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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Bill Wilson is on record for having found a solution in 1960 for treating anxiety and depression

 Bill Wilson is on record for having found a solution in 1960 for treating anxiety and depression using vitamin B-3 therapy and worked tirelessly for eleven years begging for its inclusion into A.A. recovery circles.  His desire was to help alcoholics stay recovered. This means he would have immediately brought this mineral replacement therapy that eliminates alcohol cravings forth without exception.  Master of ceremonies, Andrew W. Saul, includes Bill Wilson as an inductee of the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame at the Hotel Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 29, 2006 in his induction speech, “…To this day, selective history records A.A.’s 12-Step Program, but has forgotten, or deliberately purged, what Bill wanted to be A.A.’s 13th step – orthomolecular therapy with vitamin B3.”[Lee Brack1]  In February 2009, Orthomolecular Medicine’s founder, Abram Hoffer and Bill Wilson’s good friend, clarified to me over the phone, “..yes, Lee, he wanted to share this information as an added step and talked about it all the time because he felt so strongly about nutrition…”  Abram Hoffer passed away a few months later in May having lived healthy and happily for ninety one and a half years.

Monday, 1 April 2013

6 April 2013 Tuned-In Centre, Majuba Road, Redcar, TS10 5BJ


Event
North-West District of Cocaine Anonymous welcomes you to...
Reaching Out in Redcar UNITY Day
TimeSaturday 11:30am Start
AddressTuned-In Centre,
Majuba Road,
Redcar,
TS10 5BJ
redcar
Additional NotesSpeakers;
Cameron F (Canada) 
Will B (Spain)
Danielle (Cheshire)
InformationTICKETS £5 (or donation).
Refreshments provided.
Click here to download flyer & contact info.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Understand the inherently peaceful presence of Awareness the art of Living in the NOW

Understand the inherently peaceful presence of Awareness the art of Living in the NOW, and see that this peace is not dependent upon the condition of the mind, body or world, just as a screen is not dependent on the quality of the words or images that appear on it.

Friday, 29 March 2013

The addicted brain is distinctly different from the nonaddicted brain, as manifested by changes in brain metabolic activity, receptor availability, gene expression, and responsiveness to environmental cues

There are many biological factors that are involved with the addicted brain. "The addicted brain is distinctly different from the nonaddicted brain, as manifested by changes in brain metabolic activity, receptor availability, gene expression, and responsiveness to environmental cues" (2) In the brain, there are many changes that take place when drugs enter a person's blood stream. The pathway in the brain that the drugs take is first to the ventral tegmentum to the nucleus accumbens, and the drugs also go to the limbic system and the orbitofrontal cortex, which is called the mesolimbic reward system. The activation of this reward system seems to be the common element in what hooks drug users on drugs (2).

Drugs seem to cause surges in dopamine neurotransmitters and other pleasure brain messengers. However, the brain quickly adapts and these circuits desensitize, which allows for withdrawal symptoms to occur (3). Drug addiction works on some of the same neurobiological mechanisms that aid in learning and memories (3). "This new view of dopamine as an aid to learning rather than a pleasure mediator may help explain why many addictive drugs, which unleash massive surges of the neurotransmitter in the brain, can drive continued use without producing pleasure-as when cocaine addicts continue to take hits long after the euphoric effects of the drug have worn off or when smokers smoke after cigarettes become distasteful." (4)

Since memory and pleasure zones are intertwined in the brain, many researchers have been using psychological approaches to stop drug use. Many rehabilitation centers have used classical conditioning to rehabilitate drug addicts. They combine exposure to drugs combined with cognitive scripts, like statements how drugs have destroyed a person's life or what can be accomplished without using drugs, according to DeLetis (5). By using classical conditioning, the drugs addicts pair the drugs with negative connotations and properties. "Adverse withdrawal symptoms can function as an instrumental negative reinforcer and can be linked to the opponent process theory of motivation." (6) However, drug addicts may relapse and start using again because of many environmental "cues", which are external forces that are associated with drug use in their lives. When the drugs addicts see these cues, their brain circuitry, especially the orbitofrontal cortex become hyperactive and causes these people to start craving drugs again (2). No matter how successful the rehabilitation treatment is, once those "cues" are around, the drug addicts remember how pleasurable the drugs felt and relapse into drug abuse again.

Through all of the research done about drug addiction and its affects on the brain, one can see how drug addiction is considered a brain disease. Drug addiction is a disabling disease and can ruin a person's life. By taking drugs, a person's brain becomes "rewired" to tolerate high amounts of dopamine neurotransmitters, but once those high amounts of dopamine cease to exist, the person experiences withdrawal symptoms. However, there are ways drug addicts can control their drug intake by using classical conditioning techniques, which allows them to associate drugs with negative attributes.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Bill Wilson is on record for having found a solution in 1960 for treating anxiety and depression using vitamin B-3 therapy and worked tirelessly for eleven years begging for its inclusion into A.A. recovery circles.

The Serotonin Support Group (SSG)

Is a mutual support group for people who suffer from low Serotonin levels,  wishing to participate in a support group that uses as one method a vitamin supplement as a method of replacement or addition to a diet to help the sufferer.The historical basis of this form of nutritional treatment was discovered and researched by Bill Wilson of Alcoholics Anonymous and it is to promote this Legacy to persons who suffer from low serotonin uptake and depression that the Group was formed.Bill Wilson wished to add a step to the 12 he had produced for AA. We struggle to make that possible and fulfill his promise. Without detracting from the message of recovery in the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. If alcoholics and addictive abusers of other drugs have specific chemical imbalances in the brain, and if these imbalances turn out to be reliable enough and measurable enough in sufficiently large numbers of human addicts, it is natural to wonder whether, eventually, science can find a way to correct them.

Some sort of neurotransmitter cocktail, maybe.

Or just possibly... a pill?

Bill Wilson is on record for having found a solution in 1960 for treating anxiety and depression using vitamin B-3 therapy and worked tirelessly for eleven years begging for its inclusion into A.A. recovery circles.  His desire was to help alcoholics stay recovered. This means he would have immediately brought this mineral replacement therapy that eliminates alcohol cravings forth without exception. Andrew W. Saul, includes Bill Wilson as an inductee of the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame at the Hotel Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 29, 2006 in his induction speech, “…To this day, selective history records A.A.’s 12-Step Program, but has forgotten, or deliberately purged, what Bill wanted to be A.A.’s 13th step – orthomolecular therapy with vitamin B3.”[Lee Brack1]  In February 2009, Orthomolecular Medicine’s founder, Abram Hoffer and Bill Wilson’s good friend, clarified to me over the phone, “..yes, Lee, he wanted to share this information as an added step and talked about it all the time because he felt so strongly about nutrition…”  Abram Hoffer passed away a few months later in May having lived healthy and happily for ninety one and a half years.


The results strongly suggest that the mechanism of depression after alcohol drinking may be related to serotonin.

We examined tryptophan and serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) levels in the blood after consumption of alcohol. Forty-five minutes after drinking, whole blood serotonin concentration was significantly reduced, whereas no changes were observed in tryptophan level. The diurnal rhythm of 5-HT in subjects who the day before had drunk alcohol was quite different from the control group, but very similar to that of patients with depression. The results strongly suggest that the mechanism of depression after alcohol drinking may be related to serotonin.

 

The important thing with serotonin, is to keep it at steady levels.

The important thing with serotonin, is to keep it at steady levels. The medicines that raise the level of serotonin in the brain do so by slowing the reabsorbtion of serotonin. The alcohol increases the availible serotonin for a bit and then it drops off quickly, leaving the depressed person feeling worse, and they tend to not take the medicine correctly when they feel badly or are drunk. High serotonin levels do not mean somebody will feel happy or good, It makes it more likely that they won't feel realy bad.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Bolivia nationalized the company that runs the three largest airports in Bolivia because the government claims the company did not invest in improving the airports.

