Be Besties with Your Beasties

Without bacteria we would die. Yet we wage war against them as if bacteria were a mortal enemy.  And we try to kill everything as a solution to any problem. Years ago, Heartland Healing wrote about biophobia, a portmanteau we coined describing humans’ irrational fear of life and living things. We kill animals, insects, weeds, plants, bacteria, viruses without considering the consequences. Our earlier column on biophobia is pretty good so if you missed it, we reprise it here.

Humankind typically tries to solve a problem by destroying or killing. Nothing could be more misguided than our intense crusade to kill bacteria that exist all around us and within our bodies. It turns out that even scientists, who typically lag…

entered on 03/03/15 at 09:00 AM | read more »


News You Can Use — Good, Bad, Ugly

Recent news items to keep the brain cells percolating.

The Good

Eggs aren’t bad anymore. Eggs never were bad in my estimation. Decades ago when the common wisdom was that butter was bad and margarine was good, I didn’t buy that either. Even as a grade school kid, eating something that science had concocted instead of a natural food didn’t make sense to me.

Eggs have been freed from the aspersions that science cast upon them as far back as the 1950s. It’s good news that people unaccustomed to thinking for themselves can now take the word of the same “experts” who told them eggs were bad, now telling them that eggs are okay. Well, at least the panel is…

entered on 02/23/15 at 11:35 AM | read more »


Epigenetics

I was excited to read The Double Helix when I was young. That was the account by James Watson of the discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid as the building block of life. I was always looking for explanations and causes in those days and it seemed Watson and Francis Crick had identified DNA as life’s foundation. It was indeed a landmark scientific moment in understanding the biological sequence over time; how worms, monkeys, insects, humans and all living things shared a blueprint.

DNA explained it all: why one person has blue eyes and the other brown, one was tall and the other short, one person slim and another hefty. Everything, including how we behaved, could be found in that coded strip…

entered on 02/16/15 at 07:39 AM | read more »


Vaccines: A Shot in the Dark

While raging about vaccines, both sides of the aisle seem fraught with emotion. Anti-vaxxers and pro-vaxxers are vehement in supporting their positions. But some people are confused about vaccines and whether they should get them for themselves or their children. Some claims are outlandish. Others simply untrue. There are some common-sense conclusions, though. My observation is that maybe some vaccines make sense and some do not. There is enough misleading information on both sides.

The basic idea makes sense. The idea of perking up the natural immune system by teasing it with a taste of a potential disease seems to make sense. A forewarned immune system should be ready to ward off disease. But are we doing it the right…

entered on 02/10/15 at 03:00 PM | read more »


Good Vibrations — the Cure for Hysteria

Just over 100 years ago, the most common cause for a woman to visit her family physician was a bad case of hysteria, a scourge once common in the 1800s that struck women of child-bearing years, married or single, young or old. Hysteria was officially a female illness and by the 1890s, these patients comprised a significant proportion of many a physician’s practice.

Most of us understand the word “hysterical” in its more modern sense. We take it to mean the idea of something uncontrollably funny or absurd or emotional to the extent of upset. That’s only the recent connotation.

Literally translated from the Latin, hysteria means “out of the uterus.” For centuries, medically speaking, hysteria meant “womb disease.” As…

entered on 02/03/15 at 03:00 PM | read more »


The Willing Suspension of Critical Thinking

I recently enjoyed a memorable time visiting with dear friends from the past and present. It was a reunion of sorts, hosted in Hollywood, for a close-knit group of creative folks who lived and worked together during a remarkable period, the golden era of modern recording, the 1970s. That was the decade when the rudiments of music production met evolving digital technology and opened the door to the ability to shape sound beyond the norm of real time and physics. It was a decade when people, not boxes, molded music and sound into art. The reunion was a blissful and heartwarming experience.

Everyone I spoke with was typically energetic and a healthy survivor of some physically demanding times, save one.…

entered on 01/27/15 at 03:00 PM | read more »


Meat-centric Madness

America’s biggest fast food meat maker is in the news leading off 2015. And Mickey D’s can’t win for losing. McDonald’s, worldwide icon of fast food and cheap meat, stirred the pot by initiating a program adding what they call “verified sustainable beef” to their slurry of a food chain. While on the surface it looks like a wonderful idea to lean toward a more ecological way of sourcing their primary product, meat food, critics rightfully are accusing McDonald’s of but another example of a corporate goliath jumping on the eco-bandwagon. That’s a practice known as green-washing: positioning your business in such a way as to imply a noble creed of healthier food, environmentally sound ideals and business ethics.

The…

entered on 01/19/15 at 09:08 AM | read more »


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Assumptions

Bo Pelini behaved as if he had coached his last game at Nebraska, based on his sideline and post-game decorum, or lack thereof. That was the...

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Attention to detail

If not for Sam Burtch, the most dramatic play of this Nebraska football season might never have happened.

If not for Burtch, Ron Kellogg III...

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Sack leader

As David Santos remembers it, Connor Cook was rolling out and he was pursuing the Michigan State quarterback when Nebraska teammate Randy Gregory...

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Planet Power: Nov. 21 - 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving. Let’s be nice to each other and cultivate warm thoughts. You are what you think…
—MOJOPOPlanetPower.com

i SAGITTARIUS...

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Planet Power: Nov. 14 - 20, 2013

This issue marks my 17th year here at The “READER.” Thanks to John, Eric, my beloved Carrie, et al., for all your help, encouragement and...

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Planet Power: November 7 - 13, 2013

The new Aquarian-Age astrology is/will be ruled by the planet Uranus (yeah, I’ve heard that joke before). Traditional astrology, prior to the...

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Planet Power: Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2013

Happy Halloween! Let your subconscious desires flow as the twilight fades into the black of the night of the year. Don’t fear the night. You have...

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