Welcome!

Beloved Pharaoh. Born: June 3rd., 2003 – Died: June 19th., 2017. A very special dog that will never be forgotten.

Dogs live in the present – they just are!  Dogs make the best of each moment uncluttered by the sorts of complex fears and feelings that we humans have. They don’t judge, they simply take the world around them at face value.  Yet they have been part of man’s world for an unimaginable time, at least 30,000 years.  That makes the domesticated dog the longest animal companion to man, by far!

As man’s companion, protector and helper, history suggests that dogs were critically important in man achieving success as a hunter-gatherer.  Dogs ‘teaching’ man to be so successful a hunter enabled evolution, some 20,000 years later, to farming,  thence the long journey to modern man.  But in the last, say 100 years, that farming spirit has become corrupted to the point where we see the planet’s plant and mineral resources as infinite.  Mankind is close to the edge of extinction, literally and spiritually.

Dogs know better, much better!  Time again for man to learn from dogs!

Welcome to Learning from Dogs

This is the woman I love!

Today is our anniversary.

Yes, November 20th, 2010 was the day we became married.

And in celebration of that day, and more generally in meeting Jean some three years previously, I want to republish the following. For when I met my darling Jeannie she had been vegetarian for many years and in turn we both became vegan.

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Why people become vegans: The history, sex and science of a meatless existence

By    Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of Oregon

November 19, 2018

At the age of 14, a young Donald Watson watched as a terrified pig was slaughtered on his family farm. In the British boy’s eyes, the screaming pig was being murdered. Watson stopped eating meat and eventually gave up dairy as well.

Later, as an adult in 1944, Watson realized that other people shared his interest in a plant-only diet. And thus veganism – a term he coined – was born.

Flash-forward to today, and Watson’s legacy ripples through our culture. Even though only 3 percent of Americans actually identify as vegan, most people seem to have an unusually strong opinion about these fringe foodies – one way or the other.

As a behavioral scientist with a strong interest in consumer food movements, I thought November – World Vegan Month – would be a good time to explore why people become vegans, why they can inspire so much irritation and why many of us meat-eaters may soon join their ranks.

Early childhood experiences can shape how we feel about animals – and lead to veganism, as it did for Donald Watson. HQuality/Shutterstock.com

It’s an ideology not a choice

Like other alternative food movements such as locavorism, veganism arises from a belief structure that guides daily eating decisions.

They aren’t simply moral high-grounders. Vegans do believe it’s moral to avoid animal products, but they also believe it’s healthier and better for the environment.

Also, just like Donald Watson’s story, veganism is rooted in early life experiences.

Psychologists recently discovered that having a larger variety of pets as a child increases tendencies to avoid eating meat as an adult. Growing up with different sorts of pets increases concern for how animals are treated more generally.

Thus, when a friend opts for Tofurky this holiday season, rather than one of the 45 million turkeys consumed for Thanksgiving, his decision isn’t just a high-minded choice. It arises from beliefs that are deeply held and hard to change.

Sutton and Sons is a vegan fish and chip restaurant in London. Reuters/Peter Nicholls

Veganism as a symbolic threat

That doesn’t mean your faux-turkey loving friend won’t seem annoying if you’re a meat-eater.

The late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain famously quipped that meat avoiders “are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit.”

Why do some people find vegans so irritating? In fact, it might be more about “us” than them.

Most Americans think meat is an important part of a healthy diet. The government recommends eating 2-3 portions (5-6 ounces) per day of everything from bison to sea bass. As tribal humans, we naturally form biases against individuals who challenge our way of life, and because veganism runs counter to how we typically approach food, vegans feel threatening.

Humans respond to feelings of threat by derogating outgroups. Two out of 3 vegans experience discrimination daily, 1 in 4 report losing friends after “coming out” as vegan, and 1 in 10 believe being vegan cost them a job.

Veganism can be hard on a person’s sex life, too. Recent research finds that the more someone enjoys eating meat, the less likely they are to swipe right on a vegan. Also, women find men who are vegan less attractive than those who eat meat, as meat-eating seems masculine.

The fake meat at one Fort Lauderdale restaurant supposedly tastes like real meat. AP Photo/J. Pat Carter

Crossing the vegan divide

It may be no surprise that being a vegan is tough, but meat-eaters and meat-abstainers probably have more in common than they might think.

Vegans are foremost focused on healthy eating. Six out of 10 Americans want their meals to be healthier, and research shows that plant-based diets are associated with reduced risk for heart disease, certain cancers, and Type 2 diabetes.

