Causes of antibiotic resistance

Causes of antibiotic resistance


Existing rustic studio + workshop is transformed in to a strong, modern form

Existing rustic studio + workshop is transformed in to a strong, modern form

Architects: Modus Studio
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA
Year: 2016
Photo courtesy: Modus Studio

“The Manzeum is not intended as social commentary. It is a structure focused on play, art, and good times. The proverbial ‘napkin sketch’ becomes reality in this collaborative design, fabrication, and construction project where the artistic metalworks of the owner and modern designs of the architect merge seamlessly into an evolved Ozark aesthetic.

The Manzeum is part of a multi-phased project in an ongoing collaboration derived from the energetic and artistic minds of the owners and the editorial will of the architect. The current master plan plunges the Manzeum addition toward the developing landscape of the 20 acre site. The central roundabout is the primary orienting device for all the constructed elements on the site. The center is marked by a stacked concrete totem, foreshadowing of the intriguing and artistic follies to be discovered throughout the property.

The ‘working drawings’ are a collection of sketches and technical shop drawings (the second and third cousins to the napkins sketch) produced by the architect and owner alike. The meat of the design strategies and details were hashed out in real time on the site between owner, architect, and fabricators.

The existing rustic studio + workshop is transformed in to a strong, modern form that unites with the raw agricultural base of the original spaces. The strong and raw palette of concrete, steel, and cedar are extensively intertwined. The ‘big dumb wood box’ concept is the organizing element in a patchwork of naturally weathering and painted steel. A dual personality exposure between tectonic workshop space and entertainment space is created, crafted, embellished, and enjoyed. Old versus new is continually merged on the interior spaces while the new fire pit terrace provides steel containment as the overall structure is carved into the evolving landscape.”

Thank you for reading this article!


Beyond GDP – is it time to rethink the way we measure growth?

Beyond GDP – is it time to rethink the way we measure growth?

For decades, GDP was the measure of all things. Many economists argue that this is no longer the case.

Image: REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Written by

Ross ChaineyDigital Media Specialist, World Economic Forum


Wednesday 13 April 2016


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Is our love affair with GDP coming to an end? If you were following this year’s Annual Meeting in Davos, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is indeed the case.

In three separate sessions, two giants of the financial world and one leading academic were all in agreement: gross domestic product – the estimate of the total value of goods and services a country produces – is up for review.

Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, IMF head Christine Lagarde and MIT professor Erik Brynjolfsson all said GDP is a poor indicator of progress, and argued for a change to the way we measure economic and social development.

“We have to go back to GDP, the calculation of productivity, the value of things – in order to assess, and probably change, the way we look at the economy,” said Lagarde.

As the business landscape reinvents itself, demographics shift, inequality expands, climate change gets worse and technology continues to advance at breakneck speed, GDP is struggling to stay relevant.

In order to keep up with the changes brought on by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, many are arguing that we need to find a new measure to assess the health of our economies and – more importantly – the people living in them.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing a number of articles examining the past, present and future role of GDP – and the new economic models that could replace it.

What is GDP? And more importantly, what is it not?

For decades, GDP was the measure of all things. Some countries, like China, remain obsessed with it and use it to set their own targets for growth. As the World Economic Forum’s chief economist Jennifer Blanke writes in this in-depth explainer on GDP, “the evolution of GDP remains a fixation for governments around the world and it is also a regular topic on the agenda of global and regional groupings”, such as the 2016 Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank.

But amid this obsession, Blanke argues, “it’s easy to forget that it was not initially intended for this purpose, it merely provides a measure of the final goods and services produced in an economy over a given period, without any attention to what is produced, how it’s produced or who is producing it.”

Put simply, focusing on GDP growth is not the way forward. She writes:

“GDP is a partial, short-term measure, whereas the world needs more wide-ranging and responsible instruments to inform the way we build the economies of the future.”

Blanke mentions three key questions that GDP overlooks: is growth fair, is it green, and is it improving our lives?

This last question is one that would resonate with Richard Easterlin, professor of economics at the University of Southern California, who has been writing about the link between happiness and income for 40 years.

We are faced with an “enticing opportunity,” he says in this essay. “To consider happiness as the leading measure of well-being, supplanting the current favourite … GDP.”

Crunch the numbers, and you’ll find that the relationship between happiness and income probably isn’t what you thought it was, he argues. In short – money isn’t everything:

“In rich countries – rich or poor, democratic or autocratic – happiness for most is success in doing things of everyday life. That might be making a living, raising a family, maintaining good health, and working in an interesting and secure job.”

The silent – unmeasured – majority

Inclusive growth, environmental outcomes and well-being are not the only missing parts of the puzzle. Another controversial – but sadly, as explored in our Women and Work series, unsurprising – omission is the women whose unpaid efforts are overlooked by economic policy.

If GDP counted women, argues economist Diane Coyle in this piece, then GDP would look very different. In a 2011 study, the OECD found that so-called “home production” would add between 20% and 50% to the GDP of its member countries.

Thankfully, old barriers are breaking down, and an equal opportunity GDP – or its equivalent – could be closer than we think. This is down to two things: the rise of the sharing economy and shifting demographic trends in many countries (ageing populations, for example). Coyle writes:

“The time has come to reopen the 1950s debate about how we should define the economy, and ensure that GDP or its replacement counts the vital work that goes on in the home, and in the community, as well as the marketplace.”

However we decide to put a number on progress, our cities will remain the main engines of economic growth. Elsewhere in our series, Parag Khanna, a senior research fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore and a Young Global Leader alumni, breaks down the extraordinary contribution of the world’s urban clusters towards a nation’s economic status.

“Within many emerging markets,” he writes, “the leading commercial hub accounts for at least one-third or more of national GDP. In the UK, London accounts for almost half of Britain’s. And in America, the Boston-New York-Washington corridor and greater Los Angeles area together combine for about one-third of America’s GDP.”

With the rapid growth of megacities and urban corridors (some as big as 100 million people) soaking up investment and attracting talent from smaller cities and rural areas, spreading this wealth around is a challenge governments around the world will have to face up to.

This map shows the distribution of the entire world’s population, with yellow representing the densest areas. The circles show the GDP of the world’s existing megacities, while dotted circles indicate burgeoning megacities.

Image: Connectography

Inequality, happiness, sustainable development – all are inextricably linked to whatever the world’s leading economists and policy-makers decide to do next. This matters to all of us, and we hope this is reflected in this series.

As Joseph Stiglitz said in Davos: “What we measure informs what we do. And if we’re measuring the wrong thing, we’re going to do the wrong thing.”

Follow our Beyond GDP series here.


Written by

Ross Chainey, Digital Media Specialist, World Economic Forum

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.


Back to Basics: Upward-Facing Dog Breakdown

Back to Basics: Upward-Facing Dog Breakdown


Even if you could sail through Surya Namaskar in your sleep, we invite you to join us in revisiting the keystones of asana. Unlearn what you know, break your bad habits, and see if you can’t makeover your entire flow by re-focusing on a few foundational poses. Try an advanced approach to basic asana with SmartFLOW teacher trainer Tiffany Russo. Get #backtobasics with us all month on Facebook and Instagram.

Backbends—love them or leave them? Many people feel strongly one way or the other. Maybe that’s why Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is a pose that many yogis tend to breeze right through in a vinyasa class—often with very little instruction or attention. The less mindful we are of what is happening in the moment, though, the more room we make for opportunities to injure ourselves. In Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, the most vulnerable body parts are the low back and the wrists. But by practicing this posture with more awareness and attention to your approach, you can actually find more space, length, and integrity in the body. That lends itself to increasing the longevity of your practice—and the enjoyment you get out of every single vinyasa.

When it comes to backbends, however, often less really is more and better. Listen to your body. If moving into a bigger backbend, like Upward-Facing Dog, is too much too soon, then warm up the shoulders and upper back in Baby Cobra first. In Baby Cobra, you can work most of these same actions to prepare yourself for a safer Up Dog. Feel ready for a bigger backbend? Let’s break it down.

5 Steps to Your Most Mindful Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

  • 1. Aim to extend more than backbend.

    1. Aim to extend more than backbend.

    Go for length in the lower back, lumbar spine, and a bend in the upper back, thoracic spine, by engaging your abs, as you move into the backbend. This helps create space in the part of the low back that has the most mobility and helps prevent any feeling of compression or pain there.

    See also Back to Basics: Advance Your Standing Forward Bend

  • 2. Remember your roots.

    2. Remember your roots.

    Often when we move into Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, we exaggerate the opening across the chest by externally rotating the upper arm bones, which leads to a lifting of the inner hands. Instead, anchor down into the first finger knuckle, keeping the forearms rooted like stable pillars to lift the chest out of. Push the floor away to lift the spine up through the crown of the head. At the same time, isometrically pull your hands towards your feet.

    See also Do This, Not That: Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

  • 3. Fine-tune the backbend.

    3. Fine-tune the backbend.

    Create a wide backbend (think cobra hood), by driving the bottom tips of the shoulder blades in toward the chest. Rather than squeezing the inner border of the shoulder blades together, which only opens up the collar bones, press the bottom-most tips of the shoulder blades in toward the front of the chest as you lengthen the back ribs up toward the base of the skull. This action creates a balanced opening of both the front and back body as you extend the thoracic spine with space and ease.

    See also Watch + Learn: Upward-Facing Dog Pose

  • 4. Don’t forget about your legs.

    4. Don’t forget about your legs.

    The strong use of your legs drives a healthy backbend. The more you reach the chest through the gateway of the arms, the more the legs will lift and the more you need to reach them back against the pull forward. Ground the tops of your feet strongly into the floor and roll your inner thighs upward, as you firm your outer ankles in and lift your frontal hip points up toward your navel. Lifting the uppermost part of the thighs, deep in the hip socket, creates space for the sacrum to slide away from the lumbar spine to prevent potential low-back compression.

