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Dirdy Birdy spinning pole /workouts- Pole Dancing for Beginners


The elusive G-spot is one of the most hotly debated topics when it comes to women's sexual health. It's basically science vs. women's anecdotal evidence: some studies have concluded it simply doesn't exist, which baffles women who hear the results of this kind of research and think, "Okay, then WTF was I hitting last night?"

"You've got plenty of women reporting that it's an area that's erogenous and different from other other areas of the vaginal canal," says Yvonne K. Fulbright, Ph.D., sexuality educator and author of Sultry Sex Talk to Seduce Any Lover. "I do acknowledge that, for some women, the G-spot is not a hot spot, just like the nipples, for example, might not be an erogenous zone for some people. But that doesn't mean that it's not an erogenous zone for others." For those of you certain the G-spot exists but just need a little help finding it, here's how.

RELATED: 4 Orgasms Every Woman Should Have

If you're a believer, the G-spot is like the sexual version of a magic carpet ride: It can unlock a whole new world of pleasure. "It's a small mass of spongy erectile nerve tissue, paraurethral ducts and glands, and blood vessels, which can be erogenous for many women during sexual arousal," says Fulbright. The G-spot is nestled between your pubic bone and the front of your cervix, about two inches into the vaginal opening on the front wall of your vagina (the one closer to your stomach, not your back).

Before you take your fingers on a spelunking mission, a bit of homework: get into a sexy mood. When you're aroused, more blood rushes to your pelvic region and the spot becomes raised and feels rougher than the rest of your insides. "If you're not turned on, it will be hard to feel this area," says Fulbright. So light some candles, fantasize, fire up some porn, or do whatever else you like. Once you're all hot and bothered, insert two or three well-lubed fingers palm-up, about two inches in. Feel around for that rough patch, which can be "as small as your pinky fingernail or as large as a half-dollar," says Fulbright.

RELATED: 9 Positions That Practically Guarantee an Orgasm

Once you find it (good job!), use firm, deep pressure to stroke the area. Try a rhythmic circular motion or more of an up-and-down technique, says Fulbright. Another popular method is moving your fingers like you're commanding, "come here," which, actually, you kind of are, right? Keep in mind that the G-spot isn't actually on the vaginal front wall. Rather, it's something you can feel through the center of the front wall or a bit off to the left or right of the center. Since it's not right there, you may need more pressure than you think to hit the jackpot.

If it's feeling good so far, increase the rhythm and create a lot of friction as you go on to boost your chances of orgasm. "Stimulating the area will create sensations if it's a hot spot for you. Some gals have described a warm, flushing feeling throughout their genitals and body," says Fulbright. "Others have said they become a lot wetter." Even better, she says women have reported G-spot orgasms feeling fuller, more intense, more emotional, and more full-bodied than the clitoral variety. Of course, if you don't reach the Big O but it feels crazy good anyway, that's awesome, too. Getting to know your body is always a good thing.

Now, if you're interested in squirting, or female ejaculation, tapping into your G-spot might be the way to go. Although there's the perennial question around whether squirting is just urinating during sex, according to some experts, G-spot experimentation can help bring it on. "G-spot stimulation is often encouraged in exploring one's potential to squirt since the ejaculate often occurs when a woman is peaking—not necessarily climaxing—during G-spot play," says Fulbright. If you're intrigued but too concerned about accidentally peeing to try it out, just make sure you go to the bathroom first. Happy experimenting!


On the hunt for something new to read? We’ve got you covered ! In this month’s installment of Friday Reads, we explore unmapped terrains, our author-guides their first cartographers.

Recommended: Bone Map: Poems by Sara Eliza Johnson, Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins, Blood and Money by Thomas Thompson, Self-Portrait in Green by Marie NDiaye, Elegies for the Brokenhearted: A Novel by Christie Hodgen.

Zimbabwean Nyasha Matonhodze

The New Naomi Campbell?

Samod Boogie_#RELOAD may 2014

I saw this picture of 16 year old model Nyasha Matonhodze and couldn’t help but think that she reminds me of Naomi Campbell. They don’t look exactly the same, but similar, and her runway walk is killer. (click for link of her walking recently in Versace’s Spring 2012 RTW Show) There are so many new black models popping up on the runway. It’s not the same 5 you usually see which is great. Where’s Chanel Iman though? Haven’t seen her in any of the Spring 2012 RTW shows. She’s from Zimbabwe, and in this interview talks about her memories of growing up there and how she got ‘discovered’.



7 Poisonous Beliefs That Make You Desperately Unhappy

Jeff Haden

Ghostwriter, Speaker, Inc. Magazine Contributing Editor

All of us, at least once in a while, are unhappy.

But what if you’re unhappy much of the time? In most cases the cause is not external. How happy you feel is in large part something you can control.

But not if…

You believe professional success will bring lasting fulfillment.

You can love your company but it will never love you back. (Cliché, sure, but true.) Another cliché, just as true: No person lying on his deathbed ever said, "I sure wish I had spent more time at work..."

Professional success, no matter how grand, is still fleeting.

Fulfillment comes from achieving something and knowing it will carry on: Raising great kids, being a part of a supportive extended family, knowing you have helped others and changed their lives for the better...

Work hard on business. Work just as hard on a few other things you can someday look back on with a different sense of pride.

Then you will to feel great both now and later.

You believe simply joining will create a sense of belonging.

Making connections with other people is easier than ever, and not just through social media. Joining alumni groups and professional organizations, wearing golf course polo shirts or college sweatshirts, putting a sticker with initials like “HH” on your car to announce to the world you summer at Hilton Head Island… many people try hard to show -- if only to themselves -- that they belong.

Most of those connections are superficial at best.

If your spouse passes away the alumni organization may send flowers. (Well, probably not.) If you lose your job a professional organization may send you a nifty guide to networking. (Well, probably not, but they will send you the invoice when it's time to renew your membership.) Anyone can buy, say, a University of VA sweatshirt. (It was on sale.)

The easier it is to join something the less it means to you. A true sense of belonging comes from giving, self-sacrifice, and effort.

