Friday, February 12, 2016

How schools in Brazil are teaching kids to eat their vegetables

“We’re going to grow the same things we did last year — arugula, lettuce, radishes.”

The vegetables they grow are used in school meals. But the real aim of the school garden is not to supply ingredients, he says, but to teach students where food comes from, so they can develop a connection to their food.

“When we ask students where lettuce comes from, they say the market,” Colombo says. “They have lost contact with nature, the soil, sowing, and growing of crops.”

And that is reflected in their diets, he says, which are increasingly unhealthy.

Students say the school garden project is teaching them a lot about how to grow food, though it's still hard for some of them to appreciate vegetables.

Just like in the US, highly processed foods like fast food, soda, and high-fructose corn syrup have become all too popular here in Brazil. And obesity rates are rising, even among children. It is a nation-wide problem that has alarmed the government and public health experts in the country. Brazil’s government has banned sodas, cakes and cookies in school meals. It has restricted the amount of salt and sugar in them as well. It also requires at least one daily serving of fruits and vegetables.

A Compassionate Approach

“We have to move away from treating the use of drugs as crime and instead move it to where it belongs as a health issue. And we need to divert more people from the criminal justice system into drug courts, into treatment and recovery."
-Hillary Clinton

Flexibility and Balance

Resilience involves maintaining flexibility and balance in your life as you deal with stressful circumstances and traumatic events. This happens in several ways, including:

Letting yourself experience strong emotions, and also realizing when you may need to avoid experiencing them at times in order to continue functioning.

Stepping forward and taking action to deal with your problems and meet the demands of daily living, and also stepping back to rest and reenergize yourself.

Spending time with loved ones to gain support and encouragement, and also nurturing yourself.

Relying on others, and also relying on yourself.

Building Resilience

Make connections. Good relationships with close family members, friends or others are important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience. Some people find that being active in civic groups, faith-based organizations, or other local groups provides social support and can help with reclaiming hope. Assisting others in their time of need also can benefit the helper.

Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. You can't change the fact that highly stressful events happen, but you can change how you interpret and respond to these events. Try looking beyond the present to how future circumstances may be a little better. Note any subtle ways in which you might already feel somewhat better as you deal with difficult situations.

Accept that change is a part of living. Certain goals may no longer be attainable as a result of adverse situations. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter.

Move toward your goals. Develop some realistic goals. Do something regularly — even if it seems like a small accomplishment — that enables you to move toward your goals. Instead of focusing on tasks that seem unachievable, ask yourself, "What's one thing I know I can accomplish today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?"

Take decisive actions. Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away.

Look for opportunities for self-discovery. People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of their struggle with loss. Many people who have experienced tragedies and hardship have reported better relationships, greater sense of strength even while feeling vulnerable, increased sense of self-worth, a more developed spirituality and heightened appreciation for life.

Nurture a positive view of yourself. Developing confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps build resilience.

Keep things in perspective. Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Avoid blowing the event out of proportion.

Maintain a hopeful outlook. An optimistic outlook enables you to expect that good things will happen in your life. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.

Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations that require resilience.

Additional ways of strengthening resilience may be helpful. For example, some people write about their deepest thoughts and feelings related to trauma or other stressful events in their life. Meditation and spiritual practices help some people build connections and restore hope.

The key is to identify ways that are likely to work well for you as part of your own personal strategy for fostering resilience.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sharon Mesmer

All Praise the Women of Menopause

Compassionate Campanello: The ‘only town’ in America where cops grant amnesty to drug addicts seeking help

Here too

How Tea and Sugar Reshaped the British Empire


20 years ago we found laudanum in the medicine cabinet.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Laudanum /ˈlɔːdᵊnəm/ is a tincture of opium containing approximately 10% powdered opium by weight (the equivalent of 1% morphine).[1]

Reddish-brown and extremely bitter, laudanum contains almost all of the opium alkaloids, including morphine and codeine, and its high morphine concentration makes it a potent narcotic. Laudanum was historically used to treat a variety of ailments, but its principal use was as an analgesic and cough suppressant. Until the early 20th century, laudanum was sold without a prescription and was a constituent of many patent medicines. Today, laudanum is recognized as addictive and is strictly regulated and controlled throughout most of the world.

Laudanum is known as a "whole opium" preparation since it historically contained all the opium alkaloids. Today, however, the drug is often processed to remove all or most of the noscapine (also called narcotine) present as this is a strong emetic and does not add appreciably to the analgesic or anti-propulsive properties of opium; the resulting solution is called Denarcotized Tincture of Opium or Deodorized Tincture of Opium (DTO).

Laudanum remains available by prescription in the United States and theoretically in the United Kingdom, although today the drug's therapeutic indications are generally confined to controlling diarrhea, alleviating pain, and easing withdrawal symptoms in infants born to mothers addicted to heroin or other opioids. Recent enforcement action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) against manufacturers of paregoric and opium tincture suggests that opium tincture's availability in the U.S. may be in jeopardy.

The terms laudanum and tincture of opium are generally interchangeable, but in contemporary medical practice the latter is used almost exclusively.

Rebecca Solnit

We are all language detectives, and if we pay enough attention we can figure out what things mean even when they don’t mean to tell us, and we can even tell when stories are lying to us. So many of them do.
- Rebecca Solnit

Kinetic Health
Can this Injury or Condition be Prevented?

The following can help you prevent groin strains:

Increase the intensity of activity or sport gradually, not suddenly. Avoid pushing yourself too hard, too fast, or too soon.
Always warm up before starting a sport or heavy physical activity.
Follow a consistent strength and flexibility exercise program to maintain good physical conditioning, even in a sport's off-season.
Wear shoes that are in good condition and fit well.
Use correct lifting techniques.


Ram Dass: Playing Your Part

The only place the living spirit comes in, is through the living heart.

-Ram Dass

Curiosity Quotient

Curiosity quotient
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Curiosity quotient is a term put forth by author and journalist Thomas L. Friedman as part of an illustrative formula to explain how individuals can be powerfully motivated to learn about a personally interesting subject, whether or not they possess a particularly high intelligence quotient (IQ). The non-mathematical and fictitious formula is [[CQ + PQ > IQ]]; where CQ is "curiosity quotient" and PQ is "passion quotient." Thomas Friedman states that when curiosity is paired with passion in the exploration of a subject of interest, an individual may be able to acquire an amount of knowledge comparable that of a person who is exceptionally intelligent, because of the vast amount of information resources available through the Internet. [1] This formula is not meant to be taken in a literal sense, nor is it a measurement tool for assessing or predicting the intelligence, productivity or success of a student, employee or individual.
Proposed formula
Thomas Friedman's formula for CQ

Friedman's claim is that Curiosity quotient plus Passion quotient is greater than Intelligence Quotient.

There is no evidence that this inequality is true. Friedman may believe that curiosity and passion are 'greater' than intelligence, but there is no evidence to suggest that the sum of a person's curiosity and passion quotients will always exceed their IQ. Indeed, given the ordinal nature of psychometric quotients, it is not clear whether it makes sense to add the curiosity and passion quotients or even if they can have numerical values attributed to them.

According to Friedman, curiosity and passion are key components for education in a world where information is readily available to everyone and where global markets reward those who have learned how to learn and are self-motivated to learn.

Friedman states, "Give me the kid with a passion to learn and a curiosity to discover and I will take him or her over the less passionate kid with a huge IQ every day of the week." IQ "still matters, but CQ and PQ ... matter even more."
No viable test

To date, there are no existing university tests or accredited testing evaluations which will produce a quantitative CQ.

Friedman, Thomas L. (2007). The world is flat : a brief history of the twenty-first century (1st Picador ed., Further updated and expanded, [Pbk. ed.]. ed.). New York: Picador/Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 314. ISBN 978-0-312-42507-4.


Factors related to intelligence

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Alice Walker: We are a Sick Culture, Art can Help

I had seven brothers and sisters, and not one of them became the person they should have been — because of poverty, because of racism, because of poor diet and drugs, because of the war. The boys went off to the Army’
- Alice Walker

I am remarkably stubborn. And I believe in the truth. So, once I got through the Lyme disease period, I thought adding music to the story might be good. When people are fiercely opposed to things politically, music can help reach them, soften them. This story is one that we need, as a kind of medicine. We are a sick culture, and I believe that art can help.
- Alice Walker

Does this happen to you when you’re working, Alice? You think you’re making something up, and suddenly, you realize: Oh no, here it comes again: the abandonment. It’s coming up all over again.

AW: All the time. I’ve decided to work with it until I don’t need it anymore. No repression, no regret. Here it is. What can I make of it this time?

