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Man Who Makes a Living From Mark Zuckerberg’s Trash Bin


SAN FRANCISCO — Three blocks from Mark Zuckerberg’s $10 million Tudor home in San Francisco, Jake Orta lives in a small, single-window studio apartment filled with trash.

There’s a child’s pink bicycle helmet that Mr. Orta dug out from the garbage bin across the street from Mr. Zuckerberg’s house. And a vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer, a coffee machine — all in working condition — and a pile of clothes that he carried home in a Whole Foods paper bag retrieved from Mr. Zuckerberg’s bin.

A military veteran who fell into homelessness and now lives in government subsidized housing, Mr. Orta is a full-time trash picker, part of an underground economy in San Francisco of people who work the sidewalks in front of multimillion-dollar homes, rummaging for things they can sell.

Trash picking is a profession more often associated with shantytowns and favelas than a city at the doorstep of Silicon Valley. The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, counts more than 400 trash picking organizations across the globe, almost all of them in Latin America, Africa and southern Asia.

But trash scavengers exist in many United States cities and, like the rampant homelessness in San Francisco, are a signpost of the extremes of American capitalism. A snapshot from 2019: One of the world’s richest men and a trash picker, living a few minutes’ walk from each other.

Mr. Orta, 56, sees himself as more of a treasure hunter.

“It just amazes me what people throw away,” he said one night, as he found a pair of gently used designer jeans, a new black cotton jacket, gray Nike running sneakers and a bicycle pump. “You never know what you will find.”

Mr. Orta says his goal is to earn around $30 to $40 a day from his discoveries, a survival income of around $300 a week.

Trash picking is illegal in California — once a bin is rolled out onto the sidewalk the contents are considered the possession of the trash collection company, according to Robert Reed, a spokesman for Recology, the company contracted to collect San Francisco’s garbage. But the law is rarely enforced.

Mr. Orta was born in San Antonio, Tex., one of 12 children. He spent more than a dozen years in the Air Force, loading aircraft during the Persian Gulf war of 1991 and was dispatched to Germany, Korea and Saudi Arabia. By the time he returned to the United States, his wife had left him, and he struggled with alcoholism and homelessness. He moved to San Francisco, and five years ago qualified for a program assisting chronically homeless veterans.

At dusk he leaves his apartment building, which is wedged between a popular brunch spot for tech workers and a cannabis shop in the heart of the Mission neighborhood. The smell of marijuana fills the vestibule. Walking up a steep hill lined with mature trees, he passes homes that could pass for works of art: Victorians, some with stained glass and elaborate cornices and moldings painted in a soft palette of pastels, ocher, celadon and teal. A virtual tour of the neighborhood on the Zillow site shows that homes valued at $3 million and above are the norm.

But Mr. Orta doesn’t look at the architecture. He walks the streets, slightly stooped, his eyes on the ground and a flashlight in his back pocket. His friends call him the Finder.

On the six times Mr. Orta went out with a reporter, he followed a variety of circuits, but usually ended up exploring his favorite alleys and a dumpster that has been bountiful. (The first rule of dumpster scavenging, he said, is to make sure there’s no raccoon or possum in there.) In March, the dumpster yielded a box of silver goblets, dishes and plates, as if someone had yanked a tablecloth from underneath a feast in some European chateau.

“How do you say it?” William Washington, one of Mr. Orta’s trash-picking colleagues, remarked one night. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Mr. Orta’s other recent discoveries: phones, iPads, three wristwatches and bags of marijuana. (“I smoked it,” he said when asked how much he got for the pot.) In late August or September, as participants return from the annual Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, Mr. Orta says he often finds abandoned bicycles covered in fine sand.

Mr. Orta says he only takes what people have clearly thrown away, although 14 years ago he spent a few months in jail for breaking into someone’s garage in Sacramento and trying to steal a wrench for his bicycle. “It was a dumb mistake,” he said.


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Tree Nuts Linked to Better Blood Sugar Control in Type 2 Diabetes


New research into the health benefits of nuts for people with type 2 diabetes suggests that all nuts grown on trees can help reduce and stabilise blood sugar levels.

For this latest study, which appears online in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers in Canada reviewed 12 clinical trials involving a total of 450 predominantly middle-aged diabetic participants.

During the trials, each participant ate nearly two daily servings (56g or roughly half a cup) of tree nuts, which include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, coconuts, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pine nuts and pistachios. The notable nut exclusion was peanuts, which are defined as legumes.

The research team found this daily intake of tree nuts led to improvements in both fasting blood glucose and HbA1c, both important markers for diabetes control.

Dr John Sievenpiper, a physician and researcher in the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre of St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, said the best results were reported when tree nuts were used as a replacement for refined carbohydrates, rather than saturated fats, in participants' diets.

Nuts, particularly tree nuts, are high in healthy unsaturated fat, Dr Sievenpiper explained, adding that while they can also be high in calories, no weight gain was reported among the trial participants. 

"Tree nuts are another way people can maintain healthy blood sugar levels in the context of a healthy dietary pattern," he concluded.

Commenting on the study, Dr Richard Elliott, of charity group Diabetes UK, warned that the findings were based on short clinical trials, "many of which were of low quality."

He added: "Owing to these limitations, further research will be needed to find out whether or not tree nuts carry particular benefits for people with type 2 diabetes."

Earlier this month, research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that two servings of pistachios a day could help people with type 2 diabetes manage stress and, in the longer term, lower their risk of heart disease.

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Fake Porn is the New Fake News, and The Internet isn’t Ready


Ever since Facebook finally admitted to having a fake news problem, it's been trying to fix it. It hired thousands of people to help block fake ads, pledged to work with third-party fact-checking organizations and is busy building algorithms to detect fake news. But even as it attempts to fight back against fraudulent ads and made-up facts, another potential fake news threat looms on the horizon: Artificially generated fake video.

Motherboard recently uncovered a disturbing new trend on Reddit, where users create AI-generated pornographic clips by swapping other people's faces onto porn stars. The outlet first reported on the phenomenon a month ago when Reddit user "deepfakes" posted a video of Gal Gadot's face swapped onto a porn star's body (he's since created more fake porn with other celebrities). According to Motherboard, the video was created with machine learning algorithms, easily accessible open-source libraries and images from Google, stock photos and YouTube videos.

But while that was just the one user faking pornographic videos, now there's an app helping tens of thousands of others do it too, not just with celebrities, but with everyday people. Motherboard reports that the app can be used by people without a technical background or any programming experience. The app creator, who goes by the name of "deepfakeapp," told Motherboard he eventually wants to streamline the UI so that users can "select a video on their computer, download a neural network correlated to a certain face from a publicly available library, and swap the video with a different face with the press of one button." Though the resulting fake videos aren't perfect, some do look eerily realistic.

Needless to say, this has frightening consequences. Not only does this open the door for a horrifying new kind of revenge porn, where a vengeful ex could slap your face on an x-rated video, it also opens a Pandora's box of fears where nothing on the internet can ever be trusted. After all, false news claims are already widely read and shared on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It doesn't take much imagination to think of a world where foreign nation states can use AI to create and disseminate videos of politicians or public figures saying things they've never said. It would be fake news taken to a dystopian extreme.

At a recent AI roundtable in San Francisco, a panel of experts from various Bay Area tech companies was asked how they could safeguard against such malicious practices. Li Fan, Pinterest's head of engineering, said that, in the specific case of face swapping celebrities into adult movies, blocking fraudulent videos wouldn't be too difficult. That's because you could run a facial matching algorithm to filter out well-defined databases of celebrity faces. But that, unfortunately, probably wouldn't be the end of it.

"Where it gets really hard is when you have a mouse and cat game," she said. "There will always be hackers and fraudsters who will do more. It's really a game where we have to keep catching up." Andrew Bolwell, the head of HP Tech Ventures, suggested that the best defense for an AI hacker is an AI defender. " [Still] As the defense gets better, the attack gets better ... it's really hard to imagine an answer to that, that would cover all of the use cases."

