Power and Purpose in a Stressed-Out World

George Burr Leonard (1923 – January 6, 2010) was an American writer, editor, and educator who wrote extensively abouteducation and human potential. He was President Emeritus of the Esalen Institute, past-president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, President of ITP International,[1] and a former editor of Look Magazine. He was a former United States Army Air Corpspilot, and held a fifth degree black belt in aikido.[1]
Leonard was a co-founder of the Aikido of Tamalpais dojo in Corte Madera, California. He also developed the Leonard Energy Training (LET) practice for centering the mind, body, and spirit.[2] Leonard died at his home in Mill Valley, California on January 6, 2010 after a long illness and was survived by his wife and three daughters. He was 86 years old.[3]

Books

The World Health Organization has recognized stress as a worldwide epidemic.
Stress is at the root of much of our physical disease as well as our emotional dis-ease.
Unmanaged stress can influence the onset of heart attacks and strokes, gastro-intestinal
problems, diabetes, insomnia, headaches, and depression, to name a few. Studies show
that four out of five doctor visits in the U.S. are stress related, and U.S. industries spend
over 300 billion dollars a year on stress related costs.
We have become so busy that we have multi-tasked our way right out of the present
moment – and out of our own health and happiness.
While the medical world continues to create and mass-market expensive and risky
pharmaceuticals, and while people search aimlessly – and often unsuccessfully – to
find their own life-plan to counteract the devastating effects of stress, master teacher
Thomas Crum has reached the simplicity on the other side of complexity. The result is
Three Deep Breaths, a deceptively simple and extraordinarily effective technique to
combat stress and emerge as our most powerful and vital selves.
How better to teach this technique than in an entertaining story that can be read in a
short sitting? Thomas Crum uses the popular parable format to tell the tale of Angus,
a harried worker struggling to achieve that ever-elusive work/life balance and to break
through the negative habits that lead to anger, exhaustion, and poor performance. We
follow Angus as he learns to use Three Deep Breaths to turn conflict into opportunity,
pressure into peak performance, and mundane moments into a magical ones.

George Burr Leonard (1923 – January 6, 2010) was an American writer, editor, and educator who wrote extensively abouteducation and human potential. He was President Emeritus of the Esalen Institute, past-president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, President of ITP International,[1] and a former editor of Look Magazine. He was a former United States Army Air Corpspilot, and held a fifth degree black belt in aikido.[1]
Leonard was a co-founder of the Aikido of Tamalpais dojo in Corte Madera, California. He also developed the Leonard Energy Training (LET) practice for centering the mind, body, and spirit.[2] Leonard died at his home in Mill Valley, California on January 6, 2010 after a long illness and was survived by his wife and three daughters. He was 86 years old.[3]

Books




The World Health Organization has recognized stress as a worldwide epidemic.
Stress is at the root of much of our physical disease as well as our emotional dis-ease.
Unmanaged stress can influence the onset of heart attacks and strokes, gastro-intestinal
problems, diabetes, insomnia, headaches, and depression, to name a few. Studies show
that four out of five doctor visits in the U.S. are stress related, and U.S. industries spend
over 300 billion dollars a year on stress related costs.
We have become so busy that we have multi-tasked our way right out of the present
moment – and out of our own health and happiness.
While the medical world continues to create and mass-market expensive and risky
pharmaceuticals, and while people search aimlessly – and often unsuccessfully – to
find their own life-plan to counteract the devastating effects of stress, master teacher
Thomas Crum has reached the simplicity on the other side of complexity. The result is
Three Deep Breaths, a deceptively simple and extraordinarily effective technique to
combat stress and emerge as our most powerful and vital selves.
How better to teach this technique than in an entertaining story that can be read in a
short sitting? Thomas Crum uses the popular parable format to tell the tale of Angus,
a harried worker struggling to achieve that ever-elusive work/life balance and to break
through the negative habits that lead to anger, exhaustion, and poor performance. We
follow Angus as he learns to use Three Deep Breaths to turn conflict into opportunity,
pressure into peak performance, and mundane moments into a magical ones.

Man’s Search for Meaning

MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING is a revised and enlarged version of From Death-Camp to Existentialism, which was selected as «Book of the Year» by Colby College, Baker University, Earlham College, Olivet Nazarene College, and St. Mary’sDominican College. Fir…



MAN'S SEARCH FOR MEANING is a revised and enlarged version of From Death-Camp to Existentialism, which was selected as "Book of the Year" by Colby College, Baker University, Earlham College, Olivet Nazarene College, and St. Mary's
Dominican College. First published in Austria in 1946, under the title Ein Psycholog erlebt das Konzentrationslager.


Man's Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imagining that outcome. According to Frankl, the way a prisoner imagined the future affected his longevity. The book intends to answer the question "How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?" Part One constitutes Frankl's analysis of his experiences in the concentration camps, while Part Two introduces his ideas of meaning and his theory called logotherapy.

According to a survey conducted by the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Library of CongressMan's Search For Meaning belongs to a list of "the ten most influential books in the United States."[1] At the time of the author's death in 1997, the book had sold over 10 million copies and had been translated into 24 languages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man's_Search_for_Meaning

Interview with Dr Viktor Frankl about logotherapy and existencialism

Nelson Mandela

Published on Mar 3, 2013

DocuTV – ¿Quién es el hombre detrás de la leyenda? Nelson Mandela es todo un ícono. Un héroe. Un símbolo. Una fuente de inspiración. Pocos líderes mundiales pueden atribuirse la responsabilidad de una verdadera hazaña histórica. En este mundo en continuo desarrollo, la lucha de Gandhi define la primera mitad del siglo XX; la de Mandela la segunda. Su vida estará por siempre entrelazada con la trágica historia de una nación que lucha por su libertad y un continente atormentado por increíbles revueltas durante todo el siglo XX. A los 89 años, Mandela se retira de sus obligaciones oficiales y se dedica de lleno a luchar contra el SIDA. Por ello, ha llegado el momento de dar un paso atrás y mirar a este hombre, su vida y la heroica dimensión de sus logros en perspectiva. Su vida es absolutamente inverosímil; lo lleva desde un remoto pueblo en Transkei hasta la ceremonia del Premio Nobel en Oslo, Noruega. Una vida política excepcional en contraste con una vida personal salpicada por la tragedia y el fracaso. Emprendemos este viaje para revelar al verdadero Nelson Mandela. Desde su humilde comienzo se hace famoso como uno de los hombres más sabios y aclamados de la Tierra.

05 de diciembre de 201315:49 actualizado a las 17:2

Nelson Mandela murió hoy a los 95 años de edad.

La noticia fue confirmada por el mandatario sudafricano Jacob Zuma, quien anunció homenajes para “Madiba” en todo el país y luto nacional.

Muere Nelson Mandela, ex presidente de SudáfricaHaz clic para ver el video en Terra TV Muere Nelson Mandela, ex presidente de Sudáfrica

«Nuestro amado Madiba recibirá un funeral de Estado, he ordenado que todas las banderas ondeen a media asta y que continúen así hasta después del funeral», indicó el presidente Jacob Zuma en un mensaje en vivo.

Mandela, pasó casi tres meses en un hospital de Pretoria después de que fue internado en junio por una infección pulmonar recurrente. El hombre que llegó a convertirse en símbolo de la lucha por la liberación fue dado de alta en septiembre y estuvo recibiendo atención médica en su hogar hasta ahora.

En noviembre pasado la exesposa de Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, dijo que “Madiba” ya no podía hablar, porque tenía tubos que le ayudaban a limpiar sus pulmones, así que utilizaba gestos para comunicarse.

Mandela, considerado sinónimo de paz, lucha y reconciliación, fue el primer presidente (1994-1999) afroamericano de la historia de su país.

Nueva biografía de Mandela llega al Festival de TorontoHaz clic para ver el video en Terra TV Nueva biografía de Mandela llega al Festival de Toronto

Por cariño, muchos africanos se refieren a él como Tata (padre). También le dicen Madiba (nombre del clan al que pertenece) o Dalibhunga (creador o coordinador del diálogo).

La madre de Mandela murió en 1968. Su padre en 1927. De allí en adelante, el pequeño fue trasladado hasta la casa del jefe supremo del poblado, quien lo preparó por los siguientes 10 años para ser un líder.

Por aquellos años fue cuando le vio de verdad la cara a la cruda pobreza. “Caminaba 10 kilómetros hasta el pueblo, por la mañana y por la tarde, para ahorrarme el pasaje del autobús. Muchos días comí solo una vez, y rara vez podía cambiarme de ropa”, señaló el propio Mandela en su autobiografía.

Durante ese tiempo, escuchó decenas de historias ligadas a las guerras de resistencia. Así, nació el sentimiento de la rebeldía que luego puso al servicio de su país.

A los 17 años, ingresó en un internado metodista y luego en la universidad Fort Hare para estudiar artes, pero fue expulsado por participar en protestas contra las injusticias raciales.

Obligado por las circunstancias y para evitar el matrimonio concertado, en 1941 se trasladó a Johannesburgo, donde trabajó como policía y obtuvo el título de artes, por correspondencia.

Al siguiente año, en la universidad de Sudáfrica comienza a estudiar derecho y se unió al Congreso Nacional Africano (CNA), donde lideró la liga juvenil.

Al obtener su segundo título, fundó el primer bufete de abogados regentado por negros en Suráfrica.

Su oposición al gobierno lo llevó a la cárcel en 1952. Fue sentenciado a nueve meses de prisión, aunque la condena no se cumplió, pero se le prohibió participar en las actividades de calle y salir de Johannesburgo.

