How to Grow Mass Scale Hemp in a Light Deprivation Greenhouse

The mainstream cannabis cultivation has taken over the hemp industry by storm, especially after many countries legalized weed. Hundreds of hemp cultivators now have greenhouses in their garden where they grow high-quality cannabis that they sell in local markets. But, when it comes to mass-scale production, one of the techniques that work wonders is the light deprivation method. Wondering how the flowers will grow without light? Here’s how the system works.

Hemp Cultivation Using Light Deprivation Technique

One of the advantages of the light deprivation method is it allows the farmer to alter the lighting schedules of the plant. This helps to force the plants into making buds as soon as possible. With the growing demand for hemp in various countries, the light deprivation method comes as a boon to meet such high requirements.

Multiple Harvests In One Year

Imagine yielding four to five harvests in a greenhouse within one year. That’s only possible if you follow the light deprivation method. You should also use a high-quality greenhouse, like the ones manufactured by Full Bloom Light Dep. These come with auto-light facilities so that you can change the lighting conditions and improve the speed at which the plants grow.

If you start sowing seeds in early May, your first harvest will be ready by the end of July. That’s the spring to mid-summer harvest that many farmers consider the best time to grow cannabis. However, you can sneak in another harvest between mid-summer and autumn. Sow seeds immediately after the first harvest and collect the yield by the end of October. This period is also known as natural harvest time.

Better Bud Quality

Compared to commercial hemp farmers growing cannabis outdoors, the bud quality of the hemp growing inside a light deprived greenhouse is far better. If you have multiple light dep. greenhouses, you can increase the yield significantly. This will help to produce better quality buds than the ones you find outdoors. Farmers who grow hemp outdoors can only get one harvest. But, you can manage to get up to five using the light dep. method. It not only increases the overall production but also ensure high-quality bud.

Reduces Catastrophic Failures

Every farmer has a fear at the back of their mind that maybe their crops will experience a catastrophic failure due to bug infestation or heatwave. While this is not impossible, you still have another harvest that can make up for a considerable loss. That is why multiple harvests are better than one. And, that is another reason why the light dep method in a greenhouse is the ideal way to grow mass-scale hemp. When you spread your harvest outdoors, you can’t control catastrophes like heatwaves and extreme rainfall.

So, if you are planning to expand your hemp production, don’t fiddle around with other techniques. Follow the light dep. method religiously, and you should see a satisfactory yield at the end of July and October. But, make sure you grow inside a high-quality greenhouse that supports light dep. technique.

Shane Dwyer
Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Bedroom Light at Night Might Boost Women’s Weight

MONDAY, June 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Women, beware: Sleeping with a light on or the TV going in your bedroom could make you put on weight.

That’s the finding of new research published in JAMA Internal Medicine. While the study doesn’t prove that sleeping with a light on causes weight gain, it suggests the two may be linked, the researchers said.

“Turning off the light while sleeping may be a useful tool for reducing a possibility of weight gain and becoming overweight or obese,” said lead author Dr. Yong-Moon Mark Park. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Park said that exposure to artificial light at night may suppress the sleep hormone melatonin and disrupt the natural sleep-wake cycle.

“It also may disturb day-to-day variations of stress hormones and affect other metabolic processes in ways that contribute to weight gain,” Park added.

Keeping a light on might also result in poorer sleep. Shorter sleep could prompt you to exercise less and eat more, he noted.

For the study, Park’s team relied on self-reported data from nearly 44,000 women, aged 35 to 74. They weren’t shift workers, daytime sleepers or pregnant when the study began.

Women who slept with a light on were 17% more likely to gain 11 pounds or more over five years, the study found. And the level of artificial light seemed to matter, Park said.

“For example, using a small nightlight was not associated with weight gain, whereas women who slept with a light or television on were,” he explained.

The findings didn’t change when researchers accounted for women’s diet and physical activity, which suggests that light during sleep may be important in weight gain and obesity.

Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in New Haven, Conn., reviewed the findings. He said the link between exposure to artificial light at night and obesity may not indicate that one causes the other.

“As with any study of association, two findings are true — true, but not directly related,” he said.

The key takeaway relates to poor sleep, Katz suggested.

“Sleep deficiency and impairment is a known obesity risk factor, for reasons ranging from mood and reduced restraint, to changes in hormonal balance,” he said.

It’s also possible that reliance on artificial light at night and obesity are both linked to other factors, such as “loneliness, anxiety or some form of social insecurity,” Katz said.

The report was published online June 10.

WebMD Health

LED Blue Light Poses Eye, Sleep Risks: Report

May 17, 2019 — The blue light in LED lighting used in many consumer products may harm your sleep and pose a risk to your eyes, a new report warns.

Specifically, there is new evidence that this type of light can disturb biological and sleep rhythms and damage the eye‘s retina, according to the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety.

Products with LEDs that produce blue light include the newest flashlights, car headlights and some toys, CNN reported.

