Hydrogen is the next alternate fuel for cars

Once upon a time, about 300 years ago, creative thinkers developed machines that used natural resources as fuel. This sparked the industrial revolution and the largest societal shift in 5,000 years. Despite pollution and other consequences, industry continues to churn out millions of products. We’ve become a product-dependent society and enjoy easy access to them. But there are no true happy ever afters. Our natural resources are non-renewable and we are slowly depleting them.

Babies born today may face deeper resource crises in finding new energy resources as they reach adulthood. Current research is focusing on ethanol, solar, and wind energy but these are more supplemental than primary sources. What will be the next alternate fuel?

Creative thinkers are seeking easier, renewable resources to drive energy needs through the 21st Century and beyond. For over 60 years, scientists have been exploring the use of Hydrogen as a way to harness energy. They’ve spent huge sums of money trying to use hydrogen as an alternative to power cities and countries. One of the newer projects is on a smaller scale but an important one. Manufacturers are seeking a way to make electric cars more attractive and are using new hydrogen fuel cells to power all forms of vehicles. There are some kinks and tangles within the infrastructure to continue working on but car manufacturers are beginning to release electric cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Originally cars were offered as electric or gas. Gas won out for speed and range. With fuel and gas in shrinking supply, car manufacturers and owners are seeking a next alternate fuel for cars that makes sense. Electric cars have made a return. The range of an electric car averages under 300 miles per charge. Recharging a battery may require an overnight AC connection. Scientists and engineers are moving to basics in finding the next alternate fuel for cars and, in 2015, Honda and other manufacturers will develop Hydrogen fueled cars. The main aim is to offer hydrogen-based fuel to reduce refill time to minutes instead of hours.

Hydrogen is a basic element and was considered decades ago as a next alternate fuel for powering cities and countries. It was called thermonuclear fusion. Unlike nuclear power plant today, fusion does not require radioactive isotopes that may radiate and harm an environment. Fusion is not a radioactive process. Instead of using rare Uranium and Plutonium, fusion relies on simple hydrogen to fuse into other elements to bring clean energy. Hydrogen is found in the water we drink, the air we breathe, and some of the foods we eat (carbohydrates).

Fusion is the Sun’s energy source, joining light atomic nuclei to form heavier atoms like helium. Here on Earth, future fusion plants might imitate how the Sun generates energy.

The main obstacle is that fusion requires temperatures over 100 million degrees K, releasing energy for a variety of uses, including electricity. Progress in fusion research indicates fusion to be a practical energy source some time in the 21st century. Constructing atom accelerators of considerable size around the world, cooler fusion power generators still seem many years away. Using fusion to power large areas for practical lengths still seem like fantasy.

Hydrogen (H2) is being explored and considered as a next alternate fuel for passenger vehicles. Hydrogen is one of two natural elements that combine to make water. While not an energy source itself, Hydrogen is seen as an energy carrier because it takes a great deal of energy to extract it from water. This basic element will be used in a cell, much like a battery. It will offer a power source to an electric motor. Hydrogen fuel panels offer smaller battery sizes that may be easily replaced or refueled in less than 5 minutes.

As a very basic gaseous element in the periodic table, Hydrogen has been claimed to be a good alternate source to eventually replace fossil fuel since the 1970s. The biggest problem was storing and producing Hydrogen, which usually required large tanks. As technology moved from micro- to Nano-sizes for processors and storage, finding smaller, simpler ways to store Hydrogen was becoming more likely.

A team of scientists have discovered a new material called air-stable, magnesium Nano-composites which can help in storing hydrogen without complex method. Imagine a matrix of tiny magnesium particles in a space resembling a sheet of plastic. While this research was studied in 2007, under the financial support of the United States Department of Energy, new storage technologies have been developed at a more economical price.

Hydrogen used as the next alternate fuel isn’t only for cars. The United States Department of Energy is supporting research for military vehicles at this point. Hydrogen may be used as fuel for drones and light air vehicles. In May 2013, the US Navy tested Hydrogen in an air vehicle and reached a new endurance record. This means that Hydrogen can be used as a power source in many different types of vehicles. Electric cars are the first consumables for public purchase that will use Hydrogen Fuel Cells. These are FCV or fuel cell vehicles.

Key problems, as with all new technologies, will be distribution and access to fuel recharges in making vehicles consumer friendly. Electric cars can be recharged overnight in home garages. Hydrogen requires convenient and affordable refueling at stations like gas stations. There is no data whether this car will function in electric mode only if Hydrogen is not accessible. There are no plans to make user storable hydrogen fuel cells.

Honda, Hyundai and Toyota all announced they will have hydrogen-powered cars for sale by 2015. The Honda FCEV promises significant gains in real-world performance, cost reduction, efficiency, packaging and appeal, including more than 300-mile driving range. The Toyota FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) resembles the Toyota Prius and is expected to roll in 2015 with new extra-light fuel cell technology. The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Car is being offered now as a 2014 model.

On the USA side, Ford indicates that there are about 3 dozen Ford Fusion FCV cars being used. They’ve also introduced a Hydrogen NASCAR race vehicle.

General Motors is collaborating with Honda for manufacture of a Hydrogen-based FCV in 2015.

Hydrogen aims to be the next alternate fuel for cars and the magic date is around the corner. Initial pricing is going to be high, about the price of a Lexus or Audi 5000. Science and engineering professionals are projecting new technologies that will allow a shift that will allow use with very affordable passenger cars.

Certain fuel cell structures will need further development. One day, perhaps, the cells will be easily replaced by users, as you would an ordinary battery. For now, Hydrogen Fuel Cells are still treated as a controlled substance.

The operating range on these cars average 300 miles so you might have to forget cross-country trips as far as the 2015 FCV models are concerned. Refuels will be more rapid than electric. Using the next alternate fuel system may mean a revision in how passenger cars are used but, with easily renewable fuel cells, that change may be slightly inconvenient.

Many promising developments offer options of success and failure. Using Hydrogen as a convenient and economical alternative may not offer any benefits or profits soon. Are there alternate ways?

With dwindling fossil fuels and shale deposits, the emergency is decades away. Hydrogen is an alternative for future generations whose lifestyle may be impeded by lower quantities of resources used today. Like medicine, side effects will be found. Purchasers of 2015 FCV models will be the clinical trials. Like electric cars, success of hydrogen fuel remains to be seen. In 40 years, FCV may need to be the standard.