PG: Like the story of your grandfather, shooting at your grandmother with a rifle. …

AW: And only missing because he was dead drunk. They told that as a funny story. Can you believe it? I’m sure that’s why my brother shot me in the eye when I was 8.

PG: How old was he?

AW: Ten. Poor thing. But everything that happens to us teaches us, if we are open to it. And eventually life will open you. What I learned from that moment in refusing to tell on him. …

PG: What?!

AW: No, no, no. I was loyal. He would have been beaten by my parents if I’d told. So, my other brother and I conferred and came up with another story. And what I learned from that moment has served me so much better than what happened to my brother. I don’t think he ever cared, and his life was like that. He died, later, of cocaine and anger and frustration. He never apologized, so I’ve had to work with it forever. But I try not to cling to the things that are devastating.

PG: What do you cling to instead?

AW: There was a tree growing out beyond the porch. I was lying in bed. And as I gradually lost sight in that eye, the last thing I saw was that tree. And I love trees.

CT: How beautiful is that?

Colm Tóibín: The Empty Family

We had used up all of our time. And I wondered if that made any difference to my mother then, as she lay awake in the hospital those last few nights of her life: we had used up all of our time.”
― Colm Tóibín, The Empty Family

“Life is but a day and expresses mainly a single note.”
― Colm Tóibín, The Master

“She would learn how to spend these hours. In the peace of these winter evenings, she would work out how she was going to live.”
― Colm Tóibín, Nora Webster

“The details of what I told him were with me all the years in the same way as my hands or my arms were with me.”
― Colm Tóibín, The Testament of Mary


“I don't come out of an oral tradition, I come out of silence.”
― Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín

“We walk among them sometimes, the ones who have left us. They are filled with something that none of us knows yet. It is a mystery.”
― Colm Tóibín, Nora Webster

Speakeasy Supper Clubs

I love this idea.

Cuppa Thugs


Footprints in the SNOW: Why I LOVE Rhode Island

West Warwick police track footprints in snow to robbery suspects

By Donita Naylor
Journal Staff Writer
Follow @donita22
Posted Feb. 8, 2016 @ 8:29 pm

WEST WARWICK, R.I. — Police followed footprints in the snow to track down two suspects in an armed robbery at the Prince Food Mart, 51 West Warwick Ave., Sunday afternoon.

Nicholas Pruenca, 21, of West Warwick, and Raymond Vincent, 20, of Coventry, were held on charges of armed robbery and conspiracy, said Det. Sgt. Jeffrey Petrarca. They will be arraigned in District Court, Warwick, on Tuesday.

Police were called to the store at 3:11 p.m. Sunday. The owner said two people in masks entered the store. One displayed a handgun and demanded money.

Officers set up a perimeter and, with the help of Coventry police and a K9 team from the Rhode Island State Police, conducted a search.

A West Warwick officer tracked footprints in the snow to a nearby house, Petrarca said.

Police found a replica handgun.

Arthur Conan Doyle


Sheep have been shown to recognize and be calmed by photographs of other sheep

Horses can recognise human emotion, new study shows

Psychologists have shown for the first time that horses are able to distinguish between positive and negative human facial expressions
Duchess of Cornwall touring the stables backstage at Olympia. Horses were shown to react to images of angry faces by turning to look with their left eye. Their heart rate also increased.

by Tim Radford Wednesday 10 February 2016

Look angry and a horse is likely to give you a sideways glance: using its left or sinister side. Its heart rate will increase, too. And both are indications that a horse can recognise a human emotion.
Ravens can imagine being spied on, study finds
Read more

Psychologists at Sussex University, who last year compiled a dictionary of the facial expressions that might indicate emotions in a horse, report that they have just turned the experiment on its head: they have explored the equine capacity to read a human face.

And man’s favourite neigh-sayer can not only tell whether a human might be in a bad mood, it can do so from a photograph.

The scientists report in the journal Biology Letters that they made high quality, large size colour prints of the same male human smiling and baring his teeth, and frowning and baring his teeth: expressions of positive and negative emotions from a stranger. Volunteers – who did not themselves know what the photograph revealed – showed them to 28 horses from five riding or livery stables in Sussex and Surrey. And the horses could tell the difference.

“What’s really interesting about this research is that it shows horses have the ability to read emotions across the species barrier. We have known for a long time that horses are a socially sophisticated species but this is the first time we have seen that they can distinguish between positive and negative human facial expressions,” said Amy Smith, a doctoral student in the university’s mammal vocal communication and cognition research group.
Gorilla thriller: scientists direct short movies for apes
Read more

“The reaction to angry facial expressions was particularly clear – there was a quicker increase in their heart rate, and the horses moved their heads to look at the angry faces with their left eye.”

Dogs have been shown to look at angry human faces with the left eye: the reasoning is that the brain’s right hemisphere – where information from the left eye is recorded and interpreted - is specialized for dealing with scary or threatening stimuli. Sheep have been shown to recognize and be calmed by photographs of other sheep, and even to remember faces of sheep and humans

But the horse research takes such studies into new territory, if only because horses have already been shown to produce their own complex facial expressions that might reflect mood.
Horses and humans can both raise the skin above their eyes, as seen in this video.

“These findings raise interesting questions about the nature of emotional expression recognition, including the relative roles of learning and innate skills in its development,” the scientists say.

Karen McComb, who heads the research group and co-lead author of the study, said “Horses may have adopted an ancestral ability for reading emotional cues in other horses to respond appropriately to human facial expressions during their co-evolution. Alternatively, individual horses may have learned to interpret human expressions during their own lifetime.”

I imagine myself being a Broadway show girl or a detective in my next life

“I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get”
― Anne Tyler.

I imagine myself being a Broadway show girl or a detective in my next life.

Drug Dealer's Redemption through Running

“Running,” he says, “was my gift from God. It saved me once, and it would save me again.”
Another article

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Avoid the Trap

Don't be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.
- Arthur Miller

Gustave Flaubert

“Do not read as children do to enjoy themselves, or, as the ambitious do to educate themselves. No, read to live.”
― Gustave Flaubert

“Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.”
― Gustave Flaubert

“There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it”
― Gustave Flaubert

“Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.”
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
― Gustave Flaubert

“At the bottom of her heart, however, she was waiting for something to happen. Like shipwrecked sailors, she turned despairing eyes upon the solitude of her life, seeking afar off some white sail in the mists of the horizon. She did not know what this chance would be, what wind would bring it her, towards what shore it would drive her, if it would be a shallop or a three-decker, laden with anguish or full of bliss to the portholes. But each morning, as she awoke, she hoped it would come that day; she listened to every sound, sprang up with a start, wondered that it did not come; then at sunset, always more saddened, she longed for the morrow.”
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

“Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.”
― Gustave Flaubert

“One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.”
― Gustave Flaubert

“It’s hard to communicate anything exactly and that’s why perfect relationships between people are difficult to find.”
― Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education

“Doubt … is an illness that comes from knowledge and leads to madness.”
― Gustave Flaubert, Memoirs of a Madman

“Never touch your idols: the gilding will stick to your fingers."

(Il ne faut pas toucher aux idoles: la dorure en reste aux mains.)”
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

“She wanted to die, but she also wanted to live in Paris.”
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”
― Gustave Flaubert

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”
― Gustave Flaubert

“What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright...Haven't you ever happened to come across in a book some vague notion that you've had, some obscure idea that returns from afar and that seems to express completely your most subtle feelings?”
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

“You forget everything. The hours slip by. You travel in your chair through centuries you seem seem to see before you, your thoughts are caught up in the story, dallying with the details or following the course of the plot, you enter into characters, so that it seems as if it were your own heart beating beneath their costumes.”
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

“An infinity of passion can be contained in one minute, like a crowd in a small space.”
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

“Love, she thought, must come suddenly, with great outbursts and lightnings,--a hurricane of the skies, which falls upon life, revolutionises it, roots up the will like a leaf, and sweeps the whole heart into the abyss.”
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

“To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.”
― Gustave Flaubert

“It is always sad to leave a place to which one knows one will never return. Such are the melancolies du voyage: perhaps they are one of the most rewarding things about traveling.”
― Gustave Flaubert, Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour

“Everyone, either from modesty or egotism, hides away the best and most delicate of his soul’s possessions; to gain the esteem of others, we must only ever show our ugliest sides; this is how we keep ourselves on the common level”
― Gustave Flaubert, November

“The one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy.”
― Gustave Flaubert

“I go dreaming into the future, where I see nothing, nothing. I have no plans, no idea, no project, and, what is worse, no ambition. Something – the eternal ‘what’s the use?’ – sets its bronze barrier across every avenue that I open up in the realm of hypothesis.”
― Gustave Flaubert, Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour

“You don’t make art out of good intentions.”
― Gustave Flaubert

“Pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory.”
― Gustave Flaubert

“There is no truth. There is only perception.”
― Gustave Flaubert

“There are two infinities that confuse me: the one in my soul devours me; the one around me will crush me”
― Gustave Flaubert

“Deep down, all the while, she was waiting for something to happen. Like a sailor in distress, she kept casting desperate glances over the solitary waster of her life, seeking some white sail in the distant mists of the horizon. She had no idea by what wind it would reach her, toward what shore it would bear her, or what kind of craft it would be – tiny boat or towering vessel, laden with heartbreaks or filled to the gunwhales with rapture. But every morning when she awoke she hoped that today would be the day; she listened for every sound, gave sudden starts, was surprised when nothing happened; and then, sadder with each succeeding sunset, she longed for tomorrow.”
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

The Power of Empathy

“The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy, we can all sense a mysterious connection to each other.”
― Meryl Streep

“Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.”
― Meryl Streep

“I have a theory that movies operate on the level of dreams, where you dream yourself.”
― Meryl Streep

“No one has ever asked an actor, 'You're playing a strong-minded man…' We assume that men are strong-minded, or have opinions. But a strong-minded woman is a different animal.”
― Meryl Streep

“You don't have to be famous. You just have to make your mother and father proud of you.”
― Meryl Streep

“I think the best role models for women are people who are fruitfully and confidently themselves, who bring light into the world.”
― Meryl Streep

“Put blinders on to those things that conspire to hold you back, especially the ones in your own head.”
― Meryl Streep

“I like who I am now. Other people may not. I'm comfortable. I feel freer now. I don't want growing older to matter to me.”
― Meryl Streep

“The formula of happiness and success is just, being actually yourself, in the most vivid possible way you can.”
― Meryl Streep

“This is your time and it feels normal to you, but really, there is no normal. There's only change and resistance to it and then more change.”
― Meryl Streep

“It is well that the earth is round that we do not see too far ahead.”
― Meryl Streep

“You can't get spoiled if you do your own ironing.”
― Meryl Streep

“I wonder which of the megaton bombs Jesus, our President's personal savior, would have personally dropped on the sleeping families of Baghdad?”
― Meryl Streep

“I always feel like I can't do it, that I can't go through with a movie. But then I do go through with it after all.”
― Meryl Streep

“I didn't have any confidence in my beauty when I was young. I felt like a character actress, and I still do.”
― Meryl Streep

“It's amazing what you can get if you quietly, clearly and authoritatively demand it.”
― Meryl Streep

“I have a very good life - I'm lucky enough not to be deprived.”
― Meryl Streep

“I think you find your own way. You have your own rules. You have your own understanding of yourself, and that's what you're going to count on. In the end, it's what feels right to you. Not what your mother told you. Not what some actress told you. Not what anybody else told you but the still, small voice.”
― Meryl Streep

Movie: Julie & Julia

I borrowed this film from my local library and watched it last night. We loved it. Meryl Streep is a genius.

Julie & Julia is a 2009 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Nora Ephron starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, and Chris Messina. The film contrasts the life of chef Julia Child in the early years of her culinary career with the life of young New Yorker Julie Powell, who aspires to cook all 524 recipes in Child's cookbook in 365 days, a challenge she described on her popular blog that made her a published author.[2]

Ephron's screenplay is adapted from two books: My Life in France, Child's autobiography written with Alex Prud'homme, and a memoir by Powell documenting online her daily experiences cooking each of the 524 recipes in Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she later began reworking that blog, The Julie/Julia Project.[3] Both of these books were written and published in the same time frame (2004–06). The film is the first major motion picture based on a blog.[4]

In March 2008, Ephron began filming with Streep as Child and Adams as Powell. On July 30, 2009, the film officially premiered at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York; and, on August 7, 2009, it opened throughout North America.[5] Streep and Adams previously starred together in Doubt (2008). Streep and Tucci previously starred together in The Devil Wears Prada (2006).

Julie & Julia was Ephron's last film before her death in 2012.


Nothing like shoveling to sharpen the appetite. Lily and I walked downtown to return a movie at the library. Steve had carved a spot in the snow for Lily to sit while I ran in. I kissed Lily and my lipstick made a red print on her white snout. A lady noticed. I was so happy that the sidewalks were plowed. AMEN for pedestrian walkways. When we returned home I shoveled paths through my little and big yards and I hung up my wet laundry in our boiler room. Then I set out to make lunch from leftover rice and fresh broccoli sauteed in olive oil and Adobo.


“Gabriel, the man she might have tied the knot with except that it was not meant to be. Putting memories to sleep, like putting an animal down.”
― Edna O'Brien, The Light of Evening

Winter is the REAL Spring

“In a way winter is the real spring, the time when the inner things happen, the resurge of nature.”
― Edna O'Brien

Every Kind of Humiliation

“On the island of tears, we were subjected to every kind of humiliation,”
― Edna O'Brien, The Light of Evening


“It was the first time that I came face to face with madness and feared it and was fascinated by it.”
― Edna O'Brien, Country Girl

Heart Cut Open

“That is the mystery about writing: it comes out of afflictions, out of the gouged times, when the heart is cut open.”
― Edna O'Brien, Country Girl

Edna O'Brien

“The vote means nothing to women. We should be armed.”
― Edna O'Brien

Upside Down


Books Everywhere

“In our deepest moments we say the most inadequate things.”
― Edna O'Brien, A Fanatic Heart

“Darkness is drawn to light, but light does not know it; light must absorb the darkness and therefore meet its own extinguishment.”
― Edna O'Brien, In the Forest

“When anyone asks me about the Irish character, I say look at the trees. Maimed, stark and misshapen, but ferociously tenacious.”
― Edna O'Brien

“We all leave one another. We die, we change - it's mostly change - we outgrow our best friends; but even if I do leave you, I will have passed on to you something of myself; you will be a different person because of knowing me; it's inescapable...”
― Edna O'Brien, Girl With Green Eyes

“She said the reason that love is so painful is that it always amounts to two people wanting more than two people can give.”
― Edna O'Brien, Saints and Sinners

“Writers are always anxious, always on the run--from the telephone, from responsibilities, from the distractions of the world.”
― Edna O'Brien

“...people liking you or not liking you is an accident and is to do with them and not you. That goes for love too, only more so.”
― Edna O'Brien, Girls in Their Married Bliss

“Books everywhere. On the shelves and on the small space above the rows of books and all along the floor and under chairs, books that I have read, books that I have not read.”
― Edna O'Brien, Country Girl


“Money talks, but tell me why all it says is just Goodbye.”
― Edna O'Brien, Country Girl

I feel too much. That's what's going on.

“I feel too much. That's what's going on.' 'Do you think one can feel too much? Or just feel in the wrong ways?' 'My insides don't match up with my outsides.' 'Do anyone's insides and outsides match up?' 'I don't know. I'm only me.' 'Maybe that's what a person's personality is: the difference between the inside and outside.' 'But it's worse for me.' 'I wonder if everyone thinks it's worse for him.' 'Probably. But it really is worse for me.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Scared of Each Other

“All great and precious things are lonely.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

“If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre

“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”
― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

People Continue to Disappoint Them

“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.”
― Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper


“I've never been lonely. I've been in a room -- I've felt suicidal. I've been depressed. I've felt awful -- awful beyond all -- but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me...or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I've never been bothered with because I've always had this terrible itch for solitude. It's being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I'll quote Ibsen, "The strongest men are the most alone."
-Charles Bukowski

Life's Cruelest Irony

“Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life's cruelest irony.”
― Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet


Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Choose Carefully

I choose titles carefully and the titles in some way indicate something deep in the theme of the book.
-Iris Murdoch

Real Plums

“What I really do is take real plums and put them in an imaginary cake.”
—Mary McCarthy Paris Review


“All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Attentive Friends

Why do people lavish so much care on a member of an alien species? A short answer is that on an emotional plane, families do not see the dog as alien. According to John Archer (1) of the University of Central Lancashire, who has conducted a detailed study of dog-human relations from an evolutionary perspective, about 40% of owners identify their dog as a family member reflecting social compatibility between our two species.

Dogs are extraordinarily attentive and have an uncanny ability to predict what their owners will do, whether getting the dog a meal or preparing to go on a walk. Experiments show that dogs and wolves can be astute readers of human body language using the direction of our gaze to locate hidden food (2) a problem that is beyond chimps.

Nose Knows

They trained some Australian shepherd dogs to pick out cows that had just ovulated, allowing farmers and ranchers to successfully breed these cows during their short fertile period.