The maximum limit on short-term exposure to blue light should be reduced, only low-risk LED devices should be available to consumers, and the luminosity of car headlights should be reduced, the French agency recommended.

It also said that eye protection provided by “anti-blue light” screens, filters and sunglasses varies, and there is no proof that those help preserve sleep rhythms, CNN reported.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

New Theory Sheds Light on Leonardo da Vinci’s Artistic Decline

SATURDAY, May 4, 2019 — A fainting-related fall that caused nerve damage in his right hand could explain why Leonardo da Vinci’s painting skills declined later in life, a new paper suggests.

The report, published as the world marks the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death, contradicts the common belief that da Vinci’s difficulties stemmed from a stroke.

To arrive at that conclusion, the report authors compared a drawing of an elderly da Vinci with an engraving of the artist and inventor when he was younger. They also studied a biography of da Vinci.

The drawing shows da Vinci’s right arm in folds of clothing as if in a bandage, with his right hand suspended in a stiff, contracted position, according to the paper published May 3 in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

“Rather than depicting the typical clenched hand seen in post-stroke muscular spasticity, the picture suggests an alternative diagnosis such as ulnar palsy, commonly known as claw hand,” study co-author Dr. Davide Lazzeri said in a journal news release.

Lazzeri is a plastic surgeon at the Villa Salaria Clinic in Rome.

Based on the drawings, he said it’s likely that the ulnar palsy was caused by injury to the right limb when da Vinci fell after fainting. The ulnar nerve runs from the shoulder to little finger. It manages nearly all of the hand muscles used in fine movements.

Lazzeri noted that da Vinci’s hand impairment was not associated with mental decline or other impaired movement, suggesting a stroke was unlikely.

“This may explain why he left numerous paintings incomplete, including the Mona Lisa, during the last five years of his career as a painter while he continued teaching and drawing,” he said.

While the problem with his right hand affected da Vinci’s ability to hold palettes and brushes to paint, he was able to continue drawing with his left hand and teaching, Lazzeri explained.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on ulnar nerve dysfunction.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: May 2019 – Daily MedNews

Padma Lakshmi Sheds Light on Endometriosis

By Kara Mayer Robinson

padma lakshmi barkha

As the Emmy-nominated host of Bravo TV’s Top Chef, the television series in which amateur chefs compete for the winning title, Padma Lakshmi samples an abundance of gourmet food, from goat cheese ravioli to five-layer wedding cake. Her co-stars and fellow judges, chef Tom Colicchio and culinary expert Gail Simmons, nibble too — but not nearly as much.

“Tom and Gail come in for the main challenge,” says Lakshmi, 48, who’s also a producer of the series, now in its 16th season. “But I eat double what they eat because I’m there every day for the quick-fire challenge.”

While this may seem like a major job perk, for Lakshmi — who’s also an author, entrepreneur, and former model — it’s a challenge. She has endometriosis, a painful gynecological disorder in which the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of it, in places like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other organs.

“When you have endometriosis, you don’t want to eat heavily because everything is inflamed,” she explains.

About one in 10 American women have endometriosis, a common cause of infertility. During each menstrual cycle, tissue builds up, breaks down, and bleeds, leading to very painful menstrual cramps, chronic lower back and pelvic pain, painful sex, bleeding, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and nausea.

In the early days of Top Chef, before she had treatment, Lakshmi needed a toolbox of resources to get through the day. “We used to plug in my heating pad under the judges’ table. When I was standing, as the camera would pan away from me, I’d sit down — I had a little wooden box my assistant would drag on set with me. After the first few seasons, I got a dressing room so I could lie down on a couch,” Lakshmi says. “I don’t know if I could’ve continued to do Top Chef for 12 years if I didn’t get the help I needed.”

Unfortunately, help didn’t come quickly or easily.

Pervasive Pain

What started as cramps at age 13 got worse over time. “I was bedridden for several days a month with headaches, cramping, severe dysmenorrhea [painful periods], nausea, numbness, lower back pain, digestive issues, moodiness, swelling, and bloating — and when I say swelling, I mean a full cup size every month,” she says.


For years, she wondered why she couldn’t handle what other women seemed to take in stride. Maybe I’m exaggerating, she thought. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m being a sissy.

“I didn’t feel like having sex, so it affected my romantic relationships. I was embarrassed to call in sick, so I wouldn’t take modeling jobs when my period was due,” she says. “It locked me out of my own life.”

Endometriosis is more than just painful periods and potential infertility,” says Ken Sinervo, MD, medical director of the Center for Endometriosis Care in Atlanta. “It can significantly and negatively impact all aspects of an individual’s quality of life — from schooling to career to relationships.”

Lakshmi tried birth control to manage cramps, but it only helped a little. Her gynecologist prescribed painkillers, but they made her feel nauseated and triggered headaches. For 23 years, nobody, including a doctor who removed an ovarian cyst, referred her to a specialist to look for a medical condition that caused her problems.

This is surprisingly common. Even though an estimated 176 million women worldwide have endometriosis, doctors often normalize or dismiss symptoms, creating a long delay in diagnosis, says Sinervo.

