BellaSpark Jan/Feb 2012 : Page 6

Views & News Donna Mazzitelli Chemotherapy Drug Tree Endangered A yew tree species growing in the Himalayas is now considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) because it has been overharvested for the production of the anti-cancer drug Taxol. The medicinal tree, Taxus contorta , has seen its conservation status change from “vulnerable” to “endangered” on the IUCN’s 2011 annual Red List of threatened species. Craig Hilton-Taylor, IUCN manager, stated in a recent online article, “Taxol was discovered back in the 1960s, isolated in the bark of the Pacific yew tree. All 11 species of yew tree were later found to contain Taxol. The harvesting of the bark kills the trees, but it is possible to extract Taxol from clippings, so harvesting, if properly controlled, can be less detrimental to the plants.” He added, “Harvest and trade should be carefully controlled to ensure it is sustainable, but plants should also be grown in cultivation to reduce the impact of harvesting on wild populations.” The Red List is currently the most thorough survey of the planet’s species, drawn from the work of thousands of scientists around the globe. More than 61,900 species were reviewed in 2011 and contained in this latest list, categorizing 801 species as extinct, 64 as extinct in the wild, and 9,568 as critically endangered or endangered. Another 10,002 species are listed as vulnerable, mainly due to overuse, pollution, habitat loss and degradation. Biodiversity continues to decline. At Japan’s International Biodiversity Summit in 2010, governments worldwide were called upon to take action on a 10-year plan. The goal is that “by 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.” Polar Bear Migration Delayed by Ice Melt In an ongoing effort to raise awareness, a team of conservationists is streaming live video of annual polar bear migrations. Through their website, philanthropic organization www.explore.org streams live videos of the bears. “The project is a powerful way to inspire people to care about polar bears and the Arctic,” reported NewsLook in November 2011. According to www.explore.org , “In 2005, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Polar Bear Specialist Group classified polar bears as “vulnerable” on the Conservation Union’s Red List of Threatened Species, noting that extinction could occur due to ongoing sea ice changes. Rapid loss of sea ice is their major threat. The conservationist team reports that the bears’ migration is being delayed by arctic ice melt, but they say it is not too late for climate action to reverse this trend. Experts predict that as the Arctic continues to warm due to climate change, two-thirds of the world’s polar bears could disappear by mid-century — although hope remains that people will take action to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more at: www.newslook.com/videos/372112-canada-s-delayed-polar-bear-migration-live-on-the-web?autoplay=true and www.explore.org . U.S. Flights Biofueled for the First Time Since 1973, the amount of cargo and the number of passengers on planes have more than doubled. Planes use petroleum products for fuel, the largest cost item for air transport after labor. Since the late 1970s, airlines have also more than doubled their fuel efficiency. Many factors contribute to better efficiency — newer engines, better flight routing, single engine taxiing, and aircraft design modifications. The International Air Transport Association has set a goal to improve fuel efficiency by another 25 percent by 2020. In November 2011, United Airlines, Continental and Alaska Airlines powered the first domestic flights on Solazyme biofuel. The fuel is made from a combination of conventional and sustainable fuels, comprised of 40 percent algae-based biofuel and 60 percent petroleum-based jet fuel. This biofuel was developed by Solazyme, a pioneering company leading the way into the bio age. To learn more, go to: www.newslook.com/videos/369981-us-flights-biofueled-for-first-time?autoplay=true. 6 BellaSpark January/February 2012 www.BellaSparkMagazine.com

Views & News

Donna Mazzitelli

Chemotherapy Drug Tree Endangered<br /> <br /> A yew tree species growing in the Himalayas is now considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) because it has been overharvested for the production of the anti-cancer drug Taxol. The medicinal tree, Taxus contorta, has seen its conservation status change from “vulnerable” to “endangered” on the IUCN’s 2011 annual Red List of threatened species. <br /> <br /> Craig Hilton-Taylor, IUCN manager, stated in a recent online article, “Taxol was discovered back in the 1960s, isolated in the bark of the Pacific yew tree. All 11 species of yew tree were later found to contain Taxol. The harvesting of the bark kills the trees, but it is possible to extract Taxol from clippings, so harvesting, if properly controlled, can be less detrimental to the plants.” He added, “Harvest and trade should be carefully controlled to ensure it is sustainable, but plants should also be grown in cultivation to reduce the impact of harvesting on wild populations.”