend ourselves. Enough is enough.”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ali explained that violent attacks like the one in Paris stem from a political ideology that is embedded in Islam.  Ali told Megyn Kelly that “we are facing a war on the core values of western civilization,” and that the only way to fight it is by talking about it.  “We are fighting an asymmetric war where we fight with military means and counter-terrorism means, but we are not fighting back with ideas,”

She writes in the WSJ, How to Answer the Paris Terror Attack

We can no longer pretend that it is possible to divorce actions from the ideals that inspire them.

This would be a departure for the West, which too often has responded to jihadist violence with appeasement. We appease the Muslim heads of government who lobby us to censor our press, our universities, our history books, our school curricula. They appeal and we oblige. We appease leaders of Muslim organizations in our societies. They ask us not to link acts of violence to the religion of Islam because they tell us that theirs is a religion of peace, and we oblige.

What do we get in return? Kalashnikovs in the heart of Paris. The more we oblige, the more we self-censor, the more we appease, the bolder the enemy gets.

Muslims segregated from French society in growing Islamist mini-states

City officials have increasingly ceded control of heavily Muslim neighborhoods to Islamists, block by block.
France has Europe’s largest population of Muslims, some of whom talk openly of ruling the country one day and casting aside Western legal systems for harsh, Islam-based Shariah law.

“The situation is out of control, and it is not reversible,” said Soeren Kern, an analyst at the Gatestone Institute and author of annual reports on the “Islamization of France.”
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Gatestone reports that an intelligence document leaked to Le Figaro said Muslims are creating a separate public school society “completely cut off from non-Muslim students.”  Over 1,000 French supermarkets are selling Islamic books that call for jihad and the killing of non-Muslims
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Said Mr. Kern, “Europe is very committed to multiculturalism. So any speech critical of Islam is immediately branded as being Islamophobic or racist or something like that. There’s not really an honest debate about what’s going on in Europe because the European elite have so much invested in this multicultural society that they’re trying to build.”

Daniel Pipes wrote about the  751 No-Go Zones in France which go by the  euphemistic term Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or Sensitive Urban Zones or ZUS in 2006.

What are they? Those places in France that the French state does not control. … A more precise name for these zones would be Dar al-Islam, the place where Muslims rule…According to a 2004 estimate, nearly 5 million people live in them, 8 percent of the population…..The ZUS exist not only because Muslims wish to live in their own areas according to their own culture and their own Shariah laws, but also because organized crime wants to operate without the judicial and fiscal interference of the French state. In France, Shariah law and mafia rule have become almost identical.

A 2011 update by Soeren Kern:  Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of "no-go" areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims. Many of the "no-go" zones function as microstates governed by Islamic Sharia law. Host-country authorities effectively have lost control in these areas and in many instances are unable to provide even basic public aid such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services.

The "no-go" areas are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated rather than become integrated into their European host nations. He then surveys developments in the United Kingdom, france, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

Dutch police paid Sharia patrols to patrol The Hague on New Year’s Eve

The Dutch police have capitulated: they can no longer uphold law and order in Muslim-dominated areas, and are now hiring Salafi Sharia patrols from the local mosque to patrol the streets. This is not only in complete conflict with secular principles, it also lends authority to people who follow a doctrine that preaches destruction of democracy and death upon the very people that the police is supposed to protect.

HiilBuzz  calls it Revenge Colonization

Muslims are setting up colonies in Western nations. Everywhere a mosque is built, Muslim colonists arrive and resettle and gradually take over more of the area around it. It’s happening in Chicago too. There’s a suburb here called Orland Park that’s being taken over, ever since a mosque was built a few years ago. Muslims apparently are required to live within a certain distance from a mosque. Which means they congregate, build their numbers, and then begin taking over. Soon, the host culture becomes afraid of upsetting them…and starts abdicating power to them. And then they become a permanent presence as a colony.

The academic elite in the West have a sickness, where they believe that the West should be punished for colonizing the world. The punishment and penance is now allowing the Third Worlders to move into Western countries and take them over block by block. All white countries must now be “multicultural” until the day that “white privilege” is erased and white people become a minority in Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, the US…the list goes on.
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Islam is not a religion but is instead an ideology like Nazism and it has a built-in conquest plan that’s based on incremental movements and the patience to outlive, outlast, and outbreed targeted enemies.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:21 AM | Permalink

Health Roundup: From Stanford's possible cure to porridge and an imaginary meal pill

Has Stanford University found a cure for Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's could be prevented and even cured by boosting the brain's own immune response, scientists at Stanford University believe.  Researchers discovered that nerve cells die because cells which are supposed to clear the brain of bacteria, viruses and dangerous deposits, stop working.  These cells, called 'microglia' function well when people are young, but when they age, a single protein called EP2 stops them operating efficiently. 

