Temple Grandin Uses Autism to Understand Animals

"The amazing story of Dr. Temple Grandin's ability to read the animal mind, which has made her the most famous autistic woman on the planet." – BBC

Ann and I watched Temple's story on PBS. She's turned a severe disability into a strength — she's an expert on animal minds and adapting to autism. She's become famous and wealthy. She lives life on her own terms by being creative and courageous.

Parts 2 – 5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-iy7GNsmm0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDWH_Sfnoc0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Epwa0zQ8jx8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aidkSBsyDlA

Vitamin D3 Is Great for Me

I was driving to the golf course three weeks ago when it happened. To make the 30-minute drive more enjoyable (truthfully, it's because I'm an information freak), I hook my iPod into my car radio and listen to an audio book. It landed on Dr. Mark Hyman's book UltraMind and I started listening.

In the audio version of his book, Dr. Hyman emphasized that most of us who don't work outside are vitamin D deficient. His reasoning was so compelling that I decided to do some research when I got home. I found the a post (below) on his UltraWellness blog. I decided to follow his advice (I skipped the blood test — I figure it's probably his lawyer's counsel for avoiding law suits and AMA sanctions) and start taking a large dose of vitamin D3 daily.

Several days later, Ann and I were shopping at Trader Joes when I saw a bottle of Vitamin D3. I bought a bottle and started taking 10,000 IU a day.

Wow! The aches and pains that I felt every day started fading away. The need for a nap in the late afternoon went away. My memory improved. I looked forward to my daily bike ride. I felt better most of the time.

Today I saw another article about vitamin D on The Daily Reckoning web site (a financial site). Here's an excerpt (the whole article is below):

This ranks as one of the most important public health breakthroughs in decades.

A trickle of solid peer-reviewed evidence that most people are severely vitamin D deficient has turned into a flood. If the new consensus is correct, and I believe it is, increasing your vitamin D level could, for most people, add years of healthy life. It could also save the U.S. economy hundreds of billions annually…

D is not just another nutrient. Putting it simplistically, it is the über-nutrient that affects the way all other nutrients, not just calcium, are utilized.

Now we see a compendium of solid peer-reviewed research indicating that many of our most troublesome and expensive diseases are symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.

Link: Vitamin D — Why You Are Probably NOT Getting Enough – UltraWellness – Mark Hyman, MD

What vitamin do we need in amounts up to 25 times higher than the government recommends for us to be healthy?

What vitamin deficiency affects over half of the population, is almost never diagnosed, and has been linked to many cancers, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic muscle pain, bone loss, and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis?

What vitamin is almost totally absent from our food supply?

What vitamin is the hidden cause of so much suffering that is so easy to treat?

The answer to all of these questions is vitamin D.

Over the last 10 years of my practice, my focus has been to discover what the body needs to function optimally. And I have become more interested in the role of specific nutrients as the years have passed.

Two recent studies in the journal Pediatrics found that 70 percent of American kids aren't getting enough vitamin D, and this puts them at higher risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and lower levels of good cholesterol. Low vitamin D levels also may increase a child's risk of developing heart disease later in life.

Overall, 7.6 million, or 9 percent, of U.S. children were vitamin-D deficient, and another 50.8 million, or 61 percent, had insufficient levels of this important vitamin in their blood.

Over the last 5 years, I have tested almost every patient in my practice for vitamin D deficiency, and I have been shocked by the results. What’s even more amazing is what happens when my patients' vitamin D status reaches optimal levels. Having witnessed these changes, there's no doubt in my mind: vitamin D is an incredible asset to your health.

6 Tips for Getting the Right Amount of Vitamin D

Unless you're spending all your time at the beach, eating 30 ounces of wild salmon a day, or downing 10 tablespoons of cod liver oil a day, supplementing with vitamin D is essential. The exact amount needed to get your blood levels to the optimal range (100 to160 nmol/L) will vary depending on your age, how far north you live, how much time you spend in the sun, and even the time of the year. But once you reach optimal levels, you'll be amazed at the results.

For example, one study found that vitamin D supplementation could reduce the risk of getting type 1 diabetes by 80 percent. In the Nurses' Health Study (a study of more than 130,000 nurses over 3 decades), vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of multiple sclerosis by 40 percent.

I've seen many patients with chronic muscle aches and pains and fibromyalgia who are vitamin D deficient — a phenomenon that's been documented in studies. Their symptoms improve when they are treated with vitamin D.

