Wednesday, November 30, 2011

13 animals-of the arctic/life-in-the-tundra

Close-up of snowy owl
Photo by: Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel's


Life in the tundra

Most of us will never visit the Arctic Circle — and the residents of this northernmost region are perfectly happy with that. We're not talking about Eskimos; we're talking about the animals that call the Arctic home. Though the subzero temperatures and rugged boreal forests may seem bleak and unforgiving, many species thrive in the frigid tundra of the Arctic Circle.
Some of these animals you will have seen before, like the polar bear or the snowy owl (pictured), while others are more exotic, like the "unicorn of the sea" or the Canada lynx. Learn more about these 13 animal representatives of the chilly Arctic Circle.
(Text: Caroline Inge)

Make Your Holiday Season More Meaningful

David Winston "Solitude"
Holidays Filled with Love

Use All Your Emotions — Loss, Sadness and Memories, Too — to Make Holiday Season More Meaningful

*Lauren Zander is the co-Founder and Chairman of The Handel Group™, an international corporate consulting and private coaching company.


Sadness is part of life and nothing to hide, says Lauren. “Feeling sad about your loss is healthy and profound,” she says. “It’s a meaningful display of your love.” When people hide their sadness and pretend they aren’t feeling it, the internalized sorrow can lead to serious depression and even illness, says Lauren. Better is to share your feelings and work through them. If you are concerned about bringing others down, Lauren suggests finding an outlet before the festivities begin. Talk to a person or group with whom you are comfortable sharing your deep feelings. Doing so will help smooth the raw edges of your emotions so they aren’t overwhelming. Having processed some of the heaviest ones, you may even be able to focus on positive memories to share during the holiday celebrations.


Directly or indirectly, holidays always focus us on family, the one that is there and the ones that are not. If you are distant from your family, literally or figuratively, you may feel despair and even panic. Holidays tend to generate reflection about your life — often in comparison to those around you. During the holidays, personal struggles may leave you feeling alone, in sharp contrast to the fairytale image of a big family table with happy people beaming at the turkey, รก la a Norman Rockwell painting, that you may presume is occurring in “everyone else’s house.”
In order to feel better, you could visit residents of a nursing home, work at a soup kitchen or take food to firefighters, but Lauren points out that it is crucial to spend at least part of a holiday with people to whom you feel connected. Instead of worrying about being left out, Lauren advises speaking up and asking friends if you can join them. People feel good about reaching out to others who might need emotional support — but they don’t always know that support is needed. Also, many people really enjoy adding newcomers to the family/friend mix at a holiday celebration. “Trust me,” says Lauren, “good friends will be delighted to hear you would like to join them for the events they have lavished so much time and thought on.”



Even without personal drama in their lives, people often complain that the holidays have become empty of real meaning. Lauren suggests activities that can add a refreshingly personal depth. Here’s what her family does: Before the Thanksgiving dinner, everyone writes general questions about past holidays on slips of paper to be drawn out and responded to. Possibilities include describing your most memorable Thanksgiving (searching for a turkey dinner in a foreign country, for example) or the worst culinary disaster (the turkey that stubbornly remained half raw after hours in the oven). The next round of questions can go deeper, covering topics such as your most poignant holiday memory. “By engaging in thoughtful activities like these, you can strengthen connections and get in touch with deeper emotions, which will start a tradition that can make all future holidays deeper and more memorable,” says Lauren.

*The Handel Group™ is a global Executive Coaching and Life Coaching company creating personal and professional breakthroughs with clients all over the world. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Secret ...bringing joy to billions

A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne

Creator of The Secret and The Power

From The Secret Daily Teachings

Happiness is a state of being, and comes from the inside of you.
By the law of attraction you must become on the inside what you want on the outside.

You are either choosing to be happy now, or you are making up excuses for not choosing to be happy.  But there are no excuses for the law!

May the joy be with you,

Rhonda Byrne

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Top 10 Ways to Celebrate the Holiday with Your Pet

By Diane Herbst
  1. For a memorable holiday experience, try a portrait with Santa. Pet stores such as Petco or your local shelter (to raise much-needed funds) offer your pet a photo shoot with him.  
  2. According to a recent poll, 66 percent of Americans expect to give their pet a new toy for the holidays. For some cool, different gifts, check out these 10 funny dog toy ideas.
  3. Treat your pet to a massage. Here's a guide on how to give one like an expert.
  4. If you have a Christmas tree to decorate, have an ornament made with your pet's face on it. Lots of artists will hand paint these special gifts for you. Check out Etsy for some ideas.
  5. Throw your pet a holiday celebration for him and his friends — it is a good excuse to invite your human friends over for a party. 
  6. Keep it simple. Take your dog for an extra romp through the snow or through the woods.
  7. Hang a stocking stuffed with his or her favorite treats and a few new toys.
  8. Call your local shelter (or visit their web site) and see what's on their "wish-list" and donate something in honor of your family pet.
  9. A great-smelling dog or cat is heavenly. Treat your pet to a visit with the groomer, or try a cool new shampoo.
  10. Sit with your pet and brush him. Perhaps this time spent together is the best gift of all.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Lesson In Economics



Understanding politics and the economy can be accomplished by starting with two cows.

You have two cows.
The state takes both and gives you some milk.

You have two cows.
The state takes both and sells you some milk.

You have two cows.
The state takes both and shoots you.

You have two cows.
The state takes both, shoots one, milks the other and then throws the
milk away.

