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NSA | New York City Chapter

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May 052016
 

When you attend an NSA NYC event, you will find a diverse group of professionals who use their passion for the power of the spoken word to create the life and business they love.

This year our programming has been created to support our theme of FUN. As a national keynote speaker on optimism and happiness in the workplace, it is not surprising that FUN would find a way into my leadership style however that theme goes much deeper as we welcome some of the top speaking professionals in our industry to share their tools for success at our monthly meetings.

Here are the 4 aspects of FUN you can expect NSA NYC events to cover this year:

Please have a look around our website to meet some of our successful members, to find out more about professional speaking, and to schedule your visit to our next meeting.

We are thrilled you are here and look forward to you joining us for a warm and welcoming experience filled with engaging content, educational instruction, and some serious FUN.

Whether you are a long time professional or this is your first visit to the world of speaking I say with all my heart

Welcome Home!

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NSA | New York City Chapter

swimming – Missouri State Parks

 Beaches  Comments Off on swimming – Missouri State Parks
May 042016
 

Whether it’s hanging out in a quiet lake cove, exploring one of Missouris pristine Ozark rivers or plopping in a pool, state parks offer swimming experiences that the entirefamily can enjoy.

Four parks Bennett Spring, Big Lake, Roaring River and Washington have public swimming pools, while others have sand beaches.

The parks located on big impounded lakes offer some of the Midwests top water recreation. Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Wappapello, Long Branch, Pomme de Terre, Stockton, Harry S Truman, Table Rockand Mark Twain state parks all have large lakes perfect for swimming, boating and fishing.

Crowder State Park has swimming in its 18-acre lake and Cuivre River State Park offers swimming in Lake Lincoln. Finger Lakes, Lewis and Clark, St. Joe, Trail of Tears, Thousand Hills, Wakonda and Watkins Mill also are state parks with smaller lakes for swimming. Several of the lakes have sand beaches.

Clear, spring-fed Ozark rivers are great for cooling off in the hot summer months.

Big Creek is a lovely little stream that runs through Sam A. Baker State Park and thecampground is next to a gravel bar along the creek.

Meramec and Onondaga Cave state parks are located along the Meramec River. St. Francois and Washington state parks are on Big River.

One of the states premier swimming holes is at Johnsons Shut-Ins State Park, where the Black River has carved out chutes and pools in the ancient rock of the namesake shut-ins area.

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swimming – Missouri State Parks

Liberty, North Carolina – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Apr 302016
 

Originally named Liberty Oak, the town was founded in 1809 near the plantation of John Leak.[3] The first church within the town was the Liberty Christian Church (now the United Church of Christ) founded on October 11, 1884. The town’s first school, the Liberty Academy, was founded on May 6, 1885, as a charter school, and helped to foster the town’s early reputation as a place of higher learning. Liberty is home to the mother church of the Southern Baptist denomination (Sandy Creek Baptist Church),

The Liberty Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.[4]

Liberty is also home to the famous the Liberty Antiques Festival. Also, the Liberty Showcase has had many famous Nashville recording stars such as Ronnie McDowell, Lorrie Morgan, Gene Watson, Exile, and many more. The movies Killers Three (1968) and Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992) were filmed in Liberty and the surrounding areas.

One of Liberty’s most noticeable landmarks is the Patterson House Museum, near the town hall; it was originally constructed in 1885 by Dr. Armstead Jackson Patterson as a retirement home for his parents. Other local landmarks are the historical Liberty train station (which is not open to the public), and the Vance York house.

In 2001, Liberty was honored to become one of the few towns on the North Carolina National Historic Register for its rich history and historic architecture, largely due to the efforts of Mrs. Francine Swaim, a local writer, teacher, and historian.

As of the census[1] of 2000, 2,661 people, 1,033 households, and 708 families resided in the town. The population density is 1,020.8 people per square mile (393.6/km). The 1,094 housing units averaged 419.7 per square mile (161.8/km). The racial makeup of the town is 65.69% White, 23.64% African American, 0.71% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 8.08% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. About 14.2% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 1,033 households, 32.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.3% are married couples living together, 14.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% are not families; 27.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 14.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.56 and the average family size is 3.09.

In the town, the population is distributed as 26.1% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females, there are 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $35,052, and for a family is $44,179. Males have a median income of $27,944 versus $21,462 for females. The per capita income for the town is $16,345. About 12.2% of the population and 9.9% of families are below the poverty line. Of the total population, 12.9% of those under the age of 18 and 16.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Liberty has long been important to the aviation community. In addition to having several private airports in the vicinity, Liberty lies at the intersection of several air traffic routes that serve the East Coast. A Vortac owned by the Federal Aviation Administration for air traffic navigation is based just outside town near Sandy Creek Church. Liberty is also located near the delineation point for the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center (Atlanta Center) and the Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center (Washington Center). All planes flying west of Liberty must be directed by Atlanta, while all planes flying east must be directed by Washington.

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Liberty, North Carolina – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hubble telescope captures sharpest image yet of mysterious …

 Hubble Telescope  Comments Off on Hubble telescope captures sharpest image yet of mysterious …
Apr 292016
 

A striking new image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope delivers a deep look into a mysterious cosmic object called the Red Rectangle Nebula.

The Red Rectangle, so named because of its bizarre shape and striking color, is a nebula a cosmic cloud of gas and particles. In this case, the nebula is formed by the central star, HD 44179, which is reaching the end of its life and shedding most of its mass into space.

The source of the red light emitted by the Red Rectangle baffled scientists for more than 30 years. The same kind of red emission was seen throughout the Milky Way and in other galaxies, but scientists weren’t sure what created it. The mystery was finally solved in 2007: The glow comes from strange activity at the molecular level inside clusters of dust.

This new image gives scientists the best understanding yet of the structure of the Red Rectangle, according to a statement from NASA. Instead of a rectangle, it appears that the nebula around the star is shaped like an “X,” with ladder-like rungs of glowing gas connecting the four arms.

The star at the center of the Red Rectangle is similar to Earth’s sun and is responsible for those evenly spaced lines as it releases gas and other material to create the nebula and its distinctive shape. NASA experts now believe the star is also a close binary (meaning it has a stellar partner), and is surrounded by a dense area of dust, according to the statement.

The star at the center of the Red Rectangle will eventually leave behind a hot white dwarf that will give off brilliant ultraviolet radiation that will cause the surrounding gas to glow.

Original article onSpace.com.

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Hubble telescope captures sharpest image yet of mysterious …

Delray Beach SEO – Internet Marketing – Google Partner

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Apr 242016
 

There are few people in life that get to stare down a shark in its wild environment. There are fewer still that have been bitten by one and survived. That is EXACTLY what happened to our founder and CEO. It was a pivotal turning point in his life. Part of bouncing back with a passion was launching one of Americas fastest growing SEO and Internet marketing firms, Shark Bite SEO.

The changes that Google, as the 800lb gorilla of the market, forced upon businesses with Panda, Penguin, AdWords, and other initiatives have left the waters red with blood. Businesses have been thrust into a kill or be killed competitive environment online. I saw an opportunity to take 22 years of high tech, Internet marketing, and business strategy experience and turn our customers into the apex predators of their markets.

With Anthony navigating the waters, Shark Bite SEO, is uniquely positioned to meet the needs and challenges of multiple industry verticals.

Many of our competitors do not understand the businesses they work with. They are technologists that know a bit about SEO and Internet Marketing. They do not know what it takes to run and build a business. We have built a team of business strategists supported by a very strong team of technologists. We work closely with our clients to create true dominance and business impact. You can only do this if you understand the clients business from the ground up.

Prior to starting Shark Bite SEO, Anthony was the General Manager for the Foreclosure.com family of companies. His years of experience in business strategy, technology and process improvement brought a valued prospective to the products and services. Additionally, Anthony was key in engineering and developing the short sale and offer process management systems in place a several major financial institutions including Fannie Mae.

As a Sr. BRM Architect for Savvion Software (now Progress Software), consulted with companies such as Pepsi North America, Pepsi International and Cingular Wireless / AT&T Analog devices on various ways to use innovative technologies and business process management to improve profitability and to empower management to make proactive business decisions based on key metrics.

Anthony previously served as ERA Boston Real Estate Groups CIO where he developed and implemented a variety of cutting edge technology programs which has placed ERA Boston Real Estate Group at the forefront of information technology and internet marketing in the Greater Boston real estate market. Under his direction, ERA Boston Real Estate Group grew 700% based on dominating all major search engines and generating over 3,000 buyer leads per month.

Prior to joining ERA Boston Real Estate Group, Anthony was chief technology officer at BiT Group Inc. a Boston-based Internet consulting and development firm. During his tenure as CTO, Anthony worked with senior management to set company direction and strategy and the lead architect, designing mission critical applications clients, including Fidelity Investments, EMC2 BJs Wholesale, IDX Systems, and IBEX Process Technologies. He also managed four main functional areas of operation for BiT Group, which included information architecture, IT consulting, engineering and database/system architecture.

Search Engine Optimization

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Delray Beach SEO – Internet Marketing – Google Partner

6 Uncomplicated Social SEO Tips for Small Businesses …

 SEO  Comments Off on 6 Uncomplicated Social SEO Tips for Small Businesses …
Apr 242016
 

Lets start with what is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. And the phrase improve your SEO strategy encompasses the actions taken to ensure your website can be found in a search engines results page (SERP) when searching for words or phrases relevant to the content on your website.

What does Social SEO mean?

Social SEO refers to the idea that social media links and interaction play a considerable part in a websites search rankings. It sounds complicated (and, in reality it is) but basically SEO is all about optimizing contentwhether its on your website or on a social media platformin order to appear higher in search rankings.

Here are six uncomplicated Social SEO tips you can easily start implementing today:

The key to an SEO friendly social media profile is to be descriptive as possible. Always fill out the About or Information sections of any social media platform. Use words or phrases that describe your business and are also terms individuals would use to search for your business.

For example, to optimize your Facebook Page for local searches, it is very important to include your address, city, state, and zip. Always include links from your social channels back to your businesss website (and links from your website to your social channels).

Insider Tip: The Category field is often over looked on Facebook Pages but is important for Facebook mobile searches. Check to make sure your business is listed as the correct category while editing your basic information.

To optimize your social content, always include some of the relevant search keywords you determined for your business in your Facebook updates, tweets, pin descriptions, etc. Its important to remember to share content from your website or blog socially to give it an SEO boost too. Sharing new content on Twitter is especially important because it helps Google index it faster (indexing means Google adds this URL to their database).

Insider Tip: Use your businesss name in your social posts. This helps Google associate the keywords you use to describe your business with your businesss name.

A key factor in SEO is link building. Simply put, this means having good website to website relationships through links. When you have more quality sites linking to your website (inbound) and you are linking to other quality websites (outbound) the more authoritative Google determines your website to be. More authority equals a higher SERP rank.

Likes, comments, +1s, repins, retweets, etc., all play into the weight given to your links. If you create content people want to share, you can create more inbound links. Content doesnt always have to be as elaborate as a blog post or whitepaper, content can also refer to tweets or Facebook posts as well. By posting engaging social content, youre improving your SEO value. To review: Quality content equals more shares equals more links equals better SEO value. Simple right?

Insider Tip: A more advanced way to increase shares is to add social share buttons to individual pieces of content on your website or blog.

An easy way to create shareable content is by using Pinterest. Pinterest is great for link building and improving your keyword strategy. Google indexes pages from websites with heavy traffic faster and higher in a SERP. You can increase your contents visibility in SERPs by adding keywords within the title of a Pinterest board, the boards description, and you even have up to 500 characters to describe an individual pin so youll want to include keywords there as well.