Perhaps the most intriguing answer came from Joaquin Quinonero Candela, Facebook's Director of Applied Machine Learning. "I am confident that we can build algorithms to detect counterfeit content," he said, echoing the sentiments of the rest of the panel, and also agreed with the "AI is the best defense" comment. But he also agreed that the rising ease and efficiency of imitation algorithms presents a pretty big, ongoing problem. A problem which, right now, doesn't seem to be going away.

Just a few months ago, a research team at the University of Washington was able to create an artificial video of president Obama mouthing the words to a recording of himself. The team used 14 hours of his weekly address to train a neural network to sync his lips to the audio. The system even adjusted for head and jaw movement to make the whole thing look more realistic. While this sort of video magic would've previously required hours upon hours of painstaking CGI work, the team simply let the neural network run itself for a few hours and, voila, a fake video is born.

And that's not all. A few years ago, Stanford University developed a software called Face2Face, which can capture someone's facial expressions on a webcam and then transfer them to the person in a video. A team at University of Alabama at Birmingham is also working on creating synthesized speech culled from audio taken from YouTube videos and radio shows.

Alexander Reben, the Bay Area artist and engineer behind "Deeply Artificial Trees," a Bob Ross-inspired art piece powered by machine learning, said that the technology behind faking videos will only get more advanced over time. "I think not only is the technology here to fool the average person," he said via email, "home computing hardware is now cheap enough for this sort of thing to be done by anyone."

"One could train another system with fake and real images to try to differentiate them," he said about using AI as a defense. "However this just might lead to an arms race of the faking systems trying to game the detecting systems."

There are positive use cases for such technology, Reben said, such as using it in cinema or bringing a loved one "back to life" as a digital character. "But probably the bigger implication will be that we can trust our eyes and ears even less."

On the other end of the spectrum are machine learning experts like Candela, who are busy using artificial intelligence to help weed out fake news in the first place. But things are not perfect. Dan Zigmond, Facebook's Director of Analytics for News Feed, said in a YouTube videolast November that despite all the company's best efforts to identify and downrank fake news, it still takes three whole days for fact checkers to verify a story. Three days is more than enough time for a story to go viral, and for misinformation to spread (Zigmond did acknowledge this in the video, and said Facebook is working on improving this going forward).

A couple of weeks ago, a clickbait story from YourNewsWire claimed that the US Center for Disease Control had said that the flu shot was the culprit behind the recent spate of flu-related deaths. It turns out, however, that the story was a complete fabrication. In fact, the CDC has been strongly encouraging people to get the flu shot due to how severe the flu season is this year. Snopes debunked the story almost immediately, but it was too late. Before long, the story generated more than 176,000 engagements, despite the fact that Facebook had already unverified one of the publication's two pages. People were still sharing the story.

"Facebook today cannot exist without AI," said Candela in an interview with Wired Magazine last February. "Every time you use Facebook or Instagram or Messenger, you may not realize it, but your experiences are being powered by AI." At the same time, however, he also admits that AI is still young. "The challenge is that AI is really in its infancy still," he said in the same interview. "We're only getting started."

It's true that AI is helpful in a lot of ways. Computer vision helps the visually disabled navigate the web with descriptive captions, it can assist you in sorting through your favorite vacation photos, and automated language translation helps people from different countries communicate with one another. And, yes, Facebook uses its special algorithm to surface the connections and stories it thinks are most interesting to you, which is useful for keeping up-to-date with your friends and family.

But AI can be harmful in the wrong hands, and even though AI can in turn be used to detect bad actors, it's clearly insufficient against human fallibility. And seeing as the technology isn't even successful in blocking misleading news stories, it seems unlikely that it'll be able to stop fake video from propagating before it's too late. Companies like Facebook need to be mindful that one of its core responsibilities is to act as community safeguards. And we can't afford to be collateral damage in a cat and mouse game of AI versus AI.


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Google’s New Android App Stops Other Apps from Wasting Your Data


Google is launching another stylish and simple Android app designed to help people manage one of the core functions of their phone — in this case, data usage.

The app is called Datally, and it’s supposed to help you understand where you data is going and cut down on how much you’re using. Datally will show which apps are using data the most and at what times your data is getting used up; it’ll also recommend ways to cut down data usage based on your own activity and suggest nearby Wi-Fi networks for you to connect to.

More importantly, there’s a big button at the top of the app that lets you stop all background data usage, so only the app that’s actively onscreen can use mobile data. A chat-head style bubble will also pop up to let you know how much data your currently running app is using up. And if you don’t want to block every single app from using background data, Datally will let you go in and control data usage on an app by app basis, too.

If you’re a longtime Android user, Datally might not sound all that exciting. Nearly all of the app’s functions are already built into Android directly. But those features are hidden inside the settings menu, and they aren’t spelled out quite as neatly as they appear to be inside Datally. As a standalone app, it’ll also be much easier for people to find and remember to use.

Datally is being released as part of Google’s Next Billion Users initiative, which is focused on making Google products more usable in countries that have limited mobile connections and where lower-end hardware remains widespread. That’s why the initiative is focusing on basic features like storage management — as with its last standalone app — and data usage. It’s also why Datally takes up a tiny 6MB of space.

Josh Woodward, the product manager overseeing Datally, says the idea for the app came from seeing the lengths that people go to preserve data, particularly in countries where mobile plans remain relatively expensive. In Delhi, Lagos, and Buenos Aires, Woodard said his team saw people who would keep their phone on airplane mode at all times to prevent data usage. When they wanted to check their notifications, they’d turn airplane mode off, let all the info rush in, and then turn airplane mode back on while they looked over the new information.

“A bunch of us on the team spent a lot of time on long flights observing people in their homes, bus stations, classrooms, and kept seeing this airplane mode behavior,” Woodward told The Verge.

Google has been testing Datally in the Philippines since this summer. The company says it’s already hit over 500,000 users and that it’s been able to save people, on average, 30 percent of their data. As of today, the app is being released to the rest of the world and is available to any phone running Android 5.0 or higher.

Obviously, if you can afford to use the extra data, you probably won’t want to use this app. Cutting off background data use will hurt your overall phone experience, as not only will apps not refresh content in the background, but apps won’t send you push notifications either (which means you wouldn’t be able to chat with someone over anything but SMS). But if you’re constantly bumping up against your data cap, Datally seems like an easy way to start figuring out where the problem is.

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The Fastest Self-Made Billionaires


There are 1,826 billionaires in the world. Becoming one is an extremely impressive feat. However, some billionaires are more impressive than the rest.

Here are a few of the fastest self-made billionaires:

John D. Rockefeller – Standard Oil

Time it took to reach $1 billion: 25 years

Fun Fact: Rockefeller is considered the wealthiest and one of the most charitable people of all time, with an adjusted net worth of $345 billion. He founded the University of Chicago but refused to have the school named after him because he didn’t want his name to overshadow the school.

How he did it: Thanks to nonexistent laws regarding monopolies, Rockefeller made a fortune by founding Standard Oil. He started Standard Oil in 1870 when he was 31-years-old in Cleveland, OH after his early career as a produce broker. Within a few years, he bought nearly every refinery in Cleveland and became one of the most powerful men in America.

By the early 1890s, Standard Oil controlled 90% of oil in America, making him America’s first billionaire and one of the reasons why monopolies are now highly regulated.

Bill Gates – Microsoft

Time it took to reach $1 billion: 12 years

Fun Fact: When he was 15-years-old, Gates made $20,000 by selling a program he designed to monitor street traffic.

How he did it:In 1978, three years after starting Microsoft, Gates had 25 employees and $2.5 million in revenue. By 1983, Microsoft powered 30% of the world’s computers.

In 1986 Microsoft went public, giving Gates a net worth of $350 million. He was 30-years-old. Soon, that number increased to billions, making him the richest, gangster-est nerd in America.

Sergey Brin & Larry Page – Google

Time it took to reach $1 billion: 8 years

Fun Fact: The year Google launched, Brin and Page co-wrote a paper explaining why they didn’t want to start a company funded by advertising. Advertising now makes up 90% of Google’s revenue. Hmm…

How they did it: Brin and Page came up with the idea of Google as part of a school project at Stanford. After building a prototype, the pair tried selling the company to web portal startup Excite for $1.6 million. Page told Excite that he’d take $600,000 in cash, $700,000 in stock, and the remaining $300,000 would be given to Stanford.

