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US beekeeper: Keeping backyard hives benefits bees, humans
23 April 2017 - Generally, adding honey bees will increase the yield of blueberries by 1,000 pounds of berries per hive per acre. Commercially managed honey bee colonies -- which make up more than three quarters of the 2.75 million honey bee colonies in the country -- face many more stresses than we backyard beekeepers do. ... During the past four years, I have been giving many beekeeping classes at my Hampden honeybee farm and in adult education program. In fact, last month I taught my 1,000th student. ... It is very gratifying to know that while not everyone can be beekeepers to help the honeybees, there are those prepared to help with their generosity and inspiration. (more)

GREEN Tool offers evidence-based guidance for school garden success
21 April 2017 - Researchers [in the US] ... have come up with a planning tool that can help ensure school gardens thrive and endure. School gardens have a host of health and educational benefits, from getting kids to eat more fruits and vegetables to boosting academic achievement in science, math, and reading, the study team writes in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (more)

Physicists observe 'negative mass'
19 April 2017 - Physicists have created a fluid with 'negative mass', which accelerates towards you when pushed. ... in theory, matter can have negative mass in the same sense that an electric charge can be positive or negative. Prof Peter Engels, from Washington State University (WSU), and colleagues cooled rubidium atoms to just above the temperature of absolute zero (close to -273C), creating what's known as a Bose-Einstein condensate. In this state, particles move extremely slowly, and following behaviour predicted by quantum mechanics, acting like waves. They also synchronise and move together in what's known as a superfluid, which flows without losing energy. ...This heightened control also gives researchers a tool for exploring the possible relationships between negative mass and phenomena observed in the cosmos, such as neutron stars, black holes, and dark energy. (more)

US: California utility launches first hybrid power systems
17 April 2017 - A California utility has launched unique systems combining a hybrid battery and gas turbine to produce and store electricity for use during hot summer months and other times when power demand soars. The new Hybrid Electric Gas Turbines are the first of their kind in the world, officials with Southern California Edison and manufacturer General Electric said during an event Monday near Los Angeles. The new systems will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution by 60 percent and save millions of gallons of cooling water annually, Edison said. (more)

US: On Florida courthouse lawn, yoga instructor is the judge
17 April 2017 - One day a month, [a Florida] judge wears yoga clothes under her black robes, making for an easy transition when she heads to her open-air yoga studio: the big grassy lawn in front of the Duval County Courthouse. There ... County Judge Eleni Derke leads a yoga [asana] class. It's free, open to anyone, though for now it's heavy on those in the legal profession. (more)

California's solar energy set renewable record in March
11 April 2017 - California met its goal to produce about half the state's electricity from renewable sources for three hours on March 11, a new estimate from the U.S. government shows. The record was set when almost 40 percent of the electricity flowing across the grid came from large-scale solar power plants. Factor in electricity produced by area homes and businesses, and solar met about half the overall electricity demand in the middle of the day. (more)

Iowa town's editor wins Pulitzer for taking on farm groups
11 April 2017 - The owner of a small-town Iowa newspaper who took on powerful agricultural groups for allowing nitrogen runoff to pollute lakes and streams and wrote that the state 'has the dirtiest surface water in America,' won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing on Monday. (more)

2017 Pulitzer winners and finalists in journalism and arts
10 April 2017 - Considered the most distinguished awards in American journalism, the Pulitzers are handed out in 14 categories of reporting, photography, criticism, and commentary by newspapers, magazines, and websites. Arts prizes are awarded in seven categories, including fiction, drama, and music. This is the 101st year of the contest, established by newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. Public service award winners receive a gold medal; the other awards carry a prize of $10,000 each. (more)

US: Solar hits big, brief milestone in California
10 April 2017 - For three hours on March 11, solar power met roughly half of all electricity demand across a big swath of California, according to a new estimate from the federal government. Even for a state used to setting renewable power records, it was a milestone . . . (more)

