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Urban farming is the future of healthy living –

Exploring the ins and outs of how you can begin to start growing in your own backyards and balconies.

Whether its a window, balcony, garage, patio or lawn what makes urban farming a particularly viable avocation in our fast-paced daily lives is that it can be tailored to fit the budget and space you have at hand.

And while eating food youve grown yourself sits at the junction of fulfilment, tradition and modernity, adapting to a rapidly changing world and new ways of eating it isn't an easy feat.

In fact, it requires seriousness and commitment.

Essentially, urban farming is all about growing food in a densely populated city or urban environment for sale, barter or consumption, and varies greatly in terms of productivity and scale and even extends to include raising animals as well.

In Pakistan, there exists a growing urban farming community that is not only involved in promoting sustainability and adaptive food consumption but also in encouraging habits of slow food, organic eating, buying local, seasonal produce and using traceable ingredients in cooking.

By speaking to those who know the ins and outs of urban farming and gardening, Images explores how you can begin to start growing in your own backyards and balconies.

Years ago, Sanaa Zubairi started her garden when she and her aunt decided to bring a dormant turai (gourd) creeper back to life in their yard with their gardeners help. It worked, and they added a few banana trees and a lemon tree.

They grew well and we had a lot of fruit, says Zubairi, a 36-year-old mental health counsellor, clinical supervisor and life coach.

Our maali started teaching me about [farming] since he had done it before in his village. Gradually, we experimented, researched online, picked up ideas and added more vegetables to the garden.

Zubairi and her aunt were never alone on their journey. The pair was inspired early on by others in their circle with already thriving kitchen gardens and consulted with their local Karachi chapter of Ikebana International the 20,000-strong international organisation to promote the Japanese art of flower arrangement where members meet once a month for workshops, lectures and discussions of plant and flower-related subjects and Tofiq Pasha, a renowned local farmer who regularly opens his farm to the public for planting workshops and lessons.

Along the way, we started hearing a lot about others growing their own food. I also met with Tofiq Pasha and saw his farm. It was pretty clear it is possible to grow [food] at home. The best part is opening up my window to a lush garden every morning, seeing the fruit hanging all around. Theres nothing like picking your own food, heading into the kitchen and cooking up a storm.

Zubairi revealed that for the past six or seven years, they havent needed to purchase the vegetables they already grow at home. That includes loki, turai, karaila and kakri, as well as spinach for six to eight months of the year and seasonal veggies besides.

There is always something that you can grow even if you don't have resources. Our pantries are packed with seeds; potatoes, garlic and ginger are always available to begin with. When you don't have everything listed in a gardening book or website, then you truly learn how to be creative and how nature finds a way to keep producing.

We have our lemons, basil and mint throughout the year. Seasonal vegetables like broccoli, tomato, eggplant, coriander and peppers keep us going for some months. We've added more fruit and have been enjoying mulberries (shaitoot) for a while now.

Every season, she says, We assess what we want to grow that time around and how much. Some stuff we manage to freeze as well and use whenever.

With a lot of produce coming through, Zubairi shares it with family, friends and house staff, and has also set up a barter system with other growers like her.

Seema Khuled has been regularly conducting gardening workshops and training sessions across Lahore and Islamabad for years.

Each session is three hours long and begins with basic theory the hows and whys followed by a tea break and an interactive practice session.

Workshops are registration-based and cover the basics like organic kitchen gardening, but also go beyond for the more serious enthusiasts with sessions on bonsai, vertical gardening, espaliering and growing mushrooms.

We have quite an informal interactive session where the participants are at ease to ask [questions] and understand. The best part which is very encouraging is that participants execute all the ideas that we discuss during the workshop, says Khuled.

I am always there whenever they need any further guidance but they are well equipped to try on their own.

And the interactive guidance goes beyond the weekend workshops. Khuled helps run Our Gardens, a Facebook group with over 114,000 members who use the platform for everything from help identifying plants (Is this lettuce edible?), to advice on techniques (Will this trellis be strong enough to hold up my vine?; Should I repot or transfer this into the ground?) to why their tomatoes arent thriving.

People also trade seeds and plants there are even giveaways from time to time and share photos and videos of the literal fruits of their labour for others to see. Plus, lots of wholesome memes.

I believe that nobody knows everything but everybody knows something. That is why an urban gardening community is important, says Khuled.

Everyone has something to contribute [with their] experience and knowledge.

Though she'd always had an affinity for nature and the outdoors since childhood, Karachi-based sustainability educator and writer Zahra Ali became a full-time urban farmer in 2008 after she had an accident that caused her to put her career on hold as a result.

During that one year, I asked myself, what will really make me happy if I had no pressures from society and no worry about my future?

I wanted to grow my own food and since then, I have found my way in the most magical ways possible. I gave up my career, which was all about consumerism and was totally not making me happy. It was a daring thing to do back then but amazing things happen when you follow your heart.

Around the same time, she started Crops In Pots, a blog that has since blossomed into a community of urban farmers and led to other projects and initiatives. Organic City, the organisation she started with her husband Yasir Husain, holds horticulture therapy sessions with The Recovery House, runs an heirloom seed bank and opened up the Organic City Eco-Store in 2016.

Then theres The Learning Garden, an initiative that promotes sustainability and conservation in schools through classroom and experiential learning via planting and caring for an organic vegetable patch. Over 7,000 children have participated in the programme over the last 12 years.

I learned gardening skills mainly through reading online and emailing experts from around the world who were very supportive. I watched [videos] and practised. That is why I started my blog in 2008: to share what works and what doesn't, says Ali.

I also got in touch with a group of urban farmers in the Philippines that emerged after the [2004] tsunami hit their area. They used trash to make fertilisers and planters; that truly inspired me.

At home and in the gardens she manages across the city, Ali mainly grows organic heirloom vegetables, herbs and fruits in containers or grow boxes and native trees for tree plantations, along with flowers, which help attract pollinating bees.

Flowers are always a part of any organic and permaculture garden. I have grown all kinds of plants, from orchids, cacti, bonsai [to] tropical and water plants as well. All these years, I have never planted hybrid or genetically modified seeds, and all my initiatives [have also grown] only heirloom vegetables each year since day one.

Lahore-based software project manager Muhammad Khabbab has a similar story. Back in 2008, he first got into gardening because of rising tomato prices at the time. Apart from the standard vegetables and some dwarf fruit trees, he is now growing hundreds of plants on his rooftop and is also a collector of rare and exotic flowers which can get tricky thanks to the fluctuating exchange rate and import restrictions.

Like Ali, he too created a community when he could not find one.

An active member of international gardening forums like Dave's Garden and Houzz, Khabbab started a blog, discussion board and an online store selling local and exotic bulbs, seeds and plants. His forum, Gardening Pakistan, often organises workshops and he makes sure to attend workshops run by others in the city.

I always learn a thing or two whenever I attend a workshop, says Khabbab. When you meet with other gardeners who see things from another perspective, then you get to know many new ideas and many solutions which you did not know in the first place. Learning is a process which never stops.

But for the urban gardening community, the learning is not all online.

