Monday, April 30, 2012

Surviving in an Ice or Snow Cave Shelter

I haven't done this a lot but I can say building one with my friends one time on Mt. Shasta likely saved our lives in a white out blizzard that dropped 5 feet of powder snow on us without access to a good shelter. Someone might say, "Why didn't you just go back to your car?" The answer would be, "We could not see more than a foot in front of us because of the white out and blizzard and we didn't have a compass and since it was the winter of 1970 no one had mobile GPS devices or cell phones yet. So, a Christmas vacation lark on Mt. Shasta turned into a survival experience that many would not have lived through. So, since one of my friends who was attending Sacramento State University had attended a Snow Cave building seminar recently, he knew what to do and his knowledge saved the three of us.

When we found our tracks and that we had walked a big  circle with our snow shoes and backpacks on we realized we were in danger. (Remember none of us were more than 22 at the time so we were still in male fearless mode most of the time). However, young male fearless mode doesn't necessarily keep you alive all the time. We realized a real adventure had begun and the question was would we survive it?

So, since the snow was deep in drifts above 5 and up to 10 feet deep in drifts up against hills where there were trees we took off our snow shoes and began to dig ourselves a survival shelter somewhere between the main parking lot at Bunny Flats on Everitt Memorial Hiway on Mt. Shasta and the Sierra Club Survival Shelter which had been our goal until we realized we were in danger because of the severe whiteout and blizzard. So, we used our snowshoes as shovels to dig our survival shelter according to our friend who had just taken a seminar on doing this at Sacramento State University. Since I tend to have some problems a little with claustrophobia since having whooping cough and childhood epilepsy I got to be nearest to the entrance of the snow cave. So, entering the snow cave for me was a little like going into a tomb that I didn't know if I was coming back from or not. During the night the snow melted into all our sleeping bags so when we woke up in the morning (we didn't really sleep because our teeth were chattering too much). And after that I found I was going into what I might call almost convulsive shaking. The person the warmest was in the middle but got his legs bent backwards because we were all trying to stay warm enough to survive the night, so he had some problems with his knees from this the next day. Luckily, during the night the storm ended and the whiteout had ended too. However, since 3 or 4 new feet of powder had come down I started to panic as I dug us out of the cave that had sealed itself off with new fallen snow because I hadn't considered the potential fact that the old entrance to our snow cave was now covered with 4 new feet of snow. We were lucky we didn't die without an air hole out of the cave to the outside.

 But probably our breaths helped keep us warm and we were too cold to pass out and never wake up which is what literally happens to some people in snow or ice caves when they seal themselves completely off for the night from the outside world. I suppose if it isn't snowing a blizzard like we were experiencing at the time making a vertical hole about fist size through the ceiling should vent enough CO2 and allow enough oxygen in during most nights in the snow. After we got out of our Snow Cave our pants were wet from melting snow. Luckily, we didn't freeze to death because the temperature was around 20 degrees so our pants ( Blue Levi jeans) froze solid except for the knees. So, we were cold but the dead air space around our legs kept us from freezing to death. However, so much snow had fallen that even snow shoes were not very effective. Once we put on our packs to return to my 1966 VW Bug as we wanted to stay alive. But since 3 to 4 feet of powder had fallen we couldn't easily use snow shoes without falling into the snow sideways with our packs on. So, we finally realized that we had to take turns leading and each step in the snow had to be packed down three or 4 times in order to not fall down  in the snow. If one of us fell down the other two had to place themselves strategically on both sides to pull the one that fell up on top of the snow that was 7 feet or more high with the top 5 feet that was now powder. Eventually, we made it down to Everette Memorial Hwy. However, because the snow had drifted so much none of us were sure if it was the road or not because there was now over 12 to 15 foot drifts on it. So, one of us dug down with our snow shoes and finally found the asphalt road so we knew where we were. But when we walked up to my Bug all I could see was was the top three inches of the aerial for the radio and the rest of the Bug was buried in the snow. So, again we were stuck miles away from any civilization. But then, in the distance we heard one of the big snow blowers that was headed towards the old Ski lift up past Panther Meadows at that time. (That ski lift since then was destroyed by a snow avalanche) and the new one is reached from hiway 89 now. The new one is the Mt. Shasta Ski Park but it is now closed for the season. I have skied there many times with my friends and enjoy it as well as metal edged cross country and mountaineering skiing on Mt. Shasta from Bunny Flats to 7 mile Curve. Also, I have skied up to the Sierra Club survival lodge and often it is completely covered over with about 20 to 40 feet of snow during the winter and spring.

Two other important things to consider before building an ice or snow cave is that the snow has to be cohesive enough not to cave the snow in on you. Another useful thing to know is under no circumstances can the interior of the snow cave go above 50 degrees Fahrenheit or the whole thing begins to melt down upon you. However, it is really amazing how warming a candle can be in a snow cave. If the air is still (no matter what is happening outside) a candle can warm your hands and through your hands your whole body in a short time as long as you can stay dry enough to stay warm.

Of all the people stuck on the mountain during that Blizzard we were the only ones at that high an atltitude or higher that didn't lose fingers or toes from frostbite. Although luckily no one died during that storm on the mountain that we knew of I experienced pain in all my joints, legs, arms and hands for several years from almost freezing to death during that 20 hours of almost freezing to death on Mt. Shasta on winter vacation from College in 1970. I tend to overdress whenever it is cold ever since and decided I didn't like camping in the snow anymore much after that near death experience. We were so worn out from the experience and even though we didn't go into shock we all were quite weakened  from the experience. So, we spent the next 4 days taking turns thawing ourselves out in a hotel bath. Like I said all my joints hurt from almost freezing to death for several years and my temperature sense never did really come back right so I can't always tell whether I'm too hot or too cold after that. Usually I'm close to almost passing out from the heat or starting to shiver from the cold before I realize that I'm either too hot or too cold from that experience to this day. So, we all had signs of Exposure to the elements that took us about 1 full week to recover from so life started to begin to become normal at all again.

I think the coldest weather I have been in since is in the Himalayas in unheated hotels and unheated Sherpa homes during the winter of 1986 with my family. When we could buy a kerosene stove to heat water for tea and to sterilize water then we also kept warmer at night with the kerosene stove then. But at 10,000 feet the Sherpa homes had a fire pit in the middle of the living room and the smoke went up and out the eves. They didn't use chimneys within traditional Sherpa homes 25 to 50 miles from the nearest road. So heat was only really for cooking. Clothes and body heat was for staying warm even when there was a blizzard outside at it was 10,000 feet in elevation. But the temperatures that I saw usually didn't get below about 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit in the Himalayas in any area where people lived so this might be why they didn't heat homes. Maybe when it got colder they all would bring their beds nearby the cooking fire pit and keep the fires going at night. I don't know.

Since 1970 it has been 42 years now since I almost froze to death on Mt. Shasta that one time. However, I have kept up my knowledge about snow caves and ice caves because since one saved my life I have often thought about one saving someone else's life or my own again.

