Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Dumhi’s upcoming project, The Jungle. The track featured here is called “No Redemption”The Jungle will be receiving a June release date, and it will feature the likes of Reef The Lost Cauze, Che Grand, Random, Ethel Cee, Jermiside and more!
CHECK IT: DJ Jamad: Afromentals x FROLAB “FRO-POWAH HOUR” #3
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
By Jenifer Goodwin
(HealthDay News) -- Obese people often say they'd like to eat less but feel almost powerless to stop indulging, and now new research suggests that explanation might be all too true.
The theory stems from a study in rats. When researchers gave the rats unlimited access to a calorie-laden diet of bacon, pound cake, candy bars and other junk food, the rats quickly gained lots of weight. As they plumped up, eating became such a compulsion that they kept chowing down even when they knew they would receive an unpleasant electric shock to their foot if they did so.
Meanwhile, rats fed the human equivalent of a well-balanced, healthy diet -- and given only limited access to the junk food -- didn't gain much weight and knew enough to stop eating when they received the cue that a foot shock was imminent.
Even more startling, the researchers report, is that when they took away the junk food from the obese rats and replaced it with healthier chow, the obese rats went on something of a hunger strike. For two weeks, they refused to eat hardly anything at all.
"They went into voluntary starvation," said study author Paul Kenny, an associate professor at Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla.
So what might this say about human behavior?
Researchers aren't certain if the results apply to people struggling with their weight. But they say it's possible that a diet heavy in highly rewarding foods -- quite literally, sausages, cheesecake and other highly processed foods -- might cause changes in the brain's reward system for satiety.
When that goes awry, the result is not only that people gain weight, but that they feel compelled to seek out more and more junk food.
The findings were published online March 28 in Nature Neuroscience.
When researchers looked at the obese animals' brains, they noted there were declines in the dopamine D2 receptor that previous research has implicated in addiction to cocaine and heroine.
"A hallmark of drug addiction is that it leads to changes in how the brain's reward system works," Kenny said. "Addiction is a loaded term, but in this case, there is evidence of addiction-like adaptations."
When researchers artificially suppressed the receptor using a virus in the brains of other rats, those rats starting eating junk food compulsively.
"What we think is happening is that, as you become obese over a period of time, the D2 receptors go down, which plays a major role in becoming a compulsive eater," Kenny said, noting there are almost certainly other factors at play as well.
There also could be something in the accumulated fat itself that alters the brain's reward threshold, setting up a "vicious cycle" of overeating yet not feeling satisfied, said Pietro Cottone, an assistant professor in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders at Boston University School of Medicine.
"The only way to return to normality is probably dieting for a long period of time to lose the body weight and not eating junk food," Cottone said.
This isn't the first study to find commonalities between the brain's reaction to cupcakes and illicit drugs. An earlier study by Cottone and his colleagues suggested that weaning rats off a high-calorie diet might lead to similar, though not identical, effects in the brain as withdrawing from drugs and alcohol.
In that study, researchers gave rats a regular diet for five days and then switched them to a chocolate-flavored food that was high in sugar. When deprived of the sugary food, they showed signs of anxiety and their brains acted as if they were withdrawing from alcohol or drugs. The study was published last November in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In the current study, the rats were raised on healthy foods, but their preferences quickly shifted when offered junk food. Throughout the day, they snacked and nibbled, rapidly bulking up. And the more they gained, the more they ate.
"That poses a huge conundrum for humans," Kenny said. "It shows you how powerful this behavior can become."
Dr. Julio Licinio, director of the John Curtin School of Medicine Research at the Australian National University, called the study answers "one of the many missing pieces in the puzzle of obesity and addiction."
"Now that it is clear that areas of the brain involved in addiction and also involved in obesity, the next question is: Why do those areas become dysregulated in some people, but not in others?" Licinio asked. "And importantly, why do some people who have a biological tendency towards addiction go to drugs, while others go to alcohol, and others go to food?"
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about obesity
Monday, March 29, 2010
Los Angeles based artist Patrick Martinez takes you through his creative process from sketch to completed work with this time lapsed video. Three weeks is compressed into four minutes and the soundtrack is provided by Jay Electronica.
