A time for rain: Teaching our children about sadness

Stop crying Danny! That tears are a bad thing is so baked into our social fabric that parents might find themselves renouncing crying without any awareness of the deeper implications. It might not even present as admonishment... "Don't cry Sara, you're fine, do you want a popsicle?" is drawn from the same pool of feeling-shaming, hurt-distracting, and pain-minimizing consciousness. Have you ever stopped yourself from crying? Why? Because you don't want to feel out of control, or make someone you're with uncomfortable? Because you don't have time for the arc that tears - real, deep tears - demand? We value toughness. We value cooperation. We value rational predictability. And feelings - when they are truly felt - are messy, wild, and sometimes ugly to our constrained sensibilities. ...

Read More

Soaring insulin prices in the US are costing Medicare billions

Insulin prices have sparked outrage in recent months, with Congress holding hearings on the issue and launching bipartisan investigations into why the cost of the hormone used to treat diabetes - discovered nearly a century ago - has soared over the past two decades. The House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee held a hearing on insulin prices this week and will hold another next week. Executives from the three companies that dominate the global insulin market - Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi - are expected to testify at the upcoming hearing. "We want to know why the cost of this life-saving drug has skyrocketed in recent years, and why they're not offering more lower-cost alternatives to patients," Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), who chairs the subcommittee, said this week. ...

Read More

Consciousness: A battle between your beliefs and perceptions?

Imagine you're at a magic show, in which the performer suddenly vanishes. Of course, you ultimately know that the person is probably just hiding somewhere. Yet it continues to look as if the person has disappeared. We can't reason away that appearance, no matter what logic dictates. Why are our conscious experiences so stubborn? The fact that our perception of the world appears to be so intransigent, however much we might reflect on it, tells us something unique about how our brains are wired. Compare the magician scenario with how we usually process information. Say you have five friends who tell you it's raining outside, and one weather website indicating that it isn't. You'd probably just consider the website to be wrong and write it off. But when it comes to conscious perception, there seems to be something strangely persistent...

Read More

Scientists at Mayo Clinic see major anti-aging breakthrough as ‘magic bullet’ targets ‘zombie cells’

Scientists at the Mayo Clinic have seen 'highly significant and dramatic' results from anti-aging drugs trials on both mice and humans. The studies were so successful, in fact, the drugs may be on the market in the next two years. In tests on mice, the researchers extended the animals' lifespan by 36 percent or the equivalent of 30 human years while keeping their fur glossy and eyes bright. In human trials on patients with the debilitating condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, in which the lungs become scarred, greatly restricting breathing, researchers reported "highly significant and dramatic" results. Patients who typically never see any improvement in their condition, were able to move faster and further than before after just nine doses over the course of three months. ...

Read More

SOTT FOCUS: Objective:Health #8 – Attention, Memory and Focus in a Distracted World

Attention seems to be getting a lot of.... attention these days. Whether it be due to the rise in attention deficit and related disorders or because new technological devices seem to be robbing us of this essential resource is difficult to say. Yet the mystics have been telling us about our lack of attention and our inability to recognize this since time immemorial. Is the modern world actually withering away our ability to attend, focus and remember, or are we simply more cognizant of our limited abilities against a modern technological background? Is technology shaping us, or simply reflecting what we already are? Join us on this episode of Objective: Health, where we discuss attention, memory and focus in its many forms, exploring ways of using and improving attention, taking control of what we attend to and the consequences of...

Read More

Unvaccinated children ripped away from parents in terrifying late night SWAT raid

Warning: If you care about parental rights, this story will infuriate you. On February 25, a pregnant mother took her 2-year-old son to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine clinic in Tempe, Arizona because he had a fever of over 100. The doctor instructed the mother to take him to the emergency room because he is unvaccinated and she feared he could have meningitis. The doctor called the emergency room at Banner Cardon Children's Medical Center in Mesa to let them know the boy would be arriving. But after leaving the doctor's office, the boy showed signs of improvement. He was laughing and playing with his siblings, and his temperature moved closer to normal. Around 6:30 pm, the mother called the doctor to let her know the toddler no longer had a fever and she would not be taking him...

Read More

Can multiple personality disorder help us understand the fundamental nature of reality?

In 2015, doctors in Germany reported the extraordinary case of a woman who suffered from what has traditionally been called "multiple personality disorder" and today is known as "dissociative identity disorder" (DID). The woman exhibited a variety of dissociated personalities ("alters"), some of which claimed to be blind. Using EEGs, the doctors were able to ascertain that the brain activity normally associated with sight wasn't present while a blind alter was in control of the woman's body, even though her eyes were open. Remarkably, when a sighted alter assumed control, the usual brain activity returned. This was a compelling demonstration of the literally blinding power of extreme forms of dissociation, a condition in which the psyche gives rise to multiple, operationally separate centers of consciousness, each with its own private inner life. Modern neuroimaging techniques have demonstrated that DID is...

Read More

Keeping a jasmine plant in your room reduces anxiety, panic attacks and depression

Plants are an excellent way to increase oxygen levels in the room and improve air quality. There are also beneficial plants that will help you improve mood, and fight anxiety, depression, and prevent panic attacks. Researchers have found that there is a direct link between stress and oxygen levels and showed that high levels of toxins in the air lead to anxiety and stress. Therefore, you can drastically improve your mood and relieve stress and anxiety. Scientists have conducted studies on mice and discovered that the aroma of jasmine plant and jasmine essential oil significantly calmed them, and made them stop all activity and sit quietly in a corner. Their brain scans showed that jasmine fragrance boosts the effects of a chemical called GABA on nerve cells, and thus relieves anxiety and encourages rest. ...

Read More

Psychedelic brain, or mind? Misreporting and confirmation bias in psychedelic research

A long-awaited resurgence in psychedelic research is now under way and some of its early results have been startling. Whereas most scientists expected the mind-boggling experiences of psychedelic states to correlate with increased brain activity, a landmark study from 2012 found the opposite to be the case. Writing in this magazine, neuroscientist Christof Koch expressed the community's collective surprise. These unexpected findings have since been repeatedly confirmed with a variety of psychedelic agents and measures of brain activity (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017). Under the mainstream physicalist view that brain activity is, or somehow generates, the mind, the findings certainly seem counterintuitive: How can the richness of experience go up when brain activity goes down? Understandably, therefore, researchers have subsequently endeavored to find something in patterns of brain activity that reliably increases in psychedelic states. Alternatives include brain activity variability,... ...

Read More

Paracetamol surprising psychoactive effects

Every day, millions of people turn to acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol - the active ingredient in Tylenol - to dull the occasional ache or pain. That's because few side effects accompany this highly effective over-the-counter drug when taken at recommended doses. A new side effect is starting to come to light, however. Research is now revealing that acetaminophen may subtly influence your emotions. To relieve pain, acetaminophen works its magic in the brain, but researchers still aren't entirely sure how this trick works - a remarkable fact considering the drug has been available without prescription for sixty years! It may impact an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, or it might modulate humans' endocannabinoid system. Some experts say one or both of these ideas tells the whole story, while others insist we've barely scratched the surface. Regardless, whatever acetaminophen does in the...

Read More