~Meniscus Archives~
Summer/Fall 2005
Issue #8

Issue #8 Home


Fuel Cell Technology Will Change Our World
Paul Matthews and Jon Heinrich
Quite simply, hydrogen fuel cells are like batteries, except they never run dry as long if constantly supplied with fuel and air. The fossil fuel shortage is about to catapult this technology to the forefront of industry to facilitate off-the-grid living.

A Short History of Nearly Everything
A review by Chrystie Hopkins
This 2003 best seller from author Bill Bryson takes the reader from the birth of the universe all the way through the lucky breaks we have experienced as a species to allow us to be standing here now. Truly a miracle!

Supplemental Thinking
Meniscus Magazine is here to support mind expansion. Take a moment to focus on chemical science! Find out what nutrients from the health food store can revitalize your precious grey area.

Sunshine is a State of Mind
Seasonal depression is real. Getting enough Vitamin D means nothing but fun in the sun! How much do I need? Glad you asked!
$300 Billion Dollars for WAR!
Compiled by Chrystie Hopkins
It is difficult to understand what $300 billion dollars is equivalent to, it is beyond comprehension. Here are some facts to put it in perspective.
Cindy Sheehan, WMD and Bush's Pretext
for Waging War on Iraq

Jason Leopold
Still trying to figure out what’s eating Cindy Sheehan? Perhaps its that none of the intelligence that president Bush used to rationalize the war has ever panned out. WMDs, ballistic missiles, unmanned drones... Whatever Cindy, get over it!


Synaptic Supplements

Compiled by
Jon Heinrich
Published 9/18/05

When it comes to the American public, there is never a shortage of dietary advice out there claiming to make people more healthy. Some diets focus on trimming the waist line, others are designed to help you pack on pounds at the gym. However, one thing you don’t hear much about his how to take care of your brain. That’s where we come in. Meniscus Magazine is here to support mind expansion in as many ways as we can think of and here’s one: nutrition.

First of all, in order to understand how to supplement the brain with different compounds, it is important to understand the basic functioning of the grey area.

The brain consists of millions of cells known as neurons. The function of these cells is to fire a neurotransmitter into the synapse. The synapse is a gap between the two nerve cells that when bridged by a neurotransmitter, will trigger the next neuron to fire. Think of it a bit like dominoes falling sequentially after the first one is knocked over.

The difference is, once the neuron fires to activate the next link in the chain, the neurotransmitter is sucked back into the nerve in what is called re-uptake. This is analogous to each domino popping back up ready for the next fall.

Within each neuron is a delicate system of electrical balance. This mechanism is at the very foundation of every action your body plays out, voluntary or otherwise.

Many factors can contribute to how well your brain functions chemically. Of course there are many genetic, emotional and environmental factors that affect the brain dramatically, but for this discussion, let’s focus on the chemical science going on. With a quick trip to the health food store, you can give one of your most precious organs a revitalizing dose of nutrients. Here is a short list of some common mind drugs.

(Note: These statements are based on research and personal experience and have not been evaluated by the FDA—or anyone for that matter!—and are purely intended as food-for-thought.) (No pun intended.)

Circulation enhancers - Ginkgo biloba – One of the most common brain boosters, ginkgo is a tree thought to be several thousand years old. It helps the brain receive oxygen from the circulatory system by dilating the capillaries in the brain thus allowing for more red blood cells to nourish brain cells. Ginkgo is also a powerful anti-oxidant, a helpful defender of free radicals which contribute to sickness and disease.

Antioxidants - Powerful anti-oxidants help the brain ward off old age by countering enemy free radicals. – Vitamin E (20,000 iu), Vitamin C (100-500 mg), Cardenoids (Beta-carotene), selenium (20-100 micrograms), Flavonoids and Glutathione.

Serotonin enhancers - Created by brain cells and stored in vesicles, the neurotransmitter serotonin affects mood, arousal, aggression and clear thinking. Enhancing levels can serve as an antidepressant but will also sedate and lower sex drive. Predecessors include meat, fish and other protien foods. At night the pineal gland converts serotonin to melatonin which aids sleep.
5HTP, St. John’s Wort, Prozac.

Mind Energizers – Alertness, arousal, vigilance, mood, energy, motivation, concentration, focus, verbal fluency, visual enhancement. A very basic enhancer, vitamin B allows the body to convert food to energy. B-vitamins will affect mood, energy, alertness, learning, memory, verbal fluency, concentration, focus and vision.

Brain Hormones – Influence memory, sex drive, mood and levels of energy. May even affect creativity and overall awareness. As the production of such hormones decreases with age, it may be helpful to supplement them as the body ages. Includes supplements such as pregnenalone, the precursor to several different brain hormones.

Choline – A predecessor to acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that helps with learning, focus and memory. Most people are not deficient, increasing the supply will result in a perceptable enhancement in focus. Another way to increase levels of choline is to take an herb such as Huperzine A which reduces the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down acetylcholine.

Menthyl Donors – Affect mood, energy, well-being, alertness, concentration, visual clarity: DMAE & SAMe.

Omega 3 fatty acids – Affect mood, clarity, serenity, mental stability, concentration and focus, vision: Fish or flax seed oil (1 tbsp each or around 1 gram), also contains phospholipids.

Please use caution and research this information on your own before experimenting with these supplements. This summary is for your information only. You’re on your own, enjoy experimenting with your control group!

Jon Heinrich

Sahelian, Ray, “Mind Boosters: A guide to natural supplements that enhance our mind, memory, and mood.” St. Martin’s Griffin, New York, 2000.


Meniscus Magazine © 2005. All material is property of respective artists.