Those who have access to or contacts in the rural farmlands regularly travel to interact with farmers on the ground to gain a deeper understanding of how to grow and how to grow better.

For example, Dr Sabeeka Kazilbash, who grows guava and mango trees at her home on the outskirts of Karachi, often visits her aunts in Punjab during the sugarcane or rice harvest seasons and consults with local farmworkers there to add to her knowledge.

She also writes directly to local nurseries in Karachi to ask what theyre up to and shares her own progress.

Extreme temperatures and deadly heatwaves in Pakistan over the past decade led to recognising the impact of losing green spaces in cities to concrete and urbanisation, resulting in government and private efforts to restore tree cover and urban forests.

Although climate change was named as a key contributing factor behind the exceptionally high temperatures of up to 49 degrees Celsius during the deadly 2015 heatwave which killed nearly 2,000 people in mostly Karachi and Sindh, what really drove the phenomenon (and subsequent heatwaves) are deforestation and the loss of green spaces in densely populated areas. This is known as the urban heat island effect.

Though urban gardening and farming also took off around the same time, campaigns calling to increase greenery in cities apparently arent responsible for their popularity.

According to Ali, heatwaves have not been the driving factor behind the growing interest in growing.

Speaking of lawns, Its important to point out that the gardens under discussion almost tend to be privately-held in homes and not, for example, public or commonly-held allotments or gardens, as is often the case in contemporary cities around the world.

Heatwaves did encourage mass tree plantations, she notes, referring to drives to plant trees in public spaces but people have always wanted to be closer to nature.

Over the years, so many gardening societies have bloomed and established, garden stores are spreading and nurseries are [more] accessible. People have also started growing vegetables now and are more aware of the harmful effects of genetically-modified seeds and chemicals used in agriculture.

Khuled concurs with Ali and says growing things has been an integral part of home life for generations. If we rewind our memories, we can see our elders growing a few things and surely having one or two fruit trees in our houses. It's kind of reviving that culture again.

Though they say the heatwaves arent directly behind the rising interest in gardening, both Khuled and Ali do credit a greater awareness of climate change and its effects and declining air quality among young people.

Zubairi who is also an active member of a Karachi-based gardening Facebook group acknowledges there are lots of pitfalls when it comes to growing and sustaining your own food and garden.

In fact, she says, failure is an important teacher. It hasnt been easy dealing with bugs and birds, but the experts shared their experiences, and desi fixes, totkas and failures here and there prepped me.

It takes patience and work.

While water is a constant and omnipresent challenge in Karachi, there are ways to work around it.

Dr Kazilbash, for example, grows according to Karachis climate in a limited space and is lucky her home is on the outer edge of the city, so the soil is richer.

Certain limitations of space and resources are a common factor here [in Pakistan] and turning them into opportunities is a collective effort beneficial to all. Small space gardening is one of the primary examples on which we have gone quite far, Khuled adds, referring to the most common type of setup group members have.

For the last 10 years, 29-year-old digital marketer Mavra Azeemi and her family have grown mostly fruit trees, flowers and ornamentals within their Lahore home: kinnow, mosambi, chikoo, red and green grapes, papaya, curry leaf, lemongrass, basil, date, guava, aloe, jasmine and rose.

Then theres the empty plot of land next door, where theyve planted moringa described as a miracle tree for all its nutritious benefits and a diverse vegetable patch.

She says, Thanks to the empty plot next to our house, we've been lucky enough to grow a whole bunch of different seasonal vegetables.

And though Lahore has better soil conditions and season differentiation, the smog and other irregularities can lead to an uneven or sometimes no output, which can get expensive in terms of time and effort.

Although, for Ali, who grows heirloom and organic, it was all about learning slowly through experience over the years.

She says, It was very challenging to find organic experts, garden shops or even local gardening social media groups back then.

Nearly a decade ago, she created a guide for starting a vegetable garden on a less than shoestring budget based on her own experience.

Dr Kazilbash, who is in her 30s, grew up watching her grandparents harvest their own kitchen essentials and took on gardening as a hobby as her interest grew.

Their encouragement, however, came from the pain of their own experience.

My grandfather often recalled his pre-Partition days and always advised that if a war-like situation [like that] happens again, [you must be prepared and] you have to plant food for your own survival. I always laughed, but this point always remains in my mind.

For some, the drive and satisfaction of growing food lies in maintaining family tradition and a kind of modern pastoral nostalgia. Linked to that are concerns like eliminating food miles or avoiding pesticide biomagnification. Plus, when you grow spinach and lettuce in your own yard, you know they havent been watered with sewage.

There is nothing as rewarding as picking up fresh food from your garden just before cooking, says Ali, who grows organic produce in all her gardens.

We are missing out [on] a diverse range of vegetables thanks to commercial farming. We need to revive heirloom seeds especially because over the past few decades, the world has lost a huge percentage of heirloom seed diversity.

The joy of picking a fresh orange from the tree that grows in your garden can never be matched by anything you get in the market, explains Azeemi, who comes from a landowning family in Punjab.

The connection you feel to the food you grow runs a lot deeper. You've shared the same piece of earth and gotten the same sun, grown up together, it's like the most beautiful friendship.

Food is the basic fuel for our body, says Khuled, who notes that pesticide intake tends to be highest when it comes to raw leaves and vegetables.

Growing your own food is taking charge of your health with your own hands. It also tastes much better.

I know we cannot grow everything but at least we can grow those which are consumed raw.

Organic farming can be challenging enough at subsistence level but even more so at scale, and is much less commercially viable in comparison to conventionally grown crops. Even when produce is labelled organic, its difficult to ensure it is 100% so and hasnt been exposed to harmful pesticides or fertilisers at some point.

This means the Pakistani urban garden is atomic, individual and domestic, with no infrastructure or sustainable model to turn it into a true community project that can build social cohesion and empower people.

Commercial farms cannot be completely organic even if they try [to be] due to pesticide sprays in adjacent farms, says Khuled, alluding to the fact that, though there are exceptions, organic farms are often located near or on the same properties as conventional ones.

For Zubairi, however, the benefits of urban farming go far beyond solely clean food: it can be revitalising in terms of mental health too.

Kitchen gardening and nature are a huge personal resource to help reconnect with the world and nature, ground the self and teach and encourage others to do the same.

It also helps to enjoy the many things we discover every now and then: butterflies, all kinds of winged bugs and different birds coming in to share the fruit. Some are just absolutely fascinating.

Dr Kazilbash, who also grows herbs, garlic, ginger, eggplant, potatoes and chillies, finds similar happiness when she gives much of her produce away.

When a friend shares her experience of how she used brinjal Ive grown in tarkari and raita, Im just overwhelmed with joy.

So what does the future of urban farming look like in Pakistan?

Ali is optimistic. It is bright, especially since [many] schools have started educating children about being close to nature. I am very hopeful to see our future community leaders shaping greener communities.

Urban gardeners are getting more active with the food growing movement now, says Khuled, which indicates a break from pristine balconies and the primly landscaped yet monotonous lawn.

"Along with beautiful, colourful and fragrant gardens, we are seeing edibles grown all along. This is very encouraging.

It's going to get even better if kitchen gardening can be introduced in every school and college, Khuled echoes.