Ya convertido en uno de los máximos líderes del CNA, en 1956 fue de nuevo arrestado. Él y otros 155 compañeros de lucha fueron juzgados por traición, aunque absueltos en 1961.

La mano dura del gobierno apretó el puño y en 1960 prohibió el CNA, que tuvo que tomar las armas. Mandela pasó a la clandestinidad, mientras el gobierno reprimía con brutalidad.

La situación le obligó a usar disfraces. Vestido de obrero o chofer burló a los espías del régimen. Su evasión le valió el apodo de “Pimpinela negro”.

Se las arregló para salir de Suráfrica sin ser detectado. Visitó Etiopía, Argelia y Londres. En el camino se reencontró con amigos exiliados, además recibió entrenamiento militar.

Al poco tiempo de haber regresado, en 1962, fue arrestado otra vez. Por incitación y por salir ilegalmente del país fue condenado a cinco años de cárcel. Luego, la policía encontró su diario en la sede de la CNA, en el que Mandela explicaba los detalles de los viajes al exterior. Las autoridades lo juzgaron nuevamente por sabotaje. ¿La sentencia?: cadena perpetua.

Incluso, estando tras los barrotes (1962-1990), su influencia era tal que obligó al gobierno blanco de entonces a excarcelarlo para bajar la creciente presión interna y externa que provocaba el encarcelamiento.

La presión nacional e internacional obligó al gobierno a liberarlo en 1990 y reactimir al CNA. El apartheid comenzó su desmoronamiento.

Se dice que el verdadero acontecimiento que forjó el carácter de Nelson Mandela fue el asesinato de Chris Hani, líder del Partido Comunista Sudafricano (SACP, por sus siglas en inglés), a manos de un supremacionista de raza blanca.

Si Mandela hubiera llamado a la insurrección, ésta habría sido imparable. Sin embargo, pidió calma a las enfervorecidas masas para lograr que su proyecto político pudiera culminar de forma pacífica el 27 de abril de 1994, al lograr la victoria en las primeras elecciones libres tras el fin de la segregación racial.

Mandela ha recibido alrededor de 50 doctorados honoris causa por distintas universidades del mundo. Junto a la Madre Teresa de Calcuta, además de Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, ha sido el único extranjero que ha sido distinguido con Bharat Ratna, el premio civil de mayor prestigio de la India en 1958.

Premios y condecoraciones de Mandela

Orden del Águila Azteca (2010)

Arthur Ashe Award (2009)

Embajador de la Conciencia, premio otorgado por Amnistía Internacional (2006)

Llaves de la ciudad (2004)

Premio Nobel de la Paz en 1993

Premio de la Paz de Mahatma Gandhi

Orden de Canadá

Premio Príncipe de Asturias de Cooperación Internacional (1992)

Orden de San Juan

Medalla Presidencial de la Libertad (2002)

Orden al Mérito del Reino Unido (1995)

Isithwalandwe (1992)

Bharat Ratna (1990)

Premio Lenin de la Paz (1990)

Orden Nacional José Martí, Cuba (1992)

Premio Internacional Simón Bolívar (1983)

Premio Nacional de la Paz (1995)

Premio Sájarov (1988)

Escultura en el Palacio de Westminster, Londres (2007)

Orden del Mérito de la FIFA

Doctor Honoris Causa por 8 universidades de la red Laureate International Universities, la Universidad Europea de Madrid, la Universidad Andrés Bello de Chile, la Walden University (Estados Unidos), la Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, la Universidad de Bilgi (Estambul), la Universidad de Carabobo (Venezuela), la Universidad de las Américas, de Ecuador y la Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria4 (Islas Canarias).



Published on Mar 3, 2013

DocuTV - ¿Quién es el hombre detrás de la leyenda? Nelson Mandela es todo un ícono. Un héroe. Un símbolo. Una fuente de inspiración. Pocos líderes mundiales pueden atribuirse la responsabilidad de una verdadera hazaña histórica. En este mundo en continuo desarrollo, la lucha de Gandhi define la primera mitad del siglo XX; la de Mandela la segunda. Su vida estará por siempre entrelazada con la trágica historia de una nación que lucha por su libertad y un continente atormentado por increíbles revueltas durante todo el siglo XX. A los 89 años, Mandela se retira de sus obligaciones oficiales y se dedica de lleno a luchar contra el SIDA. Por ello, ha llegado el momento de dar un paso atrás y mirar a este hombre, su vida y la heroica dimensión de sus logros en perspectiva. Su vida es absolutamente inverosímil; lo lleva desde un remoto pueblo en Transkei hasta la ceremonia del Premio Nobel en Oslo, Noruega. Una vida política excepcional en contraste con una vida personal salpicada por la tragedia y el fracaso. Emprendemos este viaje para revelar al verdadero Nelson Mandela. Desde su humilde comienzo se hace famoso como uno de los hombres más sabios y aclamados de la Tierra.


actualizado a las 17:2

Nelson Mandela murió hoy a los 95 años de edad.


La noticia fue confirmada por el mandatario sudafricano Jacob Zuma, quien anunció homenajes para “Madiba” en todo el país y luto nacional.

Muere Nelson Mandela, ex presidente de SudáfricaHaz clic para ver el video en Terra TV Muere Nelson Mandela, ex presidente de Sudáfrica

"Nuestro amado Madiba recibirá un funeral de Estado, he ordenado que todas las banderas ondeen a media asta y que continúen así hasta después del funeral", indicó el presidente Jacob Zuma en un mensaje en vivo.

Mandela, pasó casi tres meses en un hospital de Pretoria después de que fue internado en junio por una infección pulmonar recurrente. El hombre que llegó a convertirse en símbolo de la lucha por la liberación fue dado de alta en septiembre y estuvo recibiendo atención médica en su hogar hasta ahora.

En noviembre pasado la exesposa de Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, dijo que “Madiba” ya no podía hablar, porque tenía tubos que le ayudaban a limpiar sus pulmones, así que utilizaba gestos para comunicarse.

Mandela, considerado sinónimo de paz, lucha y reconciliación, fue el primer presidente (1994-1999) afroamericano de la historia de su país.

Nueva biografía de Mandela llega al Festival de TorontoHaz clic para ver el video en Terra TV Nueva biografía de Mandela llega al Festival de Toronto

Por cariño, muchos africanos se refieren a él como Tata (padre). También le dicen Madiba (nombre del clan al que pertenece) o Dalibhunga (creador o coordinador del diálogo).

La madre de Mandela murió en 1968. Su padre en 1927. De allí en adelante, el pequeño fue trasladado hasta la casa del jefe supremo del poblado, quien lo preparó por los siguientes 10 años para ser un líder.

Por aquellos años fue cuando le vio de verdad la cara a la cruda pobreza. “Caminaba 10 kilómetros hasta el pueblo, por la mañana y por la tarde, para ahorrarme el pasaje del autobús. Muchos días comí solo una vez, y rara vez podía cambiarme de ropa”, señaló el propio Mandela en su autobiografía.

Durante ese tiempo, escuchó decenas de historias ligadas a las guerras de resistencia. Así, nació el sentimiento de la rebeldía que luego puso al servicio de su país.

A los 17 años, ingresó en un internado metodista y luego en la universidad Fort Hare para estudiar artes, pero fue expulsado por participar en protestas contra las injusticias raciales.

Obligado por las circunstancias y para evitar el matrimonio concertado, en 1941 se trasladó a Johannesburgo, donde trabajó como policía y obtuvo el título de artes, por correspondencia.

Al siguiente año, en la universidad de Sudáfrica comienza a estudiar derecho y se unió al Congreso Nacional Africano (CNA), donde lideró la liga juvenil.

Al obtener su segundo título, fundó el primer bufete de abogados regentado por negros en Suráfrica.

Su oposición al gobierno lo llevó a la cárcel en 1952. Fue sentenciado a nueve meses de prisión, aunque la condena no se cumplió, pero se le prohibió participar en las actividades de calle y salir de Johannesburgo.

Ya convertido en uno de los máximos líderes del CNA, en 1956 fue de nuevo arrestado. Él y otros 155 compañeros de lucha fueron juzgados por traición, aunque absueltos en 1961.

La mano dura del gobierno apretó el puño y en 1960 prohibió el CNA, que tuvo que tomar las armas. Mandela pasó a la clandestinidad, mientras el gobierno reprimía con brutalidad.

La situación le obligó a usar disfraces. Vestido de obrero o chofer burló a los espías del régimen. Su evasión le valió el apodo de “Pimpinela negro”.

Se las arregló para salir de Suráfrica sin ser detectado. Visitó Etiopía, Argelia y Londres. En el camino se reencontró con amigos exiliados, además recibió entrenamiento militar.

Al poco tiempo de haber regresado, en 1962, fue arrestado otra vez. Por incitación y por salir ilegalmente del país fue condenado a cinco años de cárcel. Luego, la policía encontró su diario en la sede de la CNA, en el que Mandela explicaba los detalles de los viajes al exterior. Las autoridades lo juzgaron nuevamente por sabotaje. ¿La sentencia?: cadena perpetua.

Incluso, estando tras los barrotes (1962-1990), su influencia era tal que obligó al gobierno blanco de entonces a excarcelarlo para bajar la creciente presión interna y externa que provocaba el encarcelamiento.

La presión nacional e internacional obligó al gobierno a liberarlo en 1990 y reactimir al CNA. El apartheid comenzó su desmoronamiento.

Se dice que el verdadero acontecimiento que forjó el carácter de Nelson Mandela fue el asesinato de Chris Hani, líder del Partido Comunista Sudafricano (SACP, por sus siglas en inglés), a manos de un supremacionista de raza blanca.

