DEAD RINGER l Bridging the gap between inspiration and recognition.

@jemireese + @eyefocus
Group Exhibition
12 painters + 12 photographers
Saturday 06.03.17 l 7-11pm
100 Broad St SW, Atlanta
Wonder what they’ll produce together? We’ll see, can’t wait.



Clean energy in Costa Rica

For more than 250 days of 2016, Costa Rica ran entirely on renewables.

It was the second year running that the Central American country of 4.9 million people powered itself on 100% renewable electricity for more than two thirds of the year.

Over the course of 2016, renewables supplied 98.1% of Costa Rica’s electricity, slightly down from the 98.8% achieved in 2015.

On days when Costa Rica did not generate all its electricity from renewable sources, the extra capacity came from diesel-fuelled thermal power plants, a spokesman for the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) told Mashable.

Image: ICE

As the graphic above shows, hydropower is Costa Rica’s dominant energy source, accounting for almost three quarters of electricity generation in 2016. It is followed by geothermal energy, which provided 12.74% in 2016, then wind power at 10.3%, diesel-fuelled thermal power plants at 1.88%, biomass at 0.72%, and solar power at just 0.01%.

Renewables without hydropower

Hydropower is currently the largest single renewable electricity source, providing 16% of the world’s electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. It’s also a relatively cheap form of energy, but there are concerns about its environmental impact – the dams required to create hydropower plants can alter ecosystems, harm fish stocks and impact the lives of local people.

Like nuclear, hydropower provides a stable base load that renewable electricity sources like wind power and solar photovoltaic are unable to match, due to their intermittency.

Indeed, countries that produce close to 100% of renewable electricity tend to share two features in common – relatively small populations, and large hydropower generating capacity relative to energy demand.

According to data from the World Bank, both Albania and Paraguay generated 100% of their electricity from hydropower in 2013.

Iceland, meanwhile, generated 100% of its electricity from renewable sources: 71% from hydropower and the bulk of the remainder from its extensive geothermal resources.

The total amount of electricity generated by Albania, Paraguay and Iceland combined in 2013 was 85.5 terawatt hours (with 60.4 terawatt hours generated by Paraguay). To put this in context, the world’s largest electricity producer, China, generated 5,422 terawatt hours over the same period – two thirds of which came from coal-fired power plants.

When hydropower is taken out of the renewable electricity mix, the proportions fall considerably from 100%:

This chart shows electricity production from renewable sources, excluding hydroelectric (% of total)

Image: World Bank

Wind power pioneer Denmark leads the way, while Iceland still performs strongly thanks to its geothermal resources.

However, these figures are from 2014, and as a result Costa Rica’s rapid growth in wind power installations are not included. The country’s investment in wind farms in recent years means it is on schedule to more than double its wind generating capacity from 194 MW in early 2015 to 393 MW in 2017.

The 10.3% of its electricity generated by wind power in 2016 meant that 23.8% of Costa Rica’s electricity in 2016 came from renewables excluding hydro – beating more than half of the top 10 countries ranked by the World Bank in 2014.

Sustainable development

In the World Economic Forum’s Global Energy Architecture Performance Index (EAPI), Costa Rica is ranked 14th out of 127 nations.

Image: EAPI

The EAPI looks at 18 indicators covering three key areas: economic growth and development, environmental sustainability and energy access and security. Costa Rica ranks 11th for economic growth and development, 18th for environmental sustainability, and 62nd on energy access and security.

Source – WeForum

Benefits of a Hyperbaric Chamber

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment which enhances the body’s natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber, where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled.  It is used for a wide variety of treatments usually as a part of an overall medical care plan.

Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. With HBOT, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body’s fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph, and the bone and can be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked.  In this way, extra oxygen can reach all of the damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process.  The increased oxygen greatly enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into the affected areas.  It is a simple, non-invasive and painless treatment.

What are the benefits of HBOT?

It has long been known that healing many areas of the body cannot take place without appropriate oxygen levels in the tissue.  Most illnesses and injuries occur, and often linger, at the cellular or tissue level.  In many cases, such as: circulatory problems; non-healing wounds; and strokes, adequate oxygen cannot reach the damaged area and the body’s natural healing ability is unable to function properly.  Hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides this extra oxygen naturally and with minimal side effects.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves the quality of life of the patient in many areas when standard medicine is not working.  Many conditions such as stroke, cerebral palsy, head injuries, and chronic fatigue have responded favorably to HBOT.

