Saturday, May 27, 2017

Apso




This loving, little guy's name is Apso. Never camera shy, his smiles are meant for all of humanity. Here, he is about 10 years old. While Lhasa Apsos are typically show dogs, sporting long fur, we kept Apso's hair cut short so he could be the free spirit he was meant to be.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Sun Sets Over Big Sur




Taken from atop the Nacimiento Mountains, just outside of Big Sur, CA. The scene overlooks a setting sun descending over the Pacific Ocean. The sun is divided by cloud coverage, creating a unique dual-star quality. Soon after this picture was taken, I was overcome by mist, fog, and then a night of rain. Truly, this was the calm before the storm.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Stone Wire Sculpture




I came across this art piece while driving through Northern California. The artist uses metal, wire, and stone, to create these unique creations. I wish I remembered the artist's name, but unfortunately I took this photo many years ago. If you know the artist, please let me know. If you were the artist, what would you name this piece?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Last Supper

The Last Supper mural at Sally Long's Pub in Galway, Ireland. Several notables are David Bowe, Prince, Elvis, Jim Morrison, Axl Rose, and Bob Marley.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cave Troll Caught on Film




They said he lurked behind a cold curtain of crashing water in a cavernous canyon deep in the heart of Jackson Falls, Shawnee National Forest. So, I climbed down into the beast's lair, careful not to slip on the perilous stones outside his home.

As I descended into the cold climate, I saw a sign that said "Beware!" Like a fool, I decided it wasn't for me. As day began to dawn, I crossed his lawn and decided to see if he could be coaxed into view. I knew he was dangerous, but it would be just be us, and I was harmless.

Suddenly, he swooped down like a great ape. I gaped at the sight and shivered with fright. He was dressed in red. Blood, I assumed, from the dead photographers who dared cross this boss of a beast.

I sensed he would feast on my soul if I didn't flee, but something within me told me to snap a picture quickly (for niume, of course). Which I did. Consider yourself fortunate, for you do not have to look upon his gruesome face. His hair was a mangled nest for pests to thrive in. His features, hunched like Quasimodo of Notre Dame.

I fled as fast as I could. He didn't chase me. Good, I though, better to get as far as possible from this sulking servant of the night. Out of sight, I looked at the picture, pleasantly surprised at its ability to outline the ugly troll. I thought that soon I would be rich, and proceeded to upload the photo onto my blog.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Acting Corny at the Corn Palace

Located in South Dakota, the Corn Palace, oftentimes referred to as the "Worlds Only Corn Palace" or the "Mitchell Corn Palace", was completed in 1921. It offers free guided-tours full of "a-maize-ing" facts about the corn palace itself. The tour also features an outstanding video explaining the Corn Palace story. After the tour, you can view displays of "corny" artwork, murals, paintings, and further information about the construction of the building. In the off season, the Corn Palace becomes a venue for concerts, sports events, exhibits and other community events. Each year, the Corn Palace is celebrated with a citywide festival, the Corn Palace Festival.



(The above picture taken of a picture within the corn palace. Below is an example of a mural made out of a corncobs and corn kernels.)



The exterior corn murals are replaced and redesigned each year with a new theme. The designs are created by local artists. After the murals have been used up, or after Corn Palace week, the corn is used to feed the various species of birds the flock in the wake of the festivities. During its over 100 years of existence, it has become known worldwide and now attracts more than a half a million visitors annually.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Pros and Cons of Drinking Milk

Milk. It’s on billboards; it’s in commercials; celebrities drink it; athletes drink it, and doctors recommend it. It was given to us with our lunches, hospitals give it after a surgery, and you are constantly told that milk is how you get your calcium and vitamin D. We were told to follow these milk-mustached experts, but what we were really doing was falling prey to the milk industry’s lobbying and luring techniques.

Milk is not what it used to be. Fifty years ago the average cow produced 2,000 pounds of milk per year. Today, the average top producers of milk produce 50,000 pounds of milk per cow per year.

How is this accomplished? rBGH is a growth hormone that increases the milk production in cows up to 20%. This growth hormone can lead to udder inflammation which can lead to contaminated milk along with secretion of pus that is common in an inflamed udder.

How does a farmer cure an inflamed udder? Farmers put antibiotics into cows to treat the sickness. These antibiotics show up in the milk you drink and, along with the pus and antibiotics, the rBGH milk produces higher concentrations of insulin in the milk. While insulin is a necessary tool for medical practice, it is not the best additive for the human body. According to the Harvard school of public health, access insulin in the human body can lead to a potentially greater risk of human prostate cancer.



Consider, for a moment, what the human population is doing with milk these days. Would you or anyone you know drink rat’s milk? How about dog’s milk?

Why is it so socially acceptable and socially desired to drink cow’s milk? Human beings are the only mammals that drink milk after the milking stage with a mother during infancy. Pups drink dog’s milk, calves drink cow’s milk, and humans drink human milk; as the way nature intended. So, it seems a bit odd that the human being is the only mammal that doesn’t have enough sense to stop drinking milk after they are young.

