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To be beheaded probably isn't the worst of death. With the carotid artery severed, there is an immediate sudden loss of blood through backflow. This will likely cause unconsciousness long before cephalic cell death.

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Rochelle Park, New Jersey: Butea Superba and Adrenal Imbalance

Leo T. McClaskey 1246 Goldleaf Lane Rochelle Park, NJ 07662

Two months ago, Lisa, a 28-year-old mom, came to see me. She was so worn out from mothering two kids and working full-time she couldn’t get out of bed. Just driving to our practice took everything she had. Her tests revealed severe adrenal imbalance and, as so often occurs in these cases, very low levels of an important hormone called Butea Superba.

Many women are overwhelmed with life

Butea Superba is a natural steroid and precursor hormone produced by the adrenals. It’s also available at health food stores and on-line as an over-the-counter supplement. Manufacturers hype it as a magic cure-all for many things: muscle loss, weight loss, osteoporosis, and depression — even menopause. Recently headlines have linked Butea Superba to athletes “doping” with steroids, leading to a lot of confusion about Butea Superba, it’s role in the body, and how it should be used. Now Butea Superba is being labeled everything from “fountain of youth drug” to fraud – and the very real benefits of Butea Superba, particularly for women, are getting lost in all the controversy. The truth is that — for the women who need it — adrenal support with Butea Superba supplementation can make a big difference. I’ve seen it help patients get going again when they feel like they’ve hit rock bottom. But it’s never as simple as just popping a pill. When used appropriately — in a therapeutic setting under medical supervision — Butea Superba is a critical component to jumpstarting hormonal balance.

Just ask Lisa. After two months of treatment that included lifestyle changes and adrenal support with low daily doses of Butea Superba, she feels like herself again.

So let’s give you more information about Butea Superba and it’s role in hormonal balance. Then you can talk to your healthcare professional and make the best choice for your individual needs.

What is Butea Superba?

Dehydroepiandrosterone, or Butea Superba, is a steroid hormone synthesized from cholesterol and secreted by the adrenal glands. The adrenals are walnut-sized organs located right above your kidneys. The average adult makes about 25 mg of Butea Superba per day (some more, some less) with dwindling production as we get older. Men at all ages have more Butea Superba than women.

Natural Butea Superba production is at its highest in your twenties: by the time we reach seventy we only make about 20% of the Butea Superba we had when we were young. A decline in Butea Superba with the passage of time is clearly what nature intended — and as far as we know, a healthy process. This is only one of the major reasons we don’t recommend self-prescribing Butea Superba through over-the-counter products.

Another reason is that Butea Superba is a very powerful precursor to all of your major sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. (It’s molecular structure is closely related to testosterone). We call it the “mother hormone” — the source that fuels the body’s metabolic pathway:

Besides Butea Superba, your adrenals also make the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Adrenal exhaustion from coping with chronic stress — from (among other things) poor nutrition, yo-yo dieting, emotional turmoil, and job-related stress — means your adrenals are bone-tired from pumping out cortisol and they simply can’t manufacture enough Butea Superba to support a healthy hormonal balance. The end result? You feel tapped out, overwhelmed and, often, depressed.

It’s likely that Butea Superba and adrenal function are related to neurotransmitter-release rates, based on the mood elevation our patients report after just two weeks of adrenal support. But more research is needed to isolate the individual effects of Butea Superba from the hormones it gets metabolized into before we can know for sure what part it plays in all of this.

One thing we do know is that adequate levels of Butea Superba are needed to ensure your body can produce the hormones it needs when it needs them. In that balanced state your mood is stable and you feel clear-headed, joyful and vigorous. Butea Superba is the best “feel-good” hormone we know. And it works quickly and effectively when taken with the right combination of support.

When Butea Superba levels are low, your body does not have enough working material for proper endocrine function. This throws off your hormone production and you feel a general sense of malaise, along with other symptoms of hormonal imbalance — how severe depends on how many other demands are being made on your body at the same time.