Now scientists have shown that blocking the protein allows the microglia to function normally again so they can hoover up the dangerous sticky amyloid-beta plaques which damage nerve cells in Alzheimer's disease.  The researchers found that, in mice, blocking EP2 with a drug reversed memory loss and myriad other Alzheimer’s-like features in the animals.

A step closer to developing a pill to cure dementia  A common form of dementia is 'frontotemporal dementia' which occurs as neurons become damaged.  It runs in families and there is no cure.  A team in Belgium  were able to repair diseased brain cells after identifying  a gene variant that prevents neurons from forming properly and correcting it through genetic engineering.  They found a gene variant that prevents neurons from forming normally and used  a compound that inhibited a chemical causing the gene mutation

A new Harvard study has found that weight training is a better way of keeping the middle-aged spread at bay than aerobic activity, Why weight training is better for your waistline than running

The key to a long and healthy life? A bowl of porridge every day, say scientists. A Harvard study of more than 100,000 people for more than 14 years found that whole grains reduce the risk of dying from heart disease.  A daily one ounce serving of whole grains is associated with a 5% lower mortality and also cut deaths from cardiovascular disease by 9%.  Whole grains are whole because they contain the 'germ', or seed embryo, which is packed with nutrients.    Here are 10 Oatmeal Recipe Ideas for Breakfast

Vision problems. Joint pain. Dementia… Is there anything fish oils can't beat?
The current medical advice is to eat two portions of fish a week.  Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, proven to help with many conditions

Revolutionary new drug could help patients with advanced skin cancer and resistant to standard treatments  Skin cancer patients can become resistant to standard drugs within a year.  A new drug called a panRAF inhibitor could help advanced skin cancer patients  The new drugs hit several cancer cell survival routes at once and suppress tumous without any significant side-effects. Clinical trials focusing on safety and dosage will begin next year

Safe and effective testing must be done, so it's still several years away from the market, but a real breakthrough in fighting obesity.  'Imaginary meal' pill of fexaramine tricks the body into feeling full - AND lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

Researcher Ronald Evans of the Salk Institute in California, said: 'This pill is like an imaginary meal.
'It sends out the same signals that normally happen when you eat a lot of food, so the body starts clearing out space to store it. But there are no calories and no change in appetite.' When the drug hits the stomach, it kick-starts digestion. Fexaramine also spurs the body into burning off fat to create space to store the incoming nutrients. The medicine doesn't pass into the bloodstream and circulate round the body but stays in the stomach, which should cut the risk of side-effects.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:31 AM | Permalink

Aging roundup

"You know you’re getting old when you stoop down to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you're down there."  George Burns

Real vs perceived age: A matter of life and death How old do you feel? Think carefully — the answer might help predict how much longer you'll live. That's according to British researchers at University College London who posed that question to about 6,500 adults. Those who felt younger than their real age lived the longest over the following eight years.  Results were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Why Everything You Think About Aging May Be Wrong  As we get older, friendships, creativity and satisfaction with life can flourish.

Researchers find bargain hunting can improve memories in older shoppers by boosting brain power.
Older shoppers use an additional brain area when shopping to remember competing consumer products and choose best one.

Aging does not have to bring poor health and frailty, Researchers at King's College London say the findings debunk the common assumption that aging automatically makes people doddery and infirm,  A study of older cyclists found that there was little physical difference between people aged 79 and those aged 55 if they maintained similar levels of exercise.  It is not aging itself that brings about poor function and frailty, but the fact that people have stopped exercising and are no longer active.”

Slow down the aging process and feel like a 20-something in your 70s … by jogging
Study looked at amount of energy expended by people who stayed fit in their 60s and 70s and found
that those aged 69 or older who ran regularly used the same amount of energy as a typical 20-year-old...
People who work out regularly generally have more mitochondria in their cells, providing more energy to power larger muscles….Researcher Owen Beck added: 'It was surprising to find that older adults who regularly run for exercise are better walkers than older adults who regularly walk for exercise."

Russian scientists discover antioxidant that delays the aging process Russian scientists have tested a new formula on rats, mice, fish and dogs.  They are using a new type of antioxidant which will impact on mitochondria,  the energy-producing part of cells, thought to trigger aging.The Russian tests have not led to an significant life span increase, but delayed the onset of aging.

