The ‘Electric’ Sun

With dwindling crude oil now hovering in the $65 to $70 per barrel range, and worries about continued global warming being one of the worlds most talked about environmental topics, interest in solar energy is becoming more and more popular in today’s world. That’s right, the sun, or Sol as many still refer to that huge, gaseous ball of energy, 93 million miles away; around which the plant earth rotates once every 365 days. In fact, we humans, and all life for that matter, are so utterly dependant on the sun’s continuous supply of energy, that if deprived of it – for even a few hours, drastic climatic and environment effects will take place.

Interest in harnessing energy from the sun is not new; and even ancient philosophers and astronomers constantly tried to think up ways to utilize more of the sun’s life giving energy. Within the past fifty years, these dreams have begun to become reality as scientists and engineers have begun to create the means of generating energy from the sun’s rays. Israel is one of the pioneers in this endeavor, as the leaders of this tiny country realized from the outset that with little natural energy resources available, ways must be found to create energy at the lowest costs possible. These endeavors have resulted in the majority of homes and apartment buildings having solar energy converters to heat water. Though primitive by many standards, these sun boilers, are composed of two or three large solar ‘collection’ plates, warming water as it flows through them, and afterwards stores the water in insulated tanks for use afterwards – especially at night. Condominium buildings in Israel are now required to have a series of these plates installed to collect enough hot water for use by several families at a time.

While this method has helped save on energy costs, more ambitious researchers all over the world are working of ways to use the sun’s energy to create electricity; enough electricity to run one’s electric powered car, operate appliances and machinery, and keep people comfortably cool in summer and warm in winter. These new photovoltaic or solar electric systems are being designed to convert the sun’s rays into plentiful, low cost electricity. Photovoltaic or PV systems evolve around a specially made crystalline silicon material resembling strips of PVC. This material, when hit by solar rays, creates electricity by a photo-chemical process not much different than the more primitive sun boilers already mentioned. Enough of this material, built into the roof and hood of a car, or affixed to the porch or roof of a house, can create enough electricity to actually operate electricity powered motors – as long as sun shines, that is. The main challenge up to now is storing this energy for use when Sol has either gone to bed or is ‘hiding’ behind a blanket of clouds. Scientific laboratories are still trying to perfect fuel cells and other energy storing devices that will enable this electricity to be stored (like in a large battery) and used as needed. Obviously, solar energy powered devices will work better in locations where the sun shines at least 300 or more days a year; which is why locations such as the Middle East, the American Southwest, and other ’sun friendly’ locations will benefit the most from solar power.

Solar energy is also one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources as well; and could one day help reverse the damage already caused by over-use of fossil fuels. It’s about time everyone, including major oil companies, see the potential benefit of “going (solar powered) electric”.

Source: US Department Energy Site

‘Royal’ Nutrition and Health Care

Many people are aware of the natural health benefits of Royal Jelly; that mysterious substance that bees feed to young aspiring Queen embryos. Not everyone is aware of an improved formula, based on this magical elixir, with added beneficial ingredients, and used to treat a variety of disorders, as well as boosting people’s immune system, and even treating hair growth in adults.

Manufactured under the Irena product name, these products have helped thousands of people, particularly children, to treat a variety of childhood illness, as well as booster the brain’s learning capacity, and promote mental alertness. Irene Stein, who has been living in Israel for more than 35 years, became interested in the health and nutritional qualities of Royal Jelly, and has subsequently turned this interest into a very successful health and nutritional products concern, Irena Ltd. The products her company manufactures have become so successful, that people worldwide are swearing to the health benefits they receive from her ‘little bottles’ of Royal Jelly mixture, as well as other related products.

The benefits of Royal Jelly have been known since ancient times. But Irene as gone many steps further by combining this natural cure-all with other special herbs and healthful ingredients such as glutamic acid – nature’s ‘brain food’; a whole array of vitamins, and aluminum, reputed to be helpful for treating children with learning disorders, such as dyslexia. The benefits of Irene’s products are not confined only to children, but adults as well; even geriatrics suffering from arthritis and other advanced age problems, including senility. People who have used these products into middle age and beyond are not only healthier, but look younger as well.