So, if you want to remain dry in a snow cave here are some of the best pointers I have heard about or seen in action. First, make all the walls rounded so if you get the temperature too high the drips go down the walls and don't drop from points down onto you or your sleeping bag. 2nd, elevate your sleeping area from the floor in case melting snow water gathers in pools in some sections of it. 3rd put your snow platform in the center of the snow cave away from the walls so melting snow doesn't get on your bag or you by transferring to your bag or you directly from the walls. And third as I mentioned above your heater will best be a candle or candle lantern to keep your snow cave cozy and warm enough to more easily maintain your body heat until the morning. Also, a snow cave also gets you out of the sun which might prevent snow blindness if you were separated from your sunglasses or snow goggles. I have dealt with someone who went snow blind for a week and it is not fun because I had to take care of them and feed them etc. So, always have really good sunglasses or sun goggles and maybe a back up too so you don't go snow blind in the wilderness. If you lose your sun glasses or goggles the best thing might be to dig a snow cave and close it up except for a vent hole and to light your candle until the sun goes down as long as you have some light for night time travel to your car or wherever, or maybe the moon or stars are out to light your way. I suppose you could take a stick or curved piece of wood or bone or even with a piece of dark or colored plastic and make slits for your eyes like Inuit people did before they had access to sunglasses or sun goggles if you have the right knife or tools but that might take almost a day to make depending upon what raw materials you can find and your skills with a knife or small saw. If it is overcast at all you should be able to travel without sunglasses, goggles or an eye protection of some kind with slits carved or cut into it as long as you can't see the sun at all and not go snow blind in the snow. If you make a slit device be careful you don't fall down because your field of vision is pretty small until you get used to something like that.

So, as you can see it can be important to be prepared for almost anything if you are going to go backpacking or skiing or snowboard or snowshoe camping in the snow.


When I was young and looked at the world it was both magical and scary at the same time. It took my breath away in the intensity of everything. When I was 4 it was 1952 in Seattle, Washington. There was only 1 or 2 billion people on earth then so there was more unused space everywhere and so the world seemed a lot bigger then than now in many physical ways. There were still so many unknowns and so many questions to be answered not only by me but all of my generation and all the generations to come.

This magical quality to the world stayed with me throughout my life. I found it most in the ocean and in the mountains and in the desert. Both my father and my grandfather were outdoorsmen and so as a young boy I was trained to camp and to not ever get lost in the woods wherever I was on earth. This made me completely at home in the wilderness everywhere on earth. This brought me peace.

When I looked at city life I usually saw a kind of insanity there. Too many people crammed into too little space. But when I became an adult in my 20s and early 30s I bought 2 1/2 acres of remote land I found that you will meet some of the craziest people either deep in urban areas or in the most remote places you will ever visit. And the sanest people seem to be somewhere between suburbia and country life where there is enough space to hear yourself think and to walk around in parks or into the wilderness. But also, there are enough people for you to meet so you stay sociable at the same time. So, where is the greatest craziness that I have found? The answer is in the deepest urban messes and in the most remote places you can think of and that balance is more often found in between the two.

As I learned more about this I realized for myself first hand that for a long well lived life unless you are a very exceptional kind of person in your own way, suburban and country living tends to keep people more balanced for a good living setting than either extreme remoteness or extreme urban settings.

So, I found my spiritual path led in the direction of Phenomena for my specific physical and personality type. So, as a child the question might be "Why is the sky Blue Daddy?" And since there is really no satisfying answer to a child regarding this because saying the scientific answer which is, "The sky is blue because of the way the light refracts from the sun as it enters earths atmosphere and bounces off the ocean and the earth. As you move to different altitudes the sky becomes different shades of blue depending upon the altitude and where you are on earth." But to a child the child wants an easy answer, sort of like, "Why do you love me?" And the parents answer might be, "I love you because I always wanted to have a child just like you." So, throughout my life the world was always very magical and scary. But when I studied science because I always wanted to know how everything worked, though the answers were mechanically satisfactory, they weren't always emotionally satisfying. So, I found myself spiritually wanting more than science alone could give me.

So, on the one hand I became mechanically aware of how literally everything physical worked but on the other hand I felt completely unsatisfied by all this emotionally because it did not satisfy my relationship with  God and the Universe. So, I found I had to combine my knowledge of the sciences with my love of the phenomena of the universe to find my path towards spirit.

So, I found that the problem of religion was that people were supposed to be submissive to ideas that made absolutely no sense in a scientific sense. So, I found that my path towards spirit had to be a way to reconcile everything I had studied in science with all the spiritual paths and religions of the world. By doing this type of reconciliation I found my path forwards. The first part of my path was through psychology. I had been raised believing in Creation Theory and this didn't work in relation to things like Evolution. So by age 21 I had come to the point where I realized that Creation was a school of thought like a language and evolution was a school of thought like a language and for most people these two schools of thought couldn't be reconciled. However, if I view both schools of thought as literal languages of expression like languages like Spanish, English, French or German then all my distress over this completely ended. My distress was trying to make either of them absolutely correct. Then I realized that "What if neither of these systems of thought was correct?" At that point I was able to move forward in life more effectively.

By accepting that "What if the human race actually knows nothing and it is only making stuff up because it is scared?" made the most sense to me of anything. Because when I looked around me at all religions this last question actually looked the closest to the truth.

Then I realized that "Maybe a few men and women down through time actually get the whole thing right, but most other people might be too simple minded to get the whole thing too?" This started me thinking in more useful directions in regard to all this.

So, I had to let go of the past in order to embrace the present and future.

At this point I had my path forward which is to follow my heart and then to use the scientific method of Sir Francis Bacon to ferret out the truth of everything. Soon, my favorite statement was, "
God is where you find him (her, the Being). So, since God was everywhere I decided to go find God Everywhere and not just limited to one structured form or another structured form. God would show me my path wherever I was in consciousness or time or space.

Finally, I had been taught by my parents religion to visualize a force field of energy around me to protect me from physical or spiritual harm. I even heard a man speak from Africa that had made this forcefield so strong during his prayers that bullets of a firing squad had bounced off it which saved his life in Ghana. And I knew from personal experience that this kind of thing worked.

But being inside a literal 10 to 20 foot Milk Bottle of forcefield could also be a trap in some ways of thinking. So, when I met Buddhist teachers and I read about Siddhartha (Guatama Buddha's experiences of traveling to thousands of other worlds with people on them at UCLA in the library there since I was already a soul traveler by nature and experience I began to visit other worlds in my spirit like Buddha did 2500 or more years ago now.

There are times when I visualize the Forcefield and it is there for me still if I feel in danger on some level. But most of the time now I prefer to experience the whole universe and God because I find great peace in doing this. Also, when I experience the whole universe as myself, somehow God and I are completely one and inseparable and because of this if you have enough courage or whenever it is the right time for you I encourage you to experience yourself as the whole universe because of the infinite peace that comes from that. I prefer to experience this Oneness 24 hours a day with God in Peace as much as God allows me to every day.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Occupy Wall Street plans Global Demonstrations Tuesday May 1st

Occupy Wall Street Plans Global Disruption of Status Quo May 1

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, whose anti-greed message spread worldwide during an eight-week encampment in Lower Manhattan last year, plan marches across the globe tomorrow calling attention to what they say are abuses of power and wealth.
Organizers say they hope the coordinated events will mark a spring resurgence of the movement after a quiet winter. Calls for a general strike with no work, no school, no banking and no shopping have sprung up on websites in Toronto, Barcelona, London, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, among hundreds of cities in North America, Europe and Asia.
In New York, Occupy Wall Street will join scores of labor organizations observing May 1, traditionally recognized as International Workers’ Day. They plan marches from Union Square to Lower Manhattan and a “pop-up occupation” of Bryant Park on Sixth Avenue, across the street from Bank of America’s Corp.’s 55-story tower.
“We call upon people to refrain from shopping, walk out of class, take the day off of work and other creative forms of resistance disrupting the status quo,” organizers said in an April 26 e-mail.
Occupy groups across the U.S. have protested economic disparity, decrying high foreclosure and unemployment rates that hurt average Americans while bankers and financial executives received bonuses and taxpayer-funded bailouts. In the past six months, similar groups, using social media and other tools, have sprung up in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Pooling Resources