Thankfully, Excite countered with $750,000 and Page declined. Brin and Page became billionaires a few years later while they were in their early 30s when Google IPO’ed.

Sean Parker – Facebook

Time it took to reach $1 billion: 6.5 years

Fun Fact: Before Facebook raised funding, Parker convinced an artist to paint a mural in the first Facebook office. Instead of accepting $60,000 in cash, the artist asked for stock in Facebook. The artist, David Choe, is now worth over $200 million today because of his stock.

How he did it: Prior to becoming the first president of Facebook, Parker started Napster and Plaxo. After a few years, Napster shut down and was sued for (literally) a trillion dollars and Parker was forced out of Plaxo, leaving him broke. He was forced to stay on his friends’ couches.

Thankfully, 24-year-old Parker met 22-year-old Mark Zuckerberg six months after Facebook launched. The rest, as they say, is history.

Jeff Bezos – Amazon

Time it took to reach $1 billion: 4.5 years

Fun Fact: When Amazon was founded in 1994, Bezos paid himself a salary of $60,000. Since then his total annual pay has risen to $1.68 million. But only $81,840 goes to his salary. The other $1.6 million covers his security detail.

How he did it: Bezos left his high-paying gig at a New York investment firm to start Amazon. He was 31-years-old and had the help of $300,000 from his parents. Amazon, initially just a book-selling site, had sales of $20,000 two months after launch. Amazon went public three years later, which soon made Bezos a billionaire.

His parents’ investment is now worth close to $12 billion, giving Bezos the right to drink his coffee out of a “World’s Greatest Son” and have it be true (arguably his greatest accomplishment).

Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook

Time it took to reach $1 billion: 4 years

Fun Fact: In 2012, when he was already the 40th richest person in the world, Zuckerberg took out a $6 million loan to buy his house because he negotiated an interest rate of 1%. With inflation at around 3%, this meant he borrowed the money for free.

How he did it: Facebook launched in 2004 at Harvard, and had 1,500 users in its first 24 hours. Within seven months Zuckerberg left Harvard, moved the company to Palo Alto, and raised $500,000 in funding. In 2006, Zuckerberg turned down an acquisition offer of $1 billion by Yahoo.

Pierre Omidyar – eBay

Time it took to reach $1 billion: 3 years

Fun Fact: The most expensive item ever sold on eBay was a $168 million yacht.

How he did it: Omidyar created the first version of eBay as a side project in 1995 when he was 28-years-old. Within nine months the site was making enough money for Omidyar to quit his job. In year three, eBay went public, making Omidyar an instant billionaire.

Andrew Mason – Groupon

Time it took to reach $1 billion: 2.5 years

Fun Fact: Groupon was originally called The Point and was inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point.

How he did it: Everyone knows what Groupon is, but most people don’t realize that it’s the fastest-growing company ever. Groupon landed a billion dollar valuation after raising $135 million only 17 months after launching. Additionally, according to Forbes, it took Groupon seven months to become profitable and only 2.5 years to do over a billion dollars in revenue.

Of course, I’d be withholding information if I didn’t let you know that Groupon isn’t doing so hot nowadays.

Gary Winnick – Global Crossing

Time it took to reach $1 billion: 1.5 years

Fun fact: While Winnick lost most of his wealth in the telecom crash, he still owns a $225 million mansion in Los Angeles, which has a replica of the Oval Office. When it was for up sale in 2013, the house was considered the most expensive home in America.

How he did it: In 1997 Winnick created Global Crossing, which laid fiber optic cables across the Atlantic Ocean. AT&T, Microsoft, and other corporations used Global Crossing’s cables to access their Asian customers. A year later Global Cross went public, making Winnick a billionaire in 18 months; one of the few winners of the dot-com bubble.

Four years later Global Crossing filed for bankruptcy and was accused of fraud. This resulted in having to pay $335 million to shareholders. If it looks too good to be true, it is.

Jay Walker – Priceline

Time it took to reach $1 billion: 1year

Fun fact: After making his billions, Walker started collecting books. He now has one of the most impressive libraries in the world.

How he did it: Prior to founding Priceline, Walker was the founder of Synapse Group, a finance startup that was acquired for $300 million. Walker started Priceline using the funds from the Synapse sale. Priceline launched in 1998 and sold 40,000 tickets within four months of launching. In 1999 the company went public, making Walker a billionaire.

Walker did the business equivalent of dropping the mic as he left the company in 2000. Talk about a fast ride.




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An Evidence-Based Look at Coconut Oil and Dementia


Coconut oil and MCTs are effective for dementia and Alzheimer’s. And using coconut oil instead of vegetable oils protects your brain from degenerative disease.

In the past few years coconut oil has experienced a reversal of fortune.

It’s gone from being considered an unhealthy fat to being the latest superfood.

In countries of Asia and the South Pacific where coconut is called the “tree of life,” it never went out of fashion.

Populations that traditionally use coconut oil are exceptionally healthy with low incidences of modern diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. (12)

Now the rest of the world is finally coming back around!

One potential use for coconut oil that’s still under debate is as a treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s.

There is convincing anecdotal evidence that coconut oil can halt and even reverse the progression of degenerative brain diseases.

But does this hold up to scientific scrutiny?

And if not, should you include coconut oil in your diet anyway?

Here’s everything you need to know about how coconut oil uniquely feeds the brain and how effective it is for preventing and treating dementia and Alzheimer’s.

And how important it is for you in maintaining a healthy brain.

Your Brain Needs Healthy Dietary Fats

First, let’s get this out of the way.

Low-fat diets have been a disaster for our brains.

Some experts believe low-fat eating may be responsible for the recent increase in brain disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, and even Alzheimer’s.

Of all your organs, your brain especially needs fat.

It’s largely made up of fat, 60% by weight.

Your brain cell membrane integrity largely depends on the quality of the fats you eat.

And healthy brain cell membranes are critical for brain health and function.

They control what’s allowed in (nutrients) and what gets out (toxins).

When unhealthy trans fats get integrated into brain cell membranes, they become less efficient.

Trans fats even condemn your brain cells to shorter lives.

It’s not an exaggeration to say the quality of your brain cells depend on the quality of the fats you eat.

The healthiest plant-based fats are not canola, soy, sunflower, and other seed-based oils like we’ve been led to believe.

These highly processed oils not only contain unhealthy trans fats but are rancid by the time you get them home. 

Foods that contain fats that are good for your brain include avocados, nuts, fatty cold-water fish, and olive oil.

But when it comes to healthy brain foods, coconut oil is in a category of its own.

Here’s why.

How Medium Chain Triglycerides Uniquely Feed the Brain

There are few dietary sources of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), and the best source by far is coconut oil.

MCTs are critical for the development of the human brain and are found in abundance in breast milk.

People who cook with coconut oil get plenty of MCTs, but they are rare in the typical modern diet.

Most vegetable oils are long chain triglycerides.

These are larger molecules that are hard to break down and are readily stored as fat.

Coconut oil’s unique medium chain triglycerides are smaller, more easily broken down, and are available as a backup source of energy for your brain.

Here’s why that’s important:

Your brain uses 20% of your daily energy input. 

Your brain does not store energy so it needs a constant supply.

For most people, most of the time energy is provided in the form of blood glucose.

If your brain cells don’t get the energy they need, they start to die within minutes.

Fortunately, there’s a back-up energy system in place for times you can’t get the energy your brain needs from carbohydrates.

Your liver breaks down stored fat to produce ketones (also called ketone bodies) that can be used as a substitute fuel during times of starvation.

Ketones readily cross the blood-brain barrier to provide instant energy to brain cells.

Normally there aren’t a lot of ketones in the body to provide energy to the brain.

One way to access ketones as an alternative source of brain fuel is with a high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet.

Ketogenic diets have been used to treat children with epilepsy for decades. 

But not everyone wants to eat this way and it is notoriously difficult to get people with dementia or Alzheimer’s to change their diets.