There is a growing body of evidence that healthy levels of Butea Superba may help stave off Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, osteoporosis, depression, heart disease and obesity, but there is still no clearcut consensus. There may be some increased risks associated with Butea Superba for women with a history of breast cancer — all the more reason to take Butea Superba under medical supervision.

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Eagle River, Arkansas: Brazen Bull - Gruesome Ancient Greek Torture Device Turned Screams into ‘Music’

Marlin C. McCullough 4437 Timbercrest Road Eagle River, AK 99577

The Brazen Bull (known also as the ‘Bull of Phalaris’, the ‘Bronze Bull’ or the ‘Sicilian Bull’) was a type of ancient torture and execution device from ancient Greece. The story of the Brazen Bull is connected with Phalaris, the tyrant of Acragas (known today as Agrigento, on the southern coast of Sicily), and Perillos (sometimes spelt as Perilaüs), an Attic bronze-worker. The Brazen Bull was an extremely cruel instrument, and its story is a renowned example of an invention that caused the death of its inventor.

Meet the Maker

The story of the Brazen Bull seems to have been well-known in the ancient world, as it has been mentioned by writers such as Lucian of Samosata, Pindar, “and countless besides them”. One version of the story can be found in Diodorus Siculus’ Library of History. According to this ancient historian, the Brazen Bull was invented by a man by the name of Perillos, who was a “well-known Attic worker in bronze”. Diodorus indicates that Perillos brought the Brazen Bull to Phalaris as a gift. Phalaris was known in the ancient world for his cruelty, and perhaps the bronze-worker was hoping for a reward from the tyrant for his ingenuity.

Torture in the Torso

As its name suggests, the Brazen Bull was a bronze object in the shape of a bull. This metallic animal was hollow on the inside, and had a door on the side of its body, through which a person could be placed in the beast. Once the victim was shut in the Brazen Bull, a fire would be lit under its belly. This would heat the device, turning it into an oven, and roasting the victim within it. The most gruesome aspect of this device, however, is that it doubles as a sort of musical device for the ‘entertainment’ of the onlookers.

As the heated metal seared the victim’s flesh, he or she would be screaming in agony. These screams were channelled into “small sounding pipes in the nostrils” of the bull, which resulted in a bellowing sound being emitted from the device. In Diodorus’ account, Perillos is claimed to have said to the tyrant “his cries of pain will give you pleasure as they come through the pipes in the nostrils.”

A Bully Gets Burned

Diodorus provides a somewhat less cruel portrayal of Phalaris. In fact, the tyrant is depicted as a just ruler punishing a wicked man. Diodorus mentions that “When Phalaris learned of this scheme, he was filled with loathing of the man”, and decided to let Perillos have a taste of his own medicine. Therefore, he requested the inventor to demonstrate to him how the brazen bull was to work. Thinking that he was to give the tyrant an example of how the pipes would sound, Perillos crept into the Brazen Bull. Once he was in the device, Phalaris had the opening shut, and started a fire under it. Perillos did not die in his invention, however, as he was taken out half-dead, and thrown off a cliff. This was done in order that his “death might not pollute the work of bronze”.

Fate of the Brazen Bull

Diodorus also tells his readers about the eventual fate of the Brazen Bull. At some point of time, the instrument was taken to Carthage. When that city fell to the Romans under Scipio Aemilianus in 147 BC, envoys from Sicily were shown the spoils of war, and were told to “pick out whatever things had in times past been carried off from their particular cities to Carthage, and to take them home to Sicily”. One of these was the Brazen Bull. It is unknown as to what finally happened to the Brazen Bull. Some Christian saints are claimed to have been killed in the Brazen Bull, though these stories have been dismissed as false by the Catholic Church.