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters
of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.  The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows.
No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organize a riot and block the roads, because you want three cows. You get them.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called "Cowkimon" and market it worldwide, making millions.

You have two cows.
You reengineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month and milk themselves.

You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have a good lunch and search later.

You have 5,000 cows. None of them belong to you --you just charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You have two cows.
Both are mad.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows and you should admit it.
You tell them that you have none.
No one believes you, so they bomb the crap out of you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a democracy.

You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go to the pub for a few beers to celebrate.

You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive. You sell her to a dairy company.

You have two cows.
You borrow against the cows from the Germans.
You kill the cows and make souvlaki.
You can't pay the interest, so the Germans lend you more money.
You can't pay the interest, so the French lend you more money.
You can't pay the interest, so the Italians lend you more money.
You can't pay the interest, so the Spaniards lend you more money.
You can't pay the interest, so your people hold a general strike.
You can't pay the interest, so the EU bails you out.
You drink more ouzo. Problem solved.


Thursday, November 24, 2011


The holidays are a perfect time to give generously to those dedicated to caring for homeless pets. If you can, consider adopting a pet to support your local shelter and save a life.
Many pets that end up in shelters have been poorly cared for and had improper nutrition. Some are too fat, some are too thin and many have been malnourished by not eating well balanced food.
Halo believes that the quality of ingredients a pet eats and the quality of its environment are the foundations of excellent health and well-being and this is the basis of Halo’s entire product line. If you are a new pet owner, consider choosing Halo to help your new pet achieve their optimal health. For more information, please read my Guide to Halo for Your Adopted Pet.
If you are unable to adopt, shelters rely on generous monetary donations, gifts and volunteers. Consider donating toys, blankets, bedding or your time. Contact your local animal shelter and ask what is needed most.
See these related articles: Animal Shelters—What They Are and Why We Need Them, Why Adopt From an Animal Shelter, Basics of Adopting a Shelter Pet 101

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Forty Beagles Rescued from a Barcelona, Spain laboratory.

A Happy Ending for a Tiny, Lost and Blind Chihuahua!
by Caroline Golon


Lab BeaglesThis week, Shannon Keith of Valley Village, CA is making preparations for some unusual Thanksgiving house guests. On November 23, forty beagles, rescued from a laboratory in Barcelona, Spain, will arrive at Shannon’s home en route to their new lives in loving, happy homes.

Shannon’s non-profit organization,
The Beagle Freedom Project, rescues beagles and other animals from laboratories, then fosters and re-homes them. This is the largest rescue mission they’ve undertaken since they founded in 2004.

Beagles are frequently bred for laboratory testing because of their easy going and “forgiving” nature, Shannon says. Most labs don’t release their test dogs to rescues when they’ve fulfilled their role. They meet a much sadder fate.

But thanks to Shannon and a small team of volunteers, these forty dogs will be placed with loving, forever families and spend the rest of their lives “just being dogs.”

Lab BeaglesShannon learned of the Spanish dogs’ plight on Facebook in early November. Through connections, she heard the laboratory was going out of business and was willing to release their dogs to a rescue….if one stepped up quickly. Shannon knew right away that she had to help.

In a whirlwind of outreach, donation requests and volunteer help, Shannon and her team arranged for the dogs to receive their shots and papers in Spain and be ready to board a commercial flight for the 12 hour and 40 minute trip to Los Angeles.

And when they arrive? “We’ll have volunteers and cargo vans waiting at the airport to bring them to my house,” Shannon says. Twenty foster parents stand ready to pick up their new charges and Shannon is confident she’ll have the rest in place soon.

lab beaglesWhile it’s not hard to find people willing to adopt the dogs she rescues, Shannon says it can be a challenge to find the right homes. “These are special needs dogs,” she says. “They need someone willing to be patient and caring. And, it’s important that there’s another dog living in the home. These dogs have spent their lives in cages; now they need to learn how to just be a dog,” she added.

Shannon interviews and screens each adoptive family personally to find the right match.

For Shannon, the most rewarding part of her work is watching the beagles as they see the sun for the first time, step onto the grass and discover the simple joys of playing with a toy or getting a treat.

“This has been the greatest experience of my life so far,” she says.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Meet Rhonda Byrne...Author, Creator, and Executive Producer of The Secret

Rhonda Byrne

Author, Creator, and Executive Producer of The Secret, and Author of The Power

Rhonda Byrne's intention is: joy to billions.

Rhonda began her journey with The Secret film, viewed by millions across the planet. She followed with The Secret book, a worldwide best seller available in 46 languages.

In The Secret Rhonda revealed the law of attraction. In her new book, The Power, Rhonda continues her groundbreaking work by revealing the single greatest force in our universe.

Rhonda uncovers The Secret

In early September 2004, Rhonda discovered an unfailing principle that underlies every aspect of our lives. She was astonished that this life-transforming information was not widely known and practiced. In that moment, Rhonda made it her life's focus to share this knowledge with all people around the world, so that billions could powerfully transform and improve their lives.

Rhonda immediately began studying the work of the world's finest minds - great thinkers, artists, scientists, inventors, discoverers, and philosophers - drawing from fields as divergent as quantum physics, metaphysics, psychology, and religion. She found again and again that the knowledge of this one principle had run like a golden thread through the lives and the teachings of all the prophets, seers, sages, and saviors in the world's history, and through the lives of all truly great men and women.

Already a successful television and film producer, Rhonda began practicing what she learned, and used The Secret to make the film The Secret.