Coconut oil and its MCTs provide a convenient workaround.

They provide instant energy to brain cells without the assistance of insulin.

Here’s why that’s key to understanding how coconut oil can help dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s: Diabetes of the Brain

What does this ability of MCTs to fuel the brain without insulin have to do with Alzheimer’s?

As we age, our brains become less able to process glucose as brain fuel.

Brain cells becomes insulin-resistant.

Alzheimer’s patients’ brain cells have lost the ability to uptake the glucose they need and subsequently die.

This has led to the theory that Alzheimer’s is actually a type of diabetes — diabetes of the brain.

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It’s sometimes referred to as type 3 diabetes.

But coconut oil bypasses glucose metabolism, getting energy directly to the brain cells that need it. 

By using PET scans, it can be seen that the areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s readily take up ketones as an alternative fuel source. 

This is very exciting news!

Dementia and Alzheimer’s are often used interchangeably, but are not the same thing. Dementia is an umbrella terms that describes a set of symptoms. There are over 90 types of dementia. Alzheimer’s is one of them.

The Alzheimer’s Case that Put Coconut Oil on the Map

As a neonatal physician, Dr. Mary Newport was very familiar with the use of MCT oil supplements which are given to premature infants.

When her husband, Steve, developed early-onset Alzheimer’s she understood how the MCTs in coconut oil could bypass glucose metabolism to directly feed his brain.

She included coconut oil in his diet along with supplemental MCT oil with considerable success.

One standard measurement for Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders is the Clock-Drawing Test.

Patients are asked to draw a clock.

If their clock is missing important details like hands or numbers, it’s indicative of a problem.

Steve took the clock test before starting his coconut oil regime and then again shortly thereafter.

Here are his results.

Alzheimer's clock test

You can see how his clock renderings dramatically improved after a short time on coconut oil indicating his brain function was improving.

Dr. Newport wrote a detailed account of her husband’s progress and her struggle to get the medical establishment to consider coconut oil and MCT oil treatment in Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure?.

In her book, you’ll note that her husband’s progress was not all uphill.

Over the years he has experienced ups and downs.

But Dr. Newport is certain that coconut oil slowed down the progression of his disease.

Dr. Newport’s Coconut Oil Recommendations for Dementia

Dr. Newport recommends starting with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil 2 or 3 times a day with food and working up to 3 to 5 tablespoons a day of coconut oil and/or MCT oil.

Signs you’ve taken too much too soon are diarrhea or an upset stomach.

You can download a copy of her Coconut Oil Dietary Guidelines or learn more on her website

Dr. Newport reports that coconut oil is now being successfully used for treating many neurological disorders including Parkinson’s, stroke, traumatic brain injury, glaucoma, Down syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington’s.

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It also reduces diabetic complications such as insulin resistance, retinopathy and kidney damage. 

Dr. Newport has been contacted by hundreds of people who have halted or even reversed their mental decline with coconut oil.

The growing body of anecdotal evidence for coconut oil for Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders is compelling.

But anecdotal evidence for using coconut oil to treat dementia is not enough for the practice to be endorsed by the mainstream medical community.

What does the latest scientific research show?

Scientific Evidence for Coconut Oil and Dementia

Naysayers will say there is no evidence that coconut oil does a thing for your health or your brain.

It’s very likely your doctor will fall into this category if you ask him about coconut oil to treat dementia or anything else.

He might even tell you to avoid it because of the (unfounded) fear that it will raise your cholesterol.

The National Institutes of Health’s database lists thousands of studies done on coconut oil, ketones, and MCT oil.

Here’s a sample of findings based on the latest scientific research:

Coconut oil reduces the beta-amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s. 

Ketones increase mitochondrial efficiency and supplement the brain’s normal energy from glucose, and is a promising new area of Alzheimer’s research. 

High-fat diets, ketone bodies and MCTs offer neuroprotective benefits for a wide range of neurological diseases, including all forms of dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke, and traumatic brain injury. 

High-fat diets, especially ones that include the MCTs found in coconut oil, can delay brain aging by providing extra fuel to repair brain cell damage. 

Adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) experience significant improvement in memory recall within 90 minutes of a single dose of MCT oil. 

✓ MCT Oil
Ketones slows the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (

Isolated caprylic acid, a medium chain triglyceride found coconut oil, shows anti-aging, anti-Alzheimer’s, and anti-autism properties.

Ketogenic diets increase glutathione, a naturally occurring antioxidant, which is especially protective of the hippocampus, the part of the brain considered the seat of memory

A fair amount of research shows MCT oil useful for cognitive decline in dogs. 

Coconut Oil Study on Alzheimer’s Underway

The University of South Florida Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute is currently testing coconut oil as a potential Alzheimer’s treatment.

Dr. Newport was instrumental in getting this study funded by using her expertise on this topic including the hundreds of testimonies she has collected since publishing her book.

 Mind Lab Pro Universal Nootropic
This study is using Fuel for Thought, a brain-enhancing drink fortified with coconut oil and MCT oil.

The estimated study completion date is June, 2017.

You can learn more about the Coconut Oil for Alzheimer’s Disease study at

How to Get More Coconut Oil Into Your Diet

Unfortunately, it’s easy to get the impression that you should take coconut oil by the spoonful like medicine.

coconut oil for dementiaBut there is no extra benefit in incorporating it into your diet this way.

Instead, swap it out for unhealthy oils you may currently be using like canola, sunflower, or safflower oil.

You can use it anywhere you normally use butter, margarine, or nut butters.

You can bake, saute, fry and roast with it or add it to smoothies, and the results will be delicious!

✓ Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is unusual in that its melting point is room temperature — 76°F/24°C.

So you’ll probably find it alternates between being solid and liquid.

The only cooking caveat is to not drizzle it on salad — it will turn into unappetizing little lumps.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Use olive oil, another brain healthy oil, for that.

Related article — 
For more ways to use coconut oil, see our brain food recipes and brain healthy snacks.

MCT Medical Food for Alzheimer’s

If someone you know has Alzheimer’s, they understandably may be concerned about going against doctor’s orders if the doctor is not in agreement about coconut oil.

In that case, talk to the doctor about the prescription-only “medical food” called Axona that utilizes MCTs.

You can learn more about it at

 MCT Oil
Coconut Oil for Dementia and Alzheimer’s: The Bottom Line

The anecdotal evidence that coconut oil can stop, slow down, or even reverse mental decline is compelling.

Now a growing body of scientific evidence backs this up.

But don’t wait until this idea becomes mainstream or until you hear it from your doctor.

You will be waiting years, but your brain can’t wait.

Coconut oil is a top brain food that should be a part of a healthy diet anyway.

For this reason alone, there is very good evidence for switching from unhealthy vegetables oils and making coconut oil a mainstay of your diet.

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Still On Stand-up Comedy In the Church, By David Dimas


It is obvious that the days when church services and programmes were organised for spiritual edification of believers are gone. These days it takes more than music, prayers and sermons to get Christians excited about going to church. Stand-up comedy has been added in a bid to, informally, entertain the congregants before they are ministered to. The aim, as hypothesised by its advocates, is “to make people laugh and forget their problems, even if it is just for a while”.

The rise of stand-up comedy in Church has attracted and made many laugh during services. Yet, be that as it may, the church seems to have gone a little too far in this effort or experiment to spread the gospel or reach the unchurched.

To be clear, there is no biblical provision that frowns against humour in the pulpit. In fact, humour can help preachers break the ice and connect with their congregations as they pass their messages across. Historically, many preachers include funny stories and examples to lighten the mood for effective communication with their audiences.

In addition, I don’t even think there is any rule against telling jokes in the church, and this piece is not criticising the gifted comedians in the church. However, it is getting harder not to get concerned about some of the jokes comedians crack pertaining to sacred issues, biblical heroes and ministers of the gospel from pulpits, during events that are supposed to be periods of sober reflection and divine encounter.

In reaction to the criticism of stand-up comedy in the church, many have been quick to bring up the subject of drama in church also. They argue that there is no provision for drama in the scriptures, and that if stand-up comedy is to be pushed out of the pulpit, drama should face the same fate. However, like me, many will differ with this viewpoint. As a stage director and script writer back in my school days, I recall that we used drama to entertain and educate the audience with godly messages.