To belong you must share a common experience — the tougher the experience, the better.

Clicking a link lets you join; staying up all night with a crew loading trailers to meet an urgent ship date lets you belong. Sending a donation gets your name in a program; working in an over-crowded soup kitchen (something, to my discredit, I've never done) lets you belong to a group of people striving to make a difference.

Pick a group you want to belong to and do the work necessary to earn respect and trust.

A true sense of belonging gives you confidence, especially during tough times, and provides a sense of security and well-being even when you're by yourself -- because when you truly belong, you never feel alone.

You believe you can do everything.

Our parents were well intentioned but wrong: We can’t be whatever we want to be. We can all achieve amazing things, but we can’t do everything we set our minds to. Genetics, disposition, and luck play a part too.

The key is to know yourself and then work to be the best you can be based on your unique set of advantages and limitations.

Here’s a non-business example. Say you decide you want to run a marathon. Fine -- with enough training almost anyone is capable. But say you're a guy who weighs a muscular 250 pounds and you want to finish in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes. That's just not going to happen; you’re not made that way and the attempt will leave you discouraged, defeated, and unhappy.

But with the right approach you could probably bench 350 pounds, something the whippet-thin marathon runners will never do.

What you achieve isn’t nearly as important as achieving something. Pick a goal you’re suited for and go after it.

Doing something -- doing anything -- that most other people cannot or will not do will make you prouder, more fulfilled, and a lot happier.

You’re afraid of who you really are.

None of us really likes how we look. So we try to hide who we really are with the right makeup and the right clothes and the occasional BMW.

In the right setting and the right lighting... hey, we’re happy.

But not at the gym. Or the beach. Or when we have to run to the grocery store but feel self-conscious because we’re wearing ratty jeans and an old t-shirt and we haven’t showered and we think everyone is staring at us.

So we spend considerable time each day avoiding any situation that makes us feel uncomfortable about how we look or act. And that makes us miserable.

In reality no one really cares how we look... except us. (And maybe our significant others, but they’ve already seen us at our worst so that particular Elvis has definitely left the building.)

So do this. Undress and stand in front of the mirror. (And don’t do the hip-turn shoulder-twist move to make your waist look slimmer and your shoulders broader.)

Take a good look. That’s who you are. Chances are you won't like what you see, but you'll probably also be surprised you don’t look as bad as you suspected.

Then, if you don’t like how you look, decide what you’re willing to do about it and start doing it. (Just don't ever compare yourself to other people; your only goal is to be a better version of the current you.)

Or, if you aren’t willing to do anything about how you look, that’s fine too. Move on. Let it go. Stop worrying about how you look. Stop wasting energy on something you don't care enough about to fix.

Either way, remember that while the only person who really cares how you look is you, many people care about the things you do.

Looking good is fun. Doing good makes you happy.

You have no one to call at 3 a.m.

Years ago I lived in a house beside a river. Flooding from a hurricane put my house in the river. I had about an hour to move as much as I could and I called my friend Doug; I knew he would come, no questions asked.

Today, aside from family, I’m not sure whom I would feel comfortable calling.

I know you have lots of friends… but how many people do you feel comfortable calling in the middle of the night if you need help? How many people can you tell almost anything… and you know they won’t laugh? How many people can you feel comfortable sitting with for a long time… without either of you speaking?

Most of us wear armor that protects us from insecurity. That armor also makes us lonely, and it’s impossible to be happy when you’re lonely.

Take off your armor and make some real friends. It’s easier than it sounds, because other people long to make real friends too. Don’t worry; they’ll like the real you. And you’ll like the real them.

And all of you will be much happier.

You believe structure is the same as control.

Most of what we do, especially professionally, is based on trying to maintain control: processes, guidelines, strategies… everything we plan and implement is designed to control the inherently uncontrollable and create a sense of security in a world filled with seemingly random occurrences. (Did I just get philosophical on you? Sorry.)

Eventually those efforts fall short, though, because structure never equals control. No matter how many guidelines we establish for ourselves, we often step outside them. (Otherwise we’d all be slim, trim, fit, and rich.) Budgets and diets and five-year plans fall apart and we get even more frustrated because we didn't achieve what we planned or hoped. To-do lists and comprehensive daily schedules are helpful, but you only make real progress towards a goal when it means something personal.

Decide what you really want to do and go after it. You'll feel a real sense of control because you really care.

And when you truly care -- about anything – you feel a lot happier.

You believe you no longer need to fail.

Most of us do everything we can to avoid failure. That's a natural instinct with an unnatural by-product: we start to lose the ability to question our decisions.

And we lose the ability to see ourselves from another person's point of view. The ability to work with and lead others is compromised when we lose perspective on what it's like to not have all the answers… and what it's like to make mistakes.

So go out and fail, but not in the way you might think. Forget platitudes like, "In business, if you aren't failing you aren't trying.” Business failures cost time and money that most of us don't have. (My guess is "Failure" doesn’t appear as a line item in your operating budget.)

Instead fail at something outside of work. Pick something simple that doesn't take long and set a reach goal you know you won't reach. If you normally run two miles, try to run five. If you play a sport, play against people a lot better than you. If you must choose a business task, cold call ten prospects.

Whatever you choose to do, give it your all. Leave no room for excuses. Make sure you can only be judged on your merits – and that you will be found wanting.

Why? Failure isn't defeating. Failure is motivating.

Plus failure provides a healthy dose of perspective, helps us be more tolerant and patient, and helps us remember that we're a lot like the people around us.

When you realize you aren't so different or "special" after all, it's a lot easier to be happy with the people around you -- and happy with yourself.

I also write for Inc.com:

Check out my book based on four years of personal and professional advice, TransForm: Dramatically Improve Your Career, Business, Relationships, and Life -- One Simple Step At a Time. (PDF version here, Kindle version here.)

While I could go all hyperbolic on you, here's the deal: If after 10 minutes you don't find at least 5 things you can do to make your life better I'll refund your money.

