Blue Light and How it Affects you

Exposure to blue light at night, emitted by electronics and energy-efficient lightbulbs, harmful to your health.

Until the advent of artificial lighting, the sun was the major source of lighting, and people spent their evenings in (relative) darkness. Now, in much of the world, evenings are illuminated, and we take our easy access to all those lumens pretty much for granted.

But we may be paying a price for basking in all that light. At night, light throws the body’s biological clock—the circadian rhythm—out of whack. Sleep suffers. Worse, research shows that it may contribute to the causation of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

But not all colors of light have the same effect. Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night. And the proliferation of electronics with screens, as well as energy-efficient lighting, is increasing our exposure to blue wavelengths, especially after sundown.

Daily rhythms influenced by light

Everyone has slightly different circadian rhythms, but the average length is 24 and one-quarter hours. The circadian rhythm of people who stay up late is slightly longer, while the rhythms of earlier birds fall short of 24 hours. Dr. Charles Czeisler of Harvard Medical School showed, in 1981, that daylight keeps a person’s internal clock aligned with the environment.

The health risks of nighttime light

Study after study has linked working the night shift and exposure to light at night to several types of cancer (breast, prostate), diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It’s not exactly clear why nighttime light exposure seems to be so bad for us. But we do know that exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms, and there’s some experimental evidence (it’s very preliminary) that lower melatonin levels might explain the association with cancer.

A Harvard study shed a little bit of light on the possible connection to diabetes and possibly obesity. The researchers put 10 people on a schedule that gradually shifted the timing of their circadian rhythms. Their blood sugar levels increased, throwing them into a prediabetic state, and levels of leptin, a hormone that leaves people feeling full after a meal, went down.

Even dim light can interfere with a person’s circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion. A mere eight lux—a level of brightness exceeded by most table lamps and about twice that of a night light—has an effect, notes Stephen Lockley, a Harvard sleep researcher. Light at night is part of the reason so many people don’t get enough sleep, says Lockley, and researchers have linked short sleep to increased risk for depression, as well as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

The power of the blues

While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light at night does so more powerfully. Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).

In another study of blue light, researchers at the University of Toronto compared the melatonin levels of people exposed to bright indoor light who were wearing blue-light–blocking goggles to people exposed to regular dim light without wearing goggles. The fact that the levels of the hormone were about the same in the two groups strengthens the hypothesis that blue light is a potent suppressor of melatonin. It also suggests that shift workers and night owls could perhaps protect themselves if they wore eyewear that blocks blue light. Inexpensive sunglasses with orange-tinted lenses block blue light, but they also block other colors, so they’re not suitable for use indoors at night. Glasses that block out only blue light can cost up to $80.

Less-blue light

If blue light does have adverse health effects, then environmental concerns, and the quest for energy-efficient lighting, could be at odds with personal health. Those curlicue compact fluorescent lightbulbs and LED lights are much more energy-efficient than the old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs we grew up with. But they also tend to produce more blue light.

The physics of fluorescent lights can’t be changed, but coatings inside the bulbs can be so they produce a warmer, less blue light. LED lights are more efficient than fluorescent lights, but they also produce a fair amount of light in the blue spectrum. Richard Hansler, a light researcher at John Carroll University in Cleveland, notes that ordinary incandescent lights also produce some blue light, although less than most fluorescent lightbulbs.

What you can do

  • Use dim red lights for night lights. Red light has the least power to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin.
  • Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed.
  • If you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, consider wearing blue-blocking glasses or installing an app that filters the blue/green wavelength at night.
  • Expose yourself to lots of bright light during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight.

Source – Harvard.edu

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Crystal Select – Apatite

Blue to blue-green apatite is generally considered the primary color apatite as regards metaphysical properties. Golden (yellow) apatite is often thought of as a secondary type of apatite in general mystically, but is adds power in the solar plexus chakra and related energies.

Apatite is a stone that mystically can stimulate the thoughts and ideas. It is used, often in conjunction with meditation, to increase intellect, imagination, and intuitive and psychic awareness.  It is said to help you maintain focus, learn, concentrate effectively, think clearly, and communicate better.

Apatite is a powerful meditation or psychic awareness tool. It can clear the aura, enable spiritual attunement, and bring powerful psychic awareness.

Apatite is used very successfully mystically for lucid dreaming, deep meditation, astral travel, past life work, rebirthing, and inner wisdom.  It is a stone that promotes psychic communication, clairvoyance, and clairaudience.

Apatite can be used to enhance the energies of other crystals and stones.

Apatite is used by artists and others who wish to have more creativity in their lives to increase their creativity and imagination.

Having apatite near you or wearing it can bring harmony on all levels, and brings inner peace. This occurs because it is aid to help release old feelings that may be hampering you in current life, including ones from past lives.

Apatite is reputed in mystical lore to physically assist with nail problems, allergies, arthritis, bones, eyesight, glandular problems, muscles, nervous system, weight loss.  Note that healing crystal meanings are spiritual supports to healing and are not prescriptions or healthcare information.

Golden (Yellow) Apatite  also relates to the solar plexus chakra and brings those energies of manifestation, abundance, strong confidence, and will power as  well as others related to that chakra. Golden apatite is also used in crystal healing for chronic fatigue, depression liver, pancreas, Note that healing crystal meanings are spiritual supports to healing and are not prescriptions or healthcare information.

