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NHNE News Brief 46
Friday, January 31, 1997
"Lighter Side" Edition
"A thought-provoking exploration
of the extraordinary times in which we live."
1,064 days until January 1, 2000
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Total Paid Offline Subscribers: 9
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Humans are Born Vegetarians
Call Me Anything But "Cheeseburger"
America's Most Admired
New Life for Old Tires
Hiding in Plain Sight
Eating Out Up
Back Rub To Go
Leech Therapy Back in Vogue
Who You Gonna Call?
GOOD NEWS WATCH:
NEWS BRIEF SPONSOR:
Options for Growth
A MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER:
Contest, Revised Map & New Equipment
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Connected Across the Waters
Accepting Without Being Gullible
The Duh Factor
Show Me the Money
Information Technology Paradox
The Evolution of Blood
FDA Weighs Merits of Colloidal Silver
ABOUT NHNE & HOW TO JOIN US
HUMANS ARE BORN VEGETARIANS
"You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car!"
Harvey Diamond, author of "Fit For Life", backing up his claim that humans are born vegetarians, not meat eaters.
(Sources: NEWSWEEK, 1/20/97; Eric Talmadge, ASSOCIATED PRESS, 1/9/97 via Joya Pope)
Researchers at TOKYO UNIVERSITY have succeeded in surgically implanting a cockroach with a micro-robotic backpack which allows them to control its movements. You may ask what possible value a radio-controlled cockroach may have. "Insects can do many things that people can't," explains Assistant Professor Isao Shimoyama, head of the Bio-Robot Research Team. "The potential applications of this work for mankind could be immense." Within a few years, Shimoyama says, electronically-controlled insects carrying mini-cameras or other sensory devices could be used for a variety of sensitive missions -- like crawling through earthquake rubble to search for victims, or slipping under doors on espionage surveillance. But not just any roach will do -- researchers use only the American cockroach (Perplaneta Americana) because it is bigger and hardier than most other species. They equip these roaches with hi-tech backpacks containing tiny microprocessor and electrode sets and with a remote control, send signals to the backpacks. The pulsing electrodes make the roach turn left or right, scamper forward or spring backward. The placement of the electrodes is still very inexact and sometimes the roaches zig when they are supposed to zag or just run around aimlessly. And technology aside, Robo-roach is still, after all, a roach. "They are not very nice insects," confesses Swiss researcher Raphael Holzer, part of the TOKYO UNIVERSITY team. "But they look nicer when you remove their wings and put a little circuit on their backs." The Japanese government has deemed the research credible enough to award Shimoyama's team $5 million to continue the work. (JG)
(Source: Michael M. Abrams, DISCOVER, 1/97)
The use of tools was once thought to be a uniquely human skill. Over the past few decades, however, chimpanzees, sea otters, and even some birds have been found to use simple objects such as twigs and rocks as tools. In 1996, the most sophisticated tool user ever was found on the island of New Caledonia in the southwestern Pacific. Crows there use two different types of carefully selected and shaped tools. One -- a hooked-shaped stick -- they make by pulling a small branch off a plant, stripping off the leaves and nibbling one end to form a hook which they insert into holes to fish for insects. The other tool they make by shearing off pieces of leaves from the sawtooth-edged Pandanus plant to create a sturdy, wedge-shaped strip which is used to probe for prey -- the blunt end held in the bird's beak with the barbs pointing straight at their prey.