It may not be surprising, then, that 1 in 10 Americans are pursuing a mostly veggie diet. That number is higher among younger generations, suggesting that the long-term trend might be moving away from meat consumption.

In addition, several factors will make meat more costly in the near future.

Meat production accounts for as much as 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, and clear-cutting for pasture land destroys 6.7 million acres of tropical forest per year. While some debate exists on the actual figures, it is clear that meat emits more than plants, and population growth is increasing demand for quality protein.

Seizing the opportunity, scientists have innovated new forms of plant-based meats that have proven to be appealing even to meat-eaters. The distributor of Beyond Meat’s plant-based patties says 86 percent of its customers are meat-eaters. It is rumored that this California-based vegan company will soon be publicly traded on Wall Street.

Even more astonishing, the science behind lab-grown, “cultured tissue” meat is improving. It used to cost more than $250,000 to produce a single lab-grown hamburger patty. Technological improvements by Dutch company Mosa Meat have reduced the cost to $10 per burger.

Watson’s legacy

Even during the holiday season, when meats like turkey and ham take center stage at family feasts, there’s a growing push to promote meatless eating.

London, for example, will host its first-ever “zero waste” Christmas market this year featuring vegan food vendors. Donald Watson, who was born just four hours north of London, would be proud.

Watson, who died in 2006 at the ripe old age of 95, outlived most of his critics. This may give quiet resolve to vegans as they brave our meat-loving world.

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Well all I can say is that if Donald Watson can do it then so can Jeannie and me.

Beam me up, Scotty.

Just had to share this with you!

This is a remarkable photograph. Something I have never seen.

Anyway, here’s the story behind it!

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Otherworldly light pillars captured over Whitefish Bay

MICHAEL D’ESTRIES,   November 2, 2018

Light pillars over Whitefish Bay on the shore of Lake Superior as captured by nocturnal photographer Vincent Brady. (Photo: Vincent Brady)

At first glance, the mesmerizing light display that occurred on Oct. 16 over Whitefish Bay, Michigan, had all the hallmarks of a visual effect from a science-fiction film. Instead of “first contact,” however, this beautiful shimmer is actually a fairly common optical phenomenon called a light pillar.

Light pillars form when sources of light from the ground, sun or even the moon interact with horizontal concentrations of ice crystals in the atmosphere. When viewed from a distance, these crystals align in such a way as to create the optical illusion of a dazzling pillar of light.

Photographer Vincent Brady, who specializes in capturing nocturnal scenes, said in a Facebook post that he was “pleasantly surprised” to come across the phenomenon.

“This is a shot north of Paradise, MI looking east over Whitefish Bay,” he wrote. “The red lights are around the Canadian island Ile Parisienne. I’m not entirely sure of the artificial light source of the pillars.”

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Astounding!

Anyone else seen these?

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Sixty-Four

And it’s all about getting the vote out!

Hannah Ingram tweeted this photo of leaders from opposing parties going head-to-head in Ramsbottom

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Rocco enjoyed his trip to the polls in Tameside, Greater Manchester

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Phoebe was interested to see local democracy in action in Chorlton, Manchester

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This Shar Pei named Prune accompanied his owner Edward in Ipswich

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Hermione and Hagrid’s owner was exercising their democratic right – and their four-legged friends

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Buddy was happy to accompany his human Haley to the polls in Portsmouth

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Blueberry McScruffin the sprocker exercised her democratic right in Whitley Bay.

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Ava the Dachshund looked pensive as she waited to hear the outcome of her owner’s vote

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Poppy in north London proved all creatures great and small could take their owners to vote.

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The BBC’s assistant political editor Norman Smith’s dog had plans for a game of fetch after the poll

All taken courtesy of the BBC.

The mind-body question.

Is how you think the same as how she thinks?

The challenge of how you think, and whether or not it is similar to how others think has long intrigued us.

Tam Hunt has written an article that now ponders on whether how we think, how we are conscious of the world around us, depends on how that ‘thing’ vibrates.

Over to Tam.

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Could consciousness all come down to the way things vibrate?

By    Affiliate Guest in Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Why is my awareness here, while yours is over there? Why is the universe split in two for each of us, into a subject and an infinity of objects? How is each of us our own center of experience, receiving information about the rest of the world out there? Why are some things conscious and others apparently not? Is a rat conscious? A gnat? A bacterium?

