Age of the giant sequoias

Sequoia National Park in California USA Photo Google Earth
Sequoia National Park in California USA Photo Google Earth

A considerable volume of fact and fiction has been printed and many conflicting claims have been made regarding the age of sequoias as well as of other species of trees. Such stories and claims have created considerable confusion.

Age of the Giant Sequoias of California
National Park Service

The age of a large woody tree can be determined accurately only by an actual count of the annual growth rings on a cross section of the stump or butt log after the tree is cut down. All trees, except the group of monocotyledons to which the palm belongs, customarily produce a narrow layer of new wood just under the bark each year. There is a slight difference in the appearance of the wood cells produced in the spring and those produced in the summer. In some species this variation is more evident than in others, but it usually provides a visible series of concentric annual rings that may be counted. An estimate of the growth rate may be secured by using an increment borer to obtain a core showing the annual rings. It is not practical, however, to remove a core more than 2 feet deep in most trees, so that accurate information concerning only the more recent growth may be obtained.

All trees grow faster during their youth than later. For example, during the first 75 years in the life of a giant sequoia it may increase in diameter at an average rate of an inch every 3 to 5 years, but in some veterans it may require more than 20 years to produce a diameter increase of an inch. It is impossible to say with any appreciable degree of accuracy just how old a large standing and living tree may be.

The most accurate data for estimating the age of standing trees are obtained from fallen or cut trees of comparable size which grew under similar conditions and whose growth rings have been counted. Such counts made on a large number of sequoias of various sizes reveal that there may be a wide variation in the age of trees of approximately the same size. For example, ring counts made on two giant sequoias about 15 feet in diameter above the butt swell revealed that one was 2,410 years old and that the other was a mere youth of only 1,740 years.

Claims of great age have been presented for many species of trees. The baobab of Africa has been estimated to reach an age of perhaps 4,000 years, but to date no authentic ring count has been presented. The banyan of India has an estimated age of 3,000 years, which is fairly well authenticated by historical data. The tule cypress of Oaxaca, Mexico, has been variously estimated to be from 2,000 to 5,000 years old, with 3,000 the estimate of the most expert investigator. Claims of age of living trees up to 12,000 years have been made for several species, including the Macrozamia of Australia which is a cycad and does not produce annual rings. The age of palms, cycads, and other monocotyledons is estimated by counting the number of persistent leaf bases on the trunk and dividing by the number of leaves probably produced each year. This, of course, may be variable and the result inaccurate. It is significant to note that in practically every case where careful study and comparisons of very large trees have been made by scientists age estimates have been materially reduced from the claims made by enthusiastic boosters, in some cases to less than 1,000 years.

Since actual ring counts on many fallen and cut sequoias show that the age of this species frequently exceeds 3,000 years, and since one was proved to be 3,210 years old, some of the larger trees may exceed 3,500 years in age. On the basis of present verified evidence, the giant sequoia is the oldest living thing on Earth.

Eating to Be Cancer Free

Epoch Times Photo
Chris Wark and his wife Micah. (Photo courtesy of Chris Wark)

Chris Wark was given a brutal diagnosis, but he didn’t want to take the chemo path

A cancer diagnosis can be devastating news. But once you get past the shock and fear, you long for guidance and support that can put you on the path to healing.

For cancer survivor Chris Wark, his path was paved with faith and food.

Wark was only 26 when he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. He didn’t have any science or medical background. He just had a notion that, with the right nutrition, he could heal.

“I was a very typical clueless cancer patient, and I did not know what to do,” Wark said. “I was operating mostly on instinct, intuition, and the belief that there had to be a way to recover, to heal, to increase the odds in my favor.”

It all started with a dull ache in his abdomen. Wark initially thought it might be an ulcer, but he turned to medical professionals to rule out something more serious. What they found was a golf ball-sized tumor in his large intestine. Doctors called for immediate surgery.

When Wark woke up in the hospital after surgery, his guts felt like they were going to explode, and his situation was worse than doctors anticipated. His tumor had spread to his surrounding lymph nodes. Lots of this cancerous tissue was removed during surgery, but Wark was told he would need about a year of chemotherapy to address the cancer that still remained in his body.

However, Wark began to doubt this path with his first meal served in the hospital. After having his abdomen sliced open and dozens of lymph nodes removed, he received the worst cafeteria food imaginable: a sloppy Joe.

Gazing at the loose ground meat on an institutional-grade white bun, Wark wondered why he wasn’t getting something healthier, or at least more digestible.

Wark was puzzled by what he saw as an obvious disconnect between health care and healthy food.

