This video speaks for itself. Yes, I said Dr. Oz may have/probably harmed animals. But sometimes the message is more important than it’s source.

The definition of angeogensis is the process of developing new blood vessels. Therefore starving cancer’s ability to form new blood vessels could be important to “curing” cancer. Certain proteins, including angiostatin and endostatin, secreted by tumors work by interfering with the blood supply tumors need. Angiostatin is a piece of a larger and very common protein, plasminogen, that the body uses in blood clotting. Endostatin is a piece of a different protein, collagen 18, that is in all blood vessels. Anti-angiogenesis, the “starving’ of deadly cancer cells, is a groundbreaking cancer-fighting strategy.

Dr. Oz, “…a microscopic tumor given a steady influx of blood can grow up to 60,000 times it’s original size in as little as two weeks.

Autopsy studies of car accident that 40% of women, age 40-50 has microscopic cancer…and 50% of men, ages 50-60 have microscopic prostate cancer…by the time your are in your 70’s…almost 100% of us will have microscopic cancer in our thyroid gland. So we can live with cancer. It doesn’t have to kill us. So the question is how do you starve it?”

The 5 anti-cancer foods:

1. Bok Choy. This type of Chinese cabbage contains brassinin also found in broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts. Three 1/2 cup servings a week.

2. Cooked Tomatoes. This fruit has lycopene. Heating the tomato changes its chemical structure and makes the benefits more readily available to your body. Two-three 1/2 cup servings a week.

3. Flounder. This fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury. Three 6-ounce servings a week

4. Strawberries. The antioxidants in this berry help fight cancers. One cup daily including the juice.

5. Artichokes. There are three different cancer-fighting molecules in this flower. One fourth cup of hearts per day.

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Xtrology blogged on January 24, 2010: “Barack Obama became president because he had a Jupiter progression, progressed Sun trine an out-of-sign progressed Jupiter. Doesn’t get any better than that. It lasted from March 2007 to March 2009, because the Sun is the only planet that moves exactly one degree a year.

As often happens, after a progression to progressed Jupiter, there will be the same progression to natal Jupiter (or vice versa). So Obama will get this progression back in September of 2010.

I’m looking forward to something big happening. But what?

How did I reach this conclusion? There’s a lot of Libra going on. Obama’s progressed Sun, the United States natal Jupiter in Libra’s House (the 7th), and Libra is the diplomat. Then his progressed Jupiter in the 12th (hidden enemies or weapons) in Aquarius (humanitarian and anything nuclear). And we have Pisces and Cancer (two water signs, compassion). Money or Things We Value figure in with transiting Jupiter in Obama’s 2nd and Obama’s progressed Sun in the 8th. And don’t forget, we’re a Cancer country, so we value our family and our homes i.e. protecting them. Communications is highlighted with the U.S. Sun in the 3rd. A transiting Uranus conjunction to Jupiter for the United States could be something sudden or nuclear. And don’t forget, it’s going to be a good thing.”

I don’t know about you, but I was shocked when I heard The Presidential Address tonight. President Obama said, “…American combat mission has ended.” Operation Iraqi Freedom has ended!!! And Xtrology predicted it, sort of. On July 25th, 2010, Xtrology wrote:  “On September 1, 2010, President Obama will have a Jupiter progression, his progressed Sun moves to 0 degrees of Libra to trine his natal 0 degree Aquarius Jupiter.” Xtrology predicted Obama would make a splash on the international scene, and it would begin September 1st. It must be the 1st somewhere in the world (actually it’s the 31st of August tonight).

Let me make another prediction while we’re on the subject:  There will be more good news from President Obama. This is the beginning of a two year progression. As Americans, we have every reason to be optimistic about our future. If you are one of the people with economic issues, fasten your seatbelt, okay, keep it loosely closed, you’re going to see much more than this. But you have to admit, the nature of the news (end of a war?) was quite a surprise (Uranus).

Xtrology is not psychic. An astrology prediction can only know the nature of the energy surrounding the issue. Actually, I was guessing Kim Il Jung of North Korea would croak. But this is just as good. Our men and women are coming home! It’s a happy day.

UPDATE: This morning, 9/9/10, President Obama said on GOOD MORNING AMERICA “…involved in two wars.” I thought the war in Iraq was over?

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Raj Patel’s The Value of Nothing is essentially an indictment of capitalism and the free market. According to Patel, we’ve lost sight of what is important: a sense of community and an active participation in the democratic process. The road to happiness is not lined with “things”, as we’ve come to believe, and our only chance for salvation is to become agents of change in a democratic society which is not run by corporations and greed, but by the will of the people. Patel purports that we have been sucked into the vortex of consumerism and in the process have given up our power to control our own destinies. All good advice, and probably all true, but nothing about these premises is really ground-breaking, especially in our current climate of a post-Bush recession and the general malaise many feel about big corporations and our governments’ willingness to bail-out organizations that have perpetuated the economic disaster in which we find ourselves.

