Volume Nine, Number Three
*About Bobbing Around
One of three
Some of my favourite people live within the four stories that comprise the book.
To give you a further inducement, Bobbing Around subscribers may buy this book for half price until the next issue comes out. That's $5 Australian to anyone on this planet, and the purchase qualifies you for a second e-book, free. Check it out.
Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. No part of it may be reproduced in any form, at any venue, without the express permission of the publisher (ME!) and the author if that is another person. You may forward the entire magazine to anyone else.
I am responsible for anything I have written. However, where I reproduce contributions from other people, I do not necessarily endorse their opinions. I may or may not agree with them, but give them the courtesy of a forum.
Say hello to Arianna. :)
Gina, on our theory of mental anguish
Healing Scripts CD
Finally found time to read your newsletter, and it's terrific as usual. I was particularly intrigued by the Resilience theory presented on the first page. It fits perfectly with my own personal observations of people throughout my life. Most of the people I know who unquestionably have some serious personality disorder of one kind or another did not "always" have it but developed it in mid-life in response to some crisis trigger or a period of prolonged stress.
This has perplexed me, and I'm pleased to have a possible explanation for it. The most disturbing example for me was my ex-husband, whose personality is severely abnormal. I've come to understand the dysfunction in his mind, but what disturbed me is that such a chilling personality must have existed in him from birth, yet I missed it somehow during all the years we dated and even during the first few years of marriage? Could he really have hidden it all that time, and could I have been so blind to what I see so clearly now? And how in the world can I trust myself to recognize it the next time I encounter it if it took ten years for me to see it in him?
Your Resilience theory provides a tidy explanation, especially because there were definite "triggers" that occurred about the time that I began to see him as mentally abnormal. I look forward to pondering this more, thanks.
I do have a question about Resilience, though. You mentioned that a person's resilience may be genetically determined, and I wonder if you could share your thoughts on that. What I'd like to know is--is it possible for one to hit the breaking point and crack into a disordered personality for many years but then to somehow develop the resilience needed to pull himself out, possibly also triggered by some crisis?
The example I'm thinking of is my older brother, whose personality shattered in his mid-twenties after the death of his infant son. For the next thirty years his personality spiraled down to include alcoholism, pedophilia, sadism, drug abuse, and domestic violence. He became a sad, ugly person when he had been such a caring, funny, positive spirit before the loss of his son.
Two years ago, after the suicide of his best friend, going to jail for repeated DUI, and a drinking binge that nearly killed him with alcohol poisoning, he tearfully told us that he didn't want to die and he wanted to get help. He went into an intensive detox program, then AA, and has since changed careers to become a drug/alcohol counselor. The change in him is, again, remarkable. He's like the man he was before he lost himself three decades ago, and he seems so strong and good and healthy now!
Do you think there was some deeper well of resilience left untapped in him that was finally triggered by his "rock bottom" crisis? Is there a way to teach people to find this without such a long and destructive life or the need to hit rock bottom?
Most of all, I want to know, if my son is predisposed to whatever is wrong with my ex-husband, is there a way I can help my boy develop a stronger resilience so that he will never break down and become like his dad?
thanks so much,
Genes are not a life sentence, but a potential. Your son's genetic makeup interacts with his life experience all the way from conception to this moment. So yes, you can protect him, guide him onto the right path. This is done by giving him a strong sense of his own person. Give him acknowledgement for successes, even small ones, appreciate effort even if it ends in lack of success. When he makes mistakes, don't pretend that they were OK. Give feedback, correcting the behavior while still making him feel that he is loved as a person.
The way I put it is: you are perfect. Some of the things you do are excellent, some are OK, and some are the growing edges. When you do the wrong thing, it's an opportunity for learning. You see, a personality is just a network of habits: it's what we do, not what we are.
Your brother has shown this. When he suffered his tragedy, this was an opportunity for him to grow in compassion, spiritual strength and love. He made the wrong choice, perhaps not even knowing that he had a choice, and went down a path of suffering, and causing others to suffer. And he kept repeating this bad choice, until it all accumulated.
Then, once, in response to the risk of death, he made the right choice. That was when he started to grow. This is not so much a matter of resilience as of fulfilling his life's purpose. He is now a "different person" from the violent drug abuser. Since the rewards are enormous, I predict that he will stay on the right path. Giving back by training as a D&A counsellor is perfect.
Your ex-husband, also, is not what he does. He is the person who chooses to do those things, probably not knowing he has a choice. He also has the potential to grow, if he only recognizes it.
Previously, you have written that he appears to have little or no empathy. Perhaps he is very new to being a human. His sole task in this life might be to realize that others have feelings, and therefore rights, in the same way he does.
Hopefully, during your association with him, you may have planted some seeds that will one day germinate into this flower of understanding.
Hi Dr. Rich,
I would like to buy a copy of your "Healing Scripts" CD, however, there aren't any links to buy it on your website. I see the paypal links for all of your other books but not for the Healing Scripts CD and I would really like it. Can you let me know the process I need to use in order to buy it? I live in the US.
Thank you very much. I stumbled upon your site today when I was doing a google search on feeling suicidal. I just wanted to say thank you and let you know how healing and soothing your site was to me. I especially liked your first aid kit for depression. I am going to try all of those activities and see if they help. I also liked your description of depression and how it lies to us,etc. Another thing that has been going on with me is that for the past 12 years I have been obsessed and focused on my job and financial success. And my personal life has suffered greatly and I know it is adding to my depression. Anway, I just wanted to let you know that your essays and article are helping me to think about changing my life and my priorities or at least making them more balanced. I really liked your "Personal Manifesto for Action" essay.
Well, thanks again for your fabulous website. It really helped me today and I know I will be returning to it for more help:-)
I am delighted to have been of service to you.
A large research project showed that 68% of people feel suicidal at some time in their lives. This means that it's not "your fault," but that of the culture we live in. It is OK to have those thoughts. But they are only invitations, not commands. Say "No thank you."
Depression can be beaten. I was severely depressed for the first third of my life, had it under control for about 20 years, and now I am healed. When the old triggers come I recognize them, but at the worst suffer a short burst of annoyance. If I could do this, so can you.
Invest in a few sessions with a good psychologist. That will speed up the process.
The reason I haven't got an automatic link for the CD is that shipping charges vary. The CD in its case is 50 g, so with packaging it's a bit over. So, the charge will be $4.20 Australian.
Pay me $24.00 Australian.
Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org
And email me your address so I can post it to you.
Our negligence is killing people
New animal protection laws
Feeding China's nuclear arsenal
Responding to that sinking feeling
Constance Okollet writes:
There are no seasons any more in eastern Uganda. Before, we had two harvests every year, but now there's no pattern. Floods like we've never seen came and swept up everything. It rained and rained until all the land was soaked and our houses were submerged in the water. This forced us to move to higher ground, where we sought refuge. By the time we came back home, all the houses had collapsed, our granaries were destroyed and food was washed away. The remaining crops were rotten, and our food was no more.
