SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

November 30, 2014

How Oral Microbiome protects us


This post is a brilliant piece sent out by Dr Joseph Mercola regarding our Oral Health which couldn’t be more important to our everyday lives.   Loved this interview with this remarkable “Integrative dentist” Dr. Gerry Curatola, but I also downloaded the text as there are some pertinent details which interested me regarding  ‘Oil Pulling’ which I also use.  Whether you still have some or all of your teeth isn’t important,  for the oral Microbiome is so closely linked to our overall  health kinda like hand and glove with our mouth being greatly responsible for what else might be going on within our body.  Protection starts in the mouth (defense), so please learn some helpful info here and use it.    Jan

Unusual “Trigger” Linked to the Deadliest Heart Attacks
Please don’t ignore this – if it does trigger a heart attack, nine times out of 10 it will actually kill you. What’s more, it can also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 700%.

Story at-a-glance

  • Thousands of studies have linked oral disease to systemic disease, including Alzheimer’s, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes
  • Advanced periodontal disease or gum disease can raise your risk of a fatal heart attack up to 10 times; there’s also a 700 percent higher incidence of type 2 diabetes among those with gum disease
  • The oral microbiome has a protective component that protects you from deadly viruses and bacteria in the environment, provided you maintain homeostasis in your mouth
  • For oral health, eat an alkalizing, antioxidant-rich, and anti-inflammatory diet, and replace toothpaste and antibacterial/alcohol-based mouthwashes with an oral rinse that nourishes your oral microbiome

After watching this dialogue with Dr Curatola, one may understand why I make my own homemade dental cleansing powder,  use  sea-salt rinsing, and instant pain relief for infection or swelling – til you can get to a dentist,  if you must as well as the healing oil combination I was able to devise (all of which, of course, I’ve shared within the past year or two. If you can’t find it, let me know. . . I’ll try to assist as my blog is big with over 2200 posts — gets confusing.   Jan

Toyota’s Mirais, fuel-cell car

Auto industry

Hydrogen-powered car is step by Toyota toward ‘revolution’


         EUGENE HOSHIKO/ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOS Toyota unveiled its Mirai fuel-cell vehicle last week; sales of the company’s first hydrogen-powered vehicle begin on Dec. 15.    While Japan pursues the technology, Europe bets on electric

TOKYO — In the science-fiction novel  The Mysterious Island,  written about 140 years ago by French author Jules Verne, one of the main characters says:  “I believe that water will one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen which constitute it, used singly or together, will furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and light, of an intensity of which coal is not capable. … Water will be the coal of the future.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cited this passage in a speech at a seminar at the Kyoto International Conference Center in October. “Verne’s dream is becoming a reality in Japan,” Abe said.

On Dec. 15, Toyota’s Mirai, its first fuel-cell vehicle, will go on sale. The vehicle runs on hydrogen.

Japan’s public and private sectors have been working together to achieve a “hydrogen society,” in which hydrogen becomes a major energy source. By contrast, many nations in Europe, a region at the forefront of environmental conservation efforts, have been placing their eggs in the electric-vehicle basket.

Toyota expects to sell only 700 Mirais globally in the first year.

In May 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a conference of industry officials, “You have a chancellor who believes in electromobility.”

Merkel has set a target of having 1 million electric vehicles on German roads by 2020. As of June this year, just 20,000 such vehicles had been sold there, although charging stations are being built throughout major cities.

One vocal skeptic about fuel-cell cars is Elon Musk, the chief executive officer of Tesla Motors, a major U.S. maker of electric vehicles. Musk said in Tokyo in September that developing fuel-cell vehicles is not a worthwhile path, as they have no chance of winning against other eco-cars. Massive amounts of energy are required to create hydrogen, which is also difficult to store and transport, he said.

If electric vehicles could be powered by electricity generated through solar and wind power, they would effectively produce no greenhouse-gas emissions. That is the argument of advocates who believe electric vehicles are preferable when it comes to tackling global warming.
At this stage, it is impossible to predict whether electric or fuel-cell vehicles will be the next-generation mainstream vehicle.
Almost 90 million new vehicles are sold around the world in a year. Toyota sells about 1.2 million hybrid vehicles annually, but it took 10 years before its cumulative sales of hybrids reached 1 million.

