Daily Archives: June 1, 2016

Anna’s Hummingbird (male)


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Anna’s Hummingbird (male)

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Barking Owl in Pilliga National Park, New South Wales, Australia.


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Barking Owl in Pilliga National Park, New South Wales, Australia. Photo thanks to Richard Jackson from owlphotographer.com. More pictures and information about this species here –> http://owlpag.es/BarkOw

Sebastiano del Piombo (1485 – 1547) Nascita di Adone 1510 circa. Museo Amedeo Lia – La Spezia.


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Sebastiano del Piombo (1485 – 1547) Nascita di Adone 1510 circa. Museo Amedeo Lia – La Spezia.

Steller’s Jays and Blue Jays are both the only North American jays with feather crests on their heads


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Steller’s Jays and Blue Jays are both the only North American jays with feather crests on their heads and the only ones who use mud as a nesting material. Photo by Jim Cruce

Chaparral yucca on Sandstone Peak, the highest summit in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, California


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Chaparral yucca on Sandstone Peak, the highest summit in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, California – Yehuda Wanderlust Grajewski

Monument Valley


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Monument Valley.

Taken a few days ago during sunset.

Feel free to like, share, or comment.
Thank you for looking and for liking Lars Leber Photography!

http://facebook.com/LarsLeberPhotography
http://larsleber.net/

The blade of a dagger found in the wrappings of Tutankhamun’s mummy appears to have been made from a metallic meteorite.


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The blade of a dagger found in the wrappings of Tutankhamun’s mummy appears to have been made from a metallic meteorite.

http://www.archaeology.org/news/4504-160601-dagger-iron-blade

(Daniela Comelli/Polytechnic University of Milan)

Watch “Dionne Warwick – (Theme From) Valley Of The Dolls (Scepter Records 1968)” on YouTube


JAMA Network | JAMA | Sodium Reduction—Saving Lives by Putting Choice Into Consumers’ Hands


http://jama.jamanetwork.com/mobile/article.aspx?articleid=2527053&utm_source=FBPAGE&utm_medium=social_jn&utm_term=480678770&utm_content=content_engagement%7Carticle_engagement&utm_campaign=article_alert

