Often times when you hear shocking and unnerving words, your brain interprets them, but you don’t really feel and connect with them: genocide, terrorist attack, world hunger, etc. But, the most common one is quite surprising and tends to creep up on you: cancer.
Most of the people hear that word almost daily, myself included. But not until you meet with it in person do you actually realize what that word entails, what it brings, what it actually does. While many people react to it emotionally, something strange happened to me.
The ball drops
A parent will always try to put on a brave face in front of the kids, no matter the circumstances. And while the whole family was looking at a damningly bolded font on a white piece of paper depicting the harsh reality, my mind was racing as the word cancer sank in and took shape. My dad had it before (while I was in high school), beat it, but now it came back, like a hydra with two new heads instead of the old one we cut off. He was visibly distraught but still managed to put on a mask of bravery. My mom had already gone through all the scenarios in her head, and you could see that the bad ones held sway over the good ones. My sister, well, she is the silent one. She handled it in her own way, quietly and by keeping in solitude, seeking comfort in religion and prayer.
Coming back to a strange reaction, you first have to understand something about me. I am a problem driven person, meaning that if I don’t understand something, it interests me more than anything else in the world. And when I heard the word cancer, probably like many of you, I did not fully comprehend the situation. And as much as it may sound heartless and cold, my first emotion wasn’t hopelessness and sadness. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that quite possibly, my dad’s days are numbered. This was “the problem” for me, first and foremost. Maybe my sympathetic brain took a back seat in the wake of the news and my coping mechanism was to approach the situation from an intellectual standpoint. Or, maybe I am just built that way – a heartless bastard. This is perhaps the second worst thing about cancer: it affects everyone involved and has them questioning everything imaginable.
Everybody is different
If I were to give you a couple of guesses on what was my first emotion, many of you probably could never figure that one out. It was motivation. And it was stronger than anything I’ve ever experienced before. I was motivated to do everything in my power to bring the control back to our side. That is the most sinister thing about this disease: it takes away your control. You see, most of the time, a disease has a cause and knowing exactly what caused it brings you a dose of calmness and closure when you get cured. Not cancer. Whether they are environmental, genetic, or simply unknown, the causes rarely matter afterward. You know why? Because it usually takes time for them to affect you, and in many cases, you have no power over them.
After hearing this word, after comprehending that it touched me in the most personal way apart from having cancer myself, I was motivated to understand, to figure it out, to completely dissect it from each and every angle in order to be able to fight it. For my dad, my mom, my sister and myself. A struggle with cancer is not a battle of a one person against one enemy. It is a war that your entire family wages against a squad of shadow assassins that have no honor, no limit, no restraints, no compassion. I declared that war mere seconds after the news. Everything else in my life fell into perspective, nothing was comparable to the magnitude of that moment. It will forever be remembered as one of the defining moments of my life, a sort of a harsh reality check.
I know many of you can relate to this sinister word and have experienced its ugly influence up close. I demystified it as much as I could as I collected the knowledge – ammunition for the upcoming war. I only hope that some of you who are going through the same experience will find strength to fight and claw with all the things at your disposal. Raising awareness is the only thing I can do, and I will do my best to help others understand this disease in order to be able to fight it.
Perhaps we should expand our definition of what kindness is…
Is it time that we expand our vision of kindness?
The things we think are important often are not. While the things we think are not important, often are.
Like Shakespeare, we have all been the author of tragedy in our own lives…
Bad People always think they can ‘get away with it’. When, in fact, they only get more trouble.
Waffle – How To Say Waffle In English
This video can be found on youtube at : https://youtu.be/cKY2PWTN9sI
More English Language Videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLscRaAujCwxAKjTCzm3ybCcANhCsEHCrT
Some of you who read a couple of my posts could already figure out that I do most of my shopping online. Amazon is an excellent option, especially for the people like me. Here is the thing: I don’t like having a huge variety of choices without knowing what other people think about them. Crib bedding is the perfect example. I got a task from my wife to find this item at a reasonable price. I’m guessing a lot of you know as much about crib bedding sets as I did a couple of days ago – practically nothing. 2 days of exploring and reading reviews after, and you can say that I am the most informed dad in the world on this subject. So here is what I learned.