I believe that the real reason that canines roll in obnoxious smelling organic manner is simply an expression of the same misbegotten sense of aesthetics that causes human beings to wear overly loud and colorful Hawaiian shirts.

Flaky Friend


Running Towards

I think it's time I ignore my flaky friends because what good is it to have one's hopes dashed continually. Now it has become my problem to expect better of the same people year after year. Let 'em go, I tell myself. They have proven to be ineducable. And what about me? If I don't value my time and boundaries nobody else will. I can teach people how to treat me but if they are incapable of learning? Just walk away. I still love them but they have been moved to the last row of the balcony. Only the very special are allowed in the orchestra pit with me.

I always imagine people are aiming and striving for the same things as me. I am completely wrong! People are running away from the very same things I run towards. For example I recently injured my leg muscles after two days of shoveling. I told a friend who suggested I sit on the couch for six weeks watching movies. I was horrified at the thought. I decided to continue with my regular life of walking my dog and swimming but at a slower pace. I took out an extra load of library books. The knee agony is severe but I am working through the pain and my leg is healing.

Samantha Bee, Comedian

Which do you think men find more threatening: a funny woman or an angry woman? I think angry women are so easy to dismiss as crazy or shrill. It’s harder to dismiss a funny woman.

A funny woman is often an angry woman, but she’s just — Harder to ignore.

Ethos of Integrity, Humanity, Good Manners and Elegance

Obama radiates an ethos of integrity, humanity, good manners and elegance that I’m beginning to miss, and that I suspect we will all miss a bit, regardless of who replaces him.

Answer with Humanity

More important, police chiefs in the cities most affected by heroin are responding not by invoking military metaphors, weapons and tactics but by ensuring that police officers save lives and get people into rehab. As one former narcotics officer described his change of heart on addiction, “These are people and they have a purpose in life and we can’t as law enforcement look at them any other way.” In his inability to name the change that allowed this epiphany, his words also capture our cringe-worthy self-denial. Suddenly, police officers understand crime as a sign of underlying addiction requiring coordinated assistance, rather than a scourge to be eradicated.

It is hard to describe the bittersweet sting that many African-Americans feel witnessing this national embrace of addicts. It is heartening to see the eclipse of the generations-long failed war on drugs. But black Americans are also knowingly weary and embittered by the absence of such enlightened thinking when those in our own families were similarly wounded. When the face of addiction had dark skin, this nation’s police did not see sons and daughters, sister and brothers. They saw “brothas,” young thugs to be locked up, rather than “people with a purpose in life.”

To be clear, no one laments the violence that the “crack bomb” set off in inner cities more than African-Americans. But while shootings, beatings and robberies cannot be tolerated anywhere, the heroin epidemic shows that how we respond to the crimes accompanying addiction depends on how much we care about the victims of crime and those in the grip of addiction. White heroin addicts get overdose treatment, rehabilitation and reincorporation, a system that will be there for them again and again and again. Black drug users got jail cells and “Just Say No.

It would be cruel and perverse to seek equal abandonment of those now struggling with addiction as payback for the failures of the ’80s. Nor do I write in mere hopes of inducing cheap racial guilt. The hope, however vain, is that we learn from our meanest moments.

Even today, as black communities face pressing problems of addiction and chronic unemployment and the discrimination in hiring that helps to perpetuate it, many are dedicated to ignoring racial prejudice. Faced with searing examples of unconscionable police violence against unarmed black men, of concocted justifications laid bare by video, too many still speak of isolated cases and overblown racial hysteria. With condescending finger-wagging, others recite the deplorable statistics of violence within poor minority neighborhoods as though racist policing were an antidote or excuse. Both responses ignore that each spectacular moment of unjustified police violence represents countless instances of institutionalized racial control across generations.

No sane community faced with addiction and crime would invite or acquiesce to brutal policing as their fate, and no moral community would impose it as a primary response. We do not have to wait until a problem has a white face to answer with humanity.

Brendan Behan

"Never throw stones at your mother,
You'll be sorry for it when she's dead,
Never throw stones at your mother,
Throw bricks at your father instead."

-Brendan Behan, The Hostage

Monday, February 08, 2016

Exercise your Endorphins

Exercise and Depression: Endorphins, Reducing Stress ...
When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.

Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress

Exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries.
By Mayo Clinic Staff

You know that exercise does your body good, but you're too busy and stressed to fit it into your routine. Hold on a second — there's good news when it comes to exercise and stress.

Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever. If you're not an athlete or even if you're out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management. Discover the connection between exercise and stress relief — and why exercise should be part of your stress management plan.
Exercise and stress relief

Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits.

It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner's high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.

It's meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you'll often find that you've forgotten the day's irritations and concentrated only on your body's movements.

As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything you do.
It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, it can relax you, and it can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.
ut exercise and stress relief to work for you

A successful exercise program begins with a few simple steps.

Consult with your doctor. If you haven't exercised for some time and you have health concerns, you may want to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

Walk before you run. Build up your fitness level gradually. Excitement about a new program can lead to overdoing it and possibly even injury.

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (such as brisk walking or swimming) or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity (such as running). You also can do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.

Also, incorporate strength training exercises at least twice a week.
Do what you love. Virtually any form of exercise or movement can increase your fitness level while decreasing your stress. The most important thing is to pick an activity that you enjoy. Examples include walking, stair climbing, jogging, bicycling, yoga, tai chi, gardening, weightlifting and swimming.
Pencil it in. Although your schedule may necessitate a morning workout one day and an evening activity the next, carving out some time to move every day helps you make your exercise program an ongoing priority.

Stick with it

Starting an exercise program is just the first step. Here are some tips for sticking with a new routine or reinvigorating a tired workout:

Set SMART goals. Write down SMART goals — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-limited goals.

If your primary goal is to reduce stress in your life and recharge your batteries, your specific goals might include committing to walking during your lunch hour three times a week or, if needed, finding a baby sitter to watch your children so that you can slip away to attend a cycling class.
Find a friend. Knowing that someone is waiting for you to show up at the gym or the park can be a powerful incentive. Working out with a friend, co-worker or family member often brings a new level of motivation and commitment to your workouts.
Change up your routine. If you've always been a competitive runner, take a look at other less competitive options that may help with stress reduction, such as Pilates or yoga classes. As an added bonus, these kinder, gentler workouts may enhance your running while also decreasing your stress.
Exercise in increments. Even brief bouts of activity offer benefits. For instance, if you can't fit in one 30-minute walk, try three 10-minute walks instead. Interval training, which entails brief (60 to 90 seconds) bursts of intense activity at almost full effort, is being shown to be a safe, effective and efficient way of gaining many of the benefits of longer duration exercise. What's most important is making regular physical activity part of your lifestyle.

Whatever you do, don't think of exercise as just one more thing on your to-do list. Find an activity you enjoy — whether it's an active tennis match or a meditative meander down to a local park and back — and make it part of your regular routine. Any form of physical activity can help you unwind and become an important part of your approach to easing stress.

Heroin in the Brain: The Opium Kings


Heroin in the Brain Its Chemistry and Effects

In 1972 brain researchers from Johns Hopkins University made a puzzling discovery that would illuminate scientists' understanding of drug addiction.

They found that the human brain's neurons had specific receptor sites for opiate drugs: opium, heroin, codeine and morphine. But then there was the obvious question.
Why would nature put in our brains a receptor for a plant? After all, humans beings didn't evolve over millions of years eating opium or shooting heroin.

The scientists reasoned there must be some other function for these receptors sites. They soon figured out that the active ingredient in all these opiates - morphine - had a chemical structure similar to endorphins, a class of chemicals present in the brain . Endorphins are feel-good chemicals naturally-manufactured in the brain when the body experiences pain or stress. They are called the natural opiates of the body.

Endorphins flood the space between nerve cells and usually inhibit neurons from firing, thus creating an analgesic effect. On a lower level they can excite neurons as well. When endorphins do their work, the organism feels good, high, or euphoric, and feels relief from pain [analgesia]. Logically, endorphin levels go up when a person exercises, goes into labor, or is stressed out. Although they seem to be triggered by stress, endorphins can do more than relieve pain, they actually make us feel good.

Like an evil twin, the morphine molecule locks onto the endorphin-receptor sites on nerve endings in the brain and begins the succession of events that leads to euphoria or analgesia.

This imposter is more powerful than the body's own endorphins because the organism can actually control how much of the feel-good chemical hits the brain. Since we are all pleasure-seeking organisms, the motivation to self-administer such a drug is easy to understand.

The drawback, of course, is addiction.

