Psychedelic Drugs To Treat Alcoholics

magic mushrooms shrooms psychedelic psilocybin

Flickr/Frerk Meyer

Doctors are talking about using psychedelic drugs to treat alcoholics


Treating an addiction to a mind-altering substance with another mind-altering substance might seem counterintuitive, but more and more, researchers are finding ways that psychedelic drugs like psilocybin mushrooms and party drugs like ketamine could actually help people get over alcohol and drug addictions.

Most recently, researchers published a study in the Nature journal Neuropsychopharmacology that they say offers very preliminary evidence that ketamine might be worth exploring as a way to help people with alcohol abuse disorders get over the depression and anxiety that they frequently feel after giving up booze.

That particular study was based on mice, which means that on its own, it would hardly be worth mentioning — alcoholic mice being very different from humans with drinking problems. But that’s far from the only research showing that ketamine can help with depression or that psychedelics can help addicts.

For the study in Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers showed that alcohol dependent mice display anxiety and depressed behavior after abstaining from drinking. Then, they were able to show that ketamine was able to reverse those effects, causing the mice to behave like mice who hadn’t been consuming alcohol in the first place.

These findings fit into a growing body of research that shows ketamine can reverse depression in people in powerful ways.

We might think of ketamine as a quasi-psychedelic party drug (or an animal tranquilizer), but researchers have been investigating its therapeutic properties for the past 10 years.

For many, the disassociative anesthetic drug can function as a powerful antidepressant, able to reverse even major depression in just a few hours.

ketamineKetamine, in the days it was used as an animal tranquilizer. AP Photo/Victoria Arocho

“This is the next big thing in psychiatry,” San Francisco psychiatrist L. Alison McInnes recently told The Washington Post.

Right now, medical experts are trying to find ways to make that anti-depressant effect last as long as possible — for some patients it lasts longer than others, but rarely longer than a few weeks. And some experts argue that there’s there’s not enough good evidence that ketamine really relieves depression to promote using it at all so far. It’s certainly not yet widely available or affordable.

The science is far from settled. Still, other researchers are investigating ways that ketamine may actually have a protective effect that prevents certain patients from becoming depressed in the first place.

Of course, dealing with the depression that follows addiction isn’t the same thing as treating that abuse disorder in the first place.

Researchers are turning to other (still illegal) controlled substances to see whether some might work for treating addictive behavior.

In a recent Reddit AMA question-and-answer session, a representative of theMultidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) said that while their group is for now focusing on using MDMA to treat PTSD, they have sponsored research that’s shown that the powerful hallucinogen ayahuasca has been associated with a reduction in problematic alcohol and cocaine abuse.

Other researchers have shown (in small studies, so far) that psilocybin mushrooms, also known as magic mushrooms, can have a significant effect on problem drinkers, increasing abstinence rates and decreasing cravings for alcohol.

And of course, some of the first research into LSD back in the 1950s showed it could be an effective part of treating alcoholism, something researchers have started following up on againnow.

Taking psychedelic drugs in a clinical setting is far different from self-experimentation, and there’s still a lot of research that’s needed before these things find their way into common clinical use — something that’s currently illegal.

But as this growing body of research shows, it seems there may be far more to many of these substances than their reputations so far suggest.



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Bacon clubhouse crispy-chicken sandwich, large fries, mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce, Oreo McFlurry. Total calories: 2,010. (Business Insider)

By this point there are very few of us who see fast food items as a healthy dietary choice, yet many of us continue to succumb to their unmistakable charms quite regularly. While 2014 research from the NPD Group revealed that Americans are dining out less often, they still average approximately 191 visits per year when both dining in and takeout numbers are combined.

Whether it be an addiction to the fat, sugar, and salt these foods are loaded with or their sheer convenience, we continue to dine out far too often.

While many existing fast food restaurants have made substantial changes to offer “healthier” menu options, most still fall well short of actually being healthy. And it’s hard to believe that our continued patronage of these places doesn’t play a key role in America’s obesity epidemic, with over one-third of the population currently fitting that profile.

A common indicator that we as a collective turn to, to better understand our food — especially in relation to its potential impact on our weight — is the amount of calories that we consume daily. While there are many schools of thought on what is optimal for us, there are very few that would claim any benefit to excessive calorie intake.

Side note, a book I recommend is The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet to help detox your body from what you’ve already exposed it to, and to get it back into prime working shape!