Additionally, you can customize the pins link and point people back to your website or blogfurther increasing the opportunity for your content to rank higher in a SERP. From an SEO perspective, Pinterest allows you to do a few things that other networks dont, so take advantage of it.

Insider Tip: Google prefers high-resolution images, so use high-quality images on Pinterest whenever possible.

No one loves Google+ more than Google. Sign up for a Google+ Business Page and complete as many fields as you can in the About section using keywords that describe your business. Google also allows you to add several customized links within your profile, you can use this as an opportunity to link back to your website, blog, and additional social channels. By spending 10-minutes a day sharing your content to your Google+ page, youll be more likely to appear within Googles SERP. There are more reasons you should care about Google+ if youre a Solution Provider.

According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. In order to perform well in local search results its critical that you optimize your Google+ Local listing (formally known as Google Places). A Local Google+ page is different from a Google+ Business Page because it allows customers to easily connect with that businesss physical location. Update the details about your businessaddress, phone number, hours, etc.and youre good to go!

Insider Tip: Be sure to keep your information up-to-date on Google+ Local and Facebookit helps!

Improving your SEO takes time and SERP changes dont happen overnight. Always be as descriptive as you can and keep your info up to date. Ultimately, as a small business owner you shouldnt obsess over SEO. Instead, focus on providing a WOW! experience for your customers and your business will benefit through natural word-of-mouth.

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6 Uncomplicated Social SEO Tips for Small Businesses …

Freedom Tower (1 World Trade Center) – The New York Times

 Freedom  Comments Off on Freedom Tower (1 World Trade Center) – The New York Times
Apr 222016
 

Latest Articles

Cond Nast is to lease one million square feet in the lead tower at ground zero in a deal worth an estimated $2 billion over 25 years.

The Port Authority has struggled to create an elegant and secure skyscraper while also containing costs.

Larry A. Silverstein, the developer of 4 World Trade Center, is taking up New York City on its commitment to lease one-third of the building.

In 2010, so much progress was made at the World Trade Center that officials saw no need to cook up fabricated milestones, as they had in the past. But in December, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey showed that old habits die hard. It announced in a press release (accompanied by this picture) that 1 World Trade Center – the building formerly known as Freedom Tower – had reached “halfway to the top.” Meaning what? That the structural steel had reached the level of the 52nd floor in what will be a 104-story building.

Few people seem willing to question whether building 1 World Trade Center makes any sense.

The Timess David W. Dunlap describes how the new World Trade Center complex is taking shape.

Despite setbacks and public cynicism, the puzzle that is the new World Trade Center complex is being pieced together rapidly.

Photographs from the Timess Fred R. Conrad provide an intimate view of construction at the site of the World Trade Center.

The publishing giant has signed a tentative deal to anchor the skyscraper now under construction.

The Durst real estate family won a hotly contested bidding contest for a stake in 1 World Trade Center and is expected to invest at least $100 million in the tower.

A family that owns 10 Midtown Manhattan office towers is favored by some Port Authority officials, but a deal is not assured.

A Subway restaurant franchise is housed in cargo containers and raised by cranes that rise as the building goes up.

Having the publishing giant as a tenant would bring a particular cachet to 1 World Trade Center.

Mr. Libeskind is best known for his work as the master plan architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center.

Panoramic views of 1 World Trade Center show the progress of building.

The days when 1 World Trade Center was regarded as an unnecessary exercise in waste appear to be over.

The Port Authority, the city and Larry A. Silverstein have worked out a formula to finance the project.

The Port Authority hopes to raise money for 1 World Trade Center, still under construction, and hand off the job of marketing the space and negotiating leases.

Fresh bread will soon be baking high above ground zero.

The Port Authority says that 1 World Trade Center, the address of the fallen north tower, is the most practical way to market the building. It had been called the Freedom Tower.

Cond Nast is to lease one million square feet in the lead tower at ground zero in a deal worth an estimated $2 billion over 25 years.

The Port Authority has struggled to create an elegant and secure skyscraper while also containing costs.

Larry A. Silverstein, the developer of 4 World Trade Center, is taking up New York City on its commitment to lease one-third of the building.

In 2010, so much progress was made at the World Trade Center that officials saw no need to cook up fabricated milestones, as they had in the past. But in December, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey showed that old habits die hard. It announced in a press release (accompanied by this picture) that 1 World Trade Center – the building formerly known as Freedom Tower – had reached “halfway to the top.” Meaning what? That the structural steel had reached the level of the 52nd floor in what will be a 104-story building.

Few people seem willing to question whether building 1 World Trade Center makes any sense.

The Timess David W. Dunlap describes how the new World Trade Center complex is taking shape.

Despite setbacks and public cynicism, the puzzle that is the new World Trade Center complex is being pieced together rapidly.

Photographs from the Timess Fred R. Conrad provide an intimate view of construction at the site of the World Trade Center.

The publishing giant has signed a tentative deal to anchor the skyscraper now under construction.

The Durst real estate family won a hotly contested bidding contest for a stake in 1 World Trade Center and is expected to invest at least $100 million in the tower.

A family that owns 10 Midtown Manhattan office towers is favored by some Port Authority officials, but a deal is not assured.

A Subway restaurant franchise is housed in cargo containers and raised by cranes that rise as the building goes up.

Having the publishing giant as a tenant would bring a particular cachet to 1 World Trade Center.

Mr. Libeskind is best known for his work as the master plan architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center.

Panoramic views of 1 World Trade Center show the progress of building.

The days when 1 World Trade Center was regarded as an unnecessary exercise in waste appear to be over.

The Port Authority, the city and Larry A. Silverstein have worked out a formula to finance the project.

The Port Authority hopes to raise money for 1 World Trade Center, still under construction, and hand off the job of marketing the space and negotiating leases.

Fresh bread will soon be baking high above ground zero.

The Port Authority says that 1 World Trade Center, the address of the fallen north tower, is the most practical way to market the building. It had been called the Freedom Tower.

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Freedom Tower (1 World Trade Center) – The New York Times

Freedom House in Cleveland, Ohio with Reviews & Ratings – YP.com

 Freedom  Comments Off on Freedom House in Cleveland, Ohio with Reviews & Ratings – YP.com
Apr 202016
 

Trilby’s Svengali was a character of fiction. Conversely, Marc Breed, has captivated a generation with such a unique and engaging personality that we’ve allowed him the ultimately luxury of a true freedom. The Art he has created, as a result of this, only seems odd; in that …morewe view it while tinged with envy. That we in Cleveland possess such a close-up look, should be a source of extreme pride. For we may live vicariously through his artistic rampage among us. -Dr. Stanley Workman, Art History, Professor Emeritus http://artistmarcbreed.blogspot.com/view less

Drug abuse and addiction is a public health issue with serious consequences. From prescription drugs to cocaine, inhalants and marijuana, illicit substances have affected nearly every community and person in some way. But what exactly is drug abuse and how do people seek treatment for this disease?

Making the decision to seek help for drug addiction is a huge step toward improving your health and overall wellness, as well as that of your family and community. But where do you start? There are many options.

Attend a Rehabilitation Program: There are a plethora of rehab options available to people who abuse drugs. You should be able to find one that fits your budget and lifestyle. For a very intensive treatment, try an inpatient rehab program at a facility that is well-versed in addressing long-term addiction. These organizations provide a place for you to stay while you go through withdrawals, as well as medical assistance if it is needed. Drug rehab facilities offer therapeutic programs such as cognitive behavioral therapy to help users address the problems that may drive them to drug use. You’ll also be surrounded by others in similar positions who are looking to stop using and seek support, which can be very helpful and inspiring.

1. Intake Process: Every person beginning an inpatient rehab program will go through an intake process. This involves a physical exam from a doctor and a mental exam from a therapist or psychiatrist. These professionals note any mental conditions, like bipolar disorder and depression, as well as physical issues, such as chronic fatigue or multiple sclerosis, which may be affected by drug use. New patients are usually searched to ensure they do not bring any drugs to the facility on their person or in their belongings. Once a patient has undergone the intake process, they will likely not be allowed to have visitors or even talk with friends and family over the phone for a few days. This promotes focus on recovery without distractions. Each facility is different, but after a few days or weeks, patients are typically allowed to make phone calls and receive visitors.

2. Detox: The first week of inpatient drug rehabilitation is often spent detoxing. Most facilities do not host many classes or require users to attend functions at this time, as it is instead spent dealing with the emotional and physical consequences of coming down from drug use. Long-time users may experience intense symptoms such as temporary blackouts, memory loss, depression, irritability, unpredictable mood swings, headache, insomnia, anxiety, nausea and more. Most patients just entering rehab find their first few days are some of the most difficult as they must completely adjust their habits and mindset, all while going through complex bodily symptoms. Physicians supervise this time of withdrawal to address any symptoms that require medical attention. After you have completed the detox phase and there is no more trace of drugs in your body, you will likely begin attending group and individual therapy sessions.

3. Therapy: While in drug rehabilitation, you don’t simply stay away from the substance that you’ve become addicted to. Instead, you will spend your time learning about what triggers your abuse, and how to address urges and make amends. You will also likely attend group therapy sessions where you and other addicts can share your experiences and learn from one another under the supervision of a therapist or psychiatrist. Being in the presence of others who are learning how to restructure their lives after drug abuse can be very helpful. Knowing you’re not alone is a huge step, plus you may be able to turn to those in similar situations for advice.

4. Reintegration: Eventually you will need to leave the safety and routine of your inpatient rehabilitation program and return to regular society. This comes with a lot of risks, as you may interact with situations and individuals that triggered your drug use. Before you leave a drug treatment program, you will learn skills to cope in the real world that don’t involve turning to drugs. You might learn to walk away from certain individuals or not go to particular places where you formerly used to go. You may also return to the inpatient program facility for outpatient counseling. This helps many drug users to reintegrate into society and still maintain some source of assistance by going to daily or weekly therapy sessions.

Consider an Outpatient Program Outpatient programs offer similar assistance to inpatient options such as therapy sessions and counseling, but the patient sleeps in his or her own home and is not confined to the rehabilitation center. Some patients prefer this option because it resembles some form of normality and allows them to potentially work and partake in family activities. It is important to note, though, that a person may require more serious, constant treatment than these outpatient programs can offer. If you are considering seeking treatment for drug addiction, discuss these possibilities with your doctor. He or she will help you decide what program is right for you.

Painkillers and Therapy Some drug users who have been abusing pain medications like Oxycontin or morphine require pain relief but must find it in other ways than potentially addictive drugs. To address this issue, some people receive methadone, a synthetic narcotic. Individuals in inpatient or outpatient programs may use methadone, as can people who are not seeking any formal treatment but are trying to stop abusing painkillers. Your doctor may prescribe a methadone treatment plan if you have chronic pain issues and are recovering from addiction. Methadone can be given intravenously, via a tablet or as a dispersible. Use of this medication is carefully monitored as it can cause respiratory issues when you first begin or anytime you up your dosage. If you are concerned that you may be abusing prescription painkillers, talk to your physician about Methadone and other options like Suboxone or Narcan.

Working With a Sponsor Similar to alcoholism treatment, some former drug users require assistance from sponsors. These individuals are often previous addicts themselves or have experiences as therapists or psychiatrists. They meet with patients regularly and are often available at a moment’s notice to talk when an individual is feeling vulnerable and triggered. Sponsors can offer help when you need them the most and provide a firm sense of accountability.