The Occupy movement in New York has relied on demonstrations and marches around the city since Nov. 15, when police ousted hundreds of protesters from their headquarters in Zuccotti Park near Wall Street, where they had camped since Sept. 17.
Banks have pooled resources and cooperated to gather intelligence after learning of plans to picket 99 institutions and companies, followed by what organizers have described as an 8 p.m. “radical after-party” in an undetermined Financial District location.
“If the banks anticipate outrage from everyday citizens, it’s revealing of their own guilt,” said Shane Patrick, a member of the Occupy Wall Street press team. “If they hadn’t been participating in maneuvers that sent the economy into the ditch, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”

Police Prepared

New York police can handle picketers, according to Paul Browne, the department’s chief spokesman.
“We’re experienced at accommodating lawful protests and responding appropriately to anyone who engages in unlawful activity, and we’re prepared to do both,” he said in an interview.
About 2,100 Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York have been arrested since the demonstrations began, said Bill Dobbs, a member of the group’s media-relations team.
Organizers describe the May Day events as a coming together of the Occupy movement, with activists also calling for more open immigration laws, expanded labor rights and cheaper financing for higher education. Financial institutions remain a primary target of the protests.
“Four years after the financial crisis, not a single of the too-big-to-fail banks is smaller; in fact, they all continue to grow in size and risk,” the group’s press office said in an April 26 e-mail.

Planning Since January

Five banks -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America, Citigroup Inc. (C), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) together held $8.5 trillion in assets at the end of 2011, equal to 56 percent of the U.S. economy, compared with 43 percent in 2006, according to central bankers at the Federal Reserve.
Occupy Wall Street began planning for May Day in January, meeting in churches and union halls with a decision-making system that avoids a single leader. Instead, participants rely on group “break-out” sessions in which clusters discuss such tasks as crowd-building, logistics and communications.
About 150 attended an April 25 meeting at the Greenwich Village headquarters of the Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union, making last-minute preparations for how to deploy legal and medical help; site selection for picketing; purchasing, production and distribution of protest signs; and how to talk to reporters.
The meeting convened inside the union hall basement, where attendees arranged chairs in a circle as three facilitators asked each of the assembled to identify themselves by first name and gender -- he, she or they. Most appeared under age 30, though gray-haired baby boomers also participated. One of the older attendees pulled a ski mask over his head to protest the presence of a photographer from Tokyo.

Raging Musicians

Tomorrow, beginning at 8 a.m. in Bryant Park, scheduled events include teach-ins, art performances and a staging area for “direct action and civil disobedience,” such as bank blockades.
Tom Morello of the Grammy Award-winning rock band Rage Against the Machine along with 1,000 other guitar-playing musicians will accompany a march to Union Square at 2 p.m., according to the website. That will be followed by a “unity rally” at Union Square at 4 p.m.; a march from there to Wall Street at 5:30 p.m.; and a walk to a staging area for “evening actions,” which organizers at the April 25 meeting said would be the so-called after-party.

Golden Gate Bridge

Occupy-related events are planned in 115 cities throughout the U.S., from college towns such as Amherst, Massachusetts, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Philadelphia.
In San Francisco, demonstrators intend to hold a rally at the toll plaza of the Golden Gate Bridge from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. local time that “will result in the shutdown,” according to their website.
Across the bay in Oakland, protesters said they intend morning marches on banks and the Chamber of Commerce, followed by an afternoon rally and a march downtown.
“We’re looking forward to vigorously asserting our constitutional right to protest and giving a loud outcry about Wall Street and greed,” Dobbs said. “We’re hoping this will make a splash. We hope it will bring a lot of more people into the Occupy movement.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Henry Goldman in New York at; Esmé E. Deprez in New York at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at
End quote from:

Though I think the Occupy People are well meaning I'm not sure what this will do but draw more attention to the problems of most people around the world. And maybe that's a good thing.
I've noticed that most people simply want to escape the real problems of the world. However, until enough people actually face our problems and design a workable solution to our problems there will tend to be ongoing chaos in all the realms not properly understood by people escaping the most important problems of ongoing civilization existing here on earth. I think the following concept will work if enough people are capable of embracing it,
"There are no problems only Opportunities!"
When you refuse to see problems as problems they become opportunities no matter what they are.
Let me show you how it works:
You don't have a job
Look for work
if you can't find work
Then do something else
Try something new
If you are hungry
Go find some food
If you are sick
Go to a hospital
If you are lonely
Go and make a friend

See. There are really no problems. Problems is only one way to look at life. Try this. When you try to speak about your problem don't define it as a problem instead talk about it as an opportunity and see what your mind does. You mind instead of recoiling in depression suddenly starts to think, "Wow! What can we do now that is interesting?" What new idea or opportunity can we move on? If you refuse to see your life as problems then you won't be depressed. Being depressed is just allowing yourself to get lost in your problems. But if you redefine your problems as opportunities then you let go of your depression and see things completely differently.

Someone gave me this secret to life when I was 46 and I was going through a really terrible divorce. It completely changed my life. I went from no life to a really wonderful life just by refusing to see my life as a problem and only allowed myself to look at every aspect of my life as an opportunity. When I did this my life only became infinite opportunities. Was it still hard? Yes. It was. But it went from being unsurvivable to survivable. That is the real difference to looking at life this way. If you want your life to be survivable you have to always be open to seeing all the wonderful opportunities that life is bringing to you every single day.

If Life Gives you Lemons

Make lemonade or Lemon Pie. That is the answer to what do you do if live gives you lemons. Many people have been freaking out in the U.S., Europe and around the world basically since 9-11. It just has gotten a lot more intense since about 2007. But rather than worry about what you can't do, instead maybe thinking about what you still can do is more useful. Yes. Life is not at all the way it was from about 1992 until about 2007. Homes have likely lost around 50% of their value in 2006 in most places around the country or worse. So, owning a home is more about "Where do you want to live?" than where do I put my money for an investment. And even though more people rent now than before most people have enough food and have shelter. But yes, for many people this is really scary because it hasn't been like this since about World War II. After that things got better. But I can remember all my older relatives preparing me for another Great Depression. They would say things like, "It won't happen in my lifetime but it is likely to happen in yours!" So, as I grew up during the 1950s someone older than me was always lamenting about how bad the Great Depression was and many would tell me how it ruined their lives or their childhoods or their teens. My parents born in 1916 and 1919 turned 20 in 1936 and 1939 so I suppose the Great Depression ruined their lives in some ways. But, my father whose father was very successful as an Electrical Contractor all during the Great Depression because his father hired all his sons as electricians so all of them always had money from the time they graduated High School which for my father was 1934. So, even though my father's family always had enough money and my mother's family didn't, he was the one who complained the most about how difficult the Great Depression was. His point of view was, "I always had to work my butt off from the time I was about 10 years old because my Dad was a slave driver." And from having met my Grandad I could see he might be a difficult and stern task master. But on the other hand working hard became something my father liked to do throughout his life and you could say the Great Depression and his father made him a "Workaholic" so he became someone not happy if he wasn't working all the time.
So, money never was a problem in my life growing up and my parents stayed together from two years before I was born until my Father passed away when I was 37.

I'm recounting all this to tell you that other generations have been through times like this and most of them survived it all and so will you.

IPad instead of IPhone

Recently, I accidentally washed my IPhone in the washing machine. This didn't help it any. So, since I didn't want this to happen again because IPhone's don't grow on trees I decided to go with an inexpensive cell phone I used before, along with a new IPad as I had been wanting an IPad anyway. So, my new idea is to with internet anytime service anywhere there is cell reception on board and a place in my truck to store it whenever I am out of my house, it goes with me in my 4wd truck wherever I might need gps, or internet, which is more than I used to believe I would need these things before I had my IPhone. Before, I usually didn't use GPS except outside the state of California where I live because all the main roads I have driven on since I was 16 in 1964. But now, if I'm going to an address I'm unfamiliar with I just punch it in to GPS rather than look at a paper map. Also, I find it much more convenient in finding a restaurant in an unfamiliar area to Google it to see which ones are rated the best with reasonable prices which isn't something I would have done before my IPhone. And the other advantage to an Ipad is that I will Never leave it in one of my pants pockets and accidentally run it through the wash again.

