Having Back Problems? – Benefits of Foam Rolling

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Foam-Rolling

As its name implies, a foam roller is a large “log” made out of foam that helps your body to warm up for exercise and recover afterward. Among its many benefits are:

    • Improved circulation
    • Increased blood flow
    • Releases muscle tightness
    • Breaks down knots in your muscles
    • Reduces pain

Black High Density Foam Rollers – Extra Firm – 6″ x 36″ Round

Using a foam roller is actually similar to getting a massage (only less expensive!). As you roll on it, fibrous tissue is broken down and circulation is boosted, helping to relieve tension and pain. When you perform various exercises with the roller it also helps to engage your muscles and build strength. Plus, because the foam roller is unstable, using it works your core muscles and helps improve balance. Many people wait to use a foam roller until they feel a tight spot in a muscle, then simply ‘roll’ it out. While this can be effective, it’s a mistake to regard the foam roller as only an occasional fitness tool. You can actually use it daily (even if it’s for just a few minutes) to help prevent trouble spots in your muscles from occurring.

Increase Your Range of Motion in Five to 10 Seconds

Foam rollers are often used by therapists and athletes to mimic myofascial release treatments, which are typically used to help reduce muscle immobility and pain. Their effects can be quite significant, as one study found that using a foam roller on your hamstrings may lead to statistically significant increases in range of motion after just five to 10 seconds.1 Separate research also found that using a foam roller reduces arterial stiffness, which may indicate improved flexibility, and improves vascular endothelial function.2 

Older women who used foam rollers for balance training also showed improvements in dynamic balance after just five weeks,3 adding scientific credibility to the use of this incredibly simple fitness tool. My favorite is to combine the Trigger Point Foam Roller with the Power Plate. The vibration from the Power Plate is a powerful synergy with the foam roller and I seek to do that twice a day when I have access to a Power Plate. This combination can radically increase your range of motion and flexibility.

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5 ‘Critical Rules’ for Foam Rolling

Master trainer Josh Stolz recently shared what he calls the five most critical rules for getting the most out of your foam roller.4

    • Drink plenty of water first: This helps to keep your tissues hydrated and more pliable during rolling, so drink a large glass of water first.
    • Use your roller for warm-ups and cool downs: Foam rollers are both a warm-up tool and a recovery tool. Try swapping out static stretches in your warm-up for foam rolling.
    • Slow down: Avoid rolling too quickly; your movements on the foam roller should be slow and concentrated.
    • Move in multiple directions: For best results, combine up-and-down, side-to-side and other directional movements to best work your muscles.
    • Do it regularly– preferably daily: As mentioned, using the foam roller daily is an excellent tool for muscle maintenance, injury prevention and pain relief.

Trigger Point Performance The Grid Revolutionary Foam Roller, Black

Try These Foam Roller Exercises

Once you get your foam roller, what should you do with it? Try these sample exercises from Q by Equinox:5

1. Lats

“Position yourself on your right side with your right leg flat, knee bent 90 degrees, your left foot flat on the floor. Place the center of a foam roller beneath your right arm pit, perpendicular to your body, and extend your right arm straight, resting your left hand on the foam roller. (Reach that right arm as far as possible to create more of a stretch.)

From this position, roll from your armpit about four inches down towards your waist, and back again, for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch sides; repeat.” 

2. Shoulders and Pecs

“Lie face down, resting your left forearm on the floor, legs slightly wider than shoulder width. Place one end of a foam roller under your right shoulder, extending arm straight out at shoulder height, forming a T with the roller. (Again, reach that straight arm as far as possible to create more tension.) In short movements, roll from your shoulder to right pec and back again, for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch sides and repeat.”

3. Thoracic Spine

“Lie face up with feet shoulder-width apart and flat on the floor. Center a foam roller beneath your mid-back or shoulder blades so that it is perpendicular to your body. (Note: You can move the foam roller up and down to target different areas of the thoracic spine while still doing the extension motion.) 

Extend arms out from shoulders at a 45-degree angle. Reach arms back behind you towards floor and back again for 30 seconds to a minute. Make sure that the lower back doesn’t extend—think about pushing the lumbar spine into the ground as you are reaching back.”

4. Calves

“Sit with legs extended in front of you, and rest your lower right calf on the center of a foam roller that’s perpendicular to your body. With hands on the floor, press your triceps to lift your butt off the floor, and then place your left foot on top of your right calf. Roll up from your lower right calf to the meat of your calf and back for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch legs; repeat. (Note: Also target the inside and the outside of the calf simply by turning the foot in or turning the foot out.)”

