Tag Archives: environment

Carlsbad Caverns

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    When I was a five year old, my parents and I went to Carlsbad New Mexico to see Carlsbad Caverns. It was an experience that stuck in my mind like glue. I remember it all as if it was yesterday. It would be sixty years before I returned to that area.  At my childhood visit, they had some of the walkways concreated but some where made of wood.  About half way down, they made an announcement that the lights would be going out and all children where to sit on the walkway for safety. When those lights went out, I’d never seen anything as black.  I remember my mother constantly comforting me by lletting me know she was holding onto me and wouldn’t let go.

After the lights came back on we continue our way down the path. I remember seeing a pool of clear water which contained fish.  The guide said they were blind from being in the black cave. Those fish are no longer there. They were not mentioned when I was there a few years ago, so I have no idea what became of them.

When we arrived at the last room open to the public, the park service was selling boxed lunches. I got a sandwich, chips and a Coke. Then my parents had a discussion on whether they wanted to walk out of the cave or ride the elevator. They decided to do the elevator. That was quite a sensation to my little stomach. The elevator didn’t seem very quick to me at the time. My last visit it moved just fine.

That evening we went to the Bat Cave and watch millions of bats turn the sky black as they emptied the cave to go on thier nightly foraging for food. That day so many years ago was a big adventure for that little girl.  I hope someday you are able to see this wonder. Below is information about Carlsbad with a few pictures. 

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a United States National Park in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico. The primary attraction of the park is the show caveCarlsbad Cavern.  Visitors to the cave can hike in on their own via the natural entrance or take an elevator from the visitor center.

The park entrance is located onUS Highway 62/180approximately 18 miles (29 km) southwest ofCarlsbad, New Mexico. Carlsbad Caverns National Park participates in theJunior Ranger Program.[3]The park has two entries on theNational Register of Historic Places:The Caverns Historic Districtand theRattlesnake Springs Historic District.[4]Approximately two thirds of the park has been set aside as awilderness area, helping to ensure no future changes will be made to the habitat.

Carlsbad Cavern includes a large cave chamber, the Big Room, a naturallimestonechamber which is almost 4,000 feet (1,220 m) long, 625 feet (191 m) wide, and 255 feet (78 m) high at the highest point. It is the third largest chamber in North America and the seventh largest in the world. The largest chamber in the world is theSarawak ChamberinMalaysia.[5]

Capitan reef

250 million years ago, the area surrounding Carlsbad Caverns National Park served as the coastline for an inland sea. Present in the sea was a plethora of marine life, whose remains decomposed into a reef growth.[6]Unlike modern reef growths, the Permian reef containedbryozoans, sponges, and other microorganisms. After thePermian period, most of the water evaporated exposing the reef to salts and sediment that encapsulated the reef. Tectonic movement occurred during the lateTertiary period, uplifting the reef above ground. Susceptible to erosion, water sculpted the Guadalupe Mountain region into its present-day state.[7]

Speleogenesis

Carlsbad Caverns National Park sits in a bed oflimestoneabove a layer of groundwater; below the groundwater are petroleum reserves (part of theMid-Continent Oil Field). At a time near the end of theTertiary period,hydrogen sulfide(H2S) began to seep upwards from the petroleum into the water table. The combination of hydrogen sulfide and oxygen from the water formedsulfuric acid:

H_2S + 2O_2 = H_2SO_4

The sulfuric acid then continued upward, aggressively dissolving the limestone deposits to form caverns.Gypsum’spresence within the cave is a confirmation of this process’s occurrence, as it is a byproduct of the reaction between sulfuric acid and limestone.[6]Once the acid bath drained from the chamber,speleothemswere able to grow within the cavern. Erosion processes occurring above ground created the natural entrance to the Carlsbad Caverns within the last million years. Exposure to the surface has allowed for the influx ofairinto the cavern. Rainwater and snowmelt percolating downward into the ground pick up carbon dioxide; once this water reaches a cavern ceiling, it precipitates and evaporates leaving behind a small mineral deposit. Growths from the roof downward formed through this process are known asstalactites. Additionally, water on the floor of the caverns can contain carbonic acid and generate mineral deposits by evaporation. Growths from the floor upward through this process are known asstalagmites. Different formations ofspeleothemsinclude columns,soda straws, draperies,helictites, andpopcorn. Factors like ambient air temperature and rainfall affect the rate of growth ofspeleothems, as higher temperatures increase carbon dioxide production rates within soil. Color ofspeleothemsis determined by the mineral that the formation is made of.

