Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Clouds for Daggero (and my other Hot Friends in Kuwait)

Can you imagine a daytime temperature of 120°F? Can you imagine fasting, not eating – or drinking – in that kind of heat?

Daggero asked for clouds. It’s the least I could do. We may have a big cloudburst coming tonight, but I chased it today and it only sprinkled:

Clouds didn’t stop the fun at Palafox Pier

A few large tantalizing drips of rain, and then nothing . . .

July 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Spy the Lie on the Diane Rehm Show

Thursday, July 24th, Diane Rehm had another wonderful show. Diane Rehm has a gift for asking thoughtful questions, listening carefully, and then following up with another thoughtful question. She treats her guests with great civility, but she never hesitates to ask the tough question.

Thursday, she interviewed Senator Marco Rubio, who did pretty well until she started asking him the tough, revealing questions, and you could actually hear him squirm.

Far more interesting than Senator Rubio was her interview with former CIA employees Philip Houston and Michael Floyd, discussing their new book Spy the Lie. We’ve all heard different ways liars give themselves away, but these two former interrogators told us how to ask questions, and a “cocktail” of responses – not one response, eyes shifting away, but a variety together – which tell you that you are being lied to.

Deflection, change of voice tone, swearing to God, anger at being asked – these and other giveaways work together. Bottom line – if your instincts are screaming “Lie! Lie!” then chances are good you are being lied to.

The truth is, most of us know when we are being lied to. There are times the liar will never admit to it, but you have to work with the knowledge that what he or she is saying is a lie. At least you know. You don’t have to buy into the lie. And you know my position – lying hurts the liar most of all.

It is a fascinating, sensitive interview. You can listen to an excerpt and read a part of the book by clicking this blue type.

July 24, 2012 Posted by | Books, Character, Civility, Experiment, Mating Behavior, Relationships | 4 Comments

Sunlight May Help Prevent Heart Attacks

This report is from Bottom Line. It seems to me that we are more primitive biological organisms that we think ourselves, but it also occurs to me that if sunlight helps prevent heart attacks, and helps limit damages, do people in the sunny places have a lower incidence of death due to heart attacks?

Sunlight Helps Prevent Heart Attacks

Ah, sunlight.

There’s nothing like being outdoors on a summer morning.

What you may not know is that sunshine doesn’t just boost your mood and your vitamin D level—it also may help you ward off a heart attack or minimize the damage that one can cause, according to a new first-of-its-kind study.

I talked to the researchers to find out more about how we can all harness the power of light to brighten our heart health.

I called the study’s lead author, Tobias Eckle, MD, PhD, an associate professor of anesthesiology, cardiology and cell and developmental biology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver.

Dr. Eckle told me that our circadian rhythm—the physical, mental and behavioral changes prompted by light and darkness that occur over each 24-hour period—helps determine the level of a certain protein that can minimize the cell damage and cell death caused by a heart attack. This protein might even stop a heart attack in its tracks. So Dr. Eckle and his colleagues were eager to see whether exposure to certain kinds of light at a certain time might be effective at boosting levels of this protein.

In the study, researchers divided mice into two groups. One group was exposed to light boxes emitting light that was the same level of brightness as daylight (“bright light”), and others were exposed to regular room lighting (“regular light”). Both groups were exposed to the light first thing in the morning at 6:00 am.

Then the mice were given anesthesia and heart attacks were triggered in them. Researchers found that mice that had been exposed to three hours of “bright light” had three times the amount of the protective protein as the mice that had been exposed to “regular light”—and, incredibly, the “bright light” mice’s hearts had experienced only one-fifth as much damage!

There are, of course, unanswered questions—for example, how the findings might apply to humans and how lasting the benefit of the protein might be.
That said, the results are promising. What’s especially interesting is that it’s the light exposure on the eyes—not the skin—that affects the protein levels, said Dr. Eckle. So humans wearing sunscreen or long sleeves wouldn’t blunt the effect.

Several forces have conspired over recent decades to keep people out of the sun during the day, such as indoor work and fear of skin cancer. But many people would be likely to benefit from getting more sunlight exposure as early in the morning as possible.

Here are some safe ways from Dr. Eckle to shed more light on your daily routine…

1. Take a daily walk outdoors, and keep wearing sunscreen. Even 10 to 20 minutes a day is better than nothing. Since, as I mentioned earlier, it’s the way that light affects your eyes (not your skin) that matters, apply sunscreen—that won’t dampen the benefits. The added exercise will boost your heart health, too.

2. Get sunlight while indoors. Sit near large, bright windows.

3. Use a light therapy box. If you can’t follow either of the first two tips, or if you’re at high risk for skin cancer and want to avoid UV rays at all costs, this may be the best option for you. Available online for about $50 and up, light therapy boxes mimic the brightness of sunlight while filtering out most damaging UV rays.

Source: Tobias Eckle, MD, PhD, associate professor of anesthesiology, cardiology, and cell and developmental biology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver. His study was published in Nature Medicine.

July 24, 2012 Posted by | Aging, Circle of Life and Death, Experiment, Health Issues, News, Weather | Leave a comment