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Natalie-Marie Hart Interviews Charlotte Iserbyt


Charlotte Iserbyt is the consummate whistleblower! Iserbyt served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education, during the first Reagan Administration, where she first blew the whistle on a major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America‘s classrooms. Iserbyt is a former school board director in Camden, Maine and was co-founder and research analyst of Guardians of Education for Maine (GEM) from 1978 to 2000. She has also served in the American Red Cross on Guam and Japan during the Korean War, and in the United States Foreign Service in Belgium and in the Republic of South Africa. Iserbyt is a speaker and writer, best known for her 1985 booklet Back to Basics Reform or OBE: Skinnerian International Curriculum and her 1989 pamphlet Soviets in the Classroom: America’s Latest Education Fad which covered the details of the U.S.-Soviet and Carnegie-Soviet Education Agreements which remain in effect to this day. She is a freelance writer and has had articles published in Human Events, The Washington Times, The Bangor Daily News, and included in the record of Congressional hearings.



Special Edition Interview: Dr. Gordon Edwards


Gordon Edwards was born in Canada in 1940, and graduated from the University of Toronto in 1961 with a gold medal in Mathematics and Physics and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. At the University of Chicago he obtained two master’s degrees, one in Mathematics (1962) and one in English Literature (1964). In 1972, he obtained a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Queen’s University.

Natalie-Marie Hart’s special edition interview with Dr. Gordon Edwards. Most recent interview with Dr. Gordon Edwards done in May 2015 and a must listen. We talk about the World Uranium Symposium, the dangers of Tritium, the dangers of nuclear power, and much more. Listen in to find out more about this special edition interview:



Cori Brackett from Sweet Misery: A poisoned world talks about Human trafficking


As President of Sweet Remedy Films: Embracing Community toward an Authentic Life, Cori’s work is geared toward empowering individuals to make intelligent and healthy choices for themselves and their loved ones. She is passionate about helping society return to a focus on fulfilling a need rather than the current corporate structure which has become about creating a need. Her two documentaries are Sweet Misery and Sweet Remedy, and she has a multi-media memoir called Through the Shadows.

Cori Brackett is the globally recognized documentary filmmaker of Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World.

A close examination of the artificial sweetener, aspartame, Sweet Misery examines both its chemical breakdown components and the corporate and governmental collusion and neglect of the public health. The documentary also travels with Cori, as she makes discoveries about the underpinnings of the world she inhabits, as well as the truth behind her own diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

Today, Cori lives a vibrant and happy life, free of the debilitating symptoms of the disease with which she was diagnosed in 2002. Sweet Misery has become a cult classic, winning numerous awards. It has been translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Russian.

On Sweet Remedy Radio, Cori investigates this Poisoned World, by interviewing doctors, naturopaths, authors and innovators to put a magnifying glass in front of both the problems and solutions. Cori is known for her ability to interweave such seemingly disparate icons as Noam Chomsky and Larry Hagman, cutting through the hype and disinformation to get to what’s honest and real.

With 6500 Twitter followers and a worldwide fan base, Cori is a voice to be listened to, a voice full of curiosity, honesty and integrity.

Guests have included Jim Turner, Esq., Dr. Russell Blaylock, Spice William-Crosby, Jsu Garcia, Betty Martini, Kimberly Carter-Gamble, Natalie-Marie Hart, Dr. Edward Group, Bob Wall, Howard Straus, Jeffrey Smith and many others.

Previous to her diagnosis, Cori worked as a Shakespearean Actress, as a copy editor, and for ten years as President/CEO of Sound and Fury Productions, Inc. She holds a BA in English/Performing Arts from Colby College and and MFA in Poetry with an emphasis in playwriting and directing from The University of Arizona.


Listen to our most recent interview here:





Interview with Cori Brackett about human cloning and human trafficking

Check Out Education Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Crystal Kids Network on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with Cori Brackett

Check Out Education Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Crystal Kids Network on BlogTalkRadio
USAID Human Trafficking Symposium, Sept. 16, 2...
USAID Human Trafficking Symposium, Sept. 16, 2009 — Actress and UNICEF Ambassador Lucy Liu spoke out against human trafficking and lauded USAID efforts to increase awareness. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even Chinese warn about food from China

Even the Chinese are warning people about their country’s food supply.  The “China Digital Times” posted photos of 50 Chinese foods or products that are dangerously toxic.  Below are 30 of those captions as they appeared on that website.  A few of the photos are included. – The Editor


    Toxic rice noodle dish – Toxic bean sprout production

TOXIC RICE NOODLES, made from stale rice with whitening chemicals. Stale rice itself contains carcinogens.

