Ruminations

Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Coffee and Cake, Anyone?

"[A palate altered to taste sugary objects as less sweet than they are] is a noticeable effect, and that it does stick around after you've finished consuming [results from imbibing coffee with caffeine in it."
"[Since many people drink more than one cup of coffee] this [dulled palate] may have a cumulative effect to the day."
"Some of these flavoured coffees, to me, they all taste very, very sweet before you put anything in there. Maybe that's them [coffee companies] already responding to this [caffeine/sweet-dulling effect]. You might be getting 800 calories in your coffee before you've already sat down in (sic) your desk."
"People have a very negative opinion of decaf, they think there's no point in drinking it."
"If you don't know that it's decaf, you might be feeling just as boosted as you might with a regular cup of coffee."
Robin Dando, director, Cornell Sensory Evaluation Facility/assistant professor, Cornell University Department of Food Science

"It has always been coffee and doughnuts, or coffee and some type of sweet -- we've been doing this a long time, this link between sugar and coffee, but now we understand more of the mechanism."
"This is one more reason to be moderate with our caffeine intake."
Lauri Wright, assistant professor, director of doctorate program, University of North Florida

A science team at Cornell University at Ithica, New York undertook research to establish that adenosine helps us taste sweet flavours, and caffeine, while producing an energy burst, blocking brain receptors for adenosine, interferes with our taste for sweet. Coffee loaded with caffeine has the effect of making things taste less sweet. And the takeaway link there explains why it is that when drinking coffee, people look for something sweet to go along with it, evidently.

The research proceeded with each member of the study group given a cup of lightly sweetened coffee, without informing the participants whether the cup they were given contained caffeine or was decaffeinated coffee. To ensure that those given the decaf wouldn't be tipped off because it lacked the typical caffeine-laden coffee bitterness, quinine was added to the decaffeinated coffee. Leading to the participants being "unable to estimate the caffeine content of their sample", according to the study.

Those who consumed caffeine had the perception that it was less sweet compared to those who drank decaf. Asked to taste and rate a solution of sucrose some 15 minutes after consumption of the coffee, lower levels of sweetness were reported by those drinking the caffeinated coffee. No effort was made to measure the lasting effect of this perception, although it was determined that there was no detectable effect on perceptions of bitter, sour, salty or umami tastes with caffeine consumption.


Previous research undertaken by Dr. Dando had discovered that people who in experiments had their capacity to taste sweet flavours blocked chemically, craved sugar and sought higher-calorie treats as a result. So it was already understood that a caffeinated cup of coffee would have a blocking effect on detecting sweetness, which reacted on people's tastes by stimulating them to want cookies or cake at a level much greater than normal.

The corollary to this is that with this realization coffee companies promote sales of post-coffee sweets, and as well produce sweeter coffees, flavouring them. At the opposite end of the scale, studies have demonstrated that caffeine in moderation also has benefits to health, reducing the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, adding excessive sugar to caffeinated coffee through the course of a day with multiple coffee intakes, might offset some of these benefits.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the U.S. recommends the consumption of 400 mg of caffeine, maximum daily, which equates to roughly three cups of coffee. Strangely enough, participants in this study reported experiencing an energy boost irrespective of whether they were given the decaffeinated or the caffeinated coffee; the flavour of the coffee seemed the same. Which speaks volumes about drinking decaffeinated to reflect the placebo effect. Mind over matter.

"I think it ultimately comes down to mindfulness. To being aware that your taste buds may not be the same throughout the day or after certain foods", states Dr. Dando, and that people might consider this when they respond throughout the day to their coffee cravings, and make an effort to moderate intake.


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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Golden Mean : Moderation In All Things

"To be specific about moderate, the lowest risk of death was in those people who consume three to four servings [or a total of 375 to 500 grams] of fruits, vegetables and legumes a day, with little additional benefit from more."
Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

"A decrease in fat intake automatically led to an increase in carbohydrate consumption and our findings may explain why certain populations such as South Asians, who do not consume much fat but consume a lot of carbohydrates, have higher mortality rates."
"Our study found ... little additional benefit for [fruit and vegetable] intake beyond that range [between 375 to 500 grams]."
"We found no evidence that below 10 per cent of energy from saturated fat is beneficial - and going below seven per cent is even harmful."
"The message of our study is moderation as opposed to very low or very high intake in consumption of both fats and carbohydrates."
Mahshid Dehghan, investigator, Population Health Research Institute (PHRI), McMaster University

"Additionally, fruit intake was more strongly associated with benefit than vegetables."
"Legumes are commonly consumed by many populations in South Asia, Africa and Latin America. Eating even one serving per day decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and death."
"Legumes are not commonly consumed outside these geographic regions, so increased consumption among populations in Europe or North America may be favourable."
Victoria Miller, lead study author, doctoral student, McMaster University
CTV News Channel: ‘Big piece of evidence'
Beans, black beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas and black-eyed peas are all in the legume family of whole-food nutrients. They are consumed, with their high protein and carbohydrate components as substitutes or alternatives to more costly meat, or in place of grains and starches like pasta and bread.
The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology study engaged with over 135,000 participants from 18 low-income, middle-income and high-income countries.

Those participating in the study were asked for their diet details. They were followed, for study purposes, for an average of 7-1/2 years. Among the study's findings is that contrary to current nutritional standards, consuming a higher fat constituent in the diet (roughly analogous to 35 percent of energy) compared to lower intakes, is seen to be associated with a lower risk of death. All together, a diet including moderate fat intake along with fruits and vegetables while avoiding high carbohydrate consumption is recognized as being associated with lower death risk.
Diet
Spending more time in the produce aisle could not only lead to a healthier body, but a better state of mind, according to a new study. (corepics/shutterstock.com)

Consequently, the study concludes, a diet high in carbohydrates (resulting in over 60 percent of energy derivation) relates to elevated mortality, outside the risk of cardiovascular disease. The focus on dietary fats yielded the conclusion there is no association with major cardiovascular disease; on the contrary, higher fat consumption reflected an association with lower mortality, irrespective of the type of fats, including saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and mono unsaturated fats, while saturated fats are recognized with lower stroke risk.