To go through treatment successfully, it’s important to find the right facility for you. To do so, first talk with your doctor. A physician can determine how severe your addiction is, which will help you decide if you want to try inpatient or outpatient treatment. He or she can also consider any withstanding health issues such as psychiatric conditions that should also be factored into your decision.

Next, check out facilities and programs that offer treatment for the substances that you abuse. Attending a program that is specific to your drug of choice will make your treatment much more likely to be impactful and successful. Look into potential facilities and learn about their drug policies. Some provide certain users with medications like Valium and Xanax to counteract symptoms of distress associated with alcohol or drug withdrawals. You may not want to attend such programs if you fear that you may instead become addicted to these substances or if you have ever had issues with abusing these medications in the past.

You should also note what potential programs to turn to during drug cravings. Some offer excellent nutrition and wellness plans that use healthy eating and exercise to reduce the physical and psychological want or need for a substance. Learning this coping skill is imperative to transitioning back into society, as you will be better prepared to face cravings once you are no longer in drug abuse treatment.

Some treatment programs promote quick sobriety through seemingly impossible means, such as herbal supplements or religious affiliation. When choosing a treatment facility, be wary of questionable claims like, “Shake your drug addiction in one week!” If the advertising sounds too good to be true, the program could potentially be a scam. Instead, look for organizations that include approval and certification from real doctors and health care providers. If a well-known drug abuse therapist or hospital recommends a clinic, for example, it is much more likely that you will have a successful treatment experience there.

Finances are another major part in your treatment program choice. Some facilities accept health insurance like United Healthcare, BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, Humana and Medicaid. To learn what options are financially feasible for you, call your insurance provider and ask about any programs with which they are connected. Many carriers support in-state assessment, detox and outpatient treatment. Some also partially cover residential or inpatient treatment.

Because drug addiction is considered a disease, major health insurance providers must treat it like any other chronic condition that requires medical treatment. Make a call to the member services phone line at your insurance company and they can explain both in-network and out-of-network coverage for addiction and drug abuse treatment. Be sure to inquire about co-pays and deductibles so you don’t receive a surprise bill months after you start a program. If you don’t have insurance, you may be able to find outpatient programs like Narcotics Anonymous that offer counseling and meetings for patients at no cost.

Drug Abuse Facts Every illegal use of a drug, from prescription medications to a hit of methamphetamine, creates an addiction risk for the user. One single dose of a club drug, for example, can cause long-term cognitive damage because it changes the chemical makeup of the brain. It is not always the substance that leads to a label of drug abuse. Instead, it is the nature in which the substance is used. For example, you may break a bone and require surgery. You will likely be prescribed some painkillers to promote healing in your body and make you more comfortable. If, however, you find that the medication creates feelings of euphoria so you pretend you need the drug longer than you do in order to get more pills, that is considered drug abuse. It doesn’t matter that you have a prescription and the substance is technically legal.

Helping Your Family Cope You are not the only one affected by your drug abuse. You family and friends may also appreciate going to therapy to learn how to cope with your addiction. Many people attend support meetings or join groups to mingle with others who are close to drug addicts to provide emotional assistance. When you go through treatment, those close to you must also learn to change their mindsets and behaviors to address these changes to the new you. Many patients have to stop associating with some former friends in order to stay away from illicit substances and avoid situations that may trigger drug abuse. Starting a hobby is a good way to meet new people outside of these social circles once you’ve received treatment.

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Freedom House in Cleveland, Ohio with Reviews & Ratings – YP.com

US corporations have $1.4tn hidden in tax havens, claims …

 Tax Havens  Comments Off on US corporations have $1.4tn hidden in tax havens, claims …
Apr 162016
 

The report singled out British overseas territories such as Bermuda for their popularity with US firms seeking to slash their tax bill by profit-shifting. Photograph: Alamy

US corporate giants such as Apple, Walmart and General Electric have stashed $1.4tn (980bn) in tax havens, despite receiving trillions of dollars in taxpayer support, according to a report by anti-poverty charity Oxfam.

Related: Tax havens dont need to be reformed. They should be outlawed | Richard Brooks

The sum, larger than the economic output of Russia, South Korea and Spain, is held in an opaque and secretive network of 1,608 subsidiaries based offshore, said Oxfam.

The charitys analysis of the financial affairs of the 50 biggest US corporations comes amid intense scrutiny of tax havens following the leak of the Panama Papers.

And the charity said its report, entitled Broken at the Top was a further illustration of massive systematic abuse of the global tax system.

Technology giant Apple, the worlds second biggest company, topped Oxfams league table, with some $181bn held offshore in three subsidiaries.

Boston-based conglomerate General Electric, which Oxfam said has received $28bn in taxpayer backing, was second with $119bn stored in 118 tax haven subsidiaries.

Computing firm Microsoft was third with $108bn, in a top 10 that also included pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer, Googles parent company Alphabet and Exxon Mobil, the largest oil company not owned by an oil-producing state.

Related: In defence of tax havens: offshore banking is not the same as dodgy dealing | Nigel Green

Oxfam contrasted the $1.4tn held offshore with the $1tn paid in tax by the top 50 US firms between 2008 and 2014.

It pointed out that the companies had also enjoyed a combined $11.2tn in federal loans, bailouts and loan guarantees during the same period.

Overall, the use of tax havens allowed the US firms to reduce their effective tax rate on $4tn of profits from the US headline rate of 35% to an average of 26.5% between 2008 and 2014.

The charity said this had helped firms spend billions on an army of lobbyists calling for greater state support in the form of loans, bailouts and guarantees, funded by taxpayers.

The top 50 US firms spent $2.6bn between 2008 and 2014 on lobbying the US government, Oxfam said.

For every $1 spent on lobbying, these 50 companies collectively received $130 in tax breaks and more than $4,000 in federal loans, loan guarantees and bailouts, said Oxfam.

Robbie Silverman, senior tax adviser at Oxfam said: Yet again we have evidence of a massive systematic abuse of the global tax system.

We cant go on with a situation where the rich and powerful are not paying their fair share of tax, leaving the rest of us to foot the bill.

Governments across the globe must come together now to end the era of tax havens.

Oxfam estimates that tax avoidance by US corporations costs the worlds largest economy some $111bn a year, but said it was also fuelling the global wealth divide by draining $100bn from the poorest countries.

Tax dodging practised by corporations and enabled by federal policymakers contributes to dangerous inequality that is undermining our social fabric and hindering economic growth, the report said.

Oxfam also singled out British overseas territories such as Bermuda for their popularity with US firms seeking to slash their tax bill by profit-shifting.

In 2012, said Oxfam, US firms reported $80bn of profit in Bermuda, more than their combined reported profits in Japan, China, Germany and France, four of the worlds five largest economies.

The charity called on the US government to pass the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, including a requirement for firms to report their tax contribution on a country-by-country basis.

Country-by-country reporting has been recommended by a host of non-governmental organisations and charities to prevent companies from artificially shifting their income out of the poorest countries.

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US corporations have $1.4tn hidden in tax havens, claims …

What is NATO?

 NATO  Comments Off on What is NATO?
Apr 142016
 

NATO is a political and military alliance of 28 North American and European countries, bound by shared democratic values, that have joined together to best pursue security and defense. In addition to the United States, the other NATO Allies are Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. The principle of collective defense is at the heart of NATO and is enshrined in Article 5 of the Alliances founding Washington Treaty, which asserts that an attack on one Ally is to be considered an attack on all. NATO invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty for the first time in its history following the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States.

Founded in 1949, NATO played a unique role in maintaining stability and security in the trans-Atlantic area during the Cold War. Since the end of the Cold War the Alliance has transformed itself to meet the security challenges of the new century, continuing with adoption of a new NATO Strategic Concept at the Lisbon NATO Summit in 2010. Today, NATOs operations include leading the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan, ensuring a safe and secure environment in Kosovo through the KFOR mission, and contributing to international counter-piracy efforts off the Horn of Africa through Operation Ocean Shield. In 2011, NATO successfully carried out the UN-mandated mission in Libya to protect civilians, enforce a no-fly zone, and enforce a maritime arms embargo. NATO has also provided airlift and sealift support to the African Union (AU) missions in Somalia and Sudan, has engaged in a number of humanitarian relief operations in recent years, including delivery of over 100 tons of supplies from Europe to the United States following Hurricane Katrina, and leads the counterterrorism Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean Sea.

Recognizing that the security challenges Allies face often emerge beyond Europe, NATO has become the hub of a global security network, establishing partnerships with over thirty countries. These ties provide opportunities for practical military cooperation and political dialogue. Partners have contributed significantly to NATO operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, and Libya.

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What is NATO?

Liberty Public Schools

 Liberty  Comments Off on Liberty Public Schools
Apr 132016
 

Look Who Made The Accelerated Reading Party! 9:30 a.m./Brown – PreK

Tobie Barzellone, William Benson, Ava Gray, Emma Thrasher and Marki Wakefield

Chrissy Conley, Connelly Mitchell, Fisher Head, Kylan Mathis, Madison Brown, Natalee Henson, Presley Howe, and Shawna Crowell

Alivia Barzellone, Mallory Bryant, Emmett Coffeltt, Braxton Floyd, Shelby Geen, Bryce Guthrie, Lane Lewis, Jayda Malone, caleb Taylor, Fallon Testa, Graham Vivion, and Broc Wilson

Jordan Barzellone, Mayce Bell, Alexander Corn, Leo Endicott, Yatzil Flores, Bryce Floyd, Amare Hamilton, Cash Perner, Rynnick Rider, and Tanner Thompson

Gracie Barzellone, Zanna Gordon, Chloe Harris, Trey Lee, Larry Morris, Trinity Matney, Brayden Rogers, Tripp Sanders, Emma Sligar, and Haly Todd

Braylen Bear, Taya Jo Beesley, Grant Clay, Gabby Dare, Joshua Pierce, and Maci Skelton

The whole class!!

Katelyn Benson, Jaxon Brown, McKenzie Hoskin, Gabby Miller, Katie Outhier, and Ireland Thomas

Lilly Beams, Camron Bear, Carmela Paz, Amelia Testa, Wyatt Toney, and Jayce Wheeler

Elizabeth Clifford, Dallyn Dooley, Charlie Hill, Tori Summers and Alicia Paz

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Liberty Public Schools

Vanuatu calls for action from UN on … – Islands Business

 Islands  Comments Off on Vanuatu calls for action from UN on … – Islands Business
Apr 132016
 

Sep 13, 2015, Samisoni Pareti

2015 September

ATTENDING a Pacific trade and investment seminar in Fiji last month, the official delegate from the Cook Islan…

Sep 13, 2015, Samisoni Pareti

2015 September

LIKE flotsam, the power of the published word via newspapers seems to have floated across the …

Sep 13, 2015, Netani Rika

2015 September

PASTORS out over $21m debt THREE church ministers are embroiled in controversy with their employer after they…

Sep 13, 2015, Samisoni Pareti

2015 September

PNG accuses Forum of misleading island nations HOPES for a free trade agreement between the isl…

Sep 14, 2015, Dennis Rounds

2015 September

A COMPANY of Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) soldiers has joined local police investigations into alle…

Sep 14, 2015, TUIFAASISINA PETER REES

2015 September

FIFTY years of self-government and free association with New Zealand has raised more questions than answers as…

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Vanuatu calls for action from UN on … – Islands Business

4th Amendment – Revolutionary War and Beyond

 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on 4th Amendment – Revolutionary War and Beyond
Apr 122016
 

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The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution was added as part of the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791. It deals with protecting people from the searching of their homes and private property without properly executed search warrants. The 4th Amendment reads like this:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The 4th Amendment requires that in order for a government official, such as a police officer, to search a person’s home, business, papers, bank accounts, computer or other personal items, in most cases, he must obtain a search warrant signed by the proper authority, which usually means by a judge.