These questions are all aspects of the ancient “mind-body problem,” which asks, essentially: What is the relationship between mind and matter? It’s resisted a generally satisfying conclusion for thousands of years.

The mind-body problem enjoyed a major rebranding over the last two decades. Now it’s generally known as the “hard problem” of consciousness, after philosopher David Chalmers coined this term in a now classic paper and further explored it in his 1996 book, “The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory.”

Chalmers thought the mind-body problem should be called “hard” in comparison to what, with tongue in cheek, he called the “easy” problems of neuroscience: How do neurons and the brain work at the physical level? Of course they’re not actually easy at all. But his point was that they’re relatively easy compared to the truly difficult problem of explaining how consciousness relates to matter.

Over the last decade, my colleague, University of California, Santa Barbara psychology professor Jonathan Schooler and I have developed what we call a “resonance theory of consciousness.” We suggest that resonance – another word for synchronized vibrations – is at the heart of not only human consciousness but also animal consciousness and of physical reality more generally. It sounds like something the hippies might have dreamed up – it’s all vibrations, man! – but stick with me.

How do things in nature – like flashing fireflies – spontaneously synchronize? Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock.com

All about the vibrations

All things in our universe are constantly in motion, vibrating. Even objects that appear to be stationary are in fact vibrating, oscillating, resonating, at various frequencies. Resonance is a type of motion, characterized by oscillation between two states. And ultimately all matter is just vibrations of various underlying fields. As such, at every scale, all of nature vibrates.

Something interesting happens when different vibrating things come together: They will often start, after a little while, to vibrate together at the same frequency. They “sync up,” sometimes in ways that can seem mysterious. This is described as the phenomenon of spontaneous self-organization.

Mathematician Steven Strogatz provides various examples from physics, biology, chemistry and neuroscience to illustrate “sync” – his term for resonance – in his 2003 book “Sync: How Order Emerges from Chaos in the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life,” including:

  • When fireflies of certain species come together in large gatherings, they start flashing in sync, in ways that can still seem a little mystifying.
  • Lasers are produced when photons of the same power and frequency sync up.
  • The moon’s rotation is exactly synced with its orbit around the Earth such that we always see the same face.

Examining resonance leads to potentially deep insights about the nature of consciousness and about the universe more generally.

External electrodes can record a brain’s activity. vasara/Shutterstock.com

Sync inside your skull

Neuroscientists have identified sync in their research, too. Large-scale neuron firing occurs in human brains at measurable frequencies, with mammalian consciousness thought to be commonly associated with various kinds of neuronal sync.

For example, German neurophysiologist Pascal Fries has explored the ways in which various electrical patterns sync in the brain to produce different types of human consciousness.

Fries focuses on gamma, beta and theta waves. These labels refer to the speed of electrical oscillations in the brain, measured by electrodes placed on the outside of the skull. Groups of neurons produce these oscillations as they use electrochemical impulses to communicate with each other. It’s the speed and voltage of these signals that, when averaged, produce EEG waves that can be measured at signature cycles per second.

Each type of synchronized activity is associated with certain types of brain function. artellia/Shutterstock.com

Gamma waves are associated with large-scale coordinated activities like perception, meditation or focused consciousness; beta with maximum brain activity or arousal; and theta with relaxation or daydreaming. These three wave types work together to produce, or at least facilitate, various types of human consciousness, according to Fries. But the exact relationship between electrical brain waves and consciousness is still very much up for debate.

Fries calls his concept “communication through coherence.” For him, it’s all about neuronal synchronization. Synchronization, in terms of shared electrical oscillation rates, allows for smooth communication between neurons and groups of neurons. Without this kind of synchronized coherence, inputs arrive at random phases of the neuron excitability cycle and are ineffective, or at least much less effective, in communication.

A resonance theory of consciousness

Our resonance theory builds upon the work of Fries and many others, with a broader approach that can help to explain not only human and mammalian consciousness, but also consciousness more broadly.

Based on the observed behavior of the entities that surround us, from electrons to atoms to molecules, to bacteria to mice, bats, rats, and on, we suggest that all things may be viewed as at least a little conscious. This sounds strange at first blush, but “panpsychism” – the view that all matter has some associated consciousness – is an increasingly accepted position with respect to the nature of consciousness.

The panpsychist argues that consciousness did not emerge at some point during evolution. Rather, it’s always associated with matter and vice versa – they’re two sides of the same coin. But the large majority of the mind associated with the various types of matter in our universe is extremely rudimentary. An electron or an atom, for example, enjoys just a tiny amount of consciousness. But as matter becomes more interconnected and rich, so does the mind, and vice versa, according to this way of thinking.