History

From a young age,Jim Whiteexplored the cavern with his homemade wire ladder. When he grew older, most people did not seem to believe such caves existed. He gave many of the rooms their names, including the Big Room, New Mexico Room, Kings Palace, Queens Chamber, Papoose Room, and Green Lake Room. He also named many of the cave’s more prominent formations, such as the Totem Pole, Witch’s Finger, Giant Dome, Bottomless Pit, Fairyland, Iceberg Rock, Temple of the Sun, and Rock of Ages.

The town of Carlsbad, which lends its name to the Cavern and National Park, is in turn named after theCzechtown formerly known by theGermannameKarlsbad(English spellingCarlsbad) and now known by theCzechnameKarlovy Vary, both of which mean “Charles‘ Bath[s].”

Until 1932, visitors to the cavern had to walk down a switch back ramp-sidewalk that took them 750 feet below the surface. The walk back up was tiring for a lot of visitors. In 1932 the National Park opened up a large visitor center building that contained two elevators that would take visitors to the caverns below. The new center included a cafeteria, waiting room, museum and first aid area.[8]

Legislative history

  • October 25, 1923 – PresidentCalvin Coolidgesigned a proclamation (1679-Oct. 25, 1923-43 Stat. 1929) establishingCarlsbad Cave National Monument.[9]
  • April 2, 1924 – President Calvin Coolidge issued an executive order (3984) for a possible national park or monument at the site. [10]
  • May 3, 1928 – a supplemental executive order (4870) was issued reserving additional land for the possible monument or park.[11]
  • May 14, 1930 – an act of theUnited States Congress(46 Stat. 279) establishedCarlsbad Caverns National Parkto be directed by theSecretary of the Interiorand administered by theNational Park Service.[12]
  • June 17, 1930 – PresidentHerbert HooversignedExecutive Order 5370reserving additional land for classification.[13]
  • November 10, 1978 –Carlsbad Caverns Wildernesswas established with theNational Parks and Recreation Act(95-625) signed by PresidentJimmy Carter.[14]

 

… a limestone cavern known as the Carlsbad Cave, of extraordinary proportions and of unusual beauty and variety of natural decoration; … beyond the spacious chambers that have been explored, other vast chambers of unknown character and dimensions exist; … the several chambers contain stalactites, stalagmites, and other formations in such unusual number, size, beauty of form, and variety of figure as to make this a cavern equal, if not superior, in both scientific and popular interest to the better known caves …

 

Named rooms

Rock of Ages in theBig Room, photo byAnsel Adams, c. 1941

On the tour route

Outside the entrance to the caverns.

Outside the entrance to the caverns. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Outside the entrance to the caverns.

Balloon Ballroom
Located in the ceiling above the main entrance hall, this small room was first accessed by tying a rope to a bunch of balloons and floating them up into the passage.
Bat Cave
A large, unadorned rocky passage connected to the main entrance corridor. The majority of the cave’s bat population lives in this portion of the cave, which was mined for bat guano in the early 20th century.
Bell Cord Room
Named for a long, narrowstalactitecoming through a hole in the ceiling, resembling the rope coming through the roof of a belfry. This room is located at the end of the Left Hand Tunnel.
Bifrost Room
Discovered in 1982, it is located in the ceiling above Lake of the Clouds. Its name refers to a Norse myth about a world in the sky that was accessed from Earth by a rainbow. The room was given this name because of its location above the Lake of the Clouds and its colorful oxide-stained formations.
Big Room or The Hall of the Giants
The largest chamber in Carlsbad Caverns, with a floor space of 357,469 square feet (33,210 m2).[15]
Chocolate High
A maze of small passages totalling nearly a mile (1500 m) in combined length, discovered in 1993 above a mud-filled pit in the New Mexico Room known as Chocolate Drop.
Green Lake Room
The uppermost of the “Scenic Rooms”, it is named for a deep,malachite-colored pool in the corner of the room. In the 1940s, when the military was testing the feasibility of Carlsbad Cavern as an emergency fallout shelter, the Green Lake was used to look for ripples caused by a nuclear bomb test many miles away. None appeared.
Guadalupe Room
Discovered by a park ranger in 1966, this is the second largest room in Carlsbad Caverns. It is known for its dense collection of “soda straw”stalactites.
Hall of the White Giant
A large chamber containing a large, white stalagmite. Rangers regularly lead special wild-cave tours to this room.
King’s Palace
The first of four chambers in a wing known as the “scenic rooms”, it is named for a large castle-like formation in the center of the room.
Lake of the Clouds
The lowest known point in the cave. It is located in a side passage off the Left Hand Tunnel. It is named for its large lake containing globular, cloud-like rock formations that formed under water when the lake level was much higher.
Left Hand Tunnel
A long, straight passage marked by deep fissures in the floor. These fissures are not known to lead anywhere. The Left Hand Tunnel leads to the Lake of the Clouds and the Bell Cord Room.
Mabel’s Room
A moderate-sized room located past the Talcum Passage in Lower Cave.
Mystery Room
A large, sloping room located off the Queen’s Chamber, named for an unexplained noise heard only here. A small vertical passage at the far end connects it to Lower Cave.
New Mexico Room
Located adjacent to the Green Lake Room and accessed by means of a somewhat narrow corridor.
New Section
A section of fissures east of the White Giant formation and paralleling the Bat Cave. New discoveries are still being made in this section.
Papoose Room
Located between the King’s Palace and Queen’s Chamber.
Queen’s Chamber
Widely regarded as the most beautiful and scenic area of the cave. Jim White’s lantern went out in this chamber while he was exploring, and he was in the dark for over half an hour.
Spirit World
Located in the ceiling of the Big Room at its highest point (an area known as the Top of the Cross), this area is filled with white stalagmites that resembled angels to the room’s discoverers.
Talcum Passage
A room located in Lower Cave where the floor is coated withgypsumdust.
The Rookery
One of the larger rooms in Lower Cave. A large number ofcave pearlsare found in this area.
Underground Lunchroom
Located in the Big Room at the head of the Left Hand Tunnel. It contains a cafeteria that was built in the 1950s, and is where the elevators from the visitor center exit into the cave.