That way you have nothing to lose... and everything to gain.



subliminal advertising

 Television and subliminal advertisingmaxresdefault

A lot of people believe and think televisions have built in cameras

so the  government can spy on you. Then there is the notion on

subliminal advertising. You consciously don’t know what’s going

on but your subconscious mind understands so be careful what

you watch, who knows it may be true.

10 Latest Sex Positions Both Men And Women Love

Cash Doll*PostDesk:

 #1 Wheels Up

With her legs on his shoulders he can go long and deep.

#2 Flying Fish

Like doggy style, only she lifts her rear for easy entry.

#3 Kneeling At The Altar

With his knees up he has more control and deeper penetration.

#4 The Stand By

Like doggy only he can bend her over anywhere.

#5 Riding Shot Gun

A great view for him as she takes control.

#6 45 Degrees Of Erotica

A tilt off the missionary position.

#7 The Spooner

Taking spooning to a whole new level.

#8 The Hip Flexer

Your hips do all the work while you still have that intimate connection

#9 Face To Face

This is intimate and exciting as you climb onto his lap and go for a ride.

#10 The Hip Hugger

Like the cowgirl, only you squeeze your legs around him and he helps elevate you.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

The UFO Crash at Kecksburg and the Cover-up

Kecksberg PA UFO Crash - 1965

This case has it all, maybe even more than anyone bargained for; hundreds if not thousands of witnesses from multiple states in two countries, immediate military cover-up, missing photographs taken by the government, men in black and possible murder. The military and NASA changing their stories, missing or destroyed reports, NASA contradicting the Air Force, missing or damage space debris, a court case where even the judge acknowledges his frustration with the government obvious cover-up. The more you dig the deeper the conspiracy gets and the more obvious it becomes that a poor cover-up was put in place!

Trajectory and path of UFO through Canada and the US

The Kecksburg UFO incident occurred on December 9, 1965 at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, USA. A large, brilliant fireball was seen by thousands in at least six U.S. states and Ontario, Canada. It streaked over the Detroit, Michigan/Windsor, Ontario area, reportedly dropped hot metal debris over Michigan and northern Ohio, starting some grass fires and caused sonic booms in Western Pennsylvania. It was generally assumed and reported by the press to be a meteor after authorities discounted other proposed explanations such as a plane crash, errant missile test, or reentering satellite debris.

However, eyewitnesses in the small village of Kecksburg, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburg, claimed something crashed in the woods. A boy said he saw the object land; his mother saw a wisp of blue smoke arising from the woods and alerted authorities. Another reported feeling a vibration and "a thump" about the time the object reportedly landed.Others from Kecksburg, including local volunteer fire department members, reported finding an object in the shape of an acorn and about as large as a Volkswagon Beetle. Writing resembling Egyptian hieroglyphics was also said to be in a band around the base of the object. Witnesses further reported that intense military presence, most notably the United States Army, secured the area, ordered civilians out, and then removed the object on a flatbed truck. At the time, however, the military claimed they searched the woods and found "absolutely nothing".

A reporter and news director for the local radio station WHJB, John Murphy, arrived on the scene of the event before authorities had arrived, in response to several calls to the station from alarmed citizens. He took several photographs and conducted interviews with witnesses. His former wife Bonnie Milslagle later reported that all but one roll of the film were confiscated by military personnel. WHJB office manager Mabel Mazza described one of the pictures: "It was very dark and it was with a lot of trees around and everything. And I don't know how far away from the site he was. But I did see a picture of a sort of a cone-like thing. It's the only time I ever saw it."
In the following weeks, Murphy became enveloped with the incident and wrote a radio documentary called Object in the Woods, featuring his experiences and interviews he had conducted that night. Shortly before the documentary would have aired, he received an unexpected visit at the station from two men in black suits identifying themselves as government officials. They requested to speak with him in a back room behind closed doors. The meeting lasted about 30 minutes. A WHJB employee, Linda Foschia, recalled the men confiscated some of Murphy's audio tapes from that night, and that no one knows what happened to the remaining photographs.

A week after the visit, an agitated Murphy aired a censored version of the documentary, which he claimed in its introduction had to be edited due to some interviewees requesting their statements be removed from the broadcast in fear of getting in trouble with the police and Army. The new version contained nothing revealing, and did not mention an object at all. Mazza, and also Murphy's wife, remember the aired documentary was entirely different from what Murphy had originally written. (See pp. 4–5 of CFI's report in External links for details of the aired documentary.)

After the airing, Murphy became uncharacteristically despondent and completely stopped all investigation on the case and refused to talk to anyone about it again, and never gave clear reasons why. In February 1969, Murphy was struck and killed by an unidentified car in an apparent hit - and - run while crossing a road. The hit-and-run occurred near Ventura, California while Murphy was on vacation.

Other witnesses:

After the television show, “Unsolved Mysteries” was aired, two witnesses came forward. One was a USAF officer at the Lockbourne Air Force Base (near Columbus, Ohio) who stated that in the early hours of December 10, 1965, a truck arrived by the little used gate of the base and he was ordered to patrol it. It was a flat-bed truck with a large tarpaulin on the surface covering a conical object. He was ordered to shoot anyone who tried to get too close.

The other witness was a building contractor who was asked two days later to take a load of 6,500 special bricks to the hanger inside Wright Patterson Air Base. When he sneaked a look inside the hangar, he saw a bell-shaped devise, some 12 feet high sitting there. Several men wearing white anti-radiation style suits were inspecting the object. 

In this case, a large number of witnesses reported seeing an “acorn shaped” UFO crash-land in the woods of Kecksburg on the night of December 9th, 1965. Despite that, NASA officials insist they have no records documenting its origin, recovery or supposed removal by the military. Numerous witnesses reported that the USAF, US Army, NASA, and unknown government agents at the scene covered up the incident while recovering something. Some researchers consider this case as being the “second Roswell”. Others consider this incident as nothing but a ‘conventional’ cover-up of a downed Soviet space probe, but this scenario was reject by the American and Russians.

The general public seems to be satisfied that this was a meteor and while the case will probably never be closed, in the meantime it has put peoples fears of the unknown at ease. 

Follow this link for a full list of Worldwide Mass UFO Sightings. 