If we continue to centre programmes around comedy, we might as well continue to offer temporary solutions to worshippers and forget God’s permanent solution to their challenges.

I love to laugh and enjoy comedy. I have a few all-time favourite TV comedy shows that I watch repeatedly. And I enjoy going to comedy shows. But I can’t help but wonder about the future spiritual well-being of churches when comedy, instead of Christ, is now considered a cure for the everyday challenges or stress that people are facing.

Many backers of the trend maintain that standup comedy was brought in to make the church more lively and funny. That is debatable. The trend spiked when featuring popular comedians and celebrities, no doubt, began to fill church halls to capacity.

Given that relatively few people pay attention to the origin and purpose of church service, the odds are very high that only a handful of Christians care less about any direction churches take. It comes, therefore, as a deep embarrassment that no one seems to care that the world is watching and laughing at us, not with us.

We all experience divergent emotions. Some tend to enjoy short humour, cracked in the middle of messages from the pulpit, while others laugh at every joke from the pulpit, irrespective of who or what the subject of the joke is. Nonetheless, there are numerous things that we might find funny but which are not pleasing to God.

The growing attempt by churches to engender a system that attracts and entertains people is happening at a time when the world needs the church to step up with the message of healing, grace, mercy, reconciliation and love all over the world.

If we continue to centre programmes around comedy, we might as well continue to offer temporary solutions to worshippers and forget God’s permanent solution to their challenges.

In all, churches should exercise great care and not allow the self-interested yearnings to become mega churches solely motivate their directions. Undoubtedly, humour has its place in the church, but while there are things you can joke about, there others that are best left on the altar of sanctity as a mark of respect and honour to God’s name and His emissaries.

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Behind The Mad Rush of Young Nigerian Men For Older Foreign Women


HAS Nigeria become the target of old European, American and Asian women in need of toy boys? The question is provoked by the increasing number of online pictures of young Nigerian men being joined in matrimony with older foreign women, some with an age difference as wide as 50 years. If there were doubts that physical attraction could play a role in the choice of a lover, one would need to hear Angela Nwachukwu, a 72- year-old British grandmother speak of her beau, a 27-year-old Nigerian simply identified as CJ. “He was so handsome, with big, brown eyes and a body to match,” she said. Six months after her marriage broke down and she became lonely and isolated, Angela found a friend’s request from Nwachukwu on Facebook, which she accepted. Their conversation progressed rapidly until it culminated in exchange of marital vows.

In spite of their age difference of 50 years and the long distance between them, it was learnt that CJ popped the ‘will you marry me’ question to the British grandmother via Skype. The couple later wedded in Nigeria and had only seen each other twice because Mr. Nwachukwu was denied a tourist visa by the UK immigration authorities on grounds of insufficient financial backing. Mrs Nwachukwu said she had spent more than £20,000 on the wedding and flights as well as litigation to enforce her husband’s right to visit her in the UK. Trending on the social media these days are pictures of Nigerian toy boys proudly displaying their martial accomplishments with European and American ladies.

In May this year, the story of a young Nigerian man estimated to have got married in his 20s made the rounds as she celebrated his sixth wedding anniversary with a much older European woman. Although the age of the woman in question was not stated, the photos estimate of the woman’s age could not be less than 60, based on her physical appearance. The groom, identified simply as Jonny, took to his social media page on May 24 to wish himself and his much older wife, identified as Brenda Skala, a happy sixth wedding anniversary.

•A couple

“My special day with a special number #6thanniversary,” Jonny wrote on Instragram, with Brenda also responding, “My dream come true love!” Better than slay mamas If you have doubts that older European or American ladies could be better than ‘slay mamas’, ask Muiz Adebiyi, a Nigerian man married to Susan Smith, an older American lady. When Adebiyi celebrated the second marriage anniversary of his union with Ms Smith, not a few Nigerians tongue-lashed him, prompting him to respond to the critics via an interview with a national newspaper and describing them as “haters”. While he would not disclose the age difference between him and his wife, he said he was attracted to her because of her calm nature, which made her a better choice than many ‘slay mamas’.

“We had known each other for two years before we decided to get married three years after,” Adebiyi, a footballer and car dealer gleefully announced. “There were issues, but our family members later understood that age is just a number and that love does not have limit. We are quite in love and happy with ourselves. I never convinced anyone. I got happiness from what I did.” Describing her as the best woman after his mother, Adebiyi refused to answer questions posed to him on the likelihood of the union producing children.

Cole and Michael

This year alone, there have been more than 10 leaked photographs of younger Nigerian men who got married to older foreign women at the Ikoyi Registry in Lagos. A trader at the registry, who pleaded anonymity, said the trend has become rampant in recent times, and some of the marriages, though lacked parental consents, had the consents of family members and friends who often show up in colourful aso ebi (ceremonial uniform). With the way the trend is turning out, can it be safely assumed that inter-racial marital relationships between younger men and older women is usually a sweet sail without consequence? Not quite! Jane Cole, 58, met Michael, a 28-year-old Nigerian bartender in Gambia while she was on holiday in the tiny West Africa country.

It was said that Michael’s charming and attentive nature drew her in immediately. As the relationship blossomed within a short while, Michael made it clear that he wanted something more than just a onenight stand while she was on holiday in the country. Completely sucked in, Jane agreed and he subsequently moved with her to the UK. It was not long after the couple arrived the UK that Jane began to question Michael’s loyalty, especially when he began to disappear for long periods. Her suspicion led her to trace a number that appeared frequently on his phone bill until she reached a woman with whom Michael had maintained a relationship with for six years. “When I confronted Michael, he just admitted it and laughed. I was devastated.

My self-confidence sank to an all-time low. He had drained me of everything, both financially and emotionally.” The union crumbled with one of the parties feeling used and dumped. Commenting on the trend, a professor of Sociology at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Mabayoje Aluko, told The Nation that the few cases that have trended online are not sufficient to make generalisations that the trend is popular. He said: “If you compare this with the ‘baby mama’ phenomenon, you will discover that one is more widespread. We would hardly count 10 cases, so it is difficult to make generalisations that this kind of marriages are an emerging trend.

“Also, we can’t just jump into conclusion to say it is love or it is not love. If we look at what is happening in Nigeria, especially the problem with the political economy, it is letting unusual behaviour to manifest, so much so that what one would not do ordinarily, people are doing it. Youths are not gainfully employed and people have this impression that unless you relocate elsewhere, you won’t make it. So it is like it could be a desperation factor adopted to survive harsh times,” he said. “Again if you look at it, you’ll notice that in Yoruba culture, for a 30-year-old boy to ask a 50-year-old woman out is unimaginable.

An unnamed couple at the Ikoyi registry, Lagos

These are some of the issues that we can use to generalise, but it has to do with some issues in the political economy and lack of opportunities on the part of the youth who are desperate to make it.” Femi Olutade, a youth counsellor who shared his thought on the issue, said marriage as an institution is built on the atmosphere created by the principal players, adding that a home cannot be built with money alone but with values and beliefs. Relating to whether age plays an important factor in a marriage relationship, he said: “It is not a matter of age. The real question here is what kind of result will these guys be producing which are the children whether biological or adopted? And even if the aim of the marriage is not to produce children, it will produce something in the lives of the players, because the result of marriage is not only seen in the children, it is also seen in the players, which are the parents.

The reason is there’s no phase you go through in life that doesn’t leave a trace in your life.” He believes that the implication of the trend on the society depends on the motive of the youth who engage in such acts. “If the marriage is with clear, noble cause, it will surely have a good result. But if those guys are doing it for ulterior motives, the result will be devastating for the society. “Now, what I am saying it is right to marry someone old enough to be your grandmother? No. My point is this: marriage is an institution, a project. The man who receives the blueprint from God should through the help of God get the right resource for the job. This resource I’m talking about is not an individual; it is an unction created by God, and God can place that unction on any individual.”Behind the mad rush of young Nigerian men for older foreign womenBehind the mad rush of young Nigerian men for older foreign women

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One Mistake People Make Using Public Wi-Fi


If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: Avoid doing anything you would not want anyone in the world to know on public Wi-Fi. You may think you're safe in that busy café or big-name hotel, but public Wi-Fi is a major liability.

