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'Forest Bathing' Considered Healthful

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the just-like-your-mother-told-you-except-for-the-ticks dept.

Medicine 252

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that although allergies and the promise of air-conditioning tend to drive people indoors at this time of year, when people spend time in more natural surroundings — forests, parks, and other places with plenty of trees — they experience increased immune function. A study of 280 healthy people in Japan, where visiting nature parks for therapeutic effect has become a popular practice called 'Shinrin-yoku,' or 'forest bathing,' found that being among plants produced 'lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, and lower blood pressure,' among other things. Another study in 2007 showed that men who took two-hour walks in a forest over two days had a 50-percent spike in levels of natural killer cells, and a third study found an increase in white blood cells that lasted for a week in women exposed to phytoncides in forest air."

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252 comments

Am I the only one? (5, Insightful)

Polarina (1389203) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824372)

Am I the only one that read the title as "'Forest Bathing' Considered Harmful"?

Re:Am I the only one? (4, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824512)

I must admit that the title immediately got me thinking about opalescent pools of water surrounded by trees and then wondering if it would be so healthy if said pool contained an overly territorial venomous water snake or an alligator having a bad day...

Re:Am I the only one? (3, Interesting)

Hodapp (1175021) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824514)

No. I even re-read the summary about 10 times in a row, trying to figure out what exactly was harmful about forest bathing.

Re:Am I the only one? (3, Insightful)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824520)

Am I the only one that read the title as "'Forest Bathing' Considered Harmful"?

It's a kdawson article, what do you expect? The moron decided to change the title from the original submission of "'Forest Bathing' is Good for Your Health" that pickens submitted it as to this garbage.

Also, I read it as the same thing.

Re:Am I the only one? (2, Funny)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824526)

I read: "Forced Bathing Considered Harmful", and thought: 'Well duhh, every little boy will agree'. :-)

Re:Am I the only one? (2, Insightful)

StDoodle (1041630) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824738)

I had the same double-take, so I looked it up. "Healthful" means something that promotes good health. "Healthy" is a state of good health. In other words, the title is absolutely correct. If you would prefer "'Forest Bathing' Considered Healthy" then you're asking for a title implying that someone named "Forest Bathing" is in a good state of health.

Re:Am I the only one? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824808)

lol mate you completely fail and just drowned yourself out of the convo... Everyone here knows what the word "healthful" means, we just read it wrong because it's not a word that's in common use...

What this article really says.... (4, Insightful)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824770)

What this article really seems to be saying is that living in towns and cities is harmful and that hanging out in parks and forests temporarily alleviates the symptoms.

Re:What this article really says.... (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#32825008)

What this article really seems to be saying is that living in towns and cities is harmful and that hanging out in parks and forests temporarily alleviates the symptoms.

I'd like to keep the towns and cities, but reduce the things that make them harmful. We already have lots of parks and trees here in London (something which surprises lots of visitors), but there could be a lot more. We also have lots of cars and aircraft.

I work in one of the least polluted parts of London -- next to the river and a very large park. I live about 200m from one of the large commons. The change in pollution is very noticeable whenever I'm not in either of these places. However, even in a park in London the pollution is still many times worse than in the countryside.

Little will change until we stop people burning oil in the streets.

Re:Am I the only one? (3, Informative)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824828)

No you're not, and in my case that's because "healthful" isn't a word I recognise as being (UK) English, so my brain obviously substituted a similar real world.

Re:Am I the only one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32825064)

Ditto, bloody editors.

Re:Am I the only one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32825270)

Am I the only one that read the title as "'Forest Bathing' Considered Harmful"?

read it the same way as well.. title is annoying

Increasing exposure leads to stronger immune sys. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824384)

Increasing exposure to foreign elements leads to a stronger immune system? ASTOUNDING.

Re:Increasing exposure leads to stronger immune sy (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824412)

I think it is astounding. I just shows how little we understand about the immune system still.

Re:Increasing exposure leads to stronger immune sy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824436)

Like the author not understanding that an elevated white blood cell count means you're fighting off parasites and infection. Likely the one's crawling up into your urethra or anus.

Re:Increasing exposure leads to stronger immune sy (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#32825130)


Likely the one's crawling up into your urethra or anus.

We've been camping for a week and my greased Yoda doll is still there.

Re:Increasing exposure leads to stronger immune sy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824508)

Assuming (reasonably) that this is likely mediated by stress, it isn't anything new.