CALL ME ANYTHING BUT "CHEESEBURGER"
(Source: NEWSWEEK, 2/3/97)
A number of countries afraid of losing their cultural identity have banned the use of certain foreign words within their borders. For example in Iran, it is against the law for companies to use Western names and certain English words such as fax, intellectual and secular. Turkey is also considering fining businesses which use Western names in ads or in the media. They have outlawed English words such as hit, hot, and cool. France also a hit list of 3,500 foreign words that can't be used in schools or business such as cheeseburger, air bag, and log on. Closer to home, the province of Quebec in Canada has a law prohibiting the use of English in signs, and even has special "language police" to watch for transgressors. Iceland and Israel are less extreme. Foreign words are legal, but linguistic purists are constantly creating new words in the native language rather than let foreign ones seep in. (JG)
AMERICA'S MOST ADMIRED
(Source: Maria Puente, USA TODAY, 12/27/96)
As a commentary on today's role models, here are the results of the annual USA TODAY/CNN/GALLUP Poll of America's Most Admired People:
1. President Clinton
2. Pope John Paul II
3. Colin Powell
4. Rev. Billy Graham
5. Bob Dole
6. Ronald Reagan
7. Jimmy Carter (tied)
7. Nelson Mandela (tied)
8. George Bush
9. Michael Jordon
1. Mother Teresa
2. Hillary Clinton
3. Barabra Bush
4. Oprah Winfrey
5. Elizabeth Dole (tied)
5. Margaret Thatcher (tied)
6. Princess Diana
7. Madeleine Albright
8. Nancy Reagan
9. Barbara Streisand
Some points of note: this is the fourth year in a row that Clinton has been number one on the list, and the third time for Mother Teresa; the last time someone other than a president topped the poll was in 1980 when Pope John Paul II was selected over Jimmy Carter; Princess Diana and Colin Powell are the only ones this year who aren't politicians or the wives of politicians, entertainers, or religious figures. (JG)
NEW LIFE FOR OLD TIRES
(Source: Lori Waffenschmidt, CNN ONLINE, 11/13/96)
U.S. consumers discard an estimated 250 million tires every year, which pile up in unsightly mounds, become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and rats, and sometimes catch fire and pollute the air. Researchers at the UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA say those old tires could be turned into mulch. Tire mulch works about the same as pine bark or straw, but while conventional mulch breaks down and needs to be replaced every couple of years, tire mulch lasts virtually forever. Researchers aren't sure yet about long-term safety; they'll know in three to five years if tires deposit any toxins into the soil. At the moment, tire mulch is more expensive than pine bark or straw, even though it's made from tires nobody wants, but if scientists find that long-lasting tire mulch is safe, chances are it will catch on quickly and the price will go down. (JG)
HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
(Source: Haya El Nasser, USA TODAY, 12/14/96)
The cellular phone industry is growing at a phenomenal rate. In the U.S. today there are 38 million cell phone subscribers, and this number is expected to reach 124 million by the year 2005. To service this demand, cellular antenna towers are springing up over the land at the rate of 5,000 a year. These steel towers, which can be as tall as 300 feet, are needed to bounce the signal between cell phones and satellites. A backlash is building against what some regard as ugly eyesores towering over residential areas and what others feel are health hazards emitting dangerous electromagnetic fields, although the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL has yet to confirm this danger. Some creative solutions are being explored. In Irvine, California a 60-foot replica of the Washington Monument was built to camouflage a tower. Elsewhere, towers are being disguised to look like trees and flag poles, and are being hidden in church steeples, water towers, and silos. Hiding in plain sight is not cheap. Fake trees, for example, cost up to $100,000 -- four to five times the amount of a simple steel tower. (JG)
EATING OUT UP
(Source: Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY, 12/3/96)
Consumers spent record amounts eating out in 1996, and it's likely that trend will continue into 1997, when restaurant revenue is expected to jump 4.2 percent to $313 billion. Last year the average check at casual restaurants was $39.51, up 37 percent from 1995. Family restaurants showed an 8 percent increase, fast food 7 percent. "People perceive that they have more money in their pockets, so they are ordering that extra appetizer or dessert," says Bob Sandelman, President of the NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION. (JG)
BACK RUB TO GO
(Source: Stacy Perman, TIME, 12/16/96)
Feeling a little stressed out? If you live in New York City, Chicago or Denver you can drop in to a branch of the GREAT AMERICAN BACK RUB (GABR) for a quick pick-me-up on your coffee break. $14.95 will buy you ten minutes of back-rub heaven that should leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Created by Bill Zanker in 1993 after he saw a man offering massages in a park for $1 a minute, there are now 15 GABR branches, and 40 more poised to open in eight different cities. Masseurs are licensed and receive company training to standardize treatment. Clients receive their rubs fully clothed. Americans spend $24 billion a year to cure back pain. (JG)
