Research Links DEET Mosquito Repellents to Nerve Damage

 

DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide), a common ingredient in mosquito repellents,  has been linked to nerve damage.

 

A new study by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, published  in the Journal of  Neurochemistry, found that DEET-based mosquito repellents interfere  with proper nerve signals, disrupt the hormone dopamine needed for healthy brain  function, and invoke chemical mechanisms associated with neurological disorders  and nerve degeneration.

 

Earlier studies have also linked DEET to brain damage.  Duke University  researchers found that the toxin is linked to brain cell damage, harmful  interactions with some medications, and behavioral changes.  The scientists  also observed brain cell death and behavioral changes in animals exposed to DEET  after frequent and prolonged use.

 

According to the chemical industry’s own material safety data sheets, the  toxic effects of diethyl-meta-toluamide include:  reproductive  disturbances, genetic material mutations, and central nervous system  disorders.

 

The effects may be worse in children since their brains and nervous systems  are in the developmental stages.  Instead of spraying yourself or your  family members with DEET-based mosquito repellents, why not give  the natural options a try?  Some have even been proven to be more  effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET.

 

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A Year of Full Moons

Learn the name and meaning of the Full Moon every month

Tarotcom Staff on the topics of moon, full moon, astrology

 

In Astrology, the Full Moon signals a time each month when we are able to take a clear look at what is happening in our lives so we can decide if we need to make changes. But culturally and historically  speaking, the Full Moon has additional meaning that changes from month to month throughout the year.

Either way, the Full Moon stirs our emotions, so it’s fitting that the Full Moon for each month has a different name and personality. Many of the Full Moon names date back to ancient tribes who followed the Full Moon to help keep track of the seasons.

Other Full Moon names have been created by different cultures around the world, and most of the Full Moons have more than one name — although one is likely more widely used than the others.

Let’s take a glance at a year’s worth of Full Moons!

January: The Wolf Moon

The Full Wolf Moon in January is named for the time when wolves could be heard howling with hunger in the heart of winter. Alternate names: Snow Moon or Old Moon.

February: The Snow Moon

The Full Snow Moon in February is named for the time of the heaviest winter snowfall. This is also a time when hunting is more difficult, so it is also known as the Hunger Moon.

March: The Worm Moon

The Full Worm Moon in March is named for the time of year when the temperature begins to warm, the earth softens and earthworms begin to reappear, followed by the birds. Alternate names: The Sap Moon or the Crow Moon.

April: The Pink Moon

The Full Pink Moon in April is named for the time of year when the earliest pink phlox and wildflowers begin to bloom. Alternate names: The Grass Moon, the Egg Moon or the Fish Moon.

May: The Flower Moon

The Full Flower Moon in May is named for the abundance of flowers that begin to bloom this month. Alternate names: The Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.

June: The Strawberry Moon

The Full Strawberry Moon in June is named for the time of year the Native American Algonquin tribes would rush to gather ripe strawberries. Alternate names: The Honey Moon, the Rose Moon or the Hot Moon.

July: The Full Buck Moon

The Full Buck Moon in July is named for the time of year when buck deer begin to grow new antlers. Alternate names: The Thunder Moon (for frequent thunderstorms) or the Hay Moon.

August: The Sturgeon Moon

The Full Sturgeon Moon of August is named for the time when Native American fishing tribes could most easily catch this fish in certain lakes. Alternate names: The Green Corn Moon, the Red Moon or the Grain Moon.

September: The Corn Moon or Harvest Moon

The Full Corn Moon of September is named for the time of year when Native Americans harvested corn. It’s alternately called the Harvest Moon (which is the Full Moon closest to Fall Equinox and can happen in September or October) or the Barley Moon.

October: The Hunter’s Moon or The Harvest Moon

The Full Hunter’s Moon of October is named for the time of year when Native American tribes hunted for the fattest game and stored provisions for winter. October’s Full Moon is called the Harvest Moon when it falls closest to the Fall Equinox. Alternate names: The Travel Moon or the Dying Moon.

November: The Beaver Moon

The Full Beaver Moon of November is named for the time when Native Americans would set their beaver traps before the water began to freeze over. It’s also the time of year beavers begin to prepare for winter. Alternate name: The Frosty Moon.

