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Dirt for Physical and Mental Health

first_imgLive Science has an article suggesting that exposure to dirt can improve your mood by boosting the immune system.  This is an unexpected twist on the “hygiene hypothesis” that childhood exposure to dirt and animals helps innoculate the body to certain diseases (see 08/02/2006).  Certain bacteria might not only boost the immune system, but also release neurotransmitters that could fight depression.  “These studies help us understand how the body communicates with the brain and why a healthy immune system is important for maintaining mental health,” said Chris Lowry (U of Bristol).  “They also leave us wondering if we shouldn’t all be spending more time playing in the dirt.”Maybe horses and dogs are onto something.  You can’t give them a bath without them running for the nearest place to roll over in the dirt, to the frustration of their owners.  This is not to imply that pigs set a better example.    Anything can be taken too far.  There are things in some soils that are clearly harmful.  Some locations have to worry about pathogenic roundworms, valley fever, and other risks.  Cleanliness is still a virtue, but it is possible to be too clean.  We were made to live in the great outdoors.  Some African tribes, like the Masai, living close to animals and plants, seem happier than Westerners.  Moderate exposure to sunshine, fresh air, soil, plants and animals is healthy for body and soul.  When was the last time you did some good, hard, sweaty, dirty work outdoors?  Didn’t it feel good when the day was done?  Don’t hire a landscaper to do it all; get out there and do it yourself.  A good shower afterwards is still a big reward when you’ve earned it.  Just don’t use antibacterial soap (see 08/02/2006).    Our bodies are not intended to be hermetically shielded from nature.  There are microorganisms we depend on.  Consider how Adam and Eve would have worked close to the soil, the plants and the animals without covering in an ideal world.  That would have been the norm had things not gone wrong.  Even today, gardening and farming and outdoor work is honorable.  Don’t we all have a place in our hearts for the iconic farmer, outstanding in his field, wiping away the dirt and sweat from his brow as the rooster crows and the sun’s rays spread over the land?  Doesn’t the proverbial milking maid walking through the chicken yard sing cheerfully as she carries the buckets of milk she squeezed with her bare hands?  City slickers driving their Lexi down concrete roads from plastic offices to their townhomes are missing out on a big part of life.  Watch the fun movie City Slickers again and see how some hard work and fresh air and risk-taking transformed a group of dudes in a midlife crisis into handsome, noble, proud heroes for a week, riding their steeds like kings.*    Don’t take this too far; nobody is prescribing mud wrestling.  Some things are dirty in an unhealthy sense.  If you are always depressed and tired, though, maybe your doctor needs to prescribe an oxymoron: clean dirt.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Anderson: tennis world takes note

first_img4 April 2008At 6ft 7ins, a tad over two metres, new South African tennis sensation Kevin Anderson knows what it is like to walk tall.Suddenly, though, after beating world number three Novak Djokovic, right now the hottest property in world tennis, in the current Masters tournament in Miami, the 21-year-old Johannesburg-born giant has been elevated to a position where he has his head in the clouds.“Yes it’s a stimulating and pleasing feeling to mingle with the greats of the game in the locker room and actually have them greet you when before they were only names that you worshipped from a distance,” said Anderson in a conference call from the United States.Rapid rankings riseRanked 122nd in the ATP world ratings before the Miami tournament started – largely as a result of his runner-up finish in Las Vegas, which made him the first South African in two years to reach an ATP final – Kevin’s father, Mike Anderson, who has been a major influence in his son’s career, has calculated his Kevin will move up to approximately 110 next week. Not bad for the new South African number one, who was ranked 550th in the world little more than five months ago!Ian Smith, the Chief Executive Officer of the South African Tennis Association, was full of praise for the youngster. “Kevin had an opportunity to test himself against some of the best players in the world at the recent SAA Tennis Open in East London. He is our most prized property at the moment and if he continues with such performances, we can expect much greater things,” he said.Anderson believes he gained the stunning victory against Djokovic by raising the level of his game to new heights, which has given him confidence he could hold his own with the best in the world on the tennis court.‘A learning curve’He lost his next game in Miami against 32nd-ranked Russian Igor Andreev by a whisker in a tense three-set battle and says his new-found status made it “a little difficult” to concentrate and repeat the level he had reached against Djokovic. “But it was a good game,” he says, “and part of a learning curve for me. I’ve got no complaints with the way I played.”He believes his tennis has improved immeasurably under the guidance of Illinois University coach Brad Dancer, under whom Anderson spent three years on a scholarship.“Areas I’ve looked at improving,” explained Anderson, “are playing closer to the baseline, instead of further back, and progressing more often to the net as a variation to what is basically a groundstroke game.”Playing styleBecause of his height, serving not unexpectedly is a forte of Anderson’s play, but unlike many of those who are as tall and taller, he generally plays from the back of the court.He is looking forward to next week’s Davis Cup tie against Finland in Finland, and his meteoric emergence provides South Africa with fresh stimulus for what is expected to be a difficult tie – with the Finnish side including the 26th ranked Jarkko Nieminen.Afterwards, Anderson has mapped out a programme as busy as that of any player, including Challenger events as well as other clay court tournaments on the main ATP circuit. His programme includes appearances in the three remaining grand slam events of the year after his 2008 fairytale began when he qualified for the Australian Open main draw in January.Improving ranking“I’m still in a position where I might have to qualify for some of these tournaments,” he said, “but I have no points to drop from last year and there is a good chance my ranking can improve further.”Anderson left St Stithians School in Johannesburg, where he was also an above-average cricket and soccer player, to finish his matric via private studies so that he could concentrate on a tennis career. Now, a short time later, that decision is paying dividends in a big way!SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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How to Opt Out of Receiving the Yellow Pages