Millions have viewed the film since its release in March 2006, and the book The Secret has been a New York Times bestseller since its release in November 2006, with more than 21 million copies in print.

Rhonda writes The Power

In The Power, Rhonda shares the essence of everything she has learned since The Secret was released. As part of her continuing journey of discovery, and her daily practice of the law of attraction, Rhonda gained extraordinary new levels of insights. The Power is the book she was compelled to write.

Readers of The Power will come to understand that the life of their dreams has always been closer than they realized. Perfect health, incredible relationships, a career you love, a life filled with happiness and the money you need to be, do, and have everything you want, all come from The Power. To create anything, to change anything, all it takes is just one thing.

Rhonda's background

Rhonda was born in Australia and began her career as a radio producer before moving into television production. Many of her shows won industry awards and were screened in major countries outside Australia. Rhonda's experience, background, and skill in film and television production were instrumental in the creation of The Secret film.

In May of 2007, Rhonda Byrne was recognized as one of the world's most influential people in TIME magazine's "The TIME 100: The People Who Shape Our World", and shortly afterwards appeared in Forbes' "The Celebrity 100" list. Rhonda currently lives outside of Los Angeles.

the Secret SCROLLS message from Rhonda Byrne

Secret Scrolls Newsletter Logo
A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne
Creator of The Secret and The Power 

From The Secret Daily Teachings
To desire something is in proper accordance with the law. You attract what you desire. To need something is misuse of the law. You cannot attract what you need if you feel you need it urgently or desperately, because that emotion contains fear. That kind of "needing" keeps things away.
Desire everything. Need nothing.
May the joy be with you,

Rhonda Byrne
The Secret... bringing joy to billions

What is The Power?
The greatest power in the universe is a feeling - a feeling harnessed by the greatest thinkers, discoverers, inventors, and saviors of the world.
You are just one feeling away from changing your life... just one feeling away from the life of your dreams.
This is The Power!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Beautiful Cats: Four of the five species threatened by extinction. WWF

Featured Story

Remarkable Images of Big Cats Urge Forest Protection

Wild Cats Caught on Camera

  • An image of a clouded leopard is snapped by a camera trap
  •  set deep in the jungle in Bukit Tigapuluh (also known as Thirty Hills),
  • a forest area rapidly being cut down by industry.
  • © WWF-Indonesia/PHKA 
  • The Asiatic golden cat is rarely seen by people. It prefers to live in heavily
  • forested areas far from human activity, areas becoming harder to find in Sumatra.
  • © WWF-Indonesia/PHKA 
  • The leopard cat, along with the other four cat species in these photographs,
  • is dependent on a densely forested habitat. However, the forests of Sumatra
  • are experiencing the highest rate of deforestation in the world.
  • © WWF-Indonesia/PHKA
  • WWF is working hard to identify and document the amazing
  • biodiversity
  •  of this region,
  • including species such as this marbled cat, in order to help ensure that
  • this area is appreciated
  • and protected. © WWF-Indonesia/PHKA
  • This Sumatran tiger lives in a region that timber company Barito Pacific
  •  has slated to cut down. Indonesia law states that concession areas with
  • presence of endangered species, such as this tiger, should be protected.
  • WWF is encouraging Barito Pacific to protect this concession.
  •  © WWF-Indonesia/PHKA
  • A curious Sumatran tiger comes in for a closer look.
  • There are as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild and only 400 Sumatran
  •  tigers.
  • Large, undisturbed areas of forest are necessary for their survival.
  • © WWF-Indonesia/PHKA
Camera traps caught extraordinary snapshots of five of the seven wild cat
species found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
WWF scientists and field staff use cameras equipped with infrared
triggers, called camera traps, to obtain critical data about wildlife and their habitats.
The images are a stark reminder of what could be lost to logging,
plantations and illegal encroachment as four of the five species of cat caught
on camera are listed as threatened by extinction.
WWF conducted a three-month survey in early 2011 of an unprotected forest
corridor in the area known as Thirty Hills (or Bukit Tigapuluh in Indonesian).
As a result, its camera traps produced 404 images of the wild cats:
  • 226 of the Sumatran tiger
  • 77 of the clouded leopard
  • 70 of the golden cat
  • 27 of the leopard cat
  • 4 of the marble cat
The tigers were found in an area designated as a “global priority Tiger Conservation Landscape,” in one of the last large blocks of lowland forest still left on the island. These remaining forests are under significant threat from rapid deforestation due to industrial logging for pulp and paper and illegal encroachment from palm oil plantations. Such large scale forest clearance not only wipes out trees, it destroys the homes of indigenous tribes and other local residents of Sumatra’s forests.
WWF has been working in this region for years, and in 1995 helped establish Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, a 330,000-acre protected area in the Thirty Hills region. These recent photos reinforce the need to expand the park to protect the wildlife living in the less hilly regions just outside the park’s borders. Expanding the size of the park or managing the area as a restoration scheme would ensure tigers continue to have room to roam, a crucial element for their health and breeding.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Life is about how to dance in the rain.

Image Detail


It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb.  He said he was in a hurry, as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him.  I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.  On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry.  The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.  I inquired as to her health.  He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease.

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late.  He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.  I was surprised, and asked him, "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?'

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, 'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.'  I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, 'Thant is the kind of love I want in my life.'

True love is neither physical, nor romantic..  True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will NOT be.

With all the jokes and fun that are in e-mails, some times there is one that comes along that has an important message.  The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

'Life isn't about how to survive the storm, But how to dance in the rain.'