Magma on the Moon? New Research For What Caused Moon Feature


New research is out today shaking up the debate about what caused the Oceanus Procellarum, also known as ‘ocean of storms,’ feature on the Moon. Researchers have reached different conclusions about what caused the feature for years. New NASA data supports one theory, in particular.

Magma, Not Asteroids

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Colorado School of Mines and other institutions believe magma created the vast dark patch visible on the western edge of the Moon’s near side.


The team collected gravity data from NASA’s GRAIL probes orbiting the moon back in 2012. With it, they created a map of the Procellarum region, where the feature is located. They found the rims of the basin were more angular than circular or elliptical (what you would typically see from asteroid impacts).

Topographic moon image

A topographic map of the moon showing variations in elevation. Purple is low, red is high. The Oceanus Procellarum lies in the purple region and shows extensive lava flows.

This discovery prompted the team to think of other reasons for the formation of the ‘ocean of storms.’

“This shape argues strongly for an internal origin and suggests internal forces,” said Jim Head, one of the authors of the paper.

The researchers believe that a large plume of molten magma surged upward from the lunar interior to where the Procellarum region is today. The magma then cooled and contracted forming the ‘craters’ we see today.

“How such a plume arose remains a mystery,” said Professor Maria Zuber of MIT in another press release. “It could be due to radioactive decay of heat-producing elements in the deep interior. Or, conceivably, a very early large impact triggered the plume. But in the latter case, all evidence for such an impact has been completely erased. People who thought that all this volcanism was related to a gigantic impact need to go back and think some more about that.”

It looks like the impact hypothesis has been completely thrown out the window with this new paper. Still, more needs to be understood about the moon’s interior. Specifically, any evidence of an ancient magma plume.

Featured image credit: Kopernik Observatory/NASA/Colorado School of Mines/MIT/JPL/Goodard Space Flight Center

Post image credit: Jay Dickson/Brown University

Failing to find sea ice, 35,000 walrus come ashore in Alaska


DAN JOLING, Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Pacific walrus that can't find sea ice for resting in Arctic waters are coming ashore in record numbers on a beach in northwest Alaska.

An estimated 35,000 walrus were photographed Saturday about 5 miles north of Point Lay, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Point Lay is an Inupiat Eskimo village 300 miles southwest of Barrow and 700 miles northwest of Anchorage.

The enormous gathering was spotted during NOAA's annual arctic marine mammal aerial survey, spokeswoman Julie Speegle said by email. The survey is conducted with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the agency that oversees offshore lease sales.

Andrea Medeiros, spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said walrus were first spotted Sept. 13 and have been moving on and off shore. Observers last week saw about 50 carcasses on the beach from animals that may have been killed in a stampede, and the agency was assembly a necropsy team to determine their cause of death.

"They're going to get them out there next week," she said.

The gathering of walrus on shore is a phenomenon that has accompanied the loss of summer sea ice as the climate has warmed.

Pacific walrus spend winters in the Bering Sea. Females give birth on sea ice and use ice as a diving platform to reach snails, clams and worms on the shallow continental shelf.

Unlike seals, walrus cannot swim indefinitely and must rest. They use their tusks to "haul out," or pull themselves onto ice or rocks.

As temperatures warm in summer, the edge of the sea ice recedes north. Females and their young ride the edge of the sea ice into the Chukchi Sea, the body of water north of the Bering Strait.

In recent years, sea ice has receded north beyond shallow continental shelf waters and into Arctic Ocean water, where depths exceed 2 miles and walrus cannot dive to the bottom.

Walrus in large numbers were first spotted on the U.S. side of the Chukchi Sea in 2007. They returned in 2009, and in 2011, scientists estimated 30,000 walruses along 1 kilometer of beach near Point Lay.

Young animals are vulnerable to stampedes when a group gathers nearly shoulder-to-shoulder on a beach. Stampedes can be triggered by a polar bear, human hunter or low-flying airplane. The carcasses of more than 130 mostly young walruses were counted after a stampede in September 2009 at Alaska's Icy Cape.

The World Wildlife Fund said walrus have also been gathering in large groups on the Russian side of the Chukchi Sea.

"It's another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss," said Margaret Williams, managing director of the group's Arctic program, by phone from Washington, D.C. "The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change."

This summer, the sea ice's annual low point was the sixth smallest since satellite monitoring began in 1979.



Wesleyan Student Injured In Fall From Window

MIDDLETOWN – A Wesleyan University student was seriously injured overnight after falling from a third-story window at a fraternity house, police said.

Police went to 184 High St. at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday where they found the student being treated by emergency medical services officials, Middletown police Lt. Heather Desmond said. According to the university's website, the Mu Epsilon chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity is located at that address.

The student, whose name was not released, was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford by a Life Star helicopter. The student's condition could not be determined early Sunday.

"The Middletown Police Department's Investigative Services Division will be investigating the incident," Desmond said in a press release. "At this time it does not appear foul play is involved, however it will not be confirmed until the investigation has been completed."

[Sample Our Free Breaking News Alert And 3 P.M. News Newsletters]

Kate Carlisle, manager of media and public relations for Wesleyan, confirmed Sunday that the student was injured in a fall at Beta Theta Pi.

"We're continuing to monitor the student's condition, and Middletown police are investigating the incident. We don't have any further information. Residential life staff and other counselors are available to students who have concerns," Carlisle said.

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The Kangxi Emperor of China at age 45.

(Courtesy of the Palace Museum, Beijing. Used with permission.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2011



Cite This Course

Course Description

This course is an introduction to three of the major genres of traditional Chinese literature—poetry, fiction and drama, with a focus on vernacular fiction. We will read translations of a number of the "masterworks" of Chinese literature. We will also examine the intertextuality between these genres — how poetry blends into narrative, how fiction becomes drama, and drama inspires fiction. Through reading these selected works of traditional Chinese literature, we will examine some of the major features of traditional Chinese society: religious and philosophical beliefs, the imperial system and dynastic change, gender relations, notions of class and ethnicity, family, romance and sexuality. All works are read in translation; no language background is necessary.


