From Marion Jones to Barry Bonds to Lance Armstrong to Alex Rodriguez, the explosion in the use of performance enhancing drugs (PED) is proving to be an unstoppable force. While 69% of Americans believe steroids use in sports should be banned, a nagging “approval creep” is setting in.
The 31% who now believe PEDs should be allowed in sports is nearly triple the 13% of Facebook users who when polled by Ubercool in 2009 reported that steroids should be legalized, while another 12% were not so sure.
All PED-using athletes are an exponent of the “Darwin on Steroids” trend, and also a phenomenon propelled by the “Time Compression” Ubertrend, converging trends that suggest that evolution and life, respectively, are accelerating.
While steroid abuse is far less common than the use of so-called recreational drugs, many experts report its application is increasing among college and high school students.
Take Barry Bonds. His record-setting baseball fetched an astonishing $752,467 from fashion designer Marc Ecko, who announced that the baseball Bonds hit for his record-breaking 756th home run would be branded with an asterisk before being donated to baseball’s Hall of Fame.
So, while a…
The incidences are becoming numerous. You’re about to mention a name and suddenly realize you can’t recall it. “It’s at the tip of my tongue,” you mutter embarrassedly. “Happens to me all time,” a sympathetic listener responds. You’re suffering from “mild cognitive impairment” (MCI). And so do a billion others.
While one could easily dismiss this as a collective “senior moment,” society is facing phenomena never experienced before: a non-stop assault on the senses brought on by rivers of data, a proliferation of media and advertising, all propelled by faster living, copious multitasking, plus a growing reliance on digital memory devices.
Scientists note that average scores on memory tests decline steadily after age 25. By midlife, memory erosion accelerates, with humans losing on average 1% of brain volume each year.
And there’s growing evidence that cellphones, calculators, speed-dialing, GPS and other memory-saving aids have reduced the need for mental acuity, causing the brain to deteriorate at a faster pace than ever before.
Research by psychologist Denise Park at the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana shows that adults who multitask frequently have more memory complaints than their parents in their 70s.
With memory lapses on the upswing, the brain fitness business is…
The wearables market is exploding, thanks to ever-smaller electronics and such new technologies as Bluetooth LE (Low Energy). That’s precisely what the latest Nike FuelBand SE ($149) boasts, which is available this month.
Nike improved on its first FuelBand with the following features:
- Bluetooth 4.0 – You can now wirelessly sync with any iPhone from the model 4s on.
- Water resistance – Showering wit the FuelBand SE is now also possible.
- Colors – Another cool new feature are several different hues, including Pink, Volt, a yellowish green, Black, and Crimson. A Nike+ swoosh logo has also been added.
- Sleep measurement – The FuelBand SE can now measure sleep. Just hold down the device’s button for three seconds to kick the device into sleep mode. Touch it again to wake up out of sleep mode. The same procedure is used to log workout sessions, like bicycling, playing tennis, or yoga.
The Nike FuelBand SE competes with the Jawbone Up and Fitbit Force, which makes for quite a lively wearables category this holiday season.
At CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta confesses he has been wrong about marijuana. After examining the mounting evidence that was benefiting medical marijuana users, Gupta admits “Well, I am here to apologize.”
A front-page New York Times story joins the growing pro-pot chorus. In it the gray lady comes to the conclusion that “Warnings voiced against partial legalization — of civic disorder, increased lawlessness and a drastic rise in other drug use — have proved unfounded.”
The tide clearly turned in November 2012 when both Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for personal use, signaling a major societal shift. Those two states capped a medical marijuana trend that began with California in 1996 and now numbers 18 states.
Clearly, the “Times They Are A-Changin,” as Bob Dylan famously put it and it’s leading to a broad change in America’s point of view. Already, Denver boasts a number of $29.99 admission price, members-only smoking lounges.
In Seattle, the crowd lit up in unison at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, when legalization took effect. Fifty percent of Americans now favor legalized marijuana use. It won’t take another 15 years to reach 36 states, as the pace…
In the film Sleeper (1973)
Woody Allen’s character wakes up from cryostasis 200 years in the future to discover many things have changed. In this exchange his doctors discuss how thinking on diet has evolved:
Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called "wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk."
Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible.
Recently I was at the Joslin Diabetes Innovation 2013 conference and came down to breakfast to find the doctors at my table spooning the ham and eggs out of the hotel’s wrap sandwiches and throwing the bread away.
It turns out that the rise in obesity (and diabetes) in the U.S. coincided with the dietary guidelines being revised to encourage everyone to eat less meat and saturated fats and eat more pasta and carbohydrates. My breakfast companions explained that the lipids that give
On a recent trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, I had a truly local experience that not many tourists even know about: Visiting a traditional herbalist. Below: Kwa-Gumede in his traditional songoma attire.
Known as a sangoma in South Africa, the herbalist is an important community figure, especially for the black population. This man or woman not only cures your illnesses using all-natural herbs, but can also help keep away bad spirits. It’s not the sort of place you go and tell the sangoma what’s wrong with you, as they use a special method of throwing bones and shells on the ground to do a reading. By doing this, they’re able to tell you what’s ailing you.
The sangoma I visited for traditional healing was in the upstairs section of Para Market in the Johannesburg township of Soweto. He was a man named Kwa-Gumede (phone: 724 54 2355) who didn’t speak English, but is able to communicate through a translator or a local guide.
When visiting a sangoma in South Africa you don’t simply go up to the counter and order some herbs. Instead, you must perform a ritual…
Now that I have your attention, meet sea-buckthorn. A prickly deciduous shrub that has grown wild in China, Mongolia, Tibet and the Trans-Himalayan zone of India for many million years. Said to contain over 250 bio-active ingredients, it is today feted as the ‘Most Perfect Plant in the Whole World’.
For long, visitors to the Ladakh & Spiti regions will have seen its optimal use as a thorny keep-out around homes and fields; and fuel. Though traditional healers have always known of its wondrous qualities (credited as it is with treating many hundred diseases); that it is anti-cancer, anti-radiation & anti-aging is a wisdom of recent vintage. I was recently introduced it by Ishita Khanna who is working closely with local communities – women being major stakeholders – to resuscitate what a decade ago was a fast depleting super food.
The common variety favours dry and sandy regions with a hearty dose of sunlight. It shuns the shady company of larger trees & is usually found along river banks, at least in Spiti. A mention in Greek mythology suggests that Hippophae rhamnoides (its formal moniker) may also…
While Dr. Jess Ghannam
might be known for his work in global health, his definition of what makes up the most pressing issues might surprise you.
As Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Global Health Sciences in the School of Medicine at UCSF, his research areas include everything from evaluating the long-term health consequences of war on displaced communities and the psychological and psychiatric effects of armed conflict on children to the negative health impact that technology can have on people, particularly when not used in a self-aware and conscious way.
His perspective is naturally global given his background. He grew up as a first generation Palestinian in Detroit, which is where his family landed in the 1940s because that’s where the most promising jobs were at the time.
His heritage is from a land that was much more culturally, politically and socially integrated in his parent’s time than it is today.
“Palestine pre-1948 was much more multi-racial and multi-cultural,”
he says reflecting on the stories he heard as a child from his parents and grandparents over the years. “Muslum, Christian and Jewish communities made it work in whatever way they could at the time.
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