TOXIC BEAN SPROUTS, whose growth is expedited by chemicals that could cause cancer, liver or stomach damage.

TOXIC TEA LEAVES, with chemical-intensive pesticides before picking and coloring compounds after with high concentrations of lead, and other heavy metals.

TOXIC BOTTLED WATER, with the bottles made from recycled plastic materials, some imported trash.

TOXIC POPCORN, made with excessive amounts of saccharin, a sweetener that causes neural and kidney damage, and sometimes cancer.

TOXIC TOFU, made from stale food materials and whitening chemicals that cause kidney or liver damage, sometimes cancer.

TOXIC STINKY TOFU, made with blackening chemicals or liquid made from rotten meat or flies to soak dried tofu.

TOXIC VINEGAR, made from mixing water with acetate or diluting vinegar acid with water or other liquids, causing concentrations of heavy metals.

USED OIL, collected from dirty oily liquids mixed in the sewage from hotels or restaurants.

TOXIC INSTANT NOODLES, made from used oil collected from hotels or restaurants instead of high quality oil for frying the noodles.


Dish made with toxic dog meat

TOXIC DOG MEAT, from dogs killed by baiting with rat poison, etc.

TOXIC SUNFLOWER/WATERMELON SEEDS, pan fried by chemicals that give the seeds a polished look but with dangerous chemicals.

TOXIC SEAFOOD, inflated and whitened by chemicals that cause skin infections and could damage the digestive system.

TOXIC SOY SAUCE, made from human hair, animal bones, blood clots and other chemicals, with concentration of carcinogens.

TOXIC LIQUOR, made from industrial ethanol with water and other liquids, could cause coma or even death.

TOXIC CHILI SAUCE, made by adding chemicals such as “Sudan red,” which tainted sauces at McDonald’s and KFC’s  in China a few years ago.

TOXIC NOODLES, made by adding whitening compounds and other poisonous materials that make the noodles more tender.

TOXIC RICE, reprocessed from stale rice, which itself contains carcinogens.

TOXIC FRUITS, whose growth is stimulated by chemicals that may cause neural disruptions, cancer etc.

TOXIC DRIED FRUITS, processed with preservatives and other coloring chemicals that are poisonous.


Toxic fungi

TOXIC FUNGI, processed with trashed fungus products and soaked with ink and other chemicals for drying and coloring.

TOXIC MILK POWER, with low concentrations of protein and other nutrients, worse than water for babies.

TOXIC MEAT, from animals that were injected with hormones or antibiotics to stimulate growth.

TOXIC SHREDDED MEAT, made from dead pigs and processed with bad bread crumbs.

TOXIC SEAWEED, added chemicals for color and softness.

TOXIC VEGETABLES, largely containing pesticide residue.

TOXIC FOAM LUNCH BOXES, made from used plastic materials and other banned chemicals.

TOXIC FISH, whose growth is stimulated by adding chemicals that may contain contraceptive drugs or carcinogens.


   Toxic sausage production – Toxic oil made from dead and ill pigs

TOXIC SAUSAGES, made from the meat of sick pigs or other animals.

TOXIC PIG FAT OIL, made from burning the fat of dead pigs or ill pigs.

How to avoid Chinese food products

Once you could avoid Chinese food products simply by looking for the country of origin printed somewhere on the packaging.  Regretfully, many businesses have gotten wise to this and only print the distribution source.  So what can be done? 

Reading barcodes can help.  Products made in China have barcode numbers that begin with 690 to 699.  The first three numbers for Taiwan are 471.   While products made in the United States begin with ZERO, many U.S. products are made with Chinese ingredients.  Regretfully, this means a ZERO does not assure that a product is without Chinese ingredients.

Toxic Bar Code



Toxic substances in foods. The laser arrives to detect food frauds

Rome, May 12, 2017 – A laser that can detect potentially toxic substances in the food directly on the counters of shops, markets and supermarkets in seconds.
It is not science fiction but innovative technology that has been developed by ENEA to counteract food frauds by discovering the presence of toxic substances such as histamine in fish due to poor conservation or adulteration of powdered milk with compounds Generally used for glues and plastics such as melamine.