Martinez is currently working on a new body of work that is inspired by his thoughts, ideas and experiences which are fueled by the city of Los Angeles. His art has been shown at various galleries worldwide. He has also worked with and continues to work with brands like Upper Playground, Stussy, Nike, Adidas, Undefeated and many more.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
By JESSICA REAVES
I’d been waiting for snacki — an elusive graffiti artist who has developed an appreciative following in Chicago — for nearly four months. And on a recent Friday evening, I should have been triumphant: After endless negotiations and delays, the person whose work had begun populating my dreams finally had agreed to call me. Now I just had to be patient. And rearrange my schedule. And wait.
I’d first heard about snacki from an acquaintance who had been tracking his signature faces — droopy eyed and highly expressive — for more than three years. Linda Holland, a Chicago designer and writer, now owns several pieces of snacki’s art, each acquired via a painstaking (some might say maddening) sequence of e-mail messages, and, eventually, meetings with snacki’s “agent,” a 20-something guy who wore paint-splattered pants to their most recent rendezvous.
Until recently, a Google search for “snacki” delivered little more than links to Flickr accounts. Then, just like spring, snacki’s art — occasionally punctuated by antimaterialism commentary — began popping up all over North Side neighborhoods, and he was the subject of an enthusiastic blurb in Chicago Art Magazine.
My pursuit began in earnest in December. I quickly realized that snacki had to be handled with the kind of diplomacy and journalistic sensitivity usually reserved for indicted politicians or philandering athletes. I sent him an e-mail message. Then more. He eventually agreed to an interview under two conditions: He wouldn’t give me his phone number, and there would be no face-to-face meetings. Fine. At which point he disappeared for two weeks, only to resurface just as I was giving up on the whole idea. And then we started the whole process over.
A degree of caution on his part was understandable. Chicago, as Matt Smith, a spokesman for the Streets and Sanitation Department, proudly told me, has one of the world’s most aggressive anti-graffiti programs. Ostensibly aimed at gang “taggers,” the city’s $9-million-a-year efforts cast a wide net, often nabbing so-called street artists, who can be fined thousands of dollars and even serve prison time.
If part of the allure for graffiti writers is the thrill of illicit activity, Chicago has done a great job of taking that buzz to the next level. The city’s ban on spray paint sales adds a layer of inconvenience — forcing artists to buy paint in the suburbs — but, one imagines, it also heightens the frisson that comes from explicitly defying The Man. The same can be said for the speed with which graffiti is removed.
“Most things only last a few days, if that,” snacki said in an e-mail message. “So the awesome thing about seeing a piece of street art or graffiti in Chicago is that the person had to have done it within days of you seeing it.”
And then it’s gone. Much like the artists themselves.
It is a truth universally acknowledged — by savvy retailers, and, apparently, by snacki: The more difficult it is to get something, the more we want it. I wanted to talk to snacki. And he wasn’t making it easy, right up to our appointed hour. READ
DOWNLOAD: METHUZULAH'S "GORILLA GROUNDFIGHTING" FEAT. KAM MOYE
Friday, March 26, 2010
The Treetini® started as a way for everyone to do their part for the environment. It’s as easy as raising a glass.
The Treetini is a martini made with VeeV acai spirit. The recipe changes seasonally in a commitment to use local and organic ingredients as much as possible. They were a natural choice for a partner and they've helped us greatly expand our reach.
And for every Treetini sold, we plant a tree.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
By Dr. Maoshing Ni
No one can live a long and healthy life without the will to go on; sometimes mood swings can make us feel that life is too much for us.
A bad mood not only gives you a gloomy outlook, it also lowers your immune function, leading the way to illness. Here are some suggestions to lift your mood, your spirit, and your health.
1. A Laughing Matter
"Laugh Therapy," pioneered by Norman Cousins, has turned out to have real substance. Research has discovered that laughter and joy boost immune functions, especially the production of the natural killer cells that help defend the body from illness and cancer.
Laughter also increases the release of endorphins - compounds that give you a sense of well-being - in your brain. Without a doubt, joyful people liver longer and healthier lives. So read your favorite comics, watch your favorite comedies, and laugh it up!
2. Amino Acid for Restored Mindset
When an imbalance or deficiency is creating a bad mood, the Europeans use supplements of a natural compound found in human cells to regulate mood and restore a healthy mindset. SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) is produced from methionine, an amino acid that plays a role in the production of uplifting neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
One study indicated that SAMe worked on patients who had unsuccessful results with conventional antidepressants. To get a boost from SAMe, take a supplement combining it with vitamins B6 and B12.
