Archive for the ‘Health and Safety’ Category

New post on FUTUREPREDICTIONS.COM Source of Likely and Preferable Futures ™
From Skin Cells Using Stem Cells Scientist Produce Viable Human Eggs

by futurepredictions

TIME: At Kyoto University scientists harvested stem cells from mice and altered genes to create cells very similar to the germ cells that generate sperm in humans.

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“Ron Burgher had his own version of the dial-up cell phone for seniors in this month’s Senior Stuff.
Here is the newest on cell-phone technology. One day I pointed my cell phone at the payment swiper at WalMart — perhaps in a pre-cognitive gesture of the future of PayPal. Or maybe I just spend too much time pressing the TV box buttons to find a decent program on the BrightHouse cable system. I don’t even use the Texting feature on my old LG Shine.
I understand that cell-phone payment at check-out is available in some European countries and in India.
Some local businesses already have the SQUARE that enables you to swipe your card on the plug-in attachment on the vendor’s cell phone. I used one at Dr. Steve Hayman’s office. Dr. Hayman says he loves the convenience for his practice and his clients.”  Blogger 2000shadesofgray.wordpress.com

following article from ABC News online By Joanna Stern
@joannastern
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Mar 26, 2012 11:14am

PayPal Here Turns Phones Into Credit Card Readers

 abc paypal iphone wy 120326 wblog PayPal Here Turns Phones Into Credit Card Readers
Joanna Stern/ABC News

You’re likely familiar with PayPal as an online payment system. The company’s logos are frequently found on eBay pages or on other websites. Click it and you can pay big or small retailers online via credit card or checking account.

But the equivalent of those online PayPal buttons are going to start showing up in the world outside of your computer screen. Or at least that’s the company’s mission.

“The mobile phone has revolutionized the way we shop,” PayPal’s director of communications Anuj Nayar told ABC News. “If you are making a purchase from your mobile phone in store, what sort of purchase is that? Is it an online purchase? The reality is it is all about multichannel retail.”

And multiple options is exactly PayPal’s strategy. The company has a number of solutions that allow consumers to use the service to pay away from the computer, but its newest one — PayPal Here — allows small merchants and independent sellers to take credit cards right on their phones.

The entire solution is based around a small triangle-shaped dongle, which plugs into an iPhone. When plugged into the headphone jack, sellers can swipe a customer’s credit card right along the top, and then process the payment on the phone using PayPal’s backend. The dongle is fully encrypted.

A companion app provides a place for the customer to confirm the transaction and sign. The same app allows the seller to invoice the buyer or record a cash transaction. While PayPal’s Internet services paved the way for small sellers to open up shop, the dongle and just an iPhone now let small stores, street merchants and others to create a very mobile, electronic cash register.

If a merchant doesn’t have the new dongle they can use the app to just take a picture of the credit card. The little triangle  itself doesn’t cost anything, but sellers are required to pay PayPal a flat rate of 2.7 percent on any transaction. PayPal Here will be rolling out soon to select small merchants. It will also be available for Android phones very soon, says Nayar.

abc paypal iphone 2 wy 120326 wblog PayPal Here Turns Phones Into Credit Card Readers

But that’s not all PayPal has been up to. It recently updated its original PayPal app — not to be confused with the PayPal Here meant for merchants. A new “local” feature lets consumers pay by just tapping the app on their phone if they are in a store that uses the PayPal Here service. Merchants can then accept payment by tapping the shopper’s name and picture.

Other companies, like Square, provide similar tools to sellers. However, PayPal isn’t deterred. ”Shopping is going to fundamentally change more in the next three years than it has in the previous 15,” Nayar said. “The last major innovation in retail was the credit card, and we think we are about to start the next revolution in retail.”


Seniors looking to fill the empty spaces in retirement might find  beekeeping a profitable and entertaining hobby. A new club for beekeepers is forming in this area now. There are many benefits to keeping bees. Everyone of all ages can keep bees. If you have a bee sting allergy, you might want to start an ant farm instead.

The Bee Hive blog, “give bees a chance” has information on the history of beekeeping, modern methods, what flowers bees love, the anatomy of the bee and many other facts. There are also links to some other major beekeeping sites including Ten Amazing Bee Facts.

