pjf: Well-being = creative education + freedom
Education for Life: self-empowerment; Creative, productive freedom; organic food, farming > biodiversity, ecology

pjf Comments: Join the discussion

Promoting Wellbeing through diet/nutrition facts,
healthy exercise/lifestyle,
educated shopping on a budget,
biodiversity, environment,
solar / renewable energy
gardens, nature, photography,
resistance to junk food/corporate advertising.

Ah - commerce, where would we be without you? Nirv...
Ah - commerce, where would we be without you? Nirvana, probably :)

I prefer the song."My Morose Holiday Designed...
I prefer the song."My Morose Holiday Designed to increase greeting card and flower buying" by Archibald Slagbottom.

#healthyfood What do you think is more addictive, ...
#healthyfood What do you think is more addictive, #tobacco or #sugar?

Food addiction has nothing to do with your stomach, it is your brain that takes over.

On and off we have heard stories that said that sugary and fatty food affects our brains in much the same way as cocaine or cigarettes.

A group of scientists have since, proven the truth behind the theory.

The findings concluded that drugs and fatty foods affects almost the same areas of our brain.

Scientists found that the brains of a binge eater reacted in the same way a coke addict's did when he/she saw his/her fix.

When foodies see food or junkies see drugs the brain releases a neurotransmitter--dopamine--the sin signal of the brain.

Be it love, lust, reward or addiction dopamine is chemical behind all our 'sinful' cravings.

To be fair to dopamine however, it is a chemical signal that remembers certain predicted feedbacks.

A more mundane example would be the salivation like reaction if you simply think about tamarind.


#guitar #chords: My Funny Valentine Ella Fitzgeral...
#guitar #chords:
My Funny Valentine Ella Fitzgerald
video, lyrics and chords for guitar

Engage #children in #biodiversity conservation, ur...
Engage #children in #biodiversity conservation, urges UN ahead of World Wildlife Day

Ahead of World Wildlife Day -2017 on March 3, while announcing the theme of the observance as "Listening to the young voices" UN has urged the world community to provide incentives to the youth to tackle conservation issues by engaging with one another and together forge an inspired path to a better world.

"Habitat loss, climate change and poaching are among the most alarming challenges faced by wildlife today. Poaching and trafficking of wildlife is now the most immediate threat to many species, whether charismatic or less known," stated the UN.

The UN added that the fate of the world's wildlife would be soon in the hands of the next generation. The pressing need for enhanced action to ensure the survival of wildlife in its natural habitats must be imparted from generation to generation, and the youth should have the opportunity to communicate the conservation goals to a wider society.

According to the UN, engaging and empowering the youth in 183 Member States, CITES as one of the world's most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation through the regulation of trade in wild fauna and flora, we can ensure conservation of the wildlife.

#Opera review: Latvian #soprano Kristine Opolais s...
#Opera review: Latvian #soprano Kristine Opolais stars in Antonín Dvořák's 'Rusalka' at the Met

Opera gets no better than Antonín Dvořák’s Czech-language “Rusalka” (water nymph).

This masterpiece, popular worldwide, inexplicably took 92 years to reach Metropolitan Opera, where the Company mounted its premiere production in 1993.

After just 27 performances, it’s somehow time to replace it with Director Mary Zimmerman’s fantasy take on this adult fairytale, which opened Feb.

2 for eight performances.

Soprano Renée Fleming has sung the role—a personal favorite—at the Met fully 18 times; Latvian soprano #Kristine Opolais does title honors now.

British maestro Sir Mark Elder conducts.
Opera fairytale?

So an opera about a water nymph just replays Disney’s “Little Mermaid” (1989), right? The short answer is No.

Renée Fleming elaborated in her Nov.

4, 2016, Newark recital, “This is opera, folks.

Everybody dies.” Well, not really; she fibbed a little bit.

Just the nameless Prince actually dies by opera’s end.

Rusalka wants to but can’t.

