Thursday, 27 April 2017

Donald Trump`s first 100 days: A chaotic discovery of power

From the resounding setbacks in Congress to the stunning policy flip-flops, Donald Trump has certainly been confronted with a steep learning curve in his opening months at the White House.
While the new US president has shown a capacity to change both his tone and his positions, Trump has struggled to convey a clearly articulated worldview.
As the symbolic milestone of his 100th day in power, which falls on Saturday, draws near, a cold, hard reality is setting in for the billionaire businessman who promised Americans he would "win, win, win" for them.
At this stage of his presidency Donald Trump is the least popular US leader in modern history (even if his core supporters still fully support him).
The 70-year-old Trump, whose election victory unleashed a political shockwave around the world, is still clinging to the take-no-prisoners, unpredictable, impulsive style that made him a property mogul and reality TV star.
But the onetime anti-establishment candidate who promised to "drain the swamp" in Washington appears to have recognised -- with a mix of naivete and craftiness -- that he has one of the most difficult jobs in the world.
In just his first few weeks in office Trump suffered some crippling blows -- the federal courts halted his proposed travel ban, and Congress failed to move ahead on health care reform.
"Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated," Trump said during his efforts to see Obamacare -- his Democratic predecessor`s signature domestic policy achievement -- repealed and replaced.
"After listening for 10 minutes, I realised it`s not so easy," Trump said after talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping about North Korea. The demands and constraints of the Oval Office -- where every word uttered counts -- are quite different from the daily stump speeches Trump made on the campaign trail.
Who to turn to for advice? Whose advice to heed? What kind of relationship to build with Congress, even when it`s nominally controlled by one`s own party? How much latitude to afford the usually powerful State and Defense Departments?
All of his predecessors have said it: moving into the mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a shock to the system.
"There`s just something about this job as president every president faces -- you know, that you think one thing going in and then the pressures of the job or the realities of the world, you know, are different than you thought," George W Bush said recently.
Aside from his unwavering penchant for morning tweetstorms, often influenced by the ebb and flow of headlines on Fox News, Trump has changed.
In the choice of his teams as well as in some negotiations, a sort of "presidentialisation" seems to be unfolding -- albeit haltingly.
Trump, who was elevated to the highest office in the United States with no prior political, diplomatic or military experience, says his ever-evolving approach works.
"I do change and I am flexible, and I`m proud of that flexibility," Trump said, shortly before authorising air strikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over what Washington says was a sarin attack on civilians.
On China, Russia and NATO, his about-faces have -- to some extent -- reassured some Americans, and some of Washington`s allies.
"When a president moves from being so wrong to being so right on such important questions, the sensible response is not to carp but to celebrate, however cautiously," The Washington Post said in an editorial, reminding readers of the harsh, dark tone of Trump`s inaugural address.
But his approach also includes risks.
From Syria to North Korea, what is the risk of dragging the United States into a military conflict with an unpredictable outcome, a situation Trump warned against on the campaign trail?
How would the Republican president react if a major terror attack were to happen on US soil, as it did on 9/11?Both style and substance reveal that Donald J Trump is an American president like no other before him.
In a rather disconcerting interview given to Time magazine in March, in which Trump defended his controversial, far-fetched or just plain false statements one by one, he said: "What am I going to tell you? I tend to be right."
More than three months after taking office, many of his detractors still deem the profile written by author Philip Roth for The New Yorker in late January to be a just one.
He wrote of a president "ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance... and wielding a vocabulary of 77 words."
Trump`s numerous policy pivots and resets also raise questions about the very definition of his fluid brand of "Trumpism" -- which revolves around his ubiquitous "America First" slogan, a seemingly simple idea that is nevertheless tough to explain.
The internal squabbles within the Trump White House have not helped the president move forward with articulating his long-term vision.
Within a group that includes the ultra-conservative Steve Bannon, one thing stands out: the prime positioning of his family, especially daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
The successful nomination of conservative federal judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court stands as the major success of the first 100 days of the 45th president of the United States.
All too aware that he doesn`t have much to show for those days, Trump lashed out with a tweet decrying the "ridiculous standard of the first 100 days" -- one that his team has repeatedly said was vital.
Trump, who regularly talks about possibly running for re-election, has more than 1,300 days ahead of him until his first term ends.