While conventional dietary guidelines have for decades stressed total fat reduction to under 30 percent of daily caloric intake, and saturated fat to under ten percent of caloric intake, the reverse appears to be the reality. The commonly accepted theory was that reducing saturated fat would reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, not taking into account what replaces saturated fat in the diet. And that was generally carbohydrates making up the difference.

The study, published in The Lancet, also concluded that global intake of fruits, vegetables and legumes represents between three to four servings daily (or the equivalent of 375 to 500 grams of fruits, vegetables and legumes per day), with no benefit recognized in consuming greater amounts of each in the daily diet. Additionally, consuming at the very least one serving per day of legumes was seen to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

"Moderation in most aspects of diet is to be preferred, as opposed to very low or very high intakes of most nutrients", cautioned Salim Yusuf, director of the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University.
Avocados, as well as nuts and vegetable and olive oils, contain monounsaturated fat. A study linked eating a moderate amount of all types of fats with a reduced risk of early mortality compared to a low-fat diet.
Avocados, as well as nuts and vegetable and olive oils, contain monounsaturated fat. A study linked eating a moderate amount of all types of fats with a reduced risk of early mortality compared to a low-fat diet.  (Getty Images/iStockphoto
"[This research represents] an impressive undertaking that will contribute to public health for years to come."
"The relationships between diet, cardiovascular disease and death are topics of major public health importance.... Initial PURE findings challenge conventional diet-disease tenets that are largely based on observational associations in European and North American populations, adding to the uncertainty about what constitutes a healthy diet. This uncertainty is likely to prevail until well-designed randomized controlled trials are done."
Drs. Christopher Ramsden and Anthony Domenichiello, U.S. National Institute on Aging

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Last Message from Halifax Harbour, December 6, 1917

"The blast crushed internal organs, exploding lungs and eardrums of those closest to the ship, most of whom died instantly."
"Glass shattered ... sending out a shower of arrow-shaped slivers that cut their way through curtains, wallpaper and walls. The glass spared no one. Some people were beheaded where they stood."
"... It pierced the faces and upper chests of anyone unlucky enough to still be standing in front of a window."
Curse of the Narrows by Laura MacDonald

"Dense clouds of smoke rose into the still morning air, shot through with flashes of fierce red flame. The spectacle drew all eyes. Women in the north end went to their windows to look, or came outside their houses into the street. Men stopped work to gaze."
"The [rail] cars were tilted violently over on the tracks as far as the safety chains would permit, then clashed back into their usual positions."
"The glass broke gently all along the train, coming inside, but injuring none of the passengers. [As the train sat still, passengers were horrified to see [hundreds] of dazed, stricken survivors (of the explosion) on the tracks] black as if they had been shovelling coal and streaming with blood."
"Shrieks of agony rose from the ruins of the houses round about, and then they [train passengers] realized that the houses were on fire and in them were living, sentient, human beings in danger of the most horrible deaths."
Archibald MacMechan, official historian, December, 1917, Halifax, Nova Scotia
A set of unique photographs taken during the First World War by a British sailor shows the biggest manmade explosion in history
Photographs by a British sailor Royal Navy Lt Victor Magnus -- A set of unique photographs taken during the First World War by a British sailor shows the biggest manmade explosion in history

At 8:43 a.m. on December 6, 1917, two ships collided in the Halifax harbour. One of the ships was Belgium-registered, the Imo, a Norwegian ship heading out to sea carrying war relief supplies. Suddenly a French ship, the Mont Blanc, veered directly in the path of the Imo, as it headed toward Bedford Basin. The collision resulted in the Mont Blanc's bow plates crumpling inwardly three metres, and as it did, sparks sprayed from steel grinding against steel. That caused the Mont Blanc to flame up.

The Mont Blanc had arrived the night before from New York. It was unable to enter the harbour as it arrived too late to pass through Halifax harbour's anti-submarine nets, closed for the night. The steel nets were lifted the following morning, and the Mont Blanc moved to enter the harbour. It was carrying explosives for the Western Front battlefields of the First World War. On board the Mont Blanc was 2,300 tons of picric acid, a component of munitions and bombs at that time.

Below deck on the Mont Blanc were 224 tons of TNT along with 61 tons of gun cotton below decks, and on deck were positioned drums full of benzine fuel. It was the benzine fuel that had immediately the Mont Blanc caught on fire, spread that fire. The collision between the two ships in the harbour took place at 8:43 a.m. The immediate conflagration caught the attention of people nearby, looking on from their windows, or from where they were working in shops and in the harbour itself. They would not have known that the Mont Blanc represented a floating arsenal of explosives.
Experts say the blast, the aftermath of which is shown here, was the largest manmade explosion prior to the development of nuclear weapons
Experts say the blast, the aftermath of which is shown here, was the largest manmade explosion prior to the development of nuclear weapons    Photos: Royal Navy Lt Victor Magnus

And they can't have missed noting that the Mont Blanc's crew in two lifeboats frantically rowed away from their abandoned ship, in the direction of the Dartmouth shore. At the time, a 45-year-old employee of the railroad that operated out of the docklands was on duty in the dispatch centre in the middle of the rail yards, there to coordinate rail traffic. After the collision and immediate fire someone rushed into the rail centre to warn Vincent Coleman of what had occurred.

He reacted by telegraphing in Morse code a message from Halifax to Truro: "Hold up the train. Ammunition ship afire in harbour making for Pier 6 and will explode. Guess this will be my last message. Good-bye boys." He would not have known, of course, that the six-car train with its 300 passengers had already passed Rockingham station where the last stop signal before entering Halifax stood; running late, it still managed to avoid the most disastrous part of the ensuing blast. And that took place at 9:04 a.m.

Vincent Coleman's message would be the only one to get through to the outside world. He made no effort himself to flee, but tapped out that last frantic message, knowing that from where he sat in the dispatch centre some 200 metres from the detonation site he was doomed. The Halifax explosion was recognized as the largest man-made blast up until the catastrophe that an atomic bomb visited on Hiroshima in 1945. While 1,600 people were killed immediately, another 400 died of wounds days later.

The stunning concussion that resulted from the two ships' collision was so great that cookstoves in the kitchens of homes toppled over and as they did, ignited many of the woodframe houses in the city. Within a mile of the blast site structures were levelled or received severe damage. As for the Mont Blanc, it simply fell apart, hurling pieces of its infrastructure everywhere. An anchor shaft weighing 520 kilograms was hurled across the city and remains four kilometres distant from the dock, exactly where at landed, as a memorial to the disaster.

