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offsite link DeSantis at CPAC: ‘Florida Got It Righ... Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:01 | Gabe Kaminsky

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offsite link Mainstream media: Failing to speak truth to power

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offsite link Turkish President Calls On Greece To Comply With Human Rights on Syrian Refugee Issues Wed Mar 04, 2020 17:58 | Human Rights

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offsite link Michael Rectenwald on ?Great Reset Rubric = Dystopia?, by Kevin Barrett Sat Feb 27, 2021 05:00 | Kevin Barrett
Michael Rectenwald stood strong for academic freedom at NYU for several years. Now he?s retired and still making waves! His new article ?The Great Reset Rubric: Making Sense of Our Present Dystopia? argues that the oligarchs are using COVID as an excuse to impose ?corporate socialism? i.e. neo-feudalism. Woke ideology and cancel culture, he says,...

offsite link Peter Simpson on (Neo)Liberalism, by Kevin Barrett Tue Feb 23, 2021 05:00 | Kevin Barrett
CUNY philosophy professor Peter Simpson, author of ?Theocracy?s Challenge? and Political Illiberalism, continues last week?s conversation on ?debt traps? and discusses the impending fall of the Western neoliberal empire. Is neoliberalism?s achilles heel its financial system, which rewards rent-extracting parasites (like Wall Street) and discourages investment in real infrastructure and goods and services? Is China...

offsite link Michael Brenner Debunks West?s Anti-Russia Narrative, by Kevin Barrett Thu Feb 18, 2021 05:00 | Kevin Barrett
International Affairs professor Michael Brenner questions the anti-Russian hysteria emanating from the alleged poisoning of wannabe color-revolutionist Navalny. Like Peter Myer, Michael Brenner ?blogs? via his email list, which is very much worth subscribing to: https://list.pitt.edu/mailman/listinf...

offsite link AP and Atlantic Council Anoint Me ?COVID Conspiracy Super-Spreader?? and Erase Ron Unz, by Kevin Bar... Tue Feb 16, 2021 05:01 | Kevin Barrett
The bad news is that two of the most powerful institutions in America have anointed me a ?COVID super-spreader.? The good news is that I stand accused of super-spreading ?COVID conspiracy theories,? not the actual disease. But the worse news is that the way things are going, ?conspiracy spreaders? may soon be quarantined in COVID...

offsite link Peter Myers Responds to "Chinese Debt Trap Is a Myth", by Kevin Barrett Mon Feb 15, 2021 05:00 | Kevin Barrett
Peter Myers is one of many Australians concerned about Chinese financial encroachment, or ?debt trap imperialism.? But are Chinese lenders really as predatory as Western economic hit men? Even the Atlantic now tells us that the ?Chinese debt trap??at least the Sri Lanka version?

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offsite link The Gary Null Show - 02.26.21 Fri Feb 26, 2021 20:49
The effects of lycopene supplementation on serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels and cardiovascular disease Ganzhou People’s Hospital (China), February 22, 2021  

The results of human studies assessing the efficacy of lycopene on insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels are inconsistent. Thus, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the effects of lycopene supplementation on serum IGF-1 levels and cardiovascular disease.


The literature published up to January 2020 was searched using the electronic databases Scopus, PubMed/Medline, Web of Science, Embase and Google Scholar.


Seven qualified trials were included in the current meta-analysis. IGF-1 levels were non-significantly decreased in lycopene group compared to the control (WMD: −6.74 ng/mL, 95 % CI: −23.01 to 9.52, p = 0.42; I2 = 94.3 %). Subgroup analysis revealed a significantly decrease in IGF-1 levels upon lycopene supplementation at doses ≥15 mg/d (WMD: −6.40 ng/mL), intervention period 15 mg/d, for

offsite link The Gary Null Show - 02.25.21 Thu Feb 25, 2021 19:26
French maritime pine bark supplementation associated with improvements in diabetes complications

Tabriz University of Medical Sciences (Iran), February 24 2021. 


A randomized trial reported on February 18, 2021 in Complementary Therapies in Medicine resulted in improvement of several factors related to type 2 diabetes among men and women who were given supplements containing French maritime pine bark extract.

The trial included 46 diabetics between the ages of 30 and 65 years who were recruited from March 2018 to April 2019. Participants received two capsules that provided 50 milligrams each of French maritime bark extract or a placebo daily for eight weeks. Diet and medication use remained unchanged throughout the trial. Anthropometric factors, glycemic parameters, lipids and factors related to inflammation and kidney function were assessed at the beginning and end of the study. 

At eight weeks, waist circumference, waist to height ratio, hemoglobin A1c, total cholesterol, vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1, an inflammatory cell that contributes to atherosclerosis), and urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (an early indicator of kidney disease) were lower at the end of the study among participants who received French maritime pine bark extract in comparison with the placebo. Serum fasting blood glucose levels were also lower at the end of the study in the group that received the extract; however, the reduction was not considered significant. 

“There is a growing body of evidence that suggests pine bark extract supplementation has some potentially beneficial metabolic properties such as anti-diabetic and hypoglycemic effects,” Elham Navval-Esfahlan and colleagues wrote.

“The present study indicated that daily supplementation with 100 mg of pine bark extract in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and microalbuminuria had favorable effects on glycemic control, serum VCAM-1, and urinary albumin to creatine ratio level, as well as total cholesterol concentrations and abdominal obesity which could be helpful in the control of diabetes complications,” they concluded. 




Study finds association between supplementing with zinc and lower risk of Alzheimer's disease

University of Manchester (UK), February 22 2021. 


An epidemiologic study conducted at the University of Manchester found an association between zinc supplementation and a decreased risk of Alzheimer's disease as well as a reduction in the progression of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease patients. It was additionally determined that zinc deficiency accelerated memory deficits in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model compared to a control group, due to increased inflammation. The findings were reported in an article appearing on February 17, 2021 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

For the epidemiologic study, Jack Rivers-Auty and his associates utilized data from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database, which included 1,631 men and women who were cognitively normal or diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer's disease. Subjects were evaluated upon enrollment, at six and 12 months, and yearly thereafter. Data obtained at the beginning of the study provided information concerning the use of nutritional supplements. 