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting john paul titlow Once registered, you’ll recieve an email with your auto-generated password, which you can then use to log into the site. From there, you can select which phone books you would like to recieve (wishful thinking on their part?) or click the grey “Opt Out of All” button in the lower left and then click “Save Changes.”After opting out, you’ll get a confirmation email listing which phones you’ll be recieving moving forward, if any. As of today, businesses and individuals can opt out of recieving paper-based phone books in the mail using a new Website called the National Yellow Pages Consumer Choice & Opt Out Site. Last month, we wrote about a study showing that nearly 70% of adults in the United States “rarely or never” use the phone book, and instead opt to use the Web-based search tools, which are infinitely more convenient and efficient. That research was conducted on behalf on WhitePages.com, who operates BanthePhoneBook.org, a site advocating opt-in-only delivery of phone books.The new opt-out site was created by Yellow Pages Association, the trade organization that represents the publishers of phone books in the United States, signaling an acknowledgement that printing and distributing paper phone books to every household is no longer a sustainable practice. To opt out of recieving the phone book on your door, head to www.yellowpagesoptout.com and register for the site. The registration process requires you to enter your address and phone number, but a note on the page promises that this information won’t be used for any purpose other than the opt out. Tags:#biz#How To Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

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Goa govt cancels MLAs’ study tour to Brazil

first_imgBrazilian soccer fans celebrate the third goal of their team against Croatia as they watch the opening match of the FIFA Brazil 2014 World Cup in a beach restaurant in Porto Seguro.Bowing down to the Opposition’s pressure and public outcry, the Goa government has cancelled the Rs 89-lakh junket by six legislators to Brazil at the end of this month to watch the FIFA World Cup.”We have cancelled official tour of MLAs to Brazil, bowing before public sentiment, “Goa sports minister Ramesh Tawadkar said.Earlier in the day, the six Goa legislators decided to pay for the trip themselves although the Congress said it would only believe them if an official notification confirmed their decision.The proposed Brazil visit of the six MLAs, including ministers Ramesh Tawadkar (Sports), Avertano Furtado (Fisheries) and Milind Naik (Power), had sparked a row after it became public that the state sports department had sanctioned Rs.89 lakh for the tour.Congress had termed the trip a “wasteful expenditure” and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to “stop the junket”, although Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had defended the decision and described it as an “investment”.last_img read more

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Foreign Affairs Ministry Renovates Basic School

first_imgThe Mission House Methodist Basic School in Gordon Town, East Rural St. Andrew, is closer to securing Early Childhood Commission (ECC) certification following renovations carried out at the institution on Labour Day, May 23.The institution, which is affiliated with the Gordon Town Methodist Church, has already fulfilled 79 per cent of the certification requirements.Activities undertaken on Labour Day, which were spearheaded by members of the Jamaica Foreign Service Association in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, are expected to go a far way in enhancing the teaching and learning environment for the schools 40 pupils and three teachers.The works included the refurbishing of the play area, ceiling and roof repairs, repainting, and general landscaping.Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith and members of the association were joined by representatives of the ECC, wife of the Prime Minister and East Rural St. Andrew Member of Parliament, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, teachers, and parents and other residents in carrying out the work.Senator Johnson Smith, who indicated that early childhood education was “close to my heart”, told JIS News that the Ministry was “very much connected to our communities and making sure that our work serves to improve the lives of Jamaicans.”She praised the residents for participating in the project, pointing out that they were “doing a very good work in bringing our young minds to knowledge.”For her part, Mrs. Holness said it was “very encouraging” to see organisations such as the Ministry select and work on a community project. She also commended the residents for coming out in their numbers for the workday, noting that “this is what Labour Day is all about.”“It’s not for the Government or the Member of Parliament to choose. It is for the community to say, this is something that is important to us whether it is a community centre, a school, your road. Whatever the project may be, as a community, we decide that this is what is important and we are willing to give of our time to help,” she added.Mission House Methodist Basic School Principal, Kassan Scott, told JIS News that she was “ecstatic” by the turn out of support for the project. “We really appreciate the fact that they chose our school, ” she said, adding that Tuesday’s engagements will serve to further enhance the schools educational programmes for the youngsters.last_img read more

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Neil Lennon confident of Hibernian after second draw with Rangers

first_imgHibernian Coach Neil Lennon says his team will get even better following the January transfer window after they emerged unbeaten from their Old Firm hat-trick.Hibs are seventh in the Premiership standings having previously shocked Celtic at Easter Road earlier this month and then earned a draw with Rangers on home soil last midweek.But boss Lennon is confident there is plenty more to come from his side as they look to finish the year on a high note.He told Evening Times:“We are evolving. We lost a lot of good players in the summer and it takes time for everyone to gel.“I’m looking forward to January because we need to get some bodies in. The injury list is horrendous at the minute.“I don’t remember being under any concerted period of pressure in the game. They were saves I would expect Adam to make.Rangers v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish PremiershipMatch Preview: Rangers vs Celtic Boro Tanchev – August 31, 2019 It is time for the first Old Firm derby of the 2019-20 campaign, as Rangers host Celtic tomorrow at 13:00 (CET).“He made one great stop from Middleton when he came out and closed the area quickly but the others I would expect him to make.“Even at the Rangers goal, it’s not as if we were cut open. It was a defensive error from our point of view. We were comfortable in the game.“I said at half-time that we needed the midfield to play with a bit more purpose and penetration and we got that.“The subs made a great contribution, Mackie, Horgan and Gray. It’s a real bonus to have David back.“It would be a confidence booster at any time. To come here with Rangers in a title race and take points off them is important.“They played so well at Easter Road last week and we played really well here today. The level of performance was a lot better.”last_img read more

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