<br /> <br /> The Red List is currently the most thorough survey of the planet’s species, drawn from the work of thousands of scientists around the globe. More than 61,900 species were reviewed in 2011 and contained in this latest list, categorizing 801 species as extinct, 64 as extinct in the wild, and 9,568 as critically endangered or endangered. Another 10,002 species are listed as vulnerable, mainly due to overuse, pollution, habitat loss and degradation. <br /> <br /> Biodiversity continues to decline. At Japan’s International Biodiversity Summit in 2010, governments worldwide were called upon to take action on a 10-year plan. The goal is that “by 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.”<br /> <br /> Polar Bear Migration Delayed by Ice Melt<br /> <br /> In an ongoing effort to raise awareness, a team of conservationists is streaming live video of annual polar bear migrations. Through their website, philanthropic organization www.explore.org streams live videos of the bears. “The project is a powerful way to inspire people to care about polar bears and the Arctic,” reported NewsLook in November 2011. <br /> <br /> According to www.explore.org, “In 2005, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Polar Bear Specialist Group classified polar bears as “vulnerable” on the Conservation Union’s Red List of Threatened Species, noting that extinction could occur due to ongoing sea ice changes.<br /> <br /> Rapid loss of sea ice is their major threat. The conservationist team reports that the bears’ migration is being delayed by arctic ice melt, but they say it is not too late for climate action to reverse this trend. Experts predict that as the Arctic continues to warm due to climate change, two-thirds of the world’s polar bears could disappear by midcentury — although hope remains that people will take action to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. <br /> <br /> Learn more at: www.newslook.com/videos/372112-canada-sdelayed- polar-bear-migration-live-on-the-web?autoplay=true and www.explore.org.<br /> <br /> U. S. Flights Biofueled for the First Time<br /> <br /> Since 1973, the amount of cargo and the number of passengers on planes have more than doubled. Planes use petroleum products for fuel, the largest cost item for air transport after labor. Since the late 1970s, airlines have also more than doubled their fuel efficiency. Many factors contribute to better efficiency — newer engines, better flight routing, single engine taxiing, and aircraft design modifications. The International Air Transport Association has set a goal to improve fuel efficiency by another 25 percent by 2020. <br /> <br /> In November 2011, United Airlines, Continental and Alaska Airlines powered the first domestic flights on Solazyme biofuel. The fuel is made from a combination of conventional and sustainable fuels, comprised of 40 percent algae-based biofuel and 60 percent petroleum-based jet fuel. This biofuel was developed by Solazyme, a pioneering company leading the way into the bio age. To learn more, go to: <br /> <br /> www.newslook.com/videos/369981-us-flights-biofueled-for-firsttime? Autoplay=true.<br /> <br /> Head off Stress in Advance<br /> <br /> Sally Petersen <br /> <br /> Preventing stress is more effective at reducing overall stress than are techniques of relaxation or thought management, says a new study from Robert Epstein, PhD. He defined four competencies for stress management: prevention, source management, relaxation and thought management. <br /> <br /> Epstein expected to find that relaxation was the most helpful technique, followed by thought management. However, his research showed that these were third and fourth in effectiveness for managing stress, even though these are the skills that people are most likely to seek to improve through training or counseling.<br /> <br /> What are the best techniques for preventing stress? Be proactive. Planning your day, week or year and consciously avoiding stressors are approaches that most successfully protect you from harmful stress levels. Take time to identify stressors and reduce or eliminate them. Don’t over-schedule or overpromise. Avoid destructive reactionary ways of dealing with stress: DON’T drink, do drugs or overeat. Instead, DO exercise, socialize and <br /> <br /> The second most powerful competency is source management. Delegate tasks, organize your space efficiently, keep lists and schedule your time well. People who feel they have control of their decisions and their lives are generally happier.<br /> <br /> Skills of relaxation and thought management are invaluable in handling day-to-day events and interactions with others with minimal stress. Numerous studies confirm the positive results obtained from forms of relaxation such as meditation, yoga, breathing techniques and muscle-relaxation exercises. Likewise, therapists teach empowering and helpful ways to reframe your thinking about stressful events so you can manage more effectively and appreciate your experiences. <br /> <br /> The ability to manage stress has a high positive correlation to happiness. People reap the greatest benefits by preventing stressful situations. You have more control over this than you might think. <br /> <br /> Check out “Fight the Frazzled Mind,” by Robert Epstein, PhD, Scientific American Mind, Sept/Oct 2011. To test your stress-management competencies, visit http://MyStressManagementSkills.com.