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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tragically Hip Gord Downie Honored by First Nations people

Gord Downie, lead singer of the Tragically Hip and an advocate for First Nations people, was honoured at the Assembly of First Nations gathering Tuesday for his work highlighting the victims of residential schools. Downie's most recent project, Secret Path, tells the story of 12-year old Chanie Wenjack, who died in 1966 trying to escape from a residential school near Kenora, Ont. An excerpt of the documentary film was played for the chiefs assembled in Gatineau, Que.
National Chief Perry Bellegarde presented the visibly emotional Downie with an eagle feather — a gift from the creator above — and he was given an Indigenous Lakota spirit name, which can be roughly translated as "Man who walks with the stars."

It was an overwhelming honour for Downie, who has terminal cancer, as he stood before the nearly 600 Canadian indigenous chiefs at the Assembly of First Nations special assembly in Gatineau. He was wrapped in an eight-point star blanket and given many gifts, including an eagle feather — an honoured gift from the Creator.
Downie became a brother, embraced in indigenous culture and history, as he continues his personal ambition to do his part to reconcile Canada.
Downie has brought the story of 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack into the conscious of Canadians. Wenjack’s tragic death symbolizes the legacy of the residential school system that saw 150,000 indigenous children taken from their homes and sent to church run, state-funded schools for more than a century. Chanie ran away from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in October 1966, only to die of exposure on the railway tracks as he tried to walk nearly 1,000 km home to Marten Falls First Nation.
Soon, Downie told the assembly, in the coming days and coming weeks, it will be Canada’s 150th birthday.
“I will personally then celebrate the birth of our country, celebrate the next 150 years. It will have taken 150 years or seven generations to heal the wounds of residential school, to become a country and truly call ourselves Canada,” Downie said, evoking the prophecy of seven generations. Indigenous people believe it will take seven generations for First Nations to rise through several stages of history and healing before a path forward is taken in harmony with all nations.
“We must become one. We must walk down a path of reconciliation as one. This is the first day of forever, the greatest day of my life,” Downie said as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau watched along with AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde.
This was the second time the prime minister addressed the AFN’s annual December meeting, noted Bellegarde, who also said that while the prime minister and indigenous chiefs may not always agree on issues — such as the recently announced Kinder Morgan expansion project — it is important to have a dialogue of mutual respect.
“I know we’ll disagree with which path to take or at which pace. But the important thing is we keep moving forward, that we keep moving forward together … a new and stronger and better Canada,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau added that he did not take lightly his job of improving nation-to-nation relations between indigenous and non-indigenous people.
Trudeau, who has faced criticism for not living up to promises he made to indigenous people when he was campaigning last year, said progress is underway on 36 of the 94 Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action that were solely under federal jurisdiction. “I understand many in this room are impatient … but that is okay because I am impatient to,” he said.
Trudeau pointed to the appointment of Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s first Indigenous Minister of Justice and Attorney General.
“Not only is she the right person — indigenous or otherwise — for this central role, she is our government’s loud and clear message to our country that the laws of this land that were, and in many ways still are, used to control indigenous peoples are now the particular responsibility of a First Nations person.
"Wilson-Raybould will, along with her cabinet colleagues, now lead a joint effort with indigenous people, to de-colonialize Canada’s laws and policies that have held back indigenous rights," he said.
“As a teacher, I’m especially excited that this year, almost 2,000 students started the school year in six brand new schools. There are now 31 new schools under construction on reserves. Another 27 are being designed, and a further 72 are in feasibility studies,” he said.
Trudeau committed to enacting an Indigenous Languages Act, co-developed with indigenous people, with the goal of preserving, protecting and revitalizing First Nations, M├ętis, and Inuit languages.
Trudeau heard Downey when he spoke out about the importance of indigenous rights at his final Tragically Hip concert in Kingston last summer.
“Indeed, 12 million Canadians heard him that night. Gord, in simple and elegant words, used that moment to advocate and advance by many years the reconciliation dialogue in our country. Gord embodies all Canadians’ desire for reconciliation,” Trudeau said.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Human evolution is 'not over yet' ..... and not all human traits and conditions evolve at the same rate