Tourist information

Carlsbad Caverns sees an average of 407,211 visitors every year.[2]The highest attendance seen in a year was 876,500 visitors in 1976.[16]As of 2011, a total 41,654,278 visitors have entered the park. Peak visitation typically occurs on the weekends followingMemorial Dayand theFourth of July. Free admittance for self-guided tours is often granted on holidays such as Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, National Park Week, andVeterans Dayweekend.[17]Camping is permitted in the back country of the park, but a permit is required from the visitor center.

One of the extra events hosted by the park is the viewing of a bat flight. A program is given in the early evening at the amphitheater near the main entrance prior to the start of the flight, which varies with the sunset time. Flight programs are scheduled fromMemorial Dayweekend through the middle of October.[18]Optimal viewing normally occur in July and August with the advent of baby bats in addition to the normal migratory bats. Morning programs are also hosted pre-dawn to witness the return of bats into the cave. Once a year, a bat flight breakfast is held where visitors can eat breakfast at the park prior to the morning return of bats.

At various times throughout the year, star parties are hosted by the park at night. Rangers host informational programs on the celestial night sky and telescopes are also made available. These parties are often held in conjunction with special astronomical events, such as atransit of Venus.[19]

Recent exploration

In 1985 a very distinctive method of exploration was invented. In a dome area 255 feet (78 m) above the Big Room floor not far from the Bottomless Pit, a stalagmite leaned out. Using abalsa woodloop withhelium-filledballoonsattached, the explorers—after several tries over several years—floated a lightweight cord that snagged the target stalagmite. Once the cord was in position up, over, and back to the ground, a climbing rope was pulled into position, and the explorers ascended into what they named The Spirit World.[20]A similar, smaller room was found in the main entrance corridor, and was named Balloon Ballroom in honor of this technique.

In 1993, a series of small passages totaling nearly a mile in combined length was found in the ceiling of the New Mexico Room. Named “Chocolate High”, it was the largest discovery in the cave since the Guadalupe Room was found in 1966.

The Bottomless Pit was originally said to have no bottom. Stones were tossed into it, but no sound of the stones striking the bottom was heard. Later exploration revealed the bottom was about 140 feet (40m) deep and covered with soft dirt. The stones made no sound when they struck the bottom because they were lodged in the soft soil.

Other caves

The park contains over 117 caves.[21]Three caves are open to public tours. Carlsbad Caverns is the most famous and is fully developed with electric lights, paved trails, and elevators. Slaughter Canyon Cave[22]and Spider Cave[23]are undeveloped, excepted for designated paths for the guided “adventure” caving tours.

Lechuguilla Caveis well known for its delicate speleothems and pristine underground environment. Guano mining occurred in the pit below the entrance in the 1910s.[24]After gaining permission from the national park managers to dig into a rubble pile where wind whistled between the rocks when the weather changed, cavers broke through into a room in 1986.[24]Over 120 miles of cave passage has been explored and mapped.[24]It has been mapped to a depth of 1,600 feet (490 m), making it the deepest limestone cave in the U.S.[24]To protect the fragile environment, access is limited to permitted scientific expeditions only.[24]

[edit]Bats

English: Mexican (or Brazilian) Free-Tailed Ba...