Slightly more than a century has passed since the Ford Model T went on sale in 1908 and made automobiles available for the mass market. Can Toyota’s Mirai lead to a major conversion in a vehicle culture that has been built on fossil fuels?

Toyota President Akio Toyoda believes so.

“This car isn’t merely a new kind of vehicle. It’s the first step toward a revolution,” he said.
“Toyota exists to create revolution.”

(Just wondering what the financial  picture is like on this vehicle. . .should we start dreaming, or forget about it?  Also, what about “fueling up”?  How is this done?  Are there stations around with which to satisfy the car’s needs?  Or do we  have to do this on our at home?   Many considerations. . . much to think about, but the possibilities are huge and exciting.   Jan)

U.N. hits U.S. criminal justice

Abe, FDR – what do we do now?


Panel hits U.S. over criminal justice


A U.N. panel has sharply criticized how the United States handles a variety of criminal justice-related issues, such as the police shooting of unarmed African-Americans, the imprisonment of terror detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and the application of the death penalty.

In a 16-page report released yesterday, its first such review since 2006, the U.N. Committee Against Torture condemned U.S. policies in handling how police dealt with issues of brutality against blacks and Latinos. It did not specifically mention events in Ferguson, Mo., but the parents of Michael Brown, fatally shot by a white police officer, spoke to the commission before the findings were released.

“There are numerous areas in which certain things should be changed for the United States to comply fully with the convention,” Alessio Bruni of Italy, one of the panel’s chief investigators, said at a news conference in Geneva. He was referring to the U.N. Convention Against Torture, which took effect in 1987 and the United States ratified in 1994.  The committee’s 10 independent experts review the records of U.N. members and issue recommendations, which are non-binding.

Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot Brown on Aug. 9, touching off weeks of often violent protests. A St. Louis County grand jury decided this week not to indict Wilson, and information was released that portrayed Brown as the aggressor in the incident.

The announcement of the grand jury’s decision was met with looting, arson and arrests in Ferguson and with more peaceful demonstrations across the nation.   In all, hundreds of arrests have been made from New York to Los Angeles and throughout the St. Louis region, though the level of protest has decreased in recent days.

Brown’s parents, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., met with the committee in Geneva this month and argued that their son was a victim of police brutality and that his death and other forms of police brutality were a violation of the U.N. treaty.

The panel was told by the U.S. delegation that 20 investigations had been opened by the U.S. Justice Department since 2009 into systematic police abuses against minorities and that more than 330 police officers had been prosecuted for brutality.

  • The Justice Department is conducting a similar probe in Ferguson. It also is investigating whether to charge Wilson with violating federal civil-rights law.

In comments after the grand-jury decision was announced on Monday, President Barack Obama acknowledged that there were problems in the relations between police and minority communities.   “The fact is, in too many parts of this country, a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color,” Obama said.    “Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country. And this is tragic, because nobody needs good policing more than poor communities with higher crime rates.”

The next day in Chicago, Obama said he had asked outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder to “identify specific steps we can take together to set up a series of regional meetings focused on building trust in our communities.”    “And next week, we’ll bring together state and local officials, and law enforcement, and community leaders and faith leaders to start identifying very specific steps that we can take to make sure that law enforcement is fair and is being applied equally to every person in this country.”

The U.N. report also criticized the U.S. record on military interrogations, maximum security prisons, solitary confinement and migrants residing in the country.”    The report also called for tougher federal laws to define and outlaw torture, including how detainees are treated in Guantanamo Bay.

About 148 inmates are held at the base in Cuba, where the U.S. practices a form of incarceration the report described as “a draconian system of secrecy surrounding high-value detainees that keeps their torture claims out of the public domain.”
Nine inmates have died, including seven by suicide, since 2006, the report added.

Obama has called for closing the Guantanamo Bay facility and bringing the inmates to face trial in the United States, moves that have been opposed by Congress. Since the first detainees arrived in 2002, there have been reports that inmates have been tortured during interrogation.  Officials have been force-feeding inmates who have been on a hunger strike since last year to protest their imprisonment.