LEECH THERAPY BACK IN VOGUE
(Source: Blake More, YOGA JOURNAL, Nov-Dec/96)
Although leech therapy was considered an indispensable medical technique in Napoleonic France, the practice fell out of favor around the turn of the century. Only since Vietnam War surgeons returned from the jungles of Southeast Asia singing their praises and a few years later when a French surgeon released a scientific study touting their benefits, has the American medical establishment decided to take a closer look at leeches. What they found was that by their nature, leeches have the ability to draw off toxins and promote the circulation of blood, especially with re-attached appendages. The medical leeches in question are five to six inches long and have hundreds of tiny teeth. Their feeding process, which is painless because leeches have a natural anesthetic in their bite, draws blood and toxins out of the area where they are applied. In a typical regimen, three to four leeches are used throughout the day. They feed for 30 to 45 minutes before they become engorged and fall off. The treatment usually lasts a week to 10 days.
WHO YOU GONNA CALL?
(Source: Carla Koehl & Sarah Van Boven, NEWSWEEK, 12/23/96)
In a page right out of a "Ghostbusters" script, the GEEK SQUAD has made its debut in Minneapolis as a computer-glitch-busting SWAT team complete with black suits, fedoras, and black retrofitted ice cream trucks. A low-tech easy-fix-it manual is in the works as is "The Geek Squad Radio Hour." And in an example of art imitating nature imitating art, both DISNEY and PARAMOUNT are courting the squad for movie rights to their story. (JG)
GOOD NEWS WATCH:
(Source: John Cowan, SEDONA RED ROCK NEWS, 11/29/96)
A Japanese farmer, Mansanobu Fukuoka, has developed a new type of natural farming that he calls "do-nothing farming." Despite the name, it took him 50 years of research to perfect his technique, which is based upon doing as little as possible to grow crops. He maintains that Nature is really the best farmer, and given just a little assistance, can provide a great bounty equal to high-tech energy-intensive methods anywhere in the world. Some of his radical techniques include: growing rice and clover at the same time -- the clover enriches the soil and protects the small rice seedlings; encasing seeds in clay pellets -- the clay eventually dissolves but in the meantime protects the seeds from birds and rodents; never pruning his citrus trees -- by growing his trees from seed, he found the trees developed a naturally-efficient central leader branching system. He also found that he could double crop the same ground -- barley or wheat in winter and rice in summer -- while not even plowing the fields and providing only minimal irrigation. To help the process, he developed a variety of low-maintenence rice called Happy Hill. He has also developed a method of intensively fertilizing the land using poultry manure at the rate of about 3,000 pounds per acre. Although his methods have been criticized, the fact that he consistently manages to achieve the best yields in the country is his testimonial. His book, "The Natural Way of Farming: The Theory and Practice of Green Philosophy" details his techniques and philosophy. (JG)
(Source: 1994 pamphlet published by the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA)
In contrast to the preceding article, the State of Virginia started planting wildflowers in 1976 with 25 flower beds in cultivation. Although this seems to be a contradiction in terms, there is a science to growing wildflowers in order to determine which varieties are best suited to particular locations and climates. Why does Virginia plant wildflowers? Along straight stretches of roads, wildflowers reduce highway hypnosis; wildflowers in the medians mean less mowing which translates into lower taxes; wildflowers along the approaches to cities and towns can create attractive and inviting gateways; wildflowers at rest stops are a tourist attraction; and wildflowers on steep slopes make for an attractive vertical garden and help stabilize the soil. Here are some varieties that the VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE and VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY suggested would flourish: Cosmos, Coreopsis, Cornflower, Poppy, Black-eyed Susan, Day Lilies, Daffodils, Dames Rocket, Joe Pye Weed, Goldenrod, Sunflower, Queen Anne's Lace, Butterfly Weed, and Daisy. By 1993, Virginia had planted nearly 200 acres of wildflowers statewide. (JG)
NEWS BRIEF SPONSOR:
OPTIONS FOR GROWTH
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A MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER:
CONTEST, REVISED MAP & NEW EQUIPMENT
Well, we thought we had a winner when we came up with the "Spirit of Sedona: Experience of a Lifetime" contest. But only four people actually sent in essays (we can't believe it either). So we've decided to cancel the contest. Our thanks to the four folks that took the time to write essays (they were all good) and also to all of you who posted flyers, placed ads and told others about the contest. We may try it again if we ever figure out why more people weren't interested in this one...