Si Mandela hubiera llamado a la insurrección, ésta habría sido imparable. Sin embargo, pidió calma a las enfervorecidas masas para lograr que su proyecto político pudiera culminar de forma pacífica el 27 de abril de 1994, al lograr la victoria en las primeras elecciones libres tras el fin de la segregación racial.

Mandela ha recibido alrededor de 50 doctorados honoris causa por distintas universidades del mundo. Junto a la Madre Teresa de Calcuta, además de Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, ha sido el único extranjero que ha sido distinguido con Bharat Ratna, el premio civil de mayor prestigio de la India en 1958.

Premios y condecoraciones de Mandela

Orden del Águila Azteca (2010)

Arthur Ashe Award (2009)

Embajador de la Conciencia, premio otorgado por Amnistía Internacional (2006)

Llaves de la ciudad (2004)

Premio Nobel de la Paz en 1993

Premio de la Paz de Mahatma Gandhi

Orden de Canadá

Premio Príncipe de Asturias de Cooperación Internacional (1992)

Orden de San Juan

Medalla Presidencial de la Libertad (2002)

Orden al Mérito del Reino Unido (1995)

Isithwalandwe (1992)

Bharat Ratna (1990)

Premio Lenin de la Paz (1990)

Orden Nacional José Martí, Cuba (1992)

Premio Internacional Simón Bolívar (1983)

Premio Nacional de la Paz (1995)

Premio Sájarov (1988)

Escultura en el Palacio de Westminster, Londres (2007)

Orden del Mérito de la FIFA

Doctor Honoris Causa por 8 universidades de la red Laureate International Universities, la Universidad Europea de Madrid, la Universidad Andrés Bello de Chile, la Walden University (Estados Unidos), la Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, la Universidad de Bilgi (Estambul), la Universidad de Carabobo (Venezuela), la Universidad de las Américas, de Ecuador y la Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria4 (Islas Canarias).

Nueva Suyapa

Honduras.- Su vida ha sido intensa porque nació y creció en la pobreza, casi en la miseria se podría decir. Tiene 14 años y quedó huérfano hace seis meses. Vive en Nueva Suyapa, una de las  comunidades más violentas de Tegucigalpa, pero a pesar de ser un niño solo piensa en trabajar, estudiar y ayudar a sus dos hermanos menores.

Se trata de Cristian Steven Chávez Amador, un niño que para sostener sus estudios y mantener en la escuela a sus dos hermanos: Kevin Orlando de 10 y Emilson Josué de 7 años. Desde que murió su madre en junio pasado, cambió el barrilete y los maúles por una pelota de masa. Su tiempo de diversión ha terminado y ahora se dedica a la elaboración y venta de tortillas.
Lo encontramos atizando el fuego en su rústica cocina construida de pedazos de madera y láminas de zinc, vistiendo camiseta blanca de mangas color gris, calzoneta amarilla y chancletas azules.  Son las 2:45 de la tarde y el adolescente de tez blanca se alista para emprender la faena, el fogón cimentado en piedra y lodo comienza a calentar el comal de hierro donde se coserán las tortillas, a un costado de la burda estufa, el banco de trabajo sostiene una pelota de masa que espera ser procesada.   
A su corta edad el muchacho ya aprendió el oficio de barbería, pero su situación económica no le permite contar con los enseres necesarios para montar su peluquería. “Puedo hacer varios de cortes de pelo, pero para poner mi barbería me hace falta la silla, el espejo, la maquinita, el rociador, una secadora, tijeras, peines y un poco de práctica,” expresó el jovencito, mientras limpia el comal para tirar a cocer la primera tortilla.
Él es muy dinámico y piensa que a través del estudio podrá salir de la pobreza y ayudar a sus parientes. No tiene los recursos suficientes para asistir a diario a un colegio, pero se ha matriculado en un centro de educación a distancia donde con éxito cursa su primer año de secundaria.
images
Con su trabajo costea sus estudios y el de sus hermanos menores //Foto Gernan H. Reyes H.
Cristian asiste a clases todos los sábados de 1:00 a 4:30 de la tarde, mientras que sus hermanos, Kevin  y Emilson, quienes cursan el cuarto y primer grado respectivamente,  lo hacen de lunes a viernes.
“Cuando murió mi madre todo cambió, mi vida ha sido dolorosa, pero ya he aceptado la resignación,  trabajo haciendo tortillas porque en el futuro me veo como un hombre de bien, yo no pienso en vicios ni en novias, quiero seguir estudiando y que mis hermanos lo hagan también”, dijo el muchacho en conversación con Revistazo.
El oficio de las tortillas lo heredó de su madre, Lourdes Yamileth Chávez Amador, a quién ayudaba a voltear tortillas desde los siete años de edad.  “Cuando mi mamá cayó enferma me puse a ayudarle, ella me hacía las pelotas y yo aplastaba. Mi mamá desde pequeña vendía tortillas, mis tías también”, relata el joven, con resentimiento por el abandono de que es víctima de parte de su padre.
Describe a su mamá como una mujer ejemplar, dinámica, alegre, humilde y cariñosa, pero que lastimosamente se fue de este mundo sin haber cumplido sus anhelos. “Quería lo mejor para nosotros, quería comprar materiales y hacer la casa, pero se enfermó y falleció el 17 de junio, pensaba que se iba a aliviar y para comprar las medicinas se había enjaranado, esa deuda la estoy pagando yo con lo que me queda de las tortillas”, dijo, el jovencito, mientras limpia con el revés de su mano derecha, una lágrima que lentamente recorre su mejilla izquierda.
“Cuando alguien me pregunta y hablo de ella me pongo sentimental”, continúo diciendo con la vos entrecortada.
Él, dice sentirse bien, pero al observar donde vive, se nota que sus condiciones no son las más idóneas para una vida digna. En una humilde y estrecha vivienda, reflejo de pobreza en Honduras, vive junto a 9 parientes más, entre hermanos, primos, tíos y tías. Pensando construir una casa para vivir con sus hermanos, con mucho sacrificio Cristian había logrado ahorrar 1,800 lempiras, pero hace algunos meses un hombre que llegó ofreciendo ayuda a nombre de una organización de beneficencia, denominada Manos Solidarias,  lo estafó junto a 34 personas más.
images
Además de hacer tortillas Cristian también sabe el oficio de barbería, pero por falta de dinero no puedo comprar las herramientas de trabajo. //Foto Gernan H. Reyes H.

Para ganarse 200 lempiras, Cristian debe hacer y vender todos los días un total de 900 tortillas. Su ingreso bruto de producción es de 360, pero a esa cantidad  se le debe restar la inversión en maíz, leña y pago en el molino por hacer la masa.

El muchacho es muy querido en su comunidad. No obstante el apoyo que le brindan sus tías, “Olga y Tata”,  es vital para que se mantenga activo y haciendo el bien en una comunidad de riesgo social. No cree en la demagogia de los políticos y asegura que aprovechará cualquier oportunidad que se le presente para instalar su barbería. Él quiere enseñar a trabajar a sus hermanos para evitar que sean absorbidos por el ambiente que los rodea.

Honduras.- Su vida ha sido intensa porque nació y creció en la pobreza, casi en la miseria se podría decir. Tiene 14 años y quedó huérfano hace seis meses. Vive en Nueva Suyapa, una de las  comunidades más violentas de Tegucigalpa, pero a pesar de ser un niño solo piensa en trabajar, estudiar y ayudar a sus dos hermanos menores.

Se trata de Cristian Steven Chávez Amador, un niño que para sostener sus estudios y mantener en la escuela a sus dos hermanos: Kevin Orlando de 10 y Emilson Josué de 7 años. Desde que murió su madre en junio pasado, cambió el barrilete y los maúles por una pelota de masa. Su tiempo de diversión ha terminado y ahora se dedica a la elaboración y venta de tortillas.
Lo encontramos atizando el fuego en su rústica cocina construida de pedazos de madera y láminas de zinc, vistiendo camiseta blanca de mangas color gris, calzoneta amarilla y chancletas azules.  Son las 2:45 de la tarde y el adolescente de tez blanca se alista para emprender la faena, el fogón cimentado en piedra y lodo comienza a calentar el comal de hierro donde se coserán las tortillas, a un costado de la burda estufa, el banco de trabajo sostiene una pelota de masa que espera ser procesada.   

A su corta edad el muchacho ya aprendió el oficio de barbería, pero su situación económica no le permite contar con los enseres necesarios para montar su peluquería. “Puedo hacer varios de cortes de pelo, pero para poner mi barbería me hace falta la silla, el espejo, la maquinita, el rociador, una secadora, tijeras, peines y un poco de práctica,” expresó el jovencito, mientras limpia el comal para tirar a cocer la primera tortilla.

Él es muy dinámico y piensa que a través del estudio podrá salir de la pobreza y ayudar a sus parientes. No tiene los recursos suficientes para asistir a diario a un colegio, pero se ha matriculado en un centro de educación a distancia donde con éxito cursa su primer año de secundaria.
images
Con su trabajo costea sus estudios y el de sus hermanos menores //Foto Gernan H. Reyes H.
Cristian asiste a clases todos los sábados de 1:00 a 4:30 de la tarde, mientras que sus hermanos, Kevin  y Emilson, quienes cursan el cuarto y primer grado respectivamente,  lo hacen de lunes a viernes.

“Cuando murió mi madre todo cambió, mi vida ha sido dolorosa, pero ya he aceptado la resignación,  trabajo haciendo tortillas porque en el futuro me veo como un hombre de bien, yo no pienso en vicios ni en novias, quiero seguir estudiando y que mis hermanos lo hagan también”, dijo el muchacho en conversación con Revistazo.