The JAMA Network >

   
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Viewpoint
Published online June 01, 2016
Sodium Reduction—Saving Lives by Putting Choice Into Consumers’ Hands FREE ONLINE FIRST
Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH1
[+] Author Affiliations
JAMA. Published online June 01, 2016.;():. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.7992.
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In this Viewpoint, CDC Director Thomas Frieden advocates for proposed FDA guidelines that set targets for the reduction of sodium in the US food supply.
Although sodium reduction has been proposed as a public health strategy in the United States for more than 4 decades, there has been no progress reducing consumption. One reason for this lack of progress is the continued ubiquity of dietary sodium in the US food supply. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released draft proposed voluntary guidelines1 to encourage companies to steadily reduce sodium in processed and restaurant foods, a change that would increase consumers’ control over their sodium intake. The proposed guidelines set targets for the gradual reduction in sodium across a range of food categories for both manufactured and restaurant products and would lead to a sustained reduction in the amount of sodium added to the food supply before foods reach consumers’ hands. This Viewpoint provides answers, based on the best available science, to important questions about why this action is needed.
HOW IMPORTANT A PROBLEM IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
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High blood pressure is the leading cause of death from heart disease and stroke in the United States, contributing to more than 1000 deaths per day. One in 3 US adults—more than 70 million people—have hypertension, and only half have it controlled. Another 1 in 3 adults have prehypertension, and each 20-point increase in systolic blood pressure above 115 mm Hg doubles the risk of death from heart disease and stroke; risk increases at levels below which blood pressure is treated with medication currently. However, there is strong evidence, including a recent analysis of more than 100 randomized clinical trials, that sodium reduction reduces blood pressure in adults.2
HOW MUCH DIFFERENCE WOULD SODIUM REDUCTION MAKE?
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Nine of 10 US adults and children consume too much sodium, and even modest reductions in sodium intake are associated with substantial health benefits. Average sodium intake (≈3400 mg/d) is well in excess of the 2300 mg/d recommended by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It is estimated that a decrease in sodium intake by as little as 400 mg/d could prevent 32 000 myocardial infarctions and 20 000 strokes annually.3 Reducing sodium intake by 1200 mg/d may reduce the number of people with hypertension by nearly 11 million. Over a decade, this reduction could prevent up to an estimated 500 000 deaths and may save an estimated $100 billion in health care costs.3,4 In addition to, and working synergistically with, improved treatment of hypertension, sodium reduction is the most scalable intervention to reduce blood pressure; no other intervention would have as large a population reach and effect.
COULD SODIUM REDUCTION HARM SOME PEOPLE?
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Some researchers claim that sodium reduction could harm a segment of the general population. Although there are short-term physiologic responses to marked short-term sodium reduction, interventions lasting 4 weeks or longer do not adversely affect blood lipids, catecholamine levels, insulin metabolism, or renal function. In contrast, excess dietary sodium intake, even in the absence of elevated blood pressure, may adversely affect the heart, kidneys, brain, and blood vessels.
Reducing sodium in the food supply will not cause insufficient sodium consumption. Recommended sodium intake is far higher than physiologic need; the estimated average requirement of 1500 mg/d accommodates groups with extreme physiologic sodium excretion (eg, professional athletes). If proposed targets are met, there will be minimal change in the proportion of the population consuming less than 1500 mg/d of sodium, currently 1%. In sum, there are definite harms associated with excess sodium, clear benefits from reducing sodium intake to levels recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and minimal risk of harm from inadequate sodium intake.
IS EVIDENCE STRONG ENOUGH TO TAKE PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION?
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A robust body of evidence supports the health benefits of sodium reduction. There is incontrovertible evidence of a direct, dose-response relationship between sodium and blood pressure. There is also evidence that sodium reduction prevents cardiovascular disease based on trends in cardiovascular events related to sodium reduction at the population level,5 meta-analysis of trials to reduce sodium intake,6 and well-designed long-term cohort studies showing that lower sodium intake is associated with reduced cardiovascular events (despite the small number of events resulting in limited statistical power).7
The debate about dietary sodium reduction stems in part from a few studies with inconsistent findings at lower levels of estimated sodium intake. These reports have created a “false aura of scientific controversy around dietary salt.”8 Studies that have reported a J- or U-shaped relationship between sodium intake and cardiovascular outcomes have fundamental flaws, including inaccurate measurement of usual sodium intake; potential for reverse causality due to short follow-up and inclusion of those with preexisting disease; and residual confounding.9
Large sample size cannot overcome these design flaws. Among other limitations, several of these studies used a single spot urine sample to assess usual sodium intake; this is an inaccurate measure of sodium intake because it ignores day-to-day variability in sodium intake, diurnal variation in sodium excretion, and the effects of medications. A single spot or one 24-hour urine collection does not represent a person’s current, much less their long-term, sodium intake; intraindividual variation in 24-hour urine sodium excretion is generally as great as or greater than that between individuals. Multiple 24-hour urine collections are needed to characterize usual individual intake accurately. Studies that do not accurately assess long-term sodium intake will mischaracterize the associations between sodium intake and cardiovascular disease outcomes. The most accurate studies use either multiple 24-hour urine collections or accept that population-level comparisons are, in this case, more valid than individual comparisons because larger numbers of observations reduce error due to individual variation in sodium excretion. There is no evidence that lower sodium intake will increase cardiovascular disease or all-cause mortality. The most rigorous studies find a consistent relationship between sodium intake and blood pressure and between blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Flawed research should not stall public health interventions to increase consumer choice over sodium intake and save lives.