Donald Trump gives Pentagon more flexibility on Iraq, Syria troops

The White House is giving the Pentagon greater flexibility to determine the number of US troops in Iraq and Syria, in another move by President Donald Trump to shift greater power to his military leaders.
The decision will give Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the authority to send more forces into Syria, to assist US-backed local troops as they move to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State group, which has used the city as a de facto capital.
It will also let him adjust the force numbers in Iraq, in the ongoing fight to oust IS from Mosul and stabilize it as the rebuilding begins.
The Pentagon has already been making quiet, incremental additions to the troop levels in both countries in recent months, adding hundreds of Marines in Syria to provide artillery support, and sending more advisers into Iraq to work with units closer to the fight in Mosul.
Those moves were done with White House approval, but without any formal adjustment to the longstanding troop caps that had been set by the Obama administration.
Dana White, chief spokesperson for the Pentagon, said Wednesday that Mattis has not made any changes yet to the current authorised force levels.
Under the Obama White House, military leaders chafed about micromanagement that forced commanders to get approvals for routine tactical decisions and personnel moves, and provide justification for any troops sent into war zones.
Commanders have argued that they should be able to determine troop deployments based on the military capabilities they believe are needed at any given time.
The new authority will provide greater transparency about the actual number of US forces in Iraq and Syria after several years of public confusion about the accurate totals.
Under the Obama-mandated caps, the US was limited to 503 officially deployed troops in Syria, and 5,262 in Iraq. The Pentagon, however, has closer to 7,000 in Iraq, and hundreds more than the cap in Syria, but doesn't count them because they are on temporary duty or not counted under specific personnel rules.
The change, however, could trigger concerns particularly in Iraq, where there are political sensitivities about the footprint of American and coalition troops and fears about occupation forces.
Officials worry that if they publicly acknowledge there are thousands more troops there, it could fuel opposition and problems for the Iraqi government.
Trump's decision applies only to the two countries, and so far does not affect Afghanistan, although that change has also been discussed.
"This does not represent a change in our mission in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIS," said White, using another name for the Islamic State group.

NASA's Cassini captures closest image of Saturn's atmosphere!

The US space agency NASA has released a beautiful view of Saturn's atmosphere.
The image was captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during its first Grand Finale dive past the planet on April 26, 2017.
The unprocessed image shows features in Saturn's atmosphere from closer than ever before.
Cassini spacecrfat is a joint mission of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.
The 22-foot-tall (6.7 meter) spacecraft was launched in 1997 and began orbiting Saturn in 2004.
The spacecraft is running low on fuel, and will make a death plunge into Saturn's surface on September 15, 2017.

Good luck with that: Public editor maintains ESPN will not stick to sports, whether viewers like it or not

After news broke Wednesday that ESPN would be cutting around 100 people, mostly on-air personalities, it wasn’t long before people pointed to the sports network’s continual detours into liberal politics as a probable cause.
ESPN Public Editor Jim Brady chimed in to clarify that the layoffs were a matter of economics, plain and simple; although he did acknowledge the network’s drift to one side of the political spectrum. Hmm … wonder which side?
It was just two weeks ago that Brady published a nearly 3,000-word essay concluding that “ESPN has made it clear: It’s not sticking to sports.”

Grad students who called professor a rape apologist in letter to campus paper taken to school

William A. Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell Law School and contributor to Legal Insurrection, called on the Cornell Daily Sun to apologize and publish a retraction after the paper printed a letter to the editor from seven graduate students alleging that the chair of the chemistry department was a rape apologist, a misogynist, and unfit to serve as chair.
“How can graduate students at risk for sexual assault and bias feel safe knowing the man handling sexual harassment complaints is a rape apologist?” they wrote.