5. Glutes and Piriformis

“With your feet flat on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder-width, center a foam roller beneath your glutes. Lift your right leg and rest your right ankle on your left knee. Roll back and forth from the center of your right glute to the bottom of your spine for 30 seconds to a minute; switch legs and repeat.”

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How to Make Your Foam-Roller Workout Even Better

The benefits of using a foam roller are even better if you do them on a Power Plate, which is my favorite type of Acceleration (or Whole Body Vibration) Training equipment. Acceleration Training is ideally done using a platform like the Power Plate, which vibrates in three planes: vertical, horizontal and sagittal (front to back).

There is equipment out there that only moves in two planes but the three-plane movement devices seem superior. These micro-accelerations force your muscles to accommodate, resulting in dramatic improvement in strength, power, flexibility, balance, tone and leanness. Remember, you can perform many different types of exercises on the Power Plate, including foam rolling, and doing so will enhance your results. Combining the Power Plate and Trigger Point Foam Roller is something I do virtually every day when I am at home.

When you stand on the vibrating platform, each muscle in your body reacts in a continuous flow of micro adjustments, contracting reflexively.The up-and-down movement improves your muscle tone. The left-to-right, and front-to-back movements improve your balance and coordination. What’s truly exceptional about Acceleration Training technology is that it engages up to 98 percent of your muscle fibers—including the fast and super-fast muscle fibersSo, with Acceleration Training you get greater rewards and shorter workouts because you’re working muscle fibers every second.

I truly believe Acceleration Training technology represents a revolution in fitness science that can benefit virtually everyone, regardless of age or fitness status. However, even if you don’t have access to such technology, regular foam rolling is still an excellent strategy to add to your fitness program.

Credit: Fitness Mercola

It’s that time again – Earthquakes!!! What to Do? Before, After & During a Quake – Tell us your earthquake Tips & Stories

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“VICTORY LOVES PREPARATION.”

Once again if you live in California you’re used to waking up early in the morning by an earthquake, just like I was this morning. Like most people on a Sunday, I like to prepare for the week. For example, I might write things to do that week and form a plan with goals. Most successful people have plans and goals they follow like a form of religion. Naturally, Mother Nature doesn’t give a fuck about your plans. It comes at a moment’s notice, like early on a Monday morning when you are trying to sleep in because you don’t have to go to work. Listen “Shit happens” and you can’t control everything but I believe you can always give yourself a better chance to succeed in anything including surviving an earthquake. If your a L.A. Native like myself, who has lived in earthquake country, I’ve learned a thing or two about Earthquakes. I’m usually jokey about subjects with funny pictures but I’ve learned in my short time on Earth, that Mother Nature is nothing to mess with because it can give life and take it away at the same time. So, please read and follow these tips on how to keep your friends and family safe Before, After & During an Earthquake.

PLAN FOR AN EARTHQUAKE

DEVELOP A FAMILY DISASTER PLAN. PLEASE SEE THE “FAMILY DISASTER PLAN” SECTION FOR GENERAL FAMILY PLANNING INFORMATION. DEVELOP EARTHQUAKE-SPECIFIC PLANNING. LEARN ABOUT EARTHQUAKE RISK IN YOUR AREA. CONTACT YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE, AMERICAN RED CROSS CHAPTER, STATE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, OR DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES FOR HISTORICAL INFORMATION AND EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS FOR YOUR AREA. ALTHOUGH THERE ARE 41 STATES OR TERRITORIES AT MODERATE TO HIGH RISK, MANY PEOPLE DO NOT REALIZE THE POTENTIAL FOR EARTHQUAKES IN THEIR AREA.

If you are at risk from earthquakes:

  • Pick “safe places” in each room of your home. A safe place could be under a sturdy table or desk or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you. The shorter the distance to move to safety, the less likely you will be injured. Injury statistics show that persons moving more than 10 feet during an earthquake’s shaking are most likely to experience injury.
  • Practice drop, cover, and hold-on in each safe place. Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. Practicing will make these actions an automatic response. When an earthquake or other disaster occurs, many people hesitate, trying to remember what they are supposed to do. Responding quickly and automatically may help protect you from injury.
  • Practice drop, cover, and hold-on at least twice a year. Frequent practice will help reinforce safe behavior.
  • Talk with your insurance agent. Different areas have different requirements for earthquake protection. Study locations of active faults, and if you are at risk, consider purchasing earthquake insurance.
  • Inform guests, babysitters, and caregivers of your plan. Everyone in your home should know what to do if an earthquake occurs. Assure yourself that others will respond properly even if you are not at home during the earthquake.
  • Get training. Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter. Get training on how to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department. Keep your training current. Training will help you to keep calm and know what to do when an earthquake occurs.
  • Discuss earthquakes with your family. Everyone should know what to do in case all family members are not together. Discussing earthquakes ahead of time helps reduce fear and anxiety and lets everyone know how to respond.

