Treating soil like dirt, Men and Beards, Feast then famine, More

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We’re treating soil like dirt. It’s a fatal mistake, as our lives depend on it.

War, pestilence, even climate change, are trifles by comparison. Destroy the soil and we all starve.

Imagine a wonderful world, a planet on which there was no threat of climate breakdown, no loss of freshwater, no antibiotic resistance, no obesity crisis, no terrorism, no war. Surely, then, we would be out of major danger? Sorry. Even if everything else were miraculously fixed, we’re finished if we don’t address an issue considered so marginal and irrelevant that you can go for months without seeing it in a newspaper.

It’s literally and – it seems – metaphorically, beneath us. To judge by its absence from the media, most journalists consider it unworthy of consideration. But all human life depends on it. We knew this long ago, but somehow it has been forgotten. As a Sanskrit text written in about 1500BC noted: “Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel and our shelter and surround us with beauty. Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it.”

The issue hasn’t changed, but we have. Landowners around the world are now engaged in an orgy of soil destruction so intense that, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, the world on average has just 60 more years of growing crops. Even in Britain, which is spared the tropical downpours that so quickly strip exposed soil from the land, Farmers Weekly reports, we have “only 100 harvests left”.

To keep up with global food demand, the UN estimates, 6m hectares (14.8m acres) of new farmland will be needed every year. Instead, 12m hectares a year are lost through soil degradation. We wreck it, then move on, trashing rainforests and other precious habitats as we go. Soil is an almost magical substance, a living system that transforms the materials it encounters, making them available to plants. That handful the Vedic master showed his disciples contains more micro-organisms than all the people who have ever lived on Earth. Yet we treat it like, well, dirt.

Read on this article HERE.

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Scientists Say Men Use Beards To Prove Dominance And Attract Women

We all know beards may arguably be the biggest trend in 2015 so far.

Hipsters, Brooklynites, and even the men of Corporate America are beginning to grow their facial hair out more and more each year, much to the delight of lumberjack fans across the nation.

Research shows guys might be hopping on the bearded bandwagon purely as a way to get attention from the women they desire.

In a study performed at the University of Western Australia, scientists found 154 different types of primates representing 45 genera use certain features as a sign of dominance, attractiveness, identity and rank within their groups.

While for some monkeys the special feature might be a longer nose or warts, for men it appears to be the beard.

The researchers also discovered mustaches and beards among British men from 1842 to 1971 gained popularity once facial hair became a sign of attractiveness and sex appeal in men.

Lately, it seems men have been growing out any type of hair they can get their combs through. Man buns, mustaches, beards and chest hair are all becoming normal and acceptable all over the world.

Dr. Cyril Grueter, an author of the study, tells the Daily Mail,

In large groups where individuals are surrounded by strangers, we need a quick reliable tool to evaluate someone’s strength and quality, and that’s where these elaborate ornaments come in.

The study also notes that male on male competition may be another reason for growing a beard. Grow on, guys.

Whoever has the best beard of 2015 wins.

Found HERE.

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Feast then famine – how fasting might make our cells more resilient to stress

Intermittent fasting (also called alternate day fasting) has become a popular diet. In most versions of intermittent fasting, people fast or eat very little a few days each week and then eat normal amounts during the remaining days.

Fasting is something that human beings have practiced throughout history, often out of circumstance rather than choice. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors were probably expert fasters, indulging in feasts in times of plenty, and then facing long periods of scarcity in between. With this in mind, it makes sense that our bodies’ cells could perform well under the harsh conditions of feast and famine.

As a group of medical and research students, we wanted to know if fasting causes our cells to become more resilient to damage in the absence of weight loss. And do these benefits depend on the temporary stress that fasting causes in our cells?

Intermittent fasting may have anti-ageing benefits

Scientists have been looking at the possible health benefits of calorie restriction for years.

A prominent theory suggests these health benefits are related to the drop in blood sugar that results from fasting, which pushes our cells to work harder to utilize other forms of energy.

Rhesus monkeys eating only 70% of their normal caloric intake have been shown to live much longer and are much healthier at older ages. These anti-aging benefits have also been seen in animals that are put on an intermittent fasting diet, alternating between days of normal eating and days where calories are restricted. More recently, scientists have discovered some similar effects in humans.

What isn’t clear, though, is why intermittent fasting seems to have a benefit in the fight against aging. This question is complicated by the fact that in all studies performed in people, fasting led to weight loss. The health benefits of weight loss might be overshadowing the other benefits obtained from fasting alone.

More to read found HERE.

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A Team of Biohackers Has Figured Out How to Inject Your Eyeballs With Night Vision

In “people becoming superhuman” news, a small independent research group has figured out how to give humans night vision, allowing them to see over 50 meters in the dark for a short time.

Science for the Masses, a group of biohackers based a couple hours north of Los Angeles in Tehachapi, California,theorized they could enhance healthy eyesight enough that it would induce night vision. To do this, the group used a kind of chlorophyll analog called Chlorin e6 (or Ce6), which is found in some deep-sea fish and is used as an occasional method to treat night blindness.

“Going off that research, we thought this would be something to move ahead with,” the lab’s medical officer, Jeffrey Tibbetts, told Mic. “There are a fair amount of papers talking about having it injected in models like rats, and it’s been used intravenously since the ’60s as a treatment for different cancers. After doing the research, you have to take the next step.”

To do so, team biochem researcher Gabriel Licina became a guinea pig.

How it happened: With what’s basically a really fine turkey baster, Tibbetts slowly dripped 50 microliters of Ce6, an extremely low dose, into Licina’s speculum-stretched eyes, aiming for the conjunctival sac, which carried the chemical to the retina.

Continue reading this HERE.

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Live The Life You Love: 5 Secrets That Help Uncover Life’s Meaning

“Individual human beings die very differently. Some people die having lived a life with great purpose and few regrets. These are the people that come to the end of their lives with a deep sense of having lived a full human life.

“Others die looking back with bitterness at having missed what really mattered.” — Dr. John Izzo

Talking about death is weird. The certainty of it happening, mixed with the uncertainty of when it will happen creates an emotional seesaw that feels unstable and queasy.

But, we should pay attention to our reaction when it’s brought up because whichever way we fall on the scale determines our capacity to live our lives with meaning and purpose.

Are we afraid of death? Do we ignore its inevitability? Or, do we accept its certainty? Do we use it as motivation to find our passions and let those passions reign over the rest of our lives?

Dr. John Izzo found that those who were unafraid of death lived the most prosperous lives.

In search of the wisdom behind prosperity, Izzo interviewed more than 200 people, aged 60 to 106, to whom his acquaintances referred as people who had lived life with true meaning and purpose.

These people lived all over the world, grew up with different religious backgrounds and held a wide range of careers. Each of them carried stories of wisdom gained from the trials and tribulations of life.

Now go and read all of this HERE.

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US senator Harry Reid announces his upcoming retirement.

The Nevada Democrat, who has led the Senate’s Democrats since 2005, saidhe will not be seeking reelection in 2016 and is endorsing New York Chuck Schumer as his successor in the role of Senate minority leader.

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