Over the course of the 21st Century, hydrogen power research may help reduce the price of power by mile or hour of use. Hydrogen is the remarkably simple fuel that can possibly power the world in the future. It took decades to convert from gas lighting to electric lighting. It may take over 30 years to convert from traditional energy sources to hydrogen. Research is constant and much is expected over time.

Nobody in the 18th century expected that coal would have environmental consequences and that fossil fuels would be in limited supply. Looking toward the future, beyond our life spans, Hydrogen has some prospects as the next alternate fuel that touches more consumer applications. You may be driving an FCV in the next ten years. There are no true happy afters but there are possibilities under different circumstances.

Your Dog on Marijuana is a better friend

A dog is a man’s best friend. It’s a trusted companion; easily trained for sports, recreation, and fun. Women find dogs as companions, often with higher regard than relationships with men or having children. Dog owners humanize their dogs with clothes, jewelry, living accessories, iPads, and special spaces and rooms. There are day care centers and camps for dogs. New York’s Tompkins Square Park has an annual Halloween festival for dogs. Veterinarians now coin human conditions as dog issues. Your dog may have a mood disorder, or Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The latest craze is that your dog on marijuana is a better friend. Some dog owners believe that the use of cannabis-based supplements improved the lives of their sick and unhappy dogs. Is your dog on marijuana?

Over recent years, Dr. Douglas Kramer, a Los Angeles veterinarian (known as Vet-Guru) and social media star, has been recommending use of legal marijuana as a way to ease the symptoms and lift the moods of sick and dying pets. California was one of the first States to legalize marijuana for medical use. Kramer championed and spread the word that your dog on Marijuana would be a happier dog. Ironically, this Vet-Guru died in September 2013, reportedly of a heroin overdose. Exact details were unclear.

Kramer prescribed THC as the cannabis supplement. THC is short for Tetrahydrocannabinol, a synthesized chemical derivative that is often used to spike synthetic marijuana. Synthetic Marijuana has been popular among party goers as Spice. Synthetic Marijuana and THC is fairly easy to buy from online sources. Additives, such as THC, have been cited as adding potential harming effects to human users. As for placing your dog on marijuana, THC was gaining popularity for relieving pain and elevating your dog’s mood when very sick or near death.

Cannabinoid receptors, particularly CB1 and CB2, are naturally found in brains and cells of the nervous system. Humans may have used cannabis plants for thousands of years. Evolution and stress often caused the body to produce natural opiates called Endorphins. The brain has endorphin receptors that act as part of a natural pain suppressor process. Some athletes and active peoples often talk about endorphin rushes as euphoric states as a result of challenges.

In Europe, where marijuana restrictions have been more relaxed, studies have shown that dogs may experience neurologic effects from inhaling the second-hand marijuana smoke their owners used. Dogs on marijuana is very common even among recreational human users. Smoking marijuana in the presence of small animals may have more severe consequences, according to veterinary academic textbooks.

Placing dogs on marijuana as supplements is easier to abuse due to easy access from online suppliers. As humans are prone to irresponsible use of drugs, there’s a likeliness that irresponsible owners may place their dogs on marijuana using THC to help make dogs happier. In a sense, it’s like getting dogs cute little paw boots for walking in the snow or declawing cats. It’s not natural and may be harmful to the animal.

There have been mixed results in studying the beneficial effects of pet ownership. Anecdotal positive effects have been examined and show many possibilities, including aid in controlling hypertension. What it boils down to, though, is how you feel about your dog or other pet. If you feel great, it is great.

Some people feel that when their dog on marijuana is happier than before, marijuana is a good thing. It is quite often that dogs and owners may have conflicting personalities and expectations. Good training may help but modifying a personality may be difficult and few prospective owners check about breed personalities when seeking a dog. So they might resort to drugs as a quick way to modify a dog’s style of behavior. A dog on marijuana may help please the owner’s expectations but it may not generally be healthy for your dog. What you’re getting is a pill popping pet and, like human drugs, there are some negative side effects.

Exposing your dog on marijuana is not a wise thing to do unless you want to use it to alleviate pain from a terminal illness. Understanding that dogs may be more susceptible to second-hand smoke when using marijuana nearby is crucial. Your dog is often a vital partner in your life. For the most part, they are smaller and subtly biologically different than humans. Placing your dog on marijuana could be associated as parental abuse toward a child. A dog on marijuana may seem happier to you. Respecting your dog’s life and life-span includes responsibility.

Using drugs to breed attack dogs for business and gambling is illegal in most parts of the USA. Performance enhancing drugs are dangerous to humans, as well as dogs. Placing you dog on marijuana may seem like fun. It’s worse to do it habitually while trying to boost compatibility. It should be a crime but it isn’t. Before doing so, consider taking your dog to an adoption shelter. Then you can find a new dog. Better yet, forget about owning another live pet. Find a better friend.

Think deeply when other Vet-Gurus arise extolling the virtues of using recreational drugs for humans on dogs. It may seem like another experience to share with your beloved pet. Ultimately, it may be just plain stupid. Your dog on marijuana is not a better friend and you are not supporting a beneficial love relationship by placing your dog or cat on marijuana. Think about it, seriously. A dog on marijuana is an abused dog. Your Dog on Marijuana is NOT a better friend and NOT a conducive relationship.

Individual Perception and the Rules of Noah

There is an old saying, “If anything is certain it is that nothing is certain. If this statement is true, it is also false. When nothing is certain, everything is possible (or probable).” Or is it? Is reality a personal construction or a collective set of reconstructions? Sometimes the uniqueness of one requires the redefinition from many. Suddenly certain uncertainties are made certain through associations and disassociations. When the needs of many outweigh the needs of one, rules come into play. One of the first documented set of rules are found in Genesis. These are the 7 Rules that God gave Noah or the rules of Noah. They may be the foundation that made survival through history possible. Yet, they’ve been debated through time.

