Bee Venom Therapy – a new cure for Lyme Disease?

More deer and more ticks mean a lot more people are falling victim to Lyme disease. But a new treatment involving honeybee stings promises hope.

If you want a different kind of new year, be a new you

Happy New Me 2018 graphic
Image from a Foztee sweatshirt

Sam Soto and I loved Corey Teague’s 2018 New Year message so much we translated it to Spanish. Corey is keeping it real – and we can all benefit by following suit.

Now we have reached the part of the show where everyone begins talking about who they plan to “cut off” and how they plan to be “new” and how everything will just be different. Look out, here comes a reality check: unless you don’t wake up tomorrow, it’ll be Monday. That’s it, Monday. And then, there will be Tuesday, Wednesday, so on and so forth. Nothing out of the ordinary will happen UNLESS you do something unordinary to provoke an unordinary event to occur. Remember, NOTHING FROM NOTHING LEAVES NOTHING. You must be willing to do something in order to get something. That’s how life works. This attitude that life owes you something must die within you before you can begin mentally preparing yourself to receive something. What have you done lately for someone other than yourself? If you have to take longer than 30 seconds to answer then you’re living in a vacuum. It’s time to step out and live in 2018. If not, this new year will begin and end just like every other year. read more

National Brotherhood Week (parody sung by Tom Lehrer)

Tom Lehrer via YouTube
Tom Lehrer via YouTube

Tom Lehrer performs his parody about National Brotherhood Week – that difficult week in February when Americans, “…are supposed to stop whatever we’re doing … burning, killing, whatever and love everybody else … and it’s really quite a strain.”

Some of Tom’s lyrics:

Oh the Protestants hate the Catholics and the Catholics hate the Protestants, and the Hindus hate the Moslems and everybody hates the Jews!

But During National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week, step up and shake the hand of someone you can’t stand. You can tolerate him if you try … It’s only for a week so have no fear. Be grateful that it doesn’t last all year!

A list of excellent real news sources and tips for #Resistance

plato - the price of apathy
Support and read good, honest news and reporters
Truthout
Charles M. Blow hard hitting New York Times writer who tells it like it needs to be told
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Thom Hartmann
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
Real Time with Bill Maher
Bill Moyers and Company
Nicholas Kristof New York Times columnist and Half the Sky founder
Comedian W. Kamau Bell
All of the fine writers at Bill Moyers & Company
Watch The Messy Truth series with Van Jones
The Young Turks
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Follow Robert Reich, former US Labor Secretary turned political commentator
All In With Chris Hayes
Redacted Tonight
Wired: Fake Think Tanks Fuel Fake News—And the President’s Tweets
Rachel Maddow
Mashable: Trump’s new White House website contains plenty of ‘alternative facts’
A Closer Look – Late Night With Seth Myers
Vice
The Late Show with Steven Colbert
Washington Post:

Trump requires Press Secretary Sean Spicer to lie to the American people read more

The origin story of Pres. Obama’s Fired Up, Ready to Go chant – animated

fired up graphic
Source: The Atlantic

The origin story of Pres. Obama’s Fired Up, Ready to Go chant. A very inspiring story that contains a colorful private detective heroine.

10 year old girl sings a sweet, pure and strong “Hallelujah” that might make you cry

Killard House School choir
Source: Killard House School via YouTube

Ireland has music deep in its soul. Phenomenal 10 year old Kayleigh Rogers leads her special classmates of The Killard House School in singing such a sweet, pure and strong Christmas rendition of Hallelujah that it brought me right to tears. It will do the same for you, if you’re lucky. God bless.

The BBC comments about Kayleigh’s stellar performance:

Kayleigh is one of 200 students aged three to 16 at Killard House School in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland … (she) often sings at the local Christmas concert at First Presbyterian Church, Newtownards, but this year she lost her voice and had to pull out of last Sunday’s service. Instead her headteacher played the video above, which had been filmed just weeks before at the school, and it left many of the congregation in tears.