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Deputy carries frightened deer from road to safety (video)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 9:20am PST

Deputy carries frightened deer from road to safety (video)

By: Pete Thomas,

Deer are famous for "freezing" in the headlight beams of oncoming cars, but for a doe on a rural Michigan highway, there were not only headlights but a mild collision with a car that left it frozen with fear in the middle of the road. The incident last Friday was captured by the video unit of a patrol car used by Deputy Ryan Swartz of the Huron County Sheriff's Department (the video was released Monday). Swartz, who was responding to the deer-versus-vehicle call, was unable to coax the doe off the roadway, so he just lifted the animal and carried it to the embankment. "What he did is certainly not recommended but he felt confident enough because of his many years of experience with deer," stated a news release issued by the Sheriff's Department. The deputy said that when he first arrived he thought the deer was a decoy because it stood totally motionless. He told local TV station WNEM TV5, "I figured as I walked up to it, it would just run off the road [but] it just stood still. It wasn't moving at all. So I went up and I pet it and I was thinking that would get the deer off the road." When that didn't work Swartz simply carried the deer to one side of the road, then the other, and set the animal down. Eventually it regained its composure and trotted into a field. The entire episode lasted about 10 minutes.

Nutritious Nuts to Crack

Nut Butter with Natural Solutions 


Each month we stumble upon promotional holidays that highlight a particular product or cause. One of those holidays declared November as “National Peanut Butter Month.” This caught our attention as we love peanut butter, as well as other nut-butter alternatives that can pack just as much protein. You could say
Natural Solutions is a little nuts about nuts around here!A Better Butter
Peanut butter may pack plenty of protein, fiber, and stick-to-your-ribs satisfaction, but to reap the diverse health benefits of nature’s nuts and seeds, you’ll have to look beyond the standard jar of Skippy. Although most nuts and seeds share similar qualities, each boasts its own nutritional perks—from fat-burning potential to cancer protection—that become concentrated when the nuts are ground into butters. “They contain protein, unsaturated fats, and antioxidants, and are naturally low in carbs,” says Leonard Ram, MD, author of the
Ram Nut Diet (Ram Nutrition, 2005). The following guide will help match the right nut butter to your health needs.
Nuts to You
As a kid, Richard Mahler had always been a nut about nuts. Then he grew up and was told that nuts are salty and fattening, and for a while, did his best to snack on carrots and celery instead. But, he says, those days are done: “I’m back to devouring nuts. Yes, they’re laden with fat—a mere handful contains around 200 calories—but I now know they’re fats that are good for me. In fact, the formerly naysaying experts have come full circle, and now are encouraging us to eat nuts on a regular basis.” Good Nuts to Crack
Wish you could ditch your snack attacks? Maybe you don’t need to after all. Research shows munching on smaller meals throughout the day can actually help you shed pounds—but only if you choose wisely. “Nuts are a compact way of getting a lot of nutrition,” says Marietta Amatangelo, RD, an integrative nutritionist at George Washington University’s Center for Integrative Medicine in Washington, DC. From almonds to pistachios, tasty munchies to boost your health.
Peanut Butter Balls
This delicious dessert will have you wanting more! Try our recipe for peanut butter balls.

Speaking of Nutrition

A Better Butter: Which spreadable nut best meets your needs?
December 1st, 2007
By Kate Trainor
Peanut butter may pack plenty of protein, fiber, and stick-to-your-ribs satisfaction, but to reap the diverse health benefits of nature’s nuts and seeds, you’ll have to look beyond the standard jar of Skippy. “We need more variety than just peanut butter,” says Susan Levin, staff dietitian for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Although most nuts and seeds share similar qualities, each boasts its own nutritional perks—from fat-burning potential to cancer protection—that become concentrated when the nuts are ground into butters. “They contain protein, unsaturated fats, and antioxidants, and are naturally low in carbs,” says Leonard Ram, MD, author of theRam Nut Diet (Ram Nutrition, 2005). The following guide will help match the right nut butter to your health needs.
The power of almond 

Rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium, almond butter strengthens bones and helps maintain muscle and nerve function, making it ideal for athletes. These nutrients also boost the body’s immune system and help ward off disease and infection. “Almonds are one of the best food sources of vitamin E, with about one third of the daily value per ounce,” says Levin. Studies suggest that almonds may also reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. 
Try This: To boost immunity and build muscle before or after a workout, top spelt bread with almond butter and some banana.
Cashew for energy

During his heyday, muscleman Arnold Schwarzenegger swore by cashew butter. It contains iron, which, combined with its high protein content, will pump you up. Say “hasta la vista” to low energy with a spoonful. “It has less fat than other nut butters and is rich in protein,” says Levin. With the creaminess of dairy but without all that saturated fat, cashew butter too is rich in B vitamins, which boost metabolism, increase skin and muscle tone, enhance the immune and nervous systems, and promote cellular health. 
Try This: Add cashew butter to a smoothie for an energy-boosting breakfast. Include it in a sauce for noodles and fish (or poultry) for added protein.
Walnut to ward off fat

“Walnuts are the best option for omega-3s,” says Levin. Eating a daily serving may lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease. A 2006 study by the Lipid Clinic in Barcelona, Spain, found that walnuts proved more effective than olive oil at countering the ill effects of high-fat foods. The reason? Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that helps maintain the elasticity of the arteries, which aids circulation.
Try This: Blend walnut butter, lemon juice, garlic, and chickpeas to create a heart-healthy hummus.
Purify with pecan