Re:Increasing exposure leads to stronger immune sy (2, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824654)

Not really, I remember reading similar (but more generic) findings nearly 10 years ago - in general, more exposure to foreign things tends to lead to a stronger immune system. This follows pretty directly from that, I think.

Re:Increasing exposure leads to stronger immune sy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32825060)

I was kidding. It's pretty effing obvious that exposing yourself to more foreign elements is going to strengthen your immune system. You can make bugs immune to bug spray by exposing them a lot to it few parts at a time. Now obviously forests are pretty good at having bugs and a bunch of shit that can infect you.

But hey, I'm glad that some guys got paid to confirm what everyone already knew. (or should)

Breaking news (4, Insightful)

NekSnappa (803141) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824424)

People who get off their ass and go outside are healthier than those who don't.

Re:Breaking news (2, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824464)

I think you'll find this to be a controversial statement around these parts.

Re:Breaking news (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824466)

Also helps allergies:

I've read several studies in Science News that show exposing allergic bodies to the outdoors "trains" the immune system to ignore things like pollen, dust, and so on as simply part of the natural environment.

Re:Breaking news (4, Funny)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824524)

Also helps allergies:

I've read several studies in Science News that show exposing allergic bodies to the outdoors "trains" the immune system to ignore things like pollen, dust, and so on as simply part of the natural environment.

I've also read studies that picking your nose and eating your boogers increases your immune system. Seems plausible since your nose filters out pollen, dust, and other things your body shouldn't be absorbing.

Re:Breaking news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824636)

No wonder I thought I was superman after eating paste in kindergarden!

Re:Breaking news (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824980)

>>>eating your boogers increases your immune system.

No not really. The stomach acid dissolves the mucus which means the immune system never gets to "see" the pollen and dust that was being held in suspension.

Re:Breaking news (2)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32825078)

No, but it keeps everyone around you away, and that in turn decreases you exposure to communicable diseases. :)

Re:Breaking news (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824698)

Ya know it seems kind of wacky but I think I've been losing my cat allergy. Before we got married my wife always had cats, I said "Them or me" and the cats were gone. Then a few years later she missed them and wanted one badly so I gave in with the rule that it had to stay out of the bedroom.

Now months later the cat sleeps by my pillow and I don't break out like I used to and my eyes don't water. I still find myself avoiding other cats by habit but I wonder if I'm still allergic to them at all.

Re:Breaking news (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824776)

I think it might depend whether the cat has been out getting pollen on its fur. My hay fever doesn't seem as bad as it used to be either though, at least I don't get itchy eyes like I used to.

I've found out recently I get rashes on my arms/shoulders if they come into contact with grass, though my hands are fine with it.

Re:Breaking news (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824860)

It's not so wacky; I've noticed the same effect with my wife's dog (though the ultimatum went the other way in our case; keeping the dog was non-negotiable). With prolonged exposure to the allergen, your reaction to it will be reduced. I think it's something to do with the immune system being overly sensitive to the allergen, but "learning" over time to not react so strongly (but that's basically speculation on my part). You should note though that your allergy may not be entirely gone. I no longer get allergy attacks from our dog, but do get them if there is more than one dog in the house. We had a second dog for a while (rescued) and I had to go through the acclimatization process again for her too.

And it goes without saying that this doesn't apply at all to anaphylactic reactions like allergies to bee stings, shellfish, nuts, or things like that.

Re:Breaking news (2)

HJED (1304957) | more than 3 years ago | (#32825240)

There have been a number of studies showing that people can build up immunities to their allergies.
I have experienced this personally as I used to have gluten and dairy allergies but over time they disappeared (my allergies weren't very sever though so I had little bits of dairy and gluten every now and then which probably helped).
My sister had a similar experience to your self, she used to be mildly allergic to cats but over time living with them she stopped showing symptoms.

Re:Breaking news (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 3 years ago | (#32825100)

Another study in 2007 showed that men who took two-hour walks in a forest over two days had a 50-percent spike in levels of natural killer cells, and a third study found an increase in white blood cells that lasted for a week in women exposed to phytoncides in forest air."

What they're describing here in this second study is an heightened immune response. Now when I don't have allergies, such an immune response is fine, it's probably healthy too. That being said, when I have allergies, I certainly don't want more killer cells or white blood cells, during those times I already have way too many of those!!!!

Re:Breaking news (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#32825224)

Or it could just be that people who tend to stay indoors all the time also lean towards being neurotic pansies and hypochondriacs.

Re:Breaking news (5, Informative)

Hodapp (1175021) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824552)

Both groups "got off their ass" and "went outside". The comparison was between walking in a city area, and walking in a forest.
Did you even open the article?

Re:Breaking news (2, Informative)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824620)

I tried, but it is pay-walled. Oh well. I guess I will stay ignorant until an unlocked source appears.

Re:Breaking news (1)

Hodapp (1175021) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824734)

Whoa, that's weird, I just read it 10-15 minutes ago, but it's pay-walled now for me too.

Re:Breaking news (3, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824554)

Did you even read the summary? It's not just taking a walk outside, it's walking through the woods. This study has nothing to do with exersize or being sedentary, it's about breathing woodland air. AFAIK exersize has never been shown to boost the immune system (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

I read about another study that showed that children who live in spotlessly clean homes are more prone to allergies and athsma than kids whose moms are slobs. This may be related somehow, I don't know.

Re:Breaking news (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824580)

I read about another study that showed that children who live in spotlessly clean homes are more prone to allergies and athsma than kids whose moms are slobs. This may be related somehow, I don't know.

That may be because the kids in the spotless homes don't get enough germs in their body to build up antibodies. These are the same kids who probably weren't allowed to play in the dirt, compared to ones who live in homes that aren't as well maintained.

Re:Breaking news (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#32825086)

Remember also that many of us (e.g. all Europeans) are descendants of forest people, evolved to live in that environment. 50% of land used to be covered in trees, but we've cut most of them down in the last 2000 years.

Re:Breaking news (5, Insightful)

augi01 (1209002) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824594)

In conjunction with this rather astonishing remark, it may also be the case that walking in the forest removes one from an environment associated with many stressful things, i.e. work, school, etc, thereby decreasing their overall stress level. A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body.

Re:Breaking news (1)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824960)

Unless one has a mortgage and should really be out looking for a job or solving the other real problems that cause stressful things.

I, personally, would be thinking "why the heck am I walking around this hot sticky forest risking skin cancer and rabies instead of trying to deal with my problems."

It's good for people who can just let these things slip their mind I guess.

Re:Breaking news (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824974)

Ooh, plus, having 2 hours of completely free time a day to hug trees is correlated with having lower levels of stress. SOTP TEH PRESSAS!!11!

Re:Breaking news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824774)

Tell that to the astronauts at the ISS!

Duh (5, Interesting)

jridley (9305) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824430)

I grew up on a farm, and the only people who had air conditioning were living in town. I didn't even know what allergies were; none of my friends or anyone in their family had them, until I started making friends with people who lived in town and had air conditioning and super clean houses. THEY had allergies.

Re:Duh (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824506)

Sounds like my hatred for concrete hell (the city) is justified. We'd all be doing ourselves a favor if, instead of fearing the ongoing city depopulation, we embraced it.

Re:Duh (2, Informative)

viking099 (70446) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824638)

Yes, urban sprawl is much better for humanity and the environment than living in a city.

Why, when I was a kid and went to Jacksonville Beach, I could drive for miles along the coastal highway and not see a house or a condo. Thank goodness the developers were so forward thinking that they plopped huge condo developments and beautiful beach houses all along the highway so that the water can't even be seen any more!

And look at all those nasty forests that have been clearcut to bare earth, razed, paved, and piped so that people could escape the "concrete hell."

There's nothing wrong with city living. There is something wrong with living your entire life in a closed environment. The more people live in the cities, the more area we have to play in when we just have to GTFO of town and relax.

Re:Duh (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32825098)

>>>Yes, urban sprawl is much better for humanity and the environment than living in a city.

Actually - you're correct. Converting stripped farmland to suburbs has created an increase in the number of trees over the last 100 years.

Re:Duh (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824522)

Exactly! One theory is that the prevalence of allergies in modern times is a result of our "super clean" environments around us. The body's immune system has nothing to fight off, so instead it starts attacking even the most benign invaders -- any little bit of pollen or something it hasn't encountered before. The result of this is allergic reactions to nearly anything and everything out there. And those reactions are only getting worse as time goes on (i.e., the preponderance of peanut allergies in children).