ASSEMBLE A DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT

Please see the “Disaster Supplies Kit” section for general supplies kit information. Earthquake-specific supplies should include the following:

    • A flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person’s bedside.
    • Disaster Supplies Kit basics

Evacuation Supply Kit.

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WHAT TO DO DURING AN EARTHQUAKE

  • Drop, cover, and hold on! Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place. Most injured persons in earthquakes move more than five feet during the shaking. It is very dangerous to try to leave a building during an earthquake because objects can fall on you. Many fatalities occur when people run outside of buildings, only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. In U.S. buildings, you are safer to stay where you are.
  • If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow. You are less likely to be injured staying where you are. Broken glass on the floor has caused injury to those who have rolled to the floor or tried to get to doorways.
  • If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines. Drop to the ground and stay there until the shaking stops. Injuries can occur from falling trees, street-lights and power lines, or building debris.
  • If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking has stopped. Trees, power lines, poles, street signs, and other overhead items may fall during earthquakes. Stopping will help reduce your risk, and a hard-topped vehicle will help protect you from flying or falling objects. Once the shaking has stopped, proceed with caution. Avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged by the quake.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you’re sure it’s safe to exit. More injuries happen when people move during the shaking of an earthquake. After the shaking has stopped, if you go outside, move quickly away from the building to prevent injury from falling debris.
  • Stay away from windows. Windows can shatter with such force that you can be injured several feet away.
  • In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake. Earthquakes frequently cause fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems to go off even if there is no fire. Check for and extinguish small fires, and, if exiting, use the stairs.
  • If you are in a coastal area, move to higher ground. Tsunamis are often created by earthquakes. (See the “Tsunami”section for more information).
  • If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris that could be loosened by the earthquake. Landslides commonly happen after earthquakes. (See the“Landslide” section for more information.)

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WHAT TO DO AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE

  • Check yourself for injuries. Often people tend to others without checking their own injuries. You will be better able to care for others if you are not injured or if you have received first aid for your injuries.
  • Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves. This will protect your from further injury by broken objects.
  • After you have taken care of yourself, help injured or trapped persons. If you have it in your area, call 9-1-1, then give first aid when appropriate. Don’t try to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards. Putting out small fires quickly, using available resources, will prevent them from spreading. Fire is the most common hazard following earthquakes. Fires followed the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 for three days, creating more damage than the earthquake.
  • Leave the gas on at the main valve, unless you smell gas or think it’s leaking. It may be weeks or months before professionals can turn gas back on using the correct procedures. Explosions have caused injury and death when homeowners have improperly turned their gas back on by themselves.
  • Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline, or other flammable liquids immediately. Avoid the hazard of a chemical emergency.
  • Open closet and cabinet doors cautiously. Contents may have shifted during the shaking of an earthquake and could fall, creating further damage or injury.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe. Aftershocks following earthquakes can cause further damage to unstable buildings. If your home has experienced damage, get out before aftershocks happen.
  • Help neighbors who may require special assistance. Elderly people and people with disabilities may require additional assistance. People who care for them or who have large families may need additional assistance in emergency situations.
  • Listen to a portable, battery-operated radio (or television) for updated emergency information and instructions. If the electricity is out, this may be your main source of information. Local radio and local officials provide the most appropriate advice for your particular situation.
  • Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, drop, cover, and hold on! Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks, and even months following an earthquake.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines, and stay out of damaged areas. Hazards caused by earthquakes are often difficult to see, and you could be easily injured.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings. If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe. Damaged buildings may be destroyed by aftershocks following the main quake.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights to inspect your home. Kerosene lanterns, torches, candles, and matches may tip over or ignite flammables inside.
  • Inspect the entire length of chimneys carefully for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to fire or injury from falling debris during an aftershock. Cracks in chimneys can be the cause of a fire years later.
  • Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents, for insurance claims.
  • Avoid smoking inside buildings. Smoking in confined areas can cause fires.