As the ground in the village remained flooded, there were a lot of mosquitoes around, and five of my family members became ill with malaria. Because there was no clean water to drink, some people got cholera and diarrhoea. Many of the people in my village died. Children didn't go to school since they were too weakened by disease and their parents had no money for school fees.
Our farms were ruined, so we didn't have food until the government came to help us. This was so humiliating for us, because we had never depended on aid to survive.
This year, when we managed to get seeds to plant for our own food, we were struck by a drought like we had never seen before. It was so hot, all of the crops dried up and the wells where we used to collect water also became dry. There was no water in the boreholes, and so the cycle of hunger and thirst returned, but this time caused by the excessive heat.
We didn't understand why this had happened. We wondered what we had done to make God so angry. But we now know it's climate change. The cycle continues, and it hasn't gotten much better, as we have had more droughts and more floods. It's very hard for us to grow food, and some mornings, I go to my field only to find that someone has stolen the potatoes. Although it makes me angry, I know that if my neighbours didn't steal the potatoes, they wouldn't have anything to eat.
When I heard that leaders of the world were meeting at the UN in New York to talk about fighting climate change, I wished that there was a way I could tell them what my community has gone through. I wanted to make them understand that we are getting poorer and poorer because of climate change, and we are dying. I wanted to be there to tell them our story.
With Oxfam's help, I am have joined a number of women like me from different corners of the world in New York to speak my mind.
I ask the leaders of the rich countries to take action to reduce their carbon emissions so that we can look forward to rains to plant our crops without having to face floods that wash them away. And I ask them to help my community fight the climate change that destroys our houses, increases diseases and stops our children from attending schools. That's all I am asking for on behalf of my fellow villagers.
Two far-east countries that are infamous for violations against human rights are making a very unlikely compassionate leap by instituting their first policies to protect animals. The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal has passed its first Animal Welfare Act and the People's Republic of China has drafted the China Animal Protection Law.
The recently approved Animal Welfare Act in Nepal already has two initial projects in the works: the building of the country's first animal sanctuary for rescued animals and a separate sanctuary for donkeys. Both are scheduled to open in mid October.
The shelter will house rescued animals and include a veterinary hospital and spay and neuter clinic.
The donkey sanctuary already has 14 rescued animals waiting to be transferred to the facility. They are part of a rescue mission from one of the worst cases of animal cruelty Nepal has ever witnessed Ñ 55 other donkeys died during that tragedy.
The abuse to donkeys is widespread in Nepal because they are frequently used for labour and made to carry heavy loads on their backs. They are crowded into small sheds and given little food or water.
Animal Nepal, a network of animal rights activists, hopes the new Animal Welfare Act will, "Raise awareness against animal cruelty." The group has been fighting for the new law for many years.
In China, the Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is very proud of the drafted Animal Protection Law about to be considered by the Chinese government. The organisation has been trying to get legislation like this passed for more than a decade.
Paul Littlefair, senior program manager with the RSPCA's international department said, "It is a very significant landmark Ñ when it is passed it will be the first time in China's history that the state is sending a clear message to every citizen: 'the way we treat animals matters'."
The Chinese Animal Protection Law encompasses a vast area of animal welfare. It addresses the deliberate cruelty to animals and the inhumane culling methods used against dogs. It also stops the live skinning of animals for their fur and the feeding of live farm animals to big cats in zoos and wildlife parks.
Overall it protects six categories of animals: those on farms, in laboratories, pets, working animals, animals in entertainment and wild animals.
The RSPCA is committed to staying in China to see that all of these initiatives are implemented. The group will also promote education to the public about many of the misconceptions they have regarding animals. Many Chinese believe the cruel practice of culling dogs is the only method of destroying rabies and are unaware that vaccines are available for both the prevention of the disease and to cure it once someone has been affected. Furthermore the organization will help oversee that the new law is enforced.
Legal experts from the government have put the final touches on the proposal and sent it to be reviewed. Chang Jiwen, who helped draft the law said, "It's different from Western laws. For example, we won't require keepers to give dogs shelters as most Chinese cannot afford that. Only people who unnecessarily and intentionally abuse animals will be punished." He hopes regulations in the future will be more sophisticated and move toward Western laws.
However even before the China Animal Protection Law has been voted on, it is being credited with stopping the latest dog culling that was ordered to begin this week.
Australia mouths non-nuclear platitudes on the world stage while quietly adding to the problem with exports to China.
AS CHINA celebrates the 60th anniversary of communist rule with a slickly orchestrated march down the Avenue of Eternal Peace to Tiananmen Square that featured new nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles, it is a fitting moment to question Australia's role as uranium supplier to the crouching tiger of our region.
After the United Nations Security Council, with a push from US President Barack Obama, agreed to a historic resolution last month to rid the world of nuclear weapons, Australia needs to consider whether we see our future as supplying China's uranium market. We also need to assess the broader effects of Australia's uranium exports on nuclear non-proliferation, regional security and China's human rights record.
One of Kevin Rudd's early initiatives as prime minister was to establish the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, co-chaired by former foreign minister Gareth Evans, saying this would be "our gift to the world."
Unfortunately, Australia can never credibly lead on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament while spreading nuclear risks as one of the world's largest uranium suppliers. The mismatch between Australia's rhetoric and the illusion of protection provided by nuclear safeguards is stark in the case of China.
As a uranium exporter, Australia has a responsibility to strengthen nuclear safeguards and to act decisively to disqualify any state that does not fully observe its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations. China is modernising -- rather than eliminating -- its nuclear arsenal and has so far failed to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. China is one country that does not meet its non-proliferation treaty obligations.
BHP Billiton's plan to expand the Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam) copper and uranium mine is being considered by the federal and South Australian governments. BHP proposes the world's largest open pit mine as a uranium quarry to fuel the global nuclear industry, with much of its efforts directed towards China. BHP's plan would see Australia selling uranium-infused bulk copper concentrate for processing in China, transferring more than a million tonnes a year of radioactive waste and thousands of tonnes of uranium.
Australian uranium will effectively disappear off the safeguards radar on arrival in China, a country whose military is inextricably linked to the civilian nuclear sector and where nuclear whistleblowers and critics are brutally suppressed and jailed. This alone is reason to disqualify China from acquiring Australian uranium.
In July, a well-known environmental activist and recipient in 2006 of the prestigious Nuclear-Free Future Award, Sun Xiaodi, and his daughter Sun Dunbai were jailed and sent to a "re-education through labour" camp for their efforts to expose corruption and contamination in China's nuclear industry.
Sun Xiaodi is a former worker at No. 792 Uranium Mine in Gansu province in north-west China. Since 1988, the whistleblower has travelled repeatedly to Beijing to petition the Government to end corruption in China's nuclear industry and to speak out for the rights of uranium mine workers.
According to Chinese court documents, the crimes Sun Xiaodi and Sun Dunbai are guilty of include inciting the public with libellous slogans including Ònuclear pollutionÓ and Òhuman rights violationÓ. In reality, Sun Xiaodi and Sun Dunbai are paying a very high price for speaking out.
