Patrick, William: Loneliness and How it Affects Us

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How many of us are lonely? What is loneliness and how does it affect us? Approximately 25 years ago, when asked the number of friends in whom we could confide, most people in the United States said “three.” When that question was asked recently most people said “none.”

Inquires reveal that twenty per-cent of people, — 60 million in the Untied States alone – are feeling lonely at any given moment. And, it appears that chronic loneliness may well compete with smoking, obesity and lack of exercise as a significant health risk.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with William Patrick, the founding editor of The Journal of Life Sciences and co-author of “Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection,” along with University of Chicago psychology professor John Cacioppo.

My conversation with William Patrick, recorded on October 13, 2008, began when I asked him to define loneliness as used in their book.

The book William Patrick recommends is “The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins,” by Burton Mack.

Originally broadcast October 18th, 2008.

Fogg, Laura: Traveling Blind

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The ways different creatures, especially us humans, use our senses to guide ourselves through life has long attracted my curiosity. I’ve often wondered how blind people seem able to orient themselves, and also wondered about their dreams.

From time to time, over the years, I would see an attentive woman walk past my office window next to a young person of student age. They would walk together talk, and the young person almost always carried a white cane with a red tip. Laura Fogg is this woman, the author of “Traveling Blind: Life Lessons from Unlikely Teachers,” and our guest in this archive edition of Radio Curious.

Laura Fogg worked as a Mobility and Orientation Instructor for the Blind in Mendocino County for over 35 years beginning 1971. She pioneered the use of the red tipped white cane with very young blind students some of whom had multiple impairments. She traveled long distances over the rather spectacular back roads of Mendocino County to work with each student his or her home.

When she visited the studios of Radio Curious on December 1, 2008, I asked her about the lessons that she learned that have changed her life.

The book Laura Fogg recommends is “My Year of Meats,” by Ruth Ozeki. Published in 1999.

Rossi, Dr. Ernest: How to Turn on Genes and Reconstruct Your Brain

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Gene expression: Psychosocial and cultural genomics–a healing process that connects the mind-body to emotional and physical healing is our topic. Our guest is Dr. Ernest Rossi, a practicing psychologist, hypnotherapist and an expert in dreams. Dr. Rossi describes how we humans can activate a specific gene within us to advance our abilities, or recover from an injury.

He suffered a major stroke in the early 2000s that impaired his speech and movement. Dr. Rossi managed his own recovery using psychosocial and cultural genomics. He and I visited at the 11th Milton Erickson Psychotherapy Congress in Phoenix, Arizona in December 2011. I turned on the recorder and asked Dr. Rossi to explain how gene expression works.

Dr. Ernest Rossi recommends your choice of the 36 books he has authored or edited. His website is www.ernestrossi.com.

Lacy, Dr. Betty: Alzheimer’s Disease: A Psychiatrist’s Personal Perspective — Part Two

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In our continuing series on dementia we present two interviews 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.

In part one, 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.

Dr. Lacy 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.

In this program, part two, Dr. Lacy shares her personal experiences of caring for her parents with Alzheimer’s. She suggests ways to deal with the changing personality that comes with this disease and how to deal with the stress it brings to family members.

The book Dr. 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.

Lacy, Dr. Betty: Alzheimer’s Disease: A Psychiatrist’s Personal Perspective — Part One

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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 about Alois Alheimers, a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist. He’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 also explains the benefits of being tested and identifies specific ways to retard and possibly prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.

When Betty Lacy visited Radio Curious on July 7, 2017, we began 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.

Owen, Dr. Adrian: In a Coma and Conscious: Communicating with the Comatose

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Approximately twenty percent of the people who are motionless and locked into a deep coma, wholly unable to move or respond, have a conscious awareness.  This conscious awareness may be determined with the use of Functional magnetic resonance imaging, commonly called fMRI.  This imaging reveals the increased blood flow to specific areas of the brain when a person focuses on a certain idea or image.