Antonín Dvořák’s librettist, Jaroslav Kvapil, used the fairytales of Karel Jaromír Erben and Božena Němcová as his starting point.
Opera music for different worlds

Known in this country chiefly for his nine luscious symphonies, several of Antonín Dvořák’s ten operas regularly appear on Eastern Europe’s lyric stages.

The music of Act I, set in and around Rusalka’s watery home, is all other-worldly shimmering gossamer.

This starkly contrasts with the opening of Act II, whose music is totally human—first folksy, then a more-sophisticated sonic tapestry in the scenes featuring the unnamed Prince and Foreign Princess, with whom the now-mute Rusalka clumsily interacts, fish-out-of-water style.

Act III melds both musical styles.

#Trump attack on press is 'biggest threat to #...
#Trump attack on press is 'biggest threat to #democracy' says ex-Navy Seal chief

A retired Navy Seal who was an architect of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden has warned that Donald Trump’s attack on the press as an enemy of the American people “may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime”.

Retired admiral William McRaven, the former commander of the Joint Special Operations Command and later the US Special Operations Command, issued his defense of the media during a Tuesday late-afternoon lecture to journalism students at the University of Texas, where he serves as chancellor.

McRaven, himself a journalism graduate of the school, referred to the press as “the single most important institution in this republic” and said: “This may be the most important time for journalism that I have seen in decades. Probably we need you now more than ever before.”

McRaven did not issue a personal criticism of Trump, nor a broader critique of his administration. But he directly referenced “the president” in objecting to Trump’s stated perspective on the US press.

“On February 17, the president said the news media is the enemy of the American people. The news media is the enemy of the American people,” McRaven said, according to a video of the speech the University of Texas made available to the Guardian.

“This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime, this sentiment,” McRaven said to applause.


#Wealthy countries turn their backs on leading ant...
#Wealthy countries turn their backs on leading anti #poverty solution: #Migrants sending home paycheck.

The amount of money sent home by migrants and refugees from developing countries exceeds foreign aid – making migration a powerful anti-poverty tool.

Despite this overwhelming evidence, countries are shutting their doors to foreigners. The effort by Western governments to limit the entry of migrants and refugees is fueled by nationalism and rising inequality … and a fair amount of misinformation.

“Migration is overwhelmingly beneficial but there are some costs that bias public perceptions towards the negative,” Dilip Ratha, the head of the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development, said in a statement.

“As the global community prepares to define a global compact on migration by 2018, game-changing ideas are needed to harness the benefits and mitigate the risks associated with migration.

Viewing migration through a common lens of reducing poverty and boosting prosperity can provide a unifying framework for a comprehensive response.”

Migrants sending money home, or remittances, are credited as a leading reason poverty in Nepal fell at one of the fastest rates in the world between 2003 and 2011.

Remittances as a share of GDP grew from less than 5 percent of Nepal’s GDP to nearly 30 percent since 2000.

Everyone in the country benefited from the sudden rise, even households that did not directly get money, according to the World Bank.

Full story:


#healthyfood habits especially for #children Kaj...
#healthyfood habits especially for #children

Kajol is the kind of mother who is deeply and keenly aware of what her children eat and lays down the law when it comes to eating.

At a recent event for children in Delhi, she underscored the need to establish certain restrictions when it comes to eating.

As a mother of two — daughter Nysa (13) and son Yug (6), she believes a certain degree of discipline is required.

Kajol said, “My husband Ajay and I don’t have any hard-and-fast rules for our children.

Through the week, we eat regular food and then, over the weekend, we order whatever we want and have our cheat days.”

How the children eat...

She went on to share her two children’s different eating habits, despite them having a similar upbringing.

She said, “For Yug, the food has to smell good and taste good whereas for Nysa, it’s about the presentation; the food has to look good.

With Yug, it has to be expensive and it has to be without vegetables.

"I manage to feed him veggies by hiding them.”

Admitting that children pick up their eating habits from their parents, she said that she and Ajay have always been good examples, in that respect.

She does not consume any aerated drinks.

She emphasises that when it comes to eating, parents need to teach their children what is good and what is bad.

It is a constant battle, but her children are pretty honest with her.