He asked his surgeon if he had any nutritional advice to address his abdominal cancer. “Nah, Just don’t lift anything heavier than a beer,” the surgeon replied.

Although medical experts didn’t acknowledge the influence of food, Wark still imagined he could heal his body by simply eating better. But when he shared his ideas with family and friends, they thought he was crazy, so he reluctantly went to see an oncologist.

His oncologist told him he had a 60 percent chance of getting five more years to live if he did chemotherapy. When asked if there were any alternatives, the doctor replied: “There are none. If you don’t do chemotherapy, you are insane.”

Wark committed to trying chemo and scheduled a date to start. But the closer it got to his appointment, the more apprehensive he became.

“I wanted to understand why I was sick. I wanted to get to the bottom of that mystery. I wanted to do everything in my power to help myself heal, and what I found was that the conventional medical system was not offering me any hope,” Wark said. “The idea of poisoning my way back to health made no sense to me.”

So Wark blew off his chemo appointment and prayed for guidance. Two days later, he received a book in the mail from a friend of his father. The author was a man diagnosed with colon cancer in 1976, and his story was about how he opted out of conventional treatment and managed to heal himself through diet and lifestyle. He was still alive and in good health 30 years later, and it made Wark think that the path he imagined could have some merit.

Seeking a community of like-minded individuals, Wark soon sought other books written by cancer survivors and holistic physicians telling similar tales. The common thread in all of these against-the-odds survival stories was that food proved to be a healing force. It inspired Wark to adopt a raw food diet. Just plants. All organic.

“It was back to the Garden of Eden,” Wark said. “I was only eating food straight from the earth in its pure and natural state. I never heard of a raw food diet before, but I was very intrigued and excited by this idea, and I wanted to know what would happen to my body if all I ate was raw fruits and vegetables. It was so strange and foreign and radical to me. I loved it.”

Next, Wark began looking for doctors who also saw food as a tool for healing. His mother introduced him to a clinical nutritionist, and the nutritionist referred him to a seasoned surgical oncologist—a doctor who had practiced conventional cancer treatment for years but had decided to switch to a more natural and nontoxic approach.

With the help of his team, and his own hard work, he managed to kick cancer. Eighteen years later, he remains cancer free. He recounts his journey and the limitations of conventional cancer treatment in his book “Chris Beat Cancer.” 

Wark’s story was featured on the award-winning documentary, “The C Word” and on the “Truth About Cancer” series. But he maintains that he’s neither lucky nor special, he’s just a regular guy who listened to his instincts and took massive action to help his body heal.

“I eliminated everything in my life that may have contributed to my disease,” he said.

One reason a cancer diagnosis can be so scary is the number of deaths associated with the disease. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in America, and the leading cause of death worldwide.

But cancer wasn’t always such a prevalent killer. In the early 20th century, indoor plumbing and medical advancements did a lot to bring down death rates overall. But by the end of the century, cancer deaths had mostly grown. President Richard Nixon famously called for a War on Cancer in 1970, but for decades, doctors and patients seemed to be losing the battle.

The U.S. cancer death rate peaked in 1991, but has since decreased 27 percent. The American Cancer Society credits improvements in the ways we can prevent, find, and treat cancer, but states that “the decline in the death rate is largely due to fewer people smoking.”

Wark says this detail points toward a path that more cancer patients should be encouraged to take. Those hoping to lower their risk of cancer can benefit from this path as well.

“It’s not because treatments have made these huge strides. It’s because we’ve had a massive decrease in cigarette smoking, and cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of cancer,” Wark said. “My mission is one of prevention. If we could educate the public on the diet and lifestyle choices that are causing chronic disease and the ones that will prevent chronic disease, then we can see a shift in population health.”

Wark’s own path to healing may have been a leap of faith, but he later learned that there’s plenty of science to corroborate his experience. Several years after he healed from cancer, he wanted to understand how exactly his health food path made him well.

“I wondered if my story could be a fluke. Maybe I was just lucky. Was there any science to support natural healing methods, evidenced-based nutrition, and holistic health? I learned that there was more science than I could ever read in a lifetime.”

With each study he read, Wark became increasingly inspired. He learned that the most powerful anti-cancer vegetables were the ones that he was eating every single day: garlic, onions, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and mushrooms as well as fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi, and spices like turmeric, oregano, and cayenne.

Science validates the anti-cancer properties of these foods, but the heart of the concept is common sense.

