Tag Archives: culture

Becoming Wild – Carl Safina


Becoming Wild

How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace

Carl Safina

Genre: Nature

Price: $14.99

Publish Date: April 14, 2020

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Seller: Macmillan

"In this superbly articulate cri de coeur, Safina gives us a new way of looking at the natural world that is radically different." — The Washington Post New York Times bestselling author Carl Safina brings readers close to three non-human cultures—what they do, why they do it, and how life is for them. Some people insist that culture is strictly a human feat. What are they afraid of? This book looks into three cultures of other-than-human beings in some of Earth’s remaining wild places. It shows how if you’re a sperm whale, a scarlet macaw, or a chimpanzee, you too experience your life with the understanding that you are an individual in a particular community. You too are who you are not by genes alone; your culture is a second form of inheritance. You receive it from thousands of individuals, from pools of knowledge passing through generations like an eternal torch. You too may raise young, know beauty, or struggle to negotiate a peace. And your culture, too, changes and evolves. The light of knowledge needs adjusting as situations change, so a capacity for learning, especially social learning, allows behaviors to adjust, to change much faster than genes alone could adapt. Becoming Wild offers a glimpse into cultures among non-human animals through looks at the lives of individuals in different present-day animal societies. By showing how others teach and learn, Safina offers a fresh understanding of what is constantly going on beyond humanity. With reporting from deep in nature, alongside individual creatures in their free-living communities, this book offers a very privileged glimpse behind the curtain of life on Earth, and helps inform the answer to that most urgent of questions: Who are we here with?


Becoming Wild – Carl Safina

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The Science of Science Fiction – Mark Brake


The Science of Science Fiction

The Influence of Film and Fiction on the Science and Culture of Our Times

Mark Brake

Genre: Essays

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Skyhorse


We are the first generation to live in a science fiction world. Media headlines declare this the age of automation. The TV talks about the coming revolution of the robot, tweets tell tales of jets that will ferry travelers to the edge of space, and social media reports that the first human to live for a thousand years has already been born. The science we do, the movies we watch, and the culture we consume is the stuff of fiction that became fact, the future imagined in our past—the future we now inhabit. The Science of Science Fiction is the story of how science fiction shaped our world. No longer a subculture, science fiction has moved into the mainstream with the advent of the information age it helped realize. Explore how science fiction has driven science, with topics that include: • Guardians of the Galaxy : Is Space Full of Extraterrestrials? • Jacking In: Will the Future Be Like Ready Player One ? • Mad Max : Is Society Running down into Chaos? • The Internet: Will Humans Tire of Mere Reality? • Blade Runner 2049 : When Will We Engineer Human Lookalikes? • And many more! This book will open your eyes to the way science fiction helped us dream of things to come, forced us to explore the nature and limits of our own reality, and aided us in building the future we now inhabit.

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The Science of Science Fiction – Mark Brake

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‘Climate denial’ just made it into the dictionary. Wait, what?

The world is on fire, and so is our vocabulary. Merriam-Webster added 640 new words to its online dictionary last week. The additions include swole (“extremely muscular”), new meanings for snowflake (someone who is “treated as unique or special” or “overly sensitive”) and, you guessed it, a whole batch of neologisms tied to the environment.

“The work of revising a dictionary is constant, and it mirrors the culture’s need to make sense of the world with words,” the dictionary’s announcement reads.

Many of the new arrivals reflect the creative ways big corporations have found to trash the place. Our plastic pollution problem has brought us microplastic, “a piece of plastic that is five millimeters or smaller in size.” The natural gas industry (the folks who gave us “fracking”) introduced flowblack, “liquid used in fracking that returns to the surface after being injected into shale.” Then there’s omnicide, “the destruction of all life or all human life (as by nuclear war).”

Great, you say, any other downers? Of course! Bioaccumulation for the gradual buildup of contaminants, like pesticides and heavy metals, in an organism over time. And chronic wasting disease is an illness that afflicts deer, leading to weight loss, drooling, and listlessness.

