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The Full Moon Effect

 

“It’s a full moon” is said to be muttered monthly by police officers, emergency room doctors, and teachers.  The full moon has been linked to murder; suicide, accidents, birthrates, fertility, and some even buy or sell stocks according to the moon’s phases. However, science has pooh-poohed the anecdotal evidence and concluded that the moon’s phases have no effect on the human physic.

In 1986, researchers from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada combined the results of about 100 studies and found “no causal relationship between lunar phenomena and human behavior.”  (Grant, 2008)  There are no changes to the murder rate, suicides do not increase, and craziness in general does not rise. This research shatters the myths that humankind has believed since the cave dweller.

There is a faction of the scientific community who believe that earthquakes and volcanoes increase before and after the full moon.  In an article in Discovery News, Geologist Bill Burton with the US Geological Survey says that this is unlikely that earthquakes are connected to the full moon.

“There are just too many factors that go into seismic activity to make that statement. I think you’d be hard pressed to see a difference in tectonic activity during different lunar phases.” (Rice, 2012)

 So why do these myths of the full moon still prevail?  Well, ingrained beliefs and superstitions are difficult to change.  When elders, the news media, and Hollywood continue to connect strange happenings to the full moon, the population tends to take on those beliefs.

It could be that because of the entire hubbub that surrounds full moon events, people are more observant. Consequently, if an unusual event occurs such as an accident, a person looking into the night sky may associate the unusual event as causal effect of the full moon. If the same event happened at another time in the moon’s phase the correlation or connection would be absent.

The next full moon will be on Saturday, May 5, 2012 and it is called a “super” moon due to its close distance to the earth. What “extreme” craziness will occur from this full moon? The fact remains, that as long as people believe that the full moon affects humans in a negative way, superstitions and myths will surround this monthly phenomenon. So the next time you hear, “It must be the moon.” Remember that it is only an idiom used since humans came out of their caves and looked up at the sky.

Works Cited

Arkowitz, S. O. (2009, Feb). Lunacy and the Full Moon: Scientific America. Retrieved from Scientific America.com: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=lunacy-and-the-full-moon

Grant, A. (2008, March 31). Does a full moon actually affect people’s behavior? Retrieved from Scienceline: http://scienceline.org/2008/03/ask-grant-fullmoon/

Rice, R. (2012, 3 18). No Link Between ‘Super Moon’ and Earthquakes. Retrieved from http://news.discovery.com/earth/super-moon-earthquake-no-link-110318.ht

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

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Perseid Meteor Shower

Every year in August, we are given a show from the Perseid Meteorites.  It is a special time for me because when my son was younger, he and I would sit in the back yard until the wee hours of the morning watching them streak across the eastern sky.

It is suppose to be the best meteor shower of the year, according to NASA.  From Friday, August 10th until Sunday, August 12th, NASA expects that the Perseids will peak at about 100 per hour.  This is predicted to be an amazing show, and there is another treat in store for sky watchers.  “The brightest planets in the solar system are lining up right in the middle of the [Perseid] display,” NASA says. Specifically, “Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon are gathering together just as the Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak.”

The best time to view is between midnight and 4 A.M.  It is best to be in a dark sky, but even closer to city lights, viewers will be able to spot a few meteors.  Enjoy the show!

 

 

 Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When Healing Becomes A Crime: The Amazing Story of the Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and Therapies by Kenny Ausubel

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When Healing Becomes a Crime: The Amazing Story of the Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and the Return of Alternative TherapiesWhen Healing Becomes a Crime: The Amazing Story of the Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and the Return of Alternative Therapies by Kenny Ausubel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This Exposé is the story of Harry Hoxsey and of the politics of cancer. It is an eye-opening look at the dirty secrets of oncology. The author, Kenny Ausubel, shares the intriguing story of Harry Hoxsey, whose great-grandfather stumbled upon a cure for cancer. Harry received the recipe for the herbal salve and tonic from his grandfather on his deathbed. He told Harry to guard the secret with his life because there people out there who would want it at any cost. He also told Harry not to charge those who lacked funds to pay for the treatment.