And then a 15-metre tsunami swept into the harbour, furiously flushing itself throughout three blocks through the streets of Halifax and Dartmouth.There were 9,000 people who were injured, accounting for over one in five residents of Halifax's wartime population killed or injured. Over 1,600 homes had been destroyed, and 12,000 Haligonians were left with no shelter as winter closed in. And then a blizzard hit.

Telegraph lines had been destroyed in the explosion. Halifax was cut off from contact with the outside world. Yet, Mr. Coleman's message had got through, alerting the nation and its neighbours of the unspeakable tragedy that had just occurred, spurring them to emergency rescue action.

The Norwegian steamship Imo is shown beached on the Dartmouth shore after the 1917 Halifax explosion. Its collision with the munitions ship Mont-Blanc sparked the fire that set off the explosion.
The Norwegian steamship Imo is shown beached on the Dartmouth shore after the 1917 Halifax explosion. Its collision with the munitions ship Mont-Blanc sparked the fire that set off the explosion. (Nova Scotia Archives & Record Management/Canadian Press)

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Changing Customs Harming Women and Girls

"We [India in general] spend money on buying tobacco, liquor and mobile phones, but are unwilling to construct toilets to protect the dignity of our family."
"In villages, women have to wait until sunset to answer nature's call. This is not only physical cruelty but also outraging the modesty of a woman."
Justice Rajendra Kumar Sharma, Family Court, Rajasthan state
A new ad in India shows women mocking men who answer nature's call in nature. It's part of a national effort to encourage men to put a toilet in the family home.   Astral Pipes/Screenshot by NPR

A not-uncommon sight in India is that of people squatting in a field, or men face toward a wall in public view, urinating. It is customary in the countryside that in the absence of no toilet facilities in homes or available to the public in public buildings, that people will perform their toilet functions in the outside. This includes not only rural areas but urban enclaves as well. Clearly visible, squatting on railroad tracks, or in fields, but nothing unusual to scandalize a society that has long accustomed itself to seeking relief in public.

Women and girls tend to wait until the evening hours before they venture out for that purpose. Their innate sense of modesty mitigates against the humiliation of being seen performing such bodily functions in public. In a society where rape of women and girls and the caste system appear to embolden man to feel entitled to sexually molesting the unguarded and the vulnerable, this practise leads to situations where in the dark, women become victims of both rape and murder.

India has achieved great technological strides as well as financial benefit from its enterprising and capable population, those that are educated and forward-looking, yet it remains mired in a medieval mindset when it comes to personal hygiene and performing natural acts of bodily elimination. Thus it has always been and no one seems to see the need to alter this social habit. At least not men; for obvious reasons women feel otherwise.

Several years ago public-health advocates were urging women to refuse marriage to any man who couldn't provide her home with a bathroom. The message was launched in public view that stated: "No toilet, No bride". And in a sense, given a shortage of marriageable women as a result of Indian society preferring male babies, indulging in aborting female fetuses or in infanticide, many man look in vain for a wife, so this campaign would have made practical sense.

The Times of India recently reported that a family court judge determined that grounds for divorce would be acceptable through the argument that a husband had failed to provide a family bathroom, as a cruel act of dereliction of head-of-family duty. This particular case was that of a 24-year-old woman whose husband shrugged off her request for a bathroom with his response that it was an unnecessary convenience.

Old, accepted customs die hard. Although it has been illegal for some time to denigrate Dalits (formerly known as 'untouchables' in Hindu India's caste system), the Dalit community is still suffering social stigmas of contempt and exclusion. And so it is too with the initiative by the government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is attempting to persuade the population of the need for a forward-looking society to build and use toilets.

A campaign across India shows children making fun of people who buy smartphones, flat-screen TVs and motorcycles but continue to defecate in the open. (Rama Lakshmi/The Washington Post)

There is a connection between the caste system where the despised 'untouchables' were considered to be useful only for employment that no one else in society would touch, such a cleaning out toilets. That extends to the thought that installing a toilet in one's home is therefore unclean. Government-run public relations include an advertisement with a child saying "Uncle, you wear a tie around your neck, shoes on your feet, but you still defecate in the open. What kind of progress is this?"

What, indeed.

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Curing The War On Drugs

"I hope that what happened to my son will not happen to members of their families [of the three police who killed his son]."
"The whole village knows my son as a good boy. All he knows is how to help the family. How can they say he was on drugs?"
"My son was begging them [the police who led him away]. He said he wanted to go home because his father was looking for him."
"To the policemen who killed an innocent person, go to church It's not too late to ask for forgiveness."
Saldy delos Santos, Caloocan, northern Manila, Philippines

"[The government's crime campaign was] clearly a war on the poor."
"I think if you look around, the majority of those who joined the march are from the ranks of the poor."
"All were shouting, 'Justice for Kian'."
Reverend Robert Reyes, Roman Catholic Church, Philippines

"I used to believe in Duterte's promise to end crime, and in fact, I think that is partly true. But I never wanted deaths for the innocent. Stop these killings. Instead, arrest drug lords and others."
"He [Duterte] promised us a better life. Death for the innocent is not the change we want."
Michael Alberto Darang, 20, college student, Manila
The Guardian

When Rodrigo Duterte was voted in as president of the Philippines he promised, as he did during his raucous election campaign that he would do for the entire country what he did as mayor of Davao City, cracking down mercilessly on crime and on drugs and transforming it into an orderly place where fear kept people from indulging in anti-social activities and drug dealers learned soon enough to evade the kind of vigilante action that Duterte became famous for, and which he boasted that he had himself indulged in, killing malefactors by his own hand.

His tough talk and braggadocio influenced enough of the electorate to bring him to the presidency. Crime and drug dealing in the Philippines, along with an Islamic insurgency has been a great concern to the population to the extent they were relieved to place their trust in this man who promised he would produce a clean slate of law and order. Since then he has unleashed the police to act at will in aggressively pursuing drug 'dealers', in the process killing thousands of drug addicts whose only crime was their addiction.

