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2900 W 44th Ave
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Albert Stern is a healer, artist, and instructor. He practices acupuncture, visceral manipulation, and craniosacral therapy. He creates anatomical illustrations and fine art paintings. He is also an acupuncture instructor and teaches at various schools and facilities. He works with the Lotus Institute of Integrative Medicine and Peak Research Institute. 

Blog

Filtering by Category: Life on Earth

The Octopus is an Alien

Albert Stern

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I have long argued among friends (and only half-jokingly) that the octopus is an alien creature. An alien trapped on earth and slowly evolving into a creature of earth. 

To my great surprise, this article appeared in the Irish Examiner, Don't freak out, but scientists think octopuses 'might be aliens' after DNA study. 

This article is a follow-up to research published in the journal Nature titled, The octopus genome and the evolution of cephalopod neural and morphological novelties.

A few key points from the research: 

  • The octopus has more protein-coded genes than humans
  • The octopus genome is smaller than a human's but has more genes
  • Thre are 12 different tissues revealing hundreds of octopus-specific genes found in no other animal

 I think it is clear I was correct. The octopus is an alien.  

 

Could the U.S. Use a Holiday Like the Jarramplas Festival?

Albert Stern

I cannot help but be enchanted by the Jarramplas Festival celebrated in Piornal, Spain every January. Each year members of the community dress as "demons" in beautiful and colorful costumes. 

Under the costumes, they also wear body armor. Because the celebration involves the rest of community throwing turnips at the demon to chase it out of town. Oddly, no one seems to remember how this tradition started. The color and visual beauty of the event is stunning. 

Looking at the celebration, I find myself struggling with two conflicting thoughts about a similar celebration in the United States. 

1. As a culture, it might really be helpful if we had more symbolic moments to help us release pent up emotions. 

2. A celebration such as this might really get out of control in ways never intended. 

I am super interested in what others think. What do you think? Leave me a message on Facebook or email

 

 

Image note: The first image is from theatlantic.com which encourages sharing the image. Please check out their full gallery of images. They are stunning.

I Grew Up Fishing in the Ocean, But Now Don't Want to Eat Fish

Albert Stern

My father loved to fish. As soon as I was old enough he began taking me with him deep sea fishing. Later my younger brother and mother would join us. The summers of my youth were spent on boats riding out into the Atlantic Ocean, well beyond where you could see land, to spend the day fishing. We would cast a single line into the vast blue of the sea and wait. 

Like some kind of magic spell, out in the nothingness of water eventually, a fish would bite! Then, with great effort, I would reel in an 8-, or 10-, or 14-pound fish. It was hard to beleive.. Miles and miles of water and this little hook. Then suddenly, a fish! 

Me, Age 10 or so, reeling in something big. 

Me, Age 10 or so, reeling in something big. 

I fell in love with the way the ocean looked, smelled, and sounded. I loved the magic and mystery of the hidden world underneath the water. And...I loved eating fish! In my teens and early 20's I adored most fish dishes. I still do, but I rarely eat them. 

It is really upsetting to me how the ocean's have been overfished. How there are dead zones in the water where nothing grows. How the mercury levels in fish are growing. How farmed fish are bad for the environment. Everyone has reasons for the foods they avoid. For me, the destruction of fish habitat feels personal.

It has made it hard for me to eat most fish. As a result, I tend to only eat small fishes, such as sardines. (I even learned there is a whole Sardine Diet trend!) 

This TED Talk is by Paul Greenberg a researcher and author of the NYT Bestseller, Four Fish. It is a good overview of the fish we are overeating and solutions for the problem. 

Like all TED Talks this is excellent. Please consider watching it. 

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It Helps Me to Remember That My Life Is Part of Something so Much Bigger

Albert Stern

It is easy to stop seeing and appreciating how life is staggeringly beautiful. This week I was reminded of how amazing our existence is by the orbits of Earth and Venus. 

If you draw a line connecting Earth and Venus as they orbit the sun, you get this pattern on the left. If you continue to track the pattern for eight years you get the pattern on the right! 

I had a hard time grasping how this was happening. This video illustrates it wonderfully. 

This pattern is happening all the time, day after day, year after year. We are all part of this beautiful dance. 

Like everyone, sometimes I get bogged down in the daily details of life. It helps me to remember that my life is part of something so much bigger and wonderful! 

My Favorite Christmas Song...and Why!

Albert Stern

My parents came from two different religious backgrounds. My mother was Catholic and my father was Jewish. My brother and I were brought up viewing both religions, and all religions, as equally valid. I consider this one of the greatest gifts my family every gave me. 

As children we celebrated both holidays, Christmas and Hanukkah. As I grew older I began to see this time of year as special regardless of religious background. 

It was impossible not to be influenced by Christmas songs. As a teenager I worked many retail jobs in New Jersey malls and Christmas songs are the soundtrack of this time of year. 

Many Christmas songs do not resonate with me. Many more I have heard so many times working in malls that they have lost all meaning. 

However, I have loved The Little Drummer Boy

The Little Drummer Boy is about the power of The Arts. 

I have always deeply believed that as humans we all have to ability to connect to The Arts. We can all sing. And dance. And write. Draw pictures. And...drum. 

The Little Drummer Boy arrives with no gifts, no money, and no social standing. His gift to the baby Jesus is the most human of all gifts, the gift we ALL have, The Arts.

Having been brought up seeing all religions as universal and true, the simple act of drumming resonated with me the most. 

Pa-rum Pa Pum Pum!

 

(Plus, we did get the awesome Joan Jett version of the song!)

(And this awesome African Tribal Version by Alex Boye' ft. Genesis Choir which I just learned about writing this post!)