Given that the majority of us consume 3 meals per day, it would therefore seem illogical to consume a single meal totalling what many suggest as a target total for one day. That target is approximately 2,000 calories.

To illustrate how easy it is to meet and exceed that amount at many of our favourite fast food restaurants, Business Insider put together a sample meal from each one:

(Note: Please do your research and consult a health professional that you trust before determining the caloric intake that is best for you — including the balance between carbs, fats, and proteins you may need.)


Venti white-chocolate mocha, sausage and cheddar classic breakfast sandwich, dark cherry Greek yogurt, salted caramel cake pop, coffee cake. Total calories: 2,030. (Business Insider)

Venti white-chocolate mocha, sausage and cheddar classic breakfast sandwich, dark cherry Greek yogurt, salted caramel cake pop, coffee cake. Total calories: 2,030. (Business Insider)


Bacon clubhouse crispy-chicken sandwich, large fries, mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce, Oreo McFlurry. Total calories: 2,010. (Business Insider)


Bacon clubhouse crispy-chicken sandwich, large fries, mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce, Oreo McFlurry. Total calories: 2,010. (Business Insider)


New England clam-chowder bread bowl, chips, chocolate-chip cookie, bottled lemonade. Total calories: 2,160. (Business Insider)

New England clam-chowder bread bowl, chips, chocolate-chip cookie, bottled lemonade. Total calories: 2,160. (Business Insider)


Foot-long spicy Italian sub with cheese, a six-inch BLT flatbread with cheese, chips, oatmeal-raisin cookie. Total calories: 2,010. (Business Insider)

Foot-long spicy Italian sub with cheese, a six-inch BLT flatbread with cheese, chips, oatmeal-raisin cookie. Total calories: 2,010. (Business Insider)

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Doublicious sandwich, large popcorn nuggets, large mashed potatoes with gravy, large mac and cheese, large coleslaw. Total calories: 2,940. (Business Insider)

Doublicious sandwich, large popcorn nuggets, large mashed potatoes with gravy, large mac and cheese, large coleslaw. Total calories: 2,940. (Business Insider)


Steak burrito with white rice, black beans, corn salsa, sour cream, and guacamole, chips and guacamole. Total calories: 2,045. (Business Insider)

Steak burrito with white rice, black beans, corn salsa, sour cream, and guacamole, chips and guacamole. Total calories: 2,045. (Business Insider)

Taco Bell

Beef quesarito, triple-layer nachos, crunchwrap supreme, cheesy fiesta potatoes, spicy tostada, large soda. Total calories: 2,080. (Business Insider)

Beef quesarito, triple-layer nachos, crunchwrap supreme, cheesy fiesta potatoes, spicy tostada, large soda. Total calories: 2,080. (Business Insider)

Burger King

Double Whopper with cheese, large fries, large onion rings, two oatmeal-raisin cookies, large Coke. Total calories: 2,990. (Business Insider)

Double Whopper with cheese, large fries, large onion rings, two oatmeal-raisin cookies, large Coke. Total calories: 2,990. (Business Insider)

Five Guys

Bacon cheeseburger, large fries. Total calories: 2,230. (Business Insider)

Bacon cheeseburger, large fries. Total calories: 2,230. (Business Insider)


Roast turkey ranch and bacon sandwich, large curly fries, ketchup, Horsey sauce, medium chocolate shake. Total calories: 2,010. (Business Insider)

Roast turkey ranch and bacon sandwich, large curly fries, ketchup, Horsey sauce, medium chocolate shake. Total calories: 2,010. (Business Insider)


Baconator, spicy chicken nuggets, large fries, small frosty, root beer. Total calories: 2,480. (Business Insider)

Baconator, spicy chicken nuggets, large fries, small frosty, root beer. Total calories: 2,480. (Business Insider)

Whether you ever consume anything close to what is pictured above at any of the fast food chains or not, this certainly illustrates just how calorically heavy these meals can be. Combine that with their general lack of actual nutrition, and the solution seems simple: avoid eating out as often as possible…




Posted in Big Food, Bizarre, Curiositys, Freak U.S.A, Health, Living, Media&Culture, Unbelievable | Leave a comment

Aristotle’s Aperture: An Animated History of Photography, from the Camera Obscura to the Camera Phone

…and how a greedy attitude to intellectual property made the camera’s primary competitor perish.