International condemnation was swift in the wake of Duterte's war on crime and on drugs, whose victims seemed equally divided among the criminals and the innocent. A 17-year-old boy by the name of Kian Lloyd delos Santos was among the latest victims in a brief period of time in mid-August that saw police dealing with 'criminals' who 'resisted' arrest and 'attacked' the police. The method of dealing with such 'criminals' was to summarily execute them under pretense of protecting society. And Kian just happened to be one of those targeted.

While initially the electorate cheered on their new president, they have since had second thoughts, many of those changing their minds about the government's tactics spurred on by this young man's untimely death during one of the police anti-narcotics raids. Police, who insisted that the teen had attacked them leaving them little option but to disable them, had no idea that the event had been, uniquely, recorded on closed-circuit video.

They had manhandled the youth to a secluded area out of sight of bystanders while he begged to be released from the sweep that had entangled him, an innocent bystander. Instead, he was handed a gun and told to walk away. As he turned his back on the police to begin walking away, he was shot in the head and the back, instantly killed. When his body was examined, it was determined he was shot twice in the head, once in his back, and the right-handed teen was holding a gun the police claim he was intending to use on them, in his left hand.

The Roman Catholic Church holds great influence in the Philippines whose population is 80 percent Catholic. Upon the death of the young man the Church authorities have called on Duterte to put a halt to his war on drugs in which thousands have died, with the president cheering on the police. Only last week President Duterte spoke encouraging words to the police, praising their actions in an anti-narcotics operation where 100 people were killed.

In the wake of an estimated five thousand people marching in support of the family of the dead teen, and the call from the Church, he has now promised an investigation of "wrongdoings or illegal acts" on the part of any law enforcement officer; the very law enforcement officers he had so recently encouraged to continue their dispatching of drug suspects. 
"I saw the tape on TV and I agree that there should be an investigation. Should the investigation point to liabilities by one, two, or all, there will be a prosecution, and they have to go to jail if convicted,"
Protesters hold placards and a banner calling for justice for student Kian Loyd delos Santos at a wake in Kaloocan city, north of Manila.
Protesters hold placards and a banner calling for justice for student Kian Loyd delos Santos at a wake in Kaloocan city, north of Manila. Photograph: Francis R. Malasig/EPA

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Sunshine Vitamin

"This sun-phobic atmosphere has been promoted for so long. But the abstinence recommendation of not being exposed to one direct ray of sunlight for your entire life defies good logic."
"There is good evidence that the lower the latitude that you live [in the Northern Hemisphere], the lower your risk for high blood pressure, having a heart attack, multiple sclerosis, Type I diabetes, infectious diseases, cognitive dysfunction, and the list goes on."
"You essentially [your body] make no vitamin D before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. or 5 p.m., even if  you're at the equator with the sun shining brightly."
"Its just like everything else in life. You have to do it [exposure to the sun's rays] in moderation. And you need to understand the consequences of what you're doing."
Dr. Michael Holick, endocrinologist, Boston University Medical Center


For decades medical authorities have been warning people to stay out of the sun; have no direct sun contact, use Vitamin D supplements to obtain the requisite daily Vitamin D. At one time people were regularly exposed to direct sunlight throughout the course of their daily lives. The Industrial Revolution had the increasing effect of producing soot and smog and before long city landscapes were clouded with particulate matter to the extent that little sunlight penetrated. Children began presenting with rickets, and doctors across the Western world realized that lack of sun had warped growing bones.

The curative powers of the sun and of fresh air were noted by the ancients. The father of medicine, Hippocrates, treated various ailments with a regimen of direct sun exposure. In the late 19th Century, sunshine was prescribed as a treatment for tuberculosis, among other diseases. More latterly, the risk of skin cancer has led the medical community to warn people of the risks inherent in direct, prolonged exposure to the sun. But the key here is 'prolonged' exposure, not limited exposure. Any kind of exposure, however brief, was decried as too risky.

But although Vitamin D has been industrially added as a vital supplement to all manner of foods, most notably dairy products, research reveals that there are a myriad of benefits derived from direct sun exposure. Chemical changes occur when photons in sun penetration of the skin  takes place. The sun influences the creation of nitric oxide, causing blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure. Skin cells stimulated by UV radiation produce other hormones to modulate the immune system, and to produce beta-endorphin, making us feel good in sunlight.

Dr. Holick, specializing in vitamin D, sees the value in supplementation, but he also stresses that sun exposure is a requirement for optimum health outcomes. He explains that avoiding the sun may raise risk of other diseases like breast cancer, heart disease and colon cancer. His book, The UV Advantage: The Medical Breakthrough That Shows How to Harness the Power of the Sun for Your Health, recommends people receive five to ten minutes of direct exposure to the sun at least two to three times weekly.

He is a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University. And he also acts as the director of the Heliotherapy, Light, and Skin Research Center at the medical centre of the university. Many of his colleagues, long accustomed to warning patients off sun exposure under the fear that even minute exposure can damage DNA are yet to accept Dr. Holick's arguments fully.

A study out of the UK where light-skinned people were exposed to simulated sunlight produced an interesting effect. "There was some DNA damage, but what was remarkable was that at the end of the study, it looked like there were mechanisms at play to help correct the DNA damage", Dr. Holick pointed out.

Two studies from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that those with daily sun exposure experienced a lower risk of non-Hodgkins' lymphoma. As well, survival rates were increased for patients with early-stage melanoma.

Even while the sun is associated with damage to the epidermis, small doses in exposure appear to effectively heal skin problems, as Dr. Bobby Buka, a dermatologist in New York points out. Inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and acne can be seen to improve when people are exposed to UV radiation for limited periods of time.


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Friday, August 25, 2017

Tragic Tales of Child Abuse

"She received inadequate screening and assessments, which potentially enabled the sexual abuse of the child to continue."
"Had appropriate measures been taken when this child presented to terminate her pregnancy, or when child protection concerns were reported, the abuse may potentially have been detected and stopped."
"There were many opportunities to intervene with this little girl and her siblings; but they were missed." 
"The children's rights were not adequately protected. Based on the experiences and lessons from this case, a collective effort is required to do better for and by these children."
Jacqueline Lake Kavanagh, child and youth advocate, Newfoundland and Labrador
child advocate report Jacqueline Lake Kavanagh, the province's child and youth advocate, speaks to reporters following the release of her investigative report. (John Pike/CBC)
"The surgery was performed despite two sections of the consent form being incomplete, one of which included the legal capacity of the stepfather to sign for consent."
Report, child and youth advocacy, Newfoundland and Labrador
It elicits a gasp of horror, reading that a ten-year-old little girl in India was delivered of a child. Her parents became aware their child was pregnant when she complained of a stomach ache. They were of course, more than slightly upset, but were unwilling to cause the child alarm, so told her some nonsense about something foreign growing in her stomach. A request for abortion had been denied because under Indian law she was too far advanced into pregnancy. She went full term, and a baby was delivered by Cesarean Section to a ten-year-old little girl.