Rules of memory 'beautifully' rewritten
7 April 2017 - What really happens when we make and store memories has been unravelled in a discovery that surprised even the scientists who made it. The US and Japanese team found that the brain 'doubles up' by simultaneously making two memories of events. One is for the here-and-now and the other for a lifetime, they found. It had been thought that all memories start as a short-term memory and are then slowly converted into a long-term one. Two parts of the brain are heavily involved in remembering our personal experiences. The hippocampus is the place for short-term memories while the cortex is home to long-term memories. So the prevailing idea was that memories are formed in the hippocampus and then moved to the cortex where they are 'banked'. ...The results, published in the journal Science, showed that memories were formed simultaneously in the hippocampus and the cortex. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Scarlett Johansson supports teaching Transcendental Meditation to veterans of war
22 April 2017 - In a video published by the non-profit Operation Warrior Shield, actress Scarlett Johansson highlights the importance of treating veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She also encourages support for the activities of the organization which helps veterans find jobs and housing and heals their invisible wounds of war by teaching them Transcendental Meditation. Johansson relates how her grand-uncle flew missions in WWII in the Pacific with fellow B-52 pilot Jerry Yellin, but did not survive the war. After the war, 'the emotionally difficult circumstances of war deeply affected Jerry,' she says. 'He suffered silently, living with hidden wounds in his mind and soul - until he discovered Transcendental Meditation,' which she describes as 'a powerful force and it allowed Jerry to find peace again'. (more)

Friends and daughters: 'The ever-renewed emotional endurance and compassion that we gain during Transcendental Meditation'
20 April 2017 - Since they were teenagers, Janet Hoffman has shared an 'almost-familial' bond with her long-time friend, also named Janet. Early on, both learned Transcendental Meditation were trained as TM teachers. Now both are caregivers for aged parents. In addition to many benefits of TM in their own lives, the two Janets have appreciated the 'slowing of the ageing process, extra energy, renewed focus and vitality' their parents experienced after learning TM years ago, and the deep rest they continue to enjoy through regular practice. Ms Hoffman, executive director of the TM programme for women professionals in the US, also mentions 'the ever-renewed emotional endurance and compassion that we gain during Transcendental Meditation' - which helps 'carry us gracefully through life's challenges'. (more)

Transcendental Meditation: 'Awesome, happy, necessary'
16 April 2017 - A high-level advertising professional in New York City, Marcia Lorente describes her experience with Transcendental Meditation in three words: 'Awesome, happy, necessary.' She adds, 'I love that TM is so easy, it's practically impossible to get it wrong, the results are immediate and increase with time.' Marcia is also an artist who recently began painting again after 10 years. 'The way I paint is fast and with big brushstrokes, it requires simultaneous control and lack of control, the accident, as Pollock would call it,' she says. 'I now realize it comes from the same place that I go to when I meditate, so I can go there more easily and I'm painting a lot more.' (more)

Tom Hanks on why he took up Transcendental Meditation
11 April 2017 - When one of America's favorite film stars, Tom Hanks, mentioned to Jerry Seinfeld about plans to take a year off: 'I have to tell you I'm fatigued. I'm spent, I'm tired. I need to be quiet for a while. I need to rest' -- Seinfeld replied, 'So you're tired? Well why don't you do Transcendental Meditation?' Seinfeld has described how, powered by the TM technique, he starred in, produced and wrote the iconic Seinfeld sitcom for nine years without losing his spark. Recounting the story on a recent podcast, Hanks quipped, 'Now I have answers to that question: ''What else do you do in your spare time?'' Now I can say, ''Actually, I took up that classic version of Transcendental Meditation.'' ' (more)

Followup study suggests group Transcendental Meditation practice reduced murder rates in large US cities
9 April 2017 - Following up on a 2016 study on group meditation that found a 21.2% reduction in the US national homicide rate during the period 2007-2010 - a new study focusing on 206 large US urban areas found an even greater decrease of 28.4% in the murder rate in the same period, compared to the baseline period 2002-2006. The study, published in the Journal of Health and Environmental Research, is the fourth in a series evaluating the impact of large groups practising an advanced Transcendental Meditation programme on US quality of life and public health. During 2007-2010, the size of the group located at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, was above or near 1,725 participants, the square root of 1% of the US population at that time - the threshold predicted to create a positive effect in society, leading to reduced societal stress, reflected in reduced rates of murder and violence. (more)