  • The U.N. committee also criticized a series of executions in the United States in which it took a long time for inmates to die, and they appeared to be suffering because of the quality of drugs used and how they were administered.

(My comment:    

Our earliest forefathers who migrated to these shores came with little more than a few hopeful dreams; but over the next decades, these adventurous,  daring souls founded the beginnings of our nation and under the most perilous conditions  imaginable.    For several hundred years, our earliest struggles grew into a marvelously functioning government which somehow always managed to foster those early desires of freedom and a better life.    Sure there were disagreements along the line.  Differing views and ways to achieve their goals.  But somehow, it always worked to serve the needs of the people.  For that’s what government is supposed to do.  

Now, there is so much wrong, corrupt, immoral and unAmerican — we hardly seem like the same country.  Our voices aren’t heard and our needs aren’t being met, with all the talk of equal justice for all.  Medicine is growing more unaffordable everyday;  criminal justice for the majority is fixed and cruel. . .only working for those who can afford the most expensive representation.  Laws are no-longer formed from constituent input and demand, but instead from biased politically-connected corporate boardrooms;  SCOTUS, well there is no possible way to imagine what mysterious books they are using to arrive at the conclusions which are beyond justifying – – their logic seems to be coming from another planet altogether.  

This is all really painful.  Americans are a proud lot.  We grew from a few rag-o-muffins to the greatest, strongest and most powerful country in the world.  We are known for our courage, smarts and caring. . .our hearts are deep and loving.  And everyone who is not a native American (Indian) came here from somewhere else — all colors, shapes, religions, etc., in other words a giant melting pot of all mixtures of people.  Somehow, we managed to co-exist.  Nevertheless, there has always been resistance from some, those with hatred to spread around or really small, limited-capacity minds. The out-moded Klu Klux Klan live amongst us carrying on their views of racism (many in some police departments, sadly).   This is not only cruel, but illegal and something has to be done about it!

So it smarts to realize that the world is looking at us and not seeing the good that we had and have been, for now we torture, discriminate, wantonly kill !  The helping hand we always had for our needy and helpless has now turned to an inconvenience we choose to ignore rather than fix what has been broken.  We’ve witnessed “assistance cutbacks,” many draconian slashes to our educational systems and other civic services.  The new jobs which are spoken of are meager in the remuneration department requiring far too many to work multiple jobs trying to survive.  It’s not that businesses can’t do better – pay more,  indeed!  Their profits have never been higher. . .and we, the people – have never been poorer (well, the great depression was a doozy also).  And Washington is talking of getting more tax breaks for business?   All the biggest ones pay few or no taxes now!  

The U.N. (United Nations) have concluded that we are breaking this treaty which we signed and then ratified in 1994.  It’s true, the mind can justify ‘anything’. . and usually does.  We should take a long, hard look in the mirror and try to figure out whom we have become.   Jan) 


November 20, 2014

Over-common woe Ill-treated

Starving Thyroid, misdiagnosed – badly treated


The Cancer Diagnosis You May Be Better off Ignoring
Despite up to 15 times more diagnoses, death rates haven’t come down – telling researchers they aren’t, in fact, dangerous. Yet removing them can lead to a slew of cascading health problems including depression, hormone deficiencies, and damage to your vocal chords.


(My comment:    

Actually, like hundreds of thousands of others  over the past 5 – 6 decades. . . this was my issue and perhaps   – my only problem.  It wasn’t just a genetic thing, but in fact my mother and grandmother both had the same problem and since I knew how they handled it  and it became a non-issue,  I wanted what they had – – IODINE.  When they presented to their docs with their list of symptoms, they were given iodine or Lugol’s solution.   All was restored to normal quickly, I was told.  Don’t know what side issues my family  had going on, but they both had goiters.     Now at 21, I had developed a goiter to my otherwise slender neck about which I was disturbed.  (ego thing)

Obviously my hormonal system WAS involved because my menses was so irregular that I had no expectations at all.  When it showed up, there it was.  Those periods were stressful to me and extraordinarily, debilitatingly  painful.   At that age I had not become the ferocious, informed rebel that I currently am.  Had no idea those issues were or might be connected.  I trusted doctors to care for me.  So I sought IODINE from them – – for over forty years.  Not one would comply saying only that “we don’t do things like that anymore”. . .iodine is passe.  And besides. . .my test results were “normal”.  

