Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Pioneer Passes Away at Age 100

Dr. Aaron Beck changed the world with his unique approach to therapy. His concepts that became the foundation of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are helpful in the treatment of psychological disorders, psychiatric problems, and even depression.

CBT’s goals are to focus on the specific thinking processes and behaviors that lead to potentially unhealthy choices.

Beck is credited with altering how mental health gets treated throughout the world by taking a cognitive approach. His daughter reported that he passed away at home peacefully at the age of 100 in 2021. 

CBT Leads to Significant Functioning Improvements

Numerous research studies on CBT’s processes found that it significantly improves a person’s quality of life while creating functional gains. It’s often as effective, if not more so, than some psychiatric medications or other forms of psychological therapy.

Beck was initially trained as a psychoanalyst. His studies of depression through this lens led to the eventual development of cognitive therapies in the 1960s.

According to the American Psychologist Journal, Dr. Aaron Beck is one of the five most influential psychotherapists of all time.

Over his lifetime, Beck authored more than 600 published works. He received more than 50 academic awards for his contributions and research in mental health fields, including the Albert Lasker Award and the Heinz Award in 2006 and 2001, respectively.

Beck’s work continues to live on through the providers that offer CBT services, talking to people about thinking errors, negative patterns, and other issues that can lead to mental health concerns. He will not be forgotten.

Astronauts Grow Green Chiles on ISS to Make Tacos

Down here on Earth, it’s a novelty to eat freeze-dried space food. Most of us prefer the Neapolitan ice cream, but you can find everything from beef stroganoff to asparagus available to eat.

Freeze-dried foods don’t weigh much, which is an essential quality for blasting materials into space. Every extra pound equates to thousands of dollars in support work.

You’d then take a product like NutriDyn to ensure a complete nutrient profile is available when you’re in a zero-G environment. 

NASA astronauts were recently able to have their own Taco Tuesday with some hatch chiles they grew in space.

Both Red and Green Chiles Were Available to Eat

The recipe for the space tacos was relatively straightforward. Astronauts took some dehydrated beef, added some rehydrated artichokes and tomatoes, and mixed in the fresh chiles grown on the International Space Station.

Once the mix was complete, they stuck everything into a tortilla to have a special treat.

Astronaut Megan McArthur tweeted a picture of the unique tacos with the caption that they were the best ones she’s made since being in space. 

Although the fresh peppers were a treat, they came about because of some serious science. Studying how microbe and plant interactions occur in space makes it possible to grow nutritious food in limited spaces.

The fresh Hatch chiles join Chinese cabbage, kale, and lettuce as crops that astronauts could grow in orbit. With the more prolonged germination and growth times, the peppers are one of the most complicated plant experiments completed successfully.

Henrietta Lacks Estate Sues Thermo Fisher Scientific for Using Stolen Cells

The estate of Henrietta Lacks alleges that a biotech company, Thermo Fisher Scientific, made conscious choices to sell and mass-produce the living tissues of Lacks despite the lack of her consent. 

Those cells are given the nickname of the HeLa line, clearly indicating that they came from Henrietta Lacks. They’ve been one of the most utilized tools in modern medical research, responsible for advances in everything from gene mapping to the polio vaccine. 

The lawsuit seeks the total amount of the biotech company’s net profits from selling the HeLa cells. It also asks the company to stop using them without the estate’s permission.

Thermo Fisher Scientific estimates annual revenues at $35 billion. 

Who Was Henrietta Lacks?

Lacks was a poor tobacco farmer and a mother of five. In 1951, she arrived at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore with a bleeding issue. Doctors diagnosed her with cervical cancer, but even with treatment, she passed away at the age of 31.

Cell samples were retrieved and sent to a tissue lab. The hospital states that this practice was standard at the time.

Unlike other cell samples that died in the lab, Lack’s doubled about once per day. That made them exceptionally valuable to researchers. 

The lawsuit from the estate alleges that the HeLa cells embrace a legacy of American racial injustice. When viewed in light of the events of the Tuskegee study, which started in 1932 when 600 rural black men from Alabama had syphilis and were never told their diagnosis or given treatment, it’s another black eye for the United States.

Results of the lawsuit are still pending. 

China Faces Energy Shortages as Government Enacts Environmental Goals

Power outages have been affecting China since at least September. It’s a problem that is shutting down factories, eliminating jobs, and causing candle sales to skyrocket.