It was the child's uncle who had raped her repeatedly. Not only this child but others as well. He was arrested and will now serve what one can only hope will be a substantial jail term. How this event will impact that child introduced to adult behaviour at her vulnerable age is anyone's guess, let alone the other children who were also so horribly abused by this monster of a man. And then one thinks: 'Only in India' could this happen, where rape of women and girls is so common, let alone their murder in what can only be seen as a rights-primitive society.

Well, it isn't just in India. How about a first-world country, a wealthy, 'socially-progressive' country like Canada? Well, how about Canada? The newly-released report out of St. John's, Newfoundland states its condemnation of the child protection system whose inadequate response to a unique case where a child had been in the custody of a man who was her stepfather from a failed marriage -- sought an abortion for the twelve-year-old, posing as her father, while the authorities made no effort to investigate -- damns the province's Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development.

Questions failed to be asked, there was no risk assessment of the child at her presentation for abortion services, and nor were officially recognized consents obtained to validate anything about the story given when the little girl explained her pregnancy came about as the result of consensual sex with a teenage boyfriend. This, from a twelve-year-old, obviously prompted by the man who had accompanied her, to convince those in authority that nothing untoward involving the man had occurred to the child.
"The marriage broke down in 2007, and by 2008 the mother was a full-blown crack/cocaine addict. She was incapable of raising the children. She succumbed to the misery of the drug world and turned away from her children."
"T.O. [the stepfather] was raising four children [three younger boys of his own with the girl's mother] when he started raping his stepdaughter, who was then just 11 and a half: It started just before the child was in Grade 6. The first occasion of sexual assault was anally raping her, causing bodily harm. After, as often as five to six times a week over the next years, he sexually assaulted her anally and vaginally. He told her he would marry her, that she would have his babies. The child grew used to this, as if such relations between a father and daughter were typical or expected."
"He warped her and traumatized her so badly that upon his arrest for assaulting her friend, she tried to shield her family, her brothers, and would not reveal what Mr. T.O. had done to her for nearly another year."
Judge Chris Martin, Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench - at sentencing
The man who was the little girl's stepfather had brought her to Newfoundland and Labrador, taking her to a Planned Parenthood medical clinic for the purpose of seeking out an abortion. The girl's mother lived outside the province.The explanation that the mother of those four children was no longer involved in their lives resulting from a degrading dependence on drugs and a resulting inability to live a semblance of normal life, responding to a mother's responsibility to look to the welfare of her children, is pathetic beyond belief, setting off a chain of dreadful events.

 The mother's former husband took possession of the children, taking them to Newfoundland and there they lived for five months before moving on to yet another province. And in the second province the girl informed authorities two years on of the repeated sexual attacks her stepfather had submitted her to, taking place over a period of over two years. Two abortions resulted from those rapes. Referred to the Health Authority for abortion, no age-appropriate screening, nor counselling ever took place under these tawdry and unusual conditions. After the first abortion the little girl was discharged into the care of her stepfather.

It took a month for the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development workers to be involved in the wake of a number of protection referrals; one alleging that the stepfather had physically abused the twelve-year-old and one of her siblings. Four months later, after nothing had been established through lack of cooperation with the stepfather who claimed he was being harassed, the family moved again. It took two years for the law and justice to catch up with this odious man.

He has since pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of the twelve-year-old as well as to other sexual assaults perpetrated on others. He was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment.

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Wildfires: Let Them Burn Backcountry?

"It’s a few extreme fires that cause all our problems, at least from society’s point of view."
"This is where the appropriate response … allows you to concentrate on problem fires and hope to get to them while they’re still small, while allowing Mother Nature to take its course in the back 40."
Dr. Mike Flannigan, professor, University of Alberta

"That fire [a 1976 backwoods wildfire] could have probably been allowed to just burn and it would have put itself out. But in those days, the mantra was: All fire is bad, so we got to suppress it."
And that’s what we did."
"As a society, we have to recognize that if we’re going to manage this problem appropriately, we’re going to have to accept the fact that, at times, we may have to have a little smoke in the air that we may not like. But it’s going to a better outcome than what we’re seeing in the Chilcotin [region of British Columbia] today."
Brian Simpson, retired, former head, B.C. Wildfire Management Branch
"This huge grief that’s come from Fort Mac [ferocious 2016 Fort McMurray, Alberta wildfire] came from less than 10 per cent of the loss of that town and, really, what would we be looking at if we lost half of that?"
"We could have been looking at a staggering loss on the financial side and how we didn’t lose hundreds of people, I don’t know."
"If you look historically at some of the 19th-century fires: fire got into Fredericton [New Brunswick], fire’s gotten into Timmins [Ontario]. We even had one around Halifax [Nova Scotia] just a couple years ago where a few homes were lost. And the big fire in Tennessee late last year just shows we can have big fires in the East."
Glen McGillivray, managing director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, Toronto

There is now general agreement among scientists involved in ecological research that suppressing wildfires hasn't worked to the advantage it was meant to reflect through best forestry practise in response to these natural phenomena. The realization that a different kind of forest management is required is not new, it has been considered for quite some time, but old practises thought to be the logical reaction of authorities to fires threatening great swaths of forest and any towns and homes increasingly in their path are difficult to set aside.

However, a new approach involving backcountry fires permitted without human intervention to burn across millions of hectares is beginning to make sense to those tasked with the monumental job of husbanding these natural resources. Wildfires across North America still routinely see a response owing to the tradition of gathering fire-fighting resources to attempt to control them as they burn their way through valuable timberland. Now, the focus is to restrict firefighting activities to those areas where towns are threatened, and to simply allow wildfires where no human habitation is to burn themselves out.

