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Language Log » Chinese characters and eyesight

Yet China and many other East Asian countries do not prize time outdoors. At the age of six, children in China and Australia have similar rates of myopia. Once they start school, Chinese children spend about an hour a day outside, compared with three or four hours for Australian ones.

The incidence of myopia is high across East Asia, afflicting 80-90% of urban 18-year-olds in Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. The problem is social rather than genetic.

Commenting on the photographs accompanying these two posts, I remarked how Chinese children reading and writing often have a strained look on their face.  This may due to a variety of factors, including density of strokes, dim lighting, poor printing, and so forth.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that would seem to indicate a connection between myopia and Chinese characters

Commenting on the photographs accompanying these two posts, I remarked how Chinese children reading and writing often have a strained look on their face. This may due to a variety of factors, including density of strokes, dim lighting, poor printing, and so forth.

The questions is, though, why don't Chinese school children spend more time outdoors? Perhaps it's because they want to master those high maintenance characters, and to do so requires writing each one of them hundreds and hundreds of time so that one can recognize them accurately and reproduce them correctly when called upon to do so in tīngxiě 听写 ("dictation" [lit., "hear-write"]) quizzes.
opinion  chinese  writing  kid  eye  health  harm  research  reading  comparison  theory 
5 weeks ago by aries1988
Emilia Clarke, of “Game of Thrones,” on Surviving Two Life-Threatening Aneurysms

But I kept at it. In school productions, I played Anita in “West Side Story,” Abigail in “The Crucible,” one of the witches in “Macbeth,” Viola in “Twelfth Night.” After secondary school, I took a gap year, during which I worked as a waitress and went backpacking in Asia. Then I started classes at the Drama Centre London to pursue my B.A. As fledgling actors, we studied everything from “The Cherry Orchard” to “The Wire.” I didn’t get the ingénue parts. Those went to the tall, willowy, impossibly blond girls. I got cast as a Jewish mother in “Awake and Sing!” You should hear my Bronx accent.

In those days, I thought of myself as healthy. Sometimes I got a little light-headed, because I often had low blood pressure and a low heart rate. Once in a while, I’d get dizzy and pass out. When I was fourteen, I had a migraine that kept me in bed for a couple of days, and in drama school I’d collapse once in a while. But it all seemed manageable, part of the stress of being an actor and of life in general. Now I think that I might have been experiencing warning signs of what was to come.

I could hardly catch my breath. I went back to the hotel, where some people invited me to a party on the roof. “I think I’m good!” I told them. Instead, I went to my room, ate Oreos, watched “Friends,” and called everyone I knew.

The “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have said that Daenerys Targaryen is a blend of Napoleon, Joan of Arc, and Lawrence of Arabia.
GOT  tv  actor  story  hospital  death  struggle  growup  uk  health  acting  female  fame  success  girl  interview  job 
april 2019 by aries1988
Her Time
while FEN guides were there to help people die, they couldn’t help in the literal sense. Though suicide is legal in every state, the act of helping someone commit the act is illegal. The rule that FEN’s leadership came up with — the rule they hoped would keep the organization free from prosecution — was that exit guides could instruct and advise and sit with but could not touch a client.

According to FEN rules, clients didn’t need to be terminally ill or even dying, in the immediate sense, as long as they were suffering “intolerably” and “unbearably.”

In Brian’s civilian life, he heard people say all the time that if they got dementia, they’d kill themselves or get someone else to kill them — that they were not going there. OK then, he would think, so what is your plan?
It made sense to Brian that the search for an alternative path was happening beyond the official gaze of the courtroom and the hospital ethics committee. People were scared, and they could find nobody to hold their hands and help them find a way out.

“She doesn’t want to lose her selfhood,” Brian said. “She sees it happening.” Brian believes that nobody wants to die, only sometimes they can’t live this way.

David had been an antiques trader before going into construction, and his house was filled with old things. Sometimes, Debra and David imagined that they had known each other in the Victorian era but that their relationship had been cut short for reasons they didn’t know and that God had sent them back to earth to meet again.