When they don’t finish their tiffin boxes — which have home-cooked food — they tell her.

Making children eat the right way is a constant battle and Kajol said that “I don’t think there is any mother who doesn’t run behind their kids about food and stuff like that.

But yes, not to that extent now.”

As far as the struggle to eating healthy goes, she laughed and concluded, “The struggle is lifelong.

I’m still struggling to not eat a pizza today.”

full story

Hot spots of marine #biodiversity most severely im...
Hot spots of marine #biodiversity most severely impacted by #globalwarming biodiversity news

A new study aimed at identifying areas of highest conservation priority in the world's oceans found six "hot spots of marine biodiversity" that are severely impacted by climate change and fishing pressures.

While human activities are known to drive environmental changes that may lead to ecosystem collapse, previous research has not examined the overlap between global species distribution in our oceans and marine areas most at risk from climate change.

Francisco Ramírez and colleagues compiled a database of 2,183 marine species and over three decades worth of information on sea surface temperatures, ocean currents and marine productivity.

They also evaluated industrial fishing data from the last 60 years.

The environmental data showed an uneven distribution of changes to the Earth's oceans, with the most striking shifts at the poles and the tropics.

The researchers identified six areas of high biodiversity, including marine areas in temperate and tropical regions of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

While environmental changes have affected ocean temperatures, nutrient availability and currents in these species-rich areas, industrial fishing has also reduced global fish stocks.

The analysis of fisheries data showed that harvest pressure will continue and further exacerbate pressure on fish populations in these areas.

Climate and industrial fishing impacts should be considered concurrently for conservation, the authors say, and they call for the international community to conserve biodiversity through fishing policies, similar to the ways in which climate change is being addressed on a global scale.

#opensource - Internet-enable your microcontroller...
#opensource - Internet-enable your microcontroller projects for under $6 with ESP8266 open source news

#opera news - The Sharks and the Jets will battle ...
#opera news - The Sharks and the Jets will battle it out at Oman's opera house opera news

the chords are here https://tabs.ultimate-guitar....
the chords are here


Today's news: #vitaminD promoted as helping i...
Today's news: #vitaminD promoted as helping immune system combat winter colds and flu. The study recommends taking a supplement. But an inexpensive natural source is sardines.

In case anyone still doesn't know. A little sunlight promotes the manufacture of sunlight in the human body; when the weather is dire, sardines are an easy fix!

Top 6 sources:

Top 10 Vitamin D Rich Foods
Affiliate Disclosure

Vitamin D Rich Foods - Dr.AxeVitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is different from other vitamins because our bodies can make most of what we need with exposure to sunlight.

Vitamin D is more than a vitamin in that is acts as a pro-hormone and effects hormone balance and immune regulation of the body.

Most foods, unless they are fortified, are poor sources of vitamin D and there are only a small amount of vitamin D rich foods to choose from.

Vitamin D plays a role in calcium absorption into the bones.

A deficiency in vitamin D can result in a softening of the bones called osteomalacia or a bone abnormality called rickets.

Some of the biggest vitamin D deficiency symptoms include:

Weakened immune system
Seasonal depression
Autoimmune disease
Weak bones (osteopenia)
Skin issues eczema and psoriasis

People most prone to a vitamin D deficiency include those who live in northern regions with little sunlight exposure, people with darker skin, people on low fat diets and those taking steroids and weight loss medications.

Vitamin D also helps with cell replication, and may play a role in the development of autoimmune conditions. The RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU/day and the Daily Value is 400 IU.
Top 10 Vitamin D Rich Foods

1) Sunlight
Promotes vitamin D synthesis from cholesterol in the skin.

2) Cod liver oil
1 tsp: 440 IU (over 100% DV)

3) Sardines
3 ounces: 164 IU (41% DV)

4) Salmon
3 ounces: 400 IU (100% DV)

5) Mackerel
3 ounces: 400 IU (100% DV)

6) Tuna
3 ounces: 228 IU (57% DV)

Rising demand for #organic, non-#GMO grains outpac...
Rising demand for #organic, non-#GMO grains outpaces US production

Increasing consumer demand for organic foods and non-genetically modified organisms (GMOs) led to a sharp rise in organic grain imports in 2016, prompting food manufacturers to explore new incentives for U.S. growers transitioning to organic production, according to a new report from CoBank.