It’s almost as if Irene has ‘discovered’ the Fountain of Youth through her development of these health care products. By taking them as small children, people will improve their entire immune system, as well as increase their natural mental learning capacities. The dietary supplement enclosed in these ‘little bottles’ is a natural, honey flavored liquid free of any ‘additives’ or preservatives. For less than $ 2.00 per day, you can discover the amazing effects that Irena’s ‘beauty from within’ products will have on your overall health and well being.

Organic Psyllium Husks Natural Dietary Fiber

Psyllium husks, or plantago ovata in Latin, come from the skin or husks of the blond psyllium seed. A plant rich in soluble fibers, Psylliums are part of group of plants containing soluble fibers, also known as mucilage; fibers which retain water and resemble a thick, jelly-like substance when wet.

Psyllium husks can be used as a thickening substance in salad dressings, sauces, and creams. These fibers differ from non-soluble ones such as wheat bran, which do not dissolve in water. Other plants containing water-soluble fibers include oat bran, apple pectum and guar gum.

Health benefits of Organic Psyllium Husk include reducing blood cholesterol levels, thereby reducing risks of cardiovascular diseases, and are very beneficial to the digestive system. Mucilage digestive fibers maintain bowl regularity and help prevent conditions such as chronic constipation and diarrhea. Their greatest benefits are their ‘colon cleansing benefits’ in the prevention of colon cancers, especially in people over age 50. The advantages of ingesting soluble fiber, such as Psyllium, are that they can be included in the preparation of a number of foods, without the tell-tale fiber residues found in wheat brand and other non-soluble products. The risks of colon cancer increase dramatically once people reach their 60’s and 70’s. It is advisable to have a colonoscopy performed once every 4-5 years; and those who have had polyps removed from their colon, every 3 years. A healthy diet with a sufficient amount of dietary fiber, both soluble and non-soluble, will greatly reduce the risk of colon cancer, as well as avoidance of red meat and dairy products high in saturated fat.

Sources: &

Our Daily Poisons and the Earth Friendly Option

Organic FoodsThey’re around you every day; and in fact you and your family use and consume products that in the long run can be just as deadly as weapons that kill and maim people in the millions. We are not referring to guns, knives, and poisons such as arsenic, cyanide or other kinds of poisons used to eradicate rodents and other kinds of pests. The products referred to here range from detergents and cleaning compounds to deodorants and cosmetics to even seemingly harmless food and beverage items.

Every time people wash their clothing in their washing machine, or their dishes in their dishwasher, they are using chemical compounds which, if used in large enough amounts can cause not only burning and severe skin irritation, but eventual cancers like melanoma. Even though some detergents may claim to be “non-toxic” or “environmentally safe” they still contain such ingredients as sodium or calcium hypocrite, or sodium tri-polyphosphate, which can become very dangerous chemical compounds if used excessively.

Cosmetic items such as lipstick, hand cream, deodorants and anti-perspirants, all contain such chemicals as aluminum chlorhydrate, propylene glycol, or BHA and coal tar dyes (both lipstick preservatives and color enhancers that are said to contain carcinogens or cancer causing compounds). Even that liquid ’soap less soap’ that most people keep in their bathrooms is so full of chemical compounds (ammonium chloride, sodium laurel sulfate, plus a number of color-dyes, fragrances, etc.) that it may be better to use old fashioned home-made hand soap, even if it contains lye and other caustic compounds.

You don’t have to go through the list of cleaning compounds or cosmetic items to find these poisons; but many food products have similar chemical compounds as well. Even that soft tub of margarine has what is called ‘trans-fat’ and is extremely bad for your heart if consumed in large quantities (many nutrition advisors claim it’s better to use pure butter than these so called “safe” cooking and spreading products.

Yes there are alternatives; and by acquiring knowledge of safer, environmental ‘earth-friendly’ products, you can protect yourselves and your families from the long term effects of these ‘lethal weapons’.

Find out more about Organic Foods, Organic Teas, and Organic Herbal Supplements.