On a particularly rough day in 2006, Lakshmi was doubled over in pain and rushed to the hospital. Doctors performed surgery to remove what they thought was scar tissue but was actually endometrial tissue blocking her small intestine. Though they told her she’d likely be fine, her symptoms returned a month later.

Finally, a doctor suggested seeing a specialist, and after decades of pain, Lakshmi learned she had endometriosis. “Dr. [Tamer] Seckin was the first one to really give it a name,” she says. “He didn’t think I was crazy — he listened to me.”

While endometriosis has no cure, treatment can ease symptoms and boost a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Drug therapy can help with symptoms, but surgery to remove endometriosis patches is often more effective and may improve fertility.

Lakshmi had laparoscopic excision surgery in 2006, and her doctors found more than they expected. “Tissue was all over my fallopian tubes, my ovaries, everything,” she says. “I had stitches on major organs and 19 biopsies — 17 came back positive for endometriosis.”

She had a long recovery. “I was bedridden from Thanksgiving to the first week in February,” she says. Later, in 2007 and 2009, she had two more laparoscopic surgeries. “It wasn’t until a year after that I really healed enough to see what life was like for a normal woman,” she says.


Call to Action

As Lakshmi thought about how long she’d suffered, her relief morphed into anger. Why wasn’t she diagnosed sooner? Why didn’t her doctors know her pain wasn’t normal? Why wasn’t anyone speaking out about this disease?

She realized endometriosis was largely under the radar — and because of her visibility as a celebrity, she was in a unique position to do something. In 2009, she partnered with Seckin, her surgeon, to create the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EndoFound), which advocates for patients, raises awareness, and funds research.

As co-founder, she talks about endometriosis openly and extensively. She gives lectures at schools, private companies, and universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she’s now a visiting scholar and works with research scientists on understanding the interplay between diet, nutrition, and health.

“Padma remains a force of nature to motivate our team of scientists working on endometriosis,” says Linda Griffith, PhD, director of MIT’s Center for Gynepathology Research, adding that Lakshmi’s ongoing visits — she’s been doing them since 2009 — have inspired many MIT students.

She also encourages politicians to include endometriosis awareness in sex education programs at the state level and ensure medical schools teach all doctors, not just gynecologists, about the disease.

Her advocacy extends beyond EndoFound: She’s an ACLU ambassador, focusing on women’s reproductive health and immigration issues, and she believes women’s health issues will get the attention they deserve if we have more women in higher positions in government, universities, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies.

Life Goes On

In 2009, knowing about one in two women with endometriosis have fertility problems, Lakshmi decided to freeze her eggs. But soon after, she unexpectedly became pregnant. In 2010, she delivered a healthy baby girl, Krishna, who just turned 9. “She’s in third grade and just won the election for student council in her class,” Lakshmi says.

They live in New York City, where they like to cook, roller-skate, and hang out with Krishna’s father, Adam Dell, whom Lakshmi says she’s “dating again but not getting married or anything.” (The couple had been separated.)


Their days often begin around 6:30 a.m. and end relatively early. “I’m so busy with Krishna that it’s rare that I stay awake past 11 — and I used to have parties that started at 11,” she says with a laugh.

Her endometriosis symptoms still linger. “I get migraines, I have cramps, but it’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be,” she says. She does acupuncture and uses heat for lower back pain. “If you stop me in any airport and look in my bag, there’s an electric heating pad,” she says. When filming Top Chef, she sips tea to soothe cramps and stocks up on heat wraps, which she hides under clothes — inside jeans or under tights.

Lakshmi eats well, which comes naturally. “Obviously if you’ve seen the show ever, you know I have to be quite omnivorous,” she says, “but I grew up lacto-vegetarian.” She eats a lot of legumes and beans and avoids wheat, sugar, alcohol, and fried foods. When she’s home with Krishna, it’s 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% starches, and 25% lean protein.

Exercise depends on symptoms. When she doesn’t feel well, she avoids things like Pilates, which she says worsens her pain. On her worst days, working out is a tall order. “But I do spend a lot of time at the gym,” she says. “I think that has to do with my vanity and my occupational hazard of having to eat so much.”

When you see Lakshmi on Top Chef, critiquing a chef’s technique or a dish’s flavor profile, she may not strike you as someone who’s comfortable sharing personal details about her body. She’s just so cool and composed.

“It was not my wish to get up in front of a room and talk about my vagina,” she says, admitting it was hard at first. “But I had to step up. I just want young women to know they’re not alone. When you have endometriosis, you’re shut out. It’s like a prison. I feel like I’ve finally unlocked and kicked away the chain that’s been invisibly wrapped around my ankle for all these decades.”


Get the Facts

Like Padma Lakshmi, roughly 6.5 million women in the U.S. have endometriosis.

Some other facts:

Endometriosis is the leading cause of hysterectomies. About 40% of women with infertility have endometriosis. On average, a woman has symptoms for 10 years before getting an accurate diagnosis.