I was bleeding to death every time and the menses usually lasted around 7 days;   buying the largest boxes of the thickest pads.  Tampons could not stem my flow.  They probably assumed I was some kind of hypochondriac.  (One time as I deplaned, Mother saw I was ill and asked what was wrong.  I responded that I was fine, it was just my period.  They didn’t believe me and took me straight to the hospital.  Raging temp, much pain. . .appendix was rupturing.)  

So much bad doctoring.   Could it be that 19th and early 20th century docs were just better informed than our current crop.   The world around us has been changing in everything;  the way food is “manufactured,”  the burgeoning growth of chemicals EVERYWHERE and among other things — the way the nation baked bread.  Iodine used to be incorporated in the bread making process.  Everybody ate bread.  (And it was healthy not genetically modified back then the way grains of all kinds are grown – especially wheat).  But they removed the iodine and replaced it with cheaper  chemicals  – – (have covered this so often, not going there now) -( just Google Bread making if want to understand more).  So the ground shifted under the docs too, and perhaps they didn’t understand the connection,  but this was the beginning of the end  of our daily dose of iodine we all need so desperately in every cell of our body.  

So as I saw what Dr Mercola’s article was about – – Dr Jonathan Wright – one of my favorites, who pioneered ‘natural hormone therapy’ and so much more, I was pleased to put this up.  There are two separate videos in the scripted text.  Be sure to watch both as Dr Wright describes the beneficial way iodine used to be used and still is.  Ya just gotta find the right doc!   This is NOT  ‘new stuff’. . .but it so relevant.   All those years I went thru fertility stuff with my husband – unnecessary!   All that menstrual pain for so many years – -needless!  My goiter grew back fairly quickly — surgery was an unnecessary, needless expense and misery.  Problem never solved because I needed iodine and was too uninformed to understand that I could get it myself — why the hell didn’t I?  Ya live and learn, hopefully.     Jan)








November 18, 2014

Internet neutrality – go Obama!


Obama calls for Internet neutrality



WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama recently embraced a radical change in how the government treats Internet service, coming down on the side of consumer activists who fear slower download speeds and higher costs but angering Republicans and cable giants who say the plan would kill jobs.

Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to more heavily regulate Internet providers and treat broadband much as it would any other public utility. He said the FCC should explicitly prohibit Internet providers such as Verizon and AT&T from charging data hogs like Netflix extra to move their content more quickly.

                         The announcement sent cable stocks tumbling.

  • The FCC, an independent regulatory body led by political appointees, is nearing a decision on whether broadband providers should be allowed  to cut deals with the content providers but is stumbling over the legal complexities.
“We are stunned the president would abandon the longstanding, bipartisan policy of lightly regulating the Internet and calling for extreme” regulation, said Michael Powell, president and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the primary lobbying arm of the cable industry.    .This “tectonic shift in national policy, should it be adopted, would create devastating results,” Powell added.

.Netflix swung behind Obama, posting to its Facebook page that “consumers should pick winners and losers on the Internet, not broadband gatekeepers.”

  • .“Net neutrality” is the idea that Internet service providers shouldn’t block, slow or manipulate data moving across their networks. As long as content isn’t against the law, such as child pornography or pirated music, a file or video posted on one site will load generally at the same speed as a similarly sized file or video on another site.

In 2010, the FCC embraced the concept in a rule. But last January, a federal appeals court struck down the regulation because the court said the FCC didn’t technically have the legal authority to tell broadband providers how to manage their networks.

Obama waded into the fray and gave a major boost to Internet activists by saying the FCC should explicitly ban any “paid prioritization” on the Internet. Obama also suggested that the FCC reclassify consumer broadband as a public utility under the 1934 Communications Act. That would mean the Internet would be regulated more heavily in the way phone service is.

