Saturday, September 2, 2017

Check Out This Stunning 80-Trillion-Pixel Cloudless View Of Earth


Data from two satellites reveal a rather stunning cloudless view of Earth, complete with an impressive 80 trillion pixels.

The mosaic of images was taken by the Sentinel-2 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), of which there are two – Sentinel-2A (launched on June 23, 2015) and Sentinel-2b (March 7, 2017). The two satellites orbit at a height of about 790 kilometers (490 miles). The mosaic was stitched together by EOX, a German mapping firm.

To ensure the mosaic was free of clouds, the images for each region were actually taken at different times. For the Northern Hemisphere, they were taken between May and September 2016, while data for the Southern Hemisphere comes from November 2016 to March 2017. The tropical regions are shown from May 2016 to April 2017.

"To have a visually appealing mosaic, it is desired to show the Earth during summer, when vegetation reaches its annual peak," explained Joachim Ungar, Lead Cartographer at EOX, in a blog post.

The team used 250 terabytes of data from the Sentinel-2 satellites to put the mosaic together. They now hope to get greater cover over Asia and the Americas thanks to the launch of Sentinel-2b.
Check out some of the stunning images from the mosaic below, and view a full scrollable version right here.

London. EOX

San Francisco. EOX

Australia. EOX

Africa. EOX

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Turkey to Bangladesh: Open your doors to Rohingya Muslims, we'll cover all expenses

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has called on Bangladesh to open its doors to Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar's western Rakhine state.

Speaking at a Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Eid al-Adha celebration event in the Mediterranean province of Antalya on Friday, Çavuşoğlu reiterated Turkey's call to Bangladesh to open its doors to Rohingya people, and said that Turkey would pay all the expenses.
"We have also mobilized the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. We will hold a summit regarding the Rakhine state this year. We need to find a decisive and permanent solution to this problem," the minister added.

He said that no other Muslim country other than Turkey is showing sensitivity towards the massacres happening in Myanmar.

In terms of humanitarian aid in the world, Turkey ranks 2nd after the United States with $6 billion and $6.3 billion respectively, Çavuşoğlu added.

Çavuşoğlu's comments and offer comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is holding numerous phone calls with Muslim leaders all over the world to call for intensified efforts to solve the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar. Erdoğan has so far spoken with the heads of states of 13 countries on the occasion of Eid al-Adha and to convey his concerns about the situation in Rakhine.
Çavuşoğlu also reportedly spoke on the phone with former U.N. Secretary General and head of Advisory Commission on Rakhine State Kofi Annan.

Violence erupted in Myanmar's Rakhine state on Aug. 25 when the country's security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya Muslim community. It triggered a fresh influx of refugees towards neighboring Bangladesh, though the country sealed off its border to refugees.

Media reports said Myanmar security forces used disproportionate force, displacing thousands of Rohingya villagers and destroying their homes with mortars and machine guns.
The region has seen simmering tension between its Buddhist and Muslim populations since communal violence broke out in 2012.

A security crackdown launched last October in Maungdaw, where Rohingya make up the majority, led to a U.N. report on human rights violations by security forces that indicated crimes against humanity.

The U.N. documented mass gang-rape, killings -- including infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances. Rohingya representatives have said approximately 400 people have been slain during the crackdown.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Biggest Scam In The History Of Mankind - Explained In 7 Minutes

In case you still don't know and pretty much is a global issue...

Weather Underground Members Speak Out on the Media, Imperialism and Solidarity in the Age of Trump

By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report
"Empire always, then and now, cloaks itself in the garments of mystification and deceit," says Bill Ayers. (Photo: Lloyd Lee / Flickr)

Seven months into the so-called administration of President Donald Trump, things are going further off the rails with each passing day. From the fires of war to attacks on health care to the stoking of the white supremacist far right, living in the bowels of a rotting empire has, perhaps, never been as intense.

As questions swirl around the nature of contemporary resistance, another period of rising protest comes to mind: the Vietnam-war era, when radical political activism in this country reached new levels.

In 1970, the Weather Underground Organization (WUO), a group that emerged out of Students for a Democratic Society, issued a "Declaration of a State of War" against the US government, and shortly thereafter began carrying out bombings against symbols of US Empire, including even the Pentagon itself. Targeting mostly government buildings and several banks -- and taking care not to injure human beings -- the actions were designed to "bring the war home" in order to highlight imperial injustices against the oppressed, and the egregious violence of US imperialism.

Having interviewed the founding members of this group before, Truthout now brings you their perspectives on the media, why they did what they did, and where they see things going from here in the US and beyond.

The Role of the Media
Bernardine Dohrn, one of the co-founders and a leader of the WUO, discussed the media's coverage of the Vietnam War and other liberation movements around the world at that time. What she shared is particularly poignant, given the crisis of the media in the age of President Donald Trump.
She spoke of the US military being keenly aware of the need to control the media's message during the Vietnam War.

"[The Media's role was] so important that the US military learned to never again allow independent journalists into their war zones," Dohrn explained. "[Significantly], the mainstream media never again allowed images of human people, families, women or children who suffer the consequences of US bombings or invasions."

With the dominant media avoiding these responsibilities, one of the many roles the WUO played was, according to Dohrn, to communicate to the public the ways in which people, cultures and whole civilizations were suffering under US air strikes and CIA repression.

"The media was plenty corporatized during the '60s and '70s, and it was the anti-war movement in concert with the Black Freedom Movement and the returning vets who changed the hearts and minds of the US people from 1965-1968," she said.

WUO member David Gilbert told Truthout he believes it was the strength of the anti-war movement, and the US losses in Vietnam, that finally pushed sectors of the media to start reporting some of the truth about the war.

He echoes Dohrn's point that the media was already corporatized back then (though the conglomerates were not nearly as large as they are today), and the pro-war bias of the media was just as real as it is now.

"An example was the use of napalm bombs, designed to cling to and burn through flesh, on civilians," Gilbert said. "The mainstream media completely whited-out these horrible war crimes."
In fact, in January 1967 a radical magazine, Ramparts, published a series of color photos of children and babies burned by napalm.

"That's the point when some of us became absolutely frantic to stop the war," Gilbert said. "But it also exposed the mainstream media for what they were covering up."

According to Gilbert, by 1967 a whole network of small radical papers had a combined readership of roughly 6 million, making up a crucial wing of the movement. Of course, it was therefore ripe for targeting by intelligence agencies.