Australians should recognise that it is not appropriate for us to export uranium to a government that does not tolerate criticism of its nuclear industry and fails to meet minimum international human rights standards. We should also be mindful that our commitments to non-proliferation are in conflict with our "dual use" uranium sales.
Australian uranium produces plutonium -- a potent bomb-making material -- in nuclear reactors overseas. Australia consents to the separation and stockpiling of this plutonium through the "reprocessing" of spent nuclear fuel waste in a number of countries, including China. While our Government says that the plutonium is only to be used for peaceful purposes, we are in effect being asked to trust this and every future Beijing regime.
Nuclear waste management remains unresolved around the world. With the future of high-level nuclear waste accumulating at reactor sites across the US still unresolved after 50 years of the nuclear industry, how can BHP provide any credible assurances on nuclear waste management in China?
Australia is strutting the international stage claiming credentials as a regional democratic voice, nodding our head in agreement with the US President's call for the abolition of nuclear weapons, while propping up the nuclear sector in a China that is suppressing human rights, modernising its nuclear weapons arsenal and engaging in building nuclear reactors in Pakistan that will increase plutonium production capacity.
Australia's reputation and nuclear-safeguard responsibilities should not be further compromised to suit BHP Billiton's commercial interests. The first shipment of Australian uranium that BHP has now sent to China should be the last.
The only potentially credible future for BHP's Roxby Down mine and the proposed expansion is to trade only in copper and to leave the uranium and other radioactive wastes at the mine site.
David Noonan is the Australian Conservation Foundation's nuclear-free campaigner.
The Maldives is a small group of islands that are NOW being devastated by rising sea levels. Don't worry about 2050 or 2020. The probleem is in 2009.
Maldives President Nasheed has said to a gathering of representatives of nations at risk from climate change:
We are gathered here because we are the most vulnerable group of nations to climate change.
Some might prefer us to suffer in silence but today we have decided to speak...we will not die quietly.
Members of the G8 rich countries have pledged to halt temperature rises to two degrees Celsius. Yet they have refused to commit to the carbon targets, which would deliver even this modest goal.
At two degrees we would lose the coral reefs. At two degrees we would melt Greenland. At two degrees my country would not survive.
As a president I cannot accept this. As a person I cannot accept this.
I refuse to believe that it is too late, and that we cannot do any about it. Copenhagen is our date with destiny. Let us go there with a better plan...
After all, it is not carbon we want, but development. It is not coal we want, but electricity. It is not oil we want, but transport. Low-carbon technologies now exist, to deliver all the goods and services we need. Let us make the goal of using them...
At the moment every country arrives at the negotiations seeking to keep their own emissions as high as possible. They never make commitments, unless someone else does first.
This is the logic of the madhouse, a recipe for collective suicide.
We don't want a global suicide pact. And we will not sign a global suicide pact, in Copenhagen or anywhere. So today, I invite some of the most vulnerable nations in the world, to join a global survival pact instead.
Footprints number 38 is entitled "Prepare for a future that cannot be stopped." John James uses simple mathematics to show why smoke and mirror tricks like carbon trading are irrelevant. You must read this.
Since the advent of email, mobile texting and other forms of digital communication, use of "snail mail" has become slightly inefficient and wasteful.
To produce and process 4 million tons of junk mail a year, 100 million trees are destroyed and 28 billion gallons of water is wasted. Also, $320 million of local taxes are spent to dispose of junk mail each year instead of providing parks, libraries, health care and other valuable services.
In addition, municipal mail accounts for a staggering amount of postal transactions. In New York City alone, 15 million pieces of mail from the City are sent out on a typical day.
As a solution, some have pointed to paperless mail options like California-based Zumbox, which replaces your physical mailbox with an official inbox for your residence's address.
From the official website: "Zumbox is the world's first and only paperless postal system. The company has created a web-based platform for the delivery of paperless mail. For every U.S. street address, there is a corresponding digital mailbox -- a Zumbox -- enabling mail and other content to be sent as digital files and received online with no paper, printing or postage, and no scanning. Zumbox represents a more cost-effective and environmentally responsible way to send postal mail."
Supporters of this decision in each of the three cities hope that citizens will now have a chance to experiment with the Zumbox software and discover how easy and secure it is to use. Eventually, advertisers may also switch to this type of service, which can offer precise geo-targeting and analytics for marketing while still drastically reducing the need for paper and postage.
The Northern Hemisphere winter is coming. Many people are worried about rapid wear of the engine if it is driven before being allowed to idle for a few minutes. Besides, it's cold in the car, and isn't it good to get the heater going before climbing in?
Trouble is, in sub-freeaing temperatures, an idling engine generates a lot more emissions. If you don't want to cook the planet, drive off straight away.
Many people are unaware that heating up the car can have such harmful effects, and we are all confused by myths like "it takes more gas to turn the car on than to keep it running, or "turning the car on and off damages the engine." So we sit and wait for the frost to dissolve on the windshield and the seat warmers to be cranking at full capacity before we climb in.
Although typically ignored or played down by state and even national environmental regulators, more people need to be educated that the best way to warm up your car or truck is to drive it. And studies have shown that frequent restarting has little impact on engine parts such as battery and starter motor.
A good rule of thumb is: "Idling gets zero miles per gallon."
The paper Household actions can provide a behavioral wedge to rapidly reduce U.S. carbon emissions is available online at http://behavioralwedge.msu.edu/documents/behavioral_wedge_paper.pdf.
Most climate change policy attention has been addressed to long-term options, such as inducing new, low-carbon energy technologies and creating cap-and-trade regimes for emissions. We use a behavioral approach to examine the reasonably achievable potential for near-term reductions by altered adoption and use of available technologies in U.S. homes and nonbusiness travel. We estimate the plasticity of 17 household action types in 5 behaviorally distinct categories by use of data on the most effective documented interventions that do not involve new regulatory measures. These interventions vary by type of action and typically combine several policy tools and strong social marketing. National implementation could save an estimated 123 million metric tons of carbon per year in year 10, which is 20% of household direct emissions or 7.4% of U.S. national emissions, with little or no reduction in household well-being. The potential of household action deserves increased policy attention. Future analyses of this potential should incorporate behavioral as well as economic and engineering elements.
If we are "addicted" to oil (as even George Bush admitted), then I guess air travel would need to be classified as heroin: Extremely harmful, and yet almost impossible to quit.
As an example of how deep this addiction runs:
I'm on an email group list of well known climate bloggers, and one of my colleagues recently asked, "So... what bloggers on this list are going to Copenhagen?" (for the UN climate meetings next month)
A few of the Answers:
You get the idea. These folks are among the most active and engaged on the issue of climate change, and yet many will be jetsetting multiple writers to Denmark (possibly myself included).
