Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ecosystems, Entrainment, & YOU…
Meet Choronobiology & Biomusicology

“Man, brain, heart electromagnetic field” 

Hopefully we don’t have to go over what an ecosystem is. By now one would hope most people have a grasp of the concept. Of course, from Genesis Eco Fund’s perspective, in addition to what everyone else says it is, to us an ecosystem is also a superorganism which generates a field of harmony and mutual symbiosis…a field of love.

So what is “entrainment,” and what does it have to do with ecosystems? For that, let’s switch from tell to show:

Video: Synchronization of Metronomes 
Credit: Harvard Natural Sciences Lecture Demonstrations

With a video like this It’s easy to see what entrainment is: in this case the shift from diverse to uniform oscillation. (There are MANY versions of this experiment available to watch on You Tube. We chose this one because it’s affiliation with Harvard lends it a bit of credibility in the eyes of sceptics and trolls.)

According to Wikipedia, Entrainment the above video demonstrates Entrainment in physics, or the process where two interacting oscillating systems assume the same period. However, it may refer to a number of additional phenomenon, most notably for our discussion:
1.    Entrainment (chronobiology), the alignment of a circadian system's period and phase to the period and phase of an external rhythm
2.    Entrainment (biomusicology), the synchronization of organisms to an external rhythm including such phenomenon as:
   a.    Brainwave entrainment (entraining one's brainwaves to a desired frequency) 
   b.    Lexical entrainment, the process in conversational linguistics of the subject adopting the terms of their interlocutor
Source: Wikipedia, Entrainment

So today’s article is going to look at each of these phenomenon and hypothesize the effects of an ecosystem based on the established science. 

1. Ecosystems, Entrainment & Chronobiology

According to Wikipedia,

Chronobiology is a field of biology that examines periodic (cyclic) phenomena in living organisms and their adaptation to solar- and lunar-related rhythms.[1] These cycles are known as biological rhythms.”
Image: Biological clock human

Entrainment, within the study of chronobiology, occurs when rhythmic physiological or behavioral events match their period and phase to that of an environmental oscillation. A common example is the entrainment of circadian rhythms to the daily light–dark cycle, which ultimately is determined by the Earth's rotation. The term entrainment is justified because the biological rhythms are endogenous: They persist when the organism is isolated from periodic environmental cues. Of the several possible cues, called zeitgebers (German for 'time-givers', 'synchronizers'), which can contribute to entrainment, bright light is by far the most effective. Exercise may also play a role in determining circadian rhythm.”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrainment_%28chronobiology%29

HYPOTHESIS #1:  Ecosystems should help you sleep better.

An ecosystem, as a superorganism, will be Chrono biologically entrained to the natural rhythms of the planet, and this will be reflected in its electromagnetic field. Anyone in this field will experience some degree of chronobiological entrainment by proxy. Circadian rhythms will have a tendency to normalize and individuals should be able to sleep better.

2. Ecosystems, Entrainment & Biomusicology

According to Wikipedia,
“Entrainment in the biomusicological sense refers to the synchronization of organisms to an external rhythm, usually produced by other organisms with whom they interact socially. Examples include firefly flashing,[citation needed]mosquito wing clapping,[1] as well as human music and dance such as foot tapping.”  
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrainment_(biomusicology)

An example of this includes brainwave entrainment, so popular in the New Age movement and even Self-Help circles. Here is a sample:

Video: 1 Hour Theta Brainwave Entrainment Binaural Beats 8 Hz - "Good for learning new Information" 

If you actually follow the advice in the video and try it out (headphones work best), it is unquestionable that the frequencies in the audio are having an effect on your brain. The real question is what if any long-term benefits are you gaining from this? Or is it just a nice way to relax and “cleanse” the mind of all the garbage it accumulated through the day/week.

We are not here to debate the metaphysical benefits of such “meditation technology,” but rather ask the poignant question: is aligning a natural and biological organism to a mechanical (synthesized) frequency really the right way to go?

HYPOTHESIS #2 a):  Ecosystems are the BEST for your brain.