Biological organisms can quickly exchange information through various biophysical pathways, both electrical and electrochemical. Non-biological structures can only exchange information internally using heat/thermal pathways – much slower and far less rich in information in comparison. Living things leverage their speedier information flows into larger-scale consciousness than what would occur in similar-size things like boulders or piles of sand, for example. There’s much greater internal connection and thus far more “going on” in biological structures than in a boulder or a pile of sand.

Under our approach, boulders and piles of sand are “mere aggregates,” just collections of highly rudimentary conscious entities at the atomic or molecular level only. That’s in contrast to what happens in biological life forms where the combinations of these micro-conscious entities together create a higher level macro-conscious entity. For us, this combination process is the hallmark of biological life.

The central thesis of our approach is this: the particular linkages that allow for large-scale consciousness – like those humans and other mammals enjoy – result from a shared resonance among many smaller constituents. The speed of the resonant waves that are present is the limiting factor that determines the size of each conscious entity in each moment.

As a particular shared resonance expands to more and more constituents, the new conscious entity that results from this resonance and combination grows larger and more complex. So the shared resonance in a human brain that achieves gamma synchrony, for example, includes a far larger number of neurons and neuronal connections than is the case for beta or theta rhythms alone.

What about larger inter-organism resonance like the cloud of fireflies with their little lights flashing in sync? Researchers think their bioluminescent resonance arises due to internal biological oscillators that automatically result in each firefly syncing up with its neighbors.

Is this group of fireflies enjoying a higher level of group consciousness? Probably not, since we can explain the phenomenon without recourse to any intelligence or consciousness. But in biological structures with the right kind of information pathways and processing power, these tendencies toward self-organization can and often do produce larger-scale conscious entities.

Our resonance theory of consciousness attempts to provide a unified framework that includes neuroscience, as well as more fundamental questions of neurobiology and biophysics, and also the philosophy of mind. It gets to the heart of the differences that matter when it comes to consciousness and the evolution of physical systems.

It is all about vibrations, but it’s also about the type of vibrations and, most importantly, about shared vibrations.

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Well, I’m not sure of the relevance but I’m bound to say that I am going to the doctor once a week for Alpha-Sim resetting. The reason I mention it is the Alpha frequency in the above brain wave chart.  I sit very quietly for about 90 minutes and it does seem to provide some benefit.

That Look – Of A Siberian Husky!

Those eyes!

Of all the dogs that we can look at the Siberian Husky takes the biscuit! I’m talking about those eyes!

Up until reading this article in the Smithsonian I hadn’t really stopped to wonder how those eyes came about.

Read on …

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How Siberian Huskies Get Their Piercing Blue Eyes

A new study suggests that the defining trait is linked to a unique genetic mutation

smithsonian.com
(Yasser Alghofily/Flickr)

At-home DNA kits have become a popular way to learn more about one’s ancestry and genetic makeup—and the handy tests aren’t just for humans, either. Dog owners who want to delve into their fluffy friends’ family history and uncover the risks of possible diseases can choose from a number of services that screen doggie DNA.

As Kitson Jazynka reports for National Geographic, one of these services, Embark Veterinary, Inc., recently analyzed user data to unlock an enduring canine mystery: How did Siberian huskies get their brilliant blue eyes?

Piercing peepers are a defining trait of this beautiful doggo. According to the new study, published in PLOS Genetics, breeders report that blue eyes are a common and dominant trait among Siberian huskies, but appear to be rare and recessive in other breeds, like Pembroke Welsh corgis, old English sheepdogs and border collies. In some breeds, like Australian shepherds, blue eyes have been linked to patchy coat patterns known as “merle” and “piebald,” which are caused by certain genetic mutations. But it was not clear why other dogs—chief among them the Siberian husky—frequently wind up with blue eyes.

Hoping to crack this genetic conundrum, researchers at Embark studied the DNA of more than 6,000 pooches, whose owners had taken their dogs’ saliva samples and submitted them to the company for testing. The owners also took part in an online survey and uploaded photos of their dogs. According to the study authors, their research marked “the first consumer genomics study ever conducted in a non-human model and the largest canine genome-wide association study to date.”

The expansive analysis revealed that blue eyes in Siberian huskies appear to be associated with a duplication on what is known as canine chromosome 18, which is located near a gene called ALX4. This gene plays an important role in mammalian eye development, leading the researchers to suspect that the duplication “may alter expression of ALX4, which may lead to repression of genes involved in eye pigmentation,” Aaron Sams of Embark tells Inverse’s Sarah Sloat.