 Jacobson accuses the letter writers of taking several of Collum’s words and tweets out of context as part of a smear campaign in which the paper is complicit for not contacting Collum for rebuttal.
Jacobson notes that the students accused Collum of tweeting his support for “rape apologist” Michael Cernovich and then deleting the tweet, a charge Jacobson answered with a screen shot and this explanation:
… the sequence showed that rather than endorsing Cernovich’s 2012 date rape tweet as the letter suggests, Prof. Collum rejected the message in that tweet when called to his attention.
One or more of the letter writers surely were aware of this sequence because the first named writer, Kevin Hines, posted about the tweet and deletion on his own Facebook account contemporaneously with the deletion.
The students also took selected bits of this quote by Collum — “In an effort to stem a perceived epidemic of sexual violence against women, the Department of Education sent strong messages to universities” — to accuse him of “pushing the myth that rape on college campuses is a ‘perceived’ threat.”
“By selectively choosing one sentence from a 135-page document, stripping out the footnote, and ignoring other language in the same section,” Jacobson writes, the students managed to present him as a campus rape denier.
“I wrote to each of the original letter writers raising each of the points raised above and asking for a response. As of this writing, I have received no response,” Jacobson adds, asking the Daily Sun to consider that the original accusations will appear in search engines forever.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren accidentally BUSTS Dem narrative on charter schools

Sen. Elizabeth Warren offered her congratulations today to the 2017 National Teacher of the Year, but there’s a catch…

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is so giddy that this year’s National Teacher of the Year hails from her home state of Massachusetts.

“No surprise here that MA has the best teacher in the US,” she tweeted. “Congrats to 2017 National Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee from Codman Academy!”
One problem. The good lady senator left out something very important. Codman Academy is a charter school. And Democrats like Sen. Warren hate charter schools.
She voted against the expansion of charter schools in a 2016 election, explaining her opposition to Boston Magazine:
I will be voting no on Question 2. Many charter schools in Massachusetts are producing extraordinary results for our students, and we should celebrate the hard work of those teachers and spread what’s working to other schools.
But after hearing more from both sides, I am very concerned about what this specific proposal means for hundreds of thousands of children across our Commonwealth, especially those living in districts with tight budgets where every dime matters. Education is about creating opportunity for all our children, not about leaving many behind.
Charter Schools Are GOOD For Children. Of course, what Warren and her fellow Democrats won’t tell you is that in Massachusetts, charter schools are doing exceedingly well. In supporting expanding charter schools in the state, the Brookings Institution wrote: “This research shows that charter schools in the urban areas of Massachusetts have large, positive effects on educational outcomes. The effects are particularly large for disadvantaged students, English learners, special education students, and children who enter charters with low test scores.”
Of course, Twitter was quick to note the problem.

 And what has the Massachusetts Teachers Union said about Chaffee’s win? Nothing. Not one peep.

After Challenging Red Light Cameras, Oregon Man Fined $500 for Practicing Engineering Without a License

When Mats Järlström's wife got snagged by one of Oregon's red light cameras in 2013, he challenged the ticket by questioning the timing of the yellow lights at intersections where cameras had been installed.
Since then, his research into red light cameras has earned him attention in local and national media—in 2014, he presented his evidence on an episode of "60 Minutes"—and an invitation to present at last year's annual meeting of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
It also got him a $500 fine from the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying.