Coconut oil is a superfoodHigh-fat diet could halt Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, study finds
Researchers analyzed mice with a defect in their DNA repair system. In humans, this defect causes Cockayne syndrome: premature aging with a life expectancy of between 10 and 12 years. By placing a mouse with this defect on a high-fat diet,  researchers found  aging processes such as impaired hearing and weight loss  were postponed. High fat diets also postponed aging of the brain by giving it enough fuel to repair cell damage.  Experts said fats such as coconut oils could pave the way for new treatments for patients with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. 10 Proven Health Benefits of Coconut Oil and 101 Uses for Coconut Oil

Bespoke Anti-aging cream is  tailor-made to an individual's DNA reduces wrinkles by a third in just 12 weeks at a cost of about $2700.  The revolutionary treatment involves a microchip which creates a genetic profile for each individual after a 30-minute test. The information allows doctors to create a bespoke anti-aging cream suited to each person's skin needs….The range called You+ was created over ten years by Professor Chris Toumazou, Regius Professor at Imperial College London, who won European Inventor of the Year 2014 for his development.  He also invented the cochlear ear implant, the artificial pancreas for Type 1 diabetics and the wireless heart monitor.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:03 AM | Permalink

January 8, 2015

From a grassy field in Maine, a new super-antibiotic

Just when it looked like we were heading into a apocalyptic post-antibiotic era,  a new super-antibiotic was found lurking in the soil of a grassy field in Maine.  Super-antibiotic that could wipe out diseases from MRSA to TB is hailed as a 'game-changer' by scientists

A super-antibiotic capable of wiping out everything from MRSA to TB has been found lurking in soil.  In tests, the new medicine rapidly cured infections that should have been fatal.  The drug also worked ‘exquisitely’ well against hard-to-treat bugs that damage the heart.

Crucially, it could be a powerful weapon in the war against antibiotic resistance, in which once easy-to-treat infections become deadly after finding sneaky ways of evading powerful drugs.  With no new type of antibiotic hitting the market for almost 30 years and bacteria becoming harder to treat by the day, experts have warned medical treatment could soon be dragged back the 19th century.
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The new drug, which has been named teixobactin, was discovered after British, German and US scientists went back to basics and studied bacteria from a grassy field in Maine in the US.  Many bacteria and fungi naturally make antibiotics to keep themselves safe and kill competitors for food and space and most of the antibiotics we use today have their roots in nature.

Convinced that the soil held more secrets, researchers from Northeastern University in Boston devised a gadget that allowed them to grow and study the bugs in their native earth. Of the 10,000 sorts of bacteria that grew, 25 pumped out substances that could potentially be used as antibiotics.  And of these, teixobactin was the most promising.

The researchers… are particularly excited about the fact that they couldn’t produce any bacteria that were resistant to the drug, no matter how hard they tried.  They say the way teixobactin works will make it exceptionally hard for bacteria to find a way of evading it and predict it will take at least 30 years for resistance to develop.  They are refining the recipe and hope to start testing the drug on people in two years.
If all goes well, teixobactin, which would be an injection rather than a pill, could be on the market by 2019.

And then there's Viagra  A pill containing Viagra could cure illnesses from Ebola to brain cancer, hepatitis to MRSA 

Scientists have identified a protein GRP78 key to treating a range of illnesses including Ebola, brain cancer, hepatitis, MRSA and influenza.  By attacking the protein,  cancer cells are killed, viruses are prevented from infecting and reproducing and antibiotic-resistant bacteria are killed
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:09 PM | Permalink

January 7, 2015

"Nothing worth believing in, nothing worth dying for" vs. Glamor of Islamic State

Europe’s Empty Churches Go on Sale

ARNHEM, Netherlands—Two dozen scruffy skateboarders launched perilous jumps in a soaring old church building here on a recent night, watched over by a mosaic likeness of Jesus and a solemn array of stone saints.

This is the Arnhem Skate Hall, an uneasy reincarnation of the Church of St. Joseph, which once rang with the prayers of nearly 1,000 worshipers.

 From Church To Skatepark

The Skate Hall’s plight is replicated across a continent that long nurtured Christianity but is becoming relentlessly secular.  The closing of Europe’s churches reflects the rapid weakening of the faith in Europe, a phenomenon that is painful to both worshipers and others who see religion as a unifying factor in a disparate society.
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But it is in the Netherlands where the trend appears to be most advanced. The country’s Roman Catholic leaders estimate that two-thirds of their 1,600 churches will be out of commission in a decade, and 700 of Holland’s Protestant churches are expected to close within four years.