In the UK, about one in four babies are born by caesarean

The regular use of Caesarean sections is having an impact on human evolution, say scientists. More mothers now need surgery to deliver a baby due to their narrow pelvis size, according to a study.
Researchers estimate cases where the baby cannot fit down the birth canal have increased from 30 in 1,000 in the 1960s to 36 in 1,000 births today. Historically, these genes would not have been passed from mother to child as both would have died in labour.
Researchers in Austria say the trend is likely to continue, but not to the extent that non-surgical births will become obsolete. Dr Philipp Mitteroecker, of the department of theoretical biology at the University of Vienna, said there was a long standing question in the understanding of human evolution.
"Why is the rate of birth problems, in particular what we call feto-pelvic disproportion - basically that the baby doesn't fit through the maternal birth canal - why is this rate so high?" he said.
"Without modern medical intervention such problems often were lethal and this is, from an evolutionary perspective, selection.
"Women with a very narrow pelvis would not have survived birth 100 years ago. They do now and pass on their genes encoding for a narrow pelvis to their daughters."

Opposing forces

It has been a long standing evolutionary question why the human pelvis has not grown wider over the years. The head of a human baby is large compared with other primates, meaning animals such as chimps can give birth relatively easily. The researchers devised a mathematical model using data from the World Health Organization and other large birth studies.They found opposing evolutionary forces.
One is a trend towards larger newborns, which are more healthy. However, if they grow too large, they get stuck during labour, which historically would have proved disastrous for mother and baby, and their genes would not be passed on.
"One side of this selective force - namely the trend towards smaller babies - has vanished due to Caesarean sections," said Dr Mitteroecker.
"Our intent is not to criticize medical intervention," he said. "But it's had an evolutionary effect. "

Future trends

The researchers estimated that the global rate of cases where the baby could not fit through the maternal birth canal was 3%, or 30 in 1,000 births. Over the past 50 or 60 years, this rate has increased to about 3.3-3.6%, so up to 36 in 1,000 births.
That is about a 10-20% increase of the original rate, due to the evolutionary effect.
"The pressing question is what's going to happen in the future?" Dr Mitteroecker said.
"I expect that this evolutionary trend will continue but perhaps only slightly and slowly.
"There are limits to that. So I don't expect that one day the majority of children will have to be born by [Caesarean] sections."
A lot depends on how we continue to evolve. If we keep producing bigger babies with bigger heads ( as has been postulated by scientists in the past ), we can only hope that womens' pelvises keep pace with that evolution or we are in for a future storm of


Image result for hilarious cartoon jokes about kids

Image result for hilarious cartoon jokes about kids

Image result for hilarious cartoon jokes about kids

Image result for hilarious cartoon jokes about kids

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Maxy sez :Smoking Plus Diabetes a Very Deadly Mix

Chances of an early death double if smoker also has the blood sugar disease.
By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay News

While smoking is tough enough on health, adding in diabetes boosts the risk of an early death even more, new research confirms.

Heavy smokers who also have diabetes are at twice the risk of an early death compared to smokers without the blood sugar disease, the study found.

"Smoking is bad for all, but even more in those with diabetes," said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. He reviewed the new findings.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado, Denver, and involved data on more than 53,000 Americans  who were either current or former heavy smokers.

The overall risk of an early death was roughly double if the smoker had diabetes, the researchers reported. Overall, almost 13 percent of smokers with diabetes died during the seven-year study period, compared with just under 7 percent of those who weren't diabetic.

Women with diabetes seemed even more vulnerable than men when it came to lung cancer, specifically.

The study found that female smokers with diabetes had an 80 percent higher risk of dying from lung cancer, compared with female smokers who didn't have the illness.

That trend was not seen among men, however. For males, having diabetes was tied to higher odds for early death overall, but it did not seem to be linked to   higher risk of dying from lung cancer, specifically, the findings showed.

According to study lead researcher Dr. Kavita Garg, the findings indicate that "taking control of diabetes is important among smokers, whether they undergo screening for lung cancer or not, because diabetes is an independent risk factor for dying."

RELATED: Smoking Plus High Cholesterol Ups Heart Attack Risk

Garg is a professor of radiology at the university. In the study, her team looked at data from people who took part in the National Lung Screening Trial. That U.S. trial compared CT chest scans against chest X-rays, to see how each fared as early screening for lung cancer in current and former heavy smokers.

More than 5,000 of the smokers in the trial (nearly 10 percent) also had diabetes. Participants with diabetes tended to be older, and to smoke and weigh more than those without diabetes, the researchers  noted.

Garg's team analyzed the risk of dying from lung cancer, other cancers and from any cause. Over the seven years of the trial, nearly 4,000 participants died, including more than 1,000 from lung cancer and more than 800 from other cancers.