DO THESE GUIDELINES TELL PEOPLE WHAT TO DO RATHER THAN MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES?
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The draft guidelines would achieve exactly the opposite. Currently, consumers cannot choose how much sodium to consume because more than 70% of the sodium consumed is in food before it reaches the table. Half of adults report attempting to reduce their sodium intake, yet 90% consume excess sodium. Past educational efforts have placed the burden on the consumer, with the result that sodium intake has not changed. Changes in the food supply, made gradually over time, will enable individuals to reduce sodium intake.10 This will put choice back into consumers’ hands, letting them decide how much sodium to consume.
WILL VOLUNTARY TARGETS WORK?
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Reducing sodium is feasible. Different brands of the same foods vary widely in sodium content; sodium levels differ for the same brand sold in different countries, showing that manufacturers can produce foods with less sodium. Voluntary targets give industry a benchmark to guide planned reformulation of foods in advance of the menu labeling deadline to comply of May 2017.
Some argue that sodium intake is physiologically set, and if sodium is reduced in foods, people will compensate to maintain the same level of sodium intake. However, studies show that when sodium is reduced in foods, consumers replace only a small proportion of it. For instance, in the United Kingdom, where sodium in the food supply has been reduced, average sodium intake has decreased. In the United States, current average sodium intake is high because of the levels found in the food supply and not because of biological need or individual choice. Preference for salty taste may be initially set during childhood; even toddlers in the United States are exposed to high levels of sodium. Individuals who reduce sodium intake change their taste preferences, and tastes can change at the population level through widespread reductions in sodium in foods as well.
Thirty-nine countries have established sodium targets for foods and meals, with 36 of those adopting voluntary approaches. Setting targets helps create a level playing field for the food industry, supporting reductions already begun by companies such as Walmart, Darden, Unilever, PespsiCo, General Mills, Mars, Nestlé, and others. The United Kingdom set voluntary sodium reduction targets in 2003; from 2003 to 2011 sodium intake decreased 15%. During this same period, average blood pressure decreased, and, following no change in prior years, deaths from ischemic heart disease and stroke decreased by approximately 40%.5
CONCLUSIONS
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The decline in heart disease and stroke deaths in the United States has slowed in recent years. Sodium reduction through voluntary reductions by industry and facilitated by FDA guidelines will put choice into the hands of consumers, will save lives and money, and is an achievable and effective public health strategy that should be implemented without delay.
AUTHOR INFORMATION
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Corresponding Author: Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, MS D-14, Atlanta, GA 30329 (tfrieden@cdc.gov).
Published Online: June 1, 2016. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.7992.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: The author has completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported.
Additional Contributions: I thank Kathryn Foti, MPH, for assistance with manuscript preparation and Barbara A. Bowman, PhD, Mary E. Cogswell, DrPH, and Kristy Mugavero, MSN, MPH, for critical review.
REFERENCES
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1
Sodium reduction. FDA website. http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/FoodAdditivesIngredients/ucm253316.htm. Posted June 1, 2016.
2
Mozaffarian  D, Fahimi  S, Singh  GM,  et al; Global Burden of Diseases Nutrition and Chronic Diseases Expert Group.  Global sodium consumption and death from cardiovascular causes. N Engl J Med. 2014;371(7):624-634.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
3
Bibbins-Domingo  K, Chertow  GM, Coxson  PG,  et al.  Projected effect of dietary salt reductions on future cardiovascular disease. N Engl J Med. 2010;362(7):590-599.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
4
Coxson  PG, Cook  NR, Joffres  M,  et al.  Mortality benefits from US population-wide reduction in sodium consumption: projections from 3 modeling approaches. Hypertension. 2013;61(3):564-570.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
5
He  FJ, Pombo-Rodrigues  S, Macgregor  GA.  Salt reduction in England from 2003 to 2011: its relationship to blood pressure, stroke and ischaemic heart disease mortality. BMJ Open. 2014;4(4):e004549.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
6
Adler  AJ, Taylor  F, Martin  N, Gottlieb  S, Taylor  RS, Ebrahim  S.  Reduced dietary salt for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;12:CD009217.
PubMed
7
Cook  NR, Appel  LJ, Whelton  PK.  Lower levels of sodium intake and reduced cardiovascular risk. Circulation. 2014;129(9):981-989.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
8
Campbell  N, L’Abbe  MR, McHenry  EW.  Too much focus on low-quality science? CMAJ. 2015;187(2):131-132.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
9
Cobb  LK, Anderson  CA, Elliott  P,  et al; American Heart Association Council on Lifestyle and Metabolic Health.  Methodological issues in cohort studies that relate sodium intake to cardiovascular disease outcomes. Circulation. 2014;129:1173-1186.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
10
Institute of Medicine. Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2010.
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JAMA Network | JAMA | Sodium Reduction—Saving Lives by Putting Choice Into Consumers’ Hands