The video, filmed by Billy McAuley, was uploaded to Facebook and YouTube, and reported in the local press. It has since been viewed and shared hundreds of thousands of times, and the school has taken calls from people in Australia, America and Japan who have all seen the video.

Kayleigh started at Killard House School in year four and has autism and ADHD, which results in learning delays with literacy and numeracy.

Music teacher Lloyd Scates spotted her talent early on and encouraged her to sing solos during school shows, to help develop her voice and her confidence. read more

Commissary Kitchen, a prison cookbook by a Mobb Deep rapper

mobb deep, prison chef
Source: Teddy Wolff/Infamous Books

A new cookbook is on the market about which its prison chef author Prodigy Johnson of the rap group Mobb Deep writes, “This book won’t make you a better cook, but it might make you a better person.”

Knowing what to eat and how to make it is evidently such an important part of prison life that there’s an entire cottage industry of cookbooks written on the subject. Inmate survival guides often have a section on food and how to use the commissary to augment prison diets. Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook, which will be published this month, is written by Prodigy and journalist Kathy Iandoli.

In the book, Prodigy describes how his lifelong battle with sickle cell made him hyper-conscious of what he ate while incarcerated.

“I couldn’t afford to get sick in prison,” he writes. “My sickle cell is no joke, so I couldn’t eat poorly or not exercise. And everything in jail is designed to do the exact opposite.” This is just a hint of what sets Commissary Kitchen apart from other books in the genre — it’s about Prodigy’s experience of prison as much, if not more than, about the food itself… read more

What if industrialized food has made us fat and we’ll be slender if we eat wholesome foods?

Cake v. salad
Source: HealthCastle.com

Paul Tappenden believe that food choices – not gluttony or a predisposition to being fat – are why so many Americans are overweight these days. And he offers some pretty good ideas on simple changes we can build into our eating habits that will significantly change our fat quotient.

OBESITY

Why are there so many over weight people in America? I have many well intentioned friends who are 30 to 40 pounds over-weight. For the most part they don’t want to be that way, and in many cases they put themselves on diets to no avail. They are not vast over eaters, yet the pounds keep creeping on

What saddens me most is that they don’t need to be that way. You see, it isn’t about calories or gluttony, it is about food choices. The disturbing fact is that the majority of industrialized foods are filled with toxins that disrupt our endocrine systems causing weight gain, chronic disease, infertility and cancer.

Even so called lite and diet foods contain these toxins, ensuring that no matter how fastidiously one diets, the results will be temporary at best.

If you think this situation will improve any time soon think again. There are entire industries built on the fact that you will be sick and obese.

So long as you eat pre-made, packaged foods, you are adding to your health and weight problems. In order to give these “foods” long shelf life and to make them palatable, companies add chemical preservatives, flavor enhancers, artificial colors and flavorings, conditioners and, to make up for the lack of nutrients, synthetic vitamins (most of which are useless at best),

The ingredients in these cheap foods are sub-standard and often toxic in their own right.

FATS

For simplicity sake I’m dividing fats into good fats and bad fats. Canola oil, corn oil, soy oil, cottonseed oil and the vast majority of oils used in industrial food preparation are bad for you, and when they are hydrogenated, as in the case with butter substitutes, Crisco etc they are even worse

The fats you should eat are butter, egg yolks (yes folks, they are both good for you and your heart), olive oil, coconut oil, avocado and even lard. Of course, these should be obtained from good organic sources, to avoid any added toxins.

SUGARS

There are even good and bad sugars. High Fructose corn syrup and refined white sugar are among the worst. Organic, unfiltered honey and coconut palm sugar are both low glycemic and filled with nutrients.

Most sugar substitutes are as bad for you as the sugars. In fact it has been demonstrated that Aspartame causes you to gain weight, so what good is it?

STARCH

Starch turns into sugar in your system. Sugar feed diabetes and cancer, So limit the amount of starch you consume. Even whole grains can be problematic.