However, it is important to realize that an IPad is NOT a laptop computer if you want to do something like this yourself. It is like having an Iphone without the phone (unless you want to use it as a phone and use a headset) only with a much larger screen only I bought an external blue tooth driven key pad to make typing easier with it. For example, when I went to compose all this on the IPad I was able to do it on the IPad  but titling it became a problem. So I was able to type in the words but titling it, and labeling it didn't work properly with the Ipad. So, you may be able to access your blog site remotely with your Ipad (with an anywhere internet connection) (two gigabytes of data is around 30 dollars a month on a monthly rate was the one I chose because I don't run long movies unless I am home on my WIFI network on it. Because on my wifi network data usage is basically free. But if you are out an about you really have to watch your data usage so you don't get financially penalized for going over your data quotient per month. But I find if I'm not trying to run movies I never so far on my IPhone have gotten above about 750 megabytes out of 2 Gigabytes no matter what I was doing on my Iphone and that includes running a couple of movies on Youtube for my daughter as we were traveling south to Southern California one day. So, time will tell regarding the new IPad.

So, though with an IPad and internet anywhere there is cell phone coverage you likely can also access and compose your blogs anywhere you still have to realize an IPad is not a real Laptop. So as long as you realize what its advantages and limitations are you will be happy with the result.

Much later:  April 1st 2013: I finally broke down and got another smartphone. I couldn't resist a free one. I got an LG smartphone that is the same brand as the older touchscreen non-smartphone I was using. I still use my Ipad and often take it and use it for checking traffic and using it as a map for navigation and for Internet. Because I'm 65 it is much easier to see the large Ipad and to make any printing bigger that I want to. However, I can also use my LG free smartphone to go on the internet with anywhere I can either get a phone signal or wifi which is great too. Also, since the phone is free if I accidentally drop it in the hot tub or accidentally wash it I won't worry that much. However, an Iphone4 or 5 is often 600 to 800 dollars so that isn't something that I'll likely get again because I don't want to lose something that valuable in my hot tub or washing machine again.

Dieting and Losing Weight over 40

If you are over 40 years of age all the old tricks of fasting, crash diets of all kinds, walking or running miles and miles might not work anymore to stay in shape for a variety of reasons because your body likely is moving into a whole new paradigm. So, staying in shape and losing weight is much different than before you were 40 or more.

The first thing to be aware of is that most people are actually protein starved in their diets and conversely most people are also carboloaders which means that people are literally addicted to bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, and all the things that likely will prevent someone over 40 from losing weight. So, all the crash diets and extreme fasting over 40 are not going to work unless you get enough protein. If your body thinks it is starving for protein no amount of crash dieting will release weight from your body. So, for example some people over 40 (if they could survive this) might not eat anything for 30 or 40 days and not lose a pound of weight because the body is saying, "I'm not going to give up this weight because I'm starving for protein."

However, if you get up in the morning and have some kind of whey protein or soy protein in a drink, first of all you won't be putting your blood sugar for the day at risk by not starting out with enough protein, so you likely won't go into a low blood sugar cascade of hypoglycemia because of not enough protein in the morning over 40. By taking in enough protein in small amounts during the day you can trick your body to begin to release the weight. Yes. I know this isn't as easy as losing weight before you were 40 or 50 but being healthy and surviving your life is important isn't  it?

One method is to give up all carbohydrates like pizza, pasta, bread, butter, rice and potatoes for the first month and instead eat only lean meats and dairy products like Buffalo, turkey, or even Elk which is the leanest meat of all if you can get that. And most vegetables can be eaten in large amounts as long as there isn't a lot of butter or other fattening things on it. There are also soups you can make that are all vegetable soups that are literally no calorie soups that can be helpful. So something like a no calorie vegetable soup with a couple of scoops of cottage cheese might be helpful. In between meals you also need to keep up your protein input by buying something like ultra lean protein bars. Eating something with protein in it about once every 2 hours from the time you get up until about 6 pm at night will keep your apostat (your hunger in control). Also, make it a rule not to eat anything in front of the Television while you are watching because this leads to unconscious eating which is almost always harmful to your ongoing health. Next, you need to journal about every single thing you put into your mouth. This is one way to be more conscious about every single thing you eat. The motto has to become "I don't live to eat, I eat to live". Food cannot be looked upon as a pleasure while you are dieting if you want to be successful. It is something you do to keep your body alive and healthy, nothing else. If you can impress upon yourself that food is not for pleasure, food is for survival then you put food in a survival context and take it out of a pleasure context and then you can be a successful dieter in being just as healthy as you want to be. It is necessary to be very very disciplined about all this for the first month so you begin to see the results. Once you begin to see the results it is much easier to justify this discipline to yourself ongoing.
Good Luck and Long life!

My doctor was telling me that he was a 180 pound man in a 300 pound man's body. And then he proceeded to tell me that he recently had given up all cream in his coffee because he realized that the cream was an extra 2500 calories per week. So, even though he preferred his coffee with cream he just had given cream up to reduce his calories. So now he only puts one sugar in his coffee and no cream at all.

And so he was telling me just how disciplined he has to be to stay at a good weight for him and he is around 60 like myself.

So, as long as you know that basically lean protein is your friend and that basically carbohydrates are your basic enemy in losing weight you likely are on your way to where you want to be going. Like I said most of the extreme things you used to do to stay at your perfect weight before 40 won't work after 40 or 50 so it is important not to think you can just magically stay perfect after 40. That just doesn't work for most people. So, be patient with yourself and know that protein and vegetables are your friend. And within moderation so is fruit as long as you understand that fruit becomes fructose which is a natural sugar in the body. So, too much fruit becomes the same problem to a lesser degree as too much candy after a while. (Even though fruit is usually much healthier in every way). Another useful thing to know is mental acuity (mental clearness) is helped with things like Blueberries and berries of most kinds. So, even though they tend to be expensive (if they are organic) blueberries and other berries especially anything blue or purple tends to help mental clearness over 40.

Another thought is the old addage, "An Apple a day keeps the doctor away". And I would add to that "especially if it is organically grown". So, any food you can buy organically grown just means that your body will have less problems eliminating pesticides or herbicides from itself over time. Because once fruit and vegetables are sprayed you really can't get all of it off. So organic is best if you can afford it. So, a long life starts with being clear enough in your decisions about food to make good decisions ongoing. Have a healthy long life if that is what you wish!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Less Refined Hunter Gatherers and more refined ones

I was thinking today that humans are still hunter gatherers. We are just more refined at hunter gathering. Even your teenager foraging your refrigerator is an aspect of hunting and gathering food. Last night we were watching an old Travolta movie, "Saturday Night Fever" and I realized just how much more the average person in the U.S. is refined and educated since that  that film was made when I was 29. I remember growing up with people just like in the movie on the west coast. But instead of Brooklyn habits on the west coast we were surfers and car clubbers and we surfed and raced cars on the streets instead of being in a gang which was a more deep urban thing when I grew up. There were not gangs usually in the suburbs because life was safe enough to usually survive without dying without being in a gang when you were in your teens.

But the main difference between the 1950s through the 1980s is that people were just generally a lot more ignorant about a lot of things than now. This all began to change when young people(especially boys got a lot of bachelor's degrees and advanced degrees during the Viet Nam War in order to not die as a soldier or be maimed for life or have PTSD for life like many Viet Nam Veterans who still wander the streets talking to themselves today in their late 50s through 70s or above. And girls followed the boys into college because all the smartest and most eligible boys were in College so many of them got Bachelor's degrees and advanced degrees during this time and after also.