.“It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information — whether a phone call, or a packet of data,” Obama said.

.This approach is exactly what industry lobbyists have spent months fighting against. AT&T threatened legal action if the FCC adopted Obama’s plan, while Comcast Corp. said reclassifying broadband regulation would be “a radical reversal that would harm investment and innovation, as today’s immediate stock market reaction demonstrates.” Similar statements were released by Time Warner Cable Inc. and several industry groups.

Many Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester, and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, sided with industry in denouncing the plan as government overreach.

“ ‘Net Neutrality’ is Obama-care for the Internet,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a tea-party favorite, on Twitter. “The Internet should not operate at the speed of government.”
.The Internet Association, which represents many content providers such as Netflix, Twitter, eBay and Google, applauded Obama’s proposal.
As the Standard & Poor’s 500 index edged up slightly, big cable companies slid. Time Warner, Comcast, Cablevision and Charter Communications dropped 2 percent to 4 percent in the hours immediately after the announcement.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said he is open to using a “hybrid” approach that would draw from both Title II of the 1934 law and the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Wheeler said he welcomed the president’s comments but suggested that his proposal was easier said than done.
“The more deeply we examined the issues around the various legal options, the more it has become plain that there is more work to do,” Wheeler said. “The reclassification and hybrid approaches before us raise substantive legal questions. We found we would need more time to examine these to ensure that whatever approach is taken, it can withstand any legal challenges it may face.”
The FCC isn’t under a deadline to make a decision.
The president’s statement all but guarantees that the major cable companies will spend the next few months trying to encourage Congress to step in to protect their interests. Still, Internet activists are hoping that Obama’s position will go a long way.
“When the leader of the free world says the Internet should remain free, that’s a game-changer,” said Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass.

Jan’s Comment:
Once again, our president is trying to serve the needs of the “people” over and above the demands of the “corporate complex” which is after more and more money and power.  
The way Congress has treated our president, it is amazing that he has been able to accomplish anything, but he keeps hammering away, mostly by himself.    History will reveal that his achievements will rank him among the best and most noteworthy, while this particular congress has also achieved a certain  distinction. . . one who is less capable,   obviously less educated in the essentials of governing, and of a pitiful class who serves petty political  ends over the needs of our people who have been so extremely impoverished and stripped of so many rights and privileges.  All this  while the rich have become obscenely moreso as they pull the corporate “corruption strings” there in Washington which is how and why all the things we need and normally expect from our government aren’t happening,. . .aren’t even heard, because our new laws and regulations are being paid for by them to line the greedy congressional pockets and their own corporate purposes.     
Our world in all its vital texture is imperiled;   the climate has already changed and is dangerously worsening;  animal species are dying faster than we can keep up with or properly tally.  The entire planet is being sterilized and poisoned . . . which of course, will not selectively kill, but snuff us all out.   We could stop all this craziness,  but we don’t!  Its true all these chemical toxins kill, but they destroy our ability to properly think and it would seem — that’s already happened.   Have we become a nation of imperiled idiots who can’t tell right from wrong?  
Have all those Democrats who were a part of the thrilled millions not only here, but around the world who lauded our first “black” president with all the great ideas who spoke words that everyone of us resonated to — become so jaded and inept that they have bought the scurrilous proclamations coming out of the Republican mouths?  Can it be?  There has never been a secret to the GOP mantra – – block everything he does and make him a one-term president!  They have been cruel, deceitful and devastating to the American way of life as we knew it.  Of course many of them are bigots, racist, but can anyone change that?  Maybe, but it ain’t easy.  I’ve known many who hate (or are intolerant of) and it seems to be in them deep, whether it was directed toward the Jew, Hispanic, anyone whose skin wasn’t ‘white’,  or any whose religion not their own including differing branches of the  ‘Christian’ religion.    Forgive my blind-spot please, as this is a concept I can’t easily deal with. I loosely think of this way of being and thinking  as  “againstness.”   I choose not to go there as I have instinctively felt that it is better to live and let live.  When any of us become open to a greater truth than we think we now have, life finds a way to slide right in bringing a different understanding.  
Anyway, its a good thing that the prez is trying to accomplish here to benefit all us everyday people in what is fair and right for our wants, needs and wallets.  Thank you Mr. President.      Jan

