Art is in the eye of the beholder

Yesterday I visited a library to check a reference regarding phospholipid content  of foods which I linked to in a recent post. While there was time left on the parking meter I visited an art museum as libraries and museums are my two favorite places or at least on the top ten list. Reading the history or other brief description written by the artist about a piece can be informative but I always prefer to first experience the artwork myself without other interpretation. A modern art piece was disturbing to me but it was the discontinuity between my impression and the artist’s description.

The title of the piece was all I read and it was bold “The Masterpiece” – having just briefly toured a few halls of more ancient oil painting masterpieces I wasn’t sure what to expect from such a blank slate but arrogant title. Usually artist’s don’t self title their a masterpiece that is left for others to collectively regard a work over time. The piece was in a room all by itself and it turned out to be one of those hand shadow creations – look children I can make a rabbit on the wall with my hands in front of a bright light – an antique parlor game for when people didn’t have television or radio or record players but when they had piano and string quartets for entertaining at gatherings. This modern take on hand shadows created a silhouette of a man and a woman which is also an antique parlor art form – anyone can create a picture of loved one without the expense of hiring an oil painter to come live at the family home/mansion for several months of sittings while the piece was painted. A shadow silhouette can quickly be drawn in one sitting and then cut out from dark paper which is then mounted on a white background recreating the shadow silhouette for a long lasting portrait of the loved one.

On closer inspection the mass of objects that formed the hands creating the hand shadow were blobs of silver and some could be seen to be small animals. My thought wow what a powerful statement  – humanity’s destruction of the environment captured in a shadow.

I then read the description on my way out and was unpleasantly surprised to find that it was simply the artist’s, a couple, shadows and they felt their casts of roadkill type animals in silver were changing something ugly into something beautiful. “Dust to dust, ashes, to ashes” – the roadkill would have returned to the Earth and continued in the circle of life, cast in silver they are removed from their natural life cycle and cast into a perpetuity as a tribute to an altered form of the modern selfie or older form of a quick portrait of a loved one – this couple will always have their shadow silhouettes portrayed in hand shadow form – formed from the bodies of creatures that mankind is killing in ever greater numbers. The silver cast is a temporary showing so it may be visiting an art museum near you at some point in time. (The Masterpiece by Tim Noble and Sue Webster)

A shadow and nature in the form of trees – my preferred art media in capturing light:

Revisiting an old picture with a modern, smartphone camera.

“Art is in the eye of the beholder, and everyone will have their own interpretation.” (

― E.A. Bucchianeri, from the book Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

Another area of the museum had pens and sticky notes and asked viewers to add their own thoughts about art, my addition:

Art challenges the mind and educates the spirit.

And sometimes it may cleanse the spirit – nature paints the most beautiful canvases in my opinion:

We are all entitled to our own opinions and thoughts in a free society. freedom to disagree. An article by an economic theorist is available which discusses the topic of freedom in more detail.  See The Essential  F. A. Hayek, 1. “The Case for Freedom“, part of a free ebook collection published by The Foundation for Economic Education

Disclosure: This information is shared for educational or entertainment purposes within the guidelines of fair use.

Cancer treatment for zero dollars?

I realize pomegranate peel as a health commodity is a tough sell at the difficult price point of zero dollars but some people can’t afford a quarter million dollars. (The zero dollars is simply referencing the fact that pomegranate peel is thrown out currently and the fruit is purchased for the seeds or used to create juice – so not throwing out the peel would be a zero dollar amount but time to create an extract and to store it in a freezer or dehydrate it into capsules would involve some cost in time and supplies – but we have to start somewhere and the starting point here is recognizing that throwing out the peel is wasting valuable health protective phyto-nutrients.)

Research has to start somewhere. Animal research may be followed by human cell cultures and eventually make it to clinical trials with human patients.  Call me patient zero as I have found it helpful for anxiety and numbness in my fingertips (possibly an early sign of Raynaud’s Disease but I don’t have a diagnosis of that condition – actually I’m not patient zero:,and pomegranate extract can be purchased for more than zero dollars in capsule, microgram doses: )(I use more than a 250 mg amount of my homemade extract, a few tablespoons throughout the day in a few different foods would equal about 60-90 grams/4-6 Tablespoons).

Pomegranate extract has been found beneficial in animal research for hypertension  (5) and for cancer, (6).