Laser anti-fraud was developed by Frascati Center researchers along with six industrial partners within the three-year SAL @ CQO project funded by the Ministry of Economic Development with € 3 million.

These anti-counterfeiting technologies are also able to detect the addition of unreported water and sweeteners to fruit juices, in the extra-virgin olive oil the presence of low-cost vegetable oils and excessive methanol in wine.

“We have developed innovative optical instrumentation, based on infrared laser technology, which allows us to identify food frauds and ensure the quality and safety of food that ends up on our tables. For the time being we are in the experiment phase but we aim to realize in a short space of time transportable and handy instruments for a quick and accurate analysis of food both at the point of sale and at the place of production, to be entrusted to the control institutions and all Those industries and distribution chains that aim to maintain a high standard of quality. And all this will be possible without resorting to highly specialized personnel, “said Gianfranco Giubileo of the ENEA’s Diagnostic Laboratory and Metrology.

The team of ENEA researchers looks over and is already testing portable devices where the laser beam can travel along a fiber optic or even be replaced by a LED. But it also does not exclude the creation of miniature systems and smartphone apps that allow the consumer to do a few seconds of screening of the food they are about to buy, to know if it is of quality and whether it has been preserved well, respecting, for example, the chain of Cold as in the case of frozen foods.

“Currently,” says researcher Adriana Puiu, “there are no tools available with these features in the market, so anti-fraud controls are based on complex laboratory analyzes that require long times, costly equipment and specialized personnel. The results of our project are hoping to arrive shortly for quick, reliable, and simple execution controls. ”

Until now, ENEA anti-fraud technology has been tested on various food products such as fish and fruit juices. In the first case, the laser system has made it possible to detect the presence of histamine, a toxic molecule that is formed when the fish is old or is not stored well (in 2013 it has caused thousands of intoxications all over Europe). In the case of hymen, which mainly concerns tuna, sardines, mackerel and anchovies, they do not serve anything to cook, freeze and box and the only weapon to defend consumers is the preventive control that prevents the product from ending in the shopping cart.
In fruit juices and light drinks, the hi-tech system of ENEA has been able to disclose and distinguish the presence and quantity of five sweeteners (fructose, glucose, maltose, aspartame and sucrose) which are not declared on the label.




University of Hawaii attacks Guatemalan professor for speaking out about GMOs

by: Jennifer Lilley

(NaturalNews) Isn’t freedom of speech a wonderful thing? The ability to say what’s on your mind and freely express yourself is incredible, unless you’re Hector Valenzuela, a professor at the University of Hawaii’s (UH) College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. He’s worked there for more than 20 years but has repeatedly been bashed for speaking against GMOs.

Some of his colleagues have resorted to childish verbal attacks that insult his birth country, Guatemala. In that instance, they told him the country was “worthless,” which was very hurtful; such words are brimming with racist undertones and imply that as someone born in that country, he is also worthless.

Their harsh wording also suggests that native-born Americans are the only ones who understand GMO issues; their elitist attitude conveys that because he’s Guatemalan, he should have no say in such matters. This completely discounts the fact that he’s an educated, concerned man who has been living and teaching in Hawaii for decades. It’s as if he is expected to sit back and take it, ingest GMOs and embrace a mentality that mimics Hawaii’s courts and politics, which are known for repeatedly striking down anti-GMO efforts.

Elitist attitude, disregard for Guatemalans‘ lives and their intelligence prevails at University of Hawaii

Thoughts such as this, in which Guatemalans are considered subhuman and “worthless,” are a disgrace to humanity. Sadly, it’s been going on for a long time; an investigative report commissioned by President Obama found that horrific medical crimes have been conducted specifically against Guatemalans throughout the decades, including purposely giving them STDs illegally and without their knowledge under the guise of research. Thousands of them were used for secret experimentation by the government (including those from the National Institute of Health), and their rights were severely violated. It would appear that many of Valenzuela’s colleagues are on board with similar thoughts that Guatemalans’ lives and their beliefs are meaningless.

In addition to hearing that the country he comes from has no value, his intelligence has been insulted and he’s even been blatantly told to keep quiet on the topic of GMOs (unless, of course, he is going to praise the cancer-causing Frankenfood circus). For example, a UH co-worker once sent him an email urging him to stop talking against GMOs, writing, “Hec, please stop already. You’re simply working so hard to prove what a scientific idiot you are about items like transgenes…” Although the human resources department said the email was inappropriate, no disciplinary action was taken.