The notion of individuality seems like an American concept. Originally drafted by the American psychologist George Kelly in 1955, Personal Construct Theory states that personality development is a function of an individual’s set of cognitions. It is how one construes, or makes meaning of, events in one’s life and of the lives around. According to Kelly’s therapeutic approach, freedom is the ability to develop alternatives and to revise constructs for greater control of one’s decisions and actions of life. Kelly might have said that, “No person needs to be a victim of his or her own biography.”

This was a radical departure from the earlier psychological approaches focusing on analysis and behavior. From categorical approaches, an individual-specific therapy was introduced by Kelly. While Kelly is known by psychologists as a personality theorist, few psychology groups recognize his validity. Was he too individualistic?

Personal constructs are how a person defines reality. While those are born with certain sets, constructs are acquired through memories and associations. Elizabeth Loftus studies human memory. Her experiments reveal how memories can be changed by things that we are told. Facts, ideas, suggestions and other post-event information can modify our memories. Loftus believes that personal constructs and observations can be false. As a frequent witness in litigations, Loftus has shown that memories, associations, motives, and actions vary by individuals but notions of conflicting ideas may “color” a personal construct of an event.

Individuality is a relatively new notion. Early humans found that survival often required enjoinment with others. If you were too short to reach an apple on a tree, you needed an alliance with a tall person to reach for you. Joint cooperation was necessary to survive. Relationships were the key to survival but, in any relationship, individuality is often compromised and the inability to do so leads to conflict. Relationships were less altruistic and based more on reciprocal AL As groups enlarged, individuals would attempt to seek and fulfill individual desires, often in contempt of others. Group sovereignty and stability required rules to temper individuals.

The rules of Noah seem to be significant in that it invoked a direct relationship with God. God implied them to all people instead of merely one group (though after the flood, who else was left?). That is, if all different groups agreed. In the early millennia of survival, individuality was suppressed in favor of survival in groups. Rules and laws, like the rules of Noah, were often tested and retested. Where there are no rules, like the rules of Noah, no group can survive or flourish.

The irony of the rules of Noah is that the rules of Noah don’t fully appear in the Old Testament. They seem to have originated in the Jewish Talmud, thousands of years later. According to theory, the Old Testament was an oral extension among generations and wasn’t written until scroll and ink technology was invented. There may have been many different constructs of the Bible through the years with some very unique and varied interpretations that makes one wonder how valid those stories are.

The rules of Noah are relatively simple. God says to be fruitful and multiply. Eat all food from vegetables, meat, and fish but honor the life and drain the blood. According to the Jewish Virtual Library the Noachide laws are outlined this way:

1.Do Not Deny God
2.Do Not Blaspheme God
3.Do Not Murder
4.Do Not Engage in Incestuous, Adulterous or Homosexual Relationships.
5.Do Not Steal
6.Do Not Eat of a Live Animal
7.Establish Courts/Legal System to Ensure Law Obedience

According to Hassidic thought, “At the dawn of human history, G-d gave man seven rules to follow in order that His world be sustained.” According to them, those 7 Noachide laws are:

1 – Acknowledge that there is only one G-d who is Infinite and Supreme above all things. Do not replace that Supreme Being with finite idols, be it yourself, or other beings. This command includes such acts as prayer, study and meditation.

2 – Respect the Creator. As frustrated and angry as you may be, do not vent it by cursing your Maker.

3 – Respect human life. Every human being is an entire world. To save a life is to save that entire world. To destroy a life is to destroy an entire world. To help others live is a corollary of this principle.

4 – Respect the institution of marriage. Marriage is a most Divine act. The marriage of a man and a woman is a reflection of the oneness of G-d and His creation. Disloyalty in marriage is an assault on that oneness.

5 – Respect the rights and property of others. Be honest in all your business dealings. By relying on G-d rather than on our own conniving, we express our trust in Him as the Provider of Life.

6 – Respect G-d’s creatures. At first, Man was forbidden to consume meat. After the Great Flood, he was permitted – but with a warning: Do not cause unnecessary suffering to any creature.

7 – Maintain justice. Justice is G-d’s business, but we are given the charge to lay down necessary laws and enforce them whenever we can. When we right the wrongs of society, we are acting as partners in the act of sustaining the creation.

These are very interesting laws for the time, although documentation came years later. God separates from those that worship idols and the other prevalent Gods of the times and area, such as Baal or Dagan . These Gods were to be prevalent in non-Abrahamic cultures and problematic competition until the latter post-Mosaic books of the Old Testament.

Respecting human and animal life was another interesting law. Prior to the flood, sacrifices used live animals and people. God forebode his followers to follow this in the covenant. Yet, generations later, God requested that Abraham sacrifice his son Isaac. At the opening of Leviticus, Moses met with leaders to discuss correct, humane guidelines of sacrifice. Again, this was to distinguish the Hebrew God over other Gods in the region.

Respecting marriage and property of others was a major step in countering social criminal acts that might arise in a group. The really monumental law is that the group should set up codes of justice, an innovative concept in an area filled with monarchic dictatorships that followed no specified codes.

The basic differences found in the 10 Commandments are honoring parents, keeping Sabbath holy, and bearing false witness (obviously a problem in the justice system).

What makes the rules of Noah so interesting is how they divinely dealt with group dynamics. Yet, even after God set forth the covenant, a divisive relationship developed over the three sons of Noah’s progeny, where Ham’s descendants were to be slaves of Shem and Japheth. After biblically accounted generations, it appeared that the Old Testament rules of Noah (or Noachide laws) were all but forgotten as evidence shows the rise of idol worship and perverse behaviors throughout many cultures at the time of Abraham. Through time, individuals tend to regress to the mean.

The rules of Noah are probably the oldest documented rules pertaining to individuals within a group structure. The tale of Noah and the rules of Noah aren’t specific to the Old Testament. Variations of the Noah tale are accounted in other mythologies of the early Mediterranean region. The flood could have been a typhoon or hurricane or some other cataclysmic natural disaster of the time that myths could only explain as divine. Nonetheless, the rules of Noah and its applicability to all people is a strong guideline for protecting the sovereignty of groups as a meaning to individuals.