In order for a warrant to be issued, someone must affirm to the judge that he has a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed and that by searching the premises of a particular location, he believes he will find evidence that will verify the crime. The person submitting this information to the judge is usually a police officer. The police officer does not have to be correct in his assumption, he just has to have a reasonable belief that searching someone’s private property will yield evidence of the crime.

The judge then reviews the information and if he also believes the information the officer has submitted shows probable cause, he will issue the warrant. In order for the warrant to be good, it must identify the place and the particular items or persons that are to be seized if they are found. A warrant is not a general order that can be used to search for anything, anywhere the officer wants. In order for the warrant to be in compliance with the 4th Amendment, the warrant must be very specific about what is being looked for and where the officer can look for it.

The 4th Amendment idea that citizens should be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures goes back far into English history. In 1604, in the famous Semayne’s Case, the Judge, Sir Edward Coke, first identified this right. He ruled that, “The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence as for his repose.”

In this case, it was determined that subjects of the kingdom had the right to be protected from searches and seizures that were unlawfully conducted, even if they were conducted by the king’s representatives. The case also recognized that lawfully conducted searches and seizures were acceptable. This case established a precedent that has remained a part of English law ever since.

The most famous English case dealing with the right to freedom from illegal search and seizure is called Entick vs. Carrington, 1765. In this case, royal representatives had broken into the private home of John Entick in search of material that was critical of the king and his policies. In the process, they broke into locked boxes and desks and confiscated many papers, charts, pamphlets, etc. The officers were acting on the orders of Lord Halifax.

During the trial, Entick charged that the entire search and seizure had been unlawfully conducted, and the Court agreed. The Court said that Lord Halifax had no standing to issue the order to search the premises, that probable cause that a crime had been committed had not been demonstrated and that the warrant allowed a general confiscation of anything the officers found, not specifying exactly what they were to look for or could seize. In addition, there were no records kept of what the officers seized.

Click to enlarge

Charles Pratt, Lord Camden

This ruling essentially declared that the government was not allowed to do anything that was not specified by law. It required the search and seizure be carried out according to the law. It also established that the right to be able to protect one’s private property was an important right to be safeguarded by the government. In his ruling, Lord Camden, the Chief Justice made this famous statement:

“The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property. That right is preserved sacred and incommunicable in all instances, where it has not been taken away or abridged by some public law for the good of the whole. The cases where this right of property is set aside by private law, are various. Distresses, executions, forfeitures, taxes etc are all of this description; wherein every man by common consent gives up that right, for the sake of justice and the general good. By the laws of England, every invasion of private property, be it ever so minute, is a trespass. No man can set his foot upon my ground without my license, but he is liable to an action, though the damage be nothing; which is proved by every declaration in trespass, where the defendant is called upon to answer for bruising the grass and even treading upon the soil. If he admits the fact, he is bound to show by way of justification, that some positive law has empowered or excused him. The justification is submitted to the judges, who are to look into the books; and if such a justification can be maintained by the text of the statute law, or by the principles of common law. If no excuse can be found or produced, the silence of the books is an authority against the defendant, and the plaintiff must have judgment.”

In 1886, in a case called Boyd vs. United States, the Supreme Court of the United States referred to Entick vs. Carrington as a “great judgment,” “one of the landmarks of English liberty” and “one of the permanent monuments of the British Constitution.” This established the Entick decision as a guide to understanding what the Founding Fathers meant concerning search and seizure laws when they wrote the 4th Amendment.

The British government generally looked at the American colonies as a money making enterprise. Consequently, they passed many revenue collection bills aimed at generating as much money from the colonists as possible. The colonists naturally resented this and engaged in substantial smuggling operations in order to get around the customs taxes imposed by the British government. You can learn more about these and other causes of the American Revolution here.

Click to enlarge

King George III

In response to the widespread smuggling, Parliament and the King began to use “writs of assistance,” legal search warrants that were very broad and general in their scope. Customs agents could obtain a writ of assistance to search any property they believed might contain contraband goods. They could enter someone’s property with no notice and without any reason given. Tax collectors could interrogate anyone about their use of customed goods and require the cooperation of any citizen. Searches and seizures of private property based on very general warrants became an epidemic in colonial America.

In response to this, the Massachusetts legislature passed search and seizure laws in 1756 outlawing the use of general warrants. This created a great deal of friction between the Royal Governor and the people of Massachusetts until the death of King George II in 1760. Writs of assistance by law were good until 6 months after the death of the king who issued them. This meant that the Royal Governor had to have new writs of assistance issued by the new king.

Click to enlarge

James Otis

by Joseph Blackburn

James Otis, a Boston lawyer, had recently been appointed Advocate General of the Admiralty Court, which meant he was essentially the top lawyer for the Crown in the colony. In this position, Otis was required to defend the use of writs of assistance by the government. He strongly objected to these arbitrary searches and seizures of private property and consequently resigned his position. Instead, he became the lawyer for a group of over 50 merchants who sued the government claiming that the writs of assistance were unjust.

James Otis represented these merchants for free. His speech condemning British policies, including writs of assistance and general search warrants, was so powerful and eloquent, that it was heard of throughout the colonies and catapulted him to a place of leadership in the swelling tide of disillusionment toward Great Britain.

Future President, John Adams, who was 25 at the time, was sitting in the courtroom and heard Otis’ famous speech that day. Later he said:

“The child independence was then and there born, every man of an immense crowded audience appeared to me to go away as I did, ready to take arms against writs of assistance.”

He viewed Otis’ speech “as the spark in which originated the American Revolution.”

Later, in 1776, George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was a document on which Thomas Jefferson relied heavily when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, included prohibitions against general warrants that did not specify probable cause or exactly what was to be searched for. The passage of the Virginia Declaration of Rights dealing with general warrants reads like this:

“That general warrants, whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive and ought not to be granted.”

You can read the Virginia Declaration of Rights here and you can read the Declaration of Independence here. You can also read more about how Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence here.

Once the Constitution was written, each state held a convention to debate its worth. Many people opposed the Constitution because they thought it gave the federal government too much power at the expense of the states and of individual rights. Those opposing the Constitution were known as anti-Federalists. They were led by such men as Patrick Henry, George Mason and Elbridge Gerry.

The anti-Federalists were concerned that the federal government would trample on the rights of individual citizens. They believed the Constitution did not specify clearly enough which rights of individuals were protected from government interference. Some of them called for the addition of a bill of rights to the Constitution, which would specify exactly which rights of the citizens were protected.

Those who were in support of the Constitution were known as Federalists because they did support a strong federal government. The Federalists were led by such men as James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams and George Washington.

In order to convince enough anti-Federalists to support the Constitution to pass it and have it go into effect, the Federalists made a promise that if the anti-Federalists would vote to accept the Constitution, the First Congress would address their concerns by adding a bill of rights to it. This promise succeeded in persuading enough anti-Federalists to support the Constitution that it passed and became law. It also ensured that the Founders concerns about illegal searches and seizures would eventually become law embodied in the 4th Amendment.

On June 8, 1789, James Madison kept the promise of the Federalists by proposing to the First Congress twenty amendments to be added to the Constitution. You can read James Madison’s June 8, 1789 speech here.

One of these amendments, that dealt with search and seizure laws, eventually became what we know as the 4th Amendment. Congress approved twelve of the amendments suggested by Madison on September 25, 1789 and ten of those were eventually ratified by the states. The First Ten Amendments, also known as the Bill of Rights, became law on December 15, 1791. You can read more about the History of the Bill of Rights here.

The 4th Amendment only applied originally to the federal government, but through the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court has now applied most parts of the Bill of Rights to state and local governments as well.

The 4th Amendment only provides protection from illegal search and seizure by government officials, not by private citizens. So, if an employer unreasonably searched your possessions at work, the 4th Amendment would not have been violated.

There are certain exceptions to the 4th Amendment right to have a properly executed search warrant issued before a search or seizure of private property can be conducted. The Supreme Court has ruled that, for example, a police officer may conduct a pat down search of someone he has observed engaging in suspicious behavior, if he has reasonable suspicion that some crime is being committed. Also, if a police officer observes someone committing a crime, or believes that he has probable cause to suspect someone has committed a crime, he may arrest the person without a warrant.

There are a number of other exceptions to the 4th Amendment warrant rule:

Supreme Court of the United States

In general, any evidence that is obtained in an illegal search and seizure is not admissible in court by the prosecution in a criminal defendant’s trial. This is known as the 4th Amendment Exclusionary Rule because evidence obtained in this manner is excluded from the trial. The Supreme Court established this rule in a case called Weeks vs. United States, 1914. Before that time, any evidence, even if it was gathered in an illegal search and seizure, was admissible in court.

There are some exceptions to the 4th Amendment Exclusionary Rule. For example, Grand Juries may use illegally obtained evidence to question witnesses. The method of gathering the evidence can be challenged later if the defendant is charged. Evidence gathered in good faith by an officer can be used in court. This means that if an officer is following the directions of a warrant that is faulty, not realizing that it is faulty, the evidence may be used.

Evidence obtained through illegal search and seizure can also be used in the following circumstances:

Read about some of the most interesting and significant Fourth Amendment Court cases here.

Preamble to the Bill of Rights Learn about the 1st Amendment here. Learn about the 2nd Amendment here. Learn about the 3rd Amendment here. Learn about the 4th Amendment here. Learn about the 5th Amendment here. Learn about the 6th Amendment here. Learn about the 7th Amendment here. Learn about the 8th Amendment here. Learn about the 9th Amendment here. Learn about the 10th Amendment here.

Read the Bill of Rights here.

Learn more about theBill of Rightswith the following articles:

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Hubble telescope looks deep into the Milky Way | Fox News

 Hubble Telescope  Comments Off on Hubble telescope looks deep into the Milky Way | Fox News
Apr 052016
 

The Hubble Space Telescope has peered deep into the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy, revealing a tapestry of more than half a million stars, NASA announced Thursday.

A stunning image shows the impressive array of stars. Except for a few blue foreground stars, the stars are part of the Milky Ways nuclear star cluster, the most massive and densest star cluster in our galaxy, explained NASA, in a statement. So packed with stars, it is equivalent to having a million suns crammed between us and our closest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri.

The center of the Milky Way is located 27,000 light-years away.

Related: The best of Hubble

Experts used infrared technology to pierce through dust in our galaxys disk that obscured the star cluster. In the image, scientists translated infrared light, which is invisible to human eyes, into colors the eye can see. The red stars are either embedded or shrouded by intervening dust, said NASA, explaining that dense clouds of gas and dust are seen in silhouette, appearing dark against the bright background stars. These clouds are so thick that even Hubbles infrared capability could not penetrate them, it said.

The picture, which spans 50 light-years across, is a mosaic stitched from nine separate images from Hubbles Wide Field Camera 3. The snowstorm of stars in the image is just the tip of the iceberg: Astronomers estimate that about 10 million stars in this cluster are too faint to be captured in this image, said NASA.

The space agency explains that the star cluster surrounds the Milky Ways supermassive black hole, which is about 4 million times the mass of our sun.

Related: Astronomers find supermassive black hole in giant galaxy 300 million light years away

The Hubble space telescope, which was launched by NASA in 1990, celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. The telescope is operated by NASA and the European Space Agency.