Servicios de Aeropuertos Bollivianos SA (Sabsa) is a division of Spain's Abertis Infraestructure SA but Sabsa is also partly owned by Aena Aeropuertos SA based in Madrid. Bolivian president Evo Morales said that the privatization of Sabsa in 1997 was equivalent to "robbery" and "looting". He claimed that since that time the company's profits have been exorbitant and investments "ridiculous".




real estate company Reyal Urbis filed for insolvency after failing to renegotiate debt with its creditors.

Spain's property market crash claimed another victim on Tuesday, as real estate company Reyal Urbis filed for insolvency after failing to renegotiate debt with its creditors.

 

The move takes the property developer, which had 3.6 billion euros ($4.8 billion) of debt at the end of September, closer to becoming Spain's second-largest bankruptcy after Martinsa Fadesa, which defaulted on 7 billion euros of debt in 2008.

Dozens of property companies have collapsed in Spain, where house prices have fallen around 40 percent since their 2007 peak. With the country locked in a deep recession, analysts expect prices to fall further still.

Spain's banks were crippled by the property market bust, eventually requiring the state to agree a European bailout for its lenders of almost 40 billion euros last year. Indebted property firms have asked banks for debt relief but patience is wearing thin among lenders saddled with soured property assets.

 

Reyal Urbis is 70 percent owned by construction magnate Rafael Santamaria and its creditors include Santander, BBVA, Bankia and Banco Popular.

The company, which valued its property portfolio at 4.2 billion euros in June 2012, said it would continue to operate as permitted by Spanish insolvency laws.

Its insolvency petition now goes to court and its fate will be in the hands of a judge.

Reyal Urbis said Santamaria would remain at the helm of the company and he still hoped Reyal Urbis could reach a deal with its creditors, given "the good will of all negotiating parties".

The company had until Feb. 23 to reach a debt restructuring deal with the banks or file for insolvency. Sources close to the matter told Reuters on Friday that creditors had rejected the company's 3.6-billion-euro proposal.

Trading in the company's shares was suspended on Tuesday, Spain's stock market regulator said. The stock had plunged 99 percent since June 2007 to close at 0.124 euros on Monday.

At the end of 2011, Reyal Urbis owned some 888 finished homes in a country where over a million homes lie empty. The company also had 8 million square metres of land for development and 237,000 square metres of commercial property, including offices, shopping centres, industrial property and hotels.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Ms Sandiford to be executed for drug trafficking.

A British grandmother has been sentenced to death by firing squad for smuggling almost 5kg of cocaine into Bali.

Lindsay Sandiford was arrested in May last year after she tried to enter the Indonesian holiday island with illegal drugs worth £1.6 million hidden in her suitcase.

Local prosecutors had called for the 56-year-old housewife to be jailed for 15 years. But today there were gasps in the Bali courtroom when a panel of judges announced Ms Sandiford would be executed for drug trafficking.

As the shock verdict was announced, Ms Sandiford, from Gloucestershire, slumped back in her chair in tears before hiding her face with a brown sarong as she was led out of the courtroom.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Monday, 10 December 2012

Emotional eating is when people use food as a way to deal with feelings instead of to satisfy hunger. We've all been there, finishing a whole bag of chips out of boredom or downing cookie after cookie while cramming for a big test. But when done a lot — especially without realizing it — emotional eating can affect weight, health, and overall well-being.

diets arent the answer emotional eating

Not many of us make the connection between eating and our feelings. But understanding what drives emotional eating can help people take steps to change it.

One of the biggest myths about emotional eating is that it's prompted by negative feelings. Yes, people often turn to food when they're stressed out, lonely, sad, anxious, or bored. But emotional eating can be linked to positive feelings too, like the romance of sharing dessert on Valentine's Day or the celebration of a holiday feast.

Sometimes emotional eating is tied to major life events, like a death or a divorce. More often, though, it's the countless little daily stresses that cause someone to seek comfort or distraction in food.

Emotional eating patterns can be learned: A child who is given candy after a big achievement may grow up using candy as a reward for a job well done. A kid who is given cookies as a way to stop crying may learn to link cookies with comfort.

It's not easy to "unlearn" patterns of emotional eating. But it is possible. And it starts with an awareness of what's going on.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

ARE YOU ADDICTED TO BUSYNESS ARE YOU A SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICT

ARE YOU ADDICTED TO BUSYNESS ARE YOU A SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICT

You may be lost in the addiction to busyness if…

  • Your usual response to “how are you?” is “so busy”, “crazy busy” or “busy but good”
  • You spend time worrying about how busy you are going to be tomorrow
  • You get angry when your spouse or friends aren’t as busy as you
  • Your busy life keeps you up at night thinking about everything you didn’t get done
  • You make a point of letting people know that you stay at the office after hours
  • You check email several times a day
  • You zone out during conversations thinking about everything you have to do
  • You volunteer for things you don’t care about
  • You spend time complaining about how busy you are
  • You make list after list to make sure you don’t forget anything during your busy day
  • You allocate time each day to clean your desk or organize your stuff
  • You regularly eat in your car
  • You use a phone in the car because “it’s the only time you have to talk”

The joy of life for my Spanish Rainbow

The joy of life is living it and doing things of worth,
In making bright and fruitful the entire desert spots of earth.
In facing odds and mastering them and rising from defeat,
And making true what once was false, and what was bitter, make sweet.
For only you know perfect joy whose little bit of soil
Is richer ground than what it was when you began to toil.

Monday, 3 December 2012

: People don't really want to grow up, people don't really want to change, people don't really want to be happy

Do you think I am going to help anybody? No! Oh, no, no, no, no, no! Don't expect me to be of help to anyone. Nor do I expect to damage anyone. If you are damaged, you did it; and if you are helped, you did it. You really did! You think people help you? They don't. You think people support you? They don't. 

There was a woman in a therapy group I was conducting once. She was a religious sister. She said to me, "I don't feel supported by my superior." So I said, "What do you mean by that?" And she said, "Well, my superior, the provincial superior, never shows up at the novitiate where I am in charge, never. She never says a word of appreciation." I said to her, "All right let's do a little role playing. Pretend I know your provincial superior. In fact, pretend I know exactly what she thinks about you. So I say to you (acting the part of the provincial superior), 'You know, Mary, the reason I don't come to that place you're in is because it is the one place in the province that is trouble-free, no problems. I know you're in charge, so all is well.' How do you feel now?" She said, "I feel great." Then I said to her, "All right, would you mind leaving the room for a minute or two? This is part of the exercise." So she did. While she was away, I said to the others in the therapy group, "I am still the provincial superior, O.K.? Mary out there is the worst novice director I have ever had in the whole history of the province. In fact, the reason I don't go to the novitiate is because I can't bear to see what she is up to. It's simply awful. But if I tell her the truth, it's only going to make those novices suffer all the more. We are getting somebody to take her place in a year or two; we are training someone. In the meantime I thought I would say those nice things to her to keep her going. What do you think of that?" They answered, "Well, it was really the only thing you could do under the circumstances." Then I brought Mary back into the group and asked her if she still felt great. "Oh yes," she said. Poor Mary! She thought she was being supported when she wasn't. The point is that most of what we feel and think we conjure up for ourselves in our heads, including this business of being helped by people. 

Do you think you help people because you are in love with them? Well, I've got news for you. You are never in love with anyone. You're only in love with your prejudiced and hopeful idea of that person. Take a minute to think about that: You are never in love with anyone, you're in love with your prejudiced idea of that person. Isn't that how you fall out of love? Your idea changes, doesn't it? "How could you let me down when I trusted you so much?" you say to someone. Did you really trust them? You never trusted anyone. Come off it! That's part of society's brainwashing. You never trust anyone. You only trust your judgment about that person. So what are you complaining about? The fact is that you don't like to say, "My judgment was lousy." That's not very flattering to you, is it? So you prefer to say, "How could you have let me down?" 

So there it is: People don't really want to grow up, people don't really want to change, people don't really want to be happy. As someone so wisely said to me, "Don't try to make them happy, you'll only get in trouble. Don't try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it irritates the pig." Like the businessman who goes into a bar, sits down, and sees this fellow with a banana in his ear - a banana in his ear! And he thinks, "I wonder if I should mention that to him. No, it's none of my business." But the thought nags at him. So after having a drink or two, he says to the fellow, "Excuse me, ah, you've got a banana in your ear." The fellow says, "What?" The businessman repeats, "You've got a banana in your ear. " Again the fellow says, "What was that?" "You've got a banana in your ear!" the businessman shouts. "Talk louder," the fellow says, "I've got a banana in my ear!" 