For a more cheerful phrase, take bluebird day, “a day marked by cloudless blue skies.” Sounds lovely until you learn about the potential cloudpocalypse (not an official dictionary entry, I just made that up) in which a lack of climate-regulating cloud cover brings about a scary global-warming feedback loop.

Another nice one: petrichor, the name for that pleasant, earthy smell that fills the air after a rain. Contributing to that odor is geosmin — an organic compound created by soil- and water-dwelling bacteria.

The ever-expanding agricultural lexicon brought us a few new selections, such as the verb hydroseed, for the spraying of a liquid seed-mulch-fertilizer mix, along with the easy-to-pronounce insecticide called imidacloprid.

The big surprise for me was that Merriam-Webster’s new additions included two compound nouns, climate change denial and climate change denier. Wait, haven’t those phrases been in frequent use for a long time? The reason for their inclusion gives us a glimpse into the inner workings of the dictionary and the painstaking process of deciding what makes the cut.

“Traditionally, we limited the entries for compounds because we were always trying to conserve space in the printed dictionary,” Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor-at-large, wrote in an email. The online dictionary lifts this limitation, enabling more space for compounds like screen time and go-cup.

But not all compounds make it into the dictionary. Sokolowski pointed to a “longstanding rule not to enter terms that we consider to be self-evident or self-explanatory.”

Consider the phrase cattle ranch. You can look up the definitions for cattle and ranch and deduce the compound’s meaning. That’s why the phrase isn’t in the dictionary. But dude ranch? A large farm for raising … men? Hence, dude ranch gets an entry.

Whereas the meaning of climate change denial is self-evident, the shortened form climate denial could be confusing for those who don’t spend their days thinking about our planetary crisis. Climate, after all, is just a word for the prevailing weather conditions of an area over time. Why would anyone deny the rain dropping on their head?

“Therefore, because the variant needed entry, the expanded form gets an entry even though its meaning is transparent,” Sokolowski said.

Speaking of transparent, one thing couldn’t be clearer: The climate is changing and humans are the cause, as sure as petrichor after a rain.


‘Climate denial’ just made it into the dictionary. Wait, what?

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The Goodness Paradox – Richard Wrangham


The Goodness Paradox

The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution

Richard Wrangham

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $13.99

Publish Date: January 29, 2019

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC

“A fascinating new analysis of human violence, filled with fresh ideas and gripping evidence from our primate cousins, historical forebears, and contemporary neighbors.” —Steven Pinker, author of  The Better Angels of Our Nature We Homo sapiens can be the nicest of species and also the nastiest. What occurred during human evolution to account for this paradox? What are the two kinds of aggression that primates are prone to, and why did each evolve separately? How does the intensity of violence among humans compare with the aggressive behavior of other primates? How did humans domesticate themselves? And how were the acquisition of language and the practice of capital punishment determining factors in the rise of culture and civilization? Authoritative, provocative, and engaging, The Goodness Paradox offers a startlingly original theory of how, in the last 250 million years, humankind became an increasingly peaceful species in daily interactions even as its capacity for coolly planned and devastating violence remains undiminished. In tracing the evolutionary histories of reactive and proactive aggression, biological anthropologist Richard Wrangham forcefully and persuasively argues for the necessity of social tolerance and the control of savage divisiveness still haunting us today.

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The Goodness Paradox – Richard Wrangham

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The world is a giant trash pecan and now there’s a Ben & Jerry’s flavor for that

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What a week: 11 people dead in Pittsburgh, the election of the Trump of the Tropics, fear mongering over migrant caravans, and a sudden push to end birthright citizenship. Wait, it’s only Tuesday? If you’re in need of a midweek pick-me-up, the folks over at Ben & Jerry’s have a new flavor for you: PECAN RESIST (those guys love a good pun, bozos after my own heart).