"An important part of the FBI and police offensive to beat the radical movements was to destroy the radical media, a campaign that's detailed in Geoffrey Rips's UnAmerican Activities," he said.
By the late '60s, largely due to constant pressure from the increasingly powerful anti-war movement, portions of the media started to come around to presenting some of the realities of the Vietnam War. Plus, by then, it was clear the US was likely going to lose the war, US brutality abroad was being exposed to the world, and the political upheaval on the home front was becoming white hot.
Gilbert went on to explain how, then as now, "The hawks waged a concerted campaign to blame that on 'the liberal media,' to the point that this lie has become accepted today."

At that time, the myth of the "liberal media" accomplished several things for the right wing, according to Gilbert. "It's covered up the truth that the US military machine was defeated by a Global South nation, it's convinced the public that the 'truth lies somewhere in between' the hawks and the media, when in fact the media didn't do nearly enough to expose the injustice and horrors of the war, and it's intimidated the media, which fell into line as pure propaganda organs in subsequent wars."
Naomi Jaffe, one of the WUO's founding members who joined in solidarity with movements for Black self-determination, agreed with Gilbert in that pressure from the anti-war movement was a leading factor that pushed the media to share more images of the war. However, she was quite critical of the overall role the media played during Vietnam.

"Remember the Gulf of Tonkin? Not a hint of independent reporting ever questioned it until long after the war was over," Jaffe told Truthout. "The body counts? Regular reports of how the US was winning by killing more 'Viet Cong' every week than could possibly have existed overall."
Bill Ayers, who is married to Dohrn, was also a leader and cofounder of the WUO.

"Empire always, then and now, cloaks itself in the garments of mystification and deceit," Ayers said. "The message from the corporate media was unambiguous: the US loves peace and fights only when it must, and always selflessly in defense of freedom and democracy."

For example, Ayers says, the New York Times announced that it saw the "light at the end of the tunnel" -- the turning point when the war would at long last be turned around and won -- days before the decisive defeat during the Tet Offensive in 1968. In 1966, Walter Cronkite, CBS anchor and the most trusted journalist of his generation, presented a fawning interview with the puppet and fascist Nguyen Cao Ky and called him the George Washington of Viet Nam.

"The lies and misdirection go on and on," Ayers said. "And don't believe the narcissistic media today rewriting its role in moving the country against the war 50 years ago, making itself a forerunner and a major actor, heroizing its efforts and turning reality on its head."

Ayers said it wasn't the media that played a role in helping end the war in Vietnam, it was, by far, the decisive actions of the Vietnamese people themselves "in defeating the most potent military force on earth." He pointed out, "Vietnam was engaged in an authentic social revolution, deep and broad, in which peasants and workers were massively engaged in the overthrow of colonialism and foreign control as well as feudal relationships and capitalism itself."

Moreover, Ayers said, this revolution was part of "the anti-colonial and Third World moment, a context that allowed us to understand the revolution in Vietnam as part of a world phenomenon sweeping from South Africa to Egypt to Chile to Indonesia."

He also pointed to "the important role of the underground -- popular or alternative or movement -- press in the US, and its ability to tap international sources like the Cuban media, for example, to uncover the truth of events."

He sees the typical narrative -- the idea that the military draft made the war real in the eyes of the US public, and the media cemented that reality, helping to end the war -- as skewed. It "buys into a simplistic and largely self-serving explanation," Ayers said. "The Vietnamese revolution and war resistance at home impacted the media coverage, not the other way around."

A Mandate for Solidarity
The WUO was grounded in a politics of solidarity with the oppressed, including economic, status and race-based oppression.

"The most immediate impetus to underground action was the government's refusal to end the war and, most particularly, the lethal attacks on the Black Liberation Movement," Gilbert said, of why he joined. "Twenty-eight Black Panthers were killed between 1968 and 1971. So, first and foremost we moved on to illegal actions as a fundamental mandate for solidarity, in the context, as argued above, of the sense of responsibility, of world revolution."

Gilbert referred to the bombings carried out by the WUO as "armed propaganda," as there was no pretense of having a military impact, in addition to the fact that the bombings were carried out with the greatest care not to kill or injure any people.

"The point of the actions is their effect on consciousness by spotlighting the forces -- government and corporate -- responsible for damage and death to the oppressed, and to show people that there are still creative and daring ways to fight the powers-that-be despite repression," Gilbert explained. "Each action was accompanied by a well-reasoned communiqué explaining the political issues involved."
Ayers explained that they acted because they were outraged at the injustices, and because they thought a more just world was within their reach -- that their sacrifices would count for something.
"These elements are each indispensable if we are to ignite a progressive social struggle," he said. "Knowing that things are unjust or terrible is never quite enough. We always need a vision and a palpable sense of the world we're fighting for."

Ayers noted that this vision is essential for a sense of sustained motivation, at both the individual and the collective levels.

"The world is as it is, a mass of contradictions and tragedies, rich with beauty and human accomplishment and possibility, vicious with human denial -- an organism that both drains us and replenishes us, gives us life and kills us," he said. "What gets me up in the morning is all the unnecessary suffering, the undeserved pain, and also a sense that we can and must do better."
Jaffe pointed out that US "mainstream society" -- the recipient of the loot of US global dominance -- does not represent the majority of humanity.

"Our view of 'mainstream' needs to be global and relate to those whom Arundhati Roy calls 'the subjects of Empire,'" she said. "One of the most electrifying breakthroughs in consciousness for me, as I think for many others of my generation, was Malcolm X exhorting us to stop referring to people of color as 'minorities,' because people of color are the vast majority of the people of the world."
All of the WUO members agreed that the confluence of consciousness between the most oppressed groups in the US and the rest of the world created the wave of hope and possibility that -- without ever being "mainstream" -- came to define the '60s and '70s. That type of confluence is crucial, Jaffe said, for any real liberation.

"It would necessitate the overthrow of the US ruling class and its role as the dominant world power," she said. "But understood as being in the interests of the vast majority of humanity, that goal becomes imaginable."

Sense of Urgency
An imaginable set of goals is essential because, Gilbert points out, our resistance to the US ruling class must take on a sense of great urgency.