“Needing to have reality confirmed and experience enhanced by photographs is an aesthetic consumerism to which everyone is now addicted,” Susan Sontag wrote in her timeless and increasingly timely treatise on photography a century and a half after the invention of this worldview-changing technology, making a resounding case for what photography can do that the other arts can’t. But how did this relatively nascent art, succeeding cave paintings by millennia, become the dominant visual narrative form of our time?

In this short film, the Cooperative of Photography takes us on a five-minute animated gallop through some of the 100 ideas that changed photography, tracing the co-evolution of technology, art, and culture:

Complement with Italo Calvino on photography and the art of presence, Steven Johnson’s 600-year history of the selfie, Rebecca Solnit on how Muybridge’s pioneering chronophotography changed our consciousness, and Sontag on how photography mediates our relationship with life and death.

HT Open Culture



Posted in Art, Curiositys, History, Media&Culture, Photography, Technology | Leave a comment

The ‘ethical’ investment funds pumping millions into oil firms and big tobacco


Funds are putting investors cash into companies such as BP and Exxon which have questionable ethics records Reuters

Companies backed by the multi-billion dollar funds include Exxon Mobil which has been accused of hiding climate change science and British American Tobacco, Europes largest cigarette maker

by Camila Russo

Thinking of putting your money into a fund that describes itself as ethical? You’d better read the fine print if backing Exxon Mobil and British American Tobacco isn’t your idea of doing good.

The oil company accused of misleading investors by hiding evidence about climate change and Europe’s biggest cigarette maker are among the holdings of some of the 30 biggest funds that invest following environmental or social governance guidelines, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

While some funds are strict about supporting only clean-energy producers, others buy securities from Big Oil to Big Tobacco along with consumer brands such as Unilever and Facebook. The wide range of holdings is the result of each institution deciding on its own what meets the ethical threshold.

Loosening that definition has helped ethical investing grow about 80 per cent over the past five years to $223 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“The industry hasn’t done itself many favors in making sure people understand what’s what,” said Charlie Thomas, who manages €950 million under Jupiter’s Ecology funds, which exclude oil and tobacco in favour of companies that have a solution for environmental issues.

“The challenge that we have as a sector is to be very clear with the investor so they know what they’re actually buying. Not all ethical funds are the same.”

There’s no agreed definition on what an ethical fund should be. That has allowed to mushroom the number of funds saying they support companies guided by standards on environmental and social governance. There are no set criteria for how companies report performance on those metrics, and no regulator lhas set out rules. 

The looseness of the system is a concern to the G20 nations, which asked a panel led by Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England to draw up a proposal for voluntary reporting standards that companies could follow if they chose.

Ethical investing has grown into a $223 billion dollar business (Bloomberg)

That’s likely to offer best practices to companies and accounting firms that draw up sustainability reports and release data through organizations such as the non-profit CDP and Bloomberg.

Ethical, Social and Governance (ESG) fund strategies range from excluding only companies they score the worst in their industries on specific metrics to including only the best of their class. Some seek to spur change by working as activist shareholders. A few will invest only in companies that benefit the environment. The only way to tell the difference is to look at what the fund is holding.

No Simple Label

“There’s not a simple label you can slap on it to solve the problem,” said Greg Elders, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in London tracking ESG data. “Clients think it’s a shortcut for seeing how sustainable a fund is.”

The Bloomberg survey found the number of environmentally friendly or ESG funds has more than doubled in the past decade to about 730. Of the top 30, at least six hold oil companies.

At Impax Asset Management Group, which runs a $568 million Environmental Markets fund, the number of companies that meet its rules has jumped to 1,500 from 250 in 1999, with the pool of firms eligible to be included growing to $4.1 trillion, according to Jon Forster, a portfolio manager at the firm…




Posted in Activism, Big Oil, Bizarre, Corruption, Hypocrisy, Manipulation, Money, Unbelievable | Leave a comment

Burn It Down: Disinfo’s Guide to Becoming a Terrorist


This article was originally published at The Conjure House as “Stop Protesting and Become A Revolutionary: How to Join the FAI”

As the United States totters ever closer towards total collapse and WW3 looms on the horizon, one question burns with increasing intensity in the minds of Anarchists everywhere: what can I do to help destroy things?