They are almost certainly aware that in terms of personal carbon impact, flying is one of the worst things you can do: Without flying, the average person's carbon footprint in the US (the amount of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gasses we emit as individuals) is 16 tons. But for the 25% of American who fly, the average footprint is 6 tons higher. And for the roughly 6 Million 'frequent fliers' in The US, the typical footprint is 40 tons -- almost triple the average. Yikes!
Flying is especially harmful because the emissions are released much further up in the atmosphere. There was a memorable scene in the movie The Age of Stupid, where a family tries to work out a reasonable carbon budget, and realizes that their holiday flying makes it impossible. As the father says, "the only thing worse than flying seems to be to set fire to a rainforest."
So what is a concerned eco-citizen to do? Waiting for the airlines to fix the problem is certainly not a good option. The Air Transportation Association is lobbying to avoid taxes or cap-and-trade on their industry, while also making vague promises to reduce emissions by 50% in the next 40 years. Unfortunately, most estimates are that airline travel will actually grow substantially as a portion of total emissions in upcoming decades.
Can we stop flying? Given the global nature of business and politics, as well as the importance of cultural sensitivity and awareness in an interconnected world, I hope not (although we can fly less, that's for sure.) I'm glad that concerned writers will be in Copenhagen to document the UN climate talks, even if they need to get on airplanes to get there.
The only remaining answer seems to be for fliers to fund activities that reduce their flight emissions via what is known as 'offsetting' -- funding other programs that do more good than the harm we create. Offsetting often gets a bad name, sometimes called the equivalent of a medieval pardon, or simply purchasing guilt reduction. But what it really does is pragmatically mitigate a potential environmental problem through a 'swap', something we do all the time. As examples, we chose to set aside national parks rather than halt westward expansion, conservation funds often trade forest tracts and logging rights with timber interests, and we support hatcheries to make up for dams and lost Salmon habitats. So why not set aside forests or support wind energy to make up for the flying we can't seem to avoid? While none of these 'swaps' are perfect, they are much better alternatives to doing nothing to mitigate activities that - for economic and other reasons - we just can't stop doing.
In the case of flying, offsetting the impact of a one way trip overseas adds roughly 2% ($15) to the price of a ticket. In an era where airlines now charge $32 for advanced seating assignments, $25 for an extra bag, and even for meals, that seems like a bargain to me.
Going back to the original heroin analogy, I suppose offsetting would be the moral and practical equivalent of Methadone -- a safe way to allow us to gradually withdraw from our addiction, rather than quitting cold turkey.
Top climate scientists in the top scientific journal Nature recently stated that we have exceeded crucial planetary boundaries beyond which we are at high risk of unacceptable environmental change. These and other top climate scientists and biologists are stating clearly that the atmospheric CO2 concentration must be urgently returned to 300-350 ppm for planetary safety. Unfortunately, World governments are ignoring the science and are committed to increasing CO2, evidently not understanding that there can be no negotiation with the laws of Physics and Chemistry.
An Australian husband and wife with homeopathic beliefs were recently jailed for the manslaughter of their horribly neglected child. Accountability must also apply to all people who are ignoring scientific advice and international law and are complicit in the carnage of US wars (9-11 million excess deaths in US wars, 1990-2009, including 4 million infants) and in the worsening climate genocide (that will kill 10 billion people, including 6 billion infants). This inescapable legal, business, political and electoral Accountability for war crimes and climate crimes is detailed in a Letter being transmitted to all Australian Federal MPs and indeed to everyone so that, unlike many Germans in 1945, they cannot say "we didn't know" (see: http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?article19241).
Dr Gideon Polya
Dr Gideon Polya is a Melbourne-based Australian scientist, artist, climate activist, peace activist and author of "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (2003), “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (2007) and “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (1998, 2008). For his huge paintings, see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/.
I am a 54-year-old licensed psychotherapist who has shifted focus onto society as causing the problem that the individual or family present.
Decades ago, I realized that the strategic use of language I utilized within a therapeutic setting with patients' permission is used in the mass media to manipulate society. I have been taking graduate level courses for the last five years at University of Wisconsin-Madison in political science, political & mass communication, and rhetoric, with a critical studies focus. (Critical Studies seem hard to find. I believe because it questions the status quo.) AnyhowÉ
A country's socialization process, call it cultural hegemony, social conditioning, or dominant social paradigm is that societies are designed & guided by overriding cultural ideologies and practices that help stabilize society. However, just as in making a good loaf of bread, too much of this or too little of that and the result is a disappointment. When an imbalance occurs within society, people may develop symptoms which I see as natural patterns of reaction to an unnatural situation.
It was a Conservation-Psychology dialog that lead me to this essay. The dialog discussed 'cognitive dissonance and emotional flatness,' both of which can be viewed as a result of a country's socialization process within modern society. A country's guiding ideologies, i.e. democracy & capitalism, affect us tremendously. The life long socialization process supported and guided by the controlling effects of capitalism influence us through media and culture.
Modern society teaches us to allow and depend on the elite to guide us, and technology to rescue us; and when we become aware of any personal discomfort, to distract ourselves from it, to trust others & technology to take care of it. Because of this, many of us develop a sense of learned helplessness and detachment from ourselves and society.
The primary message from capitalism is to go shopping. We have learned that this behavior can lessen our anxiety, depression, and other psychological dis-ease. By participating in the market, by buying something, we become actively involved in life. We make a decision and complete a transaction. We have interacted with society in a way supported by the status quo and capitalism. We receive subconscious cultural reinforcement by our behavior.
The problem seems to be that capitalism with its values of wealth, power, and individualism take precedence over the values of democracy and the common good. When economics is the primary guiding ideology in a culture, civilization becomes sick. (It is easy for me to see capitalism as a virus out-of-control.) Some humans are aware of this dissonance by either acquiring nontraditional knowledge or by simply trusting their ability to perceive and to understand intuitively. The imbalance in our loaf of bread is not enough democracy to allow it to rise properly, and too much capitalism causes most of it to fall flat.
To appraise our cognitive dissonance about what we see and experience in modern society, we behave as conditioned. We become an active consumer or participate in some form of entertainment to distract ourselves. This though is a very short distraction from underlying personal discomfort. When we try to do something about some discomforting aspect of society, we run into barriers supporting the status quo and this adds to our frustrations. When attempts at democratic participation fail enough times, the result is emotional flatness because it lessens the cognitive dissonance.
For me the solution to this detachment, this dissonance, this flatness that many individuals including I experience, is to find ways to influence society at the ideological level, a top down approach. For me the bottom up approach of providing psychotherapy services was too individualistic and seemed at times that I was putting bandages on individuals and sending them back out into the cruel world to get hurt again. Yes, some patients become empowered and fend for themselves, but the social structures are so engrained that an individual is too easily clobbered. There was a time in the United States when 'the customer was always right,' but that was back when democracy had a louder voice and bigger bite.