Scientists don’t know what causes endometriosis, but they think it may have something to do with menstrual flow problems, genetics, immune system issues, hormones, or surgery. Endometriosis may be linked to allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivities, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and certain cancers, like breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

When you have endometriosis as a teen, it’s more likely to get worse over the years. If you have a close relative who has endometriosis, you’re five to seven times more likely to have it.

You’re also more likely to get endometriosis if:

  • You don’t have children.
  • Your periods last more than seven days.
  • Your menstrual cycle is typically less than 28 days.
  • You have a health problem that blocks the normal flow of blood when you have your period.

Many doctors recommend treating endometriosis with laparoscopic surgery, or LAPEX, because it’s effective and minimally invasive.

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of WebMD Magazine.



Padma Lakshmi, Endometriosis Foundation of America.

Linda Griffith, Center for Gynepathology Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ken Sinervo, MD, Center for Endometriosis Care.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “It’s Time We Talk About Endometriosis.”

Endometriosis Foundation of America: “Endometriosis A-Z.”

Mayo Clinic: “Endometriosis.”

Office on Women’s Health: “Endometriosis.”

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

Magic Light Pictures Flies High with ‘Zog’ Special

Over the past decade, we’ve come to expect great things from the discerning animation production team of Michael Rose and Martin Pope of Magic Light Pictures. Fans of award-winning specials such as Room on the Broom, The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and The Highway Rat are familiar with the kind of heart-warming, witty and lovingly animated family fare they deliver year after year

This Christmas, they are back with a new half-hour special based on another book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, who also inspired their previous specials.

“Martin Pope and I have produced a number of specials based on Julia and Axel’s books over the years, beginning with The Gruffalo in 2009,” says Michael Rose. “The first time we read Zog, we loved the characters, story and the world and wanted to bring it to screen. Max Lang and Suzanne Lang found a great way to adapt the book, and we then asked Max (who had previously directed both Gruffalo and Room on the Broom for us) and Daniel Snaddon (who co-directed Stick Man) to direct the film.”

Zog features the voices of Sir Lenny Henry (Narrator), Tracey Ullman (Madame Dragon), Hugh Skinner (Zog), Patsy Ferran (Pearl) and Kit Harington (Sir Gadabout). It centers on the friendship between an accident-prone dragon and a young girl who patches up his bruises and grazes. Zog faces a big challenge during his fifth year at Dragon School, when he has to capture a princess.

Finding Their Bliss

Lang and Snaddon were instantly drawn to the book’s characters and humor. “Zog, Princess Pearl and Sir Gadabout are all struggling with finding their place in the world,” says Lang. “There’s a big gap between what they and the world wants from them, and who they actually are. This creates a nice conflict and leads to a lot of character driven comedy. The other strong pull for us was the relationship between Pearl and Zog which adds a warmth to the story that we were keen to capture in the animation.”

Rose also praises Donaldson’s clever, character-led stories which take readers on imaginative journeys into extraordinary worlds. “Axel Scheffler’s illustrations bring these characters and worlds to life, creating rich layers of visual detail which amplify Julia’s words and compliment them with additional depth and story,” he adds. “So these books provide a wonderful starting place for dramatic adaptation and bountiful inspiration for animation.”

Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation, who also worked on The Highway Rat and Revolting Rhymes, produced the special’s beautiful CG animation. “They are a fabulous studio and great partners to work with, with a very talented crew, producing superb high-quality CGI,” says Rose. “Voice recordings and all sound and picture post-production were done in London.”

The project was animated in Maya and rendered in Arnold, while the visual effects were simulated in Phoenix and compositing was handled by Nuke. The animation team also used ZBrush and 3D-Coat for some of the modelling and surfacing work. According to the producers, more than a hundred people worked on the special over an 18 month period.

One of the key challenges of the project was that its story takes place over five years, during which the characters grow. “The already large cast of characters had to change and grow from sequence to sequence,” notes Snaddon. “This is a problem in any asset-based medium, but the team at Triggerfish came up with a lot of elegant and creative solutions. Apart from this, the trickiest thing has been managing the overlap with our next project which is really cool, but has a whole different set of challenges.”

Looking back, Rose is pleased with how the project has moved from the page to the small screen. “We set out to make a film for all the family to enjoy,” he notes. “At its heart is the empowering story of a young girl who renounces being a princess to become a doctor and do good in the world.  Hopefully audiences will be inspired, entertained and come away smiling!”

You can watch a trailer for the special here:

Zog premieres on BBC One in the U.K. on Christmas Day. The half-hour special will have an Oscar-qualifying run in Los Angeles in December and will be submitted for consideration in 2019.







Animation Magazine

AFM: Light Chaser’s ‘Cats’ & ‘White Snake’ Attract Buyers

Beijing-based Light Chaser Animation Studios — headed by the founder and former CEO of Chinese VOD site Tudou, Gary Wong — has secured sales for new animated features White Snake and Cats and Peachtopia.

Warner Bros. has boarded the latest flick, White Snake, as co-producer and holds distribution rights in China; it is in negotiations to take on the rights in other major territories. Directed by Amp Wong and Zhao Ji, the fantasy-adventure based on a popular folk tale about a snake who longs to live as a human, and takes the form of a beautiful woman. The movie takes place before the events of the traditional story and combines a love story with an epic quest. Watch the first trailer here.

Cats and Peachtopia (alternatively titled Cats) is set in the southwestern city of Chongqing and centers on a middle-aged cat who enjoys his life in a high-rise apartment, and his son who is curious about the outside world and finally leaves his comfortable home to seek Peachotopia — a heaven for cats, where he hopes to find his mother. The father must face the perils of the outside world to find his son with the help of a friendly Macaw. Trailer here.

Cats premiered at Annecy and has been licensed to KMBO (France), which will present a 300-screen release on December 12; Viva TV (U.S.), which has a deal with DirecTV and will jointly present a limited theatrical release in the first quarter of 2019; Notorious Pictures (Italy), Phars Film (Middle East) and Mango (Vietnam).

Light Chaser’s second feature, Toys and Pets (also available through All Rights) is entering theatrical release in multiple territories, including Spain, the Middle East and Turkey. The studio’s first CG animated adventure, the mythical buddy comedy The Door Guardians (or Little Door Gods), was picked up The Weinstein Co. in the U.S. and is available for streaming on Netflix as The Guardian Brothers.

[Sources: Variety, China Daily, Radii China]

White Snake

White Snake

Animation Magazine

Study Casts Doubt on Light Drinking’s Benefits

By Serena Gordon

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — If you think your nightly glass of vino is doing good things for your health, think again.

A new study suggests that folks who like to tip back a drink or two every day are more likely to die prematurely.

“At any given age, if you drink daily — even just one or two drinks — you have a 20 percent increased risk of death compared to someone who drinks the same amount two to three times a week,” said study author Dr. Sarah Hartz. She’s an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“We should no longer say that it’s healthy to drink. It’s a vice that’s not great for us,” she added.

Hartz noted that how significant a 20 percent increased risk of death is depends on your age. She explained that since very few people die in their 20s, a 20 percent increased risk of premature death is less significant at that age than it would be for someone in their 70s.

Although the study did find an association, it did not prove that light drinking caused early death risk to rise.

But how might alcohol boost that risk?

Hartz said most of the increased risk of early death comes from an increased risk of cancer. She said that people often underestimate how much drinking can increase the risk of some cancers, such as breast cancer. And drinking more than four times a week can also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

But what of all the studies that have suggested a health benefit from moderate drinking?

Hartz said that there have been several studies this year that have concluded that drinking generally isn’t good for health. And the populations in these studies and the latest one are larger than in previous ones. More importantly, she noted, the newer studies have been able to parse out the lowest levels of drinking.

“We have access to data we haven’t had access to before,” Hartz explained.


The study included information from more than 400,000 people. More than 340,000 (aged 18 to 85) had participated in a national health survey. Another group of nearly 94,000 were between the ages of 40 and 60 and had been treated as outpatients at Veterans Health Administration clinics.

“The lowest risk group was people who drank one or two drinks just two to three times weekly,” she said.

Still, not everyone is convinced that this study is the last word on alcohol and health.

According to Dr. Guy Mintz, director of cardiovascular health and lipidology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., “The jury is still out with regard to frequency and quantity of alcohol use.”

Mintz said, “This is an interesting study. One to two drinks four days a week seemed to protect against cardiovascular disease, but drinking every day eliminated those benefits.”

He pointed out that “one of the study’s conclusions was that, as medicine becomes more personalized, some patients with a history of cardiovascular disease may benefit from drinking two or three days a week, but those with a higher risk of cancer may not benefit.”

Mintz tells his patients to drink anything but beer because it has a lot of calories and salt, and can contribute to obesity and high triglycerides (an unhealthy type of blood fat). “I would stress alcohol consumption in moderation, both in frequency and quantity,” he said.

The study was published online Oct. 3 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: Sarah Hartz, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, department of psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis; Guy Mintz, M.D., director, cardiovascular health and lipidology, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.; Oct. 3, 2018,Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

Research on dogs might shed light on human responses to food: study

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Researchers in Hungary who found that normal and overweight dogs behaved differently in tasks involving food say the dogs’ responses were similar to what might be expected in normal and overweight humans.

Bucka, the 11 year-old overweight mongrel dog, is seen during a test trying to find the reasons for obesity at the Ethology Department of the ELTE University in Budapest, Hungary, June 13, 2018. Picture taken June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas

The study suggested dogs could be used as models for future research into the causes and psychological impacts of human obesity, the authors of the paper from Budapest’s ELTE University said.

Researchers put two bowls – one of them holding a good meal, the other empty or containing less attractive food – in front of a series of dogs.

The study found that canines of a normal weight continued obeying instructions to check the second bowl for food, but the obese ones refused after a few rounds.