El oficio de las tortillas lo heredó de su madre, Lourdes Yamileth Chávez Amador, a quién ayudaba a voltear tortillas desde los siete años de edad.  “Cuando mi mamá cayó enferma me puse a ayudarle, ella me hacía las pelotas y yo aplastaba. Mi mamá desde pequeña vendía tortillas, mis tías también”, relata el joven, con resentimiento por el abandono de que es víctima de parte de su padre.

Describe a su mamá como una mujer ejemplar, dinámica, alegre, humilde y cariñosa, pero que lastimosamente se fue de este mundo sin haber cumplido sus anhelos. “Quería lo mejor para nosotros, quería comprar materiales y hacer la casa, pero se enfermó y falleció el 17 de junio, pensaba que se iba a aliviar y para comprar las medicinas se había enjaranado, esa deuda la estoy pagando yo con lo que me queda de las tortillas”, dijo, el jovencito, mientras limpia con el revés de su mano derecha, una lágrima que lentamente recorre su mejilla izquierda.
“Cuando alguien me pregunta y hablo de ella me pongo sentimental”, continúo diciendo con la vos entrecortada.
Él, dice sentirse bien, pero al observar donde vive, se nota que sus condiciones no son las más idóneas para una vida digna. En una humilde y estrecha vivienda, reflejo de pobreza en Honduras, vive junto a 9 parientes más, entre hermanos, primos, tíos y tías. Pensando construir una casa para vivir con sus hermanos, con mucho sacrificio Cristian había logrado ahorrar 1,800 lempiras, pero hace algunos meses un hombre que llegó ofreciendo ayuda a nombre de una organización de beneficencia, denominada Manos Solidarias,  lo estafó junto a 34 personas más.
images
Además de hacer tortillas Cristian también sabe el oficio de barbería, pero por falta de dinero no puedo comprar las herramientas de trabajo. //Foto Gernan H. Reyes H.
Para ganarse 200 lempiras, Cristian debe hacer y vender todos los días un total de 900 tortillas. Su ingreso bruto de producción es de 360, pero a esa cantidad  se le debe restar la inversión en maíz, leña y pago en el molino por hacer la masa.

El muchacho es muy querido en su comunidad. No obstante el apoyo que le brindan sus tías, “Olga y Tata”,  es vital para que se mantenga activo y haciendo el bien en una comunidad de riesgo social. No cree en la demagogia de los políticos y asegura que aprovechará cualquier oportunidad que se le presente para instalar su barbería. Él quiere enseñar a trabajar a sus hermanos para evitar que sean absorbidos por el ambiente que los rodea.

The Bible on suffering

Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Bart Ehrman debate the topic: Does the Bible Provide an Adequate Answer to the Problem of Suffering? at Ohio State University on April 15, 2010.



Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Bart Ehrman debate the topic: Does the Bible Provide an Adequate Answer to the Problem of Suffering? at Ohio State University on April 15, 2010.

El amor y la tolerancia

Un chango vivía en un árbol junto al rió. Cuando era pequeño se había caído al rió y casi se ahogaba. Las aguas del río eran muy limpias y el chango podía ver claramente a los peces que nadaban en el río y se angustiaba mucho. Como el chango era bueno un día decidió vencer su miedo y salvar por lo menos a un pez. Bajo al río y de un manotazo saco a un pez del agua y rápidamente subió de regreso a la seguridad de su árbol, muy feliz de haber echo algo bueno. Mientras el pez agonizaba en la orilla.

Un chango vivía en un árbol junto al rió. Cuando era pequeño se había caído al rió y casi se ahogaba. Las aguas del río eran muy limpias y el chango podía ver claramente a los peces que nadaban en el río y se angustiaba mucho. Como el chango era bueno un día decidió vencer su miedo y salvar por lo menos a un pez. Bajo al río y de un manotazo saco a un pez del agua y rápidamente subió de regreso a la seguridad de su árbol, muy feliz de haber echo algo bueno. Mientras el pez agonizaba en la orilla.

Nee-Me-Poo

Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before I have in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Tu-hul-hul-sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led the young men [Ollokot] is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food; no one knows where they are – perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.

Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt

The first documented contact between the Nee-Me-Poo and white men occurred in 1805-6, when the Meriwether Lewis and William Clark army expedition to the Pacific passed through their lands, received assistance from them, and collected initial information about them. Subsequent exploring parties, principally those of the establishing fur companies, provided additional data. Early French-Canadian observers called the Nee-Me-Poo «Nez Perces» (pronounced in French «Nay-pair-SAY,» but later anglicized to today’s «Nez Purse»), in actuality a term prescribed for numerous groups who pierced their noses with dentalium shells. And although the Nee-Me-Poo apparently never practiced this custom extensively, they nonetheless retained the name. A brave, intelligent, and spiritual people, they had occupied their home territory for millennia, with archeological evidence reaching back for as many as thirteen thousand years. In their traditions, the people believe that they have been here since the time the world was first populated. They lived in several modes of housing, notably rush mat lodges, pine-board structures, and large semi-subterranean bark-covered dwellings, all capable of accommodating several families. Linguistically, the Nee-Me-Poo were of the Penutian language group and spoke a Sahaptian dialect, as did neighboring tribes of the Columbia Plateau. Like the mostly sedentary groups to the west, the Nee-Me-Poo traditionally subsisted on salmon, but they also hunted game in the forests and prairies and consumed local berries, roots, and tubers, especially relishing those of the camas and kouse plants.

Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, popularly known as Chief Joseph, or Young Joseph (March 3, 1840 – September 21, 1904) was the leader of the Wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of Nez Perce during General Oliver O. Howard‘s attempt to forcibly remove his band and the other «non-treaty» Nez Perce to a reservation in Idaho. For his principled resistance to the removal, he became renowned as a humanitarian and peacemaker.


The non-treaty Nez Perce suffered many injustices at the hands of settlers and prospectors, but out of fear of reprisal from the militarily superior Americans, Joseph never allowed any violence against them, instead making many concessions to them in hopes of securing peace.
In 1873, Joseph negotiated with the federal government to ensure his people could stay on their land in the Wallowa Valley. But in 1877, the government reversed its policy, and Army General Oliver Howard threatened to attack if the Wallowa band did not relocate to the Idaho Reservation with the other Nez Perce. Joseph reluctantly agreed. General Howard held a council to try to convince Joseph and his people to relocate. Joseph finished his address to the General, which focused on human equality, by expressing his «[disbelief that] the Great Spirit Chief gave one kind of men the right to tell another kind of men what they must do.» Howard reacted angrily, interpreting the statement as a challenge to his authority. When Toohoolhoolzote protested, he was jailed for five days.

Returning home, Joseph called a council among his people. At the council, he spoke on behalf of peace, preferring to abandon his father’s grave over war. Toohoolhoolzote, insulted by his incarceration, advocated war. The Wallowa band began making preparations for the long journey, meeting first with other bands at Rocky Canyon. At this council too, many leaders urged war, while Joseph argued in favor of peace. While the council was underway, a young man whose father had been killed rode up and announced that he and several other young men had already killed four white settlers. Still hoping to avoid further bloodshed, Joseph and other non-treaty Nez Perce leaders began moving people away from Idaho.

With 2,000 U.S. soldiers in pursuit, over 800 Nez Perce went north in an attempt to reach Canada. For over three months, the Nez Perce outmaneuvered and battled their pursuers traveling 1,170 miles (1,900 km) across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. General Howard was impressed with the skill with which the Nez Perce fought, using advance and rear guards, skirmish lines, and field fortifications. Finally, after a devastating five-day battle during freezing weather conditions with no food or blankets, with the major war leaders dead, Joseph formally surrendered to General Nelson Appleton Miles on October 5, 1877 in the Bear Paw Mountains of the Montana Territory, less than 40 miles (60 km) south of Canada in a place close to the present-day Chinook in Blaine County. The battle is remembered in popular history by the words attributed to Joseph at the formal surrender:

Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Too-hul-hul-sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are—perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.[8]

The popular legend deflated, however, when the original pencil draft of the report was revealed to show the handwriting of the later poet and lawyer Lieutenant Charles Erskine Scott Wood, who claimed to have taken down the great chief’s words on the spot. In the margin it read, «Here insert Joseph’s reply to the demand for surrender»[9][10] Although Joseph was not technically a war chief and probably did not command the retreat, many of the chiefs who did had died.

