Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The only thing missing is the acid spurting



video

Alien, what a movie. I should see the trilogy again some time soon. My friend Licinia just made my day when earlier today she sent her own reenacting of the iconic terror-embedded moment when Sigourney Weaver is noticed by the Xenomorph XX121. All is there, the terror, the thrilling cold anxiety, the creature, the babe... the only thing missing is the toxic acid spurting.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Stolen Freedom, Violated Future, Cultural Arrest

I am in shock at the abysmal reality to which I have been recently exposed to... Shocking, to say the least. I can very briefly summarise the facts for you just to get you to better feel and understand how perplex the situation has made me. But let me warn you though that some people view it with cultural eyes. Therefore, they don't really understand that what I am about to tell you is nothing more than proof of the extreme need for educating people against a stolen freedom and a violated future.

Women do indeed empower their profiles when armed with qualifications; it's the only way men and women in this world can once for all individually evade a life marked by opression that due to traditionalist cultural arrest endanger the dream of a fairer world.

So let's go straight to the point 

I have been for many years now, monthly supporting two children as part of a project where I contribute £25 (each child) for their food, health and education. Well, in our western reality that doesn't seem much, but considering that this is something I am capable of providing with a lot of personal effort, and also considering that these children are based in Mozambique and Guatemala, it glows differently.

But I have been doing it with love, kindness and a deep belief that one day I can actually change the lives of these children. If they become properly educated they will be able to exit a cycle marked by limited options, poverty, social imbalance, broken dreams. The investment we put into one child will generate positive changes in all lives to him/her related.

Very well, I was eager to maintain the status quo of that financial support and I even had the dream of, later in their lives, becoming alongside my wife, a sponsor for their further higher education. I was really considering helping these two lives blossom into fully accomplished existences. That was deeply hurt, wounded and scarred when I got a phone call from one of the NGO members informing me that one of the girls I have been supporting had just married at the age of 14!

They were really nice in informing me promptly. All the details were there, they even mentioned that this is typical of rural areas and offered me the opportunity to replace this child (who was now to exit the program) by another one in desperate need for help. I obviously accepted. But I can't get rid of this sense of void, a certain sense of betrayal that destiny decided to inflict me with. How can a child who is barely 14 years old be given to someone, so to become the wife of him?, the wife of a male either as immature as herself or much older (and if that is the case, oh my, oh my...?)!!!?

I now remember the letters exchanged with this child through the charity's program, and her words 'tainted' with hopes and dreams of becoming a teacher later in life... that she loved school so much...

I can't help but wonder how much would that still be true for her life. It's even worse when one reads in the "The Guardian", a week ago or so, what a desperate life most of these young women are going through in their lives. Yes, this 'child' is from Guatemala.

Guatemalan children's shelter fire: death toll rises to 40 as demonstrations erupt

Friday, 17 March 2017

So far behiiiiiind

I know I haven't been posting recently. 

Bear with me until I have cleared some of the workload I have on my desk... 

Until then... IMMORTALITY!


Monday, 6 March 2017

Super quick guide to understand medical jargon

It is quite understandable that whenever medical doctors speak about the different conditions that affect us humans, we might blackout and go in-and-out consciousness for a while. Such happens because there is so much professional jargon spat a us that the normal brain would take in just the minimum bearable; that being - "Doc? Am I gonna be fine?".

Before your doctor comes up with yet another one of those super long terminology rampages that scare you more than the actual illness, it is time to breathe. The trick to understand that foreign 'Aramaic' language, regurgitated from the depths of some cold Alma Mater lost in both space and time, is actually reasonably simple.

Just close your eyes, listen to the word and break it into parts. 

I think I fool no one when I say that the secret, as in any other realm of knowledge, lies in the breaking of the whole into its component units. Is that Gestaltism? I remember vaguely something about it from my Psychology classes during my secondary school years... That and my professor's purple hair,..., oh and those five girls who never wanted to go out with me because apparently I was "too weird" for them.