According to the board, Järlström's research into red light cameras and their effectiveness amounts to practicing engineering without a license. No, really. Järlström had sent a letter to the board in 2014 asking for the opportunity to present his research on how too-short yellow lights were making money for the state by putting the public's safety at risk. "I would like to present these fact for your review and comment," he wrote.
Instead of inviting him to present, the board threatened him. Citing state laws that make it illegal to practice engineering without a license, the board told Järlström that even calling himself an "electronics engineer" and the use of the phrase "I am an engineer" in his letter were enough to "create violations."
Apparently the threats weren't enough, because the board follow-up in January of this year by officially fining Järlström $500 for the supposed crime of "practicing engineering without being registered."
Järlström is now suing the state board over that fine, arguing that it's unconstitutional to prevent someone from doing math without the government's permission. He's getting support from the Institute for Justice, a national libertarian law firm.
"Criticizing the government's engineering isn't a crime; it's a constitutional right," said Sam Gedge, an attorney at the Institute for Justice, in a statement. "Under the First Amendment, you don't need to be a licensed lawyer to write an article critical of a Supreme Court decision, you don't need to be a licensed landscape architect to create a gardening blog, and you don't need to be a licensed engineer to talk about traffic lights."
The notion that it's somehow illegal for Järlström to call himself an engineer is absurd. He has a degree in electrical engineering from Sweden, worked as an airplane camera mechanic in the Swedish Air Force, and has worked in a variety of technical jobs since immigrating to the United States in 1992. In Oregon, though, all that matters is whether he has a state-issued license.
As crazy as Järlström's story is, it's not the first time the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying has been overly aggressive about enforcing their rules for who is and who is not an engineer.
According to the lawsuit, the state board investigated Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman in 2014 for publishing a campaign pamphlet that mentioned Saltzman's background as an "environmental engineer." Saltzman has a bachelor's degree in environmental and civil engineering from Cornell University, a master's degree from MIT's School of Civil Engineering, and is a membership of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
What he isn't, though, is a licensed engineer in the state of Oregon.
According to Järlström's lawsuit, the board spent more than a year investigating Saltzman's background before voting to issue an official "warning" against using the word engineer incorrectly.
In another case, the state board investigated a Republican gubernatorial candidate for using the phrase "I'm an engineer and a problem-solver" in a campaign ad. The candidate in question, Allen Alley, had a degree in engineering from Purdue University and worked as an engineer for Boeing (and, of course, wasn't trying to lie about his lack of an Oregon-issued licensed but merely was making a freaking campaign ad), but
It doesn't stop there. In 2010, the state board issued a $1,000 fine for illegally practicing engineering to a local activist who told the La Pine, Oregon, city council that a proposed new power plant would be too loud for nearby residents.
The board once investigated Portland Monthly magazine for running a story that described a young immigrant woman as "an engineer behind Portland's newest bridge." The woman in the story did not describe herself as an engineer, but the magazine's editors included that description in the headline, the board concluded.
Järlström's lawsuit isn't seeking any monetary damages. He only wants a judicial order telling the state state board to stop violating the free speech rights of Oregonians.
"Anyone should be allowed to talk about the traffic signals—if they're too long or too short or anything—without being penalized," Järlström says.

32 Surprising Sources of Toxic Heavy Metals

Heavy metal is a serious threat to the health of your body and brain. I’m not referring to Ozzy Osbourne or Metallica here, although too much head-banging has probably damaged more than a few brain cells.  I’m referring to the metals found in food, water, air and many commercially-available products. Products you or your family or pets may interact with every day.
Don’t panic—power is knowledge. Use this list of toxins, and the surprising places they might be lurking, to inform your buying decisions.


Although not technically a heavy metal, aluminum is a metal that can pose a serious threat to health, particularly with excessive exposure. It has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Aluminum is found in:
-Baby formula
-Baked goods and processed foods
-Over-the-counter and prescription antacids
-Other pharmaceutical drugs as a binding agent
-Aluminum pots and pans
-Skin cream



Cadmium has serious repercussions for the brain and inhibits the body’s ability to use nutrients like iron, zinc and calcium, leaving people more vulnerable to bone and immune system disorders.  Cadmium is found in: 
-Automobile seat covers
-Black rubber
-Burned motor oil
-Evaporated milk
-Floor coverings
-Refined wheat flour (white flour)
-Silver polish
-Soft drinks from vending machines with cadmium in the pipes


Linked to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, learning disabilities, seizure disorders, aggression, hyperactivity and many other health issues.  It is found in:
-Canned food
-Cigarette smoke (firsthand or secondhand)
-Colored, glossy newsprint
-Some ceramic dishes
-Lead paint in older homes
-Lead water pipes in older buildings
-Refined chocolate
-Vehicle emissions (yes, even though lead gasoline was banned two decades ago in some countries)


Known for its speedy ability to cross the blood-brain barrier to affect the brain, mercury is linked to neurological, psychological and immunological disorders in people, including diseases like Alzheimer’s.  It has also been linked to heart arrhythmias, headaches, blurred vision and weakness. It is found in:
-Dental fillings: Many dentists cite studies that show no mercury particles were released from fillings but numerous studies show that mercury is primarily released as a vapor to gain access to the brain and blood.
-Fish: Not all fish, but many farmed varieties tend to be contaminated with mercury.
-Immunizations: Many vaccines, even those used for children contain the mercury-based preservative thimerosol in excessive amounts, for both children and adults.