She says, It's important to bring young children close to nature. I am seeing a much greener and healthier environment in years to come with all these youngsters joining us.

Speaking of lawns, Its important to point out that the gardens under discussion almost tend to be privately-held in homes and not, for example, public or commonly-held allotments or gardens, as is often the case in contemporary cities around the world.

This means the Pakistani urban garden is atomic, individual and domestic, with no infrastructure or sustainable model to turn it into a true community project that can build social cohesion and empower people.

Mid-February to early April is the spring planting season, which means right now is the perfect time to plan and start your very own garden.

Ali recommends growing locally available flowers, herbs and vegetables.

Try to include a water feature for bees, butterflies and birds, she adds.

There is always something that you can grow even if you don't have resources. Our pantries are packed with seeds; potatoes, garlic and ginger are always available to begin with. When you don't have everything listed in a gardening book or website, then you truly learn how to be creative and how nature finds a way to keep producing.

If that seems too daunting, Khuled recommends starting small.

Start with growing things you love to see or eat, she says. Always ask others for help and information with your gardening. Don't get discouraged if you fail to grow something. That is a part of learning.

Gardening is addictive. Once youre in, there is no way back.

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Why we ought to create a healthy lifestyle rut? – Updates Junction

Some people overwork, and have ill health, while some people underwork, and still, they suffer from ill-health. Couple hundred years ago, people used to possess a healthy life just because of their healthy lifestyle. If we had to live the same life over again, we would have been doing 20 times more activities as to what we have been doing so far. Its an undeniable fact that people back then were way more strong both physically and mentally than the people of today.

That means we are weakening humanity, and over time, we will be degenerative humanity.

Considering the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, it is found that people having a healthier immune system have recovered from the infection as compared to those whose immunity has been compromised due to various factors. It all relates and this is the reason why we have to start living a healthier lifestyle to be better prepared to overcome such challenges.

Also Read: Healthy life hacks for busy people

When wesay health that means physical health, you must usethis bodyto get things done instead of letting technology do it for you. The more you use it, the better it gets. If you do workoutsufficiently, the body will remain healthy.

If we physically use our body as much as we should, then 80 percent of the ailments on this planet would just disappear, and out of the remaining 20 percent, 10 percent is because of our bad eating habits. But, now the number of diseases is so high because we neither eat nor exercise properly.

Health is not something you can invent, health is not a medical idea, health is all about making our life disciplined. But we act as if health is our idea and as if we have created health. But the truth is that what we have created is ill-health.

Today, we all are building gadgets, but if we build activity into our lives, activities like physical, mental and energy, health will automatically come.

Medical fraternity and medical knowledge have become more and more essential because we have built a very unhealthy lifestyle. Never before in the world, medicine had got this kind of importance as it is having today because we are becoming more and more sedentary and because of this we are becoming more and more unhealthy.

The whole world is going through a lockdown because of the ongoing pandemic. Think of it as an opportunity to start working on developing a healthier lifestyle and also making it a daily routine so that one could adjust to it later when things go back to normal.

So, just knuckle down, and lift yourself to start living a healthy life. After all, a healthy life is a wealthy life.


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What is secret to a long, healthy and meaningful life? – Mirage News

Here, we asked Professor Fontana to elaborate on just a few of the many questions and myths his book tackles.

The first step is to acknowledge our health problems and limitations and challenge the underlying assumptions. Most of us will reshape our behaviours only if we have a clear understanding of why it is important to change, and we approve of it. Then we just need to set our goals, pursue them and have faith in them.

Smart people never stop learning, because they know that this is the way to deeper insights and revolutionary changes.

None of these: many are just fads, oversimplifications of a complex reality. Our society has become obsessed with losing weight, but the real question we should ask is not How can I drop some extra kilos?, but How can I avoid developing chronic diseases as I age, and possibly live a much longer and healthier life?

As I have tried to explain in this book, the knowledge we have acquired over the past couple of decades about the metabolic and molecular mechanisms that regulate ageing is allowing us to more accurately choose what to eat, how much of it and when, to meet our nutrient needs.

Sleep regenerates the brain, improves the efficiency of the immune system and reduces the risk of infections, while also playing a vital role in consolidating memories and reducing the risk of dementia.

There is no magic number of hours that works for everyone. The most important thing is that sleep is deep and restful, and you wake feeling restored. This can be difficult for some so the book explores strategies like endurance exercise to improve sleep quality or using yoga and meditation.

One of the features of centenarians living in Okinawa and Sardinia is the strong sense of belonging to the family and to a broader social group of friends. One of the Okinawans mottos is Shikinoo chui shiihii shiru kurasuru, which means: We live in this world by helping one another.

Positive social relationships and friendship play a key role in promoting metabolic, emotional and mental health so seek them out as challenging as that may be in current times.

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Study Reveals Nanoparticle Therapy Delivery in Breast Cancer – Pharmacy Times

Researchers in the cancer nanomedicine community debate whether use of nanoparticles can best deliver drug therapy to tumors passively by adding a targeted anti-cancer molecule to bind to specific cancer cell receptor and, in theory, keep the nanoparticle in the tumor longer.

According to a study published in Science Advances, new research on tumors by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center suggest that the question is more complicated. Laboratory testing of 5 human cancer cell lines with 3 variants of the immune system found that nanoparticles coated with trastuzumab, a drug that targets human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer cells, were better retained in the tumors than plain nanoparticles, even in tumors that did not express the pro-growth HER2 protein.

However, immune cells of the host exposed to nanoparticles induced an anti-cancer immune response by activating T cells that invaded and slowed tumor growth.

Its been known for a long time that nanoparticles, when injected into the bloodstream, are picked up a scavenger-like macrophages and other immune system cells, said senior study author Robert Ikov, PhD, MSc. Many researchers in the field have been focused on trying to reduce interaction with immune cells, because they have been trying to increase the circulation time of the nanoparticles and their retention in tumor cells. But our study demonstrates that the immune cells in the tumor collect and react to the particles in such a way to stimulate an anti-cancer response. This may hold potential for advancing beyond drug delivery toward developing cancer immunotherapies.

The researchers conducted in vitro experiments by applying some plain starch-coated iron oxide nanoparticles and others coated with trastuzumab to 5 human breast cancer cell lines. They found that the amount of binding between the trastuzumab-coated nanoparticles and cells depended on how much the cancer cells expressed the oncogene HER2. In patients, HER-positive breast cancers are among the most resistant to standard chemotherapy. Trastuzumab (Herceptin, Genentech) targets HER2-postive tumor cells and triggers the immune system as well.

Researchers had previously suspected that animals immune systems were interacting strongly with the nanoparticles and playing a role in determining retention of the particles in the tumor, whether or not a drug was added. Experiments revealed that tumor-associated immune cells were responsible for collecting the nanoparticles and that cell lines with an intact immune system retained more of the trastuzumab-coated nanoparticles than those without.

In addition, inflammatory immune cells in the tumors immediate surroundings seized more of the coated nanoparticles than the plain ones, according to the study. Finally, in a series of 30-day experiments, the researchers found that exposure to nanoparticles inhibited tumor growth 3 to 5 times more than controls, and increased CD8-positive cancer-killing T cells in the tumors.