Harry Hoxsey followed his grandfather’s creed until his death. He cured thousands of cancer patients and at one time had the largest cancer treatment center in Texas with branches in 17 states. He was also touted to be the biggest snake oil salesman who ever lived.

How can a man who saves so many lives be a quack? Well according to Morris Fishbein, the editor of the American Medical Association (AMA) Journal, the Hoxey Formula was useless folk medicine against cancer. Fishbein wielded his influence to have Hoxey arrested, harassed, and his clinics closed down.

In the second half of the book, we learn that there are many alternative methods to treat cancer. Most of these methods are never shared with the American public because of the politics involved. We learn what roles the AMA, the FDA, and the National Institute of Health, play in the treatment of cancer. The standard treatment in our country is surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. They have been the only option for those who are suffering from cancer.

The author does extensive research into alternative methods and the Hoxey Formula. Scientific testing done on individual herbs used in the Hoxsey formula has been proven to have anti-cancer properties to cure some forms of cancer.

This is a must read book for anyone who has cancer or has a loved one with cancer. Although, there are not cures in this book, there are many citations of research directed at alternative methods. Warning: This book will make you furious about the state of Cancer Treatment in America at this time. The money and politics involved in the big business of cancer creates a barrier for alternative methods of treatment to be used.

Kenny Ausubel also made an award-winning documentary entitled, “Project Censored’s “Best Censored Story” that follows the Hoxsey story with live footage of Hoxey and his clinic.

You may also wish to listen to Ausubel’s interview on Coast-to-Coast AM at http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/20…

 

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Wonder has a name: DERECHO

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A long lived Derecho storm system moved across the Chicago metro area yesterday morning.” This system according to The Examiner caused considerable damage and power outages to many in the Chicagoland area.

My question is…what is a Derecho and where did this term come from all of a sudden? It seems that in the last week or so, many meteorologists and weather reporters have been spotlighting this new word. The word is so new, that at Dictionary.com, the only entry they have for the word is its Spanish origin.  There is not a definition.  If you want a definition, there is one at Wikipedia.com.  It states that a Derecho, pronounced (day-RAY-cho), is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms.

Source: The USA TODAY Weather Book by Jack Williams
As the line of thunderstorms moves along, usually to the east, humid air flows up into the storms. Cold air from aloft descends to create winds.

That is great, except that we had a word for this type of windstorm.  It was called a Squall Line. However, I looked the term Squall line up and found some differences between a Derecho and a Squall line. A Squall Line is defined in The American Heritage Science Dictionary “…as a line of sudden, sometimes violent thunderstorms that develop on the leading edge of a cold front. Squall lines can form up to 50 to 149 miles in front of an advancing cold front and can be more than 99 miles long. The thunderstorms of a squall line can produce severe weather conditions, such as hail and rain accompanied by winds of over 60 miles per hour; they are also associated with tornadoes, especially in spring and early summer.”

This all sounds very similar to the newly touted Derecho, but according to Jack Williams at USA Today, “Derechos are the result of squall-line thunderstorms that create one downburst after another as they move along. Downbursts are winds that blast down from thunderstorms.  Occasionally, a Derecho thunderstorm will spin out a small tornado or two, but straight-line winds do most of their damage.  Derechos are most common on the central and northern Plains and across the Midwest into the Ohio Valley in the late spring and during the summer.”

Hmm… I guess a Derecho is not a Squall line after all.  However, why have I never heard of this weather term before? In my research, I found out that a man named Gustavus Hinrichs, the director of the Iowa Weather Service in the 1880’s coined the name, Derecho.  It comes from a Spanish word meaning, “straight ahead” or “direct”.  Hinrichs intended it to contrast with “tornado” which comes from the Spanish word for “turn”.  Okay, so the word has been around for a while. I just wonder why the meteorologists and weather reporters feel the need to bring “Derecho” out of the closet, now?

Jack Williams states in his article at USA Today, “…that while most people in the Midwest are unfamiliar with the “Derechoes”, these windy storms are very common.”  Well, darn, if they are so very common, why haven’t they been mentioned more often?