Hot – and Getting Hotter! The Earth Heats Up from Global Warming

It’s a hot time in this old world all right! New scientific studies are showing worrisome findings that the earth’s temperatures are reaching the warmest they’ve been in over a million years. That’s bad news for the 6.5 billion inhabitants of this planet, as well as for most of the animals who inhabit it – especially those inhabiting colder regions. These studies show that the earth’s temperature has been rising rapidly, in the area of nearly 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.2 degrees Celsius in the past 30 years alone. The average surface temperature is now around 15-16 degrees Celsius; and if it rises another 1 degree C. serious, possible irreversible effects will occur, so said a researcher from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The higher temperatures are mostly being caused by human induced heat from burning forest land for crop planting, as well as exhaust emissions from automobiles and coal and oil burning power facilities, the researcher, James Hansen, noted. Another researcher, Alan Robock from Rutgers University, noted that further temperature rises of 2 to 3 degrees Celsius will make the earths temperature the same as at was around 3 million years ago, when the ocean levels were about 30 feet higher than they are today.

What this means for all of us, including Wally the Walrus and his pals is that life will be quite different on old Terra Firma, especially in the Earth’s Arctic regions, where effects of global warming are becoming even more accelerated. Arctic regions, where polar ice and snow actually reflected the suns rays, now have areas of dry land and open water which are absorbing solar heat. Animals such as Wally and his friends, as swell as Polar Bears, seals, and other Arctic creatures could even become extinct within the next hundred years.

How are these changes effecting people living in other areas, including here in Israel, is becoming evident with different weather patterns and temperature changes. For example: those hot, sultry, summer days (and especially nights) used to come only in about mid to late July. Now, we feel them in mid June! Winter temperatures are warmer as well, with far too many balmy, even summer-like days in mid-January. It might not be long before average summer temperatures in Israel may be similar to what they are now in countries like Kuwait and Dubai!

If the oceans do rise, even 10 or 15 feet, large coastal cities will have massive problems, especially those on the coast of large oceans including New York City, Antwerp, Hong Kong and Tokyo, may find themselves partially under water. Even Israeli coastal cities will not be immune, as some of this water will eventually find itself into the Mediterranean.

It’s not too late to try to reverse some of these trends, although these efforts will drastically affect the lives of most people with use of fossil fuels being either severely curtailed or even banned altogether. For creatures like Wally, however, these efforts may be too little – too late.

Healing Properties of The Dead Sea

Healing Properties of The Dead SeaThe Dead Sea, located between Israel and Jordan, is an extremely saline inland sea, originally formed millions of years ago as a part of the great Syro-African Rift; which stretches from Israel’s northern border all the way to Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa. With an annual evaporation rate of more than 5 million gallons, the lake has an accumulation of salt and other minerals so dense that its salinity percentage averages between 25 and 35% – more than any other body of water in the world.

The immense healing properties of this dense, mineral mixture, combined with a rich oxygen atmospheric level, has made the sea very well known for its medicinal healing properties since ancient times. King Solomon, the Greek philosopher Aristotle, Herod the Great, and even the Queen of Sheba, were familiar with the healing qualities of the waters of the Dead Sea. In the Bible, the Hebrew Prophet, Elisha, prescribed to a famous general to dip himself several times in the waters of the Jordan (at the entrance to the Dead Sea), to be rid of leprosy. That ‘leprosy’ of General Sisra has now been assumed to be one of many forms of skin conditions including psoriasis, seborrhea, and others.

To this day, thousands of people visit the several hotels and spas on the shores of the Sea to bathe in its waters and gain relief from a variety of medical ailments, including the ones already mentioned. The minerals found in the mud of the Dead Sea are also very popular, and many people completely cover themselves with this mixture to obtain relief.

Hundreds of cosmetic products, made from these minerals, as well as the salt and mud itself, are sold all over the world, enabling people to enjoy the medicinal qualities of the Dead Sea in their own homes. The manufacture of these Dead Sea mineral products has grown into a multimillion dollar industry; perhaps even surpassing the revenues that both Israel and Jordan already receive from the sale of potash, nitrates, and other minerals mined from the shores of the Dead Sea. It is also said by many that just sitting or lying in the Sea’s extremely buoyant waters gives them an extreme calming effect, not found anywhere else.