http://jama.jamanetwork.com/mobile/article.aspx?articleid=2527053&utm_source=FBPAGE&utm_medium=social_jn&utm_term=480678770&utm_content=content_engagement%7Carticle_engagement&utm_campaign=article_alert

From Erin Brockovich


The nation’s leading law firm for source water contamination and environmental pollution, Weitz & Luxenberg, announced today it will hold a community meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire on June 6 to discuss its investigation into perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination of the region’s drinking water, as well as legal options for residents moving forward.

There are now eight counties in the state with dangerous levels of PFOA in their drinking water, and this number could grow as testing continues

It’s time residents had access to the information they deserve.

We began an investigation in March after PFOA was detected in Merrimack drinking water, and the law firm filed a federal class action lawsuit against Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. for its role in water contamination in Hoosick Falls, New York.  Saint-Gobain also maintains operations in Merrimack.

“Saint-Gobain has left a trail of contamination in the communities in which it operates, and we need to work together to ensure this stops immediately,” said Robin Greenwald, head of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Unit at Weitz & Luxenberg.  “We urge residents in this community to come to the meeting to hear more about our investigation, as well as what we can do now to hold this company accountable.”

There are more than 250 properties in Merrimack, Litchfield, Bedford and Amherst that are receiving bottled water because their private wells are contaminated with various levels of PFOA.

The meeting will be held at 6:00 pm on June 6 at Southern New Hampshire University’s Dining Center Banquet Hall.

Chronic PFOA exposure has been linked to testicular cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis and pregnancy-induced hypertension, and studies suggest other health consequences include a possible connection to pancreatic cancer.  The Environmental Protection Agency recently lowered the acceptable amount of PFOA in a water supply from 400 parts per trillion to 70 ppt.

Fetita cu gaina – Ion Andreescu


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Fetita cu gaina – Ion Andreescu

ICYMI: Vikings suffered from persistent intestinal parasites, which appear to have caused genetic changes making their descendants more vulnerable to emphysema.


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ICYMI: Vikings suffered from persistent intestinal parasites, which appear to have caused genetic changes making their descendants more vulnerable to emphysema.

http://www.archaeology.org/issues/215-1605/trenches/4341-trenches-scandinavia-viking-diseases

(Wikimedia Commons, Joel Mills)

Sacramentario di Warmundo, Incoronazione di Ottone III, 1001-1002 Biblioteca Capitolare, Ivrea


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Sacramentario di Warmundo, Incoronazione di Ottone III,  Biblioteca Capitolare, Ivrea

„Ne-am născut aici, suntem cei dintâi aşezaţi şi vom pleca cei din urmã.” Ion Antonescu


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„Ne-am născut aici, suntem cei dintâi aşezaţi şi vom pleca cei din urmã.”
Ion Antonescu

Azi este ZIUA INTERNAȚIONALĂ A COPILULUI


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Le urez ”La Mulți Ani!” tuturor copiilor României! Iar noi, ca părinți, avem datoria să le oferim un viitor sigur în țara lor, altfel nu ne vor ierta! În egală măsură, trebuie să avem grijă de viitorul națiunii române, amenințat de o scădere demografică fără precedent!

Ellery Lake was stunning this weekend!


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Ellery Lake was stunning this weekend!

Tioga Pass and Yosemite National Park are open and are accessible from Mono County by bus through YARTS. Times and schedules are available at Yarts.com

Scrisoare deschisă a Doctorului Primar Ioan Greceanu adresată Agentiei Nationale a Medicamentului si Ministerului Sanatatii


Am trimis Agentiei Nationale a Medicamentului si Ministerului Sanatatii urmatoarea scrisoare:
“Stimati responsabili,
De 3 luni lispeste din farmacii un medicament esential pentru sanatatea si viata unor pacienti cu risc de tromboembolism, medicamentul Sintrom 4 mg care este singurul acenocumarol sub forma de tablete ce se pot doza corespunzator (Echivalentul Trombostop 2 mg nu poate fi divizat in fractiuni de 1 mg sau 1/2 mg si are concentratii variabile pe tb, asa ca necesita control frecvent al efectului si prezinta risc de subdozare sau supradozare producatoare de hemoragii grave — sunt medic si stiu despre ce vorbesc pentru ca am folosit aceste medicamete si pentru pacientii mei si pentru mine zeci de ani).
Lipsa acestui medicament a fost motivata de cei de la MS prin schimbarea producatorului, ceea ce nu este o justificare corecta pentru ca puteau fi luate masuri ca in perioada de tranzitie sa fie acoperita piata printr-o suplimentare a stocului.
In urma cu trei saptamani a aparut medicamentul produs de o noua firma, dar in cantitate insuficienta si s-a epuizat rapid. De atunci nicio farmacie din Bucuresti nu mai are medicamentul si nimeni nu mi-a putut oferi un termen in care acesta va aparea din nou.
Consider ca sunteti deplin responsabili de aceasta lipsa a medicamentului ce poate avea consecinte grave asupra multor pacienti si ca ar trebui sa va implicati imediat pentru corectarea situatiei.
Va avertizez ca, in cazul in care medicamentul nu va aparea pe piata in cel mai surt timp, ma voi adresa DNA pentru a face cercetari, considerand ca lipsa acestui medicament este provocata cu intentie, de catre cei responabili, prin abuz in serviciu in favoarea firmelor care produc anticoagulante concurente, mult mai scumpe si cu efect neverificabil. Inlocuirea acenocumarol cu dabigatran creste cosutul tratamentului de 40 de ori, de la 10 lei pe luna la 400 de lei pe luna, bani ce se vor acoperi din fondurile CNAS, deci ale noastre, ale asiguratilor, medicamentul fiind compensat.
Astept raspuns rapid si actiune imediata pentru remedierea situatiei
Dr. Ioan Mihai Greceanu, medic primar medicina interna si gastroenterologie”