“PE (Pomegranate Extract) treatment (1 or 10 g/kg), started 4 weeks prior to the DENA challenge and continued for 18 weeks thereafter, showed striking chemopreventive activity demonstrated by reduced incidence, number, multiplicity, size and volume of hepatic nodules, precursors of HCC (Hepatocellular Carcinoma).” (6)

In a more recent post a reference to a book chapter reveals that a human trial for prostate cancer was found beneficial for 85% of the patients. It was a small study with only 40 patients but that is an astonishing success rate for the average cancer treatment, I’ve seen some chemotherapy treatments listed with warnings to not be used for frail older patients as the survival rate was 10% – flip that around and it is a successful poison rate of 90%.

The prostate cancer reference:

“Pomegranate juice given daily for 2 years to 40 prostate cancer patients with increasing PSA levels provides evidence for the possible utilization of a nontoxic option for prevention or delay of prostate carcinogenesis. It is remarkable that 85% of patients responded to pomegranate juice in this study.” Pomegranate Ellagitannins – Herbal Medicine, (4)

(Punicagilanin and other polyphenols from a group called ellagitannins are found in the pomegranate juice and more are available when the entire fruit is used to extract juice. The bioactive phytonutrients seem to start being excreted from the body within 12 hours based on clinical studies, so a daily intake would be required for consistent benefits. Pomegranate Ellagitannins – Herbal Medicine, (4))

Using pomegranate peel or whole fruit extract is not only likely to have fewer negative side effects such as hair loss or severe vomiting but the cost savings isn’t a joke. Even if health insurance covered most of a $250,000 chemotherapy treatment the copays would still add up. Ten percent copays would be $25,000 and 20% would be $50,000. Many people can’t afford that, let alone an uninsured person trying to pay the $250,000. The other side effect that isn’t discussed much is a long term or lingering loss in cognitive skills following chemotherapy. Patients may not be able to return to their former jobs after recovery from cancer with standard chemotherapy treatments. Here’s an article about the sticker shock that can occur with hidden costs for having a baby in our modern hospitals – the specialist doctors may not be considered inhouse and covered by insurance in the same way as the doctor for average deliveries. Families go bankrupt over the copays left from having a baby in the U.S.. That is unusual compared to other developed nations.

Not developing the cancer in the first place by helping your body to have a strong and healthy defense system is ideal and the Nrf2 promoting foods, which have been discussed in the latest series of posts and which included pomegranate, may all help with daily protection of the body against inflammatory conditions and with detoxification of toxins which may underly increased risk for cancer.

Pomegranate extract and its potential  for health benefits and other Nrf2 promoting foods was discussed in an earlier post:

Pomegranate extract for the home cook (me) for individual research purposes regarding health and edible characteristics is described in this post: The second large batch I made I simmered for 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes as the shorter heating time retained a brighter color and many phytonutrients and antioxidants are colorful. The broth is quite acidic and I’ve primarily been using it in recipes in place of lime/lemon juice or salad vinegar.

Soup is good food and vegetable stock is made with washed produce peels and other sections of some types of produce. Not all produce makes good soup stock but the budget conscious cook tries things and finds out what works, or how to make it work.

Economic history, a collection of free ebooks that include a section on Austrian economics and Carl Menger, see The Essential Henry Hazlitt, 3. Understanding “Austrian” Economics

Capitalism versus socialism doesn’t have to be the only way to look at economic theory – longterm stewardship of the planet and its resources is discussed in the Austrian economics viewpoint and in this more modern and alternative view of our being part of the cosmos as energy beings:

For an alternative viewpoint on the economic value of viewing our time here as stewardship of the planet and its resources: – 10 Characteristics of Highly Evolved Beings

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

  • Wenyan Sun, Chunhong Yan, Bess Frost, Xin Wang, Chen Hou, Mengqi Zeng, Hongli Gao, Yuming Kang,and Jiankang Liu,

    Pomegranate extract decreases oxidative stress and alleviates mitochondrial impairment by activating AMPK-Nrf2 in hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus of spontaneously hypertensive rats., Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 34246. (5)

  • Anupam Bishayee, Deepak Bhatia, Roslin J. Thoppil, Altaf S. Darvesh, Eviatar Nevo, and Ephraim P. Lansky.,  Pomegranate-mediated chemoprevention of experimental hepatocarcinogenesis involves Nrf2-regulated antioxidant mechanisms., Carcinogenesis. 2011 Jun; 32(6): 888–896. (6)