SORRY ABOUT THE FUNNY PICTURES, I COULDN’T RESIST BUT TAKE THIS SHIT SERIOULY BECAUSE JOHN CUSACK IS NOT COMING TO RESCUE YOU…

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Twisted Colossus — the World’s Longest Hybrid Coaster Opening May 23rd (Would you ride it?)

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I grew up in the valley near Magic Mountain which I went to every weekend my friends and I would go to Magic Mountain to ride and play games all day long. Eventually, I got one of my first jobs there as a ride operator. Colossus was my first ride that I got to the chance to operate, which I thought it was a boring ride but then when I heard last year they were going to get rid of it, a piece of my childhood memory died but then I heard about Twisted Colossus, the next generation of the beloved wooden roller coaster that thrilled millions of guests in its 36-year reign at the park, will be a unique technological marvel combining an iconic wooden structure with state-of-the-art Iron Horse Track.

Old School Colossus

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The advanced technology, available exclusively at Six Flags, provides ride experiences never before possible on wooden coasters, such as over-banked turns and inversions. Twisted Colossus will feature numerous exciting components including a “Top Gun” element, the western hemisphere’s first “High Five” element, and a Zero G Roll.

With its unique construction, Twisted Colossus will feature:

  • “Top Gun Stall” – an inversion where the train slows down upside down
  • Western Hemisphere’s first “High Five” – where two trains pass through an overbanked turn facing each other with the illusion that you can reach out and “high five” other riders
  • Zero G Roll where track twists 360 degrees
  • A staggering 116-foot drop at an amazing 80-degrees
  • 18 airtime hills
  • Two lift hills
  • Four minutes of thrills on nearly 5,000 feet of track – longest hybrid coaster in the world

Twisted Colossus will be the focal point of the newly themed area where you can expect the unexpected through whimsical experiences in entertainment, food and retail. The original Colossus wooden coaster opened on June 29, 1978 and offered its farewell run on August 17, 2014.

Twisted Colossus — the World’s Longest Hybrid Coaster

  • Opening Date: Spring 2015
  • Height Restriction: Must be at least 48” tall
  • Location: Twisted Colossus will be the focal point of the newly themed area where guests can expect the unexpected through whimsical experiences in entertainment, food and retail.

Credit: Six Flags

Don’t Start Nothing, It Won’t be Nothing (Martial Arts Philosophy) – Women’s Self Defense, Rape Escape

This is the first move you learn in level 1 (fight like a girl) of my women’s self defense class based on rape escape. My certification was obtained from Defend University by my instructor steve kardian. Hope you all enjoy, and look for similar self defense classes in your area. 

Are you a Highly Emotionally Intelligent Person?

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  1. You have a robust emotional vocabulary

All people experience emotions, but it is a select few who can accurately identify them as they occur. Our research shows that only 36 per cent of people can do this, which is problematic because unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

People with high EQs master their emotions because they understand them, and they use an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so. While many people might describe themselves as simply feeling “bad,” emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel “irritable,” “frustrated,” “downtrodden,” or “anxious.” The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it, and what you should do about it.

  1. You’re curious about people

It doesn’t matter if they’re introverted or extroverted, emotionally intelligent people are curious about everyone around them. This curiosity is the product of empathy, one of the most significant gateways to a high EQ. The more you care about other people and what they’re going through, the more curiosity you’re going to have about them.

  1. You embrace change

Emotionally intelligent people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They know that fear of change is paralyzing and a major threat to their success and happiness. They look for change that is lurking just around the corner, and they form a plan of action should these changes occur.

  1. You know your strengths and weaknesses

Emotionally intelligent people don’t just understand emotions; they know what they’re good at and what they’re terrible at. They also know who pushes their buttons and the environments (both situations and people) that enable them to succeed. Having a high EQ means you know your strengths and you know how to lean into them and use them to your full advantage while keeping your weaknesses from holding you back.

  1. You’re a good judge of character

Much of emotional intelligence comes down to social awareness; the ability to read other people, know what they’re about, and understand what they’re going through. Over time, this skill makes you an exceptional judge of character. People are no mystery to you. You know what they’re all about and understand their motivations, even those that lie hidden beneath the surface.