The company is using the flavor to raise awareness and money for organizations that combat Trump’s agenda. Ben & Jerry’s announced it’s banana splitting $100,000 between four social justice and environment groups: Color Of Change, Honor the Earth, Women’s March, and Neta.

The new flavor, by the way, is chocolate ice cream with chunks of fudge, fudge-covered almonds, pecans, walnuts. The pint’s art was designed by Favianna Rodriguez, a member of the 2018 Grist 50, who runs her own nonprofit, CultureStrike. In a Q&A, Rodriguez told Ben & Jerry’s that she wanted the colors on the carton to “invoke the natural world.” She added: “Our fight for the environment is connected to our fight for human rights.”

Look, I’m not saying that buying a pint of ice cream will single-handedly stop Chunky Monkey Trump. But, if you feel like ice-screaming after reading these headlines from hell, do so responsibly.

And, since Ben & Jerry’s seems to be doubling down on politically themed ice cream flavors, we have some ideas: Down With the CaramAlt-right!, Half Baked at 1.5 Degrees, Cherry-pickin’ Climate Data Garcia, Something’s Phishy about Georgia’s Voter Registration.

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The world is a giant trash pecan and now there’s a Ben & Jerry’s flavor for that

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8 Lesser-Known Medicinal Herbs You Should Add to Your Garden

Are you looking for something different to plant in your herb patch this year? Many lesser-known medicinal herbs make easy-to-grow, attractive additions to any herb garden or container. They also come with a variety of unique uses and health benefits.

The following are some under-used herbs that deserve recognition. You can generally find seeds or starter plants for these herbs at your local garden center or online.

Photo credit: Salicyna, from Wikimedia Commons

1. Ashwagandha

Scientific Name: Withania somnifera

Uses: Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to increase vitality, reduce stress and inflammation, and improve quality of sleep. Ashwagandha is what?s known as an adaptogen, a type of plant that?s said to help your body deal with stress and maintain physiological balance. The roots are typically harvested at the end of the growing season, dried, then added to food. You can also make tea out of the leaves or roots.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 9. It can be grown as an annual or indoor plant in colder climates.

Growing Tips: A mature ashwagandha plant is a small shrub that grows about 3 feet (1 meter) tall in one growing season. It can reach 6 feet (2 meters) over time in hotter climates. Ashwagandha grows well in hot and dry conditions and makes red berries you can collect for seeds to grow new plants.

Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Brahmi

Scientific Name: Bacopa monnieri

Uses: Brahmi is a Sanskrit word that roughly translates to ?that which gives knowledge of Brahmin, or supreme reality?. Traditionally, it?s used in its native India to assist with meditation, concentration, memory and overall brain health. Modern research has also proven that brahmi improves cognitive function. The plant is completely edible and can be steeped into a tea or added fresh to salad, pesto or other dishes.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 8. It can be grown as an annual or indoor plant in colder climates.

Growing Tips: Brahmi is a creeping, succulent plant that only grows up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) tall. It?s easy to care for and prefers full sun and moist conditions. A healthy plant tends to grow quickly, which means you can regularly harvest branches to eat.

3. Gotu Kola

Scientific Name: Centella asiatica

Uses: Gotu kola is used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to help heal wounds, improve circulation, enhance longevity and promote mental clarity, focus and calmness. You can add the leaves to smoothies, salads, soups, sauces or even juices. Gotu kola tastes similar to parsley, so it goes well in many different dishes.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 7. It can be grown as an annual or indoor plant in colder climates.

Growing Tips: Gotu kola is an easy-to-grow creeping plant. If growing it indoors, give it a fairly shallow, wide pot to allow it some growing space. Outdoors, it can simply be left to ramble. It prefers a location with some shade and evenly moist soil. Avoid letting it dry out, as it can wilt quickly.