The anti-cancer immune activating response was equally effective with exposure to either plain or trastuzumab-coated nanoparticles. The investigators said that this demonstrated that systemic exposure to nanoparticles can cause a systemic host immune response that leads to anti-cancer immune stimulation and does not require nanoparticles to be inside the tumors.

The work suggests that complex interdependencies exist between the host and tumor immune responses to nanoparticle exposure. These results offer possibilities for exploring nanoparticle targeting of the tumor immune microenvironment and demonstrate exciting new potential to develop nanoparticles as platforms for cancer immune therapies, according to the study.

The investigators next plan to study whether the same types of immune responses can be generated for noncancer conditions, such as infectious diseases.


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Neural excitation linked to shorter lifespan – National Institute on Aging

Increased neural activity was linked to a shorter lifespan, according to a study funded in part by NIA and published in Nature. The study, conducted using human brain tissue and worm and mouse models, suggests that suppressing electrical activity in the brain could lead to a longer life.

Led by researchers at Harvard Medical School, the team first studied gene-expression data from brain tissue samples donated by hundreds of older adults with normal cognition. They found that people 85 years and older had fewer transcripts of genes involved in neural excitation a process through which a nerve cell signals the next receiving nerve cell and synaptic function than those who were 80 years of age or younger. Specifically, they found that people who lived longer had higher levels of repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor (REST), which appeared to suppress excitation-related genes.

To further investigate the association between REST and aging, the researchers genetically altered mice to lack the transcription repressor. Imaging scans revealed an increase in neuronal activity, measured by glucose uptake, in the brains of mice without REST.

The scientists also investigated neural regulation in C. elegans worms, a well-established model for aging research. They found that as the worms aged, neural activity heightened. By suppressing this excitatory neuronal activity with a calcium channel blocker, they found that the worms lived longer.

The researchers then boosted SPR-4, the worm equivalent of REST, which resulted in decreased excitation and extended lifespan. They found that SPR-4 relied on another transcription factor, called DAF-16, in order to reduce neural excitation. Without DAF-16, SPR-4 did not extend worm life, suggesting that the extension in lifespan was contingent on an insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway in worms. The researchers noted that the human equivalent to DAF-16, FOXO1, was similarly linked to the expression of REST in the human brain samples. In addition, findings showed REST knockout mice had less FOXO1 than age-matched controls.

The study demonstrates that REST and the suppression of neuronal activity may converge with insulin signaling pathways to extend lifespan. The authors suggest that the activation of REST and reduction of excitatory neural activity could act as an approach to slowing the aging process and extending human longevity. These findings also may inform additional research into conditions that can induce excessive neural activity, such as Alzheimers disease.

This research was funded in part by NIA grants RO1AG046174, RO1AG26651, P30AG10161, R01AG15819, R01AG17917, R01AG36836, U01AG46152, K99AG050830, P01AG02219and P50AG05138.

Reference: Zullo J, et al. Regulation of lifespan by neural excitation and REST. Nature. 2019;574:359-364. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1647-8.

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Worst-case scenarios arent the only ones – Keizertimes

In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a conference call on COVID-19 and warned, as The New York Times reported, that 160 million to 214 million Americans could become infected and 200,000 to 1.7 million might die.

On March 3, the World Health Organization noted that globally 3.4 percent of those infected with the virus died.

These numbers have become frequent talking pointseven though they presented an inflated picture based on cases confirmed because patients had symptoms in countries with dubious health care systems. We are living in a news climate where the scarier the factoid, the more credibility it can claim.

The problem is the experts dont know this number either, Stanford University Medical Professor Jayanta Bhattacharya told me after he became alarmed at some of the high estimates floating around including numbers that, for example, didnt factor in the effects of social distancing.

And it bothers Bhattacharya that risk assessments see risk only in not following guidelines when there can be risk in following them. Theres mortality on both sides of this, he explained.

I am not an expertso Ill go along with what doctors recommend. But I can still voice skepticism about dire predictions that the nation has to hunker down for many months, and I can wonder if a multimonth shutdown, which some officials are suggesting, will produce economic outcomes that are bad for human health and longevity.

And Im open to news that doesnt offer the worst possible information.

As of last week,the mortality rate in the United States was about 1.5 percentwith a patient pool that largely was symptomatic. Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress he believes the coronavirus mortality rate is 1 percent10 times larger than the 0.1 percenet rate for the common flu.

Bhattacharya sifted through studies, corrected for certain factors and came up with morality rate closer to one-half of 1 percentbut he wont trust that estimate until there is a study to back it up.

Thats not great news, as it portends once-healthy adults hooked up to ventilators and vulnerable people in caskets. Wed all like the magic number to be zero.

The death rate stays on the low side only if health care workers have protective gear and hospitals have beds and ventilators and that is not a universal situation.

I am struck at one area of agreement between Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Trump told Fox News that his goal was to ease the guidelines and open things up to very large sections of our country as we near the end of our historic battle with the invisible enemy. Trump threw out Easter, April 12, which he later called a beautiful timeline. Figure, its a goal.

University of Ottawa professor of Law and Medicine Amir Attaran told The Times, Nobody voted in Donald Trump thinking he would become a one-man death panel empowered to dispense with American lives like cannon fodder.

For his part, Fauci told reporters that no one wants to tone things down in New York City but there could be a more flexible approach in parts of the country.

Cuomo, the governor of the state with the countrys worst infection rate, has spoken to the same effect. He told reporters, You cant stop the economy forever. Cuomo has flirted with sending young people or those who have had the virus and are now immune back to work earlier than others.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Bidens reaction to Trumps Easter talking point?

The former vice president told CBS News: The only thing we can do worse than telling the American people the truth is in fact raise false hopes. And then when it doesnt occur, they say, oh my God, something really must be worse than I thought it was.

Thats the conventional wisdom from inside the Beltwaythat there is a duty to shut down everything because there is no downside to an abundance of caution. And somehow leaders instill trust by not wanting to open some of the doors sooner.

Theres no caution on either side, said Bhattacharya. If the end of the quarantine is tomorrow, that could be a disaster. If we continue the quarantine for a couple of months, that could be a disaster also.

(Creators Syndicate)

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How We Can Use The Power Of Our Brains To Help Us Stay Healthy – Forbes

Are you one of those individuals who starts their day off at 5 a.m. with vigorous exercise before heading out to a busy day full of meetings, negotiations and interviews with talents who will make scaling your business possible?

If your answer was yes, you may soon discover the missing piece in your well-built puzzle the missing piece that could not only benefit you but your coworkers, business and family.

Through this article, I will manifest to you how you can use your brainpower to help prevent sickness and anxiety.

Before I begin, I'd like you to ask yourselves these next few questions and answer without giving it too much thought:

Do I have a healthy immune system?

Am I pursuing an active and healthy lifestyle?

How well do I feel about my commitment to my personal wellness?

Our mindset is essential to our health.

A study from Stanford University discovered that when people believe they are less healthy than others, they are more likely to die sooner, even if they are pursuing a more active and healthier lifestyle in comparison to others.