Zonszein said the new findings should come as little surprise.

"We all know that smoking is not good for patients with diabetes -- it worsens peripheral artery disease [poor leg circulation] and heart disease, and predisposes people to an early lung cancer death or disability by chronic obstructive lung disease [COPD]," he said.

More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Gerald Bernstein, an endocrinologist and coordinator of the Friedman Diabetes Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, added that "the bigger picture makes these findings even more  ominous."

That's because even among people with pre-diabetes -- a precursor to diabetes -- "smoking is as big a risk for dying as high blood pressure and high cholesterol," Bernstein said.

Bernstein concedes that quitting smoking is hard, and takes more effort than just taking a pill to control blood pressure or cholesterol.

But, another expert said, battling a smoking habit and diabetes at once can be challenging.

"When patients are diagnosed with diabetes, quitting smoking does not always seem like a top priority," said Patricia Folan. She directs the Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y.

Patients are often overwhelmed by the many lifestyle changes required to control their diabetes, she said.

"Often, what is not appreciated is the fact that the complications of  diabetes -- an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, damage to blood vessels, kidney disease, infections, ulcers, amputations and blindness -- are more likely to occur if you are smoking," Folan explained.

However, "quitting smoking will improve the overall health of patients with diabetes and make it easier for them to exercise and control their diabetes while avoiding the complications of the disease," she added.

The results of the study were scheduled to be presented Tuesday at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago. Data presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Man discovers secret safe in grandparents home ...and gets quite a surprise


A man who was clearing out his grandparents home after their deaths found an inground safe under the carpet in a closet. There can be no feeling like it; uncovering a secret treasure, a time capsule from his grandparents lives. 
The lucky guy documented his discovery of the mysterious safe hidden in a closet of his grandparent’s farmhouse in rural Tenneessee, where they would often read Treasure Island to him as a young boy. “I always dreamed of finding something like this,” says the man, known on Reddit as ‘Evilenglish‘, in his constant updates over the nine day period spent trying to unlock the safe. You can imagine the anticipation and impatience to get the safe open.

He writes:
My dad passed away a few years ago and he inherited an old farmhouse in middle Tennessee from my Grandparents. The house was a home for my Grandparents for 20 some odd years. 
My Grandfather was an avid sportsman and enjoyed collecting various firearms. My Grandmother was a collector of coins and other antiques and curiosities. My Grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1998, but I think the last time they had traveled to the Tennessee house was around 1997. After my Grandfather passed away, neither my Grandmother nor Father returned to the house. My Father passed in 2009 and we’ve been working to close out his estate and traveled to the farmhouse to prepare it for sale.
Lots and lots of work to do here as it is an old house. I was working in a closet below the stair case, and saw that the rug was pretty disgusting. I rolled it back and discovered a concrete slab with a round iron cap in the center.

“I pulled off the cap and… a secret safe!”
I gave the handle a tug, but it wouldn’t budge. If you twist the handle it will still spin.
I called several locksmiths in TN, but it is impossible to get someone to come out on a Sunday up there (the whole city shuts down about noon on Saturday). Couple that with a 20 mile drive back to town to get cell service. Finally a co-operative locksmith is found.

Tim the Locksmith comes to the rescue:
Here is our locksmith scoping out the safe. He said about 30 mins into this that if he had known what he was getting into, he would have referred the job to someone else. It looked like a complete pain in the ass to open this up. He had to keep his weight above the drill and the workspace was very uncomfortable.

The Safe Unlocked!

It looks so different with the flash on. I looked down in there and it looked like there were several stacks of bricks. I also noticed a LOT of moisture inside the safe. I remember that there was a pipe leak in the house a few years back. I’m sure some of the water from that had accumulated in the safe.

Found inside:

This one looks like a book of coins from a particular year. There were so many like this down there. The moisture in the safe makes the covers very mushy, but the coins inside are in surprisingly good shape!
Lots and lots of coin boxes! I knew my Grandmother collected coins, but I thought we had found all of them!
About 1/3 of the boxes pulled out of the safe, making a pile on the kitchen table…

Small stack of bills in the safe. Soaking wet. Hopefully, I can get these separated and dried out!
There were so many rolls of coins down there. Some of them were in plastic tubes, but more were unfortunately in paper tubes.