FAQs on Heroin

What Does Heroin feel like?
The first intravenous injection of heroin can be extremely unpleasant, causing vomiting and nausea. Often this experience is enough to scare someone away, but social and psychological pressures may motivate a person to keep trying. After a few more uses, the beneficial effects are obvious. Some users have distinguished between the "rush" and the "high." The rush lasts only one or two minutes and is said to be caused by the injected heroin bathing the brain before it gets distributed by the bloodstream and changed into a more useable form of morphine. The rush is often described as a heightened sexual orgasm, and a great relief of tension, which pervades the abdomen. After the rush, the high lasts for four or five hours and is caused by the morphine diffusing from the bloodstream into the brain. It is described as a warm, drowsy, cozy state. Addicts report a profound sense of satisfaction, as though all needs were fulfilled. There is also a pleasant state of mild dizziness that is not as impairing as alcohol's effects, and a sense of 'distancing' or apathy toward whatever is going on in the environment.

Some addicts lose the effect of euphoria, and use heroin only for relief of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Since all opiates produce cross-tolerance, the use of codeine, opium or morphine can relieve the withdrawal symptoms of heroin.

How Does Addiction Work?
The mechanism of addiction is still not fully understood. Generally speaking, addiction is a socially-derived word that refers to a person's compulsive use of a drug in spite of being harmed by it. Dependence and tolerance are conditions that can lead to addiction.

Dependence occurs when, after a constant supply of the opiate, the brain shows adaptation, or a change in its circuitry. When that drug is taken away, neurons that have long been inhibited start pumping out neurotransmitters again. This imbalance of chemicals in the brain interacts with the nervous system to produce the classic opiate withdrawal symptoms: nausea, muscle spasms, cramps, anxiety, fever, diarrhea.

Tolerance, another poorly understood phenomenon, describes the need for a drug user to administer larger and larger doses of the drug to achieve the same psychoactive effect. A general hypothesis says that when the body's chemical equilibrium is upset, as in habitual drug-taking, the body sets up oppositional processes to restore itself. More of the drug is needed to overcome these efficient corrective processes. Tolerance occurs with regular use of almost all psychoactive drugs.

What About other Drugs?
It is not surprising that other drugs of abuse mimic or interfere with naturally-occurring neurotransmitters as well. Nicotine for example mimics a common neurotransmitter in the brain called acetylcholine which affects skeletal and heart muscle function.

Cocaine and amphetamines cause an abundance of another neurotransmitter, dopamine, to stay in the cleft between nerve cells, stimulating them.
The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is mildly hallucinogenic and probably interacts with many chemical pathways.

What are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Heroin?
The opiates like heroin are the drugs that cause the most classic set of withdrawal symptoms. About eight to twelve hours after the last heroin use, an addict's eyes begin to tear and he/she starts to experience flu-like symptoms: sneezing, weakness, depression, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. The symptoms increase in severity over two to three days. Within a week to 10 days the illness is over. The phrase 'cold turkey' probably comes from the appearance of goose bumps all over the body, which resembles a plucked turkey. Muscle spasms in the legs produce kicking movements, and this may be the derivation of the expression 'kick the habit.'

In contrast to opiates, cocaine withdrawal is much less dramatic, characterized by sleep disturbances and depression. Some researchers believe that no real withdrawal syndrome exists for cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, and hallucinogens, since withdrawal symptoms appeared to be psychological rather than physical. At the opposite end of the spectrum are alcohol and barbiturates (downers). For reasons not fully understood by scientists, withdrawal from alcohol and barbiturates, both central nervous system depressants, can be fatal.

Where Did Heroin Come From?
By the turn of the century, the habit-forming properties of opium were well known. In an effort to eliminate the addictiveness of morphine, German pharmacists tinkered with its molecular structure. They invented a derivative called diacetylmorphine. The Bayer Company named it heroin and marketed it as less-addicting and less toxic alternative to morphine.

Heroin turned out to be 2 to 3 times more potent than morphine. It was in fact an already-metabolized version of morphine, so heroin had a more direct route to the brain than morphine itself. By the late 1920s heroin was the most widely abused opiate.

Edythe D. London, PhD., Director, National Institute of Drug Addiction Brain Imaging Center

Encyclopedia of Drugs & Alcohol, Jerome Jaffe, editor

The Hardest Drug by John Kaplan

Introduction to Psychopharmacology

TAC: Teamwork, Accountability and Commitment

Community honors retiring Police Chief Carey
Saying goodbye to Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Carey are Emma Dandy, left, and Josephine Byrd, both of Woonsocket, at a farewell ceremony held last Thursday at St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center in Woonsocket. The women said, “He bridged us into the community.” “He was always there whenever there was a need.” (Breeze photos by Charles Lawrence)
By SANDY SEOANE, Valley Breeze Staff Writer

WOONSOCKET – It has been just eight short years since Chief Thomas Carey picked up and left his home in St. Petersburg, Fla., and moved to Rhode Island to take a job as head of the Woonsocket Police Department.

But through testimony from local and state officials this week, it was clear he had left his mark.

“When I applied for this job, I had never heard of Woonsocket,” Carey explained. “I just saw an ad online.”

Since he accepted the job in 2008, Carey has been credited with changing both the morale and image of the Woonsocket Police Department.

“You were the right person at the right time,” said Rhode Island State Police Supt. Col. Steven O’Donnell at a ceremony this week acknowledging Carey’s contributions to the community held at St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center. “We commend you for what you’ve done here, for eights years of stewardship of this police department.”

The son of James and Helen Carey, Carey was born in Massachusetts, the oldest of three brothers. He took his first job in law enforcement in St. Petersburg, moving south with his wife Nancy.

“Throughout his career he was very involved with his community,” said Detective Capt. Michael Lemoine. “And he worked his way through the ranks.”

Carey would serve in St. Petersburg for some 25 years, rising to the role of detective major in the Crimes Against Property Unit. He also earned a master’s degree in public administration before applying in Woonsocket.

When Carey came to the city, the department had a less-than-stellar image and a high turnover in leadership. Eight chiefs served the city during Mayor Susan Menard’s 14 years as mayor, and claims of professional misconduct seemed a regular occurrence.

That all quickly changed under Carey’s reign.

“He addressed department unity by implementing T.A.C.” said Lemoine, a department creed that stands for teamwork, accountability and commitment.

Carey also added bicycle patrols to the force and began building partnerships with local organizations to address crime.

Under Carey’s watch, the police department built relationships with the Woonsocket Prevention Coalition, the Martin Luther King Committee, Riverzedge Arts Project, Connecting for Children and Families, Community Care Alliance, the Center for Southeast Asians, to names a few. He also served as an active member of the Police Chiefs Association, and began working toward state accreditation of the WPD, an extensive process aimed at implementing professional standards. He worked with leadership in the Woonsocket Fire Department to implement consolidated dispatch, a system expected to save the city more than half a million dollars a year.

But Carey brought more than just energy and a great work ethic to the job.

“He is incredibly good at his job and he has a personal warmth about him that you don’t often see in law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney General Peter Nerohna. “I don’t know that there’s a police department in the state that I feel as comfortable working with as Woonsocket and that’s really a tribute to Chief Carey, as well as the men and women in the department itself. Woonsocket really should be proud.”

Members of the chief’s own staff agreed.

“You came to Woonsocket an unknown and quickly assimilated and embedded yourself into this police agency and this community,” said Lemoine. “Through your leadership and professionalism, you restored credibility and legitimacy to the office of chief of police at a time when it was lacking. Wherever your endeavors bring you, that community will be better because of you.”

“I think I speak for everyone in the department when I say you’re an inspiration,” said Lemoine.

Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt gave a brief “roast the chief” with a joke list of little known facts about the chief, which included his favorite Beef Barn order, and a claim that Carey shaved off his moustache “immediately after (WNRI radio personality) Dave Dean mention that he and (fire) Chief Shatraw looked like 1970s porn stars.”

Baldelli-Hunt pointed out that Councilors Christopher Beauchamp and Robert Moreau were part of the team that found Carey, and will also help to find his replacement.

“They’re part of the new team because they did such a good job,” Baldelli-Hunt said.

“I’m going to miss the great spirit that he brought to my office and his commitment,” she added of Carey.

Carey took his time in the spotlight to acknowledge others, especially members of the department he leaves behind.

“I’m telling you they are second to none,” said Carey, pointing out that in the past year, the city has not seen one sustained complaint against a member of the WPD. “I have all the confidence in them that they will continue to meet your expectations.”

Carey said when he first moved to the city, he heard the most complaints about issues including traffic and drugs, so he looked to focus on those areas.