The rules of Noah are less commonly known than the Ten Commandments. Moses’ efforts (with God’s leadership) in emancipating slaves from Egypt offers advances in thought, particularly the prohibition of observing false gods. The group of slaves were likely not merely descendants of Israel but also a mix of other non-Egyptian cultures and conquered slaves. The addition of this commandment was to control the predilection of most slaves toward idol worship, as recounted in the Golden Calf episode. One might ask whether the commandment not to worship false gods was actually in the first set of commandments that Moses destroyed. The indivisible quality of one God over all further strengthened group integrity, especially as the former slaves encountered many other cultures on the road to Canaan. The Ten Commandments, unlike the rules of Noah, were aimed for use by the former Egyptian slaves as part of creating a unique, independent group with God. It was not aimed for all people.

Most of the remainder of the Bible deals with issues of justice and rule appendices related to the Ten Commandments for fostering and solidifying the power of the group and individual responsibilities to support the group.

Yet, both the rules of Noah and the Ten Commandments, are stories that were documented many years later, possibly a couple thousand years later. They most likely date somewhere between the Persian and Roman occupation of near East Asia. Prior to those times, they were popular legends, tales, and myths propagated by different groups. Groups were selling group-life to some individuals who possibly weren’t in full agreement with group rules and customs. The few sentences that make up the rules of Noah as God’s covenant were actually embellished in later years for time-based applicability.

In those early times, being part of a group was essential for shared support and protection. Being exiled from a group, as Moses was, meant fending for yourself as an individual and falling as possible prey to other individuals or groups. The theme is one of the most popular literary plots. It is repeated several times in the Old Testament. The story of Samson and Delilah is one of the more popular ones. It supports the claim that remaining in one’s own group was better than wandering from it.

Joseph Campbell spent most of his life studying and sharing mythology. In his view, the biblical tales were myths. Later but early cultures, like the Greeks and the Romans, created mythologies based on individual gods with divine human-like attributes. These myths took individualism into account but empowerment came through group identity. Many believe these myths as gospel. The endurance of these myths offer documented glimpses into early history. Many connect with them whether they are true or not. Myths are part of the collective conscious, a term coined by early psychologist Carl Jung. The collective consciousness is generally accessible to everyone. However, people come from a wide variety of backgrounds in trying to understand it. As a result, people hold a broad range of differing beliefs. These beliefs influence their assumptions about, and perceptions of, what is “real”. Here we have the bridge as to how individual constructs of reality connect (and conflict) with group identity.

Using Gods as a group control was easy. God was used to explain the unexplainable, taking the responsibility away from human group leaders. Alongside God groups, philosophers delved into scientific explanations of the unexplainable and were often ostracized by the dominant god groups. Recently, science began to discover germs, genetics, environmental tectonics, and many others that offered credible explanations and treatments for diseases that were previously unexplainable. New myths were sort of displaced.

The validity of some events of the Old Testament have been given credibility by scientific, archaeological evidence and theories. These have tried to reconstruct, for example, the probabilities of the possible truths behind the miraculous stories of how the slaves left Egypt and how it is accounted in the Old Testament.

That the more current rules of Noah still claim to apply to all human groups is a sign of discontent among post-Roman era religions, such as Islam and Christianity. Biblically, in the book of Genesis, those rules are based on God’s covenant with Noah that were notably different. Was Noah actually Jewish? Who else but Noah’s family was around after the great flood? Many of these time-tested tales were likely more fiction than fact. Faith in them was passed through enduring groups that were eventually able to record them. But were all those documents preserved intact? How accurate are they?

The modern era shifted focus from many god groups and secular ones began to replace them. In those, the 7 rules of Noah or the 10 Commandments were less applicable. Traditions, however, was a way to avoid the voids experienced with complete disconnection from the god concepts.

After World War II, we’ve been witnessing the return to god groups, some gaining new strengths from old ways and other forming new ways. The accounts and the myths began to resurface and attract adherents. These groups were less based on survival but at providing connections for unconnected individuals.

While conflicts arise among individuals daily, the more pervasive source for harm, anguish, and world-change is the rise of conflicts between groups. Those conflicts arose then and continue now in the midst of modernity. Civil unrest continues within Islamic countries, matched with aversions to Christianity and Judaism. Even among Christians and Jews there are some unhealing wounds. Then there are numerous subgroups, both religious and secular, competing in the mix.

In this age of reason, individuals still align themselves as being members of groups, even though they may not be active members. New groups arise as part of social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, that may not be the core for survival but allow individuals to share their constructs of reality.

Individuals and groups are both attracted and repulsed by one another. Yet someone like Steve Jobs couldn’t have created the iPhone and iPad without his group affiliation with Apple. There is a lean-away and lean-towards active dynamic.

Individual personal constructs and collective consciousness exist alongside one another and carve new realities. From a divine set of rules of Noah, to the United States Constitution that is amendable for current updates, rules and laws help individuals survive and flourish while aligning to groups.

One might say the rules of Noah are the result of combined personal constructs of what history may have been and how we got here from there. Faith helps keep those written constructs real. Is reality and God subjective? Are they products of personal constructs?

In Godfather II, Michael Corleone says, “If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone.” The certainty of constructs and groups today may be uncertain tomorrow. Uncertainty is not a void. It’s a continuum. It’s merely an infinite space in time where momentary certainties are recreated in a constant process, a matrix as it might be. Perhaps that’s part of the attraction to God. We’ve reached this point from the elemental rules of Noah.

Somehow and somewhere those principles still exist. It’s at least an inspired set of constructs that somehow helped create the realities that we think we remember from our pasts and see today and tomorrow. Our realities are the myths and legends of tomorrow. True or false?

When faith, reason, individual, and groups struggle, the only certain outcome is uncertainty.

Ketosis is a magic diet choice for those seeking results

At one point of your life, as you see your body contours softening, you seek ways to restore that firmness of younger years. As part of the normal age process, body fat infiltrates lean muscle tissues. Your body size increases in places you don’t want it to increase. Your energy and speed naturally slow down as a result. Diet and exercise help reduce the results but old habits are hard to break and variability of diet and exercise programs are difficult to pursue routinely. Aging is ultimately faster than you can combat, even at 30, let alone after 60. Among the thousands of diets, one stands out – Ketosis.

Ketosis is an alternate state of being. It requires virtual elimination of all carbohydrates from your diet. You can only eat fat and protein. Basically you can’t have bread, cereal, cake, fruits, vegetables, sugars and anything that has carbohydrates. The Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet were moderate approaches to Ketosis. Yet, there are a few that choose no carbs over low carbs for maximum weight loss and muscle building and reach for the state of ketosis.