It was hard to think about money, though, because it was getting harder to think in straight lines. Debra’s thoughts felt like seeds that never germinated. Her attention was flighty; her stories lost their narrative thread. Sometimes, when she was at her computer, she’d come to suddenly and find that she had typed a page of gibberish. “I call them brain farts, for lack of a better description.”

She thought she probably wouldn’t, that she would have no self-respect left, by then, to offend. But still, she believed that some part of her would continue to hurt from all the small indignities of life in an institution where nobody loved her.

Patients in Oregon are more likely to request aid in dying for existential reasons than for physical ones.

Dutch doctors debate whether these two versions of the patient — the “then-self” before dementia and the “now-self” with dementia — are even the same person. If they are not, then why does the one get to dictate choices for the other?

Later, there was just one strange thing that Lieutenant Horton found hard to shake. It was nice out, but all the curtains were drawn.
aging  suicide  dementia  death  health  law  california  life  couple  house 
april 2019 by aries1988
疾病王国:超越中与西|端傳媒 Initium Media

tradition  medicine  canton  chinese  opinion  health 
march 2019 by aries1988
We may finally know what causes Alzheimer’s – and how to stop it

Multiple teams have been researching Porphyromonas gingivalis, the main bacterium involved in gum disease, which is a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s. So far, teams have found that P. gingivalis invades and inflames brain regions affected by Alzheimer’s; that gum infections can worsen symptoms in mice genetically engineered to have Alzheimer’s; and that it can cause Alzheimer’s-like brain inflammation, neural damage and amyloid plaques in healthy mice.
teeth  inflammation  brain  alzheimer  research  medicine  pharma  future  health  science  senior  bacteria 
february 2019 by aries1988

food  health  moi 
november 2018 by aries1988
Cancer’s Invasion Equation | The New Yorker
Rather than viewing invasiveness as a quality intrinsic to a cancer, researchers needed to consider invasiveness as a pathological relationship between an organism and an environment. “Together, cancer cells and host cells form an ecosystem,” Pienta reminded the audience. “Initially, the cancer cells are an invasive species to a new niche or environment. Eventually, the cancer-cell-host-cell interactions create a new environment.” Ask not just what the cancer is doing to you, Pienta was saying. Ask what you are doing to the cancer.

There are important consequences of taking soil as well as seed into account. Among the most successful recent innovations in cancer therapeutics is immunotherapy, in which a patient’s own immune system is activated to target cancer cells.

This is medicine’s “denominator problem.” The numerator is you—the person who gets ill. The denominator is everyone at risk, including all the other passengers who were exposed. Numerators are easy to study. Denominators are hard. Numerators come to the doctor’s office, congested and miserable. They get blood tests and prescriptions. Denominators go home from the subway station, heat up dinner, and watch “The Strain.” The numerator persists. The denominator vanishes.

We err toward risk aversion, even at the cost of bodily damage; we don’t learn what would happen if we did nothing. It was a classic “denominator” problem, but my response seemed supremely unsatisfactory.

Perhaps we all gave up. Considering the limitations of our knowledge, methods, and resources, our field may have had no choice but to submit to the lacerations of Occam’s razor, at least for a while. It was only natural that many cancer biologists, confronting the sheer complexity of the whole organism, trained their attention exclusively on our “pathogen”: the cancer cell.

we physicians have been drawn to the toggle-switch model of disease and health: the biopsy was positive; the blood test was negative; the scans find “no evidence of disease.” Good germs, bad germs. Ecologists, meanwhile, talk about webs of nutrition, predation, climate, topography, all subject to complex feedback loops, all context-dependent. To them, invasion is an equation, even a set of simultaneous equations.