English: Mexican (or Brazilian) Free-Tailed Bats, Tadarida brasiliensis, emerging from Carlsbad Caverns, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mexican Free-Tailed Bats emerging from the natural entrance and flying to the nearest water

Seventeen species ofbatslive in the park, including a large number ofMexican Free-tailed Bats.[25]It has been estimated that the population of Mexican Free-tailed Bats once numbered in the millions but has declined drastically in modern times. The cause of this decline is unknown but the pesticideDDTis often listed as a primary cause. Populations appear to be on the increase in recent years but are nowhere near the levels that may have been historically present. A study published in 2009 by a team fromBoston Universityquestions whether large numbers of bats were ever present at the caverns.[26]

Many techniques have been used to estimate the bat population in the cave. The most recent and most successful of these attempts involved the use of thermal imaging camera to track and count the bats.[27]A count from 2005 estimated a peak of 793,000.[25]

The Mexican Free-tailed Bats are present from April or May to late October or early November.[28]They emerge in a dense group, corkscrewing upwards and counterclockwise, usually starting around sunset and lasting about three hours.[29](Jim White decided to investigate the caverns when he saw the bats from a distance and at first thought they were a volcano or a whirlwind.)[30]Every early evening from Memorial Day weekend to mid October (with possible exceptions for bad weather), a ranger gives a talk on the bats while visitors sitting in the amphitheater wait to watch the bats come out.[28]

 

 

The True Cost of Owning a Pet

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2Sophie 6 weeksHello all. I hope everyone has hada great start to their week. Todays blog was brought to you by Sophie, who spent the night at the emergency hospital after recieving a bite through the trachea from her big brother, Andy. It was a scary time. Our animals are basically are kids since ours have grown up and left. That’s a whole nother story, so I’ll let that go. The vet exam and the night at the hospital under observation was $500.00. I have insurance for my others, but not on Sophie yet, so it was directly out of our pocket. In comparison to human medical care and animal care, I think they run neck and neck. One is just as expensive as the other.   How much is that doggy (or kitty, or birdie) in the window really? The total price tag is probably a lot more than you think. By: Amanda Lilly

One look at those puppy-dog eyes and wagging tail and it’s easy for all your money smarts to fly out the window. Nonetheless, it is important to consider your lifestyle and budget before bringing home Fluffy or Fido. While there are many foreseeable expenses, such as food and toys, other costs may come as a shock. Need a dog walker, for instance? That can cost as much as $5,200 annually. Pet boarding can extract hundreds of dollars from your bank account, especially if you travel several times a year. Maybe your budget can easily accommodate regular pet-care expenses, but are you prepared for the higher costs of emergency care? It’s a question that some pet-adoption groups pose to would-be owners: How much money are you prepared to spend on Fido in an emergency? $1,000? $5,000? $10,000? What about for your hamster or parakeet? Over the years, the Longs had budgeted for emergency pet care, and they have pet insurance, so the financial hit wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The Longs are getting back more than $4,500 of their expenses from Bailey’s insurance. “Bailey is our family,” Long says, “so we just told the vet, ‘Do what you need to do.’ It didn’t occur to me until this was all over that some owners might have had to consider euthanasia as an option if they weren’t as prepared for all the bills. ”Robert Long, managing editor for Kiplinger.com, and his wife have spent more than $13,000 on their 7-year-old beagle, Bailey, this year alone. A sudden and extreme case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in May led to irreversible blindness and the surgical removal of Bailey’s eyes. Two months later, a ruptured disc in Bailey’s back required emergency surgery to resolve temporary rear-limb paralysis. “You don’t want to think about the worst-case scenario,” Long says, “but you should.” As veterinary procedures become more advanced, people are less likely to put their pet to sleep when it gets severely sick or injured. Owners will likely incur at least one $2,000 – $4,000 bill for emergency care at some point during their pet’s lifetime, says Dr. Louise Murray, vice-president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, in New York City. The prospect of such high costs weighs heavily on many pet owners. Almost half said they were extremely or somewhat worried that they would not be able to afford veterinary care if their pet got sick, according to a 2010 survey by the Associated Press and Petside.com. “The biggest problem I see are people who assume that everything will be fine until their pet is 18 years old,” said Murray. “That’s just incredibly rare. You want to have a plan.” Preventive care is also important in corralling costs. Having a pet is “kind of like owning a car,” Murray says. “If you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, it will end up being a lot more expensive in the end.” That means getting your pet spayed or neutered, going to the vet for annual check-ups, keeping your pet’s vaccinations and preventive medicines up to date, feeding you pet the proper food, and keeping your pet confined indoors or in a yard and out of harm’s way. Although the cost of routine care is more predictable, it varies widely from animal to animal, and even from breed to breed — and also from owner to owner. For instance, fish and reptiles can drain your wallet by increasing the cost of your electric bill. Larger breeds of dogs will eat a lot more food than, say, a Chihuahua, and long-haired pets will need to go to the groomer more often. If you have allergies, you may need to get a hypoallergenic pet, which usually costs more both initially and in the long run. If you are away from home a lot, you may need to consider doggy day care or a dog walker, two services that add significantly to your total cost of ownership.