Faculty chair tells professor to stifle his anti-GMO views

Another outrageous display against freedom of expression occurred earlier this year during his post-tenure review. UH professor Mark Wright, who is also the faculty chair of Valenzuela’s department and an avid supporter of GMOs, told him that he could speak about his opposing GMO views during his “own private time but not as a faculty member.”

Although Valenzuela passed his review, it is no surprise that Wright has no recollection of his comments; he denies saying any such thing during the review. He does, however, maintain his stance that genetic engineering has done wonders for Hawaii’s papaya industry and that GMO opponents are junk science groupies.

Welcome to America: the land of corruption, greed and human experimentation

Wright is likely thrilled by the corrupt actions of Judge Susan Oki Mollway, who prevented hearings from occurring that would stop Monsanto and Dow from continuing their untested, open-air experimentation involving GMO chemicals in Maui County despite the fact that a referendum was passed by residents last year. These voters are now left in limbo, their efforts intentionally thwarted by a woman driven by The System, Big Agrochemical and greed. This is human experimentation where people have no choice in the matter and their health is seriously jeopardized. Does this utter disregard for the value of lives sound familiar?

Sadly, Valenzuela goes through life without knowing the next time his race, intelligence and beliefs will be attacked. “I know they’re still trying to muzzle me,” he says of the fact that he can’t shake off the numerous times he’s been told to stay quiet when it comes to anti-GMO discussions.

Unfortunately, Valenzeula continues to experience what is quickly becoming the norm in America: academic one-size-fits-all (or whoever has the deepest pockets or largest secrets to cover up) teachings, a bowing of heads to mainstream media and a hypocritical system that goes to extremes, ordering us to keep our mouths shut but swallow the politics.



World GMO production
World GMO production (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Natalie-Marie Hart Interviews Dr. Gordon Edwards about nuclear energy


Gordon Edwards was born in Canada in 1940, and graduated from the University of Toronto in 1961 with a gold medal in Mathematics and Physics and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. In 1972, he obtained a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Queen’s University.

From 1970 to 1974, he was the editor of Survival magazine and in 1975 he co-founded the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, and has been its president since 1978. Edwards has worked widely as a consultant on nuclear issues and has been qualified as a nuclear expert by courts in Canada and elsewhere.

Dr. Edwards has written articles and reports on radiation standards, radioactive wastes, uranium mining, nuclear proliferation, the economics of nuclear power, non-nuclear energy strategies. He has been featured on radio and television programs including David Suzuki’s The Nature of Things, Pierre Berton’s The Great Debate, and many others. He has worked as consultant for governmental bodies such as the Auditor General of Canada, the Select Committee on Ontario Hydro Affairs, and the Ontario Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning. In 2006, Edwards received the Nuclear-Free Future Award. He is a teacher of mathematics at Vanier College in Montreal.


This interview talks about the 69th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima which happened on August 6th 1945 and the bombing of Nagasaki which happened on August 9th 1945. We also talk about the movie the China Syndrome.

Check Out Education Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Crystal Kids Network on BlogTalkRadio

Interview about Fukushima with Dr. Gordon Edwards

Check Out Environment Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Crystal Kids Network on BlogTalkRadio

The courage of Lea Garofalo wanted out the Ndrangheta

Lea 0
“I see, I feel, I speak.” A flag of support at Lea’s funeral in Milan

  Lea’s story ended brutally on 24 November 2009 with her murder in a plot orchestrated by Cosco as much in revenge for the ‘dishonour’ of being abandoned as because she had broken ranks. However, the fact that testimony provided by Denise against her father following her mother’s disappearance (Lea’s remains only came to light in 2013 as a result of evidence emerging at trial) should have led to his life imprisonment is a source of inspiration for all.

  The tale of the two women returned to the fore in Italy last week with the television premiere of Marco Tullio Giordana’s film ‘Lea’ starring a spell-binding Vanessa Scalera in the lead role and Linda Caridi as Denise.

  The film not only gave a fascinating insight into the workings of the country’s most powerful mafia organisation, but it also highlighted the need for adequate support and protection for people wanting out.