Recent events highlight the importance of examining the impact of economic downturns on population health. The Great Depression of the 1930s was the most important economic downturn in the U.S. in the twentieth century. We used historical life expectancy and mortality data to examine associations of economic growth with population health for the period 1920-1940. We conducted descriptive analyses of trends and examined associations between annual changes in health indicators and annual changes in economic activity using correlations and regression models. Population health did not decline and indeed generally improved during the 4 years of the Great Depression, 1930-1933, with mortality decreasing for almost all ages, and life expectancy increasing by several years in males, females, whites, and nonwhites. For most age groups, mortality tended to peak during years of strong economic expansion (such as 1923, 1926, 1929, and 1936, 1937). In contrast, the recessions of 1921, 1930-1933, and 1938 coincided with declines in mortality and gains in life expectancy. The only exception was suicide mortality which increased during the Great Depression, but accounted for less than 2% of deaths. Correlation and regression analyses confirmed a significant negative effect of economic expansions on health gains. The evolution of population health during the years 1920-1940 confirms the counterintuitive hypothesis that, as in other historical periods and market economies, population health tends to evolve better during recessions than in expansions.
Life and death during the Great Depression, by José A. Tapia Granados & Ana V. Diez Rou
The medical model in mental health is being replaced by a lively new understanding of how psychotherapy works. The 'pax medica' model, founded on theories of 'chemical imbalances in the brain' with an emphasis on diagnosis, and specialized treatments and techniques, was propelled by the advent of Prozac, the DSM-III and 'evidence-based therapies'. Recent research presents major challenges to this institutionalised medicalisation of psychotherapy. The mnemonic 'BASE'-brain, attunement, systems of care and evidence-based treatment-is a useful framework to assist practitioners in the transition from the old world of the 'pax medica' to a new model that incorporates current neuroscience, developmental psychology, psychodynamic theory, cognitive psychology and psychotherapy research.
Only, I haven't got permission to reproduce the article. You can read it at http://www.psychotherapy.com.au/pages/events/arden09/ArdenLinford.pdf
While working at a Cancer Support Centre, I have used ordinary index cards (13 x 7.5 cm) to write on and give to clients as reminders of a discussion. I did not deliberately choose the colour, but it's turned out to be surprisingly appropriate.
It began as a response to the realisation that people dealing with cancer (both as patients and as family members) are often overwhelmed. They deal with huge emotional, physical, practical and time-consuming issues, including input-overload, which severely limit their available energy, memory and attention span. I found myself giving people little notes written on pieces of paper and was embarrassed when told how much they were used and shown to others. So I bought a box of index cards, which are quite sturdy and of a size to encourage brief, meaningful statements.
What do I write? Usually we cooperate on the wording toward the end of a session, and I use the client's words as much as possible. Sometimes the client will say "write down what you said about..." and that's alright too.
Common notes include:
These are not world-shattering insights, nor is the idea of a post-session note or letter a new one. However, I've been touched and humbled by comments like "I keep my card in my handbag all the time," "I put my card near the telephone," "I look at my card when I can't sleep."
Some cards are more specific. Here are two examples:
A woman whose husband had cancer said at the very end of a joint session, "I meant to ask you what to do about all this anger I have." We had been meeting for a while so I felt able to write her a Green Card to go on with, and promised to start with the issue at the next appointment. I wrote
Next time we met she said she had not only worked through this and found it very helpful, but had taken it to a Cancer Support Retreat and shared it with others. I had to ask her to show it to me, as I couldn't remember what I'd written!
Counselling in a setting like this is, of course, based on universal therapeutic principles. However, the circumstances usually limit the number of sessions (sometimes to only one) and the needs are often urgent. Also, the clients have usually been well-functioning people before being hit by a major life crisis. While I am definitely more directive than when counselling in other settings, I try to work with empathy from where the client is, and to write the cards in the context of "this is what we have worked on today."
Why do many of my clients find their Green Cards helpful?
1. they provide a personal focus in a situation of confusion, trauma and conflicting demands
2. they reinforce insights gained, skills worked on or (dare I say?) advice given
3. they continue the therapeutic connection beyond a session or between sessions
4. they encourage accountability to work towards agreed goals.
Dear Dr. Rich,
I recently came across this article, and I can relate to it, more so than I would like too. I was 15 when I molested my little sister and a boy that I was babysitting. The guilt still eats me alive. The difference between us is that my sins had been brought out into the light. I was confronted by my sister, after she told of it in a therapy session. The police got involved and it was deemed that I was no longer a threat, as this happened when I was 15 and 27 when it came out. About a year later, I was confronted by the brother and sister of the boy that I had molested...and they were very good friends of mine. They asked me if it was true, and I confessed. This all happened within a year of each other and it was in 2000.
I have even confessed this all to my Priest, but I still carry the guilt. I still feel the shame. I still cry about what I did. When I was 18, I tried to commit suicide, and spent some time in a mental facility, but I didn't tell them the real reason why I had done tried to take my own life.
I am currently 36, and am married and have 2 wonderful boys, ages 3 and 5 months. I am not a pedophile. I am not attracted to children sexually. I have not touched any children like that since I was 15. My children are safe. When I look at my children, I sometimes think back to the person I was back then, and can't even imagine how I could have done those awful things? My priest says I am forgiven by God... my little sister has forgiven me, my old friends have forgiven me, although we are no longer friends, but I still carry the guilt and shame of it all. I don't know how to let it go. I've tried. I've prayed about it. I just don't know how.
I am currently seeing a therapist to deal with other issues I have. I was abused by my father, both physically, and mentally. My mother favored my older sister over my little sister and I so much that it has carried over into our adult lives. And, I am morbidly obese because I became a compulsive over eater. I ate to drown out my problems, the guilt and the shame, but it only made it worse.
I can't tell my therapist about the molestations. I cant. My wife doesn't even know, and my priest advised me not to ever tell anyone again. You are the first person I have mentioned it to. How do I let go of the guilt and shame? I know it is holding me back from so much happiness. My sister and the other boy have let it go and moved on, why can't I? I don't want this guilt and shame anymore.
Dear "Drowning," Thank you for trusting me with this confidence. I feel honored.
When you were 27, you achieved a major change in your life. Because things came out into the open, you went to a court of law. There was no conviction because, rightly, it was considered that you were no longer the person who had hurt two little children. You were considered to be a good person by then.
Since that time, you have grown even further. There is NOTHING that would induce you to ever damage a child in any way, and certainly not through sexual abuse.
Suppose you were doing some practical task like tuning a car engine. The first time you did it, you made a mistake, and had to take it to a mechanic who fixed it up, and showed you how to do it. So, now you can do that task. Should you beat yourself up for having made a mistake then, or congratulate yourself (and thank the mechanic) for having learned, become more competent?
The same applies for your emotional issues. When you were 15, you committed a couple of terrible actions. As a result, you have learned life lessons. You are now a wiser, more compassionate and gentler person. Because of the mistakes you made then, you have grown.
We cannot undo what has been done then. History is history.
But you are doing abuse, right now. You are not abusing a little boy, or your sister. You are abusing yourself, and you do not deserve this abuse. The person you are NOW does not need punishment. The person you were at 15 no longer exists. He is only a memory.
So, those people who have forgiven you are right. Your priest is right. God does forgive genuine repentance, of even the worst crimes and sins, and you are genuinely repentant.
Your growth is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to hide. It is something to celebrate. This is true:
I AM NOW A PERSON WHO WILL DO ANYTHING TO AVOID HARMING OTHER PEOPLE. THIS IS BECAUSE, WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER, I ABUSED TWO CHILDREN, AND NOW I AM MAKING RESTITUTION BY DOING GOOD.
In my opinion, it is OK for you to tell your wife. It is OK if certain people know about it. There is no shame regarding the person you are now.
I suggest you find some volunteer work you can do that will protect children, or help those people who have been hurt by childhood abuse, or visit in jail people who have also abused children and are now repentant.
There is nothing for you to be ashamed of. You did bad things in your past, and have learned from them. There is no reason to hide behind secrecy. You are no longer that person.
That's not to say that you need to broadcast the fact to all and sundry. That would be foolish, because many people would then treat you with hostility. But people you trust can know. One way of telling your wife may be to show her this email: my answer first, then your message to me.
And there is certainly no reason for you to commit slow suicide by eating yourself to death. Once you accept, and even value, yourself as you now are, you will no longer need any drug to mask the pain, because there will be no pain. You have been using food as a drug, and as a way of harming yourself. You can now stop doing this.
God does not require you to be perfect, only to do your best to grow toward perfection. You have been doing so.
"Tom" wrote me a long and pain-filled email. He is a 16 year old who was suicidally depressed. He felt he had no friends, no future, no chance of ever finding love. He is not being physically bullied, since he has a brown belt in Karate, but he is always the last to be picked for a team, always on the outer, He is convinced no one likes him, and more, that no one could like him. Here is my answer:
When I was your age, I was in the same place where you are now. I had no friends. I had no family even, because I lived in a migrant hostel and my family were on the other side of the planet. I was good at fighting (did judo), so physically I was all right, but I felt terribly isolated. I dreamed about having a girlfriend, but believed it would never happen, no matter how long I lived. After all, what girl would possibly love me?
Now, I have a wide range of friends, people who speak highly of me. When I meet people, they always react to me with liking. Even if I walk down the street, strangers smile at me. I've been married (to the same person) for 42.5 years, have three wonderful children, and grandchildren. I have a wonderful career that gives me a lot of satisfaction, and in which I do good to other people.
If I could do it, so can you.
I was isolated and picked on until I was in my early 20s. Then it stopped. I have worked out the reason: until then I thought like a victim, and was reacted to by others as a victim. After that, I started accepting and respecting myself, so the energy I sent out induced others to respect me.
My depression came from an abusive stepfather. I met him again when I was 21. To my surprise, I liked the old bastard. I felt pity for him, but could no longer hate him. Although I did not realize it at the time, looking back I see that this was the start of my healing.
Tom, depression is an inner monster that moves in when you're a little child. It whispers lies to you, and is very good at making you believe that these lies are your own thoughts. To be subject to depression, there have to be these kinds of distorted inner beliefs in three families, and I can see that you have all three. These are:
1. I am faulty in some way. In my case, I just knew I was stupid, and ugly, and could never do anything right, and anybody who knew me could not possibly love me.
2. The word is a bad place. You have this one ++.
3. There is no hope, nothing can ever help.
These inner beliefs are self-damaging. They are not true. Where they have an element of truth, that is twisted and distorted to make it mean something much worse than it actually is.
Over time, I have developed a new set of beliefs. Here are a few:
1. If someone else can do it, I can learn it.
2. The more you give, the more you get.
3. I am perfect. Some of the things I do are excellent, some are OK, and some are the growing edges where I have the opportunity to improve.
4. There are no mistakes, only learning opportunities.
I got to where I am now through my own efforts, over many years. You can do the same. However, you can shorten the journey by having a few sessions with a good psychologist. I don't know your financial circumstances, but spending the money could be the best investment your parents will ever make in your future.
And consider me your grandfather.
To my delight, I got the following reply:
Dear Dr. Bob,
I would just like to say thank you soo much for ur help and feelings toward me. You made my birthday soo much better and more meaningful. I was feeling down on my birthday adn just got your reply the day after. I want to say I am soo glad you responded because I feel that my depression has worsened since I first experienced it. I was feeling at an all time low. I had even devoted my soul to the devil and was on the verge of practicing satanism. You really helped and I am in the process of repenting to God right now and getting my life on track. Today is the start of a new me.Thx! Bob
Tom, the Devil is an invention. It is a personification of evil acts by people. All people are children of God, with free will. God is not an old puppeteer sitting on a cloud, but the principle of Love in your heart that you need to develop, and that's the purpose of your life.
Even the most evil acts are done by people who could do differently if they only knew they had the choice.
Do a little experiment. Go out and find some little kindness you can do, and then keep it a secret. It can be as little as picking up a bit of rubbish on the street and putting it in a bin, or turning an upside down beetle the right way up. The point of keeping it a secret is that a good deed is its own reward. Someone else's appreciation or gratitude is a reward, and that gets in the way.
Note how you feel when you deliberately and self-aware, do a secret good deed.
This is the Jewish custom of MItzvah. I do my best to find at least one Mitzvah to do a day. When I do it, I say "Mitzvah!" in my mind, or even aloud.
Lately my boyfriend and I have been fighting a lot. I feel like it is because I am being jealous. We will go out to a club and dance and everything and I know he would never cheat on me and he loves me, but when I see him with other girls no matter who it is, it bugs me and part of me doesn't want to trust him even though I have no reason not to. It seems that we can't solve this issue and all we do is fight about it and then he thinks i don't trust him and we always just end up mad at each other.
Please I need some advice...I don't know how to fix this!
Jealousy is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more you try to hang on to the other person and restrict him, the more you push him away.
It always comes from inner insecurity. In the head, intellectually, you know you can trust him, that he loves you and that he won't cheat on you. In your heart, you believe that you are faulty in some way, perhaps that no one could possibly love you. This comes from interpretations of your world you made when you were a tiny girl. They made sense to you then, but now they distort your reactions to your world.
The thing is, thoughts of jealousy are not commands, but invitations. They actually only matter if you treat them as if they were true, and act on them. But you can decline to do that.
How can you keep your boy? By making him feel good about being with you. Anything that advances that is good. Anything that pushes him away is bad.
Therefore, when a jealous thought comes, accept it. It's there. Don't argue with it, but instead design an action for you that will be attractive to him. For example, you can prepare a response like this. You see him talking with another girl? Put a lovely smile on your face, give them a wave. Go to the drinks counter, pick up three drinks and take them to your boy and the other girl. If this girl is a stranger, introduce yourself, in as friendly a manner as you can, and ask her some open-ended question.