The genetic variation was also linked to blue eyes in non-merle Australian shepherds. Just one copy of the mutated sequence was enough to give dogs either two blue eyes, or one blue and one brown eye, a phenomenon known as “heterochromia.” It would seem, however, that duplication on chromosome 18 is not the only factor influencing blue eye color: Some dogs that had the mutation did not have blue eyes.

More research into this topic is needed to understand the genetic mechanisms at work when it comes to blue-eyed dogs. But the study shows how at-home DNA kits can be highly valuable to scientists, providing them with a wealth of genetic samples to study.

“With 6,000 people getting DNA samples from their dogs and mailing them to a centralized location and then filling out a website form detailing all the traits of their dog—that’s a game-changer for how genetics is being done in the 21st century,” Kristopher Irizarry, a geneticist with the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences, tells National Geographic’s Jazynka.

The benefits of having access to such huge troves of data go further than uncovering nifty insights into our canine companions. Scientists are also teaming up with at-home DNA test companies to learn more about human genetics and behavior.

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There’s such a wide range of information about our lovely dogs!

Oh, and I had better include the following.

Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on TwitterRead more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-siberian-huskies-get-their-piercing-blue-eyes-180970507/#4cO22KfQH7w6qp6B.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

See you all tomorrow!

Lidl Recalls Orlando Brand Dog Food

Yet another dog food recall.

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Lidl Recalls Orlando Brand Dog Food

November 9, 2018

Lidl USA is voluntarily recalling specific lots of Orlando brand Grain Free Chicken & Chickpea Superfood Recipe Dog Food because the products may contain elevated levels of Vitamin D.

What’s Recalled?

The recalled Orlando brand products include the following lot numbers manufactured between March 3, 2018 and May 15, 2018:

  • TI1 3 Mar 2019
  • TB2 21 Mar 2019
  • TB3 21 Mar 2019
  • TA2 19 Apr 2019
  • TB1 15 May 2019
  • TB2 15 May 2019

Elevated Vitamin D Levels

Dogs consuming elevated levels of Vitamin D could exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss.

Customers with dogs who have consumed this product and are exhibiting these symptoms should contact their veterinarian as soon as possible.

No other products sold by Lidl are impacted by the recall.

This is a voluntary recall and is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

What to Do?

Customers who have purchased this product with the affected lot codes should stop feeding it to their dogs and discard the product immediately or return it to their nearest Lidl store for a full refund.

Customers who have questions about this recall should call the Lidl US Customer Care Hotline at 844-747-5435, 8 AM to 9 PM Eastern time, 7 days a week.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

Get Dog Food Recall Alerts by Email

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall notification system.

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Please share this amongst all your friends.

Just a number, or is it!

I can do no better than republish in full the following:

(Simply because I scarcely understand it!)

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Why the number 137 is one of the greatest mysteries in physics

Famous physicists like Richard Feynman think 137 holds the answers to the Universe.

By PAUL RATNER,  31st October, 2018.

  • The fine structure constant has mystified scientists since the 1800s.
  • The number 1/137 might hold the clues to the Grand Unified Theory.
  • Relativity, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics are unified by the number.

Does the Universe around us have a fundamental structure that can be glimpsed through special numbers?

The brilliant physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988) famously thought so, saying there is a number that all theoretical physicists of worth should “worry about”. He called it “one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics: a magic number that comes to us with no understanding by man”.

That magic number, called the fine structure constant, is a fundamental constant, with a value which nearly equals 1/137. Or 1/137.03599913, to be precise. It is denoted by the Greek letter alpha – α.

What’s special about alpha is that it’s regarded as the best example of a pure number, one that doesn’t need units. It actually combines three of nature’s fundamental constants – the speed of light, the electric charge carried by one electron, and the Planck’s constant, as explains physicist and astrobiologist Paul Davies to Cosmos magazine. Appearing at the intersection of such key areas of physics as relativity, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics is what gives 1/137 its allure.

Physicist Laurence Eaves, a professor at the University of Nottingham, thinks the number 137 would be the one you’d signal to the aliens to indicate that we have some measure of mastery over our planet and understand quantum mechanics. The aliens would know the number as well, especially if they developed advanced sciences.

The number preoccupied other great physicists as well, including the Nobel Prize winning Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958) who was obsessed with it his whole life.