Among those who reported supplementing with zinc, just 6% were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, in contrast with 26% of those who reported no supplement use. Calcium, iron and magnesium also appeared to be protective. Zinc use was additionally associated with a less rapid rate of cognitive decline during up to ten years of follow-up. 

Giving mice zinc deficient diets was associated with increased cognitive decline due to enhanced NLRP3-driven inflammation, which was reversed by giving the animals diets that contained a normal amount of zinc. “These data suggest that zinc deficiency is causally accelerating cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease and that these cognitive deficits are reversible,” Dr Rivers-Auty and colleagues wrote. 

“This research suggests that zinc status is linked to inflammatory reactivity and may be modified in people to reduce the risk and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” they concluded.



Study finds low folate, vitamin B12 associated with worse cognitive function

University of Massachusetts, February 22, 2021


According to news reporting from Lowell, Massachusetts, research stated, “There is evidence that low plasma vitamin B-12 and folate individually, as well as an imbalance of high folic acid and low vitamin B-12 status, may be associated with lower cognitive function. We examined dietary and plasma folate and vitamin B12 status, and their interaction, in relation to cognitive function in a cohort of older Puerto Rican adults.”

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, “The design is cross-sectional, with 1408 participants from the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study (mean SD age: 57.1 +/- 7.9 y). Cognitive function was assessed with a comprehensive test battery and a global composite score was derived. Plasma folate, vitamin B12, and methylmalonic acid (MMA) were assessed in fasting blood samples. After adjusting for covariates, high plasma folate and high plasma vitamin B-12 were each positively associated with global cognitive score (beta: 0.063; 95% CI: -0.0008, 0.127; P = 0.053 and beta: 0.062; 95% CI: 0.009, 0.12; P = 0.023, respectively, for logged values, and beta: 0.002; 95% CI: 0.00005, 0.004; P-trend = 0.044 and beta: 0.00018; 95% CI: 0.00001, 0.0003; P-trend = 0.036, respectively, across tertiles). Nine percent of participants had vitamin B-12 deficiency (plasma vitamin B-12 148 pmol/L or MMA 271 nmol/L), but none were folate deficient (plasma folate < 4.53 nmol/L). Deficient compared with higher vitamin B-12 was significantly associated with lower cognitive score (beta: -0.119; 95% CI: -0.208, -0.029; P = 0.009). We could not examine the interaction for vitamin B-12 deficiency and high plasma folate, because there were too few individuals (

offsite link The Gary Null Show - 02.24.21 Wed Feb 24, 2021 19:39

Gary takes on the real issues that the mainstream media is afraid to tackle. Tune in to find out the latest about health news, healing, politics, and the economy. 

  L-theanine improves neurophysiologic measures of attention in dose-dependent manner University of Peradeniya (Sri Lanka), February 22, 2021 According to news reporting originating from Peradeniya, Sri Lanka,research stated, “L-theanine, a non-proteinic amino acid found in tea, is known to enhance attention particularly in high doses, with no reported adverse effects. We aimed to determine whether oral administration of L-theanine acutely enhances neurophysiological measures of selective attention in a dose-dependent manner.” Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from the University of Peradeniya, “In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, counterbalanced, 4-way crossover study in a group of 27 healthy young adults, we compared the effects of 3 doses of L-theanine (100, 200 and 400 mg) with a placebo (distilled water) on latencies of amplitudes of attentive and pre-attentive cognitive event-related potentials (ERPs) recorded in an auditory stimulus discrimination task, before and 50 min after dosing. Compared to the placebo, 400 mg of theanine showed a significant reduction in the latency of the parietal P3b ERP component (p < 0.05), whereas no significant changes were observed with lower doses. A subsequent exploratory regression showed that each 100-mg increase in dose reduces the P3b latency by 4 ms (p < 0.05). No dose-response effect was observed in P3b amplitude, pre-attentive ERP components or reaction time. The findings indicate L-theanine can increase attentional processing of auditory information in a dose-dependent manner.” According to the news editors, the research concluded: “The linear dose-response attentional effects we observed warrant further studies with higher doses of L-theanine.” This research has been peer-reviewed.   Lost your appetite? Nutmeg oil can bring it back Kyoto University (Japan), February 21 2021 Loss of appetite is treated by directly addressing its cause. However, depending on the condition it’s associated with, treatment can be expensive. But in a recent study, researchers at Kyoto University investigated a potential treatment for loss of appetite that’s both inexpensive and easy to administer. Myristica fragrans, from which this natural medicine is derived, is an evergreen tree native to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, of Indonesia. The seeds of this exotic plant are the main source of two popular culinary spices, namely, nutmeg and mace. According to previous studies, the oil derived from the fruits and seeds of the nutmeg tree has appetite-enhancing properties. Nutmeg oil is also traditionally used to treat digestive issues, such as bloating, gastrointestinal distress and decreased appetite. The researchers explored the beneficial properties and active components of nutmeg oil in an article published in the Journal of Natural Medicines. Nutmeg oil shows appetite-enhancing effects in vivo The spice known as nutmeg is popular for its warm, nutty flavor that goes well with sweet and savory dishes. It is widely used today in the culinary world and can be found in almost every kitchen around the world. In Asian countries, nutmeg is not only used as an ingredient, but it also has a long history of use as herbal medicine that can improve a person’s appetite. (Related: Nutmeg exhibits powerful anti-diabetes properties, concludes study.) According to previous studies, nutmeg oil contains two active phytochemicals, myristicin and methyl eugenol. Myristicin is also present in parsley, black pepper, carrots and dill, and is said to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-proliferative, anti-cholinergic and hepatoprotective properties. Methyl eugenol, meanwhile, is a compound present in various essential oils. It has been reported to have antibacterial, antifungal, insecticidal, anesthetic and antioxidant properties. In one animal study, researchers found that inhalation of myristicin and methyl eugenol increased the appetite mice. Because of this, the two compounds have attracted the attention of healthcare professionals who care for older people with dementia. Loss of appetite is not unusual for these patients since they tend to suffer from hypophagia, or a reduction in food intake and feeding behavior. Hypophagia, if left unaddressed, leads to frailty, and patients end up bedridden. Hence, inexpensive appetite-enhancing agents that are easy to administer are particularly desirable. In their study, the Japanese researchers found that inhalation of nutmeg oil, myristicin and methyl eugenol produced appetite-enhancing effects in mice. However, only methyl eugenol exerted both appetite-enhancing and locomotor-reducing effects at the same dose. According to a previous study, benzylacetone, an attractant compound found abundantly in flowers, also exerted the same effects at the same dose, and even increased the bodyweight of mice significantly. Methyl eugenol, however, did not have the same effect on body weight because the mice experienced olfactory habituation — reduced behavioral response due to repeated exposure — after several inhalations. The researchers believe that their study provides crucial information for identifying suitable compounds that can be used for the long-term treatment of appetite loss.   Case Study Shows Cannabis Led To Remarkable Improvement In Childhood Autism Symptoms Caleo Health Clinic (Canada) and Alberta Children's Hospital, February 21, 2021 An extremely promising case study was recently published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports illustrating the positive effects of cannabis extract and its association with improved autism related behavioral symptoms. According to the authors, “the pharmacological treatment for autism spectrum disorders is often poorly tolerated and has traditionally targeted associated conditions, with limited benefit for the core social deficits. We describe the novel use of a cannabidiol-based extract that incidentally improved core social deficits and overall functioning in a patient with autism spectrum disorder, at a lower dose than has been previously reported in autism spectrum disorder.” The case study focused on a child with autism who was switching out prescription seizure medicine for his epilepsy with a very low cannabidiol-based extract dose. The study found that not only did the cannabidiol extract help with his seizures, but he also “experienced unanticipated positive effects on behavioral symptoms and core social deficits,” according to the study. Researchers pointed out that to modify disruptive behaviors and improve social communication skills, often times children with autism are prescribed psychopharmacologic medications that target specific ASD core behaviors (for example, repetitive behaviors) and associated behaviors (for example, hyperactivity, aggression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances), but do not treat core social communication deficits. They explain that these medications are known for producing “substantial side effects.” For example, aripiprazole and risperidone, the only two medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat irritability and agitation in ASD, frequently cause somnolence, increased appetite, and weight gain. These factors have led to families seeking alternative treatments outside of the psychopharmacologic realm. One of the newest forms of these alternative medicines is cannabidiol-based extract. Researchers reported that the patient’s symptoms improved within six-months of treatment, and that he has maintained “positive effects on his behavioral symptoms, anxiety, sleep, and social deficits” since that time. The results of CBE treatments, according to the case study, were nothing short of remarkable. He became more motivated and energetic, starting his own vegetarian diet and exercise programs, ultimately losing 6.4 kg after starting CBE for a calculated BMI of 21.33 kg/m2. He was able to start his first part-time job helping customers and interacting with them. He was instructed to fill out the self-administered Adult AQ which resulted in a normal score of 10. His mother stated he now also has a girlfriend. “This case report provides evidence that a lower than previously reported dose of a phytocannabinoid in the form of a cannabidiol-based extract may be capable of aiding in autism spectrum disorder-related behavioral symptoms, core social communication abilities, and comorbid anxiety, sleep difficulties, and weight control,” authors concluded. “Further research is needed to elucidate the clinical role and underlying biological mechanisms of action of cannabidiol-based extract in patients with autism spectrum disorder.” According to a report in Norml, these finding back up previous research published last year by investigators at Tufts University in Boston who similarly reported that the oral administration of cannabis-based products is associated with improvements in autistic symptoms in patients with self-injurious behaviors and co-morbid epilepsy, Several small clinical trials – such as those reported here, here, here, and here – have also previously reported that plant-derived cannabis extracts are effective and well-tolerated in mitigating various symptoms in patients with ASD, including hyperactivity, seizures, anxiety, and rage attacks.   