Last week we announced the release of our first video. This week we are delighted to announce that a revised version of our popular Earth Changes Composite Map is complete. If you are seriously interested in knowing just how valid predictions of impending worldwide catastrophic geological change are, then this is the material to see -- and share with your friends. It is the most well-researched data on the subject we are aware of. Our revised composite map report contains eight pages of additional information, much of it drawn from some of the best material we have published. You can find out more about this map, including how to order a copy, by visiting our Web site: <http://nen.sedona.net/nhne/mailorder.html>.
Finally, a few of you may remember us asking for donations to upgrade our current computer system. Two donors contributed enough money for us to buy a super-fast Power Macintosh. Thank you! This new system will speed things up considerably and also allow us to keep up with the newest Internet technology. Next on our need list is some video-editing equipment that will dramatically improve the quality of future NHNE videos. The system we are presently looking at has a price tag of $5,000. If you are interested in giving the Internet-broadcasting wing of NHNE a much needed boost -- and Steven Spielberg a run for his money, we are accepting donations via our toll-free phone line (888-293-1833), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or regular mail:
New HeavenNewEarth (NHNE)
P.O. Box 2242
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Until next time, I send you all my best.
With Love & Best Wishes,
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
CONNECTED ACROSS THE WATERS
"Many thanks for your dedication and your wonderful information. I enjoy it very much here in Germany, and I've learned a great deal indeed. It's fantastic to be connected to similarly-thinking souls across the waters by the Net!"
---Peter Olivier, Frankfurt, Germany
ACCEPTING WITHOUT BEING GULLIBLE
"I have enjoyed my subscription to NHNE and have been reading the newsletter since February 1996. It is quite a feat to summarize all of the publications that you use. You are accepting of new and unusual ideas without being gullible at the same time. It is necessary to accept some ideas based upon intuition and 'resonance' with our own experiences, rather than scientific proof. This has the potential to lead us astray at times, but is better than blanketing with disbelief all scientifically unproven (or unprovable) ideas. Your expositions allow readers to have the available facts to reach their own 'truths,' and form a valuable service thereby."
---Mike Oberg, Olathe, Kansas
THE DUH FACTOR
(Source: Mark Wheeler, DISCOVER, 2/97)
Comedian Steve Allen is worried about the "Duh Factor" in America -- the shrinkage of the ability to think critically. That is why the well-known entertainer agreed last August to become the Chairman of the COUNCIL FOR MEDIA INTEGRITY, a watchdog group whose goals are to rebut scientific myths perpetuated by different forms of media. Allen's favorite targets are pseudo-science shows on TV, such as the documentaries about the search for Noah's ark shown on CBS and ABC's "Chariot of the Gods" Special which claimed the pyramids were built by aliens. Other shows to which he takes exception are "The X-Files," which he considers dangerous because it is so realistic and well done, and NBC's "Mysterious Origins of Man," which maintains that early man and dinosaurs lived at the same time based upon fossilized footprints which may or may not be human.