3. Hands-On Healing
Human touch increases the production of endorphins, growth hormone, and DHEA, all of which lengthen your life span and lower the negative impact of stress. Studies have found that patients who are regularly touched recover faster than those who are not touched. So give someone a hug and feel both of your moods improve.
4. Boost Your "Youth Hormones"
You don't need pills to flood your body with a rejuvenating flood of growth hormones. Research has found that doing squats and leg presses will greatly increase your natural production of the "youth hormone". Increased growth hormone translates to an elevated mood, among other physical benefits. Keep it up with weight training, knee bends, push-ups, and rowing.
5. Take a Bracing Breath
Breathing correctly is important for dispelling the toxins and wastes from your body; in fact, it is estimated that we expel only about 30 percent of toxins in our bodies through the bowels and bladder-the rest is all respiratory. Breathing is also a great way to clear your mind, boost your energy, and improve your mood. Practice deep, slow, rhythmic, breathing daily with mind-body disciplines such as tai chi, yoga, qigong, and meditation.
6. Smell the Joy
Research has shown that smell has a definite impact on our bodies and minds. When you stimulate the olfactory nerves inside your nose, you activate the limbic system of your brain, which is associated with moods and memory. This concept is instrumental to aromatherapy, a natural health tradition that makes use of the healing powers of plants with strong scents.
Aromatherapy recommends treating depression with jasmine, eucalyptus for exhilaration, and grapefruit to increase alertness and joy. Just put a dab of the essential oils from these plants on your temples, back of your neck, or acupressure points. Another option? Boil the herb in water and inhale the steam through your nose.
7. Feel Fine with Flowers
There is a reason that flowers are the traditional get-well gesture. Colorful flowers have a powerful influence on moods; they can uplift a patient's mood and even combat stress. One study found that during a five-minute typing assignment, people sitting next to a flowering bouquet were more relaxed than those who sat near foliage-only plants.
I hope these tips help the good feelings flow! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Clip of Señor Kaos performing his verse from Classic Example which also features 4-Ize and Punchline.
@ The Light Bar / We Put The A In Austin - SXSW 1010 - Austin, Texas
Monday, March 22, 2010
DJ JAMAD’s AFROMENTALS x FROLAB: Afromentals “Fro Powah Hour” #2 Listen Now
Sunday, March 21, 2010
photo by The Scootabaker
Should you give up white foods and their 'bad carbs'?
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Expert Column
White foods - essentially, "bad carbs" like sugar and baked goods made with white flour - have been fingered as a culprit in America's obesity epidemic. But is it true that you should kiss white foods goodbye if you want to lose weight and eat healthfully?
Avoiding refined carbohydrates came onto the national radar when low-carb diets like Atkins and Sugar Busters became popular. It didn't help that a 2004 study showed that people who ate too many refined carbs were at increased risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
It is easy to overeat foods like cookies or white-flour pasta - and it's even easier to drink sweetened beverages. It's estimated that Americans drink 22% of our total calories, much of that from beverages sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.
The diet truth is that carbohydrates are essential for health and are your body’s preferred form of fuel. We can’t live without them -- but we'd be healthier if we got most of our carbohydrates from "smart carbs" like fruits, vegetables, legumes, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. The bottom line: White, refined foods can be part of a healthy diet, but moderation is key.
What Is White Food?
White food generally refers to foods that are white in color and that have been processed and refined, like flour, rice, pasta, bread, crackers, cereal, and simple sugars like table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
Natural, unprocessed white foods, such as onions, cauliflower, turnips, white beans, and white potatoes don't fall into the same category. (Of course, health goes out the window when you deep-fry these or any other vegetables, or slather them with butter, sour cream, or cheese.)
The difference between refined white foods and their healthier counterparts is processing and fiber. Most white carbs start with flour that has been ground and refined by stripping off the outer layer, where the fiber is located. Vitamins and/or minerals are frequently added back to enrich the refined product.
'Bad Carbs' Are Less Satisfying
In addition to being easy to overeat, refined carbs are less satisfying than "good carbs." The body absorbs processed grains and simple sugars relatively quickly. Increased blood sugar triggers a release of insulin, and, in an hour or two after eating, hunger returns.