High Homocysteine Levels May Increase Risk Of Heart Attack, Stroke, & Alzheimer’s Disease Temple University, February 14, 2021 There is a strong need for increased awareness, better prevention, detection, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease with well over 5 million Americans currently suffering from this debilitating brain-wasting disease, and this number is projected to triple over the next few decades Research has found a link between Alzheimer’s disease and elevated levels of homocysteine. A recent study from Temple University has revealed another important connection between specific vitamin deficiencies and high homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine can increase the risk of dementia up to tenfold, and the list of ways this can affect the brain is long and damaging. This can include but is not limited to the formation of plaque in blood vessels that supply blood to the brain, development of chronic inflammation in the brain, and shrinkage of areas in the brain associated with memory. Additionally, excess homocysteine promotes the neurofibrillary tau tangles and harmful beta-amyloid plaques that are associated with AD, and it can interfere with the DNA repair process needed for brain cell maintenance. The harmful effects of elevated levels of homocysteine can all take a toll on brain function. For example, a study published in the Annals of Neuroscience found that elevated levels of homocysteine are associated with a 4.2-10.5 fold increased risk for vascular dementia, and the higher homocysteine rises the more damage it can cause. The study reported elevations in homocysteine were found to correspond closely to the degrees of cognitive impairment experienced by the participants. A report published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease classified elevated homocysteine as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive decline. The researchers noted that the risk from elevated homocysteine was modifiable, meaning that reducing these levels could help to reduce the risk of brain damage. The recent study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry describes the dangers of B-complex vitamin shortfalls in relation to homocysteine which is produced in the body in response to the breakdown of proteins and is normally detoxified by B-complex vitamins. Mice were deprived of vitamins B6, B9, and B12 for eight months, the animals were found to display elevated levels of homocysteine and 50% more tau tangles in the brain. The increased levels also caused increased levels of the pro-inflammatory chemical 5-LOX. The animals also displayed considerable difficulty with learning and remembering a water maze compared to the control group. The brain is not the only thing affected by high levels of homocysteine, this condition can also cause harm to the cardiovascular system including but not limited to damaging the lining of blood vessels, promoting deposits of plaque in the arteries that can cause a clog and increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. Research has shown that high levels of homocysteine is linked to a 42% increase in the risk of constricted carotid arteries which is a major risk factor for strokes. Elevated levels of homocysteine and poor arterial function can combine to interfere with the ability of the body to counter dangerous clotting inside of the arteries as well as with the ability of the heart to adapt to a blocked vessel by creating a new pathway. Elevated levels of homocysteine are dangerous to those with existing cardiovascular disease. A study involving over 3,000 participants with chronic heart disease found that elevated levels were associated with a 2.5 fold increased risk for coronary events. The researchers discovered a formula for measuring the risk, and suggested that every additional 5 micromoles per liter of homocysteine results in a 25% risk increase. As a product of less efficient detoxification functions levels of homocysteine tends to increase with aging. Genetics, stress, and the use of prescription drugs can also affect homocysteine levels. Experts suggest that a shortage in vitamins B2, B6, B9, and B12 that normally detoxify the amino acid are often the reason behind increasing levels of homocysteine. If you are concerned about your levels of homocysteine, or vitamin levels consult with your physician or certified medical professionals who may be able to address your concerns with a simple blood test. If you have reached or are approaching elderhood, with degenerative chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease on the rise it may be better to err on the side of caution and get checked rather than guess. Experts suggest that B complex vitamins are involved in breaking down homocysteine in the blood. These vitamins can be supplemented, but it is always best to obtain them via natural sources such as is found in eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. For example, vitamin B9 can be obtained in leafy greens and lentils; and B6 can be obtained in potatoes, chickpeas, and bananas; while B12 can be obtained in dairy products and organ meats.   For breakthroughs in slowing aging, scientists must look beyond biology University of Southern California, February 22, 2021 A trio of recent studies highlight the need to incorporate behavioral and social science alongside the study of biological mechanisms in order to slow aging. The three papers, published in concert in Ageing Research Reviews, emphasized how behavioral and social factors are intrinsic to aging. This means they are causal drivers of biological aging. In fact, the influence of behavioral and social factors on how fast people age are large and meaningful. However, geroscience--the study of how to slow biological aging to extend healthspan and longevity--has traditionally not incorporated behavioral or social science research. These papers are by three pioneers in aging research and members of the National Academy of Medicine who study different aspects of the intersection of biology and social factors in shaping healthy aging through the lifespan. Improving translation of aging research from mice to humans Exciting biological discoveries about rate of aging in non-human species are sometimes not applicable or lost when we apply them to humans. Including behavioral and social research can support translation of geroscience findings from animal models to benefit humans, said Terrie Moffitt, the Nannerl O. Keohane University Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. "The move from slowing fundamental processes of aging in laboratory animals to slowing aging in humans will not be as simple as prescribing a pill and watching it work," Moffitt said. "Compared to aging in laboratory animals, human aging has many behavioral/social in addition to cellular origins and influences. These influences include potential intervention targets that are uniquely human, and therefore are not easily investigated in animal research." Several of these human factors have big impacts on health and mortality: stress and early life adversity, psychiatric history, personality traits, intelligence, loneliness and social connection, and purpose in life are connected to a variety of late-life health outcomes, she explained. These important factors need to be taken into account to get a meaningful prediction of human biological aging. "Geroscience can be augmented through collaboration with behavioral and social science to accomplish translation from animal models to humans, and improve the design of clinical trials of anti-aging therapies," Moffitt said. "It's vital that geroscience advances be delivered to everyone, not just the well-to-do, because individuals who experience low education, low incomes, adverse early-life experiences, and prejudice are the people who age fastest and die youngest." Social factors associated with poor aging outcomes "Social hallmarks of aging" can be strongly predictive of age-related health outcomes - in many cases, even more so than biological factors, said USC University Professor and AARP Chair in Gerontology Eileen Crimmins. While the aging field commonly discusses the biological hallmarks of aging, we don't tend to include the social and behavioral factors that lead to premature aging. Crimmins has called the main five factors below "the Social Hallmarks of aging" and poses that these should not be ignored in any sample of humans and the concepts should be incorporated where possible into non-human studies. Crimmins examined data that was collected in 2016 from the Health and Retirement Study, a large, nationally representative study of Americans over the age of 56 that incorporates both surveys regarding social factors and biological measurements, including a blood sample for genetic analysis. For the study, she focused the five social hallmarks for poor health outcomes: low lifetime socioeconomic status, including lower levels of education adversity in childhood and adulthood, including trauma and other hardships being a member of a minority group adverse health behaviors, including smoking, obesity and problem drinking adverse psychological states, such as depression, negative psychological outlook and chronic stress The presence of these five factors were strongly associated with older adults having difficulty with activities of daily living, experiencing problems with cognition, and multimorbidity (having five or more diseases). Even when controlling for biological measurements - including blood pressure, genetic risk factors, mitochondrial DNA copy number and more - the social differences, as well as demographic factors such as age and gender, explained most of the differences in aging outcomes between study subjects, she said. However, biological and social factors aren't completely independent from one another, Crimmins added, which is why she advocates for further incorporation of social and behavioral factors in aging biology research. "Variability in human aging is strongly related to the social determinants of aging; and it remains so when extensive biology is introduced as mediating factors. This means that the social variability in the aging process is only partly explained by the biological measures researchers currently use," she said. "Our hypothesis is that if we could fully capture the basic biological mechanisms of aging, they would even more strongly explain the social variability in the process of aging, as social factors need to 'get under the skin' through biology." Understanding stress and stress resilience Elissa Epel, professor and vice chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UC San Francisco, detailed how research on stress and resilience needs to incorporate psychosocial factors in order to understand how different kinds of stress affect aging. Not all types of stress are equal and in fact some are salutary. The social hallmarks of aging can shape the rate of aging in part through toxic stress responses, she said. While acute responses to minor or moderate stressors, including infection or injury, is critical to survival, chronic exposure to high amounts of stress--including long-term psychological stressors such as abuse--can prove toxic and result in poor health outcomes. "Brief, intermittent, low-dose stressors can lead to positive biological responses, improving resistance to damage, which is called hormesis," Epel explained. For example, physiological hormetic stressors include short term exposure to cold, heat, exercise, or hypoxia. Hormetic stress turns on mechanisms of cell repair and rejuvenation. "In contrast, a high dose of a chronic exposure can override these mechanisms, resulting in damage or death," she added. Thus, toxic stress can accelerate biological aging processes, whereas hormetic stress can slow aging. However, the types, timing, and frequency of hormetic stress need to be better delineated in order to be useful to human aging research and interventions, Epel said. "Stress resilience, an umbrella term including hormetic stress, can be measured across cellular, physiological, and psychosocial functioning," she said. "Developing a deeper understanding of stress resilience will lead to more targeted innovative interventions." Stress resilience can also include social interventions that protect from the malleable social hallmarks of aging, including safe neighborhoods to reduce trauma and violence, and social support programs to combat loneliness and depression. Geroscience is now more important than ever, both to our aging global demography but also to the health challenges we face going forward, and stress resilience is an especially important topic at the moment, Epel added. "In our new era, we have dramatically increasing temperature extremes, wildfires and small particle pollution, and new zoonotic viruses to contend with intermittently," she said. "Reducing social disparities, improving stress resilience and bolstering immune function have become critical public health goals." In sum, the three papers together point to a promising decade ahead for aging research. Humans, as complex social mammals, age together in response to social conditions and behavioral factors that are partly malleable. Epel explains "As we discover and test biological processes of aging that we can manipulate, we can do this in tandem with capitalizing on the natural levers of healthy aging that are powerful, interactive, and cannot be ignored. In this way, the fountain of youth becomes more attainable."   Up to 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day may prevent 7.8 million premature deaths Imperial College London, February 22, 2021 A fruit and vegetable intake above five-a-day shows major benefit in reducing the chance of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death. This is the finding of new research, led by scientists from Imperial College London, which analysed 95 studies on fruit and vegetable intake. The team found that although even the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day reduced disease risk, the greatest benefit came from eating 800g a day (roughly equivalent to ten portions - one portion of fruit or vegetables if defined as 80g). The study, which was a meta-analysis of all available research in populations worldwide, included up to 2 million people, and assessed up to 43,000 cases of heart disease, 47,000 cases of stroke, 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease, 112,000 cancer cases and 94,000 deaths. In the research, which is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the team estimate approximately 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide could be potentially prevented every year if people ate 10 portions, or 800 g, of fruit and vegetables a day. The team also analysed which types of fruit and vegetables provided the greatest protection against disease. Dr Dagfinn Aune, lead author of the research from the School of Public Health at Imperial explained: "We wanted to investigate how much fruit and vegetables you need to eat to gain the maximum protection against disease, and premature death. Our results suggest that although five portions of fruit and vegetables is good, ten a day is even better." The results revealed that even a daily intake of 200g was associated with a 16 per cent reduced risk of heart disease, an 18 per cent reduced risk of stroke, and a 13 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. This amount, which is equivalent to two and a half portions, was also associated with 4 per cent reduced risk in cancer risk, and 15 per cent reduction in the risk of premature death. Further benefits were observed with higher intakes. Eating up to 800g fruit and vegetables a day - or 10 portions - was associated with a 24 per cent reduced risk of heart disease, a 33 per cent reduced risk of stroke, a 28 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 13 per cent reduced risk of total cancer, and a 31 per cent reduction in dying prematurely. This risk was calculated in comparison to not eating any fruit and vegetables. The team were not able to investigate intakes greater than 800 g a day, as this was the high end of the range across studies. An 80g portion of fruit and vegetables equals approximately one small banana, apple, pear or large mandarin. Three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables such as spinach, peas, broccoli or cauliflower count as a portion. The researchers also examined the types of fruit and vegetables that may reduce the risk of specific diseases. They found the following fruits and vegetables may help prevent heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and early death: apples and pears, citrus fruits, salads and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and chicory, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. They also found the following may reduce cancer risk: green vegetables, such as spinach or green beans, yellow vegetables, such as peppers and carrots, and cruciferous vegetables. Similar associations were observed for raw and cooked vegetables in relation to early death, however, additional studies are needed on specific types of fruits and vegetables and preparation methods. The team say the number of studies was more limited for these analyses, and the possibility that other specific fruits and vegetables may also reduce risk cannot be excluded. Dr Aune said that several potential mechanisms could explain why fruit and vegetables have such profound health benefits: "Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system. This may be due to the complex network of nutrients they hold. For instance they contain many antioxidants, which may reduce DNA damage, and lead to a reduction in cancer risk." He added that compounds called glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, activate enzymes that may help prevent cancer. Furthermore fruit and vegetables may also have a beneficial effect on the naturally-occurring bacteria in our gut. The vast array of beneficial compounds cannot be easily replicated in a pill, he said: "Most likely it is the whole package of beneficial nutrients you obtain by eating fruits and vegetables that is crucial is health. This is why it is important to eat whole plant foods to get the benefit, instead of taking antioxidant or vitamin supplements (which have not been shown to reduce disease risk)." In the analysis, the team took into account other factors, such as a person's weight, smoking, physical activity levels, and overall diet, but still found that fruit and vegetables were beneficial. Dr Aune added: "We need further research into the effects of specific types of fruits and vegetables and preparation methods of fruit and vegetables. We also need more research on the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake with causes of death other than cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, it is clear from this work that a high intake of fruit and vegetables hold tremendous healthbenefits, and we should try to increase their intake in our diet."   Alpha-lipoic acid an effective antioxidant for healthy adult dogs Hills Pet Nutrition Research, February 19, 2021 According to news reporting originating from the Hill’s Pet Nutrition research stated, “This study was designed to determine the effect of alpha-lipoic acid on the glutathione status in healthy adult dogs.” Our news reporters obtained a quote from the research from Hill’s Pet Nutrition: “Following a 15 month baseline period during which dogs were fed a food containing no alpha-lipoic acid, dogs were randomly allocated into four groups. Groups were then fed a nutritionally complete and balanced food with either 0, 75, 150 or 300 ppm of alpha-lipoic acid added for 6 months. Evaluations included physical examination, body weight, food intake, hematology, serum biochemistry profile and measurements of glutathione in plasma and erythrocyte lysates. Throughout, blood parameters remained within reference ranges, dogs were healthy and body weight did not change significantly. A significant increase of 0.05 ng/mL of total glutathione in red blood cell (RBC) lysate for each 1 mg/kg bodyweight/day increase in a-LA intake was observed. In addition, a significant increase was observed for GSH, GSSG and total glutathione in RBC lysate at Month 6.” According to the news editors, the research concluded: “We conclude that alpha-lipoic acid, as part of a complete and balanced food, was associated with increasing glutathione activity in healthy adult dogs.”