 What conditions does HBOT treat?

Hyperbaric oxygen is used to treat all conditions which benefit from increased tissue oxygen availability, as well as infections where it can be used for its antibiotic properties, either as the primary therapy, or in conjunction with other drugs.

Insurance and Medicare consider  the following conditions for HBOT to be covered for payment:

Air or Gas Embolism
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Compartment Syndrome/Crush Injury/Other Traumatic Ischemias
Decompression Sickness (Bends)
Diabetic and Selected Wounds
Exceptional Blood Loss (Anemia)
Gas Gangrene
Intracranial Abscess
Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infection
Osteoradionecrosis and Radiation Tissue Damage
Osteomyelitis (Refractory)
Skin Grafts and (Compromised) Flaps
Thermal Burns

Source – Hbot

How Magnets Work

A magnet is any object that has a magnetic field. It attracts ferrous objects like pieces of iron, steel, nickel and cobalt. In the early days, the Greeks observed that the naturally occurring ‘lodestone’ attracted iron pieces. From that day onwards began the journey into the discovery of magnets.

These days magnets are made artificially in various shapes and sizes depending on their use. One of the most common magnets – the bar magnet – is a long, rectangular bar of uniform cross-section that attracts pieces of ferrous objects. The magnetic compass needle is also commonly used. The compass needle is a tiny magnet which is free to move horizontally on a pivot. One end of the compass needle points in the North direction and the other end points in the South direction.

The end of a freely pivoted magnet will always point in the North-South direction. The end that points in the North is called the North Pole of the magnet and the end that points South is called the South Pole of the magnet. It has been proven by experiments that like magnetic poles repel each other whereas unlike poles attract each other.

Magnetic Fields

What is a magnetic field? The space surrounding a magnet, in which magnetic force is exerted, is called a magnetic field. If a bar magnet is placed in such a field, it will experience magnetic forces. However, the field will continue to exist even if the magnet is removed. The direction of magnetic field at a point is the direction of the resultant force acting on a hypothetical North Pole placed at that point.

Magnetic fields are produced by the motion of electrical charges around an electrified wire.

How is a magnetic field created?

When current flows in a wire, a magnetic field is created around the wire. From this it has been inferred that magnetic fields are produced by the motion of electrical charges. A magnetic field of a bar magnet thus results from the motion of negatively charged electrons in the magnet.

Magnetic Lines Of Force

Just as an electric field is described by drawing the electric lines of force, in the same way, a magnetic field is described by drawing the magnetic lines of force. When a small north magnetic pole is placed in the magnetic field created by a magnet, it will experience a force. And if the North Pole is free, it will move under the influence of magnetic field. The path traced by a North magnetic pole free to move under the influence of a magnetic field is called a magnetic line of force. In other words, the magnetic lines of force are the lines drawn in a magnetic field along which a north magnetic pole would move.

The direction of a magnetic line of force at any point gives the direction of the magnetic force on a north pole placed at that point. Since the direction of magnetic line of force is the direction of force on a North Pole, so the magnetic lines of force always begin on the N-pole of a magnet and end on the S-pole of the magnet. A small magnetic compass when moved along a line of force always sets itself along the line tangential to it. So, a line drawn from the South Pole of the compass to its North Pole indicates the direction of the magnetic field.

Properties of the magnetic lines of force

  • The magnetic lines of force originate from the North Pole of a magnet and end at its South Pole.
  • The magnetic lines of force come closer to one another near the poles of a magnet but they are widely separated at other places.
  • The magnetic lines of force do not intersect (or cross) one another.
  • When a magnetic compass is placed at different points on a magnetic line of force, it aligns itself along the tangent to the line of force at that point.

These are just some of the basic concepts of magnetism. One cannot possibly grasp the depth and appreciate the versatility of magnets without reading more about the uses of magnets, the Earth as a huge magnet and electromagnetism among other things.

Almond Milk or ???

