15/11/1997: Health
Sudden Heart Attacks
Occasionally, even some rather young athletes in their teens died of sudden heart attacks while playing basketball. The common determinant there has to be the prolonged and persistent vigorous activities the heart has to undertake to meet the demands of the game. Perhaps these victims' hearts do not necessarily suffer from any sort of anatomic or significant anatomic defects. That was why initially they had been able to play this rather strenuous game. Unfortunately, just one time too many, their hearts failed to receive the necessary oxygen supply thus resulting in a sudden myocardial infarction or their heart muscles went into sudden spasms resulting in sudden cardiac arrests.
Since our bodies are not always so developed in the perfect ideal fashion to meet the demands we put on them, it is for us to accordingly adjust or regulate our exercises to within what each of our own hearts could safely perform.
In the case of younger people too, therefore, it is advisable for them to play basketball and all such similar vigorous endurance exercises in a "sparing manner." Play for five minutes, and rest for five minutes. . .. Another thing is the need for gradual conditioning of the heart from lighter to heavier exercises. Through months and years of progressive training of this nature, the heart would develop a greater coronary supply(blood supply to the heart muscles themselves) to enable it to pump faster without risking ischemic attacks(myocardial infarctions or heart attacks).
There is another type of readily preventable heart attacks: those brought on by excitement and anger. Since both these emotional states can drastically increase the heart rate, someone with a less fit heart could suffer a sudden heart attack just by being suddenly over-excited or excessively angry. The racing heart in a very angry person may suddenly suffer hypoxia(inadequate oxygen supply to its muscles) or go into a spasm, resulting in the same types of heart attacks in the preceding paragraph.
Particularly older people or people with a less than robust heart hence should avoid great excitement, or confrontational situations where anger may erupt. Try to calm oneself down under any and all circumstances. That must be one of the reasons why meditation, or having an aquarium or pet around has been shown to have a healthy effect on people.
So, relax and be nice. Let them act out, but don't get emotionally involved. Avoid early death!

18/11/97:
18/11/97:
Horticulture

Sunlight
Sunlight does not exert any uniform or universal effect on different plant types. For some, such as many leafy vegetables, strong sunlight since very young favours rapid growth. For others, such as many tree seedlings(e.g. citrus fruit trees, etc.), the amount of direct sunlight has to be at the very beginning limited to say about 4 hours daily. Then, when the seedling has grown to about a foot tall or more, the amount of sunlight can be progressively increased.

The observed pattern of response in these tree types has been this: If the sun is too strong for too long while germinating, their growth is stunned, resulting in rounded leaves and short stems which would never grow longer or give rise to new sprouts at the tip. Too much sun has inhibited growth by making the leaves and stems too thick. This is the growth principle illustrated in the thin and fragile nature of grass or bean sprouts when placed in weak light. As the available light increases, the grass grows thicker, greener and shorter. Whereas the grass does not become stunned when the sunlight becomes too strong, this is so the case with many tree seedlings. Excessively strong light for too long thickens their stems and leaves to the extent of making them unable to further elongate or grow.

Meanwhile, unless many such plants(e.g. mangoes, citrus fruits) receive and continue to receive sufficient sunlight right at the beginning of germination, these seedlings would be too "weak" to receive sudden increases in light exposure or temperature rise. The moment one or both these variables are suddenly increased, these plants die. However, should they have been receiving a continuous daily sufficiently strong dose of sunlight for months since germination, their leaves and stems would have been hardened enough to withstand any sudden rise in temperature or sunlight level.

It therefore takes a great deal more plant-specific research to ascertain how much sunlight is optimal for a given type of vegetable or young seedling. What works in one, does not work for another. For instance, whereas citrus seedlings germinated under low light die on sudden exposure to strong sunlight or high temperatures, pumpkin seedlings under similar circumstances would survive.


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