Introducing HuffPost Opinion And HuffPost Personal

We live in a cacophonous world. Thousands of voices scream for our attention from our social media timelines and TV screens. It’s hard to know what deserves our focus and what to tune out. At HuffPost, we believe it’s our job to bring you, our audience, the most thoughtful, diverse and provocative points of view from across the globe. So today we are launching two new sections: Sentiment and Personal.

The new Opinion section will feature a mixture of regular columnists and one-off guest novelists , commissioned by our Sentiment editors to make smart, authentic, timely and rigorous op-eds. Our objective is to help our audience better understand the breakneck news cycle, and shed light on tales that aren’t getting enough attention. We will feature these columnists’ bylines prominently across the site, so that you will come to recognize a set of smart, dependable voices you can come back to again and again.

For example, today we are featuring Carol Anderson on the Republican agenda, Tressie McMillan Cottom on the complex challenges of the digital age, Lauren Sandler on the future of women’s leadership and Jamil Smith on why Trump’s racism attains him not only an immoral chairwoman but also an ineffective one. We are excited to welcome our slate of regular columnists, which will continue to grow and evolve.

The new Personal section will feature commissioned first-person essays by guest writers, as well as person-first content — including features, Q& As and interviews written by HuffPost reporters — exploring the experiences and lives of celebrities, newsmakers and “everyday” individuals.

Topics will span all the vistum of our lives, especially in the realm of identity( race, gender, sexuality, disability, intersectionality, etc .), health and mental health, sexuality/ love/ relationships, family and working parenting, and great tales about unique life experiences. Ultimately, we were just trying to feature personal, expressive pieces that explore or expose some part of the human experience and how it connects to society, culture or the world at large, whether they’re written by the person who experienced it or reported by a member of the HuffPost Personal team.

As we roll out these changes, we are objective the HuffPost contributor platform. The platform, which launched in May 2005, was a revolutionary notion at the time: devote a megaphone to lots of people — some famous, some entirely unknown — to tell their tales. At that time, social networks barely existed. Facebook was a nascent dating site for college students. Twitter had not been invented. The platforms where so many people now share their views, like LinkedIn, Medium and others, were far in the future.

Looking back, it’s difficult to find a notable personality who hasn’t blogged on HuffPost at some point or another. Presidential candidate Barack Obama used HuffPost to address the controversy around his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Jennifer Aniston broke the internet by taking on body-shamers. Even Oprah get in the mix.

But the real achievement of the platform was giving a spotlight to a huge number of people who weren’t previously afforded one. In a time before the ubiquity of social media, the HuffPost platform was a public square where Americans of all walkings of life could have a voice on matters both political and personal. In all, more than 100,000 contributors have posted on the U.S. site. Unknown writers have had their work considered by millions, and out of that have come book deals, movie scripts, countless dialogues and at least one marriage.

Now, there are many places where people can share and exchange ideas. Perhaps a few too many: One of the biggest challenges we all face, in an epoch where everyone has a platform, is figuring out whom to listen to. Open platforms that once seemed radically democratizing now threaten, with the tsunami disaster of false information we all face daily, to undermine democracy. When everyone has a megaphone , no one can be heard.

Our hope is that by listening carefully through all the noise, we can find the voices that need to be heard and elevate them for all of you.

Please pitch us your ideas! You can find more information on how to contact the new sections here.

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Georgia O’Keeffe, health food devotee: the pioneer of modernism’s favourite recipes

The American artist lived until she was 98 and a new volume of her favourite recipes might give some clues as to how

Georgia OKeeffe was an icon of the American art world: a pioneer of abstract modernism, with boldly innovative paints of flowers and bleached animal skulls. Lesser known is that her diet, too, was ahead of its period.

A new cookbook of OKeeffes personal recipes Dinner with Georgia OKeeffe: Recipes, Art and Landscape, by the Australian author Robyn Lea reveals she was a forerunner to todays organic, slow food movement, a health food follower who built her own yoghurt.

A hundred years ago, OKeeffes first solo exhibition opened in New York and, in 2014, her 1932 painting Jimson Weed/ White Flower No 1 set a record cost for a run by a female artist, selling at Sothebys for $44.4 m. With her art so highly coveted, it is unsurprising that an astute luxury publisher such as Assouline believes there is also a receptive market awaiting her recipes. But her lifestyle habits will be of interest to an audience beyond art aficionados since OKeeffe lived until the age of 98.