Oxygenated water nonsense Part 2

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Oxygenated water nonsense

Junk science in the marketplace

 Unless you have gills, it’s just an expensive burp!

oxygenated water2Part 2

This is part two of an article posted by a retired chemistry college professor concerning the fallacy of Oxygenated Water and other hypes.

Not just for drinking!

Oxygen in your bath

The MicroSilk™ Hydrotherapy site hypes baths and spas featuring a recirculating aeration spout which “saturates the water with billions of oxygen-rich microbubbles, increasing oxygen levels up to 70% higher than common tap water.” Well, so probably can any aerating faucet, but to describe the bubbles as “oxygen rich” is a bit much, given that air is only 20% oxygen. They go on to make the ridiculous claims that

“This luxurious cloud of oxygen blankets your body, energizing skin cells, stimulating the immune system, killing bacteria and promoting healing, reaching where mere water and soaps can’t, entering your pores, bonding to impurities and gently lifting them away, leaving your skin soft and clean in a way you’ve never experienced. MicroSilk™ also creates therapeutic levels of anions, which are known to improve serotonin levels, helping to relax the mind and body, promoting deep sleep, and enhancing recovery from physical exhaustion.”

“Eloptic” water hype

This thankfully now-departed site promoted “Electrically engineered eloptic energized stabilized oxygenated water” (sounds impressive!) which was described as

…an industrial-strength, multi-purpose cleanser that will meet all your personal care and household needs. This God-given, concentrated formula is made from all natural ingredients that will clean, degrease and deodorize anything, from your glass and mirrors, carpet and upholstery and even heavy cleaning such as grease traps and oil spots on the concrete garage floor to your baby’s bottom.

Well, I don’t think I would want to apply something strong enough to remove grease from the garage floor to my bottom, which is admittedly far less soft and supple than that of a baby! Among the ingredients are “ash of dedecyl solution (foaming agent), sea grass (for color) and the anointing of God.”

“Nobody has Enough Hydrogen or 02, Not on this Planet”

This is one of many lies offered up by an outfit that flogs a worthless “oxygen-plus” supplement to the scientifically challenged at $22 per bottle.

The air we breathe formerly contained 50 percent oxygen. But today, we only have about 20 percent in our air and there is even less in large cities. The medical profession has confirmed that most viruses, parasites, bacteria, fungus and pathogens are anaerobic—they CANNOT live in oxygen. If we are not getting enough oxygen, our bodies become fertile breeding grounds for disease.

The “50% oxygen” is of course pure fiction. And yes, many bacteria are anaerobic, but few viruses, parasites and fungi are. And these hucksters fail to mention that O2 is a cellular poison in the wrong locations and the source of those nasty free radicals that are supposed to accelerate aging. But if oxygen supplements can hook the suckers, so can hydrogen, so the fibbing continues:

The purpose of hydrogen is to give structure to the body. What do you get when you bubble hydrogen through vegetable oil? You get margarine! Now, imagine hydrogen without oxygen. Your cells could become like margarine. [link] remember that it is the smallest Critical Element and is capable of passing through the cell wall. In order for our cells to function they m”ust communicate with each other through electrons but electrons can not move in the body without hydrogen. Cells must have oxygen but oxygen does not work without hydrogen. Cells cannot multiply or grow without hydrogen. The very fabric of our being, our DNA, is held together by Hydrogen bonds. Hydrogen is literally the fuel of life. [link]

When we are born we have plenty of Hydrogen but as we age our Hydrogen pool becomes depleted. When this occurs, free radicals steel it from essential areas thus accelerating aging and disease. [link]

The Big Pitcher

The Big Pitcher is a water-oxygenator which is misleadingly claimed to remove chlorine, radon and sulfur, neutralize harmful bacteria, and increase ones energy and metabolism, improve sleep patterns, etc. etc.