Colonel Miles left Fort Keogh on September 18 with a force of 520 soldiers, civilian employees, and scouts, including about 30 Indian scouts, mostly Cheyenne but with a few Lakota (Teton Sioux).[14] Some of the Indian scouts had fought against Custer in the Battle of the Little Big Horn only 15 months earlier, but had subsequently surrendered to Miles.[15]

Miles was anxious to get involved in the pursuit of the Nez Perce and marched expeditiously north-west. He hoped to find the Nez Perce south of the Missouri River. His first destination was the mouth of the Musselshell River and from there he planned to move up the south bank of the Missouri. At the Missouri, Miles was joined by scout Luther “Yellowstone” Kelly. On September 25, Miles received a dispatch informing him of the Cow Creek fight and that the Nez Perce had crossed the Missouri going north. He changed his plans, crossed the Missouri, and headed toward the northern side of the Bear Paw Mountains passing the east side of the Little Rocky Mountains. Miles made every effort to keep his presence unknown to the Nez Perce whom be believed were only a few miles to his west. [16]

On September 29, several inches of snow fell. That day, Miles’ Cheyenne scouts found the trail of the Nez Perce and a few soldiers and civilian scouts had a skirmish with Nez Perce warriors. The next morning the Cheyenne found the Nez Perce encampment on Snake Creek north of the Bear Paw mountains. Miles soldiers advanced toward it.[17]

That same day, scouts reported to the Nez Perce leaders the presence of a large number of people to their east. Most of their leaders wished to continue quickly on toward Canada, but Looking Glass prevailed. The people seen, he said, must be other Indians. Assiniboine and Gros Ventre were known to be hunting in the area. Consequently, the Nez Perce went into camp on Snake Creek only 42 miles (70km) from Canada and slowly the next morning, September 30, prepared to continue their journey.[18]

Miles hurried his attack on the Nez Perce camp for fear that the Indians would escape. At 9:15 a.m, while still about six miles from the camp, he deployed his cavalry at a trot, organized as follows: the 30 Cheyenne and Lakota scouts led the way, followed by the 2nd cavalry battalion consisting of about 160 soldiers. The 2nd cavalry was ordered to charge into into the Nez Perce camp. The 7th cavalry battalion of 110 soldiers followed the 2nd as support and to follow the 2nd on the charge into the camp. The 5th Infantry (mounted on horses) of about 145 soldiers followed as a reserve with a Hotchkiss gun and the pack train. Miles rode with the 7th cavalry.[19]

Miles was following a tried and true tactic of the U.S. army in fighting Plains Indians: attack a village suddenly and “shock and demoralize all the camp occupants – men, women, and children, both young and old – before they could respond effectively to counter the blow.” [20] However, the Nez Perce were warned by scouts of the approach of the soldiers a few minutes in advance. They were scattered, some gathering up the horse herd, west of the encampment, others packing to leave. Some men quickly gathered to defend the encampment while 50 to 60 warriors and many women and children rushed out of the village to attempt an escape to the north and Canada.[21]

Miles’ plan fell apart quickly. Rather than attacking the camp, the Cheyenne scouts veered to the left toward the horse herd and the 2nd Cavalry, commanded by Captain George L. Tyler, followed them. The Cheyenne and Tyler captured most of the horse herd of the Nez Perce and cut off from the village about seventy men, including Chief Joseph, plus women and children. Joseph told his 14 year old daughter to catch a horse and join the others in a flight toward Canada. Joseph, unarmed, then mounted a horse and rode through a ring of soldiers back into the camp, several bullets cutting his clothing and wounding his horse.[22]

Tyler’s detour to the horse herd eliminated him from the van of the advancing soldiers and the main battle. He detached one company to chase the Nez Perce heading toward Canada. The company pursued the Nez Perce about five miles and then retreated as the Nez Perce organized a counter-attack. Once the women and children were safely out of reach of the soldiers some of the Nez Perce warriors came back to join their main force.

While the Cheyenne, Tyler, and the 2nd Cavalry were chasing horses, the 7th Cavalry, under Captain Owen Hale, followed Miles’ plan by continuing a rapid advance on the village. As they approached, a group of Nez Perce rose up from a coulee and opened fire, killing and wounding several soldiers. The soldiers fell back. Miles ordered two of the three companies in the 7th cavalry to dismount and quickly brought up the mounted infantry, the 5th, to join them in the firing line. Company K meanwhile had become separated from the main force and was also taking casualties. By 3 p.m. Miles had his entire force organized and on the battlefield and he occupied the higher ground. The Nez Perce were surrounded and had lost all their horses. Miles ordered a charge on the Nez Perce positions with the 7th Cavalry and one company of the infantry, but it was beaten back with heavy casualties.

At nightfall on September 30, Miles’ casualties amounted to 18 dead and 48 wounded, including two wounded Indian scouts. The 7th Cavalry took the heaviest losses. Its 110 men suffered 16 dead and 29 wounded, two of them mortally. The Nez Perce had 22 men killed, including three leaders: Joseph’s brother Ollokot, Toohoolhoolzote, and Poker Joe – the last killed by a Nez Perce sharpshooter who mistook him for a Cheyenne.[23] Several Nez Perce women and children had also been killed.

Miles said of the battle that «The fight was the most fierce of any Indian engagement I have ever been in….The whole Nez Perce movement is unequalled in the history of Indian warfare.»[24]

During the cold and snowy night following the battle both the Nez Perce and the soldiers fortified their positions. Some Nez Perce crept out between the lines to collect ammunition from wounded and dead soldiers. [25] The Nez Perce dug large and deep shelter pits for women and children and rifle pits for the warriors covering all approaches to their camp which was a square about 250 yards (220 mts) on each side. About 100 warriors manned the defenses, each armed with three guns including a repeating rifle.[26] In the words of a soldier: “to charge them would be madness.[27]

Miles greatest fear – and the Nez Perce’s greatest hope – was that Sitting Bull might send Lakota warriors south from Canada to rescue the Nez Perce. The next morning, the soldiers saw what they thought were mounted columns of Indians on the horizon, but they turned out to be herds of bison. Looking Glass was killed at some point during the siege, when he thought he saw an approaching Lakota and raised his head above a rock to see better and was hit and killed instantly by a sniper’s bullet. [28]

The Cheyenne scouts may have initiated negotiations. Three of them rode into the Nez Perce fortifications and proposed talks with Miles. When Miles agreed, Chief Joseph and five other Nez Perce, including Tom Hill, of mixed Nez Perce\Delaware heritage who acted as interpreter. Soldiers and warriors collected the bodies of their dead during the truce. When the negotiations were unsuccessful, Miles apparently took Joseph prisoner. According to a Nez Perce warrior, Yellow Wolf, “Joseph was hobbled hands and feet” and rolled up in a blanket.[29] Miles’ violation of the truce, however, was checkmated by the Nez Perce. A young lieutenant named Lovell H. Jerome wandered “through his own folly” into the Nez Perce camp during the truce. The Nez Perce took Jerome hostage and the next day, October 2, an exchange of Chief Joseph for Jerome was carried out.[30]

On October 3, the soldiers opened fire again with a 12-pounder Napoleon gun which did little damage to the dug-in Nez Perce although one woman and one small girl were killed when a shell hit a shelter pit. On October 4, in the evening, General Howard with an escort arrived at the battlefield. Howard generously allowed Miles to retain tactical control of the siege.[31]

Meanwhile, the Nez Perce were divided on the subject of surrender, Joseph apparently in favor while White Bird, the one other surviving leader, opposed surrender and favored a break-out through the army’s lines and a dash toward Canada. Joseph later said, “We could have escaped from Bear Paw Mountain if we had left our wounded, old women, and children behind. We were unwilling to do this. We had never heard of a wounded Indian recovering while in the hands of white men.”[32]

In 1879 Chief Joseph went to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Rutherford B. Hayes and plead the case of his people. In 1885, Chief Joseph and his followers were allowed to return to the Pacific Northwest. Some of the Nez Perce were allowed to settle on the Nez Perce reservation around Kooskia, Idaho, but Joseph and others were taken to the Colville Indian Reservation far from both the rest of their people in Idaho and their homeland in the Wallowa Valley.

Colonel Nelson A. Miles gained the most benefit from his participation in the Nez Perce War. His success at Bear’s Paw boosted his stock among the leading Indian-fighting officers of the army. In 1880, Miles won the rank of brigadier general commanding the Department of the Columbia, succeeding Howard in this assignment. Five years later, he took command of the Department of the Missouri, headquartered at Fort Leavenworth. In 1886, he supplanted General Crook in the campaign against the Chiricahua Apaches, finally forcing Geronimo’s surrender. When Crook died in 1890, Miles moved to Chicago to command the Division of the Missouri, and in 1895, based on seniority, he became Commanding General of the Army. Yet Miles’s astounding lack of strategic vision about how the army should change as it assumed new responsibilities in the world during and following the Spanish-American War, as well as his obstinate and increasingly outspoken disposition, rendered him expendable, and he retired in 1903. Largely forgotten in the years that followed, he collapsed and died in 1925, while attending a circus with his grandchildren in Washington, D.C.

Decades later, many Nez Perce men and women related their experiences with the army in 1877, adding significantly to the knowledge, but also to the perspective, of that history. Among them were Wottolen, the tribal historian (who lived to age 109), Two Moon, White Hawk, and Peopeo Tholekt, all participants in the battles and skirmishes. Over the course of almost three decades, Yellow Wolf, who as a young warrior had lived through the events, gave data to historian Lucullus V. McWhorter and accompanied him several times to the sites of the actions, including Big Hole and Bear’s Paw. His reminiscences comprise a vital body of information essential to understanding the course of the struggle from Camas Prairie through Bear’s Paw, Canada, the Indian Territory, and after. Yellow Wolf died at the Colville Reservation in 1935.[20]

The last Nez Perce survivor of the odyssey was Josiah Red Wolf, who had been but a child when the war took place. He passed away on March 23, 1971, at age ninety-nine.

NEZ PERCE SUMMER, 1877
The U.S. Army and the Nee-Me-Poo Crisis

Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before I have in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Tu-hul-hul-sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led the young men [Ollokot] is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food; no one knows where they are – perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.

Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt


The first documented contact between the Nee-Me-Poo and white men occurred in 1805-6, when the Meriwether Lewis and William Clark army expedition to the Pacific passed through their lands, received assistance from them, and collected initial information about them. Subsequent exploring parties, principally those of the establishing fur companies, provided additional data. Early French-Canadian observers called the Nee-Me-Poo "Nez Perces" (pronounced in French "Nay-pair-SAY," but later anglicized to today's "Nez Purse"), in actuality a term prescribed for numerous groups who pierced their noses with dentalium shells. And although the Nee-Me-Poo apparently never practiced this custom extensively, they nonetheless retained the name. A brave, intelligent, and spiritual people, they had occupied their home territory for millennia, with archeological evidence reaching back for as many as thirteen thousand years. In their traditions, the people believe that they have been here since the time the world was first populated. They lived in several modes of housing, notably rush mat lodges, pine-board structures, and large semi-subterranean bark-covered dwellings, all capable of accommodating several families. Linguistically, the Nee-Me-Poo were of the Penutian language group and spoke a Sahaptian dialect, as did neighboring tribes of the Columbia Plateau. Like the mostly sedentary groups to the west, the Nee-Me-Poo traditionally subsisted on salmon, but they also hunted game in the forests and prairies and consumed local berries, roots, and tubers, especially relishing those of the camas and kouse plants.


Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, popularly known as Chief Joseph, or Young Joseph (March 3, 1840 – September 21, 1904) was the leader of the Wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of Nez Perce during General Oliver O. Howard's attempt to forcibly remove his band and the other "non-treaty" Nez Perce to a reservation in Idaho. For his principled resistance to the removal, he became renowned as a humanitarian and peacemaker.




The non-treaty Nez Perce suffered many injustices at the hands of settlers and prospectors, but out of fear of reprisal from the militarily superior Americans, Joseph never allowed any violence against them, instead making many concessions to them in hopes of securing peace.
In 1873, Joseph negotiated with the federal government to ensure his people could stay on their land in the Wallowa Valley. But in 1877, the government reversed its policy, and Army General Oliver Howard threatened to attack if the Wallowa band did not relocate to the Idaho Reservation with the other Nez Perce. Joseph reluctantly agreed. General Howard held a council to try to convince Joseph and his people to relocate. Joseph finished his address to the General, which focused on human equality, by expressing his "[disbelief that] the Great Spirit Chief gave one kind of men the right to tell another kind of men what they must do." Howard reacted angrily, interpreting the statement as a challenge to his authority. When Toohoolhoolzote protested, he was jailed for five days.

Returning home, Joseph called a council among his people. At the council, he spoke on behalf of peace, preferring to abandon his father's grave over war. Toohoolhoolzote, insulted by his incarceration, advocated war. The Wallowa band began making preparations for the long journey, meeting first with other bands at Rocky Canyon. At this council too, many leaders urged war, while Joseph argued in favor of peace. While the council was underway, a young man whose father had been killed rode up and announced that he and several other young men had already killed four white settlers. Still hoping to avoid further bloodshed, Joseph and other non-treaty Nez Perce leaders began moving people away from Idaho.

With 2,000 U.S. soldiers in pursuit, over 800 Nez Perce went north in an attempt to reach Canada. For over three months, the Nez Perce outmaneuvered and battled their pursuers traveling 1,170 miles (1,900 km) across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. General Howard was impressed with the skill with which the Nez Perce fought, using advance and rear guards, skirmish lines, and field fortifications. Finally, after a devastating five-day battle during freezing weather conditions with no food or blankets, with the major war leaders dead, Joseph formally surrendered to General Nelson Appleton Miles on October 5, 1877 in the Bear Paw Mountains of the Montana Territory, less than 40 miles (60 km) south of Canada in a place close to the present-day Chinook in Blaine County. The battle is remembered in popular history by the words attributed to Joseph at the formal surrender:
Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Too-hul-hul-sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are—perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.[8]
The popular legend deflated, however, when the original pencil draft of the report was revealed to show the handwriting of the later poet and lawyer Lieutenant Charles Erskine Scott Wood, who claimed to have taken down the great chief's words on the spot. In the margin it read, "Here insert Joseph's reply to the demand for surrender"[9][10] Although Joseph was not technically a war chief and probably did not command the retreat, many of the chiefs who did had died.

Colonel Miles left Fort Keogh on September 18 with a force of 520 soldiers, civilian employees, and scouts, including about 30 Indian scouts, mostly Cheyenne but with a few Lakota (Teton Sioux).[14] Some of the Indian scouts had fought against Custer in the Battle of the Little Big Horn only 15 months earlier, but had subsequently surrendered to Miles.[15]

Miles was anxious to get involved in the pursuit of the Nez Perce and marched expeditiously north-west. He hoped to find the Nez Perce south of the Missouri River. His first destination was the mouth of the Musselshell River and from there he planned to move up the south bank of the Missouri. At the Missouri, Miles was joined by scout Luther “Yellowstone” Kelly. On September 25, Miles received a dispatch informing him of the Cow Creek fight and that the Nez Perce had crossed the Missouri going north. He changed his plans, crossed the Missouri, and headed toward the northern side of the Bear Paw Mountains passing the east side of the Little Rocky Mountains. Miles made every effort to keep his presence unknown to the Nez Perce whom be believed were only a few miles to his west. [16]

On September 29, several inches of snow fell. That day, Miles’ Cheyenne scouts found the trail of the Nez Perce and a few soldiers and civilian scouts had a skirmish with Nez Perce warriors. The next morning the Cheyenne found the Nez Perce encampment on Snake Creek north of the Bear Paw mountains. Miles soldiers advanced toward it.[17]

That same day, scouts reported to the Nez Perce leaders the presence of a large number of people to their east. Most of their leaders wished to continue quickly on toward Canada, but Looking Glass prevailed. The people seen, he said, must be other Indians. Assiniboine and Gros Ventre were known to be hunting in the area. Consequently, the Nez Perce went into camp on Snake Creek only 42 miles (70km) from Canada and slowly the next morning, September 30, prepared to continue their journey.[18]

Miles hurried his attack on the Nez Perce camp for fear that the Indians would escape. At 9:15 a.m, while still about six miles from the camp, he deployed his cavalry at a trot, organized as follows: the 30 Cheyenne and Lakota scouts led the way, followed by the 2nd cavalry battalion consisting of about 160 soldiers. The 2nd cavalry was ordered to charge into into the Nez Perce camp. The 7th cavalry battalion of 110 soldiers followed the 2nd as support and to follow the 2nd on the charge into the camp. The 5th Infantry (mounted on horses) of about 145 soldiers followed as a reserve with a Hotchkiss gun and the pack train. Miles rode with the 7th cavalry.[19]

Miles was following a tried and true tactic of the U.S. army in fighting Plains Indians: attack a village suddenly and “shock and demoralize all the camp occupants – men, women, and children, both young and old – before they could respond effectively to counter the blow.” [20] However, the Nez Perce were warned by scouts of the approach of the soldiers a few minutes in advance. They were scattered, some gathering up the horse herd, west of the encampment, others packing to leave. Some men quickly gathered to defend the encampment while 50 to 60 warriors and many women and children rushed out of the village to attempt an escape to the north and Canada.[21]

Miles’ plan fell apart quickly. Rather than attacking the camp, the Cheyenne scouts veered to the left toward the horse herd and the 2nd Cavalry, commanded by Captain George L. Tyler, followed them. The Cheyenne and Tyler captured most of the horse herd of the Nez Perce and cut off from the village about seventy men, including Chief Joseph, plus women and children. Joseph told his 14 year old daughter to catch a horse and join the others in a flight toward Canada. Joseph, unarmed, then mounted a horse and rode through a ring of soldiers back into the camp, several bullets cutting his clothing and wounding his horse.[22]

Tyler’s detour to the horse herd eliminated him from the van of the advancing soldiers and the main battle. He detached one company to chase the Nez Perce heading toward Canada. The company pursued the Nez Perce about five miles and then retreated as the Nez Perce organized a counter-attack. Once the women and children were safely out of reach of the soldiers some of the Nez Perce warriors came back to join their main force.

While the Cheyenne, Tyler, and the 2nd Cavalry were chasing horses, the 7th Cavalry, under Captain Owen Hale, followed Miles’ plan by continuing a rapid advance on the village. As they approached, a group of Nez Perce rose up from a coulee and opened fire, killing and wounding several soldiers. The soldiers fell back. Miles ordered two of the three companies in the 7th cavalry to dismount and quickly brought up the mounted infantry, the 5th, to join them in the firing line. Company K meanwhile had become separated from the main force and was also taking casualties. By 3 p.m. Miles had his entire force organized and on the battlefield and he occupied the higher ground. The Nez Perce were surrounded and had lost all their horses. Miles ordered a charge on the Nez Perce positions with the 7th Cavalry and one company of the infantry, but it was beaten back with heavy casualties.

At nightfall on September 30, Miles’ casualties amounted to 18 dead and 48 wounded, including two wounded Indian scouts. The 7th Cavalry took the heaviest losses. Its 110 men suffered 16 dead and 29 wounded, two of them mortally. The Nez Perce had 22 men killed, including three leaders: Joseph’s brother Ollokot, Toohoolhoolzote, and Poker Joe – the last killed by a Nez Perce sharpshooter who mistook him for a Cheyenne.[23] Several Nez Perce women and children had also been killed.