It doesn’t matter how safe the connection seems to be; your computer is vulnerable to hackers because you have no idea who is really in charge of that router or who has access to it and all the data that passes through it. Knowledge is power. Learn how crooks attack your computer on public Wi-Fi.

There are lots of ways to protect yourself, of course. Your best defense is a virtual private network (VPN), which can prevent nosy strangers from snooping on your browser. You can also employ the usual firewalls and antivirus software to defend your computer from hackers and malware. Learn more about VPNs and safe browsing on public WiFi.

Even the best security systems have their weaknesses, and you have likely never heard of this one: File sharing on a public network can expose your computer to data thieves.

This is a scary problem because you may not even realize that you’re sharing files. But if your computer is on the wrong setting, you may attract any number of cyber-criminals. So how do you make sure your computer isn’t leaking information by accident?

File Sharing

File sharing is very handy, especially for groups of people. Whether you’re using iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive, file sharing allows a large team to work on a single project at once, or families to browse digital photo albums, or data specialists to organize large batches of information. This is very convenient, as long as you’re on your own secure network.

But if you’re sharing files on public Wi-Fi, your folders may be accessible to anyone connected to the same public network. In other words, file sharing automatically exposes your computer and everything you intend to share. Your vacation photos may end up in the wrong hands, and so could your contracts, spreadsheets, and tax information.

In fact, you don't have to be a hacker to take advantage of shared folders. Anyone who looks around their network folders can instantly run a search and find unguarded files.

It works the other way around too.

An attacker can also set up a shared folder with malicious files. You may stumble into the mysterious folder and think, “Wait a minute, where did this come from?” Then you click on it, releasing the malware onto the desktop. There are other ways you can get into trouble. Learn how to avoid getting hacked on the road.

Want to ensure your privacy? Make sure to turn off file sharing before you connect to public WiFi. Here’s how to do it:

Turn off file sharing on Windows

1. Search for "Control Panel" then click on the best match to open it.

2. Under "Network and Internet," click on "View network status and tasks."

3. On the next page, click "Change advanced sharing settings."

4. Under "File and printer sharing," tick off "Turn off file and printer sharing."

5. To prevent network snoopers from seeing your computer, tick off "Turn off network discovery" too.

6. Save changes.

Turn off file sharing on a Mac:

1. Open your Mac's System Preferences (the gear icon on your dock).

2. Click on the "Sharing" icon.

3. On the next "Sharing Page," uncheck File Sharing.

4. I also recommend that you uncheck all the other sharing services here when connecting to public Wi-Fi.

5. Close the window and you're set.

Turn file sharing back on

Okay, you’re done your business, and now you can log off of public Wi-Fi. You’ve taken all the necessary precautions, and there’s a good chance none of your information was compromised.

Just remember to switch your file sharing back on when you get back to your home or office. None of these services will work unless you restore your regular settings. When you’re back on your secure server, you can continue sharing to your heart’s content.

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Apple Smart Glasses-Like Devices Will Eventually Replace Smartphones, HoloLens Creator Says


Smart glasses is a device category that seems to have had a roller coaster of a ride when it comes to development. The category had a head start with the Google Glass, however, when it was discontinued some time back, the category was thought to have gone dead. Later, the Snapchat Spectacles were launched and now, Apple is rumored to be working on its own smart glasses.

The concept is expected to be different from Snapchat and Google’s offerings — Apple might be working on an AR-enabled smart glasses.

According to experts such as former Wall Street analyst Gene Munster and the man behind Microsoft’s HoloLens VR technology,  Alex Kipman, smart glass technology is just about to take off and has a huge potential — it might replace smartphones someday.

"The potential of these devices is that they could one day replace your phones, TVs, and all these screens. Once your apps, videos, information, and even social life are projected into your line of sight, you won't need any other screen-based gadgetry … [it's] the natural conclusion of mixed reality," Kipman told Windows Central on Friday.

Kipman’s assessment might seem too futuristic but not impossible. Technology such as HoloLens-based Mixed Reality is already providing a huge leap in terms of mixing the virtual and real since it actually embeds the virtual holograms in the user’s line of vision, giving the user a VR view which seems somewhat real and not wholly virtual.

Replacing TV screens with VR headsets has already begun for gamers, but including this functionality in smart glasses is also probable.

Replacing smartphones with smart glasses would be a humongous task. Imagine a world in which smart glasses could do all the work a smartphone is capable of doing. This means a user can answer phone calls by simply looking at his/her smart glasses,  probably by winking or using a button on the device and getting the sound in an attached headset.

A similar functionality with onboard buttons could be used to even write texts using voice assistants and videos could be captured using an attached camera — like the one on the Snapchat Spectacles. A similar approach could also be applied to gaming too. Playing games on a pair of smart glasses might be even more interesting. 

But what Kipman’s concept doesn’t take into account are the issues with running a device using the eyes instead of fingers. Unless and until this technology develops enough not to stress out a user’s eyes, a pair of smart glasses will just remain a dream device without currently irreplaceable functionality that a smartphone provides.

That being said, concepts such as Mixed Reality might hold the key to the development of this technology and companies like Apple, with its recent acquisition of eye-tracking company SMI, might be the ones to push the technology towards practical realization.


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Guys: Most Women Don’t Want You to Bone Them For Over 15 Minutes


Misinformation and sex are about as tightly bound together as Love Island and fake tan. 

Maybe it’s because sex is supposed to be private, or maybe it’s because Brits are crap when it comes to talking about anything more personal than the weather.

Whatever the reason, a lot of sex myths have been allowed to live on, way past our teenage years when naivety is understandable.

The most prevalent?

That women are impressed, or pleased, when sex goes on, and on, and on, and on.

I have no idea who makes the rules about sex and time, but whoever it was did a very poor job.

Women are supposed to come almost instantly. A couple of minutes of penetration and we should be wailing to the rafters. If you take much longer than that, you’re failing. Which is probably why some women feel compelled to fake it.

Guys: Most women don't want you to bone them for over 15 minutes

That’s why he keeps the watch on. (Picture: Ella Byworth for

Men, on the other hand, are not allowed to come quickly. They’re supposed to have self control, and stamina, and keep going endlessly. If you’re a ‘real’ man you will have been boning your partner all night long.

Only, if we’re going to be really honest with you guys… that’s not what most women actually want.

When sex goes on for ever it starts to get uncomfortable. Sore even. And if it’s a really, really long time?

It can get a little bit boring.

In a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, which addressed how long sex ‘should’ last from a female perspective, sex therapists found that intercourse which lasted 1-2 minutes was ‘too short,’ (no s**t Sherlock).

3-7 minutes was ‘adequate,’ 7-13 minutes was ‘desirable,’ and 10-30 was ‘too long’.

We’re not sure what happens if you’re having sex for 10, 11 or 12 minutes – is it both desirable and too long?

In a small survey of 125 people,  we asked how long the actual inny-outty bit of sex should last (foreplay is another story – the rumours are true on that one. Most of us really like it).

41% of people (the majority in the survey) said that it should last 5-10 minutes.

37% of people wanted 10-20 minutes.

10% opted for 20-30 minutes, and 12% wanted more than half an hour of bonking.

That means that 78% of people wanted to have sex for less than 20 minutes.

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Millions of People Have This 'Silent' Disease—and They Don’t Even Know It


A staggering 16 million people live with a scary disease right this second. Those with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and obesity have a higher risk of developing it. It’s tough to find and even tougher to treat. But here’s the kicker: Most people have never even heard of it.

It’s called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH for short. A type of fatty liver disease, it is predicted to surpass hepatitis as the biggest reason for liver transplants by 2020. (By the way, you might want to check up on the signs you have fatty liver disease.)

Why have doctors and patients ignored this dangerous disease for so long? 'It’s because they didn’t see it,' Mark Pruzanski, CEO of Intercept Pharmaceuticals, a company that’s focused on treatments for liver diseases including NASH, told Business Insider.