Further, many refined-carb foods -- particularly sweetened beverages like sodas -- provide little nutritional value other than calories.
Less-processed "good carbs" are higher in volume and tend to be more filling than refined ones. And controlling portions -- and ultimately, your weight -- is easier when you choose foods that are filling.
If you follow the U.S. government's Dietary Guidelines and make half of your daily grain servings whole grains, this will slow absorption, help meet your fiber needs, and keep you feeling full longer.
But keep in mind that not all whole grains are a good source of fiber. For example, brown rice is more nutritious than white rice because it contains the whole kernel of rice, but it's not necessarily a good source of fiber.
22 Teaspoons of Sugar a Day
The white food many of us would find hardest to give up is sugar. On average, Americans eat and drink the equivalent of 22 teaspoons of sugar each day, mostly from soft drinks and candy, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). That's as much sugar as in two cans of soda plus a candy bar (roughly 355 calories). Over time, those extra calories add up, causing weight gain and displacing other important nutrients from the diet.
Sugar, in whatever form, provides few nutrients other than calories. Some experts think eating sugar helps lead to cravings for more sweets - and, of course, it can lead to cavities. More significantly, the AHA has raised concerns about sugar's role in obesity, diabetes, and ultimately heart health.
While few of us are willing to give up sugar entirely, if you did, your health certainly wouldn't suffer -- and you'd probably be a little thinner.
So how do you keep from overdoing the white foods or "bad carbs" in your diet?
Use the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels to find out the total carbohydrate, fiber, and sugar content of food products. Also, read the list of ingredients; look for breads, pasta, and other carbohydrate foods that list whole grains as their first ingredient.
To keep sugar in check, the AHA suggests limiting added sugar to 100 calories a day for women and 150 for men. And make your sweet calories work for you by choosing foods that also offer some nutritional goodness, like yogurts or whole-grain cereals.
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.
Friday, March 19, 2010
words by Brandi Pettijohn
You know I particularly like Lady Gaga, not because I’m a fan of dance music (which is something I that I forget because I see her out of context more than I listen to her music) but because she is in control of her image. I also like the route that Erykah Badu has taken in making sure that none of her songs leaked by anyone but herself so she can maximize her creative control as well as her monetary gains (do you know that she has never had a manager - INSPIRING!). READ
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
FTP Catering strives to promote healthy living and eating- not to enforce or encourage a particular diet. We also offer gluten and sugar free option- as well as variations of any recipe that will suit your dietary needs and tastes.
Homeboy Sandman, General Steele, Rock and Pharoahe Monch at Squeeze Radio's 7th Anniversary show on WKCR, hosted by Sucio Smash. In the background you might also notice Illmind, Mr. Len, Jean Grae and DJ Ment Plus.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Download:David Banner & 9th Wonder feat. Big Remo - Strange
Thursday, March 11, 2010
By HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH, Associated Press Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Facing potential bankruptcy, the board that governs the once flush-with-cash Kansas City school district is taking the unusual and contentious step of shuttering almost half its schools.
Administrators say the closures are necessary to keep the district from plowing through what little is left of the $2 billion it received as part of a groundbreaking desegregation case. The Kansas City school board narrowly approved the plan to close 29 out of 61 schools Wednesday night at a meeting packed with angry parents. The schools will close before the fall.
Although other districts nationwide are considering closures as the recession ravages their budgets, Kansas City's plan is striking. In rapidly shrinking Detroit, 29 schools closed before classes began this fall, but that still left the district with 172 schools. Most other districts are closing just one or two schools.
Emotional board member Duane Kelly told the crowd of more than 200 people Wednesday night, "This is the most painful vote I have ever cast" in 10 years on the board. Some chanted for the removal of the superintendent, while one woman asked the crowd, "Is anyone else ready to homeschool their children?"
Kansas City Councilwoman Sharon Sanders Brooks said the closure plan had prompted some housing developers to consider backing out of projects.
"The urban core has suffered white flight post-the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. the Board of Education, blockbusting by the real estate industry, redlining by banks and other financial institutions, retail and grocery store abandonment," Brooks said to applause from the standing-room-only crowd.
"And now the public education system is aiding and abetting in the economic demise of our school district," she said. "It is shameful and sinful."