Clinical studies have been done into the calming/healing power of nature sounds. If follows that any biomusical entrainment experienced with a superorganism whose energy frequency is in a constant state of balancing and achievement of optimal function for every organism within it, it follows that any human being (and brain) in the affective zone of said reach will likewise benefit.

Another example of biomusicological entrainment is lexical entrainment, or the tendency to pick-up on and mimic—if not adopt outright—the speech patterns and tendencies of others in social situations. The problem? Disagreements can quickly escalate into arguments if each individual begins getting caught up in the other’s hostility.

Think of a ping-pong match which starts out fairly calm and benign, but quickly escalates into an all-out war.

HYPOTHESIS #2 b):  Ecosystems are the BEST for your relationships.

Be it in the home or in the workplace, if there is a superior enveloping field of love, the tendency for individuals to be afflicted by hostility—and effected by the hostility of others—is reduced. The soothing, calming influence of the entraining effects of the ecosystem act as a buffer, a balm if you will, and a moderating force taking the edge off otherwise tense human interactions.

What’s Next?

Experience it for yourself.

Yes, Genesis Eco Fund has committed itself to promoting and conducting research into ecosystems and their effects on human beings. And we will continually update our blog and website with related research information when it becomes available.

Ultimately, the best way to know for sure if you, your family and/or your organization can benefit from having an ecosystem in your life is to try it. See the difference entrainment and ecosystems have in your life. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Earthquakes VS Advanced Human Habitat:
Humanity…Stirred, Not Shaken

Image Collage by Genesis Eco Fund: House
Image Collage by Genesis Eco Fund: House

"The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles…hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages…the planet isn’t going anywhere. WE ARE!"

Video: San Andreas Official Teaser Trailer #1 (2015) – Dwayne Johnson Movie HD

Well, now that Hollywood and one of the 20th Century’s premiere stand-up comedians and social commentators have spoken, let’s give the scientists a turn…

Ross Stein is a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey in California, who studies how earthquakes interact by the transfer of stress. He wants everyone to be able to learn what their seismic risk is.

He very much believes that when it comes to earthquakes, at least, humans can stand a chance, if only we built our dwellings better.

TEDTalk (Video): Defeating Earthquakes: Ross Stein at TEDxBermuda

Cindy Ebinger is currently a Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Rochester. She studied oceanography at MIT, earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences at MIT, and geology at Duke University.

In the following TED Talk, Professor Ebinger expounds the importance of connections and connectivity when it comes to increasing our awareness of the planet as a whole entity.

TEDTalk (Video): Connections, Volcanoes, and Earthquakes: Cindy Ebinger at TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool

Now, the cynic might argue that all this still does not solve the fundamental issue at hand—humanity’s disconnectedness from the planet and from nature itself. To fulfill the role of cynic, we once again give the floor to the late, great George Carlin…

Image George Carlin on Nature (Quote)

In other words, what good is detecting and “defeating” earthquakes if humanity remains on the same trajectory it’s been on? Preservation of life only makes sense if that life is living in harmony and symbiosis with the ecosystem.

That is why Advanced Human Habitat has to be more than just “earthquake proof.” It has to be “ego-proof” (as much as a dwelling or building can affect such things). It must nurture and encourage our reconnection with the environment, even as it shelters us from it. Advanced Human Habitat must strengthen our relationship with nature even as it protects us from the worst nature can throw at us.

That is why Advanced Human Habitat has (and must have) ecosystems.  And, as depicted by Hollywood and expressed by noted scientists, must also be conscious of the planet and its other connections, behaviours, history and tendencies. It must exude an awareness in its choice of materials and how they relate to the environment in which they are being used. 

Image: Earthquake-Safe Houses & Materials 
Credit: National Geographic Magazine

The bottom line is this: When it comes to Advanced Human Habitat:
  • It’s about more than just surviving, it’s about thriving.
  • It’s not just about economics, it’s about SEEconomics.
  • It’s more than just a shaken humanity …it’s about a humanity stirred.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Natural PATH to ‘Smart Cities’ 
takes Advanced Human Habitat on the Road

Image Collage by Gensis Eco Fund: The Natural PATH to Smart Cities 

Recently, Upworthy posted an article entitled I never realized how dumb our cities are until I saw what a smart one looks like. The blog post included snippets and commentary about a 20-minute report by CBC News, The National on “How Cities Make us Sick.” We have included the complete video, below.