Anyway, just look at the word has being made of two to three parts, tops: a prefix, a root and finally a suffix. The prefix, when present, either reinforces or changes the meaning of the word, as for example with the word 'Aniridia':

An - indicating absence or negation

Iridia - related to the iris of the eye

Then we have the root as being the central object (iris - in the previous example), and finally the suffix that is usually the action produced by or on the object.

But before you follow any of this as rule for life protected in the guts of some Ark of the Covenant, mind that I'm no linguist, and my intention here is just to help you at least understand what that guy in the white masonic gown is bragging about, so you avoid misinterpretations as the ones suggested in the picture.

Let's take a look at yet another example with the word 'Abiotrophy'. This means a progressive loss of an organ's/tissue's vitality that can result in loss of function. Now we Shogun-knife-cut-it-into-parts:

A - (prefix) meaning absence/negation of

Bio - (core object) meaning life

Trophy - (suffix action) meaning development

Now imagine you get the latest doctor's newsletter on the observations taken from your medical exams. You read that your records all point towards 'Thrombocytopenia'. "That can't be good, man, there's penia there" you think it to your self. But rather than immediately checking your parts for something wrong with the supposed 'penia', you can just apply the aforementioned method and break the word into its constituting parts:

Thrombo - relates to blood clots.

Cyto - relates to cells.

Penia - relates to deficiency.

Immediately you know your penis is actually fine! The issue is now to make sense of this big word by learning the meaning of these individual parts. You go with 'deficiency'... 'of cells'... 'of blood clots'. Hmmmmm! After a while, if you're not versed in the ways of medicine like most people aren't, you can at least comprehend that what is suggested is that you might have a low blood platelet count.

And this system works quite well for a lot of other really weird ailments, such as:


Osteopenia = Osteo + Penia = Bone + Deficiency = low bone density.


Myositis = Myo + Itis = muscle + inflammation = inflammation of the muscle tissue.

Hepatomegaly = Hepato + megaly = liver + large = enlarged liver condition.

***

You have now, at least, the very basics to understand health care professionals. What you really need now is a very basic, very straightforward list that can offer you some direct understanding of the human body and its conditions. I tried and did that for you! In this table you can find the most popular human bits and bobs, some suffixes that can guide you to an understanding of the ulterior condition. It's not the ultimate encyclopaedia, but I'm sure it will be helpful:

Human Bits and Bobs
Core word (few examples)
Actions (few examples)
Brain
Encephalo-
Condition = -pathy
Bone
Osteo-
Infection/inflammation = -itis
Hair
Hirsute- 
Pain = -algia, -dynia
Ears
Vestibular-, Labyrinth-, Acoust-, Audit-
Deficiency = -penia 
Eyes
Cornea-, Retina-, Iridia- 
Enlargement = -dilat 
Nose
Sinus- 
Death = -nephrosis 
Mouth
Gingiv-, Laryng-
Excessive = -hyper
Skin
Derma-, Derm-, Dermat-
Insufficient = -hypo
Abdomen
Abdomin-
Weakness = -paresis
Spine
Spin- 
Respiration = -pnea
Heart
Endocard-, Myocard-
Paralysis = -paresia 
Blood
Haemo- 
Degeneration = -(a)trophy 
Trachea
Trachea- 
Blood condition = -emia
Lungs
Pneum-, Pulmonar-, Bronchi-
Irritation = -erethism
Stomach
Gastro-
Formation = -genesis
Neck
Cervic-
Abnormal condition = iasis
Kidneys
Nephr-
To reduce = -lytic
Liver
Hepato-
To breakdown = -lysis
Pancreas
Pancrea-
To cut = -spadia, -sect
Intestines
Entera-
Bring forth = -para
 Spleen

Spleen-To lead to = -duct

Well, for what is worth this is a mere guide to help you make a bit more sense of all those complicated terms. But my advice is that you resort to your healthcare professional for he/she is the one that can easily unblock any confusion resulting from complicated medical jargon.

