Health and Medicine, Travel, Gardening, Pets, Automotive

Justice League 4K - doing justice to the DC comics universe?

Justice League 4K - doing justice to the DC comics universe?
Warner Brothers’ ongoing attempts to play catch-up with the Marvel cinematic universe continues with Justice League, their version of The Avengers, in which a group of superheroes teams up to fight a super villain bent on mayhem, conquest and destruction.

The question is, is it any good, and how does it stack up to the Marvel movies? And in the case of this sparkling new 4K version of last year’s Justice League film, the answer is a decidedly firm “meh.”

By Jim Bray - Saturday, March 17, 2018 - -- Lifestyles

Thor Ragna-rocks in its 4K disc incarnation

Thor Ragna-rocks in its 4K disc incarnationMarvel’s third Thor outing is one “Val-helluva” way to get into the 4K disc market, and it’s also the best of the Thor outings to date.

And it’s a movie that doesn’t take itself seriously and even imparted quite a few laughs on its audience.

I was never a Thor comic book reader and thought Kenneth Branagh’s first Thor movie was visually lovely but nearly as forgettable as the second Thor movie (“the Dark World”). The best thing about both movies (and this one, too) is Chris Hemsworth as the title God. Whether he’s being tossed out of Asgard or driving a star ship or Formula 1 car, the Aussie is a very good actor and he inhabits the Thor character very well, indeed.

By Jim Bray - Saturday, March 17, 2018 - -- Lifestyles

Hyundai Elantra GT Sport – a bargain hot hatch?

Hyundai Elantra GT Sport – a bargain hot hatch?
South Korean carmakers have come a long way in a relatively short time. And they’ve earned their current success by offering cars that are built well, competitive in price and even more competitive in features.

Hyundai, the subject of this particular rant, has developed from the old and unloved Pony and Stellar of the 1980’s, and their later and rather bizarre “relax, you’ll get there someday” jingle I took to mean that, undoubtedly unconsciously, Hyundai was admitting their cars were lacking in oomph. Yes, Hyundai used to be a joke, automotively speaking.

By Jim Bray - Saturday, March 17, 2018 - -- Automotive

Releasing Kiwi Chick into the Wild

Releasing Kiwi Chick into the Wild
An only-in-New-Zealand experience has left one international sailing crew much wiser about a unique conservation challenge – saving the emblematic flightless kiwi. After a day out in the Hauraki Gulf during their Auckland stop-over, the Volvo Ocean Race sailing team “Turn the Tide on Plastic” will leave a living legacy in New Zealand – a young kiwi chick that they named Mohio (meaning wisdom, in Maori) before releasing it into the wild.

The United Nations team is carrying the sustainability message on their year-long round-the-world voyage. Along with the competition to win the race, this team is on a mission to promote ocean health by highlighting the global issue of single use plastic.

By Travel New Zealand - Friday, March 16, 2018 - -- Travel

Vatican Advances Fake Letter to turn Conservatives Against Church Tradition

Vatican Advances Fake Letter to turn Conservatives Against Church Tradition
What can be called an insidious attempt to use Benedict XVI to advance Pope Francis’ radical post-conciliar agenda has been exposed.

Early in the week the Catholic world had been abuzz over a letter sent by Benedict XVI to Vatican communications director Monsignor Dario Vigano, in which the former pontiff purportedly criticized Church conservatives for their “foolish prejudice” in not recognizing that “Pope Francis is a man of profound philosophical and theological formation.”

AP now reports that the Vatican admitted on Wednesday that it digitally manipulated a photo of the letter sent out to the media to rebut critics of Pope Francis, who allege that his teaching represents a departure from Pope Benedict’s, and from the Tradition of the Catholic Church.

By David Martin - Thursday, March 15, 2018 - -- Lifestyles

US Government’s Crackdown On PrimaryCare Physicians

 US Government's Crackdown On PrimaryCare Physicians
To understand how the government has stepped over the line with their current crackdown on primary healthcare physicians, we must look at how the politicians responded to the opioid crisis when it first reared its ugly head.

In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers and encouraged healthcare providers to prescribe them at greater rates. All the more profits for the Big Pharma shareholders, right?

According to a report written by the HHS, “Increased prescription of opioid medications led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.”

