In an effort to return to a regular weekend schedule, I present the creme de la creme of my web browsing put together in a mere five days time, and still overflowing with thoughtful, touching, funny and poignant goodness. Today I have peer support, intuition, schizophrenia, salience, religiosity, spirituality, diet soda, cotton candy, and a bunch of other vaguely defined subjects. So pull up a chair, sit down and dig in to the absolute best I could find on the internet-
Regarding the mind-
Dr. Shock reports on a study that shows peer mutual support groups are as effective as the standard of care, cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic mental illness, bereavement, and depression/anxiety, and ponders if the cost savings may translate to outsourcing of therapy to peers over psychologists.
At Neurophilosophy, Mo takes a looks at the biology and neurology behind intuition, describing how implicit memories lie behind the phenomenon, lurking beneath our conscious awareness and yet influencing our behavior.
At Mind Hacks, Vaughn examines the disorder soon to be formerly known as schizophrenia, at least according to a thought provoking editorial in the British Journal of Psychiatry that asserts that a new word for me, salience, is the mechanism behind the disorder and how this should enable clearer classification.
Regarding the Soul-
At Mormon Matters, Ray ponders the difference and bridges the gap between religiosity and spirituality by realizing there is an even higher experience and purpose in our lives than either one alone.
In a beautiful post at LDS Philosophy, Jeffrey delves into the ideas of Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber, which describe community and why people need each other and how our fluctuations between the selfish and the empathic determine our behavior toward others, or in other words, we either act on “the heart of peace or the heart of war.”
At Mormon Mysticism, David Littlefield shares the secrets of wisdom from his own experience, noting that what we think we know is so often the biggest obstacle to learning the truth, a perfect example of how humility means an open mind, and is key to spiritual growth.
At Life on Gold Plates, Blair Hodges shares a piece of his own academic work in religious studies looking at the thought of C. S. Lewis, and how he sets a perfect model for ecumenism in his thought due to his genuine concern for all God’s children, enabling him to offer so much to an impressively broad spectrum of Christianity, far beyond his own Anglican faith.
Regarding the Body-
At Frontal Cortex, Jonah Lehrer describes how diet sodas can cause weight gain, suggesting that depriving our body of the calories to accompany sweeteners likely backfires and causes the appetite centers in the hypothalamus to go into overdrive to make up the calories we cheated it.
At MSNBC, the Associated Press reports on work with tissue regeneration in rats using cheap carnival treats as a scaffolding for helaing and regeneration. It turns our cotton candy may hold the key for healing missing chunks of fat and muscle. Who knew?
At Derick Bownd’s Mindblog, for anyone who ever wondered if we why we have fingerprints, researchers observe evidence that fingerprints act to amplify the sense of touch and texture, providing function with their form. Admit it, you thought they were just so police could identify us individually, didn’t you?
or All the Above-
At Alter.net, a different, much more optimistic perspective on the infamous Milgram experiment. Instead of verifying the capacity for all of us to do evil, the experiment tells us more about the power of community to improve us all.
The Catatonic Kid explores, in the incredibly picturesque way only she can, an inherently beautiful and breathtaking experience in a midst of trauma that paradoxically leaves us terrified and more alive, in short the drama of trauma. (please forgive me for such a horrible rhyme, I couldn’t resist.)
At DNR/DNI, MICU nurse Leo Levy starts a beautiful illustration of both effective and ineffective palliative care in the hospital that left me hungry for more. He shows a vivid example of how failure to communicate with the family or the nurse can cause a lot of unnecessary heartache for the families of dying patients in the ICU.
At World of Psychology, Erica Krull examines the wedge that depression can drive between couples, telling the neglected story of the suffering of the spouses of those who are depressed.
and just because I Liked it-
At the Health Business Blog, David E. Williams takes sharp aim at the provinciality of Americans and how it hurts our health care system, in a biting criticism that compares US health care to Detroit Automakers who can’t make a reliable transmission.
The All in the Mind Blog, in honor of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, presents a nine course meal that honors the history of life as we know it.
The video below from the Onion lampoons medical research and health journalism, including our tendency to sometimes over think things, our extreme caution in proclaiming findings, and the tendency of some studies to confirm the blindingly obvious, particularly in health research. I LIKE it!
Remember, there’s lots more where this came from, like this week’s Grand Rounds and such. Until then, I’ll keep an eye out for you, and maybe even write something stirring myself. I can dream, can’t I.