the true meaning of “holistic”: to take the body, the organism, its anatomy, its physiology—this infuriatingly intricate web—as a whole
cancer  medicine  health  research 
july 2018 by aries1988
在 D 版发过了,不过因为不少朋友看不到 D 版,我就放在这里吧,说说我最近做的这个 Project - V2EX
分享创造 - @coolwulf - 去年的时候,我一个在芝加哥比我小几级的南京大学校友去世了。乳腺癌,发现得晚了,才 34 岁,留下了一个 4 岁的孩子。非常可惜。想想能不能做点什么事情可以帮助大众来提高乳腺癌的早期检测成功率。因为如果
ai  health  online  cancer  tool 
june 2018 by aries1988
Do you work more than 39 hours a week? Your job could be killing you | Life and style | The Guardian
Because there is a danger that merely reducing working hours will not change much, when it comes to health, if jobs are intrinsically disenfranchising. In order to make jobs more conducive to our mental and physiological welfare, much less work is definitely essential. So too are jobs of a better kind, where hierarchies are less authoritarian and tasks are more varied and meaningful.
work  essay  health 
january 2018 by aries1988
medicine  chinese  health  opinion  moi 
november 2017 by aries1988
La consommation de charcuterie nuit gravement à la santé

Selon les conclusions du CIRC, rappelle-t-il, le risque de cancer colorectal est accru de 18 % pour une consommation de seulement 50 grammes de viandes transformées par jour – soit à peine deux fines tranches de jambon. Et encore ne s’agit-il là que d’un seul type de cancer, celui qui est le plus étudié en relation avec la consommation de produits carnés transformés…

La toxicité des sels nitrés (à base de nitrate ou de nitrite) est connue depuis plus d’un siècle et la cancérogénicité de certains d’entre eux, depuis plus de 50 ans. Ce qui n’empêche nullement les charcutiers industriels d’en ajouter à la grande majorité de leurs produits.
food  europe  français  industry  scandal  health  book  journalism 
november 2017 by aries1988
La consommation de charcuterie nuit gravement à la santé

Selon les conclusions du CIRC, rappelle-t-il, le risque de cancer colorectal est accru de 18 % pour une consommation de seulement 50 grammes de viandes transformées par jour – soit à peine deux fines tranches de jambon. Et encore ne s’agit-il là que d’un seul type de cancer, celui qui est le plus étudié en relation avec la consommation de produits carnés transformés…

La toxicité des sels nitrés (à base de nitrate ou de nitrite) est connue depuis plus d’un siècle et la cancérogénicité de certains d’entre eux, depuis plus de 50 ans. Ce qui n’empêche nullement les charcutiers industriels d’en ajouter à la grande majorité de leurs produits.
book  français  food  industry  porc  health  investigation 
november 2017 by aries1988
Diabète : enquête sur un marché très rentable

Conséquence de l’épidémie d’obésité, 425 millions d’adultes sont diabétiques. Problème de santé publique, cette maladie est un enjeu économique majeur pour les Etats… et les laboratoires.

Cette maladie chronique se caractérise par un taux élevé de sucre dans le sang. Elle apparaît lorsque le pancréas ne fabrique plus d’insuline (« type 1 ») ou que l’organisme répond moins bien au signal envoyé par cette hormone (« type 2 »). Le diabète « de type 2 » a pour origine un mode de vie inadapté (manque d’exercice physique, alimentation trop riche) : il est évitable et serait même réversible. Bien plus rare, le diabète dit « de type 1 » apparaît souvent dès l’enfance et ne peut être soigné. Il est causé par une destruction des cellules du pancréas spécialisées dans la production d’insuline, les cellules bêta.

en 2030, près d’un adulte sur deux devrait être obèse aux Etats-Unis, près de 40 % au Mexique, 35 % au Royaume-Uni et 20 % en France.

maximum recommandé par l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (25 grammes de sucre ajouté par jour, soit bien moins que les 35 g que contient une canette de Coca-Cola).
health  diabet  medicament  pharma  industry  money 
november 2017 by aries1988
Fermented food may be good for your gut, but does it taste good?

Anything that has undergone a form of chemical breakdown by bacteria, yeast or other microbes — from blue cheese to sourdough bread — is fermented.