HI bans GMO’s from Maui

  • Monsanto Vows to Challenge Maui GMO Moratorium in Court…/mauigmomoratorium.aspx

    11 hours ago – As noted by Democracy Now, 1 Maui County’s measure is one of the strongest anti-GMO measures ever to pass. “The Maui GMO moratorium …

    (My Comment:  
    Could anything be more wonderful?    So many states are struggling to combat these horrendous Toxin-providers to our world and especially our food systems . . . . but here is tiny Hawaii being  outrageously outspent  – AND WON! Bravo!  We all must keep vigilant and  put our energies to the highest and best  use.   Jan)

November 16, 2014

Plasterwork Artisan renaissance


Ornamental plaster enjoying renaissance

                                                                                              CHARLES FOX PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER PHOTOS
David Flaharty has done plasterwork for the White House, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian.

 PHILADELPHIA — Thirty-five years ago, when John Doherty was doing rehab work for Campus Apartments, removing old plasterwork to make way for drywall, he was struck by the beauty of the buildings’ antique plaster flourishes — all destined for the landfill.  

Instead of throwing out the pieces, he began salvaging them to sell at a flea market on the weekends.   Then he learned that he could make rubber molds of the pieces and replicate them as many times as he wanted, for use in his own designs.   “It became my own Home Depot,” he said.  

Doherty, now based in Delaware County, Pa., started one of the area’s first salvage businesses, with a sideline in plasterwork.  

Today, there may be a greater appreciation for such architectural detail, but there aren’t nearly as many plaster artisans as there were in the heyday of Victorian mansions.   The remaining craftspeople see demand from historic sites such as the White House, serious institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, not-so-serious institutions such as Las Vegas casinos and high-end interior designers who are adopting the Victorians’ interest in ceiling ornamentation.  

Flaharty uses molds based on old plasterwork to create it anew in his Green Lane, Pa., studio.

David Flaharty got into the business in the ’70s, mostly by coincidence. He was a sculptor who rented studio space from a plasterer and began going along on jobs.   Their work caught the attention of Edward Vason Jones, architect for the White House during Richard M. Nixon’s administration.  

That led to more than 20 years of commissions, including decorating the State Department’s reception rooms and the secretary of state’s office   — which had “looked like a Howard Johnson” because of their midcentury construction.  

  • In the White House, Flaharty has done what has to be among the most televised ceiling medallions — the one in the Blue Room used each year to hook up the lights for the official White House Christmas tree.   “Every year, I see it on TV,” he said.  

Flaharty works much as his predecessors did a century ago, carving molds or making them from existing pieces, then casting them in plaster. He sometimes substitutes sturdier synthetic materials, such as urethane rubber.  He has amassed about 300 molds of decorative elements that can be reconfigured in endless variations.  

Because so many shops have closed, James Kuryloski, owner of Felber Ornamental Plastering Corp. in Norristown, Pa., gets calls from across the country for specialized jobs.   His recent projects have included providing adornments for the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., and working from old photographs and paintings to carve molds for plasterwork in the Maryland Statehouse’s Old Senate Chamber.  

He also works on new construction, where demand for crown moldings and decorative period ceilings has been particularly strong.   “A lot of people now don’t want their ceilings to be just flat and boring,” he said. “They want a modern house that might have lighting and sprinklers and speakers up on the ceiling, and then they put a decorative ceiling on top of it. They want the best of the old and the new.”  

Some industrious designers have been tinkering with 3-D scanning of damaged historic plaster pieces, which can then be repaired digitally and re-created with 3-D printers, but Laran Bronze in Chester, Pa., hasn’t had a call for it yet, said owner Larry Welker.  

For now, Flaharty and others will keep doing it the old-fashioned way — and trying to recruit the next generation of artisans to continue their work.   “It’s a dying art,” he said, “but I’d like to pass on my trade.”

