Thursday, April 30, 2009

Religious view on animal care and exploitation

Sensible true believer on human treatment of God's creatures; reminder that Jesus was a proponent of peace and decent treatment of others, not violence.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Brain soundtrack: personal power music?

Every brain has a soundtrack. When that soundtrack is recorded and played back, it may sharpen a person’s reflexes during a crisis, and calm nerves afterward.

To explore how music could be used to help during emergencies, the Department of Homeland Security is studying a form of neurotraining called "Brain Music" that adapts music created from listeners' own brain waves to help them cope with insomnia, fatigue, and headaches stemming from stress. The idea: use the frequency, amplitude and duration of musical sounds to get their brain to relax.

Scientists record the brain music, then convert it into two 2- to 6-minute musical compositions designed to trigger the body's natural responses. The compositions trigger either relaxation – for reduced stress and improved sleep –and alertness, for improved concentration and decision-making. Each track is performed on a single instrument, usually a piano. The relaxation track may sound like a melodic, subdued Chopin sonata, while the alertness track is more like Mozart. Listen to an alert track here.

Each person is then given a set listening schedule. A group of firefighters will be the first emergency responders studied in this project. Since most of us won't have access to brain music recordingings, consider this prescription from Cervantes: "He who sings scares away his woes."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dog-proof fences? Check out Bark

For Robin's latest article in The BARK (March/April 2009 issue), click here.

Another more detailed article about fences and dogs is found here

Saturday, April 25, 2009

New Farm Sanctuary Virtual Experience

Farm Sanctuary just posted a new and insightful Virtual Experience on its website, which uses uses new technology to help you virtually visit a factory farm and the nonprofit's sanctuary. It's a sensitive presentation of the realities of how turkeys and other farmed animals are treated and transported. The Sanctuary presentation helps show that there are caring people, and that caring people can make a difference. Click here.

Pacific Ocean garbage swirl twice now the size of France

Click the here to find out more about this mass of manmade trash polluting and killing life in the Pacific.

Plastic is absolutely ubiquitous, forming the most basic infrastructure of modern consumer society Photo by Brett Ryder

Monday, April 20, 2009

Manhattan glam on a recession budget

I reveal secrets to doing Manhattan in style on a recession budget here in an online travel magazine.

Acupressure effective for post-surgical nausea

Stimulating the Pericardium (P6) point in the wrist prevents nausea and vomiting, report researchers in the current issue of The Cochrane Library. Some 80 percent of people who have surgery complain of nausea and vomiting afterwards. The cost and side effects of anti-nausea medications have spurred interest in simpler and noninvasive alternatives.

Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine treatment going back 2,000 years, involves penetrating the skin with thin, metallic needles at defined points. Acupressure involves wearing a wristband that presses down on the P6 point, which I’ve personally found effective in preventing motion sickness on jags and boats.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What shade of green are you?

"What Shade of Green are You?", "The Game of Green," bulb evolution...links to Robin's Eco Simple column and some of her other Earth Day articles appearing this weekend in various editions of the Examiner newspapers nationwide. Here's a piece from the San Francisco edition and another in the Washington, DC edition.

Shaping good behavior - new Dog Tip

Shaping desired behavior involves breaking a behavior into small steps, taught one at a time with positive reinforcement.
Here's an example ... click here for this Dog Tipsheet.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Blog Appeal: blogging for business

Robin's cover story in the new April 2009 issue of HSMAI MR, the international hospitality journal. If you'd like a PDF, let me know. Here are links to the pages:
Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, and cover

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The best medicine is cheap

“There is ever-increasing evidence that a higher consumption of Brassica vegetables may reduce the risk of several types of cancer,” according to researcher Robert Verpoorte. Vegetables in the Brassica family include broccoli, cabbage, kale and brussels sprouts. They're packed with disease-fighting phytochemicals as well as vitamins, minerals and fiber, according to a report presented in the latest edition of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, a peer-reviewed journal of the Institute of Food Technologists.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Can’t hide B.O.

Research now proves what we already knew: it’s tougher to mask armpit odor from women. “It is quite difficult to block a woman’s awareness of body odor. In contrast, it seems rather easy to do so in men,” said Charles J. Wysocki, PhD, a behavioral neuroscientist at Monell. Evidently, females are more attuned to biologically relevant information in sweat when they are choosing a mate. (Image courtesy of

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Swashbucklin' Eco Warrior saving the high seas

Slobby Somali pirates don't hold a candle to swashbuckling eco warrior David de Rothschild, who's sailing by plastic boat to the humongous garbage patch aswirl in Pacific Ocean currents. And all the single ladies, this hunky banking heir has been dubbed a most eligible bachelor too. Click here

Friday, April 10, 2009

Broccoli sprout power

A pilot study suggests that eating two and a half ounces of broccoli sprouts daily for two months helps protect against the stomach bug H. pylori that causes gastritis, ulcers and even stomach cancer.

Eating a daily dose of broccoli sprouts reduced by more than 40 percent the level of HpSA, a highly specific measure of the presence of components of H. pylori. “[W]e identified a food that, if eaten regularly, might potentially have an effect on the cause of a lot of gastric problems and perhaps even ultimately help prevent stomach cancer,” says Jed W. Fahey, paper author/nutritional biochemist at the Johns Hopkins Cancer Chemoprotection Center. Co-researcher Paul Talalay (pictured with sprouts) is a pioneer in the healing foods movement who is such a believer that he patented a variety of broccoli sprouts.

Their previous studies suggested sulforaphane, a naturally occurring biochemical, is a potent antibiotic. Broccoli sprouts have a much higher concentration of sulforaphane than mature heads. Sulforaphane appears to trigger cells in the body to produce enzymes that protect against oxygen radicals, DNA-damaging chemicals, and inflammation.

Chop Shop worth watching

Great film shares lessons from the street, and worth watching it a second time with the filmmaker commentary. Some of the actors aren't actors by trade; they live/work on the streets. Excellent indie production made on location in Queens. Be sure to get the Ramin Bahrani production, not the sexploitation flick with the same title.

Cool idea for dog and film lovers

Award-winning filmmaker Rebecca Rodriguez isn't letting the flood of kudos for Coming Up Easy, her recent look at domestic violence, keep her from working on her new project, Good Dogs. To raise money for the film and raise awareness about the plight of homeless animals, she has come up with this novel idea. Check out her Good Dog effort here

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Like a fine rind...

You know that white membrane between the rind and pulp of oranges, grapefruits and other citrus? Researchers recently confirmed it's good for you.

New York, New York - Gone ARTtistic

Robin's New York art romp piece in Art-tistics, an online publication for collectors, gallerists and others in the creative class. Click here

Image: Mural painted by SoHo artists for the New Yorker Hotel.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

President's dog choice matters

If the Obamas choose a designer dog, more unethical breeders and puppy mills will cash in. Good Newsweek article on doing animals wrong. Click here

Perils of shopping while happy

A new study shows that happy consumers are likely to overlook their suspicions about sales pitches. The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Business study findings will appear July in Elsevier’s Journal of Consumer Psychology. The researchers exposed consumers to humorous or happy situations before surveying their responses to persuasive sales offers.

Add Flax to the Grocery List

More reasons to buy flax seeds (ground 'em up and sprinkle on salads) and flax seed oil. New research offers evidence that including flax in the diet may help prevent colorectal tumors or keep tumors from growing as quickly when they do form. The new South Dakota State University research results were published February in the peer-reviewed international journal Nutrition and Cancer.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Face on Your Plate

"Collective denial has been our modus operandi." Thoughtful WaPo book reviews on the prevailing "don't ask-don't tell" food culture sheds light on food that's bad for the eater as well as the eaten. Click here

Event Waste Rescue

Robin's April 5 Eco Simple column in the Examiner newspapers nationwide. The topic: Event Waste Rescue. Access the San Francisco edition by clicking the title above. SF edition:
DC edition:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Artful Spring Break in NYC

Click the title for Robin's April 3 article in Lenny Campello's Art News.

Image: Future New York, The City of Skyscrapers, 1910s. One of the postcards on view at the Met. Artist unknown. Photomechanical reproduction. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Walker Evans Archive.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Soy when young helps cut disease risk

Asian-American women who ate higher amounts of soy during childhood had a 58% reduced risk of breast cancer, according to a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Check this site for tasty recipes and soy health facts