Miles said of the battle that "The fight was the most fierce of any Indian engagement I have ever been in....The whole Nez Perce movement is unequalled in the history of Indian warfare."[24]

During the cold and snowy night following the battle both the Nez Perce and the soldiers fortified their positions. Some Nez Perce crept out between the lines to collect ammunition from wounded and dead soldiers. [25] The Nez Perce dug large and deep shelter pits for women and children and rifle pits for the warriors covering all approaches to their camp which was a square about 250 yards (220 mts) on each side. About 100 warriors manned the defenses, each armed with three guns including a repeating rifle.[26] In the words of a soldier: “to charge them would be madness.[27]

Miles greatest fear – and the Nez Perce’s greatest hope – was that Sitting Bull might send Lakota warriors south from Canada to rescue the Nez Perce. The next morning, the soldiers saw what they thought were mounted columns of Indians on the horizon, but they turned out to be herds of bison. Looking Glass was killed at some point during the siege, when he thought he saw an approaching Lakota and raised his head above a rock to see better and was hit and killed instantly by a sniper’s bullet. [28]

The Cheyenne scouts may have initiated negotiations. Three of them rode into the Nez Perce fortifications and proposed talks with Miles. When Miles agreed, Chief Joseph and five other Nez Perce, including Tom Hill, of mixed Nez Perce\Delaware heritage who acted as interpreter. Soldiers and warriors collected the bodies of their dead during the truce. When the negotiations were unsuccessful, Miles apparently took Joseph prisoner. According to a Nez Perce warrior, Yellow Wolf, “Joseph was hobbled hands and feet” and rolled up in a blanket.[29] Miles’ violation of the truce, however, was checkmated by the Nez Perce. A young lieutenant named Lovell H. Jerome wandered “through his own folly” into the Nez Perce camp during the truce. The Nez Perce took Jerome hostage and the next day, October 2, an exchange of Chief Joseph for Jerome was carried out.[30]

On October 3, the soldiers opened fire again with a 12-pounder Napoleon gun which did little damage to the dug-in Nez Perce although one woman and one small girl were killed when a shell hit a shelter pit. On October 4, in the evening, General Howard with an escort arrived at the battlefield. Howard generously allowed Miles to retain tactical control of the siege.[31]

Meanwhile, the Nez Perce were divided on the subject of surrender, Joseph apparently in favor while White Bird, the one other surviving leader, opposed surrender and favored a break-out through the army’s lines and a dash toward Canada. Joseph later said, “We could have escaped from Bear Paw Mountain if we had left our wounded, old women, and children behind. We were unwilling to do this. We had never heard of a wounded Indian recovering while in the hands of white men.”[32]


In 1879 Chief Joseph went to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Rutherford B. Hayes and plead the case of his people. In 1885, Chief Joseph and his followers were allowed to return to the Pacific Northwest. Some of the Nez Perce were allowed to settle on the Nez Perce reservation around Kooskia, Idaho, but Joseph and others were taken to the Colville Indian Reservation far from both the rest of their people in Idaho and their homeland in the Wallowa Valley.

Colonel Nelson A. Miles gained the most benefit from his participation in the Nez Perce War. His success at Bear's Paw boosted his stock among the leading Indian-fighting officers of the army. In 1880, Miles won the rank of brigadier general commanding the Department of the Columbia, succeeding Howard in this assignment. Five years later, he took command of the Department of the Missouri, headquartered at Fort Leavenworth. In 1886, he supplanted General Crook in the campaign against the Chiricahua Apaches, finally forcing Geronimo's surrender. When Crook died in 1890, Miles moved to Chicago to command the Division of the Missouri, and in 1895, based on seniority, he became Commanding General of the Army. Yet Miles's astounding lack of strategic vision about how the army should change as it assumed new responsibilities in the world during and following the Spanish-American War, as well as his obstinate and increasingly outspoken disposition, rendered him expendable, and he retired in 1903. Largely forgotten in the years that followed, he collapsed and died in 1925, while attending a circus with his grandchildren in Washington, D.C.

Decades later, many Nez Perce men and women related their experiences with the army in 1877, adding significantly to the knowledge, but also to the perspective, of that history. Among them were Wottolen, the tribal historian (who lived to age 109), Two Moon, White Hawk, and Peopeo Tholekt, all participants in the battles and skirmishes. Over the course of almost three decades, Yellow Wolf, who as a young warrior had lived through the events, gave data to historian Lucullus V. McWhorter and accompanied him several times to the sites of the actions, including Big Hole and Bear's Paw. His reminiscences comprise a vital body of information essential to understanding the course of the struggle from Camas Prairie through Bear's Paw, Canada, the Indian Territory, and after. Yellow Wolf died at the Colville Reservation in 1935.[20]

The last Nez Perce survivor of the odyssey was Josiah Red Wolf, who had been but a child when the war took place. He passed away on March 23, 1971, at age ninety-nine.

NEZ PERCE SUMMER, 1877
The U.S. Army and the Nee-Me-Poo Crisis

420 (cannabis culture)

420, 4:20, or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) is a code-term used primarily in North America that refers to the consumption of cannabis and by extension, as a way to identify oneself with cannabis subculture or simply cannabis itself. Observances based on the number 420 include smoking cannabis around the time 4:20 p.m. (with some sources also indicating 4:20 a.m.[1][2]), on any given day, as well as smoking cannabis on the date April 20 (4/20 in American form).[3]

A widely discussed story says that a group of teenagers in San Rafael, California,[4][5] calling themselves the Waldos,[6] because, «their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school»,[7] used the term in connection with a fall 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about.[6][8] The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time.[7] The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase «4:20 Louis». Multiple failed attempts to find the crop eventually shortened their phrase to simply «4:20», which ultimately evolved into a codeword that the teens used to mean pot-smoking in general.[8]Mike Edison says that Steve Hager of High Times was responsible for taking the story about the Waldos to «mind-boggling, cult like extremes» and «suppressing» all other stories about the origin of the term.[9]
Hager wrote «Stoner Smart or Stoner Stupid?» in which he called for 4:20 p.m. to be the socially accepted hour of the day to consume cannabis.[10] He attributes the early spread of the phrase to Grateful Dead followers, who were also linked to the city of San Rafael.[10]

April 20 has become a counterculture holiday in North America, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.[2][3] Some events have a political nature to them, advocating for the legalization of cannabis. North American observances have been held in San Francisco‘s Golden Gate Park near the Haight-Ashbury district,[11] the University of Colorado‘s Boulder campus,[5][12][13] Ottawa, Ontario, at Parliament Hill and Major’s Hill Park,[14][15] Montréal, Québec at Mount Royal monument,[16][17]Edmonton, Alberta at the Alberta Legislature Building,[18] as well as Vancouver, British Columbia at the Vancouver Art Gallery.[19] The growing size of the unofficial event at UC Santa Cruz caused the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs to send an e-mail to parents in 2009 stating: «The growth in scale of this activity has become a concern for both the university and surrounding community.»[20]
Events have also occurred in Auckland, New Zealand at the Daktory.[21][unreliable source?] and Dunedin, New Zealand, at University of Otago.[22][23][24][25][26][27]






420, 4:20, or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) is a code-term used primarily in North America that refers to the consumption of cannabis and by extension, as a way to identify oneself with cannabis subculture or simply cannabis itself. Observances based on the number 420 include smoking cannabis around the time 4:20 p.m. (with some sources also indicating 4:20 a.m.[1][2]), on any given day, as well as smoking cannabis on the date April 20 (4/20 in American form).[3]

A widely discussed story says that a group of teenagers in San Rafael, California,[4][5] calling themselves the Waldos,[6] because, "their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school",[7] used the term in connection with a fall 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about.[6][8] The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time.[7] The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase "4:20 Louis". Multiple failed attempts to find the crop eventually shortened their phrase to simply "4:20", which ultimately evolved into a codeword that the teens used to mean pot-smoking in general.[8] Mike Edison says that Steve Hager of High Times was responsible for taking the story about the Waldos to "mind-boggling, cult like extremes" and "suppressing" all other stories about the origin of the term.[9]
Hager wrote "Stoner Smart or Stoner Stupid?" in which he called for 4:20 p.m. to be the socially accepted hour of the day to consume cannabis.[10] He attributes the early spread of the phrase to Grateful Dead followers, who were also linked to the city of San Rafael.[10]

April 20 has become a counterculture holiday in North America, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.[2][3] Some events have a political nature to them, advocating for the legalization of cannabis. North American observances have been held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park near the Haight-Ashbury district,[11] the University of Colorado's Boulder campus,[5][12][13] Ottawa, Ontario, at Parliament Hill and Major's Hill Park,[14][15] Montréal, Québec at Mount Royal monument,[16][17] Edmonton, Alberta at the Alberta Legislature Building,[18] as well as Vancouver, British Columbia at the Vancouver Art Gallery.[19] The growing size of the unofficial event at UC Santa Cruz caused the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs to send an e-mail to parents in 2009 stating: "The growth in scale of this activity has become a concern for both the university and surrounding community."[20]
Events have also occurred in Auckland, New Zealand at the Daktory.[21][unreliable source?] and Dunedin, New Zealand, at University of Otago.[22][23][24][25][26][27]



Human Bacteria

Human Bacteria Mapped; Gut Bacteria Linked To Happiness, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, And Body Weight / Obesity

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2012 AT 9:56AM
Campylobacter, a bacteria found in the human gut
Researchers recently completed an extensive, 5-year Human Microbiome Project (HMP)identifying more than 10,000 bacterial species living in and on our bodies.  The goal of HMP was to “map the normal microbial make-up of healthy humans.”[I]  Many believe the Human Microbiome Project will allow scientists and physicians to prevent and treat diseases in the future.  Researcher and pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Phillip Tarr commented “This is really a new vista in biology.  This opens up many, many new opportunities to improve the health of our population.”
Coincidentally, the conclusion of the Human Microbiome Project coincided with the publication of several fascinating articles about gut bacteria and human health.[Ii]   For example, researchers recently linked gut bacteria with:
  • Happiness 
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Body weight / obesity

Happiness

Scientists at the University College Cork in Ireland recently discovered that an Absence Of Bacteria In Early Life May Decrease Levels Of Brain Serotonin later in life (serotonin is an important neurotransmitter implicated in depression).   This expounds upon previous research investigating potential Mind-Microbe Links.  