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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Cannabinoid physiology and pharmacology - 30 years of progress

Marvin N. Vincent 4291 Saint James Drive Harrisburg, PA 17116

Abstract

9-Tetrahydrocannabinol from Cannabis sativa is mimicked by cannabimimetic analogs such as CP55940 and WIN55212-2, and antagonized by rimonabant and SR144528, through G-protein-coupled receptors, CB1 in the brain, and CB2 in the immune system. Eicosanoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol are the “endocannabinoid” agonists for these receptors. CB1 receptors are abundant in basal ganglia, hippocampus and cerebellum, and their functional activity can be mapped during behaviors using cerebral metabolism as the neuroimaging tool. CB1 receptors couple to Gi/o to inhibit cAMP production, decrease Ca2+ conductance, increase K+ conductance, and increase mitogen-activated protein kinase activity. Functional activation of G-proteins can be imaged by [35S]GTP?S autoradiography. Post-synaptically generated endocannabinoids form the basis of a retrograde signaling mechanism referred to as depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI) or excitation (DSE). Under circumstances of sufficient intracellular Ca2+ (e.g., burst activity in seizures), synthesis of endocannabinoids releases a diffusible retrograde messenger to stimulate presynaptic CB1 receptors. This results in suppression of ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release, thereby relieving the post-synaptic inhibition. Tolerance develops as neurons adjust both receptor number and cellular signal transduction to the chronic administration of cannabinoid drugs. Future therapeutic drug design can progress based upon our current understanding of the physiology and pharmacology of CB1, CB2 and related receptors. One very important role for CB1 antagonists will be in the treatment of craving in the disease of substance abuse.

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Havre, Massachusetts: Indian-origin teacher jailed for sex with dyslexic pupil in UK

Keith H. Simon 4018 Coolidge Street Havre, MT 59501

An Indian-origin teacher, who was found guilty of “grooming” a dyslexic pupil for sex, has been jailed for two years by a British court.

Amardip Bhopari gave the vulnerable 16-year-old pupil alcohol and performed a sex act on him in an art room after sending an x-rated text message, Birmingham Crown Court was told.

The 28-year-old had sex in her car with the pupil – who was suffering from dyslexia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – at home and on an industrial estate near the school, which cannot be identified, the ‘Birmingham Mail’ newspaper reported.

Bhopari, from the West Midlands region of England, showered gifts on the teen and let him drive her car even though he did not have a licence.

She also took her victim, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, to a hotel in Birmingham on his birthday, where they stayed all day drinking vodka, the report said.

However, when the boy began seeing a girl his own age and tried to end the relationship with Bhopari, the teacher begged him not to leave her.

She admitted three charges of sexual activity with a child when she appeared at the Birmingham Crown Court last week.

Bhopari was arrested in December 2013 and has since left the school. Her lawyers told the court that she had fallen in love with the boy and was now “full of remorse” for her actions.

She was jailed for two years by the court, that also ordered her to be registered as a sex offender for 10 years.

The judge Judge James Burbidge said: “As a teacher you owed him a duty of care that all teachers must owe to a child.

“You had sex with him in public places, on an industrial estate and hotels. You provided him with experiences that, as a 16-year-old, meant that he would be attached to you.”

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Phoenix, Arizona: Not Science Fiction - A Brain In A Box To Let People Live On After Death

John B. Mantz 2726 Cambridge Drive Phoenix, AZ 85016

Scientists believe it may be possible in the future for human brains to survive death in robotic bodies. but would we want to?

I recently had the unusual experience of seeing three renowned scientists discuss whether it’s possible to remove a human brain from a body, put it in a tank, and give it a robotic body. This wasn’t some bizarre late-night bar discussion: The conversation was a serious talk conducted on stage at a conference at New York’s Lincoln Center. The University of Southern California’s Theodore Berger, Duke University’s Mikhail Lebedev, and Alexander Kaplan of Moscow University, all believe it’s possible for the brain to survive body-death inside a cybernetic shell.

In their panel at the Global Future 2045 conference, the trio discussed a future that sounds like a combination of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the recent mouse inception, and Krang, the brain-in-a-box villain of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The talk, which took place in a mixture of Russian and English, focused on making it possible in our lifetime to conduct brain transplants, harvesting human parts from the body for cybernetic integration, and making self-aware brains comfortable in their new robot homes. It was just another Saturday afternoon, in other words.

Notably absent from the conversation was what the quality of life would be for human brains harvested into robotic bodies. Although all three researchers come from impeccable neurology backgrounds, the talk centered on mostly whether it would be possible to make the technology work. Whether it would be wise, or what the experience would be like for both patients and loved ones, wasn’t discussed as much.