While U.S. production of non-GMO crops has risen, domestic production of organic corn and soybeans remains well short of demand.

“Domestic supplies of non-GMO corn and soybeans increased steadily in 2016 as growers converted acreage and captured moderate market premiums,” said Dan Kowalski, director of the Knowledge Exchange Division at CoBank.

“Transitioning to organic production, however, is a multiyear, risk/reward calculation that’s likely holding some U.S. growers back from taking advantage of the market opportunity.”

Full story:


McDonald's fastfood corporation responds to DE...
McDonald's fastfood corporation responds to DEMAND for #healthyfood

Proof that #education works

There’s no way to put this gently: America is fatter than ever before. Thanks to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and an abundance of unhealthy fast food options, obesity rates have steadily increased with each passing year. In fact, recent data from the CDC relays that more than 1/3 of Americans can be considered obese.

Over the past few years, McDonald’s has steadily introduced items like premium salads that curiously coexist alongside famously unhealthy items like fries and the iconic double quarter pounder with cheese.

In fact, it’s actually possible live on a McDonald’s diet exclusively and keep your arteries relatively clean.

'No magic #poverty wand' says Swansea expe...
'No magic #poverty wand' says Swansea expert

The difficulty with tackling poverty in Wales was that you're effectively trying to tackle 60 years plus of de-industrialisation.

"Poverty is such a massive, all-encompassing term," said Dr Reynolds, of Swansea-based regeneration agency Trilein. "You have to break it down into its component parts.

"It was an incredibly bold thing to do. But one fair criticism of the Communities First programme is that most of it was not clearly defined at the outset.

"You have to know what is achievable, realistic. These things are very complicated."

full story:


#urban air #pollution around the world today - liv...
#urban air #pollution around the world today - live reporting

China: A scary fact: Smog/haze is now so thick that most Chinese refer to it as 'the weather'. They are often unaware it is not a natural phenomenon.

Sydney Australia: “My son is three and has bad asthma, so I’m very aware of air quality. When we had those dust storms, that was really bad.
We were warned over the weekend that the air quality wasn’t going to be very good, so we paid attention and kept him indoors.”

The Air We Breathe: Today, Guardian Cities kicks off a week to exploring one of the worst preventable causes of death around the world: air pollution.

Dirty air kills 3.3 million people every year – more than HIV, malaria and influenza combined. Indoor pollution claims roughly the same number again.

Most of these deaths happen in cities, where automobile exhaust, factories and power plants, and coal and wood fires for heating and cooking are among the deadliest culprits.

India: Hello from Delhi, the capital of India, and one-time “most polluted city in the world”.

As we’ve already reported, that unenviable title now belongs to Onitsha, a tropical port city in Nigeria – but Indians aren’t celebrating yet.

According to the WHO, half of the world’s 20 most-polluted cities are in India, starting with Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.

The rankings have helped to drive a growing awareness in India that air pollution is not confined to its smoggy capital.

The proliferation of coal-fired power stations, brick kilns, crop burning and other pollution sources across northern India have made it so not a single city in the entire region meets international air quality standards, according to a report from Greenpeace.

Delhi is where the problem gets most attention though, and pictures of the haze that settled on the city after Diwali in November last year were broadcast around the world.

The city government labelled the toxic air an “emergency” and ordered immediate action, including temporarily closing schools and construction sites. It helped clear the immediate spike in pollution, but longer-term steps are still urgently needed.

#Education the biggest loser in Australia Labor r...
#Education the biggest loser in Australia Labor reshuffle

Queensland students are the biggest losers in the latest Labor cabinet reshuffle with Education Minister Kate Jones’s attention to be diverted to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

LNP Shadow Minister for Education Tracy Davis said it was disappointing Annastacia Palaszczuk thought education could play second fiddle to the glamorous Games portfolio.