The telescope recently helped astronomers find one of the largest-ever black holes in giant galaxy NGC 4889, some 300 million light years away.

Related: NASA wants to unlock the universe’s secrets with telescope more powerful than Hubble

In February NASA unveiled plans for a powerful new telescope with a view more than 100 times wider than Hubble.

The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is designed to help researchers unravel the secrets of dark energy and dark matter, and explore the evolution of the universe, according to NASA.

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Saltwater Ocean Beaches – Mass.Gov

 Beaches  Comments Off on Saltwater Ocean Beaches – Mass.Gov
Apr 012016
 

Most DCR swimming beaches are open to the public between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During that time DCR offers access to parking, restroom facilities and regular water quality testing. Many DCR beaches also offer lifeguard services. After Labor Day and before Memorial Day, DCR does not conduct regular water quality testing or guarantee other beach services

DCR allows the use of ONLY U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation devices at it’s public swimming ocean, inland beaches and pools. The tag inside the flotation device must say U.S. Coast Guard approved. The user of the approved flotation device must be accompanied by a capable swimmer. Inflatable devices are not allowed.

Although U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation devices are allowed, DCR asks that parents or guardians always keep a close watch on their children when in any amount of water. In certain conditions such as strong currents flotation devices may not be allowed by the Lifeguard staff. If you have any questions please check with the Lifeguard on duty.

Inflatable Swimmies are not US Coast Guard approved and therefore not allowed. Thank you for your cooperation.

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Food fortification – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Food Supplements  Comments Off on Food fortification – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mar 272016
 

Food fortification or enrichment is the process of adding micronutrients (essential trace elements and vitamins) to food. It may be a purely commercial choice to provide extra nutrients in a food, while other times it is a public health policy which aims to reduce the number of people with dietary deficiencies within a population.

Diets that lack variety can be deficient in certain nutrients. Sometimes the staple foods of a region can lack particular nutrients, due to the soil of the region or because of the inherent inadequacy of the normal diet. Addition of micronutrients to staples and condiments can prevent large-scale deficiency diseases in these cases.[citation needed]

While it is true that both fortification and enrichment refer to the addition of nutrients to food, the true definitions do slightly vary. As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), fortification refers to “the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient, ie. vitamins and minerals (including trace elements) in a food irrespective of whether the nutrients were originally in the food before processing or not, so as to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and to provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health,” whereas enrichment is defined as “synonymous with fortification and refers to the addition of micronutrients to a food which are lost during processing.”[1]

Food fortification was identified as the second strategy of four by the WHO and FAO to begin decreasing the incidence of nutrient deficiencies at the global level.[1]

As outlined by the FAO, the most common fortified foods are:

The four main methods of food fortification (named as to indicate the procedure that is used in order to fortify the food):

The WHO and FAO, among many other nationally recognized organizations, have recognized that there are over 2 billion people worldwide who suffer from a variety of micronutrient deficiencies. In 1992, 159 countries pledged at the FAO/WHO International Conference on Nutrition to make efforts to help combat these issues of micronutrient deficiencies, highlighting the importance of decreasing the number of those with iodine, vitamin A, and iron deficiencies.[1] A significant statistic that led to these efforts was the discovery that approximately 1 in 3 people worldwide were at risk for either an iodine, vitamin A, or iron deficiency.[4] Although it is recognized that food fortification alone will not combat this deficiency, it is a step towards reducing the prevalence of these deficiencies and their associated health conditions.[5]

In Canada, The Food and Drug Regulations have outlined specific criterion which justifies food fortification:

There are also several advantages to approaching nutrient deficiencies among populations via food fortification as opposed to other methods. These may include, but are not limited to: treating a population without specific dietary interventions therefore not requiring a change in dietary patterns, continuous delivery of the nutrient, does not require individual compliance, and potential to maintain nutrient stores more efficiently if consumed on a regular basis.[3]

Several organizations such as the WHO, FAO, Health Canada, and the Nestl Research Center acknowledge that there are limitations to food fortification. Within the discussion of nutrient deficiencies the topic of nutrient toxicities can also be immediately questioned. Fortification of nutrients in foods may deliver toxic amounts of nutrients to an individual and also cause its associated side effects. As seen with the case of fluoride toxicity below, the result can be irreversible staining to the teeth. Although this may be a minor toxic effect to health, there are several that are more severe.[7]

The WHO states that limitations to food fortification may include: human rights issues indicating that consumers have the right to choose if they want fortified products or not, the potential for insufficient demand of the fortified product, increased production costs leading to increased retail costs, the potential that the fortified products will still not be a solution to nutrient deficiencies amongst low income populations who may not be able to afford the new product, and children who may not be able to consume adequate amounts thereof.[1]

Food safety worries led to legislation in Denmark in 2004 restricting foods fortified with extra vitamins or minerals. Products banned include: Rice Crispies, Shreddies, Horlicks, Ovaltine and Marmite.[8]

Danes said [Kelloggs] Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies and Special K wanted to include “toxic” doses which, if eaten regularly, could damage children’s livers and kidneys and harm fetuses in pregnant women.[9]

One factor that limits the benefits of food fortification is that isolated nutrients added back into a processed food that has had many of its nutrients removed, does not always result in the added nutrients being as bioavailable as they would be in the original, whole food. An example is skim milk that has had the fat removed, and then had vitamin A and vitamin D added back. Vitamins A and D are both fat-soluble and non-water-soluble, so a person consuming skim milk in the absence of fats may not be able to absorb as much of these vitamins as one would be able to absorb from drinking whole milk.

Phytochemicals such as polyphenols can also impact nutrient absorption.

Ecological studies have shown that increased B vitamin fortification is correlated with the prevalence of obesity and diabetes.[10] Daily consumption of iron per capita in the United States has dramatically surged since World War II and nearly doubled over the past century due to increases in iron fortification and increased consumption of meat.[11] Existing evidence suggests that excess iron intake may play a role in the development of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.[12]

Fortification of foods with folic acid has been mandated in many countries solely to improve the folate status of pregnant women to prevent Neural Tube Defectsa relatively rare birth defect which affected 0.5% of US births before fortification began.[13][14] However, when fortification is introduced, several hundred thousand people are exposed to an increased intake of folic acid for each neural tube defect pregnancy that is prevented.[15] In humans, increased folic acid intake leads to elevated blood concentrations of naturally occurring folates and of unmetabolized folic acid. High blood concentrations of folic acid may decrease natural killer cell cytotoxicity, and high folate status may reduce the response to drugs used to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and cancer.[15] A combination of high folate levels and low vitamin B-12 status may be associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment and anemia in the elderly and, in pregnant women, with an increased risk of insulin resistance and obesity in their children.[15] Folate has a dual effect on cancer, protecting against cancer initiation but facilitating progression and growth of preneoplastic cells and subclinical cancers.[15] Furthermore, intake of folic acid from fortification have turned out to be significantly greater than originally modeled in pre mandate predictions.[16] Therefore, a high folic acid intake due to fortification may be harmful for more people than the policy is designed to help.[14][15][17][18]

There is a concern that micronutrients are legally defined in such a way that does not distinguish between different forms, and that fortified foods often have nutrients in a balance that would not occur naturally. For example, in the U.S., food is fortified with folic acid, which is one of the many naturally-occurring forms of folate, and which only contributes a minor amount to the folates occurring in natural foods.[19] In many cases, such as with folate, it is an open question of whether or not there are any benefits or risks to consuming folic acid in this form.

In many cases, the micronutrients added to foods in fortification are synthetic.

In some cases, certain forms of micronutrients can be actively toxic in a sufficiently high dose, even if other forms are safe at the same or much higher doses. There are examples of such toxicity in both synthetic and naturally-occurring forms of vitamins. Retinol, the active form of Vitamin A, is toxic in a much lower dose than other forms, such as beta carotene. Menadione, a phased-out synthetic form of Vitamin K, is also known to be toxic.[20]

There are several main groups of food supplements like:

Many foods and beverages worldwide have been fortified, whether a voluntary action by the product developers or by law. Although some may view these additions as strategic marketing schemes to sell their product, there is a lot of work that must go into a product before simply fortifying it. In order to fortify a product, it must first be proven that the addition of this vitamin or mineral is beneficial to health, safe, and an effective method of delivery. The addition must also abide by all food and labeling regulations and support nutritional rationale. From a food developer’s point of view, they also need to consider the costs associated with this new product and whether or not there will be a market to support the change.[21]

Examples of foods and beverages that have been fortified and shown to have positive health effects:

“Iodine deficiency disorder (IDD) is the single greatest cause of preventable mental retardation. Severe deficiencies cause cretinism, stillbirth and miscarriage. But even mild deficiency can significantly affect the learning ability of populations…….. Today over 1 billion people in the world suffer from iodine deficiency, and 38 million babies born every year are not protected from brain damage due to IDD.”Kul Gautam, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF, October 2007[22]

Iodised salt has been used in the United States since before World War II. It was discovered in 1821 that goiters could be treated by the use of iodized salts. However, it was not until 1916 that the use of iodized salts could be tested in a research trial as a preventative measure against goiters. By 1924, it became readily available in the US.[23]

Currently in Canada and the US, the RDA for iodine is as low as 90g/day for children (48 years) and as high as 290g/day for breast-feeding mothers.[24]

Diseases that are associated with an iodine deficiency include: mental retardation, hypothyroidism, and goiter. There is also a risk of various other growth and developmental abnormalities.[24]

Folic acid (also known as folate) functions in reducing blood homocysteine levels, forming red blood cells, proper growth and division of cells, and preventing neural tube defects (NTDs).[25]

In many industrialized countries, the addition of folic acid to flour has prevented a significant number of NTDs in infants. Two common types of NTDs, spina bifida and anencephaly, affect approximately 2500-3000 infants born in the US annually. Research trials have shown the ability to reduce the incidence of NTDs by supplementing pregnant mothers with folic acid by 72%.[26]

The RDA for folic acid ranges from as low as 150g/day for children aged 13 years old, to 400g/day for males and females over the age of 19, and 600g/day during pregnancy.[27]

Diseases associated with folic acid deficiency include: megaloblastic or macrocytic anemia, cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and NTDs in infants.[28]

Niacin has been added to bread in the USA since 1938 (when voluntary addition started), a programme which substantially reduced the incidence of pellagra.[29] As early as 1755, pellagra was recognized by doctors as being a niacin deficiency disease. Although not officially receiving its name of pellagra until 1771.[30]Pellagra was seen amongst poor families who used corn as their main dietary staple. Although corn itself does contain niacin, it is not a bioavailable form unless it undergoes Nixtamalization (treatment with alkali, traditional in Native American cultures) and therefore was not contributing to the overall intake of niacin.[31] Although pellagra can still be seen in developing countries, fortification of food with niacin played a huge role in eliminating the prevalence of the disease.[30]

The RDA for niacin is 2mg NE(niacin equivalents)/day (AI) for infants aged 06 months, 16mg NE/day for males, and 14mg NE/day for females who are over the age of 19.[31]

Diseases associated with niacin deficiency include: Pellagra which consisted of signs and symptoms called the 3D’s-“Dermatitis, dementia, and diarrhea. Others may include vascular or gastrointestinal diseases.[30]

Common diseases which present a high frequency of niacin deficiency: alcoholism, anorexia nervosa, HIV infection, gastrectomy, malabsorptive disorders, certain cancers and their associated treatments.[30]

Since Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it cannot be added to a wide variety of foods. Foods that it is commonly added to are margarine, vegetable oils and dairy products.[32] During the late 1800s, after the discovery of curing conditions of scurvy and beriberi had occurred, researchers were aiming to see if the disease, later known as rickets, could also be cured by food. Their results showed that sunlight exposure and cod liver oil were the cure. It was not until the 1930s that vitamin D was actually linked to curing rickets.[33] This discovery led to the fortification of common foods such as milk, margarine, and breakfast cereals. This took the astonishing statistics of approximately 8090% of children showing varying degrees of bone deformations due to vitamin D deficiency to being a very rare condition.[34]

Risk factors for vitamin D deficiencies include:

The current RDA for infants aged 06 months is 10g (400 International Units (IU))/day and for adults over 19 years of age it is 15g (600 IU)/day.[35]

Diseases associated with a vitamin D deficiency include rickets, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer (breast, prostate, colon and ovaries). It has also been associated with increased risks for fractures, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune and infectious diseases, asthma and other wheezing disorders, myocardial infarction, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and peripheral vascular disease.[34]

Although fluoride is not considered an essential mineral, it is seen as crucial in prevention of tooth decay and maintaining adequate dental health.[36] In the mid-1900s it was discovered that towns with a high level of fluoride in their water supply was causing the residents’ teeth to have both brown spotting and a strange resistance to dental caries. This led to the fortification of water supplies with fluoride with safe amounts to retain the properties of resistance to dental caries but avoid the staining cause by fluorosis (a condition caused by a fluoride toxicity).[37]

The tolerable upper intake level (UL) set for fluoride ranges from 0.7mg/day for infants aged 06 months and 10mg/day for adults over the age of 19.