Fast-tracking endocrine assays

Fast-tracking endocrine assays
Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals can cause health effects, such as reduced fertility and increased incidences of obesity and diabetes. Two decades ago, Congress directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to screen substances for this activity. Now, the agency is ramping up its efforts, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

A brewer’s tale of proteins and beer

A brewer's tale of proteins and beer
The transformation of barley grains into beer is an old story, typically starring water, yeast and hops. Now, in a report in the Journal of Proteome Research, scientists are highlighting another character in this tale: proteins. The results could someday lead to a better, tastier brew.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - -- Lifestyles

Literacy Experts: Are They Ready To Apologize Yet?

Berys Dixon is the Education Establishment's worst nightmare
“There is one question I’d really love to ask (One Heart!):
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner,
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own beliefs?
—Bob Marley

The people in charge of literacy in most English-speaking countries are literacy’s worst enemies. This counterintuitive turn-about has to be one of the planet’s more bizarre stories.

The official experts praise a method, often called Whole Language, that doesn’t work. They insist that young teachers use this useless method. The teachers in turn force their students to embrace the method, and they make the parents tolerate the method. That’s how you get a never-ending illiteracy crisis.

By Bruce Deitrick Price - Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - -- Lifestyles

Graham is Gone—Are the Two Power Prophets Next?

Graham is Gone--Are the Two Power Prophets Next?
Since the passing of Billy Graham a plethora of voices has chimed in, each attempting to ascertain exactly what Graham’s death means in today’s world.

Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship, and television’s Sid Roth are all saying that Graham’s death may create the “spark” for a national and perhaps an international revival.

By Rev. Michael Bresciani - Monday, March 12, 2018 - -- Lifestyles

I Won’t Die Sinning

I hope to die praying
Shortly before sundown, we drivers finished cultivating my father’s Mississippi Delta cotton fields, and no sooner had we parked our tractors than a long, steady, soaking summer rain began drumming on the shed’s tin roof — just what the bolls needed to finish filling with fiber.

As the thirsty earth drank its fill, we knew this downpour wasn’t just a “sharrain” (Dad’s way of saying “shower of rain”), but what he called a “sho-nuff, chunk-floatin’ crop maker.”

By Jimmy Reed - Monday, March 12, 2018 - -- Lifestyles

How cats and dogs are consuming and processing parabens

How cats and dogs are consuming and processing parabens
Many households can claim at least one four-legged friend as part of the family. But pets that primarily stay indoors can have increased rates of diseases, such as diabetes, kidney diseases and hypothyroidism compared with those that stay exclusively outside. Some scientists propose that chemical substances in the home could contribute to these illnesses. One group has examined how pets could be exposed to parabens, as reported in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology.

By American Chemical Society - Monday, March 12, 2018 - -- Lifestyles

Mediterranean Diet for a Long Life

Mediterranean Diet for a Long Life

Leonardo da Vinci once remarked, “Trifles make perfection and perfection is no trifle.” Trifles can make a huge difference in surgery, when building rockets, in nutrition, or in life generally. For instance, a report in the publication LifeExtension shows that a Mediterranean Diet prolongs life. As we all age, this is no trifle.

For years doctors and nutritionists have known the Mediterranean Diet is a “Five Star” one. But no one knew why this diet had such remarkable benefits. Now, researchers have discovered its success is due to polyphenols (a plant based compound). They lower the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by an amazing 60 percent! This means fewer heart attacks, strokes, hypertension and less inflammation.

More realistic and accurate organs-on-chips

More realistic and accurate organs-on-chips
In a step toward better diagnosis and treatment of digestive conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, scientists report in ACS Biomaterials & Engineering that they have developed a first-of-its-kind collagen-based membrane for use in microchips. The membrane is more natural than others that are available, and it could allow organs-on-chips to more accurately replicate how healthy intestinal cells become diseased and how they react to drug treatments.

Timely Reflections on the Third Secret

Timely Reflections on the Third Secret
With the crisis of faith ever intensifying, it behooves the Catholic hierarchy to reflect on a historic statement made forty-one years ago by Pope Paul VI. On the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Virgin Mary’s last apparition at Fatima, the pope said:

“The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic World. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church.” (October 13, 1977)

By David Martin - Sunday, March 11, 2018 - -- Lifestyles