    See also Foot Position in Upward-Facing Dog

  • 5. Do an alignment self-check.

    5. Do an alignment self-check.

    Once you’re in the pose, check your own alignment. Where are your shoulders lining up? When we move from Chaturanga to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana and straighten the arms, the shoulders should stack directly above the wrists. If your shoulders move more forward in the transition and line up above your fingertips, emphasize the reach back through your legs to realign them.

    See also Chaturanga Dandasana: Master the Vinyasa Transition Pose



    Tiffany Russo is an L.A.-based SmartFLOW yoga teacher and trainer, who has
    assisted Annie Carpenter with teacher trainings since 2010. You can find her teaching schedule at

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23 books Mark Zuckerberg thinks you should read

23 books Mark Zuckerberg thinks you should read

This article is published in collaboration with Business Insider.
A woman reads a book at her open air book store in Skopje April 24, 2014. Macedonians will cast their ballots on Sunday April 27 in the second round of the presidential vote, overshadowed by the general elections. Macedonian voters look likely to hand conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski a third term in a snap parliamentary election on Sunday, opting for relative economic stability and shrugging off opposition claims of creeping authoritarianism. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski (MACEDONIA - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS ELECTIONS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3MHQ6

A woman reads a book.
Image: REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski
Written by
Wednesday 17 February 2016
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a single mission: to connect people around the world.

It’s one reason why he decided to launch a Facebook-based book club last year, with a reading list that focused on “different cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies."

Although the birth of his daughter, Max, kept him from hitting his goal of a book every two weeks, he ended the year with 23 selections in his A Year of Books reading group.

We’ve put together a list of his picks and why he thinks everyone should read them:

‘The Muqaddimah’ by Ibn Khaldun

“The Muqaddimah," which translates to “The Introduction," was written in 1377 by the Islamic historian Khaldun. It’s an attempt to strip away biases of historical records and find universal elements in the progression of humanity.

Khaldun’s revolutionary scientific approach to history established him as one of the fathers of modern sociology and historiography.

“While much of what was believed then is now disproven after 700 more years of progress, it’s still very interesting to see what was understood at this time and the overall worldview when it’s all considered together," Zuckerberg writes.

‘The New Jim Crow’ by Michelle Alexander

Alexander is a law professor at Ohio State University and a civil-rights advocate who argues in her book that the “war on drugs" has fostered a culture in which nonviolent black males are overrepresented in prison, and then are treated as second-class citizens once they are freed.

“I’ve been interested in learning about criminal justice reform for a while, and this book was highly recommended by several people I trust," Zuckerberg writes.

‘Why Nations Fail’ by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

“Why Nations Fail" is an overview of 15 years of research by MIT economist Daren Acemoglu and Harvard political scientist James Robinson, and was first published in 2012.

The authors argue that “extractive governments" use controls to enforce the power of a select few, while “inclusive governments" create open markets that allow citizens to spend and invest money freely, and that economic growth does not always indicate the long-term health of a country.

Zuckerberg’s interest in philanthropy has grown alongside his wealth in recent years, and he writes that he chose this book to better understand the origins of global poverty.

‘The Rational Optimist’ by Matt Ridley

“The Rational Optimist," first published in 2010, is the most popular and perhaps the most controversial of popular-science writer Matt Ridley’s books.

In it, he argues that the concept of markets is the source of human progress, and that progress is accelerated when they are kept as free as possible. The resulting evolution of ideas will consistently allow humankind to improve its living conditions.

Zuckerberg says that he picked up this book because it posits the inverse theory of “Why Nations Fail," which argues that social and political forces control economic ones.

“I’m interested to see which idea resonates more after exploring both frameworks,"Zuckerberg writes.

‘Portfolios of the Poor’ by Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford, and Orlanda Ruthven

Researchers Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford, and Orlanda Ruthven spent 10 years studying the financial lives of the lowest classes of Bangladesh, India, and South Africa.

A fundamental finding that they include in “Portfolios of the Poor" is that extreme poverty flourishes in areas not where people live dollar to dollar or where poor purchasing decisions are widespread, but instead arises where they lack access to financial institutions to store their money.

“It’s mind-blowing that almost half the world — almost 3 billion people — live on $2.50 a day or less. More than one billion people live on $1 a day or less," Zuckerberg writes. “I hope reading this provides some insight into ways we can all work to support them better as well."

‘World Order’ by Henry Kissinger

In former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s 2014 book, “World Order," the 91-year-old analyzes the ways different parts of the world have understood the concept of empire and political power for centuries, and how the modern global economy has brought them together in often tense or violent ways.

It’s “about foreign relations and how we can build peaceful relationships throughout the world," Zuckerberg writes. “This is important for creating the world we all want for our children, and that’s what I’m thinking about these days."

‘The Varieties of Religious Experience’ by William James

William James (1849-1919) is “considered by many to be the most insightful and stimulating of American philosophers,"according to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy from the University of Tennessee.

“The Varieties of Religious Experience" is a collection of written lectures that explore the religious consciousness and the mechanics of how people use religion as a source of meaning, compelling them to move onward through life with energy and purpose.

“When I read ‘Sapiens,’ I found the chapter on the evolution of the role of religion in human life most interesting and something I wanted to go deeper on," Zuckerberg writes.

‘Creativity, Inc.’ by Ed Catmull

“Creativity, Inc." is the story of Pixar, written by one of the computer-animation giant’s founders.

Catmull intersperses his narrative with valuable wisdom on management and entrepreneurialism, and argues that any company should consciously avoid hampering their employees’ natural creativity.

“I love reading first-hand accounts about how people build great companies like Pixar and nurture innovation and creativity,"Zuckerberg writes.

‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari

First published in 2014, “Sapiens" is a critically acclaimed international best seller by Hebrew University of Jerusalem historianHarari. He uses his book to track the evolution of Homo sapiens from hunter-gatherers into self-empowered “gods" of the future.

“Following the Muqaddimah, which was a history from the perspective of an intellectual in the 1300s, ‘Sapiens’ is a contemporary exploration of many similar questions," Zuckerberg writes.

‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ by Thomas S. Kuhn

If there was ever a philosophy book to read by a physicist, it’s probably “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions."

Since its initial publication in 1962, this look at the evolution of science and the effect it has on the modern world has become “one of the most cited academic books of all time,"according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.Zuckerberg thinks that being aware of how scientific breakthroughs are the catalysts for social progression can be a “force for social good."

Kuhn’s book is best known for introducing the phrase “paradigm shift," representing instances in scientific history when a perspective was fundamentally shifted, like when quantum physics replaced Newtonian mechanics.

‘Dealing with China’ by Henry M. Paulson Jr.

Zuckerberg has been intensely fascinated with Chinese culture over the past several years. He’s been learning to speak Mandarin Chinese and has said that one of his long-term goals is convincing the Chinese government to let its people use Facebook.

“Dealing with China," by the former US Treasury secretary, explores China’s recent rise in global influence and how it affects the world.

“Over the last 35 years, China has experienced one of the greatest economic and social transformations in human history," Zuckerberg writes. “Hundreds of millions of people have moved out of poverty. By many measures, China has done more to lift people out of poverty than the whole rest of the world combined."

‘The Beginning of Infinity’ by David Deutsch

Zuckerberg’s final selection of the year was Oxford physicist David Deutsch’s “The Beginning of Infinity," a sprawling look at the progress of humanity following the Scientific Revolution. It touches on everything from art and science to politics and philosophy.

Deutsch concludes that human potential is infinite, perhaps the purest expression of the optimism regarding the fate of humanity that connects all of the selections in A Year of Books.

‘The Better Angels of Our Nature’ by Steven Pinker

Zuckerberg admits that this 800-page, data-rich book from a Harvard psychologist can seem intimidating.

But the writing is actually easy to get through, and he thinks that Pinker’s study of how violence has decreased over time despite being magnified by a 24-hour news cycle and social media is something that can offer a life-changing perspective.

It should be noted that Bill Gates also considers this one of the most important books he’s ever read.

If you’d like to save some time, check out our summary of the tome.

‘Genome’ by Matt Ridley

Ridley is the only author to appear on Zuckerberg’s list twice.

His 1990 book “Genome" is an exploration of the evolution of genes and the growing field of genetics.

“This book aims to tell a history of humanity from the perspective of genetics rather than sociology,"Zuckerberg writes. “This should complement the other broad histories I’ve read this year."

‘The End of Power’ by Moisés Naím

Zuckerberg launched his book club with this lofty title from Naím, former executive director of the World Bank and senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

It’s a historical investigation of the shift of power from authoritative governments, militaries, and major corporations to individuals. This is clearly seen in what’s now become a Silicon Valley cliché: the disruptive startup.

“The trend towards giving people more power is one I believe in deeply," Zuckerberg writes.

‘On Immunity’ by Eula Biss

Zuckerberg says that Biss’ investigation into the benefits of vaccination is necessary to read, considering the anti-vaccination movement in the US and parts of Europe.

“The science is completely clear: Vaccinations work and are important for the health of everyone in our community," Zuckerberg writes, adding that this book was highly recommended to him by scientists and public-health workers.

“This book explores the reasons why some people question vaccines, and then logically explains why the doubts are unfounded and vaccines are in fact effective and safe," he says.

‘The Idea Factory’ by Jon Gertner

Fast Company editor Jon Gertner’s 2012 book “The Idea Factory" tells the history of Bell Labs from the 1920s through the 1980s, in which the invention of the transistor revolutionized the world of technology and the innovation-fostering management style that rules Silicon Valley was first developed.

Bell Labs’ research has won it the most Nobel Prizes of any laboratory in history, with seven in physics and another in chemistry.

Zuckerberg writes that he chose the book because he’s “very interested in what causes innovation — what kinds of people, questions, and environments."