Biologists are now recognizing that plants and animals appear to thrive in blackened, burnt-out forests, that renewal swiftly takes place, and that indeed some species of flora require that scorched-earth situation to enable them to renew and flourish. It is when human lives, and the livestock they maintain are threatened by being in the pathway of an out-of-control wildfire that the alarm bells bring in all the massive equipment and experienced wildfire-fighters to ward off catastrophe and then the lives of firefighters too are at stake.

Public safety where communities have established themselves in close proximity to forests, or communities that have long been in existence in those vulnerable forested areas remain the driving force behind firefighters answering the call to battle wildfires. An estimation of how often forests went through the natural process of burning out before the era of human habitation, hazards estimates of between eight million to 12 million hectares annually. At the present time that burnout is estimated at 1.5 million to two million hectares, with fire suppression action.

Around the 19th century the prevailing view was that forests ideally should be represented as economically valuable standing timber. Industrial scale techniques to battle wildfires gave firefighting agencies the capability of fighting wildfires by the 1930s, maintaining the landscape by suppressing wildfires. Even then a small grouping of environmental scientists felt that this type of response gave little benefit to the natural surroundings. The nature of wildfires has undergone a not-too-subtle change attributed to climate change; they have become more savage, more difficult to suppress and as such more dangerous to those fighting them.

Now, additionally, it is well understood that hundreds of species live, and some prefer to live in forests that have been recently burned, becoming by far the vastly preferred habitat. And with that realization the recognition by many more environmentalists that the health of the forests is maintained when fires thin them out of their climax condition, inviting the resurgence of the forest as saplings regenerate from the dead ash which in fact, enriches the forest soil.

It doesn't take long before trees begin sprouting, butterflies return to flit through shrubs when the density of a forest opens to the wind, sun and air and certain plants find their ideal growing places. The 'dead' forest in the wake of a wildfire becomes full of standing charred tree trunks called 'snags', many up to 24 to 30 meters in height, a sad and sorry sight, but a natural one. Environmentalists have noted that the black-backed woodpecker for one, included in the U.S. Endangered Species Act as threatened thrives under these conditions.

Environmentalists urge governments to help people living in forest-fire-vulnerable communities to think before they build there, or to withhold licenses to build. Alternately, taking steps in fire-prone areas to make homes fire-resistant, as for example, installing metal roofs on homes, enabling people to take partial responsibility for their choices and potential outcomes.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

That Nighttime Wake-up a Pain in the Leg

"Not at all [surprised at the prevalence of nighttime leg cramp complaints]. Because I see patients, I see how common they are [such complaints]."
"As a sleep doctor, I tell patients, 'We don't understand the causes and we don't have good, reliable treatments'." 
It's at night [that these episodes occur], during sleep -- out of sight of a doctor. You can't do a test for it."
John Winkelman, sleep medicine specialist, Harvard University

"The best evidence is for quinine. But it's not recommended because of its side effects."
"Now when patients tell me they have cramps, I think, hmmm . . . sleep apnea?"
Andrew Westwood, sleep medicine specialist, Columbia University

"I have found in my clinical practice that trial and error works for most people."
"I'll recommend one thing, and if it doesn't work, I'll recommend another. Eventually, everyone seems to find something that helps them."
Richard Allen, family medicine doctor, Utah Health Care Institute
Sleeping Legs

A small Israeli study assessed the potential for magnesium supplements to help adults suffering from the surprisingly common syndrome of painful cramping in the calf, during sleeping hours. In the study there were 94 adults participating, half of whom received a placebo, the other half the supplement. The end result was that each of the groups similarly experienced a decrease in the frequency of cramping. The placebo effect in action.

A Taiwanese study found in a study undertaken there that vitamin B-complex supplements in elderly people with hypertension experiencing nighttime cramping had an appreciable effect. In the United States a cross-country survey prompted people to report experiencing nighttime leg cramps, concluding that close to 30 percent of adults experience such disturbing events at least five times monthly, with six percent affected some 15 times each month, according to an analysis resulting from the survey published in June in the journal PLOS One.

A group of European researchers questioned 516 French patients finding among them, aged 60 or older, similar numbers with 46 percent reporting cramps having been experienced, while 31 percent claimed they had been awakened by cramps, among whom 15 percent claimed they experienced such inconveniences during their sleeping hours over three times monthly. So, when such untoward occurrences happen that disturb one's sleep, and ultimately the state of your health, what to do? Easy, consult your doctor.

And if you do, it appears doctors haven't much to impart in the way of solid, dependable advice, since it seems that it isn't known what it is that causes nighttime leg cramps. A search on Google, however, comes with ample advice, from stretching regimens, hydrating, to vitamins. Evidence for their workability?

None whatever. Some benefit might be had by stretching calves and hamstrings before bedtime. Eighty people older than 55 in the Netherlands with an average of three cramps nightly at the start of the study, appeared to benefit. Among them one group practised stretching exercises for a six-week period. Their cramp frequency decreased on average to one per night.

Whereas the group that failed to stretch still reported an average of two episodes of cramping per night at the end of th4e study. Again, perhaps the results of placebo effect, while under observation by researchers.

There exists a paucity of studies, and that results in a lack of understanding of cause and of potential avoidance. Perhaps the result of a lack of imagination other than to propose what is already in the public domain as worth a try. Studies take investment, and money is scarce, particularly for treatments that see no profit.

Science supports one treatment in particular: the antimalarial drug, quinine. But quinine has consequences, it can cause nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Oh, and fever, chills and dizziness. Are all those to be considered a fair exchange for relief from leg cramping? Not likely. Considering the possibility of more serious, albeit rare side effects like severe loss of blood platelets.

And that the Food and Drug Administration has warned against quinine's use for nighttime leg cramps more or less depresses the very thought.

Dr. Westwood experienced an epiphany when he realized that patients using continuous positive airway pressure machines for sleep apnea would often inform him their nighttime cramps had vanished. He and his colleagues maintained a record of these reports, and published that record, even while he admits it isn't clear why sleep apnea and nighttime leg cramps could be related.

Older people more commonly experience nighttime leg cramps, and it is hazarded there may be some relation to medical conditions like diabetes and peripheral artery disease.