  1. You are difficult to offend

If you have a firm grasp of whom you are, it’s difficult for someone to say or do something that gets your goat. Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded, which creates a pretty thick skin. You may even poke fun at yourself or let other people make jokes about you because you are able to mentally draw the line between humor and degradation.

  1. You know how to say no (to yourself and others)

Emotional intelligence means knowing how to exert self-control. You delay gratification, and you avoid impulsive action. Research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Saying no is indeed a major self-control challenge for many people. “No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

  1. You let go of mistakes

Emotionally intelligent people distance themselves from their mistakes, but do so without forgetting them. By keeping their mistakes at a safe distance, yet still handy enough to refer to, they are able to adapt and adjust for future success. It takes refined self-awareness to walk this tightrope between dwelling and remembering. Dwelling too long on your mistakes makes you anxious and gun shy, while forgetting about them completely makes you bound to repeat them. The key to balance lies in your ability to transform failures into nuggets of improvement. This creates the tendency to get right back up every time you fall down.

  1. You give and expect nothing in return

When someone gives you something spontaneously, without expecting anything in return, this leaves a powerful impression. For example, you might have an interesting conversation with someone about a book, and when you see them again a month later, you show up with the book in hand. Emotionally intelligent people build strong relationships because they are constantly thinking about others.

  1. You don’t hold grudges

The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response. Just thinking about the event sends your body into fight-or-flight mode, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. When the threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival, but when the threat is ancient history, holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time. In fact, researchers at Emory University have shown that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs. Letting go of a grudge not only makes you feel better now but can also improve your health.

Credit: Waking Times

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Happy National Spinach Day!!! – Benefits of Spinach

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  1. Anti-inflammation and Anti-cancer

There are more than a dozen different flavonoid compounds in spinach and these are powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer fighting agents. In fact, researchers have created specialized spinach extract to use in controlled laboratory studies. Medical studies show that spinach intake can potentially decrease the incidence of breast cancer in women. The science of nutria-genomics and epigenetics points more and more to the impressive value of spinach. Furthermore, inflammation plays a detrimental role in causing a variety of disease processes. The flavonoid and carotenoid content have anti-inflammatory substances and are plentiful in the leaves of the spinach plant.

  1. Antioxidant

Lutein and zeaxanthin are potent antioxidants and have a vital role in protecting the macula and the retina in general. Research suggests that spinach can play a vital role in prevention of age related eye problems such as macular degeneration. Spinach is an excellent source of many other antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese. Medical science knows that oxidative stress is a key contributor to numerous health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and an overall decrease in longevity.

  1. Bone Health

Vitamin K is important for maintaining bone health. Fortunately, spinach contains 200 percent of the daily value in just one cup of fresh spinach leaves. One cup of boiled spinach contains over 1000% of the daily value. Other nutrients such as calcium and magnesium found spinach play an important role in supporting bone strength.

  1. Gastrointestinal Health

The antioxidant affects to help minimize DNA damage and lessen the risk of colon cancer. The presence of folate and vitamin C along with beta-carotene make this green gem a powerful weapon in guarding our gastrointestinal health.

  1. Other Benefits
  • Blood Pressure. Proteins and spinach have been shown to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme. This aids in decreasing blood pressure.
  • Zeaxanthin and lutein are protective against age related vision deterioration. Macular degeneration is the best study and most likely to benefit from spinach consumption.
  • Vitamin A is of paramount importance in protecting mucous membranes including the respiratory, urinary and intestinal tract. White blood cells called lymphocytes rely on Vitamin A to help fight infection. One cup of spinach contains over 337% of the RDA of Vitamin A.
  • High concentrations of Vitamin A help the skin stay healthy, retain moisture and fight acne, thickening and wrinkles.
  • Calcium buildup in blood vessels is a contributing factor to heart disease and stroke. Vitamin K found in spinach helps prevent calcium from depositing in tissues and blood vessels.

Brain Function. The protective sheath around our nerves relies on vitamin K to help synthesize this vital protective covering. Vitamin K found in spinach is essential for the overall health of our nervous system.

Credit: News Health Guide

Happy National Water Day!!! – Save Water because California is in a Drought (Check out the Pictures)

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World Water Day is marked on 22 March every year. It’s a day to celebrate water. It’s a day to make a difference for the members of the global population who suffer from water related issues. It’s a day to prepare for how we manage water in the future. In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March as the first World Water Day. 22 years later, World Water Day is celebrated around the world every year, shining the spotlight on a different issue.