This getting of degrees was both useful and not useful to our nation as a whole. What it did was to make people more intellectually aware but less mechanically aware and capable of taking care of themselves properly in all situations. When I grew up a man was an adult starting at 15 to 18 years of age. This is less true today because of there not being jobs for most young men that age because of those jobs being gobbled up by 21 year olds to 30 year old during these times.

So, as a result of our upwardly mobile society we have become very top heavy with a whole lot of people who can think critically but with less and less mechanically skilled people who are actually capable of doing "ANYTHING" because of more all around skills. So, younger people have become "Pampered intellectuals" who put down the blue collar work ethics and pride in blue collar work and working with their hands even though that is needed by our society as well to keep on going. This is very unfortunate because that means that capable people will NOT choose blue collar work because they feel it is beneath them. But this is not useful for all young people to think this way but they do.

When I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s it was possible for a young man of 17 to support with a blue collar job like being a garbage man, carpenter, electrician, plumber, or any other trade up to 5 people easily. So many young men married and stayed married and raised their families starting at age 16 or 17 or 18. However, this is not longer always true in our society as it once was. So, until the world starts to make more sense again in regard to people being paid what they are worth instead of a sort of fantasy world in which we now live, life is going to continue to be confusing for more and more people.

At this point I'm not happy with the title I chose for this article but I can't think of a better one at present so until I do I'm going to leave it as it is for now.

However, I do believe that we are still basically hunter gatherers. We hunt for food in a store now mostly and then we gather it. Some of us are farmers but I believe it is now less than 3% of our population at present. Just 50 to 100 years ago it likely was in the neighborhood of 30% to 50% farmers still in order to feed our nation. But when gasoline and diesel came in and gas and diesel powered tractors became possible everything changed. But what is going to happen when the price of gas and diesel is too high to make it practical to buy gas and diesel and make a profit selling food for farmers? This is a question that might be true already in many countries and will eventually be true in the U.S. and Europe as well.

So, I guess what I'm really saying is that our present top heavy education system cannot be sustained with Gas and Diesel slowly becoming too expensive to buy. Even in the U.S., Canada and Europe we either switch to other energy sources or all the intellectual progress we have made might be for nothing if starvation and the inevitable resulting conflicts become too prevalent this century from the end of cheap oil all around the world.

The Fox P2 Human Gene

I was watching a DVR I made of the Ancient Aliens Program called "Aliens and the Creation of man" on the H2 HD network (I think H2 is History channel 2). One of the researches was saying how the human gene Fox P2 is not found in any other mammal or creature on earth except humans and that research has been done suggesting that this gene alone is responsible for language which nothing but humans have. But where did this one gene come from? If it didn't come from any other species or evolutionary process we presently understand then likely it came from Genetic engineering or some kind of other worldly aliens having something to do with the existence of humans on earth. Unless this gene jumped off an asteroid or comet there is no other way I can think of that it got here except for someone genetically engineering us.

I suppose this is one way to get to the place where someone says basically, "Well. This gene since it isn't in anything but humans can't have evolved here on earth because it wasn't one of the original building blocks of life on earth. So then, humans have either been modified by someone or something into being physically what they are."

However, for me, it is a much easier thing for me just to go back to a Probe sent to the Asteroid belt to scientifically understand what the Asteroid Belt was in the 1970s by the Soviet Union.  When they did this they found that the Asteroid Belt had originally been a planet that had been blown up by a thermonuclear bomb or bombs. For me, this is a much easier way to get to the same place. So, for me, I don't need to study evolution and the impossibility of humans evolving on earth to be what they are. I'm already there by understanding that someone (likely our ancestors) or those who genetically engineered us, blew up the Asteroid belt when it was a planet and very likely we are related somehow to some of the survivors of the planet that was blown up. This is an easier way to get to the same place.

Or, you can look at a gene that didn't evolve on earth, (the Fox P2 gene) and say, "Who did this thing that allows humans to have a speaking language that no other species has?" Either way you are left with the same thing which is, "At least a part of our genes aren't from earth." Or humans here on earth might have been alive and evolved like us for millions of years already. And then the question becomes, "Why weren't they able to maintain their civilizations?" We might be living proof of what happened to previous civilizations right now. For example, imagine previous human civilizations evolving to be something like us now. But then, either a pandemic or ice age happened and only 1% of the people or less survived. Then their technology and cultures faltered during the ice ages, pandemics happened and wiped almost everyone out and then 1% or less survived and those 1% or less took about 10 to 15 thousand years to get again to where we are right now. With Geomagnetic excursions every few thousand years and polar shifts during longer periods it is possible that all previous evolved civilizations were lost and each time some of us that survived were thrown by weather and ice ages back into being cave men and women to survive once again. This is what I believe has been happening for thousands and thousands of years already. So, this makes it imperative for humans to colonize other worlds before our civilization collapses once again because of Global Climate Changes, Polar Shifts, Geomagnetic excursions, pandemics, overpopulation etc. Because once any one of these things happens those that are left of us will likely be cavemen and cave women again if any of us survive.

So, take your pick. Which theory works for you? Or you can figure out a new theory. But at this point after studying everything I'm talking about I tend to think humans have been on earth since the dinosaurs died out which is 65 million years ago when the Asteroid planet was blown up and a piece of it hitting the earth killed all the dinosaurs. At that point I think any survivors of the Asteroid Belt planet and Mars came here to earth because once the dinosaurs were gone it was safer for them to come and try to live here. However, they might not have been well suited to living on earth and so bred slave children from their own DNA and apes. So, likely the colonist survivors from other worlds either died out or left and we have remained ever since. This is my thought at this point after a lifetime of research into the subject. However, if you have a better idea about all this please share it with the rest of us.

What if the REAL Garden of Eden was 65 million years ago and not 6 to 10,000 years ago as many Biblical Scholars might think? What if aliens sent an Asteroid to earth to make the largest dinosaurs extinct so they could create the Garden of Eden and us as Adam and Eve after the large dinosaurs all died and so there actually was a Garden of Eden caused by the Death of the large Dinosaurs ?

And even stranger still, what if we are here to entertain the aliens or for them to study us and that periodically they send an asteroid or something else to earth to thin us out back to a few million or even 100,000 or less periodically so they don't have to compete with us and so we don't permanently destroy the ecology of earth or nuke ourselves out of existence on a planet like they did with the Asteroid planet and in the process blow most of the atmosphere off of Mars like happened when the Asteroid planet was blown up (in a war between Mars and the Asteroid belt planet?)?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Corn Syrup in Soft Drinks: Number 1 in obesity fight?

    • Soft drinks: Public enemy No.1 in obesity fight? updated 1 day ago
    • Pushing her meal cart into the hospital room, a research assistant hands out tall glasses of reddish-pink liquid, along with a gentle warning: "Remember, you guys have to finish all your Kool-Aid."
      Begin quote:

      Soft drinks: Public enemy No.1 in obesity fight?