13 Worst Processed Foods You Should Never Buy

Have you ever thought about the food you take? It is often said that you are what you eat. Let’s take a look at the processed foods which are very common today. They are very tempting especially for people who have a busy lifestyle as they have an advantage of saving time. They are exceptionally sweet and addictive, but the reality is that they are harmful to our bodies in the long term. Since they sometimes come with a low price tag, this makes it hard for many people to resist them. However, it is imperative to look at the hidden costs that processed foods have on our health. It is difficult to eliminate all processed foods from your diet but you can eliminate some of the worst processed foods.
1. Chicken nuggets
They are ubiquitous finger foods which are very attractive and satisfy hunger very easily. You should not go for them even if you get them in the freezer section or in a restaurant. They are usually made with more salt, preservatives and fat than anyone needs.
2. French fries
They contain very high amount of calories such that eating them regularly can make diabetes and weight management difficult. Their nutrition is also very low since they have very little effect on the blood sugar level. If you really want them, bake them at you home without oil.

3. Potato chips and other fried snacks
They undermines ones efforts to reduce weight. They do this by adding much salt, calories and preservatives without much nutrition or fiber which can help in slowing down its digestion.
4. Soda
They are empty calories without anything nutritional. They also contain substances which can hurt you especially the high fructose corn syrup which is worse than sugar. It has been proved to cause blood glucose spikes damaging the liver cells. Soda contributes to obesity and encourages bacterial diseases and cancer by providing an acidic medium in the body.
5. Hot dogs and other processed meats.
The vast majority of processed meats and hotdogs in the market contain loads of artificial flavors, MSG, salt, cheap unhealthy fillers and other preservatives. Mechanically separated meat is normally processed under extreme pressure and heat losing their nutritional value.
6. Fast- food hamburgers
It is a diabetes risk factor. This is according to a study that was carried out recently which showed that, women eating them in restaurants two or more times a week are likely to receive a diabetes diagnosis than those who do not.
7. Sugary cereals
Breakfast cereals especially those in brightly covered boxes taken in many households. But they have added sugar which contributes to diabetes. Although high fiber diet has been proved to manage and prevent diabetes, these cereals have very low dietary fiber. Look for cereals which provide about 5 grams of fiber and avoid those with large amounts of sugars.
8. Chips
These contain a lot of fat and calorie and are salted in most cases which make it more harmful for your health. You should avoid chips as much as you can as the amount of calories and fats they contain are more than your body needs and they end up accumulating in your body adding to your weight. They are a leading cause of obesity and all its harmful effects.
9. Granola bars
Their marketing is exceptionally deceptive encouraging people to buy them. The fact is that they have very high amounts of high fructose corn syrup, HFCS to make them sweet. Some have very tiny pieces of honey but most of the sweetness is derived from HFCS. At times, they are loaded with lots of sodium and fats making them unhealthy.
10. Store-bought cookies, crackers, cakes and muffins.
All these foods have been grouped together because their effects on the health are similar. Beyond the high levels of salts and sugars, they also contain trans fat. Trans fat is added to make them more profitable since it is cheaper than healthy fats. It also prolongs their expiry date and improves their outer texture.
11. Powered iced tea mixes or prepared flavored iced tea.
They are really tempting as they are very easy and cheap to make. They are made from inexpensive tea bags and then kept in the fridge in a jug. They are not as healthy as their preparation could suggest. Instead, they are very unhealthy since they are heavily loaded with artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup and other sugars.
12. Margarine
It is an alternative form butter which is used by very many people. The main disadvantage about it is that it is full of trans fats which are linked to many problems related to health such as obesity. It also contains free radicals, preservatives, emulsifiers and hexane. All these components are harmful for your health.
13. Microwave popcorn
This food is popular among snackers and moviegoers but it is still one of the unhealthiest foods you can take. The genetically modified corn used to make it is unhealthy as is the preservative chemicals and the processed salt. Additionally, it contains diacetyl which is a chemical which is known to destroy lungs. If you have to take popcorn, stick to the organic kernels that you can prepare on your own using healthy ingredients such as coconut oil and grass-fed butter.