Scrisoare deschisă a Doctorului Primar Ioan Greceanu


Am trimis Agentiei Nationale a Medicamentului si Ministerului Sanatatii urmatoarea scrisoare:
“Stimati responsabili,
De 3 luni lispeste din farmacii un medicament esential pentru sanatatea si viata unor pacienti cu risc de tromboembolism, medicamentul Sintrom 4 mg care este singurul acenocumarol sub forma de tablete ce se pot doza corespunzator (Echivalentul Trombostop 2 mg nu poate fi divizat in fractiuni de 1 mg sau 1/2 mg si are concentratii variabile pe tb, asa ca necesita control frecvent al efectului si prezinta risc de subdozare sau supradozare producatoare de hemoragii grave — sunt medic si stiu despre ce vorbesc pentru ca am folosit aceste medicamete si pentru pacientii mei si pentru mine zeci de ani).
Lipsa acestui medicament a fost motivata de cei de la MS prin schimbarea producatorului, ceea ce nu este o justificare corecta pentru ca puteau fi luate masuri ca in perioada de tranzitie sa fie acoperita piata printr-o suplimentare a stocului.
In urma cu trei saptamani a aparut medicamentul produs de o noua firma, dar in cantitate insuficienta si s-a epuizat rapid. De atunci nicio farmacie din Bucuresti nu mai are medicamentul si nimeni nu mi-a putut oferi un termen in care acesta va aparea din nou.
Consider ca sunteti deplin responsabili de aceasta lipsa a medicamentului ce poate avea consecinte grave asupra multor pacienti si ca ar trebui sa va implicati imediat pentru corectarea situatiei.
Va avertizez ca, in cazul in care medicamentul nu va aparea pe piata in cel mai surt timp, ma voi adresa DNA pentru a face cercetari, considerand ca lipsa acestui medicament este provocata cu intentie, de catre cei responabili, prin abuz in serviciu in favoarea firmelor care produc anticoagulante concurente, mult mai scumpe si cu efect neverificabil. Inlocuirea acenocumarol cu dabigatran creste cosutul tratamentului de 40 de ori, de la 10 lei pe luna la 400 de lei pe luna, bani ce se vor acoperi din fondurile CNAS, deci ale noastre, ale asiguratilor, medicamentul fiind compensat.
Astept raspuns rapid si actiune imediata pentru remedierea situatiei
Dr. Ioan Mihai Greceanu, medic primar medicina interna si gastroenterologie”

World’s longest tunnel opens under Alps


World’s longest tunnel opens under Alps
http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/01/europe/switzerland-longest-tunnel-gotthard/index.html

France 24 : Diaby, the leading French jihadist who faked his death


Diaby, the leading French jihadist who faked his death

http://f24.my/25yxqde

The alliance between Big Business and the Republican party is in shambles — Quartz


http://qz.com/682125/the-alliance-between-us-businesses-and-the-republican-party-is-in-shambles/

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My pot with flowers today No.7


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My pot with flowers today No.6


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My birds on the wire today no.2


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My birds on the wire today no.1


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Pick-up sticks


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My Chakra Today no.5


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My Chakra Today no.4


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My Chakra Today no.3


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My Chakra Today no.1


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Cuba


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My pot with flowers today No.2


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My pot with flowers today No.1


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My Duck today No.1


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Cheile Vălișoarei (Cheile Aiudului), Munții Trascăului, Alba Foto: Levi Bagy


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Cheile Vălișoarei (Cheile Aiudului), Munții Trascăului, Alba

Foto: Levi Bagy

Stefan Dimitescu – Mama cu copii


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Să-ți păstrezi zâmbetul cald, sufletul pur și lumina în priviri ca în prima zi când ai văzut chipul mamei.
La mulți ani, copil frumos! La mulți ani tuturor copiilor!

