Alzheimer’s Disease: A Psychiatrist’s Personal Perspective — Part One

In our continuing series on dementia we visit with Dr. Betty J. Lacy, clinical psychiatrist, based in Ukiah, California, whose focus is the prevention, care and treatment of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.This chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time, is the cause of 60% to 70% of cases of dementia.

Dr. Lacy tells the story of Alois Alheimers, a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist, who’s credited with identifying the first published case of “presenile dementia”, which would later be identified as Alzheimer’s disease.  

In this, the first of two visits with Dr. Lacy, she shares the emotional impact of the personal experiences of her parents, both of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. She and her two siblings each carry the gene called APOE4, which increases a person’s susceptibility to this disease. She explains the benefits of being tested and identifies specific ways to retard and possibly prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.

When Betty Lacy visited the studio of Radio Curious on July 7, 2017, we began our conversation with her description of her parents’ conditions and their states of mind.

In part two, Dr. Lacy discusses how to deal with this disease, and provides suggestions for family and friends of a person who suffers from Alzheimer’s.

The book Betty Lacy recommends is “He Wanted the Moon:  The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter’s Quest to Know Him,” by Mimi Baird and Eve Claxton.  

Click here to listen to part one or on the media player below. 

 

Marianchild, Kate: The Unique Oak Woodlands of California

To many of us who live in California, oak woodlands may seem rather ordinary. In reality, that is not the case. Oak woodlands are home to more species of plants, fungi, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and mammals than any other terrestrial ecosystem in the California.

In this edition of Radio Curious, we visit with Kate Marianchild, author of Secrets of the Oak Woodlands: Plants & Animals Among California’s Oaks. Her book, now in its 4th printing, was a finalist in the Science, Nature and Environment Section of the Indie Next Generation Book Award.

Secrets of the Oak Woodlands describes many of the flora, fauna and fungi that inhabit the plentiful oak woodlands in California, and explains their intertwined connections and mutual support systems. More details are available on her website.

In this program, Marianchild describes how acorn woodpeckers, manzanita, newts, the western fence lizard, and woodrats, among others, live and survive together in a symbiotic ecosystem.

You may listen to the full interview here.

The book she recommends is The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, by Elisabeth Tova Baily.

This program was recorded on June 5, 2017.

 

Dvorak, John Ph.D. – Earthquakes: Why and When? (Archive)

To many of us who live along the coast of California, earthquakes are a living legend. Much of that legend is closely associated with the San Andreas Fault, a line that runs roughly 800 miles through California, forming the tectonic boundary between the Pacific and North American Plates.

As you might expect, this edition of Radio Curious is about earthquakes. Our guest is John Dvorak, Ph.D., a geophysicist and author of Earthquake Storms: The Fascinating History and Volatile Future of the San Andreas Fault. He is currently employed by the United States Geological Survey, working for the Institute for Astronomy in Hilo, Hawaii. He previously taught at the University of Hawaii, UCLA, Washington University in St. Louis, and at the Smithsonian Institute.

Barry visited with Dr. Dvorak on October 31st of 2014, from his office in Hilo, Hawaii. The book John Dvorak recommends is Daughters of Fire, by Tom Peek.

You can listen to the interview here.

Baker, Carolyn Ph.D.: Hospice and Near Term Human Extinction (Archive)

This is the third conversation in our series on near-term human extinction, which Barry has called the most disturbing group of interviews he’s had in the history of Radio Curious. On today’s program, we’ll consider how we can each personally deal with this impossible problem, and how an understanding of hospice can help guide the way we interact with our communities and our planet.

Our guest is Dr. Carolyn Baker, co-author with Dr. Guy R. McPherson of Extinction Dialogues: How to Live with Death in Mind. She’s also the author of Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse: Cultivating the Relationships We Need to Thrive. As an author and psychotherapist, Dr. Baker discusses the importance of emotional and spiritual preparedness for the cataclysmic changes that abrupt climate change will bring.

As you listen to this interview, consider how you could incorporate Dr. Baker’s advice into your own life, and how the hospice concept—taking time to interact with loved ones, enjoy nature, and be mindful—can give meaning to your time on earth, in the face of human extinction.

Extinction Dialogs presents credible scientific evidence that global warming is pushing our planet to a swift apocalyptic end– more rapidly that we comprehend. Dr. Guy McPherson discusses the scientific evidence that suggests a looming extinction of the human species in parts one and two of this series. In the second half of Extinction Dialogs, Carolyn Baker encourages and recommends a hospice approach, which we present to you as part three in this series.

This interview was recorded on September 20, 2015. You can listen to the full interview here.

The book Carolyn Baker recommends is Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, by Stephen Jenkinson.

McPherson, Dr. Guy R.: Near-Term Extinction of the Human Species, Part 1 (Archive)

In September of 2015, Barry visited with Dr. Guy R. McPherson, co-author with Carolyn Baker of “Extinction Dialogs: How to Live With Death in Mind.” McPherson is Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. This archive program is the first of a series on near-term extinction of the human species. Dr. McPherson’s words about the possible effects of climate change are hauntingly prescient, heard a year and a half year later.

As you listen, consider the following: Is what McPherson predicted occurring? Has climate change affected your life? What have you done, or what are doing differently, as a consequence? What are your future plans regarding climate change?

The point from which average global temperature rise is measured dates back to 1750, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and the time at which the ever increasing use of fossil fuels began. Since then, the planet has warmed by more than 1 degree centigrade. McPherson’s book Extinction Dialogs: How to Live With Death in Mind, explains how this small global rise in temperature is leading to a large scale mass extinction on the planet.