Slideshow (9 Images)

“We expected the overweight dog to do anything to get food, but in this test, we saw the opposite. The overweight dogs took a negative view,” test leader Orsolya Torda said.

“If a situation is uncertain and they cannot find food, the obese dogs are unwilling to invest energy to search for food – for them the main thing is to find the right food with least energy involved.”

The behavior had possible parallels with overweight people who see food as a reward, said the paper published in the Royal Society Open Science journal.

Reporting by Krisztina Fenyo, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Andrew Heavens

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Medicine Man Releases Three a Light Home-Grow Weed App for Apple Devices

If you’re thinking about starting a cannabis grow in your house but aren’t an expert botanist, don’t worry: There’s now an app for that. The first app to offer personal horticulture services specifically for weed launched on the Apple App Store at the end of January.

Three a Light, released by cannabis consulting firm Medicine Man Technologies, is based on the book of the same name that uses simple methods to teach regular people how to increase their yields — up to three pounds per light, thus the name of the book — from their cannabis plants. Adults 21 and up and medical marijuana patients in Colorado are allowed to grow anywhere from six to sixteen plants at home, depending on a variety of factors, including where they live and if they have a medical marijuana card.

Joshua Haupt, the chief cultivation officer at Medicine Man Technologies (a cannabis consulting firm owned by the same potrepreneurs behind Medicine Man dispensaries), first published the book Three a Light in 2015 after helping his friends in the Rocky Mountains grow for themselves. “I had a lot of friends with medical issues,” he says. “I made them a little pamphlet that was like, ‘Follow these steps,’ and everyone used it.”

His friends encouraged him to go bigger than a pamphlet, so Haupt wrote Three a Light, filling it with photos and illustrations explaining how to grow the plant to its full potential. There was a hole in the market for this type of book, according to Haupt, who believes there still isn’t literature available that explains the cultivation process from start to finish in a way that the weed-illiterate can understand.

After being out for a few years, he says, the book still maintains a high rating (it currently has a 4/5 rating on Amazon), so why the need to make an app? Shortly after the book came out, Haupt saw a need for customer service. And the most valuable piece of the app, he believes, is the interactive support it provides. The app holds much of the book’s content in a sleek design, with photos for each step of the cultivation process as well as a nutrient calendar and schedule for feeding. Users can sync their plants into the calendar and receive notifications for cultivation reminders.

But the coolest part of the app is the feature that lets growers talk with master growers.

For example, a grower struggling to identify a pest could upload a picture of it to the app and get a response during the company’s business hours. The master growers answering questions have all worked in grow facilities and have thousands of hours of experience working with Haupt.

“Essentially you just get the keys to the castle with the app in your hand,” Haupt says. “You get oversight from people who have been doing this on a much larger scale.” His goal is to help the cannabis industry become more successful and lower wholesale prices of cannabis, while also imparting necessary growing skills to people who need the plant for medical purposes and are choosing to grow at home to save money.

While both the book ($ 500) and app ($ 99.99) prices aren’t pocket change, they aren’t much compared to the startup costs of a home grow — or underperforming plants. “It’s a very expensive learning curve,” Haupt explains. “If you do something wrong, you could lose thousands of dollars.” He says he’s able to double the amount of cannabis yielded per plant through a combination of tactics, including a process called “schwazzing,” which involves defoliating the plants at specific times of the growing cycle.

“If you have a license to grow cannabis, you have a license to lose money — a lot of it,” Haupt says. “This is truly farming, so it’s not gonna be easy. You’ve got to earn every dollar.”

Toke of the Town

In A Different Light: ‘The Star’

The Star

Christmas movies are common enough, as are family Christmas movies. But Timothy Reckart saw an opportunity to do something different with The Star, an animated retelling of the nativity story told from the point of view of a donkey named Bo and his animal pals.

“We had boxes of tapes for the movies we play every Christmas [when I was a kid], and none of those movies were actually about the birth of Jesus,” says Reckart, who directed the movie and grew up in a Christian family. “It felt like an opportunity to be part of a movie that has not been done before, that’s really going to fill a void.”

This month, Sony Pictures Animation will release The Star, produced by Disney veteran Jenni Magee-Cook and executive produced by DeVon Franklin of Franklin Entertainment and Brian Henson and Lisa Henson of The Jim Henson Company. The film features the voices of The Walking Dead star Steven Yeun as Bo, a donkey who aspires to joining the royal caravan; Keegan-Michael Key as Bo’s best pal, Dave the dove; Aidy Bryant as Ruth, a sheep; Zachary Levi as Joseph; Gina Rodriguez as Mary; Christopher Plummer as King Herod; and Tracy Morgan, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry as the wise men’s camels, Felix, Deborah and Cyrus.

The Star is the first CG animation project for Reckart, whose previous work was in stop-motion, most notably his Oscar-nominated short Head Over Heels and as a lead animator on the indie feature Anomalisa. While Reckart loves stop-motion, he says CG was the right choice for this project. “Christmas and stop-motion have a very long history together, and I wonder if being in stop-motion might have made the movie feel smaller,” he says.

