Sun Slashes Cancer Risks?

Breast Cancer Benefits from the Sun

For so long we’ve been told how dangerous the sun is for us and how exposing ourselves to it could lead to skin cancer. Well, now there’s some good news behind the rays. It seems like, in a recent Daily Mail report, Canadian researchers have found that “regular exposure to the sun’s rays may have a powerful anti-cancer effect by stimulating the production of vitamin D in the skin.” Indeed, it seems that if one wants to reduce their risk of breast cancer by 50 percent, they should spend 3+ hours a day exposed to sunlight!

According to laboratory tests, breast cells are able to convert Vitamin D into a hormone with anti-cancer properties. The research was undertaken using 3,101 breast cancer sufferers and comparing them with 3,471 health women. The women were asked how long they spent outdoors from April to October at different stages of their life. The results (published in the American Journal of Epidemiology) “showed that women who had at least 21 hours a week exposure to the sun’s UV rays in their teens were 29 per cent less likely to get cancer than those getting under an hour a day.” The greatest drop (by 26 percent) in risks to breast cancer landed on women who were outside most during their 40s and 50s and in the 60+ category, “sunshine halved their chances of a tumor.”

Men and Vitamin D

Talking about Vitamin D, a study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that when it comes to men, if they are getting the right amount of vitamin D, they have a greater chance of avoiding a heart attack and a stroke. The study found that men who were consuming at least 600 IU of Vitamin D daily, “were 16 per cent less likely to develop heart problems or stroke than men who got less than 100 IUD.” But with women, a similar pattern couldn’t be found.

How to Use the Internet to Motivate Your Child This Summer

As the school year takes its leave and summer vacation takes over, it is important to keep our kids involved with more than just the internet and TV shows. One great way to do this is by looking for short, educational updates on the internet- this way, it shouldn’t be too difficult to convince your child to cooperate.

Choosing a Subject… Art?

It is wise to choose a subject that truly interests your child, as well. For example, if your child is interested in art or design, you may want to encourage them to check up on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website from time to time. They have a page dedicated to their current and upcoming exhibitions, which will undoubtedly fascinate your child, and may even encourage them to visit the museum during their free time, if possible. The featured exhibitions include ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,’ ‘Guitar Heroes,’ ‘Thinking Outside the Box’ and many, many more.

Or American History?

Perhaps your child is enamored by American history. If so, Shapell Manuscript Foundation has a new online project called ‘Between the Lines,’ which they describe is as “a unique look at this day in history.” Every few weeks the site features a manuscript that was written or is directly tied to an event that happened that day, many decades ago. The manuscript currently featured on their site is a letter from George Armstrong Custer to the Secretary of War regarding his little brother, Boston. Just this week, on June 25th, the Custer brothers fell at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in year 1876.

As strange as it may sound, the internet can be a great way to get your child motivated enough to leave the computer and pursue his or her interests this summer!

UFOs? UFO Real?

According to a recent article in Britain’s The Daily Mail, a recent UFO mothership was spotted flying above a West London BBC building. Maybe it was looking to be on the next episode of Dr. Who or something, or perhaps it was just seeking some publicity. But it wasn’t the Beeb that caught them; rather it was just someone walking by who caught them on his mobile phone camera. Probably not exactly the publicity they were after although clearly if it’s been reported here in the Mail…

What was spotted was three white dots, forming some kind of triangle followed by another two other white dots, approximately the same size and then a larger, brighter, slower moving, “disc-shaped white object appears, circles around briefly and zips off.” The video then shows five people gathering the scene when a Scottish male voice is heard saying “UFO.”

A 31-year-old user originally uploaded the video to YouTube but now it has been put up by a user called EllasVirgo, who is a self-described farmer from Australia. The text in the video read: “UFOs Over London BBC Radio 1 Building. 'Right – took over a week to get it….but finally managed to get these critters on camera on a clear day, and even get a close-up 'It seems to be attracting quite a crowd now when they appear 'Can anyone explain what on earth these lights are please?”

Patti LaBelle, Chris Brown and Others Honored at the BET Awards

The BET Awards this past Sunday honored leading actors, artists, athletes and…philanthropists! Steve Harvey was awarded for his humanitarian work, and was described as a “true gentlemen who acts like a comedian but thinks like a citizen of the world” by BET Chairman and Chief Executive Debra Lee. While accepting the honor, Harvey thanked both God and his fellow do-gooders.

The Lifetime Achievement Award

Another special award was bestowed upon Patti LaBelle. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Gladys Knight, and was paid tribute by numerous singers including Cee Lo Green, Beyonce and Mary J. Blige.

“I plan to hold myself up higher because I’ve gotten this wonderful award,” the singer exclaimed before breaking into a pair of her hits, including “Lady Marmalade.”

And Chris Brown

21-year-old singer Chris Brown was honored with four awards as well. He was named best male R&B artist, and also won best collaboration for his song “Look at Me Now” with Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne.

Towards the beginning of the show Brown said “I appreciate all the support. I know it’s been a long road, so I appreciate every blessing in front of me.” After receiving his awards, Brown said “Public speaking is not my strong suit” and then passed the mic to Wayne. Both him and Busta Rhymes expressed their gratitude to Brown for creating the track with them.


Talking: It’s Good for You

There is new proof that talking really can heal. According to new research carried out by a team working under Dr. Caroline Watkins, patients who suffered a traumatic event and then went on to be the recipients of “motivational interviews,” had more than double the chance of “being alive a year on compared with those who didn’t.” Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire also discovered that these same patients were “less likely to suffer depression.”

Talk It Out

So what are motivational interviews exactly? Individuals that have to change their behavior following a health problem engage in these, which are basically “talk-based therapies.” Depression often follows a stroke because patients basically have to re-learn to live in a different way, rendering huge amounts of adjustment for them. As well, the earlier this is caught, the better for the patient. According to Watkins, “early intervention helped people set realistic expectations for recovery, avoid some of the misery associated with life after stroke, and may even help them live longer.”

The Study

Over 400 patients (just over 50 percent being men) participated in the study. Most were around 70 years old. The study found that 48 percent of the patients who had engaged in the early, talk-based therapy, a year after their strokes, were reported to have had “normal moods,” as opposed to the 37.7 percent who didn’t have the therapy. In addition, the death rate was nearly double of those who hadn’t had the therapy (6.5 percent to 12.8 percent).

Therapy in this study began a month after the patient had suffered a stroke. According to Dr. Watkins, this, in and of itself, was quite revolutionary since “prior studies targeting depressed stroke patients have had limited success, but the depression may have already interfered with rehabilitation and recovery.” Patients were encouraged to work out their own solutions to any anticipated problems within recovery. The study omitted patients with “severe communication problems.” Watkins and her researchers believe however, that “it’s imperative that further research is supported to ensure effective methods of implementation are developed.” This data just isn’t adequate to be conclusive.

Unemployment Psychologically Worse for Married Men

In a study to be published in the American Journal of Sociology, it seems that men are more likely to seek a divorce from their wives due to being unemployed and living with a working spouse, than their female counterparts. In an article that appeared in today’s Daily Mail, “even men who are relatively happy in their marriages are more likely to leave if they are out of work.” It was found that this is due to the immense pressure on the men to be breadwinners although on the flip side there is less pressure “discouraging women from working outside the home.”

Employment and Marriage

The study was conducted by scientists who took a look at the impact employment status has on male and female’s decisions to end a marriage. Ohio State University researcher Liana Sayer, who headed the study, found “a women's employment status has no effect on the likelihood that her husband will opt to leave the marriage.” On the flip side, there is a greater chance that a woman who is working will “initiate a divorce,” than one who is not working but only in cases where she is anyway unhappy with the marriage. With men, women are more likely to initiate a divorce if they are unemployed as will they. Somewhat surprisingly, it was found that even those men who were reported being “content in their personal lives,” were still likely to leave, once becoming unemployed.

Gender Role Changes

Ultimately the research concluded that there has been an “asymmetric change in traditional gender roles in marriage.” The fact that men who aren’t working are more likely to initiate divorce (whether or not they are happy in their marriage), “suggests that a marriage in which the man does not work ‘does not look like what men think a marriage is supposed to’.” And this just isn’t the case for their female counterparts.