How can that be? If their way of life tends to be healthier than others, why are they dying sooner?

Our mindset is as vital for our health as our actions.

The perception of our health and how good we feel about our immune system can be more important than our actions when it comes to our well-being and longevity.

We all know the saying, "Our thoughts become our reality."

Scientists support this hypothesis by expanding on the impact of our mindset on our health and longevity. It has been proven that longevity is increased by positive self-perceptions of aging.

Today, we also know that chronic stress, negative thoughts and pessimism tend to shorten our lives. They damage our body, hasten our aging and wreck our immune system. Biologist and TED speakerElizabeth Blackburn claims that the scientific explanation lies in the "telomere effect." Telomeres are the chromosomes located inside the cell's nucleus, which contains our genes and genetic information. In her book on the subject, Blackburn claims that negativity, hostility, pessimism and a lack of presence were proven to shorten longevity and lead to accelerated aging.

Biologist Bruce Lipton claims in his book The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, and Miracles that "our beliefs control our bodies, our minds, and thus our lives."

When my daughters were in kindergarten, they would come home with a new illness every other week. I was at a crucial point in the development of my career at the time I couldn't afford to get sick. So instead, I embraced a mindset that "moms don't catch sickness from their children," and indeed, this became my reality.

Several weeks ago, one of my three daughters, Kim, reminded me of this sentence and asked, "Mom, how come other mothers get sick from their kids when you never have?" All these years, Kim was led to believe that mothers have alleged innate protection against their children's sickness.

Is it a proven fact? Of course not. It's a belief I planted in her mind and mine throughout the years.

Our minds possess incredible power, and you can harness this power and use it to a much greater extent for the benefit of your business, your employees and, most importantly, yourself and your family.

But how does this relate to the recent coronavirus outbreak? Without undermining the importance of conventional medical treatments and tips for protection against sickness, it is crucial to understand that our mindset holds a significant influence, as well.

Choosing a healthy mindset is in our hands.

We can choose a healthy mindset that will positively affect our cells and bolster our immune system to its maximum capability. We can even embrace the mantra that "we have an optimal immune system." This mantra can instill a sense of reassurance and confidence. If necessary, we can follow up with actions that will help us believe it to be the truth (such as exercise, meditation or consuming vitamins). Embracing this mindset can support preventing sickness.

The fear of the coronavirus is yet another threat to consider.

Fear can create chronic stress and damage the functionof our immune systems. The release of stress hormones can shut down our immune system.

When we feel anxious and frightened, we weaken ourselves mentally and physically and become more vulnerable to that which we fear.

The human brain struggles to experience fear and pleasure at the same time.

In his book The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge explains the concept of "globalization," which happens when we are in love with life and enjoy everything around us. These moments when our pleasure centers are active hinder potential simultaneous pain center activity. The emotion of love not only brings us closer to happiness but also distances us from misery and suffering.

So how can we utilize this knowledge to break away from the cycle of fear?

Instead of tuning in to more frightening news and statistics, we can search for new opportunities for creating moments of joy, fun and happiness. Participating in meditation workshops, guided imagination journeys, physical activity, hiking or listening to music can assist us in disengaging the circle of suffering actively.

Happier people are healthier people.

Studies show that people who are happy are less likely to become ill when they are exposed to a cold virus.

When we actively shift our focus from a state of fear to a state of joy and happiness, we not only escape our anxiety but bolster our immune system.


As a leader, one of the most important things you can do in the following months is to aid your employees to embrace the right mindset in the context of their health and immune system. When you do that, you will help guarantee fewer sick-leave requests, lower anxiety levels, motivated employees, loyalty and commitment to the organization and its leader.

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The Trail Leading Back to the Wuhan Labs – National Review

Medical workers in protective suits attend to a patient inside an isolated ward of the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, in Hubei Province, China, February 16, 2020.(China Daily via Reuters)Theres no proof the coronavirus accidentally escaped from a laboratory, but we cant take the Chinese governments denials at face value.

It is understandable that many would be wary of the notion that the origin of the coronavirus could be discovered by some documentary filmmaker who used to live in China. Matthew Tye, who creates YouTube videos, contends he has identified the source of the coronavirus and a great deal of the information that he presents, obtained from public records posted on the Internet, checks out.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology in China indeed posted a job opening on November 18, 2019, asking for scientists to come research the relationship between the coronavirus and bats.

The Google translation of the job posting is: Taking bats as the research object, I will answer the molecular mechanism that can coexistwith Ebola andSARS-associated coronavirus for along timewithout disease, and its relationship with flight and longevity.Virology, immunology, cell biology, and multiple omics are used to compare the differences between humans and other mammals. (Omics is a term for a subfield within biology, such as genomics or glycomics.)

On December 24, 2019, the Wuhan Institute of Virology posted a second job posting. The translation of that posting includes the declaration, long-term research on the pathogenic biology of bats carrying important viruses has confirmed theorigin of bats of major new human and livestock infectious diseases such asSARSandSADS,and a large number of new bat and rodent new viruses have been discovered and identified.

Tye contends that that posting meant, weve discovered a new and terrible virus, and would like to recruit people to come deal with it. He also contends that news didnt come out about coronavirus until ages after that. Doctors in Wuhan knew that they were dealing with a cluster of pneumonia cases as December progressed, but it is accurate to say that a very limited number of people knew about this particular strain of coronavirus and its severity at the time of that job posting. By December 31, about three weeks after doctors first noticed the cases, the Chinese government notified the World Health Organization and the first media reports about a mystery pneumonia appeared outside China.

Scientific American verifies much of the information Tye mentions about Shi Zhengli, the Chinese virologist nicknamed Bat Woman for her work with that species.

Shi a virologist who is often called Chinas bat woman by her colleagues because of her virus-hunting expeditions in bat caves over the past 16 years walked out of the conference she was attending in Shanghai and hopped on the next train back to Wuhan. I wondered if [the municipal health authority] got it wrong, she says. I had never expected this kind of thing to happen in Wuhan, in central China. Her studies had shown that the southern, subtropical areas of Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan have the greatest risk of coronaviruses jumping to humans from animals particularly bats, a known reservoir for many viruses. If coronaviruses were the culprit, she remembers thinking, could they have come from our lab?

. . . By January 7 the Wuhan team determined that the new virus had indeed caused the disease those patients suffered a conclusion based on results from polymerase chain reaction analysis, full genome sequencing, antibody tests of blood samples and the viruss ability to infect human lung cells in a petri dish. The genomic sequence of the virus now officially called SARS-CoV-2 because it is related to the SARS pathogen was 96 percent identical to that of a coronavirus the researchers had identified in horseshoe bats in Yunnan, they reported in apaperpublished last month inNature. Its crystal clear that bats, once again, are the natural reservoir, says Daszak, who was not involved in the study.