So it's useless. "Give up, give up, give up," I say to myself. Say your thing and get out of here. And if they profit, that's fine, and if they don't, too bad! 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Four Steps To Spiritual Wisdom

The first thing you need to do is get in touch with negative feelings that you're not even aware of. Lots of people have negative feelings they're not aware of. Lots of people are depressed and they're not aware they are depressed. It's only when they make contact with joy that they understand how depressed they were. You can't deal with a cancer that you haven't detected. You can't get rid of boll weevils on your farm if you're not aware of their existence. The first thing you need is awareness of your negative feelings. What negative feelings? Gloominess, for instance. You're feeling gloomy and moody. You feel self-hatred or guilt. You feel that life is pointless, that it makes no sense; you've got hurt feelings, you're feeling nervous and tense. Get in touch with those feelings first. 

The second step (this is a four-step program) is to understand that the feeling is in you, not in reality. That's such a self-evident thing, but do you think people know it? They don't, believe me. They've got Ph.D.s and are presidents of universities, but they haven't understood this. They didn't teach me how to live at school. They taught me everything else. As one man said, "I got a pretty good education. It took me years to get over it." That's what spirituality is all about, you know: unlearning. Unlearning all the rubbish they taught you. 

Negative feelings are in you, not in reality. So stop trying to change reality. That's crazy! Stop trying to change the other person. We spend all our time and energy trying to change external circumstances, trying to change our spouses, our bosses, our friends, our enemies, and everybody else. We don't have to change anything. Negative feelings are in you. No person on earth has the power to make you unhappy. There is no event on earth that has the power to disturb you or hurt you. No event, condition, situation, or person. Nobody told you this; they told you the opposite. That's why you're in the mess that you're in right now. That is why you're asleep. They never told you this. But it's self-evident. 

Let's suppose that rain washes out a picnic. Who is feeling negative? The rain? Or YOU? What's causing the negative feeling? The rain or your reaction? When you bump your knee against a table, the table's fine. It's busy being what it was made to Be -- a table. The pain is in your knee, not in the table. The mystics keep trying to tell us that reality is all right. Reality is not problematic. Problems exist only in the human mind. We might add: in the stupid, sleeping human mind. Reality is not problematic. Take away human beings from this planet and life would go on, nature would go on in all its loveliness and violence. Where would the problem be? No problem. You created the problem. You are the problem. You identified with "me" and that is the problem. The feeling is in you, not in reality. 

The third step: Never identify with that feeling. It has nothing to do with the "I." Don't define your essential self in terms of that feeling. Don't say, "I am depressed." If you want to say, "It is depressed," that's all right. If you want to say depression is there, that's fine; if you want to say gloominess is there, that's fine. But not: I am gloomy. You're defining yourself in terms of the feeling. That's your illusion; that's your mistake. There is a depression there right now, there are hurt feelings there right now, but let it be, leave it alone. It will pass. Everything passes, everything. Your depressions and your thrills have nothing to do with happiness. Those are the swings of the pendulum. If you seek kicks or thrills, get ready for depression. Do you want your drug? Get ready for the hangover. One end of the pendulum swings to the other. 

This has nothing to do with "I"; it has nothing to do with happiness. It is the "me." If you remember this, if you say it to yourself a thousand times, if you try these three steps a thousand times, you will get it. You might not need to do it even three times. I don't know; there's no rule for it. But do it a thousand times and you'll make the biggest discovery in your life. To hell with those gold mines in Alaska. What are you going to do with that gold? If you're not happy, you can't live. So you found gold. What does that matter? You're a king; you're a princess. You're free; you don't care anymore about being accepted or rejected, that makes no difference. Psychologists tell us how important it is to get a sense of belonging. Baloney! Why do you want to belong to anybody? It doesn't matter anymore. 

A friend of mine told me that there's an African tribe where capital punishment consists of being ostracized. If you were kicked out of New York, or wherever you're residing, you wouldn't die. How is it that the African tribesman died? Because he partakes of the common stupidity of humanity. He thinks he will not be able to live if he does not belong. It's very different from most people, or is it? He's convinced he needs to belong. But you don't need to belong to anybody or anything or any group. You don't even need to be in love. Who told you you do? What you need is to be free. What you need is to love. That's it; that's your nature. But what you're really telling me is that you want to be desired. You want to be applauded, to be attractive, to have all the little monkeys running after you. You're wasting your life. WAKE UP! You don't need this. You can be blissfully happy without it. 

Your society is not going to be happy to hear this, because you become terrifying when you open your eyes and understand this. How do you control a person like this? He doesn't need you; he's not threatened by your criticism; he doesn't care what you think of him or what you say about him. He's cut all those strings; he's not a puppet any longer. It's terrifying. "So we've got to get rid of him. He tells the truth; he has become fearless; he has stopped being human.'' HUMAN! Behold! A human being at last! He broke out of his slavery, broke out of their prison. 

No event justifies a negative feeling. There is no situation in the world that justifies a negative feeling. That's what all our mystics have been crying themselves hoarse to tell us. But nobody listens. The negative feeling is in you. In the Bhagavad-Gita, the sacred book of the Hindus, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, "Plunge into the heat of battle and keep your heart at the lotus feet of the Lord." A marvelous sentence. 

You don't have to do anything to acquire happiness. The great Meister Eckhart said very beautifully, "God is not attained by a process of addition to anything in the soul, but by a process of subtraction." You don't do anything to be free, you drop something. Then you're free. 

It reminds me of the Irish prisoner who dug a tunnel under the prison wall and managed to escape. He comes out right in the middle of a school playground where little children are playing. Of course, when he emerges from the tunnel he can't restrain himself anymore and begins to jump up and down, crying, "I'm free, I'm free, I'm free! A little girl there looks at him scornfully and says, "That's nothing. I'm four." 

The fourth step: How do you change things? How do you change yourselves? There are many things you must understand here, or rather, just one thing that can be expressed in many ways. Imagine a patient who goes to a doctor and tells him what he is suffering from. The doctor says, "Very well, I've understood your symptoms. Do you know what I will do? I will prescribe a medicine for your neighbor!" The patient replies, "Thank you very much, Doctor, that makes me feel much better." Isn't that absurd? But that's what we all do. The person who is asleep always thinks he'll feel better if somebody else changes. You're suffering because you are asleep, but you're thinking, "How wonderful life would be if somebody else would change; how wonderful life would be if my neighbor changed, my wife changed, my boss changed." 

We always want someone else to change so that we will feel good. But has it ever struck you that even if your wife changes or your husband changes, what does that do to you? You're just as vulnerable as before; you're just as idiotic as before; you're just as asleep as before. You are the one who needs to change, who needs to take medicine. You keep insisting, "I feel good because the world is right." Wrong! The world is right because I feel good. That's what all the mystics are saying. 

And where is this heaven

To a disciple who was obsessed with the thought of life after death, the Master said, "Why waste a single moment thinking of the hereafter?" "But is it possible not to?" "Yes." "How?" "By living in heaven here and now." "And where is this heaven?" "In the here and now."

Saturday, 1 December 2012

more important than "asking for" things and "getting for" things and "getting" things.

 

Celebration and praise, loving attention to the presence of God, become more important than "asking for" things and "getting for" things and "getting" things.

 

Contemplation in a World of Action: 159

Friday, 30 November 2012

the long, slow, boring and often painful route

When it comes to our development, when it comes to real change, the long, slow, boring and often painful route is quite reliably, the most direct.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." 