"Capitalism has us hurtling towards a climate catastrophe that could ruin the Earth as a habitat for any sizable human population and, of course, has exterminated or threatened countless other species," he said. "Already, the effects of climate change have killed huge numbers of people, greatly intensified local conflicts over diminishing resources and created large numbers of desperate climate refugees."
Gilbert sees climate disruption as having the potential to unite people around the world behind a shared goal. However, he says, climate disruption doesn't affect everyone equally, and it's crucial to center the most marginalized people, who tend to be the most impacted.

"The movement can't be on the terms of a relatively privileged, small sector," Gilbert said. "We always need to put the interests, visions, aspirations of the most oppressed, the vast majority, in the forefront."

Ayers also sees the need for a massive social revolution. He argues that we must become even more radical, in the strict sense of the term -- we must reach more thoroughly to the root of things.

"We need to study, learn, organize, talk to strangers, mobilize, display our ethical aspirations publicly," he said, adding that on the important issues of the last two centuries, political radicals from Jane Addams and Emma Goldman, to John Brown and Harriet Tubman, to Eugene Debs and W.E.B. Du Bois, have gotten it right.

For every remembered leader there were hundreds, thousands putting their shoulders on history's wheel."

"The legacy continues with the work of Ella Baker and Septima Clark, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X ... and on up to today," Ayers added. "Of course, as Ella Baker said, 'Martin didn't create the movement, the movement created Martin,' and it's true: For every remembered leader there were hundreds, thousands putting their shoulders on history's wheel."

Dwelling in Possibility
Today, future prospects certainly appear dire on many fronts.
Nevertheless, all of the WUO members Truthout interviewed still have their eyes fixed on the goals of true justice and liberation, and they believe it remains possible to bring about that liberated world. From the US's rigid educational system to its brutal incarceration system to the violence of borders, Ayers says a wholly different vision is within reach. The promise of that radical vision is what sparked WUO's actions decades ago, and it remains relevant.

"We wanted to say goodbye to schooling that's arid, dry, self-referencing and self-satisfied, to teaching as a trivial pursuit of the obvious, to deference, didacticism, ego and complacency in a heartless world, to prisons and border guards and walls -- whether in Palestine or in Texas -- and to quarantines, deletions and closures," Ayers explained. "We wanted to welcome the unknown, to say hello to jumping off the edge, to endlessly learning how to live again and how to love anew, to the dance of the dialectic."

During the advent of the WUO and its time of existence, Ayers said they tried to embrace relentless curiosity, simple acts of kindness, the complexity and wonder of humanity, the poetics of resistance, history, agency, world peace and inner peace. They wanted to embrace the surprising and contradictory harmonies of love at all times -- the hope that love held out for a better world.
In other words, it wasn't a small vision.

"We wanted free love and free land, free food and free housing, dancing in the streets and daring to taste it all with a kiss," Ayers said. "So, my expansive and expanding dreams are not realized, of course, not yet, not in my lifetime, but neither are they dimmed nor diminished. I've tried to live with one foot in the mud and muck of the world as it is, and another foot striving toward a world that could be, but is not yet. Like other freedom lovers, I'm still trying to dwell in possibility."
Dohrn draws much strength from the many current justice movements like Black Lives Matter, and Undocumented and Unafraid, because, "They point to the world we want to live in, as they invite solidarity and build unity."

Jaffe acknowledges that while the Trump victory "certainly stirred many to action," she believes that hope, not despair, is the best spur to action. She believes it is necessary to have a radical analysis that goes beyond the mainstream tenets emerging in the post-election furor.
"We need an analysis that sees Democrats and Republicans as two wings of the same ruling class and Trump not as a blip on the march of progress," she said, "but a continuation of the white supremacy, corporatization, totalitarian surveillance, mass incarceration, and global aggression that are firmly grounded in [the US's] 400-year history of enslavement and genocide."

Ayers commented that he has no nostalgia for the '60s, which have now been thoroughly commodified and sold back to us as a set of distorted myths and symbols.
"It happened -- and it was neither as brilliant and ecstatic as some would have it, nor the devil's own workshop as others insist -- and it's time to move on," he said. "Whatever it was, it remains prelude to the necessary changes and fundamental upheavals just ahead. Let's get busy living, loving, linking arms and rising up right now."

What do we need in order to jump in? Ayers sees the necessary tools everywhere.

"Organize, mobilize, agitate, resist, build the social movement, connect. Repeat for a lifetime."

"Humor and art, protest and spectacle, the quiet, patient intervention and the angry and urgent thrust -- and the rhythm of and recipe for activism is always the same: We open our eyes and look unblinkingly at the world as we find it; we are astonished by the beauty and horrified at the suffering all around us; we dive into the wreckage and swim as hard as we can toward a distant and indistinct shore; we dry ourselves off, doubt that our efforts made enough difference, and so we rethink, recalibrate, look again and dive in once more," Ayers said. "Organize, mobilize, agitate, resist, build the social movement, connect. Repeat for a lifetime."

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Brain regeneration: Why it's real & how to do it --

Have you ever wished you could regenerate those brain cells you sacrificed in college? Do you fear that your aging brain is in a perpetual state of decline? Medical science is being rewritten to show that we CAN improve the health of our brain, and that repairing damage is not only possible, it's something anyone can do.

It is a commonly held misconception that the brain is beyond repair. Even the medical establishment has asserted that once we kill brain cells, they are gone forever. The fact is, the brain can repair itself, and as science is now proving, there is real benefit to simple practices that can help keep our brains sharp and elastic throughout our lifetime.

Rewriting the Story of Brain Health

The field of cognitive neuroscience is relatively new - only around one hundred years old - so it's no surprise that we are constantly arriving at a newer and better understanding of how the neural circuitry of the human brain supports overall brain functioning.

For most of those one hundred years, it was believed that once damaged, the brain could not regenerate. Brain cells were finite, and any loss or injury would be suffered as a deficiency for the rest of that person's life. This created a false belief that the brain is essentially in a perpetual state of decline.

Although compelling evidence to the contrary was presented as early as 1960, medical dogma was (and is) slow to change. It wasn't until the 1980's when Fernando Nottebohm's research at Rockefeller University clearly indicated that neurogenesis - production of new nerve cells, aka neurons - was taking place in the adult vertebrate brain.

The next big step in this scientific evolution would take more than thirty years. However, the pace of our understanding of how the brain is wired was about to take a quantum leap.

Our Elastic Brain

The growth of new neurons in an adult, mammalian brain was first seen in 1992, when scientists isolated neural stem cells from mice in a Petri dish. This regeneration was then replicated thousands of times in a variety of published studies over the next twenty-five years.