In photographs, OKeeffe appears unsmiling and stern-looking, garmented in a largely androgynous uniform of monochromes and striking silhouettes. She was often photographed by her husband and mentor, the photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz but knowing what she liked to eat goes some route to humanise her beyond his powerful black and white images.

You various kinds of feel like youre reading people diary in a way, feeing the food they eat, because its quite a personal thing, Lea says. She actually was quite a force-out for this new way of thinking across so many levels, whether in art, food, dress and interiors.

The book is a companion piece of sorts to Leas 2015 volume, Dinner with Jackson Pollock, which featured the personal recipes of the celebrated modern painter. Lea believes it is natural that she should follow up her Pollock book with one on OKeeffe. If you think of the hero male icon and the hero female icon of the 20 th century in art in America, they are the two.

When Lea began conducting online research from her home in Melbourne, she knew nothing of OKeeffes feeing habits. It was four months later in March 2016 that she visited the Georgia OKeeffe Research Centre in New Mexico and discovered a trove of OKeeffes handwritten recipes, along with magazine trims and instructional handbooks for her yoghurt manufacturer and various kitchen accoutrements. What fascinated me was how the three elements of food, art and nature worked together both visually and philosophically in OKeeffes life, Lea says.

Georgia OKeeffe with a canvas from her Pelvis Series, Red With Yellow in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1960. Photograph: Tony Vaccaro/ Getty Images

Stieglitz described his wife as quite a cook, loves experimenting is in everything she does, what she is as a painter[ sic ]. During summers with the Stieglitz family at Lake George in upstate New York, OKeeffe attained dinners so delicious that Stieglitz even joked about opening a eatery.

OKeeffe had been raised on a farm in Wisconsin, and induced the first of many journeys to northern New Mexico in the summer of 1929. The stark scenery had a profound influence on her art. From the mid-1 930 s, she began spending a lot more time in New Mexico, away from Stieglitz in New York. In 1940, she bought a home at Ghost Ranch , northwest of Santa Fe. At the end of 1945, she bought a second property only 25 km from the Ghost Ranch, a destroyed hacienda in the village of Abiqui. It was here that she ultimately grew her dreaming garden of fruit and vegetables. OKeeffe moved to Abiquiu permanently in 1949, three years after Stieglitzs death, and she remained in New Mexico until her death in 1986.

Leas book exposes the great lengths OKeeffe went to to procure superior quality raw ingredients. She requested walnuts, dates, wheat germ and brewers yeast from her sister Claudia, while goats milk was procured from neighbouring Franciscan priests. OKeeffe believed water had to already be simmering before corn was picked from the garden( to avoid loss of vitamins ); organic whole grains needed to be ground for homemade bread; and herbs were to be harvested from the garden and hung to dry. OKeeffe was also a follower of health beverages such as vitamin A cocktail, a vegetable juice, and Tigers Milk, a yogurt and fruit drink.

OKeeffe was passionate about sharing her nutritional knowledge with others and would make healthy smoothies for friends on neighbouring properties, insisting they drank them. Even her gardener, shed induce him have these smoothies saying, Youll live longer, youll be healthier, Lea says.

Fifty of her favourite recipes are included in Leas book, including brightly coloured vegetable soups( a creamy carrot soup adorns the cover-up) as well as bread and salads. Lea says she isnt sure whether the vivid colouring in OKeeffes recipes was motivated by her preoccupation with colour, or more because she only wanted things only cooked to the point where they were right to feed and not over simmered. But its hard not to conclude that the colours of such healthy dishes must have pleased the artist.

OKeeffe also believed that food could enhance artistic output. The volume contains an anecdote about OKeeffe quizzing the artist John Marin about what he feed for breakfast on the day he painted three runs admired by OKeeffe. She truly did believe that, if you feed something good for breakfast, that had the power to help your creative work, your expres, Lea says. While such thinking is common now, it was not in 1925.

It feels like a new discovery in a manner that is, that people are talking like that today, but it seems she was thinking that route before these ideas were scientifically proven.

Dinner with Georgia OKeeffe: Recipes, Art and Landscape will be launched in Australia at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on 5 July, to coincide with OKeeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith: Inducing Modernism, which opens at AGNSW on 1 July

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Getting rid of a pain in the neck: Chiropractic Association calls for regulation of industry – Channel NewsAsia

Channel NewsAsia

Should link between dementia and artificial sweeteners be taken with a pinch of salt?