4. Heal-All

Scientific Name: Prunella vulgaris

Uses: Also known as self-heal, this herb has been used for a wide variety of issues for centuries. It can be applied externally to help heal cold sores and other herpes outbreaks, as well as wounds, ulcers and toe fungus. It can also be taken internally to assist with allergies, digestive disorders and even diabetes. The entire plant is edible and you can add it to foods or make it into tea. To use it on cold sores or wounds, simply crush fresh leaves and apply directly to your skin.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 3.

Growing Tips: Heal-all grows best in cool to moderate temperatures and partial shade. It can spread vigorously, so plant it along an edge of concrete or in a pot to help contain it. Heal-all blooms with attractive white or lavender spikes during summer. Keeping it deadheaded will help encourage blooming and prevent self-seeding.

5. Horehound

Scientific Name: Marrubium vulgare

Uses: Since ancient Roman times, horehound has been used as an expectorant to treat coughs, colds and other respiratory ailments, as well as a digestive aid. Today, horehound is what gives many cough candies and syrups their distinctive flavor. The leaves and stems can be dried and kept year-round to make your own teas for respiratory and digestive support.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 4.

Growing Tips: Horehound grows wild throughout most of the world. You can grow it at home from either seed or plant divisions. Horehound spreads vigorously, so make sure you plant it somewhere with lots of room, or plant it in a pot to keep it contained. Trimming off the flowers before they set seed will also prevent its spread.

6. Rhodiola

Scientific Name: Rhodiola rosea

Uses: This adaptogenic herb is native to northern regions of the world, including Tibet, Russia and China. Rhodiola is known to help combat anxiety by promoting calmness and mental stamina. It can also be used to improve sleep and boost your immune system. The roots of rhodiola are harvested for medicinal use and eaten fresh or dried, or brewed into tea.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 2.

Growing Tips: Rhodiola is an attractive, low-growing plant similar to sedum. It requires freezing temperatures during winter, so it will not grow over USDA zone 8. Rhodiola prefers full to partial sun and well-draining soil. It grows well from seed, although the seeds will need a cold period before germinating. Check the seed package for detailed germination instructions.

7. Valerian

Scientific Name: Valerian officinalis

Uses: Valerian is a traditional sleep aid and pain killer, as well as helping to calm nerves during stressful times. Also, valerian is not known to be habit-forming like many modern pharmaceutical medications for sleep and pain control. The roots are used medicinally and are typically dug up after at least two years of growth. They can be used fresh or dried in foods or tea.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 4.

Growing Tips: Valerian has tall, white flowers with a beautiful scent. They also make great cut flowers. Keeping your plants deadheaded will prevent them from spreading too much by seed. Valerian is also much-loved by dogs and cats, so you may want to put a barrier around small plants to protect them until they?re big enough to withstand your pets? attention.

8. Winter Savory

Scientific Name: Satureja montana

Uses: Winter savory has natural antiseptic properties that can help stop infections from bug bites and other wounds. Crushing the fresh leaves into a poultice and applying this to bug bites will help them heal as well as reduce itching. Winter savory tea can help sooth a sore throat or ease indigestion. Winter savory has a nice peppery flavor and goes well in cream soups, bean and vegetable dishes, and herb butters.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 5.

Growing Tips: Winter savory is a semi-evergreen perennial that grows up to 2 feet (60 centimeters) tall. It has white blossoms in summer that bees and other pollinating insects love. Winter savory can handle a variety of conditions, but does best in full sun and well-drained soil.

Before adding these or any other herbs to your diet, consult with your doctor first to make sure they do not interact with your current medications or health conditions.