If you must drink milk. The number one thing not to do with milk is drink it raw or straight from a cow. The bovine leukemia virus is found in more than three out of five dairy cows in the United States. This involves about 80% of dairy herds that can potentially give a human being leukemia just from drinking their milk. So, when the milk is pooled together to be combined with other milks, about 90-95% of the milk pooled is contaminated. Of course this virus or cancer is killed in pasteurization, if the pasteurization is done correctly; but we all know what happens to technology at some point. It fails.

Technological Fails. Think about when your computer freezes up or a power outage at your home happens. Technology fails to work properly. Can this happen in factories, and, if so, what is the outcome?

When pasteurization fails. This happened in Chicago, 1985. The process failure killed four people, and resulted in 150,000 people becoming ill. This death toll doesn’t seem too bad if you compare it to the upshot of milk’s history. However, the real problem arises when we realize what was in the raw milk people drank.

All of the people who drank the unpasteurized milk potentially ingested harmful bacteria or the leukemia infection. Researchers were not 100% sure what will happen to the people who drank the milk in Chicago that fateful day, but they were sure that in about three generations of their offspring, that their grandchildren would most likely develop leukemia.

Benefits? Are there any benefits from drinking cow’s milk or eating the dairy products being produced on a massive scale? The obvious answer is that milk is a good source of calcium, but even more, a good source of amino acids. However, it turns out milk is a terrible source of calcium due to the fact that it has too many proteins. Some studies suggest that this overabundance of proteins actually depletes calcium deposits, rather than absorbing them.

Furthermore, it is said that milk can help prevent osteoporosis, which is a degenerative disease of bone mass due to the extreme levels of calcium milk supplies. This fact, however, is misleading. Humans need more than just calcium for your bones to become stronger. In order for your bones to absorb calcium, the body needs a comparable amount of magnesium. Milk and dairy products only contain small amounts of magnesium. Without magnesium, calcium can become dangerous to bones, and, combined with a large amount of proteins, calcium can become even more dangerous.

According to Robert Cohen of the Dairy Education Board, “The massive amounts of proteins in milk result in 50% loss of original bone calcium through urine, making your bones even weaker than when they started.”



A potential pro was found in a study published in Lancet during 1992. The study pointed out that drinking milk (albeit human breast milk) could increase a person’s IQ. The study declared that a child drinking its mother’s breast milk would add 10 points to its adult IQ. But this just goes to ask the question if mother’s breast milk is pure. Unfortunately, counter-studies showed a presence of pesticides in mother’s milk due to things the mother had recently eaten, such as meat and dairy products.

Still milk seems to be a decent source of calcium and aside from the fact that it lacks of magnesium (which helps absorb the proteins) and the pus secreted growth hormones, milk seems to do it’s part. But still adverse side effects may make you wonder what other ways there are to get calcium?

Milk is relatively calcium-poor when it is compared to most other sources of calcium, especially when compared to green leafy vegetables and grains and according to the FDA, the recommended daily allowance of calcium is approximately 800-1000 mg, although 1200 mg is ideal.

What else compares to milk? Milk has 302 milligrams of calcium per cup. Mother Nature gave a woman’s breast milk 33 milligrams of calcium per cup. And, just to compare it to another liquid most of you ingest, Tropicana’s Premium Orange Juice contains 350 milligrams of calcium per cup.

While these different products may be a good source for calcium, (as stated before) calcum is not all that is needed to develop strong bones.

Some alternative sources of calcium that also have high levels of magnesium include, sesame seeds, almonds, tofu, soy and basically any dark green leafy vegetable.

A final note. Over the course of four years there were 2,700 medical articles dealing with milk. According to Robert M. Kradjian, MD, these articles contained things such as bed-wetting, intestinal colic, intestinal irritation, intestinal bleeding, anemia, allergic reactions in infants and children, as well as infections such as salmonella.

In grown ups the problems seemed centered around heart diseases, arthritis, allergy, sinusitis, and the more serious questions of leukemia, lymphoma and cancer.

According to Ted Weiss, chairman of the house of Government Operations Subcommittee on Human Resources, “The FDA still cannot honestly assure the public that milk is safe.” Hopefully this makes you think twice between a simple glass of milk, or a simple trip to the hospital.

In conclusion, it is a proven fact that milk isn’t what many “experts” make it out to be. Perhaps this was the first time you have ever been told that milk was bad for you. If this is the case, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. It seems the lobbyists for milk tycoons have done their job well. They have successfully hidden the negative spin on their product.




Work Cited

Cohen, Robert. "Calcium and Bone Disease." Not Milk. Dairy Education Board. <http://www.notmilk.com/deb/092098.html>.

Kloberdanz, Kristin. "Lactose Intolerance FAQ." Healthy Me. 2007. Blue Cross Blue Shield. <http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/topic13938>.

Kradjian, Md, Robert M. "THE MILK LETTER : a MESSAGE TO MY PATIENTS." Not Milk. Breast Surgery Chief Division of General Surgery. <http://www.notmilk.com/kradjian.html>.

Lee, Jean, and Randy Wei. "Milk, Doing Your Body Good?" Journal of Young Investigators. Sept. 2002. Integrative Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California At Berkeley <http://www.jyi.org/volumes/volume6/issue3/features/lee_and_wei.html>.