Decline in Visuospatial Skills May Presage Alzheimer's

Even marine mammals can take cognitive tests

Scientists are finding that drops in combined visual and spatial processing skills can be an effective notification for possible onset of Alzheimer's. Visuospatial skills may be assessed through a combination of exercises that require acuity to detect changes in patterns across a field of view, often with lighted stimuli.



Empty Missile to Strike Moon in H-2-0 Assay

Artist's rendering of moon impact mission

How much water is on the moon?

Scientists think there is quite a bit, potentially, hidden in dark craters.

In addition, moon rock samples also have been found to contain water. Even rocks on earth, from magma to sedimentary deposits like borax, also contain water molecules in crystalline form. It's possible that the moon had a much wetter past, and that life in some form may exist, if indeed the presence of water is significant - even in an underground, microscopic state. Remember the moon is only 250,000 miles from the earth, or approximately ten earth diameters away.

Water-bearing moon rocks

Asteroid or comet impacts on the earth over the last 1.3 billion years could have blanketed the moon with life-bearing debris which could have retained life, if it was kept warm enough and distant enough from the vacuum of space.


Cowabunga - Tsunami Waves

Australian surfer Mark Visser catches a 36-foot ride off of Cow Barbie, Australia associated with the recent geological activity in the South Pacific.


Polyphenols in the brain

New research by Purdue researchers published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease suggests that polyphenols may be able to cross the blood-brain barrier after 10 or more days of regular, moderate consumption - in that antioxidant compounds were found in the brains of an animal subject group after consistent utilization. On the other hand, irregular, heavy consumption of polyphenols does not seem to provide a corresponding level of benefits. This category of antioxidant is found in red wines/grapes, berries, teas, and certain other natural substances and may inhibit the formation of amyloid plaques. Mastering the quantity, pacing, and variety of antioxidants in the diet appears to be key to optimizing the impact on human health.



National Parks: Soap Salesman to the Rescue

One takeaway from Ken Burns' National Parks...

While National Parks existed prior to 1900, it was Stephen Mather, whose name adorns numerous facilities associated with Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and other parks who invented the business model, so to speak, that attracted additional speculative funding enabling the development of the traditional features in the parks that are known today, such as the tradition of grand lodges (Yellowstone, Yosemite, Crater Lake, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and Death Valley) coupled with the ethos of preservation.

By partnering with vested interests such as the railroads and creating attractions, Mather achieved his other goal - maintaining vast tracts of land in an undisturbed state through an intelligent compromise.

Mather wasn't afraid to use his own money when necessary - he had cut his teeth as a soap marketer, developing the brand name "Twenty Mule Team" and creating demand for Borax, extensively mined at Death Valley and other adjacent lowland valley locations. The trademark is now owned by the Dial Corporation...

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