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Researchers also believe they may have identified why Western Diet Changes Gut Bacteria And May Trigger Immune-Mediated Diseases Like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  Westernized countries tend to consume foods high in saturated fats, and researchers at the University of Chicago found that concentrated milk fats (common in processed foods and confectionary foods) alter the composition of bacteria in our digestive systems.  One bacteria in particular, Bilopha wadsworthia, thrives in the presence of saturated milk fats.  Interestingly, this same bacteria has been found in elevated levels in patients with inflammatory bowel conditions like IBD and appendicitis. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic Linked Gut Bacteria To The Autoimmune Disease Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the body’s immune system attacking its own tissue (like our joints). 
Through clever manipulation of genetic susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis and introduction of different gut bacteria in mice, researchers concluded that gut bacteria may play an important role in developing rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases like type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS).  The researchers noted that changes related to aging (such as hormonal changes) may modulate gut bacteria and contribute to autoimmune disorders.   Specifically, the researchers believe autoimmune disorders may actually begin as an immune system attack on gut bacteria that have penetrated our intestinal walls. [Iii]

Body Weight / Obesity

Interestingly, researchers also recently summarized Evidence That Gut Bacteria Might Modify Body Weight.  Researchers at Arizona State University recently noted that bacteria play an important role in helping our body extract and synthesize important nutrients.  In fact, the body is unable to digest some carbohydrates without gut bacteria (the bacteria digest these carbs for us), and gut bacteria also produce important vitamins like biotin and folate and help us absorb other nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and iron. 
The researchers noted that obese individuals frequently have distinct gut bacteria.  For example, obese individuals typically have a greater proportion of bacteria from the phylum Bacteroidetes, while lean individuals have a greater proportion of bacteria from the phylulm Firmucutes.  Correlation does not imply causation.[Iv]  However, researchers are beginning to identify some compelling mechanisms by which gut bacteria may contribute to obesity.[V]  The researchers at Arizona State believe that we may be able to manipulate or exploit our gut bacteria in order to control weight. 

Future Implications

In an article titled Gut Check: Future Of Drugs May Rest With Your Microbes, Henry Haiser and Peter Tumbaugh of Harvard University note that “The trillions of microbes associated with the human body are a key part of a comprehensive view of pharmacology.”  In other words, future treatment of diseases (such as those noted above) and optimization of health will likely take into account our gut bacteria to a greater extent.  Once fairly obscure, gut bacteria (and the manipulation of gut bacteria) will likely play a greater role in maintaining health and preventing disease in the future. 

What Do You Think?

  • Do you know of ways to optimize gut bacteria in order to optimize health?
  • What role do you think gut bacteria will play in managing health and preventing disease in the future? 

Related:


[I] The human “microbiome” refers to microscopic bacteria, yeasts, protozoa, small parasitic worms, and viruses. However, most microbes in the human microbiome are bacteria; therefore, the terms human “microbiome” or “microbe” are often used to refer specifically to bacteria.    
[Ii] Note that most of our human microbiome resides in our gut.
[Iii] Gut bacteria typically do not penetrate the intestine’s walls and enter the body.  However, researchers believe that under certain conditions (such as certain hormonal conditions and other conditions related to aging), the gut bacteria may penetrate the intestinal wall stimulating an immune response that manifests as rheumatoid arthritis or possibly other autoimmune disease like type I diabetes or MS.  
[Iv] In other words, just because an increase in Bacteroidetes is correlated (or related) to an increase in body weight (obesity), this does not necessarily mean that an increase of Bacteroidetes causes obesity. 
[v] For example, researchers have noted that obesity and insulin-resistance (which could lead to Type II diabetes) are often accompanied by inflammation.  One marker of inflammation that has been associated with obesity and insulin-resistance is blood lipopolysaccharides (LPS).  Interestingly, LPS primarily comes from bacteria such as those that live in our gut. 
Additionally, scientists found that “germ free mice” (literally mice with no germs on or in them) experienced a 60% increase in body fat content and insulin resistance when gut bacteria from obese mice were transplanted to their guts.  Scientists also found that these same mice transplanted with gut bacteria from obese mice experienced a decreased production of a compound called Fiaf (“fasting-induced adipocyte factor).  Fiaf is produced in intestinal tissue and promotes leanness (in other words, opposes obesity).  Therefore, researchers believe that the gut bacteria of obese mice may suppress Fiaf production which in turn promotes obesity.
[vi] If you’re curious, here’s an excellent reference on the Difference Between Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) And Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Human Bacteria Mapped; Gut Bacteria Linked To Happiness, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, And Body Weight / Obesity

Campylobacter, a bacteria found in the human gut
Researchers recently completed an extensive, 5-year Human Microbiome Project (HMP)identifying more than 10,000 bacterial species living in and on our bodies.  The goal of HMP was to “map the normal microbial make-up of healthy humans.”[I]  Many believe the Human Microbiome Project will allow scientists and physicians to prevent and treat diseases in the future.  Researcher and pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Phillip Tarr commented “This is really a new vista in biology.  This opens up many, many new opportunities to improve the health of our population.”
Coincidentally, the conclusion of the Human Microbiome Project coincided with the publication of several fascinating articles about gut bacteria and human health.[Ii]   For example, researchers recently linked gut bacteria with:
  • Happiness 
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Body weight / obesity

Happiness

Scientists at the University College Cork in Ireland recently discovered that an Absence Of Bacteria In Early Life May Decrease Levels Of Brain Serotonin later in life (serotonin is an important neurotransmitter implicated in depression).   This expounds upon previous research investigating potential Mind-Microbe Links.  

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Researchers also believe they may have identified why Western Diet Changes Gut Bacteria And May Trigger Immune-Mediated Diseases Like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  Westernized countries tend to consume foods high in saturated fats, and researchers at the University of Chicago found that concentrated milk fats (common in processed foods and confectionary foods) alter the composition of bacteria in our digestive systems.  One bacteria in particular, Bilopha wadsworthia, thrives in the presence of saturated milk fats.  Interestingly, this same bacteria has been found in elevated levels in patients with inflammatory bowel conditions like IBD and appendicitis. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic Linked Gut Bacteria To The Autoimmune Disease Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the body’s immune system attacking its own tissue (like our joints). 
Through clever manipulation of genetic susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis and introduction of different gut bacteria in mice, researchers concluded that gut bacteria may play an important role in developing rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases like type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS).  The researchers noted that changes related to aging (such as hormonal changes) may modulate gut bacteria and contribute to autoimmune disorders.   Specifically, the researchers believe autoimmune disorders may actually begin as an immune system attack on gut bacteria that have penetrated our intestinal walls. [Iii]

Body Weight / Obesity

Interestingly, researchers also recently summarized Evidence That Gut Bacteria Might Modify Body Weight.  Researchers at Arizona State University recently noted that bacteria play an important role in helping our body extract and synthesize important nutrients.  In fact, the body is unable to digest some carbohydrates without gut bacteria (the bacteria digest these carbs for us), and gut bacteria also produce important vitamins like biotin and folate and help us absorb other nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and iron. 
The researchers noted that obese individuals frequently have distinct gut bacteria.  For example, obese individuals typically have a greater proportion of bacteria from the phylum Bacteroidetes, while lean individuals have a greater proportion of bacteria from the phylulm Firmucutes.  Correlation does not imply causation.[Iv]  However, researchers are beginning to identify some compelling mechanisms by which gut bacteria may contribute to obesity.[V]  The researchers at Arizona State believe that we may be able to manipulate or exploit our gut bacteria in order to control weight. 

Future Implications

In an article titled Gut Check: Future Of Drugs May Rest With Your Microbes, Henry Haiser and Peter Tumbaugh of Harvard University note that “The trillions of microbes associated with the human body are a key part of a comprehensive view of pharmacology.”  In other words, future treatment of diseases (such as those noted above) and optimization of health will likely take into account our gut bacteria to a greater extent.  Once fairly obscure, gut bacteria (and the manipulation of gut bacteria) will likely play a greater role in maintaining health and preventing disease in the future. 

What Do You Think?

  • Do you know of ways to optimize gut bacteria in order to optimize health?
  • What role do you think gut bacteria will play in managing health and preventing disease in the future? 

Related:


[I] The human “microbiome” refers to microscopic bacteria, yeasts, protozoa, small parasitic worms, and viruses. However, most microbes in the human microbiome are bacteria; therefore, the terms human “microbiome” or “microbe” are often used to refer specifically to bacteria.    
[Ii] Note that most of our human microbiome resides in our gut.
[Iii] Gut bacteria typically do not penetrate the intestine’s walls and enter the body.  However, researchers believe that under certain conditions (such as certain hormonal conditions and other conditions related to aging), the gut bacteria may penetrate the intestinal wall stimulating an immune response that manifests as rheumatoid arthritis or possibly other autoimmune disease like type I diabetes or MS.  
[Iv] In other words, just because an increase in Bacteroidetes is correlated (or related) to an increase in body weight (obesity), this does not necessarily mean that an increase of Bacteroidetes causes obesity. 
[v] For example, researchers have noted that obesity and insulin-resistance (which could lead to Type II diabetes) are often accompanied by inflammation.  One marker of inflammation that has been associated with obesity and insulin-resistance is blood lipopolysaccharides (LPS).  Interestingly, LPS primarily comes from bacteria such as those that live in our gut. 
Additionally, scientists found that “germ free mice” (literally mice with no germs on or in them) experienced a 60% increase in body fat content and insulin resistance when gut bacteria from obese mice were transplanted to their guts.  Scientists also found that these same mice transplanted with gut bacteria from obese mice experienced a decreased production of a compound called Fiaf (“fasting-induced adipocyte factor).  Fiaf is produced in intestinal tissue and promotes leanness (in other words, opposes obesity).  Therefore, researchers believe that the gut bacteria of obese mice may suppress Fiaf production which in turn promotes obesity.
[vi] If you're curious, here's an excellent reference on the Difference Between Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) And Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)