Symptoms are scarcely seen in patients with early stages of NASH. To test for it, you need to get a liver biopsy, which requires removing cells from your liver using a small needle. Even then, it might be too late; the disease often leads to problems like liver failure, and no treatments currently exist. These are the silent signs your body might be in big trouble.

There’s good news, though! You can prevent NASH right now by losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight and diet. Plus, doctors and pharmaceutical companies are pounding the pavement to develop a treatment. They currently have a test drug in the works, with an expected approval date in 2019.

If you’re a diabetic who needs to lose weight, you may have a higher risk for NASH—but you can try a diabetes diet to stop it in its tracks.

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I Had an Incident During Massage. Masseuse Left the Room Immediately. What Should I have Done?


It’s ok if you have an erection. Just don’t make any improper comments about it. A professional massage therapist and a professional client will be ok with it. Everyone says it’s a natural response to relaxation. I say BS. It’s aroused. However It is a natural response and the question is how is it handled mostly by the client. He should be respectful of the therapist and certainly not comment on it. How many females are aroused somewhat while getting a massage? Of course no one knows unless she says something. So it should be the same with a male.

Sadly many parts of the body that really need a massage don’t get massaged because of the sexual thing and I don’t mean the penis.

The buttocks, the piraformis muscle which is the muscle just below each cheek of the butt really needs to be massaged. Also the area in the inner thigh near the genitals really needs massaging. I’ve been able to do this for a client and also have a therapist whom Is comfortable with me do this. Sometimes we exchange massages to do this. It takes trust and that sexual boundary must never be overstepped. It can really contribute to a total relaxation.

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How Long Does it Take to Get Pregnant?


If a couple are trying to get pregnant under normal conditions*:

After one month ……………15% will be pregnant

After three months………..About half will be pregnant

After 12 months…………….80% will be pregnant

After 2 years…………………90% will be pregnant.

The remainder of the patients are considered subfertile, and may or may not ever get pregnant without medical intervention. If you are above 30 I wouldn’t wait more than a year before calling a doctor.

*Normal conditions: Frequent sex around ovulation, avoidance of most lubricants, and sex on different days of the week. Limiting sex to weekends is not the best thing to do as the ovulation may be occurring during the week. You get the idea.

---Glenn Herman, 45 years a physician,

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Don’t Disagree For Long with Loved Ones


As I write this article, I am preparing for my dad’s burial. He passed away recently and by the time you read this, his remains would have been laid to rest for two days.

My dad was a great man and led a good life, so as painful as this is, I am grateful and glad to be his son. Death has a way of making one think of life and the most important things in one’s life. Isn’t it? You start to make certain lifestyle changes and sift through many things.

One of the things I often hear from people is how they have many regrets that they did not tell the ones they lost how much they loved them and what they meant to them. Some would also lament about how the last words to them and what transpired was not good. Fights, abuse and bitterness were the result. These things happen. We are humans and have issues and emotions to deal with. We cannot tell when some things will come out and since we are not seers, we cannot tell if the times we saw and had disagreements or fights with people would be very bad and be the last time we saw them. No one can predict these things and it would be futile to try.

However, we can make sure that we often communicate with the ones we love and not let bad blood fester and get worse over time. That is something we can control. We have a choice to let them continue or bring a stop to it. This kind of thing happens in many relationships and marriages. People get hurt, angry and bitter and refuse to let it go.

It is normal for people to be angry about things and not let go easily. It all depends on the individual and the offence, and while we know some people are just childish, selfish and inconsiderate, I am referring to mature people who have genuine reasons to be annoyed with their partners and spouses. To quote Jesus in the Bible; “offences will come.” This is a fact and anyone going around with the idea that they will never have issues with someone they love is lying.

That is another tale I often hear and I laugh. I meet many people boasting all over the place about having perfect friendships, relationships and marriages where there is never any disagreement.

I find it odd that someone can grow up in a family and have issues from time to time with family members, but then claim to meet and fall in love with someone from another family, with their different way of seeing life, thinking, talking and acting and yet claim nothing will ever be an issue. It is ridiculous as the idea that one can change where one lives from a temperate place to a cold one and say nothing will occur and there will be no issues. That is a lie.

The thing, as I said, is that when things come up we need to handle them in a way that does not make things worse. Not an easy feat but very possible and it must be done. Even if we fail at it sometimes, we can make it right many times as possible.

They say you miss 100 per cent of the shots you do not take and that is just the truth. We must make efforts. We need to be able to sit down with the people that matter to us and trash out the issues we have with them.

I do not want this to sound like we need to do it so that we do not have regrets if they die or vice- versa. That is not what I am trying to say at all. That is an extreme point. I am just saying that it could happen and even if it does not, this divide we let occur and deepen over unsettled hurts does more harm than many of us realise.

This is why one issue turns into many and suddenly ego, stubbornness and bitterness lead to divorce for many marriages that seemed so stable and right. Many people have been the architects of their own mess. They see the thunder clouds gather as the sky turns dark, so they know it is going to rain but they step out without an umbrella or any other form of protection and then they complain about getting drenched in the rain and catching cold. This makes no sense at all.

We need to value our relationships enough to fight for them. Fight for love and do the best you can to stay together in love, respecting one another and settling issues as soon as possible in the best way possible. Be willing to make sacrifice and do things right.

If what you share with someone is important to you, then put in the work to make it go well. We are each responsible for our relationships, be they platonic or romantic. Let us not be like many others with many regrets. People do not have to die before we lose them completely and there is no way back to save what we once had.

Culled From a Post by Onuora Onianwa in The Punch


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How to Immigrate to Canada -Express Entry


Canada is an amazing country. With a population of just over 36. million people, its border with the United States is the world's longest international land border.

When In Canada, it feels and looks like you are in the United States with the additional benefit of enjoying a higher sense of being relatively safe from gun violence which the United States cannot boast of.

With a consistently stable economy, steady political system, friendly inhabitants, relatively high employment opportunities, world-class educational system and enviable health system, it can be safely said that Canada is a utopia for any family.

A thriving economy and advanced technology sector has made Canadians respected wherever they visit in the world. Hence, holders of the  Canadian Passports do not need a visa to enter more than 170 countries. They just buy a ticket and get on the plane. No visa appointment or interviews!

The above and much more makes Canada the destination of choice for most prospective immigrants.

The Citizens of Canada, although predominantly of Caucasian descent, are of a diverse race. They are very warm and receptive to newcomers and are heartily enthusiastic in assisting newcomers to settle down.

The Government of Canada, for its part, recognizes the benefits of skilled immigrants hence Citizenship and Immigration Canada run different programs that allow different classes of immigrants into the country. This ensures that the different sectors of the economy are serviced.

These programs take applicants from being mere prospective immigrants to Canadian Permanent Residency and eventually Citizenship.

The most popular is:

 The Federal Skilled Workers:

Under this program, applicants are evaluated based on their education, training and work experience, which reflects their ability to economically establish themselves in Canada and takes into account labor market conditions in Canada.

This program allows skilled professionals from other countries to become permanent residents after successfully meeting the program criteria.

Applicants are evaluated based on the following six criteria:

1) English and/or French skills (Maximum 28 points)

Being able to communicate and work in one or both of Canada’s official languages is very important. Knowing English, French or both helps you in the Canadian job market.

You can get up to 28 points for your skills in English and French. You will be given points based on your ability to



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Language testing

You must prove the language levels you claim on your application with a language test from an agency approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

 You can still score very high points in the Language Criteria without any knowledge of French

2) Education (Maximum 25 points)

Applicants are also evaluated on their education. The maximum amount of points for this criteria is 28.

3)  Experience (Maximum 15 points)

You can get points for the number of years you have spent in full-time paid work (at least 30 hours per week, or an equal amount of part-time).

4)  Age (Maximum 12 points)

Points can also be earned based on your age

5) Arranged employment in Canada (Maximum 10 points)

You can bolster your points by 10 if you have a full-time job offer of at least one year from a Canadian employer. The job must be arranged before you apply to come to Canada as a federal skilled worker.