“When I die my first question to the Devil will be: What is the meaning of the fine structure constant?” Pauli joked.

Pauli also referred to the fine structure constant during his Nobel lecture on December 13th, 1946 in Stockholm, saying a theory was necessary that would determine the constant’s value and “thus explain the atomistic structure of electricity, which is such an essential quality of all atomic sources of electric fields actually occurring in nature.

One use of this curious number is to measure the interaction of charged particles like electrons with electromagnetic fields. Alpha determines how fast an excited atom can emit a photon. It also affects the details of the light emitted by atoms. Scientists have been able to observe a pattern of shifts of light coming from atoms called “fine structure” (giving the constant its name). This “fine structure” has been seen in sunlight and the light coming from other stars.


The constant figures in other situations, making physicists wonder why. Why does nature insist on this number? It has appeared in various calculations in physics since the 1880s, spurring numerous attempts to come up with a Grand Unified Theory that would incorporate the constant since. So far no single explanation took hold. Recent research also introduced the possibility that the constant has actually increased over the last six billion years, even though slightly.

If you’d like to know the math behind fine structure constant more specifically, the way you arrive at alpha is by putting the 3 constants h,c, and e together in the equation —

As the units c, e, and h cancel each other out, the “pure” number of 137.03599913 is left behind. For historical reasons, says Professor Davies, the inverse of the equation is used 2πe2/hc = 1/137.03599913. If you’re wondering what is the precise value of that fraction – it’s 0.007297351.

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Now, as I said in my introduction, I don’t understand this. But it doesn’t stop me from marvelling at the figure.

More on worms.

An update to last Saturday’s post.

Earlier yesterday afternoon Jim Goodbrod sent me the following email. I should explain for those that are unfamiliar with Jim that he is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). He is also a friend and neighbour.

Hey Paul,

I read your guest blog yesterday regarding canine helminthiasis (ie. worms) and just wanted to comment that none of Ms. Turner’s so-called home remedies will do anything to rid your dog of worms.

I don’t know where these people get these strange remedies.  Her chamomile tincture actually has a good quantity of ethanol in it, in the form of vodka or rum (?????)  I’d never give that to my dog.

Over the years I’ve heard dozens of clients extol the virtues of these “natural” worming therapies from Tabasco sauce, chewing tobacco, oral diatomaceous earth, habanero peppers, garlic, turpentine, old motor oil etc. etc.   Vinegar was in vogue for a long time as a cure-all for almost any ailment.  Lately coconut oil seems to be the miracle cure.

I don’t know why they persist in giving their dogs ineffective treatments that make their dogs sick, when they could go to the Grange or Mini Pet Mart and get a benign over-the-counter veterinary medication such as pyrantel or praziquantel which is actually specifically labelled for the treatment of certain worms.  Or better yet, many heartworm preventives contain an intestinal wormer, and since all dogs in this area should be on heartworm medication anyway, each month you would be preventing heartworms and treating intestinal worms at the same time.

That’s what I do for Louie.  He loves those Heartgard treats!
Anyway,  just a comment, for what it’s worth.

Regards, Jim

I am very grateful to Jim giving me his permission to publish his advice.

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Sixty-Three

And here’s me muttering about running out of dog pictures!

Mobasa the French bulldog isn’t allowed to use the phone – after all, she’s not a golden receiver

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Buddy the Staffordshire bull terrier is working hard on a building site – and we have it on good authority he excels at roofing.

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It looks like Balu the French bulldog might be considering opening up his own pizzeria – we assume it’s going to be called Pizza Mutt.

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Jacob the German shepherd/pit bull/labrador mixed breed (left) and Teddy the golden retriever (right) are looking gorgeous in their bow-wow ties.

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Mylo the Bernese mountain dog is busy at school in Belfast – will he be teaching geogrrrrraphy next term?

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Percy the pug refuses to look at his iMac – not too surprising as it’s a well-known fact that some dogs prefer looking at windows.

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Buddy the German shepherd is keen to show off his new ID card around the office – presumably hoping this will give him lab access.

All of the above were taken from here.

And last but not least, spare a thought for the millions who died in World War I.

Back to getting rid of worms!

OK, so it’s another guest post but useful nonetheless.

I have published a number of posts over the years on the topic of getting rid of worms.  But this deserves republishing as it uses things around the house.

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How to Get Rid of Worms in Dogs At Home, Without Going to the Vet

By Ashley Turner.