More stacks of coin collection boxes…

I found several of these coins. They appear to be silver.
Silver bars found…
In a rusty tool box in the bottom of the safe, jewellery is uncovered.

A commenter on Reddit who also happens to be a coin collector writes that if coins are in a safe they have collector value which is much more than face value. “Notes are often collectable as well, check everything, even if damaged they can still have great value.”
Another commenter advised:
“Just so you know anything from 1964 or older is 90% silver worth about 20 time face value of the coin. $0.50 = $10, $0.25 = $5, $0.10 = $2.00. I also believe 1965-1971 coins of those denominations are 40% Silver and still worth more than face value as well. 
That’s a pretty good score even if half of those pre-date 1965 and not to mention those silver bars!! They’re worth about $22.10 per ounce. 16 ounces in a pound = $353 and those are most likely Kilos which are 2.2 pounds and worth $778″.

And if this guy wasn’t lucky enough, Evilenglish  also wrote about yet another discovery in the house:
I should also say that early last year my brother in law and I were moving some of the furniture. He went to move one of the coffee tables and when he went to pick it up, the table top came off of the base. Underneath the table top of the coffee table was a hidden, standalone safe. It was pretty heavy, but we were able to load it in the truck. He took it to work and was able to cut it open. Inside of it were several pistols (.22s, a 357, and a few others) there were also about 300 single one dollar bills. We found out that there were “Barr Notes” and supposedly rare because that particular Secretary of the Treasury died like 29 days in office.
Stay tuned for updates on the treasure and the evaluation

 Enjoy your good fortune man!

Baby Laughs Uncontrollably at Sister

Just to sweet

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Did you know that just seeing a flower growing in a crack in the sidewalk can lift your spirits?

Even a flower in a crack in paving can lift spirits

 Losing touch with nature has harmed us emotionally and spiritually. We have an automatic positive response to green spaces and growing things. It is part of our makeup.

Your days are spent under artificial lights in an office, while the last of autumn's blooms are hidden beneath piles of decaying leaves.
NDD, or nature deficit disorder, has become a buzzword of late. Although it's not a recognized medical condition, concerns about its effects on wellbeing are attracting widespread attention.
"I guess it's a symptom of current lifestyle," says Dr Ross Cameron of the department of landscape at Sheffield University.
"We're so clued into modern technology and things that we're less observant about the world around us and we're more likely to learn about wildlife ironically from a National Geographic program than from a walk in the woods."

Richard Louv coined the phrase Nature Deficit Disorder in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods.  He argues that all of us, especially children, are spending more time indoors, which makes us feel alienated from nature and perhaps more vulnerable to negative moods or reduced attention span.
Dr Cameron gave his views on the subject in a lecture at the Royal Horticultural Society this month.
"[The phrase NDD] has been used as a bit of a coverall to describe the thing of where we used to have natural processes, natural experiences in our life, and that seems to be becoming less common,"

There's "another throwaway term, which is 'nature knowledge deficit', which means we don't understand as much about the natural environment as we used to, he explains.
And if we don't experience natural places or "tinker around in the garden", this can be bad for our mental health."
 Also, no connection with other living species (animals as well as plant life) makes us feel alienated instead of making us feel one with nature. Even a walk in the park can lighten your mood and give you positive feedback. Looking at flowers or birds can improve your feeling of well being. It is what we were designed to do... interact with  nature.

"As biological beings we are physiologically adapted to be in certain environments - to run, to play, to hunt, to be active basically," says Dr Cameron.
"The reality is we tend to have the lifestyle of a brick these days. We tend to sit for most of the day - we tend to be very sedentary. Just a walk around the block could help break that pattern."
His job is to think about how green spaces can be integrated into the human landscape. So, could this be the solution?
"I'm not sure it's a cure," he laughs. "Landscape is obviously a very open-ended and undefined term."
"But basically any interaction with nature/green space has potential. I would argue that as you increase the scale and quality of  the interaction, the benefits also increase."

But he says even small and simple connections with nature can "give people a buzz", be it a robin at the front door or sitting in the garden watching a butterfly.
"You don't necessarily need to go to the Rockies or go to see blue whales off the Azores or anything like that.
"It's trying to see how much of these everyday things people notice, recognize and get a positive emotional response from."
Growing a few green things in pots on your windowsill, if you live in the city, can help you connect with nature on a small scale.  We need to re-introduce green spaces in cities, in industrial areas, around schools. We are part of nature and need to re-connect with it. It is a matter good all around physical and mental health.