Conditions commonly associated with fluoride deficiency are dental caries and osteoporosis.[36]

Some other examples of fortified foods:

Despite having some scientific basis, but with controversial ethics, is the science of using foods and food supplements to achieve a defined health goal. A common example of this use of food supplements is the extent to which body builders will use amino acid mixtures, vitamins and phytochemicals to enhance natural hormone production, increase muscle and reduce fat. The literature is not concrete on an appropriate method for use of fortification for body builders and therefore may not be recommended due to safety concerns.[42]

There is interest in the use of food supplements in established medical conditions. This nutritional supplementation using foods as medicine (nutraceuticals) has been effectively used in treating disorders affecting the immune system up to and including cancers.[43] This goes beyond the definition of “food supplement”, but should be included for the sake of completeness.

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Life extension – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Life Extension  Comments Off on Life extension – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mar 272016
 

Life extension science, also known as anti-aging medicine, indefinite life extension, experimental gerontology, and biomedical gerontology, is the study of slowing down or reversing the processes of aging to extend both the maximum and average lifespan. Some researchers in this area, and “life extensionists”, “immortalists” or “longevists” (those who wish to achieve longer lives themselves), believe that future breakthroughs in tissue rejuvenation, stem cells, regenerative medicine, molecular repair, gene therapy, pharmaceuticals, and organ replacement (such as with artificial organs or xenotransplantations) will eventually enable humans to have indefinite lifespans (agerasia[1]) through complete rejuvenation to a healthy youthful condition.

The sale of purported anti-aging products such as nutrition, physical fitness, skin care, hormone replacements, vitamins, supplements and herbs is a lucrative global industry, with the US market generating about $50billion of revenue each year.[2] Some medical experts state that the use of such products has not been proven to affect the aging process and many claims regarding the efficacy of these marketed products have been roundly criticized by medical experts, including the American Medical Association.[2][3][4][5][6]

The ethical ramifications of life extension are debated by bioethicists.

During the process of aging, an organism accumulates damage to its macromolecules, cells, tissues, and organs. Specifically, aging is characterized as and thought to be caused by “genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, and altered intercellular communication.”[7]Oxidation damage to cellular contents caused by free radicals is believed to contribute to aging as well.[8][8][9]

The longest a human has ever been proven to live is 122 years, the case of Jeanne Calment who was born in 1875 and died in 1997, whereas the maximum lifespan of a wildtype mouse, commonly used as a model in research on aging, is about three years.[10] Genetic differences between humans and mice that may account for these different aging rates include differences in efficiency of DNA repair, antioxidant defenses, energy metabolism, proteostasis maintenance, and recycling mechanisms such as autophagy.[11]

Average lifespan in a population is lowered by infant and child mortality, which are frequently linked to infectious diseases or nutrition problems. Later in life, vulnerability to accidents and age-related chronic disease such as cancer or cardiovascular disease play an increasing role in mortality. Extension of expected lifespan can often be achieved by access to improved medical care, vaccinations, good diet, exercise and avoidance of hazards such as smoking.

Maximum lifespan is determined by the rate of aging for a species inherent in its genes and by environmental factors. Widely recognized methods of extending maximum lifespan in model organisms such as nematodes, fruit flies, and mice include caloric restriction, gene manipulation, and administration of pharmaceuticals.[12] Another technique uses evolutionary pressures such as breeding from only older members or altering levels of extrinsic mortality.[13][14] Some animals such as hydra, planarian flatworms, and certain sponges, corals, and jellyfish do not die of old age and exhibit potential immortality.[15][16][17][18]

Theoretically, extension of maximum lifespan in humans could be achieved by reducing the rate of aging damage by periodic replacement of damaged tissues, molecular repair or rejuvenation of deteriorated cells and tissues, reversal of harmful epigenetic changes, or the enhancement of telomerase enzyme activity.[19][20]

Research geared towards life extension strategies in various organisms is currently under way at a number of academic and private institutions. Since 2009, investigators have found ways to increase the lifespan of nematode worms and yeast by 10-fold; the record in nematodes was achieved through genetic engineering and the extension in yeast by a combination of genetic engineering and caloric restriction.[21] A 2009 review of longevity research noted: “Extrapolation from worms to mammals is risky at best, and it cannot be assumed that interventions will result in comparable life extension factors. Longevity gains from dietary restriction, or from mutations studied previously, yield smaller benefits to Drosophila than to nematodes, and smaller still to mammals. This is not unexpected, since mammals have evolved to live many times the worm’s lifespan, and humans live nearly twice as long as the next longest-lived primate. From an evolutionary perspective, mammals and their ancestors have already undergone several hundred million years of natural selection favoring traits that could directly or indirectly favor increased longevity, and may thus have already settled on gene sequences that promote lifespan. Moreover, the very notion of a “life-extension factor” that could apply across taxa presumes a linear response rarely seen in biology.”[21]

Much life extension research focuses on nutritiondiets or supplementsas a means to extend lifespan, although few of these have been systematically tested for significant longevity effects. The many diets promoted by anti-aging advocates are often contradictory.[original research?] A dietary pattern with some support from scientific research is caloric restriction.[22][23]

Preliminary studies of caloric restriction on humans using surrogate measurements have provided evidence that caloric restriction may have powerful protective effect against secondary aging in humans. Caloric restriction in humans may reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis.[24]

The free-radical theory of aging suggests that antioxidant supplements, such as vitaminC, vitaminE, Q10, lipoic acid, carnosine, and N-acetylcysteine, might extend human life. However, combined evidence from several clinical trials suggest that -carotene supplements and high doses of vitaminE increase mortality rates.[25]Resveratrol is a sirtuin stimulant that has been shown to extend life in animal models, but the effect of resveratrol on lifespan in humans is unclear as of 2011.[26]

There are many traditional herbs purportedly used to extend the health-span, including a Chinese tea called Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum), dubbed “China’s Immortality Herb.”[27]Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine, describes a class of longevity herbs called rasayanas, including Bacopa monnieri, Ocimum sanctum, Curcuma longa, Centella asiatica, Phyllanthus emblica, Withania somnifera and many others.[27]

The anti-aging industry offers several hormone therapies. Some of these have been criticized for possible dangers to the patient and a lack of proven effect. For example, the American Medical Association has been critical of some anti-aging hormone therapies.[2]

Although some recent clinical studies have shown that low-dose growth hormone (GH) treatment for adults with GH deficiency changes the body composition by increasing muscle mass, decreasing fat mass, increasing bone density and muscle strength, improves cardiovascular parameters (i.e. decrease of LDL cholesterol), and affects the quality of life without significant side effects,[28][29][30] the evidence for use of growth hormone as an anti-aging therapy is mixed and based on animal studies. There are mixed reports that GH or IGF-1 signaling modulates the aging process in humans and about whether the direction of its effect is positive or negative.[31]

Some critics dispute the portrayal of aging as a disease. For example, Leonard Hayflick, who determined that fibroblasts are limited to around 50cell divisions, reasons that aging is an unavoidable consequence of entropy. Hayflick and fellow biogerontologists Jay Olshansky and Bruce Carnes have strongly criticized the anti-aging industry in response to what they see as unscrupulous profiteering from the sale of unproven anti-aging supplements.[4]

Politics relevant to the substances of life extension pertain mostly to communications and availability.[citation needed]

In the United States, product claims on food and drug labels are strictly regulated. The First Amendment (freedom of speech) protects third-party publishers’ rights to distribute fact, opinion and speculation on life extension practices. Manufacturers and suppliers also provide informational publications, but because they market the substances, they are subject to monitoring and enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which polices claims by marketers. What constitutes the difference between truthful and false claims is hotly debated and is a central controversy in this arena.[citation needed]

Research by Sobh and Martin (2011) suggests that people buy anti-aging products to obtain a hoped-for self (e.g., keeping a youthful skin) or to avoid a feared-self (e.g., looking old). The research shows that when consumers pursue a hoped-for self, it is expectations of success that most strongly drive their motivation to use the product. The research also shows why doing badly when trying to avoid a feared self is more motivating than doing well. Interestingly, when product use is seen to fail it is more motivating than success when consumers seek to avoid a feared-self.[32]

The best-characterized anti-aging therapy was, and still is, CR. In some studies calorie restriction has been shown to extend the life of mice, yeast, and rhesus monkeys significantly.[33][34] However, a more recent study has shown that in contrast, calorie restriction has not improved the survival rate in rhesus monkeys.[35] Long-term human trials of CR are now being done. It is the hope of the anti-aging researchers that resveratrol, found in grapes, or pterostilbene, a more bio-available substance, found in blueberries, as well as rapamycin, a biotic substance discovered on Easter Island, may act as CR mimetics to increase the life span of humans.[36]

More recent work reveals that the effects long attributed to caloric restriction may be obtained by restriction of protein alone, and specifically of just the sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine.[37][38] Current research is into the metabolic pathways affected by variation in availability of products of these amino acids.

