by Anne ‘Kip’ Watson
It is during high-level competitions that the frequency of mental blocks and fear intensifies and it seems like the brain explodes as neurological activity increases. The mind races with stressful thoughts and believes no solution for change exists. Lack of confidence increases and it appears the mind is out of control.
When anxiety is triggered, it sends messages to the brain and body, and the hormone cortisol is released. Muscles tighten up, delivering a mechanical style of movement. Doubt and hesitation increase. Less agility, fluidity and accuracy occur in movement. Often, no matter how hard an athlete tries, they can’t seem to execute their skills as they did before. What used to be easy, now seems difficult.
Cool Tips to Save Money and Energy
Following eco-friendly laundry tips can save on energy, water usage and utility bills, making it good for both the planet and the bank account. The laundry results, too, may be better for some loads.
RealSimple.com advises that 90 percent of the energy consumed while running a wash load is used to heat the water, so the average household can eliminate as much as 350 pounds of carbon emissions and save about $40 annually by turning the knob to cold. It also notes that some protein-heavy stains, like perspiration and blood, can become more set into the fabric when washed in hot water, which can also shrink synthetic fibers.
Selfies Promote Animal Cruelty and Death
Zachary Crockett, of Pricenomics.com, has found that since 2014, 49 people were killed in attempts to take pictures of themselves with wild creatures. Although there are no statistics on how many animals have been harmed due to selfies, wildlife organizations such as Care for the Wild International are appealing to the public to stop using animals as props.
Visitors to China’s Yunnan Wild Animal Park lured captive peacocks from their enclosure and grabbed them by their tails. The birds died as a result. Another group of people at a beach in Argentina was filmed mobbing a baby Franciscana dolphin, an endangered species, while taking pictures, resulting in its death likely through shock and severe dehydration from being removed from the water for too long.
Due to the high demand by tourists to take pictures with wild animals, special photographic settings are popping up in Mexico, Europe and Morocco. However, the Association for British Travel Agents stated that no legitimate sanctuary would allow animals to be used as photo props.
Genetically Altered Mushrooms Approved for Consumption
Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is a new method of editing genomes of farm animals and food crops. White button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) that have been genetically modified to delay the natural browning process are the first CRISPR-edited organisms to receive approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Yinong Yang, a plant pathologist from Penn State University, crafted the modified mushrooms by targeting the family of genes responsible for the browning effect seen in produce when sliced and exposed to oxygen. Yang was able to reduce the browning enzyme’s work by 30 percent and was granted approval from the USDA because no foreign or altered DNA was integrated into the mushroom genome. The department only assesses whether there’s a risk that the new modified variety of an organism could become a weed or “pest” to other plants.
The mushrooms may still be subject to Food and Drug Administration or Environmental Protection Agency regulations. The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine are in discussions about developing a new set of rules for the biotech industry in the next five to 10 years.
Abandoned and Lost Fishing Gear Pollutes the Seas
Abandoned and lost fishing gear such as traps, crab pots and nets litter the ocean floor in coastal areas worldwide, continuing to attract, entrap and kill fish and other marine life. The Associated Press reports that global nonprofits, governments and companies are engaged in efforts to retrieve and recycle as many of the items as possible to protect the environment, save marine life and reduce hazards to marine navigation.
Texas Company Turns Wood Waste into Furniture
Nearly 2 billion wooden pallets are currently in circulation in the U.S., consuming around 50 percent of the country’s annual hardwood harvest and representing more than 90 percent of the world’s shipping waste. PalletSmart, in Fort Worth, Texas, has been making furniture, home decor and custom projects out of repurposed pallets and other reclaimed material since 2012.
Company co-founder John Zaskoda says, “As with any business, we are looking to grow, but want to be smart about it. For now, we are staying put, taking custom residential and commercial orders and producing top-notch furniture.” He sees the endeavor as proof that with hard work and consistency it’s possible to make trash into treasure.
Hydrogen Conversion From Water Making Gains
Scientists at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in Stockholm, report that they have finally unlocked a major barrier to exploiting a renewable energy source through extracting pure hydrogen from water. Because the best-performing catalysts for electrochemical oxidation, or “water splitting”, are expensive precious metals, the research team led by KTH Professor Licheng Sun developed molecular catalysts for water oxidation with an efficiency approaching that of natural photosynthesis comprising common, abundant elements, all of which could help change the economics of large-scale hydrogen fuel production.
A study from the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, in Beijing, reports that Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) can be an effective treatment for patients with postpartum depression. Traditional Chinese Medicine advocates herbal treatments based on underlying issues.
Researchers analyzed data from 47 clinical trials encompassing 3,795 participants between the ages of 18 and 43 suffering from postpartum depression. The study pooled results into three categories: CHM versus placebo, CHM versus routine treatments (antidepressants) and CHM plus routine treatments versus only routine treatments.
The study found that using Chinese herbs combined with antidepressants is the most effective approach, noting that CHM is a safe, effective alternative for patients unable or unwilling to take antidepressants.
A randomized, double-blind study from the Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Science and Research, in Bangalore, India, has found that an extract of fenugreek husk (FHE) called FenuSMART can provide relief from common symptoms of menopause, including night sweats, insomnia, headaches, hot flashes and mood swings.
Researchers studied 88 menopausal women between the ages of 45 and 58. Half were given one gram of FHE per day for 90 days while the other half the supplement had on the subjects’ menopausal symptoms through weekly telephone sessions.
At the study’s end, approximately 32 percent of the women in the FHE group reported no hot flashes, while the placebo subjects saw the frequency of theirs reduced from three to five per day to one or two. Additionally, the subjects that took FHE experienced a 57 percent reduction in night sweats, a 68 percent abatement of mood swings, a 75 percent drop in insomnia and 58 percent fewer headaches.