Finally, vitamin D has been shown to help prevent and treat osteoporosis. In fact, it's even more important than calcium. That's because your body needs vitamin D to be able to properly absorb calcium. Without adequate levels of vitamin D, the intestine absorbs only 10 to 15 percent of dietary calcium. Research shows that the bone-protective benefits of vitamin D keep increasing with the dose.

So here is my advice for getting optimal levels of vitamin D:

    1. Get tested for 25 OH vitamin D. The current ranges for "normal" are 25 to 137 nmol/L or 10 to 55 ng/ml. These are fine if you want to prevent rickets — but NOT for optimal health. In that case, the range should be 100 to 160 nmol/L or 40 to 65 ng/ml. In the future, we may raise this "optimal" level even higher.

    2. Take the right type of vitamin D. The only active form of vitamin D is vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Look for this type. Many vitamins and prescriptions of vitamin D have vitamin D2 — which is not biologically active.

    3. Take the right amount of vitamin D. If you have a deficiency, you should correct it with 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day for 3 months — but only under a doctor's supervision. For maintenance, take 2,000 to 4,000 IU a day of vitamin D3. Some people may need higher doses over the long run to maintain optimal levels because of differences in vitamin D receptors, living in northern latitudes, indoor living, or skin color.

    4. Monitor your vitamin D status until you are in the optimal range. If you are taking high doses (10,000 IU a day) your doctor must also check your calcium, phosphorous, and parathyroid hormone levels every 3 months.

    5. Remember that it takes up to 6 to 10 months to "fill up the tank" for vitamin D if you're deficient. Once this occurs, you can lower the dose to the maintenance dose of 2,000 to 4,000 Units a day.

    6. Try to eat dietary sources of vitamin D. These include:

    • Fish liver oils, such as cod liver oil. 1 TBSP (15 ml) = 1,360 IU of vitamin D

    • Cooked wild salmon. 3.5 oz = 360 IU of vitamin D

    • Cooked mackerel. 3.5 oz = 345 IU of vitamin D

    • Sardines, canned in oil, drained. 1.75 oz = 250 IU of vitamin D

    • One whole egg = 20 IU of vitamin D

Link: The Uber Nutrient Worth "Hundreds of Billions".

10/21/09 Marco Island, Florida – This ranks as one of the most important public health breakthroughs in decades.

A trickle of solid peer-reviewed evidence that most people are severely vitamin D deficient has turned into a flood. If the new consensus is correct, and I believe it is, increasing your vitamin D level could, for most people, add years of healthy life. It could also save the U.S. economy hundreds of billions annually…

D is not just another nutrient. Putting it simplistically, it is the über-nutrient that affects the way all other nutrients, not just calcium, are utilized. Virtually every cell in the body has a D receptor, even those in the brain. Until recently, however, few asked why. This is a particularly interesting question because there is very little vitamin D actually available in food. Most of our nutritional D, in fact, is added. Historically, the primary source of D, not only for humans, but for many other animals, has been sunshine. We convert the energy found in ultraviolet B in our skin to vitamin D. Obviously, there is something critically important about D if our prehistoric ancestors could manufacture it even during times of famine.

Now we see a compendium of solid peer-reviewed research indicating that many of our most troublesome and expensive diseases are symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Rickets, apparently, was only the tip of the iceberg. Other diseases on the list of conditions caused or exacerbated by D deficiency include cancers, diabetes, susceptibility to bacterial and viral infections, autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, heart disease, stroke, osteomalacia or age-related bone mass thinning, osteoporosis, depression and even food allergies. Obesity, in fact, is highly correlated with vitamin D deficiency. In many of these conditions, risk factors drop within months, and by as much as 80%.

Show Us the Money

John Michael Greer explains what will eventually happen to debt-infested and overspending governments who use financial paper to pay for real goods and services. Excerpts below.

Link: The Archdruid Report: The Twilight of Money

Over the last century, with the assistance of the economic hypercomplexity made possible by fossil fuels, the world’s industrial nations have taken the process of economic abstraction further than any previous civilization. On top of the usual levels of abstraction – a commodity used to measure value (gold), receipts that could be exchanged for that commodity (paper money), and promises to pay the receipts (checks and other financial paper) – contemporary societies have built an extraordinary pyramid of additional abstractions. Unlike the pyramids of Egypt, furthermore, this one has its narrow end on the ground, in the realm of actual goods and services, and widens as it goes up.

The consequence of all this pyramid building is that there are not enough goods and services on Earth to equal, at current prices, more than a small percentage of the face value of stocks, bonds, derivatives, and other fiscal exotica now in circulation. The vast majority of economic activity in today’s world consists purely of exchanges among these representations of representations of representations of wealth. This is why the real economy of goods and services can go into a freefall like the one now under way, without having more than a modest impact so far on an increasingly hallucinatory economy of fiscal abstractions.

An economy of hallucinated wealth depends utterly on the willingness of all participants to pretend that the hallucinations have real value. When that willingness slackens, the pretense can evaporate in record time. This is how financial bubbles turn into financial panics: the collective fantasy of value that surrounds tulip bulbs, or stocks, or suburban tract housing, or any other speculative vehicle, dissolves into a mad rush for the exits. That rush has been peaceful to date; but it need not always be.

Finally, of course, bubbles always pop. When that happens, the speculative vehicle du jour comes crashing back to earth, losing the great majority of its assumed value, and the mass of amateur investors, having lost anything they made and usually a great deal more, trickle away from the market. This has not yet happened to the current money bubble. It might be a good idea to start thinking about what might happen if it does so.

The effects of a money panic would be focused uncomfortably close to home, I suspect, because the bulk of the hyperexpansion of money in recent decades has focused on a single currency, the US dollar. That bomb might have been defused if last year’s collapse of the housing bubble had been allowed to run its course, because this would have eliminated no small amount of the dollar-denominated abstractions generated by the excesses of recent years. Unfortunately the US government chose instead to try to reinflate the bubble economy by spending money it doesn’t have through an orgy of borrowing and some very dubious fiscal gimmickry. A great many foreign governments are accordingly becoming reluctant to lend the US more money, and at least one rising power – China – has been quietly cashing in its dollar reserves for commodities and other forms of far less abstract wealth.

Up until now, it has been in the best interests of other industrial nations to prop up the United States with a steady stream of credit, so that it can bankrupt itself filling its self-imposed role as global policeman. It’s been a very comfortable arrangement, since other nations haven’t had to shoulder more than a tiny fraction of the costs of dealing with rogue states, keeping the Middle East divided against itself, or maintaining economic hegemony over an increasingly restive Third World, while receiving the benefits of all these policies. The end of the age of cheap fossil fuel, however, has thrown a wild card into the game. As world petroleum production falters, it must have occurred to the leaders of other nations that if the United States no longer consumed roughly a quarter of the world’s fossil fuel supply, there would be a great deal more for everyone else to share out. The possibility that other nations might decide that this potential gain outweighs the advantages of keeping the United States solvent may make the next decade or so interesting, in the sense of the famous Chinese curse.

Over the longer term, on the other hand, it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of paper assets now in circulation, whatever the currency in which they’re denominated, will lose essentially all their value. This might happen quickly, or it might unfold over decades, but the world’s supply of abstract representations of wealth is so much vaster than its supply of concrete wealth that something has to give sooner or later. Future economic growth won’t make up the difference; the end of the age of cheap fossil fuel makes growth in the real economy of goods and services a thing of the past, outside of rare and self-limiting situations. As the limits to growth tighten, and become first barriers to growth and then drivers of contraction, shrinkage in the real economy will become the rule, heightening the mismatch between money and wealth and increasing the pressure toward depreciation of the real value of paper assets.

Once again, though, all this has happened before. Just as increasing economic abstraction is a common feature of the history of complex societies, the unraveling of that abstraction is a common feature of their decline and fall. The desperate expedients now being pursued to expand the American money supply in a rapidly contracting economy have exact equivalents in, say, the equally desperate measures taken by the Roman Empire in its last years to expand its own money supply by debasing its coinage.

Attitude

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.

We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.

Charles R. Swindoll

via Eldon Taylor

Drive by Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway using Google Maps

Click on the link below:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=mabry+mill,+VA&sll=36.668488,-80.682821&sspn=0.050257,0.076818&ie=UTF8&t=h&layer=c&cbll=36.750365,-80.405989&panoid=rpyFs87FX0K7HP2iqKo3Og&cbp=12,33.61,,0,5&hq=&hnear=Mabry+Mill,+Floyd,+Virginia&ll=36.750473,-80.40606&spn=0,359.94524&z=15

Click on the map image.

Press the UP ARROW cursor key to go north on the Blue Ridge Parkway. (The DOWN ARROW goes south.)

Press the RIGHT ARROW cursor key to look at Mabry Mill on the south side of the roadway.

Hold down the RIGHT ARROW cursor key to pan around 360 degrees.

Nice technology.

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrman