Monday, January 30, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A smart psychiatric pill is on the way...

Pill Police?     
by patricia.deegan
You must be paranoid! Or then again... Imagine being diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2012. Imagine being recently discharged from a mental hospital and, in the privacy of your own home, swallowing an antipsychotic medication as part of your ongoing treatment. Imagine that the powdered medicine was wrapped in a capsule that included a tiny microchip and a microscopic antenna. When the capsule you swallowed mixed with the gastric juices in your digestive system, the microchip and antenna would be activated and transmit information to your doctor's computer or phone about the type of pill you took and the time it entered your stomach. Imagine that the microchip and antenna continued to transmit information to your doctor about your sleep, PH balance and body temperature.
My friends, this is not a delusion or a paranoid conspiracy theory. The technology I am describing exists and is under consideration for use in proposed research studies on health IT treatment interventions for those of us diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Please be clear. Medication has been helpful in my recovery and I believe there is place for the judicious use of meds in mental health. The capsules or pills that are currently available from our pharmacies DO NOT have microchips and antennae, and they are not feeding back information to our doctors. However, we are in brave new world and the future is upon us. Information technologies are emerging all around us and these technologies have unprecedented capacity to track our personal biometrics and feed our personal metrics back to health authorities.
What should informed consent be like in the event that we are offered a "Police Pill" or, phrased more benignly, an "Assisted Treatment Pill"? Who should control access to the personal information that is generated by such pills? What action should be taken based on the information that is collected by such pills? Should your employer be warned that you have not slept in 2 days? Should a psychiatrist or case manager come to our home if we have not swallowed prescribed medicine in a timely fashion? Should family members receive a notice if the microchip says that we have not been sleeping enough? Should our doctor or nurse adjust dosages of medication based on biometric information received from these "smart pills"?
One of the reasons I created CommonGround was to begin to carve out a vision for the just use of technology to support recovery and informed medical decision making. I am proud of the work my team has done to create a web application that supports informed choice, recovery and shared decision making. I am proud to say that over 10,000 people in public sector mental health systems in the U.S. are using CommonGround. Personal Medicine, Power Statements, Decision Support and Shared Decision Making: These are the cornerstones of the CommonGround web application. CommonGround paints a vision about how health information technologies can be emancipatory and used to enhance self-determination for those of us who are devalued by our society. There is no doubt that health IT can be used for good. But so much more work needs to be done.
I urge consumer/survivors and our allies to join with me in the development of health and wellness technologies that reflect the values of recovery, choice and person centered care. If we don't do it, I am convinced that nobody will. I urge medical ethicists to partner with consumer/survivors to develop models for the just use of information technologies. I urge consumer/survivors to spread this post to friends and allies. I invite each one of you to respond with your ideas of what our communities should do to address the promise and the peril of modern health information technologies. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

The house that hemp built...

Drew Peterson's House
Image by Michael Kappel via Flickr

Drew and Jaime Rokeby-Thomas had the property, builder, designer and finances lined up for construction of their straw-bale home on B.C.'s Saltspring Island.
They had everything they needed -- except straw.
Construction on the 1,760-square-foot house was to start in 2003, the same year Alberta's drought made headlines across the country. The couple found that Alberta farmers, unable to grow their own bedding for their livestock, had gone shopping in B.C. That meant regular straw-bale sources were sold out.
"We started calling family and friends in the Kootenays looking everywhere and anywhere for straw," says Drew, an inventor. They never found it, but they did find a rancher with 2,000 hemp bales and snapped them up.
Building an alternative-style house can be a large-scale experiment. Each house built of alternative materials, such as earth and straw, needs to be certified by an engineer to pass building inspection. The last-minute switch made by the Rokeby-Thomases threw new variables into their plans.
"Hemp was much harder to build with," says Drew. The difficulty was due to hemp's tougher fibre, making it harder to cut the bales. "I would never do a hemp house again."
But that minus has been compensated for by a big plus. While straw-bale homes can sometimes run into trouble with moisture when not properly designed, the in-wall moisture reader on the Rokeby-Thomas house showed the hemp dropped its moisture content faster than straw-bale homes.
Everest Reynolds of Elevation Design Studio provided the basic house design. Builder Nick Langford, a building technology and design graduate from B.C. Institute of Technology, worked with the couple to fashion the two-level low-energy home. Timber-frame construction bears the load of the house, while the hemp bale walls on the main floor provide an insulating value of R30. Large windows run along the south side of the house, helping it to gain solar heat throughout the day.
The house is well-sealed, not only against the climate, but also against sound. Jaime is a professional musician whose stage name is jaime rt. Her music studio occupies the north side of the house. There, the walls were built with double-offset studs and gasketed doors so that Jaime's creative output wouldn't resonate through the house and neighbourhood.
The exterior stucco is a porous mixture of sand, cement and lime -- porosity is a traditional element of natural homes, which are said to "breathe," but here Drew drew the proverbial line in the sand, or, in this case, in the stucco.
"Vapour barriers are controversial in natural-building circles," explains Drew. "But after some research, I decided I wanted a vapour barrier. We're living in a fairly wet climate."
The interior stucco was mixed with an acrylic filler that seals the interior wall. As added protection, the house features metre-deep eaves and a large covered porch.
Jaime and Drew favour the rustic look, so they eliminated the finishing polish on their acid-etched cement floors to preserve an uneven texture that resembles the circular marks of old milled wood. The cabinetry is simple, with open cupboards in a batten-board style. Open, pull-out shelves accommodate woven baskets.
Local art adorns the home, including some of Drew's wrought-iron work from his blacksmithing days. A botanical weave of iron twists up the staircase, depicting flower petals and seaweed in the same frame.
"I don't pay much attention to the rules when I'm creating something," Drew says of the seabed and garden mix. "I just decide on the form as I go." The artistry extends outside, with garden borders fashioned from bent rebar. A spring-fed pond, rose vines and iris gardens surround the house. A bohemian atmosphere pervades the home in stained-glass frames, felt tapestries and vivid wall colourings in contrasting purple and yellow tones.
"A lot of people are tired by the time they're finished building, and they end up with beige or white walls," says Drew. "I told Jaime to go wild, be daring."
Looking at the brilliant walls in his wife's studio, Drew laughs and says, "Perhaps I shouldn't have said that."

Acknowledgements and thanks: © (c) CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

The discovery of the village known as Skara Brae in Scotland's Orkney Islands...

House 9 of Skara Brae.
Image via Wikipedia
Covered house 7 of Skara Brae.
Image via Wikipedia

  • :))interiorinter
    The discovery of the village known as Skara Brae in Scotland's Orkney Islands...

  • By Peter Petterson

  • First published at Qondio:

  • Let me describe a scenario that is old as ancient Egypt or Pompeii - something 4000 years or more in the neolithic age preceding the iron age, the bronze age, long before even the Celts and the Romans in ancient Britain.
    The discovery of the village of Skara Brae: May be more important than Stonehenge?
    During the winter of 1850 a great storm battered the Orkney Islands in northern Scotland. This in itself is not that unusual in these remote northern islands, but on this particular occasion the combination of strong winds and extremely high tides stripped the grass from a large mound there, then known as "Skerrabra".
    This stripping revealed the outline of a number of stone buildings - something that intrigued the local Laird(Lord), William Watt of Skaill, who then embarked on an excavation of the site.
    Excavation work was finally abandoned in 1868, after the remains of four ancient houses had been unearthed. The settlement remained undisturbed until 1925, when another great storm damaged the previously excavated structures.
    A seawall was constructed to preserve the existing remains, and yet even more ancient buildings were discovered.
    After further excavations betwen 1928 and 1930 the dwellings present today were released from their ancient protective cocoons. It was believed the village was actually an iron-age settlement dating from around 500 BC, but this was no Pictish village.
    Radiocarbon dating in the 1970's confirmed the settlements much earlier existence - dating from the Neolithic period and being settled for 600 years between 3200 BC and 2200 BC, pre-dating even the Celtic period.
    Today, Skerrabra or Skara Brae as it is now known survives as eight dwellings linked together by low covered passage-ways. Because of the protection by the sand that covered the settlement for 4000 years, the buildings and their contents are remarkably well preserved. Not only are the structures walls still standing, but they are still roofed with original stone slabs, and the interior fittings give what has been described as an unparalled glimpse of life in the Neolithic Orkneys.They share a timeframe with ancient Egypt and Pompeii.
    Go to the links provided and spend a few hours reading and viewing life in the Orkneys 4000 years ago, long before Vikings, Saxons, or Celts - into the realms of ancient history. We may run into each other there.
    Being down in the South Pacific I had not heard of Skara Brae before, but my younger brother who was up in Wellington with us just after Christmas this year, having a break from earthquake riven Christchurch, mentioned what he had heard. And so our story about ancient Britain has resulted.
  • Kiwipete

  • House 9 of Skara Brae.
    Image via Wikipedia
    Covered house 7 of Skara Brae.
    Image via Wikipedia
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    Friday, January 13, 2012

    The day the Beekeepers occupied Monsanto France...



    An error occurred while setting up video display.


    Yesterday late morning, dozens of people on t invaded the premises of the Monsanto Monbéqui to voice their revendications. / Photo DDM, Chantal Longo.

    This is an order of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) that September 5, 2011 set fire to the powder. A beekeeper German who found the presence of pollen from GM maize Mon 810 sued and the court found her honey unmarketable. In fact the coexistence of GM crops in open fields and beekeeping is incompatible. A few days later the same court overturned the safeguard clause for the corn taken by France in 2008. Which sows confusion among beekeepers that the number of hives and bees decreases dramatically after the problems of the Regent, the Gaucho and across the great southern Asian hornet. Starting from a standing meeting Léojac they signed yesterday a coup by penetrating so cunning in the administrative buildings of the Monsanto-Monbéqui installed near the Garonne. An advance guard of about twenty of them acted as the Trojan horse posing as deliverymen and then opening the gates to the main body. The surprise was total. When the police arrived the occupants were on the premises with hives, smoker and realize what a picnic invigorating.

    See you Friday 13 in Paris at the Department of Ecology

    Negotiations were begun shortly before one o'clock. And the Prefect of Tarn-et-Garonne Fabien Sudry received 30 to 14 hours a delegation. The interview lasted 90 minutes with calls to the Ministries of Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet and Bruno Le Maire to find both a rendezvous in Paris on Friday from 13 to 16 hours, but mostly to see if n ' is not possible to re-route the order Barnier, 2007 prohibiting transportation and sale of seed. This progress in the dialogue was explained to 17 hours to hundreds of people still present on the premises of Monsanto. The final slogan is as follows: "We did not win, but we must remain mobilized and see what to do after January 13th." And just as quietly emptied the premises under the eye of some twenty policemen visible on the site and did not have to intervene.


    Léojac meeting or diversion?

    By yesterday morning the peasant confederation organized in the hall of Léojac an interregional meeting on "GMOs and coexistence bee impossible." Over two hundred people filled the room mid-morning to hear presentations from the highest quality. Then around 11 o'clock half the hall was deserted by beekeepers from all over the Deep South who was heading the site of Monsanto Monbéqui about thirty miles away. The morning ended for the public by remaining an invitation to join the militants or to be in front of the prefecture.


    The developer of the witnesses

    Jean Sabench> Saint-Pons-de-Tomières. "We managed to create an event that is national in scope because there are people from all over France, as well as the Ardèche Britain or the Puy de Dome again. It comes to Monbéqui to tell him to stop Monsanto's crap. With everything they traffic, we can no longer sell our products. They are asked to respect the law but also to comply with our products. We do not want them to crush everything in their path. The MON 810 will put us on the straw. We must stop this! "

    Josie Riffaud> Gironde. "We're not there to burn everything. Rather, we are in the symbol. Beekeepers are increasingly worried about their future. At the rate things are going in a few years there will not be any bees on the planet. With the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union which has invalidated the safeguard clause Monsanto 810 maize made by France in 2008 we opened a Pandora's box. We must quickly close it before it's too late. "

    Alain Bernard> Tarn. "For many products that French beekeepers do not become unsaleable at once we strongly urge the competent authorities to set up a second moratorium before the start of planting GM because of the risks facing our bees with GM crops . We can not accept losing everything without a fight. Today, we play our survival. We are totally against the wall. "

    (Related by J.-Ph.L.)

    This is a translation
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    Monday, January 2, 2012

    The Aldebaran Mystery and the pre-war secrets of the Third Reich

    Adolf Hitler in Paris
    Image by Marion Doss via Flickr
    WASHINGTON - JANUARY 22:  The 'Augsburger Gesc...
    Image by Getty Images via @daylife
    Adolf Hitler in Yugoslavia.
    Image via Wikipedia

    WASHINGTON - JANUARY 22:  The 'Augsburger Gesc...
    Image by Getty Images via @daylife
    Adolf Hitler in Yugoslavia.
    Image via Wikipedia
    During Adolph Hitler's rise to power, did a daring group of Nazi scholars and technicians learn the secrets of anti-gravity and space travel from extraterrestials  If true, these conclusions may shock and amaze you

    . Get the facts about UFO secrets of WW11 - the Third reich and beyond in a way that will change the way we stare upat the stars for years to come.

    View the video about the Aldebaran Mystery and the secrets of the pre-war Third Reich. Just who was responsible for all those UFO sightings after the Second World War?

    UFO TV

    Adolf Hitler in Yugoslavia.
    Image via Wikipedia
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