“Our kids deserve a full time Minister who is focussed on ensuring they get the best education,” Ms Davis said.

“This mammoth portfolio was too big for Kate Jones last time and it’s too big for her now.

“The Commonwealth Games is the largest event Queensland will host since the 1988 World Expo and we can’t get that wrong – but it shouldn’t be at the expense of our students’ education.

“Last time Labor’s Kate Jones had this cobbled-together portfolio, it was revealed she spent less than 40 per cent of her time meeting education groups - despite education representing 98 per cent of her budget responsibilities.

“What has changed since Annastasia Palaszczuk stripped Kate Jones of the Commonwealth Games due to the heavy workload 14 months ago?

“The next 12 months are critical for Queensland as we negotiate a new education funding agreement with the Commonwealth Government and we can’t have a distracted Minister.

“Only the LNP will put our students’ education first with a dedicated Minister for Education.”

#biodiversity addition: Cheshire watersports centr...
#biodiversity addition: Cheshire watersports centre

Adventure Lakes has submitted a full planning application to Cheshire East Council to build a new leisure destination on a 53.5-acre site, which comprises two lakes at the former Mere Farm Quarry in Nether Alderley.

The applicant wants to convert the northern lake into a wakeboarding park and aerial ropes course, while the southern lake would be used for kayaking, paddle boarding and swimming.

The planned scheme also involves building a reception, changing facilities, a café, a car park and other facilities.

This proposal represents a resubmission with amends of an earlier application that was originally submitted in March 2016. In unprecedented circumstances, the initial application was presented to the council's planning board on three separate occasions.

In July, the planning committee decided against the application by five votes to four after the scheme was recommended for refusal by planning officers, but the applicant and its supporters were prevented from speaking at the meeting by an administrative error from the council.

As such, it was agreed that the application would be reheard.

Then in August, members resolved to approve the application by six votes to five.

Alongside all of the benefits that are agreed to emanate from the application scheme, which remain as per the original application, this application also offers up a comprehensive suite of further biodiversity enhancements.

The proposed biodiversity measures include establishing two new islands within the southern lake, creating two sand martin bank colonies on the southern lake, delivering wildflower meadows around the lakes, fitting bird deflectors to the anchor cables on the northern lake and brightly coloured cable carriers at 80-metre intervals on the main cable to reduce the potential for birdstrikes, planting reed beds, ensuring that a large proportion of the southern lake is free from activity at all times, closing the southern lake completely between 15 October and 15 March annually, and erecting 55 metres of species-rich hedgerow.

#poverty is greatest challenge to humanity, says V...
#poverty is greatest challenge to humanity, says Vatican's UN nuncio

Archbishop Bernardito Auza said that the world must also end conflicts and violence, which are major contributors to poverty. He added that poverty is the greatest challenge to humanity.

He made the comments during a presentation on February 6 to a meeting of the UN Commission for Social Development.

“As we know far too well, millions of people currently find themselves living amid conflicts, fuelled by senseless violence, hatred and fear,” Archbishop Auza said.

“Even in places that we once considered secure, lack of opportunity and the economic and social strains caused by global insecurity and forced migrations have left the world less stable and in desperate need of concrete signs of hope.”

He called on the UN and its member states to go move beyond addressing economic poverty and to develop policies and investments “that people can see and touch” to tackle social and spiritual poverty as well.

We must work to provide young people with education, jobs and opportunities that encourage their personal growth and provide them a place in society to make meaningful contributions.

Such investments would help youth to know “they are valued and belong” and “will not fall prey to extremist ideologies.”

Sustainable development practices also should include migrants, refugees and displaced people.

#JoLawry Becca Stevens jazz at BRIC House, March 3...
#JoLawry Becca Stevens jazz at BRIC House, March 30

BRIC is pleased to welcome acclaimed Brooklyn-based singer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Becca Stevens to BRIC House on March 30 2017.

Always reaching, always expanding, Becca Stevens - whom The New York Times describes as a "best-kept secret" and "impressively absorbing" - reinvents herself once again with her latest album, Regina.