‘The Three-Body Problem’ by Cixin Liu

“The Three-Body Problem" was first published in China in 2008, and the English translation that came out last year won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel, an award for sci-fi book of the year.

It’s set during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution and kicks off when an alien race decides to invade Earth after the Chinese government covertly sends a signal into space. It’s notable because it’s been reported to be indicative of a cultural shift in China, where rapid modernization and progress have captured the public’s imagination.

Zuckerberg writes that it’s a fun break from some of the heavier material he’s been reading in his book club.

‘Gang Leader for a Day’ by Sudhir Venkatesh

Venkatesh is a Columbia University sociology professor who, in a radical sociological experiment, embedded himself into a Chicago gang in the 1990s.

Zuckerberg says that Venkatesh’s story is an inspiring one of communication and understanding across economic and cultural barriers.

“The more we all have a voice to share our perspectives, the more empathy we have for each other and the more we respect each other’s rights,"Zuckerberg writes.

‘The Player of Games’ by Iain M. Banks

“The Player of Games" was first published in 1988 and is the second in the “Culture" series. It explores what a civilization would look like if hyper-advanced technology was created to serve human needs and surpassed human capabilities.

Zuckerberg writes that he went with a sci-fi pick as a “change of pace." The novel is also one of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s favorite books because of its entertaining way of exploring plausible advancements in technology.

‘Orwell’s Revenge’ by Peter Huber

Huber, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, published this unofficial sequel to George Orwell’s “1984" in 1994, a time when internet and telecommunications technology were opening up new methods of communication. The novel imagines a world in which citizens use the technology that once enslaved them to liberate themselves.

“After seeing how history has actually played out, Huber’s fiction describes how tools like the internet benefit people and change society for the better," Zuckerberg writes.

‘Energy: A Beginner’s Guide’ by Vaclav Smil

Originally published in 2006, “Energy" starts with a basic explanation of what energy is and then moves on to more complex subjects, including the quest to create more efficient and environmentally friendly fuels. It’s by University of Manitoba professor Vaclav Smil, one of Bill Gates’ favorite authors.

“It explores important topics around how energy works, how our production and use might evolve, and how this affects climate change," Zuckerberg writes, noting that he also plans on reading Smil’s book “Making the Modern World."

‘Rational Ritual’ by Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Zuckerberg thinks that this book by UCLA economist Michael Suk-Young Chwe can help its readers learn how to best use social media.

“The book is about the concept of ‘common knowledge’ and how people process the world not only based on what we personally know, but what we know other people know and our shared knowledge as well,"Zuckerberg writes.

Chwe’s idea may sound complicated, but it’s essentially a breakdown of the psychology behind people’s interactions with others in public settings, and how they use these communities and rituals to help form their own identities.

More from Business Insider:

Written by

Richard Feloni,

This article is published in collaboration with Business Insider.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.




If you experience joint pain regularly then you will know it’s quite uncomfortable and can be a real bother.

It is a problem that seems to know no bounds and affects all genders and age groups.


Pain felt in the joints can vary from mild to severe.

Joint pain can be caused by the following:

  • Gout
  • Arthritis
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Leukemia
  • Muscle strains
  • Lupus
  • Bursitis

There are certain foods which must be avoided if you are to combat joint pains.

  • Alcoholic Beverages

When you consume alcoholic beverages excessively you make yourself susceptible to developing gout and rheumatoid arthritis.

This is because the beer you drink has purines that gets transformed to uric acid in your body and this in turn causes inflammation of your joints. Beer is also made with gluten and contains a number of chemicals that can be detrimental to your health.

  • Red And Processed Meat

These meat have nitrites and purines that can contribute to increased inflammation and pain in joints. If you eat processed foods often then you increase toxins in your body as these foods are high in toxic advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Consume fresh fish and less meat.

  • Artificial And Refined Sugar

If you consume high amounts of refined sugar daily then you increase the cytokines that your body releases which cause inflammation of your joints.

Sugar is also rich in calories, so when you consume it in excess you stand the risk of gaining weight that ultimately leads to increased strain and pressure on your joints.

  • Processed Grains And Flour

Processed flour and grains are high in AGEs which are inflammation causing agents and cause inflammation of your joints and the resulting joint pains. Avoid consuming white rice, white pasta, white bread with whole-grain and coconut flour. You can also eat brown rice rather than white rice.

  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) Rich Foods

While MSG is an additive which helps to add flavour to certain food products such as;

  • Frozen dinners
  • Soups
  • Store-bought salad dressings
  • Frozen snacks
  • Canned and frozen Chinese foods
  • Potato chips

If you are a sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis then it is best you avoid consuming foods containing MSG as it causes inflammation of the joints and pain.

  • Eggs

Eating eggs excessively can lead to an inflammation of your joints. Egg yolk is high in arachidonic acid that can lead to the production of prostaglandins that causes an inflammation of joints in your body.

Eggs are also high in saturated fat that is known to lead to inflammation of the joints and pain. Consume eggs whites only and discard the yolk to avoid inflammation of your joints.

Source: healthyfoodstar


See through house with two breath-taking views: towards the ocean and into the jungle

See through house with two breath-taking views: towards the ocean and into the jungle

Architects: Benjamin Garcia Saxe
Location: Santa Teresa, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
Year: 2016
Photo courtesy: Andres Garcia Lachner

“Our client bought a beautiful property with two breath-taking views: towards the ocean and into the jungle. We decided to rest the house against the back of the steep hill of the site in order to stabilize the soil and protect the house from falling debris.

The house then transitions from a more solid and intimate construction at the back that holds bedrooms and bathrooms, towards a light-weight and ephemeral structure that points to the visual collapse of the ocean and jungle views.

The result is a series of interwoven terraces that relate to each other in all dimensions creating not only an internal dynamic interaction between levels, but also varied and sometimes unexpected relationships between the inhabitants and the natural landscape. In these interstitial terrace spaces, which are never truly inside or out, architecture comes to foster the relationship, enjoyment, and appreciation of the natural world by the inhabitants.”

Thank you for reading this article!


Yoga for Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Yoga for Anxiety and Panic Attacks


Many of the principles discussed in my last column, Yoga for Stress and Burnout, are applicable to anxiety and panic attacks, as those are in many ways exaggerated forms of stress. Both conditions are marked by a rajasic (agitated) state of mind and by what is known in Ayurveda as vata derangement. And both respond to various yogic tools, including asana and Pranayama, as well as lifestyle adjustments and the cultivation of pratyahara, turning the senses inward.

Yogic Tools

One of the most useful yogic tools in these cases is a good asana practice, which burns off the nervous energy that can contribute to anxiety. And a number of breathing practices, including abdominal breathing and lengthening the exhalation relative to the inhalation, help reduce symptoms of anxiety. Scientific studies suggest that left-nostril breathing can effectively reduce symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (and it’s probably also useful for less extreme forms of anxiety).

In addition, the regular practice of both asana and pranayama leads to greater internal sensitivity, which can allow students to detect the first glimmer of an anxiety or panic attack and respond with yogic tools that might head off the problem. The earlier in the process you can intervene, the greater the likely efficacy.

For students who are open to them, bhakti practices such as prayer, chanting, and devotional singing may be highly therapeutic for anxiety. In the longer term, meditation and self-study (svadhyaya) offer the hope of getting at the deeper causes of the problem. Through meditation perhaps more than any other yogic tool, you start to see how busy your mind is, and you gain insight into some of the tricks that it plays. Many people may not realize how repetitive thoughts, of which they are usually barely aware, may be fueling their worries. Getting your students to start to see this pattern clearly is often the first step to bringing it under greater control.

Yoga Philosophy

In fact, seeing clearly can be helpful for anxiety and panic attacks in a variety of ways. Over the years I’ve seen many patients, most of whom were otherwise vigorous and healthy, with incapacitating panic attacks. Their hearts were beating hard and fast, they were hyperventilating, and they felt as if they were having a heart attack and might suddenly die. But the reality is that a young and healthy person who is panicking is probably not going to have a heart attack no matter how fast and hard their hearts beat (when students are older or have risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol, you need to be more careful). It often helps them simply to understand that panic is at its core an emotional, not a physical, problem.

Seeing clearly is also useful in dealing with more run-of-the-mill anxiety. Most people who are anxious will admit, if they’re honest and paying attention, that much of what they worry about never happens. And even if it does, the consequences are often not as negative as they would have predicted. Sometimes, in retrospect, they realize that the thing they feared the most was precisely what needed to happen for them to grow or learn or get out of a bad situation—in other words, it was ultimately a good thing. One useful self-study exercise is to have students write down the 10 things they’re most worried about, then look back weeks or months later to see how many came true, and, if so, whether the consequences were as dire as they’d imagined.

Keep in mind that anxiety can be a useful symptom, and the ability to get anxious has survival value. Thinking about potential threats, and planning how you might lower the risk or respond appropriately, can be extremely useful, even lifesaving. Going over the same worry dozens or even hundreds of times, when the iterations bring no new insight, isn’t helpful and can make you miserable.

This is where yogic philosophy can be useful. It teaches that, ultimately, no one can control what’s going to happen. Despite your best efforts, some bad things undoubtedly will occur. All you can do is try to plan intelligently, give your best effort, let the universe take its course, and, when it does, respond as well as you can. When you realize that you ultimately don’t have control over the future, it can take the pressure off—and that alone may reduce anxiety.

Take care of the present, said the great 20th-century master Ramana Mararshi, and the future will take care of itself.

Dr. Timothy McCall is a board-certified internist, Yoga Journal‘s Medical Editor, and the author of the forthcoming book Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing (Bantam Dell, summer 2007). He can be found on the Web at


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    We all experience flexibility in some areas more so than others. Sage Rountree discusses the importance of balance in and around the hips and offers poses that help to create opening where needed.
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    4 Breaktime Shoulder Stretches for the Office
    Sage Rountree suggests stretches to do anytime during your workday to release tension from your upper back and shoulders.