HOW SERIOUS IS CALIFORNIA DROUGHT? CHECK OUT THESE BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES, TAKEN ONLY THREE YEARS APART.

Before: Here, the Green Bridge passes over Lake Oroville near the Bidwell Marina in 2011. Notice the trees and shrubs that grow right against the man-made lake’s edge
After: Fast forward to 2014 and even the massive pillars holding up the bridge can be completely seen at the lakes edge, where a wide swath of parched dirt spans between what’s left of the water and the tree line
Before: The marina at Oroville Lake, here in 2011, is the picture of serenity. Recent serious storms in Northern and Southern California have helped give the state a very small reprieve during the 3-year drought, but the effects have been described as a ‘drop in the bucket’
After: Much of what was once an engorged reservoir is now gone at Oroville. Shockingly, only a handful of Central Coast dams have fallen below the historically low 1977 levels
Before: Here, the Enterprise Bridge spans the Lake Oroville in Butte County, California in July 2011.
After: Here, the Enterprise Bridge spans the same reservoir, which has dwindled to a mere trickle in 2014 as California is forced to draw alarming amounts of water from its vanishing reservoirs

What happens to you when you get a Concussion? – How do you feel about athletes retiring because of health concerns?

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This week the sports world was shocked to hear how Chris Borland, a former linebacker of the San Francisco 49ers decided to retire from professional football following his rookie season at the age of 24, citing concerns about his long-term health and the potential effects of head trauma. He is only the latest in a list of players under the age of 30 who have retired in the last week. 

It made me think because I’ve had several concussions playing sports and fighting during my lifetime. I wondered about the long term effects of having one or many concussions. Here is a video explaining the health effects of Concussions and a video of Key & Peele about Football Concussions just to light up the mood. 

Give us your opinions about athletes retiring early because they fear the long term health effects from concussions? 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Sugar Marijuana Goble (Tell us what your favorite drink is?)

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The Polar Ice Caps are Melting – What does it mean to Us? (Do you believe in Global Warming?)

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You may have heard about global warming. It seems that in the last 100 years the earth’s temperature has increased about half a degree Celsius. This may not sound like much, but even half a degree can have an effect on our planet. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the sea level has risen 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) in the last 100 years (see How do they measure sea level?).

­This higher temperature may be causing some floating icebergs to melt, but this will not make the oceans rise. Icebergs are large floating chunks of ice. In order to float, the iceberg displaces a volume of water that has a weight equal to that of the iceberg. Submarines use this principle to rise and sink in the water, too.

But the rising temperature and icebergs could play a small role in the rising ocean level. Icebergs are chunks of frozen glaciers that break off from landmasses and fall into the ocean. The rising temperature may be causing more icebergs to form by weakening the glaciers, causing more cracks and making ice mo­re likely to break off. As soon as the ice falls into the ocean, the ocean rises a little.

If the rising temperature affects glaciers and icebergs, could the polar ice caps be in danger of melting and causing the oceans to rise? This could happen, but no one knows when it might happen.

The main ice covered landmass is Antarctica at the South Pole, with about 90 percent of the world’s ice (and 70 percent of its fresh water). Antarctica is covered with ice an average of 2,133 meters (7,000 feet) thick. If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters (200 feet). But the average temperature in Antarctica is -37°C, so the ice there is in no danger of melting. In fact in most parts of the continent it never gets above freezing.

At the other end of the world, the North Pole, the ice is not nearly as thick as at the South Pole. The ice floats on the Arctic Ocean. If it melted sea levels would not be affecte­d.

There is a significant amount of ice covering Greenland, which would add another 7 meters (20 feet) to the oceans if it melted. Because Greenland is closer to the equator than Antarctica, the temperatures there are higher, so the ice is more likely to melt.

But there might be a less dramatic reason than polar ice melting for the higher ocean level — the higher temperature of the water. Water is most dense at 4 degrees Celsius. Above and below this temperature, the density of water decreases (the same weight of water occupies a bigger space). So as the overall temperature of the water increases it naturally expands a little bit making the oceans rise.

In 1995 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report which contained various projections of the sea level change by the year 2100. They estimate that the sea will rise 50 centimeters (20 inches) with the lowest estimates at 15 centimeters (6 inches) and the highest at 95 centimeters (37 inches). The rise will come from thermal expansion of the ocean and from melting glaciers and ice sheets. Twenty inches is no small amount — it could have a big effect on coastal cities, especially during storms.

Credit: How Stuff Works