Alaskan Ice Grow Video  HD


Parasitic plant uses RNA-based communication technique

 by Rebecca Kaplan

 Parasitic plants

A researcher recently discovered one of the secrets of how parasitic weeds communicate with their host plants -- mRNA.

Jim Westwood, a scientist who works at Virginia Tech, may have discovered a new way that plants communicate with each other. His findings may also explain better how to combat weeds that weaken food crops in some poor nations.

Westwood's study was published in the journal Science on August 15.

"The discovery of this novel form of inter-organism communication shows that this is happening a lot more than any one has previously realized," Westwood said. "Now that we have found that they are sharing all this information, the next question is, 'What exactly are they telling each other?'"

Westwood studied one parasitic weed, dodder. He studied how dodder latches on to two sample host plants: Arabidopsis and tomatoes. Dodder uses a protuberance known as a haustorium to break into the host plant, absorbing vital nutrients and moisture.

In one of Westwood's previous studies, he discovered that when a parasitic weed attaches itself to a new host plant, the two plants transfer RNA. RNA is a molecule that is used to convey DNA. This new study posits that in this exchange, the plants also exchange mRNA, a molecule which gives cells instructions based on DNA. Scientists previously thought that mRNA was not stable enough to be transferred between species, but Westwood's findings seem to say the opposite.

Thousands of mRNA molecules are shared between a parasitic weed and the host plant when the parasite attaches itself, letting the two plants communicate openly with each other.

Westwood plans to conduct a new study to try to figure out what the mRNA molecules the parasitic plant feeds into the host plant are saying. They may be telling the host plant to shut off its defenses so the parasitic plant has an easier opening, Westwood theorizes.

This knowledge could open up scientists to helping world hunger immensely by protecting crops in countries around the world from parasites.

"Parasitic plants such as witchweed and broomrape are serious problems for legumes and other crops that help feed some of the poorest regions in Africa and elsewhere," said Julie Scholes, a professor at the University of Sheffield in the U.K. "In addition to shedding new light on host-parasite communication, Westwood's findings have exciting implications for the design of novel control strategies based on disrupting the mRNA information that the parasite uses to reprogram the host."

Westwood said that he is excited to see how this information could be applied to save plants from parasitic weeds.

"The beauty of this discovery is that this mRNA could be the Achilles hill for parasites," Westwood said. "This is all really exciting because there are so many potential implications surrounding this new information."


Theoretical Physics

So, the Trendies are Slowly Accepting the 'Weak Anthropic Principle' -- It's About Time to Accept the Strong (SAP)


The strong anthropic principle (SAP) as explained by Barrow and Tipler (see variants) states that this is all the case because the Universe is compelled, in some sense, for conscious life to eventually emerge.

Critics of the SAP argue in favor of a weak anthropic principle (WAP) similar to the one defined by Brandon Carter, which states that the universe's ostensible fine tuning is the result of selection bias: i.e., only in a universe capable of eventually supporting life will there be living beings capable of observing any such fine tuning, while a universe less compatible with life will go unbeheld. Such arguments are closely related to some multiverse ideas and can link to the Fermi paradox.


Anthropic principle en.wikipedia.org

In astrophysics and cosmology, the anthropic principle (from Greek anthropos, meaning "human") is the philosophical consideration that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it.


Who says heroes have to be human? U.S. trees save more than 850 lives a year

A new study reveals eye-opening statistics about the health benefits of our arboreal cohabitants.

While trees are just standing around – swaying in the breeze and providing shade – they are also up to some seriously noble work. While most of us know that trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, they are quietly providing another important service as well. Namely, they remove deleterious pollutants from the air, according to new research from the United States Forest Service.
The study, led by Dave Nowak and Eric Greenfield of the Forest Service's Northern Research Station along with collaborators from the Davey Institute, found that trees are actively diminishing air pollution. The researchers examined four pollutants in particular: nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) in aerodynamic diameter. Health problems from these pollutants include harm to pulmonary, cardiac, vascular, and neurological systems. In the U.S., an estimated 130,000 deaths were related to PM2.5 and another 4,700 to ozone in 2005.
The scientists looked at how trees remove air pollution by the interception of particulate matter on plant surfaces and the absorption of pollutants through the leaf stomata; they concluded that trees in the U.S. are saving the lives of more than 850 Americans a year. And that’s not all – they are preventing 670,000 incidents of acute respiratory symptoms and saving us a whopping $7 billion a year in health costs by reducing respiratory illness.
And all that just by improving air quality by less than 1 percent.
Not surprisingly, the amount of trees in an area has an affect on the benefits. While the average tree cover in the country is estimated at 34.2 percent overall, it ranges by area from 2.6 percent in North Dakota to 88.9 percent in New Hampshire.
“In terms of impacts on human health, trees in urban areas are substantially more important than rural trees due to their proximity to people,” Nowak said. “We found that in general, the greater the tree cover, the greater the pollution removal, and the greater the removal and population density, the greater the value of human health benefits.”
The study was published in the journal Environmental Pollution.


Whale shark appears ready to swallow a boat

Photographer Adriana Basques creates an optical illusion with stunning photo that is being considered for a People’s Choice Award in museum photo contest


Whale shark appears ready to swallow a boat full of fisherman. Photo by Adriana Basques/Caters News Agency

Whale shark appears ready to swallow a boat full of fisherman. Photo by Adriana Basques/Caters News Agency

A photographer captured the moment a whale shark appeared to have its mouth open ready to devour a boat full of fishermen, an amazing image that is up for the People’s Choice Award in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest by the Natural History Museum in London.

In reality, the photo is an optical illusion created by Brazilian underwater photographer Adriana Basques being in the right place at the right time while diving in Cenderawasih Bay in West Papua, Indonesia.

Basques, 45, waited patiently for the feeding whale shark to approach him before taking the stunning photo, according to Caters News Agency.

“At the moment I took the shot, the whale shark was actually touching the dome port of my camera,” Basques told Caters. “But I was never in danger. Although the colossal mouth is big enough to fit a person inside, they are filter feeders and that would never happen.”