To ferment, a food needs to be put in an airless environment (a sealed jar filled with liquid, for example) in which microbes are encouraged to feed off its natural sugars. The result is an acid that both kills off harmful bacteria and transforms the original food. Put cabbage in brine and the result is soft, tart sauerkraut. Ferment soy beans, as they do at Flat Three, and the result tastes a bit like a raisin.

Booth, who dedicated a chapter of his book, The Meaning of Rice, to the mould koji, calls the Japanese the kings of fermented foods. Miso soup is my go-to hangover cure, he says. I am totally convinced of the benefits of naturally fermented foods and I do think it is one of the reasons why the traditional Japanese diet is so good for you.
trend  food  restaurant  uk  asia  japanese  korean  innovation  health  body  microbe  fermentation 
november 2017 by aries1988
Les bénéfices d’une alimentation bio pour la santé

Ils observent ainsi que la consommation fréquente ou exclusive de produits bio durant la grossesse et durant l’enfance est associée à une prévalence moindre d’allergies et d’eczéma chez les enfants. Elle entraîne aussi une baisse du risque de pré-éclampsie – une poussée brutale de la pression artérielle lors de la grossesse qui peut entraîner un accouchement prématuré, voire un décès de la mère.

En Europe, l’exposition aux pesticides organophosphorés entraînerait chaque année la perte de 13 millions de points de QI, représentant une valeur de 125 milliards d’euros, soit 1 % du produit intérieur brut européen.
bio  research  health 
november 2017 by aries1988
BBC - Future - How flying seriously messes with your mind
There are some studies, however, that show even relatively mild levels of hypoxia (deficiency in oxygen) can alter our ability to think clearly.

Human night vision can deteriorate by 5-10% at altitudes of just 5,000ft (1.5km). This is because the photoreceptor cells in the retina needed to see in the dark are extremely oxygen-hungry and can struggle to get all they need at a high altitude, causing them to work less effectively.

as the change in air pressure can also lead to passengers breaking wind more often.
biology  travel  health  psychology  brain  plane  research  fun  body 
october 2017 by aries1988
Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?
More comfortable in their bedrooms than in a car or at a party, today’s teens are physically safer than teens have ever been. They’re markedly less likely to get into a car accident and, having less of a taste for alcohol than their predecessors, are less susceptible to drinking’s attendant ills.

Gen X managed to stretch adolescence beyond all previous limits: Its members started becoming adults earlier and finished becoming adults later. Beginning with Millennials and continuing with iGen, adolescence is contracting again—but only because its onset is being delayed. Across a range of behaviors—drinking, dating, spending time unsupervised— 18-year-olds now act more like 15-year-olds used to, and 15-year-olds more like 13-year-olds. Childhood now stretches well into high school.
essay  teenager  generation  crisis  device  iphone  parenting  children  health  technology  2010s  moi  sociology  psychology 
august 2017 by aries1988
The Great Hanoi Rat Massacre of 1902 Did Not Go as Planned
A vintage photograph of Rue Paul Bert (now Trang Tien Street), Hanoi. Public Domain In 1897, Paul Doumer arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam. A 40-something French…
animal  death  killing  city  vietnam  story  français  health  economy 
june 2017 by aries1988
There’s a big problem with AI: even its creators can’t explain how it works

In 2015, researchers at Google modified a deep-learning-based image recognition algorithm so that instead of spotting objects in photos, it would generate or modify them. By effectively running the algorithm in reverse, they could discover the features the program uses to recognize, say, a bird or building. The resulting images, produced by a project known as Deep Dream, showed grotesque, alien-like animals emerging from clouds and plants, and hallucinatory pagodas blooming across forests and mountain ranges.
ai  health  medical  cancer  problem  communication  today  human  google  art  visualization  algorithm 
april 2017 by aries1988
How Coffee Can Help You Live Longer

the scientists report that the many compounds in coffee are known to help lower insulin resistance or inflammation, which could result in better health.
cafe  health 
april 2017 by aries1988
Is Fat Killing You, or Is Sugar?