 I have two possible answers to this question.  The first is that meteorologists and weather reporters want to look super intelligent, so they pulled out this weather term to impress their viewers.  The second is that our weather is changing so rapidly and is so erratic that a term to describe it had to be found.  Consequently, the super intelligent people in charge of the weather scoured through the tomes of weather history to find just the right word, “Derecho”.  I suppose it is feasible that our record-breaking weather this year is beyond even the experts’ description.

I am wondering how the fall and winter weather will be. If the last seven months have given any indication, we are in for a few more record-breaking days and possibly a few new words from the back of the meteorologist’s closet. I have one they can use… “Deep-poo”.

References

Derecho. (2012, 7 23). Retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derecho

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. (2002). Retrieved 7 25, 2012, from Dictionary.com : http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/squall%20line

Williams, J. (2005, 5 20). ‘Derechos’ are lines of windy thunderstorms. Retrieved from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wtsm1.htm

 

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

 

 

House Plants = Healthy Indoor Air

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Keeping our air clean and free from chemicals is a concern for us all, especially the air we breathe indoors. 

Today, buildings are better insulated and hold more toxic chemicals than at any time in history.  Toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, and petroleum-based materials reside in our homes creating a potentially harmful environment. Plants can help to eliminate some of these toxins and add ambiance to our residence.

According to research done by NASA, living green and flowering plants, clean pollutants in the air. We close up our houses in the winter due to the cold weather and breathe reconstituted air-filled with contaminants. These contaminants come from the furniture we sit on, the cabinets we open, and the carpeting we walk on. “Harmful indoor pollutants represent a serious health problem that is responsible for more than 1.6 million deaths each year”, according to a 2002 World Health Organization report. These impurities in our air has attributed to a rise in chronic and reoccurring sinus infections, chronic post-nasal drainage, asthma, bronchial infections, ear infections, and other illness cause by synthetic contaminants. Unfortunately, summertime does not alleviate the problem, due to climate controlled homes and office buildings where air conditioning is taking the place of heating systems when the weather turns hot.

The good news is that we can reduce the effects of the most common toxins by adding houseplants to our homes.  Plants produce oxygen, add moisture, and filter out toxins in the air neutralizing indoor pollution. By placing, a few houseplants around our homes and using specific types of houseplants our environment can be beautiful and healthy.

Below is a list of beneficial houseplants and the toxins they are best at filtering.

Plant Names

Toxin it Removes

Asparagus fern Benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichloroethylene (TCE), and methylene chloride 
Aloe Vera: Eliminates emissions from most toxins 
Chrysanthemum: Reduces toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia 
Dieffenbachia: Formaldehyde, Toluene, Xylene
English Ivy: Eliminates petroleum-based products 
Gerber Daisy Adds oxygen to the air 
Peace Lily Removes chemicals from smoking 
Purple Waffle Plant Benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichloroethylene (TCE), and methylene chloride 
Schefflera Benzene, Formaldehyde, Toluene 
Spider Plants:                                Exceptional for reducing formaldehyde 
Variegated Wax Plant Benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichloroethylene (TCE), and methylene chloride
   

 

©Jamie Nowinski 5/10/2012

Garden Gate Nursery. (2011). Retrieved from The Garden Gate Nursery and Floral: http://www.gardengatenursery.com/gardentips/gardendesign/58-healthbenefitsofhouseplants.html

Science, A. S. (2009, November 4). Common Plants Can Eliminate Indoor Air Pollutants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 10, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/11/091104140816.htm

Wolverton, B. C. (1997.). How To Grow Fresh Air. New York: Penguin Books.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

The Full Moon Effect

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“It’s a full moon” is said to be muttered monthly by police officers, emergency room doctors, and teachers.  The full moon has been linked to murder; suicide, accidents, birthrates, fertility, and some even buy or sell stocks according to the moon’s phases. However, science has pooh-poohed the anecdotal evidence and concluded that the moon’s phases have no effect on the human physic.