Under the approved plan, teachers at six other low-performing schools will be required to reapply for their jobs, and the district will try to sell its downtown central office. It also is expected to cut about 700 of the district's 3,000 jobs, including about 285 teachers.
District officials face dozens of issues as they begin the massive job of downsizing the district — reworking school bus routes, figuring out what to do with vacant buildings and slashing its payroll.
Superintendent John Covington has spent the past month making the case to sometimes angry groups of parents and students that the closures are necessary.
Once the district had enough desegregation money to build such amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool. But the effort to use upscale facilities and programs to lure in students from the suburbs never worked quite as planned.
Covington has stressed that the district's buildings are only half-full as its population has plummeted amid political squabbling and chronically abysmal test scores. The district's enrollment of fewer than 18,000 students is about half of what the schools had a decade ago and just a quarter of its peak in the late 1960s.
Many students have left for publicly funded charter schools, private and parochial schools and the suburbs. The school district also isn't the only one serving students in Kansas City; several smaller ones operate in the city's boundaries.
Covington has blamed previous administrations for failing to close schools as the enrollment — and the money that comes with it — shrank. Past school closure plans were either scaled back or scrapped entirely.
Administrators warned that without the cuts, the district would have been in the red by 2011.
"None of us liked voting for this," board member and former desegregation attorney Arthur Benson said, "but it was necessary."
By Tim Grant, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Women of all races bring home less income and own fewer assets, on average, than men of the same race, but for single black women the disparities are so overwhelmingly great that even in their prime working years their median wealth amounts to only $5.
In a groundbreaking report released Monday by a leading economic research group, social scientists turned a spotlight on the grave financial challenges facing an often overlooked group of women, many of whom could not take an unpaid sick day or repair a major appliance without going into debt.
"It's rather shocking," said Meizhu Lui, director of the Closing the Gap Initiative based in Oakland, Calif., who contributed to the report "Lifting as We Climb: Women of Color, Wealth and America's Future."
Among the most startling revelations in the wealth data is that while single white women in the prime of their working years (ages 36 to 49) have a median wealth of $42,600 (still only 61 percent of their single white male counterparts), the median wealth for single black women is only $5.
"Even for those of us who have been looking at the wealth gap for a while, we were shocked and amazed at how little women of color have," Ms. Lui said.
Researchers at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, based in Oakland, Calif., analyzed data from the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances, a voluminous report the Federal Reserve Board issues every three years that examines household finances in this country.
Wealth, or net worth, measures the total of one's assets -- cash in the bank, stocks, bonds and real estate; minus debts -- home mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and student loans. The most recent financial data was collected before the economic downturn, so the current numbers likely are worse now than at the time of the study.
Black women, in general, were more likely to have participated in the subprime loan crisis with upper-income black women being five times more likely to have received a high-cost mortgage than upper-income white men.
"The popular image is they spend too much, which is the reason they are running up credit card and consumer debt, but the cost of living has risen faster than income, and they need to go into debt for basic daily necessities," Ms. Lui said. "It's compounded because unemployment is twice as high in the black community than it is in the white community."
For all working-age black women 18 to 64, the financial picture is bleak. Their median household wealth is only $100. Hispanic women in that age group have a median wealth of $120.
"That means half of [black women] have a net worth of more than $100 and half have a net worth of less than $100," Ms. Lui said. "So that gives you an idea of how far in debt some women of color are."
Married or cohabitating white women have a median wealth of $167,500. Married or cohabitating black women have a median net worth of $31,500.
The reasons behind the daunting financial challenges black women face are numerous and complex.
"There are excuses and circumstances that have evolved in society, which put black women where they are," said Esther Bush, executive director of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, who said in Pittsburgh more than 70 percent of African-American families are headed by single women.
The recession has hit single mothers especially hard.
According to a recent report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research and the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania, more than four out of 10 families headed by single mothers in Pittsburgh and more than one in three in Pennsylvania, live in poverty.
In Pittsburgh and across the country, the financial burdens of single parenthood fall mostly on women, but black women are more likely to endure the work and responsibility of raising children on their own. They are more likely to be the backbone of their families and communities, with greater responsibilities to support struggling friends and families.
In a 2008 study of black women and their money, the ING Foundation found that black women -- who frequently manage the assets of their households -- financially support friends, family and their houses of worship to a much greater degree than the general population.