In this program we visit with Adrian Owen, Ph.D., author of “Into the Gray Zone: A Neuroscientist Explores the Border Between Life and Death.” Dr. Owen who thoroughly enjoys neurobiology and his rock and roll band began to develop imaging techniques allowing a conscious person locked in a coma to respond yes or no, to a given question.  Owen is currently the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at the Brain and Mind Institute, of Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

As part of our continuing series on dementia, we visited with Dr. Owen from his office in London, Ontario Canada, June 28, 2017.  We began when I asked him to explain the difference between magnetic resonance imaging and functional magnetic resonance imaging.

The book Adrian Owen recommends is “The Selfish Gene,” by Richard Dawkins.

For more information about Dr. Adrian Owen visit his website: http://www.owenlab.uwo.ca/

Gordon, Ina & Dick, Edward: Living in the Moment: With Alzheimer’s

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When a lapse in memory becomes several lapses, and then many, it becomes scary. It could possibly be the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time. It’s reportedly the cause of two-thirds of the cases of dementia, and is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guests are Ina Gordon and her husband Edward Dick, residents of Redwood Valley, California. Ina, formerly a Mendocino County librarian, has Alzheimer’s. Ed is her caregiver. About five years ago, Ina realized she could not remember where she had put commonly used items. Now she no longer drives for fear of getting lost or safely controlling the car. She claims to be able to have a conversation, but says she wouldn’t remember it the following day.

Ina Gordon offered to share her experience, how she is now, and what her life was like before Alzheimer’s began to narrow her world. When she and Ed Dick visited the Radio Curious studios on June 24, 2017, we began what turned out to be a very sweet and poignant story, when I asked to recall what her life was like before her memory began to fade.

The readings that Ed Dick recommends are the articles in the Plough Quarterly.

Conna-Lee Weinberg: Conscious Direction of Your Spine

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How we each may develop a conscious connection with the individual vertebrae of the spine is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guest is Conna-Lee Weinberg, author of “Mindful Spine: Movement from the Inside Out – Connecting the Brain and the Spinal Vertebrae.” Weinberg has over 30 years of experience as a psychophysical educator for Olympic and high-performance athletes.

Weinberg asserts that the spine overtly regulates our movements from birth until we begin to crawl and walk.  She believes that beginning when we crawl, the spine becomes subordinate to our muscles in controlling our movement.  This may result in sciatica, scoliosis, and other painful and sometimes debilitating conditions.
Weinberg believes that by learning to consciously direct or move the individual spinal vertebrae, with an intention similar to learning to ride a bicycle or moving a cup to our lips, we would be able to avoid, among other issues, the back pain too many of us suffer.  You may find further information at her website mindfulspine.com.

When Conna-Lee Weinberg visited the Radio Curious Studios on June 11, 2017, she demonstrated her personal ability to separately move the individual vertebrae of her spine.  In addition, she moved several vertebrae at the same time to imitate scoliosis.  She and I began our visit with her description of the Eureka moment when she learned that she could intentionally move her own spinal vertebrae.

The book Conna-Lee Weinberg recommends is:  “The Brain that Changes Itself:  Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science,” by Norman Doidge.

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

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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,” Dr. Baker encourages and recommends a hospice approach, which we present to you as part three in this series.

The book Dr. Baker recommends is “Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, by Stephen Jenkinson.” This interview was recorded on September 20, 2015.

Schlosser, Eric: Do You Really Want to Eat That?

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Fast food is what many people eat in America, and increasingly in other countries. It is advertised to be fun, tasty, and easily available. Americans spend more money annually on fast food than is spent on higher education.

Eric Schlosser is our guest in this archive edition.  He’s the author of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Schlosser writes that it is not only what is served for human consumption that is the problem, but the art of mass-marketing to children through organized promotions and ads for the products—in school busses, hallways, and even bathroom stalls—has serious side effects on society.

Working conditions for employees at meat-packing plants and the resulting contamination of the product resulted in the July 19th, 2002 recall of 19 million pounds of beef. In addition to the acute health hazards of contamination, a fast food meal often contains more fat in one meal than the average person needs in a day.

I spoke with Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation, in mid-summer 2002, we began with his description of the problem of excess fat in fast food.

Eric Schlosser is the author of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. The book he recommends is “Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing,” by Ted Conover.