Diuretics and some statins may also trigger the phenomena as side effects. Most often, however, those irritating and miserable leg cramps just happen with no obvious reason that comes to mind. In which case doctors do the best they can, recommending their patients make an effort to try any type of treatment available, through their own searches, to determine whether any have an ameliorating effect for them.

How to prevent leg cramps

If you’re you’re prone to leg cramps at night, these 6 tips may help:
  • Stay flexible with a regular stretching program.
  • A lot of uphill walking/running or stair-climbing shortens the back muscles and the muscles and tendons at the back of the legs, making them more likely to cramp later. Focus attention on stretching these muscle groups after a hilly workout.
  • Go for a deep-tissue therapeutic massage with an experienced practitioner. Ask her/him to teach you the techniques for the muscle groups in the legs and feet, so you can work the knots out before they become disabling cramps.
  • Loosen the bedcovers so they don’t press your feet down and shorten the muscles of your arches, encouraging them to cramp.
  • Drink when you feel thirsty, especially after exercise. Don’t overdo it. Tea, coffee, smoothies, fruits, and vegetables all contribute to your daily fluid needs.
  • Eat a variety of potassium- and magnesium-rich foods every day. Good choices: Black beans, kidney beans, nuts and seeds, potatoes, sweet potatoes, leafy greens (especially beet greens), bananas, and other fruits.
The Old Farmer's Almanac

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Eclipsing The Sun

A Shaman ceremony during a total solar eclipse in Mongolia where Ray Jayawardhana, astrophysicist and Dean of the Faculty of Science, was to watch the event
A Shaman ceremony during a total solar eclipse in Mongolia where Ray Jayawardhana, astrophysicist and Dean of the Faculty of Science, was to watch the event . . . York University
"The belief [in the mountains of Mongolia in 2008] was that a monstrous deity called Rah was supposedly gobbling up the sun. People [were] howling, screaming, shouting, banging drums . . . to kind of make Rah spit the sun back out."
"It [eclipse of the sun] is kind of a magical event. You see the eclipse, but you also feel the chill in the air, you hear the birds singing . . . it's really kind of an immersive experience."
". . . I saw this notice at the American Central Library in Colombo [Sri Lanka] that had been put up by somebody trying to organize an amateur astronomy group. And it actually said Halley's Comet will be seen [from Sri Lanka]."
"And because of being active in the group [amateur astronomy club], I actually got to meet him [Arthur C. Clarke] when I was 14 or 15."
"I think there are many different ways of being a scientist, many different styles. For me, that [as a science communicator] was the appealing one."
"It's important [for me] to think of science as a very human endeavour. I do think it's doing good in the world to share the understanding of science but also the process of doing science, the frustrations of doing science, the excitement of doing science, with a broader audience."
Ray Jayawardhana, Astronomer, dean of science, York University, Toronto
Ray Jayawardhana, astrophysicist and Dean of the Faculty of Science, taking in the total solar eclipse in Turkey
Ray Jayawardhana, astrophysicist and Dean of the Faculty of Science, taking in the total solar eclipse in Turkey...York University

In 1998 Ray Jayawardhana produced his finding from a study he led on the possibility of planetary formation around a distant star that he and his colleagues observed. That paper, produced while he was still a graduate student at Harvard brought him to the attention of the world of astronomical observation. A hole was observed in the planetary disc surrounding the star, HR 4796A, conceived as evidence a planet in its formative stages was likely there.

This astronomer of growing influence in his chosen field was himself influenced by world-famed science writer Arthur C. Clarke, who had made his home in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in the 1950s. And Sir Clarke sponsored the very astronomy club that the-then young, but star-and-cosmos-struck Ray Jayawardhana became a member of. And while the budding astronomer lived in Colombo and took part in the astronomy club he also met Sri Lankan-bornNASA scientist Cyril Ponnamperuma.

"Ponnamperuma] actually studied lunar [rock and soil] samples that the [Apollo] astronauts brought back, so he was very well known in Sri Lanka for that. But he was also really good at giving public talks. He appeared in NASA videos  about meteorites and their chemistry, and he was publicly engaged becoming science adviser to the president of the country", explained Dr. Ponnamperuma. The trio he most admired was rounded out by Carl Sagan, the astronomer who wrote and hosted the PBS series Cosmos in 1980.
This file photo taken on March 29, 2006 shows a full solar eclipse sin Antalya, southern coast of Turkey.
This file photo taken on March 29, 2006 shows a full solar eclipse sin Antalya, southern coast of Turkey.  (CEM TURKEL)

Since the publication of Dr. Jayawardhan's 1998 paper on planetary formation no fewer than a staggering 3,500 planets have been discovered to be in existence outside Earth's solar system. The science of detecting planetary bodies resembling Earth, with the requisite potential to host life has been accelerating. With the use of the world's largest telescopes, techniques are being pioneered to recognize spectrographic light signatures from distant planets so atmospheric and surface conditions can be detected, capable of hosting life.

He was also involved in the science team tasked to design the Canadian component of the James Webb Space Telescope, larger than the Hubble Telescope, set to be launched by NASA in the coming year.  "As a result of that, we have been given 400 hours of guaranteed time to use James Webb . . . and we're using roughly half of that [time[ on exoplanets. It really has been heady stuff."

Ray Jayawardhana got instant attention while still a grad student at Harvard in 1998. He led a study he led on possible planetary formation  around a distant star.
Ray Jayawardhana got instant attention while still a grad student at Harvard in 1998. He led a study on possible planetary formation around a distant star.  (Steve Russell)

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

PPOIT (probiotic with peanut oral immunotherapy) Immunotherapy

"These children had been eating peanut freely in their diet without having to follow any particular program of peanut intake in the years after treatment was completed."
"This is a major step forward in identifying an effective treatment to address the food allergy problem in Western societies."
"The importance of this finding is that these children [in her study] were able to eat peanuts, like children who don't have peanut allergy, and still maintain their tolerant state, protected against reactions to peanut."
Professor Mimi Tang, immunologist/allergist, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Australia
Peanuts
The peanut allergy cure is designed to reprogram the immune system’s response. Photograph: Josh Westrich/Getty Images

Professor Tang designed a research trial where 48 children were given the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus as well as peanuts in steadily increasing amounts daily for a 18-month period, to enable the building of a tolerance for peanuts. A placebo trial took place as well, the aftermath of which was that four percent only of the children in the trial were judged to be tolerant to peanuts post-trial. (At the original trial's conclusion in 2013, 82% of children who received the immunotherapy treatment were deemed tolerant to peanuts, compared with just 4% in the placebo group.)