Perfect for detoxifying, pecan butter boasts a comprehensive dose of antioxidants, including vitamins A, B, and E, folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. One tablespoon has 25 percent more oleic acid, a heart-healthy staple of a traditional Mediterranean diet, than a tablespoon of olive oil. 
Try This: For a sweet, detoxifying snack, spread pecan butter on apples or pears.
Soy for bone health and more

Lower in fat than most nut butters, soy provides protein, fiber, and cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Soybeans are the only significant food source of isoflavones, proven to inhibit bone loss, relieve the symptoms of menopause, combat cancer, and lower cholesterol and blood glucose. 
Try This: Spread soy butter on dark chocolate for a dessert rich in antioxidants and protein and low in saturated fat.
Tahini to tame aging

Made from sesame seeds, a serving has less saturated fat than peanut butter, as much protein, and more fiber. Tahini is rich in calcium, iron, and vitamins B and E, which slow cellular aging. It’s also a superior source of methionine, an amino acid that detoxifies the liver. 
Try This: Keep your youth and food fresh by dressing a salad with tahini, lemon juice, and tamari for a healthy, homemade alternative to bottled dressing.
Improve your mood with hemp 

“Hempseed butter stands out,” says Ani Phyo, author of Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen (Marlow & Company, 2007). “The ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s is ideal,” and, she says, keeping those essential fatty acids in balance can alleviate depression. Hemp butter nourishes the body both inside and out, and it can even be used as a hydrating balm on the skin. 
Try This: To replenish your skin and spirit, moisturize the body with hemp butter. You can also use it as a dip for crunchy veggies. 

She's never had puppies of her own, but...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne

A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne
Creator of The Secret and The Power 

From The Secret Daily Teachings
Remember to remember means remember to be aware. Remember to be aware in this moment right now. Being aware is seeing everything around you, hearing everything around you, feeling everything around you, and being completely focused on what you are doing right now.
Most people bring what they do not want because they are not aware that they are listening to the thoughts in their heads about the past and the future. They are not even aware that they are being hypnotized by those thoughts, and are therefore living their life unconsciously.
When you remember to be aware, you are aware immediately. You just have to remember to remember!
May the joy be with you,

Rhonda Byrne
The Secret... bringing joy to billions

A Love Story

A Happy Ending for a Tiny, Lost and Blind Chihuahua!
by  Diane Herbst

clarence and rhodaIn 2006 while in West Virginia, Rebecca Skloot saw a six-month-old homeless puppy running down the middle of a highway dodging semi trucks. Skloot rescued the pup and named her Rhoda.

Skloot then rescued a puppy she named Clarence. Skloot, known as the best-sellng author of "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," is also a life-long animal lover and committed dog rescuer! On the Facebook page "Clarence and Rhoda, a Love Story" Skloot writes: "Clarence was born in Memphis in March of 2009. Four weeks later, a woman walked up to a group of children at a birthday party in a local park, dropped a starving and flea-infested Clarence at their feet and said, 'Tell your parents to take this home.' She left and no one took him."

It just so happens that one of Skloot's friends was walking by. She called Skloot, who said, "Go back, get the puppy. Bring it to me, I'll find it a home." As the love story begins: "A few days later, Rhoda and Clarence met. Clarence has been sitting on Rhoda ever since. (Sometimes he puts her whole head in his mouth for fun: She doesn't mind.) At first, Rebecca thought Clarence would grow up to be about Rhoda's size. Then she started feeding him."

clarence and rhodaSkloot is now working on a book about the human-animal bond. "Rebecca has been bringing animals home since she was a child, much to her parent's dismay," according to "Clarence and Rhoda, a Love Story." "She couldn't have a pet until she was old enough to take care of one herself (which she believed coincided with her ability to walk -- her parents disagreed)."

By the age of five, Skloot had memorized a dog encyclopedia so she could ID any dog she saw. She once broke into a neighbor's house to walk the neighbor's dogs when she wasn't home. Years later, Skloot worked for more than a decade as a veterinary technician in general practices, emergency rooms, and veterinary morgues. Her plans to become a veterinarian changed when she fell in love with science writing.

Still, Skloot's love for animals continued. The story of Clarence and Rhoda, the two dogs saved by Rebecca, is truly a love story. You can see more photos of these two by clicking here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Very Special Story

November 4, 2011 7:04 PM

Tarra and Bella: Elephant loses man's best friend

By  Steve Hartman

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A Beautiful Friendship come to an end.

November 4, 2011 7:04 PM

Tarra and Bella: Elephant loses man's best friend

Steve Hartman
HOHENWALD, Tenn. - In 2009, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman introduced you to a couple of very unlikely friends who couldn't have been more different. But from the moment Tarra the elephant met Bella the dog, they were inseparable.

The Elephant Sanctuary south of Nashville is more than 2,000 acres of freedom for elephants. But for a resident named Tarra, there's not enough room in Tennessee to escape the bad news she got last week.

"Certainly her whole demeanor changed," said Rob Atkinson, the sanctuary's CEO. "She became more reserved, quieter, she was depressed."

Pictures: Unlikely friendship of Tarra and Bella

Tarra displayed all the symptoms you'd expect to see in someone who lost a good friend - which is exactly what happened.

For nearly a decade, Tarra had been bast friends with a dog named Bella, a mutt who wandered onto the sanctuary grounds and into the heart of the gentle giant.  Tarra clearly loved her little dog and Bella obviously bonded right back.