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    Understanding the anatomy of the spine is essential for both yoga teachers and practitioners. Injury-proof your practice with these three key tips.


Air pollution: the invisible killer.

Air pollution: the invisible killer.

It may not always be visible, but it can be deadly.


Women’s Rights Are a National Security Issue

The Trump transition team asked the State Department last week to submit details of programs and jobs that focus on promoting gender equality. Maybe it’s for benign purposes — or better, a signal that the administration wants to make women’s empowerment a cornerstone of its foreign policy. But this seems unlikely, to put it mildly, given that such a commitment was absent from Donald J. Trump’s campaign, and alongside Mr. Trump’s vow to defund Planned Parenthood.

Whatever the reason for their request, Mr. Trump and Rex W. Tillerson, his pick for secretary of state, should remember that women’s rights are tied directly to national security. The State Department’s gender equality programs are not just politically correct fluff — they deal with matters of life and death, like rape during war, genital cutting, forced marriage and access to education. The State Department provides essential funding to combat these problems.

Nongovernmental organizations around the world that work with survivors of rape and sexual violence are supported by small grants from the State Department, for example. One program in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh trained 450 imams to extol the importance of girls’ education in their Friday sermons and, when officiating at marriages, to ask for the bride’s age and proof of her consent. The United States Agency for International Development helps girls purchase books and pay fees so they can finish grade school. This kind of work is important not just for the women and girls who directly benefit from them, but also for the security of their countries.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not the first person to argue that national security is linked to women’s equality when she made it a cornerstone of American foreign policy. President George W. Bush identified “respect for women” as one of the “nonnegotiable demands of human dignity.” Even President Xi Jinping of China said in 2015 that “every step taken to promote women’s cause has been a giant step forward for the progress of human civilization.”

This is not just hot air. Over a decade’s worth of research shows that women’s advancement is critical to stability and to reducing political violence. Countries where women are empowered are vastly more secure, whether the issue is food security, countering violent extremism or resolving disputes with other nations peacefully.

Continue reading the main story

Recruitment by terrorist groups is a prime example. A forthcoming paper by one of us, Professor Hudson, and Hilary Matfess, a researcher at the Institute for Defense Analyses, has found that swiftly rising “bride prices” (money or goods given by the groom to the bride’s family) makes it easier for terrorists to recruit members.


Afghan women participated in a volleyball tournament in December at Kabul University as part of a campaign against gender violence in the country. CreditShah Marai/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Bride prices typically act like a regressive tax on young men, and in some places, that burden has risen rapidly. In South Sudan, for example, a bride cost 12 cows a decade ago. But the going rate in recent years has been over 50 cows, 50 goats and $12,000. These marriage practices not only cast women as chattel, but also create widespread resentment among young men.

Terrorist groups such as Boko Haram in West Africa and Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan have found it easy to recruit in such a context, and in South Sudan, two-thirds of men surveyed reported they had to steal cattle to pay for brides, stoking ethnic conflict. A realist foreign policy would use this knowledge in efforts to reduce terrorist groups’ recruitment, perhaps also tracking bride price trajectories while encouraging a cap on prices and even changes in the practice, as Uganda has recently done.

Furthermore, it is also vital to include women’s priorities in negotiations and transitions from conflict to peace. A study of the landmark United Nations resolution on women, peace and security found that peace agreements were significantly more durable when women took part in the negotiations. A realist foreign policy would take note of this. For example, to gain a lasting peace accord in Afghanistan, policy makers should make sure that both Afghan and American women are at the negotiating table in meaningful numbers.

The strongest antidote to the instability caused by gender inequality is to attack the constellation of forces that cause women to suffer, such as child marriage and unequal property rights. Our foreign policy should ensure that women have not only a place at the table, but a real voice when major decisions are made.

Even if the new administration is not poised to be as attentive to gender issues as previous ones, the United States still has obligations under international treaties, and also some of our own policies. The United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security requires the State and Defense Departments, along with the Agency for International Development, to meet benchmarks on efforts for women’s inclusion and empowerment.

Consider what Ryan Crocker, a former ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq, said about the fate of Afghan women: “No one is going to be dumb enough to say, ‘Oh, forget the women; that’s not important.’ ”

During the campaign, Mr. Trump called for a return to “foreign policy realism,” in which national security is the foremost concern, the stakes are zero-sum and the most powerful states are the only ones that matter. To build such a foreign policy, women’s rights are an indispensable pillar.


Three floors penthouse in London for a young art-collector couple

Three floors penthouse in London for a young art-collector couple

Architects: Fernanda Marques
Location: London, United Kingdom
Year: 2016
Photo courtesy: Fernando Guerra

“The young art-collector couple with two children wanted to revamp their 3-floor haven in London’s Belgravia.

The architect was charged with fitting the valuable collection of art and design into day-to-day life in this penthouse apartment.

In order to achieve the required balance, an in-depth study of materials and colours was required.

In order to create brighter and more spacious rooms, many walls were knocked down, reducing the number of doors to the indispensable ones. By letting in more light, the unique space was unified.”

Thank you for reading this article!


Two Fit Moms’ Picks: 8 Best Yoga Poses for the Core

Two Fit Moms’ Picks: 8 Best Yoga Poses for the Core

At Two Fit Moms, we are frequently asked for recommendations on the best yoga poses to work the core. The following eight-pose sequence will not only make your body stronger but help you stand taller and feel more confident—just in time for summer.

WANT MORE? 7 Poses for Core Strength

  • Twisted Boat Pose

    Twisted Boat Pose

    Parivrtta Paripurna Navasana

    Just a fun twist on a traditional Boat Pose! Starting from a seated position with your hands on the mat, extend both legs up, crossing the left foot on top of the right. Grab the inside of your right foot with your right hand as you start to twist to the left. Find your balance. Extend your spine and try to reach your left arm behind you. Add a Half Boat Pose (see next slide) in between sides.

    Also see More Core! 11 Steps to Balance Out Your Bakasana

  • Half Boat Pose

    Half Boat Pose

    Ardha Navasana

    From Twisted Boat Pose, slowly come back to center. Lower your feet and torso down toward your mat into Half Boat Pose. Extend your hands toward your feet. Continue to keep your chest lifting. Repeat Twisted Boat on the other side!

    Also see Bryant Park Yoga Pose of the Week: Strong-Core Side Angle

  • Standing Wrist Tap

    Standing Wrist Tap

    Roll up to a Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana). Separate your feet to hip-width apart. Place your hands flat on your mat. Bend your knees if you need to. Lean your weight into your hands, zipper up through your navel, and lift your right foot off of the mat. Flex the foot and tap your right toes to your right wrist. Repeat on the other side.

    Also see Alignment Cues Decoded: “Engage Your Core"

  • Tiger Curl

    Tiger Curl

    Step back into Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Extend the right leg high. On the exhale, shift forward and bring your right knee to your nose. Push the ground away with your hands, round your upper back, lift your navel toward your spine and hug the knee in.

    Also see Yoga Girl’s Spring Break Core + Balance Sequence

  • 2-Point Plank

    2-Point Plank

    From Tiger Curl, keep the shoulders stacked over the heels of the hand and extend the right foot back, coming into 3-Point Plank. Shift your weight into your right hand and extend your left hand forward, coming into 2-Point Plank. Keep your whole body engaged, abdominals tight.

    Also see Two Fit Moms’ Good Morning Flow

  • 3-Point Forearm Plank

    3-Point Forearm Plank

    From 2-Point Plank, lower onto your left forearm, then lower onto your right forearm into 3-Point Forearm Plank. Elbows should be below your shoulders. Keep right leg lifted and core engaged.

    Also see Work Your Core In Any Pose

  • Star Side Plank

    Star Side Plank

    From 3-Point Forearm Plank, slowly come back up onto your hands. Start to shift your weight into your left hand as you roll onto the outside edge of the left foot into Side Plank Pose. Find your balance and extend your right hand up. Engage through your abdominals and lift your hips high. Slowly make your way back to Plank Pose, then lift your hips back to Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat Tiger Curl, 2-Point Plank, 3-Point Forearm Plank and Star Side Plank on the other side.

    Also see Taylor Harkness’s Gratitude Rockstar Side Plank

  • Supported Headstand Pike

    Supported Headstand Pike

    Salamba Sirsasana

    Make your way into Supported Headstand. Hug your elbows in and press into your forearms to take the weight off of your head and lengthen your spine. Slowly start to pike your legs down toward the ground as far as you can with control, then bring them back up. Repeat as many times as you can. Take a Child’s Pose.

    WANT MORE? Build Core Strength, Learn Control

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A Creative Sequence to Help You Navigate Tough Emotions

A Creative Sequence to Help You Navigate Tough Emotions

We all know what it’s like to feel knotted up in our hearts because we are holding blame and resentment toward others, shaming ourselves for past actions, or armoring ourselves against the inevitable pain of heartbreak. Humans will go to great extremes to avoid pain, but uncomfortable feelings can be fertile ground for transformation and real growth. This practice invokes the power of Tara, the Hindu goddess of compassion, to help you face the discomfort and reap the rewards. It gently opens the hips, hamstrings, and heart; in so doing, it helps us tap into the elixir of forgiveness and self-compassion that begins to flow unrestricted within as we start to dissolve the walls of hardness and separation caused by our resentment, guilt, and fear. This work can be difficult, but it is worth every bit of our effort. After all, it’s not until we can forgive ourselves and others that we are able to experience true liberation.