Basques said the young male whale shark was about 26-feet long with a mouth more than 4-feet wide.

“It might look scary when you see one with a huge open mouth coming in your direction,” Basques told Caters. “But they usually have a very good sense of space and will turn before they get too close, although this is not what happened with the particular one in this image.”

And because it didn’t happen, Basques got what could end up being an award-winning photo.

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  Wyoming Infant Mummy


Blond Hair, Native American DNA


Chiquita, a 500-year-old mummified infant found in Wyoming, was born with anencephaly, a condition in which a fetus’ brain and skull do not develop fully. (Photo : University of Wyoming)

A mummy discovered around 1929 is a rare example of a mummified baby that was born with anencephaly around 500 years ago, scientists say.

Called "Chiquita," the mummified infant has wispy blond hair and leathery skin, and she has something in common with another mummy that was accidentally unearthed in the 1930s by prospectors hunting for gold in Casper, Wyo., the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

Despite the baby's blonde hair, Chiquita's DNA indicates that she was Native American, according to anthropologist George Gill of the University of Wyoming. He recently studied the extremely rare specimen, which is owned by a family in Cheyenne.

"We never get preservation like that from any time, from any population," Gill said of the remains. "Even war chiefs and very special burials are not preserved like these little people."

Chiquita is part of a unique group: known infant mummies that were born with anencephaly, a birth defect where the brain and skull don't develop properly. She bears similarities to another mummified infant found in the Pedro Mountains in the early 1930s and believed at first to be a pygmy.

"Nowhere else in Wyoming do we have burial sitting up like that. Never sitting up with legs crossed and arms folded across their chest," Gill said. "There's a clear connection between the two of them, besides being in the same region."

About 6 or 7 inches tall, the Pedro Mountains mummy has been displayed as a curiosity in multiple places over the years but was lost somewhere around 1950. Unfortunately, X-rays of the specimen have disappeared as well.

While the Pedro Mountains remains are now out of reach, the family that has Chiquita allowed to study the mummified infant for a set amount of time. Dated to around 1500, the mummy inspired more questions than she answered, including why she has blond hair but apparently Native American genes. Gill believes that more information could be extracted if the mummy undergoes the latest tests.

"Maybe we could even do more now," he said. "It's been a few years, and they're always progressing in the sampling and testing in the radioactive carbon dating and DNA, so we might be able to use less of a sample and DNA and get a definitive result."


Phenomena:Not Exactly

Rocket Science

Newly Discovered Wasp Plugs Nest With Cork of Ant Corpses

Here’s a  great home security tip from nature: if you don’t want people breaking into your house, stuff your hallway with corpses. Ideally, use the corpses of dangerous and foul-smelling people.

For specific hints, you need to travel to the forests of China. There, Michael Staab from the University of Freiburg has discovered a new species of wasp that protects its young by stuffing the entrance to its nests with ant cadavers. The practice reminded him of European ossuaries—buildings like the amazing Sedlec Ossuary that are piled high and deep with human skeletons. In honour of these sites, Staab named the insect Deuteragenia ossarium. It’s the bone-house wasp.

Staab discovered the creature as part of a huge project to study the ecology of China’s forests. He was especially interested in spider-hunting wasps that nest in cavities, such as mud cells that they build themselves or tunnels bored by beetles. These insects are hard to spot. To study them, Staab’s team set up artificial nests, consisting of hollow canes strapped to a post.

Female wasps built their nests in 829 of these canes, and most followed a standard design. They drag a paralysed spider into the far end of the cane, lay an egg on it, and then seal it off with a plug of resin, plant matter, and soil. The wasp then returns with another spider and repeats the process, until the hollow cylinder is filled with a row of separated ‘brood cells’. When the young wasps hatch, they devour their spider meals, transform into adults, and then chew their way out through the plugs.

Staab saw this pattern again and again. But in 73 of the nests, he found a surprise: the final chamber was packed with up to 13 dead ants. You can see this clearly in the image on top. Each cell in the long cane contains the cocoon of a wasp grub which had long since eaten its spider. The ants are on the far left, like some gruesome corpse cork.

The wasp that emerged from these nests had never been seen before—a pitch-black, half-inch-long insect with a small golden beard. It was clearly part of the Deuteragenia group, but it’s the only one of the 50 known species that plugs its nests with ants.

“We do not know if it actively hunts for the ants or if the specimens are collected from the refuse piles of ant colonies,” says Staab. “However, since all ant specimens were in a very good condition and not seriously decayed, we think that the wasp does actively hunt living ants.”

He’s also certain that the antechamber protects the wasp’s young. Cavity-nesting wasps may be parasites that feed their young on spiders, but they have parasites of their own: flies and other wasps that lay eggs on their young. Staab found these ‘hyperparasites’ in 16 percent of the nests that he set up, but a mere 3 percent of the bone-house wasp’s nests.

He thinks the ants are responsible for this difference. Ants are covered in distinctive chemicals that help them to recognise each other and can persist on the shells of dead individuals for a long time. These chemicals could confuse parasites that are searching for wasp nests. They might also be active deterrents, since ants are powerful predators that viciously defend their colonies against intruders. Indeed, Staab found that the ant most commonly found in a bone-house wasp’s nest is a big aggressive species with a powerful sting.

Ants are such good predators that many animals use them to protect themselves. The caterpillars of blue butterflies turn ants into bodyguards and babysitters by mimicking their sounds and smells. The banded cat-eyed snake also lays eggs in the gardens of leaf-cutter ants. And one species of assassin bug covers itself with the bodies of the ants that it eats—a coat of many corpses that puts off spiders, and rivals the bone-house wasp’s ossuary in the grisly stakes.

Reference: Staab, Ohl, Zhu & Klein. 2014. A Unique Nest-Protection Strategy in a New Species of Spider Wasp. PLoS ONE 9(7): e101592.

One of the latest contributions to the literature on testosterone and heart risk comes down on the side of the therapy's safety in older men.