They were so close, in fact, that when Bella got injured a few years
ago and had to spend three weeks recuperating in the sanctuary office, guess who held vigil the entire time? Twenty-two hundred acres to roam free, and Tarra just stood in the corner waiting. Home video of their reunion shows how inseparable they'd become and remained, right to the end.

Last week, sanctuary workers found Bella's body. By all indications she'd been attacked by coyotes. Whether Tarra witnessed it, tried to intervene or was too late - no one knows. All they do know is that where they found Bella is not where she was attacked.

"When I looked around and saw there was no signs of an attack here. No blood, no tuffs of hair, nothing," said director of elephant husbandry, Steve Smith. "And Tarra, on the underside of her trunk, had blood - as if she picked up the body.

Tarra moved her?

"Tarra moved her, " Smith said.

Steve's theory is Tarra carried Bella possibly a mile or more to bring her home.

Whether it really happened that way or not, no one doubts Tarra was that devoted.

"There's nothing we can do to take away her pain," said Atkinson.  "The only ones who can help now are the elephants.  And that is already happening."

Atkinson said the elephants are "stepping in and stepping up."  He said they're spending more time with Tarra and being extra nice - making gestures like giving her a portion of their food.

Of course, anyone who's lost a dog knows you can't eat your way out of the grief - as much we might try -- but still nice to know at least Tarra's not alone in this.
It's also nice to see that compassion is much more than just human.
* 2011 CBS Interactive Inc... All Rights Reserved.

Tarra moved her?
"Tarra moved her," Smith said.
Steve's theory is Tarra carried Bella possibly a mile or more to bring her home.

Whether it really happened that way or not, no one doubts Tarra was that devoted.

"There's nothing we can do to take away her pain," said Atkinson. "The only ones who can help now are the elephants. And that is already happening."

Atkinson said the elephants are "stepping in and stepping up." He said they're spending more time with Tarra and being extra nice - making gestures like giving her a portion of their food.

Of course, anyone who's lost a dog knows you can't eat your way out of the grief - as much we might try -- but still nice to know at least Tarra's not alone in this.

It's also nice to see that compassion is much more than just human.
© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011


Dogs today evolved from wolves who first developed a relationship with humans on the hunting trail.



< How Dogs Evolved Into 'Our Best Friends'