Some scientists arent convinced that the virus jumped straight from bats to human beings, but there are a few problems with the theory that some other animal was an intermediate transmitter of COVID-19 from bats to humans:

Analyses of theSARS-CoV-2 genome indicate a single spillover event, meaning the virus jumped only once from an animal to a person, which makes it likely that the virus was circulating among people before December. Unless more information about the animals at the Wuhan market is released, the transmission chain may never be clear. There are, however, numerous possibilities. A bat hunter or a wildlife trafficker might have brought the virus to the market. Pangolins happen to carry a coronavirus, which they might have picked up from bats years ago, and which is, in one crucial part of its genome, virtually identical toSARS-CoV-2. But no one has yet found evidence that pangolins were at the Wuhan market, or even that venders there trafficked pangolins.

On February 4 one week before the World Health Organization decided to officially name this virus COVID-19 the journalCell Research posted a notice written by scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology about the virus, concluding, our findings reveal that remdesivir and chloroquine are highly effective in the control of 2019-nCoV infection in vitro. Since these compounds have been used in human patients with a safety track record and shown to be effective against various ailments, we suggest that they should be assessed in human patients suffering from the novel coronavirus disease. One of the authors of that notice was the bat woman, Shi Zhengli.

In his YouTube video, Tye focuses his attention on a researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology named Huang Yanling: Most people believe her to be patient zero, and most people believe she is dead.

There was enough discussion of rumors about Huang Yanling online in China to spur an official denial. On February 16, the Wuhan Institute of Virology denied that patient zero was one of their employees, and interestingly named her specifically: Recently there has been fake information about Huang Yanling, a graduate from our institute, claiming that she was patient zero in the novel coronavirus. Press accounts quote the institute as saying, Huang was a graduate student at the institute until 2015, when she left the province and had not returned since. Huang was in good health and had not been diagnosed with disease, it added. None of her publicly available research papers are dated after 2015.

The web page for the Wuhan Institute of Virologys Lab of Diagnostic Microbiology does indeed still have Huang Yanling listed as a 2012 graduate student, and her picture and biography appear to have been recently removed as have those of two other graduate students from 2013, Wang Mengyue and Wei Cuihua.

Her name still has a hyperlink, but the linked page is blank. The pages for Wang Mengyue and Wei Cuihua are blank as well.

(For what it is worth, the South China Morning Post a newspaper seen as being generally pro-Beijing reported on March 13 that according to the government data seen by thePost, a 55 year-old from Hubei province could have been the first person to have contracted Covid-19 on November 17.)

On February 17, Zhen Shuji, a Hong Kong correspondent from the French public-radio service Radio France Internationale, reported: when a reporter from the Beijing News of the Mainland asked the institute for rumors about patient zero, the institute first denied that there was a researcher Huang Yanling, but after learning that the name of the person on the Internet did exist, acknowledged that the person had worked at the firm but has now left the office and is unaccounted for.

Tye says, everyone on the Chinese internet is searching for [Huang Yanling] but most believe that her body was quickly cremated and the people working at the crematorium were perhaps infected as they were not given any information about the virus. (The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that handling the body of someone who has died of coronavirus is safe including embalming and cremation as long as the standard safety protocols for handing a decedent are used. Its anyones guess as to whether those safety protocols were sufficiently used in China before the outbreaks scope was known.)

As Tye observes, a public appearance by Huang Yanling would dispel a lot of the public rumors, and is the sort of thing the Chinese government would quickly arrange in normal circumstances presuming that Huang Yanling was still alive. Several officials at the Wuhan Institute of Virology issued public statements that Huang was in good health and that no one at the institute has been infected with COVID-19. In any case, the mystery around Huang Yanling may be moot, but it does point to the lab covering up something about her.

China Global Television Network, a state-owned television broadcaster, illuminated another rumor while attempting to dispel it in a February 23 report entitled Rumors Stop With the Wise:

On February 17, a Weibo user who claimed herself to be Chen Quanjiao, a researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, reported to the public that the Director of the Institute was responsible for leaking the novel coronavirus. The Weibo post threw a bomb in the cyberspace and the public was shocked. Soon Chen herself stepped out and declared that she had never released any report information and expressed great indignation at such identity fraud on Weibo. It has been confirmed that that particular Weibo account had been shut down several times due to the spread of misinformation about COVID-19.

That Radio France Internationale report on February 17 also mentioned the next key part of the Tyes YouTube video. Xiaobo Tao, a scholar from South China University of Technology, recently published a report that researchers at Wuhan Virus Laboratory were splashed with bat blood and urine, and then quarantined for 14 days. HK01, another Hong Kong-based news site, reported the same claim.

This doctors name is spelled in English as both Xiaobo Tao and Botao Xiao. From 2011 to 2013, Botao Xiao was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School and Boston Childrens Hospital, and his biography is still on the web site of the South China University of Technology.

At some point in February, Botao Xiao posted a research paper onto, The Possible Origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus. He is listed as one author, along with Lei Xiao from Tian You Hospital, which is affiliated with the Wuhan University of Science and Technology. The paper was removed a short time after it was posted, but archived images of its pages can be found here and here.

The first conclusion of Botao Xiaos paper is that the bats suspected of carrying the virus are extremely unlikely to be found naturally in the city, and despite the stories of bat soup, they conclude that bats were not sold at the market and were unlikely to be deliberately ingested.

The bats carrying CoV ZC45 were originally found in Yunnan or Zhejiang province, both of which were more than 900 kilometers away from the seafood market. Bats were normally found to live in caves and trees. But the seafood market is in a densely-populated district of Wuhan, a metropolitan [area] of ~15 million people. The probability was very low for the bats to fly to the market. According to municipal reports and the testimonies of 31 residents and 28 visitors, the bat was never a food source in the city, and no bat was traded in the market.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization could not confirm if bats were present at the market. Botao Xiaos paper theorizes that the coronavirus originated from bats being used for research at either one of two research laboratories in Wuhan.

We screened the area around the seafood market and identified two laboratories conducting research on batcoronavirus. Within ~ 280 meters from the market, there was the Wuhan Center for Disease Control & Prevention. WHCDC hosted animals in laboratories for research purpose, one ofwhich was specialized in pathogens collection and identification. In one of their studies, 155 bats including Rhinolophus affinis were captured in Hubei province, and other 450 bats were captured in Zhejiang province. The expert in Collection was noted in the Author Contributions (JHT). Moreover, he was broadcasted for collecting viruses on nation-wide newspapers and websites in 2017 and 2019. He described that he was once by attacked by bats and the blood of a bat shot on his skin. He knew the extreme danger of the infection so he quarantinedhimself for 14 days. In another accident, he quarantined himself again because bats peed onhim.

Surgery was performed on the caged animals and the tissue samples were collected for DNA and RNA extraction and sequencing. The tissue samples and contaminated trashes were source of pathogens.They were only ~280 meters from the seafood market.The WHCDC was also adjacent to the Union Hospital (Figure 1, bottom) where the first group of doctors were infected during this epidemic.It is plausible that the virus leaked around and some of them contaminated the initial patients in this epidemic, though solid proofs are needed in future study.

The second laboratory was ~12 kilometers from the seafood market and belonged to Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences . . .

In summary, somebody was entangled with the evolution of 2019-nCoV coronavirus.In addition to origins of natural recombination and intermediate host, the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan. Safety level may need to be reinforced in high risk biohazardous laboratories. Regulations may be taken to relocate these laboratories far away from city center and other densely populated places.