Individuals and communities could cooperate in a beekeeping enterprise. When the club starts meeting there will be a lot of information shared. The weather in Florida is ideal for bees. There is still enough garden and farm growth to sustain bees food supplies. Go to the link below to read for yourself.   http://givebeesachance.blogspot.com/

September 2, 2011

There’s a very small structure deep in the center of our brains called the hippocampus. It’s smaller than your pinkie, but it plays an absolutely essential role in learning and memory. The hippocampus encodes new information so that we can recall it later. Without a hippocampus, we would be unable to form new memories; we’d only be able to remember the old ones.

An elderly couple holds hands while walking along a Berlin street. A recent study showed that walking grows the region of the brain that archives memories.

As part of normal aging, the hippocampus shrinks. And this shrinkage speeds up as we grow older, foreshadowing memory problems and dementias like Alzheimer’s disease.

But there’s been some good news in the past decade: Scientists have discovered that in certain areas of the aging brain, new cells are born and grow throughout life. Neuroscientist Peter Snyder, a researcher at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School and Rhode Island Hospital, says the hippocampus is one of those brain areas that continue to form new cells and make new connections between cells.

“What we’re finding is that of all of these noninvasive ways of intervening, it is exercise that seems to have the most efficacy at this point — more so than nutritional supplements, vitamins and cognitive interventions,” says Snyder, who studies what we can do to maintain memory as our brains age.

Power Of Exercise

Snyder says several studies have been published recently on the power of exercise on the aging brain.

“The literature on exercise is just tremendous,” he says. “What we find is that with exercise — with aerobic exercise, a moderate amount on a regular basis — there are chemical changes that occur in the brain that promote the growth of new neurons in [the hippocampus].”

The major chemical change in the hippocampus during aerobic exercise is an increase in a brain protein called BDNF, which acts like a fertilizer during the birth of new brain cells by nourishing new connections between neurons.

Some of the most provocative evidence on the power of exercise on the brain comes from a study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by neuroscientist Art Kramer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kramer and his colleagues have documented the impact of exercise on the growth of the hippocampus in a small group of elderly people over the course of one year.

“The participants in our study were 120 very sedentary people,” Kramer says.

He adds none had dementia or memory problems when they entered the study. “They were relatively healthy, but certainly ‘couch potatoes’ would fit as a label.”

Getting Couch Potatoes Moving

One of those “couch potatoes” who volunteered for the study was Gregory Stanton, a 66-year-old semi-retired college professor. He admits to not exercising regularly but counters that he was physically quite active remodeling his home. So he refers to himself as “a semi-couch potato.”

Stanton and the other 120 men and women in the study ranged from 60 to 80 years old. When they entered the study, they were randomly divided into two groups.

“One was the aerobic exercise group,” Kramer says. “Those were people who walked further and faster as time went on. And the others in our control group were in a toning, stretching and light-strengthening group.”

Stanton was randomly assigned to the aerobic exercise group.

“Basically, it’s walking a track in one of the gym facilities,” Stanton says. He and the others in the aerobic group walked the track for about 40 minutes three times a week for a year. Stanton says he averaged about 3 miles each session. After each session, he was breathing hard and had worked up a sweat, he says.

The idea was for each participant to walk fast enough to reach aerobic exercise level, Kramer explains, which is generally considered to be 70 percent of one’s maximum heart rate.

Walkers Fared Better

All the participants in the study had MRI brain scans done before the study began and again a year later when the study ended. Then the researchers analyzed the MRI data. “What we found,” Kramer says, “is that individuals in the aerobic group showed increases in the volume of their hippocampus.”

The increase in volume — again for the aerobic but not for the non-aerobic group — was about 2 percent.

Related NPR Stories

The Aging Brain Is Less Quick, But More Shrewd

Neuroscientists have found that as the brain matures, the ability to reason and empathize improve.

Campers celebrate their birthdays.

Camp For Alzheimer’s Patients Isn’t About Memories

Staffers of a camp for dementia patients say it’s all about the feeling campers have after leaving.

Sen. Richard Lugar ran in the Capital Challenge 5k race in 2008

Many scientists are still optimistic about prevention, partly because they are also considering research done on animals.

At about the time the panel was releasing its report, a 78-year-old senator was doing something he hopes is good for his brain.

