Abortion Rights Threatened in Virginia

Virginia Abortion Clinics Threatened By New Regulations


First Posted: 8/29/11 05:41 PM ET Updated: 8/29/11 06:03 PM ET

 There are 22 facilities that provide first-trimester abortions in Virginia, and all of them may have to close their doors over the next two years if they can’t meet the state government’s rigorous new health clinic regulations.

Virginia lawmakers passed legislation in the spring that required the Department of Health to release a set of “emergency” draft regulations for abortion clinics that were to go into effect by December 31.

The rules, released late on Friday, borrow a number of very specific physical plant requirements from a rulebook intended for the construction of new hospitals. For instance, a clinic must have 5-foot-wide hallways, 8-foot-wide areas outside of procedure rooms, specific numbers of toilets and types of sinks and all the latest requirements for air circulation flow and electrical wiring.

“On the first read, it seems hard to imagine that many facilities will be able to comply,” Jordan Goldberg, state advocacy counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, told HuffPost. “We can fairly say that the regulations as drafted are the most severe, onerous and restrictive that have been proposed anywhere. They’re intended to apply to facilities that don’t yet exist.”

If the Board of Health passes the new standards on September 15, abortion clinics have until January to show the state a plan for the extensive and expensive renovations they’ll have to undergo in order to meet the new requirements.

The Virginia League of Planned Parenthood said none of its five clinics are currently in compliance with the draft regulations. The renovations required to meet the new rules would cost millions of dollars, and abortion clinics would have to foot the cost themselves and try to recoup the money in patient fees down the road.

“We recently spent $4.6 million on renovations for the building I’m in, and we still don’t meet these requirements,” said Paulette McElwain, president and CEO of VLPP. “I think it’s highly likely that most facilities in Virginia that provide abortions wont be able to meet them either.”

to read more, go to:   http://www.chromographicsinstitute.com/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=post

Denisovan-Neanderthal Link — Immune Boost?

Did sex with Neanderthals and Denisovans shape our immune systems? The jury’s still out


Neanderthals may be extinct, but they live on inside us. Last year, two landmark studies from Svante Paabo and David Reich showed that everyone outside of Africa can trace 1-4 percent of their genomes to Neanderthal ancestors. On top of that, people from the Pacific Islands of Melanesia owe 5-7 percent of their genomes to another group of extinct humans – the Denisovans, known only from a finger bone and a tooth. These ancient groups stand among our ancestors, their legacy embedded in our DNA.

Paabo and Reich’s studies clearly showed that early modern humans must have bred with other ancient groups as they left Africa and swept around the world. But while they proved that Neanderthal and Denisovan genes are still around, they said little about what these genes are doing. Are they random stowaways or did they bestow important adaptations?

When I spoke to Reich about this earlier this year, he was starting to sift through the data. “To a first approximation, they are random,” he said. “It’s possible that modern humans could have used the Neanderthal or Denisovan material to adapt to their environment, but we don’t have evidence for that.” However, palaeontologist Chris Stringer offered an intriguing suggestion: “If Denisovans were in South-East Asia long-term, they would have evolved immunities and defences to some of the diseases there, like different forms of malaria. That’s something modern humans could have picked up that would’ve been useful.”

He might have been right. Laurent Abi-Rached from Stanford University has just published a new study suggesting that our immune system owes a debt to our ancestors’ trysts with Neanderthals and Denisovans.

to read more, go to:    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/08/25/did-sex-with-neanderthals-and-denisovans-shape-our-imm

Enter Hurricane Katia

Future Hurricane Katia track likely further north and east than Irene

Published on August 29, 2011 11:15 am PT
– By Kevin Martin – Senior Meteorologist
– Article Editor and Approved – Warren Miller

Click to view the long range track

(TheWeatherSpace.com) — Tropical Depression 12 has formed and should become Tropical Storm Katia within the next 12 or 24 hours.

Katia will be a very strong Hurricane within then next five or six days as it heads west-northwest through the Atlantic Ocean. There are factors to put this into perspective and one of those is the troughing expected along the Eastern U.S. as Katia moves into the Western Atlantic Ocean this weekend.

Right now this far out is a long shot, however looking at where I think the storm will be in five to six days time; including the intensity, have decided on a track similar to Hurricane Igor in 2010.

Igor moved northwest and then eventually northward into Bermuda Island. My reasoning would leave the Gulf of Mexico as the least probability in the forecast, giving the strongest one for Cape Cod to Bermuda Island and then into Nova Scotia.

Hurricane Katia will be about the size of Texas, much smaller than Irene was.

There are key factors such as a low out ahead of the system, and a low behind the system at the current time. This will help establish a healthy upper level outflow signature over the next couple of days and this will rapidly become a Hurricane, reaching Category Two in a couple days and shooting to Category Three and Four fast after day five.


Burning Man Begins



Burning Man is a week-long annual event held in the Black Rock Desertin northern Nevada, in the United States. The event starts on the Monday before, and ends on the day of, the American Labor Day holiday (August 29 to September 4, 2011). It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on Saturday evening. The event is described by many participants as an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance.

Burning Man is organized by Black Rock City, LLC. In 2010, 51,515 people attended Burning Man.[5] 2011 attendance was capped at 50,000 participants and the event sold out  on July 24th.



The Ten Principles:

Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Radical Self-reliance
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

Radical Self-expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

Typhoon Talas Heads Towards Tokyo

Typhoon Talas to strike Tokyo Japan on Friday, according to TheWeatherSpace.com

Published on August 28, 2011 2:15 pm PT
– By Jim Duran – Writer
– Article Editor and Approved – Warren Miller

Click for larger image

(TheWeatherSpace.com) — While we say “Goodnight Irene” to Tropical Storm Irene, across the ocean another tropical system is developing, according to Senior Meteorologist Kevin Martin.

“There is not much info for this area in terms of upper air readings, but current satellite images show a flow that will bring now Tropical Storm Talas to Typhoon stages and slam into Southern Japan on Friday,” said Martin. “A ridge nowover Tokyo looks to be breaking down and this will drive the storm northward.”

Martin says the timing is around Friday morning local Tokyo time and his tracking charts are showing the storm curving in from the southwest toward Tokyo then.

TheWeatherSpace.com will update this storm sometime on Wednesday afternoon U.S. time.


Here Comes Jose

Tropical Storm Jose forms near Bermuda

South Florida Sun-Sentinel8:56 a.m. EDT, August 28, 2011

Tropical Storm Jose has formed near Bermuda and is moving north at 16 mph, the National Weather Service said.

The northern motion is expected to continue Sunday. It currently has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

Little change in strength is forecast Sunday, but Jose could weaken Monday, the National Weather Service said.

Bermuda has issued a tropical storm warning, which means tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. In this case, it means within the next 12 hours. Tropical storm conditions are expected on Bermuda beginning Sunday morning.

August 28-September 3

Overall Color for the Week:    Lavender Pink

Take time this week to allow good things into your life.  You think you do that, but in so many cases what you are doing is trying to manipulate and cause things to be as you wish them to be.  That is too difficult.  Alowing involves letting go and letting in.  Try it.  There may be some interesting results.  Also, the energies of the Feminine will be particualrly strong this week as time and purpose comntinue to weave their new patterns. Meanings will begin to change, along with personal tastes and preferences.  These things are meant to delight you, to let you see the variety out there that you might have missed as you limited your focus and tended to concentrate on things at hand. At this time, you are opening to new things, new people, new ideas, etc. Communities are forming.  You can be pleasantly surprised as you recognize in strangers a kindred spirit and a feeling of comradeship. Little by little you are becoming aware of the growing importance of things, and mostly things spiritual or so-called woo-woo, that you knew were there but tended to see as sport and not serious.  Synchronicity is in the air, so that when something strikes you as odd, it can be followed by a sign, an event, a comment, that will make you realize its importance.  Be aware, but know that at this time and in this energy you will be reminded more than once if there  is something you are meant to see.