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS

The other big concern is the presence of GMO’s (mostly concealed from the consumer by law). The industry claims are that GMO’s are safe. However, even if they were (which overwhelming evidence disproves), they come heavily dosed with highly toxic pesticides, that also disrupt hormones and may cause cancer.

MEAT

Limit the amount of meat you eat. Rather than eat a pound of industrial beef, eat half a pound of organic, grass fed beef. It will give you all the goodness without, growth hormones, antibiotics and GMOs (all of which make you fat). Meats also acidify the body, making it a good breeding ground for cancer cells.

The bottom line is to eat organic, fresh whole foods. If you are over weight, you will begin to see those pounds drop away and your health improve.

Hat tip to José German-Gomez for directing my attention to Paul’s post.

In Irvington & Jersey City police, fire & community join the Running Man Challenge!

Irvington Fire Fighters dancing
Source: Irvington Running Man Challenge video

Irvington’s video kicks off with a stunning vocal performance by Mayor Vaughn’s secretary and features crowd scenes of city employees rocking the beat and even breakdancing and performing acrobatic stunts.

In Jersey City’s video a police official orders officers to, “Get in there and dance. Have fun!” Even the K-9 unit obeys, dancing at the Hudson River’s edge with New York City for a backdrop. Scenes filmed around the city show its breadth of ethnic and arts diversity.

NJ.com explains how the filming and videos have served as a community-police icebreaker:

During the filming, residents stopped to record the scene with their phones and applaud the officers. On YouTube, 52,000 people have viewed the video, which shows officers looking for the running man. But while on assignment, they start dancing.

“This was an opportunity for the community to see a different side of police, to see that they have fun, even embarrass themselves with dancing, and really enjoying the people they work with,” said Jennifer Morrill, the (Jersey City) press secretary. read more

Drowning prevention: learn to swim, practice water safety & know what drowning really looks like

Signs of drowning pic
GLSRP.org

The first steps to preventing drowning are learning how to swim and practicing safe swimming habits – in a pool, a lake, a river or in the ocean. To save the life of person who is drowning, though, you need to know what drowning really looks like. Drowning is silent, fast and doesn’t look anything like it is depicted on TV. Slate explains:
There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the No. 2 cause of accidental death in children, ages 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents)—of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. According to the CDC, in 10 percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch the child do it, having no idea it is happening. Drowning does not look like drowning—Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene magazine, described the Instinctive Drowning Response like this:

  • “Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.
  • Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  • Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
    Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  • From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.”
  • read more

    The (famous & myopic) view of the world from the POV of New Yorkers

    NYC center of the universe
    New Yorker cover NYC center of the universe, by Saul Steinberg

    Yesterday somebody mentioned what life looks like to New Yorkers and I realized … so much time has passed since Saul Steinberg drew the famous New York cover showing what the world looks like for New Yorkers – with Jersey a slender line across the Hudson with Japan and China just blips in the far distance … that my 21 year old son may have not ever seen it. So I looked around, found the cover easily on the internet and sure enough, Ari had never seen it before. It’s a doozy, though, isn’t it?

    The official name of the drawing is “View of the World from Ninth Avenue”. It was the 29 March 1976 cover of The New Yorker magazine. It is an image I often mention when trying to explain to people how myopic the view of New Yorkers actually is.

    Enjoy.

    7 genius cleaning tips!

    vinegar in toilet tank
    Source: Household Hacker

    White vinegar and tea as bathroom cleaners, plus 5 other natural product cleaning tricks.

    Hat tip to Elizabeth McGrady for the find.

    Became a beekeeper, got stung a lot, definitely need a bee jacket & a lesson in how to work my smoker

    NUCs have arrived 160422
    150 NUCs on that truck and two of them are mine!

    Became a beekeeper when I received 2 NUCs (5 frames) of bees at 8:20 on 22 April 2016. Got the first sting on my pinky around 8:45 – I must have been pressing on one of the little critters. By 9:15 I’d been stung 6 more times: upper arm four times plus under my shirt AND under my skirt.