 

 

- Margaret Meade, was an American cultural anthropologist.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Rule of Life is an intentional pattern of spiritual disciplines that provides structure and direction for growth

Rule of Life is an intentional pattern of spiritual disciplines that provides structure and 
direction for growth in holiness.  A Rule establishes a rhythm for life in which is helpful for 
being formed by the Spirit, a rhythm that reflects a love for God and respect for how he has made 
us.  The disciplines which we build into our rhythm of life help us to shed the “old self” and 
allow our “new self” in Christ to be formed.  Spiritual disciplines are means of grace by which 
God can nourish us.  Ultimately a Rule should help you to love God more, so if it becomes a 
legalistic way of earning points with God or impressing others, it should be scrapped.  If the 
traditional, ancient term “rule” concerns you because it sounds legalistic, think of “rule” as a 
“rhythm of life” or as a “Curriculum in Christlikeness” (Dallas Willard), or as a “Game Plan for 
Morphing” (John Ortberg). 
In order to be life-giving, a Rule must be realistic!   It is not an ideal toward which you are 
striving to soar.  Instead, your initial Rule should be a minimum standard for your life that you 
do not want to drop below.  It’s a realistic level of engaging in the spiritual disciplines for which 
you can honestly and truly be held accountable.

Practicing a Rule of Life with others moves us against the grain of our individualistic culture.

Practicing a Rule of Life with others moves us against the grain of our individualistic culture. However, I believe that a Rule should grow from the positive aspects of our life, not what we perceive to be our failings.  We should discern it in conversation with God and others in our community, and we must make God the focus of our Rule (don't focus on  negative images of ourselves) and then we move in the directions in which we feel God's calling. A Rule of Life should be a response to being loved by God in the first place, and feeling moved to become what God calls us to be in this world.

Ever since St. Benedict's time, Christians have used a Rule of Life to provide an ancient yet powerfully consistent way to live into our present and future faith.

Monday, 26 November 2012

an apocalypse on Earth on December 21, 2012

an apocalypse on Earth on December 21, 2012

To live in communion, in genuine dialogue with others is absolutely necessary if man is to remain human.

To live in communion, in genuine dialogue with others is absolutely necessary if man is to remain human.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Come, dervishes: here is the water of life. Dance in it.

 Come, dervishes: here is the water of life. Dance in it.

 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Benedict (like Bill W) realized we must understand our dependence on God before being restored to sanity.

Benedict (like Bill W) realized we must understand our dependence on God before being 
restored to sanity.  “We are like a child on its mother’s lap,” Benedict writes, “cut off from 
nourishment, helpless, left without the resources we need to grow in the spirit of God.” 

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Police have several leads in the investigation of the large forest fire that started a week ago.

Suspicions that it was started malicously has possibly strengthened. Sources claim that the fire spread quickly because there was more than one fire. Witnesses stated inter alia, have seen an unidentified jeep coming from a farm between Ojén and Marbella exactly where the fire then got an awesome course. In Marbella, it was announced yesterday that it is now able to restore electricity, water and telephone networks in all affected areas. It is now under the companies just the kind of disruption that is "normal". In areas Elviria Ricmar has repaired water pipes, power lines and 3000 meters telephone and fiber optic cable. It has also been launched several campaigns to restore nature and conduct tree plantings. Biologists say that tree planting may be necessary until next year. The hotel chain Fuerte Hoteles has among other things promised to donate a tree for every hotel guest you have in Marbella. The hotels have also started a fundraiser where guests can help by buying a tree, which will then be planted in the affected area.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Marbella Forest Fire

Dream Warriors Testament: PART 1 ROCK BOTTOM Flash News best selling new addiction book

Dream Warriors Testament:PART 1 ROCK BOTTOM 

Dream Warriors testament, Arriving at a time in my life after thirty years of not drinking to leave an honest account of what it was like, my experience the good and the bad, the addictions of which alcohol was but one, the spiritual experiences and the formation of my personal program.The founding of Narcotics Anonymous in Spain.The trails and tribulations of the battles and failures with the ego.Many people need to remain anonymous within my journal and many may see there rolls differently.The writing is by a dyslexic this is not an excuse but a fact.Without the help of AA,NA,CA,ALANON,OA,SA and CODA this story would have not been possible.Many Angels have appeared in my life and I acknowledge you all.My sponsor and authentic founder of NA Spain remains my confident and long term friend.This person without any thought of reward spent endless time supporting me threw the early years of recovery  and whom I will be eternally grateful.

PART 1 ROCK BOTTOM


Now cast your mind back thirty years.A hopeless drunk is staggering our of a nightclub set in an area known as over the border in a North East English town. The street lights  shimmering off the tarmac rushed towards me as I crumpled into unconsciosness My semicomatse head bouncing off the granite curbstones feeling like a gentle caress. Blackout, oblivion was where my advanced alcoholism always took me. The promise of a wonderous adventure filled illusions had long since disappeared.The idea that I could handle alcohol or drugs had seemed irrelevant the inevitability of my condition overcame me I dimmely felt hands rifleing threw my pockets. Hopelessly drunk I was incapable of doing anything even my bodily functions now took care of themselves. Death, whatever that was, would have been welcomed as yet another phase of insane bingeing ran its course.By know I was starting to understand that once I drank I had no control over the outcome.All the excuses had been used up and I was in utter bewilderment as to why my longtime friend alcohol had turned on me.Where had my friends disappeared to and the conviviality of there happy company.

The answer crashed into my befuddled brain I had used up all there excuses as well as mine and had become the unfunny court jester who continuosly embarrassed them with drunken brawling heaping abuse onto those closest to me as the full reality of my condition became apparent to them all.The witty raconteaur had become the stinking drunk,bloated vomiting and unfunny.In reality I sorted out dark places where people like me sort the company of like minded others.The illegal blues clubs and shebeens the drinking dens for prostitutes and criminals.I could not resist the call to visit once I had, had that first drink.It did not matter what it was for I had long since recognised that if it was a weak shandy or a double whisky the results would be exactly the same.It came as no surprise to be lying in the gutter blacked out.

What did come as a surprise was to be sitting in the back of a taxicab.What had happened had I met with a good Samaritan for they where a rareity in this area of dockland.I was over the years after this to try many times to attempt to rationalise this answer out. Had some golden lady of the night rescued me doubtful but possible or a kindly taxi driver even more improbable.Yet here I was being dropped off outside my front door in a small suburban village.My eyes fearfully scanned the street for what had become the inevitable results of my binges a police car.I thanked the taxi driver and searched for my keys.No police car but now the guilt and remorse the terrible psychical withdrawal from alcohol gripped my being. I must have another drink as my skin started crawling and the stomach wrenching vomit reflex took hold.

It was at this time I recognised that all the lights were on yet there was no one in the house.I stopped I glanced at the red flock wallpaper with the glistening remains of the whisky glass catching the evidential reflection of the lights.Yes this was the right house.There was the drinks cupboard it was open nothing remained. Panic,fear my head whirled a neon red sign shown in my head NO DRINK.No drink nothing.I heard a car drive up my car, my wife.I needed to get what was left of the brain into gear.I wracked my brain for a solution something that would work something that would give one more drink anything.She was on the path give me an idea any idea nothing. The withdrawls were kicking in the shakeing was starting with the first tremors my fingers twitched as the withdrawls started.Its just a hangover.You used the magic word that would start the withdrawl HANGOVER. I didn’t do hangovers anymore I just got sick very sick very quickly.How the hell was I to get a drink I must have a drink.I needed a solution fast any solution.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Major wildfire in Malaga leaves elderly Briton dead and his wife missing

One person was confirmed dead and another missing on Friday night after a major wildfire Affected Municipalities of the Coin, Alhaurin el Grande, Mijas, Marbella and Ojén, in Málaga province. The victim is a British man aged 78 was found Whose charred body in the area of ​​Las Blanquillas, inside the city limits of Ojén. His wife has not yet been found. Meanwhile, a couple in late fifties was taken Their hospital with burns to 60 percent to of Their Bodies. Both lived in a detached home inside the Marbella residential estate of El Rosario. A mother and her two children were found hiding inside a cave in Ojén and taken to hospital to be Treated for smoke inhalation. Five other people Were Also Evacuated from Their Homes. The fire was Extending to the Sierra de las Nieves even as the chief of the firefighting department Málaga, Manuel Marmolejo, Announced That a new front had opened up and Reached the area of ​​Juanar, where two hotels had to be Evacuated. Marmolejo said Extending the wildfire was with "great virulence." The blaze Began around 6.50pm on Thursday and soon extended to a perimeter of Between 50 and 60 kilometers, said Marmolejo. An Estimated 1.000 hectares of land Have Been Affected.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Marbella eight urbanisations has been evacuated. 4,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

The village of Ojen and eight urbanisations in Marbella have been evacuated. 4,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

 

The fire broke out on Thursday afternoon and has affected Coín where some 60 homes have had to be evacuated. The fire was still burning overnight so the terrestrial fire fighters continued to work overnight, according to the fire fighting Infoca.
The extinction of the blaze was complicated by the strong hot wind known locally as the ‘Terral’.
Three of the four fronts were brought under control just after midnight.

