From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gagging Gaga in China

First Dalai Lama    (Public Domain)
Just because Lady Gaga had a brief meeting with the current Dalai Lama is no reason to ostracize her.  Yet the Chinese government begs to differ.

According to The Guardian, this “19-minute encounter” covered such weighty topics as “meditation, mental health and how to detoxify humanity,” issues that both have tackled in their own inimitable ways.

Because the Dalai Lama has been deemed to be a “wolf in monk’s robes” by Beijing, Lady Gaga’s “entire repertoire” has now been banned from mainland China.  This includes the uploading and distribution of her music.

In addition to that, “party-controlled news outlets” have been ordered to “condemn the meeting.”     


Copyright June 28, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved