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The Self Illusion: How Our Social Brain Constructs Who We Are

The Self Illusion: How Our Social Brain Constructs Who We Are | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

"Each morning, we wake up and experience a rich explosion of consciousness — the bright morning sunlight, the smell of roast coffee and, for some of us, the warmth of the person lying next to us in bed. As the slumber recedes into the night, we awake to become who we are. The morning haze of dreams and oblivion disperses and lifts as recognition and recall bubble up the content of our memories into our consciousness. For the briefest of moments we are not sure who we are and then suddenly ‘I,’ the one that is awake, awakens. We gather our thoughts so that the ‘I’ who is conscious becomes the ‘me’ — the person with a past. The memories of the previous day return. The plans for the immediate future reformulate. The realization that we have things to get on with remind us that it is a workday. We become a person whom we recognize.

 

The call of nature tells us it is time to visit the bathroom and en route we glance at the mirror. We take a moment to reflect. We look a little older, but we are still the same person who has looked in that same mirror every day since we moved in. We see our self in that mirror. This is who we are.

 

The daily experience of the self is so familiar, and yet the brain science shows that this sense of the self is an illusion. Psychologist Susan Blackmore makes the point that the word ‘illusion’ does not mean that it does not exist — rather, an illusion is not what it seems. We all certainly experience some form of self, but what we experience is a powerful depiction generated by our brains for our own benefit."

 

The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity - Bruce Hood


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Human domination of the biosphere: Rapid discharge of the earth-space battery foretells the future of humankind

Human domination of the biosphere: Rapid discharge of the earth-space battery foretells the future of humankind | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Earth is a chemical battery where, over evolutionary time with a trickle-charge of photosynthesis using solar energy, billions of tons of living biomass were stored in forests and other ecosystems and in vast reserves of fossil fuels. In just the last few hundred years, humans extracted exploitable energy from these living and fossilized biomass fuels to build the modern industrial-technological-informational economy, to grow our population to more than 7 billion, and to transform the biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity of the earth. This rapid discharge of the earth’s store of organic energy fuels the human domination of the biosphere, including conversion of natural habitats to agricultural fields and the resulting loss of native species, emission of carbon dioxide and the resulting climate and sea level change, and use of supplemental nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar energy sources. The laws of thermodynamics governing the trickle-charge and rapid discharge of the earth’s battery are universal and absolute; the earth is only temporarily poised a quantifiable distance from the thermodynamic equilibrium of outer space. Although this distance from equilibrium is comprised of all energy types, most critical for humans is the store of living biomass. With the rapid depletion of this chemical energy, the earth is shifting back toward the inhospitable equilibrium of outer space with fundamental ramifications for the biosphere and humanity. Because there is no substitute or replacement energy for living biomass, the remaining distance from equilibrium that will be required to support human life is unknown.

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NREL Describes to U.S. Senate Role of National Labs in Sustainable Transportation

NREL Describes to U.S. Senate Role of National Labs in Sustainable Transportation | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Watch as NREL's Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center Director Chris Gearhart provides testimony on new technologies in the automobile industry before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

 

The only federal laboratory dedicated to research, development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

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How Yeast Worsens Cancer, and How Turmeric Fights Back

How Yeast Worsens Cancer, and How Turmeric Fights Back | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A complete understanding of cancer is a sort of Holy Grail for modern medicine. The whole truth is best expressed from a systems perspective: the body’s healthy cells turn into cancerous cells when biological equilibrium is upset beyond a critical point. Conventional medicine prefers to break thin…
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Raise Edible Insects at Home With the Livin Farms Desktop Hive

Raise Edible Insects at Home With the Livin Farms Desktop Hive | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
We talk to company co-founder Katharina Unger about eating bugs for better personal and environmental health.
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Exclusive: Iran wants euro payment for new and outstanding oil sales - source

Exclusive: Iran wants euro payment for new and outstanding oil sales - source | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Iran wants to recover tens of billions of dollars it is owed by India and other buyers of its oil in euros and is billing new crude sales in euros, too, looking to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar following last month's sanctions relief.
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Why Deniers are Panicking. Clean Energy on the Rise

Why Deniers are Panicking. Clean Energy on the Rise | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
If you wonder why there's been a rash of climate denial show-hearings on capitol hill lately, here's why.  Big fossil Post-Paris panic. Bloomberg: Renewable energy was the biggest source of new power added to U.S. electrical grids last year as falling prices and government incentives made wind and solar increasingly viable alternatives to fossil fuels.…
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Latin America scrambles to squash Zika-spreading mosquito

Latin America scrambles to squash Zika-spreading mosquito | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
With no hope for a vaccine to prevent Zika in the near future, authorities are focusing on the most effective way to combat the virus: killing the mosquito that carries it.
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Neurobiological changes explain how mindfulness meditation improves health

Neurobiological changes explain how mindfulness meditation improves health | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Over the past decade, mindfulness meditation has been shown to improve a broad range of health and disease outcomes, such as slowing HIV progression and improving healthy aging. Yet, little is known about the brain changes ...
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Jennifer Lynn's curator insight, February 5, 6:53 AM

You are right; mindfulness meditation is of real help. But it does not mean that your mind will be blank. It is a myth that during meditation our mind remains blank. It’s just concentrating your mind towards your breathe. You need to count your breathe. Like this, you will be able to live and enjoy each and every moment of your life.

There is another myth that you have to sit ideal with cross-legged and then only you can do meditation. No, you can simply walk and meditate. Walk mindfully and pay attention towards the sensations that your body feels. It is not true that you have to meditate only in the morning and that too at a stretch of an hour or more. These are certain myths that have pre-occupied our minds.

A lady has shared her own experience in www.therapytribe.com and some valuable tips to start a mindfulness meditation. Her meditation practice extends throughout the day into mindfulness. The way she differentiates between the two terms is that meditation happens at a specific time that is set aside each day for practice. Mindfulness means carrying meditation practice as daily affair; it is about commitment to slowing down and being aware, trying to respond mindfully as opposed to reacting.

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Invasive measurement of blood glucose no longer necessary

Invasive measurement of blood glucose no longer necessary | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A group of researchers, led by Prof. Yuji Matsuura of Tohoku University's Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, has developed a method of measuring blood glucose using far infrared light, which is both harmless and non-invasive.
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Multistate salmonella outbreak linked to garden of life RAW meal products: CDC

Multistate salmonella outbreak linked to garden of life RAW meal products: CDC | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
(HealthDay)—A salmonella outbreak that has sickened 11 people in nine states appears to be linked to RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Replacement products made by Garden of Life, federal health officials say.
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How gut inflammation sparks colon cancer

How gut inflammation sparks colon cancer | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Chronic inflammation in the gut increases the risk of colon cancer by as much as 500 percent, and now Duke University researchers think they know why.
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Team calls for integrated field research network in Midwest to address climate adaptation

Team calls for integrated field research network in Midwest to address climate adaptation | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
From a global trade and agriculture perspective, the world heavily depends on the Midwest. The United States is the biggest exporter in the world of primary foodstuffs, such as corn and soybean, with most of that predominantly ...
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New science helps put spotlight on unseen global impacts

New science helps put spotlight on unseen global impacts | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
As the world grows more connected, "out of sight, out of mind" looms as a perilous consequence of globalization. A sustainability scholar presents an integrated way to track the many footprints that are made in global transactions ...
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Oligarchville: How Washington’s New Rich Live

Oligarchville: How Washington’s New Rich Live | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
In 1927, H.L. Mencken rode by train through the Pennsylvania coal country. The houses he saw along the way were so hideous, at least in his eyes, that he was moved to pen his famous essay, “The Libido for the Ugly.” Mencken was writing about towns inhabited by coal miners and railroad brakemen, but what would he say if he were to visit present-day Washington, DC and take a stroll in its surrounding suburbs?
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Renewable Fuels from Algae Boosted by NREL Refinery Process - News Releases | NREL

Renewable Fuels from Algae Boosted by NREL Refinery Process February 9, 2016 A new biorefinery process developed by scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has proven to be significantly more effective at...

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Climate Code Red: Global warming linked to spread of zika virus

Climate Code Red: Global warming linked to spread of zika virus | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Scientists believe that record average temperatures may be helping to create an environment that has led to big increases in the number of disease-carrying mosquitoes.

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Will climate change move agriculture indoors? And will that be a good thing?

Will climate change move agriculture indoors? And will that be a good thing? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The story of a hot indoor-ag startup offers a window onto the potential and the pitfalls of the new greenhouse-tech movement.
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The Harvard Doctor Changing Nursing Homes Forever

The Harvard Doctor Changing Nursing Homes Forever | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Dr. Bill Thomas's radical crusade to change how we think about aging and to rethink nursing homes.
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Satellite Scientist Upset at "Well Funded Video"

Satellite Scientist Upset at "Well Funded Video" | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4-uxU4LRJs John Christy, the Ned Flanders of climate denial, appeared once again before a welcoming crowd at Rep. Lamar Smith's House Science committee, in a show-hearing designed to whip up more impotent right wing rage against pointy headed intellectuals, their wacky left-wing climate science, and a suspiciously French global climate agreement. Especially entertaining for me…
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Researchers link compulsive Facebook checking to lack of sleep

Researchers link compulsive Facebook checking to lack of sleep | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
If you find yourself toggling over to look at Facebook several dozen times a day, it's not necessarily because the experience of being on social media is so wonderful. It may be a sign that you're not getting enough sleep.
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Spain reports first known European case of Zika-infected pregnant woman (Update)

Spain reports first known European case of Zika-infected pregnant woman (Update) | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Spain said Thursday that a pregnant woman who had returned from Colombia had been diagnosed with the Zika virus, in the first such known European case.
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Red Cross takes steps to keep zika virus out of blood supply

Red Cross takes steps to keep zika virus out of blood supply | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
(HealthDay)—The American Red Cross on Wednesday asked potential blood donors who have traveled to areas where Zika infection is active to wait 28 days before giving blood.
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Physical activity reduces risk of serious falls in older men

Physical activity reduces risk of serious falls in older men | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Older men who engage in regular physical activity experience far fewer serious fall injuries than those who do not, say Yale researchers. Their findings suggest that moderate exercise can help prevent potentially devastating ...
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Mitochondria trigger cell aging, study shows

Mitochondria trigger cell aging, study shows | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
An international team of scientists has for the first time shown that mitochondria, the batteries of the cells, are essential for ageing.
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Southwest sliding into a new normal: Drier conditions

Southwest sliding into a new normal: Drier conditions | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The weather patterns that typically bring moisture to the Southwest are becoming more rare, an indication that the region is sliding into the drier climate state predicted by global models, according to a new study.
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The Hypocrisy Exposed by the Worst Gas Leak in U.S. History

The Hypocrisy Exposed by the Worst Gas Leak in U.S. History | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
In affluent Porter Ranch, the worst gas leak in U.S. history continues to pose health concerns. But in lower-income neighborhoods across Los Angeles, drilling has been making people sick for years.
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