offsite link The Gary Null Show - 02.23.21 Tue Feb 23, 2021 20:10

Gary takes on the real issues that the mainstream media is afraid to tackle. Tune in to find out the latest about health news, healing, politics, and the economy. 

offsite link The Gary Null Show - 02.22.21 Mon Feb 22, 2021 18:56

Gary takes on the real issues that the mainstream media is afraid to tackle. Tune in to find out the latest about health news, healing, politics, and the economy. 

Study: Ashwagandha extract can be used to improve sleep quality and relieve stress Patil University School of Medicine (India), February 19, 2021 Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera or Indian ginseng, is a medicinal herb native to India and North Africa. It has been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress, as well as to increase energy levels and improve concentration. A recent study published in the journal Cureus suggests it may hold the key to treating insomnia. A team of researchers from Patil University School of Medicine, Vedantaa Institute of Medical Sciences and Prakruti Hospital conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to determine the effects of ashwagandha root extract in patients with insomnia and anxiety. A total of 60 participants were randomly divided into two groups: 40 were placed in the test group and given a capsule containing 300 mg of high-concentration ashwagandha root extract, while the remaining 20 formed the placebo group. Those in the placebo group received capsules containing starch twice a day over a period of ten weeks. The researchers used Sleep Actigraphy to assess sleep onset latency (SOL), total sleep time (TST), sleep efficiency (SE) and wake after sleep onset (WASO). Other factors that the research team looked at were total time in bed, mental alertness on rising, sleep quality, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. According to the researchers, SOL, SE and sleep quality were visibly improved after ashwagandha treatment, along with other sleep parameters. (Related: Ashwagandha: Discover the health benefits of this popular ancient adaptogen.) Their findings suggest that ashwagandha can be used to improve sleep in patients with insomnia and anxiety, although further large-scale studies are needed. Omega-3 supplements may reduce muscle soreness after exercise, study finds University of Westminster (UK), February 18, 2021 Researchers at the University of Westminster have found that taking omega-3 supplements may help to reduce muscle soreness after exercise. The findings may be important for people who avoid exercise because of the soreness associated with it. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that play important roles in our bodies and may provide a number of health benefits. These are essential fats as our bodies cannot produce them and we must get them from our diet, primarily from oily fish. They have anti-inflammatory functions, can help maintain a healthy heart, reduce the risk of heart disease and may have incredible effects on brain and mental health. Previous studies have looked at the effect of omega-3 fish oils on muscle damage recovery and muscle inflammation following exercise. Whilst evidence is mixed, it has been shown that sustained omega-3 intake in your diet may lead to small gains in recovery for athletes following intense exercise and possibly small gains in exercise performance too. In this study, the researchers gave people omega-3 capsules three times a day for four weeks, or a matching placebo, to build up their levels. They then took part in a very intense exercise program aimed at causing severe muscle pain and physiologically safe muscle damage. The researchers then measured blood levels of inflammation and muscle damage markers, physical pain and the ability of the participants to do forceful muscle contractions every day for the next three days. They found a lower inflammatory response and decreased muscle damage after exercise in the fish oil group. However, the omega-3 did not seem to change the amount of force reduction in future muscle contractions, suggesting that omega-3 supplementation had limited impact on muscle function, recovery and subsequent performance, but it did reduce the pain participants experienced. Talking about the study, Ph.D. researcher and lead author Yvoni Kyriakidou, from the University of Westminster's School of Life Sciences, said: "Whilst the omega-3 supplementation didn't seem to enhance performance, it did reduce the pain participants experienced which we suggest is useful in itself as people don't like exercise because it hurts. If it doesn't hurt as much, maybe more people will keep doing it?" Higher intake of carotenoid beta cryptoxanthin associated with lower risk of osteoporosis Seoul National University (South Korea), February 12, 2021 According to news reporting out of Seoul, South Korea, research stated, “Many studies have analyzed the effects of * * b* * -cryptoxanthin (BCX) on osteoporosis and bone health. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed at providing quantitative evidence for the effects of BCX on osteoporosis.” The news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Seoul National University: “Publications were selected and retrieved from three databases and carefully screened to evaluate their eligibility. Data from the final 15 eligible studies were extracted and uniformly summarized. Among the 15 studies, seven including 100,496 individuals provided information for the meta-analysis. A random effects model was applied to integrate the odds ratio (OR) to compare the risk of osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related complications between the groups with high and low intake of BCX. A high intake of BCX was significantly correlated with a reduced risk of osteoporosis (OR = 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.70-0.90, * * p* * = 0.0002). The results remained significant when patients were stratified into male and female subgroups as well as Western and Asian cohorts. A high intake of BCX was also negatively associated with the incidence of hip fracture (OR = 0.71, 95% CI 0.54-0.94, * * p* * = 0.02).” According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “The results indicate that BCX intake potentially reduces the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture. Further longitudinal studies are needed to validate the causality of current findings.” Being male, having overweight and depression can influence aging Vrije University (Netherlands) and Virginia Commonwealth University, February 15, 2021 Scientists are using biology to more accurately measure how quickly humans age. One factor is the length of an individual’s telomeres, stretches of DNA and proteins at the ends of our chromosomes that shorten as we age. An epigenetic clock, meanwhile, looks at the changes in gene function that do not make alterations to the genetic code, or genome. Another aging clock is based on transcriptomes, a collection of all the gene readouts in a cell. Scientists also measure age with metabolomics, the study of the chemical processes that involve metabolites, small molecules produced by and during metabolic processes. In addition, scientists use what they call a proteomic clock, which measures levels of proteins in the blood. For a new study, now published in the journal eLife, researchersset out to learn whether a composite biological clock outperforms individual biological clocks in predicting health. “To develop a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying biological aging, we wanted to examine how indicators of biological aging relate to each other, how they link to determinants of physical and mental health, and whether a combined biological clock, made up of all age indicators, is a better predictor of health,” says co-lead author Dr. Rick Jansen, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Amsterdam UMC, in the Netherlands. Examining biological aging indicators The researchers used blood samples from 2,981 individuals aged 18–65 years who took part in the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety. Of