Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 Year of the Earth Dog

Here are our annual predictions, based on the Chinese lunar calendar, for the 2018 Year of the Earth Dog. As we predicted, the current 2017 Fire Rooster year has seen a focus on justice and more resources put toward growth. The U.S. economy is beginning to improve, the stock market has gained momentum, police and military have gained more favor. Some long-awaited justice is being served. In contrast, the 2018 Dog Year will focus on loyalty, relationships, family, and country. 

The Earth Dog New Year starts February 16, 2018. The Dog is conservative and prizes safety, protection, and tradition. This year will see an inward focus on the country, and major changes in relations between countries.

This Dog year’s impact will be increased for the US by President Trump, who was born in a Dog year (1946). A Dog president will have more influence and power in renegotiating trade and military agreements and protecting US interests during the Dog Year. The Dog year will bring increased social awareness and interest in society’s less powerful members. Generosity and selflessness will be more common. Earth Dog years also increase focus on real estate, agriculture, environment,  and religion.

During the last Earth Dog year, 60 years ago (1958):
Van Allen radiation belts were discovered,
Antarctic was crossed for the first time,
50 feet of snow fell across the Mason-Dixon line, 
NORAD was formed by the US and Canada, 
Mao Zedong started the “Great Leap Forward” movement in China, 
Castro’s Cuban government was recognized by the US, 
US approved Alaska's statehood, 
Eisenhower signed the NASA Act,
The USS Nautilus reached the North Pole,
China fired on islands in the Taiwan Strait and a Chinese civil war started, 
Japan marketed the first precooked instant noodles, 
The US Air force Academy opened in Colorado Springs, 
The National Defense Education Act was signed, 
A US Air Force C-130A was shot down when it strayed into USSR airspace, 
Doctor Zhivago was published in US, 
The first color video was recorded on magnetic tape, 
Jack Kilby demonstrated the first integrated circuit (IC), 
Rockets designed by Ernst Mohr reached the upper atmosphere,
The US manned space-flight project was renamed Project Mercury, 
The first pacemaker was installed in Stockholm, 
Pope Pius XII died and John XXIII was elected as the new Pope,
First women in the UK House of Lords,
PanAm flew the first transatlantic jet from NY to Paris
The first coronary angiogram was performed,
The US tested the first full range ICBM and launched the first guided missile destroyer,
The first radio broadcast was made from space – President Eisenhower’s Christmas message “to all mankind, America’s wish for peace on Earth and goodwill to men everywhere”.

The 2018 Dog Year will emphasize friends and family and security which will be reflected in US relations with other countries and world leaders. It is a time for caution, pragmatism, and careful growth in business, career, home, and family affairs. For the best luck in this year, keep calm and stay rational.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The First case of Diet destroying a brain tumor

About five years ago, I read a study that started my interest in the ketogenic diet as a cure for cancer. In the study, a woman had a brain tumor, a Glioblastoma (GBM), completely disappear in two and half months on the diet. I learned about GBMs while living in Los Alamos, New Mexico in the 1990’s while serving on a community cancer study.  GBMs were the cancer of greatest concern because even with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, a quick death (usually with in 6 months) was certain. The study piqued my interest in how a keto diet could irradicate this deadly cancer. 

The study was done in 2008 at the Arcipedaule S. Maria Nuova Hospital in Reggio Emilia,  Italy (a Province between Florence and Milan). It described how a 65 year old woman started having nausea, headaches, and memory loss. Upon examination, several GBM tumors were discovered on each side of her brain. Surgery was performed to remove the tumors, but was not able to remove all the cancer.(GBM tumors are like blobs of jello and all the tiny globs of cancer sticking to the brain cannot be removed by surgery.) 

The patient was put on a water-only fast followed by a calorie-restricted ketogenic diet of 600 calories a day for 14 days prior to beginning the standard treatment of radiation and chemotherapy. The diet consisted of a ratio of 4 calories of fat to 1 calorie of protein or carbohydrate. The ketogenic diet, a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet causes low blood glucose levels and high blood ketone levels. The reduction in carbohydrates and high fat puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

After six weeks on the diet, the patient developed high levels of uric acid in the blood (gout) so she was slowly moved to a 600 calorie a day, non-keto diet. The low calorie diet continued to keep her blood glucose level low (in the 60mg/dl range though never under 45mg/dl.)  Nine weeks later an MRI showed the brain tumor was gone. A PET scan was performed 12 weeks later and showed no sign of cancer. After 6 months the calorie restriction was stopped. Eight weeks after her calorie restriction ended, the tumor reoccurred.

The study concluded that low blood glucose in conjunction with high ketones in the blood greatly reduces cancer cells’ ability to survive. 

This is considered the first case of a GBM tumor being killed off with the help of a diet. It also inspired my two year adventure in researching how ketogenic diets  kill deadly cancers and may greatly improve your health.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Happy Money

The book, Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, summarizes current research on how you spend money changes how happy and satisfied you are in life and affects your health and well being.

This is a wonderful book that explains how you can increase your happiness by spending on experiences with the people you value rather than spending on prestige belongings that many people think will make them happy.

According to the book, research shows that spending money on leisure activities like trips, movies, sporting events, gym memberships and the like leads to more happiness than buying expensive consumer and prestige items. Experiences tend to be appreciated more as time goes by whereas things tend to be less appreciated as time goes on as better things than they bought emerge. Experiences tend to make us feel more connected to other people which improves life satisfaction. When couples do exciting and novel things together, their relationships improve. Anything we do to make the time with our friends or partners special is money well spent. Experiences make memorable stories for retelling for years to come and give us a sense of who we are or who we want to be. Experiences can’t be compared  to things purchased. Experiences that remind of us of the past and give us nostalgia, like going to a museum, watching an old movie, or hearing a favorite song, can bolster our vitality and reduce stress.

Research indicates people earning over $75,000 a year do not have an increase in happiness. High income individuals spend more time doing high stress activities like working, commuting, and shopping than those who make less. High income individuals view their time as highly valuable which makes them feel like they have less time. In contrast, buying time, called time affluence, increases happiness. You can gain time affluence by moving closer to work to reduce your commute, working in a job that requires less hours, or hiring people to do your yard work or cleaning.

Research shows that having expensive things does not bring happiness, health, or well-being. The University of Michigan found that those with cheaper cars had the same satisfaction driving them as people with expensive cars. Surprisingly, homeowners are not happier than renters, and are on average are 12 lbs heavier than renters. Those who simplify their lives by reducing their wardrobe, moving into a smaller abode, changing their consumption patterns, and reducing their stuff are happier. The enemy of appreciation is abundance; if we make everything we do special it will increase appreciation and happiness.

I highly recommend this book for people wanting more happiness, time, and life satisfaction. Five Stars.