In 1986, researchers from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada combined the results of about 100 studies and found “no causal relationship between lunar phenomena and human behavior.”  (Grant, 2008)  There are no changes to the murder rate, suicides do not increase, and craziness in general does not rise. This research shatters the myths that humankind has believed since the cave dweller.

There is a faction of the scientific community who believe that earthquakes and volcanoes increase before and after the full moon.  In an article in Discovery News, Geologist Bill Burton with the US Geological Survey says that this is unlikely that earthquakes are connected to the full moon.

“There are just too many factors that go into seismic activity to make that statement. I think you’d be hard pressed to see a difference in tectonic activity during different lunar phases.” (Rice, 2012)

 So why do these myths of the full moon still prevail?  Well, ingrained beliefs and superstitions are difficult to change.  When elders, the news media, and Hollywood continue to connect strange happenings to the full moon, the population tends to take on those beliefs.

It could be that because of the entire hubbub that surrounds full moon events, people are more observant. Consequently, if an unusual event occurs such as an accident, a person looking into the night sky may associate the unusual event as causal effect of the full moon. If the same event happened at another time in the moon’s phase the correlation or connection would be absent.

The next full moon will be on Saturday, May 5, 2012 and it is called a “super” moon due to its close distance to the earth. What “extreme” craziness will occur from this full moon? The fact remains, that as long as people believe that the full moon affects humans in a negative way, superstitions and myths will surround this monthly phenomenon. So the next time you hear, “It must be the moon.” Remember that it is only an idiom used since humans came out of their caves and looked up at the sky.

Works Cited

Arkowitz, S. O. (2009, Feb). Lunacy and the Full Moon: Scientific America. Retrieved from Scientific America.com: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=lunacy-and-the-full-moon

Grant, A. (2008, March 31). Does a full moon actually affect people’s behavior? Retrieved from Scienceline: http://scienceline.org/2008/03/ask-grant-fullmoon/

Rice, R. (2012, 3 18). No Link Between ‘Super Moon’ and Earthquakes. Retrieved from http://news.discovery.com/earth/super-moon-earthquake-no-link-110318.ht

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

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Mega, Extreme Dinosaur Lover

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My grandson has been obsessed with dinosaurs since he was two years old.  He knows every name, in Greek and Latin terms, and every tiny description and fact about dinosaurs.  He has a robotic T-Rex, and scores of triceratops, Diplodocus, and velociraptors, sitting on his shelves in his bedroom.  He reads encyclopedias of dinosaurs and watches every movie ever made about them.  He is infatuated with these extinct creatures.

For his birthday, my grandson’s parents took him to the Field Museum to see the exhibit that housed the famous T-Rex, Sue.  They spent the night at the museum, sleeping amongst the dinosaurs in their sleeping bags.   My grandson met with other kids who were also enamored with dinos and they ran and giggled as the huge beasts watched. He was in heaven.

I do not remember ever being so besotted with any one thing in the same way my grandson is smitten with dinosaurs.  I know my son loved choo-choo trains when he was little, and then he liked fire engines, Lego’s, Nintendo, and… However, my grandson does not seem to be willing to leave the dinosaur craze behind him.  He has become interested in Godzilla, but it is only a made up creature similar to a dinosaur. Oh, and he likes Lego’s now, but he made me buy the new dinosaur collection.

A friend of mine insinuated that maybe there was something wrong with my grandson’s fanatical love of dinosaurs.  However, I do not agree.  I think it is great that he is able to stick with one thing and really study it.  His preoccupation keeps him entertained and using his imagination.  What could be so bad with that?

Who knows? Maybe he will grow up to be a scientist, zoologist, or a paleontologist.  Possibly, with his skill and passion for looking in-depth at things, he could find a cure for cancer or unearth answers to world problems.  Or else, he could become an awesome Dad who can have interesting conversations with his own son about dinosaurs.  Whatever he does with his life, I am sure that he will do it with zeal and curiosity, and I will be extremely proud of him.

Do you know any children who are obsessed with something?  Feel free to share your story.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 
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