However, Xiao has told the Wall Street Journal that he has withdrawn his paper. The speculation about the possible origins in the post was based on published papers and media, and was not supported by direct proofs, he said in a brief email on February 26.

The bat researcher that Xiaos report refers to is virologist Tian Junhua, who works at the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control. In 2004, the World Health Organization determined that an outbreak of the SARS virus had been caused by two separate leaks at the Chinese Institute of Virology in Beijing. The Chinese government said that the leaks were a result of negligence and the responsible officials had been punished.

In 2017, the Chinese state-owned Shanghai Media Group made a seven-minute documentary about Tian Junhua, entitled Youth in the Wild: Invisible Defender. Videographers followed Tian Junhua as he traveled deep into caves to collect bats. Among all known creatures, the bats are rich with various viruses inside, he says in Chinese. You can find most viruses responsible for human diseases, like rabies virus, SARS, and Ebola. Accordingly, the caves frequented by bats became our main battlefields. He emphasizes, bats usually live in caves humans can hardly reach. Only in these places can we find the most ideal virus vector samples.

One of his last statements on the video is: In the past ten-plus years, we have visited every corner of Hubei Province. We explored dozens of undeveloped caves and studied more than 300 types of virus vectors. But I do hope these virus samples will only be preserved for scientific research and will never be used in real life. Because humans need not only the vaccines, but also the protection from the nature.

The description of Tian Junhuas self-isolation came from a May 2017 report by Xinhua News Agency, repeated by the Chinese news site

The environment for collecting bat samples is extremely bad. There is a stench in the bat cave. Bats carry a large number of viruses in their bodies. If they are not careful, they are at risk of infection. But Tian Junhua is not afraid to go to the mountain with his wife to catch Batman.

Tian Junhua summed up the experience that the most bats can be caught by using the sky cannon and pulling the net. But in the process of operation, Tian Junhua forgot to take protective measures. Bat urine dripped on him like raindrops from the top. If he was infected, he could not find any medicine. It was written in the report.

The wings of bats carry sharp claws. When the big bats are caught by bat tools, they can easily spray blood. Several times bat blood was sprayed directly on Tians skin, but he didnt flinch at all. After returning home, Tian Junhua took the initiative to isolate for half a month. As long as the incubation period of 14 days does not occur, he will be lucky to escape, the report said.

Bat urine and blood can carry viruses. How likely is it that bat urine or blood got onto a researcher at either Wuhan Center for Disease Control & Prevention or the Wuhan Institute of Virology? Alternatively, what are the odds that some sort of medical waste or other material from the bats was not properly disposed of, and that was the initial transmission vector to a human being?

Virologists have been vehemently skeptical of the theory that COVID-19 was engineered or deliberately constructed in a laboratory; the director of the National Institutes of Health has writtenthat recent genomic research debunks such claims by providing scientific evidence that this novel coronavirus arose naturally. And none of the above is definitive proof that COVID-19 originated from a bat at either the Wuhan Center for Disease Control & Prevention or the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Definitive proof would require much broader access to information about what happened in those facilities in the time period before the epidemic in the city.

But it is a remarkable coincidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was researching Ebola andSARS-associated coronaviruses in bats before the pandemic outbreak, and that in the month when Wuhan doctors were treating the first patients of COVID-19, the institute announced in a hiring notice that a large number of new bat and rodent new viruses have been discovered and identified. And the fact that the Chinese government spent six weeks insisting that COVID-19 could not be spread from person to person means that its denials about Wuhan laboratories cannot be accepted without independent verification.

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The Trail Leading Back to the Wuhan Labs - National Review

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Trouble at TMCC: Faculty organization threatens censure, investigation of president – ThisisReno

This Is Reno has been hit incredibly hard due to COVID-19. Any amount is appreciated.

Truckee Meadows Community College continues to experience turmoil among its ranks. The Nevada Faculty Alliance in mid-March petitioned Nevadas Board of Regents for immediate redress of what it said was a toxic and fear-ridden environment at the college.

The state board of the Nevada Faculty Alliance demands that the Nevada System of Higher Education take immediate proactive steps to restore shared governance, academic freedom, due process, faculty rights, and basic human rights at TMCC, the organization wrote in a letter to Nevadas Board of Regents and chancellor. If these matters are not resolved satisfactorily, then the State Board will consider a public censure of the TMCC administration and a recommendation of a formal investigation to our AAUP national organization.

AAUP is the American Association of University Professors, a national organization for higher education faculty that promotes academic freedom and faculty input into higher-education governance.

Since the creation of the Nevada Faculty Alliance in 1983 the organization has never formally censured an administrator in the Nevada System of Higher Education. However, due to the toxic, fear-ridden, and deteriorating culture at TMCC we are now seriously considering such a move, Faculty Alliance representatives wrote.

The representatives also said two other NSHE campuses are facing similar issues to TMCCs: Great Basin College and UNLV.

At TMCC, they cited verbal abuse and threats by president Dr. Karin Hilgersom and her administration.

The president purposefully uses bullying, threats, divisiveness and retribution as tactics to create a climate of fear and an us versus them atmosphere among the TMCC faculty and staff, the group wrote. The NFA State Board is disturbed by verbal abuse and threats made against TMCC NFA officers and members by the president.

Although the NFA letter was authored by representatives from each of Nevadas higher-education campuses, Hilgersom dismissed the allegations as coming from a vocal minority at TMCC who she said are cruelly dishonest and defamatory.

These vocal few members of a small local union chapter of the Nevada Faculty Alliance propagate misinformation designed to distract me and TMCCs leadership team from the only thing that matters at the momenthelping our community make it through an unprecedented crisis, she said. How much longer will the NFA majority accept the tactics of an unethical minority in their midst? And how much longer must the entire TMCC community suffer as a result of the actions of the few?

A recent faculty survey, which Hilgersom described as unethically delivered, was completed by 62 percent of the administrative and teaching faculty.

More than 25 percent who completed it indicated the campus climate has moderately or greatly improved while 57 percent said it had moderately or greatly deteriorated.

One faculty member said: faculty who speak up can also expect to be harassed with formal reprimands or investigations, and when formal complaints are filed, they are not processed according to TMCCs rules.

The Faculty Alliance echoed this point:

The TMCC Human Resource office has been relegated to a political arm of the president to obfuscate, mount phony complaints against targeted faculty, and shelter aberrant presidential behavior. The NSHE system attorney assigned to TMCC seems to have become the personal attorney of the president to facilitate the same kind of harassment or cover up. The contractual grievance process, when used appropriately, identifies and alleviates problems institutionally. Under the current model the system attorney finds Code or contractual weak spots then hides behind manufactured deadlines and legalese to prevent a fair and impartial hearing or a mutual resolution of grievances.

When evaluated two years ago, Hilgersom received a mixed review.

Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Thom Reilly said Hilgersoms evaluation showed that she had work to do when it came to communications, particularly campus morale, conflict resolution and shared governance, as This Is Reno reported at the time.

There are recommendations on how to address those issues, particularly around the issue of communication, Reilly told regents at the June 2018 meeting.