<br /> <br /> Bad for your Breath, Great for your Brain <br /> <br /> Katrina Pfannkuch <br /> <br /> Loading up meals with a little extra garlic may not be such a bad idea after all. The active ingredient in garlic extract was recently tested as a potential cure for Alzheimer’s, and it was proved helpful in prevention of the disease. <br /> <br /> According to Current Medicine Chemistry, preliminary results in studies involving aged garlic extract plus a key compound (S-allyl-L-cysteine) showed protective effects against the inflammatory process and chemical changes in the brain that occur in Alzheimer’s patients. One study on mice showed that a four-month treatment with aged garlic extract decreased the overall amount of plaque build-up in their brains.<br /> <br /> Prevention is the best defense against Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia and the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Studies show that years before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease appear, proteins called amyloid-beta peptides start depositing in the brain. The resulting amyloid plaques can cause brain swelling which damages neurons and neuronal networks and often leads to dementia. <br /> <br /> Most drugs currently available to treat Alzheimer’s only focus on treating the symptoms, and are becoming increasingly expensive.<br /> <br /> New Year, Healthy Resolutions<br /> <br /> Katrina Pfannkuch <br /> <br /> A new year invites us to take a look at ways to improve our lives. The trick to sticking to new habits is to make them simple. Here are a few that may inspire you. <br /> <br /> Keep moving. Doctors suggest 30-45 minutes of exercise at least three times per week. Get up from your desk and walk every 30 minutes or so if possible. Also make sure your workstation is ergonomically correct and use “prime moving muscles’’ including abs and glutes as well as hip and shoulder stabilizers while at your desk. <br /> <br /> Actively participate in your health care. Get involved in self-care while you are healthy. If a health crisis hits, know your options, and ask, learn and do everything you can to help your doctors help you.<br /> <br /> Make small healthy changes to your diet. Simple changes in meal choices save calories every day. Nip weight gain in the bud without depriving yourself through wise and tasty selections. <br /> <br /> Schedule one family dinner together per day. No TV! Sit down to an actual dinner table to help you eat and digest food in a healthy way while you connect with your family and share something about your day. <br /> <br /> Daydream. Take time to let your mind wander. Cultivating imagination inspires creativity, develops a sense of self and connects you to your inner abundance.<br /> <br /> Ring in the New Year with a Gong Bath<br /> <br /> Cheryl Parker<br /> <br /> We live in a world saturated with sound. Noise pollution is one kind of sound, an unfortunate byproduct of the conveniences of modern life, but sound can also be used to soothe, balance and heal. Gong Baths offer a welcome respite in a hectic world. Richard Rudis, a Tibetan Buddhist, has been soothing crowds along the Front Range using traditional Eastern instruments such as gongs, Himalayan singing bowls and tingsha bells to create a ritual that bathes the listener in what he describes as a universal experience that needs no religious beliefs or previous understanding to be effective. The benefits of healing sound include stress reduction and chakra balancing, he says. Rudis creates his rituals using sacred Buddhist traditions, and also incorporates the science and physics aspect of vibrational healing with the intention to heal, inspire, and awaken spirit. A Gong Bath typically lasts either 60 or 90 minutes. For a schedule of upcoming Colorado dates, check out www.sacredsoundgongbath.com<br /> <br /> 2012 Births a New Begi<br /> <br /> There has been a great deal of speculation about the significance of the year 2012, much of it negative with words like “doomsday” and “apocalypse” circulating in the media. Although there is no clear consensus on what awaits us on the other side of the end of the Mayan Calendar, there are many voices putting a positive spin on the Dec. 21st event. <br /> <br /> One such movement is Birth 2012, a collaboration of spiritual leaders who are coming together to facilitate a yearlong experience that includes a Global Conception Day on March 22, 2012 and a “due date” on Dec. 22, 2012. <br /> <br /> This planetary birthday is an opportunity to set an intention for a new level of consciousness and a positive evolutionary shift, according to futurist and organizer, Barbara Marx Hubbard. Hubbard is working with other leaders to provide training programs, inspired global broadcasts, massive prayer and meditation vigils, concerts and other events that support a commitment to global interdependence. Information is available at www.birth2012.com.