Dick Lugar running in 5K

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) was competing in an annual charity race a few miles from Capitol Hill. He’s been a runner since grade school and says he thinks exercise helps him remember a lot of stuff, including “the names and places of thousands of people and events that I bring up frequently in the course of debate.

“It’s very helpful to have that kind of historical knowledge of my constituency, as well as of the world,” Lugar said.

How Exercise Might Help Keep Alzheimer’s At Bay

Scientists are trying to figure out how physical and mental exercise protects the brain.

“The 2 percent increase we can think of as turning back the clock about two years,” Kramer says.

The increased volume was found in the anterior, or front part, of the hippocampus. That’s the area of the hippocampus that has been shown to grow as a function of exercise in several animal studies.

By comparison, “the individuals in the control group — in the toning and stretching group — lost about 1.5 percent [of their hippocampal volume],” Kramer says. “So we can think of it as about a 3.5 percent difference compared to those individuals who didn’t benefit aerobically.”

The results are small but suggestive. This finding shows that not only did the aerobic exercise protect against normal shrinkage, but also that new cells were added to the hippocampus. The researchers also saw a significant increase in that important brain-fertilizing chemical BDNF in the plasma of those in the aerobic exercise group — but not in the control group.

Impact On Memory

But did the growth in the hippocampus translate into improvements in memory? Both groups were given memory tests before and after the yearlong exercise program. Kramer says these tests looked specifically at a type of memory called “spatial memory,” which records information about our environment, like the layout of the neighborhood or the interior of the grocery store.

At the start of the study, both the aerobic and the non-aerobic group scored similarly on the spatial memory test. But after the yearlong program, the group that did aerobic exercises had improved significantly on its spatial memory tests, bettering its own scores from a year earlier. The non-aerobic group had not improved in memory after a year of stretching, toning and lightweight lifting.

As for “semi-couch potato” Stanton, who’d been in the aerobic group, he says he didn’t notice any improvement in his memory. He still has problems remembering people’s names. But he did notice he had more physical stamina after the yearlong aerobic walking program.

In spite of this, Stanton says he still doesn’t maintain a regular exercise regimen. He says while he knows it’s good for him, he, like many of us, can’t find the time. He’s just too busy.

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“No man was ever great without a touch of divine afflatus.”  —Cicero

Ten Life-Enhancing Things You Can Do in Ten Minutes or Less
By Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D.
Created Apr 17 2010 – 9:48am

It usually takes us much longer to change our moods than we’d like it to take. Here are ten things you can do in ten minutes or less that will have a positive emotional effect on you and those you love.

1.    Watch “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. See it online at Oprah.com. This is a deeply moving segment that may be the best ten minutes you’ve ever invested in front of a computer.

2.    Spend a little while watching the sunset with your mate. Nothing extra is necessary. Just sit and take in the natural beauty of the sky and appreciate being able to share it with the one you love.

3.    Sit quietly by yourself. It doesn’t really matter where or when. Just let your feelings bubble up and then experience the thoughts flowing out of your mind. Clearing your head and heart will give you extra energy to get through the rest of the day.

4.    Write a thank you note to your mate. When was the last time you thanked your partner for just being who he or she is and being with you? Doing this in writing will give your partner something to cherish for the rest of his or her life.

5.    Take out your oldest family photo album and look through it. The experience will fill you with fond memories and perhaps make you a bit wistful for days gone by.

6.    Play with a child. Most kids have short attention spans; ten minutes of quality time from a loving adult can make their day. It will also help you stay in touch with the child inside of you.

7.    Visualize or imagine a positive outcome for any issue. Medical doctors recommend visualization to patients with chronic and potentially fatal illnesses. If it can help them, it can do the same for you.

8.    Go to bed with the one you love ten minutes earlier than usual. Then spend that time just holding each other. Let the feeling of warmth from your mate move through you.

9.    Hang out by some water. Studies show that hospital patients who can see a natural body of water from their beds get better at a 30 percent faster rate. If you’re not near the coast or a lake, try taking a bath. Doing so is also healing.

10.  Get your body moving. Shake, twist, and jump around. Let yourself feel the joy of moving to your favorite music, or just the sounds in your head. Run, walk, and bike to your hearts content. You will live longer and love it more.