It is now accepted in the medical scientific community that the adult brain is capable of growing new neurons and glial cells, something previously disbelieved by the medical establishment. The brain is now considered to be resilient, pliable - plastic.

The term neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain to "rewire" itself through practice of a desired skill. It is the combination of new cells and new learning that creates this magic. When fresh nerve cells are well-stimulated (i.e., trained through specific learning exercises) they make new connections. In other words, they become healthy brain cells that contribute to learning and the development of new skills.

Just like the muscles of the body, when the brain is well-nourished and stimulated through proper exercise, it heals and grows. And with proper care and feeding, this amazing brain regeneration can occur throughout life.

To help make this a "no-brainer", GreenMedInfo has compiled a simple list of ways you can safeguard brain health, stimulate new brain cell growth, and even heal the brain.

1. Get Lots of Physical Exercise

When you hear the phrase "train your brain", you probably don't think of lifting weights. Turns out, physical exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body, and your brain.

The brain benefits of exercise are two-fold. First, the brain is a voracious consumer of glucose and oxygen, with no ability to store excess for later use. A continual supply of these nutrients is needed to maintain optimal functioning.

Physical exercise increases the blood flow to the brain, delivering a boost of fresh oxygen and glucose to hungry brain cells. A 2014 study showed that just 30 minutes of moderate cardio was enough to boost cognitive functioning in adult brains of all ages.

But the benefits don't stop there. Exercise is believed to stimulate hippocampal neurogenesis: new cell growth in the region of the brain associated with long-term memory and emotions. Healthy cell growth in this region is important to the aging brain, and believed to help prevent cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

2. Use Stress Reduction Techniques

Our modern world runs on stress, so the need to unwind is easy to understand. What you might not be aware of, is just how damaging continual immersion in the fight or flight hormones of stress can be to your brain.

Stress is one of the top factors in age-related cognitive decline. This makes engaging in regularly scheduled leisure activities not just a fun thing to do, but an important step towards ensuring optimal brain health.

You don't need to look far to find ways to de-stress. Let your interests guide you. The key to picking brain-healthy pastimes is to avoid passive activities like watching TV, and instead choose stimulating hobbies that engage the brain through patterns, puzzles, and problem-solving.

A 2011 study published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry found that activities such as playing games, reading books, and crafts like quilting and knitting reduced rates of cognitive impairment by up to 50 percent.

Engaging with art also ranks high on the list of brain-healthy hobbies. Studies prove that once again, it's not enough to be a passive observer. To get the brain-boost, we must engage.

In a German study reported in the journal PLOS One, researchers studied two groups: a group who observed art, and a group that produced art. The study concluded that compared to those who observed art, the art producers demonstrated increased interactivity between the frontal and parietal cortices of the brain. This increased brain connectivity translates to enhanced psychological resilience in the group of art producers. In other words, their ability to resist the negative effects of stress improved.

Looking for a more low-key way to unwind? How about playing beautiful music or sitting in quiet contemplation? Meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and even build resistance to feelings of anxiety and depression. And while listening to music may seem like a passive activity, research suggests that the act of listening to musical patterns facilitates brain neurogenesis.

Both meditation and listening to music affect the secretion of key hormones which enhance brain plasticity, thus changing the very way we respond to stress. Talk about good medicine!

3. Take Strategic Supplements


You probably know at least one person who raves about the health benefits of turmeric. This deep, orange root has been used as a panacea for everything from soothing joint pain and calming inflammation, to lowering the risk of heart disease. And our awareness of the benefits of this ancient medicinal herb continues to grow.

Turmeric is an example of a remyelinating compound, which denotes a substance with proven nerve-regenerative effects.

Remyelinating compounds work to repair the protective sheath around the nerve bundle known as myelin, an area often damaged in autoimmune and vaccine-induced disorders. Research shows that even small doses of these restorative substances can produce significant nerve regeneration.

The Western model of pharmaceutical intervention has created a culture that seeks to identify and isolate the "active ingredient" of an organic substance. What this fails to account for is that organic compounds often work in concert: isolates by themselves may lack a critical key that another plant element provides.

Cucurmin is the isolated active ingredient in turmeric, however, new research shows that another element found in turmeric has magical properties of its own.

In an exciting study published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy, researchers found that a little-known component within turmeric, Ar-tumerone, may make "a promising candidate to support regeneration in neurologic disease."

The study found that when brain cells were exposed to ar-tumerone, neural stem cells increased in number and complexity, indicating a healing effect was taking place. This effect was replicated in rats, who when exposed to ar-tumerone saw increased neural stem cell production and the generation of healthy new brain cells.

Green Tea

A 2014 paper studying the active compounds in green tea (known as catechins, a main class of micronutrient), determined that green tea catechins are not only antioxidant and neuroprotective, they actually stimulate the brain to produce more neurons.

Because of this therapeutic effect on damaged regions of the brain, green tea has been shown to have exciting implications in the treatment of 'incurable' neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease. This prompted researchers to declare green tea catechins "...a highly useful complementary approach.." in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Further investigation of green tea examined a combination of blueberry, green tea and carnosine, and found it to promote growth of new neurons and brain stem cells, in an animal model of neurodegenerative disease.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is considered a powerhouse in the herbal medicine pharmacopoeia, and its implications for brain health are equally potent. Ginkgo has demonstrated at least 50 distinct health benefits, and its medicinal value is documented in the treatment of more than 100 different diseases.

There are numerous studies on Ginkgo's ability to stimulate levels of a critical brain protein called BDNF: brain-derived neurotrophic factor. This protein affects healing in damaged regions of the brain and is essential in the regulation, growth and survival of brain cells, making it especially important for long-term memory.

Ginkgo is so effective that a 2006 paper published in the European Journal of Neurology found it to be as useful in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease as the blockbuster drug, Donepezil.

Recently, a new mechanism behind Ginkgo biloba's brain healing properties came to light with the publication of an article in Cell and Molecular Neurobiology. Researchers determined that Ginkgo is effective, in part, due to its ability to modulate neural stem cells (NSC's) into the type of cell that is necessary in the specific region of the brain where the BDNF proteins are active.

NSC's are multipotent cells; they have the amazing ability to shapeshift into any of the many different phenotypes of cells that make up the brain. Ginkgo stimulates the growth of the right cell phenotype for the affected region of the brain, giving our brain exactly what's needed, where it's needed. Now that's intelligent medicine!

4. Eat Your Veggies

Want to stimulate brain cell regrowth while you're having lunch? Add some freshly steamed broccoli to your plate!

Science has added a substance called sulforaphane, found in sulfur-rich vegetables such as broccoli, to the growing list of neuritogenic substances that have been documented to stimulate nerve growth in the brain.

The study, published in the journal Genesis, reveals that sulforaphane, in addition to stimulating new nerve growth, has demonstrated significant healing properties as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, as well as preventing disease and death of healthy neurons.

Adding to the excitement surrounding these findings, researchers observed the beneficial effect on neural stem cells that results in their differentiation to specific, useful types of neurons, lending powerful support to the hypothesis that sulforaphane stimulates brain repair.

Vegetables containing sulforaphane include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard leaves, radish, turnips, watercress, and bok choy. For therapeutic benefit, try to consume at least 3 cups per day, raw or cooked.

5. Employ Continuous Learning

Aging is often associated with cognitive decline, both in research and anecdotal evidence. However, a growing body of literature shows that retaining a sharp, lucid brain means never retiring our critical thinking skills.

The need to continually challenge and expand our thinking was demonstrated in the aforementioned 2011 study published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry. In this study, the leisure time activities of a group of older adults (ages 70-89) were monitored for effect on mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

The study determined that the level of complexity of the activity was key to its effectiveness at preventing MCI. Working with computers, reading books, and activities associated with patterns and problem-solving contributed to a significant decrease in the odds of developing of MCI. Less stimulating activities showed no statistical effect. This stresses the importance of feeling challenged and stimulated by the activities we pursue as we age.

These findings were reinforced by a 2014 study of nearly 3,000 volunteers, spanning more than a decade. This study examined the potential long-term benefit of cognitive training in older adults. Results showed that participants demonstrated enhanced brain processing speed and reasoning skills for up to ten years after the training was completed.

These tangible brain benefits spilled over into daily life and were measured in the participant's ability to complete normal daily tasks, such as personal finances, meal preparation, and personal care routines. Said of the study, "The idea is, the more stimulating your environment, the more you're increasing the complexity of your brain."

For more information on ways to keep your brain healthy, visit GreenMedInfo's brain health research database.

Sayer Ji is founder of, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.

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A Very Short History of All Feelings

Science Is Catching Up to the Buddha

Illustration by Julia Suits, The New Yorker cartoonist & author of The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions

1. Science is confirming key Buddhist ideas. So reveals Robert Wright's very enlightening book, Why Buddhism Is True.

2. Wright means "true" because evolutionary logic and brain science now fit Buddhism's ancient naturalistic (non-reincarnation-y) aspects. Consider some of Wright's mind-stopping sentences and essentially delusion-illuminating ideas.

3. Evolution "doesn't care about our… happiness." It wants us anxiously striving, thus life brings suffering (=Buddhism's dukkha = "unsatisfactoriness"). So feeling happy requires "rebellion" against evolution's values.

4. Evolution's sole goal (="purpose") is gene spreading. So life feels strongly about and "values" the needs of its gene "vehicles" ( = bodies).

5. Feelings arose to enact evolution's vehicle-centered values (=personalized go-forth-and-multiply mission). And all feelings are elaborations of basic evolutionary good-or-bad approach-or-avoid judgments.

6. "Judging is what we're designed to do." Our heads are full of feeling-generating "modules," constantly running backstage (System 1) that judge (assign affective adjectives to) things in our environment.

7. "There's no such thing as an immaculate perception" or conception (the cognitive, not sexual kind). All come bundled with feelings (feelings = biochemical judgments + attached stories, see "Darwin's Hindoo").

8. Brain science backs Buddhism's "not-self" doctrine—"thoughts think themselves"—there's no "CEO" module. Ordinarily, which feeling-thought-story bundles "bubble up" into awareness depends on the intensity of outputs of competing modules.

9. Buddhism calls these feeling-thought-story bundles "delusions" because they arise from misplaced "essentialism." Your perceptions about X may seem like essential attributes of X, but they result from "interdependent co-arising." Like color, they're co-constructed, "caused" by properties of the object, lighting, our physiology, and even language (color ="secondary quality" in Western philosophy).

10. Science calls essentialism about people the "fundamental attribution error" (blaming dispositional traits over situational factors). But this error varies by culture, Jerome Kagan says Asian psychologists wouldn't ever dream up the "Big Five" personality traits (e.g., Korean uses act-plus-context as the basic "unit").

11. Buddhists don't fight feeling-delusions directly. Rather they "R.A.I.N." them in—recognize, accept, inspect, and nonidentify (feelings aren't an essential part of you).

12. Mindfulness meditation trains you in metacognitive skills (thinking about thinking) that weaken unhelpful feelings and empower calmer ones.

13. Buddhist language like "nothing possesses inherent existence" can seem to go too far, since our unobjective "delusions" are often accurate enough.

14. But Buddhism beat Einstein to relativity's core insight, that there's no "view from nowhere," or God's-eye view (even the truths of physics are relational, perspectival).

15. Evolution's save-your-own-skin values tend to inculcate the perspective that we're "special." But perhaps these evolution-given values are more like food than air (the former far more culturally configurable than the latter).

16. Wright feels our evolutionary "vehicle stops at the skin," but that view is shifting—every vehicle needs "multitudes," and "every self is a society."

17. Our "extended vehicles" raise broader "vehicular viability" issues (see "universal survivor logic"). And beyond the personal practical benefits meditation offers, Wright feels a "Metacognitive Revolution" could save the planet (Buddha and the art of vehicles maintenance).
Illustration by Julia SuitsThe New Yorker cartoonist & author of The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions

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Let Me Explain Why Trump’s Core White Supporters Won't EVER Turn Against Him

This Buddhist Parable Can Ease Your Suffering During a Crisis

Stephani Elizabeth.

A breakup or divorce, the death of a loved one, being diagnosed with a serious illness, or losing your job, all of these crises can cause tremendous suffering. How we handle such things is important. Will we show self-compassion or ruminate over the fact that this wasn't supposed to happen?

In the parable of the arrow, sometimes called the second arrow, you picture yourself walking through a forest. Suddenly, you're hit by an arrow. This causes you great pain. But the archer isn't done. Can you avoid the second one? That's the arrow of emotional reaction. Dodge the second by consciously choosing contemplation. It will help you avoid a lot of suffering.

When talking about esoteric Buddhist philosophy, it's important to lay down a few clarifications. There are a lot of misconceptions out there. In truth, Siddhartha Gautama was the son of an elected chief, born in India near the Nepalese border around 400 BCE.

He isn't exactly a religious figure, as he's sometimes portrayed. Buddhism is a philosophy, not necessarily a religion. However, as it spread out in Asia, local beliefs often got mixed in with the philosophical teachings.

Even so, you can very well be a religious person of any faith, an agnostic, or even an atheist, and follow Buddhism or adopt some of its contemplative practices. And in fact, there's a small but growing interest in what's called secular Buddhism. Of course, the object, according to the Buddha or "Enlightened One," was to reach nirvana. So how can it not be a religion?

The Buddha wasn't a deity or a prophet. He was just a guy who "woke up."4 By: terimakasih0. Pixababy.

Alan Watts was a famous 20th century philosopher who elucidated many of the differences between Eastern and Western thought. In particular, he educated Western audiences regarding Zen. Watts said that in Sanskrit, nirvana means "wind." In meditation, it is the breathing that's often focused upon. It's through this practice, particularly when breathing out, that the word is evoked.

In other words, the concentration is on this phase of breathing where the person is meant to let go. You let go of your wind and it comes back to you, it's said. But if you hold in your breath, you'll struggle. So nirvana isn't a spiritual realm. It's simply the act of letting go, when our natural reaction may be to feel anxiety and grip even more tightly.

Nirvana isn't heaven, it's the act of living life without craving3, and without holding on too much to our own expectations. It's not that Buddhists shed their emotions. Practitioners have feelings and thoughts but they don't cling to them. It's this clinging that causes suffering, in this view. Instead, they try not to be too attached.

In life, we almost never consider terrible things befalling us. We know that we'll get sick sometimes, we'll fail, that people will die around us, and that we'll die ourselves, someday. But any such event is an abstract notion, until something bad happens. Then we're knocked off kilter. It becomes real and we're devastated.

We can't believe we'd been so unlucky. Or perhaps, we think it's completely unfair and we look for who's responsible. That's the second arrow, exacerbating the issue. Part of it comes from the fact that the truth doesn't square with our preconceived expectations.
The parable of the arrow helps us understand how our emotional reactions sometimes make matters worse1. By: Jakub Jankiewicz. Bow and Arrow. Flikr.

After telling the two arrow parable, the Buddha said, "In life, we cannot always control the first arrow. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. And with this second arrow comes the possibility of choice."

This is often summarized as, "Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional."2 It begs a thoughtful approach to the first arrow, which is difficult to do. But if you can accomplish this, it'll help ease your pain and avoid suffering.

The ways we often react are complaining, pointing the finger, condemning ourselves, or over-analyzing. Sometimes we even seek refuge in pleasures or distraction. Consider those who drown themselves in TV, food, sex, drugs or alcohol, when something painful occurs. Unfortunately, none of these offer lasting comfort and in the end, usually make things worse.

In The Arrow Sutra1 the Buddha said, "We cling to diversions, rather than observing what is actually present, the arising and passing of feelings." So instead of turning away from emotions, turn towards them. How do you really feel about the situation really? Are there motivating emotions underneath that which you are allowing yourself to recognize or feel? If so, what new awareness arises from their acknowledgement?
Mythologist Joseph Campbell. By: Joan Halifax (Upaya) [CC BY 2.0]. Wikimedia Commons.
Instead of knee-jerk reactions, allow the time to let yourself feel your emotions and explore them, curiously, without judgment or fear. That's not easy to do. You should pat yourself on the back if you can do this successfully.

Letting your past expectations melt away and see the situation as it truly is. This can help you process the event and even gain some insight. It may also allow you the space you need to find the right perspective and develop a plan for righting the situation or at least, mitigating it. In psychology, this is sometimes called learning to respond instead of react.

According to the late, world renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell, in his series of talks called The Eastern Way, in Sanskrit, the word nirvana literally means "no wind." As opposed to Watts's example, here Campbell brings up a different interpretation. This is the place of no wind. While looking into a pool of water, you can see your reflection. When the wind blows the water ripples, distorting the image. You don't see reality as it is.

So what nirvana is, is the place without wind. It's the ability to see things clearly without distortion. If when confronted with a crisis, we can clear our mind and choose the proper way to respond, rather than lashing out, which ends up hurting others or ourselves, we can take action that'll help the situation rather than making it worse.

To learn more about avoiding the second arrow, click here:

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10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be; Pay Attention To No. 4

1. You think everyone has negative intentions

You cannot simply let things be. If your friend hasn't texted you back or your partner went for lunch with his/her friends, you immediately associate bad intentions with it. You take offence on trivial things which do not even matter in the long run. Do not ascribe intent to other people's actions all the time.
A nurse who worked in a palliative care shares the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed. Let it be your reminded at all times!

2. I, me, myself

You know that you are the star of your own movie. Everything in your head is pre-planned and is supposed to happen in a certain way. But real life doesn't let that happen very often. Other people will not follow your plans; they will not go according to your script. Try to avoid this attitude because it'll make you feel frustrated.
In this ever-changing wold, especially with such advanced technology, you have to know that things won't turn out as you want all the time, and be completely fine with it. Life itself won't let you be happy all the time. It's just (what I like to call) the law of balance that makes like beautiful. Being sad reveals the feeling of happiness, being anxious reveals the feeling of serenity… Yes, strive for happiness and fulfilled life on all fronts, but don't let the dark side ruin your light side.
You just have to be okay with it, and you won't let the bad vibe hurt your overall health.

3. Everything is apocalyptic

You jump to the worst possible conclusion for a given situation. Everything has to be apocalyptic and chaotic in your head even though things turn out to be quite well in the end. Slow down and take a deep breath. And by the way, blame it on our ancestors. It's their fault!
The brain is preparing you for the worst, it's just the way of evolution. God knows what our ancestors had to survive through to create the people we are today. And if you think that it all goes 2 meters under with their bodies, you are wrong. It is sealed in our DNA. It's even scientifically proven that your brain is prepared for anything.
So next time when you jump to the worst possible scenario, take control of it. Once you master your thoughts you can literally achieve anything. It's the battle within ourselves that's hard as hell. All else is mirroring our thoughts in reality. Have that in mind.