See also Find Your Inner Goddess with Sianna Sherman

  • Crescent Pose

    Crescent Pose

    Indudalasana Seated, with Chin Mudra

    Sit in a comfortable position, bring your hands to Anjali Mudra (Salutation Seal: hands to prayer at the heart), and offer an intention for your practice to help you with forgiveness. Inhale to lengthen your spine. Exhale and lean to the left, placing your left hand to your mat, beside your left hip. Extend your right arm overhead in a graceful way with Chin Mudra (index finger and thumb connected to make the energy seal of consciousness). Inhale back to center, exhale, and repeat on the right side. Follow the rhythm of your breath as you sway side to side for several breaths. Visualize yourself as the flow of forgiveness in the tidal rhythm of Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious Breath or Ocean Breath).

    See also Goddess Yoga Project: Shed Light On Your Dark Side

  • Feminine Energy Waves in Downward-Facing Dog Pose

    Feminine Energy Waves in Downward-Facing Dog Pose

    Shakti Waves in Adho Mukha Svanasana

    Step back to Downward-Facing Dog Pose. Create a clear intention to release resentment, blame, and shame. Lift your heels, bend your knees, and move like water through your entire spine, hips, and legs. Visualize Tara as the Ocean of Compassion undulating through your spine. Move the waves in the opposite direction, too. Breathe with Ujjayi. After 1–2 minutes, rest in the stillness of Down Dog while bathing in the inner flow. The wavelike movements help to release stagnant energy that blocks the flow of forgiveness.

    See also 3 Women Who Discovered Their Inner Goddess

  • Child’s Pose and Cobra Pose Waves

    Child’s Pose and Cobra Pose Waves

    Balasana and Bhujangasana Waves

    From Down Dog, shift your hips back to Child’s Pose, with your knees together. Stretch your arms gently in front of you. Inhale as you slide forward low to the ground and curl up into Cobra Pose. Anchor your shoulders back and sweep the base of your shoulder blades into the back of your heart. Exhale as you push down into the ground, round your back, and roll through your spine back to Child’s Pose. Continue in this circular way: Inhale forward with spinal extension into Cobra and exhale back with spinal flexion into Child’s Pose. Repeat several times, or for as long as you like. This vinyasa releases places of resistance in the front and back of the heart.

    See also 4 Goddess-Inspired Poses to Ignite Your Life

  • Three-Legged Downward-Facing 
Dog Pose

    Three-Legged Downward-Facing 
Dog Pose

    Eka Pada Adho 
Mukha Svanasana

    Begin in Down Dog. Consider any rigid places in your life and ask to live with greater generosity. Lift your right leg up behind you, squeeze to the midline, and turn the inner thigh up to the sky. Bend your right knee and open up the hip and thigh with external rotation. Imagine you are sending massive amounts of compassion from your heart out into the world as you stretch open. After 5 breaths, step your right leg forward into a Low Lunge.

    See also Goddess Yoga Project: How To Build An Altar

  • Revolved Monkey Lunge Pose, prep

    Revolved Monkey Lunge Pose, prep

    Parivrtta Eka Pada Rajakapotasana 2, prep

    With your right foot forward in a Low Lunge, lower your left knee to the ground, curl your back toes under, and bring both hands inside the front foot. Turn your right foot out with the knee pointing toward the toes. Bend your left knee and catch your left foot with your right hand, pressing your foot into your hand. To go deeper, lower to your left forearm. Breathe deeply for 5–8 Ujjayi breaths. Step back into Down Dog. Repeat poses 4 and 5 on the second side.

    See also Goddess Yoga Project: Bring-On-the-Breakthrough Sunrise Practice

  • Wild Thing Pose

    Wild Thing Pose


    From Down Dog, shift your weight onto your right hand, lift your hips high, step your left foot behind your right leg, lift your left heel, press down through the mound of the foot, and bring your left hand over the base of your heart. Tiger-paw your right hand into 
the ground (claw your hand into the earth for a steady foundation), anchor the right shoulder back, and lift your shoulder blades into the back of your heart; breathe deeply for 5–8 Ujjayi breaths. As you press your left hand into your chest, rise up from inside your heart and expand your power to love.

    See also Goddess Yoga Project: Sianna Sherman’s Personal Durga Story

  • Goddess Pose, with Yoni Mudra

    Goddess Pose, with Yoni Mudra

    Utkata Konasana

    Stand with your feet wide. Turn your feet out and bend your knees over your ankles. Bring your thumbs together at the navel, and your index fingers to your pubic bone. Spread your fingers open with the palms of your hands on your low belly. This mudra represents the loving power of feminine energy for compassion, forgiveness, and creative possibility. Be soft in your belly and breathe for 5–8 Ujjayi breaths.

    See also Goddess Yoga Project: How To Use Mala Beads

  • Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend

    Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend

    Prasarita Padottanasana

    Stay in a wide stance and turn your feet forward. Bring your hands to your hips. Engage your leg muscles evenly, anchor your inner thighs back, and tone your low belly. Hinge your hips back and fold forward. Hold your big toes with your middle and index fingers and your thumbs. Inhale to lengthen your spine and gaze up. Exhale as you fold in, bend your elbows wide to the sides, and press your shoulder blades into your heart. Breathe deeply for several rounds of breath. Inhale and root down through your leg bones to rise up tall through your spine.

    See also Goddess Yoga Project: Defeat Fear With Sword Breath

  • Garland Pose

    Garland Pose


    Come into a squat with your feet together, knees apart, and hands in Anjali Mudra. To modify, separate your feet wider and turn them out. Keep your knees pointing in the same direction as your toes. If your heels do not reach the ground, place a blanket under them. Rest your forehead into the thumbs of your hands, your third eye into the prayer of your heart. Ask for clarity, discernment, and forgiveness to flow through you.

    See also Goddess Yoga Project: 5 Heart Openers Dedicated to Lakshmi

  • Head-of-the-Knee Pose, flow

    Head-of-the-Knee Pose, flow

    Janu Sirsasana, flow

    Come to seated. Stretch your left leg forward, bring your right foot to your upper inner left thigh, and bend your right knee back, slightly wider than 90 degrees. Engage your leg muscles, spin your inner thighs to the earth, and tone your belly. Hold your left foot with your right hand (or strap), and lengthen forward to fold in. You can hold your left wrist with your right hand. Relax, taking several breaths, and listen for what is asking to be healed through forgiveness. Inhale to rise up, and tiger-paw your right hand into the earth behind your hips. Sweep your left arm gracefully overhead as you lift your hips into the sky and open through your heart. Stretch your left leg straight, ground the heel, and flex the foot. Stay grounded through your right shin as you breathe in with forgiveness for yourself, and breathe out with forgiveness for others.

    See also Goddess Yoga Project: 3-Step Meditation To Inspire Intuition

  • Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend

    Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend

    Upavistha Konasana

    Come into a wide seated position with your legs 90–120 degrees apart. Engage your leg muscles and sit tall through your spine. Spiral your inner thighs to the earth and draw your low back in. If your low back is rounded, sit up on a blanket. Walk your hands out in front of you and extend forward with a long spine. Ground your heels and root your thighbones into the earth. Upon reaching all the way forward, bring your hands together into a prayer above your head. You can modify by supporting your elbows on a block or bolster with as much height as needed. With every inhale, lengthen your spine; with every exhale, soften and deepen into the pose.

    See also The Goddess Every Vinyasa Flow Fan MUST Know

  • Cradle Pose

    Cradle Pose


    From a seated position, draw your left leg up to cradle it, and bend your right leg in front of you. Spread the toes of your left foot and equally engage both sides of your left ankle to prevent the foot from sickling. Place your left knee in your left-elbow crease and your left foot in your right-elbow crease. Rest into your breath and gently rock from side to side. The hips and pelvic area often hold tension, fear, and anxiety. Be gentle with yourself as you breathe into the areas of tension. Exhale and release the tension; inhale and nourish yourself.

    See also What Is the Goddess Yoga Project?

  • Starlight Pose

    Starlight Pose


    Place a block about 20 inches in front of you. Bring both heels to each side of the block and flex your feet. Manually adjust your inner thighs and create an inner spiral of the thighs toward the earth. Place your fingertips behind your hips, elongate your spine, and breathe deeply. Draw your low back in and tone your low belly. Inhale to lengthen your spine; exhale, and with a long spine, extend forward and walk out to your fingertips. Rest your forehead on the block. Breathe here for several breaths. Then place your elbows on the block, bring your hands together, and return to your forgiveness prayer.

    See also Goddess Power: Invoke Shakti in Your Life

  • Seated Tara, with 
Bhumi Sparsha Mudra 

    Seated Tara, with 
Bhumi Sparsha Mudra

    “Touching the Earth” and 
“Earth Witness” Mudra

    Tara is the goddess of compassion, and she is typically pictured with one foot ready to spring into action. Sit with your left knee bent and your foot on the floor. Bend your right knee in a comfortable seated position and relax into your inner wisdom. Touch your right hand to your heart to call upon true forgiveness, and lightly touch the earth with your left hand. Relax in your body and stay as long as you like. Repeat on the other side.

    See also Sianna Sherman, What’s In Your Yoga Bag?

  • Staff Offering Pose, with Salutation Seal

    Staff Offering Pose, with Salutation Seal

    Full Danda Pranam, with Anjali Mudra

    Lie on your belly and extend your arms straight alongside your ears, with hands together in prayer. Rest with your third eye, heart, belly, and entire front body down into the earth. Offer up the fruits of your practice and release attachments to any particular outcome in your life. Bring your hands to Anjali Mudra, keeping your elbows down and lifting your prayer hands up to the sky. Allow the elixir of forgiveness to flow through every part of you and give thanks to Tara, the goddess of compassion, for springing into action for all beings.

    See also Sianna Sherman’s “Honey-in-the-Heart” Gratitude Practice

  • About Our Pro

    About Our Pro

    Teacher and model Sianna Sherman is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher. She teaches a multifaceted approach that combines hatha yoga, vinyasa, Tantra, therapeutics, mythology, mantra, meditation, and more. Sianna’s background includes a dual degree in biology and nutrition, training as a bodyworker, apprenticeships as a wild-crafter of plant medicines, initiation as a priestess in the Celtic tradition, and many years as a storyteller. She is the founder of Rasa Yoga, Mythic Yoga Flow, and the co-founder of Urban Priestess, a modern-day mystery school for women.