In Jilin, the state-owned water utility sent messages to customers warning that power cuts could happen of “indeterminate length” without plan or warning. They told people to be prepared for this problem to last until March, although it was later deleted – or censored. 

With all the confusion of what is to blame, many commentators are turning to China’s carbon dioxide emission reduction targets. Their concerns are creating fears for environmental advocates that a return to high coal consumption will continue. 

China Says That Rising Prices Are the Problem

COVID-19 has caused numerous supply chain shortages across multiple industries. China says that the problem isn’t that, but the cost of coal combined with higher electricity demands from factories.

Reduced mining activities have happened in China because of recent safety problems. The government also imported coal from Australia, but those purchases have been blocked since 2020 over diplomatic issues.

The coal-fired power plants refuse to operate at a loss, and they’ve been below their total capacity for several years.

That means supply and demand is likely the primary problem driving the energy shortages. Even then, some government statements suggest that the choice is between economic growth and hitting emissions targets

Many of the goals were set years ago. No recent enhancements have been made. If anything, the problem is that China became a carbon-intensive economy while it was working to make cutbacks.

Cuba Sets 90% COVID Inoculation Rate by December

Most states are struggling to reach their vaccination goals. It’s unusual for cities to be above 70%, and some areas aren’t even getting close to 50%.

We know that it’s imperative to take care of ourselves during this pandemic. When your immune system is strong with the help of products from Terry Naturally, it feels like you can stay healthy.

Cuba intends to reinforce that perspective by setting a 90% vaccination rate for the island nation by the end of 2021.  

Cuba Started Giving Shots to Young Children in October

The primary reason why the 90% goal is potentially achievable for Cuba is that the government started administrating vaccines to young children early. They were one of the first countries to begin administering shots to kids under the age of 12. 

COVID cases skyrocketed across the island as the Delta variant spread through the population. Cuba reported an average of 70 new infections per 100,000 residents in September 2021, one of the hemisphere’s highest rates.

Cuba is using the Soberana 2 and Soperana Plus vaccines to achieve this goal, both of which were domestically developed. Clinical trials found that the combination of those two products was more than 90% effective at protecting against infection.

The information from those trials has not been published in any peer-reviewed journals. 

Early trials have shown only common side effects. Cuba hopes that this effort will help schools reopen, especially since high internet costs make it almost impossible for kids to have online learning.

Weather Disasters Have Increased Five-Fold in the Past 50 Years

It doesn’t matter if you believe climate change is a natural or a human-made occurrence. Over the past five decades, the total number of weather-related disasters has multiplied by five times. 

The only good news from that data is that fewer deaths have occurred while the number of droughts, floods, and storms has increased.

Although better reporting could be partially responsible for the data increase, over 11,000 weather-related disasters occurred between 1970 to 2019. Two million people lost their lives, with over $3.6 trillion in damage requiring repair. 

More than 90% of the deaths have happened in the developing world. 

Droughts Are the Most Significant Weather Problem We Face

The biggest killer from adverse weather events is drought. It’s responsible for over 650,000 deaths.

At the other end of the scale, extreme temperature events have taken almost 56,000 lives during the study period. 

Although the number of deaths has gone down, so has the total number of recorded disasters. A steady increase happened up through 2009, but the next decade showed a decrease. That means a message of hope is out there within the stark statistics.

That’s not to say the costs of climate change are decreasing. In 2017, three hurricanes accounted for 35% of the total losses from the ten worst disasters from 1970 to 2019.

With only half of today’s countries having access to multi-hazard early warning systems, we must expand this technology to help people stay safe. International cooperation is also required to ensure that the people and families displaced by weather events can find a new place to call home. 

International Space Station Faces Deteriorating Conditions

It took 42 launches to get the International Space Station to its current state. It won’t last forever, and the deteriorating conditions it faces today suggest that it might be coming down sooner rather than later. 

The massive orbiting laboratory was launched to great acclaim in 2000. It was seen as being at the pinnacle of international cooperation at the time. It needs regular boosts or fuel injection from the spacecraft that visit to keep it up there.

If those activities stop or something goes wrong, the space station will eventually fall. It is currently scheduled to continue operating until the end of 2024. NASA says they have cleared it to remain operational through at least 2028.

The ISS Offers the Same Amount of Space as a Six Bedroom Home

The space station planning process began in the 1980s. When NASA had Skylab fall out of orbit, their goal was to bring it down through the atmosphere with controlled destruction. As solar activity increased, ballooning the atmosphere to higher levels, the 80-ton lab accelerated itself toward the planet. 