November 15, 2014

Asians demand Non-GMO SOYbeans

JUSTIN WAN THE BLADE Larry Holloway stands among grain elevators at the Delong Co., a soybean collection                                        point for Asian markets.

Asian markets hunger for unaltered Ohio soybeans

By Jon Chavez THE BLADE

   KIRBY, Ohio — It’s not Tokyo, but a grain elevator in this tiny town in Wyandot County has become a de facto doorway of opportunity to the Far East for northwestern Ohio farmers who choose to grow soybeans that are not genetically altered. The DeLong Co. Inc. elevator, which can hold about 1 million bushels of grain, stores and processes non-genetically modified organism soybeans. Those beans are highly sought by Asian buyers, particularly the Japanese.  

“In the past, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan beans have been incredibly popular with the Japanese market. We have better protein content,” said Larry Holloway, general manager of the DeLong operations in Kirby, about 6 miles west of Upper Sandusky.   And the Asian markets, which include Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, long have been insistent that the food-grade soybeans used to make tofu, miso and soy sauce not be genetically modified.  

  • “The beans in China and Japan are all non-GMO. They don’t allow GMO beans,” Holloway said. “They fear that GMO will cause adverse health problems, so getting them to use GMO beans — it’s just not going to happen.”

That’s been a good thing for 25 years for DeLong and others who make a nice profit serving what is essentially a niche market.   About 98 percent of the soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified. But that 2 percent of non-GMO soybeans is a market worth pursuing.  

“It’s actually bigger than you think. It’s a pretty big market,” Holloway said. “Japan alone for food uses about a million metric tons of soybeans, and they grow about a third of what they need.” For the two-thirds that it needs, Japan imports 70 percent from the United States and 30 percent from Canada. Besides wanting non-GMO soybeans, Asian buyers prefer the taste and protein content of soybeans that come from Indiana, Ohio and Michigan — known as IOM beans — and they are willing to pay a premium price to get them.  

“It kind of ranges with the market,” said Gary Shick, a non-GMO soybean farmer who lives just outside Kenton in neighboring Hardin County. “But Kirby’s premium this year is $2 to $3 a bushel depending on (soybean) variety.”  

In other words, DeLong will pay farmers $2 to $3 more per bushel for non-GMO soybeans than they would get if they grew GMO soybeans. Shick said he sells a third of the 650 acres of non-GMO beans he grows to a Japanese firm, Kapi-Ohio, in Marysville. He has been growing the specialty crop for the export market for nearly 25 years. He is one of about 120 Ohio farmers that DeLong contracts to grow non-GMO beans for its Asian customers.  

DeLong, of Clinton, Wis., works with farmers as far south as Marysville in Union County, north to Lake Erie, west to Delphos in Allen and Van Wert counties, and east to Bucyrus in Crawford County.   DeLong is one of five grain elevators in Ohio that serve as non-GMO soybean collection points for the Asian market.  

In the Toledo area, the Andersons Inc. of Maumee contracts with northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan farmers to grow non-GMO soybeans that the company sells directly to Japan and other Asian countries.  

The soybeans are collected in special bins, sent by rail to the Andersons dock on the Maumee River, loaded on a ship and sent directly abroad. A trip to the Far East takes about 30 days.

November 13, 2014

12 yr old creates Braille printer 82% less


PATRICK TEHAN SAN JOSE (CALIF.) MERCURY NEWS PHOTOS Shubham Banerjee, now 13, assembles the Braille printer he built out of Legos in his California home for a science project.