The fire is also affecting Alhaurín El Grande and Mijas where homes have been evacuated in the Entrerrios area, according to the Junta de Andalucía.

The Barranco Blanco urbanisation in Coín is close to the fire, and there were fears that non-forestry zones could be affected.

In Calahonda there are flames in the urbanisation between Calle Cristóbal Colón and Residential Princess Park. The upper zone of Calahonda is being evacuated.

Two people have been seriously injured with burns. They were in the urbanisation El Rosario where five homes have been affected by the flames. The two injured were taken to the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella a 4.30am this morning. One of them has burns to 50% of their body.

The AP-7 Motorway was for a time overnight for a while.

The Mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, has confirmed that several urbanisations have been evacuated, including La Mairena, Elviria, the area of Las Chapas and Molinillo where the fire is concentrated and continues to advance.

The Hotel La Cala Resort has also been evacuated of its 200 guests.

Those evacuated have been told to go to the sports centre in La Cala, the sports centre in Las Lagunas or the Mijas Hippodrome.

Between 25 and 30 families have been evacuated from Alpujata on the outskirts of Monda.

13 airborne fire fighting planes were brought in on Thursday afternoon from Málaga, Córdoba and Granada, and they have resumed their work at first light.

Land forces totalled 99 fire fighters distributed in seven brigades, three reserve brigades, five fire engines, five operation technicians and four environmental vehicles.

The fire continues out of control on one front and the Mijas Town Hall has told the residents of la Atalaya to urgently leave their homes. A level 1 has been put in place and that indicates that the prevision for the fire could affect non-forestry assets.

350 firefighters are at the scene this morning and the fire fighting planes have returned to work.

Numerous homes have been burnt out and others seriously affected in Ojén and Marbella. The urbanisation La Mairena has flames affecting several properties.



The situation is particularly difficult in the upper part of Calahonda where residents have been evacuated and there are flames in the urbanisation between Calle Cristóbal Colón and the residential complex Princess Park.

Some 3,000 residents of El Rosario in Marbella have been evacuated, and German couple in their 60’s have been seriously hurt. Marbella Ayuntamiento says they were surprised by the flames and now have burns 40-50% of their bodies. 

Those affected by the blaze are being first treated in the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella, and then many suffering burns are being transferred to Málaga to the Specialist Burns Unit in the Carlos Haya Hospital.

People have been sleeping in sports centre in Monda and Marbella and municipal buses have been laid on as transport.

The Junta delegate in Málaga, José Luis Ruiz Espejo, has said today that he suspects the fire could have been started deliberately given its rapid propagation. He said the technicians suspected the fire was man made from the start.

Ground fire fighters worked through the night facing difficult terrain and totalled 99 fire fighters distributed in seven brigades, and three reserve brigades, five fire engines, five operation technicians and four environmental vehicles.

At first light this morning the 17 fire-fighting planes returned to the air.
Five planes which drop earth, four large capacity helicopters, five transport helicopters, two amphibian planes, and a plane for coordination and vigilance.

More than 250 professionals from fire fighting organisation INFOCA are working this morning in Mijas, Marbella, Alhauin de la Torre and in Coín where the fire started.

The Mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, has confirmed that several urbanisations have been evacuated, including La Mairena, Elviria, the area of Las Chapas and Molinillo where the fire is concentrated and continues to advance.
Between 25 and 30 families have been evacuated from Alpujata on the outskirts of Monda.

The fire broke out on Thursday afternoon and has affected Coín where some 60 homes have had to be evacuated. The fire was still burning overnight as so the terrestrial fire fighters continued to work over night, according to the fire fighting Infoca.
The extinction of the blaze is being complicated by the strong hot wind known locally as the ‘Terral’.

Three of the four fronts were brought under control just after midnight.

The fire is also affecting Alhaurín El Grande and Mijas where homes have been evacuated in the Entrerrios area, according to the Junta de Andalucía.
The Barranco Blanco urbanisation in Coín is close to the fire, and there were fears that non-forestry zones could be affected.
The Hotel La Cala Resort has also been evacuated of its 200 guests.

Those evacuated have been told to go to the sports centre in La Cala, the sports centre in Las Lagunas or the Mijas Hippodrome.
13 airborne fire fighting planes were brought in on Thursday afternoon from Málaga, Córdoba and Granada, and they resumed their work at first light this morning.

The fire continues out of control and the Mijas Town Hall has told the residents of la Atalaya to urgently leave their homes. A level 1 has been put in place and that indicates that the prevision for the fire could affect non-forestry assets.

A huge wildfire is approaching the wealthy resort of Marbella on Spain's Costa del Sol, where the authorities have evacuated thousands of people.

Flames reached the Elviria area on the edge of Marbella early on Friday.

About 1,000 people have been evacuated from the edge of Marbella, about 3,300 from Ojen and others from a camp site at Alpujata, Spanish media report.

They include at least 300 British expats sent to evacuation centres, the UK embassy told the BBC.

Marbella is famous for its up-market hotels and villas - it is a favourite haunt of wealthy foreigners.

Overnight the fire spread rapidly through a 12km (eight-mile) coastal strip, not far from holiday resorts.

Two people have suffered serious burns and some homes have been engulfed by the fire.

The Costa del Sol is one of Spain's most popular holiday destinations and home to a large British expatriate community.

The British embassy says it is working closely with the Spanish authorities and consular staff have been deployed to assist those affected.

Spain Costa del Sol map

Much of Spain's countryside was left tinder-dry this summer by a prolonged heatwave. There have been major wildfires in northern Catalonia - near the Pyrenees - and on La Gomera, in the Canary Islands.

The wind speed has dropped since Thursday and the air is more humid, so there are hopes that the Costa del Sol blaze can be contained soon.

More than 250 firefighters are battling the fire, helped by 17 aircraft dropping water to douse it, Spain's El Pais news website says.

The fire started on Thursday afternoon in the Sierra Negra area of Coin, near Malaga and has now affected an area of some 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres).

Part of the AP-7 highway was cut temporarily, but other roads are unaffected. It is not yet clear how many homes have been damaged or destroyed.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Amber Gold affair is one of the biggest financial scandals to hit Poland since the fall of communism in 1989.

It was pretty much all the money Bozena Oracz had after a working life as an accountant: the equivalent of $15,000. She placed it in a fund investing in gold, with the hope of paying for her daughter's studies and getting treatment for a bad knee.

Those dreams were dashed when she discovered she had fallen victim to an elaborate fraud scheme that has left thousands of Poles, many of them elderly, facing financial ruin.

The so-called Amber Gold affair is one of the biggest financial scandals to hit Poland since the fall of communism in 1989. The extent of wrongdoing is still murky, but it seems to have some elements of a pyramid scheme, meaning the financial institutionused funds from new clients to pay off older clients rather than investing them.

Consumed with anger and desperation, 58-year-old Oracz traveled last week from a small town near Warsaw to a law firm in the capital to consider whether, after losing 50,000 zlotys, she should risk another 3,000 zlotys ($920; €730) on the fee to join a class-action lawsuit seeking to recover some of the losses.

"This was a lot of money to me — it was my savings," Oracz said, fighting back tears. Now retired and living on a small pension, she sees no way of building another nest egg. "My pension barely covers my needs," she said.

