Friday, September 30, 2011

Quote of the Day

The most profound benefit of yoga and meditation for me has been a natural relaxing into my life. Obstacles are not so scary. I am more fluid, more curious, and at the same time more patient. I have more options for happiness because I don’t require specific conditions. It is a relief to discover that I can be happy even if the world doesn’t revolve around me or my agenda.

- Cyndi Lee

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vitamin H – Biotin

Vitamin H, more commonly known as biotin (the H represents "Haar und Haut”, German words for “hair and skin”) or vitamin B7, is part of the B complex group of vitamins. Biotin is necessary for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats and amino acids. It also plays a role in the citric acid cycle. Biotin can improve blood sugar control and help lower fasting blood glucose levels in persons with diabetes.

Biotin deficiency is rare because, in general, bacteria in the large intestine produce biotin in excess of the body's daily requirements. Deficiency can be caused by the consumption of raw egg whites (eating two or more uncooked egg whites daily for several months).
Symptoms of overt biotin deficiency include:
• Hair loss
• Pink eye
• Dermatitis in the form of a scaly red rash around the eyes, nose, mouth, and
genital area.
• Neurological symptoms in adults such as depression, lethargy, hallucination, and numbness and tingling of the extremities.

Dietary Sources:
Biotin can be found in brewer's yeast; cooked eggs, especially egg yolk; sardines; nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts) and nut butters; soybeans; other legumes (beans, blackeye peas); whole grains; cauliflower; bananas; and mushrooms.

Raw egg whites contain a protein called Avidin that interferes with the body's absorption of biotin.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quote of the Day

What the water wants is hurricanes,
and sailboats to ride on its back.
What the water wants is sun kiss,
and land to run into and back.

- Sufjan Stevens

Monday, September 26, 2011

Reconstructing Visual Experiences from Brain Activity Evoked by Natural Movies

This story is all over the news today. Apparently, a group of researchers were able, more or less, to reconstruct images that subjects had viewed by analysing fMRI data. The subject set was very small, 3 people, and as much as I love that we are beginning to live in the future, I don't feel I possess adequate knowledge to really critique this article. This site, however, offers a bit of a critique.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dance and Dementia

A large (469 subjects) , long term (21yrs) study published in 2003 compared the effects of several leisure activities, cognitive and physical, on the outcome of dementia. Despite what much of the internet says, this study does not conclude that dancing reduces the incidence of dementia. In fact, they make no claims that any physical activity reduces risk and further conclude that cognitive activities need further examination to determine whether their role is causal or consequential in relation to the development of dementia.

‘Among cognitive activities, reading, playing board games, and playing musical instruments were associated with a lower risk of dementia. Dancing was the only physical activity associated with a lower risk of dementia. Fewer than 10 subjects played golf or tennis, so the relation between these activities and dementia was not assessed.’ (Other physical activities examined included doing housework, climbing stairs, bicycling, swimming, playing team games, babysitting, and participating in group exercise).

‘A one-point increment in the cognitive-activity score, which corresponds to participation in an activity for one day per week, was associated with a reduction of 7 percent in the risk of dementia.’

‘Perhaps reduced participation in leisure activities is an early marker of dementia that precedes the declines on cognitive tests. Alternatively, participation in leisure activities may be a marker of behavior that promotes health. But the specificity of our findings for cognitive activities and not physical activities argues against this hypothesis… despite the magnitude and consistency of the associations, our findings do not establish a causal relation between participation in leisure activities and dementia, and controlled trials are therefore needed.’

‘If there is a causal role, participation in leisure activities may increase cognitive reserve, delaying the clinical or pathological onset of dementia. Alternatively, participation in cognitive activities might slow the pathological processes of disease during the preclinical phase of dementia. Our findings do not imply that subjects who were less active cognitively increased their risk of dementia.’

‘There was no association between physical activity and the risk of dementia. Exercise is said to have beneficial effects on the brain by promoting plasticity, increasing the levels of neurotrophic factors in the brain, and enhancing resistance to insults. Cognitive and physical activities overlap, and therefore it is not surprising that previous studies have disagreed on the role of physical activities. Although physical activities are clearly important in promoting overall health, their protective effect against dementia remains uncertain.’

This doesn’t mean that physical activity, and dance, is not beneficial to persons with dementia (or anything else for that matter). A 2009 study showed decreased agitation in participants with dementia who engaged in a four week Wu Tau dance therapy intervention.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Racist Psychology Today Article

This is a bit old, but I'm a bit slow. There are many sites discussing everything that is wrong with this article, but I'm only linking to one here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quote of the Day

We need only courageously expand our concept of intimacy to include all the other forms that surround us on a daily basis. By broadening our definition of intimacy, we open ourselves to discovering many new and equally satisfying ways of connecting with others.

- from The Art of Happiness

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Quote of the Day

May I be happy.

May I be peaceful.

May I be safe from harm.

May I enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.

May I experience ease and well-being in body, mind, and spirit.

May I hold myself with softness and care.

May I be free from suffering and 
the root of suffering.

May I be free from the suffering caused by greed (or anger, fear, confusion, and so on)

May I experience ease of body, ;mind, and spirit.

May I respond to suffering with compassion.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Quote of the Day

“The way that we see things today does not have to be the way we saw them yesterday. That is because the situations, our relationships to them, and we ourselves have changed in the interim. This notion of constant change suggests that we do not have to be discouraged.”

-T.K.V. Desikachar

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Quote of the Day

Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.

- Swami Sivananda