Book review: Tender Flower of Heaven by Ann Purcell
7 April 2017 - Award winning author, musician, and poet Ann Purcell uses poetry to express deep inner values of life, principles which are beautifully uplifting and spiritually profound. She began writing poems to document her own inner experience of transcendental consciousness, gained through the daily practice of Transcendental Meditation starting in 1972. With clarity and simplicity, Ms Purcell brings out in the 130 poems in Tender Flower of Heaven universal transcendent experiences that have been reported by people throughout time. The poems reflect the author's keen sense of the heavenly in everyday moments of existence like the blooming of a delicate flower. (more)

How to find your calm centre in turbulent times
4 April 2017 - Linda Egenes, who writes about green and healthy living, offers four ways to prevent chronic stress from hijacking good health and happiness. These include walks in nature, channelling energy into constructive action, and unplugging from social media. She also highlights peer-reviewed research showing that Transcendental Meditation is the most effective self-help tool in reducing chronic anxiety and stress. 'Many women who relieve their minds and bodies of stress in their daily TM practice,' Linda writes, 'not only begin to perceive the world as less stressed, but over time they report becoming less reactive to stressful situations . . . . When you feel good, you tend to do the right thing - for yourself and others too.' (more)

Maharishi University of Management film alumnus hands out Oscars at Academy Awards
29 March 2017 - Johnny Coffeen received an MA in film in 2015 from Maharishi University of Management and last August won a Student Academy Award for his thesis film, The Swan Girl. Along with three other student winners, he was asked to participate in the 89th Academy Awards, bringing Oscars onstage to presenters and escorting recipients off the stage. Johnny said that being at the heart of the event was 'beyond surreal'. He was most excited to meet Meryl Streep: 'I was pleased how consistently sweet and genuinely humble she was.' For the Student Academy Awards, 17 students were selected from a record number of entries that included 1,749 films from 381 colleges and universities around the world. Johnny is the first student from MUM to win such an award. (more)

Group practice of Transcendental Meditation reduces drug-related deaths in general population
26 March 2017 - The rate of US drug-related fatalities fell 30.4 per cent nationwide from 2007 to 2010 due to the reductions in societal stress and increased alertness in the individuals in society created by a large group practising the Transcendental Meditation technique and its advanced programme, the TM-Sidhi programme, a new study shows. During 2007 to 2010, the size of the TM-Sidhi group located at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, was above or near 1,725 participants, the size predicted to have a positive influence on the US quality of life. 'It's a bold claim,' said lead author Dr Michael Dillbeck, 'but there are now 14 peer-reviewed published studies that suggest that one's individual consciousness is directly connected to an underlying, universal field of consciousness, and that by collectively tapping into that universal field through Transcendental Meditation, we can have a positive effect on the environment.' This analysis of stress-related public health indicators also found that during the same period the rate of infant mortality was reduced by 12.5 per cent. (more)

Transcendental Meditation: The secret weapon of leaders . . .
23 March 2017 - 'Low investment, High Return' is how Kenneth Gunsberger describes Transcendental Meditation, reports Forbes magazine's French edition. Vice President of UBS Wealth Management in New York, Gunsberger manages his clients' fortunes, market competition, and professional stress. Too much pressure in his office and family prompted him to listen to a friend's advice to learn TM. Within a few months he achieved his best business results in 25 years, and experienced more happiness at home. 'TM has allowed me to step back and see situations much more clearly and with less emotion. Today I make better choices, I distribute my energy more intelligently and ''get better results''', he said. The article includes a brief introduction to Transcendental Meditation by certified teacher Leonard Stein, director of the Switzerland office of the David Lynch Foundation in Geneva. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


US: Sport-related concussions more common in high school girls
22 April 2017 - In high school sports played by both girls and boys, girls are about 50 percent more likely to get a concussion, according to a recent U.S. study. The may have to do with physical or equipment differences and how often girls and boys report concussions they experience, but the result indicates a need for more research and better prevention strategies, researchers say. (more)