Video: How Cities Make Us Sick 

Now, we are not refuting the questioning of so-called “obesogenic environments;” that is, cities being designed around cars, fundamentally antithetical to regular physical activity, and essentially major contributors to the obesity epidemic.

However, better transportation does not a healthy city make. And the idea that a ‘smart city’ is one which promotes physical activity is just another in a long series of oversimplifications and ‘magic-bullet’ solutions that humanity is so enamoured by and prone to fall for—until they reveal their inadequacies.

If we take a biomimetic, ecosystem view (and at Genesis Eco Fund we know there is no better approach to take to solve questions of environment and human health, since inherent human health is defined by biology, environment and natural law), we must look at a community at a more fundamental level.

A community is an ecosystem--a super-organism—which is itself a collection of smaller organisms. Expressed on a smaller scale, a community is a functioning organ made up of many smaller cells. The overall health of the organ is dependent on the health of its cells. True, a handful of cells can be damaged or diseased without the organ collapsing; but a cascading mass failure of cells will result in organ failure.

Now, it is also true that organs have inter-cellular systems, including transport and energy systems. And, it is also true that failure of these systems can also produce organ failure: for instance, blockage of an artery in the heart will most likely result in a heart attack. It so happens in the case of the heart that transportation is a primary key to heart health. But free-flowing arteries do not alone make a healthy heart. What if, for instance, the blood cells themselves are diseased?

This is the point we are discussing here today. While it could be argued that the movement of people from A to B is a primary necessity of a well-functioning city, what if the people being moved from A to B are “sick?” So here we return to the first premise, that the chosen mode of transportation in most cities—the automobile—promotes obesity.

But this is still only looking at one aspect of the city…transportation. What about the health of the rest of the environment these ‘blood cells’—people—spend their time?

What about toxic sick buildings? What about stressful home, work, school, healthcare environments? No matter how much time we travel to and fro within the city, we spend far more time at various destinations than we do on the journey. To say that a smart city is defined solely by its transportation system ignores the cellular nature of all cities. If people are literally “the lifeblood” of a city, their home, office, school, etc. are the other “cells” they nourish (and are nourished by). Getting them from one cell to the next is an afterthought.

Ecosystems create Advanced Human Habitats—cleaner air, more relaxing, less stressful living spaces, spaces of harmony and symbiosis which boost mental function, psychological wellbeing, energy, vitality and immune system. You’re going to eat much healthier and make healthier lifestyle choices once you live in Advanced Human Habitat…because the environment supports Advanced Humans.

Video: Fitch Street Living Wall EcoSystem 6-Month Update

Want people to walk more and ride their bicycles in Toronto, even in the dead of winter? Make more underground walkways and cycling paths and line them with rainforest ecosystems. Just imagine riding your bike to work past an ecosystem like the one above. It’s not as expensive to do walkways and cycle paths as it is road tunnels or subways, and the health and wellness benefits are many.

These underground walkways (like the PATH, downtown) are also much cooler in the summer (the ecosystem will help with that), and it will be that much easier for someone to hop on a bike or trike and ride across town when they are in a refreshing cool transportation artery when it’s 30 degrees Celsius and humid above ground.     

Image: PATH, Toronto 

(There has been talk of expanding the PATH, like this article from 2011 in The Globe and Mail: Toronto mulls plan to expand world's longest underground shopping complex. )

And when you arrive at work or at school? Imagine being greeted with the same refreshing, clean, oxygenating, relaxing, rejuvenating atmosphere as your ecosystem-lined “PATH” was.

Just imagine how incredible that would be.

And how ‘smart.’