Re:Duh (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824606)

The body's immune system has nothing to fight off, so instead it starts attacking even the most benign invaders

It's the same reason why researchers going to civilizations with no contact with the outside world have to be careful about spreading germs -- they have had no contact with bacteria and virus' that develop in large civilizations so they are very susceptible to infection.

Re:Duh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824626)

You lived on a farm, i.e. you probably had lots and lots of clean air around you. Your city dwelling friends were surrounded by vast amounts of pollutants.

Bullshit (-1, Redundant)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824714)

I grew up on a farm, and the only people who had air conditioning were living in town. I didn't even know what allergies were; none of my friends or anyone in their family had them, until I started making friends with people who lived in town and had air conditioning and super clean houses. THEY had allergies.

Your unscientific anecdote is negated by my own equally unscientific anecdote:

I grew up in a small farming village, a tiny population in a state with one of the lowest levels of air pollution, with no air conditioning whatsoever. I had absolutely terrible allergies, up to and including asthma, eyes glued shut due to "sleep" (secretions), and the need for serious medicine that didn't really help much.

The best thing I ever did was move to a city, get air conditioning, and stay the fuck away from the grass, trees, and other foliage that made my life a living hell. I didn't get allergies from living in the city as you so erroneously imply, I got them from being exposed to pollen in the first place, and short of paving the planet, a large city with relatively little green space is in my experience an ideal environment for those who suffer from Hay Fever, pollution notwithstanding.

Re:Bullshit (4, Interesting)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824976)

Seems that your allergies are making your posting finger twitchy - or there's a glitch in Slashdot.

My great-grandmother grew up in a farming village. There was a group of people who would always get colds around harvest-time; they were widely suspected of being malingerers, but she realized much later that they just had seasonal allergies.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824982)

The point that you seem to be missing is that we're talking about general trends here -- not individual anecdotes. As a trend, this is true and does have plenty of scientific evidence to support it. However, as with everything, there are outliers, like people with serious allergies such as yourself. Just because you personally don't fit into the meat of the curve doesn't negate the entire hypothesis.

And do you really feel the need to sit there reposting your comment every few minutes?

Re:Duh (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824748)

I grew up in a smallish town with lots of nature around and was in a forest every day - except in the winter. I live in a village now and am still almost every day in a forest. My home never was sterile. I've got urticaria since 2004 forcing me to take histamine antagonists every single day, and sometimes, when they not help, even corticosteroids.

Please do not oversimplify things.

Bullshit (5, Interesting)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824790)

I grew up on a farm, and the only people who had air conditioning were living in town. I didn't even know what allergies were; none of my friends or anyone in their family had them, until I started making friends with people who lived in town and had air conditioning and super clean houses. THEY had allergies.

Your unscientific anecdote is negated by my own equally unscientific anecdote:

I grew up in a small farming village, a tiny population in a state with one of the lowest levels of air pollution, with no air conditioning whatsoever. I had absolutely terrible allergies, up to and including asthma, eyes glued shut due to "sleep" (secretions), and the need for serious medicine that didn't really help much.

The best thing I ever did was move to a city, get air conditioning, and stay the fuck away from the grass, trees, and other foliage that made my life a living hell. I didn't get allergies from living in the city as you so erroneously imply, I got them from being exposed to pollen in the first place, and short of paving the planet, a large city with relatively little green space is in my experience an ideal environment for those who suffer from Hay Fever, pollution notwithstanding.

Re:Duh (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824798)

Who would have thought that the immune system treats any foreign object as harmful. Once exposed to it, your immune system responds by trying to kill it. If it can't, it just gets used to it. Simplified, but fairly accurate description.

Moving from a hyper-clean environment into a natural one will of course expose you to many things which cause an immune response upon first contact: Fungus and pine spores, dust mites, pollens, bacteria and protozoa, all of which will cause an immune response which is far more aggressive than anyone who encounters them in every day life.

Holy crap, I failed Human Biology and this isn't surprising to me.

Re:Duh (4, Insightful)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824804)

My wife grew up surrounded by animals and has extremely bad allergies. She didn't know what it was like to breathe normally until she moved into her first apartment that had always been animal-free.

Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

Bullshit (-1, Redundant)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824814)

I grew up on a farm, and the only people who had air conditioning were living in town. I didn't even know what allergies were; none of my friends or anyone in their family had them, until I started making friends with people who lived in town and had air conditioning and super clean houses. THEY had allergies.

Your unscientific anecdote is negated by my own equally unscientific anecdote:

I grew up in a small farming village, a tiny population in a state with one of the lowest levels of air pollution, with no air conditioning whatsoever. I had absolutely terrible allergies, up to and including asthma, eyes glued shut due to "sleep" (secretions), and the need for serious medicine that didn't really help much.

The best thing I ever did was move to a city, get air conditioning, and stay the fuck away from the grass, trees, and other foliage that made my life a living hell. I didn't get allergies from living in the city as you so erroneously imply, I got them from being exposed to pollen in the first place, and short of paving the planet, a large city with relatively little green space is in my experience an ideal place for those who suffer from Hay Fever, pollution notwithstanding.

No shit (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824446)

Great outdoors good for you. News at 11. What would we do without science?

autoimmune (1)

gtvr (1702650) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824472)

I assume this would be bad if you have an autoimmune disorder.

Re:autoimmune (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824746)

It might very well prevent it. See it this way: your body has an army. And it needs an army, as all kind of illnesses try to invade it. But if an army has nothing to do, it will have a mutiny. Turn against its master. That is very well what an autoimmune disease is. So keep your immune system busy, but don't overdo it.

The Happening? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824480)

In Reverse? Trees helping keep us alive? They should be trying to kill us.

Re:The Happening? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824540)

That's not how it works. The increased white blood cell levels indicate that the immune system is defending the body against something. Going into a "dirty" environment which is chock full of parasites, spores and bacteria to which our body is evolutionary adapted is like a training session for the immune system. They are trying to kill us, but we know how to fend off the attack and improve our health in doing so.

Different types of forests (3, Interesting)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824570)

In the Midwest, our forests are just plain nasty... I would be surprised if the Japanese have anything close to ragweed. My family is originally from up north, so we are all allergic to this, but correlation does not blah blah blah

.I wonder if they have to worry about ticks, with all the fun stuff they carry, as well over there on that island. I'm thinking the plant life just might be different. I grew up playing in a greenbelt full of poison ivy and ragweed, along with scrub trees that put off that layer of pollen that will cover your car, so after RTA, I can't say which side of the coin I prefer I'm afraid.

Whodunnit? Jewdunnit! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824598)

Whodunnit? Jewdunnit!

Lifting the Lid on the Guilty Yid

The liberals got it exactly right. For years now they’ve been telling us how “vibrant” mass immigration has made stale, pale White societies. Well, London was certainly vibrating on 7th July and that got me thinking: What else have the liberals got right? Mass immigration “enriches” us too, they’ve always said. Is that “enrich” as in “enriched uranium”, an excellent way of making atom bombs? Because that’s what comes next: a weapon of real mass destruction that won’t kill people in piffling dozens but in hundreds of thousands or millions. Bye-bye London, bye-bye Washington, bye-bye Tel Aviv.

I’m not too sure I’d shed a tear if the last-named went up in a shower of radioactive cinders, but Tel Aviv is actually the least likely of the three to be hit. What’s good for you ain’t good for Jews, and though Jews have striven mightily, and mighty successfully, to turn White nations into multi-racial fever-swamps, mass immigration has passed the Muzzerland safely by. And mass immigration is the key to what happened in London. You don’t need a sophisticated socio-political analysis taking in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Jewish control of Anglo-American foreign policy, British colonialism, and fifteen centuries of Christian-Muslim conflict. You can explain the London bombs in five simple words:

Pakis do not belong here.

And you can sum up how to prevent further London bombs – and worse – in three simple words:

PAKI GO HOME.

At any time before the 1950s, brown-skinned Muslim terrorists would have found it nearly impossible to plan and commit atrocities on British soil, because they would have stood out like sore thumbs in Britain’s overwhelmingly White cities. Today, thanks to decades of mass immigration, it’s often Whites who stand out like sore thumbs. Our cities swarm with non-whites full of anti-White grievances and hatreds created by Judeo-liberal propaganda. And let’s forget the hot air about how potential terrorists and terrorist sympathizers are a “tiny minority” of Britain’s vibrant, peace-loving Muslim “community”.

Even if that’s true, a tiny minority of 1.6 million (2001 estimate) is a hell of a lot of people, and there’s very good reason to believe it isn’t true. Tony Blair has tried to buy off Britain’s corrupt and greedy “moderate” Muslims with knighthoods and public flattery, but his rhetoric about the “religion of peace” wore thin long ago. After the bombings he vowed, with his trademark bad actor’s pauses, that we will... not rest until... the guilty men are identified... and as far... as is humanly possible... brought to justice for this... this murderous carnage... of the innocent.