Women in the nineteenth century stuffed themselves into near-suffocating corsets to achieve an hourglass figure with an unnaturally tiny waist. Weight-loss regimens included consuming soap, chalk, pickles, digitalis, camphor tea, grapefruit (which was thought to contain fat-dissolving enzymes), potassium acetate (a diuretic), and ipecac (which induces vomiting). People tried sweating their fat away in rubber suits, or squeezing it away in a pressurized reducing machine.

The importance of calories—if energy gained exceeds output, the excess becomes fat—remains one of the few unchallengeable facts in the field of dietary science. Still, further research has shown that calories eaten are only part of what determines weight. Our metabolism reflects an interplay of things like genes, hormones, and the bacteria that populate the gut, so how much energy we absorb from what we eat varies from person to person.

The immediate postwar years also brought the first sustained scientific assault on dietary fat. Ancel Keys, a physiologist at the University of Minnesota, who had spent the war developing nutritionally optimal Army rations and studying the effects of starvation, became interested in the high rates of heart attack among a seemingly well-fed sector of the population—American businessmen. He soon became convinced that the saturated fats found in meat and dairy products were the cause, and thus began the war on fat that galvanized my parents. Keys became, with his wife, Margaret, an advocate for the Mediterranean diet of unsaturated fats. Their books promoting the diet were best-sellers, and Keys, who spent his latter years in Italy, lived to the age of a hundred. (Margaret lived to ninety-seven.)

Taubes believes that a wide range of seemingly unrelated diseases—diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s, which account for five of the top ten causes of death in the U.S.—are in fact linked, and that dietary sugar is the cause of them all, as well as of other disorders that associate with these illnesses, among them polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), rheumatoid arthritis, gout, varicose veins, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease.

there is no conclusive evidence that excess dietary sugar per se causes diabetes.

To imagine that, just because cancer cells like glucose, elevated levels of it might prompt healthy cells to become cancerous is to take a vast, unsubstantiated leap.

What this means for most of us is that common sense should prevail. Eat and exercise in moderation; maintain a diet consisting of balanced amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates; make sure you get plenty of fruit and vegetables. And enjoy an occasional slice of chocolate cake.
nutrition  debate  food  health  sugar  fat  diet  research  everday  moi  body  advice  book 
march 2017 by aries1988
Moins de viande, de sel, de sucre… les recommandations de l’agence sanitaire

C’est ce socle, basé sur les données scientifiques des dix dernières années, qui va servir de base à l’élaboration des nouvelles recommandations pour le grand public, par le Haut Conseil de la santé publique. Santé publique France devra ensuite élaborer des messages, déclinés sur le site Les derniers datent de 2002. Ce sont par exemple : au moins cinq fruits et légumes par jour, limiter la consommation de sel.

Ces nouveaux repères visent à couvrir les besoins nutritionnels, en prévenant les risques de maladies chroniques liés à certains aliments, tout en limitant l’exposition aux contaminants chimiques présents dans l’alimentation (pesticides). Pour ce faire, l’Anses a utilisé une « méthode novatrice », un outil mathématique qui permet d’intégrer un grand nombre de données simultanément. Près d’une centaine d’experts ont participé à ces travaux.

Par ailleurs, concernant les poissons, l’agence conseille d’en manger deux fois par semaine dont un gras.

La consommation d’un verre par jour est associée à une augmentation du risque de diabète de type 2 et de maladie cardio-vasculaire de 20 % par rapport à une consommation nulle, ou exceptionnelle (environ une fois par mois). Auparavant classés dans la catégorie des fruits, les jus de fruits industriels entrent désormais dans les boissons sucrées. C’est maximum un verre par jour. « Ce peut être moins », souligne Irène Margaritis, responsable de l’unité d’évaluation des risques nutritionnels à la direction d’évaluation des risques de l’Anses. La consommation de sucre en France est trop élevée : 33 % des hommes dépassent la limite recommandée de 100 grammes par jour, hors lactose.