Being Original

The idea of the movie presents a lot of challenges, starting with finding a story for the animals that complemented and resonated with the nativity tale. Reckart says it was important to be original. “We wanted to be able to have a movie where you have comedy and adventure, but we didn’t want to turn Mary and Joseph into comic characters or action heroes,” he says. “So if we could do that with Bo, but in a way that felt true to Christmas, then that was the goal.”

The script was originally developed about 20 years ago at The Jim Henson Company, partly inspired by the success of Babe, Reckart says. Redeveloping it for animation and audiences in 2017 was the first task on Reckart’s to-do list. That meant adding more comedy and action, as well as giving the characters a clear emotional through line. “That really seems to be the key to getting something that both parents and kids can tune into at the same level,” he says.

Head of story Louie del Carmen says the development process was very focused on making every design possible before heading into production with a limited budget and tight schedule.

“Tim understood the story he wanted to tell, and I was the guy who was going to champion that, and then also shore things up and also maybe even play devil’s advocate sometimes,” he says. “I think that that role really fit really well.”

Reckart gravitated toward the theme of great things coming in humble packages, which defined the arc for Bo. “Bo has the desire to go do great things, which I think all of us do, and he feels maybe at first that he’s settling when he decides that he wants just to stick with this couple that are important to him,” he says.

A Touch of Humor

Dealing with the nativity story in a way that was respectful of its importance to Christians as well as entertaining was a big piece of the development process, Reckart says. One thing he wanted to do was give them some humanity and an openness to life indicated by Mary’s willingness to accept the message from heaven that she was to carry the son of God.

“I don’t think I’ve really seen any images of Mary laughing,” he says. “But I wanted to do a Mary that laughed a lot and had a sense of humor and a real love of life.”

Joseph is focused on planning and wants to make sure everything’s right for his family, and learns to accept what he can’t change. “That gives Joseph room to grow, room to actually learn something from Mary, which is that at some point you have to let go and kind of let God take the wheel because not everything’s under your control,” Reckart says.

Levi and Rodriguez brought a contemporary humanity to the characters through their voice performances, which Reckart says he hopes will make Mary and Joseph accessible to the movie’s faith-based and general audiences.

Putting It All Together

Reckart asked character designer David Colman and production designer Craig Elliott to give the animals realistic anatomy. “We wanted them to feel really like animals,” he says. Among the more abstract notions the crew discovered was that most of the animals have horizontal profiles, while a human’s is vertical.

Magee-Cook says executive producer DeVon Franklin, a star in the faith-based entertainment community, played a big role in getting the all-star cast to sign on. And once actors began to fall into place, they played off each other really well.

“We got Oprah, Tyler and Tracy Morgan, and all three of them were so excited when they heard that that was going to be their trio,” says Magee-Cook. “And then when we got Steve Yeun, he and Keegan-Michael Key and Aidy Bryant all did Second City Chicago stuff. It’s like, without knowing it, we cast these little trios of people who had a connection already.”

Elliot says they wanted the film not to look like a stereotypical biblical epic, with ruins, rubble and desert. So he researched what Nazareth and Bethlehem looked like 2,000 years ago and found elements to play off of, such as discovering there were very specific and distinct styles of architecture for the homes of Romans and those of the natives.

“If we just do what was actually there, it will make a major difference,” he says. “We’re both historically accurate and we’re making it look great.”

Magee-Cook says previs worked with the storyboard artists to get shots fully worked out before being turned over to animation. “When we actually got into production…we had already translated it into a world that was doable so we could hand that to Cinesite,” she says.

Animation work started in January 2017 and the team peaked at around 70 or 80 animators. “They have a lot of animators who are starting out but who have shown a lot of promise, and we really saw a lot of growth even of individual animators from the beginning of production to the end,” Reckart says.

With the release nearing, Reckart says he hopes the movie connects with both faith-based and general audiences—and becomes something families can revisit every Christmas.

“I hope that this will be the movie that kids grow up with that introduces them to the story of the nativity,” he says. “And ultimately that it finds a sort of special place in the box of Christmas DVDs that every family has.”

Sony Pictures Animation’s The Star opens in theaters nationwide on November 17, 2017.

This story originally appeared in the December issue of Animation Magazine (No. 275).

The Star


The Star

The Star



Animation Magazine

Even Light Drinking May Raise Your Cancer Risk

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Maybe you should skip that glass of wine tonight, because even light drinking increases your risk of cancer, warns a new statement from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

“People typically don’t associate drinking beer, wine and hard liquor with increasing their risk of developing cancer in their lifetimes,” said ASCO President Dr. Bruce Johnson.

“However, the link between increased alcohol consumption and cancer has been firmly established and gives the medical community guidance on how to help their patients reduce their risk of cancer,” he said in a society news release.

