Saturday, May 26, 2012

Heavenly Celestial Bodies

When we gaze at the stars, who and what are we really seeing? There are many available opinions. We may never know the full extent of the truth. The true story behind the cosmos has been a mystery for thousands of years and may not ever be truly known. What we do know is that we can play at and enjoy identifying forms in constellations, based on the visions of those who came before us.

Take for instance one of the most well known constellations, which is the Big Dipper. It forms a part of Ursa Major, the Big Bear in the sky. This star group is notable for a variety of reasons, mostly, that it resembles an upside down ladle or saucepan. The most relevant piece of information about this celestial grouping is that if you draw a straight line pouring out from the two stars at the outer edge of the 'dipper,' and multiply that distance by five, you will arrive at Polaris, the North Star. You may want to write this down, as it is a piece of information you can use and reuse, and it could really come in handy if you are ever lost at sea ;o). Speaking of navigating, many people don't know this about the Big Dipper but it was used as a veiled message for the slaves escaping to freedom in the Underground Railroad before the civil war. They sang songs about following the "Drinking Gourd" to freedom in the North.

The other easily recognizable constellation is Orion, made famous by the glowing belt from which this hunter's sword hangs down. Three bright stars make up this belt and an entire nebulae makes up the balance of Orion's sword. Rigel, one of the brightest stars in the sky, makes up one of Orion's legs and the two stars Bellatrix and Betelgeuse make up his shoulders. The Romans and the Greeks are the ones who made this "Hunter" constellation be known as it is today. In fact Orion was one of the many "players" in Homer's The Odyssey. He can be seen surrounded in the night sky by fellow players such as Artemis, the Scorpion, and his two faithful hunting dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor.

Last on Tara's list, but certainly not least, is the beautiful heavenly body known as Venus. She has been flirting with Jupiter and the moon over recent months forming a triangle with them, though now, she has begun to retreat beyond the limits of the night sky. Currently fading on the horizon, Venus will make her final debut in a rare transit by "kissing" the sun on June 5th, not to be repeated again for another 121 years. Romantics and stargazers everywhere take note. For all the readers in Hawaii, look to the western sky at sunset to witness this event. For those of you in all other locations around the world, look to this map for correct timing and orientation . SPECIAL NOTE: you will need protective eye wear as it is dangerous to look directly at the sun during most times.

Hopefully you have enjoyed this interlude through the cosmos. One need only to look into the night sky to realize the enormity of celestial runways, highways, byways, segways, and lightways. May this journey inspire you to continue enjoying the vast sky in all its glory and may the Lord's blessings be showered upon and received throughout the Universe.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Health and the Benefits of Copper

As I was telling a friend about a sty that I had in my right eye, it occurred to me that there must be some health benefits to copper and the use of it in the body. I used a copper penny to see if there was any benefit to what I thought might have been an old wive's tale, by rubbing the copper penny and putting it over the sty. Lo and behold I found that it worked! The sty was gone within a few days. Upon researching the subject, I found that there are plenty of benefits to the assimilation of copper in the body.

Albeit some of the benefits could be overlooked due to the obvious negative aspects of too much copper, as with anything. As we know, too much of anything is usually not a good thing. Indeed, what are the benefits of copper? Truth be told, the benefits seem endless. They far outweigh any negative aspects of copper. In fact, the only true negative to copper is when too much is ingested. Basically, it will prevent  the absorption of zinc. That is it! That is the only negative aspect I could find.

Having said that, the principal positive factors are metabolic benefits, relating to brain function, the cardiovascular system, cell and tissue repair, anti-aging properties, and the list goes on and on. Let me not bore you with all the technicalities of tyrosidine and its chemical properties of passing through the myelin sheath. If you would like to read about the intricate details of how copper works in the body, you will likely find this link to be very informative. . Besides the myriad of health benefits, it also includes listings of good food sources for ingesting copper through diet.

In conclusion, we have learned that there are many benefits to copper. In addition to ingesting copper through diet, copper can be worn in the form of copper bracelets, so that it can then be absorbed into the bloodstream. One must simply be aware of not absorbing too much, lest we interfere with proper zinc absorption. (Zinc is another important trace mineral, but that is a topic for another day.) After writing this blog today, I will be ordering my own copper bracelet. Trusting that this information serves you well, A HUI HOU. :-)