See you soon!

Friday, 3 March 2017

International Women's Day: Be bold for change, invest in her


If you wish you can join my giving team here.

We have been lending towards Health & Education, mostly.

Cheers.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Introduction to HomoSOYxuality

Every month I try my very best to get in touch with my relatives, especially now that I live over 985 miles from what used to be home. In one of those events I routinely label 'The Round', I call basically all my family (usually my aunts and grandma because I come from a very matriarchal family).  They love hearing from us, knowing about how the kids are growing so fast, their funny personalities, my day-to-day chores, how I've recently been threatened by a right-wing extremist in the middle of the streets, the good and the bad of a migrant's life. Some calls get to be super funny because one of my aunts always falls for my classic pranks where I play the role of a Brazilian salesman trying to get her to buy the newest internet package, or a Ukrainian construction engineer asking for a cab... I don't know why, but her naivety is so contagious that the whole family ends up laughing of her incapacity to recognise me amongst my million voices.

In one of those calls I ended up talking to my godmother. She is a secondary school teacher... I guess she is retired now, but the indoctrination spirit is still there, and quite alert! And she loves pharmacology in the 'hypochondriac' way. Well, not that she is a hypochondriac, I must say, but she knows basically everything a real hypochondriac needs to know to be a hardcore professional hypochondriac. 

And on that specific day she went on and on about stuff I am still trying to digest, advice after advice, nothing very technical or scientific in the data sense of the topic; but quite accurate, to say the least. It was all good until she started, like many other times in the past, complaining about my vegetarian options and my soy milk breakfasts. Straight away she told me she read somewhere, somewhen, that soy milk breakfasts end up giving you soy milk breasts... 'Do not feed that to your child, please avoid it'. I came to know that the web is filled with scare-articles about boys growing with reduced-size testicles and boobies so big they look like silicon implants. 

But what is in fact true about this new wave of articles relating soy (and its potent phytooestrogen daidzein - belonging to a group of isoflavones) to the appearing of female traits in male children? I had to investigate.

I immediately recalled having read an article, long time back, written by a redneck religious prophet bragging about soy being the cause of high homosexuality incidence rates in America. And when I read that article I honestly felt towards those prophets, like Albert Camus, when he once said:


But after, I realised that the best way to refute a secular supposed scientific preconception is by analysing the alleged scientific foundations that give roots to such false-belief. Could it be possible that there was a dash of scientific grounds to even remotely assume that soy consumption, due to its high oestrogen levels, can make you physically/behaviourally effeminate? I had to go straight to the scientific facts, the studies with no moral judgements from any third-parties whatsoever. I needed to make sure the assessed studies were based on physical and endocrine alterations and not a witch hunt everyone is already so sick of.

Study Title
Methodology and/or Goals
Relevant Endocrine/Physical observations
Altered sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (SDN-POA) volume in adult Long–Evans rats by dietary soy phytoestrogens [1]
Animals were fed either a phytoestrogen-rich (Phyto-600) or a phytoestrogen-free (Phyto-free) diet. And also males or females fed the Phyto-600 diet (from birth) were switched to the Phyto-free diet. 
Consumption of phytoestrogens via a soy diet, significantly: (1) decreases body and prostate weight, (2) delays puberty onset, and (3) alters SDN-POA volumes during adulthood.
A soy supplement and tamoxifen inhibit sexual behaviour in female rats [2].

 Examined the impact of the selective oestrogen receptor modulator tamoxifen and a popular soy phytoestrogen dietary supplement on female sexual behaviour in rats. Ovariectomised female rats were given either tamoxifen or the soy supplement, then injected with oestradiol benzoate or oil (followed with an injection of progesterone) and tested for sexual behaviour after the progesterone injection. 
Soy significantly attenuated paced mating behaviour in animals compared to controls acting as an oestrogen antagonist on female rats.
Safety of Soy-Based Infant Formulas Containing Isoflavones: The Clinical Evidence [3].
Discusses the available clinical evidence regarding isoflavones in soy infant formulas in relation to nutritional adequacy, sexual development, neurobehavioral development, immune function, and thyroid disease.
Available evidence from adult human and infant populations indicates that dietary isoflavones in soy infant formulas do not adversely affect human growth, development, or reproduction.
Oestrogens and phytoestrogens: brain plasticity of sexually dimorphic brain volumes [4].