4. Expectations

Having unrealistic expectations in life is such a common thing for everybody. Lessen the amount of expectations you have from people, you will immediately feel more relaxed and happy.
We tend to put high expectations because we have no real control of our thoughts and emotions. Just take a look at yourself when you are extremely happy and excited. You tend to think that you can rule the world, and you do rule it, but that's all in your head. It's not that I am trying to tell you that you shouldn't be happy. I just use it to explain a simple thing about expectations.
When you expect too much from someone , especially from a relationship partner, friend, or colleague, you just let your happiness and excitement speak for the other person. While that's completely okay, you put too much expectations on a person that has a brain on his own. You are currently excited, and you see the outcome from him based on your emotions. What we forget is that the person lives in different reality. His 30 years of experience is much more different than yours. You can't control expectations from another person. Life is just so intertwined with confusion that you can't control everything yourself, and especially not someone else's thoughts, intentions and actions.
Bottom Line: don't expect that much and it makes it so much easier. If they do better, you will be happier. If they do worse, you won't be that disappointed. Either way you win. You get my point?
I was talking the other day with my friend on expectations because we were little disappointed from one particular person, and he said to me: "You know what? Right now if my father tells me he is gay, I won't be surprised!" And that was lowering the expectations to the minimum.
Off the record, we were joking, but you get my point.

5. Waiting for signs

Some people won't take any action till they receive some secret "sign" from the higher power. If you keep looking for signs and omens then you'll keep waiting and never act. It's good to believe, but it should not impair you from doing something that you think is right.
And here's comes the all powerful. I have no idea how to explain it, but I will try.
There's higher power controlling this world and it's best explained in a book I read a while ago by Napoleon Hill. This sentence really open my eyes wide open, and I even started laughing loudly, and I was home. alone. Here it is described by my words:
"Every person has at least two persons in him, whether we accept that or not. Every day you have to make that conscious decision. Are you going to listen to your "bad you", the personality that feeds your fears, guilt, and worries, or you are going to listen to your "good you" and count your treasures, blessings, good fortune, and gratefulness."
Now the book keeps on explaining that we are all connected to something bigger than us, and ordinary folk will say "c'mon that's complete bulls*it", but I say they are wrong.
When you feel motivated and vibrate on a higher level than usual (feel happier, excited, confident) you connect to higher power. A web that somehow connects all of us. And it's really unexplained by any science. And I think that's the beauty of it.
When you vibrate higher, you somehow find the right people for a task, hang out, even a life partner. You belong to another, different reality and you connect with the people that belong to that reality.
The signs you are waiting are hidden in your emotions. When you vibrate on a higher level, you will see more signs, connect to them, and create completely new, better life.

6. Not taking risks

You live your life in your comfort zone refusing to even peek outside. This will not help you in achieving anything since you'll never know the hardship of the real world.
Since childhood, we may not seem to notice what's comfort, or there is a thing called 'comfort zone' you can actually fall and be trapped in.
The reason is because we didn't have the adult brakes in childhood, if you know what I mean.
There are crucial things we aren't taught in school, and in spite of that we are educated on the global scale of learning.
The global scale of learning is the overall school education. I sucked at painting, I hated it, and yet I had to paint to get a better grade.
From primary school until present day I haven't painted, and I don't have any plans to do it in the future.
No one ever told me that time is the most valuable lesson in life, until I read it from dozens of books.
No one ever told me, too, that my life is not meant to be safe. Or that my life will expand (spiritually and mentally) if I step out of what makes me comfortable.
All I heard was to stay safe, get out of trouble, to dry my hair before going out, or to take my jacket because it's cold. Maybe that was meant for bad 'type' of troubles. But I wasn't told that too.
What I've experienced (and I'm still an early bloomer) is that comfort zone keeps my eyes shut, my ears clogged, and my mouth glued.
Because I don't want to take you long, here another article on comfort zone. And I promise that you will like it.

7. Comparing your life with others'

Teddy Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." So why do you measure your life with other people's lives? If you look from someone else's eyes, you have enough.
Thanks to Michael Gregory for explaining this so good:
People live most of their lives comparing themselves to others. It normally starts off at a young age and it gets worse as they grow into adults. There's usually an infinite amount of areas you might compare yourself with on a daily basis. Whether it's based on looks, income, or status most people do it in one way or another. But comparing your car to your neighbor's won't do nothing more than build resentment between yourselves.
Kill this habit by becoming aware of your own success and victories. Have you ever passed an exam before? Congratulation! You graduated High School? Awesome! And let's say you want to break down your success into unique experiences? Did you ask that cute person out or get their number? Great! You did something most people are afraid to do.
The point is this, when you compare yourself to others, you're stressing your mind because you end up questioning your own life decisions and abilities. You lose focus to what you should be doing and start a petty competition that never ends. No one's perfect and someone will always have something better or greater than you. All you can do is accept it and move on because in reality there's someone else in the world who dreams to be in your shoes.

8. Wasting time

You let unimportant things or people waste your precious time. Value the importance of your own time and spend it wisely. Do not lavish it on selfish, egotistical or negative people. Guard it safely as if it's a treasure because it really is the only treasure that can be spend, but not taken back.
I cannot explain it better than Steve Jobs:
"When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Just imagine that this very second, you reading this cannot be brought back. Ever. And let that be your motivation.

9. Not letting go

Letting go is a very difficult task. But it doesn't mean that you can't do it.
Slowly and steadily you will learn to let go of that broken friendship, failed relationship and career setbacks. Life is a cocktail of loss and gain. Try not to lament over things that left your life, because new ones are on their way.
The top 3 things is life is controlling the stiff emotions, the ones that don't seem to go away. I found that in those exact moments you know that you are truly strong person. Sometimes we are to blame, but most often it's not up to us, and we have to face that.
Remember that you are truly strong if you can find the way to stand back up from the mud. Make a conscious choice that it won't be easy, but you will get through it.