The affair has raised questions about the effectiveness of Poland's justice system and government because authorities failed to act against the scheme despite red flags from regulators and the criminal record of its young owner. Scrutiny has also focused on the prime minister due to business dealings his son had with those running the scheme. The scandal has even touched democracy icon Lech Walesa, who fears it could tarnish his good name.

Prosecutors say investors lost about 163 million zlotys ($50 million; €40 million), a number that has been mounting as more and more victims come forward. Any law suits could take care years to go through the courts, with no guarantee of their outcome.

"People are desperate," said Pawel Borowski, a lawyer preparing the class-action suit that Oracz is considering joining. "In most cases the clients lost life savings or sold family properties to make investments."

The financial institution, Amber Gold, promised guaranteed returns of 10 to 14 percent a year for what it claimed were investments in gold. Many of its clients were older Poles who grew up under communism and lacked the savvy to question how a financial firm could guarantee such a high return on a commodity whose value fluctuates on the international market. The promised returns compared well to the 3 to 5 percent interest offered by banks on savings accounts — earnings essentially wiped out by the country's 4 percent inflation rate.

"These were people with a low level of financial education," said Piotr Bujak, the chief economist for Poland at Nordea Markets. "They think it's still like in the old times, where everything was guaranteed by the state. They underestimated the risk."

Amber Gold launched in 2009, opening branches in city centers alongside respected banks, with white leather sofas and other sleek touches that conveyed sophistication and respectability. It bombarded Poles with convincing advertisements. Some early investors got out with their expected gains, adding to the fund's credibility.

The company, based in Gdansk, capitalized on gold's allure while playing on people's anxieties in unpredictable financial times. "We are dealing with a loss of confidence in the entire financial system and an urgent need for safe investments," one ad said. "The environment for gold is perfect."

Amber Gold drew in 50,000 investors over its three years of operation, though the company's founder, Marcin Plichta, said there were only about 7,000 at the time of liquidation.

Soon after Amber Gold began operations, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority put it on a "black list" of institutions that operate like banks without authorization. There are 17 other such black-listed institutions in operation, but the regulators lack the authority to shut them down. This has sparked a debate in the government and news media about whether courts should be more aggressive in intervening.

According to prosecutors, the company did use some of its money to invest in at least one legitimate business: It was the main investor in budget airline OLT Express. It was this investment that brought Amber Gold down — when the airline filed for bankruptcy, Amber Gold entered liquidation and its scheme of investments unraveled. Its bank accounts were blocked and it was unable to return the money of thousands of its customers.

Plichta was charged this month with six counts of criminal misconduct.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk's center-right government went into damage-control mode when it emerged that the leader's son, Michal Tusk, had done PR work for the airline. Tusk said he had warned his son against doing business with Plichta but that ultimately he son makes his own decisions.

Leszek Miller, the head of the opposition Democratic Left Alliance, asked how Tusk could warn his son against involvement in the airline but not warn the thousands of Poles who invested in the fund. Miller has called for a parliamentary inquiry into the scandal.

Public discontent is also centering on the justice system because Plichta, 28, has past convictions for fraud, and many Poles are asking why authorities — aware of his criminal record — didn't stop him sooner. Born Marcin Stefanski, he took his wife's last name to distance himself from his past crimes.

The country's top prosecutor, Andrzej Seremet, admitted Monday that prosecutors were negligent in failing to heed multiple warnings since 2009 about Amber Gold from the financial supervisory body. He announced personnel changes in the office he blamed for mistakes.

The affair also has an unlikely connection to the Solidarity leader and former president, Lech Walesa, because an Oscar-winning director, Andrzej Wajda, was relying on money from Amber Gold to produce a film about Walesa's struggle in the 1980s.

Walesa came out publicly to make clear he is not involved in any way, saying he doesn't want his name "dirtied."

Many of the unlucky investors are not only furious but wracked by shame and guilt.

Engineer Andrzej Malinowski, 61, put three months of salary — 25,000 zlotys ($7,660; €6,100) — into Amber Gold. He made the investment without consulting with his wife, sensing that there was some risk and that she would not have agreed.

Now he is so shaken and embarrassed that he doesn't want to talk about it, leaving his wife, Danuta Malinowska, to help unravel the mess.

"He saw that gold was going higher and higher so he believed that maybe it would be a good deal," Malinowska said. "Now he has so much guilt that I am trying to help — contacting the lawyer, filling in the forms, writing to the prosecutors. But the justice system is very ineffective. I don't believe we will be getting any of this money back."

Monday, 27 August 2012

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales new leader is emerging at the head of one of Mexico's most feared drug cartels.

  • Mexico Drug War Zetas_Plan.jpg

    This undated image taken from the Mexican Attorney General's Office rewards program website on Aug. 23, 2012, shows the alleged leader of Zetas drug cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, alias âZ-40.â (AP Photo/Mexican Attorney General's Office website)

Mexico's Violent Zetas Cartel Sees New Leader Miguel Angel Trevino Morales A split in the leadership of Mexico's violent Zetas cartel has led to the rise of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, a man so feared that one rival has called for a grand alliance to confront a gang chief blamed for a new round of bloodshed in the country's once relatively tranquil central states.

Trevino, a former cartel enforcer who apparently has seized leadership of the gang from Zetas founder Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, is described by lawmen and competing drug capos as a brutal assassin who favors getting rid of foes by stuffing them into oil drums, dousing them with gasoline and setting them on fire, a practice known as a "guiso," or "cook-out".

Law enforcement officials confirm that Trevino appears to have taken effective control of the Zetas, the hemisphere's most violent criminal organization, which has been blamed for a large share of the tens of thousands of deaths in Mexico's war on drugs, though other gangs too have repeatedly committed mass slayings.

"There was a lot of talk that he was pushing really hard on Lazcano Lazcano and was basically taking over the Zetas, because he had the personality, he was the guy who was out there basically fighting in the streets with the troops," said Jere Miles, a Zetas expert and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent who was posted in Mexico until last year.

"Lazcano Lazcano, at the beginning he was kind of happy just to sit back and let Trevino do this, but I don't think he understood how that works in the criminal underworld," Miles said. "When you allow someone to take that much power, and get out in front like that, pretty soon the people start paying loyalty to him and they quit paying to Lazcano."

The rise has so alarmed at least one gang chieftain that he has called for gangs, drug cartels, civic groups and even the government to form a united front to fight Trevino Morales, known as "Z-40," whom he blamed for most of Mexico's violence.

"Let's unite and form a common front against the Zetas, and particularly against Z-40, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, because this person with his unbridled ambition has caused so much terror and confusion in our country," said a man identified as Servando Gomez, leader of the Knights Templar cartel, in a viedo posted Tuesday on the internet.

A Mexican law enforcement official who wasn't authorized to speak on the record said the video appeared to be genuine,

"He is the main cause of everything that is happening in Mexico, the robberies, kidnappings, extortion," Gomez is heard saying on the tape. "We are inviting all the groups ... everyone to form a common front to attack Z-40 and put an end to him."

Trevino Morales has a fearsome reputation. "If you get called to a meeting with him, you're not going to come out of that meeting," said a U.S. law-enforcement official in Mexico City, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.

In two years since Zetas split with their former allies in the Gulf cartel — a split in which Trevino reported played a central role — the gang has become one of Mexico's two main cartels, and is battling the rival Sinaloa cartel.

Now the Zetas' internal disputes have added to the violence of the conflict between gangs. Internal feuds spilled out into pitched battles in the normally quiet north-central state of San Luis Potosi in mid-August, when police found a van stuffed with 14 executed bodies.

San Luis Potosi state Attorney General Miguel Angel Garcia Covarrubias told local media that a 15th man who apparently survived the massacre told investigators that both the killers and the victims were Zetas. "It was a rivalry with the same organized crime group," Garcia Covarrubias said.

The leadership dispute also may have opened the door to lesser regional figures in the Zetas gang to step forward and rebel, analysts and officials said.

Analysts say that a local Zetas leader in the neighboring state of Zacatecas, Ivan Velazquez Caballero, "The Taliban," was apparently trying to challenge Trevino Morales' leadership grab, and that the 14 bullet-ridden bodies left in the van were The Taliban's men, left there as a visible warning by Trevino Morales' underlings.

