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Archive for March 25th, 2014

Books, Documentaries, Reviews: A. S. Byatt’s THE GAME

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Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  March 25, 2014

A. S. Byatt’s The Game

I just finished A. S. Byatt’s The Game on audio download from the Maine library system and thought some of it delicious.  Some of it, though, was tedious.

The delicious part is that it is the story of two estranged sisters who started off life playing an imaginary “game” with each other–and here are obvious references to the Brontës.  BUT, Byatt’s sister in real life is the also-famous British writer Margaret Drabble–and they are completely estranged.  So, there is some effort going on here to think about that failed relationship.  Perhaps the “why” of it.

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I will say that this is a “literary” novel, but if you know and love Byatt’s other works, like Possession, or the more recent The Children’s Book, or Angels and Insects, you know there is always a lively interest in science, Darwin, the natural world, and philosophies involving how one might live a meaningful life–driven by adoption/rejection of parts of her family’s Quakerism at least in part.  And I can only explain what has been called “drama” by understanding that Byatt is trying to explain one sister’s actions through the notion that she has a mental disturbance that causes her to reject relationships of all sorts.

Here’s an url with a nice synopsis of The Game:

http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/byattas/thegame.htm

And a history of Byatt’s work, prizes, history, etc.

A. S. Byatt – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Written by louisaenright

March 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Turkey Tracks: The Red and Green Quilt Is Taking Shape

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Turkey Tracks:  March 25, 2014

The Red and Green Quilt Is Taking Shape

 

Looky, looky:

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I’m loving the interesting secondary patterns that are forming.

This quilt started as a “leader/ender” project–an idea pioneered by Bonnie Hunter as a method to work on two quilts at once.  Basically, when you get to a point while sewing where you might cut your thread, you feed a “leader/ender” block through the machine instead.  So, for some time I sewed together dark and light green half-square triangles cut from my 3 1/2-inch strips–until I had sooooo many of them.  Then I fed through four-patches of light and dark reds and greens from the two-inch strips. This quilt is being made entirely from my stash that I cut up this summer.

The block is a “Contrary Wife” block–and was inspired by Bonnie Hunter’s “Blue Ridge Beauty” quilt, which I made in green shades last year.  (It remains one of my very favorite quilts in the whole world.)  I think I had a lot of light/dark green half-square triangles started so just continued to make this quilt.  I’ve wanted to make a red/green quilt for some time.

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You MUST have the light square in the upper left corner when you put this block together for the light and dark rows to line up within the lattice pattern.

I’ll do some borders, of course.  Probably a dark red thin border at first–and maybe a wider bright red border next.  Who knows?  The fabrics will come out of my stash.

Interesting Information: Best Known Peer-Reviewed Medical Journal–THE LANCET–Officially Classifies Fluoride As A Neurotoxin

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Interesting Information:  March 25, 2014

Best Known Peer-Reviewed Medical–THE LANCET

Officially Classifies Fluoride As A Neurotoxin

 

Well, this story floated into my email this morning from Health Freedom Alliance.

Thank heavens, I thought.  Hope has emerged again.

Here’s the url:

Health Freedom Alliance » Success! Best Known Peer-Reviewed Medical Journal Officially Classifies Fluoride As A Neurotoxin.

And here’s the url from The Lancet itself:  http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(13)70278-3/abstract

 

Fluoride harms developing brains–among many other damages that it does.  There is plenty of science now showing that one to one cause and effect.

Here’s a quote from The Lancet abstract, which Health Freedom Alliance reproduced–and for heaven’s sake, don’t miss the reference to the  neurotoxicity of methyl mercury, which is “common in vaccines”:

“Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia and other cognitive impairments, affect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses seem to be increasing in frequency. Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence. In 2006, we did a systematic review and identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methyl mercury (common in vaccines), polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic and toluene. Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants – manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated dihenyl ethers. We postulate that even more neurotoxicants remain undiscovered. To control the pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity, we propose a global prevention strategy. Untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity. To coordinate these efforts and to accelerate translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse”(1)

Here’s another quote from the Health Freedom Alliance posting:

“In point of fact, fluoride causes more human cancer deaths than any other chemical. When you have power you don’t have to tell the truth. That’s a rule that’s been working in this world for generations. There are a great many people who don’t tell the truth when they are in power in administrative positions. Fluoride amounts to public murder on a grand scale. It is some of the most conclusive scientific and biological evidence that I have come across in my 50 years in the field of cancer research.” (2)  – Dr. Dean Burk, Biochemist, Founder of Biotin, and Former Chief Chemist at the National Cancer Institute of Health.

