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Friday, July 1, 2016

Nomophobia: Smart phones not so smart

(Photo by Japanexperterna)
If misplacing a smart phone ruins your mood, you may be suffering from nomophobia.

What's more, you are far from alone.  Psychology Today reports that approximately 47 percent of women and 58 percent of men fear separation from their mobile devices.  Nine percent of those surveyed feel anxious when their mobile phones are merely turned off.

Apart from this gnawing fear, there are other downsides to being overly connected.  The blue light (HEV) from smart phones is especially damaging to the eyes.  This same light can interfere with melatonin production, which in turn deters sleep.

Relying upon computer memory instead of your own may dull the brain’s ability to recall appointments, birthdays, phone numbers, etc.  The electromagnetism that smart phones emit may also damage your hearing.     


Copyright July 1, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Beware the Pink Snow

Chlamydomonas nivalis   (Public Domain)
In addition to the many words that Arctic natives have for frigid wet particles, a new one is now being highlighted:  pink snow.

Although pink snow may seem “aesthetically pleasing,” it is not necessarily an environmental plus.  The rosy hues are not indicative of optimism, but rather of tough times ahead for humans and polar bears.

This “blood or watermelon snow” (caused by growth of the red algae Chlamydomonas nivalis) melts more quickly than white varieties.  Red retains more heat than white does.  Pretty pink snow may therefore intensify global-warming effects.


Copyright June 30, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

THC spells TLC for Alzheimer’s patients?

Cannabis Plants     (Public Domain)
THC, the active ingredient of marijuana, may help to “remove key toxic protein from brain cells.”

This toxin, amyloid beta, is a telltale sign of Alzheimer’s disease.  Its accumulation is often linked to inflammation and nerve-cell death. Neurons themselves often produce THC-like compounds (endocannabinoids) as a buffer against the dreaded syndrome.

According to David Schubert of the Salk Institute, researchers have known for quite some time about the neuroprotective aspects of THC.  Nevertheless, his team has been “the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells.”

Physical exercise also results in the natural production of endocannabinoids, and might help to protect the brain against Alzheimer’s.


Copyright June 29, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved