Did you know you have a Second Brain? Mind Matters Wed, 23 Dec 2020 00:00 UTC Our guts operate on a quite separate nervous system. Learning more will help control gastrointestinal diseases Gut as brain Our huge gastrointestinal tracts operate their own nervous system, using neurons that follow different principles from those of brain neurons, according to recent findings: Our approximately seven-meter long gastrointestinal (GI) tract has its own functionally distinct neurons. Since this enteric nervous system (ENS) operates autonomously, it is sometimes referred to as the "second" or "abdominal" brain. While the ENS controls muscle movement (peristalsis) in the gut and its fluid balance and blood flow, it also communicates with the immune system and microbiome. Karolinska Institutet, "New fundamental knowledge of the 'abdominal brain'" at Medical Xpress (December 7, 2020) Paper. The Karolinska researchers made progress in studying the little-understood second brain by mapping the neuron types in the digestive systems of mice. The human gut is estimated to contain an independent network of over 100 billion neurons that not only control digestion but work with the immune system to fight a constant war with hostile bacteria. These neurons help account for the curious sensation of "butterflies in the stomach." As Michael Gershon, M.D., author of (1999) The Second Brain explained to psychologists, Q Does the brain in our heads influence the "second brain"? A Yes. Butterflies in the stomach arise when the brain sends a message of anxiety to the gut, which sends messages back to the brain that it's unhappy. But the gut can also work in isolation. PT Staff, "Our Second Brain: The Stomach" at Psychology Today (May 1, 1999) The "second brain" is not, of course, responsible for thinking or making decisions. But it probably influences our emotions strongly: "The system is way too complicated to have evolved only to make sure things move out of your colon," says Emeran Mayer, professor of physiology, psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.). For example, scientists were shocked to learn that about 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around. "Some of that info is decidedly unpleasant," Gershon says. The second brain informs our state of mind in other more obscure ways, as well. "A big part of our emotions are probably influenced by the nerves in our gut," Mayer says. Butterflies in the stomach — signaling in the gut as part of our physiological stress response, Gershon says — is but one example. Although gastrointestinal (GI) turmoil can sour one's moods, everyday emotional well-being may rely on messages from the brain below to the brain above. For example, electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve — a useful treatment for depression — may mimic these signals, Gershon says. Adam Hadhazy, "Think Twice: How the Gut's "Second Brain" Influences Mood and Well-Being" at Scientific American (February 12, 2010) Most research concentrates on the role the independent nervous system may be playing in the development of gastrointestinal diseases. Meanwhile, it turns out that "thinking with your gut" is literally something we all do every day — supported by an independent nervous system. Comment: See also: Your gut is your second brain: Optimizing gut flora important for healthy brain New knowledge of the 'abdominal brain' Think twice: How the gut's "second brain" influences mood and well-being The heart has neurons and functions as a second brain https://www.sott.net/article/446259-Did-you-know-you-have-a-Second-Brain
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Rare blizzard warning for Twin Cities Guy Brown Kare11.com Thu, 24 Dec 2020 22:49 UTC Golden Valley, Minn. — Blizzard warnings issued by the National Weather Service yesterday in the Twin Cities metro were a rare occurrence. A blizzard is when visibility is less than 1/4 of a mile for 3 hours or more, due to falling or blowing snow. White-out conditions covered the state, along with the metro. Blizzard Warning © KARE 11.com The last blizzard warning that included the Twin Cities was only two years ago, April 14th, 2018. However, the one before that was the famous Halloween blizzard back in 1991. Let's look back even a little further, to another blizzard event back on April 14th 1983. Why are blizzard warnings rare for Minneapolis and St Paul? This is due to the urban influence. Warmer temperatures are typical in cities due to the presence of lots of metal, and urban areas usually have less moisture and less vegetation. Broken Record © KARE 11.com Yesterday's storm event broke the daily record snowfall by near two-and-a-half inches. Have a wonderful day and a very happy holiday :) https://www.sott.net/article/446276-Rare-blizzard-warning-for-Twin-Cities
62 views · Dec 25th, 2020
A deal was stuck by chief negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier in Brussels UK and EU negotiators have finally agreed a Brexit trade and security deal, just eight days before Britain leaves the bloc's single market and customs union on 31 December. The eleventh-hour agreement, which only emerged after a litany of missed deadlines, averts a no-deal outcome that would have seen Britain trading on WTO terms with tariffs and quotas applied to its imports and exports. It represents the largest trade deal ever signed by either side, retaining existing zero-tariff zero-quota arrangements on imports and exports totalling around £668bn a year. The most contentious part of the negotiation ended with an agreement to phase in new quota arrangements for fisheries in UK waters over five and a half years. A UK source said: "Deal is done. Everything that the British public was promised during the 2016 referendum and in the general election last year is delivered by this deal. "We have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade and our fishing waters. "The deal is fantastic news for families and businesses in every part of the UK. We have signed the first free trade agreement based on zero tariffs and zero quotas that has ever been achieved with the EU." In Brussels, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said: "We have finally found an agreement. It was a long and winding road but we have got a good deal to show for it. "It is fair, it is a balanced deal and it is the right and responsible thing to do for both sides." Speaking moments later in 10 Downing Street, Boris Johnson said the UK had "won its freedom". He said: "We have taken back control of our laws and our destiny. We have taken back control of every jot and tittle of our regulation in a way which is complete and unfettered... "We have today resolved the question that has bedevilled our politics for decades and it is up to us all together as a newly and truly independent nation to realise the immensity of this moment and to make the most of it." UK sources said that the deal would "guarantee were are no longer in the lunar pull of the EU", as Britain will no longer be bound by EU rules and there is no role for the European Court of Justice. "All of our key red lines about returning sovereignty have been achieved," said the source. "It means we will have full political and economic independence on 1 January 2021." The source said that the deal was delivered "in record time and under extremely challenging conditions" and would end free movement and allow the introduction of a points-based immigration system. The deal does not preserve the seamless trade with the bloc the UK currently enjoys in the single market, and will see new border checks applied to UK and EU goods. It is the first trade deal in history to erect rather than remove barriers to commerce between the two sides. Extra red tape and bureaucracy caused by Brexit will see traders fill in an estimated 200 million customs declarations a year, while official estimates say it will cost the UK 4 per cent of GDP in the long term compared our remaining in the EU. But failing to reach the agreement would have dramatically worsened the logistical chaos currently playing out at English channel ports due to French border closures. The 2,000-page legal text is understood to resolve bitter disputes on issues including access for EU ships to British fishing waters and Brussels' demand for a "level playing-field" on standards and state aid. Brinksmanship on both sides took the negotiation process to the wire, with the UK accusing Brussels of introducing new demands in the final weeks. Even after the detail of the vast bulk of the agreement was finalised, officials haggled through the night and much of Christmas Eve on the precise proportions of individual species of fish to be caught by either side in UK waters. The deal thrashed out by chief negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier was concluded some 1,645 days after the UK's referendum vote to leave the EU, and almost 11 months after the formal date of Brexit on 31 January. The final, most difficult issue of fishing rights required direct talks between Boris Johnson and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, who are understood to have spoken at length over the telephone in the final days and as many as five times in the final 24 hours. If ratified by EU leaders it paves the way for a treaty governing trade between the former partners on the basis of zero tariffs and zero quotas, as well as future co-operation in areas such as security and law and order. Ms von der Leyen said the UK will now be treated as a "third country" by the EU, but added: "It remains a trusted partner... The EU and UK will stand shoulder to shoulder to deliver on our common global goals." The Commission president said she greeted the achievement of the deal not with "joy" but with "quiet satisfaction and, frankly speaking, relief". "I know this is a difficult day for some and to our friends in the UK, I want to say 'Parting is such sweet sorrow'. "Let me use a line from TS Eliot: 'What we call the beginning is often the end, and to make an end is to make a beginning'. "To all Europeans, I say, it is time to leave Brexit behind. Our future is made in Europe." The document requires approval from the leaders of the 27 EU nations, while the European Parliament is expected to vote on it next year, after the deadline for MEPs to scrutinise it in 2020 was missed by a week. EU leaders are expected to give provisional approval for the deal so that it can come into effect this year. If they were to refuse to do so, a short period of no-deal could still happen in early January anyway. MPs and peers are expected to be recalled to Westminster on 30 December to rush the agreement into law in a single day. But hardline Brexiteers on the backbench Tory European Research Group have signalled that they are not prepared to act as a rubber-stamp, reconvening their so-called Star Chamber of legal experts under the chairmanship of veteran eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash to scour through the document for signs that it does not protect the UK's sovereignty. Sir Keir Starmer has yet to say whether his party will back the deal, though Mr Johnson has little reason to fear parliamentary defeat next week, as few Labour MPs will vote against an agreement when the alternative is a no-deal crash-out. The Labour leader is to meet with his shadow cabinet later today before holding a press conference. A Labour spokesman said: "Since the election, the Labour Party has urged the Government and the EU to secure a trade deal because that is in the national interest. We will be setting out our formal response to the deal in due course." Trading on WTO terms would have meant tariffs of 10 per cent on cars and an average 18 per cent on foodstuffs imported from the EU. https://www.sott.net/article/446253-There-will-be-Brexit-Trade-deal-finally-closed
85 views · Dec 25th, 2020
We're Being Told South Africa's "Scary" Mutant COVID Is Even More Dangerous Than The UK's "Super COVID" Tyler Durden's Photo BY TYLER DURDEN THURSDAY, DEC 24, 2020 - 9:00 Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, A new mutant strain of COVID-19 that has been dubbed “501.V2” has gotten completely out of control in South Africa, and authorities are telling us that it is an even bigger threat than the “Super COVID” that has been causing so much panic in the United Kingdom. Of course viruses mutate all the time, and so it isn’t a surprise that COVID-19 has been mutating. But mutations can become a major issue when they fundamentally alter the way that a virus affects humans, and we are being told that “501.V2” is much more transmissible than previous versions of COVID and that even young people are catching it a lot more easily. That is potentially a huge concern, because up until now young people have not been hit very hard by the COVID pandemic. The British press is using the word “scary” to describe this new variant, and at this point it has become the overwhelmingly dominant strain in South Africa… The new mutant, called 501.V2, was announced in Cape Town last Friday and is believed to be a more extreme variant than Britain’s new Covid strain which has plunged millions into miserable Christmas lockdowns. Cases in South Africa have soared from fewer than 3,000 a day at the start of December to more than 9,500 per day, with the mutant accounting for up to 90 percent of those new infections. If this same pattern happens elsewhere as this new mutant strain travels around the globe, then “501.V2” could eventually almost entirely replace all of the older versions of COVID. Authorities are optimistically telling us that the recent vaccines that have been developed will “likely” work against this new variant, but the truth is that they will not know until testing is done. And if the vaccines don’t work against “501.V2”, we could be back to square one very rapidly. For now, countries all over the globe are banning flights from South Africa in a desperate attempt to isolate this new version. The UK, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey and Israel are among the nations that have banned those flights, but so far the United States is not on that list. So people that are potentially carrying this new version of COVID continue to enter the U.S. on a daily basis. https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/were-being-told-south-africas-scary-mutant-covid-even-more-dangerous-uks-super-covid
107 views · Dec 24th, 2020

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Rare blizzard warning for Twin Cities Guy Brown Kare11.com Thu, 24 Dec 2020 22:49 UTC Golden Valley, Minn. — Blizzard warnings issued by the National Weather Service yesterday in the Twin Cities metro were a rare occurrence. A blizzard is when visibility is less than 1/4 of a mile for 3 hours or more, due to falling or blowing snow. White-out conditions covered the state, along with the metro. Blizzard Warning © KARE 11.com The last blizzard warning that included the Twin Cities was only two years ago, April 14th, 2018. However, the one before that was the famous Halloween blizzard back in 1991. Let's look back even a little further, to another blizzard event back on April 14th 1983. Why are blizzard warnings rare for Minneapolis and St Paul? This is due to the urban influence. Warmer temperatures are typical in cities due to the presence of lots of metal, and urban areas usually have less moisture and less vegetation. Broken Record © KARE 11.com Yesterday's storm event broke the daily record snowfall by near two-and-a-half inches. Have a wonderful day and a very happy holiday :) https://www.sott.net/article/446276-Rare-blizzard-warning-for-Twin-Cities
62 views · Dec 25th, 2020
A deal was stuck by chief negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier in Brussels UK and EU negotiators have finally agreed a Brexit trade and security deal, just eight days before Britain leaves the bloc's single market and customs union on 31 December. The eleventh-hour agreement, which only emerged after a litany of missed deadlines, averts a no-deal outcome that would have seen Britain trading on WTO terms with tariffs and quotas applied to its imports and exports. It represents the largest trade deal ever signed by either side, retaining existing zero-tariff zero-quota arrangements on imports and exports totalling around £668bn a year. The most contentious part of the negotiation ended with an agreement to phase in new quota arrangements for fisheries in UK waters over five and a half years. A UK source said: "Deal is done. Everything that the British public was promised during the 2016 referendum and in the general election last year is delivered by this deal. "We have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade and our fishing waters. "The deal is fantastic news for families and businesses in every part of the UK. We have signed the first free trade agreement based on zero tariffs and zero quotas that has ever been achieved with the EU." In Brussels, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said: "We have finally found an agreement. It was a long and winding road but we have got a good deal to show for it. "It is fair, it is a balanced deal and it is the right and responsible thing to do for both sides." Speaking moments later in 10 Downing Street, Boris Johnson said the UK had "won its freedom". He said: "We have taken back control of our laws and our destiny. We have taken back control of every jot and tittle of our regulation in a way which is complete and unfettered... "We have today resolved the question that has bedevilled our politics for decades and it is up to us all together as a newly and truly independent nation to realise the immensity of this moment and to make the most of it." UK sources said that the deal would "guarantee were are no longer in the lunar pull of the EU", as Britain will no longer be bound by EU rules and there is no role for the European Court of Justice. "All of our key red lines about returning sovereignty have been achieved," said the source. "It means we will have full political and economic independence on 1 January 2021." The source said that the deal was delivered "in record time and under extremely challenging conditions" and would end free movement and allow the introduction of a points-based immigration system. The deal does not preserve the seamless trade with the bloc the UK currently enjoys in the single market, and will see new border checks applied to UK and EU goods. It is the first trade deal in history to erect rather than remove barriers to commerce between the two sides. Extra red tape and bureaucracy caused by Brexit will see traders fill in an estimated 200 million customs declarations a year, while official estimates say it will cost the UK 4 per cent of GDP in the long term compared our remaining in the EU. But failing to reach the agreement would have dramatically worsened the logistical chaos currently playing out at English channel ports due to French border closures. The 2,000-page legal text is understood to resolve bitter disputes on issues including access for EU ships to British fishing waters and Brussels' demand for a "level playing-field" on standards and state aid. Brinksmanship on both sides took the negotiation process to the wire, with the UK accusing Brussels of introducing new demands in the final weeks. Even after the detail of the vast bulk of the agreement was finalised, officials haggled through the night and much of Christmas Eve on the precise proportions of individual species of fish to be caught by either side in UK waters. The deal thrashed out by chief negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier was concluded some 1,645 days after the UK's referendum vote to leave the EU, and almost 11 months after the formal date of Brexit on 31 January. The final, most difficult issue of fishing rights required direct talks between Boris Johnson and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, who are understood to have spoken at length over the telephone in the final days and as many as five times in the final 24 hours. If ratified by EU leaders it paves the way for a treaty governing trade between the former partners on the basis of zero tariffs and zero quotas, as well as future co-operation in areas such as security and law and order. Ms von der Leyen said the UK will now be treated as a "third country" by the EU, but added: "It remains a trusted partner... The EU and UK will stand shoulder to shoulder to deliver on our common global goals." The Commission president said she greeted the achievement of the deal not with "joy" but with "quiet satisfaction and, frankly speaking, relief". "I know this is a difficult day for some and to our friends in the UK, I want to say 'Parting is such sweet sorrow'. "Let me use a line from TS Eliot: 'What we call the beginning is often the end, and to make an end is to make a beginning'. "To all Europeans, I say, it is time to leave Brexit behind. Our future is made in Europe." The document requires approval from the leaders of the 27 EU nations, while the European Parliament is expected to vote on it next year, after the deadline for MEPs to scrutinise it in 2020 was missed by a week. EU leaders are expected to give provisional approval for the deal so that it can come into effect this year. If they were to refuse to do so, a short period of no-deal could still happen in early January anyway. MPs and peers are expected to be recalled to Westminster on 30 December to rush the agreement into law in a single day. But hardline Brexiteers on the backbench Tory European Research Group have signalled that they are not prepared to act as a rubber-stamp, reconvening their so-called Star Chamber of legal experts under the chairmanship of veteran eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash to scour through the document for signs that it does not protect the UK's sovereignty. Sir Keir Starmer has yet to say whether his party will back the deal, though Mr Johnson has little reason to fear parliamentary defeat next week, as few Labour MPs will vote against an agreement when the alternative is a no-deal crash-out. The Labour leader is to meet with his shadow cabinet later today before holding a press conference. A Labour spokesman said: "Since the election, the Labour Party has urged the Government and the EU to secure a trade deal because that is in the national interest. We will be setting out our formal response to the deal in due course." Trading on WTO terms would have meant tariffs of 10 per cent on cars and an average 18 per cent on foodstuffs imported from the EU. https://www.sott.net/article/446253-There-will-be-Brexit-Trade-deal-finally-closed
85 views · Dec 25th, 2020
We're Being Told South Africa's "Scary" Mutant COVID Is Even More Dangerous Than The UK's "Super COVID" Tyler Durden's Photo BY TYLER DURDEN THURSDAY, DEC 24, 2020 - 9:00 Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, A new mutant strain of COVID-19 that has been dubbed “501.V2” has gotten completely out of control in South Africa, and authorities are telling us that it is an even bigger threat than the “Super COVID” that has been causing so much panic in the United Kingdom. Of course viruses mutate all the time, and so it isn’t a surprise that COVID-19 has been mutating. But mutations can become a major issue when they fundamentally alter the way that a virus affects humans, and we are being told that “501.V2” is much more transmissible than previous versions of COVID and that even young people are catching it a lot more easily. That is potentially a huge concern, because up until now young people have not been hit very hard by the COVID pandemic. The British press is using the word “scary” to describe this new variant, and at this point it has become the overwhelmingly dominant strain in South Africa… The new mutant, called 501.V2, was announced in Cape Town last Friday and is believed to be a more extreme variant than Britain’s new Covid strain which has plunged millions into miserable Christmas lockdowns. Cases in South Africa have soared from fewer than 3,000 a day at the start of December to more than 9,500 per day, with the mutant accounting for up to 90 percent of those new infections. If this same pattern happens elsewhere as this new mutant strain travels around the globe, then “501.V2” could eventually almost entirely replace all of the older versions of COVID. Authorities are optimistically telling us that the recent vaccines that have been developed will “likely” work against this new variant, but the truth is that they will not know until testing is done. And if the vaccines don’t work against “501.V2”, we could be back to square one very rapidly. For now, countries all over the globe are banning flights from South Africa in a desperate attempt to isolate this new version. The UK, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey and Israel are among the nations that have banned those flights, but so far the United States is not on that list. So people that are potentially carrying this new version of COVID continue to enter the U.S. on a daily basis. https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/were-being-told-south-africas-scary-mutant-covid-even-more-dangerous-uks-super-covid
107 views · Dec 24th, 2020