  Lea was born into the Garofalo clan in Petilia Policastro near Crotone in 1974. Her father and brother were both local bosses and met their death in feuds with rival clans. Cosco was an ‘ndrangheta affiliate with dealings in Milan.

  Lea decided she had had enough of the mob lifestyle in 1996, when Denise was just five, but she only began collaborating with investigators as a testimone di giustizia (a citizen informant without a criminal record, not to be confused with a collaboratore di giustizia or pentito, namely someone who turns state’s evidence after being arrested or convicted of a crime) in 2002.

 Lea 0 She and her daughter subsequently entered a witness protection programme and lived under a false identity in various locations around Italy for the next four years until their protection was removed on grounds Lea’s testimony had not been sufficiently effective.

  Lea appealed against the decision and was readmitted to the programme, but she opted out voluntarily in April 2009 for reasons that remain unclear (there are suggestions that she feared for her safety and was frustrated with the apparent reluctance of investigators to take her testimony seriously). This is when she made the tragic error of renewing contact with Petilia Policastro and Cosco.

  Her estranged partner orchestrated an unsuccessful attempt on her life in May 2009 before luring her to Milan allegedly to discuss their daughter’s future the following November. Her lawyer Enza Rando urged her not to go but she ignored the advice, insisting that with Denise’s presence her safety was ensured.

  On 24 November while Denise was with relatives Lea was abducted, tortured and killed. Her body was then burned and the remains buried on a plot in Monza outside the Lombardy regional capital.

  Denise, then 17, reported her mother’s disappearance and accused her father of murder. In March 2012 six people including Cosco and his two brothers were jailed for life at first instance for the crime, even as the defense continued to claim Lea had abandoned her daughter and moved to Australia.

  One of the convicts, Denise’s ex boyfriend Carmine Venturino, subsequently made statements allowing investigators to uncover Lea’s scant remains, which were laid to rest following a civil funeral in Milan in October 2013 attended by several thousand people.

  In May 2013 a Milan appeals court upheld the life sentences against four of the defendants including Cosco, reduced Venturino’s sentence to 25 years and overturned the guilty verdict against a sixth defendant on grounds there was no crime to answer.

  These sentences became definitive in a supreme court ruling in December 2014.

  Meanwhile Denise has been living under a new identity in a secret location under the same witness protection scheme that ‘betrayed’ her mother.

  “The protection system for informants has undergone a series of improvements in recent years […] but testimoni di giustizia have a dignity of their own and deserve a specific law,” said Rando after the film Lea’s television premiere on 18 November.

  Currently provisions for testimoni and collaboratori are set out under a single law, leading to confusion between the two.

  “Informants and collaborators should never again be confused and a law would help resolve the current critical points,” the lawyer continued.

  Davide Mattiello of the Democratic Party (PD), a member of Italy’s bicameral anti-mafia commission, agreed.

  “If the mafia kills a magistrate the roles are clear and the law works for family members, but if the mafia tears to pieces those who rebel from within their own circle the law comes unstuck,” Mattiello said.

  “A person who wants to break with those family ties, even if they don’t have precious information for the judiciary, must find the State.”

Cruelty began quickly

Image result for lea garofaloDenise says her mother became pregnant with her at just 16. “She told me once that she had thought about having an abortion, even about committing suicide,” she says. “My father had already started treating her badly. Mom knew that he was murdering people, and she didn’t want to bring up a baby in that kind of environment. My father said there was no way she was having an abortion. I was to be an instrument that would unite the powerful Garofalo family. But then, everything capsized. Mom gave birth, alone, in a hospital almost 80 kilometers away, and I became her reason to live. Up until she died, we were inseparable.”

Denise says she doesn’t have any real memories of her father. “He was never at home. One image, however, remains seared into my memory. I was five and it was nighttime. There was banging at the door and then they [the police] came in with dogs and arrested him. From then on, I only saw my father in prison at scheduled visits because my mother still went to visit him.”

Denise suspects that it was during one of her mother’s visits to the prison that her father decided to murder her. “It’s a moment I remember well. She was exasperated, fed up with her life, so she told him she was going to leave him,” Denise recalls. “He leapt over the dividing screen between us and beat her. Women don’t leave mob bosses! I’m sure that he killed her for that insult to his honor.” 

Denise can’t say whether her father ever loved her because she says she just doesn’t know. “I do know that he bought me presents, though, and people tell me that when he spoke about me his eyes shined. I don’t think he wanted to bring me into his world. He dreamed of me getting a university degree and meeting a great guy.”

