Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Possessive Dogs: Preventing and Stopping Resource Guarding

Resource guarding involves aggressive possessive behavior over food, treats, toys, objects, space, and/or humans.

Click the title above for the latest Dog Tip, which includes guidance, tip sheets and other resources from top dog behavior experts.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Are you making your dog aggressive?

Reported in Science Daily: In a year-long University of Pennsylvania survey of dog owners who use confrontational or aversive methods to train aggressive pets, veterinary researchers have found that most of these animals will continue to be aggressive unless training techniques are modified. See the story at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090217141540.htm

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Short animal shelter documentary

Click the headline above or this image to view a short film about realities faced at animal shelters. Without words, it gives voice to the voiceless who are at the mercy of human stewards of the earth.

In Hope: An Animal Shelter Story

Workouts and insomnia

Good sleep is key to good health. But half of women in a newly published survey reported having insomnia. Caffeine and stress contribute to “bad sleep hygiene,” but here’s another little-known factor we can do something about.

Body temperature drops about one degree during sleep. Don’t work out too close to bedtime, says Raul Noriega, manager of the Comprehensive Epilepsy and Sleep Disorders Center at Baylor Regional Medical Center. He says it takes e hours to cool down enough to get drowsy. Avoid that temptation to check the clock when having trouble sleeping – because even minor exertion consumes energy, which raises the body’s temperature, further delaying sleep.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bulk buyer alert: nutrients can decline quickly in potency

The recession is motivating more shoppers to stock up when fave foods go on sale. But beware: the potency of healthy nutrients can decline in short time. For example, new studies indicate degradation of the immunity-boosting antioxidant organic compounds called catechins in green tea leaves after long-term storage. And that olive oil sitting on your shelf may lose up to 40 percent of its health benefits within six months. These are among studies in the March 2009 Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dog Tip: Attention!

Click the headline above to access the tipsheet about getting your dog to pay attention. Can apply to your spouse, kids and others.

Albuquerque Vistas by Man and Nature

Click the headline for a just-published travel piece by Robin

Life, and Death, on a Factory Farm

Click the headline to a link about HBO's new undercover documentary, Death on a Factory Farm. That webpage links to schedule, video preview, and resources such as Humane Farming Association. BTW, you don't have to be into animal rights to take a stand against animal cruelty. See TIME for an interview with an undercover agent at http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1883742,00.html

Death by Plastic

Leatherback turtles survived the extinction of the dinosaurs. But they may not survive manmade plastic. “After reviewing the results of 371 necropsies since 1968, we discovered over one third of the turtles had ingested plastic,” said Dalhousie University biologist Mike James last week upon releasing the study based on post-mortem examinations. So when at the beach, or anywhere near the water, you can do these ancient mariners a favor by picking up trash. A bonus: bending burns calories and counts as exercise.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Downed Cow Legislative News

Long-accepted in this country has been the abuse of downer cattle—animals too sick or injured to walk. Wayne Pacelle, chief of the Humane Society of the United States, reports that on March 14, President Obama announced that the USDA was officially putting a stop to non-ambulatory cattle being mishandled on the way to slaughter plants. In December 2003, a downer cow tested positive for mad cow disease in Washington state; in response, some 50 nations banned U.S. beef imports, and the federal government tried in vain to recall meat. Economic fall-out of that incident: $11 billion. We oppose mistreatment and cruelty regardless of economic impact, but sadly in this world, animals suffer in silence while money talks.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Free Vegetarian Eating and Meal Planning Guide

It's Meat-out Week sponsored by FARM, In Defense of Animals, and other nonprofits...and it's always a good time to eat more healthily and humanely. Whether you want to cut back a little bit, try Meatless Mondays, or "meat-out" for good, go to www.VegKit.org to request a great, FREE 32-page Veg Starter Kit. You can also sign up for another freebie, Meatout Mondays, an upbeat weekly e-newsletter with delicious veg recipes and health news to help you and your family. Just click the title of this post to get there.

Book Review: Animals Make Us Human

Animals Make Us Human: Creating The Best Life for Animals by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson.

Autism has given the equivalent of a sixth sense to Temple Grandin, an expert in designing humane systems for handling animals used in agriculture. She has developed an uncommon affinity for understanding the sensibilities, sensitivities, motivations and fears of nonhuman animals. This 2009 book shares practical insights to help people better understand the animals in their lives, including dogs, cats, horses, pigs, cows, chickens, zoo inhabitants, and wildlife. As Grandin helps you learn about learning, you will experience flashes of insight page by page. You’ll discover the real reasons why negative reinforcement (such as in horse training) so often fails, what works better – and why. You’ll come to understand why nonhuman (and human) animals react to novel stimuli they way they do, the unfortunate widespread adoption of animal handling techniques that consistently backfire, core emotions such as fear and seeking – and why, and how, acting in anticipation of a reward is usually more motivating and triggers more brain activity than having the reward. Don’t read just read the parts about the species in your own life; nuggets of enlightenment abound.

For an alternative and enlightening view, please see the editorial by Jeffrey Masson and Jeff Nelson at http://www.vegsource.com/articles2/masson_grandin.htm

Must hear alt-Americana

William Elliott Whitmore is an alt-Americana voice that must be heard. From doubtfulsounds.wordpress.com: "[WEW's new album] Animals In The Dark takes a defiant stance against authority.... addressing current social and political themes, Whitmore frames them with a sound that is as old as the blues itself. The instruments are primarily acoustic with guitar, banjo and minimal drums.... His voice [sounds] like it contains the a century of dust and nicotine from the corners of rural America.”

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Double Security Summit in DC

FOSE teamed up with GovSec at the Washington Convention Center to show off the latest tech advances for the public sector.
On view:
* IES Interactive Training (ies-usa.com) demonstrated their simulation programs, and dared put a high-caliber gun in the hands of Ms. Question Authority (me). Turns out that I’m a pretty good shot. Watch out, bad guys.

* T3 Motion Personal Mobility Vehicles. Segways, move over. These T3 plug-ins get 30 miles on a single change and go 25 miles an hour.

* 3-D TV!

5 easy green ways to save $ at home

Monday, March 9, 2009

Veggies protect your prostate (if you have one)

The Molecular Nutrition and Food Research just published data that suggests a diet high in vegetable intake can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. The primary mechanism of this protective vegetable effect is antioxidant protection against DNA and cell damage.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Trick New Bikes for Easier Commuting

Robin's Eco Simple column in this Sunday's Examiner (DC regional and San Francisco regional editions) ... two cool new bicycles to make self-powered commuting easier. The article appears on page 29 of the San Francisco and bay area editions, and in DC area editions including: http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?eid=a6c97966-b6e5-461d-814e-600abef44cb2&pnum=44

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Love Handles Put the Squeeze on Lungs

Another reason to battle bulging love handles: Not only is abdominal obesity associated with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and other health problems collectively known as “metabolic syndrome,” a new study indicates that a high waist circumference is strongly associated with decreased lung function.

Paris-based researchers analyzed data from more than 120,000 people and published the results this month in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The researchers adjusted for age, sex, BMI [body mass index], smoking history, alcohol consumption, exercise and cardiovascular history. Natalie Leone, M.D., of French National Institute for Health and Medical Research wrote: "We found a positive independent relationship between lung function impairment and metabolic syndrome due mainly to abdominal obesity.” They defined abdominal obesity as having a waist circumference greater than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men.