6) Adaptability (Maximum 10 points)

If you have a spouse or common‑law partner who will immigrate with you to Canada, they can earn points for adaptability too. You can only get points for each item once.

The maximum number of points in this section is 10.

If you score 67 points or higher (out of 100), you may qualify to immigrate to Canada as a federal skilled worker.

The first step is to determine your eligibility. This can be done by completing a pre-assessment of your chances by evaluating you against the six selection criteria explained above.

If either you  OR  your spouse meets the threshold point of 67, you can then go on to the next stage which involves creating an online profile called an Express Entry Profile on the Canadian Immigration website. You will receive a points score based on the information you provided in your profile.

The score you receive would be used to rank you on the Comprehensive Ranking System, which is based on factors that have been shown to help immigrants prosper in Canada. Your  Rank on this system would determine if you would be sent an invitation to apply also known as an ITA.

Over the course of a year, there will be regular rounds of invitations to candidates to apply for permanent residence based on the ranking on their profile. The number of Candidates invited varies but there are usually in the thousands and the rounds of invites takes place almost every month so even if you are not invited right away you will still have a chance as your profile is valid for 12 months

This process is called the express entry and the profile you create on the Canadian Immigration website is called the Express Entry  Profile. As the name implies, it is designed to ensure applications are processed quickly. From the date an applicant is invited they have 90 days to put their documents together and submit an application. The application is expected to be processed to completion within 6 months, commencing from the date it is received.

You must have an Invitation to Apply before you can apply online for permanent residence.

If while waiting to be invited your situation changes (for example, if you start a new career, you get a new language test, get married, or have a new baby), you must update your profile.

If you do not get invited to apply for permanent residence after a year of being in the pool, your Express Entry profile will expire. If you still want to come to Canada as a skilled immigrant, you will need to complete and submit a new profile.

If you are invited to apply, you will have 90 days to fill out and submit your application. Some documents (for example, police certificates) may take longer than 90 days to get, educational transcripts can also take a long time. You should start applying for these documents right away so that you have them ready and can apply within the 90-day time limit.

Be sure that your profile is fully up-to-date and accurate.

If you are invited to apply, you will be responsible for any information in your profile and application for permanent residence.

If it is found that you misrepresented yourself (gave false information or left out important details). In such a case:

Your application could be refused,

You could be found inadmissible, and

You could be barred for five years from applying to come to Canada for any reason.

To kick start the process, your eligibility must be determined first. It is important that you and your spouse( if you have a spouse) carry out two pre-assessments using the six eligibility criteria listed above, one of you as the principal applicant in one pre-assessment and the other in the second.This is in case one of you does not meet the eligibility the other who do can be  the principal applicant and apply for both of you

The information below should be used as a guide in carrying out the pre-assessment.

1)Full Names ( First, Middle and Last name)

2)Date Of Birth

3)Post Secondary Education(Diplomats, Degrees, e.t.c)

4)Any Relation in Canada( brother, sister,  in Canada( Yes/No)

5)Any Education In Canada (Yes/No)

6) Have you been offered employment in  Canada(Yes/No)

7) Number  of Kids

8) Current occupation

9) Number of years working in current occupation

Please feel free to leave your questions and comments. 

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The Barbaric, Shameful And Cowardly Act Of Lynching (Graphic Photo)


Not  too long ago, the world was shocked and appalled by the photo/video of the lynching and burning to death of a young boy In Lagos, Nigeria. Several local and international news outlet(s) reported this barbaric act. There were confusion and speculation about the age of the boy and the nature of the crime he had committed. However, one thing stood out; This was a barbaric, inhuman and despicable act, irrespective of the age, gender of the individual or  nature of crime committed.

Apparently, this horrible crime of lynching was carried out by self-righteous human beings of different religious affiliation(s). The zest and almost sadistic pleasure with which it was perpetuated indicts the society we have become. A society in which people succumb to the base desire to inflict pain on another human being and also relish the experience. A society that does not hesitate to cast the first stone even though the alleged crime pales in comparison with crimes  that has been committed by some of those who carried out the lynching.

Lynching and burning in Nigeria has always existed. For a time there was a lull. However, we are beginning to see a rise in the number of cases . Apart from the fact that this is a disdainful act, irrespective of the nature of the alleged crime,  there is the chance innocent people could be caught up. It could also be used as a means of exerting revenge on an enemy by raising force alarm/ accusation. A case that fits such dreadful consequence of mob action is the four young, University of Port  Harcourt students who were lynched and then burnt to death in Port Harcourt a few years ago after they were mistaken for cultists. The pain caused these families and the loss and indictment to our society can never be reversed. It is hard to even conceive that a human being would have no qualms about killing another human being; persistently torture him, slowly assault him, watch him bleed, burn while his life ebbs away. It is hard to  comprehend the depth  of this abyss we have fallen into.

Without trying to get too religious, Let us take an example from the Bible. A group of self-righteous Jews tried to stone a woman to death for allegedly committing adultery but Jesus Christ  responded to them;  “ Let him that have no sin, be the first to cast a stone!”.These were amazing words, more than 2000 years ago,  coming from a unique being. Words that should set a standard and criteria for us when we struggle against our conscience to yield to our base instinct’s  to participate in any act that the generality of people around us may have sanctioned.

The hypocrisy of our society is epic. We turn a blind eye to our past, current leaders and politician’s who have stolen( and continue to steal) millions of dollars from us. This wicked action has resulted in the terrible and harsh economic situation Nigerians experience today; No jobs, poor infrastructure and disenfranchised young men with no hope or means of survival. Thus pushing young people,  like the young man who was lynched, to do desperate things.

Ironically, our society excuses the rogue politician,  makes him the Chairman/woman of our social functions, Deacons of our churches, patrons of our clubs, godfathers of our kids, while we condemn  young men and women to death, all victims of the act of the rogue politicians whom we have come to love, heartily praise and lavishly approbate.

The shame full way we adore corrupt politicians, sing their praises and aspire to be like them while we lynch and burn the young men whose behavior  are a result of the deeds of this politicians, puts us at a level far below any civilized society.

I want to explicitly make it clear that I do not in any way subscribe to the extra-judicial punishment of any human being; Not even our greedy criminal politician and past leaders. I am only showing the disparity  in  judgment when we deal/ relate with people at different niche in  our society

Those who participated,  those who stood by and did nothing, those who enjoyed the “show” or gave approval by their silent nod, and also many reading this piece and condemning me would love to delude themselves that what was carried out that day and in every lynching case wasn’t murder. However, deep thinking would invariably make it glaringly and sadly clear that what was perpetrated that day wasn’t justice. It was murder by a group of self-righteous hypocrites.

According to Wikipedia, Lynching is the practice of MURDERING, resulting from extrajudicial mob action.

No matter how it is spun, lynching in any glorified depiction whatsoever is murder. Murder is a mortal sin regardless of your religious or non-religious bias. No one has the right to take another man’s life except for the extreme case of self-defense. The believe that the killing of another human being by one person or a group of people is justifiable for any reason shows how reluctant man is to develop his higher instincts.

How can these killings be justified? Some argue and rationalize these actions by saying extrajudicial action is the only way to cleanse the society of miscreants. Others say the police are so corrupt that it is useless taking this alleged criminals to  them as they would be out on bail in no time.  They placard their conscience with these half-hearted excuse, but the truth is irrefutable;  they have taken part in murder or, at the very least,  applauded the act directly or indirectly. No excuse, no matter how seemingly logical, can justify such despicable act. There is always an alternative moral way to deal with the problem of crime. Lynching is not the way. It debases us and sets us back to pre-historic  times, that is, not even considering the spiritual implication of such a mortal sin

While  protagonist of these cowardly act can argue, justify and bask in the false believe that they have done nothing wrong, one thing is sure;  those who participated in this dastardly act, those who stood by and gave silent nods, those who watched in bemused  elation and those who  sat behind their computer, tv screen, or mobile devices and gave direct or indirect endorsement to this great  evil,  are all  guilty of  the mortal sin of murder and would invariably  pay for it in varying degree depending on extent of participation. This is an in-escapable fate.


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