His slimy lawyer’s get-out clause – “as far as is humanly possible” – was soon needed. Unlike Blair and his pal Dubya in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bombers were prepared not only to kill the innocent but to die themselves as they did so. And to laugh at the prospect: they were captured on CCTV sharing a joke about the limbs and heads that would shortly be flying. Even someone as dim as Blair must know you’ve got a big problem on your hands when there are over 1.6 million people in your country following a religion like that.

If he doesn’t know, there are plenty of Jewish journalists who will point it out for him. There’s the neo-conservative Melanie Phillips in Britain, for example, who never met an indignant adverb she didn’t like, and the neo-conservative Mark Steyn in Canada, who never met an indignant Arab he didn’t kick. Reading their hard-hitting columns on Muslim psychosis, I was reminded of a famous scene in Charles Dickens’ notoriously anti-Semitic novel Oliver Twist (1839). The hero watches the training of the villainous old Jew Fagin put into action by the Artful Dodger:

What was Oliver’s horror and alarm to see the Dodger plunge his hand into the old gentleman’s pocket, and draw from thence a handkerchief! To see him hand the same to Charley Bates; and finally to behold them both running away round the corner at full speed! He stood for a moment tingling from terror; then, confused and frightened, he took to his heels and made off as fast as he could lay his feet to the ground.
In the very instant when Oliver began to run, the old gentleman, putting his hand to his pocket, and missing his handkerchief, turned sharp round. Seeing the boy scudding away, he very naturally concluded him to be the depredator; and shouting “Stop thief!” with all his might, made off after him. But the old gentleman was not the only person who raised the hue-and-cry. The Dodger and Master Bates, unwilling to attract public attention by running down the open street, had merely retired into the very first doorway round the corner. They no sooner heard the cry, and saw Oliver running, than, guessing exactly how the matter stood, they issued forth with great promptitude; and, shouting “Stop thief!” too, joined in the pursuit like good citizens.

“Wicked Muslims!” our two Jewish Artful Dodgers are shouting. “Can’t you see how they hate the West and want to destroy us?” Well, yes, we can, but some of us can also see who the original West-haters are. Mark Steyn claims not to be Jewish, but his ancestry shines through time after time in his writing. Above all, there’s his dishonesty. One week he’s mocking anti-Semites for claiming that the tiny nation of Israel could have such a powerful influence for bad on the world’s affairs. The following week he’s praising the British Empire for having had such a powerful influence for good. You know, the world-bestriding British Empire – as created by a tiny nation called Britain.

If the Brits could do it openly and honestly, Mr Steyn, why can’t the yids do it by fraud and deception? And the yids have done it, of course. They’ve run immigration policy and “race relations” in Europe and America since the 1960s, and Steyn is very fond of pointing out what’s in store for Europe as our Jew-invited non-white guests grow in number and really start to show their appreciation of our hospitality.

Funnily enough, I’ve never seen him point out that the same is in store for North America, which has its own rapidly growing non-white swarms. And when Steyn launches one of his regular attacks on the lunacies of multi-culturalism and anti-racism, a central fact always somehow seems to escape his notice. He recently once again bemoaned the psychotic “Western self-loathing” that has such a “grip on the academy, the media, the Congregational and Episcopal Churches, the ‘arts’ and Hollywood”. Exhibit one: the multi-culti, hug-the-world, “Let’s all be nice to the Muslims” memorial for 9/11. This was his list of those responsible for it:

Tom Bernstein... Michael Posner... Eric Foner... George Soros...
Well, that’s a Jew, a Jew, a Jew, and a Jew – sounds like a lampshade collector showing off his Auschwitz shelf. But fearless “Tell It Like It Is” Steyn, ever-ready to mock the “racial sensitivity” of deluded liberals, is himself very sensitive about race when it comes to the Chosen Ones. He’ll kick dark-skinned Muslims and their liberal appeasers till the sacred cows come home and he can start kicking them too, but just like Melanie Phillips he never whispers a word about the Jews who created liberal appeasement or about the enormous power Jews wield in “the academy, the media, the 'arts', and Hollywood”.

