Author Archive

I found my book for the book review

April 6, 2012

I finally found my book for the book review. It’s titled The Compass of Pleasure. In a nutshell it’s about how the brain make things feel so good. Many times these things are bad for us and sometime they are good but nonetheless, our brain synapses interpret pleasure. The following are my initial thoughts. 


“There are variants in genes that turn down the function of dopamine signaling within the pleasure circuit. For people who carry these gene variants, their muted dopamine systems lead to blunted pleasure circuits, which in turn affects their pleasure-seeking activities. … Any one of us could be an addict at any time. Addiction is not fundamentally a moral failing — it’s not a disease of weak-willed losers.” — David Linden
There are a lot of humans that are very cryptic when it comes to pleasure; a source of happiness that we spend most of our waking lives perusing. We also regulate pleasure because people and things tend to influence or sway us one way or the other.  It is also a prime mover in our lives, essential to learning how we find food and water to sexual interactions that inevitably pass on our genotypes on to the future.  Some types of pleasure are associated to the more guarded aspects of one’s life. Behaviors such as prayer, communion, dancing and meditation Many of our most important rituals involving prayer, music, dance, and meditation produce extraordinary pleasure that has become highly instilled in human social culture. This author, being a neuroscientist says it quite well, “While most people are able to achieve a certain degree of pleasure with only moderate indulgence, those with blunted dopamine systems are driven to overdo it. In order to get to that same set point of pleasure that others would get to easily — maybe with two drinks at the bar and a laugh with friends — you need six drinks at the bar to get the same thing.”
Religions, education and law, have deep connections with pleasure, and instill an idea or belief that mind is in control of body. This pleasure, basic as it may be, is easily heightened and induced by pleasures such as hard drugs (e.g. Cocaine, heroin) that act as catalysts. Even small amounts of nicotine and/or alcohol act in the same way on a neurological plain. This pleasure is a buzz that can be found in a number of mind and body altering substances. You can try to theorize how humans regulate pleasure with the backing from sociology and anthropology from many human cultures, but pleasure is mostly determined by both culture and tradition. However, The Compass of Pleasure investigates a different type of more intellectual theory based on a cross-cultural biological e. Through pricise and organized thinking Linden determines that, “Pleasure must be earned, must be achieved naturally, and it should be sought in moderation. Self denial of pleasure can yield spiritual growth, even while pleasure is transitory.”
In this book, Dr. David Linden, professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, continually reiterates to his students that we are in “the golden age of brain research” and contends that our daily live experiences are extraordinary. That we are centrally bound by pleasure through various vices such as exercise, meditative prayer, recreational drug use and even giving to charitable organizations. These things activate the anatomically defined and biochemically determined pleasure circuitry of the brain. Things like learning, eating fatty foods, shopping, internet usage, gambling and praying; calling upon neurological signals that activate what is called the “medial forebrain pleasure circuit”, a tiny section of connected brain tissues. These brain tissues, whivh are activated by neurons in the brain, communicate pleasure signals that range from minute to intense bepending on the human experience.
His theory does a good job of reframing the way we understand the brain in relation to the regulation of pleasure. He goes on to state that, “While we might assume that the anatomical region most closely governed by laws, religious prohibitions, and social mores is the genitalia, or the mouth, or the vocal cords, it is actually the medial forebrain pleasure circuit.” Both societies as a whole and individually, we very determined on both producing and managing pleasure, and the nurons that are deep withinn our brains are where this all happens. The biggest implication of his work would have to be in the relm of addiction. He calls this “the dark side of pleasure” and science is showing that addiction is associated with biochemical, electrical, and morphological changes which are association ithin the meddle fore brain plea­sure circuit. There is strong backing that these changes govern addiction, including progressive tolerance, craving, withdrawal, and relapse. To this end, memory, pleasure and addiction, are highly related and extremely interconnected.
David Linden uses many examples from George Gamow and Roger Penrose and captivates the reader to become curious. He states that, “It would be possible to write a book exploring the brain’s pleasure circuits that were free of not only molecules but also basic anatomy,… If you come along for the ride and work with me just a bit to learn some basic neuroscience, I’ll do my best to make it lively and fun as we explore the cellular and molecular basis of human pleasure, …, and addiction.”