    Oops! forgot I shouldn’t be wearing a skirt while beekeping, but I was on my way to a Passover celebration and was dressed for the occasion. When I stopped by at home to pick something up, I heard a buzzing sound near my head and said to myself – you see, you’re so freaked out by the experience of situating your bees in the dark of night all by yourself and getting stung that now you’re imagining there are bees buzzing around your head. But then I caught a glimpse in the bathroom mirror of a bee sitting all pretty and relaxed, right on my shirt collar and the next day I found another trying valiantly to work her way out of our screened-in kitchen window. So the buzzing was bees, and not my imagination. I ended up bringing another bee with me to the seder table – found her on my hand.

    Well, no lasting harm done. Bees are installed and I’m still relatively OK. These are the conclusions I can share about my first experience with beekeeping:

    Bees don’t like being locked up in trunks so don’t leave them there too long. By the time I took the 2nd crew out, they were mad. Later, I found out that it’s important to orient NUCs to the same direction you’re traveling in so the frames don’t crash together when you accelerate or slow down, and I didn’t do that. Aside from being overheated, the poor guys must have gone crazy dodging death and trying to protect the queen all the time I was crashing them around while admittedly driving a little distractedly: being that I was wondering all the time if the bees in my trunk could escape into the car cabin and start flying around in there. With me.

    Bees seem to like to hang out on my body. I’ve learned that some bugs do. If this bothers me I better get a suit. I’ve been thinking about that. Have decided that I’m so traumatized over being bitten that I must get a suit, and gloves. And learn to use my smoker.

    It’s true that bee stings are worse to contemplate than experience. But gee, having been stung several times now in under an hour I can tell you that contemplating the next sting coming in a series is a bit disconcerting. After being stung, I did flap my hands around and do some little dances to wave the critters away from me … all the while reminding myself that this behaviour would probably be scaring those guys silly and maybe inciting them to more stings – and that I should stop being such a girl. My advise to self helped calm me down, a little bit. So much for the zen of beekeeping.

    The bee under my skirt was plain old scary! Even though I knew once she had stung my belly she couldn’t do any more harm, I just didn’t want her there and crushed her dying body with my fingers through the fabric of my skirt. Poor us.

    I was so glad my transport boxes had plugs I could pull out instead of the alternative – which is a little flap I would have had to play around with. Pulling the plug made it possible for me to walk quickly away after putting the box down near the hive and that’s all I wanted to do.

    By a strange twist of fate, this 55 year old woman had ended up welcoming the bees and stings all by myself in the dark of night so that my two 20-something sons could arrive on time for our seder. With the wry sense of humour God likes to show me, our shipment of bees would naturally arrive on the Sabbath on the first night of Passover. Despite my unique journey, I managed to join the table not too late … about half an hour after our friends’ Hagadah reading began at 9pm.

    Thanks NENJ team for getting me dispatched with my new charges as quickly as possible so I could buzz off to my adventure, and then my seder – y ou guys rock. Also thanks Rich Schluger for your tip to scrape immediately at the site of a sting to reduce venom penetration and discourage more bees from stinging there. This helped, although my 4-bite upper arm site became infected with 2 stingers I must have broken off and I ended up pretty sick for a couple of days.

    Like I said, no lasting harm done but I definitely need a suit … and gloves …

    Veteran dogs program won best commercial award in the Netherlands, for good reason

    Traumatized war vet
    Source: KNGF commercial for veteran dogs

    Guide Dogs TV commercial from the Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation (KNGF Geleidehonden) won the Dutch 2014 Gouden Loeki award for best commercial. The work entitled “We not only help people who cannot see, but also those who have seen too much” shows the assistance a specially trained dog can offer to a military veteran coping with severe war related trauma.

    Hat tip to Han Broekman for the great find.

    448 downloadable art books free from Metropolitan Museum

    wisdom-embodied (buddha)
    Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has 448 art books online that you can download for free from MetPublications. You can also retrieve 400,000 free art images.

    Hat tip to Yvette Lucas for sharing this info.