10. Not giving back

If you don't give back in life, then what are you living for? Taking is the easiest thing to do, but to give someone that care, love and affection that you want to receive is really important.
Altruism is part of life. Sharing our energy with other people and showing compassion towards humans and animals can lead to happiness. It's like a straightforward bridge from altruism to happiness.
Being happy and using ways to increase happiness is quite difficult if we don't share what we have. Far away from money, we have bigger and brighter things to share, such as helping hand.
Sharing things in all forms – kindness, generosity, compassion, volunteering and donating money – can be favorable for the benefactor and the recipient.
Altruism in the form of kindness and compassion are the key factors to socializing and vital to our happiness. Researcher claims that random acts of kindness raise dopamine levels and boost your mood.
Get out of your limited self, see the world outside which is in desperate need of healing. Don't let yourself become a taker in life. Giving unconditionally is the most satisfying activity for the soul.
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We Are “Extragalactic Immigrants” from Faraway Galaxies, Discover Astrophysicists

credit: Pixabay

Not only are we made of stardust, but we may come from a galaxy far, far away. Astrophysicists discovered that up to half of the matter in our Milky Way galaxy comes from other, distant galaxies.
The scientists used supercomputer simulations to make the surprising discovery that galaxies get matter through intergalactic transfer. Supernova explosions within one galaxy eject so much gas that it gets picked up by galactic winds that transport it to other galaxies. That way atoms get moved from one part of the cosmos to another.
"Given how much of the matter out of which we formed may have come from other galaxies, we could consider ourselves space travelers or extragalactic immigrants," said Daniel Anglés-Alcázar, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern who led the study. 
He added that it's likely a large amount of the matter in the Milky Way came from other galaxies after it got "kicked out by a powerful wind, traveled across intergalactic space and eventually found its new home in the Milky Way."

This would have taken several billion years to accomplish, even if galactic winds can move at several hundred kilometers per second.

Check out this animation illustrating the intergalactic transfer of gas:
Anglés-Alcázar developed advanced algorithms that mined the data generated by researchers from the FIRE ("Feedback in Realistic Environments") project, led by Northwestern professor Claude-André Faucher-Giguère. The FIRE team created numerical simulations that resulted in realistic 3-D models of galaxies, from the Big Bang to the present. The algorithm by Anglés-Alcázar was able to quantify how the matter was transferred between the galaxies.
"This study transforms our understanding of how galaxies formed from the Big Bang," explained Faucher-Giguère, a co-author of the study. "What this new mode implies is that up to one-half of the atoms around us — including in the solar system, on Earth and in each one of us — comes not from our own galaxy but from other galaxies, up to one million light years away."
The team was able to track how gas from smaller galaxies ends up in the larger ones, like our Milky Way, where the gas forms stars.
"Our origins are much less local than we previously thought," pointed out Faucher-Giguère. "This study gives us a sense of how things around us are connected to distant objects in the sky." 
The findings provide unique insights into how galaxies grow. The scientists plan to test their results by collaborating with observational astronomers working on the Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based observatories.

Check out the study "The Cosmic Baryon Cycle and Galaxy Mass Assembly in the FIRE Simulations" here. It is published by the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Myanmar - The World’s Most Silent Genocide

It is the world's most silent genocide. So silent, in fact, that even in the unlikely event you have heard about it, it's more than likely you know only its foggiest details.

Under the UN Geneva Convention, the definition of genocide describes both a mental and physical element: "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such," and includes killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

In every sense of the definition, the government of Myanmar is carrying out genocide against its 1.3 million Rohingya Muslim population – one that is being ignored, in the most part, by the international community, despite acknowledgement by the United Nations that mass killings, disappearances, torture, gang rapes, brutal beatings, property dispossession, and forced deportations are occurring in increasing frequency and ferocity.

The UN's 2017 report into Myanmar's savage "crackdown" on the country's northern Rakhine state described the violence as likely "crimes against humanity," and that "the gravity and scale of these allegations begs the robust reaction of the international community," but the international community, particularly Western leaders and media continues to ignore Myanmar's systematic extermination of Rohingya Muslims.

"The devastating cruelty to which these Rohingya children have been subjected is unbearable – what kind of hatred could make a man stab a baby crying out for his mother's milk. And for the mother to witness this murder while she is being gang-raped by the very security forces who should be protecting her," said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
The cruelty inflicted upon these people by the state obligated to protect their security is on a par with the level of depraved barbarism carried out by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, but whereas the terrorist group's psychopathic violence attracts global headlines, the cruelty mete out by Myanmar's security forces goes largely unknown.
Cruelty that includes the slaughter of babies and young children with knives; deliberate destruction of food supplies, and the burning and looting of entire villages. Of 101 Rohingya Muslim women interviewed by the UN, more than half said they had been raped or sexually assaulted.
Sattar Islam Nirob is a 28-year-old Rohingya Muslim refugee in one of the three refugee camps set up inside the Bangladesh border. He and his family have taken refuge in Kutapalong refugee camps, which now holds 13,766 Rohingya Muslim refugees alongside another more than 65,000 held in a neighboring "make shift camp," Nirob told me.

Nirob said that fresh assaults carried out by Myanmar's security forces are pushing a rapidly increasing number of Rohingya Muslims towards the Bangladeshi border. Yesterday he estimated there to be more than 3000 waiting, more like pleading, for refugee status, while he estimated a further 1,200 had been arrested by Bangladeshi border patrol officers for trying to cross without a permit.

Yesterday, Bangladeshi security forces forcibly sent back 90 Rohingya Muslims trying to flee Myanmar, and then began firing mortars and machine guns at them, according to Al Jazeera.
But even when the "fortunate" few of the likely hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Rohingya Muslims make it safely into neighboring Bangladesh, the refugee camps that await them can only be described as horrific.

He described to me conditions inside Kutapalong camp; breaking down in tears as he recounted witnessing babies starving and dehydrating to death due to a lack of water and emergency milk supplies. Others have described pathways "paved with sewage," and a "claustrophobic crush of mud huts and tents packed so tightly together that they looked like they were built on top of each other." This has been Nirob's home for the past two years. Too afraid to return to Myanmar in the knowledge he'd face certain death, torture, or imprisonment.

When I asked Nirob if he felt his situation was hopeless, he said he had not abandoned hope in the international community, saying, "If the US government and United Nations can work together to pressure the Myanmar government, it will greatly improve the situation for all Rohingya refugees."
Despite Nirob's continued optimism in the face of such indescribable adversary, efforts to pressure Myanmar's de facto leader, San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, have fallen short. Not only has she blocked the UN from investigating Myanmar's human rights violations, but also she maligned Rohingya Muslims as "terrorists" and/or supporters of terrorism.

Clearly, the international community must do more to halt Myanmar's systematic extermination and expulsion of Rohingya Muslims. To do nothing is to provide the Muslim world of yet another clear example of the West's refusal to intervene when Muslim lives are endangered.

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