“I tried to listen to the community,” he said, pointing to the work of the city’s Drug Squad. “This group of individuals never, ever stops. Since I’ve been here they’ve worked on several major cases. It’s impossible to calculate how many lives they may have saved.”

In a single case, Carey said the group seized 66 kilos of cocaine.

St. Ann Executive Director Dominique Doiron dedicated a pew in the center of the former church to the chief, just one of many plaques and honors Carey received throughout the evening.

The chief has said he does not plan to take another job in law enforcement, and instead hopes to enjoy retirement spending time with his children and grandchildren.

But he said he will be back to visit the community that welcomed him with open arms.

“Sometimes you just don’t realize the greatness that you have here,” Carey said. “Thank you for all the great memories.”
Rhode Island State Police Col. Stephen O’Donnell holds a Challenge Coin which he presents to retiring Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas S. Carey during the Woonsocket Police Department’s 2015 Recognition and Awards Ceremony. Chief Carey received special honors during the event at St. Ann’s Arts and Cultural Center last Thursday.
Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt praises Chief Thomas Carey for his accomplishments and then lightens up the evening with a list of “the top 10 things you should know about Chief Carey.” Standing next to her are State Sen. Marc Cote, center, and retiring Police Chief Carey.
Woonsocket Det. Capt. Michael Lemoine presents a plaque to Chief Thomas Carey, right, saying “In recognition of your exemplary service to the city of Woonsocket and of your dedicated leadership to the men and women of the Woonsocket Police Department.” Standing with the Chief are, from left, R.I. State Police Col. Stephen O’Donnell, Attorney General Peter Nerohna and Woonsocket Police Sgt. Matthew Ryan. The woman covered by the plaque is Janice Contillo, president of the Woonsocket Rotary.

Swimming Rehab

Rehab Your Back Injury With Swimming, Not Surgery
by Hannah Caldas
As a swimmer I am biased when I say there is very little for which swimming isn’t beneficial. But even thinking objectively it is a fairly accurate statement. I recently covered the benefits of swimming as a recovery strategy between workouts for other sports, backed by peer-reviewed studies. Another area for which swimming is particularly useful is in the rehabilitation of injuries. I am using the word “injuries” here in a very broad sense.

There are a few main reasons why swimming is a good rehabilitation tool:

It is low impact. (Unless you are training to be an elite swimmer at which point you will be putting your body through a more intense, higher impact workout.)
It is a form of active stretching - swimming technically will ensure full range of motion movements for many different body parts.
It provides just enough resistance from water to provide, over time, sustained aerobic conditioning to the rehabilitating subject, allowing them to continue to workout while rehabbing at the same time.

The Drama of Escape

I ran away from home a bunch of times when I was in highschool. One time was during the blizzard of 1978. Luckily my high school teachers helped me and my friends let me stay at their family homes. Luckily my step brother and his wife and room mate let me stay with them in their Brooklyn loft. Having a mentally ill parent intensifies the drama of escape.

Homeless + Runaway Teens

Family problems:
Many youth run away, and in turn become homeless, due to problems in the home, including physical and sexual abuse, mental health disorders of a family member, substance abuse and addiction of a family member, and parental neglect. In some cases, youth are asked to leave the home because the family is unable to provide for their specific mental health or disability needs. Still some youth are pushed out of their homes because their parents cannot afford to care for them.

Monday Snow Day

I'm feeling COZY as the plows thunder down the street. It's sexy! I'm tempted to go swimming before it's too difficult to get out. Yesterday was my first day back in the pool after a three week hiatus and it was fabulous. The water was clean and cool. I thought about all of my muscles that work to propel me through the water.

I BAKE through storms. What will I bake today? Last night I baked rice to go with kale and corn. The rice tasted like pipe tobacco because the big glass jar has a tobacco-scented rubber stopper. Maybe I'll make waffles.

Nicole Ricketts

You not taking this seriously says more about you than me.
— Nicole Ricketts

After Canceling Plans

17 Texts People With Chronic Illnesses Would Love to Get After Cancelling Plans

Nobody likes to have to cancel plans, but for many people who live with chronic illnesses, it’s a regular part of life. Having an unpredictable condition means you can’t always make it out of the house, even when you want to. Some friends get it and will always be happy to reschedule, but unfortunately not everyone understands.

We asked our readers to tell us some texts they’d love to get, instead of silence or frustrated replies, when they have to cancel plans due to illness. If you’re ever unsure how to respond to your friend’s last-minute cancellation, we hope one of these sparks an idea.

This is what they had to say:

"I'm not feeling well. Going to have to cancel tonight." "I'm coming over and bringing take out and bad movies. Do you need me to bring anything else? Chocolate maybe?"
If You’re Flappy And You Know It Facebook page

"I'm sorry but I won't be able to make make it tonight." "I totally understand. Your health is so important. I will check in with you later to see how you're feeling."
Christianne McCall

"I'm not feeling well and I have to cancel our plans." "No problem! I'll be around shortly to make sure you have all you need. Can I pick anything up for you?"
Tracie McIntosh

"I know we made plans today but I'm just not up to it anymore. Sorry." "I'm coming over to take your kids for a few hours while you take a nap."
Crystal Parsons-Bateman

"I'm having one of my bad days. I have to cancel on our plans." "I'm sorry today is difficult. I'm coming over with soup and a movie. I'm taking your dog for a walk. I love you and I'm only a text away."
Maria Thomas

"I'm not going to be able to make it tonight after all. Tell everyone I'm sorry." "No worries, but we're going to miss you. Just take care of yourself and let us know if we can we do anything."
Alyssa Milletti

"I have to bail on our plans because I'm not feeling well." "I know you wanted to keep our plans and that you aren't flaking out. I know that you're probably hurting emotionally and physically right now. Please know that I'll always be your friend, even when you need your space."
Mandy Malloy


"I don't think I'll be able to come tonight. I'm just not up to it." "That's OK. Are you up for a visit and maybe some really good [insert dessert of choice here]? I'll even sweeten the deal and do your laundry while we hang out."
Karen Lyons

"I'm so sorry to cancel last minute, but I'm not feeling well." "I am your friend in health or sickness, sadness or joy, wealth or poorness. Tell me if you need anything, and if you don't, I'll be right here loving you. Always."
Fabiana Fabis

"I can't make it tonight. I feel so bad for bailing." "Don't ever feel guilty for canceling or saying, 'no.' Only you know how much you can handle. I'd rather you miss this if it means you might start feeling better."
Pamela Jessen

"Really not feeling well right now. Sorry but have to cancel our plans." "It's not your fault. No need to apologize. let me know when you're feeling up to it and we can do something then."
Monica Jean Cozadd

"I just can't bring myself to join you tonight." "I know you would be here if you could. I'll be sure to invite you next time."
Tina Dawn Leon

"I have to cancel our plans. I'm staying in bed today." "Do you want me to drop you off some Starbucks on my way out to do errands?"
Alisha Haskett

"I wanted to see you but I'm just not up to going out today." "I will be over later. You don't need to clean or cook. I want to visit you, not your house. I just want to spend time with you and love you."
Tristen Wuori

"I can't make dinner. I have to stay in tonight. I'm not feeling well." "I'm putting on my pajamas and heading over with pizza. If all you can do is nap, then I will nap with you like little kids again."
Jaclyn Kulfan

"I have to cancel our plans. I'm having one of the bad days." "What can I do for you?"
Colette Manley

"I won't be able to make it. Sorry to have to cancel." "It's all right. Tell you what, when you're feeling up to it, I will drop my plans, and we'll do something together, even if it's just a quick lunch or coffee."


Disordered Minds

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

“A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“If you think anyone is sane you just don't know enough about them.”
― Christopher Moore, Practical Demonkeeping

Legacy of Guilt

According to A. N. Wilson in Encounter, Schindler "was a swindler, a drunkard, and a womaniser. And yet, had he not been these things, he would not have been able to rescue hundreds of Jews from the concentration camps." Similarly, Lorna Sage noted in the Observer that as "Keneally presents him in the novel Schindler becomes, by almost imperceptible stages, a three-dimensional 'good' man, at once alive and in love with life, without ever seeming 'fated' or heroic or unnatural." In a 1995 interview with Sybil Steinberg of Publishers Weekly, Keneally himself commented: "I was convinced of the moral force of the story…. Stories of fallen people who stand out against the conditions that their betters succumb to are always fascinating. It was one of those times in history when saints are no good to you and only scoundrels who are pragmatic can save souls."

