THE BLOG

Huffington This Week: Man vs. Nature

06/19/2013 05:16 pm ET | Updated Aug 21, 2013

In this week's issue, Tom Zeller looks at the American fishing industry and three different factors affecting it.

First, there's global warming. As ocean temperatures rise, research suggests many fish species are migrating into deeper waters, upsetting the normal patterns fishermen have relied on and throwing the marine ecosystem into flux. To compound the problem, the industry is facing a man vs. nature predicament where man's domination has, in a way, backfired. Our mastery of technology -- with methods like GPS and fish-finding sonar that make it easier and more efficient than ever to harvest fish -- has ravaged entire populations. As Tom puts it, "humans are extracting fish at a pace that exceeds the stock's natural ability to replenish its numbers."

Then, there are changes in policy. America's commercial fishing business employs more than a million people and generates more than $116 billion in annual sales. But the government has proposed cuts to the number of fish that can be harvested, so many fishermen will lose the work that has sustained them for decades. As Frank Mirarchi, a 69-year-old fisherman who has been harvesting cod and flounder in New England for nearly half a century, put it, "We're gonna lose a bunch of boats." Mirarchi's boat is named for his mother, Barbara L. Peters, and he expects he'll have to put it up for sale soon.

Elsewhere in the issue, Mallika Rao puts the spotlight on the rise of Braco, a Croatian healer whose method is simple and, some say, miraculously effective. His method? As Mallika writes, "All he does, to the delight of his followers, is gaze at them." Braco is part of a larger universe of healers of varying philosophies and practices, some of them bearing a resemblance to "celebrity fitness trainers, with products and regimens open to anyone willing to pay."

Still, Braco's followers swear to his legitimacy, from claims that he hails from Atlantis to elaborate attempts to place him in a tradition of transcendental gurus. These believers say Braco offers something -- "just the sight of him seeing you" -- all too rare in our world of digital distractions, serial multitasking and missed connections.

At a recent appearance, Braco gazed into an audience holding up photos of loved ones, many of them crying. One woman said the encounter made her "feel light and childlike and creative. To me, that's what Braco does. I've been carrying a heavy sack of stuff on me for ages now, and it started to drift away."

Finally, as part of our ongoing effort to reduce stress in our lives, including in our kitchens, we have a feature on how to keep cool while performing a notoriously delicate culinary task: poaching an egg!

This story appears in Issue 54 of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, in the iTunes App store, available Friday, June 21.