The Taliban's territory, Zacatecas, appears to have been a hot spot in Trevino's dispute with Lazcano. It was in Zacatecas that a professionally printed banner was hung in a city park, accusing Lazcano of betraying fellow Zetas and turning them in to the police.

Trevino began his career as a teenage gofer for the Los Tejas gang, which controlled most crime in his hometown of Nuevo Laredo, across the border from the city of Laredo, Texas, officials say.

Around 2005, Trevino Morales was promoted to boss of the Nuevo Laredo territory, or "plaza" and given responsibility for fighting off the Sinaloa cartel's attempt to seize control of its drug-smuggling routes. He orchestrated a series of killings on the U.S. side of the border, several by a group of young U.S. citizens who gunned down their victims on the streets of the American city. American officials believe the hit men also carried out an unknown number of killings on the Mexican side of the border, the U.S. official said.

Trevino Morales is on Mexico's most-wanted list, with a reward of 30 million pesos ($2.28 million) offered for information leading to his capture.

Raul Benitez, a security expert at Mexico's National Autonomous University, said that the Zetas are inherently an unstable cartel with an already huge capacity for violence, and the possibility of more if they begin fighting internal disputes. "I think the Zetas are having problems, and there is no central command," he said.

The Zetas have been steadily expanding their influence and reaching into Central America in recent years, constructing a route for trafficking drugs that offloads Colombian cocaine in Honduras, ships it overland along Mexico's Gulf Coast and runs into over the border through Trevino Morales' old stomping grounds.

Samuel Logan, managing director of the security analysis firm Southern Pulse, notes that "personality-wise they (Trevino Morales and Lazcano) couldn't be more different," and believes the two may want to take the cartel in different directions. The stakes in who wins the dispute could be large for Mexico; Lazcano is believed to be more steady, more of a survivor who might have an interest in preserving the cartel as a stable organization.

"Lazcano may be someone who would take the Zetas in a direction where they'd become less of a thorn in the side for the new political administration," Logan said in reference to Enrique Pena Nieto, who is expected to take office as president on Dec. 1. "In contrast, Trevino is someone who wants to fight the fight."

Referring to Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel, a member of the rival Sinaloa Cartel who died in a shootout with soldiers in July 2010, Logan noted, "Trevino is someone who is going to want to go out, like Nacho Coronel went out, with his guns blazing."




Laurence Kilby, 40, of Cheltenham, who built and raced cars, was arrested after police seized cocaine with a street value of £1m.

 

Laurence Kilby, 40, of Cheltenham, who built and raced cars, was arrested after police seized cocaine with a street value of £1m.

A "privileged" racing driver has been jailed with 11 other drug smugglers. Crown Court heard he was head of a gang moving drugs from Eastern Europe along the M4 corridor to London, western England and south Wales.

Kilby was heavily in debt and turned to crime to maintain his lifestyle of fast cars and high living.

Raids on properties

Kilby was jailed in June but his conviction, and those of the rest of the gang, can now be reported following the conclusion of another trial.

In an undercover operation between Gloucestershire and Avon and Somerset Police, officers seized 3kg of cocaine as it was being ferried between London and Cheltenham in October 2010.

Another 1kg of the drug was intercepted in Cheltenham in February 2011 and 2.5kg was discovered in raids on properties in Cheltenham, Staverton, Bristol and London in July 2011.

The gang of 12 drug dealers from Gloucestershire, Bristol and London received sentences of between 18 years and four years seven months.

It can now be reported Kilby, who was jailed in June, and Vladan Vujovic, 43, of Grange Road, London were found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Both were jailed for 18 years.

Laurence Kilby racing in the 2009 Castle Combe Saloon Car ChampionshipKilby built and raced cars with the company he owned, Ajec Racing

Richard Jones, 42, of Bradley Stoke, Bristol, was sentenced to 15 years for the same offence, and Mark Poole, 47, from Portishead, was sentenced to nine years seven months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Police said Kilby sourced the drug in London from an East European criminal gang, which included Vujovic.

Vujovic ran a baggage handling company at Heathrow Airport and was said to receive the cocaine before it was distributed around the South West and Wales.

Kilby is the former husband of Flora Vestey, daughter of Lord Vestey, and was owner of motor racing firm Ajec Racing which was based in Staverton.

He was heavily in debt and turned to crime to maintain his lifestyle of fast cars and high living.

'Well-connected socialite'

In a separate charge, Kilby also pleaded guilty to stealing money from the charity Help for Heroes and was sentenced to 10 months, to run concurrently with his 18-year sentence.

He organised a charity race day at Gloucestershire Airport in July 2010, but failed to pass on between £3,500 and £4,000 in proceeds to the charity Help for Heroes.

Det Insp Steve Bean, from Gloucestershire Police, said Kilby was the main man.

"He portrayed himself as a well-connected socialite and businessman, whilst indulging his ambition as a minor league racing driver.

Drugs wrapped in plastic packagesPolice seized 6.5kg of drugs during the operation

"Despite a privileged background, the reality was that his lifestyle was funded by the ill-gotten gains of drug dealing.

"He continually lied and blamed others in an attempt to distance himself from the conspiracy.

"He displayed an air of arrogance and thought he could get away with it because he didn't get his hands dirty."

The majority of the gang were jailed in June, but reporting restrictions meant it could not be reported until now, after the sentencing of the remaining gang members.

Others members of the gang to be sentenced were:

  • David Chapman, 29, from Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply and was sentenced to nine years.
  • William Garnier, 31, from Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to supplying Class A drugs and was sentenced six years and eight months.
  • Garry Burrell, 46, from Easton, Bristol, and John Tomlin, 28, from Newtown, Gloucestershire both pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and were sentenced to six years and six months and four years and six months respectively.
  • Timothy Taylor, 40, from Bristol was found guilty of supplying Class A drugs and was sentenced to four years and seven months.
  • Brian Barrett, 48, from Keynsham was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and was sentenced to 10 years.
  • Scott Everest, 39, from Clevedon was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and was jailed for seven years.

Jonathan Tanner, 45, from Warminster was sentenced to 18 months for possession with intent to supply of cannabis, but was cleared of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Darren Weetch, 38, from Bristol, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply. He was sentenced to 16 months.

Officers also worked with Thames Valley Police and the Metropolitan Police during the operation.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

During experiments on the axons of the Woods Hole squid (loligo pealei), we tested our cockroach leg stimulus protocol on the squid's chromatophores.

 

 The results were both interesting and beautiful. The video is a view through an 8x microscope zoomed in on the dorsal side of the caudal fin of the squid. We used a suction electrode to stimulate the fin nerve. Chromatophores are pigmeted cells that come in 3 colors: Brown, Red, and Yellow. Each chromatophore is lined with up to 16 muscles that contract to reveal their color.

Paloma T. Gonzalez-Bellido of Roger Hanlon's Lab in the Marine Resource Center of the Marine Biological Labs helped us with the preparation. You can read their latest paper at:http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2012/08/13/rspb.2012.1374

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Artist Draws 8,628 Self-Portraits Under the Influence of Love and Other Drugs

 

As of this moment, Bryan Lewis Saunders has drawn 8,628 self-portraits. By the end of the day, he’ll have completed 8,629. And although he’s recently become known as the guy who draws under the influence of drugs, his creations have been inspired by everything from death to body hair over the years.

“All day every day, images and feelings of the world come into me and it’s inescapable,” said Saunders in an e-mail to Wired. “So I thought if I did a self-portrait every day for the rest of my life, with no rules, the world and I could be more linked to my nervous system. And I could die knowing that I tried to experience as much as possible while I was alive.”

Saunders, a 43-year-old Virginia native who currently lives in Tennessee, comes off looking like the art world’s Louis C.K. in his wildly diverse images. He began his self-portrait experiment on March 30, 1995, after an art-history class discussion about the prevalence of artists who put themselves into images of the world around them. He didn’t entirely agree with that tack, so he flipped the concept on its head. (See his “normal face” self-portrait, which is the first image in the gallery above.)