Not since the heyday’s of the early 1900’s has the moral and social fabric of America the Brutal been so close to the tipping point, the minds of an entire populace so close to boiling over. We live in a unique age, a transitory position; Radicals of every stripe are quickly abandoning the long dead tactics of the Protest Left in favor of militant activity, going so far as to form armed squads. The State not only knows this but expects it, which says something quite dire about what lies ahead of us considering the massive build-up of military units for such an occurrence. Things are bad, real bad, and people everywhere feel the need to do something. The fact is violence DOES work and people are starting to realize that.

Radicalism has long been clubbed by the idiotic beliefs perpetuated by the Democratic party. With Bernie’s betrayal people are starting to look for alternatives. There is an itch on the arm of Leftists everywhere, a sullen pimple begging to be popped. There is talk of “real revolution” and what that might entail. It’s a question whose time has come. The religious belief in nonviolence that we’ve all had passive-aggressively shoved down our throats states that an individual must allow an entity in opposition to see the evil in his or her own ways and voluntarily change because apparently people switch out belief systems like vape liquids. This, as if by magic, will somehow spread across society and create lasting change. Of course it’s all a lie. This foolish notion places an extraordinary amount of faith in the human conscience and assumes people are rationally deciding the course of their actions and has proven it’s bankruptcy. If the dogma of “conscious choice” were true the entire field of advertising wouldn’t exist. If an individual had a working conscience in the first place would they actually engage in activities with threaten and destroy various forms of life on this planet, support a state that exports war and death to millions across the globe? The entire system depends upon people NOT acting rationally and not ethically reflecting on those same actions. I can assure you cops and soldiers sleep like babies.


Other factions, primarily on the Left, want us to wait for some Grand Revolution, accepting our lot as tools in some dialectical gear work, forced to silently taking blow after blow until enough critical mass has been reached until….well, nobody seems to know. Serfinski in Blessed is the Flame notes that almost every concentration camp run by the Nazis had an organized resistance, some even with weapons. Thousands of prisoners were part of these organizations actively plotting the moment they would put an end to the widespread slaughter and liberate themselves. The problem was that the plot never came to fruition, times were never quite right, things were never ready enough. The bodies continued to pile up as fast as each new unspeakable horror was unleashed yet hierarchical leaders remained steadfast in waiting for the picture-perfect weather. Even social protests like better wages, social security, more rights, while certainly admirable, are mobilizations with an expire date that lead back to passivity. The only thing we learn by waiting is to wait.

People want to act, want to do something. Scores of the restless are filled with piss and vinegar looking for a target. Hands are willing with only one question remaining: who the fuck do they do it with?

It’s a question I’ve asked myself, and one that lead me to message the fine folks over at Insurrection News, a clearing house for “news, counter-information & incitement from the global front lines of anti-capitalist insurrection & social war.” The way I saw it there were a few outfits out there, but you’d be hard pressed to find one better than the infamous Informal Anarchist Federation, a shadowy “terrorist” group better known by its Italian acronym of FAI, the same one whose “death squads” I covered for Disinfo:

“[The] FAI/FRI made it clear this is no collection of high-school students with a passing interest in Bakunin. This is hardcore Propaganda of the Deed.“The fire, the attack, the threat against any representative of the church and the power is fully justified,” noted the Anarchists, “We have the weapons and our willingness to attack them. Their days of revelry are over.”

The FAI/FRI is probably the only Anarchist collective on the planet capable of backing up that claim, having launched arson attacks against cellphone towers in Russia as well as Chilean banks, sabotaging Bristol train lines, even shooting out the kneecap of the head of an Italian nuclear engineering company.

These guys and gals don’t play around and aren’t interested in “influencing the argument” or “moral victories.”

Masked Anarchists striking fear into the heart of the bourgeoisie? Be still my beating heart! So where does one sign up?

The short answer: you don’t.

The long answer is much more complicated…




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Why a Drained Brain Makes Bad Decisions


Source: LaVladina/Flickr

byDavid DiSalvo

More research shows that a fatigued brain doesn’t make the best calls.

In the interest of preserving your mental energy, let’s start this article with the eventual takeaway: Don’t make important decisions when your brain is on empty.

I know you’ve heard this advice before, and it sounds reasonable enough, but does the science really support it? Increasingly the answer is – yes. More and more it seems that our brains hit an energy-drain threshold, beyond which impulsiveness increases and sound decision-making suffers.

The latest evidence comes from a small study by researchers at the French Institute of Health and Research (INSERM). The research team put a group of volunteers through six hours of challenging memory tasks. At various points while doing the tasks, the volunteers were faced with choosing either a small amount of cash now or a larger amount later.