They also are more likely to be employed in jobs and industries -- such as service occupations -- with lower pay and less access to health insurance. And when their working days are done, they rely most heavily on Social Security because they are less likely to have personal savings, retirement accounts or company pensions. Their Social Security benefits are likely to be lower, too, because of their low earnings.
Rather than strictly comparing income, researchers in the Insight study looked at the wealth gap. The current economic crisis has shown that a person's wealth affects not only retirement security, but also a person's ability to handle financial setbacks such as a job loss or a health emergency.
High unemployment and high incarceration rates for black men also lower the likelihood of single black women finding a partner to help build a more secure financial future.
Ms. Lui said the Insight report would be used to encourage the government to close the wealth gap and improve the outlook for women of color, just as it did for Americans who received land through the Homestead Act, and education through the GI bill.
"If wealth was based on hard work, African-Americans would be the wealthiest people in our nation," she said. "It's not about behavior. It's about government policies. Who does the government help and who is it not helping?
"Our government knows how to build wealth for people. They've done it for others and they can do it for all of us. They need to focus some attention on women of color. Look at the situation and see what we need."
Tim Grant: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1591.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10068/1041225-28.stm#ixzz0hrpDWALa
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
NEW YORK - Artist Kehinde Wiley and Puma celebrate the footballers of West Africa in anticipation for the World Cup.
words by FADIA KADER
Needless to say , Perfect Attendance was very "eventful" Saturday night. With "friendly" shots being fired , it was truly a "Battle of the Duos". With a 3-way tie for the prize based on crowd participation , how do we break the tie between
Clan Destined, Mach Five, and The Canz?The crowd suggested a battle.
How fitting considering our Host, Dres tha Beatnik is the founder of "The World Famous Mic Club"... and a battle it was.
2 out of the 3 stepped up , with 1 duo deciding not to participate..
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
The official video for Reflection Eternal's first single "In This World" from the forthcoming and highly anticipated Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek Revolutions Per Minute collaboration album dropping April 20th.
Directed by Punit Dhesi; visual effects by Steven Tapia.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
This dude really know how not to spend his own money. Sponsors, You gotta love them
As part of its ongoing creative collaboration with Jay-Z and Madison Square Garden, and the ABSOLUT Concert Series, ABSOLUT Vodka announced today – “NY-Z” – a behind the scenes Jay-Z documentary showcasing what it truly means for an artist to play at the Garden.
ABSOLUT worked with famed photographer Danny Clinch to capture never before seen footage of Jay-Z and John Mayer as they prepared for Jay-Z’s benefit concert at MSG this past 9/11. NY-Z, will be unveiled on March 22 at Facebook.com/ABSOLUT.
Sleepiness can damage your judgment, work performance, mood, and safety
By Camille Peri
Do you often forget things that you’re sure you know? Is it hard to concentrate on complex assignments? Do you get less than six hours of sleep a night?
If so, you’re probably not getting enough sleep. That’s right; lack of sleep can hinder you from thinking clearly and keeping your emotions at an even keel. Studies show that excessive sleepiness can hurt work performance, wreak havoc on relationships, and lead to mood problems like anger and depression.
Why Don’t People Value Sleep?
Most people who don’t get enough sleep don’t recognize the toll that it takes on their cognitive and mental health.
Many people think of sleep simply as a luxury -- a little downtime. They know they feel better when they get a good night’s sleep and worse when they don’t. But sleep actually improves learning, memory, and insight.
“You’re putting energy in the bank when you go to sleep,” says Barry Krakow, MD, medical director of Maimonides Sleep Arts and Sciences, Ltd. in Albuquerque, N.M., and author of Sound Sleep, Sound Mind: 7 Keys to Sleeping Through the Night. “On a cellular level, the body is literally repairing and restoring itself. Without it, you can’t do what you want -- physically or mentally.”
And catching up on your sleep is a bigger job than many people realize. If you get less than six hours of sleep a night for a week, for example, you’ll rack up a full night’s sleep debt -- too much to make up for with a few hours extra sleep on the weekend.
The Impact of Chronic Sleepiness
People who are sleep deprived often say they feel “foggy.” Here are three reasons.
1. Sleepiness slows down your thought processes. Scientists measuring sleepiness have found that sleep deprivation leads to lower alertness and concentration. It’s more difficult to focus and pay attention, so you’re more easily confused. This hampers your ability to perform tasks that require logical reasoning or complex thought.
