Voices from Russia

Sunday, 16 September 2018

16 September 2018. A Point to Ponder from Patriarch Aleksei Ridiger of Blessed Memory


Everyone, I think, should take free time to be alone, to think about the past and the present. Unfortunately, we don’t have that much free time, but we need to find it, because everyone needs to connect with their conscience and look into their soul, especially, those of us who’ve reached the twilight of their years.

His Holiness Aleksei Ridiger

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias



Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Drinking to Remember: Your Coffee Habit May Protect Against Dementia

Filed under: health care/social issues,science — 01varvara @ 00.00
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01 Woman Drinking Coffee


According to evidence from a new study in the Journals of Gerontology, coffee drinkers, take comfort… your beverage of choice may be helping your brain. Ira Driscoll, the study’s lead author and psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

The mounting evidence of caffeine consumption as a potentially protective factor against cognitive impairment is exciting, given that caffeine is also an easily modifiable dietary factor.

Study results, first published online in late September, found that older women who consumed more caffeine suffered less cognitive impairment in the form of dementia. The study tracked 6,467 women who self-reported their caffeine intake over ten years. Those who drank more than 261 milligrams of caffeine saw their risk of developing dementia or some other form of global cognitive impairment drop by 36 percent. Researchers say that this is a significant relationship, although it stops short of establishing cause and effect. Getting that much caffeine would take three regular eight-ounce cups of coffee, five or six cups of black tea, or more than seven cans of Coke (or, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, one 12-ounce cup of Starbucks brewed coffee). That may sound like a lot, but the FDA and several other major food safety authorities call 300 to 400 mg per day “moderate consumption”, which isn’t associated with adverse health effects in most healthy adults. Studies over the past 20 years have found that American adults consume between 165-300 mg of caffeine a day on average.  Driscoll explained:

While we can’t make a direct link between higher caffeine consumption and lower incidence of cognitive impairment and dementia, with further study, we can better quantify its relationship with cognitive health outcomes. Research on this topic will be beneficial not only from a preventative standpoint but also to better understand the underlying mechanisms and their involvement in dementia and cognitive impairment.

The study used participants from the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, who reported some level of caffeine consumption. Driscoll and her colleagues gathered data using questions about how often and how much coffee, tea, and cola beverages the women drank, and combined that with information gathered from yearly assessments of cognitive function over a period of up to ten years. In that period, 388 participants in the study received a diagnosis of probable dementia or some form of cognitive impairment. The study found that participants who consumed more than the median caffeine intake for the group… 261 mg per day… were diagnosed with cognitive impairment less often than those who consumed less caffeine. Researchers adjusted results to take into account factors like hormone therapy, age, race, education, body mass index, sleep quality, depression, hypertension, prior cardiovascular disease, diabetes, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

The new research noted in its conclusion that caffeine and its relationship to dementia has been studied many times. Their findings, suggesting lower odds of cognitive impairment in older women consuming more caffeine than the group’s baseline average, “are consistent with the existing literature showing an inverse association between caffeine intake and age-related cognitive impairment”. The study also noted its demographic limitations, specifically that it was confined to postmenopausal women, many of whom were highly-educated, as well as reporting limitations, in that the researchers didn’t collect data about caffeine sources beyond caffeinated beverages, meaning that they have underestimated consumption. The study said:

We need further research in order to assess or confirm the exposure through more objective biological assays compared to self-reported caffeine intake, and to isolate potential acute effects that caffeine may have on cognitive performance.

4 October 2016

Sputnik International


Sunday, 12 June 2016

12 June 2016. Some Thoughts On Our “Permanent City”

00  Yelena Cherkasova. The Righteous Soul Enters Heaven. undated. James Earl Carter 230815

It’s time to embark on the homeward stretch of the pilgrimage… there’s a while yet ahead, but the goal IS in view…


I wrote this to a friend (it’s an excerpt without personal details):

Real Church people do think alike… even those that appear antipodes apart. Can you believe that Lazar Puhalo and Andrew Phillips agree more often than not? The Holy Spirit IS afoot; He moves in ways incomprehensible to us. In the usual course of events, you’ll outlive me… it’s normal for people my age to reach out to younger folk. I may not have much wisdom, but I do have experience and a life lived to the full. I wish the same for you. Reflect on this… Bishop Kip and Schmemann always fought… but they stayed in the same Church. However, neither one of us is here FOREVER. This is NOT our permanent city. We’re entering the last of life… for what the first was made, according to Browning. It won’t happen tomorrow or next week, but mature people understand what happens. It’s not scary, dear… not at all. The “last” isn’t sudden, y’ know… it takes YEARS… but we ARE in the summing up and I can say that I have NO regrets. I simply wish to pass on some of my accumulated experience and to have the time and necessary vigour to do it.

I shared this with some other friends… here’s a reply:

Yes, we’re entering that period of life when we need to pass on the torch. It was brought home even more so as we returned earlier this week from a family funeral. Unfortunately, what we’ve seen, heard, and lived will never be found in the books… a great loss. Nevertheless, life moves on; God IS there to take care of the Church, and there’ll always be those who can carry on.

Another friend wrote this:

In death, at least, there’s peace. In my years, I have lived to see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I’m at peace that I did stand for social justice. However, I’m sailing in the winter sun; my memories drift along beside me like autumn leaves, destined to sink beneath the waves with me, and soon. I do thank you for your friendship, and your disagreements at times. I’ve always trusted you, in any case.

My reply was:

Likewise. When and how? That’s what one wonders at our age. However, I don’t dwell on it… neither do you. We’ve become ELDERS… with all that implies. Damn, it means that we have responsibilities… one of which is to show the young ‘uns that authority isn’t always right and that one can stand against injustice, come what may.

I’m not going anywhere yet, God willing… yet, I know that my time is running short (not “running out”, but “running short”). I’m not going to ruin what’s left by capitulating to those whose only credo is Power (that includes those who suck up to the Powerful). Will the next generation be better? I’ll confide that they’ll be no better and no worse than we were… I’m thinking of two young priests here… one is a more thoughtful and reflective sort, the other’s a clueless arrogant power-seeker. The latter is so much hated that after I said, “I want to shake him up and down until he grows some good-sense”, one his contemporaries said to me, “I’d pay to see that!” In the end, our younger contemporaries WILL face the same moral challenges… I’ll do my best to encourage the good ones and oppose the bad ones… then, it’ll be time to go when My Lord calls me. I’m not ready to die nor do I have any premonitions… I’ve just reached a point in life where one accepts that there’s going to be an end to this earthly pilgrimage. At the appointed time, may I reach the Last Homely Home…


Friday, 11 July 2014

11 July 2014. From the Russian Web… Smile a’ While… There be Some BADASS Babi and Dedi Out There

00 badass babi and dedi 01. 11.07.14


00 badass babi and dedi 02. 11.07.14


00 badass babi and dedi 04. 11.07.14


00 badass babi and dedi 03. 11.07.14


Let’s lighten the tone for a post or two… here are some images of feisty babi and dedi that I found on the Russian web. I’m in the autumn of my years (60 isn’t elderly, it’s only on the cusp of same), so, I can testify that one doesn’t “age” in the brain… but if one does, you’re in the deep doo-doo. I’m as feisty as ever, and I intend to keep on being such until they plant me. God willing, someone else will pick up the torch then. However, do be feisty, but don’t be angry… that’s self-defeating. Be a happy warrior until the day you die… then, God will welcome you into the Last Homely Home… Well done, thou good and faithful servant


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