      By Caleb Hellerman, CNN
      updated 6:49 AM EDT, Fri April 27, 2012
      See why one doctor says sugar is a toxin
      • About 1 in 4 Americans gets at least 200 calories a day from sugary drinks
      • Although soda consumption has declined, U.S. obesity has increased
      • Many experts say cutting sweetened drinks would fight obesity or diabetes
      • Soft drink industry says their product has been unfairly singled out
      This weekend on "Sanjay Gupta MD," Dr. Gupta takes a critical look at sugar and the impact it has on our bodies. Don't miss the in-depth investigation Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET, and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET on CNN.
      (CNN) -- Pushing her meal cart into the hospital room, a research assistant hands out tall glasses of reddish-pink liquid, along with a gentle warning: "Remember, you guys have to finish all your Kool-Aid."
      One by one, young volunteers chug down their drinks, each carefully calibrated to contain a mix of water, flavoring and a precisely calibrated solution of high fructose corn syrup: 55% fructose, 45% glucose.
      The participants are part of an ongoing study run by Kimber Stanhope, a nutritional biologist at the University of California, Davis. Volunteers agree to spend several weeks as lab rats: their food carefully measured, their bodies subjected to a steady dose of scans and blood tests. At first, each volunteer receives meals with no added sugars. But then, the sweetened drinks start showing up.
      For the final two weeks of the study, volunteers drank three of the sweet concoctions daily -- about 500 calories of added sugar, or 25% of all calories for the adult women in the study. Within just two weeks, their blood chemistry was out of whack. In one striking change, the volunteers had elevated levels of LDL cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease.
      While force-feeding junk food may sound extreme, this controlled diet is not so far from the real world. A 20-ounce regular soda contains 227 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). That single drink is more than 10% of the total calories an adult woman needs to maintain a healthy weight, according to USDA diet guidelines. Meanwhile, about 1 in 4 Americans gets at least 200 calories a day from sugary drinks. These numbers, along with work like Stanhope's, gives ammunition to doctors and public health officials who say soda should be treated as public health enemy No. 1.
      About 1 in 4 Americans gets at least 200 calories a day from sugary drinks.
      About 1 in 4 Americans gets at least 200 calories a day from sugary drinks.
      "Soft drinks and sugar-containing beverages are the low hanging fruit in public health today," says Dr. David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center, at Children's Hospital in Boston. "Many children are consuming 300 calories per day or more, just in sugar-containing beverages. Compare the challenge of giving up three glasses of sugary beverages, versus getting them to do two hours of moderate physical activity."
      "If you switch from Coke to water, that's easy," says Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, a professor at the University of North Carolina and a recent president of the American Diabetes Association. "You don't have to make big complicated changes in how you cook, and shop, and all that. And the number of calories you can save, can be substantial."
      Some in the soft drink business say their product has been unfairly singled out. "Consumption of added sugars is going down," says Karen Hanretty, Vice-President of Public Affairs for the American Beverage Association. "Soda consumption has declined, even as obesity has increased. To say that sugar is solely responsible for obesity, doesn't make sense."
      Coca-Cola has adapted to meet consumer demand, says Rhona Applebaum, the company's Vice President and Chief Scientific Regulatory Officer. More than ever, she says, those consumers choose low-sugar products. Today, Diet Coke and Coke Zero make up 41% of Coke's North American soda sales, up from 32% a decade ago. "Our products are part of a balanced, sensible diet, and they can be enjoyed as a valuable part of any meal, including snacks," says Applebaum.
      Buried in the flood of horror stories about America's obesity crisis, are a few hopeful signs. Not only is sugar consumption going down, but obesity rates among girls and women have actually stayed flat since 1999, according to Cynthia Ogden, a scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For boys and men, those levels have increased only modestly since around 2006, Ogden says.
      Coincidentally or not, the leveling off of obesity coincides with a drop in the amount of soda that Americans consume. Consumption of soda -- both regular and diet -- has fallen by 17.3% since 1998, according to Beverage Digest.
      Soft drinks and sugar-containing beverages are the low hanging fruit.
      Dr. David Ludwig, New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center
      Of course soda isn't the only concern. An 8-ounce glass of fruit punch or apple juice has nearly 130 calories. The same glass of chocolate milk has more than 200 -- a solid 20 percent of all recommended daily calories. Overall, added sugars -- which includes both natural sugar, and high fructose corn syrup -- make up about a sixth of all calories taken in, according to USDA figures. Somewhat more than a third of those sugars come from soda and other drinks.
      That's why most people who take a hard look at American diets say that cutting out sweetened drinks, is the first step for anyone struggling with weight or diabetes.
      "If we create the assumption that doing one thing will reduce the epidemic [of obesity], we're making a mistake," says Dr. William Dietz, director of the CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. "But within the dietary side, we have to focus on where the biggest action is."
      The action, says Dietz and others, lies with sugar and its close cousin, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Most sweet drinks, including nearly all soda in the United States, use HFCS.
      Not everyone agrees they're equivalent. While most studies show that table sugar and HFCS play an equal role in weight gain, some research suggests that HFCS -- which usually contains 10% more fructose than sucrose -- is more likely to change the body's metabolism, in ways that can increase risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
      But most scientists say the differences are subtle. That includes even Stanhope, whose work has focused on comparing the effects of fructose and other sugars. In terms of advising patients or making public health policy, she says, there isn't much difference. "I think we really, at this point, need to treat them all alike."
      "Are sweetened drinks the only reason we have epidemics of obesity and diabetes? No, they're not," says Mayer-Davis, the past ADA president. "But sometimes the easy answer, is the answer." end quote from:

      In my family we solve this problem by reading what is on the label of anything we eat. Even if it tastes wonderful we choose not to buy anything with corn syrup in it as long as we can find a useful alternative. People who don't take the time to do this often wind up obese along with their kids, and sometimes they and their kids wind up with blood sugar problems like diabetes or hypoglycemia or other blood sugar problems when people don't rigorously read labels to keep High Fructose Corn Syrup out of their diets. From our point of view as a family: "There simply is no safe dose of corn syrup if you want to stay healthy and not become obese."

      It is important to realize that most processed food companies of all kinds are NOT in business to sell you healthy foods but rather to make a profit any way they can. Because this is unfortunately true (at least in the U.S.) it is Caveat Emptor(let the buyer beware). If some companies could grind up cardboard and add sugar to it to make you buy it they would. And many breads still have sawdust added to them as filler so they don't have to pay so much for dough. And many cheeses sold on pizzas are mostly a type of plastic with no food value at all.  So, unless you police the food you eat for yourselves your health (and the health of your family and children) in one way or another will soon be on the wane.

Most Seniors self Police their own driving

Perhaps helping to dispel the notion that older drivers are more dangerous, AAA found that drivers 65 and older often "self-police": 61% don't drive in bad weather, 50% avoid night driving and 42% don't drive in heavy traffic. end quote from:

As people get past their 20s and 30s and get some real survival skills going on multiple levels from working, owning businesses, dealing with marriage and families and kids and grandkids and finding ways to survive it all they then tend to self police themselves because they have become wise through their experience to know to do so. Likely bad things happen to seniors when they don't self analyze their physical and mental states enough when changing medicines or during the deaths of relatives or friends which tend to  increase exponentially after anyone is 40 to 50 years of age. Dealing with illnesses and deaths of loved ones or themselves likely is the single biggest cause of elder driver mishaps.

More on World Wide Circling Cesium in the Air

Cesium fallout as it travels in the Air Around the...

As you can see from the graphic just after the Fukushima multiple meltdowns including one reactor that was reprocessing weapons grade plutonium, that the Cesium or (Caesium) on the air since March of 2011 in Japan has been and continues to be problematic for life on earth especially in the Northern Hemisphere. Below I will put the source article for the above graphic.