The Dr’s Perspective 

Plant-based milks are made by grinding a bean or nut, then adding water, flavors, vitamins and minerals. The nutrients and amount of sugar in plant-based milk varies considerably based on how it was produced and what has been added. Cow’s milk contains protein, calcium, riboflavin and potassium. The nutrients are consistent in all products, but the amount of fat varies from no fat, low-fat and full-fat.  Calcium-fortified soy milk is the closest to cow’s milk, but it is lower in other nutrients than cow’s milk. Some plant-based milks are very low in protein, which can be a matter of concern for children and elderly. Plant-based milks are becoming more popular because some people prefer the taste and the variety of flavors. It is also preferred by people who are allergic or intolerant to milk. The experts urge milk drinkers to read the labels and make the choice based on nutrition, price and preferences.

From the experts

Read the in-depth interview to discover more about plant-based milk, nutrients and trends in the dairy aisle.

Why have sales of cow’s milk been declining?

Dr. Macrina: There are several reasons. Back in the day when most people were home for dinner in the evening, it was part of our routine for kids, and even adults, to drink milk. People today are on the go and often aren’t home for dinner. And, for a long time, milk wasn’t as portable as other beverages. Portable milk packaging has come a long way but I don’t think many people are fully aware of it.

Dr. Weaver: Also, some people avoid cow’s milk because of expected lactose intolerance or protein allergies, or dislike of the taste without making the effort to find products or strategies to incorporate them into their diet.

Dr. Savaiano: Over the last 30 years or so soft drink consumption has increased significantly and for some people, soft drinks have replaced milk as the drink of choice. This is concerning. If you look at the nutrient intake profile of Americans over the last 30 years, we are far away from recommendations. We don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables. We probably do get enough calcium. We’re on the edge of getting the right amount of riboflavin. The sodium/potassium ratios of what we eat are not great – less sodium and less potassium would be good.

Low-fat dairy can be a key component in an ideal diet. Soft drinks tend to contribute calories instead of nutrients and most Americans get more than enough calories.

Dr. Macrina: Some people think milk costs too much. If you can buy a two-liter bottle of soda for a $1.50, some will choose it over milk. People sometimes don’t think about the nutritional issue when they’re making purchasing decisions. If you ask a kid if they want milk or soda, which one do you think they’re going to choose? Also, kids used to drink a lot of milk at school, but schools have switched to very low-fat or no-fat milk which simply doesn’t taste that good to kids.

Market research shows plant-based milk substitutes are gaining popularity. Why?

Dr. Savaiano: It’s a very small part of the market, but yes, sales of plant-based beverages are increasing. It reflects that some people feel vegetable-based products are healthier. Some consumers also question modern milk production practices which also has had a negative impact on milk consumption. Depending on their composition, some of these plant-based drinks fall into the category of sweetened beverages. Some do, some don’t. It just depends on how much sugar is added.

Dr. Macrina: It’s interesting to note that while fluid milk consumption has decreased, overall dairy consumption has increased. People today are eating a lot of cheese and yogurt. But, some people perceive plant products as healthier than those from animals. Whether or not they actually are, some people believe they are allergic or intolerant to milk. A lot of the plant-based milks are flavored while there aren’t a lot of flavored cow’s milk products, other than chocolate, in many retail outlets. The plant-based products also tend to be sweeter, which is attractive to some.

How are plant-based milks made?

Dr. Macrina: Generally speaking, they grind a bean or nut then add water. The amount of water determines the consistency. Flavors, vitamins, minerals, etc. are added.

Dr. Savaiano: I’m not a food technologist, but if you look at the label you can see the ingredients. They contain components extracted from almonds, rice, soy, etc. The taste depends on what they’re flavored with and how they’re formulated.

Dr. Weaver: Soy milk, for example, is extracted from soybeans and if calcium fortified, a calcium salt is added. Similar for other plants.

What is the nutritional profile of regular milk vs almond milk and the other plant-based alternatives?

Dr. Savaiano: This is an important question because it can vary a lot. Consumers need to look at the label. Milk has lots of positive nutrients – protein, calcium, riboflavin, potassium. Milk’s nutrient profile isn’t perfect, but it’s a very nutritious food and, of course, it comes in no-fat, low-fat and full-fat varieties. The plant-based drinks can have a positive nutrient profile, too. It depends on the manufacturer.