The color matters
Usually, girls get pink, boys get blue bedding and white is sort of a universal choice. But, here is the thing: you want to go with patterns. First, if you spill something or stain it the first day, it’s not as noticeable. Second, the colors and patterns attract your baby’s attention and stimulate the brain. Many parents reported that patterned crib bedding made their kids calmer during the day.
Where you might think that material matters the most, it is actually the feel that you should be focusing on. Most of the manufacturers use cotton to make crib bedding, but there are major differences between the softness and the quality. And another misconception is that softer is always better. That is not necessarily true in all cases. A lot of kids, especially infants, like their bedding to have a bit rougher feel to it. When they touch it, it gives off a sharper, definitive feedback that stimulates their sensory center. It sounds like a science mumbo-jumbo, but if you actually watch your kid “scratch” the bedding, you can see this effect in action.
Crib beddings usually come in 3 pieces: quilt, crib sheet, and skirt. But some of them don’t actually offer other optional accessories that you can incorporate into the kid’s room to make it look like a set. These accessories include stuff like window valance, crib bumpers, side skirts, etc… This is more for the parent’s sake than for the kids, but I came to a conclusion that the sets with more accessories options do better sales wise.
Using this knowledge, I found a crib bedding set that had positive reviews in all of these categories.
Based on what I read, this is one of the better crib bedding sets on Amazon. A 4.6-star rating and very positive reviews gave me the confidence to present it to my wife. She was thrilled with my choice and satisfied with the time and effort I’ve put into this task. Needless to say, I got a special lovin’ that day.
Weight-loss has become a burning topic in today’s society. It is a well-known fact that a balance between regular exercise and healthy dieting is essential for any kind of long-term weight-loss plan. But, if you were forced into choosing just one method, would it be better to pump iron or would it be better to create a detailed dieting regiment.
One thing to keep in mind concerning exercising is that it can be very time-consuming. 20 minutes crunches session is guaranteed to burn more calories than a 10-minute jog, but can you afford to invest the extra time? The fact is if you want to burn a large number of calories, you are forced to spend a significant amount of time doing it. You also have to factor in the time you spend traveling to the gym, as well as getting cleaned up afterward.
The actual numbers
- If you were to drink a can of soda, which contains as much as 150 calories, you would have to walk for at least 45 minutes to burn those off.
- Now consider this: 1 pound of excess fat requires you to spend roughly 3,500 calories in order to burn it off.
- In order to lose 1 inch of the waistline, you need a weight loss of approx. 8.5 pounds. Are you starting to get the picture?
Losing weight by picking exercise as a sole method is very time consuming, and not to mention less effective than by dieting. Time wise, you need to consider the choice: either not drink the can of soda at all, which you have to agree is much easier, or spend extra time on a treadmill to compensate. In essence, you need to burn more calories than you take in. Sounds simple enough but in reality, it means that you have to choose between a bar of chocolate and two hours of lifting weights in the gym, or not eating it all.
Various studies have shown that if we cut out processed sugar and saturated fats from our diet, we would be able to see the results of dieting a lot faster. If we were to put this into percentages, we could say it’s about 70-30 in favor of dieting.
What to do
A recent study has shown that obesity in children is not a result of a lack of exercise, but it comes down to poor diet choices. Another study which was conducted on 4000 adults has shown that minimizing the intake of calories has a greater effect on weight loss than simply exercising. But most of us have difficulties sticking to a dieting plan. Here is a thing you can do in order to find the middle.