Related on Care2

Benefits of Growing and Eating Lovage
6 Less Common Herbs and Spices for the Kitchen
9 Plants to Grow That Help Your Brain and Memory

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Mind of the Raven – Bernd Heinrich


Mind of the Raven

Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds

Bernd Heinrich

Genre: Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: October 13, 2009

Publisher: HarperCollins e-books

Seller: HarperCollins

Heinrich involves us in his quest to get inside the mind of the raven. But as animals can only be spied on by getting quite close, Heinrich adopts ravens, thereby becoming a "raven father," as well as observing them in their natural habitat. He studies their daily routines, and in the process, paints a vivid picture of the ravens' world. At the heart of this book are Heinrich's love and respect for these complex and engaging creatures, and through his keen observation and analysis, we become their intimates too. Heinrich's passion for ravens has led him around the world in his research. Mind of the Raven follows an exotic journey—from New England to Germany, and from Montana to Baffin Island in the high Arctic—offering dazzling accounts of how science works in the field, filtered through the eyes of a passionate observer of nature. Each new discovery and insight into raven behavior is thrilling to read, at once lyrical and scientific.

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Mind of the Raven – Bernd Heinrich

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How to Grow Your Own Spirulina

Spirulina is likely the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. It?s also been shown to have many health benefits. In fact, the United Nations declared spirulina ?the best food for the future? at their World Food Conference in 1974. This is one food that may truly deserve the title of ?superfood.?

You can buy spirulina supplements and powders commercially, although these are often extremely expensive and there may be potential health concerns related to them.

An excellent way to skip the high cost and questionable quality is to grow your own. The process is no harder than keeping a fish aquarium. And you?ll be able to harvest fresh, affordable, ready-to-use spirulina right from your home.


Spirulina is a type of blue-green microalgae that naturally grows in warm, alkaline lakes. It was traditionally eaten by ancient Aztecs and other Mesoamericans as well as many cultures in Africa.

Spirulina is a nearly perfect source of nutrition. Some of its nutritional highlights include:

Contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
High amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
One of the few known food sources of gamma linoleic acid (GLA), which is needed to regulate your hormone system.
Rich in many B vitamins and vitamins A, C, D and E, as well as iron, magnesium, selenium, potassium and many other minerals.

Due to its outstanding nutritional value, various international organizations currently help to establish small-scale production of spirulina in impoverished communities throughout the world to combat malnutrition and promote local food security. Another benefit of spirulina is that it requires minimal resources to produce. As it grows in water, it doesn?t need fertile land. It doesn?t even need much water because you can reuse the water it grows in.


The equipment you?ll need to grow spirulina is fairly straight-forward. If you want to simplify the process, you can buy spirulina growing kits that come with everything you?ll need. Otherwise, you can gather the following items on your own.

1. Tank

You can grow spirulina in any container, depending on how much spirulina you can use. Good options include a large jar, an aquarium tank or even a pool in your back yard. Spirulina needs light to grow, so it?s best if your container is transparent.

2. Culture Medium

Spirulina only needs water and nutrients to grow. It requires water that is very alkaline with a high pH. You?ll be adjusting the pH yourself (we?ll discuss the process below), so you do not have to use especially high-quality water. You can use water from a creek, brackish water, de-chlorinated tap water or rain water. As long as your water isn?t polluted with heavy metals or other toxins, it should work fine.

3. Spirulina Starter Culture

If you happen to know someone who grows spirulina, you can take a portion of their culture to start your own. You can also check your local health food store or find a company online that sells spirulina culture. It typically comes in a bottle with live spirulina in water.

4. Stirring Device

Spirulina needs to be stirred to maximize light reaching the entire growing culture. You can do this periodically with a stick or long spoon, or install a pump with a bubbler.

5. Harvesting Equipment

You?ll need some kind of screen with a very fine mesh of 50 microns in diameter or less. This is used to strain the spirulina out of the water. Natural silk cloth works well, or some aquarium nets have a fine enough mesh. A large cup is also handy to scoop the water into the mesh.


1. Set Up Your Tank and Starter Medium

Whatever container you?re using for your spirulina, make sure it has good light. Indoors, it can live in front of a window or you can use grow lights above it. Outside, try to position it in a bright area that?s out of direct sun.

Check out the Ice Age Farmer?s great video on setting up your tank and starting your culture below. His recipe for the starter medium nutrient mix is here on his website. You can also buy pre-made starter nutrient mixes online.