Thursday, March 5, 2015

From NASA’s Air Pollution Video to K-Cups:
Macro to Micro to Macro, we’re All Connected

Video: NASA Animation Shows Asian Air Pollution Moving Across the Globe
“The indigenous understanding has its basis of spirituality in a recognition of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all living things, a holistic and balanced view of the world. All things are bound together. All things connect. What happens to the Earth happens to the children of the earth. Humankind has not woven the web of life; we are but one thread. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.”
You don’t have to be a member of a Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, or indigenous tradition to know of the interconnectivity and interdependence of all things. As a matter of fact, you don’t even need to be spiritually inclined at all to recognize this most ancient and universal tenet as a scientifically verified and verifiable fact. Indeed, the above video from NASA should make it clear: on this planet, at least, we’re all in this together…we are all connected.

If you want to see just how deep that interconnectedness runs, there is an excellent article on the topic at: http://www.starstuffs.com/physcon/connected.html.

For today’s discussion, we want to keep it more on a macrocosmic level—that is, limit it to our planet and the ways in which actions in any one region affect the whole.

We know that pollution spreads. The above video by NASA—revealing how aerosol particulates move through the atmosphere—shows how in this case air currents carry pollution to other parts of the planet.

What’s particularly interesting in this case is how this type of airborne particulate matter may be contributing to climate change in unexpected ways. Water vapour in the atmosphere collects around airborne particulates and results in precipitation. More particulates; more precipitation. If those particulates have a certain chemical composition, they may react with the water and result in a solution such as acid rain.

In any case, the pollution is returned to the earth in unexpected locations and ways; namely, as dissolved particulates in water…that goes straight into soil, streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. The water cycle drives all life as we know it on this planet, and anything that’s dissolved in water goes where the liquid water flows…including the bodies of plants, animals and ultimately humans.

Image: Pollution in the Water Cycle 
Credit: Quiksilver Foundation 

It’s very much a case of macro ecological disturbances having very real negative effects at the micro-level of individual human health and wellness.

In a very real sense, the planet earth has its own circulatory and respiratory systems. What we treat as unconscious physical systems (weather patterns, climate) are in fact part of a living breathing megaorganism…if ecosystems can be called superorganism, then a collective ecosystem of ecosystems on a planetary scale is mega indeed. 

But the mega is not immune to micro disturbances; at least, not in the aggregate macro effects. As discussed in The Attlas Project – SEE The World in a New Light:
“The question is not whether there are micro causes that have macro effects.  The real question is what micro opportunities do we seize today that will lead to positive macro effects in the future?”
This is just something we can feel in our gut. (Literally, if anyone has ever had a stomach infection). The point is: if it’s true for positive micro opportunities, then the same is true for negative micro disturbances. It explains why the inventor of the K-Cup, John Sylvan, now regrets having done so.

Originally invented for use in offices and other places where the efficiency and convenience of being able to brew a single-serve coffee out of a small plastic cup seemed to make practical sense, the single-serve disposable coffee-pod phenomenon has ballooned into a behemoth of a multi-billion dollar industry, in which personal taste and convenience drives the bulk of sales, and what critics call an environmental catastrophe.

Keurig K-Cups are non-recyclable, and an estimated 30 billion plastic K-Cups now litter the planet, mostly in land-fills, but also no doubt in the floating plastic debris field in the Pacific Ocean. (What is true for particulates and global air currents is equally true for plastic and global oceanic currents).

It even prompted one group to express their distaste in short film format…

Video: Kill the KCup 

Most everyone likes a good action drama flick. But sadly, humanity has a tendency to make life mimic art versus the other way ‘round. We need to wake up to the fact that there is no such thing as “an isolated incident,” or a “contained ecological disaster.” Likewise, the little choices we make day in and day out affect all of us.

Genesis Eco Fund believes wholeheartedly that the key to bringing the all-important reality of global interconnectivity and interdependence back into the consciousness of society is to bring micro examples of that interconnectivity and interdependence back into people’s lives…ecosystems.

You would never toss your used K-Cup into the ecosystem in your home, workplace, or school. Maybe, just maybe, that in and of itself will get you to start reconsidering tossing that used K-Cup at all…and maybe relax and spend a special moment actually enjoying a fresh-brewed pot of coffee together with family, colleagues, etc. in the interconnected and interdependent company of an ecosystem.

It’s definitely a positive micro opportunity that has potentially profound macro effects.