    Want more from Sianna? Learn about the power of mythology by practicing Goddess Yoga with her.
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How does misinformation spread online?

Best of 2016: Why do fake posts go viral?

How does misinformation spread online?

Image: A man poses with his iPad tablet as he sits in a bar, in this photo illustration taken in Rome September 20, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Written by
Walter QuattrociocchiHead of the Laboratory of Computational Social Science, IMT Lucca in Italy
Thursday 14 January 2016
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In the run up to the 2013 Italian elections, a social media post exposing the corruption of parliament went viral. Italian politicians were quietly certain that, win or lose, they would be financially secure by taking money from the taxpayer. Parliament had quietly passed a special welfare bill specially designed to protect policy-makers by ensuring them an incredible unemployment package should they lose their seat in the upcoming election. The bill, proposed by Senator Cirenga, allocated an amazing €134 billion to political unemployment. The Italian Senate had voted 257 in favour and 165 in abstention.

The post caused considerable and understandable uproar. It was covered in several leading newspapers and cited by mainstream political organizations. But there was one problem: the entire story was fake. Not even a good fake at that. For those interested in Italian politics, there were a number of obvious problems with the story. First of all, there is no Senator Cirenga. The number of votes doesn’t work either, because Italy doesn’t even have that many senators. And the incredible sum would have accounted for roughly 10% of Italy’s GDP.

So what happened? How did such an obvious fake fool so many people?

Walter Quattrociocchi, the head of the Laboratory of Computational Social Science at IMT Lucca in Italy, has been studying the phenomenon of misinformation online. His work helped to inform the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Risks Report. We spoke with him to find out more.

Why is this happening?

Before the web, you got your information from magazines, television and the newspapers. Now anyone can create a blog, have a Tumblr page or post their opinions online. From there, you can spread that information rapidly through Twitter, Facebook and a whole smorgasbord of other social media platforms.

The problem is that while traditional media had editors, producers and other filters before information went public, individual publishing has no filter. You simply say what you want and put it out there.

The result is that everyone can produce or find information consistent with their own belief system. An environment full of unchecked information maximizes the tendency to select content by confirmation bias.

Recent studies that focus on misinformation online pointed out that the selective exposure to specific content leads to “echo chambers" in which users tend to shape and reinforce their beliefs.

What is an echo chamber?

An echo chamber is an isolated space on the web, where the ideas being exchanged essentially just confirm one another. It can be a space of likeminded people sharing similar political views, or a page about a specific conspiracy theory. Once inside one of these spaces, users are sharing information that is all very similar, basically “echoing" each other.

We have studied the dynamics inside a single echo chamber. What we found is that the most discussed content refers to four specific topics: environment, diet, health and geopolitics.

Content belonging to the different topics are consumed in a very similar way by users. Likes and shares remain more or less the same across topics.

If we focus on the comments section however, we notice a remarkable difference within topics. Users polarized on geopolitics are the most persistent in commenting, whereas those focused on diet are less persistent.

We also found that users “jump" from one topic to another. Once they begin to “like" something, they do this more and more, like a snowball effect. Once engaged in a conspiracy corpus, a user tends to join the overall conversation, and begins to “jump" from one topic to another. The probability increases with user engagement (number of likes on a single specific topic). Each new like on the same conspiracy topic increases the probability to pass to a new one by 12%.

What kind of rumours are spreading?

Pages about global conspiracies, chem-trails, UFOs, reptilians. One of the more publicized conspiracies is the link between vaccines and autism.

These alternative narratives, often in contrast to the mainstream one, proliferate on Facebook. The peculiarity of conspiracy theories is that they tend to reduce the complexity of reality. Conspiracy theories create (or reflect) a climate of disengagement from mainstream society and from officially recommended practices – e.g. vaccinations, diet, etc.

Among the most fascinating social dynamics observed is trolling. Before, trolls were mainly people who just wanted to stir up a crowd, but the practice has evolved. Trolls today act to mock the “believe anything" culture of these echo-chambers. They basically attack contradictions through parody.

Trolls’ activities range from controversial and satirical content to the fabrication of purely fictitious statements, heavily unrealistic and sarcastic. For instance, conspiracist trolls aggregate in groups and build Facebook pages as a caricature of conspiracy news. A recent example was a fake publication of “findings" that showed chemtrails had traces of viagra in them.

What makes their activity so interesting is that, quite often, these jokes go viral and end up used as evidence in online debates from political activists.

How have you been studying this phenomenon?

On Facebook, likes, shares, and comments allow us to understand social dynamics from a totally new perspective. Using this data, we can study the driving forces behind the diffusion and consumption of information and rumours.

In our study of 2.3 million individuals, we looked at how Facebook users consumed different information at the edge of political discussion and news during the 2013 Italian elections. Pages were categorized, according to the kind of content reported on.

1. Mainstream media

2. Online political activism

3. Alternative information sources (topics that are neglected by science and mainstream media)

We followed 50 public pages and their users’ interactions (like, comments and shares) for six months.

Each action has a particular meaning. A like gives positive feedback; a share expresses the will to increase the visibility; and comments expand the debate.

What we found was that neither a post’s topic nor its quality of information had any effect on the outcome. Posts containing unsubstantiated claims, or about political activism, as well as regular news, all had very similar engagement patterns.

So people are reacting to posts based on their beliefs, regardless of where those posts originated from?

Exactly. It’s not that people are reacting the same way to all content, but that everyone is agreeing within their specific community.

People are looking for information which will confirm their existing beliefs. If today an article comes out from the WHO supporting your claims, you like it and share it. If tomorrow a new one comes out contradicting your claims, you criticise it, question it.

The results show that we are back to “echo chambers", there is selective exposure followed by confirmation bias.

To verify this, we performed another study, this time with a sample of 1.2 million users. We wanted to see how information related to very distinct narratives – i.e. mainstream scientific and conspiracy news – are consumed and shaped by communities on Facebook.

What we found is that polarized communities emerge around distinct types of content and consumers of conspiracy news tend to be extremely focused on specific content.

Users who like posts do so on the pages of one specific category 95% of the time. We also looked at commenting, and found that polarized users of conspiracy news are more focused on posts from their community. They are more prone to like and share posts from conspiracy pages.

On the other hand, people who consume scientific news share and like less, but comment more on conspiracy pages.

Our findings indicate that there is a relationship between beliefs and the need for cognitive closure. This is the driving factors for digital wildfires.

Does that mean we know what will go viral next?

Viral phenomena are generally difficult to predict. This insight does allow us to at least understand the users that are more prone to interact with false claims.

We wanted to understand if such a polarization in the consumption of content affects the structure of the user’s friendship networks. In another study, Viral Misinformation: The role of homophily and polarization we found that a user’s engagement in a specific narrative goes hand in hand with the number of friends having a similar profile.

That provides an important insight about the diffusion of unverified rumours. It means that through polarization, we can detect where misleading rumours are more likely to spread.

But couldn’t we combat that by spreading better information?

No. In fact, there is evidence that this only makes things worse.

In another study, we found that people interested in a conspiracy theory are likely to become more involved in the conversation when exposed to “debunking". In other words, the more the exposure to contrasting information a person is given, the more it reinforces their consumption pattern. Debunking within an echo chamber can backfire, and reinforce people’s bias.

In fact, distrust in institutions is so high and confirmation bias so strong, that the Washington Post has recently discontinued their weekly debunking column.

What can be done to fight misinformation?

Misinformation online is very difficult to correct. Confirmation bias is extremely powerful. Once people have found “evidence" of their views, external and contradicting versions are simply ignored.

One proposal to counteract this trend is algorithmic-driven solutions. For example, Google is developing a trustworthiness score to rank the results of queries. Similarly, Facebook has proposed a community-driven approach where users can flag false content to correct the newsfeed algorithm.

This issue is controversial, however, because it raises fears that the free circulation of content may be threatened and the proposed algorithms might not be accurate or effective. Often users denounce attempts to debunk false information, such as the link between vaccination and autism, as acts of misinformation.

The Global Risks Report 2016 is available here.

Reporting by Donald Armbrecht

Author: Walter Quattrociocchi, Head of the Laboratory of Computational Social Science, IMT Lucca in Italy

Written by

Walter Quattrociocchi, Head of the Laboratory of Computational Social Science, IMT Lucca in Italy

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Anatomy 101: Strengthen Your Big Toes to Build Stability

Anatomy 101: Strengthen Your Big Toes to Build Stability


Sometimes the smallest adjustment makes all the 
difference in how comfortable and stable you feel 
in a yoga pose. Consider your big toes, for example. 
You may think they function unconsciously, especially during tasks such as balancing on one foot. But paying more attention to, and adjusting, your big toes during asana practice can revolutionize your alignment and balance, instilling a calming sense 
of groundedness. For instance, the next time 
you are in Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), notice where the weight in your feet is. Many of us practice with our hips 
back and our weight in our heels. 
This prevents you from stacking 
your bones in a way that allows you to stabilize, and could strain your hamstring attachments at the pelvis. But a simple, mindful big-toe adjustment can create stability in the bones, ligaments, and muscles of the feet, enhancing the mind-body connection and creating a secure foundation for safe and comfortably aligned poses.

So how does the anatomy work? Muscles in your big 
toes support the ligaments 
and bones that make up 
your arches. Healthy arches 
(as opposed to fallen ones) 
act like shock absorbers, transmitting kinetic forces, or the forces of motion, up through the ankles to the knees and up the kinetic chain of the body, potentially causing issues with alignment, joint health, and muscle strength. For example, weak big-toe flexors, the muscles that bend the toe, may change the strength and effectiveness of your largest glute muscle, gluteus maximus. And the glute max is critical in supporting most poses. For the big-toe muscles to do their job well, protecting your body from impact and instability, they need to be dynamically stable, meaning they should respond to shifts in movement, weight, and balance.