…and deuterium too!

In my humble opinion, there are few health-quackery Web sites that contain a higher proportion of false and deceptive statements than those promoting Cellfood:

Cellfood is created by a proprietary nine month process in which these all-natural nutrient-rich plant substances are held in a negatively-charged suspension of deuterium (an isotope of hydrogen).

Deuterium? Well, this stuff is present in water in trace amounts (1 out of every 6500 hydrogen atoms), but the above statement can easily fool the majority of people who don’t know this. And the “negatively-charged” stuff is similar nonsense.

According to one sales site for this classic snake-oil:

[Our product] has the unique ability to disassociate the water molecule into nascent hydrogen and nascent oxygen. This water “splitting” technology enables the release of hydrogen and oxygen gases simultaneously in a chain reaction that involves one five-hundred thousandths of the available moisture at one time. Water “splitting” is achieved by means of shifting and weakening the bonding electrons (ionic transfers) of the water molecule towards oxygen and away from hydrogen. [It] allows the bonds in the electron distribution to be unsymmetrical (polar). [link]

Anyone who has taken even an elementary chemistry course will recognize this as erroneous nonsense. There are the usual unsubstantiated and ridiculous health claims (“aids clear thinking”, “helps to reduce and/or eliminates menopausal hot flashes and night sweats”). The product itself is described as a

“super energized colloidal mineral concentrate. … Di-base, Di-pole Deuterium Sulfate provides an incredible oxygen source and delivery system to the body at the cellular level.”

Deuterium sulfate? Deuterium is the isotope H2 (often given the symbol D) which makes up about 1 out of 10,000 of the hydrogen atoms found in nature. Although extensive research has shown that organisms are unable to survive on heavy water (D2O is well-known to thoroughly gum up most enzymatic reactions), the same sites go on about its supposed benefits, spinning a tale about an inventor/con-artist/imaginary (take your pick!) Everett M. Storey and a ficticious “Deuterium Freedom Act” purportedly passed by the U.S. 99th Congress that confirms deuterium’s ability to “speed up the digestive process”. However, the extensive list of chemicals in CellFood does not mention deuterium, although the list does include such falsely-claimed-to-be-beneficial elements as actinium, gadolinium, neon, technetium (!) and xenon. Another sad case of selling snake-oil to the suckers.

Stable fables: oxidants are actually good for you!

FTC Attacks “Stabilized Oxygen” Claims

‘Various products referred to as “stabilized” or “aerobic” oxygen are being marketed with claims that they can cure disease by increasing oxygen delivery to the cells. Some claim that “oxygen deficiency” or “oxygen starvation” is an underlying cause of disease and has been increasing because the oxygen content of the earth’s atmosphere has been decreasing and junk food does not contain enough oxygen…’ See the entire article here.

See also this cease-and-desist letter that the U.S. FDA has sent to Aerobic Oxygen USA.

A huge part of the alternative-health-quackery industry is devoted to supplying those free-radical fighters known as antioxidants (Whose benefits as dietary supplements are entirely unproven— but that’s another subject.) But pseudoscience knows no bounds and can be twisted in any direction, so here’s an Idaho company (where else?) that flogs a nostrum they call stabilized oxygen. A thankfully-now-disappeared Web site goes on at great length about the importance of protecting our cells from oxygen deprivation:

Oxygen plays another important role in the body acting as a guardian and protector against unfriendly bacteria and disease organisms. One of oxygen’s major functions is disintegration. Rubble, garbage, toxins, refuse, debris, and anything useless are destroyed by oxygen and carried out of the system. Just as a clean house holds little interest to passing flies, likewise, an oxygen rich body is a difficult fortress to assail.

… all errant nonsense, of course! Anyway, they go on about how their product helps you to enjoy the tremendous benefits of oxygen to the body other than through the breathing process. Oxygen is very difficult to stabilize and until a recent scientific breakthrough, oxygen has not been stabilized in a beneficial non-toxic form.