 12-year-old develops cheaper Braille printer for the blind

By Heather Somerville    SAN JOSE (CALIF) MERCURY NEWS
 SANTA CLARA, Calif. — In December, seventh-grader Shubham Banerjee asked his parents how blind people read. A Silicon Valley tech professional, dad Neil Banerjee told his son to “Google it.” So Shubham did, and with a few Internet searches he learned about Braille, the tactile writing system used by the blind, and Braille printers, which, to the 12-year-old’s shock, cost thousands of dollars.   
 .One school science-fair victory, a few national accolades, $35,000 of his parents’ savings and a visit to the White House later, Shubham today is the founder of the Palo Alto startup Braigo Labs, which aims to become the first purveyor of low-cost, compact Braille printers.   Last week, Intel Capital, the company’s global investment arm, announced that it has invested in the teenager’s company, making Shubham the world’s youngest tech entrepreneur to receive venture-capital funding.  
 “It was curiosity,” explained Shubham, now 13 and an eighth-grader at Champion School in San Jose. “I’m always thinking up something. If you think it can be done, then it can probably be done.”  
The new Braille printer could drop the price for a home model for the blind from $2,000 to around $350.
What started as a home-built Lego project for a science fair has morphed into a family-run startup, with mom Malini Banerjee the president and CEO, and dad on the board of directors and serving as Shubham’s chauffeur and chaperone to press events, interviews and business meetings. The seed funding from Intel will permit the Santa Clara family to hire engineers and product designers, allowing Shubham to return his focus to school and easing the financial burden on the Banerjee family; Neil was contemplating dipping into his 401(k) before Intel made its offer. Intel declined to disclose the amount.  
 “It’s a classic Silicon Valley story, isn’t it?” said Neil Banerjee, who works as director of software operations for Intel. “Everyone else started in a garage, but (Shubham) started at the kitchen table.”   The investment also earns Shubham a place in history. He is two years younger than British entrepreneur Nick D’Aloisio, who previously was the world’s youngest venture capital-backed tech entrepreneur . He received an investment for his startup Summly, a news-reading app, in 2011, say business groups and media organizations that track venture investments. Yahoo later bought Summly for a reported $30 million.  
Braigo includes software that Shubham created using Intel’s new Edison chip — an inexpensive development platform to power wearable devices, prototypes by early startups and other gadgets built by hobbyists — and a printer that uses various motors and impression tools. Shubham published the code for the software open-source on the web, so other developers can use it, but the family has a patent pending for the printer.  
 Organizations for the visually impaired welcome the prospect of an affordable Braille printer, which they say could give blind people better access to literature and news and improve Braille literacy rates, which hover around 8.5 percent among the 60,000 blind schoolchildren in the country, says the American Printing House for the Blind.  
 There is absolutely a need,” said Gary Mudd, spokesman for the Printing House for the Blind. “In a business situation, that equipment is purchased by the company that employs you. People who want their own, though, just get to pay for it. Being blind is sometimes very expensive.”
 (My Comment:
 All know I am blown away, left in the dust,  when I learn about brilliant kids and their  apparent mental-composure and clarity of purpose as they set about doing something that has never been done before.  Often, that doesn’t matter to them. .  they see a need or a possibility in a different direction of what already is. . .  somehow, it is clear to them,  and it comes about.     If only we could bottle that talent and spread it around.            
Bravo Shubham.  You will enrich so many others. . . improve their lives.   May you enjoy the blessing you so richly deserve.   Jan)

November 11, 2014

Detergent Pods injure kids

Latest study

Detergent pods make kids sick

   CHARLES REX ARBOGAST ASSOCIATED PRESS   In 80 percent of studied cases,        the affected children swallowed the detergent pods, researchers found.

By Lauren Coleman-Lochner BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK — More than 17,000 U.S. children came into contact with laundry-detergent pods in 2012 and 2013, sending thousands to hospitals and resulting in at least one death, according to a study in the medical journal Pediatrics.

Researchers, examining statistics for kids younger than 6 from the National Poison Data System, found that the number of exposures to the pods jumped more than seven-fold in April 2013 from the previous March. The children were hospitalized 4.4 percent of the time, and 7.5 percent had a moderate or major medical outcome, according to the study.

The detergent packets, such as Procter & Gamble Co.’s Tide Pods, have become increasingly popular with Americans. Researchers suggested reducing the risk of poisoning by changing packaging, reformulating the detergent or better labeling the pods.
In response to the study, the American Cleaning Institute said detergent makers have been working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to reduce accidents since 2012.

In 80 percent of cases, the children swallowed the pods, while an additional 7.2 percent got detergent in their eyes, researchers found.


Don’t really think this requires any sort of comment. . . other than — so sad, on any account!   Jan

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