13 Uses for Cucumbers That Will Amaze You

Cucumbers are very easy to grow and make for a delicious treat. But did you know they can prevent hangovers, or clean the kitchen sink? Below is a list of tips and tricks you can do with cucumbers that you do not want to miss!

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemical in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the photochemical will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls! 

11 Natural Treatments For Depression

How To Treat Depression Naturally

1. Consider why you might feel depressed. Sometimes depression is a symptom of something circumstantial in your life, rather than biochemical imbalances. Does your job require you to sell out your integrity every day? Have you been unable to admit that you need to end your marriage? Are you feeling spiritually disconnected or sexually restless? Are you suffering from creative blocks? Is your body failing you? Are you facing financial ruin? Be honest with yourself about what might be off-kilter in your life, and make an effort to get to the root of why you might be feeling depressed.

2. Move your body. Exercise releases happy-making endorphins, which act like natural anti-depressants. 
Runner’s high, anyone?

3. Never skip a meal. Keeping your blood sugar stable reduces mood swings.

4. Eat a serotonin-enhancing diet. Many anti-depressants like Prozac act by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin by receptors in the brain, thereby increasing serotonin levels. But you can increase your brain’s serotonin levels by eating foods that boost your serotonin levels naturally.
Serotonin-enhancing foods include:
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as wild salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies, which are even higher in omega-3 fatty acids than other fish)
Healthy fats like coconut oil
Eat a high protein diet, especially proteins high in tryptophan, like free range turkey

5 Best Snacks to Boost Your Mood

5. Avoid caffeine, which reduces serotonin levels. If you need an energy boost, supplement with L-Tyrosine (500 – 1000 mg).

6. Expose yourself to sunlight, which can boost mood and increase Vitamin D levels. If you live somewhere that gets little sun, invest in a therapeutic light box.

7. Meditate or try guided imagery. Meditation’s effects on mood are well documented. Settling your mind can lift your mood, in addition to a whole host of other health benefits.

8. Get your hormones balanced. If your thyroid, adrenal or sex hormones are out of whack, your mood can get all wonky. See a good integrative medicine doctor and ask them to order and interpret the following tests:
Thyroid gland tests – TSH, free T4, free T3, total T3, thyroid antibodies
Adrenal gland tests – cortisol, DHEA-S, pregnenolone
Sex hormone tests – estradiol, progesterone, free and total testosterone

9. Make efforts to bolster your mental health by being more authentic in all aspects of your life. Too often, we walk around wearing masks, pretending to be something we’re not. We fake it at the schoolyard, in the boardroom, in the bedroom, at church — and then we wonder why we wind up depressed. 

10. Talk it out. See a therapist, psychiatrist, or life coach and express how you feel. Sometimes just finding someone you trust who will help you work through your feelings can make all the difference in the world.
If all else fails and you need anti-depressants, don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes you can do everything right, and if your imbalance is biochemical, you may need the drugs. But don’t forget to nurture the rest of you too. Depression, like most physical and mental illnesses, is multifactorial and requires a global investigation of your whole health — not just your mind and body, but your relationships, your work, your financial picture, how you express yourself creatively, how you satisfy yourself sexually, your environment, and whether you’re letting your Inner Pilot Light (aka authentic self) shine.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

NASA's Cassini spacecraft flies between Saturn and its rings!