Arctic seas called 'dead end' for plastic floating from U.S., Europe
21 April 2017 - The Arctic is a dead end for floating plastic waste dumped in the Atlantic Ocean off Europe and the United States and swept north by ocean currents to a polar graveyard, scientists said on Wednesday. of plastic found east of Greenland and in the Barents Sea off Norway and Russia were far higher than expected for the sparsely populated regions, according to the report showing how man-made pollution extends even to remote parts of the globe. (more)

Leaning forward during phone use may cause 'text neck'
14 April 2017 - Spine surgeons are noticing an increase in patients with neck and upper back pain, likely related to poor posture during prolonged smartphone use, according to a recent report. 'In an X-ray, the neck typically curves backward, and what we're seeing is that the curve is being reversed as people look down at their phones for hours each day,' said study coauthor Dr. Todd Lanman, a spinal neurosurgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (more)

More evidence ties insulin resistance to cognitive decline
12 April 2017 - Having reduced sensitivity to insulin may lead to more rapid decline in memory and other mental skills in old age even among people who don't have diabetes, a recent study suggests. So-called insulin resistance, the body's failure to respond normally to the hormone insulin, is a hallmark of diabetes. Diabetes itself -- a disease in which the body can't properly use insulin to convert blood sugar into energy -- has been linked to cognitive decline and dementia, but the exact nature of the connection isn't as clear. (more)

Smithfield makes move on market for pig-human transplants
12 April 2017 - Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, has established a separate bioscience unit to expand its role in supplying pig parts for medical uses, with the ultimate goal of selling pig organs for transplantation into humans. Smithfield, the $14 billion subsidiary of China's WH Group ... already harvests materials for medical use from the 16 million hogs it slaughters each year. The company owns more than 51 percent of its farms and hopes to sell directly to researchers and health-care companies, which now typically buy from third parties. (more)

Hawaiian health officials issue warning over an outbreak of brain-invading parasites
10 April 2017 - A sharp rise in infections stemming from a parasitic worm that invades the human brain has health officials in the Hawaiian island of Maui worried. Six cases of rat lungworm disease have so far been confirmed in Maui in the last three months, with more episodes currently being investigated. Given the island had only experienced two documented cases of rat lungworm in the decade before this outbreak, the sudden increase is causing concern. According to officials, the parasite has been identified in slugs and snails on Maui, Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island... But climate change could also be playing a role in helping the parasite survive in new ecosystems. (more)

US: California women have banned flame retardants in their bloodstreams
7 April 2017 - Two toxic chemicals banned in the U.S. in 2005 are still finding their way into the bloodstreams of California women, suggesting that sources of exposure persist in homes and in the environment, researchers say. The flame retardant chemicals called Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, or PBDEs, were used to treat polyurethane foam, hard plastics, textiles, glues, and wire insulation, among other products, until 2006 in the U.S. They were banned a few years earlier in Europe. (more)

Parental smoking linked to genetic changes in kids with cancer
6 April 2017 - Parents who smoke may contribute to genetic changes in their kids that are associated with the most common type of childhood cancer, a recent study suggests. (more)

US: North Dakota pipeline spill larger than previously thought
26 March 2017 - Last December, the Belle Fourche Pipeline in western North Dakota ruptured. At the time, the company estimated that 176,000 gallons of oil had been spilled before the pipeline was shut down. But according to an updated estimate, the amount of oil that leaked from Bell Fourche was significantly higher, making it one of the largest pipeline spills in the state's history. More than three years ago, 840,000 gallons of oil seeped from a pipeline break in North Dakota to contaminate the surrounding soil. Less than a third has been cleaned up. (more)

Health and behavior problems can linger after child abuse
20 March 2017 - Children who have suffered from abuse or neglect may have physical or behavioral health problems even after the mistreatment stops, new guidelines for pediatricians emphasize. Although some children recover from adversity, traumatic experiences can result in significant disruption of normal development, researchers note in Pediatrics. (more)

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