Allen, who originated "The Tonight Show," has become a social critic and pro-science spokesman and has written 48 books on various subjects, including one entitled "Dumbth," a word he coined to describe our collective ignorance. Allen explains, "For 35 years, I have [had a] profound concern over the tendency for people to accept any preposterous but entertaining theory or story as if it were fact without checking it out."
Here are some of Allen's comments on various subjects:
On astrology: "There are three separate systems of astrology -- Egyptian, Chinese, and Persian -- and all of them are mutually exclusive, meaning if any one of them is essentially right, the other two are wrong. I wouldn't have the slightest emotional difficulty if it were suddenly to be established that astrology is a valid scientific discipline. But such a thing has never been established. The more reasonable approach is to assume that they are all wrong until conclusive evidence for their validity has been offered."
On psychic hotlines: "Once again, this is pseudo-science. Those psychics are either self-deluded or simply fakes. If these people could predict anything, they could run for president. I am not taking the position that it's impossible for an individual to have some special gift, but let's see the valid scientific proof."
On religion: "Religion is notorious for its imperviousness to argument once a mind-set has been firmly established. It's almost as if people unconsciously believe that evidence should be damned because you're discussing something that is outside the rules of nature. But that's a very flimsy and dangerous assumption, as we can see from all the wars connected to religion that have wiped out millions."
Allen feels that presenting faulty science in the media is dangerous because such false notions and lack of critical thinking carry over into real life: "Truth and facts are very precious things. The Noble Prize is awarded to people who pursued truth wherever it led. Scientists like Galileo conducted themselves heroically and suffered terribly for it. So anytime we become careless with the truth, we should worry." (JG)
SHOW ME THE MONEY!
By James Gregory
During this past football season, the NFL fined DALLAS COWBOYS quarterback Troy Aikman $40,000. His crime? Wearing ADIDAS shoes on the field during a game without covering the distinctive stripes on the side that are the ADIDAS' logo. That's a no-no because ADIDAS isn't one of the NFL's official shoes (NIKE and REEBOK are). To offset his fine, Aikman was paid $200,000 by LOGO ATHLETIC to wear their cap off the field. Sports marketer Dean Bonham figured every 30 seconds of TV exposure of Aikman in his cap was worth $109,000 in publicity. "It not team against team, but company against company," commented Michael Jacobsen, Editor of SPORTSTYLE MAGAZINE.
Endorsements are big business, and they are not just limited to pro sports. In the movie industry, ever since "E.T." boosted the sales of Reese's Pieces by 65 percent, movie props have belonged to the highest bidder, reflecting the corrosive belief that, in Hollywood at least, everything is for sale. According to Ed Russell, a public relations official for TRISTAR PICTURES, "When a promotion or a publicity event works hand-in-hand with a film, it's a win-win situation for everyone involved." This attitude seems to neglect the feelings of the ticket-buying public who pay $5 to $7.50 only to sit captive while commercials run during the previews, or endure movies with in-your-face product positioning. (Ever notice how many movies feature either a Coke machine or actors drinking from cans of Coke with all the labels pointing towards the camera?) The product-plugging industry has expanded so much that it now even has its own trade association.
Russell's comments also downplay a legal battle that is currently raging between SONY (TRISTAR's corporate parent) and REEBOK over what REEBOK claims was a breach of contract concerning positioning of their product in the movie, "Jerry McGuire." In that movie, Tom Cruise portrays a sports agent who rebels against the soul-sapping greed of his profession. In the end, McGuire finds redemption in his belief that the sports-management business centers on enduring values and "is not just about basketball shoes or official licensed merchandise." With these lofty themes, it seems ironic that TRISTAR accepted $1.5 million from REEBOK for product tie-ins to the movie. The plan was to feature Cuba Gooding Jr. as football star Rod Tidwell in his own REEBOK commercial to be shown during the closing credits of the movie. Artistic license reigned and the ad was cut at the last moment. To add insult to the injury, the only remaining reference to REEBOCK in the movie was when Tidwell bellows, "F___ REEBOCK!" In their defense, TRISTAR claims that REEBOK was aware that SONY had no legal obligation to include the commercial in the film. The product endorsement business is not pretty.