December: The Cold Moon or The Long Nights Moon

The Full Cold Moon or Full Long Nights Moon of December is named for the mid-winter month in which the cold really takes hold, and nights become long and dark. Alternate name: Yule Moon.

2012: End of the world … or a cosmic call to action?

The Astrology of 2012

Rick Levine on the topics of astrology, 2012

The end of the world is near! That’s the word on the street, anyway, and the media frenzy has officially begun, projecting fear that the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012 really is the end of days.

The good news is that the world will not really end in 2012, although you don’t need to be an astrologer to see how quickly things are changing. Civilization as we know it seems to be in a precarious situation, with growing political unrest and financial stresses warning us that we are repeating epic mistakes from our own cultural history. For example, we have just witnessed the sharpest economic downturn since the Great Depression. Differences in political ideologies and spiritual beliefs continue to fuel increasingly destructive wars. Environmental threats make our water and food supplies more and more scarce; meanwhile, we are powering our world with a diminishing reserve of oil and others resources. So it’s no surprise that so many people — experts and laymen alike — are predicting that the fabric of our entire society is dangerously at risk.

But if you look to the skies, you’ll see there’s nothing to fear on that notorious day in 2012.

Astrologers watch the cycles of the Sun, Moon and planets to understand the changing nature of time and to put these shifts into historical perspective. For example, we had a dose of culture-wide panic at the threshold of this century. The start of the year 2000 — or “Y2K” — was as an apocalyptic date; some predicted that it would be the beginning of the “end times.” But astrologers could see then that there were no planetary alignments significant enough to warrant this kind of fear.

2012 is different — there are significant astrological factors that indicate these are truly significant times. But let’s clear one thing up right away: there won’t be a cataclysmic event on December 21, 2012. It’s been claimed that on this first day of winter, the Sun will line up perfectly with the center of the Milky Way Galaxy and that this will confirm the ancient Mayan prophecies. In other words, many claim that the Sun’s change of position will mark the end of time. But there is a scientific problem with this reasoning: the Sun’s alignment to the galactic center on Winter Solstice moves at the rate of one degree every 72 years! Therefore, this cosmic event is so slow-moving that it lasts more than a decade.

As astrologers track the cycles of planets, they pay special attention to the lunation cycle, which is the monthly flow of New Moons and Full Moons. This is how they are able predict the impact these movements will have on the personal and emotional cycles of our daily lives. Meanwhile, astrologers also track the activities of the slower-moving outer planets (the ones with the longest orbits), which create their own rhythms and are more closely related to large historical cycles.

For example, Uranus symbolizes sudden changes that release explosive energy, which is why astrologers refer to it as “The Great Awakener.” Pluto symbolizes total metamorphosis. The deep transformation that’s associated with mysterious Pluto is dramatic and complete, like a caterpillar evolving into a butterfly, which is why the profound cultural shifts of the 1960s corresponded with a conjunction between surprising Uranus and passionate Pluto in 1965-1966.

In the summer of 2012, these two planetary harbingers of change will come into a hard 90-degree alignment — their first since the mid-1960s. This dynamic angle between lightning-like Uranus and intense Pluto recurs seven times from June 24, 2012 through March 16, 2015. This is the period of upheaval we should be looking at, rather than focusing on a single day in 2012.

But there is another player that is involved in this cycle: Karmic Saturn, known in Astrology as “the Tester,” entered the picture in the late summer of 2008 and was exactly opposite Uranus on Election Day when Barack Obama was elected President. Saturn symbolizes the status quo. Saturn is traditional, conservative and fear-based, and it punishes those who do not follow the rules. On the other hand, Uranus symbolizes the new. Uranus is progressive and radical, and it anticipates the future with excitement. The Saturn-Uranus opposition is a struggle between the old and the new, and this phase of political confrontation will continue until Saturn and Uranus’ final contact next summer.

From an astrological perspective, this means we don’t have to wait until 2012 for the action to begin, because we are already in a time of profound change, not unlike the 1960s. Now, however, we communicate in ways that are far more revolutionary, due to our constant interconnection via cell phone, email, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and numerous other social networks. There are new political opportunities for disenfranchised people all over the world to connect with one another, which may explain Barack Obama’s meteoric rise to the Whitehouse over the fearful cries of the old-school American political machine. It is this factor — our ability to communicate more quickly and openly — that will prevent the end of the world.