Ketosis isn’t for everybody. If you’re managing cholesterol, triglycerides, or have cardiovascular problems, low carb management may help but under care of a doctor and nutritionist.

Ketosis may be a special concern for diabetic conditions. Without the right amount of insulin, glucose starts to build up in the blood stream and doesn’t enter the cells. The cells burn fat instead of glucose, and ketones form in the blood and spill into the urine.

Ketosis is a state at which the body has an extremely high fat-burning rate. Even the brain runs on fat, via ketone bodies. These are energy molecules in the blood (like blood sugar) which become fuel for our brains after being converted from fat by the liver.

Most of the world lives on sources of carbohydrates for nutrition and energy. Consider the staple foods like rice, wheat, oats, fruits and vegetables. Whether whole-grain or processed, these are high sources of carbohydrates. Pasta, for example, has 44 grams of carbohydrates per 2 ounce serving. That’s about 1-1/2 ounce carbs per 2 ounces! The modern human body in most societies usually metabolizes glucose from carbohydrates for energy purposes, rather than energy from fat. People need proteins and fats for building and repairing tissue and cells and there are 30 proteins that combine for body maintenance. Proteins and fats can also be sources of energy. If necessary, the body can get all its energy from fats and proteins. By eliminating carbs, your body uses ketones from fat and protein and the ultimate conversion is called Ketosis. If the body can switch from being a carb-burning machine to a fat-burning one, it naturally loses weight.

Carbohydrates were essential to human evolution when people were active and busy in agriculture and manual labor. Today, most people work in offices using computers. At home, they might use computers and tablets. In between, there are smartphones. The modern life is more sedentary so carbohydrates ultimately turn to fat. As we age, we observe the need for larger size clothing and our energy levels drop even further. Is Ketosis more suitable for our modern lifestyle? Is it a way to challenge the problem of obesity?

A Ketosis form ketogenic diet of high fat, moderate proteins, and low carbohydrates was used in hard-to-control young epilepsy patients in the 1920’s through the 1940’s. Almost half of children and young people with epilepsy who have tried some form of this diet saw the number of seizures drop by at least half, and the effect persists even after discontinuing the diet. At Johns Hopkins Hospital and other research hospitals, the Ketogenic Diet continues as a therapeutic approach with patients suffering with epilepsy.

When considering weight loss, the Ketogenic diet is tweaked and uses a 1 to 1 fat to protein ratio rather than the 4 to 1 fat to combined protein and carbs ratio. While Ketosis is essentially no carbs, a person can use up to 50 grams each day of net carbs to stay in ketosis.

A Net Carb is an interesting term that you might find on many low-carb packages. A Net Carb is the total carbs on nutrition panel minus the dietary fiber. It is recommended that most of these net carbs be sourced from vegetables for possible phytonutrients.

Lets explore this Net Carb formula and your daily diet:

A typical slice of Whole Wheat bread has 18 grams of Carbs, Dietary Fiber is 3 grams. Net carbs per slice is 15 grams but 2 slices are used for a sandwich. That makes the sandwich 30 grams of net carbs.

An 8 ounce serving of Reduced Fat Milk has 12 grams of carbs, no dietary fiber, so net carbs total 12 grams.

A teaspoon of sugar is 16 grams of carbs, 0 fiber, net carb is 16 grams.

Low Carb foods inject more dietary fiber to reduce the net carbs and you must take care. Use of sugar alcohols may contribute carbs but are not required to be listed as carbs.

Finding a suitable Ketosis Diet that you can stick with is difficult. Using a Ketosis Calculator may help you find a comfortable zone so you can attain your goals on a ketogenic diet.

Ketogenic diet research shows evidence of improving quality of life among cancer patients in a study. Mouse studies show how ketogenic diets may induce healthy weight loss and possibly reduce precursors that lead to Alzheimer’s Disease. Another mouse study demonstrates possibilities that a ketogenic diet may helps reduce Autism symptoms.

For a serious dieter, ketosis offers some very significant advantages. When on high carbohydrate diets the body can usually expect an energy source to keep entering the body. In a state of ketosis the body has to become efficient at mobilizing fats as energy.

The state of ketosis is to the most part controlled by insulin, glucagon, and blood glucose levels. Reduced glucose forces the body to convert fat to energy. Ketogenic Diets help lower insulin blood levels. Insulin has a lipolysis blocking effect, which can inhibit the use of fatty acids as energy. Also when insulin is brought to low levels, many beneficial hormones are released in the body such as growth hormone and other powerful growth factors. These growth hormones are less present as people age and have been associated with fat deposits in thighs and belly areas.

While ketosis seems to produce many short term effects in weight loss and increased muscle integrity among normal people, long-term studies also demonstrate healthy results in obese people.

There are certain risks on sustaining a prolonged high protein, low carbohydrate diet. If ketone levels are not monitored properly, there may be a strain on the kidneys and a higher risk of developing kidney stones, some doctors say. Researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine reported in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology that there is no association with kidney health issues.

The big problem of starting and staying with a ketogenic diet for ketosis and maintenance is that it is completely adverse to typical USA eating customs. At a restaurant, for example, you order a burger without the bun or fries. There’s no bread for your omelet. You really need to know what the carbs are in the bread. You have to adapt to a different range of tastes.

Shifting from carbs to protein will give you addictive withdrawal symptoms and, when you don’t see results right away, you’re likely to shift back to carbs. The objective and wisdom is to reach ketosis and stay there long enough to see results. When you get most of your goals met, then you can slowly add more carbs to your diet. The key word is sparingly. Getting into ketosis is difficult. Moving out after a while is also hard. Once your body gets more carbs, the pounds go back on. Atkins Diet recommends moving to no more than 75 net carbs daily in their Phase 4.

Dentists say that bad breath is caused by ketones so people on ketosis may need to be on guard when socially communicating at parties.