So what is it doing in the classrooms of our children? Businesses are hungrily eyeing the teen market, which spends $100 billion a year on everything from cosmetics to hamburgers. Bowing to the pressure of lagging tax funds, more and more schools are permitting ads on school buses, direct mailings to parents of students, and even ads in school halls and classrooms. In Colorado Springs, which pioneered the idea of advertising in schools in 1993, a CUB FOODS grocery chain poster in the library urges kids to read, in the gym a cartoon character reaches for a Mountain Dew, and a mortgage company ad hangs in the hallway next to an area where parents drop off their children. And if they aren't invited through the front door of a school, some businesses slip in through the back door: soft drink companies are placing vending machines in school cafeterias in exchange for shared profits, teachers receive free posters and videos promoting products, and sports shoe companies outfit school teams in sneakers.
Alex Molnar, a UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN education professor, protests the action, "Schools are selling something that is not theirs to sell: access to children." It seems that parents and students agree. "I send my children to school for an education, not to build a relationship with corporate America," says Brita Butler-Wall, Vice President of the SEATTLE PARENT TEACHER STUDENT ASSOCIATION. "Schools should be an ad-free zone," adds Seattle high school student Elysia Morrison.
Will protesting make any difference? Sales of sports paraphernalia are blistering hot and product endorsements only make them hotter -- we've come to expect it as part of the pro sports package. And schools are strapped for cash and need whatever financial assistance they can get -- it will be up to parents and school boards to ensure that the ads are tasteful and discrete. The only area where the little guy might be able to exert some leverage is with Hollywood. Already under attack from the video industry and direct TV, the movie industry can't afford to alienate movie goers by assaulting them with ads. Movies as an ad-free zone -- what a novel concept! Did you know that if you walk out of a movie, most movie houses will refund your money or at least give you a free pass to another movie? Might be worth a try as a way to make known your objections to ads and product positioning in movies. (Sources: Bruce Horovitz, Walter Shapiro, Haya El Nasser, USA TODAY, 1/3/97) (JG)
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PARADOX
(Source: Paul Krugman, USA TODAY, 12/12/96)
We are living in a time of incredible technological progress, but strangely, the economic data shows no sign of that progress. In fact, according to official statistics, the output of a typical worker seems to be slowing down, as are real wages for many Americans.
This conundrum, labelled the "Information Technology Paradox," begs the question: "If we're so smart, why aren't we richer?" Various excuses have been put forward such as the outdated economic statistics designed for the Smokestack Age cannot keep up with the Information Age, or that the payoff will come any day now.
Paul Krugman of USA TODAY offers an explanation of the paradox that few dare mention: that maybe the wonders of technology are not all that wondrous. If you measure the progress of technology not by processor speed or memory size, but how it affects people's lives, you realize that the changes in the 40 years between 1917 and 1957 were much more dramatic than in the 40 years from 1957 to the present. In 1917 a horse-drawn wagon delivered blocks of ice to your icebox; it was a world without any mass media of any kind (regularly scheduled radio broadcasts only started in 1920); and more than 50 percent of the American population lived on farms, most without electricity and running water. While it is true that the 1957 home did not have a microwave or VCR, they basically lived pretty much the way we do now.