Alcohol is directly responsible for 5 to 6 percent of new cancers and cancer deaths worldwide, according to the statement. The paper cites evidence tying light, moderate or heavy drinking to higher risk of common malignancies such as breast, colon, esophagus, and head and neck cancers.

However, a recent ASCO survey found that 7 out of 10 Americans are unaware of a link between alcohol and cancer.

To reduce the risks, the statement includes several recommendations. They include tighter restrictions on the days and hours of alcohol sales; higher taxes on alcohol; limiting alcohol advertising to youth; and providing alcohol screening and treatment at medical visits.

The organization also wants to end the “pinkwashing” of alcoholic beverages. Since there’s evidence linking breast cancer to drinking, companies shouldn’t be “exploiting the color pink” or using pink ribbons to show their support of breast cancer research, the authors said.

“ASCO joins a growing number of cancer care and public health organizations in recognizing that even moderate alcohol use can cause cancer,” said statement author Dr. Noelle LoConte. She’s an associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin.

“Therefore, limiting alcohol intake is a means to prevent cancer,” she added. “The good news is that, just like people wear sunscreen to limit their risk of skin cancer, limiting alcohol intake is one more thing people can do to reduce their overall risk of developing cancer.”

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCE: American Society of Clinical Oncology, news release, Nov. 7, 2017

Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

Light Therapy May Help Some With Bipolar Disorder

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) — People afflicted with bipolar disorder may find some relief from depression with daily doses of light therapy, new research suggests.

With light therapy, people spend time sitting in close proximity to a light-emitting box — in this case, bright white light — with exposures increasing from 15 minutes per day to a full hour over a period of weeks.

The study found that within a month the therapy helped treat depression in people with bipolar disorder.

“Effective treatments for bipolar depression are very limited,” noted lead researcher Dr. Dorothy Sit.

“This gives us a new treatment option for bipolar patients that we know gets us a robust response within four to six weeks,” said Sit, who is associate professor of psychiatry at Northwestern University in Chicago.

According to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, bipolar disorder “is a brain and behavior disorder characterized by severe shifts in a person’s mood and energy, making it difficult for the person to function.” Over 5.7 million Americans are thought to have the disorder, which often involves depressive episodes.

As Sit’s team noted, prior research had shown that morning light therapy reduces symptoms of depression in people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a condition where winter’s reduced light spurs depression.

However, it’s also been noted that light therapy can sometimes cause side effects, such as mania, in people with bipolar disorder.

Still, the Northwestern team wondered if the treatment might not have a role for bipolar patients with at least moderate depression who were also taking a mood stabilizer drug.

In the study, 46 patients received either a 7,000 lux bright white light or a 50 lux light (acting as the “placebo arm” of the trial).

The study participants were told to place the light box about one foot from their face for 15 minutes between noon and 2:30 p.m. each day at the start of the study.

Over six weeks, the patients increased their light therapy “doses” in 15-minute increments until they reached a dose of 60 minutes per day — or had a significant change in their mood.


Compared with people in the placebo group, those in the treatment group were more likely to have significant improvements, Sit’s team said.

More than 68 percent of patients in the treatment group achieved a normal mood versus 22 percent of those in the placebo group, the findings showed. Patients in the treatment group also had a much lower average depression score than those in the placebo group, and significantly higher functioning, meaning they could return to work or complete household tasks they hadn’t been able to finish before treatment.

Significantly, none of the patients experienced mania or hypomania, a condition that includes a period of elation, euphoria, irritability, agitation, rapid speech, racing thoughts, a lack of focus and risk-taking behaviors.

“As clinicians, we need to find treatments that avoid these side effects and allow for a nice, stable response. Treatment with bright light at midday can provide this,” Sit said in a university news release.

Two psychiatrists agreed that the therapy may have merit for patients, who often have few options.

“No standard antidepressants are approved for treatment of bipolar depression,” said Dr. Seth Mandel, who directs psychiatry at Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y. He added that antipsychotics that are approved for bipolar disorder often come with side effects that cause many patients to stop using them.

Light therapy “offers us another option, one that certainly appears to do no harm,” Mandel said.

Still, he noted that patients with more severe symptoms weren’t included in the Chicago study, and he also believes many people won’t be able to adhere to the hour-long, daily dosage required.

Dr. Ami Baxi is a psychiatrist who directs adult inpatient services at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She agreed that light therapy may be “a welcome addition to our limited treatment options for bipolar depression.”

The study was funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and published Oct. 3 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: Seth Mandel, M.D., chairman of psychiatry, Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital, Huntington, N.Y.; Ami Baxi, M.D., director of adult inpatient services, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Northwestern University, news release, Oct. 10, 2017

Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

Utah: 2018 Ballot Initiative Gets Green Light to Collect Signatures

Jon Huntsman Sr. thinks medical marijuana should be legal in the Beehive State, and 73% of recently surveyed Utahns agreed. On Nov. 8, 2018, there’s a good chance the voters of Utah will finally have their voice heard. Utah medical marijuana advocates on Thursday received the prerequisite nod of approval from Spencer J. Cox and […]