Vitamin D Overdose; What Do You Do When You Get A Bad Sunburn?

November 1, 2011

Hands down, prevention is the best treatment for sunburn. You might not feel that you look good in a hat; however that hat may prevent you from hours of agony in the future. Furthermore, a SPF 30 sunscreen and some sunglasses can be a good ally.

However, not everyone follows or remembers to were the hat or puts on the sunscreen. I have not met anyone that has not experienced sunburn in their life. The severity of the burns can very, and the treatments vary depending upon the severity.

It is real easy to forget to put on or reapply sunscreen during the long hours of summer play. At the end of the day you end up with a nearly unbearable pain and a dangerous health situation if not treated properly.

So What Type Of Sunburn Treatment Do I Need?

It’s all dependent on the type of sunburn that you have. Here is how you can identify what DANGEROUS sunburns looks like.

Sunburns can be broken down to three distinct types: 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns and there are distinct signs that can tell you which one you have.

1st degree: These are the most common of all the sunburns. They are painful and red in color. The tell-tail signs are slightly itchy and irritated skin.

2nd degree: Have the same symptoms as a first degree burn, however blisters filled with water will start appearing over the irritated part of the body.

3rd degree: This is the most serious and usually requires medical attention. In addition to the symptoms of 1st and 2nd degree burns, this burn will cause patches of pale white skin.

Some tips for treatment

  • Stay out of the sun.
  • Keep the burnt area cool. You can apply a cold compress or take cool showers/baths
  • Keep the burnt area moist. Aloe works great!
  • Don’t pop or peel blisters.
  • Take some Tylenol or Advil.
  • Rest is always good as your body repairs itself during sleep.


Save Money And The Environment By Purchasing A Reusable Bag

November 1, 2011

The danger posed by plastic bag use has spurred representatives in cities like San Luis Obispo to take the appropriate legislative steps to ban such bags. This action, started by the Integrated Waste Management Authority in the US, is intended for highly populated cities. In a summary report from, the legislation would become effective law around the beginning part of 2013. In addition, this law would not only ban plastic bag use but paper bag use as well. This is just the first phase of the ban which will be followed by a yearlong phase out program for all the local businesses. This means that the local public will have no other choice but to purchase and use their own individual reusable bag when they go out shopping. The only businesses exempt to this law may be pharmaceutical companies.

The San Luis Obispo Ban  

The San Luis Obispo paper and plastic bag ban requires that the recyclable bags that people use meet the quality set by the government.  They have two main requirements that these bags must be accountable for. The bags must have a usage of at least one hundred twenty-five times and must also be able to withstand at least twenty-two pounds across a distance of one hundred seventy-five feet. There has not been very much information given to the general public about this ongoing issue, but they are hoping that there will be a positive response.

A co-op of Long Beach Council Members and Businesses

Just as the proposed ban of plastic and paper bags in San Luis Obispo, the city of Long Beach California has already passed such a law. Major retail stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, Vons, and Ralph’s were one of the first to help with this ban. Target went as far as to offer free bags on the first day of August to all of their customers. After the promotion they sold reusable bags for fifty cents each.  The ban was also passed on to smaller stores and farmers markets where they must adhere to the ban by the first of January 2012. They are also looking to hopefully pass the ordinances in places like San Jose, Santa Monica, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Customizable and promotional reusable bags

The bans that these cities have petitioned and imposed have opened up the door for retailers to sell and produce their own customizable reusable bags. Once retailers display an eagerness to adjust to ideas for making the environment better, it puts forth the message that they are worried about the environment, and are eager to build and preserve a place that is environment friendly. In addition, these bags could also be produced to act as reusable grocery shopping bags; creating a double-edged environmental marketing tool that promotes company products while saving the environment.

Consumers can also help the environment by using these reusable bags and eco bags that have a long life life-span. Not only will it help retailers save the cost of single use plastic bags and help the environment, but they can also pick bags that are tailored to their shopping needs for their own convenience. The use of reusable bags is just another step to help reduce the amount of waste produced from plastic bags, and this can go a long way in helping keep the environment around us clean.