Quant aux matières grasses, pour couvrir les besoins en acides gras oméga 3 alpha-linolénique, il faut privilégier les huiles de colza et de noix, peu connues.
france  food  health  guideline 
january 2017 by aries1988
China healthcare: Missing a beat

At the core of the problem is an overreliance on hospitals and absence of family doctors. “There is no other country in the world where it is entirely hospital based,” says Mr Gisserot.

China’s breakneck growth was fuelled by mass mobilisation of the labour force, but it must embrace change in areas such as healthcare, education and the environment to narrow the gap with the developed world in wealth and quality of life.
hospital  china  crisis  health 
january 2017 by aries1988
How to Sleep

While no one knows why we sleep, it is a universal biological imperative; no animal with a brain can survive without it. Dolphins are said to sleep with only half their brain at a time, keeping partially alert for predators. Many of us spend much of our lives in a similar state.

If coffee does have an effect on longevity, it is likely a result of something more global than the potential effect of antioxidants—such as the fact that constant exposure to caffeine, even at low levels, suppresses appetite (in a world where most people eat more than is ideal). Or that it encourages social interaction—it inclines us to go out and do things with people—which itself is generally beneficial to health. These are legitimately positive results. But as with all chemicals, the comprehensive effect of caffeine on our health depends on how, and how much, we use it.

the vitamin/caffeine/amino-acid concoctions known collectively as energy drinks

When light enters your eye, it hits your retina, which relays signals directly to the core of your brain, the hypothalamus. The size of an almond, the hypothalamus has more importance per volume than any other part of your body. Yes, that includes the sex organs—you would have no sex drive without the hypothalamus. This almond is the interface between the electricity of the nervous system and the hormones of the endocrine system. It takes sensory information and directs the body’s responses, so that the body can stay alive.
sleep  coffee  health  debate  research  body 
december 2016 by aries1988
The Beginner's Guide to Intermittent Fasting
Surprisingly, since I've started intermittent fasting I've increased muscle mass (up 10 pounds from 205 to 215), decreased body fat (down 3% from 14% to 11%), increased explosiveness (set a personal best with a clean and jerk of 253 pounds a few months back), and decreased the amount of time I've spent training (down from 7.5 hours per week to 2.5 hours per week).
diet  health  nutrition 
october 2016 by aries1988
Zuckerberg/Chan philanthropy offers hubris and hope —
Finally, there is a risk of hubris, which in turn could lead to disillusionment and a loss of momentum. Bill Gates, who has spent billions of dollars over the past 15 years on global health, has yet to achieve the eradication of malaria or polio, let alone either a vaccine or a cure for HIV. Former US president Jimmy Carter’s 30-year campaign to wipe out Guinea worm disease is still not achieved, a reminder that goodwill alone cannot provide all the solutions.

The Zuckerbergs’ ambition “to cure, prevent or manage all disease in our children’s lifetime” seems grandiose. To give the gift some perspective each year, the US National Institutes of Health alone spends ten times the Zuckerbergs’ pledged decade-long $3bn. The UK’s Wellcome Trust will spend more than twice their contribution over the next five years.
philanthropy  health  business  leader 
september 2016 by aries1988
Just a few hours' exercise a week makes your heart grow bigger | New Scientist
The left ventricle, which pumps oxygenated blood to the body, was 2.4 times as likely to be larger in those who exercised for between 3 and 5 hours a week than in sedentary people, and 4.4 times as likely in those who exercised for even longer. The right ventricle, which pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, was 9.1 times as likely to be enlarged in those doing 5 or more hours of weekly exercise (Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging,
sports  health 
august 2016 by aries1988
Revenge of the nerds | The Economist
Strava, a mobile app, allows cyclists and joggers to compete with each other even if they live thousands of miles apart.
technology  leader  teenager  life  lifestyle  psychology  health 
august 2016 by aries1988
Why Self Care Is So Important
You’re overwhelmed at work. You have a ton of projects piling up at home, and your calendar is packed with overdue tasks. To make room for all of this stuff,…
self  instapaper_favs  health  howto  moi 
april 2016 by aries1988
孩子不打疫苗行不行,哪些疫苗必须打? - 健康 - 知乎

list  moi  medicine  health 
march 2016 by aries1988
Posture Affects Standing, and Not Just the Physical Kind
I bought my current vehicle, a Toyota Sienna minivan, largely because I was immediately comfortable when I got behind the wheel for a test drive. My entire back was supported, so not a twinge was felt there, unlike what happens in many other cars. I could also easily see over the steering wheel without tilting my head back, which is not the case in most other vehicles. And I could reach the floor pedals without unduly extending my leg and straining my lower back.