The book is broken into two parts, and part one is certainly the strongest. It delineates some of the problems with capitalism, and there are indeed many interesting facts regarding the price tags we place on everything, including a human life. Patel writes: “Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Blimes estimate the coast of American lives lost in the Iraq war by using a standard U.S. governmental and actuarial figure of $7.2 million per life as part of their calculation of the total coasts of the war to the United States: in excess of $3 trillion.” One of Patel’s premises is that what we can put a price tag on changes with time. It was once legal and commonplace, for example, to engage in human trafficking, which most everyone in Europe and the United States found acceptable at that time. Now, of course, it’s not.

Patel argues, moreover, that large corporations, such as MacDonald’s, skirt the effects they render on the environment and the health of the population in the name of their product: “According to one estimate, the energy coast of the 550 million Big Macs sold in the United States every year is $297 million, producing a greenhouse gas footprint of 2.66 billion pounds of CO2 equivalent.” Corporations, in the name of keeping costs lower, do not foot the bill for the environmental and human damage. Rather, the planet is destroyed, and the corporations are protected by the government, in the name of keeping the prices competitive.

Patel’s major thesis is that those commodities we currently put a price tag on, including land, food, labor, and care, should been seen in a truly democratic society as shared goods. Patel is at his strongest in this section, working as the economist and showing the free reign corporations currently have in market society, and the devastating effects of their policies on our planet and our lives. In short, he maintains that capitalism doesn’t work, or works only for a select few. The rest of us suffer the consequences.

The book begins to fall apart, however, in section two. Patel tries to argue for activism in this section, and encourages readers to become the agents of their own destinies. But Patel’s solutions to the problems he outlines in section one seem watered-down, vague, and even non-existent in section two. It seems that Patel understands well enough the problems of our current capitalist climate, but he offers little in terms of practical, real-world solutions. He writes: “The concentration of resources and power in the hands of a few people and economic entities militates against a successful democracy. What we need is a more plastic idea of property, one in which property and markets are always subordinate to democratic concerns of equity and sustainability.” How this change will occur is as much a mystery to this reader as it seems to be to Patel.

The book ends with an optimistic call to action: “In order to reclaim politics, we too will need more imagination, creativity and courage.” Amen. But a more specific schematic is in order.

Contributor:  Dennis Fulgoni, B.A., M.F.A.

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TPB: First of all, Some Girls is a very powerful memoir, and I enjoyed reading it. When I first came across it, I was struck with the understated poetry of the title. Can you talk a little about how you decided on Some Girls as a title and what the title means in relationship to your individual experiences in the harem?

JL: SOME GIRLS is one of my favorite albums of all time. The refrain “some girls” kept coming popping up rhythmically in my sentences as I was writing, probably because the song altered my cellular structure at some point in my teenage years. I chose it as the title because the song is so raw and politically incorrect, and I believe the book is of the same tradition. I also chose it for the obvious, literal connection.

TPB: I was only familiar with your short stories before I read this book. Did you explore any of your experiences from Some Girls in your shorter work or did the memoir come out all in one piece?

JL: I never dealt with this particular material before I wrote the memoir. I actually avoided it for a long time.

TPB: To piggy-back on the last question, Some Girls is set primarily in your late teens. How has time and the writing of your story shaped the experience for you?

JL: The real lessons for me were learned as I looked back and reflected. I was able to discover a different level of compassion for both myself and for the other people who shared my story. I looked at pictures of myself from that time and I said, “What was so wrong with me? Why did I hate myself so much?” I was beautiful. I was hopeful. I was brave. I was adorable. I can see it now clear as day, but I couldn’t see it then. The story is about struggling to love yourself and learning to forgive yourself.

TPB: In the prologue and all throughout the narrative, there’s this reference to 1001 Nights and the power of the story to save a person’s life. How has writing, not just of this memoir, but in general too, been a positive force in your life?

JL: It was in Brunei that I started writing with some kind of discipline. That’s the only lasting gift I walked away with, other than the story itself, of course. Writing has been tremendously empowering for me. I’ve learned that whatever is going on and however out of control I may feel about it, I always have the power to put my own frame around it with words.

TPB: I was struck by a line in chapter seven in which you write: “I couldn’t summon a tear for anyone I was leaving behind, not even Sean. That, I imagined, was freedom.” To what extent has your definition of freedom changed, and how has your experience in the harem and since helped to shape that definition?

JL: My definitions of a lot of things have changed since I was 18! My definition of freedom, for one thing. My definition of love, for another. Then, freedom was not caring about anything enough that it could cause me pain. Now, freedom is knowing that there will be pain and that Ill live through it. But things like the definition of something as essential as freedom change from one minute to the next for me. In an hour I might have a different answer for you. My experience in the harem certainly shaped my perspective on freedom, but so has my experience as a mother or my experience as a student.