Stevens' style has always evaded categorization, and with Regina, even more so.

One hears pop, rock, R&B and funk side-by-side with traditional Appalachian and British folk, classical, world music, and jazz.

Intricate instrumentation and rhythms seamlessly intertwine with vocals and melodies that work their way into your brain.

Stevens has been compared to Bjork, St Vincent, Tori Amos and Joni Mitchell and is certainly making her mark on the international music scene in a big way, establishing herself as a long term and important artist for the future.

Special guests at this performance include Mike League (Snarky Puppy), Michelle Willis (Lighthouse Band), Jo Lawry (jazz vocals) with Chris Tordini, Jordan Perlson & Liam Robinson (Becca Stevens Band).

single parents with infant #children in #poverty i...
single parents with infant #children in #poverty in Netherlands

More Dutch in long-term poverty despite shrinking wealth gap

Despite a decrease in the wealth gap in the Netherlands, the number of households living in long-term poverty increased to 3.3 percent of households in 2015, Statistics Netherlands announced on Wednesday.

In 2015 a total of 221 thousand households lived below the minimum income threshold for more than four years, 27 thousand more than in 2015.

The low income threshold is the minimum amount of income needed to achieve a level of consumption considered necessary in the Netherlands, according to Statistics Netherlands.

In 2015 that was 1,030 euros for single people and 1,930 euros for couples with two children. Of the more than seven million Dutch households, 626 thousand live on an income below that limit. That is 8.8 percent of Dutch households.

Single parents with minor children are especially at risk of poverty. They make up more than a quarter of the group living below the minimum income threshold.

In 2015 a total of 320 thousand children lived in poverty - 125 thousand had been doing so for more than 4 years.

The rise of house prices also caused a decrease in the wealth gap in the Netherlands. Low house prices relatively affect low-income households more than high income households, as wealthier households usually have more savings and securities and therefore more reserves.

Nearly three in five households owned their homes in 2015. And homes accounted for 56 percent of the value of households' assets.

life without #mentalhealth issues? science (#psych...
life without #mentalhealth issues? science (#psychology) says you're the weird one

In a study of 988 individuals, just 171 (roughly 17%) of them claimed to have never experienced depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorder.

The research, which was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, revealed that roughly 41% of the respondents had dealt with a mental health issue for at least a short period of time by the time they reached age 38.

The other 408 participants were shown to have endured longer lasting battles with mental ailments occurring over several years, and some had also been diagnosed with serious conditions such as bipolar disorder.

The study was conducted over the full lifetimes of the 988 individuals, with a total of 13 assessments taking place between their birth and when they hit age 38.

The figures fall largely in line with other long-term mental health surveys, and give more concrete evidence that mental health is something that the vast majority of people struggle with at some point in their lives.

#biodiversity #Trump's wall puts #wildlife at ...
#biodiversity #Trump's wall puts #wildlife at risk (and civilisation)

Since 2006, 1,100 kilometers of barriers covering more than 30 per cent of the border between the countries have been built. The newest executive order commands the “immediate construction of a physical wall”, stating that ‘wall’ means “a physical barrier, continuous and impassable”.

“It will be a big problem for wildlife”, says Jesse Lasky, researcher at Pennsylvania State University in the United States and author of a 2011 study warning that more than 50 species were endangered because of the existing separation. The study also warned that this number would increase if the barriers expanded — they are currently irregular, in various sizes and shapes.

The cougar, the Mexican wolf, the black bear and the porcupine are some of the endangered species along the border. But it isn't stopping people!

Rurik List, ecologist of the Autonomous Metropolitan University in Mexico, who has studied the border since 1993, confirmed to SciDev.Net that an impenetrable wall will have severe additional consequences by restricting the movement of animals trying to adapt to climate change. Lasky expressed the same concern, citing changes in the hydrological patterns of the area.

“We have seen how bisons break the barbed wire when crossing the border, allowing smaller animals to pass. Now [with a built wall], this won’t be possible anymore”, concludes List.


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