Copyright ©2011 National Public Radio®. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.
November 8, 2011 - TERRY GROSS, host: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Our guest, Mark Derr, is a naturalist and writer who's been thinking about how dogs evolved from their prehistoric ancestors and how they came to have such a close relationship with humans. Derr believes new genetic and archeological research suggests our friendship with dogs and wolves goes back thousands of years farther than previously believed.
In his new book, Derr explores how the relationship developed and how it influenced the physical evolution of dogs from wolves, into the friendly creatures that are so much a part of our lives. Mark Derr's book is called "How the Dog Became The Dog - From Wolves To Our Best Friends." He spoke with FRESH AIR contributor Dave Davies.
DAVE DAVIES: Mark Derr, welcome to FRESH AIR. Now, in your book, you tell us that there's new research from genetics and from the archeological record that's changed our views, or at least challenged the view that we've traditionally had, about how dogs or their dog ancestors became acquainted thousands of years ago. What was the traditional view of how dogs and people got together?
MARK DERR: Well, by traditional view, I use the one that's most current today and appears almost everywhere in print and on television programs. And that is that the dog somehow is a self-domesticated animal who fed on garbage dumps as people began to give up their hunting and gathering ways at the end of the last ice age and move into semi-permanent villages. That these wolves were scavenging their dumps, and they more they scavenged, the tamer they became, and ultimately they became these self-tamed dump-divers, I call them, who people then took into their homes or began to use in ways that more resembled their wolfish past.
If you think about it, it's a bit convoluted, really. Many animals feed on garbage dumps. None of them really get taken with welcoming arms into our homes and lives.
DAVIES: So we now believe that - or you believe that wolves became socialized and ran with humans before they began settling down to villages, when they were still hunters and gatherers, right?
DERR: I take the view that the dog is an evolutionary inevitability, that as soon as wolves and humans met on the trail of big game, they started traveling together, and they've been at it ever since. I say that because there are wolves who are highly sociable, just as there are humans who are highly sociable, and those two highly sociable individual animals, in many cases, could get together. And from that, could rise all kinds of relationships.
What I'm saying is that the dog is a creation of wolves and humans, of two equal beings who have come - who came together at a certain point in history and have been together ever since.
DAVIES: Now, I notice that when you're discussing this early relationship between dogs or dogs' ancestors and our ancestors from prehistory - early humans - you prefer the term dog-wolves or dog-like wolves to wolf-dogs. What's the distinction you're making?
DERR: The distinction I'm making is that there were some wolves, I believe, who were indeed dog-like, that is they were highly sociable to humans, they liked to hang around humans, and they ultimately settled down in a way in that they might have a litter of pups near the human society.
Some of those pups, being highly sociable, would take up with the humans and on down the line, so that what's being selected for is not tameness toward people, but sociability, the sociability of certain types of wolves and humans.
Now, that said, we're talking about a wide spectrum of behavior on the part of both species. There certainly are humans who are not very sociable, either to other humans or to other animals, just as there are animals who could care less about humans. There even are some dogs who really basically don't care very much about humans, it seems.
And so what I'm suggesting is that the dog emerged from a group of wolves who were basically dog-like - who were sociable to humans, who would interact with them, hunt with them, travel with them and ultimately began to reproduce in their presence.
That's not to say that all those dog-wolves, mind you, went on to become dogs, because many of them could die out. They may not have found mates. The lines may have vanished or been replaced by other lines. So we're talking about two things, really.
One is the way in which wolves and humans got together and lived together. And the other is how these wolves, these sociable wolves living among humans, ultimately became dogs. And that's the challenge.
DAVIES: When humans began associating with wolves, you know, back many thousands of years ago, and then of course physical changes occurred that made these creatures the dogs that we know today, what were some of the changes that came with living with humans?
DERR: Traditionally what archeologists have found and used to designate an animal as a dog versus a wolf, is an overall reduction in size, a shortening of the jaw, crowding of the teeth and other features that would indicate that it was a small kind of wolf.
This fed into the argument that the dog was basically this juvenilized, self-taming wolf, a kind of wolf-light, as it were. Research that's coming out now would tend to indicate that a small number of genetic mutations can have a large effect on an animal, so that researchers have found a gene for - that seems to regulate smallness in dogs.
And one of the first divides, I think, in the world of dog is between large and small.
DAVIES: So how could this association of wolves with humans lead to these physical changes?
DERR: Well, what happened was that you had populations of dog-wolves that became isolated from the greater wolf population, and in doing so, they began to breed more closely, to inbreed as it were.
And when you inbreed, you get genetic peculiarities that arise, and those peculiarities then begin to become part of the population. If they work, if they're popular, if they have some function of beauty or utility, then they are kept by the humans, and that population then spreads those through other populations, through breeding.
DAVIES: But if you look at these changes that kind of typify a dog from a wolf, the shorter snout, the smaller size, were these changes that were adaptations to living with people? I mean, less powerful jaws I believe was another one you mentioned. Or were they simply - yeah, why would living with human beings reinforce those changes?
DERR: Well, there are several things, one at the end of the last ice age. There seems to have been a pretty across-the-board reduction in size of many animals, including humans. It also was the case that the change in diet would have an effect on the way that the jaw is shaped because an animal that's not crunching bones all the time or is feeding on grain wouldn't have the need for as strong and powerful jaws as one that's living by hunting.
This, by the way, is a phenomenon that occurs among captive wolves, also. You must bear in mind that some dogs have a more powerful bite than wolves do. So we've been able to create animals that are both weaker and stronger, and that's purely a matter of selection by people for traits they want.
In other words, a mutation will appear in a small population. If I don't want it, what I do is kill the animals so that they don't reproduce. If I do want it, I try to get them to reproduce.
DAVIES: So just going back to kind of the earlier years of this, so when dogs got smaller, after their association with humans, why was that? I mean, wouldn't big dogs have been more effective, just as effective or even more effective hunters?
DERR: Well, not for getting rats. So small dogs are useful in terms of killing rats, really, and they also - there have been people who have suggested that the small dog was, in itself, because of its size, a curiosity, an easier dog to have as a companion.
In much of history, even in the American South through the 19th century, even today, you'll find people who have two dogs, or several dogs, but the divide they have is between a large dog, who is in the yard, and a small dog. And the small dog is usually as a feist or a little terrier or some sort whose job is to kill rats, make a noise if somebody comes near, be a companion or playmate for the children and a guardian.
There's one story that I ran into many years ago and used in a previous book of a woman who was out picking beans, and her little terrier was out there and started making an unholy racket, and she looked up and finally saw that it was barking at a big panther who was staring at her child.
She scooped the child up and ran in the house while the little dog stayed outside to hold at bay this big cat. Well, unfortunately the cat ate the dog, but the husband, when he came home, took his big dog and went out and hunted the panther and killed it and found the remains of their little dog, who had been very courageous.
DAVIES: We're speaking with Mark Derr. His new book is "How the Dog Became The Dog." We'll talk more after a short break. This is FRESH AIR.