As the hours of memory challenges ticked by, the volunteers were increasingly more susceptible to taking the easy money. The researchers compared that group with a group of volunteers who did easy memory tasks or spent the time reading and playing video games, and for the most part they didn’t break down and choose the smaller amounts of cash up front.

The researchers also scanned the volunteers’ brains via fMRI and found that people doing the hardest memory tasks showed decreased activity in a brain area called the middle frontal gyrus, which earlier studies have shown is closely involved in decision-making. When you view this study in light of previous research, it seems the dynamic at play is a form of brain fatigue – brain areas crucial to decision-making run low on energy and succumb to fatigue, not unlike muscles after a difficult workout.

The brain is an energy hog that uses 15-20% of the body’s circulating blood glucose each day. Particular brain areas use more or less of this energy depending on our neural workload. The latest study suggests that doing hard memory work requires a glut of energy and leaves less available for making good decisions. And when that happens, the cerebral gears start slipping and impulsiveness kicks in.

These findings build on those of another study from earlier this year suggesting that cognitive fatigue is a major factor in student performance on standardized tests. Over the course of a regular day, students’ mental resources get drained. The study showed that for every hour later in the day, test scores decreased by 0.9%.

Bottom line: Guard your mental energy and defer important decisions for when you have more on tap.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.



Posted in Brain, Curiositys, Health, Living, Psychology, Science | Leave a comment

Washing The Dishes, Waiting For Death

Washing The Dishes, Waiting For DeathPhoto by George Armstrong |

How finding moments of quiet among her daily tasks helped one writer prepare for her father’s death.

By Rachel Meyer

The first time I really “got” meditation, I was standing at my kitchen sink washing dishes.

My father was dying. Cancer.

Hospice bed in the living room-style cancer.

I’d flown back to Nebraska to see him one last time, to hold his hand, say goodbye.

Now, the haunting question of when.

I was 26, living in a 100-year-old flat in San Francisco, bartending my way through grad school, subsisting on coffee and cocktails. Standing there at the sink, I could hear the young couple upstairs vacuuming, the Chinese family across the alley clattering pans, and the cable car clanging one block over on California Street.

My mind was obsessively circling the drain.

When would Dad die? Where would I be? Walking out of class? Trudging up Nob Hill? Shaking a martini? Tomorrow? Next week? I should buy a black suit. I should book a flight. I should cover my shifts. But no. That’s so morbid. He’s still here. But when? How am I supposed to prepare for this? How am I supposed to think about anything else?

My heart lurched every time the phone rang. I was jumpy and anxious, a wreckage of nerves and nightmares.

An academic by day and a bartender by night, I was deep into a graduate program studying Marxist feminist theology. I’d taken a seminar on Buddhism in America, though I hadn’t really found much to connect with yet.

Meditation had always seemed like something other people did. Old, boring, middle-aged women-type people. Hippie flute music and incense and drapey outfits and the like. Not my scene.

My life looked like beer and nachos on Thursday nights in Berkeley and sushi and jazz at Yoshi’s the next. Saturdays meant happy hour gin and tonics in the Financial District followed by a tipsy cab ride to dinner in the Mission.

But I was doing some yoga regularly and I’d gotten a little bit into yogic philosophy. So I’d wake up hungover, throw on my ratty sweatpants, and stumble down Polk Street to class.

A few tidbits of Zen Buddhist philosophy had stuck with me from that first seminar. There’s a down-to-earth sensibility to Zen that encourages you to find meditation in your daily mundanities. The pedestrian, unsexy stuff: cleaning the toilet, scrubbing the floor, walking the dog.

Washing the dishes.

So I stood there at the sink, throttled with anxiety, hands dripping, and said to myself: Wash. Scrub. Take a breath. Feel the wet of the water on your hands. Rinse. Pick up the towel. Dry the plate. Swirl. Place it in the drainer. Take a breath. Pick up the next one. Slow down. Wash. Rinse. Dry. Again.

My shallow breath deepened. My fluttering heart stopped racing. My chattering mind cleared.

And for the first time in months, I felt still.

As Buddhist teacher Michael Stone says, “Your life doesn’t need you to think about it all the time.” Worrying about when my father was going to die wasn’t going to make the eventual reality any easier. Obsessing about the details wasn’t going to give me any more control over the inevitable loss.