Dr. Weaver: None of the plant-based options match cow’s milk entirely. Calcium-fortified soy milk is the closest to cow’s milk but still lower in potassium and some other nutrients. Some plant-based beverages are very low in protein as well (like almond milk) which can be a problem for kids and the elderly.

Dr. Macrina: The most variable component of cow’s milk is fat. The rest of it is relatively consistent – the protein and mineral content is going to be about the same regardless of the fat level in the milk you buy. Plant-based milks are quite variable. Some have as much fat as cow’s milk. Some have a higher sugar content. The big difference is protein. The quality of plant protein generally is not as high as animal protein. Cow’s milk has more of the building block proteins that humans need in their diet.

What’s your advice to consumers on milk replacements?

Dr. Macrina: Plant-based milks are quite variable in what they contain while cow’s milk is pretty standard. We know where cow’s milk comes from. Plant-based milks are manufactured and can have a variety of additives. I urge consumers to read the label to determine what’s best for them.

Dr. Savaiano: Yes, consumers should read the label very carefully. Plant-based drinks certainly can be a healthy choice depending on how they’re formulated.

Dr. Weaver: The plant-based beverages all cost a good deal more than cow’s milk. So, one needs to determine how much they want to pay for the nutrients and determine which nutrients you need to get from other foods. A main nutrient expected from milk is calcium. Only soy milk has been tested for calcium bioavailability (by my lab) which was determined to be as good as from cow’s milk. But none of the other plant beverages have been tested and they should be.

Some members of Congress have asked FDA to step in and determine whether plant-based drink products should be allowed to be called “milk.” Find out in the second part of this series Debate in the Dairy Aisle: Are Plant-Based Drinks “Milk”?

Source –

How does your brain process sound?

Many small neurons located in the brain are responsible for the processing of auditory information. By passing through various auditory pathways, the signals are decoded into sounds that we are familiar with and make sense to us.
How the brain processes auditory signals

Once the hair fibres of the cochlea, the snail shell-resembling organ of the inner ear, have sent electrical signals to the auditory nerve, these impulses are transferred to the auditory centre of the brain.

In the auditory brain, several groups of neurons receive the impulses and translate them into a language that our brain understands. This translation occurs in order to cause a conscious perception of the sounds that we receive.

The Auditory Brain

Transformation and processing of sound generally occurs on three levels in the brain: As a reflex, in the auditory cortex and in other brain areas.

Thus, the arrival of the message may first of all trigger a reflex and cause us to jump or turn our head. Thereafter, the processing might also unfold in the auditory cortex, where the sound is consciously perceived.

Other brain areas can allow the perception to become conscious as well and hence recognise the sound by relating it to those that have been memorised in the past. This assessment is followed-up by an appropriate voluntary response.

Primary Auditory Pathway

The processing of decoded sound material starts within the primary auditory pathway. This pathway carries messages from the cochlea to a sensory area of the temporal lobe called the auditory cortex.

First stop on this journey is taken in the brain stem, where a decoding of basic signals such as duration, intensity and frequency takes place. Subsequently, the message passes two additional relays that play an important role in the localisation of the sound.

The next stop occurs in the thalamus, an ovoid mass of grey substance situated at the base of the cerebrum. The thalamus integrates the sensory systems in the body and hence functions as an essential factor in the preparation of a motor response e.g. vocal response.

The last neuron of the primary auditory pathway connects the thalamus with the auditory cortex. At this stage the message has already been largely decoded. However, in the auditory cortex the signal is moreover recognized, memorized and may eventually result in a response.

Non-primary Auditory Pathways

In contrast to the primary auditory pathway, non-primary auditory pathways process all sorts of sensory messages. The core function of these pathways is hence to choose the type of sensory message to be treated first. For example, when reading a newspaper while listening to the radio, this system permits the person to focus on the most vital task.

The processing of sensory data within the non-primary auditory pathways also starts in the brain stem. Hereafter, the auditory information passes through the reticular formation, a region in the brain stem consisting of more than a hundred small neural networks.

In the reticular formation, the information that should be treated as a priority is selected in accordance with the wake and motivation centers and further treated. Finally, the messages continue to the thalamus and end up in the sensory areas located in the cerebral cortex, the outer layer of our cerebrum.