Examined the consumption of phytoestrogen (using a phytoestrogen-rich versus a phytoestrogen-free diet) s from conception to adulthood (and shifting) to characterise (a) circulating plasma phytoestrogen levels, (b) testosterone levels in males, (c) sexually dimorphic brain volumes and (d) the presence of apoptotic cells in these brain structures in Long-Evans rats. 
Consumption of dietary phytoestrogens can alter hormone-sensitive hypothalamic brain volumes in rodents during adulthood.
Changes in male reproductive system and mineral metabolism induced by soy isoflavones administered to rats from prenatal life until sexual maturity [5].
Determined the influence of high-dose soy isoflavones (daidzein and genistein) administered from prenatal life to sexual maturity on testosterone and oestradiol levels, testicular and epididymal morphology, the number of epididymal spermatozoa, and mineral metabolism in rats.
 Relatively mild effects of phytoestrogen administration on the morphology of testes and epididymides and the number of epididymal spermatozoa were observed despite the high dose used. 
Soy, phyto-oestrogens and male reproductive function: a review [6].
Examined the evidence regarding the potential detrimental effects of soy and phyto-oestrogens on male reproductive function and fertility in humans and animals.
Overall, there are some indications that phyto-oestrogens, alone or in combination with other endocrine disruptors, however, these results must be interpreted with care, as a result of the paucity of human studies and as numerous reports did not reveal any adverse effects on male reproductive physiology.


After analysing the overall observation of these carefully selected studies I came to the easy conclusion that there are so many latent questions to answer that it is almost impossible to do a proper job with a single post. Questions as simple as what can be considered a soy-rich diet, how much is too much for the human endocrine system, what daily consumption can be assumed to produce significant results, what exact indicators shift behaviour, and what is their significance in the holistic perspective of things?..., etc etc etc.

Like most of these articles suggest, the results need extreme care in their analysis and none favour a specific trend or school of thought. They are in need of yet a lot more data to actually impose anything conclusive. Therefore, I decided to give it yet another go. In the next post I'll be summarising the significant physical/endocrine/behavioural alterations that are indeed observed and described in the above mentioned articles.

***


[1] Lund, T. D., Rhees, R. W., Setchell, K. D. R., Lephart, E. D. (2001). "Altered sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (SDN-POA) volume in adult Long–Evans rats by dietary soy phytoestrogens". Brain Research, 914(1-2), pp. 92-99.         

[2] Patisaul, H. B., Luskin, J. R., Wilson, M. E. (2004). "A soy supplement and tamoxifen inhibit sexual behavior in female rats". Hormones and Behavior, 45(4), pp. 270-277.
                       
[3] Merrit, R. J. and Jenks, B. H. (2004). "Safety of Soy-Based Infant Formulas Containing Isoflavones: The Clinical Evidence". The Journal of Nutrition, 134, pp. 1220S-1224S.


[4] Lephart, E. D., Rhees, R. W., Setchell, K. D. R., Bu, L. H., Lund, T. H. (2003). "Estrogens and phytoestrogens: brain plasticity of sexually dimorphic brain volumes". The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 85 (2-5), pp. 299-309. 


[5] Piotrowska, K. et al. (2011). "Changes in male reproductive system and mineral metabolism induced by soy isoflavones administered to rats from prenatal life until sexual maturity". Nutrition, 27(3), pp. 372-379.


[6] Cederroth, C., Auger, J., Zimmermann, C., Eustache, F., Nef, S. (2009). "Soy, phyto-oestrogens and male reproductive function: a review". International Journal of Andrology, 33(2), pp. 304-316.