How peoples capacity for forgetfulness and lies may have impacted on research tying stroke and dementia to diet drinks

They were supposed to be the healthy alternative to their sugar-rich siblings. But now lovers of diet colas and other low-calorie drinks have been hit by news that will radically undermine those credentials: a counterintuitive analyse suggesting a link to stroke and dementia.

The study in the publication Stroke may cause a rethink among the persons worried about obesity, diabetes or a possible early heart attack from sugar-rich beverages who have been considering making a change. It comes to the alarming conclusion that people polishing off one can a day of artificially sweetened drink are nearly three times as likely to have a stroke or develop dementia.

Its a shocking conclusion. But the first reason to intermission is that the study determined no such hazard in people who drank standard sugary lemonades and colas.

There is little previous evidence with regard to dementia, which is why the researchers were looking at it, but the link between sugar and stroke is very well known. Too much sugar raises the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart attacks and stroke. Its altogether a bad thing, which is why the World Health Organisation is telling us all to cut down. So “whats going on” in this study?

The evidence it analyses is pulled from the well-respected Framingham Heart Study a cohort of more than 5,000 people in Massachusetts, US, whose diets and lifestyles have been monitored for nearly 50 years, with the main objective of used to identify more about heart disease. Along the route, researchers have looked at other health outcomes.

What they are up against is people capability for forgetfulness and lies. This is the case with every analyze into the food we eat except for those rare ones, almost impossible to do today, which have in effect incarcerated their subjects and controlled every sip and mouthful they took.Researchers understand this and to continue efforts to take account of it, but it is difficult.

There are several possible other reasons why an increased stroke hazard was associated with diet drinkings and not sugary drinks. One is what is called reversal causality. People who come to realise that they are ill and have a high risk of a stroke then switch their behaviour by choosing diet drinks long after sugary beverages have helped cause the problem.

When it came to dementia, the link with diet drinks that researchers ensure disappeared once they took specific aspects of the health of the people in the study into account. When the researchers accounted for other determining factor for Alzheimers, such as risk genes, diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol levels and weight, this significant association was lost, suggesting that these drinks are not the whole story, said Dr Rosa Sancho, head of research at Alzheimers Research UK.

The researchers point to it themselves: We are unable to determine whether artificially sweetened soft drink intake increased the risk of incident dementia through diabetes mellitus or whether people with diabetes mellitus were simply more likely to devour diet liquors, they write. But they call for more research and others will support them in that.

Artificial sweeteners have been viewed with mistrust by a lot of consumers for many years and not entirely deservedly. They are not natural, in the way that sugar is natural, being grown from beet or cane. Some of the hostility comes from those who worry about ingesting man-made chemicals. But while some artificial flavourings have been shown to carry health risks, examines have failed to find similar problems with artificial sweeteners.

Aspartame has been extremely controversial since its approval for utilize by several European countries in the 1980 s, says NHS Choices. In 1996, a study connected it to an increase in brain tumours. However, the study had very few scientific basis and later analyzes showed that aspartame was in fact safe to devour, says the NHS.

Large analyses have also been carried out to look at whether the sweetener increased cancer dangers, and gave it a clean bill of health. The European Food Safety Authority said in 2013 it was safe even for pregnant women and children, except for anyone with a rare genetic condition called phenylketonuria.

Dumping aspartame from its low calorie bestseller did not give PepsiCo the halo impact it hoped. In 2015, it announced it was taking the sweetener some people love to dislike out of Diet Pepsi and replacing it with sucralose. A year later, when it became clear Coca Cola would not follow suit and that fans favor their drink the style it used to be, it did a U-turn and set aspartame back in.

There have been huge efforts to develop artificial sweeteners that will taste as good as sugar and be acceptable to the doubters. Stevia, a plant extract, is marketed as a natural sweetener to the increasingly sceptical health-conscious.

Now it is not just drinks. Public Health England is putting pressure on food companies to cut 20% of sugar from their products by 2020. That will probably mean smaller chocolate bars, where artificial sweeteners merely wont deliver the same savour. But they will be part of the answer in other foods.

Sweeteners such as sucralose, which is 650 periods sweeter than sugar, have long been in breakfast cereals and salad dressings, while saccharin is in store-bought cakes, despite a scare over bladder cancer which caused the Canadian government to ban it as an additive in 1977. It lifted the ban in 2014. The safety debate will go on, but artificial sweeteners are likely to play a bigger part in our diet as the squeeze on sugar ramps up.