 

I put three essays about the danger of putting fluoride into our water system on the blog a few years back–Mainely Tipping Points Essays, 34 to 36–using the text THE CASE AGAINST FLUORIDE:  HOW HAZARDOUS WASTE ENDED UP IN OUR DRINKING WATER AND THE BAD SCIENCE AND POWERFUL POLITICS THAT KEEP IT THERE (2010), Paul Connett, PhD, James Beck, MD, PhD, and H.S. Micklem, DPhil,   In the essays, I cite the formidable credentials of these three authors–all of whom are now senior scientists.

Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote regarding who is tasked with responsibility for the safety of fluoride in our water:

 

Astonishingly, Connett et al report that no federal agency accepts responsibility for the safety of fluoridation.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has never approved fluoride for ingestion and rates fluoride as an “unapproved drug”—which is why it can mandate the toothpaste warning.  Nor has the FDA subjected fluoride to rigorous randomized clinical trials for either its effectiveness or its long-term safety (270).

At the Center for Disease Control (CDC), only the Oral Health Division (OHD) is involved with fluoridation, and the OHD is staffed largely by dental personnel.  In 2008, Connett et al note, not one of the 29 staff members had scientific degrees qualifying them to assess the toxicity of fluoride, yet this division aggressively promotes fluoridation throughout the United States (23-24).

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an indirect role in that it regulates safe standards for all “contaminants” in drinking water.  In 2002, as it is legally required to do every 10 years, the EPA asked the National Research Council (NRC) to review the current 4 ppm (parts per million) Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) standard.  The NRC appointed a 12-member panel that, the authors state, was “the most balanced ever appointed in the United States to do any kind of review on fluoride” 137).  This panel issued its 507-page report in March 2006, in which it declared that the seemingly low-level 4 ppm maximum standard was not protective of health (25).

The ADA [American Dental Association] declared the NRC report irrelevant to water fluoridation on the day it was released—claiming erroneously that the panel only reviewed water fluoridation of 4 ppm.  The panel, in fact, “examined several studies that found adverse effects at levels less than 2 ppm” (138).

The CDC followed six days later with the same conclusion.  To date, write the authors, the CDC has produced “no comprehensive analysis to support its claim.”  And “it’s hard to believe that in six days Oral Health Division personnel could have read and digested the report, let alone its over 1,100 references” (140).

Ironically, in 1999, the CDC “finally conceded what many dental researchers had been reporting over the previous two decades:  Fluoride’s predominant mechanism of action was topical, not systemic.  In other words, if fluoride works at all, it does so via direct exposure to the outside of the tooth and not from inside the body” (13).  So, write Connett et al, to continue “the practice of forcing people to ingest fluoride has become even more absurd (269-270).

BUT, even the ADA, in fine print on its web site, warns against feeding baby with formula mixed with tap water because the fluoride levels are too high for infants.

YOU CANNOT CONTROL THE DOSE OF THIS TOXIC MATERIAL WHEN YOU PUT IT IN THE WATER–and that affects infants, the elderly, the infirm, and anyone who drinks a lot of water.

What is particularly GALLING to me is that putting fluoride into our water has always been a POLITICAL DECISION–not a scientific one–which is totally demonstrated by Connett et al in their book.

What is doubly particularly GALLING is that the most recent scientific review, as stated above, commissioned by the EPA and carried out by the National Research Council, raised at least a dozen red flags about the efficacy of fluoride at all and the use of fluoride in the water.  Yet our public health officials, who get their information from the big health organizations–most of whom have gotten themselves way out on a shaky legal limb with regard to fluoride–have clearly NOT READ for themselves recent information on fluoride, to include the recent NRC study.

So there’s a “kool aid” loop in place here that is not taking into account any current science.  So, here’s what gets sent home to parents via the school system:

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(Thanks niece Nancy Howser, herself the mother of two young boys, one of whom has already suffered a broken leg bone.)

AND, when a local jurisdiction gets a referendum on fluoride, the local public health officials, including MDs and dentists, come out of the woodwork supporting fluoride and throwing around their “health” credentials.  This behavior happened in Damariscotta a few years back–and it was clear that not one of these folks had read the most recent EPS/NRC report.  And we all must remember that doctors and dentists are PRACTITIONERS, not scientists, and public health officials know only what they have been taught and that if they deviate from what they have been taught, they can lose their jobs.

So, cheers to The Lancet!