The definition of alveoli comes from the Latin meaning “little cavity”. A large amount of alveolus (plural) are contained especially in the lungs. It is within these large organs that an extremely large amount of alveolus can be found. They are clusters that are situated at the ends of our intricate branchlike structures of air passages. Envision a tree contained within the walls of the lung with clusters of grapes hanging off all of the branches. They number about 350 million per lung and they are responsible for gas diffusion. To put their vastness in perspective, they cover about 760 square ft., a space about 40 times the area of our skin. Alveolus can be looked upon as tiny air chambers that are responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and the blood stream. An alveoli is the membrane in which oxygen from the air is allowed to enter the blood. The process in which they inflate and deflate occurs each time we inhale and exhale. Because of their composition it takes more effort to expand them, inhalation, which makes exhaling easier due to their elastic recoil. They are particular only to the lungs of mammals. The membranes of these sacks are so thin they allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass easily through them. This is referred to as the “gas-blood barrier”. So numerous, they are able to support the needs of a large animal. Since this exchange has to be done in large quantities and quickly, the number of alveolus makes this task possible. The capillaries in the alveolus push the oxygen depleted blood to an oxygen rich area allowing for the exchange. This is the process in which carbon dioxide rich blood is pumped from the rest of the body where it is released and oxygen is absorbed in its place. If this elastic recoil is compromised breathing can become a problem. They are so delicate that if they are abused by any toxins allowed to enter the lungs the walls will break down. They can combine with each other or totally collapse making the grapelike structures larger giving less area for this important exchange to take place. Simple congestion, or inflammation can cause them to swell and limit their effectiveness. Because they are so delicate, white blood cells are constantly on patrol absorbing any foreign particles in their vicinity. Aerobic exercise is a key factor in increasing their strength and durability. The more they are forced to expand the more oxygen rich blood is allowed to enter the system. This in turn can increase both our stamina and endurance.
Forgive someone who has wronged you and you will be spared the bitterness which can become extremely self-destructive. I find it incredible how some of us are able to find it in our hearts to forgive the most horrendous acts. Is it a strong belief in God or is it part of a person’s makeup that not all of us possess. Martin Luther King once said “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.” The act of forgiveness does not waste energy by holding on to hatred. How do you forgive someone when every time the incident resurfaces in your mind, you may feel your heart beating faster and tension within you increasing. Psychologists suggest allowing these images to arise, then replacing them with the image of one you love or a place of extreme peace. Resentment can be viewed as an unhealthy habit. Most habits, even severe addictions, can be broken within twenty-five days. But how do you forgive someone if they feel they are not wrong and in turn are not asking for your forgiveness. Why forgive someone if they are unwilling to communicate? Some look to God for strength but others prefer to forgive God for allowing this to happen. Finding your personal path to forgiveness is important. It is a fact that holding on to anger and hatred can lead to depression, anxiety, rage as well as personal and relational conflicts. Forgiving someone is not excusing their accountability. It is more about having an easier time dealing with the pain and about moving on in life. The purpose of forgiveness is not to have us forget the wrong that has been done. It is solely for the purpose of leading us in a positive direction.
Green plants can actually breath life into your home. The condition of the air inside your home can actually be five times more polluted then the air quality outside the home. This is especially true during winter. Green plants within the home can absorb carbon dioxide and toxins while releasing oxygen. Plants release about 95% of the water they take in creating a moisture vapor which will increase the moisture in the area around them. They have been shown to speed recovery in hospital rooms and have been shown to sharpen focus by as much as 70% in classrooms where students are surrounded by plants. Plants contribute to our physical and mental well-being by reducing our stress level. Most plants require diffused sunlight, watering once a week and fertilizing once a year.
Self-healing materials have become a subject of interest for scientists in recent years. Researchers in Germany have been successful in developing a self-healing rubber tire. They have eliminated the process of vulcanizing which binds rubber molecules together through the use of chemicals. At Dresden Technical University they have instead, through use of a carbon and nitrogen additives, been able to produce a rubber that can reassemble itself after being damaged. If given enough time to heal itself it would in turn prove to be even stronger than before. If heat is added to the process the time factor could be even shorter. At present there are about 275 million used tires in stockpiles in the United States. Developing self-healing tires is one possible solution to cutting back on this waste.