From today’s Daily Reading
Some winters here in Michigan it seems as if we can go for weeks without seeing the sun. The lake-effect snow sets in, and after day it’s dark and gloomy. Don’t get me wrong. We love the snow. We strap on those skis or snowshoes or hop on our snowmobiles and off we go. It is nice to see the sun once in a while though. It is the time of the year that some people get SAD – an appropriate acronym for seasonal affective disorder, because the symptoms include feelings of being tired, depressed, sad, and listless. Another name for the condition is seasonal depression. The symptoms set in about the same tie every year, usually late fall and winter, though occasionally some get the seasonal blues during spring and early summer.
What causes this seasonal sadness? Some say that the shorter, darker days result in the brain producing lower levels of some important brain hormones. Others suggest that levels of a neurotransmitter called serotonin may be in short supply. A powerful substance, it makes you feel good and has soothing, even calming effects. Yet another theory suggests that our eyes have a third class of light receptors (other than rods or cones) connected to a special region in our brain just above where our optic nerves cross over, aptly called the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). New data suggest that the SCN center of the brain effects our daily rhythms through hormone systems. Whatever the case, SAD is a reality.
Physicians often suggest bright lights for treating SAD. Obviously the best bright light is outdoors in the sunshine at a regular time every day. Since that is in short supply, the next best is bright artificial light, quality sleep, vigorous exercise and good nutrition, which all help. At times SAD is serious enough to warrant medication and psychiatric intervention. Thankfully, most of the time SAD goes away with the change in season and doesn’t pose serious health risks.
There was a time back in college where music (boy bands, girl bands, rock bands) became the fad. It was also on that same year that we had rock band competition during intramurals in addition to the dance, and choral competition. I could say I believe that my passion for music started that same year. I previously do not appreciate other genre as I am only into gospel or religious music. That year, it happened that my dorm mates have diverse taste of music.
In the dormitory I heard them sang different kind of songs, different music. I saw them gathered their musical instruments and I saw them playing their multiple devices. I noticed that I gradually have accepted and respected their music. Later on I noticed that I tapped the table, tapped my feet to the beat of the music they played. I saw and heard them comparing the brands of their guitars and other instrument. Ibanez, if I am not mistaken was one of the most admired brands that this guys were getting crazy to have.
It’s not easy to find though during our time. In fact one of my friends ordered and purchased his Ibanez electric guitar overseas. It took a month for him to receive the musical instrument. However, according to him it worth the wait since the guitar was truly awesome.
Have you watched a baby being born? Is there anything more incredible? For at least one comparison, I think of the long checklist and thousands of procedures that have to go right in order to get a space shuttle flight launched. If we only knew, my guess is that the birth of a baby has just about as many if not ore system that have to work and be switched on and off in a coordinated fashion to make that happen. Think about it. The baby breathes and gulps placental fluid, is provided all life-support intravenously through the umbilical cord, is constantly held tightly, hears every breath and stomach gurgle from mom and lives in a dark warm world. Then, in a relatively short period of time, baby’s head has to go through six very specific maneuvers as it gets properly positioned in the birth canal. It has to engage, descend and flex, rotate internally, then extend, restore the angle, and rotate externally. During the maneuvers, the cervix has to dilate or efface, and the uterus contracts rhythmically, going top to bottom, as if milking the baby down. Hormone and nerve systems are busy. After some tortuous squeezing, we can have a successful birth. Baby is suddenly out into the blinding lights of the real world – it is much colder, noises are much louder, it has to quickly switch over to its own breathing system, and the nutrition systems are now different. The placenta has to be birthed, mother starts producing milk, and baby learns to feed in a new way. A lot of programmed physiology takes place at every birth. I simply can’t imagine the complexity of the checklist it would require. I am not sure even if we know all the steps involved.
This morning I had to clear fast-growing weeds and young trees that were overwhelming a small dogwood tree that I had planted a few years back. Whether a natural or artificial clearing, the sunshine coming in through the freshly opened sky hole stimulates prolific growth. Cultivated dogwood trees are simply not up to the competition. Their situation reminds me of bullhorn acacia trees.