If you have difficulties in regulating your calorie intake, try using natural supplements like this one:
And before we get into any confusion, this is not a miracle supplement, you will not lose weight miraculously from just taking it, you will not get slimmer by sitting in front of the TV and taking it, etc. Those drugs simply do not exist. Here is what this stuff is good for.
Since we are talking about picking the exercise method to lose weight, taking supplements like these will help your body function better.
It will start looking for energy stored in your fats faster than it did before. It will also help your blood cope better with the bad stuff released in the process of fat burning. Antioxidants will contribute to the general well-being and help you get rid of toxins in your body easier.
There are many other benefits of taking a supplement like this one, especially for those looking to take better care of themselves.
Taking all of this into account it is obvious that a healthy combination of dieting and regular workouts would be ideal long term. Exercising has a positive effect on the general quality of life and should be a staple for everyone who wishes to make an overall improvement in health. But, you are still much more likely to lose weight by being careful about what you eat than about how much you work out on a day by day basis. If you cannot commit to full-time dieting, consider taking small steps and start giving up foods that are really bad for you and use natural supplements to help your body cope.
PS: This post is for information purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any form of disease, including but not limited to obesity. Be sure to consult with your physician before changing your diet or taking up any form of exercise.
According to various sources on the Web, there are over 300,000 registered species of plants on Earth. Based on that statement alone, we can safely say that through evolution or clever design, their instinct for survival has helped them prosper. Even though you can draw the argument that some of their features resemble human senses, can you really say that plants can actually think for themselves? As we all know, plants are stationary organisms, which you must agree is an overwhelming disadvantage. Even with that, they make up a cumulative mass which is a thousand times higher than that of all animal species. This is where the adaptive skills of plants come into play.
Just like humans, plants have a distinct sense of smell and can react rather quickly to chemical changes in their surroundings. When the fruit starts to ripen and release ethylene, neighboring plants begin to ripen faster. Here is another one: certain plants give off scents to attract insects for the purpose of pollination. Plants like the carrion flowers go to such extremes as to grow tiny hairs, become warmer and emit a smell similar to the smell of rotting flesh in an attempt to draw flies and beetles to expedite the process.
Passive reaction and teamwork
Furthermore, when pests, animals or pathogens attack plants, they react. The acacia tree, when grazed by passing animals, starts producing a chemical compound called Tannin, which makes their leaves extremely hard to digest. Some acacia plants were even known to produce enough of this chemical to actually kill an animal.
Plants are also known to work in symbiosis. Fungi, with their underground webs, can make a pathway between tree roots, which in turn allows the plants to exchange nutrients and information about their surroundings. Larger specimens of trees are known to nurture younger or shaded trees by sharing water and nutrients. This is especially prevalent in the exchange between evergreen and deciduous species. The evergreen species share their nutrients with the plants that lose their leaves during the winter, and this is reciprocated over the summer season.
Active reaction and memory
We left the most shocking examples of sentient behavior in plants for last. The Mimosa Pudica, commonly known as the Shame plant, closes its leaves when it receives an outside stimulus. This was developed to scare away insects that land on them. A scientific experiment was conducted, during which the leaves would be dropped from the height of 15cm and they would close when they hit the ground. After the scientists repeated the experiment for four or five times, some of the plants would stop closing. This effect would last for weeks at a time, proving that plants, in fact, could form concrete memories. This was further affirmed when those same plants, during the period when they would not close when dropped, would close their leaves when being shaken, proving they react differently to a different kind of stimulate.
Now, not to get ahead of ourselves, plants are still missing key parts to be considered sentient beings. They do not have organs a brain or other similar organs deemed necessary by scientists for a creature to be considered sentient. And although they are missing an organ that would serve as a brain, plants still somehow manage to survive being eaten and overcome the fact that they are immobile without much effort. Plant sentience comes down to your definition of intelligence. If teamwork, environmental interaction and strong survival instincts are something you rank highly, then there is a strong case to be made for plants being intelligent. This is something to keep in mind when next time you get into a debate with a vegan about animal cruelty.