“You don’t have to have a scientific degree, be a doctor, or even have a high school diploma to understand that eating fruits and vegetables will only do you good. Exercise and forgiveness will only do you good. These are things that are so powerful that most people underestimate their value,” he said.

Wark is inspired to pass on what he’s learned to others and shine a light on the many successes found in a natural approach to cancer treatment. He is a patient advocate and has a blog detailing his journey for more than a decade. It features interviews with other cancer patients who opted for natural medicine to cure their disease and holistic doctors who provide care on this path.

The path to healing Wark describes takes a lot of dedication. Contrary to the magic bullet concept of health care, natural healing is more than one miracle herb, or a few appointments with a functional medicine physician. It’s a 24/7 lifestyle, a self-empowered mindset, and a long-term commitment.

Wark’s book is critical of the modern cancer industry and conventional cancer treatment, but he doesn’t shun patients who choose to take this road. He says the power of food is available to anyone willing to harness it.

“If you improve your immune system, you’re protecting yourself from life-threatening infectious disease and life-threatening debilitating chronic disease,” he said. “Nutrition is the ammunition for your immune system. Without nutrition, you’re fighting with no weapons, with no army.”

In addition to encouraging a better diet, Wark says the mental, emotional, and spiritual side of healing is a big, yet often overlooked, part of the practice. He mentions patients who do everything right, eat all the anti-cancer foods, do all the beneficial routines, but they still can’t seem to get better.

“They don’t address their emotional pain. They’re carrying a lot of anger, bitterness, and resentment toward people in their past. The stress produced by these unresolved emotional conflicts can outweigh anything else you do. It can be the one barrier to healing.”

Unforgiveness can be the block that stops healing, he said.

“I’m constantly encouraging everyone in our community to forgive every person who ever hurt you. Let go of anger and resentment, fear, worry, and anxiety. Embrace life, health, joy, and peace.”

Of course, confronting complex issues like these is often a lot easier said than done. But there are many examples that show it can be done.

“Cancer taught me gratitude,” Wark said. “I had to learn during the process to give my fears and worries to God, release them. To not let the fear consume my mind and my heart.”

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The European Union: a fruit of the Marshall Plan distant in History

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Socialism suicidal weapon. Author: Osval, Cuban
Socialism suicidal weapon. Author: Osval, Cuban

The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was an American initiative passed in 1948 for foreign aid to Western Europe. The United States transferred over $13 billion (equivalent of about $114 billion in 2020) in economic recovery programs to Western European economies after the end of World War II. Replacing an earlier proposal for a Morgenthau Plan, it operated for four years beginning on April 3, 1948. The goals of the United States were to rebuild war-torn regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, improve European prosperity, and prevent the spread of communism. The Marshall Plan required a reduction of interstate barriers, a dropping of many regulations, and encouraged an increase in productivity, as well as the adoption of modern business procedures.

General George C. Marshall, the 50th U.S. Secretary of State
General George C. Marshall, the 50th U.S. Secretary of State (U.S. Department of State)

The Marshall Plan aid was divided among the participant states roughly on a per capita basis. A larger amount was given to the major industrial powers, as the prevailing opinion was that their resuscitation was essential for the general European revival. Somewhat more aid per capita was also directed toward the Allied nations, with less for those that had been part of the Axis or remained neutral. The largest recipient of Marshall Plan money was the United Kingdom (receiving about 26% of the total), but the enormous cost that Britain incurred through the “Lend-Lease” scheme was not fully re-paid to the USA until 2006. The next highest contributions went to France (18%) and West Germany (11%). Some eighteen European countries received Plan benefits. Although offered participation, the Soviet Union refused Plan benefits, and also blocked benefits to Eastern Bloc countries, such as Hungary and Poland. The United States provided similar aid programs in Asia, but they were not part of the Marshall Plan.

Its role in the rapid recovery has been debated. The Marshall Plan’s accounting reflects that aid accounted for about 3% of the combined national income of the recipient countries between 1948 and 1951, which means an increase in GDP growth of less than half a percent.

The labelling used on aid packages created and sent under the Marshall Plan
The labelling used on aid packages created and sent under the Marshall Plan. USAID Graphic Standards Manual

After World War II, in 1947, industrialist Lewis H. Brown wrote (at the request of General Lucius D. Clay) A Report on Germany, which served as a detailed recommendation for the reconstruction of post-war Germany, and served as a basis for the Marshall Plan. The initiative was named after United States Secretary of State George C. Marshall. The plan had bipartisan support in Washington, where the Republicans controlled Congress and the Democrats controlled the White House with Harry S. Truman as president. The Plan was largely the creation of State Department officials, especially William L. Clayton and George F. Kennan, with help from the Brookings Institution, as requested by Senator Arthur Vandenberg, chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Marshall spoke of an urgent need to help the European recovery in his address at Harvard University in June 1947.