Astrology is not about predicting fated events; it’s about being aware of cosmic movements so we can get our timing right to make positive changes. The Astrology of 2012 is not about announcing the end of the world. Rather, it’s a call to action. Each and every one of us has a job to do, because as the great psychologist Carl Jung said, “The salvation of the world depends upon the salvation of the individuals living in it.”

Some of us may play larger roles in the current changes by getting involved in community, national or global politics. But each of us adds to the total picture when we live our individual lives responsibly. Astrology reminds us that there is no time to waste — we are each an agent of change and each of us can impact the big picture by replacing doubt with courage, and by conquering fear with love.

In other words, this is truly the time to “think globally and act locally.”

Lighten Up – You Might be Giving Pagans a Bad Name If…

by Cather “Catalyst” Steincamp

 

You Might be Giving Pagans a Bad Name If…

You insist that your boss call you “Rowan Starchild” because otherwise you’d sue for religious harassment. (Score double for this if you don’t let that patronizing dastard call you “Mr. or Ms. Starchild.”)

You request Samhain, Beltaine, and Yule off and then gripe about working Christmas.

You expect your employer to exempt you from the random drug testing because of your religion.

You think the number of Wiccan books you own is far more important than the number you have read, regardless of the fact that most of your books are for beginners.

You’ve won an argument by referencing “Drawing Down the Moon,” knowing darned good and well they haven’t read it either.

You said it was bigotry when they didn’t let you do that ritual in front of city hall. It had nothing to do with the skyclad bit.

You picketed The Craft and Hocus Pocus, but thought that the losers who picketed The Last Temptation of Christ needed to get lives.

You’ve ever had to go along with someone’s ludicrous story because it was twice as likely to be true than most of the nonsense you spout.

You complain about how much the Native Americans copied from Eclectic Wiccan Rites.

You’ve ever referenced the Great Rite in a pick-up line.

Someone has had to point out to you that you do not enter a circle “in perfect love and perfect lust.” (Score double if you argued the point.)

You claim yourself as a witch because how early you were trained by the wise and powerful such-and-such of whom nobody has heard.

You claim to be a famtrad (hereditary), but you’re not. (Score double if you had to tell people you were adopted to pull this off.)

You claim to be a descendant of one of the original Salem Witches. (Score to a lethal degree if you don’t get this one.)

You think it’s perfectly reasonable to insist that, since every tradition is different, and no one tradition is right, there’s no reason not to do things your way.

You’ve ever been psychically attacked by someone who conveniently held a coven position you crave, and suddenly had a glimpse into their mind so you could see how evil they were.

You’ve ever affected an Irish or Scottish accent and insisted that it was real.

You think it’s your Pagan Duty to support the IRA, not because of any political beliefs you might share, but because, dammit, they’re Irish.

You talk to your invisible guardians in public. (Score double if you have met the Vampire Lestat or Dracula, triple if you got into a fight and escaped, or quadruple if it was no contest.)

You’ve ever confused the Prime Directive with the Wiccan Rede.

You’ve ever tried something you saw on “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch”

You’ve suddenly realized in the middle of a ritual that you weren’t playing D&D.

You’ve failed to realize at any point in the ritual that you weren’t playing D&D.

You’ve suddenly realized that you are playing D&D.

You hang out with people who each match at least fifteen of these traits.

You recognize many of these traits in yourself, but this test isn’t about you. But, boy, it’s right about those other folks.

Daily Feng Shui Tip for June 18 – ‘Go Fishing Day!’

Get out your lure and pole because it’s ‘Go Fishing Day!’ But today let’s go fishing for fortune and luck instead. In Feng Shui the fish represents profusion because the Chinese word for fish also means abundance. This accounts for why many Eastern and Oriental businesses keep live fish in their offices and homes. This philosophy holds that an aquarium is the easiest and most auspicious way to keep fish, and it is always best positioned somewhere immediately inside the front entrance or in the living room. Keeping perpetually pregnant neon colored guppies is considered exceptionally good luck as they are believed to bring blessings, wealth and ‘growth Chi’ into the home. It is important to keep the fish healthy and their water clean. If you’re unable to keep live fish, a figurine, statue or image of a fish will keep the auspicious abundance energies flowing! Today go fishing for some money luck by positioning an image of an Arowana fish immediately inside your front door. That way you’ll never have to tell the story about the one that got away!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com