Ketogenic diets and Ketosis are a magic diet choice for those seeking results in weight management. Ketosis lifestyles have been shown effective in helping epilepsy, autism, and cognitive disorders. Obviously you care about your body and your appearance. Following a routine of medical exams and blood tests (twice a year) may help keep you in better tune on whether this diet has longer term benefits. Like drugs, carbs became a nasty but necessary habit over the last 6,000 years. Ketosis and ketogenic diets may be the wave of the future. Today, ketosis is the other side of normal. For now, it’s a path that few tread. Someday, the path of ketosis may need traffic signals.

Happy Heart Thanksgiving and Inflammation Diet

Although there is some dispute whether the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in November or December, historians believe that Thanksgiving celebrates their first meal in the New Land, shared with the Indians. The Indians had taught the pilgrims how to catch fish, hunt animals, and find shelter. Yet Thanksgiving also has British roots as far back as 1536, when it was a day of thanks celebrated after the English Reformation from the Catholic Church. In the USA, Thanksgiving has become a day of feasting – gorging huge amounts of Turkey and all the trimmings. Heart attacks and heart related diseases rise about 5% on Thanksgiving compared to average days in the year. There can be many reasons but one may be that the tradition is tied to Thanksgiving and Inflammation.

The reason for Thanksgiving peak in heart attacks is associated with the lack of indulgence related to feasting at the meal. While you may have cardiovascular issues waiting to happen, it’s more likely that the meal itself may be part of the cause.

Your body doesn’t know it is Thanksgiving and is not expecting huge portions of Turkey, meat, gravy, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and other rich trimmings. The cells, fluids, tissues, organs, and muscles of your body work each second to maintain balance in your body. This is called homeostasis.

Homeostasis is a state of balance inside the body, where the body systems work together to keep it functioning normally. The endocrine system keeps this internal balancing act going by releasing chemicals called hormones. The release or reduction of the hormones is controlled by the body’s natural negative feedback mechanisms that are responding to your eating and other (lack of) activity. The language that sets off the thermostat of homeostasis is inflammation. Inflammation is the first response of the immune system to irritation and your feast may be what’s causing the Thanksgiving and Inflammation alert.

Your body reacts in a stress-related fight or flight system. Your heart speeds up, neurotransmitters are released to muscles and your brain as alerts. Failure to acknowledge these alerts may result in heart attacks, strokes, and digestive disorders.

Inflammation studies have been studied at various Universities that demonstrate how certain foods negatively affect the body’s immune system. Small studies have shown that dementia or Alzheimer symptoms may be reduced by keeping inflammation under control. The Cleveland Clinic supports research in anti-inflammatory foods and new anti-inflammatory diets are emerging.

Blood test analysis should show C-RP and this is an inflammation indicator. It stands for C-Reactive Protein. It is rarely included in average blood testing. If you have a score of less than 3, it represents that body inflammation is very low but there are those who have normal lipid (cholesterol and plaque) indicators that have extremely high C-RP scores. One study showed that Omega-3 consumption (found in fish and flaxseed oils) may reduce C-RP levels in a study of 1395 men aged 42-60. Markedly increased levels of C-RP are observed, for example, after trauma, heart attack, with autoimmune disorders, and with serious bacterial infections but few people have before and after comparisons to make an association of its role.

A high C-RP result means you have inflammation in the body. This may be due to a variety of different conditions, including (inconclusive):
Cancer
Connective tissue disease
Heart attack
Infection
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Lupus
Pneumonia
Rheumatoid arthritis
Tuberculosis

and C-RP results are factored into the blood analyses of all those who may have a possible diagnosis.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, a noted naturalist physician, indicates:

“an anti-inflammatory diet that includes two to three servings of fish such as salmon or sardines per week. If you don’t eat fish, he suggests taking fish oil supplements. He also recommends taking anti-inflammatory herbs including ginger and turmeric and following your doctor’s recommendations for heart health – quit smoking, watch your diet (particularly avoid foods that predominantly consist of flour and/or sugar), and get regular exercise.

A recent study at Johns Hopkins showed that as fitness levels decline, CRP levels go up. The researchers weren’t sure if poor fitness leads to an increase in CRP or vice versa, but exercise is an important part of maintaining heart health in any case.”

High C-RP levels aren’t merely associated with organic conditions. Studies cite evidence that chronic anxiety, stress and social rejection may lead to high inflammation C-RP scores. In a rather unique study, it was shown that inflammation may aid in muscle healing but that may be as a result of the body’s auto-immune response for homeostasis.

Returning to Thanksgiving and Inflammation, that recurrent heartburn after the big meal may only be heartburn or an early heart symptom. Foods may cause inflammation. How do you find the Inflammation Factors of your meal? The Inflammation Free Diet Plan book is available at Amazon and offers comprehensive listings.

According to Inflammation Factor, Inflammation scores are as follows:

200 or higher Strongly anti-inflammatory
101 to 200 Moderately anti-inflammatory
0 to 100 Mildly anti-inflammatory
-1 to -100 Mildly inflammatory
-101 to 200 Moderately inflammatory
-201 or lower Strongly inflammatory

and so, according to Inflammation Factor:

Turkey, breast, roasted 3 ounces -104 (Generally you might have 3 times that)
Pork sausage, cooked 3 ounces -86
Stuffing, bread, from mix 1 ounce -6
Ham, spiral cut, roasted 3 ounces -39
Cranberry sauce 1/2 cup -177
Potatoes, mashed 1/2 cup -69
Pie, pumpkin, commercial 1 ounce -26
Cake, fruit 1 ounce -69
Pie, apple 1 ounce -36
Chocolate, dark 1 ounce -76
Bread sticks, plain 1 ounce -79
Coffee, brewed 8 ounces 1
Cola 8 ounces -28

Basically, this possible Thanksgiving dinner has many inflammatory foods. Move the servings into real proportions and your batting well over 1000 in the inflammatory scale. Your body’s auto-immune system is working on high and your heart and arteries are beating rapidly. Thanksgiving and Inflammation might bring you to the edge of having a heart attack or a stroke.

Each year heart attacks kill more than 150,000 Americans, nearly half of them women. Many aren’t fatal if you seek a cardiologic check-up and follow a diet and exercise program. Exercise cuts inflammation that simultaneously reduces your risk of heart disease as well as many types of cancer. Walk 30 min recreationally every day at minimum-with more vigorous/longer exercise as advised by your doctor.