There are those, however, who suppose artificial sweeteners will never be the answer to obesity and the diseases that follow in its wake. The problem, in their view, is our sweet tooth and the answer is to reduce our liking for sweetness. So they want to see the gradual reduction of the amount of sugar in our drinkings and our food and snacks without it.

It worked with salt, says Cash, the campaign for action on salt and health, which did much to bring down the salt levels in our food without our noticing it. The same should be possible for sugar. But not if artificial replaces are used to keep our food and drinks tasting just as sweet as they did before.

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Yotam Ottolenghi’s courgette recipes

A spanakopita-like filo pie with courgette instead of the usual spinach, and shaved raw courgettes that add bite to a seasonal salad

I associate courgettes with summer vacations in Greece, where the pale-skinned, pear-shaped range are sold by the roadside and served in every taverna. Luckily, there are as many ways and means to cook courgettes as there are courgettes in Greece, and each has a different consequence: maximise courgettes’ freshness by serving them raw, marinated, pickled or grilled; or roast or slow-cook for a creamier outcome. This spanakopita-like filo tart, in which I swap the usual spinach for courgette, is a nod to happy summers in the Mediterranean sun.

Courgette and herb filo pie( pictured above)

I’ve added cheddar to what is otherwise a straightforward Greek pie, because I find it ties everything together nicely, but feel free to employ another cheese, if you prefer.

Prep 12 min
Cook 1 hr 50 min
Serves 4

1kg courgettes ( about 6 ), trimmed and grated
Salt and black pepper
20 g dill , roughly chopped
20 g tarragon leaves , roughly chopped
20 g parsley leaves , approximately chopped
4-6 spring onions , thinly sliced( 60 g)
2 eggs , beaten
150 g feta , roughly crumbled
80 g mature cheddar , coarsely grated
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp lemon zest , finely grated
40 ml olive oil
175 g filo pastry ( ie, 7 39 cm x 30 cm sheets)
1/2 tsp nigella seeds

Heat the oven to 170 C/ 335 F/ gas 3. Mix the grated courgettes and two teaspoons of salt in a large bowl, then tip into a sieve and leave to drainage for 30 minutes.

Wrap the courgettes in batches in a clean tea towel and wring tightly, to extract as much liquid as possible – you should end up with about 520 g courgette flesh. Transfer to a large bowl and add the herbs, onions, eggs, both cheese, chilli, lemon zest, half a teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of black pepper.

Line the base of a 23 cm spring-form cake tin with greaseproof paper and softly grease the sides with petroleum. Lay a sheet of filo over the base, allowing the excess to hang over the sides of the tin, and brush with petroleum. Top with another piece of filo, rotating it slightly so the excess hangs at a different slant, brush with petroleum, then recur three more times, until you have used up five sheets in all. Set the courgette filling in the centre of the pie and even it out with a spoon. Brush another piece of filo with oil, fold it in half horizontally and lay it over the filling, tucking in any excess around the fill. Brush with petroleum, then recur with the last sheet of filo, angling it to cover any exposed filling. Fold over the overhanging filo, crinkling it up to leave a crumpled top, brush with more petroleum and sprinkle with the nigella seeds.

Transfer the tin to an oven tray and bake for 50 minutes. Take out of the oven, remove the outer ring of the tin, and bake for 15 minutes more, until golden and cooked through. Leave to cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

Herby courgettes and peas with semolina porridge

Yotam Ottolenghi’s herby courgettes and peas with semolina porridge. Photo: Louise Hagger for the Guardian

This is a standalone vegetarian main course that I return to time and again. The semolina porridge is like runny polenta, merely a little creamier. You can replace it with rice or mashed potato, if you like.

Prep 15 min
Cook 25 min
Serves 4-6

50 g unsalted butter
5 garlic cloves , peeled and thinly sliced
1.2 kg big courgettes ( ie, about 6-7 ), trimmed, cut in half lengthways, then thinly sliced widthways
Salt and black pepper
200 g frozen peas , defrosted
25 g basil leaves , roughly shredded
15 g tarragon leaves
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
50 g pine nuts , gently toasted
1 tbsp olive oil , to serve

For the semolina porridge
600 g whole milk
180 g semolina
100 g pecorino , finely shaved

Put the butter in a large saute pan for which you have a lid, and put it on a medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and fry for a minute or two, until it starts to brown.