In an analysis of Medicare data, there was no increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI) with injections of the hormone, and it even appeared to be protective in patients at the greatest risk of cardiovascular events, Jacques Baillargeon, PhD, of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and colleagues reported online in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

"I think these findings are consistent with earlier work," Baillargeon told MedPage Today. "We feel this was a methodologically rigorous study in a very large study population and it has really good statistical power. We trust these findings in this population."

But Baillargeon noted that the effects in younger men -- a group that has seen an increase in direct-to-consumer marketing and prescriptions -- still need to be assessed.

"There are concerns ... if men in their 40s are taking testosterone if they are not hypogonadal or more marginally hypogonadal, and if that's happening on large scale," Baillargeon said.

For their study, Baillargeon and colleagues looked at Medicare data from January 1997 to December 2005 (before Medicare Part D was implemented), finding 6,355 patients who were treated with injectable testosterone; they were matched with 19,065 patients not taking the drug.

They found taking testosterone wasn't associated with an increased risk of MI (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.69-1.02).

Testosterone therapy even seemed protective in men estimated to be at the greatest risk of cardiovascular events, with a diminished risk for those in the highest quartile of an MI prognostic score (HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.53-0.92). There was no relationship with any other group.

"It's possible that our findings of a protective effect among men in the highest MI prognostic group reflects a process whereby testosterone reduces peripheral vascular resistance, thereby reducing stress on the heart among those who have some degree of coronary artery disease," the researchers wrote.

They noted that the results are consistent with three meta-analyses of studies that were conducted through 2008 that found no increase in cardiovascular risk -- but they run contrary to three reports: a recent meta-analysis of RCTs of testosterone therapy, a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system analysis, and the TOM trial, which was stopped early because of a greater occurrence of cardiovascular events in the testosterone arm.

Testosterone therapy has strong backing in the endocrine community. Some researchers have called for the VA health system study to be retracted, and at the recent meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, researchers reported that a large single-center analysis found no increased risk of MI with testosterone therapy.

There are plausible mechanistic explanations for both cases. Some researchers say that testosterone can improve cardiovascular health by decreasing fat mass and improving insulin sensitivity and lipid profile. Others argue that it can increase salt and water retention, leading to edema, hypertension, and heart failure.

Baillargeon concluded that more research needs to be done: "For more definitive results, we look forward to a large-scale multisite trial that's going on right now."


health, chikungunya, mosquito borne, virus, cases on the rise, north carolina, cdc, tennessee


Mosquito Borne Virus Cases

on the Rise

A resident in North Carolina has been infected with the mosquito-borne virus called, chikungunya. The state reports it is their first case of the virus. The patient recently traveled to the Caribbean, and reportedly the strain made contact while vacationing. The virus is predominately found in areas of East Asia, Africa and the Caribbean Islands. In addition to North Carolina, Tennessee reported their first case, and that patient also traveled to the Caribbean. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), acknowledged several other states were involved, with at least, one reported case.

Those states include: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New York and Virginia. The CDC is concerned regarding the rise of the virus in the U.S.

What is chikungunya?

The CDC reports chikungunya is a virus spread from a mosquito bite, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are the primary vectors of the virus. The mosquito is reported in the regions listed earlier. The CDC states the mosquito can strike day or night, indoors/outdoors, and typically is located in or around urban areas, especially buildings. Between a five year span, starting in 2004, 105 active cases were reported in the U.S.

Symptoms of chikungunya

Most symptoms, state the CDC, can take up to a week to develop, but a majority of people infected will get symptoms. Individuals should report to a doctor upon discovery of the symptoms and any recent travel destinations:

  • Sudden onset of fever (chikungunya fever).
  • Joint pain, seemingly arthritic.
  • Muscle pain, skin rashes, joint pain and swelling, and headaches.
  • Vomiting, and/or severe nausea.

The symptoms can become emphasized and dangerous for adults over 65, newborns and any individuals who already have health issues like diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure. While the virus does not typically lead to death, the conditions can become debilitating. Joint pain can take up to a few months or longer for full recovery.

Treatment and Prevention

While there is no medicine or vaccination to prevent the virus, the CDC advises to treat the condition with a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration, plenty of bed rest, and take anti-inflammatory medicines like acetaminophen to reduce fever and joint/muscle pain and swelling.

The CDC suggests taking prevention methods seriously when leaving the country. If unsure, visit a physician and advise of the destination. The physician can review any active cases or viruses in the region. The CDC recommended purchasing insect repellent with the following active ingredients:

  • IR3535 can be found in SkinSmart.
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus, may be listed as OLE or PMD. These ingredients can be found in the OFF! brand.
  • DEET which can be found in OFF!, Sawyer, Ultrathon and Cutter.
  • Picaridin, may be listed as KBR 3023. Located in the brands of Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and within a repellent available for those outside of the U.S., Autan.

The CDC advises to cover exposed screen by wearing hats, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Additionally, if bitten, avoid scratching the infected area by applying calamine lotion. The best precautions are those taken initially to prevent mosquito bites.


Mosquitoes Signal Summer and Warnings About Potentially Deadly Viruses


As the summer progresses, mosquitoes become a nuisance and possibly a harbinger of serious illness. Across the United States, health officials are issuing warnings about potentially deadly viruses: Chikungunya fever and West Nile. From Memphis, Tennessee to Lake County, California, officials are concerned about these viruses, which are carried by mosquitoes and birds.

In California, West Nile was detected in 13 counties this year, though no human cases have yet been reported in 2014. The cases there were in mosquitoes and dead birds. West Nile Virus is found anywhere mosquitoes reside. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that the virus has been found in 48 states (Hawaii and Alaska are the only places it has not been detected), which means the entire country needs to be aware of and taking precautions against the virus as most people are infected from June – September.

West Nile Virus was first identified in Uganda in 1937 with the first outbreak in the United States in 1999 in New York. While in 2013 the Chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean, with the CDC’s  biggest fear coming true this year that the continental US could be introduced to the virus by infected travelers.

