Monday, August 31, 2020

ABO Blood Types


ABO Blood Types

 What does blood type really mean?

 There are four main blood types: A, B, AB, and O (with O being either positive or negative). Following are a couple of definitions:


·         An antigen is any substance that causes your immune system to produce antibodies against it, because the immune system does not recognize the substance and is trying to fight it off. An antigen may be a substance from the environment, such as chemicals, bacteria, viruses, pollen, toxins, and cells from a transplanted body organ. An antigen may also form inside the body as with cancer cells. Typical an antigen triggers the immune system to produce antibodies.


·         Antibodies are proteins typically produced by specialized B cells when they are triggered by an antigen. Antibodies are elite and specialized immune-system fighters that act against that specific antigen and attempt to neutralize or kill it. Think “green berets.”

More tomorrow.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Proverbs from Israel

The State of Israel has been known by that name since 1948. But down through the centuries, the territory has been known by a variety of appellations, including Judea, Samaria, Southern Syria, Palestine, Canaan, and the Holy Land, to name just a few. These are some proverbs from Israel.

  • A slave shows his true character, not while he is enslaved but when he becomes a master
  • Never approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side
  • If there is bitterness in the heart, sugar in the mouth won't make life sweeter
  • We do not see things the way they are but as we are
  • When you are hungry, sing; when you are hurt, laugh
  • What you do not see with your eyes, never invent with your mouth

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Pandemic "Parenting," 3

The human brain is a relational brain. Prior to the pandemic I am guessing the kids were at school interacting with their friends. Social media can have a downside for sure if it is overused for long periods of time and if the user starts thinking everyone else has more than he or she does. Chatting with friends at home by cell phone, however, can help the relational brain to feel less alone. There are many entities that are working diligently to release products that children can watch while at home. By all means block internet access for some things. However, there are many excellent YouTube presentations. I just uploaded four sets of videos they might like on my Brain Talk channel. ( - click on Brain Talk in the upper left corner of the home page). Try to make this pandemic time as fun and pleasant as possible. Put yourself in their place? How happy and content would you be? Or is this the type of atmosphere in which you grew up and figure if you survived, so could they? Humans tend to do to others as they have been done to—unless they make a different choice. You can create a different path if you choose to do so. Your choice will impact you and your children for the rest of your lives.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Pandemic "Parenting," 2

 Studies have shown that typical parental behaviors that undermine a child’s sense of self-worth, include:


·         Making the child feel bad for upsetting the parents, and/or perceived withdrawing of love when the parent is angry

·         Unreasonable rules, harsh punishments, and a lack of empathy and caring behaviors.

·         Discouraging teenagers from asserting themselves and becoming independent.

Parents need to be aware of how parental attempts to control teens may actually stunt their progress and create damage that may last a lifetime. Perceived traumatic events in childhood are very stressful for a child/teenager and can actually change the biology of the brain. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Pandemic "Parenting"

I am stuck at home during this pandemic. I have decided this is a good time to lay down some rules to help my kids grow up to be well-rounded adults. I took away their cell phones so they don’t waste time talking with their friends all day. They get two hours or carefully monitored TV each day. No computer time until the school district decides if they will stay home or go back to school. The rest of the time they can read or ride the stationary bike etc. I’ve told them I’m really stressed and its their job to make things easier on me. Mind you, I am not asking for any advice, I’m just telling you what I am doing.


I was not put on this planet to give advice. Nor do I make suggestions unless asked to do so. I will make an observation or two based on research. There is a huge difference between a wise teacher and overbearing and overcontrolling parent, who tend to cause self-esteem issues in their children. Bottom line: If your goal is to lower the level of self-esteem in your children (albeit unwittingly), make them dislike being at home, and set them up for relationship problems for the rest of their lives, continue doing what you are doing. Research of teenagers (age 13 and up) who perceive they received this type of parental control, predicted lower levels of psychosocial maturity and peer acceptance in mid-adolescence. It also was linked with potential undermining of autonomy so as to lead to less favorable outcomes well into adulthood. More tomorrow.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Pandemic Challenges, 4


Pandemic Challenges, 4

 Dr. McLaughlin, one pf the researchers, reportedly said: “The fact that we see such consistent evidence for faster aging at such a young age suggests that the biological mechanisms that contribute to health disparities are set in motion very early in life. This means that efforts to prevent these health disparities must also begin during childhood . . . A critical next step is determining whether these psychosocial interventions might also be able to slow down this pattern of accelerated biological aging. Mental health treatments may help to reduce the detrimental effects of early abuse and violence. If this is possible, we may be able to prevent many of the long-term health consequences of early-life adversity.” What each individual can do is to become a committee of one to do everything in his or her power to protect children from deprivation, violence, abuse, and trauma.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Pandemic Challenges, 3