2. Check Your pH

The pH of your starter medium should be between 8 and 8.5. Litmus paper is the best way to measure your pH. It can be found at most pharmacies or natural food stores. Dip the litmus paper into your solution for 2 to 3 seconds. Once the color on the litmus paper has changed, compare it to the guide on the box to determine the pH. If the pH is still too low, add more baking soda. If it?s too high, add a bit of vinegar.

3. Add Your Spirulina Culture

Pour your spirulina culture into the starter medium and stir gently. Make sure your starter medium and spirulina culture are both at the same temperature. This helps prevent the spirulina from going into shock at too much of a temperature difference.

4. Water Your Spirulina

Water will naturally evaporate over time, so you?ll need to keep it topped up to the same amount you started with. Otherwise, your pH or nutrients can come out of balance. It?s helpful to make a mark on the side of your container once your starting culture is all done so you can see your initial amount. Then simply keep adding water if you ever see it drop.

5. Keep Your Spirulina Warm

Spirulina is naturally from tropical lakes, so it prefers warm water. It will grow in temperatures between 55 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 38 degrees Celsius), but the ideal temperature is between 89 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit (32 to 37 degrees Celsius). Your spirulina will grow at colder temperatures, it will just be slower. If you want to maximize the growth, consider installing a heater in your water. Just make sure it does not get over 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), as this will start to kill the spirulina.

6. Enlarge Your Culture if Needed

You can repeat the previous steps to make your culture larger if you?d like. After making your initial culture, wait at least 3 days for the spirulina to grow and establish a good population. You should see the culture becoming greener as the spirulina replicates. Then mix up a new batch of starter medium and add it to your main spirulina culture. You can do this a few times if needed until your container is full.

7. Harvest Your Spirulina

As spirulina grows, the pH of the entire culture will rise. This is the primary reason why it?s typically very safe to eat spirulina, because almost no other organisms can actually live in such alkaline conditions. To ensure your spirulina is safe, wait until the pH of your culture has reached 10 or higher before harvesting it.

After about 3 to 6 weeks of growth, your spirulina should be ready to harvest. And harvesting is as simple as scooping some of the culture?s water out and running it through your mesh cloth or net. The spirulina will collect on the cloth. Gently squeeze out any excess liquid to avoid consuming the alkaline water. You?ll be left with a deep green paste.

8. Feed Your Spirulina

Each time you harvest some spirulina, you?ll need to replenish the nutrients in the main culture. For example, if you take out 1 tablespoon of spirulina, you?ll need to add 1 tablespoon of a nutrient mixture back into to the culture. The Ice Age Farmer has a good nutrient mix on his website, or you can buy a pre-made nutrient mix from spirulina suppliers.


1. Eat It Fresh

Fresh spirulina is much tastier than most store-bought powders. Spirulina growers claim there is no comparison between the two. You can add fresh spirulina to your favorite dishes, spread it on top of fruit or bread, use it as a condiment, mix it into dips and spreads, or simply have a spoonful plain or in juice as often as you like.

2. Preserve It

Fresh spirulina is very delicate and perishable. It should be eaten or preserved within one hour of harvest. It will last about three days in the fridge, and indefinitely when frozen. It can last up to a year when dried.

To dry spirulina, spread it out in a thin layer on a flat surface. It?s best if you can spread it on some kind of net for better air flow, but a baking sheet or something similar will also work. Alternatively, use a nylon bag with a small hole or a large syringe to create thin spirulina ?noodles? to dry.

You can dry your spirulina outside in the sun for about 2 days. You can also use a dehydrator or an oven set on a low heat.

Check out the following recipes for using either fresh or dried spirulina.

Spirulina Tapenade
Spirulina Risotto
Mermaid Toast
Spirulina Cake

Related at Care2

How to Grow Your Own Ginger
How to Grow Your Own Turmeric
How to Grow Your Own Mushrooms

Biologigaragen Spirulina, via Flickr

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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How to Grow Your Own Spirulina

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Cannibalism – Bill Schutt



A Perfectly Natural History

Bill Schutt

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $12.99

Publish Date: February 14, 2017

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Seller: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.