On the larger scale, the week will start out pretty much on an even keel,relatively uneventful, but all this will begin to shift as we move into September, with the first three days being particularly difficult. There will be unexpected and unprecedented Earth and climate events.  A lot of old preconceptions can be shaken up, leaving experts from different areas in conflict as to what this all means.  Politically there will be tosses and turns throughout the world.  There will be continued silliness as candidates here vie for something new to day.  Then there is a feeling of come kind of large event in the Middle East.  Egypt will again make the news.  There is some energy in the Atlantic area that will be making itself felt through all four of the elements.  Things globally can get quite touchy.  The Sun will be acting oddly, and again, back up your electronics and have a few flashlights, etc. on hand.  THere can be pwoer outages, some unexplained.  More information will be coming out about the tectonic structure of the Earth, and there can be some movement in the center of the country.  Something is stirring in Tibet.  There are energetic blips in Alaska and in Northern California.  Something is in the air, and this can lead to a general feeling of unease which will be seen in financial matters.  Word will be coming out about the flu season.  There is also activity in the skies.  Before discrediting anything, investigate.  People in the media, on the web, in charge, both mainstream and fringe, will be changing their opinions on a lot of things and you are going to need the background and information to make up your own mind.  At the same time, use your intuition.

Sunday, August 28:    Cloudy Red

What were you thinking?  There is so much going on right now, and it is not a good time in which to cause misunderstandings.  Clarification.  That is what is needed, but the energies of the day do not favor it.  Put off important conversations, phone calls, decisions.  You might just regret what you choose in this energy.  There are those out there who need help and they have been asking you, but they have not know how to approach you.  Let yourself sink into the craziness of today’s energy, and you will get a sense of the maelstrom that is brewing underneath everything.  If you can hold onto that, if you can conceptualize that, then things will begin to clear up. Paradoxical but true.  If you dive into the confusion and let yourself move through it, there is the clarity on the other side  This is a day when confusion reigns, so jump in, no judgments, no expectations.  Observe, and move through.  There is much to be learned.

Crystal Energy:    Psilomelane—-This mineral allows for grounding and centering.  It also assists in terms of root issues and the abdomen. Resonates with the Root and Navel Chakras.

Monday, August 29:    Clear

There is much that can be learned today.  Defenses will be down all around, and poeple will be feeling more open and more willing to share things.  There can be moments of Freudian slips and secrets let out.  It is important to be grounded in WHO you are and to be alert and sensitive to the situations and the people you encounter.  In this energy things can be revealed that are better kept to oneself or to a small group.  Consider carefully before speaking and listen well.  Because of the general shift of things all over much is being reshuffled and reworked. Take some time today to center, meditate, journal, create, anything that will allow you to get more in touch with your core.  It is important at this time to be in touch with the true knowing of your heart-mind.

Crystal energy:    Stichtite—-The energy of this mineral harmonizes with the Pleiadian vibration.  It works with the core for healing and understanding. Resonates with the Heart, Throat, Third Eye, and Crown Chakras.

Tuesday, August 30:    Light Amber

There is an air of unreality about the day.  This can lead to day dreams, lapses of attention, and loss of focus.  Put the internal critic to rest.  You are responding to the energies around you.  It is time to see things from a new and different perspective.  This is something that, perhaps, you have never given yourself permission to do before.  Today not only is there permission, there is also a really good reason,  Things are shifting and changing, and so are you.  You need to let go of some of your old ideas and determinations about what you should do and who you should be .  Most of that comes from conditioning and the expectations of others.  Take time to work with what your expectations are for yourself.  Take some time to be with your core the true WHO of you.  There is much to be learned in such an exercise.  It will assist you in seeing things in a new light and in being able to make some tough decisions that you have been putting off for some time.

Crystal Energy:    Crazy Lace Agate—-There is a gentle energy to this stone which assist with healing, particularly emotional healing.  It resonates with all chakras, depending upon the color, and is good for time of emotional stress.

Wednesday, August 31:    Light Lime Green

You might be feeling that you finally got it….  Whatever IT might be, but look more closely.  What you are thinking you are seeing might just be, upon closer inspection, something else all together.  There is much duplicity in the air today, along with seeming but not being.  Nothing decided upon today will come to fruition. So, if there are things you do not want to do but people are pressuring you to get involved in, you can say yes toady and know that you will not be held to it.  This is a day when things done and said will be lost and forgotten as time goes by.  That means that if there is something really, really important that you are wanting to communicate, this is not the day for it.  This is a good day just to veg and let the world go by.  No judgment, no opinion, no reaction.  Take it for what it is and let it go.

Crystal Energy:    Phacolite—-This is a good mineral to have around when you are feeling under stress.  It helps to center and brings a sense of the larger picture.  Resonates with the Navel Chakra.

Thursday, September 1:    Bluebonnet Blue

Today is all about what is going on around you.  This can lead to confusion and lack of focus.  Everything will seem to be calling for notice at once, and it will be hard to gather your thoughts together and give some sort of coherent sense to everything.  Do not let yourself get sucked into everyone else’s reality.  You need to take time to center, focus, prioritize.  You are not good for anyone or anything else if you are not good for yourself.  Today comes in with craziness and confusion.  But it is ultimately an opportunity for you to clear out all the background noise and begin to know what it is that is most important for you.

Crystal Energy:    Kammererite—-This mineral  resonates strongly with the female energy, bringing a sense of calm, belonging, and comfort.  It is good for ceremony honoring the Goddess.  Resonates with the Root and Crown Chakras.

Friday, August 2:   Lavender Blue

There is a lot going on in your head these days, and you can find that today you will be experiencing some real battles between the logical/intellectual and the intuitive/feeling.  This can lead to some confusion along with shortness of temper.  In these kinds of energy fields, vibrations are crashing against one another.  You are working in more than one reality at a time and you must make choices as to which one is the right one for this time.  This is also an excellent opportunity for learning what is involved with each one of those particular fields.  By spending time with what is going on and how you are feeling today, you can learn what you resonate with.  It is a time when you are learning of the shift that is happening, how you fit into it, and what it mean to be part of more than one dimension.

Crystal Energy:    Blue Aragonite (Laurium)—-This mineral allows for a leadership perspective and knowing of one’s power, while at the same time being receptive to the needs of others. It is helpful in bringing the bigger picture into view, especially at times of questioning.  Vibrates to the Throat Chakra.

Saturday, September 3:    Cloudy White

This week started with clouds and ends also on a cloudy note. There is a kind of nostalgia and longing in the air. There is also a sense of disconnect, of not being quite there with yourself, with others, with things that are happening around you.  Focus is off and things that seemed so important no longer seem to be that way.  This affects even your usual style.  You can find yourself doing uncharacteristic things, wearing clothing that is different from what you tend to choose, saying things that in other times you might have kept to yourself.  This will surprise you, but there will be other surprises in how people out there are acting and reacting.  This is, therefore, a good day for regrouping, taking time to yourself, attending to your feelings, and just relaxing.  Sometimes the best things to do is to stay home.

Crystal Energy:    Cuprian Aragonite—-The energy of this mineral works particularly well below the surface, affecting core and root issues, and allowng you to understand true motivations. Vibrates to the Throat Chakra.

The Moon and its Lore


Urban shaman, eco-ceremonialist, ritual expert and consultant

 The Moon: Our Cosmic Mother

Posted: 8/23/11 11:25 AM ET

Avid moon watcher that I am, I must confess that I never could recognize the face of the man in the moon. How could anyone conceivably mistake that face — that round, profoundly gentle face, jolly and eternally indulgent, that unconditionally comforting countenance — for male?

The dark marks that define her features are in reality the bodies of water on her surface: the sea of tranquility, the ocean of storms and the sea of fertility. Sounds like a woman to me! My version of the ma’am in the moon will always be Aunt Jemima. The ultimate maternal perfection fantasy figure: purveyor of affection, protection and pancakes.

Women are inextricably connected to the moon, to her rhythms and waves. A woman’s blood waxes and wanes with the moon. Her urges and juices ebb and flow. And the moon, as she grows from crescent to full every month, mimics the pregnant swell of a woman’s belly, or a bunny’s, or a dog’s.

The moon as mother is a prevalent, primal mythological theme. The West African Nigeriens believe that the great moon mother sends the moon bird to Earth to deliver babies. The Baganda of Central Africa bathe their newborns by the light of the first full moon following birth. In Ashanti tradition, the moon Akua’ba, is a fertility figure. Women carry effigies of her tucked into their skirts at the small of their backs as an aid to conception and a guarantee of sturdy children.

Moon, O Mother Moon, O Mother Moon,
Mother of living things,
Hear our voice, O Mother Moon!
O Mother Moon! O Mother Moon!
– Gabon Pygmy Song

Women in Europe did the same. During the Renaissance, long after the mass acceptance of Christianity, it was understood that if a woman wanted anything, she should pray not to God, but to the moon mother for succor. Saint Augustine denounced women for dancing “impudently and filthily all the day long upon the days of the new moon,” even as their Hebrew sisters were scorned for wearing lunar amulets by the biblical prophets in Isaiah 3:18.


Getting to the Roots of Yoga


Philip GoldbergPhilip Goldberg, Interfaith Minister, author of ‘American Veda: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West’
 The Once and Future Yoga
Posted: 8/25/11 01:54 AM ET

September is almost upon us, and that means it’s once again Yoga Month. Started in 2008 and designated a national observance by the Department of Health and Human Services, its organizers define it as “an awareness campaign to educate about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire a healthy lifestyle.” If you’ve been meaning to take a yoga class, this is your no-excuses opportunity, since one Yoga Month feature is the one week free yoga for new students at over 1200 studios.

One of the glories of the yoga tradition is that there’s something in it for everyone, whether you’re secular or spiritual, and whether you want flexible joints, a trim butt, a calm mind, a loving heart or a faster lane to enlightenment. At its best, yoga can deliver on those rewards and others, depending on the student’s dedication and the knowledge and skill of his or her teachers.

That versatility means you will find a huge variation in style, approach, specialty and emphasis. But, despite the diversity, you will probably find that at least 90 percent of every class is devoted to the stretches, bends and postures (asanas) that are now virtually synonymous with the word yoga. That fact has brought American yoga to an interesting moment in its brief and hugely successful history.

to read more, go to:    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/philip-goldberg/real-meaning-of-yoga_b_935362.html

Brain-Belly-Beauty Connection

How Gut Health Impacts Your Brain And Beauty

Stomach Controls Mind

First Posted: 8/26/11 08:02 AM ET Updated: 8/26/11 10:32 AM ET

By Ashley Neglia for YouBeauty.com

Research has already shown a connection between the belly and the brain (there’s a reason it’s called “gut instinct”), but new studies suggest that the food we eat and the bacteria residing within our gut may be powerful enough to alter our cognitive behavior.

These links between mind and body are helping researchers delve even deeper into viewing health and beauty more holistically.

According to researchers, changes in naturally occurring bacteria within the stomach may pack enough punch to otherwise affect brain chemistry. The new findings may not only help explain why certain gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, often occur concurrently withanxiety or depression, but also why some psychiatric illnesses, such as late onset autism, are associated with abnormal bacteria content.

to read more, go to:    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/26/stomach-controls-mind_n_934294.html