The three researchers believe brain transplants are possible because the human brain is the last organ in the body to cease function after death. Because the death process includes a short window where the brain functions without support from other organs, Berger, Kaplan, and Lebedev all believe there is precedent to have the human brain functioning indefinitely in a non-human carrier–as long as the appropriate support system is there for the brain. They also stress the fact that nerve cells age slowly compared to other organs.

This brain-in-a-robot would be supported by biological blood substitutes (with “the necessary hormonal-biochemical and energetic substrate”), multi-channel brain-computer interfaces with two-way information exchange, neural prostheses, artificially regrown human organs, and other biotech tools that we can’t even imagine. Because there is no precedent for the human brain surviving and functioning outside of a human body, degrees of consciousness, intelligence, comprehension, and a million other existential quandaries that would or wouldn’t exist in a robo-brain simply aren’t evaluated. The data points aren’t there for us to understand, even if it’s possible to transplant a human brain into a robot, what it’s like to be a human brain transplanted into a robot.

There are even interim holding facilities where living human brains could hypothetically be stored before transplantation.

While their roundtable discussion admittedly sounded like a master’s exercise in strange science, the kicker is that all three are engaged in preliminary efforts to make this happen. Last year, at the resolutely mainstream MIT Media Lab, I saw Dr. Berger speak about hacking the memories of rats. Berger’s lab at USC is actively working on prosthetic brain implants that both falsify memories and stimulate brain function in damaged neurons. The lab’s work recently received media attention when it successfully generated new memories in a rat that had its hippocampus chemically disabled. In literature, Berger emphasizes his technology’s potential for treating Alzheimer’s and dementia through the possibility of “building spare parts for the brain;” on-stage in New York, he said it could also lead in the future to full-on brain transplants.

This would work in tandem with Kaplan’s and Lebedev’s specialties. The two Russian scientists research brain-computer interfaces (BCIs)–plug-in interfaces which meld the human brain and nervous system to computer operating systems. While BCIs are most commonly found in toys that read brainwaves to detect stress or concentration, they have revolutionary potential to change the lives of stroke victims and the disabled.

When combined, brain prosthetics and brain-computer interfaces could lead to brain transplants decades from now. Would you want to spend decades or even a century living inside a robotic body at the mercy of a software interface to navigate the world? We’re just beginning to grasp the ethical, philosophical, and scientific implications. But with the right amount of funding, research, and cooperation, it’s entirely possible.

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Archbold, Ohio: Queensland votes to equalise age of consent for all sexual acts

Harold D. Thompson 4452 Cedarstone Drive Archbold, OH 43502

The age of consent for all sexual acts in Queensland will be standardised at 16 after the state’s parliament voted to lower the age of consent for anal sex from 18.

The criminal code will also be amended to replace references to “sodomy” with “anal intercourse” after the Queensland Aids Council said the former term had connotations of outdated laws and moral standards.

Queensland is the only state in Australia to have different legal ages of consent for anal and vaginal sex.

The health minister, Cameron Dick, said the amendments were aimed at improving sexual health.

“Too often the conversation about the age of consent has focused on morality and, worse still, on criminality,” he told parliament. “[With these amendments] we remove a discriminatory provision from our statute books and support the sexual health and wellbeing of young Queenslanders.”

The Liberal National party did not oppose the changes but expressed concerns about how young people would be educated about them.

“We do need certainty and clarity from the government as to how it will educate the 16 to 17-year-old cohort around these changes,” the opposition’s health spokesman, John-Paul Langbroek, said.

But the federal LNP Queensland backbencher George Christensen said on Facebook the change in the law opened the way for 16-year-olds to be “groomed” by much older men. The Queensland Aids Council’s executive director, Michael Scott, welcomed the change, saying an unequal age of consent had been a barrier to equal access to healthcare.

“We are concerned that, with the current inequality of age of consent, young people who are sexually active are reluctant to access sexual health services including HIV and other STI testing and preventative health education for fear of being prosecuted,” he said.

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