Leaving the mob life

In 2001, Lea Garofalo decided that she had had enough with the mob lifestyle and began collaborating with judiciary and mafia investigations. She and Denise entered the witness protection program. 

“Our lives totally changed,” Denise says. “We had to lay low and change our names. First I was Sarah De Rossi. When I was 15, we went to (the northern city of) Udine and we passed for sisters. I always called her mom [mamma], though, and so she had to change her name to Maria, as after I said ‘ma’ she corrected me in time,” Denise recalls, laughing. “I was Denise Petalo and she was Maria Petalo. Isn’t that hilarious? Petals of carnations!” (Petalo means petal, and Garofano means carnation in Italian. The flower is a symbol of violence against women.)

image 302636 galleryV9 evts 302636
Carlo Cosco, one of the six of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta jailed for the murder of his ex-partner, Lea Garofalo, whose body was dissolved in acid. Photograph: Lanese/EPA

In 2005, Lea’s protection was removed because her testimony wasn’t deemed effective enough. She appealed the decision and won. But in April 2009, the same thing happened again. Tired of not being believed, she waived the protection, and in doing so made the tragic error of trusting Cosco again. 

She went to live in Campobasso, in the Molise region, in a house that Cosco rented for her. On May 5, he sent someone over pretending to fix the washing machine but, really, it was to kidnap and murder her. Thanks to Denise, though, the kidnapping was foiled. “I was asleep in my room and woke up to the noise,” she recalls. “I saw him holding my mom, and I jumped on him. I’m skinny, but I scared him. He ran off because he had been given orders to specifically leave her alone ‘if the girl was in the house too.’”

But this only delayed the criminal plot. A few months passed, and Cosco made an appointment in Milan with Lea under the pretense of discussing a separation. She wanted to sever all relations with him and was determined to leave Italy. “He wants to kill me and the state doesn’t believe me. Better to go somewhere else,” Denise recalls her saying. 

A double loss

On Nov. 24, 2009 Denise said goodbye to her mother, who was on her way to the appointment. She would never see her mother again. That evening, Lea was strangled to death and burned. Denise had the courage to retrace the path her mother began. She went to the Carabinieri, reported the incident and told them everything she knew about her father.

Denise’s suffering wasn’t over yet. She went back to Calabria, and moved in with her mother’s sister. She soon found comfort in the love of a young man three years her senior, Carmine Venturino. Life seemed like it was starting anew. But on the night of Oct. 18, 2010, Denise’s world collapsed again. She was at the beach with Venturino when the Carabineri came and arrested him. “He’s one of the men who killed your mother,” the police told her, as they took her to the station. 

Even today, this extraordinary woman can find it within her to say nice things about Venturino. “He was my first boyfriend, and I haven’t had others,” Denise says. “Obviously, he did trick me, but I’m sure that he really did love me and that his part in the ‘Ndrangheta is another story of weakness and fear.” After he was sentenced to first-degree murder, Venturino confessed to the crime, telling the police where Lea’s remains were buried. 

Denise tells me that she needs to thank the many people who gave her back her life, beginning with Father Luigi Ciotti, a priest deeply involved in fighting mafia crime. She also says that she’s delighted that Pope Francis recently met with mafia victims. Then she says, “On the day of the sentencing I didn’t rejoice. My life had been turned upside-down, but I still don’t hate anyone. Not even my father — sometimes I feel sorry for him. He didn’t understand what he lost: a family, a daughter, love that he could have had.”

Today, many women have begun to break ties with the mafia, says Enza Rando, a lawyer who helps Denise. Thanks to Lea’s sacrifice and Denise’s courage, perhaps a quiet revolution can begin. 




Carlo Cosco, one of the six of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta jailed for the murder of his ex-partner, Lea Garofalo, whose body was dissolved in acid. Photograph: Lanese/EPA

Artificial sweeteners make your brain think you’re fasting, researchers say

Jennifer Graham, Deseret News


Artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas and other low-calorie products can make people feel hungry, leading them to eat more and gain even more weight. That’s because they tinker with the brain’s reward center, according to a new study out of Australia.

Researchers fed fruit flies a diet sweetened with sucralose (you know it as Splenda) for five days. The insects ate 30 percent more than they did when consuming a diet containing natural sugars. The same thing happened when mice were fed sucralose for a week.