After the success of Schindler's List Keneally focused on another aspect of Holocaust subject matter in his 1985 novel A Family Madness. Based on the mass suicide of a family of five in suburban Sydney in July 1984, the novel traces the legacy of guilt that impairs the lives of Nazi collaborators and their children. John Sutherland, comparing the novel to Schindler's List in the London Review of Books, proclaimed A Family Madness "better than its applauded predecessor." Discussing A Family Madness in Contemporary Novelists, Keneally commented that the novel's contemporary setting is "significant…. I believe the historic phase is nearly over for me and was merely a preparation for the understanding of the present."

Allow Yourself a Small Dram of Righteous Anger

Ten Tips to Help Aspiring Writers Stretch Their Fiction

I’m asked on occasion what advice I might offer aspiring writers. Here are ten random suggestions — the last a reference to the fact I was told by a creative writing professor when I was in college that I should become a banker.

1) Don’t merely write what you know. Write what you don’t know. It might be more difficult at first, but – unless you’ve just scaled Mount Everest or found a cure for all cancers – it will also be more interesting.

2) Do some research. Read the letters John Winthrop wrote to his wife, or the letters a Civil War private sent home to his family from Antietam, or the stories the metalworkers told of their experiences on the girders high in the air when they were building the Empire State Building. Good fiction is rich with minutiae – what people wore, how they cooked, how they filled the mattresses on which they slept – and often the details you discover will help you dramatically with your narrative.

3) Interview someone who knows something about your topic. Fiction may be a solitary business when you’re actually writing, but prior to sitting down with your computer (or pencil or pen), it often demands getting out into the real world and learning how (for instance) an ob-gyn spends her day, or what a lawyer does when he isn’t in the courtroom, or exactly what it feels like to a farmer to milk a cow when he’s been doing it for 35 years. Ask questions. . .and listen.

4) Interview someone else. Anyone else. Ask questions that are absolutely none of your business about their childhood, their marriage, their sex life. They don’t have to be interesting (though it helps). They don’t even have to be honest.

5) Read some fiction you wouldn’t normally read: A translation of a Czech novel, a mystery, a book you heard someone in authority dismiss as “genre fiction.”

6) Write for a day without quote marks. It will encourage you to see the conversation differently, and help you to hear in your head more precisely what people are saying and thereby create dialogue that sounds more realistic. You may even decide you don’t need quote marks in the finished story.

7) Skim the thesaurus, flip through the dictionary. Find new words and words you use rarely – lurch, churn, disconsolate, effulgent, intimations, sepulchral, percolate, pallid, reproach – and use them in sentences.

8) Lie. Put down on paper the most interesting lies you can imagine. . .and then make them plausible.

9) Write one terrific sentence. Don’t worry about anything else – not where the story is going, not where it should end. Don’t pressure yourself to write 500 or 1,000 words this morning. Just write 10 or 15 ones that are very, very sound.

10) Pretend you’re a banker, but you write in the night to prove to some writing professor that she was wrong, wrong, wrong. Allow yourself a small dram of righteous anger.

-Chris Bohjalian

Today in 1587 Mary Queen of Scots Beheaded

Social Isolation

One study, published in the Journal of Business and Psychology, found that people who work from home have higher stress levels due to social isolation.

Neal Cassady

“We are actually fourth dimensional beings in a third dimensional body inhabiting a second dimensional world!”
― Neal Cassady

I want to stay on the back porch while the world tilts toward sleep

On the Back Porch

by Dorianne Laux

The cat calls for her dinner.
On the porch I bend and pour
brown soy stars into her bowl,
stroke her dark fur.
It’s not quite night.
Pinpricks of light in the eastern sky.
Above my neighbor’s roof, a transparent
moon, a pink rag of cloud.
Inside my house are those who love me.
My daughter dusts biscuit dough.
And there’s a man who will lift my hair
in his hands, brush it
until it throws sparks.
Everything is just as I’ve left it.
Dinner simmers on the stove.
Glass bowls wait to be filled
with gold broth. Sprigs of parsley
on the cutting board.
I want to smell this rich soup, the air
around me going dark, as stars press
their simple shapes into the sky.
I want to stay on the back porch
while the world tilts
toward sleep, until what I love
misses me, and calls me in.

“On the Back Porch” by Dorianne Laux from Awake. © Eastern Washington University Press, 2007.

Artist takes on Deep-Rooted Misogyny

Betty Tompkins paints 1,000 words that describe women—and most of them are horrible

The feminist artist takes on deep-rooted misogyny in a new show at the Flag Art Foundation


I remember years ago a friend invited me over for dinner. I had an appointment in Providence and afterwards I went right over to see her. I wondered what we were going to eat for dinner. When I arrived she was on the phone and wasn't going to stop chatting. She leaned over the phone and said "there's an open can of tuna in the fridge."


The people they flake on aren't as important to them

This is a somewhat harsh truth. If someone's made plans with a friend or group of friends who aren't particularly important to them, they won't lose much sleep over flaking on them if they get a better offer or decide they no longer feel like going. This isn't to say the flaker completely hates their less important friends, it's more that they view them as people they'll hang around on their own terms and when it's convenient for them. If it suddenly becomes inconvenient, they'll pull out.


Dream: Bernie Bananas Buddha Beetles

Bernie Sanders was giving out bananas at his stump speech. We had a gigantic wooden Buddha on top of our shelves. We discovered everything was being eaten by beetles.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Green Migraine

Migraine at dress rehearsal. It happens. Breathe deep. During the show the spotlight became green and flashed to red and then green again. My notes became invisible. Somehow I survived.

America Is Flint

Sunday Review | Op-Ed Columnist New York Times
America Is Flint

Nicholas Kristof FEB. 6, 2016

WE have been rightfully outraged by the lead poisoning of children in Flint, Mich. — an outrage that one health expert called “state-sponsored child abuse.”

But lead poisoning goes far beyond Flint, and in many parts of America seems to be even worse.

“Lead in Flint is the tip of the iceberg,” notes Dr. Richard J. Jackson, former director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Flint is a teachable moment for America.”

In Flint, 4.9 percent of children tested for lead turned out to have elevated levels. That’s inexcusable. But in 2014 in New York State outside of New York City, the figure was 6.7 percent. In Pennsylvania, 8.5 percent. On the west side of Detroit, one-fifth of the children tested in 2014 had lead poisoning. In Iowa for 2012, the most recent year available, an astonishing 32 percent of children tested had elevated lead levels. (I calculated most of these numbers from C.D.C. data.)

Across America, 535,000 children ages 1 through 5 suffer lead poisoning, by C.D.C. estimates.

“We are indeed all Flint,” says Dr. Philip Landrigan, a professor of preventive medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Lead poisoning continues to be a silent epidemic in the United States.”

None of this diminishes the tragedy of Flint, which is particularly horrifying because it was delivered by the government through the municipal water system even as state officials scoffed at the local outcry. In any case, data collection is poor, so we don’t have a good handle on the scale of the problem either in Flint or elsewhere: Take comparisons with a grain of salt. But it’s clear that this lead poisoning is not one city’s catastrophe but a nation’s — and the world’s, since the situation is even worse in some low-income countries.

Some 24 million homes in America have deteriorated lead paint, of which occupants are often unaware. If a toddler regularly breathes lead-contaminated dust, or sucks a finger that has touched the dust, that child may suffer lifelong brain damage.

Yet anti-lead programs have been dismantled in recent years because in 2012 Congress slashed the funding for lead programs at the C.D.C. by 93 percent. After an outcry, some money was restored, but even now these lead programs have only a bit more than half the funding they once had.

Lead poisoning is an old problem: An Australian doctor, Lockhart Gibson, diagnosed the first case in 1904.

Then in 1943, a doctor in Boston encountered a young boy who had tried to stab his teacher, and remembered that the same boy had suffered lead poisoning years earlier. Researchers soon found that early exposure to lead impairs brain development and is strongly associated with later violent or criminal behavior.

Yet the lead industry ferociously fought attempts at regulation. It wasn’t until the 1970s and ’80s that lead was largely removed from gasoline, and until 2008 that a regulation reduced lead in paint to a reasonable level. Millions of children continue to suffer brain impairment because of the greed of the lead industry.

The removal of lead from gasoline was a triumph of public health. One scholarly article estimated that this raised the I.Q. of the average American child by between two and five points.

Today the continuing poisoning of half a million American children is tolerated partly because the victims often are low-income children of color.

In Baltimore, I met a 2-year-old boy named Malachi who couldn’t speak, apparently because of lead poisoning. When Congress slashed funding for lead programs, it helped poison kids like Malachi — and 50 years from now his capacity will still be constrained because of the failures of Congress.
In Baltimore, a two-year-old boy named Malachi can’t speak, apparently because of lead poisoning. Credit Nicholas Kristof/The New York Times

A first step is to restore funding and to improve lead poisoning screening. When a child tests positive, a public health team should be dispatched to find the source and eliminate it.