Apatite is primarily related to the throat and third eye chakras, though olden Apatite is related to the solar plexus chakra as well.

Source –  Crystals and Jewelry 

Book Selects – Making Documentary Films and Reality Videos

Making Documentary Films and Reality Videos: A Practical Guide to Planning, Filming, and Editing Documentaries of Real Events by Barry Hampe

This book definitely was a good go to when I first began recording video and ended up with a box of tapes with little idea of how to bring together a cohesive project.

Making Documentary Films and Reality Videos is the perfect text for students of filmmaking who would like to make a documentary. Barry Hampe, who has made more than 150 documentary films and videos, traces the two main approaches to documentary–recording behavior and re-creating past events―and shows students how to do both effectively. Covering all the steps, from conceptualization to completion, the book includes chapters on visual evidence; documentary ethics; why reality is not enough; budgeting; and casting, crew, and equipment selection.

Availabe on  –  Amazon & PDF (will find the link)

 

JUNGLETOWN

It’s the hardest semester in Kalu Yala’s history, with the most rain and interns, putting a strain on this fragile community. The stress causes a staff member to leave on the eve of the semester, later followed by 11 interns, with one to be expelled. – VICELAND

An interesting attempt …. it will be fascinating to watch how this plays out and what they learn. It reminds me of a Real World MTV but based around an Eco friendly mission. 

The Archaeopteryx


The Archaeopteryx is a high-end rigid wing hang-glider in sailplane configuration. It is an extremely thermally sensitive aircraft, with which long range flights can be carried out – even with weak up-currents. It has the turning radius of a paraglider and the sink-rate of a high performance sailplane. The Archaeopteryx aircraft is very versatile, simple to rig and to fly and has very safe flight characteristics. – According to Youtube

Grandmother of Kerala Tribe, 500+ Medicines from Memory

She lives in a small hut with a palm leaves roof in a tribal settlement, deep in the forest of Kallar in Thiruvananthapuram district.

Lakshmikutty, a 75-year-old tribal woman is a poet, poison healer and teacher at Kerala Folklore Academy.

With medicinal herbs and plants surrounding her small hut, hundreds trek to the forests to visit Lakshmikutty, who offers herbal treatment for poisoning. But it’s not only medicine that she has to offer but she also helps calm those affected with her gentle words, which can last for hours.

All her knowledge on herbal treatment, she says, was passed on from her mother, who worked as a midwife. And with neither Lakshmikutty nor her mother making a written record of the medicinal plants and their uses, the Kerala Forest Department has decided to compile a book based on her expertise.

“I can prepare about 500 medicinal treatments from memory. Till now I have not forgotten them. But people come here for poison treatment mainly snake or insect bites,” she says.

Her dream, she says, is to convert her hut into a small hospital, where patients requiring long-term treatment can continue to stay.

Many fondly refer to her as ‘Vanamuthassi’ (Grandmother of the jungle in Malayalam) but she is more than just that. Lakshmikutty also gives lectures on natural medicine at various institutions across the southern states.

“I have visited many places outside the forest. Met many people, but I belong here. My heredity exists here,” she notes.

It was in 1995 that Lakshmikutti got noticed by those outside her forest when she received the ‘Naattu Vaidya Rathna’ award (award for naturopathy) from the Kerala government.

“Till then people used to come here after hearing me from those I have already cured. Before 1995 people visited me from far off places but the number increased after I won the award,” she recalls. She has won numerous awards since then, with the latest coming from the Indian Biodiversity Congress in 2016.

Her persistence made her the only tribal girl from her area to attend school in the 1950s. “I still wonder how I went to school. I was persistent that I go to school and my father finally had to agree,” she laughs.  Together with two other boys from her settlement, Lakshmikutty walked 10 kilometres every day to get to school. She, however, studied only until class 8 as her school did not have higher education.

One of the boys she walked to school with, was her cousin Mathan Kaani, who she developed a deep friendship with, that eventually progressed to marriage. “He was with me in all my decisions and achievements. He used to tell me that I can achieve my goals even without him because I was a strong woman. He was the perfect partner from the day I got married at the age of 16 until he died last year,” she recounts.

Not wanting their children to face the same challenges they had undergone as tribals living in the forest, Lakshmikutty and her husband provided their children with a good education.

“I was adamant that my children should study. Nobody in our settlement gets an education, I consider it valuable,” she says.

But tragedy struck Lakshmikutty’s family.

“The most painful incident I have gone through is my elder son’s death. He was killed by a wild elephant,” she recalls. Her younger son also died in an accident. Another son is working as chief ticket examiner for the railways.

But beyond the world of natural medicine, Lakshmikutty is also known for her satirical poems and writings. She has written numerous articles ranging from tribal culture to the forests, which have been published by DC Books.

Her poems, she observes, can be recited on a rhythm. “These are simple words anybody can recite, it’s not in tribal language as you expect,” she smiles.

And despite all that she’s achieved, the 75-year-old woman insists, “The outer world has given me a lot, awards, honour, published books and so on. But I want to stay here. To live in the forest, you need courage.”

Source – TheNewsMinute

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