In the weeks that followed, waiting, my life became a practice of finding places where I could meditate. I’d slip into Grace Cathedral, close my eyes, and inhale. Dad had been a Lutheran pastor, so churches had always felt like a place of refuge, even though my own faith had broadened from the Christianity of my upbringing. There was a contemplative heart to the tradition that had always spoken to me—“the peace that passes all understanding”— tasted in a moment or two of stillness.

Everything became an opportunity to watch my breath: baking, running, listening to music, walking to the bus stop. These simple meditations pulled me out of my grief, gave me purpose, kept me going.

On the most melancholy days, I’d sit on the bus and practice metta meditation, sending lovingkindness and peace to the guy with elephantiasis, the bus driver, the homeless grandmother sleeping on the seat across from me. Wishing them peace and freedom from suffering got me out of my head and into my heart and gave me someone else to care about.

Dad died three weeks after that moment at the kitchen sink. My roommates and I had a huge cocktail party planned for the next day. I’d come home with grocery bags full of expensive cheese and Napa Cabs and Russian River Pinots, arms blooming with peonies and gladiolas.

I knew that morning, somehow, riding the cable car home from the Ferry Building, we wouldn’t be having a party. My mother called later that night. I emailed the attendees that the party was off.

And so it was…




Posted in Brain, Buddhism, Living, Philosophy, Psychology | Leave a comment

Palm Oil And The Fallout on Sumatra

Redited By Web Investigator 




Posted in Activism, Ásia, Big Food, Big Pharma, Corruption, Eco, Planet, Unbelievable | Leave a comment

The Beloved Orangutan is Being Wiped Out by Corporate Greed

orangutan (1)

by Vic Bishop, Staff Writer, Waking Times

A public statement to the world by International Animal Rescue (IAR) issues the warning that unless effective action is taking to protect their natural habitats, orangutans face worldwide extinction within ten years. Recently, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) officially listed the Bornean orangutan as a critically endangered species as a result of the devastation of Indonesian rainforests, of which a staggering 25% have been leveled in recent decades.

“In just 25 years, more than a quarter of Indonesia’s forests – 76 million acres, an area almost the size of Germany – have disappeared.” [Source]

As we speak, there is an ongoing eco-apocalypse occurring in Indonesia that has received little to no attention from the media. In addition to out of control fires among peat beds in many of the islands of Indonesia, deforestation, primarily for the production of consumer grade palm oil, is swiftly wiping out the habitats of the Bornean orangutan.

Chief executive of IAR, Alan Knight, predicts that we will see the permanent loss of several species of orangutans within the next decade unless serious efforts are made to address the fires and consumer-driven deforestation in this region. He speculates that the fires, which are often claimed to be naturally occurring, provide the perfect cover for companies wishing to expand palm oil production and to clear vast swaths of rainforest without seeking legal approval.

“The fires produce quite a good excuse … all of a sudden this area they wanted to produce palm oil on, it’s useful for nothing [after being burned], so they end up planting palm oil on it.” – Alan Knight, chief executive of the charity, International Animal Rescue (IAR)

READ: The Eco-Apocalypse in Indonesia That No One is Talking About

The principle antagonists in the destruction of orangutan natural habitats are the companies who have come to depend on cheap palm oil to produce a broad array of consumer products from biodiesel fuel to hair and beauty-care products like shampoo and toothpaste to food products such as pizza crusts, frying oil, snack foods and noodles. Some of the most influential culprits include the corporate giants Pepsico, Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive, who have been accused of doing little to change their destructive practices.

Orangutans and many other wild animals are being driven from the forest in heart-wrenching scenes that go unnoticed in Western media.

“Tragically, the fires are devastating Indonesian Borneo and places like Gunung Palung National Park, home to some of the largest populations of orangutans on the planet. Several organizations are working tirelessly to evacuate trapped animals, but the toll on wildlife in Indonesia is already staggering. Some estimate that as many as 20,000 orangutans may be wiped out.” – Alex Pietrowski, Waking Times


Orangutans in the haze shrouding the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation camp on Oct. 5. (Photo: Antara Foto/Reuters)

Final Thoughts

It is difficult to politicize an issue like this when even a precursory look at the devastation being brought unto the world’s rainforests reveals the shocking truth that habitats for the orangutan and many other of nature’s most exotic and noble animals is increasing year over year. While the most powerful nations concern themselves with entertainment, politics and ever-increasing economic growth, we are swiftly losing the most important treasures of our mother planet.