Stefan Dimitescu – Mama cu copii

An archaeologist has discovered Paleolithic paintings of animals at a depth of nearly 1,000 feet in Spain’s Atxurra caves.


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An archaeologist has discovered Paleolithic paintings of animals at a depth of nearly 1,000 feet in Spain’s Atxurra caves.

http://www.archaeology.org/news/4495-160527-spain-atxurra-caves

(Bizkaia.eus)

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Here a 3,000-foot sheer drop


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A visit to Toroweap Overlook offers a chance for an uncrowded, rustic and dramatic experience at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Here a 3,000-foot sheer drop provides stunning views of the North Rim of the canyon and the Colorado River. But be warned — the area can only be reached by negotiating difficult roads. Photo of twilight over the canyon courtesy of David Shield.

FRISBEEDOG Photo by Steve Stehr www.facebook.com/steve.stehr


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FRISBEEDOG

Photo by Steve Stehr

http://www.facebook.com/steve.stehr

End of May


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End of May

“Not all who wander are lost” Photo taken this weekend “somewhere” in Mono County!


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“Not all who wander are lost”

Photo taken this weekend “somewhere” in Mono County!

A mysterious prehistoric site in Peru consisting of thousands of aligned holes has attracted the attention of archaeologists.


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A mysterious prehistoric site in Peru consisting of thousands of aligned holes has attracted the attention of archaeologists.

http://www.archaeology.org/issues/213-1605/features/4325-an-overlooked-inca-wonder

(Courtesy Charles Stanish)

Julie and Sage visiting Eagle Rock on the Pacific Crest Trail!


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Julie and Sage visiting Eagle Rock on the Pacific Crest Trail!

Maestro Francesco, 13th century. Virgin Mary “Platytera” among saints, Scuola di S. Giovanni Evangelista, Venice.


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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:39-56.

Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked with favor on his lowly servant;
from this day all generations will call me blessed.
The Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel ,
remembering his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

Maestro Francesco, 13th century. Virgin Mary “Platytera” among saints, Scuola di S. Giovanni Evangelista, Venice.

Villa Barbarigo (Noventa Vicentina)


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Villa Barbarigo (Noventa Vicentina) è una villa patrizia del tardo XVI secolo ubicata nel centro di Noventa Vicentina, in provincia di Vicenza, dalla fine del XIX secolo adibita a sede municipale. È indicata anche come Villa Barbarigo Rezzonico, riflettendo le alleanze matrimoniali tra le varie famiglie nobili veneziane che hanno posseduto la casa.

Non va confusa con la Villa Barbarigo di Valsanzibio nei pressi di Padova, rinomata per i suoi giardini, le sue statue e le sue fontane.

L’edificio è sede dell’amministrazione comunale di Noventa Vicentina ed è visitabile.

Mstislav Rostropovich with Marc Chagall


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Mstislav Rostropovich with Marc Chagall

Babies!!! Green heron babies! (Thanks for the pics Beth Martinez for her talents!)


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Babies!!! Green heron babies! (Thanks for the pics Beth Martinez for her talents!)

The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still the richest families in Florence — Quartz


http://qz.com/694340/the-richest-families-in-florence-in-1427-are-still-the-richest-families-in-florence/

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The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still the richest families in Florence — Quartz


http://qz.com/694340/the-richest-families-in-florence-in-1427-are-still-the-richest-families-in-florence/

The richest families in Florence, Italy have had it good for a while—600 years to be precise.
That’s according to a recent study by two Italian economists, Guglielmo Barone and Sauro Mocetti, who after analyzing compared Florentine taxpayers way back in 1427 to those in 2011. Comparing the family wealth to those with the same surname today, they suggest the richest families in Florence 600 years ago remain the same now.