Pandemic Challenges, 3

 The researchers analyzed the results of over 100 studies including more than 100,000 people. Different types of adversity were shown to impact different areas of the brain. Evaluations of the outcomes of abuse and trauma during childhood showed that deprivation damages brain regions that are important for cognitive thinking and sensory processing. Violence, on the other hand, was linked with brain regions that are critical for the emotions. In many cases the studies pointed out that psychological abuse or neglect were just as damaging as physical or sexual abuse. This means that just because parents are spending more time in the company of their children, this does not necessarily equate with quality time. It can involve neglect or worse, as parental tensions and discomfort leak out all over the kids. More Tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Pandemic Challenges, 2

Pandemic Challenges, 2

Anecdotal reports are that people being cooped up together in relatively small quarters when they have not been accustomed to that, can create conflict and dysfunctional behaviors. No surprise. Put a dozen rats in a tiny space and they start biting each other, or worse. When children are present, they can be caught in the middle of parental arguing and fighting and be themselves abused and traumatized at the worst. A recent study has revealed the long-term impact of abuse and trauma for children. For example, both violence and abuse are linked to faster biological aging. This is shown by changes in brain structure, early onset of puberty, and cellular aging. In addition, the changes in brain structure include a thinner later of cortex, the outside layer of the brain. This thinner cortex is linked to dementia. I have seen that happen—and older person (one who was beaten every day during childhood for small infractions) who develops symptoms of dementia soon after retirement when there was no familial history of that.  More tomorrow.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Pandemic Challenges


Pandemic Challenges

For every action there is a reaction. For every plus, there is a minus. You always give up something to get something. Period. Everything you do involves a decision. To decide not to make a decision, not to choose, is in itself a decision. Some of the challenges involve spending more time together than you may have done in the past. This will also surface how each person deals with change—especially unwanted change. Sit down together and draw up some parameters, so each has some alone time. Decide how you will use some of the other chunks of time. Hopefully, especially if you have children, you will agree to eat meals together. Divorce filings have reportedly risen, although one always looks at statistics with a somewhat jaundiced eye because you can tweak them so they say almost anything. One couple reported that after a month of togetherness, they decided they didn’t really even like each other all that much. Too bad. Be really honest with each other and dig to find what was the initial attraction. If it was primarily sexual, that intensity tends to fall off in 12-18 months if not sooner. What do you admire about each other. Anything? Do you want to work learning to know yourself and each other or not?

Friday, August 14, 2020

Pandemic Pluses, 5

Pandemic Pluses, 5

If you are a parent working remotely, this is also a good opportunity to teach boundary-setting, and to set your own boundaries. Some children are content to play quietly on the floor near a parent. Depending on the age of the child, you can set a timer for a specific period. During that time, the parent works, if remote working is occurring. When the timer goes off, the child gets a few minutes of playing with the parents or some other favorite activity. This can teach delayed gratification as well as looking forward to a favorite activity. The sky is the limit. Success begins with a mindset, however. The way in which you view this pandemic and how creatively you approach “what is,” will be lessons that will remain with your child for a lifetime.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Pandemic Pluses, 4


Pandemic Pluses, 4

During any enforced working remotely or sequestering, this gives parents and child(ren) a chance to spend much more time together than ordinarily is possible. That does not mean you must spend every waking moment entertaining a child. It does mean that you provide safe and interesting toys for them and perhaps audiobooks they can listen to while they are playing. If they are old enough to do simple jig-saw puzzles or build with Legos, a story playing in the background can be very helpful and even engaging. Variety is key. The brain loves variety. The research reinforced the need to vary the types of play children have access to, and mothers can, of course, support physical play with young children as well. Perhaps you can have a special toy or game for each day of the week—one the child can look forward to, so the days do not all run together. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Pandemic Pluses, 3

Pandemic Pluses, 3

It is interesting to hear from children and teens what is important to them. For example, a common thread is, “We all get to eat together at the table. That never used to happen.” And in the typical “both parents work outside the home” households, that may be true. It’s feed and dress the kids, get them out the door to the babysitter or school, and grab a donut to eat on the way to work. The human brain is a relational brain. Make mealtime a fun time. No disciplining, no rehearsing of less than desirable behaviors, no lectures, no disparaging remarks. Do active listening. Look at the child while listening. This helps them feel that what they say is important to you. They may come out with some very interesting comments, too, because they watch adults carefully. More tomorrow

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Pandemic Pluses, 2


Pandemic Pluses, 2

 Time and interaction with fathers are more important than many have believed. Some fathers work hard to give their children “things” the parent never had. Some of that is great. Time, however, is the greatest gift and it is the only gift a father can give to his child. No one else can give that for him. Many parents play with their children every day. Studies show that generally fathers play more physically with their children. They lift babies and toddlers up in the air more. Depending on the age of the child fathers use more rough-and-tumble wrestling and play. Not only do these children tend to have stronger levels of self-control, they are less likely to have emotional and behavioral problems later on. They also have a lower risk of hyperactivity. Even into adult years, children tend to remember which parent played with them and what they played. Who knew? More tomorrow.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Pandemic Pluses


Pandemic Pluses

During a pandemic, are there any positives for kids?