Green Clean – Organic Cleaning Compounds Becoming More Popular Despite Higher Costs

Want to clean your house with worry of harming our environment? Then try organic and bio-degradable housecleaners instead of harsher commercial products. More and more ‘earth friendly’ cleaning compounds are appearing in both specialty shops and organic products stores these days. Though more costly (in America, organic and ‘natural’ soaps and cleaning compounds cost at least 50% more than standard brands like “Mr. Clean” and Ajax), people concerned about the effects of commercial detergents, bleaches, window cleaning fluids, and even furniture polish, are willing to pay the price, in order to help the environment. The ‘green’ products, alleged to contain these bio-degradable and environmentally friendly ingredients, note plant-derived essential oils and other similar compounds which can be disposed in the normal manner (i.e. in the garbage or down the drain or toilet) without worrying whether they will pollute the soil or water supplies.

The only problem at present, as noted by a spokesman for the American based Organic Consumers Association, is that these products have not yet been certified by U.S. Government regulatory bodies, such as the FDA and Federal Trade Commission.

Labels of many organic cleaning products, though claiming to contain ‘all natural’ and organic ingredients, still have not been officially proven to be so. If the products are noted to be “bio-degradable” for example; and without such ingredients as phosphates, chlorine bleach, and other similar ingredients, they still lack certification by an official government body to back up these claims.

A number of standard ingredients, such as phosphates for example, are actually natural, since they come directly from the ground and are not altered in their chemical composition. Many standard Israeli cleaning compounds, as well as soaps and detergents, contain phosphates and other similar compounds. Natural cleaning products are less available in Israel, though some of the older brands, utilizing ‘natural’ basic ingredients, like sand and soda ash, have been around for years.

With an annual American market of more $100 million per year for organic soap and cleaning products; more and more of them will eventually be sold in Israel as well. Families who still have grandmothers around, can testify that you can make your own ‘organic’ cleaning products, and be assured of what they contain. Some of these old favorites include using vinegar instead of window cleaner or drain cleaning products. Vinegar, in fact, has been used by women as a vaginal douche since time immemorial. Baking soda, also a favorite “old wives” cleaning product, has a variety of uses; from brushing teeth, to cleaning the sink and bathtub.

Even organic cleaners are not completely ‘friendly’ however; and one still has to be cautious when using – especially when small children are in the home.

Figs the Natural Viagra

Looking for a natural food product that is not only immensely healthy but even helps perk up your ’sexual appetite’? Then try figs. That’s right; these delicate and delicious fruits were first reputed to have been cultivated by both the ancient Egyptians, as well as the Minoans of classical Crete and Greece. They later spread throughout the Middle East, as well as the Mediterranean countries. They are mentioned in the Bible as one of the ‘Seven Species’ of ancient Israel, and were considered by the Romans as the “sacred fruit of the gods”. Figs are rich in dietary fiber and potassium, as well as several vitamins and other minerals.

Though they are eaten year round, especially in their dried varieties (still one of Turkey’s major agricultural exports), their true divineness is when eaten fresh in late summer. Being very fragile, the fig’s ’store season’ is very short (similar to apricots), and only last a day or two if kept at room temperature. Figs can be kept in refrigeration, however, for up to a week. They loose their special taste quickly, and it is recommended they be eaten almost immediately. Containing both carbohydrates and natural sugars, they are nourishing as well, and can be combined with other fruits, as well as with a variety of cheeses – particularly sheep and goat feta-type cheese. Stuffed figs, especially with cheese, has been a delightful light meal or dessert menu for literally thousands of years.

The attributes of these ‘fruits of the gods’ are well known to natural foods consultants as well as believers in holistic and natural solutions to a variety of conditions, including sexual incompetence. The Turks have long sworn by a special stuffed fig product containing a mixture of crushed walnuts and other “special ingredients”. “We call this ‘Turkish Viagra’, and it’s been in use here ever since ancient times” a Turkish dried fruit and spice vender was reported to have said to friends of mine in Istanbul.