“Every urban area has lead,” notes Dr. Leana Wen, the health commissioner of Baltimore. Speaking of efforts to reduce lead poisoning, she said, “If there’s something we can do that will result in improved educational outcomes and reduced violence in the community, why don’t we do it?”

Let’s recognize the catastrophe in Flint as a wake-up call to address not just one city’s lead-poisoning tragedy, but America’s.

Sarai Walker

But if you’re missing a head, you can’t speak up.
-Sarai Walker

Saturday, February 06, 2016

New Painting: The Perfect Marriage

View here.

Milton Avery Meets Matisse in Rana Samara's Paintings


There’s a new artist that’s turning heads in the Palestinian contemporary art scene. Rana Samara paints Palestinian bedrooms

Samara said she has been accepted to a master's of fine arts program at the California Institute of the Arts, and is trying to raise funds to pay for it. Her dream is to exhibit her work at the Venice Biennale, the Olympics of the art world, as the official Palestinian representative.

Boutique Therapy

Forget the old distinctions between therapists who specialize in mood disorders versus those who do marriage counseling. The new niche market is exponentially more refined.

Poverty and Water Pipes

Epidemic in small communities.

Vertical Patrol

“The simple truth is that there is nothing ‘routine’ about ‘routine vertical patrol’ in our city’s housing projects.”

T-Shirt Weather in the Arctic


Surprise Holidays

I am excited that the super bowl is happening, I never pay attention to sports but I like knowing it's happening. I enjoy feeling the energy. Along with snow days these are surprise holidays.

Eternally 8


IPPINKA is Environmentally and Socially Conscious


When curating products for IPPINKA, we use a Simplified 4 Principles of Good Design, derived from Dieter Ram’s original 10, to evaluate which products are worthy of us introducing to you.

Good Design:

is functional
is made to a high quality (well-made)
has minimalist aesthetic design that withstands time
is environmentally and socially conscious

Although it may sound counter-intuitive, IPPINKA wants you to consume less. We want to help you choose products that will serve you for a long time, instead of constantly buying similar products to replace each other.


In the fall of 2012, Jerry Chang left his software consulting job to pursue his long-time passion in design. IPPINKA was born with the help of friends who share the same vision. Now we are still a small team of people who are very grateful to be doing what we love. Our backgrounds come from engineering, product design, and art. We love culture and try to feature designers & makers from different regions of the world on IPPINKA.

Environmentally Backwards

I do not understand how we are always moving backwards environmentally. My husband says because the mega corporations are running the world. On a domestic level I am surprised that people use electric clothes driers, liquid laundry soap, and individually packaged coffee, yogurt and water.

Once you are in the habit of driving walking seems cumbersome. When you are in the habit of walking driving is dreaded.

FUZHOU, China — The history class began with a lesson on being manly.


The Lastest Superpharma Villain of Greed



I woke up dreaming about Paul Strand photographer and Mark Strand the poet. Connected strands?

I'm wondering if sweet potatoes and buckwheat gnocchi exists.

Yesterday after shoveling around the front back side and roof I needed to rest. I went upstairs and tried to nap. That wasn't working. I flicked on the TV and caught my favorite Chef's TV show Chef at Home. Michael Smith was making a special dinner pan fried duck, home made gnocchi, and a green salad with special dressing. This morning my head is spinning with gnocchi ideas. I'm wondering if sweet potatoes and buckwheat gnocchi exists. Look what I found?

Friday, February 05, 2016

Professional Impostor

Whatever his parentage, investigators say Mr. Wilson is a professional impostor and a skilled forger. Though fraud has become an increasingly invisible offense in a digital world, Mr. Wilson has stuck with a decidedly old-fashioned approach, stealing checks and creating new personas, occasionally with accents and falsified papers, the police said.

He has portrayed himself as a Scottish-born D.J., a Cambridge-trained thespian, a Special Forces officer and a professor at M.I.T. He has posed as executives from Microsoft, British Airways and Apple, always with a military background. He pretended to be a soldier seeking asylum in Canada to escape anti-Semitic attacks in the United States. He once maintained an Irish accent so well and for so long that his cellmate in an Indiana jail was convinced that he was an Irish mobster.

“You have to give him some grudging respect,” said Brian A. Clark, his cousin and also a victim, having had his identity stolen by Mr. Wilson in the early 1990s. “He’s a proper villain. He’s just got flair.”


Horse Drawn Casket for Cianci Former Mayor of Providence


Cianci's body will travel by horse-drawn carriage during procession
After the Mass, the funeral procession will travel to the Arch on Atwells Avenue and along the length of Federal Hill, where, according to the statement announcing the plans, "those wishing to provide Buddy with a final salute and cheer may wish to line Atwells Avenue."

PROVIDENCE — Plans for the Monday memorial ceremonies for Vincent A. ‘Buddy’ Cianci Jr. will include horse drawn carriage procession from City Hall to a 10 a.m. service at SS Peter and Paul Cathedral.

The schedule calls for Cianci’s flag-draped casket to be carried from City Hall at about 8 a.m past members of the Providence Police and Fire Departments lining the steps on Dorrance Street.

The casket will be placed on a horse-drawn carriage and the procession, accompanied by the Providence Police Department’s Mounted Command, will travel from City Hall to Weybosset Street, passing by the Providence Performing Arts Center to Broad Street, arriving at the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral.

At 10 a.m. a Mass of Christian Burial, presided over by the Very Reverend Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, will be held.

The pallbearers will be Dr. Jay Turchetta, Todd Turchetta and Dr. Brad Turchetta, Cainci’s nephews; Joseph R. Paolino, Jr., Mayor of Providence, 1984-1991; Sgt. Steven Courville, Providence Police Department; Manuel Vieira, former head of the City’s Communications Department; former Chief of Staff Artin Coloian, former personal assistant Robert Lovell, former Director of Constituent Affairs, Scott Millard, and former member of the Mayor’s staff Rick Simone.

After the Mass, the procession will travel in a hearse to the Arch on Atwells Avenue and along the length of Federal Hill, where, according to the statement announcing the plans, "those wishing to provide Buddy with a final salute and cheer may wish to line Atwells Avenue."

The procession will then travel through Olneyville and Silver Lake, where Buddy grew up, to St. Ann’s Cemetery in Cranston.


High Wire Firefighters Train at the Dunk


Meal times have more effect on circadian rhythm than dark and light cycles

Precisely how a time-based eating pattern staved off weight gain and illness is not fully understood, but Dr. Panda and his colleagues believe that the time at which food is eaten influences a body’s internal clock. “Meal times have more effect on circadian rhythm than dark and light cycles,” Dr. Panda says. And circadian rhythm in turn affects the function of many genes in the body that are known to involve metabolism.

To date, Dr. Panda’s studies have been conducted with only mice, but he says the results seem likely to apply to humans. The upshot: Contain your eating to 12 hours a day or less. And pay attention to when you begin. The clock starts, Dr. Panda says, with “that first cup of coffee with cream and sugar in the morning.”

Prader-­Willi Syndrome

When Rachelle was born, her limbs flopped, she couldn’t suckle or cry and her heart and lungs were weak. The diagnosis was a rare chromosomal abnormality called Prader-­Willi syndrome, which causes low muscle tone and impairs signaling between the brain and the stomach. For several years, Rachelle would show no interest in eating, doctors told Rhoda; then she would crave food intensely for the rest of her life. No matter how much Rachelle ate, she would never feel full. To make matters worse, she would also have an especially slow metabolism, predisposing her to morbid obesity. Though people with the syndrome now routinely live into their 50s and 60s, their average life expectancy in the United States is 30; most die of obesity-related causes. Frighteningly, because no sensation of satiety tells them to stop eating or alerts their body to throw up, they can accidentally consume enough in a single binge to fatally rupture their stomach.

In the South Georgia town of Valdosta, where Rachelle’s family lives, elaborate spreads of high-calorie fare are the centerpiece of every social activity. Rhoda, who grew up as the daughter of a Southern Baptist minister in Valdosta, is obese, as is most of her family. But Rachelle’s health problems are far more complicated. By the time she was 8, she weighed close to 200 pounds and had diabetes, pulmonary hypertension, asthma and sleep apnea. Rhoda knew that people blamed her for her daughter’s size. She consulted a nutritionist, tried to limit portion sizes and kept rigidly scheduled mealtimes; she took Rachelle and her older sister, Raquel, walking at a local track for exercise, and she got Rachelle physical therapy. But she couldn’t seem to halt Rachelle’s weight gain.