Her goal was to create a treatment protocol whereby children with severe peanut reactions where death could ensue if a child inadvertently consumed peanuts, would have the end effect of building immunity to such reactions, enabling children to eat a normal diet, including peanuts. Those children involved in the treatment protocol did indeed build the desired immunity to reaction, going on to eat peanuts without fear or consequences. The results of this study were published in Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

The treatment's immune effects lasted for years following the original study, with close to 80 percent of child participants remaining free of peanut reactions four years on. This is a giant step forward given the fact that in recent decades peanut allergies have dramatically increased particularly in Western countries, given that the anaphylactic shock that threatens untreated children has the potential to kill them.

One in thirteen Canadians suffer a food allergy, according to AllerGen NCE Inc., with 1.93 percent -- over 700,000 people -- encumbered with a serious peanut allergy. After Professor Tang's experimental study, her four-year follow-up revealed that the majority of the children completing the study had been enjoying peanuts free of concerns, with over half of the group consuming "moderate- to-large" amounts with no ill effects.

The fact that the probiotic regimen resulted in 82 percent of children with peanut allergies involved with the clinical trial becoming free to eat the legume, bypassing its former allergic effect represented a stunning success. One that leads to hope that further allergy treatment may present with a permanent cure for the allergy to peanuts.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Art, Quite Simply Art

http://img.theepochtimes.com/n3/eet-content/uploads/2017/07/17/7.Harvey-Dinnerstein_SundownTheCrossing_1999_OilonCanvas_74x84-1500x1362.jpg
"Sundown, The Crossing" 1999 by Harvey Dinnerstein. Oil on canvas.
"It was formative [the recognition that the tradition of 19th Century artists called his aesthetic to respond in kind]. The drawings that I did were mostly incidental and reportorial. I think they were effective, but at some point I started to realize that it wasn't enough just to record incidents. One had to reach beyond the narrative, beyond the moment, for something deeper, more transcendent ... to some other level of perception."
"It was the beginning of a way of thinking that affected many of the things that I would do later [as an artist]."
"The biggest challenge [is] to have a visual idea that's personal relevant to myself as I see the world around me."
"It is difficult to explain. It is being open and having an insatiable curiosity [for] anything that is happening. That's a small part of it."
"The vast diversity of humanity in the city, more so today than ever, seems to me especially focused underground."
"I've never planted a tree in my life. I do them in this space [committing his art to canvas in his studio]. It's kind of crazy with all this stuff in here."
Harvey Dinnerstein, visual artist, New York City, New York
Artist Harvey Dinnerstein in his studio in Brooklyn, New York, on May 31, 2017. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
Artist Harvey Dinnerstein in his studio in Brooklyn, New York, on May 31, 2017. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Just as a writer of novels makes use of his personal history and adds a healthy dose of fantasy to his/her novels to create a work of fiction that resonates with the personal and the whimsical to invite the reading public to a treat for their minds and imaginations to run free, so too did this artist who had 'never planted a tree in his life', place himself within the context of a painting showing a gardener at his task among flowers, busy with the planting of a tree, wheelbarrow holding garden soil beside him. It is an original vision, a painting of strength, unlimited talent and vibrant beauty.

Some viewers might recoil at the sight of an aged man, upper torso revealed, intent on his task, handling a tree, beside him bright and piquant colours of a floral display against a glowing backdrop. But this man has not shied away from the beauty of the human figure even in old age, for he is well into his eighties and has no intention of submitting to the years other than to make the most of all the opportunities the future years will afford him. He is a classical figurative painter. Many of whose paintings reflect family scenes, city life, the seasons and visual conceptions that artists before him focused on.

He is skilled and driven to paint life and his vision of eternity. Classical depictions of mythology are not beyond him; myths they may be, but they involve human nature and mankind interacting with the faith of a higher intelligence. The visual documentation of humankind's ventures in love and war, the emergence of cultural variants and the measures that humans employ to advance their interests and communicate with one another can all be depicted as they are envisioned in the past, and as they take place at the present.

Artist Harvey Dinnerstein in his studio in Brooklyn, New York, on May 31, 2017. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
Artist Harvey Dinnerstein in his studio. Photo: Samira Bouaou
As a realist artist he moved in his youth among others whose love of art mirrored his own. While the art world became immersed and enthused with non-objective art and the theories of modernism, he and his peers clung to the classical tradition of depicting nature and the human form as they appear to us realistically. That type of art is classified by this man as the humanist traditions of the past. The art of the Renaissance with its lavish splendour and ebullience along with later naturalist and realist artists patterned his own version of rendering timeless art under his brush and his signature.

"Walking Together, Montgomery," 1956, by Harvey Dinnerstein. Charcoal on paper, 17 1/4 inches by 25 7/8 inches. (Courtesy of Harvey Dinnerstein)
“Walking Together, Montgomery,” 1956, by Harvey Dinnerstein. Charcoal on paper, 17 1/4 inches by 
25 7/8 inches. (Courtesy of Harvey Dinnerstein)
 
He took inspiration from the civil rights movement, from poetry, from everyday scenes of life he witnessed, and accustomed himself to carrying a notebook where he could jot down a 'cartoon' sketch that he might later, in his studio use as a guide to his memory to expand and detail into a painting. It is what many artists married to their work do, to jog memory and outline what they will at a later date elaborate upon in the commission of an artwork.

The quality of this man's depiction of landscape and figures speaks to his passion for his art. It is a passion that communicates itself to the eye of the beholder. Viewing his paintings, no explanation is required for they speak for themselves. It can be readily determined what Mr Dinnerstein meant to convey, and succeeded admirably in doing so. This is the kind of art that has its peers in the past, less so in the present, overshadowed in the world of art by the bogus productions in demand by buyers who believe the art 'experts' who claim abstract art represents fine art.

"In the Kitchen," 1960–61, by Harvey Dinnerstein. Oil on canvas, 20 inches by 16 inches. (Courtesy of Harvey Dinnerstein)
"In the Kitchen" 1960-61 by Harvey Dinnerstein, Oil on Canvass, Courtesy Harvey Dinnerstein

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