Add the courgettes, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and cook for five minutes, stirring often, until the courgettes start to soften. Reduce the heat to medium-low, covering and leave to cook for five minutes. Stir in the peas and warm through for a minute, until the peas are cooked, then take off the heat, stir in the herbs and lemon zest, and set aside while you make the porridge.

Put the milk and 600 ml water in a medium saucepan, and add three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of pepper. Bring to a simmer on a medium-high hot, then add the semolina and whisk continuously for three to four minutes, until smooth and thick, like porridge. Turn off the hot and stir in 80 g of the pecorino.

Divide the porridge between shallow bowl and top with the courgettes and peas. Finish with the pine nuts, a sprinkling of the remaining pecorino and a drizzle of oil.

Courgette, thyme and walnut salad

Yotam Ottolenghi’s courgette, thyme and walnut salad. Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian

This needs to be dished up the moment its induced, before the courgettes start’ sobbing’ and losing their freshness, so don’t let it sit around for too long. It goes well with meat from the grill or alongside a bunch of meze.

Prep 10 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
10 g thyme sprigs
1 lemon – peel finely shaved into 6 strips( avoid the bitternes white pith ), then juiced, to get 2 tbsp
1 garlic clove , smashed with the flat side of a knife
600 g courgettes ( a mixture of green and yellow looks great, if you can find both ), trimmed and shaved into long, thin ribbons with a potato peeler or mandoline
60 g walnut halves , roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper
15 g basil , roughly shredded

Put the oil, thyme, lemon peel and garlic in a small saucepan on a low hot and leave to infuse for eight minutes, until the petroleum becomes aromatic and the garlic, lemon and thyme start to colour. Take off the heat, leave to cool, then strain the petroleum into a large bowl. Pick the foliages off the sprigs and add to the oil; discard the sprigs, lemon and garlic.

Put the courgettes, walnuts, lemon juice, a third of a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper into the oil, then massage the courgettes for a minute or so- they will break up a little- then stir in the basil and serve at once.

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Alternative medicine treatment put four-year-old boy in A& E – BBC News

Image copyright Thinkstock

The plight of a four-year-old boy who virtually succumbed after his mothers devoted him 12 alternative medicines has prompted doctors to warn against the treatments.

Doctors at Newham Hospital in east London said the parents were “devastated” that their good purposes had made him so unwell.

The boy took a dozen supplements supposedly to help treat his autism.

The National Autistic Society said it was crucial for physicians to talk through the risks of alternative therapies.

The boy developed a potentially fatal condition after taking supplements from a naturopath( natural health practitioner) for a number of months, which included vitamin D, camel’s milk, silver and Epsom bath salts.

He was admitted to A& E after losing 6.5 lbs( 3kg) over three weeks, suffering from symptoms including vomiting and extreme thirst.

Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption ‘Often parents think that supplements are natural, safe…but this is not true in many cases’

Dr Catriona Boyd and Dr Abdul Moodambail, writing in the British Medical Journal Case Reports , said it was not until the son had been at Newham Hospital, which form part of St Bart’s Health Trust, for several days that his mother told them about the holistic supplements.

Dr Moodambail told the BBC: “This happens on many occasions with other patients as well.

“Often the parents think that these supplements are natural, safe and do not cause any side effects or adverse effects, but this is not true in many cases like this.”

He added: “The situation was stark because the child developed vitamin D toxicity leading to very high calcium levels, stimulating the child quite unwell and this can even be fatal as well.”

The boy made a full recovery in two weeks after being treated with hyperhydration and drugs to reduce his calcium level.

What are complementary and alternative therapies?

Complementary and alternative medications( CAMs) are therapies that fall outside of mainstream healthcare Generally when a non-mainstream practise is used together with conventional medicine, it is considered “complementary” When a non-mainstream practise is used instead of conventional medication, it is considered “alternative” Examples of CAMS include homeopathy, acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractic and herbal medications Some complementary and alternative medications or treatments are based on principles and an proof base that are not recognised by the majority of independent scientists Others have been proven to work for a limited number of health conditions, such as osteopathy, chiropractic and acupuncture for treating lower back ache When a person employs any health therapy – including a CAM – and experiences an improvement, this may be due to the placebo effect Osteopaths and chiropractors are regulated in the same way as mainstream medical professionals There is no statutory professional regulation of any other CAM practitioners