- Bullhorn Acacia
Most acacia trees grow in arid tropical regions where forage is scarce. As a defense against being eaten, most acacia trees have sharp thorns and produce bitter tasting alkaloids to prevent grazing. Bullhorn acacias (Acacia cornigera), native trees of Mexico and Central America, lack the chemical protection but benefit from an army of ant protectors. One species of ants called Pseudomyrmex ferruginea live in the hollow swollen thorns that are abundant on the succulent acacia tree. Not only does the tree provide housing for the ants through its thorns but it also provides nutritious nectar from glands o the stalk of its feathery leaves, and as a bonus, the tips of the leaftlets each produce a yellowish protein-lipid nodule called beltian bodies. There is no known function for these leaf tip delights except feeding the ants. So what do the ants do to earn the right to live symbiotically with the tree?
Once they reach the appropriate colony size, squad of Pseudomyrmex ants regularly patrol every inch of their tree including the space underneath and overhead. Anything too close to their tree is snipped off, pruned, or pulled up. If the branch of another tree so much as comes near their acacia tree, the ants will prune it away. Should another insect step foot on their tree or an herbivore nose in for a bite, the ants furiously attack. The ants quickly recruit more help by secreting a pheromone that rallies all the troops instantly. Some biologists report that grazing animals can smell the pheromone and save them grief by keeping their distance.
Just when I thought that the buy outs are over, my husband came back with another item to pursue. He said this instrument is not rare to find because very few musicians uses this especially here in our region because very few people place jazz here. Then he pointed to the guiro. That’s right, very few people in our area play the guiro because most of the musical artists here play alternative music, hip hop, rock, rhythm ‘n blues, ballads, gospel, and the like.
A guiro is a percussion instrument that’s somewhat originated from Latin America. This instrument creates a unique and distinct sound when scrapped. Scraping the stick across the grooves in the guiro creates a chain of excellent clicking noises that merge together, depending upon the music and tempo, movement can be up or down across the grooves, and fast or slow. People used to associate this musical instrument to jazz or other Latin, Hispanic music.
A guiro can actually be used in any other music genre. Music after all depends on the musician’s creativity. In fact is I may remember guiro was also used by the band R.E.M on one of their albums. Some other Alternative music band incorporates the use of guiro in their music. But yes I usually hear this instrument in Latin America dance such as salsa, mambo, and the like. Well yeah I said we can get one or two of that as an addition to the music studio instruments. Looking forward to that jazz like effect.
Posted in Accesories, Family Life, General, Home & Family, Musical Equipment, Society & Culture
Tagged alternative music, ballads, Guiro, hip hop, Latin America dance, Latin America music, mambo, music, musical equipment, musical instrument, rock, salsa
Forever. The concept is foreign to me. Have I been programmed by the deceiver to believe that every forever eventually comes to an end? “O king, live forever.” None of them ever did. Museum specimens of shiny bones of the king of dinosaurs. Tyrannosaurus rex, are all that remain of the once-terrible, powerful, and
wondrous lizard. Even the lofty mountains with their craggy peaks inexorably erode away. It’s called weathering. Raindrops, melting snow, ad ice seep into micro fissures, freeze, and fracture even the strongest rock, leading to exfoliation, cracking, and rockslides. The mountains come down a millimeter at a time. Given long periods of time, the rocky mountains, the Alps, and the Himalayas would eventually look like the Appalachians, the Scottish highlands, or the Russian Urals. Allowed even more time, mountain would flatten out and be replaced by new ones pushed up by mountain building processes such as volcanoes and colliding tectonic plates.
Hypertension is one of the most common illnesses that adult and elderly suffers from. As a matter of fact, even young adults nowadays also suffer from it. The age of those affected by hypertension has been decreasing, probably because of the food we people eat or our diet.
ADC Diagnostix E-Sphyg 2 Sphygmomanometer
To have a medical kit at home is as essential as life. It is very important to be able to act fast in case of emergency or in case a family member feels ill. Monitoring our health and checking for vital signs is very necessary. A digital sphygmomanometer is a must have at home as it is in hospitals. Some people are hard of hearing. A digital device would be a great help for them to be able to determine the high and low of blood pressure.