There are a number of chemicals intended to slow the aging process currently being studied in animal models.[39] One type of research is related to the observed effects a calorie restriction (CR) diet, which has been shown to extend lifespan in some animals[40] Based on that research, there have been attempts to develop drugs that will have the same effect on the aging process as a caloric restriction diet, which are known as Caloric restriction mimetic drugs. Some drugs that are already approved for other uses have been studied for possible longevity effects on laboratory animals because of a possible CR-mimic effect; they include rapamycin,[41]metformin and other geroprotectors.[42]Resveratrol and pterostilbene are dietary supplements that have also been studied in this context.[36][43][44]

Other attempts to create anti-aging drugs have taken different research paths. One notable direction of research has been research into the possibility of using the enzyme telomerase in order to counter the process of telomere shortening.[45] However, there are potential dangers in this, since some research has also linked telomerase to cancer and to tumor growth and formation.[46] In addition, some preparations, called senolytics are designed to effectively deplete senescent cells, that poisoning an organism by their secretions.[47]

Future advances in nanomedicine could give rise to life extension through the repair of many processes thought to be responsible for aging. K. Eric Drexler, one of the founders of nanotechnology, postulated cell repair machines, including ones operating within cells and utilizing as yet hypothetical molecular computers, in his 1986 book Engines of Creation. Raymond Kurzweil, a futurist and transhumanist, stated in his book The Singularity Is Near that he believes that advanced medical nanorobotics could completely remedy the effects of aging by 2030.[48]According to Richard Feynman, it was his former graduate student and collaborator Albert Hibbs who originally suggested to him (circa 1959) the idea of a medical use for Feynman’s theoretical micromachines (see nanotechnology). Hibbs suggested that certain repair machines might one day be reduced in size to the point that it would, in theory, be possible to (as Feynman put it) “swallow the doctor”. The idea was incorporated into Feynman’s 1959 essay There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom.[49]

Some life extensionists suggest that therapeutic cloning and stem cell research could one day provide a way to generate cells, body parts, or even entire bodies (generally referred to as reproductive cloning) that would be genetically identical to a prospective patient. Recently, the US Department of Defense initiated a program to research the possibility of growing human body parts on mice.[50] Complex biological structures, such as mammalian joints and limbs, have not yet been replicated. Dog and primate brain transplantation experiments were conducted in the mid-20th century but failed due to rejection and the inability to restore nerve connections. As of 2006, the implantation of bio-engineered bladders grown from patients’ own cells has proven to be a viable treatment for bladder disease.[51] Proponents of body part replacement and cloning contend that the required biotechnologies are likely to appear earlier than other life-extension technologies.

The use of human stem cells, particularly embryonic stem cells, is controversial. Opponents’ objections generally are based on interpretations of religious teachings or ethical considerations. Proponents of stem cell research point out that cells are routinely formed and destroyed in a variety of contexts. Use of stem cells taken from the umbilical cord or parts of the adult body may not provoke controversy.[52]

The controversies over cloning are similar, except general public opinion in most countries stands in opposition to reproductive cloning. Some proponents of therapeutic cloning predict the production of whole bodies, lacking consciousness, for eventual brain transplantation.

Replacement of biological (susceptible to diseases) organs with mechanical ones could extend life. This is the goal of 2045 Initiative.[53]

For cryonicists (advocates of cryopreservation), storing the body at low temperatures after death may provide an “ambulance” into a future in which advanced medical technologies may allow resuscitation and repair. They speculate cryogenic temperatures will minimize changes in biological tissue for many years, giving the medical community ample time to cure all disease, rejuvenate the aged and repair any damage that is caused by the cryopreservation process.

Many cryonicists do not believe that legal death is “real death” because stoppage of heartbeat and breathingthe usual medical criteria for legal deathoccur before biological death of cells and tissues of the body. Even at room temperature, cells may take hours to die and days to decompose. Although neurological damage occurs within 46 minutes of cardiac arrest, the irreversible neurodegenerative processes do not manifest for hours.[54] Cryonicists state that rapid cooling and cardio-pulmonary support applied immediately after certification of death can preserve cells and tissues for long-term preservation at cryogenic temperatures. People, particularly children, have survived up to an hour without heartbeat after submersion in ice water. In one case, full recovery was reported after 45 minutes underwater.[55] To facilitate rapid preservation of cells and tissue, cryonics “standby teams” are available to wait by the bedside of patients who are to be cryopreserved to apply cooling and cardio-pulmonary support as soon as possible after declaration of death.[56]

No mammal has been successfully cryopreserved and brought back to life, with the exception of frozen human embryos. Resuscitation of a postembryonic human from cryonics is not possible with current science. Some scientists still support the idea based on their expectations of the capabilities of future science.[57][58]

Another proposed life extension technology would combine existing and predicted future biochemical and genetic techniques. SENS proposes that rejuvenation may be obtained by removing aging damage via the use of stem cells and tissue engineering, removal of telomere-lengthening machinery, allotopic expression of mitochondrial proteins, targeted ablation of cells, immunotherapeutic clearance, and novel lysosomal hydrolases.[59]

While many biogerontologists find these ideas “worthy of discussion”[60][61] and SENS conferences feature important research in the field,[62][63] some contend that the alleged benefits are too speculative given the current state of technology, referring to it as “fantasy rather than science”.[3][5]

Gene therapy, in which nucleic acid polymers are delivered as a drug and are either expressed as proteins, interfere with the expression of proteins, or correct genetic mutations, has been proposed as a future strategy to prevent aging.[64][65]

A large array of genetic modifications have been found to increase lifespan in model organisms such as yeast, nematode worms, fruit flies, and mice. As of 2013, the longest extension of life caused by a single gene manipulation was roughly 150% in mice and 10-fold in nematode worms.[66]

In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins describes an approach to life-extension that involves “fooling genes” into thinking the body is young.[67] Dawkins attributes inspiration for this idea to Peter Medawar. The basic idea is that our bodies are composed of genes that activate throughout our lifetimes, some when we are young and others when we are older. Presumably, these genes are activated by environmental factors, and the changes caused by these genes activating can be lethal. It is a statistical certainty that we possess more lethal genes that activate in later life than in early life. Therefore, to extend life, we should be able to prevent these genes from switching on, and we should be able to do so by “identifying changes in the internal chemical environment of a body that take place during aging… and by simulating the superficial chemical properties of a young body”.[68]

According to some lines of thinking, the ageing process is routed into a basic reduction of biological complexity,[69] and thus loss of information. In order to reverse this loss, gerontologist Marios Kyriazis suggested that it is necessary to increase input of actionable and meaningful information both individually (into individual brains),[70] and collectively (into societal systems).[71] This technique enhances overall biological function through up-regulation of immune, hormonal, antioxidant and other parameters, resulting in improved age-repair mechanisms. Working in parallel with natural evolutionary mechanisms that can facilitate survival through increased fitness, Kryiazis claims that the technique may lead to a reduction of the rate of death as a function of age, i.e. indefinite lifespan.[72]

One hypothetical future strategy that, as some suggest, “eliminates” the complications related to a physical body, involves the copying or transferring (e.g. by progressively replacing neurons with transistors) of a conscious mind from a biological brain to a non-biological computer system or computational device. The basic idea is to scan the structure of a particular brain in detail, and then construct a software model of it that is so faithful to the original that, when run on appropriate hardware, it will behave in essentially the same way as the original brain.[73] Whether or not an exact copy of one’s mind constitutes actual life extension is matter of debate.

The extension of life has been a desire of humanity and a mainstay motif in the history of scientific pursuits and ideas throughout history, from the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh and the Egyptian Smith medical papyrus, all the way through the Taoists, Ayurveda practitioners, alchemists, hygienists such as Luigi Cornaro, Johann Cohausen and Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, and philosophers such as Francis Bacon, Ren Descartes, Benjamin Franklin and Nicolas Condorcet. However, the beginning of the modern period in this endeavor can be traced to the end of the 19th beginning of the 20th century, to the so-called fin-de-sicle (end of the century) period, denoted as an end of an epoch and characterized by the rise of scientific optimism and therapeutic activism, entailing the pursuit of life extension (or life-extensionism). Among the foremost researchers of life extension at this period were the Nobel Prize winning biologist Elie Metchnikoff (1845-1916) — the author of the cell theory of immunity and vice director of Institut Pasteur in Paris, and Charles-douard Brown-Squard (1817-1894) — the president of the French Biological Society and one of the founders of modern endocrinology.[74]

Sociologist James Hughes claims that science has been tied to a cultural narrative of conquering death since the Age of Enlightenment. He cites Francis Bacon (15611626) as an advocate of using science and reason to extend human life, noting Bacon’s novel New Atlantis, wherein scientists worked toward delaying aging and prolonging life. Robert Boyle (16271691), founding member of the Royal Society, also hoped that science would make substantial progress with life extension, according to Hughes, and proposed such experiments as “to replace the blood of the old with the blood of the young”. Biologist Alexis Carrel (18731944) was inspired by a belief in indefinite human lifespan that he developed after experimenting with cells, says Hughes.[75]

In 1970, the American Aging Association was formed under the impetus of Denham Harman, originator of the free radical theory of aging. Harman wanted an organization of biogerontologists that was devoted to research and to the sharing of information among scientists interested in extending human lifespan.

In 1976, futurists Joel Kurtzman and Philip Gordon wrote No More Dying. The Conquest Of Aging And The Extension Of Human Life, (ISBN 0-440-36247-4) the first popular book on research to extend human lifespan. Subsequently, Kurtzman was invited to testify before the House Select Committee on Aging, chaired by Claude Pepper of Florida, to discuss the impact of life extension on the Social Security system.

Saul Kent published The Life Extension Revolution (ISBN 0-688-03580-9) in 1980 and created a nutraceutical firm called the Life Extension Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes dietary supplements. The Life Extension Foundation publishes a periodical called Life Extension Magazine. The 1982 bestselling book Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach (ISBN 0-446-51229-X) by Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw further popularized the phrase “life extension”.

In 1983, Roy Walford, a life-extensionist and gerontologist, published a popular book called Maximum Lifespan. In 1988, Walford and his student Richard Weindruch summarized their research into the ability of calorie restriction to extend the lifespan of rodents in The Retardation of Aging and Disease by Dietary Restriction (ISBN 0-398-05496-7). It had been known since the work of Clive McCay in the 1930s that calorie restriction can extend the maximum lifespan of rodents. But it was the work of Walford and Weindruch that gave detailed scientific grounding to that knowledge.[citation needed] Walford’s personal interest in life extension motivated his scientific work and he practiced calorie restriction himself. Walford died at the age of 80 from complications caused by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Money generated by the non-profit Life Extension Foundation allowed Saul Kent to finance the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the world’s largest cryonics organization. The cryonics movement had been launched in 1962 by Robert Ettinger’s book, The Prospect of Immortality. In the 1960s, Saul Kent had been a co-founder of the Cryonics Society of New York. Alcor gained national prominence when baseball star Ted Williams was cryonically preserved by Alcor in 2002 and a family dispute arose as to whether Williams had really wanted to be cryopreserved.