In Commentary, Europe is Losing Its Soul

This lack of religious belief may well also be related to why Europeans are choosing to have so few children….Europeans have been increasingly choosing against national identities in general. [T]he loss of belief in national identity, like the loss of belief in religious truth, has gone hand in hand with a relativism that no longer allows Europeans to champion the superiority of their own liberal values. …In this Europe where there is nothing worth believing in, nothing worth dying for—and perhaps nothing worth living for, given the birth rate

In the NYT, Arthur Brooks, An Aging Europe in Decline

“I’VE fallen and I can’t get up.” These words, shouted by an elderly woman, were made famous in a medical alert device ad in the 1990s. In 2015, they might be Europe’s catchphrase….

Predictions of decade-long deflation, low productivity and high unemployment are becoming conventional wisdom….As important as good economic policies are, they will not fix Europe’s core problems, which are demographic, not economic….Even Pope Francis in a speech before the European Parliament in November said, “In many quarters we encounter a general impression of weariness and aging, of a Europe which is now a ‘grandmother,’ no longer fertile and vibrant,”  weary with disorientation.”

No matter what the money supply and public spending levels, a country or continent will be in decline if it rejects the culture of family, turns its back on work, and closes itself to strivers from the outside. Europe needs visionary leaders and a social movement to rediscover that people are assets to develop, not liabilities to manage. If it cannot or will not meet this existential challenge, a “lost decade” will look like a walk in the park for Grandma Europe.

With the loss of faith, national pride and confidence in western values comes a huge vacuum which today is being filled by The Glamour of the Islamic State.  Virginia Postrel writes "Islamic State promises ordinary men adventure, fellowship and religious significance if they fight infidels and heretics in a distant land….

As inspiring as glamour can be, it often dissipates with experience. That’s because all glamour contains an illusion. It hides anything that might break the spell: flaws, distractions, hardship, tedium. Dispelling glamour, then, requires revealing the truth. ……What glamorous visions of jihadi glory obscure isn’t violence. It’s drudgery, subordination, infighting, hypocrisy and general messiness. “The reality on the ground is a world away from the glamour of well-produced recruitment videos,”
….Emphasizing Islamic State’s brutality may rally mainstream domestic audiences, but it won’t destroy the group’s glamour in the eyes of potential recruits. For that, we need more stories about menial chores, less publicity that turns terrorists into celebrities and, most essentially, battlefield evidence that effortless victory is an illusion -- Islamic State is for losers.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:48 PM | Permalink

January 6, 2015

Keep your nose warm. Always wear a scarf in winter

-Smoking-Bird Byianplant

You ARE more likely to get a cold in winter - but keeping your nose warm may be the secret to avoiding it

The key to avoiding a cold could be as simple as keeping your nose warm with a scarf when you venture outside in winter.Research shows that low temperatures make it harder for the body to fight off the bug that causes half of colds in adults and almost all colds in children.  The finding backs up the popular idea that people are more likely to come down with a cold if they get chilly, perhaps by not putting on a coat in winter or going out with wet hair.  Many people carry this rhinovirus bug in their nose at all times.  The virus multiplies more quickly in the nose than the body as it's colder

Yale University has found that when core body temperature inside the nose falls by five degrees the immune system does not work as well to fight the cold virus.

One in five people carry the rhinovirus – the most frequent cause of the common cold – in their nasal passages at any one time. Mostly the immune system stops the virus taking hold, but as the temperature drops, so does the body’s ability to fight off the intruder.  So wearing a warm scarf over the nose may not stop the virus entering in the first place, but could boost the ability to tackle it.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:35 PM | Permalink

Chinese Christians and most popular Bible verses of 2014

Christians now outnumber communists in China

Though the Chinese Communist Party is the largest explicitly atheist organization in the world, with 85 million official members, it is now overshadowed by an estimated 100 million Christians in China. It is no wonder Beijing is nervous and authorities are cracking down on Christian groups.

Christianity is growing so fast in China that some predict that it will be the most Christian nation in the world in only another 15 years. By far, the greatest growth is coming outside the official state-sanctioned churches, which are rightly considered subservient to the Communist Party. Numbers are increasing, rather, in unofficial Protestant “house churches” and in the underground Catholic church.

Bible App Reveals is most popular verses of 2014

The Bible App has been downloaded more than 162 million times, according to the app's creator, YouVersion. And unlike the print version of the immensely popular sacred text, the digital version can be mined for data.

Gruenewald also found it remarkable that the most popular verse of the year internationally, Romans 12:2, 
Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

In America, Brazil, and Nigeria, Philippians 4:8 came out as the frontrunner.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia were captivated by Jeremiah 29:11 this year.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:43 AM | Permalink