This flapdoodle overlooks the fact that oxygen is not present in the blood as O2, but is complexed to hemoglobin which controls the amount of oxygen delivered to cells through an exquisitely-evolved feedback mechanism. What these hucksters mean by “stabilizing” the oxygen is not entirely clear. We are told that

Stabilized oxygen is an oxide of chlorides compound stabilized with the richest known source of nascent oxygen with several atoms per molecule. Whatever they mean by “oxide of chlorides compound” could be any number of substances from chlorine dioxide (ClO2) to perchloric acid (HClO4). The first is a poison and the second is explosive, so I presume they have come up with something in between. The term “nascent oxgyen” (see below) usually means free oxygen atoms as opposed to the stable molecule O2 which make up 20% of the air we breathe. But it gets more complicated:

[This product] is a safe, non toxic, stabilized liquid concentrate of electrolytes of oxygen, which are made available to your body, in molecular form, when ingested. … The genius of it is the formulating of the two most abundant and important electrolytes of body fluid, sodium and chlorine, to act as the oxygen carriers. The molecular oxygen is released through the digestive process, and is absorbed into the bloodstream. … In an ordinary glass of tap water there is on the average, 7-12 ppm of oxygen molecules. In Stabilized Oxygen the amount of available oxygen increased to about 12,000 ppm or 1,000 times.

Wow! This appears to be a good description of sodium hypochlorite NaOCl, otherwise known as laundry bleach. Thanks, but I think I’ll pass on this one!

“Nascent” oxygen dietary supplement nonsense

The ordinary oxygen that we breathe is really the molecule”dioxygen”, O2. “Nascent” oxygen (a term not used much by contemporary chemists) refers to plain oxygen atoms. These species normally have only a transient existence before they react with themselves (to produce O2), with water to produce hydrogen peroxide H2O2 (a cellular poison), or with just about any carbon-containing substance around them— such as your body! Any claims that this stuff can posssibly be good for you or that it can somehow “stabilized” are plain lies. Also, any agent capable of generating atomic oxygen (as chemists call it) would do even more damage to the body, so I think claims that any dietary supplements can even produce it are untrue.

None of this appears to stop various outfits from hawking oxygenated snake oils such as the one making claims that their product

is unique in its ability to create nascent (meaning newly-born) oxygen. In biochemical terms ‘nascent’ oxygen refers to the newly born singlet oxygen (O-) that has not yet entered the biochemical reaction. Free radicals (which many biochemists believe are a primary cause of aging and degenerative disease) are positively charged ions of oxygen (O+). Since nascent oxygen molecules are negatively charged, they actually seek out and attract these dangerous free radicals, combining with them to form simple pure stabilized oxygen (O2).

Well, ionized atomic oxygen (O– or O+) does exist in the upper atomosphere, but it would be instant death to any body tissues. And far from being a free radical fighter, any form of the “singlet” oxygen they refer to is either itself a free radical or capable of producing them when it reacts with water or virtually any other cellular component. If you feel comfortable consuming a product from an outfit that exhibits this level of chemical incompetence, be my guest!

Of course they don’t stop there, but go on to evoke even weirder pseudoscience, claiming that the product

will tend to normalize the body’s acid-base balance by delivering its 78 essential minerals as enzymatic cofactors— assisting critical enymatic reactions to proceed optimally.

… which is biochemical hokum, and

Scientists Simeonton, Likhovsky and Bovis estimated that the average human body radiates a life force frequency of 6,500 angstroms— with cancer patients radiating at 1,875 angstroms (the same measurement as for refined white bread). Just one drop of [the product’s] powerful ‘electromagnetic equation’ in 6-8 ounces of water emanates 77,000 units of radiant life energy— bringing a dramatic increase in life force to every cell of the body.

… pure nonsensical fantasy.

But if this is not enough, a product formerly hyped as “Seven-Sided Oxygenated Water” “penetrates into dehydrated structures of the body and breaks apart the ionic bonds of substance or structure that are atypical to the bodies normal function.” This site is a fount of misinformation (for example, that the atmospheric concentration of oxygen has been rapidly decreasing over the last millenium, and that this, and anaerobic conditions in general, promote cancer.) They make the highly dubious claim that their bottled water contains 400-600 ppm of oxygen. And of course it protects the body from infection, helps reduce pain levels, and enhances carbohydrate metabolism, etc. etc. The current product site is not quite as goofy.

Ozonated water and ozone therapy

Ozone, O3, is a gas that it widely used to disinfect municipal water supplies. Being highly unstable, it decomposes into ordinary oxygen by the time the water reaches the consumer. Which is just as well, since ozone is toxic to both plant and animal cells.

But some hucksters don’t seem to know this. One of them tells us that

Ozone is used extensively in medicine in Germany and Cuba by either infusing it or injecting it directly into the blood stream. In medical applications: “It is the aim of ozone-oxygen therapy to stimulate or reactivate oxygen metabolism, without damage to the protecting oxidative enzymes…

Don’t believe this crap! Ozone attacks mucous membranes, destroys enzymes, and gobbles up DNA. Far from preventing cancer, it acts as a carcinogen. The guy behind this is apparently one Robert C. Beck, “D.Sc.”, described here as an “acclaimed physicist” (who, as far as I can see, has no record of scientific publication). This site seems to be associated with a variety of goofy quack treatment methods.