Cesium Fallout from Fukushima ALREADY Rivals Chernobyl

By Washingtons Blog - March 30th, 2011, 8:30AM
As I’ve previously noted, many experts say that the Fukushima plants will keep on leaking for months. See this and this.
And the amount of radioactive fuel at Fukushima dwarfs Chernobyl.
As the New York Times notes, radioactive cesium is the main danger from the Japanese nuclear accident:
Over the long term, the big threat to human health is cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years.
At that rate of disintegration, John Emsley wrote in “Nature’s Building Blocks” (Oxford, 2001), “it takes over 200 years to reduce it to 1 percent of its former level.”
It is cesium-137 that still contaminates much of the land in Ukraine around the Chernobyl reactor.
Cesium-137 mixes easily with water and is chemically similar to potassium. It thus mimics how potassium gets metabolized in the body and can enter through many foods, including milk.
So it is bad news indeed that, as reported by New Scientist, cesium fallout from Fukushima already rivals Chernobyl:
Radioactive caesium and iodine has been deposited in northern Japan far from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, at levels that were considered highly contaminated after Chernobyl.
The readings were taken by the Japanese science ministry, MEXT, and reveal high levels of caesium-137 and iodine-131 outside the 30-kilometre evacuation zone, mostly to the north-north-west.
After the 1986 Chernobyl accident, the most highly contaminated areas were defined as those with over 1490 kilobecquerels (kBq) of caesium per square metre. Produce from soil with 550 kBq/m2 was destroyed.
People living within 30 kilometres of the plant have evacuated or been advised to stay indoors. Since 18 March, MEXT has repeatedly found caesium levels above 550 kBq/m2 in an area some 45 kilometres wide lying 30 to 50 kilometres north-west of the plant. The highest was 6400 kBq/m2, about 35 kilometres away, while caesium reached 1816 kBq/m2 in Nihonmatsu City and 1752 kBq/m2 in the town of Kawamata, where iodine-131 levels of up to 12,560 kBq/m2 have also been measured. “Some of the numbers are really high,” says Gerhard Proehl, head of assessment and management of environmental releases of radiation at the International Atomic Energy Agency.
While Japan has been exposed to very high levels of cesium, so far, the levels of cesium in other parts of the world appear to be relatively low:

And see this.
But anyone who believes that Fukushima cannot possibly become as bad as Chernobyl has no idea what they are talking about.

End quote from:

Though the danger from radioactive iodine has gone away because of it short half life of under one month the danger of radioactive Cesium with a half life of around 30 years. So, as all this Cesium circles the globe on the winds clouds air and then most eventually comes to earth with the rain, snow, hail and winds worldwide, it is important to note that even one particle of Cesium on a dust mote that lodges in any person or animals lungs likely will be fatal to that human or creature within 20 to 30 years. Also, since one of the Meltdowns in Japan was a reprocessing plant for weapons grade plutonium, it is important to note that plutonium has a half life of:

begin quote from wikipedia under the heading "Plutonium":
Plutonium is the heaviest primordial element by virtue of its most stable isotope, plutonium-244, whose half-life of about 80 million years is just long enough for the element to be found in trace quantities in nature.[3] Plutonium is mostly a byproduct of nuclear fission in reactors: Some of the neutrons released by the fission process convert uranium-238 nuclei into plutonium.[4]
One utilized isotope of plutonium is plutonium-239, which has a half-life of 24,100 years. Plutonium-239 along with plutonium-241 are both fissile, meaning the nuclei of their atoms can split when bombarded by thermal neutrons, releasing energy, gamma radiation and more neutrons. These neutrons can sustain a nuclear chain reaction, leading to applications in nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors.
Plutonium-238 has a half-life of 88 years and emits alpha particles. It is a heat source in radioisotope thermoelectric generators, which are used to power some spacecraft. Plutonium-240 has a high rate of spontaneous fission, raising the neutron flux of any sample it is in. The presence of plutonium-240 limits a sample's usability for weapons or reactor fuel, and determines its grade. Plutonium isotopes are expensive and inconvenient to separate, so particular isotopes are usually manufactured in specialized reactors. end quote from Wikipedia under the heading "plutonium"

So, since weapons grade plutonium is most likely Plutonium 239 that was being reprocessed at Fukushima in one of the reactors and since it's half life is 24,100 years, this is what all life on earth is being exposed to for the next 24,100 years. For now, mostly it likely is all over the northern hemisphere. But eventually it will be everywhere.

It is important to note that Cesium is how art forgeries are found because literally everything on earth has some cesium in it since World War II and Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So, to find an art forgery all they have to do it to check for cesium. If the paint has cesium in it it isn't a Rembrandt. So, all of us have Cesium in us since World War II as well as every living thing on earth since World War II.

Cesium fallout as it travels in the Air Around the World

While Japan has been exposed to very high levels of cesium, so far, the levels of cesium in other parts of the world appear to be relatively low:

Greece has No Party to Enforce Austerity in Election

Recession-Wracked Greece Nears Vote That May Decide Fate in Euro

If you carefully read the article at the above word button, you will see that Greece doesn't really have a party with enough votes at present to enforce the present austerities to maintain their place in keeping the Euro as their currency. Though this might change during the election, it may be that the common people will realize that their lives would actually be better back on the Drachma which is their old currency. It is actually only the richest of Greeks whose lives would possibly be better on the Euro but this isn't actually true for the average Greek person under present conditions. Under present conditions with the Euro in place it forces average Greeks into a worse state than during the Great Depression here in the U.S. So, understanding this I would not be surprised if the average Greek vote ends the Euro in Greece. 

Greek drachma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


CO2 higher now than at the end of the Last Ice Age

"At the end of the last ice age, CO2 rose from about 180 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere to about 260; and today we're at 392," explained lead author Dr Jeremy Shakun.
"So, in the last 100 years we've gone up about 100 ppm - about the same as at the end of the last ice age, which I think puts it into perspective because it's not a small amount. Rising CO2 at the end of the ice age had a huge effect on global climate."

end quote from:
If at the end of the last Ice Age earth was at 260 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere and now we are at 392 this doesn't bode well for the ice caps sticking around much longer. So, what happens when the Ice Caps are gone not just during the hot times for each pole (hot time for north pole is summer and hot time for south pole is winter)? What happens when the ice is gone from the north and South poles completely sometime in the next 100 to 200 years. At that point, do we move underground to avoid the winds and the heat most places on earth? Or do we simply move closer to both poles so we have better climates. Maybe the answer is that some people will be doing both things.

Here is the  article that I quoted from at the top of the page:
begin quote:

CO2 'drove end to last ice age'

Epica ice core Ice core records from Antarctica had suggested the CO2 increase lagged behind temperature rise