Poor posture can have ill effects that radiate throughout the body, causing back and neck pain, muscle fatigue, breathing limitations, arthritic joints, digestive problems and mood disturbances. It can also create a bad impression when applying for a job, starting a relationship or making new friends.
buy  car  driving  body  health 
december 2015 by aries1988
How Mindfulness Can Jumpstart Our Exercise Routines -
Of course, being aware and in the moment during exercise also means experiencing, fully, your twinging muscles, declining pace, hunger, and unbecoming spite when a grandmother passes you on the trail. But even these aspects of exercise should be more tolerable with mindfulness, Ms. Tsafou said. As she and her colleagues wrote in the study, mindfulness “facilitates the acceptance of things as they occur,” enabling us to “accept negative experiences and view them as less threatening.
health  exercising  mind  body 
february 2015 by aries1988
Coffee May Protect the Liver
Researchers found that compared with people who drank no coffee, those who drank three cups a day were about 25 percent less likely to have abnormal liver enzyme levels.

Should those who do not drink coffee start doing so? “This is an observational study and not designed to determine cause and effect,” Dr. Xiao said. “So based on this study, I wouldn’t make any recommendations. But it is reassurance that coffee and decaf are not harmful to liver function.”
drinking  coffee  health 
october 2014 by aries1988
Rise and Shine

The first time Saki ate the fermented soybean dish called natto, she was 7 months old. She promptly vomited. Her mother, Asaka, thinks that perhaps this was because of the smell, which is vaguely suggestive of canned cat food. But in time, the gooey beans became Saki’s favorite food and a constant part of her traditional Japanese breakfasts.

in China, jook, a rice gruel topped with pickled tofu, strings of dried meat or egg.

In many parts of the world, breakfast is tepid, sour, fermented and savory.

Children begin to acquire a taste for pickled egg or fermented lentils early — in the womb, even. Compounds from the foods a pregnant woman eats travel through the amniotic fluid to her baby. After birth, babies prefer the foods they were exposed to in utero, a phenomenon scientists call prenatal flavor learning.

A child’s first taste of kimchi is something of a rite of passage, one captured in dozens of YouTube videos featuring chubby-faced toddlers grabbing at their tongues and occasionally weeping.

A government-run website promoting tourism boasts that every day the Dutch eat at least 750,000 slices of bread topped with the chocolate sprinkles called hagelslag (‘‘hailstorm’’), making it the country’s most popular bread topping. For a nation of nearly 17 million people, that’s close to 300 million slices a year of hagelslag-covered bread.

For many Brazilian parents, coffee for kids is a cultural tradition; the taste evokes their own earliest memories. Many also believe that coffee provides vitamins and antioxidants and that a small milky serving in the morning helps their children concentrate in school.
breakfast  food  world  photo  story  children  health  diet  comparison  morning  culture  kid 
october 2014 by aries1988
Disease: The Next Big One
We now know from molecular evidence (published by Beatrice H. Hahn, Michael Worobey and their collaborators) that the pandemic strain of H.I.V. went from a single chimpanzee into a single person (presumably by blood-to-blood contact when the chimp was slaughtered for food) around 1908 or earlier, in southeastern Cameroon. The virus then must have passed slowly downriver, human to human, into the large population centers of the Congo basin before spreading worldwide.
health  analysis  future  instapaper_favs 
october 2013 by aries1988
A Cycle of Contamination — and Cancer — That Won’t End -
As in Toms River, so many things about last week’s debacle in Handan were infuriating, starting with the chemical involved: aniline. That was the compound that launched the synthetic chemical industry in 1856, when a precocious 18-year-old named William Henry Perkin, experimenting in his parents’ London attic, inadvertently discovered that aniline, dissolved in sulfuric acid and mixed with potassium dichromate, made a superb purple dye.