 NASA's Cassini spacecraft has plunged into the narrow gap between Saturn and its rings on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. It is the first of the spaceship's 22 deep dives between Saturn and its innermost ring.
The spacecraft was out of radio contact with Earth on Wednesday because its big dish antenna was maneuvered face forward to protect science instruments from potentially damaging ring particles.
If Cassini survives the trip, it could make radio contact with Earth as early as 3:05 am (12:35 pm IST) on April 27. The spacecraft will also make 21 more crossings before its demise in September.
Cassini spacecrfat is a joint mission of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.
The 22-foot-tall (6.7 meter) spacecraft launched in 1997 and began orbiting Saturn in 2004.
Cassini is running low on fuel, and will make a death plunge into Saturn's surface on September 15.
The decision to end the mission was made in 2010, to avoid damaging moons like Enceladus, which could be explored for signs of life in the future.

US missile defence equipment reaches South Korea site amid heightened tensions over North's nuclear ambitions

US troops began delivering a missile defence system that has infuriated China to a deployment site in South Korea Wednesday, amid heightened tensions over the North`s nuclear ambitions.
Washington is urging Beijing -- Pyongyang`s sole major ally -- to do more to rein it in, but the Asian giant has reacted with fury to the planned installation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.
The US and ally South Korea say its deployment, agreed last year, is intended to guard against missile threats from the nuclear-armed North.
But China fears it will weaken its own ballistic capabilities and says it upsets the regional security balance. 

TV footage showed large trailers in camouflage paint carrying what appeared to be missile-related equipment entering a former golf course in the southern county of Seongju on Wednesday morning.
THAAD "will be operational in the coming days and able to better defend South Korea against the growing North Korean threat," Admiral Harry Harris, who heads Pacific Command, told lawmakers in Washington.
Hundreds of residents -- who are concerned over the potential environmental impact -- protested angrily, some clashing with police. More than 10 were injured including three who were hospitalised, activists said.
Seoul`s defence ministry said Wednesday`s move was aimed at "securing operational capability of the THAAD as soon as possible", with a goal of fully installing the batteries by the end of this year.
The South is holding a presidential election next month to choose a successor to ousted leader Park Geun-Hye, and Seoul and Washington are pressing ahead with the deployment with some candidates ambivalent over the system -- including front-runner Moon Jae-In, of the left-leaning Democratic Party.
His spokesman Park Kwang-On expressed "strong regret" at the delivery, saying it ignored "required procedures".
"This move has shut off any room for policy considerations by the next government and it is very improper," he said.
Beijing condemned the move, with foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang telling reporters the THAAD deployment "severely undermines China`s strategic security interests". 
"It helps in no way to achieve the denuclearisation of the peninsula and regional peace and stability," he said, adding China would "take necessary measures to safeguard its own interests".
Beijing has imposed a host of measures seen as economic retaliation against the South, including a ban on tour groups.
Retail conglomerate Lotte, which previously owned the golf course, has also been targeted, with 85 of its 99 stores in China shut down, while South Korea`s biggest automaker Hyundai Motor said Wednesday its Chinese sales fell 44 percent last month.THAAD is designed to intercept and destroy short and medium-range ballistic missiles during their final phase of flight.
The latest move comes as tension soars on the Korean peninsula following a series of missile launches by the North and warnings from the administration of US President Donald Trump that military action was an "option on the table".
Washington has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group to the peninsula in a show of force, amid signs the North could be preparing for a sixth nuclear test. 
In Pyongyang`s latest display, leader Kim Jong-Un oversaw the country`s largest-ever firing drill to mark the founding anniversary of its military, state-run media said Wednesday. 
The drill saw more than 300 large-calibre self-propelled guns firing simultaneously and torpedo attacks by submarines, state-run KCNA said, demonstrating North Korea`s determination to pour a "merciless rain of fire on the reckless imperialist US and its dirty followers".
Seoul held a large annual drill of its own Wednesday, involving some 100 artillery pieces, 90 armoured vehicles and 50 aircraft, as well as 2,000 South Korean and US troops, the defence ministry said.
Speaking in Berlin, China`s Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged an end to US-South Korean military manoeuvres to calm tensions on the peninsula.
The US has long pushed for China to make more efforts to curb Pyongyang`s behaviour.
But Beijing says it has less sway over its wayward neighbour than Washington believes.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called Monday for "restraint" regarding North Korea in a telephone conversation with Trump.
US defence leaders and other top officials are to give a classified briefing on North Korea to all senators in an unusual meeting at the White House later Wednesday.