Another site is full of “testimonials” attesting to the miraculous effects of ozone in curing cancer, and yet another promotes a variety of ozone-quackery.

See this QuackWatch page for more about oxygen- and ozone therapy.

Oxygen skin-care

Will these “oxygen-infused skin serums bring life and health to the skin”? It’s true that the living tissue beneath the dead epidermal layer requires oxygen which is supplied by diffusion from the blood, and a 2010 article shows that “topical dissolved oxygen” can penetrate skin and may be useful aid to wound healing.  But if there is any clinical support for the idea that highly oxygenated waters can benefit ordinary skin, the developers of this “Gas infusion Technology” for supersaturating water with oxygen make no mention of it.

Oxygenating colon cleanser

This misinformation-filled site promotes a magnesium oxide preparation, which they claim will liquify all that solid gunge that is supposed to be clogging your intestines. Well, by the time magnesium oxide has passed through the stomach, it becomes magnesium chloride which acts as a mild laxative. To add to the hype, they claim that the product releases “monatomic oxygen” into the intestinal tract. It is just as well that this claim is almost certainly false, since atomic oxygen is a known carcinogen.

By using Oxy-Powder, you can melt away or oxidize the compaction from the small intestine, large intestine and colon safe and effectively. Organic Germanium-132 has demonstrated in multiple scientific studies to be a powerful oxygen facilitator and immune system stimulant. Oxy-Powder is also harmless to the good bacteria in the intestinal tract.

The stuff about Germanium-132 introduces another favorite food-fad that the FDA is beginning to crack down on because of fears of Germanium poisoning; there is no credible scientific evidence that it has any benefit.


 

 Article posted by Stephen Lower, Retired faculty member of Simon Fraiser University, Vancouver Canada.

Let’s talk Obama Care

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Barack Obama at the University of Nevada, Las ...

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This blog is a combination of a couple I posted back in March when the Supreme court was making their decision. I thought it was timely to repost it. I have edited a couple of things.

As a retired RN who has worked in many areas of health care I have seen and experienced our broken health care system.  I have seen and experienced waiting in an emergency room for hours because it is being used like a clinic because lower-income people can’t afford medical care for themselves or their children.

I feel we are being held hostage by the insurance companies who can dictate what our doctors can and can’t do.  Since they have to control their costs and make money, people are denied treatments that can save their life.  I feel every citizen in this country is entitled to medical care and I think the changes that will and have been started by Obama Care is a  good thing.  Why is it wrong for people to help buy insurance in a government-run program?  The citizens of this country have been paying for all of the care given to the poor to start with.  I feel in the long run this can save us money.  I can’t see a problem with them getting supplemented insurance at all. Obama Care will also help decrease the Medicare fraud that is perpetuated by the system in place now.  Wouldn’t that save us a vast amount of money?

I for one applaud the president for taking the initiative to change our health care system.  It is something that should’ve been done long ago.  Politics in this country tries to portray this plan as bad or good.  As I said, it is a new start.  I am not afraid of a new beginning with health care but I know many people are.

I am attaching a Bill Moyer’s video talking about medical lobbyist in Washington. It explains why so much propaganda is spread about anything affecting medicine or drugs.

http://youtu.be/GsIcS7egnyw

I have stated before on this blog that I think the healthcare program is a good thing for the people of this country.  With the insurance company‘s running the doctors and hospitals a lot of people are not getting the care they should be getting. We are already paying out the wazoo for the uninsured to receive care  with the high costs of medical care and deaths that could have been prevented.  If the mandatory insurance makes people get insurance who would otherwise just think they can use the ER as an Emergency Room with no thought to how they are tying up the system or the cost to all of us.  I think it is a good thing to make everyone responsible for something that might help reshape our medical and insurance system. It is something everyone uses at one time or another.

I do not think only the rich should be entitled to medical procedures which can save and improve lives.  As an RN I am not in favor of prolonging life just because it can be.  A life needs quality, not just quantity. I think this will give a good start to equal access.

I know how I want this election to go, but I also know it’s in God’s hands.  As an American and a Christian I will live with the final outcome. Either way it will be tough on all of us.

That’s my two-cents once again on healthcare.  Let me know what you think and why you feel the way you do. I look forward to hearing from you.  A healthy discussion is always good.