<br /> <br /> Valentine’s Day Has Heartfelt History<br /> <br /> There are many stories of St. Valentine, the patron saint who inspired the modern holiday we celebrate every February. He was a Roman priest who, one legend says, was martyred for disobeying the Roman Emperor Claudius by secretly performing marriage ceremonies for Roman soldiers and their sweethearts. His deep faith was also credited with facilitating healing miracles during his time in a Roman prison. History will likely never fully substantiate any of the legends, but the popularity of the holiday is undeniable. <br /> <br /> For many centuries Valentine’s Day was simply a religious feast day that focused on martyrdom. But during the Middle Ages, people began to send “Valentine’s greetings” as religious salutations. Valentines gradually became messages of romantic love, and the first mass-produced greetings debuted in 1847. <br /> <br /> These days, Valentines carry not only messages of romantic love, but caring thoughts for family and friends. Perhaps the cosmic intention for this holiday has been a steady evolution toward celebrating universal love. Try broadening your circle of love this Valentine’s Day. Send a valentine to a neighbor you just met; give an anonymous rose to someone you admire, or leave a sweet treat for someone who needs to be reminded just how special he or she is. Embrace the idea of Valentine’s Day as a time to BE Love and you may just create your own legend.<br /> <br /> SPRE Sets Winter Calendar <br /> <br /> Take part in these SPRE events scheduled for January and February: <br /> <br /> riday, January 21, 2012, 7-9pm “Max” the Ancient Crystal Skull & “Keeper” JoAnn Parks <br /> <br /> Discover the mysteries surrounding the oldest and largest crystal skull ever found. Back by popular demand, “Max” the Ancient Crystal Skull and JoAnn Parks, internationally recognized peace elder, will be visiting the Fort Collins area January 20-22, 2012. Believed to be as old as 35,000 years old, “Max” has been mesmerizing crowds since 1988. Many people have had intuitive and other unique experiences in his presence. <br /> <br /> Private sessions will be available January 21 and 22 for $50 for 30 minutes or $35 per person for a shared session with 2-5 people. To book a session, call 970-223-1369 (leave message) or email skelleya14@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> Friday, February 17, 2012, 7-9pm Messages from the Hollow Earth Ron Radhoff, Author, Lecturer & Visionary Artist <br /> <br /> Have you wondered about life in the fifth dimension? Ron will share his communications from evolved beings within the Subterranean and Hollow Earth. Learn about the inner earth, various ageless beings within, free energy, the inner earth eco system, advanced travel capabilities, and more. The key element will address how subterranean beings are assisting us with our process of ascension. <br /> <br /> Author of Evolving Life and Transition to the World Beyond, Ron Radhoff, has been connecting with the Angelic, Celestial and Extraterrestrial realms for 38 years. <br /> <br /> For more information, visit the Society for Psi Research and Education (SPRE) at www.spre.org, call 970-225-3753 or send an email with “SPRE” in the subject to Caryll.cram@gmail.com.<br /> <br /> Website Tracks Acts of Kindness<br /> <br /> It’s now possible to catch people in acts of kindness around the world through a new website designed to spread feelings of happiness and increase serotonin levels around the globe. With geo-mapping technology that enables acts of kindness to be plotted and shared in a single map for everyone to see, ReportKindness.com provides a quick, fun and interactive snapshot of global kindness, and allows anyone to report an act of kindness anywhere in the world. <br /> <br /> These acts are visualized in real-time on an interactive map that makes it easy for people to filter by place, time and category, and discover how many acts of kindness take place in their neighborhood, their city, country or anywhere in the world. Plus it’s possible to send messages of encouragement. People can even sign-up to email alerts or RSS feeds to any specific geographic location. Acts of Kindness can be easily submitted via the website www.reportkindness.com, Twitter (#reportkindness) and email. <br /> <br /> People can also search and subscribe to alerts from kindness categories such as Simple Kindness, Heroic Kindness, Stranger Kindness, Animal Kindness, Kid Kindness and Environmental Kindness.”<br /> <br /> “Our intention is to elevate the state of consciousness on a local scale for global impact” says ReportKindness founder, Gregory Thomas-Tench. “There is kindness in the world and we envision ReportKindness.com to be a source of encouragement counteracting the many negative reports we often hear” said Thomas-Tench. “It may be as simple as taking a home-baked cake to a friend, or as heroic as pulling an injured motorcyclist from under a burning car — there is no act of kindness too large or small.”

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