What do you do if your boyfriend happens to be talking with another boy? When you see him talking with a girl, react to her as if she was a boy, or sexless. It is just another person who happens to be female, and is no threat to you.
In advance, tell your boyfriend that this is what you will be doing, and ask his help.
You might want to read a book in which jealousy is a central theme. You will find it at http://bobswriting.com/sleeper.html
Writing your family history and keeping yours alive by Patrika Vaughn
The I-s don't have to have it from Maya Reynolds
Digging into your family's past and writing about the people and events you discover can be a fascinating endeavor. A family history also helps children and grandchildren develop a sense of belonging, a feeling of continuity between the generations. I've also found in my family history interesting people who act as a springboard for novels and non-fiction books. What began as simple compilation of information for future generations became the spark for stories to share with others.
My research and writing began when my mother, at 91, asked me to take on the project of writing her memoirs. I'd heard some of the stories of her younger life, but had forgotten many and never knew about others. I soon learned she had nearly a century of living to relate, and I discovered I was learning the history of a remarkable woman.
When you begin to search your family history, you'll get to know your parents and grandparents in a different way. You'll see them through their recollections and the memories of others, as they were while growing up, struggling to provide a living for a young family and contributing to their community to make a better life for others.
My great grandmother was one of these. I discovered that she, wife of a judge and mother of seven, living in war-torn Hungary, elected to follow her first-born son to the United States and to bring with her the rest of her children, which included my grandmother. Until then my great grandmother was merely a picture in a photo album; now she has become for me a courageous intriguing woman, a woman who could inspire others if her story were told.
You may want to collect this history solely as a family record for yourself and your children. Or you might want to have it printed in booklet form for family and any others who are interested in what your family has done. Nowadays, with desktop publishing programs, you even can publish the family history yourself, without having to take it to a printer. Should you want to turn it into an actual book, the folks at www.acappela.com/ah.htm can help you do that.
Family histories are fascinating. Don't let yours be forgotten because someone neglected to write down the tales of yesteryear and record the family tree. If you don't do this now, some day you'll say, "I wish I'd written all that information down for my children and future generations."
Patrika Vaughn, the world's foremost Author's Advocate, helps writers write better and get published. The above article is excerpted from her audiobook, How To Write Your Own Life Story or Your Family's Saga. Find this audiobook and others, plus online classes and consulting services, on her website: www.ACappela.com . She is listed in The International Authors and Writer's Who's Who, Outstanding People of the 21st Century, and has been awarded the Order of Excellence in Who's Who in the 21st Century
I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt. The process of producing my award-winning biography Aniko: The stranger who loved me was exactly as Partika has described here.
I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt. The process of producing my award-winning biography Aniko: The stranger who loved me was exactly as Partika has described here.
A person on a writing-related email list complained of having too many instances of I in her writing. Here is an excellent response from Maya Reynolds:
I'm assuming you are writing in first person; otherwise why would you have all the "I"s.
Since it's hard to tell without reading your manuscript, I'm going to give types of instances in which you might be using "I" and suggest some alternate approaches:
1) Cases where you have your protagonist owning an action:
Example: I could tell Fred was nervous by the way he tapped his foot.
Alternative: Although he was trying to look calm, Fred's tapping foot gave away his nervousness.
Comment: Instead of filtering everything through your protagonist's POV, simply describe what the protagonist is observing without ownership.
2) Dialogue tags.
Example: "You're not leaving," I said.
Alternative: "You're not leaving."
Fred frowned. He wasn't used to taking orders, especially not from teenage girls.
Comment: I very rarely use dialogue tags. I mostly indicate some action by the person speaking OR a reaction by the person listening.
3) Finally, go back and re-read a chapter. Is all the action being initiated by your protagonist so that other characters are always in a reactive stance? If so, the burden is on your protagonist and the balance is uneven. Most interactions are not all one-sided. Sometimes your protagonist is merely in the role of observer. When that is the case, there should not be a lot of "I"s. As in the examples above, you can simply state what the protagonist is observing without the added baggage of "I saw," "I said," "I did."
Permaculture course in Nimbin
Your hand against suicide
Run for a safe climate
Conference: Human behavior in energy conservation
Denise Cassino: Spirit of Christmas catalogue
Stories to fight pancreatic cancer
Give poetry for Christmas
An Insider's Guide to the Cosmic Comedy
Brandon Wilson brings home the gold
Rome through Chinese eyes by John Hill
Event: Permaculture Design Course (PDC)
"Summer School Intensive - Skills for low-carbon living & design"
Start Time: Sunday, January 10 at 2:00pm
End Time: Saturday, January 23 at 5:00pm
Where: Djanbung Gardens Permaculture
74 Cecil St Nimbin (300m past Showground). Nimbin is half hour from Lismore, 1 hour from Byron Bay, 1hr 15 min from Gold Coast, 2.5 hrs from Brisbane. Daily Nimbin-Byron shuttle bus service.
To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below: http://www.facebook.com/n/?event.php&eid=134483976133&mid=11d0894G2c743cd6G37d0ba5G7
Go to www.lifeline.org.au/makeyourmark to raise funds for suicide among indigenous Australians.
Suicide among Indigenous Australians is up to 40% higher than in the general Australian population. It's also believed this figure is under-reported.
Show your support and help raise awareness about the issue of Indigenous wellbeing by creating a personalised hand print online.
For every hand print created Rugby League's One Community will donate $1 to Lifeline for an Indigenous Outreach Program that will provide services and resources to help create suicide safer Indigenous communities.
Over 5, 889 people have participated so far but we need your help to meet our target of 15,000 hand prints.
Dear friends and colleagues,
I am the director of the national Run for a Safe Climate -- a 6000 supermarathon from Cooktown to Melbourne being performed by 25 police and firefighter veterans of the Black Saturday fires. The run commenced a week ago and the runners have just completed the first 2000 kilometers of their unprecedented run across our country. The run is designed to inspire all Australians to step up and take climate change seriously and to start to build large scale climate solutions.
I have been on the road with this group since the start, and they are covering 300 kilometers a day, and have been completing half marathons each day to keep up with the goal of hitting St Kilda Beach on Sunday 29th November. Achieving these distances in the heat and humidity of Northern Australia is nothing short of inspirational.
The firefighters and police involved have taken the Black Saturday fires to be a huge wakeup call of the risks of global warming to our community safety, water, food, coastlines and ecosystems. They are extraordinarily inspiring -- one would think that after dealing with the record heatwaves and devastation of Black Saturday that they would take their annual leave as an opportunity to recover from that experience. This group has decided to donate most of their annual leave to run across this country to increase our communities awareness of the dangers of climate change, and to lend their support to those in the community who are working to proactively manage climate risk.
As the director of the run, I would like to personally put out the call for ALL AUSTRALIANS TO GET BEHIND THESE RUNNERS. If these emergency services workers can take the step of running across the country to spread the message about global warming risks, impacts and solutions, then the least we can do is get behind them when they come through your town or city.