TPB: Another section that really made an impression on me occurs in Chapter 10. When you walk into the party room in Borneo you mention always liking rooms before the party has started. Then you extend that liking to include theaters: “Even more magical are theaters during the day, before the doors open, before the show begins, when the house lights are on and you can see the rafters and the scuffs on the floor. I love the feeling that anything could happen. After the party, when anything already has happened, there’s usually the inevitable fact to face that anything wasn’t all you’d hoped it would be.” It’s a great moment, one I think readers can really relate to. I know I did. Of course it has a sort of romantic, fairy tale feel to it. Do you still have moments of anticipation like this or has experience tapered this romanticism in you?

JL: I’m still a ridiculous romantic. I read somewhere that there are two kinds of writers: romantics and satirists. I’m definitely the former.

TPB: Many of the women in the harem were in constant competition with each other, and through the process of that competition became obsessed about their weight. You write: “This is the Faustian bargain for many women who make their bodies their livelihood. Your body will be worshipped by others but hated by you.” Of course we see women who are not making their bodies their livelihood suffering from the same conundrum. What are your thoughts about the extent to which women will hate their bodies to garner the attention of men?

JL: I don’t think there needs to be a man in the picture to inspire self-hatred and body image issues in women. I think its an epidemic in this culture and it’s one that’s carefully nurtured by the beauty industry to the tune of about one hundred and sixty billion dollars a year. Part of the reason I wrote this book was to be honest about my struggle with this kind of self-hatred and to invite woman into a dialogue about it.

TPB: In Chapter 13 you write, “Any set of circumstances can become the normal shape of your days if you let it.” Is it difficult to live a more tempered life after having experienced such extremes?

JL: I constantly strive for balance in the life I lead now. Sometimes I’m more successful than others. I’m a wife and a mother now, and I have a career where I’m valued for my mind, and that is ultimately so much more rewarding than being valued mostly for my body, even if I don’t get to wear the exciting shoes I once did. I think what I miss about the experience is how fearless I was. But I was extremely lucky that my recklessness didn’t get me into deeper trouble. I don’t have the luxury of being unaware of consequences anymore. I’ve lived with too many of them. I have way too much to lose now to be careless. And I wouldn’t trade it, but I think most of us look back with some nostalgia on the freedom of being young.

TPB: A very compelling moment in the memoir occurs when you are remembering your Bat Mitzvah experience. You mention that you believed God was “. . . in the scroll somehow, in the gaps between the words.” You go on to elaborate about your beliefs at the time a bit. I found it especially compelling that you talked to God during the day, but not at night before bed: “When faced with my nightmares, I had to think quickly and start negotiating with the monsters instead. But those kinds of negotiations/deals struck, promises made/dissolve with the sunrise. Most people I know who are agnostic tend to find God just before bed, because their fear leads them to ask for help.” But you had the opposite experience, which I think may speak to your sense of independence and your survivalist instincts. What are your thoughts and beliefs on God these days?

JL: I think its funny that it’s harder for me to talk about God than it is to talk about some of the more salacious aspects of the memoir. Maybe that’ll be the next book. But I’ll just say that I have a strong spiritual life now and I believe in prayer and in living in a way that’s of service to others.

TPB: There are constant references in the book to Patti Smith, as in “What would Patti Smith do in this situation?” Do you still ask yourself that question, or do you have a different person whom you consult in your imagination these days when youre faced with a difficult decision?

JL: I’m still wild about Patti Smith but I think that heroes are more prominent for teenagers. It’s not that I don’t have heroes now, I just don’t consult with them quite as often.

TPB: In the memoir, you go through a certain progression: dancer to escort to harem girl. What are you feelings about decriminalizing prostitution in the U.S.?

JL: I am all for decriminalizing prostitution. There are a lot of reasons I feel that way, but the bottom line is that prostitution carries terrible and unnecessary risks and that decriminalization will make women safer.

TPB: Any tips on becoming the Queen of the Harem?

JL: Don’t. It ain’t all its cracked up to be.

TPB: Your next book is a work of fiction entitled: Pretty. Can you tell us a little about it?

JL: Pretty centers around Bebe Baker, who is a self-described ex-everything: ex-Christian, ex-stripper, ex-drug addict, ex-pretty girl. A year after surviving a horrific car accident that killed her boyfriend, she serves out a self-imposed sentence at a halfway house, while attempting to complete her last two weeks of vocational-rehab cosmetology school. Pretty is about trying to find faith in a world of rampant diagnoses, over-medication, compulsive eating, and acrylic nails.

Contributor:  Dennis Fulgoni, B.A., M.F.A.

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