The good news is that you can train your big toes. In a pose like Standing Forward Bend, evenly press the fleshy part of the big toes into the mat. Do not grip 
the toes; instead, imagine you are gently pressing a button with them. This button-pressing action can strengthen the big-toe flexors to awaken the kinetic chain of 
muscles on the back of the leg and bring the hips into alignment above the ankles. After you strengthen your big-toe flexors, you’ll want to stretch them using poses like Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose) and Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-
Facing Dog Pose). Both stretching and strengthening exercises are needed to maintain dynamic stability in the toes.

Getting more familiar with the anatomical structures in the soles of the feet, also called the plantar surface, will help refine your awareness of how to engage the big toes. Your big toe is comprised of two joints: The metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint connects the long bone (metatarsal) of the front of the foot with the first bone in the big toe (phalanx). It forms the mound at the base of the sole of the big toe. The interphalangeal (IP) joint is the big-toe knuckle. Capsules (ligamentous sacs that enclose joints) and ligaments cover and cross both joints, providing static stability.

Finally, let’s look at how these joints move. Flexing your big toe is governed by two muscles: the flexor hallucis longus (FHL) and the flexor hallucis brevis (FHB). They are assisted by the abductor and adductor hallucis muscles. The FHL originates in the deepest part of the back of the lower leg, under the calf, and connects via tendon around the bottom of the foot to the base of the IP joint. The FHB flexes the MTP joint. All of these muscles support your arches. Lightly pressing down with the big toe maintains stability in the MTP joint and activates the kinetic chain of muscles from the soles of the feet to the hamstrings and glutes. While you can’t change the ligaments, capsules, and bones consciously, you can work on moving the muscles to build strength and stability in standing balance poses.

See also Anatomy 101: Understand Your Quadratus Lumborums (QLs)

4 Poses to Tap Your Toes’ Power

Try the yoga postures below for building strength and mobility in the muscles supporting the big toes, 
then observe the shifts in your perception of feeling rooted and balanced.

  • Standing Forward Bend, variation

    Standing Forward Bend, variation


    From Tadasana (Mountain Pose), inhale to lengthen your spine, then exhale to hinge from the hips to fold. When the pelvis drifts back in this pose in yoga class, the teacher often will come by and gently push it forward to align the legs perpendicular to the floor. When the teacher walks away, the pelvis tends to drift back again. Correct this yourself by gently pressing the fleshy part of the big toes into the mat, which can help bring your femurs into a more upright position over your ankles. Then press the outside edges of your feet into the mat to activate your arches. You should feel grounded. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths before returning to Mountain Pose.

    See also Anatomy 101: Understand Your Pectoralis Minor

  • Chair Pose, or Fierce Pose

    Chair Pose, or Fierce Pose


    With your big toes together and heels slightly apart, inhale to extend your arms along your ears and bend your knees, lowering your glutes into Chair Pose. Press the fleshy part of the big toes down, then add the outer edges of the feet to balance the arches. Work your way up the body, pressing the knees together (all while holding the action in the feet), then engage the buttocks. Note how this connects the big toes to the core, through the kinetic chain of muscles and fascia, or connective tissue, from the soles of your feet through the back of the legs. Hold for 5 breaths.

    See also Anatomy 101: Understand + Prevent Hamstring Injury

  • Extended Hand-to- Big-Toe Pose

    Extended Hand-to- Big-Toe Pose

    Utthita Hasta

    Stand in Mountain Pose. 
Balancing on your left foot, 
elevate your right knee. Wrap your 
right index and middle fingers around the 
right big toe and actively flex your toe against 
your fingers as you slowly work to straighten 
your leg. Bring your awareness to the connection of your right big-toe flexor’s origin on the back of the lower right leg. This pose actively strengthens and stretches your big-toe muscles. Hold for at 
least 5 breaths before switching sides.

    See also Anatomy 101: Understanding Your Sacroiliac Joint

  • Four-Limbed Staff Pose

    Four-Limbed Staff Pose

    Chaturanga Dandasana

    This is a counterpose to stretch the toe flexors, especially the FHB. Come to Plank Pose and slowly lower down, making sure your elbows are over your wrists, your upper arms are parallel to the floor, and that your shoulders don’t dip lower than your elbows. Reach back through the heels and make sure you are stacking them over your toes, and that your toes are curled under. Then press your big toes down to rock forward, loading the stretch. Go slowly, and if you experience pain in the MTP joint, back off a bit. Hold for 5 breaths before releasing.

    See also Anatomy 101: 8 Poses to Strengthen Your Wrists + Prevent Injury

  • About Our Pros

    About Our Pros

    Teacher Ray Long, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon in Detroit and the founder of Bandha Yoga, a website and book series dedicated to the anatomy of yoga. He trained extensively with B.K.S. 

    Model Nicole Wienholt is a 
Boulder, Colorado–based yoga teacher and the co-founder of Yoga Pod, a national chain of studios.

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5 Steps to an Alkaline Body For More Energy, Weight Loss and Slower Aging !!!

5 Steps to an Alkaline Body For More Energy, Weight Loss and Slower Aging !!!

If you want to dramatically improve your energy, get the body you’ve always wanted, say goodbye to inflammation and bring the ageing process to a halt, then following the alkaline diet is the easiest way to get you there. The alkaline approach to health is all about eating and drinking those things that will have an alkaline-forming, rather than acid-forming effect on the body.

It’s often misunderstood that the alkaline approach is trying to change your pH, but it’s all about supporting your body and giving it the tools it needs to maintain it’s ideal pH of 7.365. When we constantly eat and drink foods that have an acidic effect on our bodies, we force our body into neutralizing those excess acids.

 5 Steps to an Alkaline Body For More Energy, Weight Loss and Slower Aging !!!

Moreover, the repeated neutralization of excess acids results in inflammation, an over-active immune system, chronic fatigue, Candida overgrowth, weight gain, poor digestion, etc. But, by providing your body with alkalinity you actually give it the nutrients it needs to thrive, so you will feel great.

Take a look at the 5 steps that will help you make your pH levels more alkaline:

1. Lower stress

When we are stressed, the stress affects our body in the same way our diet does. Namely, chronic stress and constant production of cortisol can have a negative effect on the body. The hormone cortisol has an enormous role as it prepares the body for fight or fight situations. Nonetheless, by doing so, it creates problems in the digestive and immune system, and disrupts many other bodily functions as well.

A good way to decrease stress is to do yoga because this technique betters the serotonin levels- it makes you happier. According to science, regular yoga improves the overall mood and decreases depression.

2. Decrease the intake of acids

It is recommended to start the transition gradually by eliminating the habitual strong acids as soon as possible. Soda, sugar, processed meats, and gluten-containing grains are the worst offenders, so cutting them back gradually will eventually help your body maintain proper pH balance. Again, instead of doing it all up at once which is a surefire way to give up, do the transition gradually.

3. Go green

In fact, the most alkaline foods are those containing the richest amounts of minerals, vitamins, as well as other important nutrients. In addition, the foods at the top of that list are all leafy greens. Preventing Chronic Disease journal published a 2014 research that showed a list of the 41 most powerhouse fruits and veggies, and the top 16 were all leafy greens.

Consider adding kale, spinach, chard, lettuce, and arugula to your daily diet in salads, juices, soups, and smoothies.

 5 Steps to an Alkaline Body For More Energy, Weight Loss and Slower Aging !!!

4. Hydrate

In my experience, the vast majority of people who are struggling with fatigue or who have ongoing health struggles are chronically dehydrated. Getting enough water each day is one of those ‘to-dos’ that we often forget, because it just seems so obvious. But so few of us get enough. The general, mainstream recommendation is 8-glasses-a-day, and even though this is actually nowhere near enough, most people don’t even reach this daily milestone! The trick is to make it easy to remember, and to set goals. Use alarms on your phone, leave reminder notes and set habits such as always having a glass of water when you get to your desk at work, having a glass when after you clean your teeth and so on.

5. Get oiled

Getting enough omega oils, particularly omega 3 is critically crucial to so many physical functions and procedures. Omega 3 is known as an ‘vital’ nutrient because the body can not manufacture it alone, it relies upon you to consume it! And nobody is to blame; it’s really quite difficult to get enough through diet alone!

The easiest way to include this is through supplementation, but I also recommend making your very own salad dressings using flax oil, chia seed oil or walnut oil with lemon, herbs and so on. Be creative– it’s hard to fail. Think about it, if you had one salad daily with your own omega-3-rich dressing, you ‘d be hitting 2 of these 5 actions every day!


自然建築資訊-161230-西螺藝術兵營 廖枝德式養灰第四梯報告











石灰60: 麻絨1
















5.中午12:00 吃飯前



















2010老篩指導下的第一梯灰 (最後的一盆)
分三組 重點講解
今天的配比 60:1
其實很多雜質 需要一組人馬來挑揀
左圖是挑出來的雜質(油墨及塊狀物)       右圖是挑乾淨後的麻絨
各組各自努力 聆聽咚咚聲來判別灰泥狀況
點心上桌養灰告一段落, 準備開始分享囉!!!


東西堪洗直需洗 莫待乾後(石灰)空怨嘆



屬於您的 2016


Greenpeace 綠色和平
2016 年度回顧,感謝有你!