Whether this preparation actually works for this special use, is probably a matter of ‘personal experience’. But the idea is fine, as various other natural food dishes are also alleged to increase one’s sexual desire. Figs also are terrific for assisting in another bodily function: bowel regularity. In fact, a number of natural laxative products contain figs as part of their ingredients.

One of the best ways to prepare fresh figs, besides just eating them raw that is, is to slightly boil them in light syrup containing brown sugar, water and anise or fennel seeds. After simmering for 7 to 8 minutes, remove them and allow them to cool at room temperature before adding a bit of fresh lemon juice. Them chill them for at lest 2-3 hours in your refrigerator. The result is a delightful desert or snack dish. After eating them in this manner, with some fruit sherbet if desired, you will understand why figs have been considered as ‘holy fruit’ by so many.

Find out more about Organic Foods, Organic Teas, and Organic Herbal Supplements.

Feng Shui – Ancient Chinese Science of Life

Feng Shui, or Fung Schawy as the Chinese refer to it, is a science that dates back thousands of years. Classical Chinese texts such as I Ching, The Book of Changes, are derived from studies of Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese science dedicated to helping Mankind live in peace with the environment. Feng Shui incorporates the art of manipulating or arranging one’s surroundings to attract and preserve live energy, and rid one’s Chi or positive energy resources from all negative energies.

The purpose of this science is to enable your life forces to flow smoothly; and rid of unblock the body of all negative obstructions. The central theory of Feng Shui is that all people are affected by their surroundings – for better or for worse. The literal translation of Feng Shui is forces of wind and water. The science dates back even before the life of Confucius, considered as one of ancient China’s most revered philosophers and sages.

One of the most important Feng Shui symbols is the Bagua or Pakua, an octagonal shaped diagram, on which each side or direction is considered to have a significant meaning in regards to a person’s life forces. The Qi, or life force, is considered the distinct force that determines the destiny of an organism. This force is instrumental in a person’s ultimate destiny, including death itself.

The feng shui diagram is the classical octagonal shaped Bagua, in which all sections or forces of a person’s life are placed, each in its own ’side’ or section. There is virtually no part of a person’s existence, from cradle to grave, that is not influenced for the Feng Shui forces as noted on the Bagua. Though often confused with metaphysics and other spiritual or supernatural phenomena, Feng Shui’s main difference is that it is based on pure natural phenomena and how these natural forces influence the ‘force’ of life itself.

Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability – LOHAS

Have you ever imagined what may be America’s (if not the world’s) largest consumer marketing network? It’s not dealing with entertainment industries (exclusively, that is), fashion, or fast foods. It’s a marking network so large that an estimated 30% of all Americans, 50 million people, are members. And this network covers many categories, from natural foods and health products to alternative energy resources and environmentally friendly modes of transportation. In case you haven’t guessed it already, the ‘network’ is called LOHAS, an abbreviation for Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability.

In the U.S. alone, LOHAS connected services and industries constitute a $229 BILLION business; and it continues to grow each year. Just some of the many categories and industries within this group include:

Alternative Healthcare – Health and wellness solutions including Homeopathy, holistic health approaches, acupuncture, naturopathy, alternative or complementary medicine, therapeutic message, etc.

Healthy Lifestyles – Natural and organic food and food supplement products, nutritional and dietary supplements, personal health and fitness care.

Ecological Lifestyles – Environmental friendly vehicles and appliances, products from recycled materials, “Eco-Tourism” and travel, including alternative transportation and energy sources.

Personal Fitness and Development – Including body building and weight loss programs, books and tapes on mind and body development, spiritual and physical development programs (Yoga, meditation, aerobic and work-out programs, etc).

The range of products and services are so wide that a great majority of people incorporate at least some of these LOHAS concepts in their everyday lives; whether it be purchasing energy saving devices for their homes, eating healthier foods, or taking natural or organic food supplements, using paper and other products from recycled materials, the list goes on and on. And these concepts are not only happening in America, but in other countries too, as more are more people contemplate the connections between economies, environmental issues, and even political governmental systems in order to acquire to total holistic approach to life.

The possibilities are just as varied as the many aspects involved in world holistic thinking. As more and more people become LOHAS advocates, the world may one day become a better place for all. As it has been said many times, we all live on an island from which we cannot leave.