Previous studies have shown that other artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and saccharine, also cause hunger to spike. The University of Sydney researchers said this is because the brain expects a reward to follow when it perceives something sweet, Tom Philpott reported in Mother Jones. And the brain doesn’t take no for an answer.

“They found that inside the brain’s reward centers, sweet flavor sensations are accompanied by the expectation of a calorie blast. Since the fake sweetener doesn’t deliver the expected calories, the flies go looking for more calorie-rich food to restore balance,” Philpott wrote.

In the Australian study, published July 12 in the journal Cell Metabolism, the sucralose diet also made the flies and mice want more natural sugar — not because they are gluttons that lack self-control, but because the ancient machinations of their brains are wired to seek nutrients when sensing famine.

In short, artificial sweeteners, with no calories or nutrients, trick the brain into thinking it needs more food.

“After sustained consumption of artificial sweetener, the animals could detect much smaller concentrations of real sugar, would eat more of it and respond to it physiologically with much more intensity,” lead author Greg Neely told Scientific American.

Another effect was an increase in insomnia and hyperactivity, which stopped when sucralose was removed from the animals’ diet.

Of course, a fruit fly does not make a mouse which does not make a human. And Neely told Dr. Bret Stetka, writing for Scientific American, “I think the basic message here is that we know the artificial sweetener sucralose is not totally inert — at least in animals. This justifies more research into how these compounds affect people as well.”

There have been concerns about sugar substitutes since the 1970s, when studies suggested that saccharine caused bladder cancer in rats. Subsequent research, however, found the danger didn’t translate to humans, and the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates artificial sweeteners, says they are safe at approved levels. (You can, according to the FDA, have 23 packets of Spenda a day with no ill effect, if you weigh 132 pounds.)

But other studies raise troubling questions about their effect on human metabolism. Earlier this year, Canadian researchers found that expectant mothers who consumed the most sugar substitutes were more likely to have overweight or obese babies. And a 2014 study in Israel concluded that artificial sweeteners can change the composition of some of the trillions of microbes that live in our digestive tracts, the gut flora that influence not only our immune systems, but our brains.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest changed its rating for sucralose from “caution” to “avoid” in February after a controversial study said high doses of Splenda caused leukemia in Swiss rats, a charge that Splenda dismissed as a faulty conclusion of a “poorly conducted and unscientific” report.

Sucralose, according to the Splenda website, is approved for use in 80 countries and is an ingredient in more than 4,000 products worldwide. It was approved by the FDA in 1998.



Winter December solstice

Illumination of Earth by Sun at the northern s...
Illumination of Earth by Sun at the northern solstice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The December solstice is the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. The day has astronomical, cultural and religious significance.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the December Solstice is the Winter Solstice and the shortest day of the year.

Although winter is the season of dormancy, darkness and cold, the December Solstice marks the “turning of the Sun” and the days slowly get longer. Celebrations of the lighter days to come and nature’s continuing cycle have been common thorughout cultures and history with feasts, festivals and holidays around the December Solstice.

The December solstice is on either December 20, 21, 22 or 23.

The North Pole is tilted furthest from the Sun.

December solstice illustration

It is the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the shortest day of the year.

In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the summer solstice and the longest day of the year.




Midnight Sun or Polar Night

Being the longest day of the year, also means that people in the areas south of the Antarctic Circle towards the South Pole will see the Midnight Sun, i.e. have 24 hours of daylight, during this time of the year.

Sunrise & Sunrise Worldwide

For people in the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice marks the exact opposite, the day of the year with fewest hours of daylight. North of the Arctic Circle towards the North Pole there is no direct sunlight at all during this time of the year.

Credits: https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/december-solstice.html


Great Places

Olive Your Favourites

  Olive Favourites Located in Stafford, Ontario they specialize in unique and exceptional quality extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegar. The extra virgin olive oils...

The Best Cakes Ever in Toronto Shirini Sara

The best cakes that I have ever eaten have come from Shirini Sara, who was known as one of the five top patissiers of...

Phipps Bakery and Cafe

They love food. Good, honest, homemade, comfort food all made by hand and all from scratch. They serve hearty soups, panini sandwiches, and homemade...

Montreal Style Bagels

Canadian bagels are the best tasting bagel you will ever eat. Born and bread in Quebec, the Montreal-style bagel from Habs Town has become a Canadian...