The geography of sorrow: Interview with Francis Weller

For a man who specializes in grief and sorrow, psychotherapist Francis Weller certainly seems joyful. When I arrived at his cabin in Forestville, California, he emerged with a smile and embraced me. His wife, Judith, headed off to garden while Francis led me into their home among the redwoods to talk. I had wanted to interview Weller ever since the publisher I work for, North Atlantic Books, had agreed to publish his new book, The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief. Over the previous few years my father, grandfather, grandmother, father-in-law, and sister-in-law had all died, and I'd also moved across the country and was missing the friends and community I'd left behind. I'd been living with a free-floating state of unease, but I'd largely sidestepped direct encounters with my losses. In his...

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What the world needs: Safe, affordable and effective medicines

If one has a heart, for humanity, one would choose a list of affordable medicines that are safe and easy to administer so that even the poor could afford them. It is highly insensitive for modern medicine to promote medicines that most people cannot afford. The worst examples of this are the new medicines oncologists are beginning to use, instead of chemotherapy, that stimulate the immune system. It does not help the competition between modern pharmacology and the natural medicines we are presenting here that most pharmaceuticals are mitochondria poisons that do not cure people of anything. The key factors in choosing medicines for the world would be their affordability, accessibly, their strength and effectiveness. The most basic medicines on our list are all natural medicines like sodium bicarbonate, magnesium chloride, selenium, sulfur, zinc, boron, potassium bicarbonate, boron, zinc and...

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A dog’s size and head shape predicts its temperament

The old saying goes that you can't judge a book by its cover, suggesting that first impressions based upon the look of something don't give you much information. However a recent study suggests that for dogs, their appearance (in terms of their size and their head shape), may well give you a lot of information about the personality and behavioral characteristics of the dog. Although the initial domestication of dogs may have occurred 14,000 years or more in the past, humans have continued to transform dogs to fulfill many different functions associated with guarding, herding, hunting, or simply companionship. Our selective breeding of dogs has modified their size and their shape dramatically so that the more than 400 recorded breeds of dogs are easily recognizable based on their physical characteristics. It also appears that there is some correlation between a...

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How to get more vitamin D during the winter when the days shorten

As winter approaches, we find ourselves cooped up indoors more enjoying those hot cups of coffee or cocoa, and dismissing the idea of venturing out in the cold. However, our bodies need sunlight and vitamin D, especially in the winter when the days shorten. It's difficult to get enough vitamin D in the winter. The days are shorter and the weather is cold and gloomy and the dreaded cold and flu season is in full swing. But you definitely should venture outside some, because so many studies show that vitamin D helps reduce the risk of colds and flu, giving your immune system a huge boost. The Vitamin D Council recommends vitamin D to help prevent colds and flu (URI or upper respiratory infections) based on the findings of two large meta-analyses (the strongest proof in medicine) published in respected...

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Fast and the furriest: Rats enjoy driving tiny cars, US researchers discover

A group of scientists in the US trained rats to drive tiny cars in return for bits of Fruit Loops cereal, and found that both the training and the satisfaction of the task itself reduced the rodents' stress levels. While readers may scoff that such research was carried out in the first place, senior author Kelly Lambert of the University of Richmond thinks the investigation could one day improve the development of non-pharmaceutical forms of treatment for mental illness. The basis for her theory? Neuroplasticity. ...

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