Extra belly fat is an inflammation factory-actually churning out inflammatory chemicals that wreak havoc elsewhere.

A list of anti inflammatory foods include:

a. Berries: especially dark reds and blues like strawberries and blueberries

b. Vegetables-darker the color the better, including dark green kale and spinach

c. Whole grains-including oatmeal, quinoa, barley and farro. Avoid sugary or starchy foods that jack up your sugar level.

d. Healthy oils-found in nuts and fish. Saturated fat found in full fat dairy and meat fuel the inflammatory fire.

There are many factors associated with the risk of developing life threatening diseases and conditions. Some are genetic and some are dietary. The idea is to consider what you can change and whether you’re willing to effect those changes that you can control in a path towards wellness. It’s a lifestyle choice that is up to you. The sacrifices may help reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. After a while, they won’t seem like sacrifices. There are no guarantees, however. That’s where the Pleasure Principle remains dominant.

So this Thanksgiving, as in previous Thanksgivings, I ask the host of the dinner to prepare a fish dish for me. After all, the Indians that met the Pilgrims showed them how they caught fish. Fish, like Salmon, is rich in Omega 3 fatty acid and the Inflammation Factor (Salmon, Atlantic, farmed, baked 3 ounces 843) is great. Does it have cholesterol? Yes. But it’s a healthier way to celebrate Thanksgiving. You really don’t need Thanksgiving and Inflammation.

WHIPS or Walk Helping Instruments and Power Scooters

Whips often bring negative and uncommon associations to mind. WHIPS as in Walk Helping Instruments and Power Scooters are necessary devices for those with impaired walking and mobility. Use of WHIPS such as canes, walkers, crutches, braces, wheelchairs and powered scooters are becoming more prevalent and help the mobile-handicapped preserve some degree of independence. For those with ambulatory challenges, the use of WHIPS may be perceived as a negative milestone. Whether temporary or permanent, WHIPS help mobilize the otherwise immobile.

In 2011, according to Cornell University statistics, 5.8% of males and 8% of females, not institutionalized, in the United States have some form of ambulatory disability. Some States have over 10% ambulatory disability statistics. The percentage of non-institutionalized, females and males, with a ambulatory disability, ages 16-64, all races, regardless of ethnicity, with all education levels in the United States who were employed in 2011 is about 24%.

At a recent Myotonic Dystrophy support group meeting I attended, many complained of balance issues when standing or walking, slow mobility, and fear of tripping or falling. Myotonic Dystrophy is a form of Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic transmitted disease, that involves the destruction and wasting of muscles throughout the body. The disease, made popular in the USA be decades of Jerry Lewis televise telethons, currently has no treatment or cure.

I have Myotonic Dystrophy. While I might have had it since birth, most symptoms became evident in the past 5 years, though I was officially diagnosed in 2011, by genetic testing. I really appreciate and mourn the inability to walk distances, skate, bike, and a whole group of things that are now past tense. Even at my less than 1 mile per hour walk, I feel potential tip-overs to left, right, and rear. My steps are very deliberate with a constant fear of falling. As such, I added more supportive shoes and use of a cane. They offered little help. Adding prescribe therapeutic braces helped restore some walking ability. I haven’t been able to use subways for over two years. I definitely rely on WHIPS and, even with those, basic movements are often challenging. Without those WHIPS, home confinement is more likely.

Yet, at that Myotonic Dystrophy support group, many people did not use canes, wore regular sneakers, and didn’t wear supportive socks. Those that did have canes or walkers had the wrong sizes. When it comes to WHIPS, few people have access to proper information regarding proper support specifications. As a cane user with a background in research, I’m now more aware of other cane and walker users. I see the inadequacies of selected WHIPS among some and the denial of using WHIPS by others. While there are different degrees of Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy, proper WHIPS are very important.

Choosing a proper, supportive cane was an educational experience. The HurryCane is a popular cane advertised on TV. It allows one to stand the cane temporarily for certain conveniences, such as swiping a credit card at the counter or near a bench. Canes can be cumbersome when shopping or sitting in public places. I ordered one and found the cane too short for support and its adjustability was too flimsy to rely on. If you’re up to 5’9″ tall and weigh under 170 pounds, the HurryCane might be adequate. I saw too many taller and bigger people bending down to use that cane and say the cane bending with their weight. A probable accident seemed evident with continued use, especially if this is to be your personal partner for support.

The generally accepted rule for proper cane size is half your height in inches. If you are 5 feet, you are 60 inches. If you are 6 feet, you are 72 inches. I’m 74 inches and most of the sold canes were up to 36 inches. There are many online cane retailers. After lots of research, I found Fashionable Canes as a great source and resource. They offer a wide variety of styles, sizes, accessories, and tips for proper sizing. I was able to get a 37-inch wood cane that fit my height comfortably so I can walk straighter.

Weight capacity is also an issue. If you weigh 180 to 200 pounds, your cane needs to have a 250 pound capacity. You often lean down on the cane for additional support. This level of inertia adds weight on the cane, sometimes as much as 50 pounds. To assure adequate support with integrity, seek a cane that supports at least more than 40 pounds of your body weight.

While Amazon offers many cane styles and sizes, I found their specifications somewhat inaccurate. If you’re a Prime member, delivery and return privileges are rapid and liberal. But the Fashionable Cane online store, physically located in Florida, is extremely accurate and the customer service is very helpful.

One of the unexpected cane features I found at Fashionable Cane is the cane tip. The tip of the cane is very important since it meets the walking path of varied surfaces. Most canes have soft, smooth tips. Fashionable Cane tips use steel supported rubber with circular treads, providing better traction than most tips. Among accessory tips that they offer, you’ll find among the selection that deliver support like the HurryCane (quad-tip) and for walking on snowy surfaces.

Vista offers a wide variety of canes found in shoe and shoe repair stores. They are also premium WHIPS but generally are around 36 inches in height for most canes. Seek them out if you are 68 to 72 inches tall and prefer to buy one at a local provider.