 

Over the years, he’s created self-portraits based on love, the loss of family members and neighbors, his attempts at quitting smoking and the time he shaved off his body hair. And even though he’s not a “brony,” he once drew inspiration from My Little Pony. In the process, the amazingly prolific artist has opened a weird little window into life in modern America.

For the series based on his experiments with recreational and prescription drugs, he took everything from cocaine and Abilify to cough syrup and computer duster, then drew while under the influence. The resulting self-portraits range from intricately beautiful (psychedelic mushrooms) to insanely brutal (bath salts).

He’s undertaken other strange adventures as well, using the unusual experiences to generate unique imagery. “For 28 days I blocked up my external ears and attached a copper funnel to my mouth in an effort to connect my Eustachian tubes to my pineal gland by physically rerouting the way in which sound entered my body,” he said of his Third Ear Experiment.

“Only a severe stroke or coma could stop me from completing the self-portrait-a-day work.”

To date, Saunders has filled stacks of sketchbooks with his drawings — some days he does as many as nine of them. For the first decade of the project, the self-portraits were his primary artistic outlet. (In addition to drawing, Saunders now also does spoken word and performance art, and collaborates with musicians).

He doesn’t have any plans to stop cranking out the creative images. “Only a severe stroke or coma could stop me from completing the self-portrait-a-day work,” Saunders said.

Even though he’s had offers over the years to show his self-portraits at galleries, he’s been wary to hand them all over for fear of losing his life’s work. (He once had an entire exhibition stolen and had another sculpture vandalized during a show.) However, a collection of his drug-influenced self-portraits will be on display early next year at La Maison Rouge in Paris.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Addiction Books For relaxation When 50 Shades of Grey doesn’t cut it.



The Science of Addiction: From Neurobiology to Treatment 

Carlton K. Erickson
312 pages 
Publisher: W. W. Norton and Company (2007)

Amazon Overview: Neuroscience is clarifying the causes of compulsive alcohol and drug use––while also shedding light on what addiction is, what it is not, and how it can best be treated––in exciting and innovative ways. Current neurobiological research complements and enhances the approaches to addiction traditionally taken in social work and psychology. However, this important research is generally not presented in a forthright, jargon-free way that clearly illustrates its relevance to addiction professionals. In The Science of Addiction, Carlton K. Erickson presents a comprehensive overview of the roles that brain function and genetics play in addiction.


The Addiction Solution: Unraveling the Mysteries of Addiction through Cutting-Edge Brain Science

David Kipper and Steven Whitney
304 pages
Publisher: Rodale Books (2010)

For decades addiction has been viewed and treated as a social and behavioral illness, afflicting people of “weak” character and “bad” moral fiber. However, recent breakthroughs in genetic technology have enabled doctors, for the first time, to correctly diagnose the disease and prove that addiction is an inherited, neuro-chemical disease originating in brain chemistry, determined by genetics, and triggered by stress. In their groundbreaking Addiction Breakthrough, David Kipper, MD, and Steven Whitney distill these exciting findings into a guide for the millions of adults who want to be free from the cycle of addiction, and for their loved ones who want to better understand it and to help.


In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
520 pages 
Publisher: North Atlantic Books (2010) 

Based on Gabor Maté’s two decades of experience as a medical doctor and his groundbreaking work with the severely addicted on Vancouver’s skid row, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts radically reenvisions this much misunderstood field by taking a holistic approach. Dr. Maté presents addiction not as a discrete phenomenon confined to an unfortunate or weak-willed few, but as a continuum that runs throughout (and perhaps underpins) our society; not a medical "condition" distinct from the lives it affects, rather the result of a complex interplay among personal history, emotional, and neurological development, brain chemistry, and the drugs (and behaviors) of addiction. Simplifying a wide array of brain and addiction research findings from around the globe, the book avoids glib self-help remedies, instead promoting a thorough and compassionate self-understanding as the first key to healing and wellness. 


Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines his Former Life on Drugs 

Marc Lewis
336 pages 
Publisher: PublicAffairs (2012)

Marc Lewis’s relationship with drugs began in a New England boarding school where, as a bullied and homesick fifteen-year-old, he made brief escapes from reality by way of cough medicine, alcohol, and marijuana. In Berkeley, California, in its hippie heyday, he found methamphetamine and LSD and heroin. He sniffed nitrous oxide in Malaysia and frequented Calcutta’s opium dens. Ultimately, though, his journey took him where it takes most addicts: into a life of addiction, desperation, deception, and crime. But unlike most addicts, Lewis recovered and became a developmental psychologist and researcher in neuroscience. In Memoirs of an Addicted Brain, he applies his professional expertise to a study of his former self, using the story of his own journey through addiction to tell the universal story of addictions of every kind.


The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction

Dirk Hanson
472 pages 
Publisher: BookSurge (2009)

A book for anyone concerned with the care and healing of addiction, substance abuse, and the latest advances in the area of addiction science. In The Chemical Carousel, science writer Hanson takes the reader on a voyage through the heady world of addiction science, from the lab to the clinic to the junky on the street. Hanson explains the workings of common neurotransmitters and documents the direct effect drugs and alcohol produce on the reward pathways of the brain. He shows how scientists and treatment professionals have finally given us an answer to the perennial question about addiction: Why can't those people just say no?


An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug, Cocaine

Howard Markel
336 pages 
Publisher: Vintage (2012)

Acclaimed medical historian Howard Markel traces the careers of two brilliant young doctors--Sigmund Freud, neurologist, and William Halsted, surgeon--showing how their powerful addictions to cocaine shaped their enormous contributions to psychology and medicine. When Freud and Halsted began their experiments with cocaine in the 1880s, neither they, nor their colleagues, had any idea of the drug's potential to dominate and endanger their lives. An Anatomy of Addiction tells the tragic and heroic story of each man, accidentally struck down in his prime by an insidious malady: tragic because of the time, relationships, and health cocaine forced each to squander; heroic in the intense battle each man waged to overcome his affliction.


How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol

Kenneth Anderson
86 pages 
Publisher: CreateSpace (2010)

This book is the first comprehensive compilation of harm reduction strategies aimed specifically at people who drink alcohol. Whether your goal is safer drinking, reduced drinking, or quitting alcohol altogether, this is the book for you. It contains a large and detailed selection of harm reduction tools and strategies which you can choose from to build your own individualized alcohol harm reduction program. There are many practical exercises to help people change their behaviors, including risk-ranking worksheets, drinking charts, goal choice worksheets, and many more. There are also innumerable practical tips from folks who "have been there" and have turned their drinking habits around for the better. 


Rethinking Substance Abuse: What the Science Shows, and What We Should Do about It

William R. Miller and Kathleen M. Carroll
320 pages 
Publisher: Guilford Press (2010) 

While knowledge on substance abuse and addictions is expanding rapidly, clinical practice still lags behind. This state-of-the-art book brings together leading experts to describe what treatment and prevention would look like if it were based on the best science available. The volume incorporates developmental, neurobiological, genetic, behavioral, and social–environmental perspectives. Tightly edited chapters summarize current thinking on the nature and causes of alcohol and other drug problems; discuss what works at the individual, family, and societal levels; and offer robust principles for developing more effective treatments and services.

Writers On The Edge: 22 Writers Speak About Addiction and Dependency

Diana Raab and James Brown
204 pages
Publisher: Modern History Press (2012)

Writers On The Edge offers a range of essays, memoirs and poetry written by major contemporary authors who bring fresh insight into the dark world of addiction, from drugs and alcohol, to sex, gambling and food. Editors Diana M. Raab and James Brown have assembled an array of talented and courageous writers who share their stories with heartbreaking honesty as they share their obsessions as well as the awe-inspiring power of hope and redemption. Frederick & Steven Barthelme, Kera Bolonik, Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Maud Casey, Anna David, Denise Duhamel, B.H. Fairchild, Ruth Fowler, David Huddle Perie Longo, Gregory Orr, Victoria Patterson, Molly Peacock, Scott Russell Sanders, Stephen Jay Schwartz, Linda Gray Sexton, Sue William Silverman, Chase Twichell, and Rachel Yoder


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