There can be many positives. Not only for kids, but for parents and grandparents. Everyone is there together. What a great opportunity for play. For example, a study just released a few weeks ago reported on research about the link between father-child play and self-control skills. Self-control is repeatedly found to be vital for success in relationships, work, and even for good mental health. Four decades of research revealed that people whose fathers played with them more as chlidren tend to grow up with stronger levels of self-control. Play is the work of children and play with parents is important. However, up to the age of about three, playiing with their father appears to have a signigant beneficial efffect.  Several reasons for this were cited in the abstract.  More tomorrow. 


Friday, August 7, 2020

Proverbs from Mexico

As you know, The United Mexican States  share a rather very large Southern border with the United States of America (as does the Dominion of Canada on the Northern side). For years, as a child in Canada, I pictured the USA as the ‘sandwich filling.’ When I grew older and moved to the USA with my parents, I laughed at the size of the 'sandwich filling.' 

Here are a few proverbs from Mexico. 
  • A gilded cage is still a cage
  • All time spent angry is time lost being happy.
  • If you build a wall around your suffering it may devour you from the inside
  • Remember that every tic-toc tic-toc of the clock is a second of life that goes by and never repeats itself
  • Although a monkey may be dressed in silk—it’s still a monkey
  • Do good and don't worry to whom

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Pandemic Problems - Brain Stimulation, 3

Pandemic Problems – Brain Stimulation, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                   
No surprise, there is an entire retinue of supporting cells to help care for your neurons. Known as glial cells, there may be 6 glia for every neurons, concentrations varying in differing parts of the brain. Some neurons have 9 glia each. These personal assistants manufacture the myelin that covers many of the axons and which allows communication to occur much more quickly. (When something causes deterioration of the myelin a variety of problems can arise such as those seen in Multiple Sclerosis.) The glial cells also prepare food for the neurons, neurotrophins. They help maintain homeostasis (balance) among the neurons and provide support and protection for them in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. It’s beginning to appear that glial cells can be found almost anywhere neurons reside. Use this time to read a book you’ve been putting off, do stretching exercises each morning, keep your brain hydrated. Play games you’ve not had time to do. Avoid allowing your thinking cells to deteriorate! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Pandemic Problems - Brain Stimulation, 2

 Pandemic Problems Brain Stimulation, 2

 In general, neurons do not undergo cell division—except perhaps for cells in the hippocampus and olfactory bulb. So you have what you have and they need to last your entire life. That’s one reason for making careful choices about how to take care of these vital cells. Although protected by your bony skull, neurons can be easily damaged. Blunt trauma, for example, can break off some of the axons, interfering with the transmission of information. That’s part of the controversy about some types of sports that can damage these delicate but vital cells. Pugilistic Parkinson’s is one example of problems that can arise from some types of sports. Wear a helmet when doing any type of sport or activity that might result in an injury to your head. A broken bone often heals ‘as good as new.’ A broken ‘head’ rarely does. If you smoke, stop. If you don’t, never start. Be careful about breathing side smoke from tobacco products or from vehicle exhaust. Stay alert and avoid falls—a huge cause of head injuries and often of deteriorating brain function. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Pandemic Problems - Brain Stimulation


Pandemic Problems – Brain Stimulation

 You can think because of neurons in your brain: cells that have a propensity to exchange information with each other. They talk to each other almost constantly using electrical-chemical transmission. Sometimes their chatter occurs at a conscious level but much more often at an unconscious or subconscious level. The brain contains an estimated 86 billion neurons give or take a few billion. About 16.3 billion are in the cerebral cortex, and 69 billion in the cerebellum. Neurons have a cell body or soma and an axon that allows information to leave the neuron. Depending on your height some of these axons, going down to your big toe, for example, can be a meter length. Each neuron also has many tiny filaments that project from it called dendrites. These little finger-like projections absorb information and pull it into the brain. In some forms of mental retardation, researchers have found that the neurons have insufficient numbers of dendrites so information isn’t absorbed and pulled into the neuron. The dendrites can shrink from lack of mental stimulation. Not a good thing!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Pandemic Problems - Snacking

Pandemic Problems - Snacking


Stuck at home? Less easy access to groceries—if you haven’t been “made redundant” as they say down under, and have money to shop. A tendency to snack, rather than doing your level best to create actual meals and eat together? The outcome? Often it is weight gain. Studies have shown that not much has changed during the last 40 years. In 1961, Mickey Stunkard, an obesity research veteran, showed children drawings of healthy disabled and obese children and asked how much they liked them. The obese drawings were liked least of all. In 2001 the experiment was repeated and obese children were liked even less than before. Obesity does tend to stigmatize a child. Children observe their parents—even when it doesn’t look like they are watching. What you ‘say’ is not nearly as impactful as what you ‘do’ yourself. Your child will likely follow your lead in maintaining an optimum weight. The outcome is a decreased risk for serious illnesses such as diabetes type 2 and 3 and an increased risk for a longer lifespan.