Another popular instrument in the WHIPS category is the medical walker and these are very popular among women. For the most part, these are used by people around 60 to 65 inches tall, though some models adjust to 72 to 75 inches high. These permit broader walking support, especially for those suffering from osteoporosis, a crippling bone disease. These often have seats and storage available. Height is a problem here too as chronic users may develop a bent-over posture due to recalibration of the spinal vertebrae. I’ve seen some people with muscular dystrophy using these and some have already developed a hunchback appearance. Proper height and weight support are key issues here and often overlooked by providers and consumers, when considering chronic use.

Another extension of the WHIPS category are powered scooters and wheelchairs. These battery powered mobile assistive vehicles have been growing in popularity. They can greatly extend mobility range and can offer independence for advanced cases of immobility.

Most powered scooters are designed to fit on public transportation devices to help save battery power (usually up to 10 miles while carrying a 170 pound load).

I had considered this option in my earlier stages of ambulatory challenge but observed some restrictions in door entry of various stores without automated doors. I was thinking of using this as a vehicle to be able to enjoy use of nearby parks, though I haven’t seen too many in parks. The reason is these battery power devices offer minimal torque for uphill and downhill use. The convenient 3-wheel scooters may tip on the uneven leveling of paved park paths.

The EMS-48 Adult Scooter would have been perfect for use in the park but is too large for use in public transportation. At speeds up to 20 miles per hour and a huge up to 45 mile range on a battery charge, this would seem perfect. It’s like a supportive electric moped. Unfortunately, that distinction makes it illegal for use in city parks.

Mobile challenges aren’t just targeted at older people, though it seems that way. I do see people older and younger than me making use of WHIPS. Being mobility challenged is disabling in many ways, shapes and forms. Using WHIPS may help make existence more palatable. There are, as in life, benefits and consequences. The biggest consequence is the challenge and often the challenge seems insurmountable.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross is a prominent psychologist that studied patients who were dying. She came up with the DABDA process that all patients went through. The DADA process involves Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. I observed in my neurocognitive research that this also applies to those that find challenges in overcoming other diseases, though most remain stuck in Denial.

Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Cerebral Palsy are diseases that can severely immobilize and affect perceptions and choices of “I can” and “I can’t”. It feels like an invisible whip striking deep to the core of being. Fortunately, with medical guidance, family support, and the responsible use of the right WHIPS, people can accept their plights and make life appear less challenging in contrast to definitions of normality. Proper WHIPS help bring redefinition and acceptance to feel better against the odds you encounter each day.

Synthetic Marijuana Called ‘Spice’ or ‘K2’

Want to spice up your life? Are you seeking to accelerate your blood pressure or psychotic episodes? Try the new weed on the streets called Synthetic Marijuana. This product is being dubbed as Natural by its marketers. It’s a dope for the easily duped. Many people are easily duped.

Many find that foods and prescription drugs have side effects. If you eat burgers each day, for example, you can get fat or clog your arteries. Certain popular medications can result in memory loss, addictions, and any number of symptoms. That’s because the body’s receptors don’t exactly match the drug you’re taking. It acts like a key in a lock that doesn’t fit exactly. Side effects are the results. When using Marijuana, like anything else, there are side effects. The availability of Synthetic Marijuana poses new challenges and side effects that users and doctors may not be wary of.

Synthetic Marijuana is also known as Spice and is sold as an incense. With easier access from online sources, this synthetic marijuana is becoming the second most used recreational drug behind natural (street-bought) cannabis marijuana.
Spice isn’t necessarily from a lab. Synthetic Marijuana is a hybrid plant mixing Hawaiian Indica and Hawaiian Sativa. It is a rapid maturing cannabis strain and may be grown indoors and outdoors. Under legal oversight, Spice is not forbidden by most laws.

According to the National Institute of Health on Drug Abuse, distributors of processed Spice may enhance the plant with additives. “Spice products do contain dried plant material, but chemical analyses show that their active ingredients are synthetic (or designer) cannabinoid compounds.” So, in a sense, Spice is a Synthetic Marijuana product. Synthetic marijuana isn’t easily detected in standard drug tests and can thwart parents from monitoring children.

While it can be used as room incense or as a tea, the abuse comes when it is smoked. Smoking allows the chemicals to penetrate your lungs, cells, and eventually make it through the blood-brain barrier. The effects are quick.

There are few statistics about synthetic marijuana deaths. Spice was discovered by US Customs in 2008. Synthetic recreational drugs became more prominent and invoked the White House to pass the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act is part of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act of 2012. In December 2012, the USA released a report of incidents that are like synthetic drug related.

Yet, synthetic marijuana products are legal and have no prohibitions of sale to minors. They don’t trigger a positive result on a urine drug test and are marketed as being “100% organic herbs,” insinuating that they are natural and completely safe.

While synthetic marijuana may not yield positive in a urine drug test, nephrologists observed effects in kidneys of users. Yet the absence of the drug in urine tests places parents and corporations in a blind spot. There’s money to be made here and now there is a synthetic marijuana drug test available.

Originally, synthetic marijuana products contained a chemical called HU-210, which has a molecular structure very similar to THC — the active ingredient in marijuana. Because HU-210 is listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the United States, the fake weed products were manufactured and sold only in Europe.

Recently, two new synthetic cannabinoid agonists have been created that are not similar in structure to THC and therefore not listed as controlled substances. By using CP-47, 497 and JWH-018 in the synthetic marijuana mixtures, manufacturers are able to legally market their products in the United States.

Your body has (over time) developed receptors for the body’s natural opiates, endorphins, and other natural chemicals derived from diet. Adding chemicals to induce further effects, without scientific testing, may initiate dangerous opportunities.

The complexity of brain receptors and cellular receptors may deliver different results from one person to another. People can eat burgers with cheese and bacon and live long and healthy lives. Others will face obesity and cardiovascular problems. While marijuana is being decontrolled for medical use, synthetic marijuana is easily reaching people of all ages. It’s not illicit. You can buy synthetic drugs online.

Considering the difficulties pursuing the marketability of natural foods to processed foods, drugs like synthetic marijuana seem to blend in with our society. Doctors, parents, and responsible groups still face uphill battles to demonstrate that all those food and drug side effects may be avoided. The sad thing is that most people don’t care until it is too late. It is, of course, a matter of individual responsibility in a world that makes money in both manufacturing, enhancing, testing, and regulating synthetic marijuana. It’s a matter of economics over health. In an operant of supply and demand, synthetic marijuana may help increase abusers.