According to the CDC, West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, which contract the virus from infected birds. Mosquitoes bite humans and transfer the virus. Although most people show no symptoms, some have a fever and muscle weakness. In more serious cases, people can contract West Nile Encephalitis, which includes inflammation of the brain and paralysis among other symptoms. Those with compromised or weak immune systems as well as those over age 50 are most vulnerable to the more serious complications of the disease.

Charlie Atkinson, 78, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, contracted West Nile Virus in August 2012 and spent more than 400 days in two hospitals recovering from the complications, which included a week-long coma, a paralyzed left arm and right leg, and a tracheostomy.  It is important to note that it’s very rare to have severe complications and less than one percent of the population will experience those symptoms, but for those who do, it’s a living nightmare if they survive it.

The CDC was informed of 2,469 cases of West Nile virus in 2013, which included 119 deaths. The most cases were reported in California with 379 total cases and 15 deaths. 2012 was the deadliest year yet for the virus with 286 people succumbing to the virus.

There are currently no medications to treat West Nile Virus nor is there a vaccination for it, and while Chikungunya fever isnt typically fatal,symptoms include excruciating joint pain, fever, headache and rashes. The best defense is a good offense against mosquitoes. Use of mosquito repellent is suggested as is wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors as well as repairing screen doors and removing any sources of standing water. However , a West Nile vaccine does exist for horses and horse owners should speak to their veterinarian about the vaccination.


'The Beast' undetected until April

By USA Today

Published: Saturday, June 7, 2014, 6:45 p.m.
Updated 10 hours ago

A giant asteroid astronomers are calling “The Beast” will fly by Earth early Sunday morning at speeds of up to 31,000 mph -- and although there's no chance of it hitting our planet, experts say its massive size makes it something to take seriously.

The asteroid, 2014 HQ124, is about 1,067 feet across and as big as a football stadium, according to Space.com. It is set to fly by Earth around 1:56 a.m.

Bob Berman, an astronomer with the online Slooh community observatory, said the asteroid is at least 10 times bigger than the one last year in Chelyabinsk, Siberia. That meteor, which was 55 feet wide, was caught on video. It blasted glass out of windows, and shock waves from the blast injured more than 1,000 people.

The HQ124 asteroid is expected to be at least three lunar distances away when it zooms by Earth, according to Space.com. That's within 777,000 miles of Earth and about 3.25 times the distance from the Earth to the moon, says Scientific American. Slooh will broadcast the HQ124 event live.

HQ124 wasn't spotted by NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer until April 23, which experts say is a long time for it to go unnoticed. The infrared Explorer picked it up against a backdrop of stars.

“What's disconcerting is that a rocky/metallic body this large, and coming so very close, should have only first been discovered this soon before its nearest approach,” Berman said. “If it were to impact us, the energy released would be measured not in kilotons like the atomic bombs that ended World War II, but in H-bomb type megatons.”

Sky surveys have cataloged and are tracking about 90 percent of the potentially dangerous asteroids that are 3,200 feet or larger in diameter and have the potential to destroy continents on impact, National Geographic reports.




Why olive oil lowers blood pressure

Add a drizzle to create nitro fatty acids, which regulate BP, scientists say. Eating spinach, celery and avocado also helps.


Nitro fatty acids are formed when consuming spinach, celery and carrots that are filled with nitrates and nitrites, along with avocado, nuts and olive oils that contain healthy fats.

Beth Swanson/shutterstock.com
Nitro fatty acids are formed when consuming spinach, celery and carrots that are filled with nitrates and nitrites, along with avocado, nuts and olive oils that contain healthy fats.

The secret to the Mediterranean diet may be in the salad.

Eating unsaturated fats, like those in olive oil, along with leafy greens and other vegetables creates a certain kind of fatty acid that lowers blood pressure, scientists said Monday.

These nitro fatty acids are formed when consuming spinach, celery and carrots that are filled with nitrates and nitrites, along with avocado, nuts and olive oils that contain healthy fats.

Nitro fatty acids appear to inhibit an enzyme known as soluble epoxide hydrolase, which regulates blood pressure, said the research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal.

The study was based on experiments in lab mice, and was funded by the British Heart Foundation.

"The findings of our study help to explain why previous research has shown that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular problems like stroke, heart failure and heart attacks," said Philip Eaton, professor of cardiovascular biochemistry at King's College London.

While most experts agree that the Mediterranean diet -- which consists of lots of vegetables, fish, grains, red wine and fatty nuts and oils -- brings health benefits, there has been little scientific consensus about how or why.

Some have touted red wine as a driving force behind the ability of Europeans to eat high fat cheeses and meats while maintaining better overall health than Americans.

But research published last week found that a key antioxidant in red wine, resveratrol, did not help people in Italy live longer or avoid cancer or heart disease.


16 Cancer Causing Foods You Probably

Eat Every Day

microwave popcorn
Photo credit: bigstock

It’s probably not something you think about every day, whether or not the foods you are eating could contain carcinogens, but with almost 1.5 million people diagnosed with some type of cancer just last year, perhaps it’s time to look at what is in our foods that could be causing such a huge number of new cancer patients. Here is a list of the top 10 foods that you most likely consume every day that may contain carcinogens or be suspected of causing cancer.

1. Microwave Popcorn
Those little bags of popcorn are so convenient to just stick in the microwave, you wouldn’t think for a minute that they could be dangerous to your health, but they are. First, let’s talk about the bag itself. It’s lined with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid ( PFOA). This is a toxin you can find in Teflon also. After being heated, this toxic chemical is known to cause infertility and cancer in lab animals. The EPA lists this chemical as a known carcinogen.

Now, let’s talk about the contents. Although every manufacturer uses slightly different ingredients, most of them use soybean oil (a GMO product) as well as various preservatives such as propyl gallate, a chemical that is causes stomach problems and skin rashes. Now they don’t actually say they are using GMO corn kernels, but that’s because the government says they don’t have to. Even if they don’t use GMO corn, you can bet they aren’t using organic corn!

Also, applied to the popcorn itself, is a chemical called diacetyl. Use of this chemical caused Conagra Foods to remove it from their brand of popcorn, ACT, because it was causing lung diseases in the workers at their factory.