Thursday, July 30, 2009

Paracelsus Herb Garden

I have always appreciated this little getaway at CCNM as a place to clear my mind and enjoy Botanical medicine from a practical perspective. Although the school is surrounded by busy streets, this offers more than some consolation! I took these pictures on a study break today. Only 5 days until NPLEX. All the best to everyone who is writing it.
View from across the yard.
One Entrance
Goldfish with the wetland plants.
Garden Path
Monarch and Echinacea
Blazing Star, Lavender & Calendula

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not all Green plastics are Created Equal

With the longest recorded strike by Toronto city workers coming to a close, city services will hopefully resume soon. Although city run daycamps and daycares were shut down and the Center Island Ferry did not run, it was the garbage accumulation that got noticed.

Maybe now is a good time to take a serious look at our throw away society and cut down and look for alternatives. As such bioplastics have received a lot of attention lately. As with anything, not all products are created equal and some companies have their bottom line as a priority rather than actually contributing to the solution. Businesses looking to implement bioplastics need to be aware of how different composition of bioplastics actually breakdown, if at all.

For example, "while a material can be labeled biodegradable (referring to the process whereby microorganisms cause decomposition and assimilation), it may not necessarily be compostable, the process by which material biodegrades to produce carbon dioxide, water and humus..." Take a look at the article, The Truth About Bioplastics by Fiona Wagner for more details.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Book Review 8

The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis

With the 7th annual, 8th annual, 10th annual (depending on the city) weekend walk to end breast cancer, the topic of this book is currently quite counter to the popular culture. However, Dr. Devra Davis is one of a growing number of writers and health experts to point out that there needs to be a refocus in our effort in regards to cancer research. The breast cancer campaigns have due concern since the Generation X women are twice as likely to develop breast cancer as their mothers were. Interestingly, Dr. Davis states that the aging population does not explain this increased rate nor the increase in childhood cancers.

This book is a thoroughly detailed account of the History of contemporary thoughts on scientific direction and public policy surrounding cancer. Dr. Davis shows what happened to derail programs intended to reduce cancer and how so much effort is spent on treating cancer ($100 billion a year is spent in direct cancer treatment costs) and finding a cure, instead of preventing it in the first place. For example, more than 80,000 chemicals are in use and complete toxicity tests are available on fewer than 1000.

Our society has been led to believe by cancer researchers that science will find a cure and money is wisely spent toward this effort. Unfortunately, the public is not made aware that cancers are highly preventable diseases. This is certainly an important and sensitive issue to all of us.

For more information:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quote of the Month

“DNA isn't destiny - it's history. Your genetic code doesn't determine your life. Sure it shapes it - but exactly how it shapes it will be dramatically different depending on your parents, your environment and your choices.”

Sharon Moalem
(Author: Survival of the Sickest)