The truth, according to Krugman, is that lately it seems technology has been letting us down. This is no one's fault. Really productive and time-saving ideas, like the internal combustion engine and the assembly line, are rare. But the techno-hype that surrounds us has some real costs. For example, it causes politicians to seek high-tech fixes (give every child a laptop) when they should be focusing on basics (teach every child to read). (JG)
THE EVOLUTION OF BLOOD
(Source: SPECTRUM, Jan-Feb/97)
According to the TOWNSEND LETTER FOR DOCTORS, the four basic blood types are thought to have evolved in different parts of the world, developing unique characteristics according to the local influences of diet, environment and society. Here are the blood types and some of their characteristics:
-- Type O is thought to be the most ancient, that of the hunter-gatherers. People of this type do best with a high-protein diet derived from meat, and do not tolerate wheat, corn and dairy products well. People of this blood type show a higher propensity toward gastric ulcers. About 46 percent of the U.S. population is in Blood Group O.
-- Type A evolved during the course of agricultural development. These people tend to secrete less stomach acid than Type O people and a disproportionate number of Type A women develop breast cancer. There are two subtypes -- A1 and A2. A1 should derive most of their protein from plant sources, while A2 need more animal protein. 42 percent of Americans are Type A, with 80 percent of this group being A1.
-- Type B persons do better on diets high in unpasteurized dairy products and fish. This group is not able to produce alloantibody B, and thus tend to suffer from a high incidence of bladder and kidney infections. 7 percent of Americans belong to this group.
-- Type AB is the latest blood group to evolve, and these people can ingest the widest range of foods, tolerating diets high in grains, nuts, dairy and seafood. About 7 percent of the U.S. population is AB.
Some scientists believe that the optimal diet for a person should take into account their blood type. This way, certain foods can be recommended or avoided according to the individual's genetic heritage. (JG)
FDA WEIGHS MERITS OF COLLOIDAL SILVER
(Sources: Linda Ciampa, CNN ONLINE, 12/31/96; Colloidal Silver Web Site)
Up to the early 1940s, it was common practice to grind up silver like flour, add an electric charge, mix it with water and use it to treat diseases, burns, and infections. Over 650 bacteria, virus, and fungi were considered treatable with this form of silver. With the development of the patented antibiotics, silver was pushed aside and all but forgotten even though antibiotics only proved effective against bacteria, and not viruses, yeast, or fungi. One reason that the antibiotics became so popular was due to the fact that they could be patented, and therefore they were heavily promoted by the pharmaceutical companies. Silver was not patentable and there was no profit in it. Now, with the greatly improved modern colloids, silver is once again gaining in popularity.
What exactly is colloidal silver? Simply put, it is a solution of extremely small silver particles with a positive electrical charge suspended in water. This electrical charge is of primary importance for its healing and anti-bacterial qualities. Silver has been known to be a bactericide for at least 1200 years. Even in ancient times, it was said that you could not catch infectious diseases if you drank from a silver cup and silver coins were commonly dropped into containers of food to prolong freshness and prevent spoilage. And up until the late 1960s, it was common practice for scientists to put silver dimes in petri dishes to sterilize them.
Faced with AIDS and an ever-increasing number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the medical profession has been forced to admit that it is losing the battle against germs. They are coming to realize that trying to cripple bacteria's defenses will only buy five to ten more years, and that a better strategy might be to abandon antibiotics. Silver may prove to be the most effective treatment for many unresponsive medical conditions.
Back in 1978, in an article titled "Our Mightiest Germ Fighter," SCIENCE DIGEST suggested that silver was the answer to many catastrophic health problems, stating, "Silver is emerging as a wonder of modern medicine. An antibiotic kills perhaps a half-dozen different disease organisms, but silver kills 650. Resistant strains fail to develop. Moreover, silver is virtually non-toxic." In "Use of Colloids in Health and Disease," author Dr. Henry Crooks says that colloidal silver is highly germicidal. In laboratory tests he found that "there is no microbe known that is not killed by colloidal silver in six minutes or less in a dilution as little as 5 parts per million." Dr. Crooks found colloidal silver particularly effective in intestinal problems.
The ASSOCIATION FOR COLLOIDAL RESEARCH reports in their paper, "Colloidal Silver," that "Studies spanning 100 years indicate no known side effects from oral or I.V. administration of properly manufactured colloidal silver in animal or human testing. There has never been a reported reaction with colloidal silver and any prescription medication."
