Kenya’s Elephant Population Doubles

“Kenya has a Conservation & Management Strategy of Elephant in place to guide elephant recovery strategies. I am following keenly on its implementation & happy with the progress we are making since its launch in year 2012”

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“This has seen our elephant population steadily grow from 16,000 in 1989 to 34,800 by end of 2019 which is more than double the population in the 90s”

– DG KWS Brig (Rtd) John Waweru

(Twitter Link)

How to View the Starlink Satellites

From Wikipedia, “Starlink is a satellite constellation being constructed by SpaceX to provide satellite Internet access. The constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), working in combination with ground transceivers. SpaceX also plans to sell some of the satellites for military, scientific, or exploratory purposes.”

When the timing is right, you can see groups of these Starlink satellites running across the night sky in straight lines consisting of dozens of satellites. It’s truly a sight to behold. To find out when you can see these satellites, enter your location at this website:

A photo of a group of Starlink satellites. (Image Credit: Marco Langbroek)

The Benefits of Fasting

Fasting, or abstaining from eating food for a period of time, has been practiced for millennia. Notably, it has been used for spiritual purposes and health reasons. The science behind the positive health benefits of fasting are coming to light as new research is carried out in the 21st century. Some of the benefits of fasting include:

1) Reducing oxidative damage at the cellular level

2) Reducing inflammation

2) Optimizing energy metabolism

3) Bolstering cellular protection

4) Increasing longevity

5) Strengthening the immune system

6) Disease prevention and treatment

“Fasting has the potential to delay aging and help prevent and treat diseases while minimizing the side effects caused by chronic dietary interventions.” Link

There are many types of fasting out there. Intermittent fasting is a strategy where one limits their eating window to a few hours per day (e.g. fast for 16 hours, eat during a 8 hour window). Another option is to fast one full day per week or one full day per month. Longer fasts may last two to three days or even two to three weeks and beyond. The longest fast ever recorded was done under medical supervision on water and vitamin supplements only and lasted 382 days whereby the subject went from 456 pounds to a healthy weight of 180 pounds.

One common misconception with fasting is that it is hard to do because you will be hungry all the time. In actuality, the hunger resides fully after a day or two on a complete fast. With intermittent fasting, once one becomes accustomed to it, the hunger problem goes away or at least becomes easily manageable.

Another misconception is that fasting is unhealthy because we need to eat three square meals a day. The body is very intelligent. When it doesn’t have enough food for normal metabolism, it shifts into nutritional ketosis and starts burning fat for fuel. Another smart thing the body does is selectively break down and digest “tired and worn out” cells, including immune cells. Upon re-feeding, the body will generate brand new immune cells. In this manner, fasting has a sort of rejuvenating effect on the body.

One of my favorite books written on fasting is called “The Fasting Cure” by Upton Sinclair written in 1911. The PDF can be accessed here: Link.

Optimism is Good for Your Health

In a New York Times piece on personal health, the columnist Jane E. Brody does a good job of explaining some of the differences in health outcomes between those who are optimistic in their thoughts and those who are pessimistic. Plot spoiler: Thinking positive thoughts is good for you. One of my favorite quotes from the article is this:

“Our thinking is habitual, not conscious, so the first step is to learn to catch yourself when thinking negatively and make a commitment to change how you look at things,” he advised. “Recognize that the way you’re thinking is not necessarily the only way to think about a situation. Just that thought alone can decrease the toxic effect of negativity. Step two is to substitute a better thought that is credible.”

Click here to read the article: Link

Sunlight and Immunity

One of my favorite books on the topic of sunlight and health is a book written by Zane R. Kime, MD, MS called, “Sunlight.” In the book, he does a good job of pulling together the science and explaining the relationship between the sun’s light and human health.

In the book, there is a chapter on infectious diseases that talks about how exposure to sunlight (or ultraviolet (UV) light) helps the body defend itself against germs. It does this through multiple pathways. A few of these ways include:

1) Increasing the number of white blood cells in the body, especially lymphocytes which play the leading role of defending the body against germs.

2) Increasing antibodies in the blood for days to weeks after sunlight exposure.

2) Increasing levels of interferon, which has the ability to stop the reproduction of viruses.

3) An overall strengthening of the immune system and an increase in resistance to disease.

I want to share a few of these passages here:

One thing to keep in mind is that while it’s important to get plenty of sun, you never want to burn or make your skin very red.

Book reviews can be found here: Link. It can also be purchased there (no affiliation).