Great Seal of the United States.
Great Seal of the United States.

The purpose of the Marshall Plan was to aid in the economic recovery of nations after World War II and to reduce the influence of communist parties within them. To combat the effects of the Marshall Plan, the USSR developed its own economic plan, known as the Molotov Plan, in spite of the fact that large amounts of resources from the Eastern Bloc countries to the USSR were paid as reparations, for countries participating in the Axis Power during the war.

The phrase “equivalent of the Marshall Plan” is often used to describe a proposed large-scale economic rescue program.

In 1951 the Marshall Plan was largely replaced by the Mutual Security Act.

Stolen World Heritage Site

Perla Blanca Beach in the Santa María Cays, north of Villa Clara Province, Cuba. Photo: Tee Bee
Perla Blanca Beach in the Santa María Cays, north of Villa Clara Province, Cuba. Photo: Tee Bee

We want to find out that the United Nations has declared the earthly paradise that appears in the photo a “stolen World Heritage Site”. It is an extensive strip of stunning beaches on the North Coast of Cuba (something similar we find on the southern side of the Cuban Archipelago) and that the Cuban Government has granted to particular foreign companies (most of them Spanish) who are responsible for the impressive Cuba’s natural beauties are visited almost exclusively by supporters of the Castroites, excluding the other 7,771 million (World Population Clock, June 22, 2021 – 3:00 pm EST).

The United Nations should be neither socialist nor anti-socialist, but should be the highest banner of Freedom, Justice and Prosperity for all Humanity. It is regrettable and tragic that the UN has become a partial body of a small part of the world’s population.

Queremos enterarnos que la ONU haya declarado “Patrimonio de la Humanidad robado” el paraíso terrenal que aparece en la foto. Se trata de una extensa franja de despampanantes playas sobre la Costa Norte de Cuba (algo parecido encontramos en el lado Sur del Archipiélago Cubano) y que el Gobierno Cubano ha concedido a particulares compañías extranjeras (la mayoría españolas) quienes se encargan de que las impresionantes bellezas naturales de Cuba sean visitadas casi en exclusivo por partidarios de los castristas, excluyendo a los otros 7 mil 771 millones (Reloj Mundial de Población, Junio 22 del 2021 – 3:00 pm EST).

La ONU no debería ser ni socialista ni antisocialista, sino que debería ser la más alta bandera de la Libertad, la Justicia y la Prosperidad de toda la Humanidad. Es lamentable y trágico que la ONU se haya convertido en un organismo parcial de una pequeña parte de la población mundial.

The explosion of La Coubre in the Port of Havana

Second explosion of the ship La Coubre in the Port of Havana on March 4 1960 Photo LinCu Archives
Second explosion of the ship La Coubre in the Port of Havana on March 4 1960 Photo LinCu Archives

Sanity, the sacred responsibility of ruling leaders with their citizens, as well as International Law, advise that weapons and explosives cannot be unloaded or handled in civilian ports in any nation in the world. The Castros knew of such a prohibition, and even so they ordered to dock a ship loaded with weapons and explosives in the very heart of the capital and the main city of Cuba.

The explosion of the La Coubre cargo ship in the Port of Havana actually demonstrated that the Castro Brothers, who had recently taken power in Cuba, were very dangerous characters capable of committing massive assassinations to attract the attention of the World to them and their supposed purposes of justice and freedom, not only in Cuba, but also in increasing number of nations of The Americas and Africa since then.

Información original en Español
El sano juicio, la responsabilidad sagrada de los líderes gobernantes con sus ciudadanos, tanto como la Ley Internacional, aconsejan que no se puede descargar ni manipular armas y explosivos en puertos civiles en cualquier nación del Mundo. Los Castro sabían de tal prohibición, y aun así ordenaron atracar un barco cargado de armas y explosivos en el corazón mismo de la capital y la principal ciudad de Cuba.
La explosion del carguero La Coubre en el Puerto de La Habana en realidad demostró que los Hermanos Castro quienes recientemente se habían hecho del poder en Cuba, eran personajes muy peligrosos, capaces de cometer asesinatos masivos para atraer la atención del Mundo sobre ellos y sus supuestos propósitos de justicia y libertad, no solo en Cuba, sino además en número creciente desde entonces de naciones de Las Américas y Africa.
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