My father in law is diabetic, my biological mom as well so we always keep one at home. Luckily my brother in law is also a nurse. Not only that they have the right device at home they also have a personal nurse.
We have just been out planting seeds in our garden – big ones such as peas, beans, and squash, and little ones such as lettuce, basil, and radish. After preparing the soil, we made the thin little trenches and dropped the seeds in. The big ones remain visible till we cover them up. The little ones vanish the moment they leave our dirty fingers. Invisible. Dead and gone even before we pull a little fine soil over the trench. As I Corinthians 3:6,7 tell it, the planting and watering are no big deal really. It is God who makes it grow.
Inside every viable seed, no matter how small, is a tiny dormant embryo, living but at a very slow pace, nestled snugly in among the starchy endosperm, its food source until the embryo can raise its head out of the ground. The embryo looks like a miniature plant with a root end and a shoot end. If you open a dried peanut carefully you can see the tiny embryo with its leaves all formed ready to go – except in dry, roasted, or salted peanuts the embryo is dead. OK, then, how does the seed germinate?
Seeds soak up water first. Since seeds are store quite dry, they can absorb several times their weight in water and will swell to at least double their size when dry. Once they have enough moisture, metabolism kicks into high gear, and they need to get nutrients and start growing. The starchy endorsperm all around them is in a good energy storage form but not much use for providing energy to the embryo. So the embryo sends out a chemical signal (at least this is what happen in cereal seeds) that triggers the production and release of a starch-digesting enzyme from the aleurone – a layer just under the seed coat. The enzyme goes to work on the starch, breaking it down into sugars that the embryo can use. Though the growth of an embryo does involve cell division, most of the increase in size comes from cell expansion resulting from water uptake. What a marvelous system God has created to provide food for the embryo just when it needs it.
It has always been our dream to have our kids inclined to music. Love for music and a talent to play musical instruments is one of the greatest investments that every parent can give to their children. This new hammond sk1 would be a great addition in to our dream studio and in founding our dreams for our son and daughter.
I said great addition because this keyboard is equipped with features that every musician would desire to have, everything packed in this 15 pounds equipment. This keyboard is a must have. At early age we are able to see our little boy’s interest in music. Every after church service he runs to the piano or keyboard and he’s not going home not until he is able to playing with it. We have laid out plans to get him to music school at this young age while he still shows interest to it that he may not divert his interest elsewhere. When he’s old, he will be running his very own studio.
Posted in Accesories, Child's Interest, Family Life, Home & Family, Musical Equipment, Technology
Tagged hammond sk1, keyboard, music, musical equipment, musical instrument, Organ
I don’t know why it is, but we are all extremely eye-conscious. We can tell when someone is looking directly at us. When two people have their gaze locked on each other, we call it eye contact. If, for example, someone diverts their stare to your forehead or your nose, just millimeters off of the locked in position, you wonder if you have a grease mark, an ink stain, or a zit popping out. It takes no special training to know when another has their eyes focused on yours. Perhaps that is why it s so disconcerting to speak with someone who has a “lazy eye” – you know, one of those eyes that won’t behave. During a conversation, it is hard to tell which eye to look at. One eye is looking at you, but what is the other one doing?
Lazy eye is a condition that goes by the technical name “amblyopia” and is the most common cause of poor vision in children, affecting about three out of every 100 children. The lazy eye can either turn in or out because of muscle imbalance. Because the muscles in one eye are stronger, the two don’t track together. Ignored too long, the condition can lead to permanent vision failure. Treatment is simple and usually corrects the problem.
Observe how someone’s eyes track when they are reading. The two eyes move as if they are one. The minute, instantaneous changes in eye position are amazing to watch. No wonder people call the eyes the windows to the soul.
Notice how often we give directions or communicate important messages with our eyes. Someone asks where you left your keys. Without saying a word or even moving our head, we can easily gesture with our eyes, letting them know exactly where the keys are. Should someone make a ridiculous comment or question, we can let them know how stupid it was simply by rolling our eyes. Our eyes inform others whether we are excited about an idea or bored silly. By watching someone’s eyes, we can detect if they are telling the truth or lying to us. Some express love or become intimidate with their eyes. In all these cases, however, people have to be close to each other and actually in eye contact with each other for us messages to be successful.