The same is true of all other Jewish “conservatives”. They’re shouting “Stop thief!” at the top of their voices and hoping that no-one will notice that they all belong to the biggest race of thieves who ever existed. Those bombs went off in London because Jews have stolen large parts of Britain from their rightful White inhabitants and handed them over to the non-white followers of a psychotic alien religion. When non-whites commit more and worse atrocities in future, you won’t need to ask who’s really responsible: it’s liberal Jews like Tom Bernstein and George Soros, who organize mass immigration and the anti-racism industry, and “conservative” Jews like Mark Steyn and Melanie Phillips, who distract White attention from the racial motives of Jews like Soros and Bernstein. Heads they win, tails we lose – liberal, “conservative”, they’re all of them Jews.

Good news (3, Insightful)

goontz (1441623) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824640)

I've actually been planning a backpacking/primitive camping trip with a buddy of mine for a while now, which was prompted in part by a random feeling of being tired of all the comforts we take for granted, as well as realizing how out of touch the majority of people are (myself included) with nature and the associated skills that come with it (the ones that many of our Dads may have taught us, and we've since forgotten). I'm glad to know that the trip will have these other benefits too.

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824910)

shut up brokeback.

Re:Good news (1)

Organic Brain Damage (863655) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824948)

I just got back from a couple of days in the woods. Man, am I now glad I've got all those comforts and I no longer take them for granted. It was 95F and 80% relative humidity (at night) and the bugs were particularly vicious. I'm sure my immune system is now way stronger, but I've got Malaria.

Vitamin D deficiency? (2, Interesting)

GoooF (135436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824682)

Vitamin D is a very potent vitamin which the body only can produce in direct exposure of sunlight and is stored in the fat of the body.
It also exist in a small range of foods.
The problem is when you don't get any exposure of sunlight and you don't eat any food which contain vitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency has been seen to result in a wide range of consequences such as Osteomalacia, Rickets, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's disease, depression and low immune defence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_D [wikipedia.org]

As you all know old people mostly cover up their body to not get cold, which in result leads to very little sun exposure.

I am not saying it is an universal cure, but I wonder if it can have a connection??

Re:Vitamin D deficiency? (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#32825056)

Interesting but not really relevant.

The article is not about being outside in the sunlight but about being in a forest (i.e. "in nature") as opposed to a city.

3 week intelligence buff as well (2, Informative)

izomiac (815208) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824706)

Scientific American [scientificamerican.com] recently did an article about the soil bacteria mycobacterium vaccae, which you're likely to be exposed to in a forest. Apparently it gives mice a temporary, but fairly large boost in maze solving ability. No clue if it applies to humans as well, but there's certainly no harm in getting out of the city every once in a while.

Anedcotal evidence (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824752)

I used to get allergies (hay fever) all the time. I worked at a scout camp where we slept in canvas tents, so we were outside 100% of the time. The first year I worked there I benadryl-ed myself up all the time until I ran out, and the trading post ran out. I had to suffer with only facial tissues... but after a day they went away. And didn't come back for 2 weeks. 2 weeks later, I had allergies, but this time did not medicate. Then I went another 2 weeks... so I just learned to suffer a day and have 2 weeks of unmedicated joy.

Fast forward to 20 years later... I still have allergies, but I bought a convertible. I like the air. Even on these 100degree days, it is top down. My hay fever has virtually been eliminated.. I *might(* get something in the spring, but this past spring I made it through without any problems.

I think that in the absence of stimulus, the body cranks up the sensitivity to the point that it goes crazy. This seems to be confirmed by Helminthic therapy, where you purposely infect yourself with parasites (of a specific species with low risk) and these buggers help manage your immune response. But this helminthic therapy advocates say it treats "diseases of civilization" like asthma, which is never found in the undeveloped world.

So spending time outdoors seems to be a help to reconsult the environment that the body functions best in.

Thank you geocaching (2, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 3 years ago | (#32824772)

While going for a walk in the woods for its own sake is great, it's hard to convince the family and friends, sometimes, that what they really want to do is put down the remote and go for a long nature hike. This is where geocaching is so great; the kids think of it as "searching for treasure", and my friends have taken up the various challenges with excitement ("how are we going to cross the river?" "How are we going to get down from this ciff", etc. Whereas I could never convince them to go before, once there's a challenge, something to find, out there, they're all for it.

My personal satisfaction came from the fact that two of my friends were so angry about being left behind, or just struggling to keep up in general, that they both quit smoking.