(There will be) lots of active listening and making some strides on some of the perceptions on campus on the issue of shared governance. To that end, most recently, the president and her staff, as well as the faculty and Nevada Faculty Association, participated in a 3-day, very-extensive mediation training on the issues of shared governance that I understood went very well and there were some agreed upon metrics and agreed upon ways to move forward.

It was recommended Hilgersom retain the services of a coach to help with these efforts. Kate Kirkpatrick, the colleges director of marketing and communications, said that TMCC spent $2,500 on a search firms executive for the communications coaching services.

Faculty representatives said it didnt work.

Unfortunately, these problems at TMCC remain, they wrote. President Hilgersom appears to have satisfactory external relationships with entities in the community, but the TMCC internal community, the faculty and staff, is deeply troubled by her management style towards employees.

Former instructor Kyle Simmons lawsuit against TMCC, for discrimination and wrongful termination, was dismissed earlier this year. NSHE attorney John Albrecht argued TMCC was immune from litigation in federal court under the 11th Amendment.

Defendants argue that because TMCC is not a legal entity, only a community college operated by NSHE, it is not a proper party and must be dismissed, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks wrote in February. The court finds that NSHE and the Board [of Regents] operate as a branch of the Nevada State government and are state entities immune from suit pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment.

Simmons said he is refiling the lawsuit in district court.

Instructor Thomas Cardoza filed a suit against TMCC in 2018, which was later dismissed. He re-filed his lawsuit last November. An amended complaint was filed this week. He names NSHE Chancellor Reilly and TMCC administrators as defendants.

A lawsuit filed last year by a professor, William Gallegos, was recently resolved. He was granted emeritus status, according to his attorney. No additional details were provided.

The vice president for the campus NFA chapter last year praised Hilgersom.

I regularly work with all of the TMCC administrators and find President Hilgersom approachable, available and willing to sit down and talk about issues with people who care about TMCC, Julie Muhle told This Is Reno.

Others, while acknowledging problems, also praised her performance but were critical of the administration at TMCC in general.

[Hilgersoms] a visionary, has great ideas and does so much for the students, a former employee said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

She loses sight of the faculty, they added. Administration at TMCC causes people to do crazy, crazy things. Theres so much turmoil at NSHE as it is.

A part-time faculty member, also speaking off the record, said he appreciates TMCCs leadership.

I think theres a split in the faculty. Some full-time faculty dont like her, but not all, the adjunct instructor said. Shes tried to make changes, tried to bring new ideas, but Ive never viewed her as disliked. She has done so much for the part-time faculty, including longevity pay [and other benefits].

Hilgersom said the criticisms of her administration are a distraction from TMCC dealing with a massive public health crisis.

Now is not the time to advance self-serving grievances and agendas. This does nothing but distract all of us from acting in the best interest of the institution, our students, and the community we serve, she proclaimed.

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Trouble at TMCC: Faculty organization threatens censure, investigation of president - ThisisReno

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Nazgul & Dementors: 5 Things They Share (& 5 Ways They Are Completely Different) – Screen Rant

Both the Harry Potter universe and Tolkien's legendary The Lord of the Rings are replete with entities of the vilest nature -- magical creatures that do not fit into the human range of consciousness.

RELATED:Harry Potter Vs Frodo Baggins: Who's The More Heroic

The Nazgl are the Ringwraiths, some of the most powerful servants of the Dark Lord, Sauron. They have a major role to play as they hunt for the Ring and go after the Fellowship of the Ring and Frodo Baggins, the ring-bearer. On the other hand, the dementors are nasty, dark creatures that act as prison guards at Azkaban, the wizard prison in the Potterverse.

Let us see the ways in which they are similar and how they differ from each other.

The dementors, too, are wraithlike creatures, hooded with no concrete physical form. They are more like dark shapes, to be precise. In terms of appearance, the Nazgl and the dementors are quite similar in that both are dark, formless shapes that ignite fear in peoples hearts.

RELATED:The Lord Of The Rings: 10 Of The Worst Things That Happened In Middle Earth (Besides Sauron)

Dementors, on the other hand, look like decaying corpses and were never humans in the first place. They are, Rowling says, one of the foulest creatures to walk the earth, inhabiting some of the darkest, filthiest places. The absence of anything remotely human in them is one of their defining traits. Being non-humans, they also never had a physical form, unlike the Nazgl.

The Nazgl are the most terrible servants of Sauron, the primeval dark force that presides over Mordor, and plan to take over the whole of Middle Earth, in Tolkiens epic fantasy universe. These are dark entities whose souls have been tarnished by the extraordinary power of the Rings and their fate is now bound to that of Sauron.

RELATED:Harry Potter: 10 Hidden Details About Dementors You Probably Missed

The Nazgl, though, having been humans once, require the use of actual physical weapons to fight their enemies. They are shown to be using daggers, swords and terrifying maces. Although they are invisible to those who cannot see into the wraith world, their past history as men makes it imperative that they carry weapons.

Similarly, the dementors, as the name suggests, are symbols of gloom and despair, leaving a person without a happy thought. They feed off happiness and their arrival drowns people in the depths of depression. The more they feed the more their numbers multiply, making them some of the most hated, disgusting and terrifying creatures in the wizarding world.

RELATED:Lord of The Rings: 10 Best Quotes From The Return of The King

The dementors, in the Harry Potter universe, are innumerable and nowhere does Rowling state whether or not they can die and if so, how. One can assume that since they feed on human happiness, they might also rot away if they are not able to feed. But this is pure conjecture since Rowling never actually mentions whether dementors have specific longevity, or for that matter if they can be killed.

The dementors presence, although not poisonous per se, can be felt from quite a distance. The victim feels a sweeping sensation of cold as the dementor approaches. The feeling precedes the dementors arrival and is capable of turning water into ice. Both entities bring with them a sense of doom and overwhelming horror.

RELATED:Lord Of The Rings: Members Of The Fellowship, Ranked

The dementors, however, are not bound to anybody elses fate. Although they chose to ally with Voldemort in the final battle, they are not necessarily servants to You-Know-Whos whims. It is said that they go where they can feed the most, so it is safe to assume that they owe no loyalty to anyone. While the Nazgl serve the Ring and Sauron, the dementors as such serve no-one in particular.

Similarly, the dementors, as Potter fans know, disperse at the sight of pure happiness. The Patronus charm that is used to get rid of them is nothing but concentrated happiness of the purest kind. The blinding Patronus created from a happy memory scares the dementors away.

Unlike these winged wraiths, however, the dementors are never seen traveling on mounts. They are floating creatures that were never human and hence do not need mounts, winged or otherwise, to carry them.

NEXT:Harry Potter: 10 Hidden Details About The Cupboard Under The Stairs You Never Noticed

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Surangama, or Sue, as she is called by many, has been writing on films, television, literature, social issues for over a decade now. A teacher, writer, and editor, she loves nothing better than to curl up on a lazy afternoon with her favorite book, or with a pen and a notebook (a laptop would have to do!) and a foaming cuppa tea on the side.

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Nazgul & Dementors: 5 Things They Share (& 5 Ways They Are Completely Different) - Screen Rant

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