the participants, 74% had a diagnosis of a depressive disorder, an anxiety disorder, or both, while 26% were healthy control participants. The participants were recruited from medical facilities and the general population between September 2004 and February 2007. The team used computer modeling to examine whether five measures of biological aging — telomere length and the epigenetic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic clocks — were interrelated and associated with mental and physical health. The researchers then took the five indicators and incorporated them into an analysis that also included sex, lifestyle factors, physical ability, and known health conditions. What makes people age faster? The scientists found that being male was associated with more advanced biological aging according to four of the five biological clock measurements. This is consistent with the understanding that in most places, women outlive men. Other factors associated with more advanced biological aging according to at least four of the five measures were: having a high body mass index, smoking, and having metabolic syndrome. The researchers also discovered that depression is linked to more advanced biological aging. In addition, they noted associations between medication use and this aging. However, they could not determine whether this was due to the medication itself or the underlying physical or mental illness requiring treatment. Meanwhile, the study allowed the researchers to infer that some biological clocks show overlap, but most seem to be tracking different aspects of the aging process. They write: “This provides further support for the hypothesis that not one biological clock sufficiently captures the biological aging process and that not all clocks are under the control of one unitary aging process.” Vitamin B3 prevents glaucoma in laboratory mice Jackson Laboratory, February 16, 2021 In mice genetically predisposed to glaucoma, vitamin B3 added to drinking water is effective at preventing the disease, a research team led by Jackson Laboratory Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Investigator Simon W.M. John reports in the journal Science. The vitamin administration was surprisingly effective, eliminating the vast majority of age-related molecular changes and providing a remarkably robust protection against glaucoma. It offers promise for developing inexpensive and safe treatments for glaucoma patients. Glaucoma is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases, affecting an estimated 80 million people worldwide. In most glaucoma patients, harmfully high pressure inside the eye or intraocular pressure leads to the progressive dysfunction and loss of retinal ganglion cells. Retinal ganglion cells are the neuronal cells that connect the eye to the brain via the optic nerve. Increasing age is a key risk factor for glaucoma, contributing to both harmful elevation of intraocular pressure and increased neuronal vulnerability to pressure-induced damage. "We wanted to identify key age-related susceptibility factors that change with age in the eye," John says, "and that therefore increase vulnerability to disease and in particular neuronal disease." By understanding general age-related mechanism, there is the potential to develop new interventions to generally protect from common age-related disease processes in many people. Conducting a variety of genomic, metabolic, neurobiological and other tests in mice susceptible to inherited glaucoma, compared to control mice, the researchers discovered that NAD, a molecule vital to energy metabolism in neurons and other cells, declines with age. "There's an analogy with an old motorbike," John says. "It runs just fine, but little things get less reliable with age. One day you stress it: you drive it up a steep hill or you go on really long journey and you get in trouble. It's less reliable than a new bike and it's going to fail with a higher frequency than that new bike." The decrease in NAD levels reduces the reliability of neurons' energy metabolism, especially under stress such as increased intraocular pressure. "Like taking that big hill on your old bike, some things are going to fail more often," John says. "The amount of failure will increase over time, resulting in more damage and disease progression." In essence, the treatments of vitamin B3 (nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3, also called niacinamide) boosted the metabolic reliability of aging retinal ganglion cells, keeping them healthier for longer. "Because these cells are still healthy, and still metabolically robust," says JAX Postdoctoral Associate Pete Williams, first author of the study, "even when high intraocular pressure turns on, they better resist damaging processes." The researchers also found that a single gene-therapy application of Nmnat1 (the gene for an enzyme that makes NAD from nicotinamide) prevented glaucoma from developing in this mouse model. "It can be a problem for patients, especially the elderly, to take their drugs every day and in the correct dose," Williams says. "So gene therapy could be a one-shot, protective treatment." He notes that gene therapies, through injections into the eye, have been approved for a handful of very rare, human genetic eye disorders, and their demonstration of an important age-dependent factor may enable gene therapy for more common eye disease. John says that the team is pursuing clinical partnerships to begin the process of testing the effectiveness of vitamin B3 treatment in glaucoma patients. They are also exploring potential applications for the treatment in other diseases involving neurodegeneration. Even short periods of being sedentary is bad for your heart, caution researchers University of Liverpool, February 18, 2021 Researchers from the University of Liverpool in the U.K. found that short periods of being sedentary can worsen cardiometabolic health. In a study published in the journal Diabetologia, the researchers revealed that reducing physical activity for at least two weeks can lead to a rise in blood sugar levels, disrupt cholesterol levels and impair cardiorespiratory fitness. Increased sedentary behavior worsens cardiometabolic health It’s no secret that physical inactivity is bad for health. Research shows that physical inactivity and sedentary behavior are major risk factors for obesity, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. But little is known about the consequences of short-term physical inactivity. For their study, the researchers examined the metabolic consequences of short-term increased sedentary behavior in 45 healthy adults with a mean age of 36 years. All of the participants have a mean daily step count of more than 10,000 steps and were asked to reduce their daily step count to around 1,500 steps for two weeks. The researchers measured the participants’ cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition and multi-organ insulin sensitivity at baseline, after the two-week step reduction and two weeks after the participants resumed their normal physical activity. The team found that the participants developed “metabolic derangements” after two weeks of increased sedentary behavior. Their blood sugar and bad cholesterol levels rose, and their insulin sensitivity declined. In addition, the participants lost a little muscle mass in their legs and gained fat around their liver and abdomen. (Related: Twice as many deaths are caused by physical inactivity compared to obesity, stunning study finds.) Fortunately, these changes were reversed after the participants resumed their normal routine. For some reason, however, some participants failed to return to quite the same level of exercise they had engaged in prior to the study. These participants now completed fewer minutes of vigorous activity each week and exhibited slight but lasting symptoms of insulin resistance. While this lasting effect might be due to the participants’ lower levels of vigorous activity, the researchers are also open to the possibility that this stemmed from genetic factors.