“If the current destruction of the rainforest continues, then I have absolutely no hope that any orangutans will remain in the wild.” -Alan Knight, chief executive of the charity, International Animal Rescue (IAR)

About the Author

Vic Bishop is a staff writer for and Survival Tips blog. He is an observer of people, animals, nature, and he loves to ponder the connection and relationship between them all. A believer in always striving to becoming self-sufficient and free from the matrix, please track him down on Facebook.

Source and Image:

This article (The Beloved Orangutan is Being Wiped Out by Corporate Greed) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Vic Bishop and It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement. Please contact for more info.



Posted in Activism, Animals, Ásia, Eco, Money, Planet, Politics, Unbelievable | Leave a comment

When Exercise Becomes Too Much of a Good Thing

Photograph by Thomas Hawk / Flickr

In a world where only 1 in 5 American adults meet the minimum daily exercise requirements, exercise addiction can seem like the opposite of a problem. Don’t let that fool you, says Marilyn Freimuth, a clinical psychologist at Fielding Graduate University, in Santa Barbara. “Exercise addiction can completely take over someone’s life. They’re getting injured, all they can do is think about exercising, but because our culture values physical activity,” she says, “we overlook the issue.”

In their 2015 book The Truth About Exercise Addiction: Understanding the Dark Side of Thinspiration, author Katherine Schreiber and Jacksonville University professor of kinesiology Heather Hausenblas write, “Exercise addicts experience physical activity as both a coping mechanism and a compulsion without which they feel they cannot survive.” People generally feel better both physically and mentally after working out. But for exercise addicts, that positive surge—similar to the ones gambling- and sex-addicts feel—is substantially higher: It can give athletes and non-athletes alike a powerful buzz of pleasure that can leave them coming back for more, ultimately leading to a life tethered to the treadmill, so to speak, and serious medical consequences, including fatigue, overuse injuries (stress fractures, pulled muscles, tendonitis), infections that won’t go away, electrolyte imbalances, cardiac issues, and, perhaps paradoxically, listlessness.

To see this play out, we may need to look no further than the Olympics. Exercise addiction seems to increase, at least among athletes, the more elite they become, according to a study, published last month, in Journal of Behavioral Addictions. Tim Brewerton, a physician at the Medical University of South Carolina, agrees. “We venerate Olympic athletes almost like gods. We give them lots of praise and attention, but if we knew anything of what their lives were like…” he says, trailing off. “I think many of them likely experience some type of exercise addiction—they are training constantly for years.”

What makes exercise addiction a thorny phenomenon to study, though, is its complicated relationship with eating disorders. In the 1800s, for example, physicians treating young women with anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and persistent weight loss, often noted their extreme restlessness and need to constantly move about. And in a 1984 study, a group of physicians had noted in the Journal of the American Medical Association that considerably dedicated male runners, or “obligatory runners,” shared many of the same psychological traits as young women with anorexia, such as perfectionism and depression, although to a lesser degree.

“Passion exists on a continuum with addiction. Gamblers love to gamble…until they don’t.”

One potential difference between people addicted to exercise and those addicted to, well, pretty much everything else, Brewerton points out, is that people who become addicted to exercise may be prone to addictive behaviors but are also simultaneously risk-averse. They’re not the ones who are going to be binge drinking at a party or trying to score some smack in a sketchy part of town. What’s more, they get lots of positive social reinforcement for their addiction, which provides a boost for their perfectionism. It’s rare for someone to be told they exercise too much, Freimuth says. Instead, they are roundly praised for their self-discipline. Neuroscientists have identified altered reward pathways in individuals with eating disorders that make self-punishment, like self-starvation and over-exercise, paradoxically feel quite rewarding.

But when researchers went looking for exercise addiction in individuals without eating disorders, they had a hard time finding it, which led some eating-disorders professionals to conclude that exercise addiction only existed in tandem with an eating disorder. They point out the increasing number of Olympic athletes who have disclosed their own history of eating disorders. As many as 31 percent of Olympic athletes were found to have eating disorders, for example, compared to just 13 percent of the general population, according to a 2009 International Olympic Committee report. “Eating disorders and exercise addiction often appear together, but only eating disorders are recognized as diagnoses,” say Mia Lichtenstein, a clinical psychologist at the University of Southern Denmark, and her colleague, in a study published in March…




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