Related Stories

A new, detailed record of past climate change provides compelling evidence that the last ice age was ended by a rise in temperature driven by an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The finding is based on a very broad range of data, including even the shells of ancient tiny ocean animals.
A paper describing the research appears in this week's edition of Nature.
The team behind the study says its work further strengthens ideas about global warming.
"At the end of the last ice age, CO2 rose from about 180 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere to about 260; and today we're at 392," explained lead author Dr Jeremy Shakun.
"So, in the last 100 years we've gone up about 100 ppm - about the same as at the end of the last ice age, which I think puts it into perspective because it's not a small amount. Rising CO2 at the end of the ice age had a huge effect on global climate."
The study covers the period in Earth history from roughly 20,000 to 10,000 years ago.
This was the time when the planet was emerging from its last deep chill, when the great ice sheets known to cover parts of the Northern Hemisphere were in retreat.
The key result from the new study is that it shows the carbon dioxide rise during this major transition ran slightly ahead of increases in global temperature.
This runs contrary to the record obtained solely from the analysis of Antarctic ice cores which had indicated the opposite - that temperature elevation in the southern polar region actually preceded (or at least ran concurrent to) the climb in CO2.
This observation has frequently been used by some people who are sceptical of global warming to challenge its scientific underpinnings; to claim that the warming link between the atmospheric gas and global temperature is grossly overstated.
Chart: Temperature and CO2 as ice age ended
But Dr Shakun and colleagues argue that the Antarctic temperature record is just that - a record of what was happening only on the White Continent.
By contrast, their new climate history encompasses data from all around the world to provide a much fuller picture of what was happening on a global scale.
This data incorporates additional information contained in ices drilled from Greenland, and in sediments drilled from the ocean floor and from continental lakes.
These provide a range of indicators. Air bubbles trapped in ice, for example, will record the past CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Past temperatures can also be inferred from ancient planktonic marine organisms buried in the sediments. That is because the amount of magnesium they would include in their calcite skeletons and shells was dependent on the warmth of the water in which they swam.
"Our global temperature looks a lot like the pattern of rising CO2 at the end of the ice age, but the interesting part in particular is that unlike with these Antarctic ice core records, the temperature lags a bit behind the CO2," said Dr Shakun, who conducted much of the research at Oregon State University but who is now affiliated to Harvard and Columbia universities.
"You put these two points together - the correlation of global temperature and CO2, and the fact that temperature lags behind the CO2 - and it really leaves you thinking that CO2 was the big driver of global warming at the end of the ice age," he told BBC News.
Dr Shakun's team has now constructed a narrative to explain both what was happening on Antarctica and what was happening globally:
  • This starts with a subtle change in the Earth's orbit around the Sun known as a Milankovitch "wobble", which increases the amount of light reaching northern latitudes and triggers the collapse of the hemisphere's great ice sheets
  • This in turn produces vast amounts of fresh water that enter the North Atlantic to upset ocean circulation
  • Heat at the equator that would normally be distributed northwards then backs up, raising temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere
  • This initiates further changes to atmospheric and ocean circulation, resulting in the Southern Ocean releasing CO2 from its waters
  • The rise in CO2 sets in train a global rise in temperature that pulls the whole Earth out of its glaciated state
Prof Eric Wolff from the British Antarctic Survey was the chief scientist on the longest Antarctic ice core, which was drilled at Dome Concordia in 2001/2002. This core records eight ice ages, not just the most recent, stretching back some 800,000 years.
He was not involved in the Nature study. Prof Wolff told this week's Science In Action programme on the BBC World Service:
"It looks as though whatever kicked off this whole sequence of events to get out of the ice age was something really, in global terms, rather minor and regional, and yet it led to a sequence of events that led to a complete change in the way the surface of the Earth looked, with ice sheets disappearing.
"So, that just reminds us that although climate might seem quite steady to us because it's been relatively steady for the last few thousand years, it is actually capable of undergoing big changes. And as one famous palaeoclimatologist put it: 'we poke it at our peril'." and follow me on Twitter

More on This Story

Related Stories

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Belief in God, Critical Thinking Butt Heads

Belief in God, Critical Thinking Butt Heads

The strength of your faith may depend on how likely you are to think analytically or to trust your intuition.

By Emily Sohn
Thu Apr 26, 2012 02:00 PM ET
(7) Comments | Leave a Comment
  • Thinking analytically reduces the strength of religious beliefs.
  • A tendency to think either critically or more intuitively could help distinguish between people who are or are not religious.
  • Critical thinking is not enough to destroy faith for most people.
The Thinker
Rodin's sculpture, The Thinker, in Paris, France. Click to enlarge this image.
Getty Images

When pushed to think in a more rational way, people experience a dip in their religious beliefs, found a new study. Simply looking at pictures of Rodin's sculpture "The Thinker," for example, was enough to make people less likely to agree with statements like, "Nothing is as important to me as serving God as best I know how."
The effects were subtle, and encouraging critical thought is unlikely to destroy anyone's faith. But the findings suggest that rational analysis interacts with gut instinct in the brain to help distinguish between people who believe fully in God and those who abandon religion.
"This could help people take a broader approach to debates about whether religion is true or not, and realize that subtle cognitive differences might be influencing where people end up on that debate," said Will Gervais, a social psychologist at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, who added that understanding why some people are more religious than others doesn't say anything about who's right.
NEWS: Was Jesus Happy?
Nor is rational thinking the only factor that influences religious belief.
"It's not the case that the Pope walked into the lab and Richard Dawkins walked out," he said. "I think this study tells us one factor that is implicated in whether or not people are believers, but it is just one factor out of many."
While most of the world's population believes in God or gods, hundreds of millions of people do not. To explain how intelligent people might believe in concepts that lack proof, researchers have previously theorized that our brains have two distinct modes of thought. One uses rational analysis to think things through. The other relies on intuition to form beliefs and gut feelings.
With that theory in mind, Gervais and colleague Ara Norenzayan challenged a diverse group of people to answer three questions whose answers were likely to differ depending on whether they reasoned out the answer or went with their gut.
For example, one question asked, "A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?" Without thinking, many people guess 10 cents, even though a little bit of quick math shows that the correct answer is five.
People in the experiment who stepped back and thought analytically before answering tended to hold weaker religious beliefs, the researchers report today in the journal Science, suggesting a connection between rational thinking and a lack of faith.
ANALYSIS: Atheists Best Informed About Religion
But does the tendency to think rationally cause religious doubt, or does it go the other way? To find out, the researchers conducted a series of experiments with hundreds of people that triggered them to think analytically before answering faith-themed questions about things like their belief in God and the role that faith plays in their decision-making.
In one experiment, participants looked at artwork portraying either a thinker or a man throwing a discus. In another, in which people rearranged letters and words to form sentences, they saw either thinking-related words or neutral words. Yet another experiment asked people to read the religious-beliefs survey in a font that was either easy or hard to decipher.
No matter how the researchers primed the brain to think critically, people's responses were less strongly religious compared to the responses of people who were not put in a rational frame of mind. The findings, Gervais said, suggest that the rational brain is capable of undermining the intuitive brain in slight ways when it comes to faith.
Because our minds and bodies are so closely connected, it's not surprising that religious thought is linked with certain kinds of brain activities, said John Hare, a philosophical theologian at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Conn. But discoveries like these say nothing about the existence of God or anything else that is outside of the mind.
"For most people of faith, their faith is not a matter of proof," Hare said. "This is true even though throughout the history of the Abrahamic faiths, some of the brightest thinkers have been people of faith, and have proposed proofs of various kinds.
"Probably it is good that there should be a division of labor. Some people can spend their time and efforts reflecting about their faith intellectually. And most people can just live it."
End quote from:
For me, Belief in God and Critical Thinking go hand in hand, because my father always taught me to be a critical thinker first and to realize when I was a child from age 4 (1952 to 1960)  until when I was 12 that I would always be making decisions the rest of my life. So critical thinking would be necessary for my survival and the survival of my family. But Dad said not to worry about having to make decisions all the time. He said to be relaxed about decisions because if you make a bad one usually you can modify new decisions as you get better information. He said it is most important not to freeze up because I had a lifetime of critical decisions to make and I might as well be relaxed and focused about it all the time as a man. For me, critical thinking doesn't get in the way of believing in God because when I was young and almost died in several health situations God was there for me. So, God isn't theoretical for me because most of my life has been a 24 hour a day ongoing experience of God. God is much more real and permanent than Earth or the physical universe in my everyday experience. God and I will be together whether or not the physical universe exists or not. That is my experience. I see the physical universe as a dream that God and I are sharing together, sort of like you were sitting next to God in a theater watching a good movie.

Another useful way to look at all this is to realize that most people need to believe in God or have a purpose to be living for. During wars a common saying was and is," There are no atheists in foxholes."
When people think they will die any moment it is not surprising that they call out to God or to their mothers. It is quite common while soldiers are screaming and dying on the battlefield to hear them screaming the name of God and "Momma" on the battlefields as they lie dying. So, critical thinking is all very well and good but if you think you are about to die it doesn't really mean anything. Then you need something more to continue to stay alive. Because if you completely freak out into shock then you are dead for sure. So, believing in God in traumatic situations often is the difference between life and death.