The Japanese... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32824916)

...seem to have the ball in the park all around...

Is there a pill for that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32825050)

I wonder if I can get those phytoncides in a pill or inhaler form.

flawed study (1)

SemperUbi (673908) | more than 3 years ago | (#32825072)

The article by Li et al [nih.gov] doesn't show that the forest has anything to do with the change in NK activity. They base their claim that NK activity increased after a forest walk by comparing NK activity to a baseline obtained from the same subjects on a normal working day. Why couldn't the difference have been due to the exercise itself? They should've had a control group of folks taking a city walk, and a third group using treadmills to exercise.

where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32825094)

Does anyone know where all the hot women go to bathe in the forest?

le_mot_bizarre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32825108)

What kind of a f***ing word is "healthful"? Do you Americans always just make up words like this?

Re:le_mot_bizarre (2, Funny)

TDyl (862130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32825248)

Yes, just like "winningest", "mostest" and "druther" - it reminds me of my childhood, when I was 4 or 5 years old.

WTF? (1)

TDyl (862130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32825134)

I've been going outside, cycling, walking & climbing trees since I was a whoosh in my daddies'... I have spent years of holidays in the German, Austrian and French Alps just enjoying nature and I still find time to code and create webbies (F**K the social media sites though, they reay s**k a**e). The benefits I get from the great outdoors are legion (apart from that snake that one time...) Is it at all possible that one day scientists could study themselves and their grants and come to a determination that they will write s**t for money and "state the bleedin' obvious"?

Growing up in Europe and America - Kids Outdoors! (2, Interesting)

JakFrost (139885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32825192)

Eastern Europe - Outdoor Active Lifestyle

I grew up in a very polluted coal mining and burning part of eastern Europe and all of us kids spend their entire time outside, except for a few hours of sleeping, parents calling us to come in for dinner, which we would promptly eat and then leave again to play with friends, and the few hours a day that we would be required to be in school, but even then we would have two breaks and lunch which we would spend outside playing. Even during cold and rainy days we would be outside doing stuff with out friends, meeting up under various try spots that we knew outside. There was no air conditioning and I didn't see anyone suffering from any type of allergies or asthma that I remember but I do remember a few sickly kids that would spend their time indoors.

Our apartment complex in the big city was covered with busy roads and tons cars and commercial traffic, we even had an actual a coal burning plant which would create the hot water for the entire housing compound right in the middle of the apartment complex and we even occasionally venture next to it to play war around there among the dumped burned off toxic leftover coke byproduct of coal burning. However, at the same time our apartment complex was next to a huge park, a farm, and with tons of trees littering the paths between the apartment buildings and throughout the city between every single street. You could walk large parts of the city during light rain and hardly get any wet just by walking under the trees!

During each 2-month Summer vacation and 3-week or longer Winter vacation my mother would always arrange for me to go on the company sponsored camping and I would then spend weeks at a time away in the mountain and forest areas playing outdoors even more with kids and then go on hikes and outdoor tent camping events on top of being outside. We never did any indoor activities unless it was raining and even then we would find excuses to run outside and get soaking we just for fun. I spend more time getting dirty among nature as a kid then I care to remember.

United States - Sedentary Indoor Lifestyle

When I came to the United States later I found that most kids stayed in-doors most of the time and hardly went outside. Being an immigrant child I kept to my roots and hung out with my own kid friends spending our entire summers outside in the parks and going away on lake and camping trips on the weekends with family. The Summer and Winter camps here turned out to cost a lot more money and since they were not sponsored by my mother's work I couldn't afford to go. I tried to spend a much time as possible outside in the summer playing basketball and football with whatever friends were left in the city but since many of them went away I became sedentary and gained weight, then started spending a lot more time at the computer than I should have which in turn decreased my ability to go outside and enjoy myself.

Now that I move out to another part of the country where there is a lot more outdoor activities I am getting myself involved in outdoor type events so that I can get back to being in nature. Airsoft has become my newest outdoor hobby and I just love the idea of literally crawling through thick woods with a replica gun just to shoot at people and have fun outside while hugging and blending in with the nature. I came out filthy as a dog from that weekend excursion but I was hooked!

When I have kids I will guarantee that they spend their entire time outside doing activities and go away every Summer and Winter vacation to camps, no matter what I have to sacrifice for myself to afford the cost. I want my kids to be familiar with nature and be comfortable being in the woods like I was.

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