Soon London, Basel, Switzerland, and the Ruhr Valley in Germany were littered with aniline factories, many of which would morph into familiar corporate giants like CIBA, Geigy, Agfa and the German behemoth BASF, the industry leader. In Basel and London, it was said, you could tell which dyes were being made by the color of the nearby canals and rivers, where the factories dumped their waste. Factory bosses would send workers on clandestine midnight runs to the Middle Bridge in Basel to dump barrels of waste into the fast-moving Rhine.

The reality of 21st-century globalism, however, is that none of us can pretend that by pushing the chemical industry out of our communities we have stopped enabling its dangerous practices. The industry jobs that started in Basel, and then migrated to Cincinnati and Toms River, are now in Shanxi Province and other coal-rich areas of China. BASF alone now owns or invests in 45 Chinese ventures. Meanwhile, hundreds of smaller companies like the Tianji Coal Chemical Industry Group, whose Changzhi factory was the source of last week’s leak, are busy turning coal into aniline and a host of other chemical products.
globalization  life  history  chemistry  industry  environment  health 
january 2013 by aries1988
december 2012 by aries1988
Beta blockers are busted – what happens next? - opinion - 12 November 2012 - New Scientist
To understand what is going on, consider how they work. Like many drugs, beta blockers target receptors embedded in the surface of cells. Receptors are "molecular switches" - when a specific molecule binds to them, they change shape and send a signal to the cell to perform a certain function. Beta blockers target beta receptors, which respond to the "fight or flight" hormones adrenalin and noradrenalin. In humans, there are two principle types of beta-receptor - beta-1, primarily found in the heart, and beta-2, located at multiple sites, including the smooth-muscle cells of the bronchial tubes and in veins. When adrenalin and noradrenalin bind to beta-1 receptors, they signal the heart to beat faster and pump harder. Binding to beta-2 receptors causes smooth muscle relaxation, especially in the airways, explaining why beta-2 activators are used as asthma drugs. Beta blockers bind to both types of receptor, but do not activate the cellular response. This blocks adrenalin and noradrenalin from reaching their target and activating the response. By preventing the normal hormone-receptor interaction, the beta blockers slow the heart and cause it to pump less forcefully, lowering blood pressure. The premise of beta-blocker therapy has been that giving the heart a rest will diminish the frequency of heart attacks. In the light of the two new studies, it is clearly time to question this. Damaged hearts are more prone to fatal irregular beats, and beta blockers are useful in controlling this. But with the advent of reperfusion therapy, people who survived heart attacks suffered less cardiac damage, so the frequency of fatal arrhythmias was lower. Put simply, the beta blocker effect was significant before the advent of this improved treatment, but the beneficial effect has since disappeared. Additionally, newer and better drugs such as anticoagulants, statins and antihypertensives are now routinely used in heart disease. These more effective therapies swamp any smaller benefit that the beta blockers might provide, minimising any measurable effect. What comes next is impossible to predict, but we may well be seeing a rare case of medical wisdom being overturned almost overnight. Beta blockers are not dangerous and have been in use for such a long time that it is unlikely that we will see an immediate cessation. But these results are hard to ignore, and cardiologists will be paying careful attention.
medicine  health  explained  hypertension 
november 2012 by aries1988
googlereader  milk  health  information  compare 
september 2012 by aries1988
Aging of Eyes Is Blamed in Circadian Rhythm Disturbances -
For decades, scientists have looked for explanations as to why certain conditions occur with age, among them memory loss, slower reaction time, insomnia and even depression.
august 2012 by aries1988
health  people  china  system  sports  life 
october 2011 by aries1988
china  countryside  health 
march 2011 by aries1988

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