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    It’s back.  I have journeyed hither and yon, leaving no corner of the the ethernet unexplored, (except those unseemly ones) in my tireless effort to bring, you, the reader, the very best the internet can offer on all things mind, soul and body.  Today I have Zombie spiders, the terrifying dangers of shampoo, brain enhancing chewing gum, what we think Stephen Colbert is really thinking, how the elderly predict the weather, and repairing genes gone bad 7 million years ago to name just a few.  So grab a chair,clear your calendar, and enjoy the very tip top (IMHO)- 

Regarding the Mind-

Bill Hendrick at WebMD reports on a fascinating study that found that chewing gum improved students scores in math on standardized tests. 

 One of the strangest stroke syndromes is hemineglect, in which patients are paralyzed on one side of their body but do not comprehend it, or even recognize that side as themselves, impeding any effort for physical rehabilitation.  BPS research digest rep0rts a fascinating new study in which hemineglect is improved by having patients observe themselves on video.

The Situationist reports how our political ideology changes how we interpret satire, examining a study on college students and Stephen Colbert.  I can never decide what Colbert really believes, what does that say about me?

Regarding the Soul-

 In a first ever for this blog, I wade into the prickly subject of Gay marriage with an article in Time magazine that reports how the union of church and state in regard to marriage is at the heart of the conflict, and whether a “divorce” could possibly enact a solution to the conflict.

At Urban Monk, Evan Hadkins emphasizes the return of the conquering hero/heroine in life’s spiritual journey, encouraging the remembrance of the entire purpose of the journey in our celebration.

    At the Millennial Star, JA Benson gives a fascinating religious history lesson on the Sephardic Jews, whose experience diverged from the rest of Judaism during the reign of King Solomon, and were at the heart of the Spanish inquisition.

Regarding the Body-

At World of Psychology, Diana Walcutt, PhD, examines the role of the adrenal gland, and the stress hormone cortisol in our ability to predict the weather, in a fascinating biology lesson.

At Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong has an excellent summary of breakthrough new research that has discovered for the first time some of the genes that are related to autism and their function in the brain, helping neurons connect with other neurons, for the very first time.

Having a particularly good week, Ed Yong at Not exactly Rocket Science also reports a fascinating find,  how fixing a gene gone bad 7 million years ago holds promise in the fight against HIV.

or All the Above-

At the Boston Globe, Jonah Lehrer examines the very subject to which I have dedicated my career, the amazing Baby brain, and the surprising finding that in a very real sense, Baby’s experience much more of the world than we do.

The wonderfully named Coco Kraft and the Village Elders has an insightful discussion on the idealized version of the patient so much of our ideas on health care reform depends on, asking if we are setting ourselves up for failure.

At World of Psychology, Therese Borchard critically examines the response of the mind to criticism in depression., expounding on this profound, if confusing thought,  “I’m not who I think I am…. Nor am I who you think I am…. I am who I think you think I am.”

AtMusings of a Distractible Mind, Dr. Rob takes an insightful look at worry and fear, in the context of both doctor and patient in a way that refreshingly humanizes both, noting we all fear worrying too much (fear itself).

At Neuronarrative, David DiSalvo discovers that when it comes to resisting bullies, girls are much better friends to have than boys, according to a very interesting study out of San Francisco.

and just because I Liked it=

Zooillogix is busy working out the plot for the next big horror flick, describing real research into spiders that appear to wake from the dead.   Bwahahahaha!

Dr. Rob of Musings of a  Distractible Mind gets his silly, satirical groove back as he expounds of the newly celebrity endorsed dangers of shampoo.

Here is a video of some contagious laghter that I guarantee will brighten your day, and maybe even think for a minute that quadruplets might not be SO bad.  (HT- No Surf Girl)

  How can you top that.  I’m out of here.  I will be back later to bring you more as always.  Until then, happy surfing.

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Hello and welcome to my roundup of the best of mind, body and soul as found by my spending entirely too much time surfing the internets.  Today I have sleep deprivation and madness, power and trust, gratitude in the midst of recession, helpful herpes, failed antioxidants, and the power of peanut flour, to name just a few.  Dig in and enjoy the most excellent posts- Read the rest of this entry »

First Published Feb. 3, 2008.

One of the tried and true nuggets of anti-mormonism is the fact that Utah has the highest per capita rate of prozac use in the country. Why is this, they ask and insinuation is clear. Something must be wrong with that religion. Ooh its beating people down. they’re repressed, look, look, they’re repressed. Here is my answer to such critics, if you want to know who is responsible for high rates of depression in the Mormon community, go take a look in the mirror. Read the rest of this entry »

First Published on March 16, 2008

The classic differentiator between optimism and cynicism is the half glass of water. It takes a neutral fact and adds a judgement that tells us much about the observers life view, half empty or half full. I think it is possible for either view to overstep its bounds, be it Pollyanna type platitudes or cynical misrepresentations of the motivations of others leading to prejudice and division. One popular truism in the cynical worldview is that it is the same people doing both, that the dreamer is always destined to become the cynic. I do believe this is a possibility and a danger, but I question the underlying assumption. Are optimists just fooling themselves? Do they become cynical when they face up to the truth? There is a certain school of thought, ascribing cynicism to realism with a certain self righteousness about “keeping it real.” Is this valid? Read the rest of this entry »

First Published on March 10, 2008

He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears. ~Montaigne, Essays, 1512

Fear is a very primitive emotion, setting off a chain reaction of events that pumps our blood full of adrenaline, raises our heartbeat, tenses our muscles, expends our energy, and quickens our thoughts. This is the essence of the so called “fight or flight mode.” It is very necessary for our physical survival that we recognize danger and react to it. Its result is a complete shutting off of higher centers in the brain, in order to focus all our faculties on a threat.

While fear is good for survival, the behavior that results has lead to some of the ugliest, most savage, animalistic atrocities that our race is capable of. Read the rest of this entry »

The classic differentiator between optimism and cynicism is the half glass of water. It takes a neutral fact and adds a judgement that tells us much about the observers life view, half empty or half full. I think it is possible for either view to overstep its bounds, be it Pollyanna type platitudes or cynical misrepresentations of the motivations of others leading to prejudice and division. One popular truism in the cynical worldview is that it is the same people doing both, that the dreamer is always destined to become the cynic. I do believe this is a possibility and a danger, but I question the underlying assumption. Are optimists just fooling themselves? Do they become cynical when they face up to the truth? There is a certain school of thought, ascribing cynicism to realism with a certain self righteousness about “keeping it real.” Is this valid?

Read the rest of this entry »

He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears. ~Montaigne, Essays, 1512     

  Fear is a very primitive emotion, setting off a chain reaction of events that pumps our blood full of adrenaline, raises our heartbeat, tenses our muscles, expends our energy, and quickens our thoughts. This is the essence of the so called “fight or flight mode.” It is very necessary for our physical survival that we recognize danger and react to it. Its result is a complete shutting off of higher centers in the brain, in order to focus all our faculties on a threat.

     While fear is good for survival, the behavior that results has lead to some of the ugliest, most savage, animalistic atrocities that our race is capable of.

Read the rest of this entry »

   I am about a week late, but many thanks to the Carnival of Mental Illness, which included my story Depression series and my depression post.  For anyone interested in issues of mental health, Check it out.

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