Skylab chunks littered Australia, with the largest surviving piece being an oxygen tank. If the ISS were to have a similar fate, lives could be put at stake with the descent. It wouldn’t be like a nuclear catastrophe, but the debris would spread over a significant area. 

New station modules are under development as commercial interest in accessing orbital moments grows. They might solve the problem of aging space technology, but for now, we should all be thinking about how much maintenance is still needed to keep the International Space Station flying.

Farm Labor Shortages Lead to Food Giveaways

Since dealing with the pandemic isn’t enough for everyone this year, companies in the food production industry have dealt with unprecedented labor shortages. Of course, they are not the only companies struggling to find workers.

The data shows that a significant labor loss has occurred for various reasons. Farmers have increased their acreage, fewer young people are entering into the industry, and border closings have made it harder to hire workers from overseas.

It’s the fourth consecutive year of this issue, with many crops lying in the fields unharvested because no one is around to get them. That’s made American agricultural products uncompetitive in the global market and requires the United States to import more items to meet demand. 

Innovation Could Solve the Food Shortage Issue

The food production industry is turning to robotics and artificial intelligence to speed up the harvesting and delivery process. Although produce growers still rely on human hands, mechanization is helping to solve some of the problems.

That includes truck drivers and warehouse employees who process the food products. 

Pick-and-place technology can speed up the delivery process. Drones are headed out to the fields to conduct surveys, save data, and apply chemicals. 

When human labor is necessary, today’s employers are going to great lengths to offer benefits and competitive wages to ensure the work gets finished. 

It’s hard work to be in the fields all day. When you need sustained energy, it is vital to supply your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs. That’s why having your shelves stocked with items from brands like Douglas Laboratories and Premier Research Labs is helpful.

You’ll build each day with a firm foundation that lets you do some incredible stuff!

Survival Schools See Attendance Rise During COVID

When the influenza pandemic spread globally in 1918, it wouldn’t be until 1920 when things started getting back to normal in many communities.

As we see with the COVID pandemic, the arguments over masks and social distancing were similar. Instead of focusing on one’s health, it became a political argument.

Since there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight, many people are turning to survival schools to develop the skills and resources they’ll need for survival.

About 250 million people have contracted COVID since the start of the pandemic, with nearly two million dying from the disease.

What Are Survival Schools?

Survival schools have been around much longer than the coronavirus. These institutions teach people how to survive if they’re stuck in the woods with only their clothing and a couple of tools. 

Some of the skills taught during these wilderness courses include making fire by friction, finding edible food outside, and hunting safely.

Here are some of the best ones that still offer classes today.

1. Ancient Pathways

Founded by Tony Nester in 1989, this survival school focuses on bushcraft. Courses range from four days to two weeks, including a knife-only class.

2. Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School

The most popular course here requires students to improvise their own shelter. You must make your way to a campsite using a compass and topographic map over four days and three nights.

3. Mountain Scout Survival School

You can find single-day survival classes that start from $60. You can learn how to trap, track, and create a fire. If you live in an urban environment, the NYC class in Central Park delivers a fun experience.

Life can throw a curveball at any time. When you know how to survive, it’s much easier to get ready for the next pitch. 

Zoom Settles Privacy Lawsuit for $86 Million

Zoom agreed to pay $86 million to settle a class-action privacy lawsuit that originated in the United States. The plaintiffs argued that the video conferencing software company shared personal data with LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook without permission.

The lawsuit also accused Zoom of misstating how it offers encryption while failing to prevent hackers from gaining access to video conferencing sessions.

As part of the settlement, Zoom denies any wrongdoing while agreeing to boost its overall security practices. In March, the company had even asked the court to dismiss, but the judge only granted a partial dismissal.

Free Users Might Not Receive Much in the Settlement

People must prove they received harm because of Zoom’s inaction with its software or the information it sold to others.

If the settlement proceeds as expected, paid subscribers can expect about a 15% refund or $25, whichever is larger. Free users who can show Zoom’s actions harmed them might qualify for a payment of up to $15.

Lawyers in the case are seeking over $21 million in legal fees, a figure not included with the final settlement numbers initially reported. 

The primary issue involves the security flaws that users encountered while operating with Zoom, especially during the lockdown pandemic months. Mac users were sometimes forced into calls without their knowledge, while attackers could remove people from meetings, spoof messages, or hijack a shared screen. 

Since 2020, Zoom has introduced more than 100 features to improve security, privacy, and safety.

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