Regulatory and legal struggles between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Life Extension Foundation included seizure of merchandise and court action. In 1991, Saul Kent and Bill Faloon, the principals of the Foundation, were jailed. The LEF accused the FDA of perpetrating a “Holocaust” and “seeking gestapo-like power” through its regulation of drugs and marketing claims.[76]

In 2003, Doubleday published “The Immortal Cell: One Scientist’s Quest to Solve the Mystery of Human Aging,” by Michael D. West. West emphasised the potential role of embryonic stem cells in life extension.[77]

Other modern life extensionists include writer Gennady Stolyarov, who insists that death is “the enemy of us all, to be fought with medicine, science, and technology”;[78]transhumanist philosopher Zoltan Istvan, who proposes that the “transhumanist must safeguard one’s own existence above all else”;[79] futurist George Dvorsky, who considers aging to be a problem that desperately needs to be solved;[80] and recording artist Steve Aoki, who has been called “one of the most prolific campaigners for life extension”.[81]

In 1991, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) was formed as a non-profit organization to create what it considered an anti-aging medical specialty distinct from geriatrics, and to hold trade shows for physicians interested in anti-aging medicine. The A4M trains doctors in anti-aging medicine and publicly promotes the field of anti-aging research. It has about 26,000 members, of whom about 97% are doctors and scientists.[82] The American Board of Medical Specialties recognizes neither anti-aging medicine nor the A4M’s professional standing.[83]

In 2003, Aubrey de Grey and David Gobel formed the Methuselah Foundation, which gives financial grants to anti-aging research projects. In 2009, de Grey and several others founded the SENS Research Foundation, a California-based scientific research organization which conducts research into aging and funds other anti-aging research projects at various universities.[84] In 2013, Google announced Calico, a new company based in San Francisco that will harness new technologies to increase scientific understanding of the biology of aging.[85] It is led by Arthur D. Levinson,[86] and its research team includes scientists such as Hal V. Barron, David Botstein, and Cynthia Kenyon. In 2014, biologist Craig Venter founded Human Longevity Inc., a company dedicated to scientific research to end aging through genomics and cell therapy. They received funding with the goal of compiling a comprehensive human genotype, microbiome, and phenotype database.[87]

Aside from private initiatives, aging research is being conducted in university laboratories, and includes universities such as Harvard and UCLA. University researchers have made a number of breakthroughs in extending the lives of mice and insects by reversing certain aspects of aging.[88][89][90][91]

Though many scientists state[92] that life extension and radical life extension are possible, there are still no international or national programs focused on radical life extension. There are political forces staying for and against life extension. By 2012, in Russia, the United States, Israel, and the Netherlands, the Longevity political parties started. They aimed to provide political support to radical life extension research and technologies, and ensure the fastest possible and at the same time soft transition of society to the next step life without aging and with radical life extension, and to provide access to such technologies to most currently living people.[93]

Leon Kass (chairman of the US President’s Council on Bioethics from 2001 to 2005) has questioned whether potential exacerbation of overpopulation problems would make life extension unethical.[94] He states his opposition to life extension with the words:

“simply to covet a prolonged life span for ourselves is both a sign and a cause of our failure to open ourselves to procreation and to any higher purpose … [The] desire to prolong youthfulness is not only a childish desire to eat one’s life and keep it; it is also an expression of a childish and narcissistic wish incompatible with devotion to posterity.”[95]

John Harris, former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics, argues that as long as life is worth living, according to the person himself, we have a powerful moral imperative to save the life and thus to develop and offer life extension therapies to those who want them.[96]

Transhumanist philosopher Nick Bostrom has argued that any technological advances in life extension must be equitably distributed and not restricted to a privileged few.[97] In an extended metaphor entitled “The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant”, Bostrom envisions death as a monstrous dragon who demands human sacrifices. In the fable, after a lengthy debate between those who believe the dragon is a fact of life and those who believe the dragon can and should be destroyed, the dragon is finally killed. Bostrom argues that political inaction allowed many preventable human deaths to occur.[98]

Life extension is a controversial topic due to fear of overpopulation and possible effects on society.[99] Biogerontologist Aubrey De Grey counters the overpopulation critique by pointing out that the therapy could postpone or eliminate menopause, allowing women to space out their pregnancies over more years and thus decreasing the yearly population growth rate.[100] Moreover, the philosopher and futurist Max More argues that, given the fact the worldwide population growth rate is slowing down and is projected to eventually stabilize and begin falling, superlongevity would be unlikely to contribute to overpopulation.[99]

A Spring 2013 Pew Research poll in the United States found that 38% of Americans would want life extension treatments, and 56% would reject it. However, it also found that 68% believed most people would want it and that only 4% consider an “ideal lifespan” to be more than 120 years. The median “ideal lifespan” was 91 years of age and the majority of the public (63%) viewed medical advances aimed at prolonging life as generally good. 41% of Americans believed that radical life extension (RLE) would be good for society, while 51% said they believed it would be bad for society.[101] One possibility for why 56% of Americans claim they would reject life extension treatments may be due to the cultural perception that living longer would result in a longer period of decrepitude, and that the elderly in our current society are unhealthy.[102]

Religious people are no more likely to oppose life extension than the unaffiliated,[101] though some variation exists between religious denominations.

Most mainstream medical organizations and practitioners do not consider aging to be a disease. David Sinclair says: “Idon’t see aging as a disease, but as a collection of quite predictable diseases caused by the deterioration of the body”.[103] The two main arguments used are that aging is both inevitable and universal while diseases are not.[104] However, not everyone agrees. Harry R. Moody, Director of Academic Affairs for AARP, notes that what is normal and what is disease strongly depends on a historical context.[105] David Gems, Assistant Director of the Institute of Healthy Ageing, strongly argues that aging should be viewed as a disease.[106] In response to the universality of aging, David Gems notes that it is as misleading as arguing that Basenji are not dogs because they do not bark.[107] Because of the universality of aging he calls it a ‘special sort of disease’. Robert M. Perlman, coined the terms aging syndrome and disease complex in 1954 to describe aging.[108]

The discussion whether aging should be viewed as a disease or not has important implications. It would stimulate pharmaceutical companies to develop life extension therapies and in the United States of America, it would also increase the regulation of the anti-aging market by the FDA. Anti-aging now falls under the regulations for cosmetic medicine which are less tight than those for drugs.[107][109]

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Life extension – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Patri Friedman – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Seasteading  Comments Off on Patri Friedman – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mar 272016
 

Patri Friedman

Patri Friedman of the Seasteading Institute in Helsinki on 13 May 2011.

Patri Friedman (born July 29, 1976 in Blacksburg, Virginia) is an American libertarian activist and theorist of political economy.[2] He founded the nonprofit Seasteading Institute, which explores the creation of sovereign ocean colonies.[3][4][5]

Friedman grew up in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Upper Merion Area High School, class of 1994, where he went by the name Patri Forwalter-Friedman. He was named after Patri J. Pugliese, a close friend of his parents.[6] He graduated from Harvey Mudd College in 1998, and worked as a software engineer at Google.[7][8] As a poker player, he cashed in the World Series of Poker four times.[9]

Friedman was executive director of the Seasteading Institute, founded on April 15, 2008, with a half-million-dollar donation by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.[10] The Institute’s mission is “to establish permanent, autonomous ocean communities to enable experimentation and innovation with diverse social, political, and legal systems”.[11][12] This was initially a part-time project one day a week while working as a Google engineer the rest of the time[7] but Friedman left Google on July 29, 2008 to spend more time on seasteading.[13] He and partner Wayne Gramlich hoped to float the first prototype seastead in the San Francisco Bay by 2010.[14][15] At the October 2010 Seasteading social, it was announced that current plans were to launch a seastead by 2014.[16]

Since attending the Burning Man festival in 2000, Friedman imagined creating a water festival called Ephemerisle as a Seasteading experiment and Temporary Autonomous Zone. Through the Seasteading Institute, Friedman was able to start the Ephemerisle festival in 2009, aided by TSI’s James Hogan as event organizer and Chicken John Rinaldi as chief builder. The first Ephemerisle is chronicled in a documentary by Jason Sussberg.[17] Since 2010, the event has been annual and community-run.

On 31 July 2011, Friedman stepped down from the position as Executive Director of Seasteading Institute, but remained chairman of the board.[18] Later, he co-founded the Future Cities Development Corporation, a project to establish a self-governing charter city within the borders of Honduras.[19][20]

In 2012 it was announced the initiative would be halted due to the changing political climate of Honduras.[21]

During his poker career, Patri Freidman was predicted to become a world champion by Card Player Magazine.[22] He claims to have created AI bots for online poker.[23]

Patri is the grandson of Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman[24] and economist Rose Friedman and son of economist and physicist David D. Friedman.[24][25] He is divorced and has two children. As of December 2015, he is engaged.[26]

Excerpt from:

Patri Friedman – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hedonism – Utilitarianism

 Hedonism  Comments Off on Hedonism – Utilitarianism
Mar 272016
 

Hedonism Philosophers commonly distinguish between psychological hedonism and ethical hedonism. Psychological hedonism is the view that humans are psychologically constructed in such a way that we exclusively desire pleasure. Ethical hedonism is the view that our fundamental moral obligation is to maximize pleasure or happiness. Ethical hedonism is most associated with the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (342-270 BCE.) who taught that our life’s goal should be to minimize pain and maximize pleasure. In fact, all of our actions should have that aim: We recognize pleasure as the first good innate in us, and from pleasure we begin every act of choice and avoidance, and to pleasure we return again, using the feeling as the standard by which we judge every good. [Letter to Menoeceus]

In A Letter to Menoeceus – one of his few surviving fragments – Epicurus gives advice on how to decrease life’s pains, and explains the nature of pleasure. As to decreasing life’s pain, Epicurus explains how we can reduce the psychological anguish that results from fearing the gods and fearing death. Concerning the nature of pleasure, Epicurus explains that at least some pleasures are rooted in natural and, as a rule, every pain is bad and should be avoided, and every pleasure is good and should be preferred. However, there is delicate relation between pain and pleasure. Every pain we have is bad, and we should minimize pain when possible. However, sometimes simply minimizing life’s pains is sufficient to attain happiness, and we need to go a step further and actively increase pleasure. He argues that we should not pursue every possible pleasure, such as when they produce more pain. Also, argues that the fewer desires we have, the easier it will be to experience happiness.

During the middle ages, Christian philosophers largely denounced Epicurean hedonism, which they believed was inconsistent with the Christian emphasis on avoiding sin, doing God’s will, and developing the Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity. Reniassance philosophers such as Erasmus (1466-1536) revived hedonism and argued that its emphasis on pleasure was in fact compatible with God’s wish for humans to be happy. In his famous work Utopia (1516), British philosopher Thomas More (1478-1535) explains that “the chief part of a person’s happiness consists of pleasure.” Like Erasmus, More defends hedonism on religious grounds and argues that, not only did God design us to be happy, but that uses our desire for happiness to motivate us to behave morally. More importantly More distinguishes between pleasures of the mind, and pleasures of the body. He also argues that we should pursue pleasures that are more naturally grounded, so that we do not become preoccupied with artificial luxuries. In the 18th century, the moral theme of pleasure and happiness was more systematically explored by Francis Hutcheson (1694-1747) and David Hume (1711-1776), whose theories were precursors to utilitarianism.

from The Internet Enyclopedia of Philosophy

Hedonism GLOSSARY The Pinprick Argument

HOME HedWeb HerbWeb BLTC Research Superhappiness? Wirehead Hedonism Paradise-Engineering The Abolitionist Project Reprogramming Predators Critique of Brave New World The Cyrenaics and the Origin of Hedonism

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The Zeitgeist Movement UK

 Zeitgeist Movement  Comments Off on The Zeitgeist Movement UK
Mar 262016
 

Hi everybody! Count down to ZDAY London 2016. Have a look at the program for the day. Theres still tickets available, so make sure you have got them as soon as possible, if youd like to guarantee your seat. Click on program image to zoom in, please. TICKETS here:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/z-day-london-2016-tickets-21680330452 Thank you! And see you on []

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Were glad to announce that Barb Jacobson from Basic Income UK will be speaking! She has been active in community organising since 1982, a co-ordinator of Basic Income UK and on the board of Unconditional Basic Income Europe, a network of organisations and activists in 25 countries. Basic Income UK is a collective promoting unconditional []

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The Zeitgeist Movement is a global sustainability advocacy organisation who warmly invite you to attend our annual event in London this year, ZDAY. In the last year we have seen further validation of the issues the movement has been seeking awareness and intelligent resolution of since its inception. Our technological capacity to create global access []

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Hello everybody! ZDAY London 2016 will takeplace on April 2nd 2016 at the Birkbeck University, London. It will be a full day event, so book this date on your calendar! Soon we will give you more details about this event and how you can book your tickets. Thank you very much. See you soon!

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For those who couldnt come to ZDAY London 2015 and those who wish to review the information, heres the link where you canwatchthe lectures videos of the day. http://thezeitgeistmovementuk.com/education/zeitgeist-day-2015-london/ Hope you enjoy them!

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Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism