Friday, October 21, 2016

2017 Year of the Fire Rooster

It is time for our annual predictions based on the Chinese lunar calendar for 2017 Year of the Fire Rooster.  As we predicted, the current 2016 Fire Monkey year has been crazy and disorderly. The Monkey Year has seen lawlessness, extreme attitudes and deception. Unfortunately, the 2016's Star of Illness of the Flying Star Feng Shui chart brought us Zika, Hep A and other diseases spreading the globe. In contrast, the 2017 Rooster Year will be a time of rebirth, transformation, and growth.

The Rooster New Year starts January 28, 2017. It will focus on justice and efficiency and bring harmony, less violence, and more resources for growth.  Organizations like the police and military will regain favor. Loyalty, commitment, punctuality, hard work, patience, practicality, family values, and good physical appearances will be rewarded this year.

Replacing the Star of Illness at the center of the Flying Star Feng Shui chart will be the Victory Star which will make 2017 a great year for change and positive results.

During the last Fire Rooster Year, 60 years ago (1957) the Frisbee and portable typewriter were introduced, B52 airplanes flew the 1st non-stop flight around the world and set a record at 45 hours and 19 minutes, US Congress accepted the Eisenhower doctrine (which allowed a country to request American economic assistance and/or aid from U.S. military forces if it was threatened by armed aggression from another state), Mao expounded his ideals in his speech “on correct handling of contradictions among people”, Great Britain became the 3rd nation (after the US and USSR) to test nuclear bombs, the US army sold off their last homing pigeons, NYC and other cities ended their trolley service, the US Supreme Courts ruled that obscenity was not protected by the First Amendment, the link between smoking and lung cancer was published, the 1st submarine designed to fire guided missiles was launched, the element 102 (Nobelium) was discovered, the 1st rocket with a nuclear warhead was fired in Arizona, the 1st American ran the mile in less than 4 minutes, the 1st commercial building was heated by the sun in Albuquerque, the US Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, Ford introduced the Edsel, B52 bombers started flying full time in preparation for a USSR attack, “In God We Trust” 1st appeared on US paper currency, the USSR launched Sputnik with Laika the dog on board, the1st US large scale nuclear power plant started generating electricity in Pennsylvania, the 1st Fair Housing Practices Law was passed in NYC, the 1st pneumatic pump operation on a dog proved an artificial heart was possible, an Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile test was successful, and Elvis Presley was drafted into the US Army,

The 2017 Rooster Year will be a substantial change of pace from the crazy Monkey year with sanity and order restored in the world. Even better, the year will be dominated by the Victory Star, so you can expect success in competition, business, and your career  This is the year to work hard, keep your nose to the grindstone, and achieve your goals.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Ego is the Enemy

The book “Ego is the Enemy”, by Ryan Holiday, was motivated by the author’s personal experiences of fantastic wealth at an early age and subsequent loss of his wealth and marriage which he blamed on his big ego.

The content of the book is inspiring with lots of stories of how big egos have caused people great pain and their downfall. Many of the stories I had never heard before, for instance after being president of the U.S., General Grant sunk all his money in a Ponzi scheme and ended up poverty stricken in his retirement.  The book also has stories of humble people who have greatly improved the world and had happy lives by not letting their ego lead them to poor choices in their lives.

One of my disappointments with the  book was that the author didn’t reveal much about his personal experiences of having a big ego, how it felt for him, or what he learned. Many of the stories seem like they are what the author tells himself repeatedly to keep his own ego from getting out of control. The stories are told in a detached way and are mostly about  public figures rather than individuals he knew.  So there is nothing about what was going on in their minds or a close personal view. Interestingly, most of the stories in the book are about men.

In spite of these issues, I still found the book enjoyable to read and it helped me to recognize my ego better and be aware of the risks of letting my ego get out of control. It actually helped me be less stressed when my plans do not work out. I recommend it, especially for guys.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Could it Be B12; An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses

Could it Be B12?; An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses”, by Sally M. Pacholok, R.N., B.S.N. and Jeffery J. Stuart, D.O., appears to be written by people who work in a clinical setting where they routinely see people misdiagnosed with fatal conditions when all they have is a severe vitamin B12 shortage. The book is primarily a compilation of misdiagnoses cases and the patients’ amazing recoveries, often within hours of receiving a B12 shot. The stories raise troubling questions about how the current medical establishment has a tendency to diagnose older Americans with untreatable chronic conditions without further investigation, even something as simple as an inexpensive B12 blood test.

Initially I was unhappy that the book did not provide an explanation about why B12 is so important for your health.  So I started to research what B12 does in the body and I learned that it does so many critical functions that it would require another book to explain them all. Having investigated  B12 made reading the book more enjoyable for me as I could see how a lack of B12 could lead to all the misdiagnosed conditions mentioned. Below is list of some of the things B12 does for our bodies:
·       B12 is required for the formation of red blood cells. Red blood cells (the hemoglobin inside red blood cells) carry oxygen to the body from the lungs and carbon dioxide to the lungs to be expelled.
·       B12 is needed to convert heart and vessel damaging homocysteine to healthy methionine. Methionine is needed to make S-adenosylmethione, which is needed to make DNA for cell replication and to make RNA.
·       B12 is needed for the metabolism of every cell in our body.

Every cell in the body needs B12 to function properly which explains why a shortage of it can cause symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis (MS). A shortage can also cause mental illness, heart disease, an impaired immunity system, auto immune diseases, cancer, infertility, autism, and brain damage in children.  

As I read through the stories and symptoms of acute B12 shortage I started wondering if I might have a B12 shortage. The authors implore readers to get a B12 blood test before taking B12 supplements to see if you actually have a B12 shortage.  According to them, the minimum level is 450pg/ml, which is 80% percent above the current recommended 250pg/ml. Of course I totally ignored their advice to get a blood test and began taking B12 supplements. I took the type they recommended, methyl cobalamin, 2 mg or 2000mcg, in a sub lingual pill.

The book does an excellent job of explaining the reasons why older people tend to be short of B12. Many medications keep B12 from being absorbed in the intestines and to get B12 from food requires the right stomach acid strength and a critical enzyme.  If these are missing, it is easy to get short of B12. The authors recommend taking B12 as a shot or as a sub lingual pill that you dissolve under your tongue to help bypass stomach acid and enzyme problems.

The book gives great advice about B12’s interactions with other drugs. Folic acid, for example, which is taken as a supplement by some people, masks a B12 shortage.  I was surprised that the authors didn’t make a distinction between the natural version of folate and synthetic made folic acid; my research about folic acid indicates it has lots of negative side effects that natural folate (which is in fresh lettuce and greens) does not. I take folate supplements with my B12.

The book was a great read that inspired me to start taking B12 supplements with my folate and B6 supplements. So far the result have been very positive; I feel like I have more energy and my memory is improving.  I recommend reading it, especially if you are over 50. Five Stars.