Another problem with modern antibiotics that has plagued the medical profession from the beginning is that they destroy the beneficial bacteria and organisms in the body which play various important, natural functions. Colloidal silver seems to only attack the unfriendly pathogens and not harm the friendly. How does it differentiate? For the most part, friendly bacteria are aerobic (needing oxygen), while unfriendly bacteria are anaerobic. The silver does not attack bacteria directly, but rather decomposes certain enzymes the anaerobic bacteria, viruses, yeast, and molds require. The silver acts as a catalyst and is not consumed in the process. The reason that the bacteria do not develop a resistance to silver, as they do to antibiotics, is because silver does not attack them directly, but rather destroys the enzymes they depend on.
Experiments show that colloidal silver not only kills the pathogens, it also produces dramatic healing of tissue. The silver ion causes some cells to restructure into cells with no differentiation. These cells can turn into any cell that is needed. Only these undifferentiated cells can be used to create the cells necessary to replace damaged cells. It seems to be for this reason that colloidal silver greatly reduces scarring, while greatly accelerating the healing of wounds. Scar tissue develops when undifferentiated cells are in short supply. Therefore it would seem that silver would reduce or prevent internal scarring and promote faster healing after surgery.
In the treatment of AIDS, silver supports T-cells in their fight against foreign organisms in the blood by actually protecting and defending the T-cells. Research scientists such as Dr. Gary Smith strongly suggest that silver ions are essential to the immune system. Daryl Tichy of BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY has been successfully experimenting with colloidal silver in the treatment of AIDS. According to Tichy, a solution of colloidal silver kills a variety of pathogens, including the HIV virus. Antibiotics have no effect on the AIDS virus.
Dr. Bob Beck suggests many additional uses of colloidal silver such as spraying infected plants, adding it to inhalers for the treatment of lung problems, as a disinfectant, and for all skin infections including diaper rash. In Russian and American space shuttles, silver purifiers are used to sterilize recycled water. Many airlines use silver/water filters to protect against water-borne diseases such as dysentery. In the U.S., some municipalities use silver in the treatment of sewage. An experiment conducted in Nebraska demonstrated its effectiveness: 50 gallons of raw sewage were pumped into a pool. The E. coli count -- a standard measure of contamination -- registered 7,000 per milliliter of water. Within three hours of exposing the water to silver electrodes, it was completely free of E. coli. Silver works so well in purifying water that it is sometimes used to purify swimming pools. It doesn't sting the eyes as chlorine does and has the extra benefit of killing mosquito larva.
In the Depression when money was scarce, colloidal silver sold for as much as $200 an ounce. Now it is available off the shelf for as little as $2.50 an ounce. An almost clear solution indicates highest quality. Easy-to-use equipment is also available to make fresh batches of high quality colloidal silver in your own home for about two cents an ounce. Prices for the equipment start at $75.
Despite the dramatic claims listed above, few mainstream doctors choose silver over conventional medical treatments. And with the resurgence of interest in colloidal silver, the FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) has decided to take a closer look at manufacturers' claims. Colloidal silver manufacturers which have been selling the product as a drug were required to provide proof to the FDA supporting their claims by the middle of January. The FDA is now sifting through the data and may take some time before coming up with a recommendation. In the meantime, consumers must decide for themselves whether colloidal silver is helpful or not.
For more information on colloidal silver, visit the Colloidal Silver Web Site: <http://www.colloidal-silver.com>.(JG)
David Sunfellow (DS)
James Gregory (JG)
Gail Rossi (GR)
Lea Harwood (LH)
Joya Pope (JP)
Palden Jenkins (PJ)
Sandy Ezrine (SE)
Kathleen-Blake Frankel (KBF)
Karol Ann Barnett (KAB)
Mary Koch (MK)
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