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From Alpha To Omega


From Alpha To Omega

What is happening to our economy and our politics? Are we stuck forever in this corporate dystopia? What can we learn from the failures of radical politics over the last 100 years? Commandante Alpha talks in depth to experts from the fields of Political Economy, Politics, Science, Philosophy, Complexity, Mathematics, Music, and the Environment.

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offsite link Episode 230: #152 David Graeber - A Friendly Critique w/ Chris Knight Sat Feb 27, 2021 13:00 | Tom O'Brien
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Chris Knight joins us to perform a friendly critique of the anthropological work of David Graeber, who recently passed away suddenly. Chris is a senior research fellow in the Department of Anthropology in University College London, and the author of several books.

offsite link Episode 229: #151 Future Synthetic Catallaxies Pt 2 - TEASER Mon Feb 22, 2021 13:00 | Tom O'Brien
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Part 2 of our discussion with Jan from the Future Histories podcast, where we debate the possibility of a future capitalist synthetic catallaxy, MMT, and the importance of use values to socialist plannning. You can check out his excellent podcast here: https://www.futurehistories.today/

offsite link Episode 229: #150 Future Synthetic Catallaxies Pt 1 Sat Feb 20, 2021 13:00 | Tom O'Brien
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We speak with Jan from the Future Histories podcast to talk about cybernetics, socialist planning and the realm of synthetic catalaxies. You can check out his excellent podcast here: https://www.futurehistories.today/

offsite link Episode 228: #022 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte Sat Feb 13, 2021 13:00 | Tom O'Brien
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We plough on through Chapter 6 - Victory of Bonaparte. The artwork for the show was created by the Korean artist, and author of the 2019 Marx/Engels Illustration book. https://www.deviantart.com/rono1... https://twitter.com/RN_fortuna https://www.patreon.com/rono1848 Panelists: Derrick - Mortal Science, Theorizing like a Hammer Ezri - Swampside Chats, Mortal Science, Jumpsuit Utopia Kyle - General Intellect Unit Sophie - Jumpsuit Utopia

offsite link Episode 227: #149 The Reactionary Mind w/ Greg Belvedere Part 2 TEASER Thu Feb 04, 2021 17:55 | Tom O'Brien
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We continue our discussion and delve into some reactionary value theory and rake Ayn Rand over the coals

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offsite link Extreme Weather: How Are The Kids Doing? Wed Feb 24, 2021 20:40 | Alex Smith
With shocking extreme weather, how are the kids doing? Climate change is leading to stress in children similar to PTSD. Dr. Betty Lai has been studying that for a decade of hurricanes and bushfires. Then Ecoshock gets the real dirt with soil strategist  …

offsite link David Archer ? Deep Past to Deep Future Thu Feb 18, 2021 00:40 | Alex Smith
Explore climate disinformation. Russia outed pushing the anti-vaccine movement, the American fossil fuel industry is literally gas-lighting consumers. Even Microsoft?s Bill Gates donates to climate denying politicians. It?s mess, but we begin with real science with Dr. David Archer, University of Chicago. Listen  …

offsite link ARCTIC METHANE BOMB? Wed Feb 10, 2021 21:14 | Alex Smith
Will a burst of methane rise up from the sea along Siberia – creating a heat emergency never seen before? Why is this formerly sleepy science so controversial? Sara Sayedi and over 20 Arctic permafrost experts. Then: shocking reporting on the U.S. natural  …

offsite link Stop the Ghastly Future! Wed Feb 03, 2021 23:29 | Alex Smith
From Australia, Dr. Corey Bradshaw, Director of the Global Ecology Lab. Plus: If you worry about a giant ?methane bomb? rising out of Arctic Seas, Canadian scientist Andrew MacDougall says let that go. And we will not go into a ?hothouse? Earth any  …

offsite link Climate Power for All Thu Jan 28, 2021 00:01 | Alex Smith
The Biden/Harris team just appointed Professor Shalanda Baker as Deputy Director for Energy Justice at the Department of Energy. Meet her first, here on Radio Ecoshock. We discuss Baker?s new book ?Revolutionary Power – An Activist?s Guide to the Energy Transition?. Dr. Katharyn  …


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