How dancing gives your brain and mood a big boost

It doesn't matter if you are a professional dancer or if you just like to move on the dance floor on Saturday night. It doesn't matter if you like to tango or break dance. Dancing, of any kind, combines physical exercise with the positive power of music and social engagement. Together, these yield major mental health and brain benefits. In fact, it has such beneficial effects on the brain that dancing is increasingly used as therapy for developmental disorders like Down's syndrome, mood disorders such as depression, and neurological disorders as in the case of schizophrenia, Parkinson's, and dementia. Here is why it's so good for your brain. ...

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Marcus Aurelius’s utterly practical Stoic guide to inner freedom

Marcus Aurelius's "Meditations" instructs us in practices to restore our power of free will. In The Princess Bride, Westley disguised as the Dread Pirate Roberts delivers one of writer William Goldman's classic lines: "Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." The Stoic philosophers weren't trying to sell us anything. If you believe Stoicism is a superficial idea that encourages us to suck up our pain and get on with it, you are missing their point. The Stoics didn't promise freedom from disturbing emotions and hardships. They promised the freedom to have emotional well-being despite our problems. The Stoics didn't teach us to resist our feelings or pretend they don't exist. To the Stoics, sucking it up was a waste of a learning opportunity. In previous essays, I have considered the ideas of Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, and...

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Ben Shapiro interviews David Berlinski on his new book, Human Nature

Wow, this is an amazing, hour-long conversation between Ben Shapiro and our Discovery Institute colleague David Berlinski. It's today's Sunday Special on the Ben Shapiro Show and you can watch it here on YouTube: Berlinski is wise and hilarious, and Shapiro a very fitting interlocutor. David's new book, which forms the spine of the interview, is Human Nature, out now. I'll have more to say on their interaction later. But in the spirit of the Fast Track program of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, hastening needed prescription medicine ahead of otherwise routine burdensome drug trial requirements, here are David and Ben right NOW, covering the philosophical and political attack on essentialism, why evolution is fundamentally at odds with a fixed nature to human beings (or dogs, or anything else living), whether the problems with evolutionary science are more a...

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Medical scientists take Near Death Experiences seriously now

Today, we know much more about what happens to people when they die — and what we are learning does not support materialism In a continuing discussion, Robert J. Marks and Walter Bradley, after whom the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence is named, looked at near-death experiences (NDEs). Here's the podcast: "Walter Bradley: Don't go towards the light?" Excerpts: 01:55 | Definition of a near-death experience Walter Bradley: A near-death experience is a term that describes what today has become quite common in emergency rooms across the country as well as in highway accidents and so forth in which a person has a complete loss of heartbeat and brainwaves... And if they are resuscitated, what can they tell us about that intervening period where they were so-called clinically dead and yet, in many cases, they have remarkable...

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Sleepwalking is still a mystery to scientists

Somewhere in the murky space that divides alert from dormant — an enigmatic realm through which we all drift in the course of a good night's sleep — the human body sometimes behaves as though it belongs to both worlds at once. It rises from bed, ambling aimlessly. Perhaps it fiddles with household objects, cleans the kitchen or rearranges the furniture. At a glance, it seems to see, to feel, to register its surroundings. But look closer: The eyes are glassy, the movements clumsy. "These people are stuck in the nether regions between asleep and awake," says Nathaniel Watson, co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center. Sleepwalking (a sleep disorder formally known as somnambulism) has mystified and intrigued humankind throughout history. Lady Macbeth suffered a bout of it in her post-homicide guilt; Dracula used it to his advantage...

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