Sleepiness also impairs judgment. Making decisions is more difficult because you can’t assess situations as well and pick the right behavior.
2. Excessive sleepiness impairs memory. Research suggests that the nerve connections that make our memories are strengthened during sleep. “Sleep embeds the things that we have learned and experienced over the course of the day into our short-term memory,” says Avelino Verceles, MD, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the school’s sleep medicine fellowship.
It appears that different phases of sleep play different roles in consolidating new information into memories. If your sleep is cut short or disrupted, it interferes with these cycles.
When you’re sleepy, you may forget and misplace things often. And the inability to focus and concentrate caused by sleepiness further weakens memory. “If you’re not able to concentrate on what’s at hand, it’s not going to make it into your short-term memory and then long-term memory,” says Allison T. Siebern, PhD, a Fellow in the Insomnia and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the Stanford University Sleep Medicine Center.
3. Poor sleep makes learning difficult. Sleep deprivation affects your ability to learn in two ways. Because you can’t focus as well, it’s more difficult to pick up information, so you can’t learn efficiently. It also affects memory, which is essential to learning. In children, sleepiness can lead to hyperactivity, also hampering learning. Teens may lose the focus, diligence, and memory capacity to perform well in school.
The Biggest Danger of Sleepiness: Slowed Reaction Time
Sleepiness makes your reaction time slower, a special problem when driving or doing work or other tasks that require a quick response. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that at least 100,000 crashes reported to police each year are due to driver fatigue. Other estimates put that number at 1 million -- 20% of all crashes. Nearly one-third of Americans in the National Sleep Foundation’s 2009 poll reported nodding off while driving.
You don’t need to fall asleep at the wheel to be a danger -- drowsiness alone can be as dangerous as driving drunk. Driving while sleepy is like driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% -- over the legal limit in many states. And drinking and drowsiness are double trouble when driving because sleep deprivation magnifies the affects of alcohol.
The people at highest risk for fatigue-related auto accidents are teenagers and young adults, especially men. Shift workers who work at night or work long or irregular hours and people with untreated sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy are also at high risk.
A slowed reaction time can endanger lives in other ways. In a 2009 study done with cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, researchers from the University of Texas in Austin found that sleep deprivation hampered information-integration. This is a function of the mind that relies heavily on split-second, gut-feeling decisions. The researchers noted that this could be a particular concern for firefighters, police officers, soldiers, and others who are often sleep deprived on the job.
The Impact of Sleepiness on Mood and Mental Health
Lack of sleep can alter your mood significantly. It causes irritability and anger and may lessen your ability to cope with stress. According to the NSF, the “walking tired” are more likely to sit and seethe in traffic jams and quarrel with other people. Sleep-deprived people polled by the NSF were also less likely than those who sleep well to exercise, eat healthfully, have sex, and engage in leisure activities because of sleepiness.
“Over time, impaired memory, mood, and other functions become a chronic way of life,” says Siebern. “In the long term, this can affect your job or relationships.”
Chronic sleepiness puts you at greater risk for depression. A 2005 study by researchers at the University of North Texas found that people with insomnia were 10 times as likely to develop depression and 17 times as likely to have significant anxiety as those who slept well.
Sleep deprivation and depression are so closely linked that sleep specialists aren’t always sure which came first in their patients. “Sleep and mood affect each other,” says Verceles. “It’s not uncommon for people who don’t get enough sleep to be depressed or for people who are depressed to not sleep well enough.”
How Do You Know if Sleepiness Is a Problem?
Because individual sleep needs vary, experts say the best way to gauge whether you’re getting enough sleep is by how you feel. “You shouldn’t feel sleepy when you wake up,” says Verceles. “You should be energetic throughout the day and slowly wind down as you approach your usual bedtime.”
Krakow suggests assessing your day-to-day abilities and quality of life. “Ask yourself if your cognitive performance is where you want it to be,” he says. “Are you having conflicts with other employees or your boss over your memory, attention, or concentration -- and particularly your productivity?”
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Atlanta based video production team Motion Family put together this video of the release party forSMKA’s The 808 Experiment Vol. 2. The footage features performances by YelaWolf, A. Leon Craft, Grip Plyaz, Pill & Young Scolla (who all appear on the compilation). Make sure you download Volume 2 which is available now.