DAVIES: If you're just joining us, our guest is writer Mark Derr. He's written several books about dogs. His latest is called "How the Dog Became The Dog - From Wolves To Our Best Friends."
How did the association with wolves begin, do you think?
DERR: Well, there are two ways I think that this could happen. One is people taking in puppies who were orphaned, perhaps, or they stole them. There are any number of ways to obtain wolf pups, and people have been doing it for a long time. And it is fairly easy, if you get them at a young age, to socialize them to humans - those who are so inclined.
But I think beyond that, there were adult animals involved. This is a bit of heresy, but if you think about it, it makes sense. There were researchers in the United States during the 1960s, who were able to socialize adult wolves. And they did it in a very interesting fashion, that is they would go into the pen and let the animal decide to come to them. They would not force themselves on the animal.
Now, those among our listeners who have actually interacted with adult animals and had them become friendly toward them, will understand what I'm talking about. I did it with a heron, for example. You can do it with all kinds of animals. But you have to allow the animal to come to you and not pose a threat to it or a perceived threat. And after a while, it will accommodate itself to you if it's so inclined.
I think this happened with wolves also. Beyond that, the issue is this, and we always have to bear this in mind. Biological time is infinitely short compared to geological time. And so you can fracture the structure of a wolf pack or a dingo pack in no time at all, simply by taking out the breeding pair. Take them out of the equation, and suddenly you've lost wolf culture for those younger animals, and they have to learn how to behave.
If it happens in a way where they're with humans, they can learn from humans how to behave.
DAVIES: Now going back to, you know, the early association of humans and wolves, to what extent was it that they learned to hunt together? I mean, either the way modern hunters do or perhaps humans following wolves who had a better scent and could track some of their - you know, the game that they mutually sought. How much of it was a utilitarian alliance?
DERR: There have been people who have suggested that wolves taught humans how to hunt. I'm not sure that's true, but I think it is true that humans, if you - humans could follow wolves, for example, as they pursued their game and then move in at the last minute to make the kill rather than allowing the wolf to do it and cart off the meat.
They might throw game to the wolf, or they might not. In that case, it's simply a case of following the leader, and the leader is the wolf. The wolf, on the other hand, could look at the human and say: These people are far more profligate hunters than we are. When they go out, they always leave a surplus. And it's easier for us to take the scraps that they have than is it to hunt. Hunting is a highly energetic activity.
And so they could learn from each other, just by observing each other, and we have to remember that people living in close proximity to the natural world and dependent on it for everything certainly would be close observers of it and what happens.
Beyond that, I think once wolves became more acclimated to humans, more sociable toward them and reproducing, let us call them dog-wolves, those animals would actually, I believe, go out and hunt with humans. And in that case, the wolf certainly expands the senses of the human hunters, both in terms of sight and hearing, whereas the human, with his weapons and fire, increases the power of the wolf enormously.
DAVIES: You know, nothing is cuter than a puppy. Everybody loves dogs, or almost everybody, but I picture our prehistoric ancestors as, you know, kind of living on the edge between starvation and subsistence. And it's maybe a little harder for me to think of them sharing food with any creature they don't have to. To what extent, do you think, was - and I'm asking you to speculate here - but to what extent was affection, as well as just utility, a part of this early association?
DERR: Well, certainly affection is part. To say something about the hunting and food, it's not clear that early humans were always on the edge of starvation. I doubt, seriously, if they were, except in times of the extreme brutality of the height of the last ice age and other places where conditions were bad or herds collapsed.
But they were pursuing herds of large animals, remember, and they probably had a fairly steady supply, unless the migrations broke off. There also have been studies that show that small bands of people, of hunters who hunt with dogs, bring home much more meat than those who don't have dogs. So that's the utilitarian side.
The other side is you're right, puppies, dogs, there's something about them that makes them - we're friends with them. I mean, there are people who dislike dogs, for sure. But dogs also have an uncanny ability - often if you think about dogs you might know who have walked into a room of visitors to your house, and they have an ability to pick out the one or two who seem to dislike dogs the most and make friends with them.
DAVIES: To what extent does the archeological record give us evidence that humans and wolves, or dogs, hunted together?
DERR: There have been some finds in recent year - these are basically fossils that have been re-examined, in many cases. They were dug up years ago and not sorted through. They now have been re-examined and re-dated. And they are animals, big animals, big dogs is what they are, dog-wolves, that are found in hunting camps.
And so there is a supposition that they probably were used in hunting or in at least in packing animals and material around, which would greatly extend the reach of the humans.
There are some studies, too, from China, about 7,000 years ago, indicating that people were actually raising millet to feed to their hunting dogs and that this kept the dogs alive during times of thin meat, as it were, times when they weren't - when the game wasn't around, and they weren't getting as much meat as they wanted, they would feed them millet.
So that would indicate, not only that the early dog was being used as a hunter, but that it was highly valued as a hunter.
DAVIES: So dogs evolved, physically, after they began associating with humans, but they're not simply defined biologically. They're really a cultural creation, too, aren't they?
DERR: They are definitely a cultural creation. This is one of the reasons why people like to speak of the dog as a separate species from the wolf, even though they're so closely related. But the dog lives with us in a way that wolves don't. And it is created by us in different ways so that purebred dogs, for example someone might have an ideal that they're trying to breed for. In other animals, someone might want a companion or a herding dog or a catch dog, which is a dog that will grab livestock or game and hold onto it.
I knew a rancher, once, in Central Florida, who had dogs. He had a line of dogs that were famous in ranch country in Florida, and they had been catch dogs. They would go and grab bulls by the nose and hold them while they were branded or whatever. This...
DAVIES: They would hold bulls by the nose?
DERR: Yeah.
DERR: They would grab them on the fleshy part of the face, and it tends to immobilize them. Dogs are nuts, you know. They do crazy things.
DAVIES: But breeding has also given us some pretty odd animals, like the pug. I mean, do you think this is - that some of this breeding has just taken dogs in directions that aren't healthy, aren't good for them?
DERR: You're going to get me in trouble here, but I've been trouble on this score before. Look, I think that some - and I'll say it bluntly, and it has to be said: some of these breeds are incapable, really, of giving birth without caesarian section.
You may have seen an article in the Times not too long ago about how some of the brachycephalic dogs - the dogs with the punched-in noses like the pug or the French bulldog - aren't - airlines will no longer fly them because the animals get up at altitude, and they can't breathe. They die.
Or in hot weather they can't breathe, and they die. I think that it certainly is wrong to produce animals that aren't healthy. It's bad for the animal. It's bad for the people who love them and take them into their homes and find out that this dog they love is going to die at a very young age because of some inheritable disease.
Often these diseases come along with the traits that people are breeding for in terms of beauty, let's a say a nice blue merle coat and clear blue eyes that they want on a dog, those may bring conditions like deafness and epilepsy with them. And we really should ask ourselves whether it is fair to the animal to do that. I am of the opinion that it is not.
DAVIES: Well, Mark Derr, it's been interesting. Thanks so much for spending some time with us.
DERR: Thank you.
GROSS: Mark Derr spoke with FRESH AIR contributor Dave Davies. Derr's new book is called "How the Dog Became The Dog - From Wolves To Our Best Friends." I'm Terry Gross and this is FRESH AIR.
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