  • 我們成功守護海洋,推動遠洋漁業三法通過立法
  • 我們成功阻止塑膠危害,推動臺灣政府在2018年禁用有害柔珠
  • 我們成功守護亞馬遜雨林,和Munduruku原住民族一起奮戰
  • 更多人一起思考如何過生活,反思購物習慣、實踐源頭減塑,珍惜能源與地球資源


  • 環境的守護力量將會繼續集結,與所有氣候或生態危機第一線的居民同在
  • 綠色和平所有資源都來自像您一樣的個人,絕對不接受來自政府或企業的贊助,所以能堅定做正確的事!
  • 最終,您與公眾力量才是環境工作的最強後盾


觀看 2016 年度回顧


許多的改變,都從您我行動開始。這一年,您克服了無數挑戰。這些照片,是所有行動成員、志工與公眾一同努力的奮鬥痕跡,描繪一整年來的努力,為了讓海洋恢復健康、為了無毒未來,更為了所有生物都能安穩棲居的地球生態。>> 地球有您真好


這一年,您阻止了地震勘探爆破傷害北極生態,推動歷史性的《巴黎協議》正式生效。因為有您連署聲援、在社交媒體傳遞訊息、慷慨捐助或現身,我們一同阻止過度捕撈,減少塑膠與PFCs的污染,堅定支持再生能源點亮的未來。>> 更多成就

Copyright ©2016 綠色和平 | 10045臺北市中正區重慶南路一段109號


【永續海鱻食堂】聰明海鮮買家 只要學會這九招

【永續海鱻食堂】聰明海鮮買家 只要學會這九招

 建立於 2016/12/30



保證會考!背起來!  3選3減3不

  1. 選擇非繁殖巔峰期間的海鮮,少食用以精卵為主打的野生海鮮。
  2. 選擇捕撈對環境較友善的漁法,或資源符合永續管理的海鮮。
  3. 選擇成長快、換肉率高、對環境負擔小、對動物性蛋白質需求低的養殖品種。
  4. 減少食用野生捕撈的幼魚與老成魚,應選擇成魚食用。
  5. 減少食用由台灣野生海鮮加工而成的長效保存食品。
  6. 減少食用大型種,以小型種為首選、中型種其次,少食用長壽與資源恢復速度慢的種類。
  7. 不購買有動保爭議或資源瀕危的品種。
  8. 不購買台灣有相似產品,價錢卻更便宜的進口海鮮。
  9. 不購買魚身有斑點或蠕型花紋,且同時可清楚辨識出黃、綠、藍、白兩種以上顏色組合的小型魚。


野生捕撈的海鮮會隨著季節而有不同的肉質風味變化,以日本產的正Katsuwonus pelamis)為例子:春天隨黑潮北上的正鰹叫作「初鰹」,嚐的是一個清新爽口的芬芳,日本江戶時期還有「即使賣掉老婆也要吃到初鰹」來形容初鰹的風味。而秋天南下被捕撈的則稱作「返鰹」,吃的是豐潤的魚脂香氣,其肥美的程度還被老饕喚作「TORO鰹」!

在台灣也是有著相似的情況,冬天的土魠(康氏馬加鰆,Scomberomorus commerson)脂香肉嫩令人沉醉,但到了3、4月之後捕抓到的土魠便逐漸乾柴消瘦,夏天的土魠更是乏善可陳。可見海鮮是有著季節的風味差異,挑對季節才能享用到牠最美味的一刻!



























繼鯨鯊之後,在眾人的努力下也讓曲紋唇魚(Cheilinus undulatus)與隆頭鸚哥魚(Bolbometopon muricatum)列入保育類禁止捕撈與食用,漁業署也在105年7月開始對沿近海捕撈的兩種鬼蝠魟(雙吻前口蝠鱝、阿氏前口蝠鱝)進行漁獲通報措施。






動物身體的色彩與花紋都有其意義所在,一般可分為以下三類:偽裝成其他生物或不能吃的「擬態」、幫助自己隱蔽在棲息環境的「保護色」、告訴別人有毒不能吃我的「警戒色」;有些物種會「擬態」成海藻或河魨、水表的洄游魚多半呈現藍背銀皮的「保護色」、具有黑鱸毒的特氏紫鱸(Aulacocephalus temminckii)是黃帶紫色身的「警戒色」。

在色彩繽紛的淺水珊瑚礁海域,這裡的魚兒們自然身上是五顏六色,其中又以黃、綠、藍、白這幾種色彩的組合最常見,且帶有斑點或蠕型花紋。以隆頭魚科(Labridae)、蓋刺魚科(Pomacanthidae)、蝴蝶魚科(Chaetodontidae)、鸚哥魚科(Scaridae)、刺尾鯛科(Acanthuridae)為其代表性魚種。選擇食用珊瑚礁魚前請三思其必要性,珊瑚礁魚潛藏著珊瑚礁魚毒(雪卡毒,Ciguateric toxins,即使高溫烹煮、冷凍、乾燥或人體胃酸,毒素均不會被破壞)的致命危機,我國每年都有案例發生!比起一次性消費的餐盤或水族箱,保護沿海棲地並發展生態潛水觀光與牠們共游在大海中,才是經濟與自然共存的最佳發展選擇。


※ 本文與 行政院農業委員會 林務局  合作刊登


Growing mega-cities will displace vast tracts of farmland by 2030, study says

Growing mega-cities will displace vast tracts of farmland by 2030, study says

Cropland losses will have consequences especially for Asia and Africa, which will experience growing food insecurity as cities expand

Urban expansion New Delhi
New Delhi, India. Between 1991 and 2016 the population of India’s capital and its suburbs ballooned from 9.4 million to 25 million. The United Nations Report on World Urbanisation projects that Delhi will have 37 million residents by 2030. Photograph: OLI/Landsat 8/USGS/NASA

Our future crops will face threats not only from climate change, but also from the massive expansion of cities, a new study warns. By 2030, it’s estimated that urban areas will triple in size, expanding into cropland and undermining the productivity of agricultural systems that are already stressed by rising populations and climate change.

Roughly 60% of the world’s cropland lies on the outskirts of cities—and that’s particularly worrying, the report authors say, because this peripheral habitat is, on average, also twice as productive as land elsewhere on the globe.

“We would expect peri-urban land to be more fertile than average land, as mankind tends to settle where crops can be produced,” says Felix Creutzig from the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin, and principal author on the paper. “However, we were ignorant about the magnitude of this effect.” The agricultural losses they calculated in the study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, translates to a 3 to 4% dip in global agricultural production.

This may not appear to be a huge figure at first glance, but on the regional scale the picture changes. Across countries and different crops, the effects of this loss vary and become more intense. In Africa and Asia especially—which together bear 80% of the projected loss due to rising urbanisation in these regions—urban expansion will consign farmers to an even tougher agricultural reality.

To arrive at the estimates, the researchers combined datasets on cropland location, productivity, and projected urban expansion by 2030. By superimposing these layers of information on one other, they could highlight the locations where cropland and urban spread are expected to intersect in the future. These projections reveal hotspots of loss in countries like Egypt, Nigeria, the countries that flank Lake Victoria in East Africa, and in Eastern China. (China alone is expected to experience one-quarter of the global cropland loss.)

A major worry surrounding the disappearance of this productive land is the impact it will have on staple crops such as maize, rice, soya beans, and wheat, which are cornerstones of global food security. Many of these crops occur in areas that will be consumed by urban spread in years to come. “Due to urbanisation in Nigeria, 17% of rice production and 12% of maize production will be hampered,” Creutzig says. “Egypt will lose more than 40% of its rice, and more than 60% of its maize.” In Africa, there will a 26% continental loss of wheat. Rice is forecast to suffer the most, with a 9% global decline, occurring predominantly in Asia where the bulk of this crop grows.

High speed railway china farmland agriculture urbanisation
A high-speed train runs across farmland in Binyang County of Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Photograph: Xinhua / Barcroft Images

Creutzig notes that some of this loss can be compensated for by agricultural expansion and intensification. But again, this isn’t possible everywhere on the planet: many regions are already limited by their inability to adapt to urban encroachment.


For instance, in South Asia farmland can’t simply spread elsewhere, because fertile land is already running out. In India, agricultural expansion would force crops into habitats like wetlands that act as important buffers against flooding and sea-level rise. And in North Africa, worsening conditions driven by climate change will make the land that is available less suitable for farming. “Urbanisation pressure adds to other stresses on the food system, notably climate change,” Creutzig says.

This will undermine food security, with countries worst affected by urban expansion experiencing rising dependence on imports. That will leave them vulnerable to global fluctuations in food supply, and could also price crops out of reach of poorer populations.

Creutzig sees other subtler food security impacts at play as well—like the ousting of millions of smallscale farmers, as cities expand. These farmers produce the majority of food in developing countries—and so are instrumental to global food security. “As peri-urban land is converted, smallholders will lose their land,” he says. “The emerging mega-cities will rely increasingly on industrial-scale agricultural and supermarket chains, crowding out local food chains.”

“In cases where farmers have no formal land rights, such as in Africa, governments may expel farmers from their land,” commented Anton Van Rompaey, a geographer from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, who was not part of the study but has has done research on urban spread and its agricultural impacts in China. “In the past this has led to social instability and deadly conflicts between farmers and government.”

Facing this disturbing future food map, Creutzig predicts that growing food within the city’s margins—urban farming—could be part of the solution. “Urban agriculture is of course utterly insufficient to feed the urban population, but it is very important to maintain local supply chains and provide livelihoods and subsistence for urban farmers,” he says. However, regulations on expansion, to keep urbanisation as compact as possible, will be the bigger prerogative of cities, Creutzig says.

After the COP22 climate conference in November this year, there was a call to shift power from the national level to cities, which will be key players in curbing emissions and fighting global climate change. With croplands on the periphery of these urban hubs in peril, ensuring food security is set to become an important part of that mandate, too.


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【◎心靈研磨坊 - 曼陀羅藏◎】

《心靈研磨坊 ─ 身心體能極限的突破,放慢步調,邁開腳步,輕鬆地悠遊著....》

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