“A masterful and compulsively readable book that challenges our preconceived notions about a behavior often sensationalized in our culture and, until just recently, misunderstood in the scientific world.” —Ian Tattersall, Curator Emeritus, American Museum of Natural History, and author of The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack For centuries scientists have written off cannibalism as a bizarre phenomenon with little biological significance. Its presence in nature was dismissed as a desperate response to starvation or other life-threatening circumstances, and few spent time studying it. A taboo subject in our culture, the behavior was portrayed mostly through horror movies or tabloids sensationalizing the crimes of real-life flesh-eaters. But the true nature of cannibalism–the role it plays in evolution as well as human history–is even more intriguing (and more normal) than the misconceptions we’ve come to accept as fact. In Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History , zoologist Bill Schutt sets the record straight, debunking common myths and investigating our new understanding of cannibalism’s role in biology, anthropology, and history in the most fascinating account yet written on this complex topic. Schutt takes readers from Arizona’s Chiricahua Mountains, where he wades through ponds full of tadpoles devouring their siblings, to the Sierra Nevadas, where he joins researchers who are shedding new light on what happened to the Donner Party–the most infamous episode of cannibalism in American history. He even meets with an expert on the preparation and consumption of human placenta (and, yes, it goes well with Chianti). Bringing together the latest cutting-edge science, Schutt answers questions such as why some amphibians consume their mother’s skin; why certain insects bite the heads off their partners after sex; why, up until the end of the twentieth century, Europeans regularly ate human body parts as medical curatives; and how cannibalism might be linked to the extinction of the Neanderthals. He takes us into the future as well, investigating whether, as climate change causes famine, disease, and overcrowding, we may see more outbreaks of cannibalism in many more species–including our own. Cannibalism places a perfectly natural occurrence into a vital new context and invites us to explore why it both enthralls and repels us.  

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Cannibalism – Bill Schutt

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The Hacking of the American Mind – Robert H. Lustig


The Hacking of the American Mind

The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains

Robert H. Lustig

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $13.99

Expected Publish Date: September 12, 2017

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

"Explores how industry has manipulated our most deep-seated survival instincts." —David Perlmutter, MD, Author, #1 New York Times bestseller,  Grain Brain  and  Brain Maker The New York Times –bestselling author of Fat Chance reveals the corporate scheme to sell pleasure, driving the international epidemic of addiction, depression, and chronic disease.   While researching the toxic and addictive properties of sugar for his New York Times bestseller Fat Chance , Robert Lustig made an alarming discovery—our pursuit of happiness is being subverted by a culture of addiction and depression from which we may never recover.             Dopamine is the “reward” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we want more; yet every substance or behavior that releases dopamine in the extreme leads to addiction. Serotonin is the “contentment” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we don’t need any more; yet its deficiency leads to depression. Ideally, both are in optimal supply. Yet dopamine evolved to overwhelm serotonin—because our ancestors were more likely to survive if they were constantly motivated—with the result that constant desire can chemically destroy our ability to feel happiness, while sending us down the slippery slope to addiction. In the last forty years, government legislation and subsidies have promoted ever-available temptation (sugar, drugs, social media, porn) combined with constant stress (work, home, money, Internet), with the end result of an unprecedented epidemic of addiction, anxiety, depression, and chronic disease. And with the advent of neuromarketing, corporate America has successfully imprisoned us in an endless loop of desire and consumption from which there is no obvious escape.             With his customary wit and incisiveness, Lustig not only reveals the science that drives these states of mind, he points his finger directly at the corporations that helped create this mess, and the government actors who facilitated it, and he offers solutions we can all use in the pursuit of happiness, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. Always fearless and provocative, Lustig marshals a call to action, with seminal implications for our health, our well-being, and our culture.

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The Hacking of the American Mind – Robert H. Lustig

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