This interview was originally recorded on September 14, 2015.

You may listen to the full program here.

 

Slater, Linda: Death Valley: The Hottest Place on Earth, and the Driest and Lowest Place in North America

Death Valley, the hottest place on earth and the driest and lowest place in North America is a spectacularly beautiful 3.4 million acre National Park. 91% of this outdoor “classroom,” has been designated as a Wilderness and protected by Congress.

Our guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Linda Slater, a National Park Ranger for the past 30 years and currently the Chief of Interpretation at Death Valley National Park.

In this wildly beautiful and dangerously hot place is the lowest point in North America, at 282 feet below sea level. Death Valley, replete with rolling sand dunes, deep winding smooth marble canyons, spring-fed oases, and crusted barren salt flats averages 2 inches of rain per year.

We visited with Linda Slater on March 15, 2017, in the Radio Curious mobile studio. While parked next to a rock strewn area, so white that it appeared to be covered in snow, yet the outside temperature was 100 degrees, our conversation began with Linda Slater’s description of that white material.

You can listen to the full interview here.

The books Linda Slater recommends are: Death Valley and the Northern Mojave: A Visitor’s Guide by William C. Tweed and Lauren Davis, and Deserts – A Comprehensive Field Guide, to the Wildflowers, Birds, Reptiles, Insects, and Other Natural Wonders of North America’s Deserts, from Oregon to Mexico, by James A. MacMahon.

 

Early, Steve: Remaking an American City

The power and success of local political action to meet the needs of a community is revealed in the book “Refinery Town:  Big Oil, Big Money and the Remaking of an American City.”

Written by Steve Early, with a Forward by Senator Bernie Sanders, “Refinery Town” describes the political change in Richmond, California, that began in 2000. Richmond was a largely working-class city of 110,000 people, with one of the highest per capita homicide rates, and twice the average jobless rate. Early tells the story of the community organizing that successfully raised the minimum wage, challenged evictions and home foreclosures, and sought fair taxation of Big Oil. In this case, the Big Oil is the Chevron Oil Company, which owns and operates a Richmond refinery, one of the largest oil refineries in California.

Steve Early, formerly a community organizer, activist, lawyer, and union representative, and now the author of “Refinery Town,” spoke with Radio Curious by phone, from his home in Richmond. We began our conversation as he described Richmond’s transformation.

You can listen to the interview here.

The books Steve Early recommends are: “Detroit: An American Autopsy,” by Charlie LeDuff; “Teardown: Memoir of A Vanishing City,” by Gordon Young; and “Home Town,” by Tracy Kidder. This program was recorded on February 20, 2017

Exxon CEO – Secretary of State?

This program is devoted to the pending Senate hearings and possible confirmation of Rex Tillerson as the next Secretary of State of the United States.

Tillerson, the Exxon Mobile Company Chief Executive Officer, chosen by Donald Trump to the head of the State Department, has a long history in the Russian oil business, as well has having an alleged personal friendship with Vladamir Putin, the Russian President.

Our guest is Andrew Kramer, a reporter for the New York Times, based at its Moscow, Russia bureau for the past ten years.

Kramer shares his reporting on Tillerson’s attempts on behalf of Exxon to gain access to the Russian arctic oil fields, as well as Tillerson’s personal connections to Russia. In addition, Kramer investigated and reported the activities of Paul Manifort in Russia, who within a week after those reports became public, resigned as Donald Trump’s campaign manager.

When Andrew Kramer and I visited from New York Times’ Bureau in Moscow on December 29, 2016, he began by describing Tillerson’s history in Russia.

The book Andrew Kramer recommends is “The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy,” by David Hoffman.

This program was recorded on December 29, 2016.

Click here to listen.

Muir, John — An Early American Conservationist

Muir, John — An Early American Conservationist

Posted on April 8th, 2013 in American History,Chautauquan,Environment by LeGov

One of the greatest early conservationists of America was a Scottish immigrant named John Muir who, as a young boy, went first to Wisconsin and then later, as a young man in the 1860s, he moved onward to California. A friend of president Theodore Roosevelt, he successfully sought to preserve the spectacular Yosemite Valley and the Sierra Nevada range, it was joy in his lifetime. Yet the loss of the equally spectacular Hetch Hetch Valley to a dam to provide water for San Francisco was his greatest sorrow. John Muir founded the Sierra Club and is credited with founding the National Park system in the United States.

I visited with John Muir in the person of Lee Stetson in the studios of Radio Curious in October of 1995 and discussed his life and observations.

Originally Broadcast: October 1995.

Click here to visit and listen to our archived program or click on the media player below.

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The Galapagos Islands and Charles Darwin

Who was Charles Darwin and what led him to describe what we now call the theory of evolution? These curious questions are ones that I have been following since I was about ten years old. In 1978 I had the good fortune of visiting the Galapagos Islands, 600 miles west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands in 1831 for month as part of a five-year voyage around the world. There he saw birds and animals that helped him formulate some of his ideas about evolution he published The Origin of the Species, 22 years later in 1853. Since then the world, science and religion has not been the same.

Now, at a time when concepts of evolution and natural selection are attacked from certain theological and political perspectives, “The Darwin Conspiracy,” a novel has been written by John Darnton, a writer and editor for the New York Times. “The Darwin Conspiracy,” although fiction, is said by John Darnton to be 90% accurate. It covers Darwin’s life and thinking before and after his publication of “The Origin of the Species.”

I spoke with John Darnton from his home in New York City at the end of October 2005. He began by describing who Charles Darwin was, in his time and place.

The book John Darnton recommends is “Snow,” by Orhan Pamuk.

Click here to listen now.