Did you know that there are five different types of worms your dog can get including heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms? If you don’t treat them, they can lead to several complications for your dog including poor growth, slowed development, anemia, and possibly death.

However, before you treat the worm infestation, you have to know what to look for. We’ll cover the common signs and how to get rid of worms in dogs, so you know how to safely and effectively treat this parasite before it leads to health complications for your dog.

Common Clues Your Dog Has a Parasite Infection

With some internal parasites, a diagnosis can be tricky because there may not be any obvious signs that something is wrong with your dog. However, there are also several common symptoms or clues that can point to an internal parasite infection, and they include:

  • Bloating – Does your dog look bloated whether or not they’ve eaten? Having continuous bloat or seeming generally uncomfortable can be a sign of worms.
  • Coughing – Your dog naturally coughs from time to time just like a person will. However, if you notice your dog starting to cough more than normal or go on extended coughing fits, this is a sign of worms.
  • Fever – You may notice that your dog is running a fever with this type of infection. It can come and go, and it normally won’t stay constant.
  • Lethargy – Sudden changes in appetite or lethargy is common as the worms advance. This can also come with vomiting that gets worse over time.
  • Scooting – Scooting refers to your dog dragging it’s butt across the floor. It looks like they’re “scooting” across the floor when they do this.
  • Stool Problems – Your dog’s stool may be loose or covered in mucus when they go to the bathroom. Additionally, you may notice worms in their stool or what looks like small grains of rice.

Different Types of Worms

While there are five types of worms, only four types are intestinal worms, but we’re going to cover all five types. We’ll go over what each worm is, how it’s transmitted, and symptoms specific to that type of parasite infection.

Heartworms

Heartworms are almost completely preventable, but they’re also one of the most damaging and scary types of parasitic infection your dog can get. Heartworms live and thrive in your dog’s heart and in the large blood vessels, and they can grow to be over 12 inches long.

Heartworms are transmitted by a mosquito biting your dog and transmitting the heartworm larvae into your dog’s blood where it travels to their heart. These worms can cause coughing, difficulty breathing, and death in more severe cases, so prevention is the key with this parasite.

Hookworms

Hookworms are small worms with hook-like attachments on their mouths that attach to your dog’s intestinal wall. They feed on your dog’s blood, and they eject their eggs out into your dog’s intestines and into their feces.

These parasites can get into your dog’s body through your dog licking and cleaning themselves, ingesting feces or dirt, through milk by nursing puppies, or by the worms burrowing through their pads on the bottom of their feet. Since it feeds on blood, these types of worms can cause anemia, and this is especially dangerous to young puppies or older dogs.

Roundworms

Roundworms live in your dog’s small intestine, and they’re a slightly larger parasite that grows up to seven inches long and look are long and thin like spaghetti noodles. The roundworms attach to your dog’s intestine and feed on your dog’s blood as well as the nutrients from their food.

Roundworms are one of the most common parasite infections your dog can get, and your dog can get roundworm by eating infected rodents or birds, as well as through the mother dog’s milk. Common symptoms of roundworms include a potbellied look, weight loss, dull coat, and abdominal pain.

Tapeworms

Tapeworms are flat and long worms that attach to your dog’s intestines, but you can also see them on your dog’s rear end and in their feces as small, white specs that look like grains of rice. They feed on the nutrients your dog gets from their food, and there may not be any warning signs.

There are 14 different species of tapeworms, but one of the most common ways your dog gets an infection is through flea eggs. Also, if your dog eats meat that is contaminated with these worms, they can transfer from the meat to your dog and cause lethargy and weight loss.

Whipworms

Whipworms thrive in your dog’s cecum, and they’re two to three inches long with a tapered end that resembles a whip. They attach to your dog’s mucus membrane, and they feed on your dog’s blood.

Your dog can get a whipworm infection through eating soil or drinking water that is contaminated with feces containing whipworm eggs. You may notice bloody feces with this infection and a more severe infection can lead to worse complications or even death in otherwise healthy dogs.

Preventing Worms in Dogs

Prevention is the key when it comes to these parasites because it’s much easier to take preventative steps than to treat the resulting infection. There are several things that you can do to prevent these worms, and they include:

  • Make sure that you clean your yard regularly and remove any feces that you can see, and you should plan on doing this at least once a week. Over time, these feces can get infested with worms, and they can transmit to your dog if they eat it or get it on their coat and then ingest it when they clean themselves.
  • Your vet will prescribe deworming medications, and it’s important that you give these medications to your dog as recommended by your veterinarian. It’s especially important that you do this when your dog is young because puppies usually get at least three rounds of dewormer to help prevent infections as they grow.
  • If you can’t prevent your dog from getting worms, you can help to catch it quickly before the infection advances. Make sure that you’re routinely checking your dog’s fur, feces, and rear for the worms themselves, larvae, or any eggs.

How to Get Rid of Worms Naturally

Although you may want to take your dog to the veterinarian to get a professional’s opinion, there are several things that you can do at home to keep your dog healthy, happy, and free of a parasitic infection.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Almost all homes have apple cider vinegar around because it has powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that make it an excellent cleaning agent. It’s natural and safe for your dog to digest, and this makes it a popular remedy for getting rid of worms.

To give this remedy to your dog, start by adding one-fourth of a teaspoon to their food or water each day, and slowly increase this over a week until you get to one teaspoon. Once you get to a teaspoon, you can keep giving them this amount each day to keep the worms away.

Black Cumin and Pumpkin Seeds

Both black cumin and pumpkin seeds along with black cumin oil are safe for your dog, and they work to prevent, expel, and maintain your dog’s worm-free state. You want to give your dog between a half and a whole teaspoon of black cumin seed each day in their food, but remember to heat it first to get rid of the very bitter aftertaste.

Pumpkin seeds work very well if you grind them before you add them to your dog’s food, and you want to add around one-fourth of a teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight. For black cumin oil, use half of what you use for black cumin seeds, and it’s always a good idea to start at the lower end of the dosage and work your way up to the full dose.

Chamomile

Chamomile is popular for having anti-inflammatory properties, but it’s a slower acting herb where parasites are concerned that works by reducing any discomfort your dog may have. You can make a chamomile tincture and add it to your dog’s food or water twice a day at 0.25 to 0.50 milliliters per every 20 pounds of body weight.

To make your chamomile tincture by mixing:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup of dried Chamomile flowers
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of boiling water
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups rum or vodka
  • Quart glass jar with an airtight lid

Add your flowers to the bottom of the jar and pour the boiling water over the flowers. Next, pour the rum or vodka into the water and flower mixture until the jar is full and seal the lid.

Once it’s sealed, store it in a cool and dry place for four to six weeks and shake it for a few minutes each day. After four to six weeks, open the jar, strain the liquid, and it’s now ready to add to your dog’s water or food once a day.

Dried Coconut

Dried coconut is excellent for getting rid of worms due to its fiber content, and it can help expel up to 90 percent of any parasitic worms that your dog may have in under 24 hours. You do want to start your dog on a lower quantity and slowly work your way up to the regular dose over the span of a week or two to avoid digestive upset.

The maintenance dose you want to eventually end up with is one teaspoon for small dogs, two teaspoons for medium dogs, and one tablespoon for large dogs once a day sprinkled over their food. You may want to start with half of a dose or a quarter of a dose and work your way up to the full dose.

Garlic

As long as your dog isn’t on blood thinners, feeding them garlic can help to rid them of any parasitic worms. Garlic helps to remove mucus from your dog’s stomach lining, and this makes it more difficult for the worms to attach and thrive.

You do want to give your dog fresh cloves of garlic, and let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 to 20 minutes before you chop it and add it to their food because this will allow the garlic to release an amino acid called allicin. The suggested feeding guidelines are as follows:

  • Small Dogs – One-quarter of a clove of garlic twice per day.
  • Medium Dogs – One half of a clove of garlic twice per day.
  • Large Dogs – Three-quarters of a clove of garlic twice per day.
  • Giant Dogs – One clove of garlic twice per day.

Vegetables and Fruits

Anything with high levels of vitamin A is an excellent home remedy to help slow down and eradicate an infection of parasitic worms. You don’t want to feed your dog too much of these fruits and vegetables because it can cause digestive upset, especially when you first introduce it into their diet.

You may want to start feeding your dog a half of a teaspoon of fruits or vegetables for every 10 pounds of body weight once a day for at least a week to get them used to it. After a week, you can increase this dose to a half of a teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice a day at mealtimes.

Fruits and vegetables that have high levels of vitamin A include:

  • Raw Carrot
  • Squash
  • Watercress
  • Pumpkin
  • Cantaloupe
  • Asparagus
  • Apricots
  • Apples

Getting rid of worms in dogs can be an ongoing process that takes time and effort on your part. But, once you get rid of them, keeping your dog healthy, happy, and worm free is a relatively easy process, especially if you use one or more of our natural worm remedies.

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