The runners are conducting 30 community events, and some of Australia's leading scientists will speak at these events. Please visit the website www.runforasafeclimate.org to see the details of these events and COME AND SEE THE RUNNERS AS THEY COME THROUGH YOUR COMMUNITY.
Tomorrow we run a 380 kilometer leg from Byron Bay to Port Macquarie, before running to Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, to the top of Kosciusko, then the entire length of the Murray River to the Coorong, then back to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road. They are prepared to cross this country on foot for change -- how far will you go for change?
They have filmed their run so far and we will have some great stories to tell, and footage of the run to show at the FREE community events, which are designed to be fun, apolitical and educational.
Please support our firefighters and police because they are putting their bodies on the line and trying their best to support us.
15-20 August, 2010
The field I work in -- energy efficiency -- is seeking to better tap into the knowledge of social scientists to help us better advance a more sustainable use of energy (and thereby reduce the greatest human contribution to climate change). To this end, one of the premiere conferences on energy efficiency dedicates a week-long panel to the human and social dimensions of energy choices. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy hosts the Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings in Pacific Grove, CA, every other year. This event attracts some of the greatest minds in our field to discuss a wide range of research and efforts to move us all in a more energy efficient direction.
For the 2010 conference (August 15-20), we are reaching out to social scientists from outside the energy field as well so we can learn from their insights about human behavior and decision-making. Conversely, this conference is also a terrific venue for social scientists to learn more about current thinking and efforts to influence energy behavior. I would welcome your assistance in letting colleagues in psychology and other social science fields know about this conference. I have copied the web address for the conference announcement and a brief description of the human and social dimensions panel below. Abstracts for peer-reviewed papers are due on October 23.
Human and Social Dimensions of Energy Use: Trends and Their Implications - Panel Leaders: Ingo Bensch, Energy Center of Wisconsin and Christopher Payne, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The exploration of the most complex component of energy-using systems: the people who design, create, acquire, and use energy-consuming devices; lessons from various disciplines to illuminate how to best understand and influence human choices that affect energy consumption with particular insights explicitly linked to theoretical frameworks of social science disciplines.
We've created a Spirit of Christmas Catalog for your books, products & services.
The website is live now and quite a few people have already submitted their products. You can register a place in the catalog now and send your products later as well – here’s the link: www.spiritofchristmascatalog.com
The Spirit of Christmas Catalog will be organized by sections such as Spiritual, Motivational, Abundance, Body, Mind, Transformational, Fiction, Children’s, etc. Your item will be placed in the category you indicate. The actual purchases will be made from your own page when they click the Buy Button. This way you keep control of your sales and fulfillment.
We will design, create and organize the catalog. The cost per person is $69 for the entire season. This includes placement of 5 items for that price. If this catalog goes well, we will continue with a Spring, Summer and Fall edition. That’s only $23. per month and we handle the website design, labor costs, staffing, etc. You will keep all the sales proceeds yourself. In this difficult economy, we can all benefit from inexpensive advertising. We want you to have a great experience and at the same time benefit from the tremendous number of contacts that we have accrued during the last year. We want to respond to your plea of "Why can't I just sell something?"
All items will have standard alphabetical ad placement. However, we are also offering specialized featured placement for an additional cost. In other words, we will have special ads on the home page that click through to the buy page. We will also offer ads on every page in the various categories. So, if you want your spiritual book to appear on every spiritual product page, we will have an additional fee for that. Let me know if you have an interest in the special placement.
We will all mail to our mailing lists on December 1 to announce the catalog. We should reach more than a million people that way.
Pat’s favorite genre was fantasy. Ronda’s last published books with St. Martin’s Press were fantasy romance. It seems only reasonable to honor the memory of these lovely ladies with an anthology they would have enjoyed reading. The title of the fantasy anthology is Forsworn. All tales must in some way deal, in some way, with the consequences of dishonesty.
I am looking for fantasy tales of 3,000 to 10,000 words. All submissions must be original. Stories may have been previously published, but you have to own the rights to the tale(s) you submit for consideration in the anthology. All subgenres of fantasy are welcome in the anthology; with the exception of fantasy erotic romance and fantasy erotica. I'm aiming for a family friendly volume.
If you want to submit a story, send it as an attachment in rtf with track changes disabled to forswornanthology @ gmail.com. Make sure the subject line reads SUBMISSION. But go out to www.sleepingbeaglebooks.com and look at the conditions of participating in this anthology before you send me anything.
The anthology will remain open until it is filled. Contracts will go out only when the anthology is filled.
Just who am I? Fair question. My name is Karen Woods. I'm the author of many novels, in several genres, and book length non-fiction works, some of which are pseudonymous, which have been published by eleven independent houses. I've also sold and seen published over two hundred short stories, nonfiction articles, and novellas. My work has won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, after having had work be Top Pick in that magazine. I've also had work win EPIC's e-book awards. I've had work final in several other contests. I've never, to date, received less than a 3 out of 4 star review in any venue for my own work, or on any work I've edited. I produce solid, readable, work that entertains and informs. I am the Editor In Chief and Publisher of Sleeping Beagle Books. In other words, I'm a working writer, editor, and publisher. But who I am is not as important as what we can do together with this anthology.
Award-winning poets Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball have developed a new concept for inexpensive holiday gifts--an idea for poetic greetings apart from greeting cards.
They suggest a real chapbook of poetry and have released the first two in a series in time for the holidays. So far the series includes Cherished Pulse (for anyone you love) with artwork from California artist Vicki Thomas, and She Wore Emerald Then (for mothers on your gift list) with photographs by May Lattanzio. New booklets are coming for Father's Day and for Christmas 2010.
The small books, a tradition in the poetry world since Elizabethan times, are priced to compete with greeting cards. The poets' idea is that, in general, cards from the rack seldom say what we'd like and that a small book of poetry would be more thoughtful.
Wake Up Laughing ... and Leave Laughter In Your Wake!
"To be happy in life, you must be able to take a joke. And if you can leave a few, that's even better."
-- Swami Beyondananda
At a time when the world seems to be in more serious condition than ever, you are invited to help raise the laugh-force on the planet, and bring more joy and happiness to this adventure of life.
Thanks for asking!
I have collected all that I have learned about awakening through humor in more than 20 years of "cohabitating" with the Swami, and am making this available in a playful, entertaining and enlightening e-book called Wake Up Laughing: An Insider's Guide to the Cosmic Comedy.
At a time when awakening seems mandatory, what better way to awaken than with heart-opening laughter and mind-expanding humor? This enlightening and enlaughening e-book will help you navigate these evolutionary times as you learn to take humor more seriously ... and seriousness more humorously.
Have You Ever Wondered ...
In this playful and informative e-book, you will learn all this and more. You'll find out how to use laughter as a bridge instead of a weapon, and how to bring its healing perspective to your own issues and challenges. You'll learn how to use humor to heal the heart and free the mind.
The official publication date is November 17th, and the e-book will cost $15... but you can pre-order now for just $10, and download a sample chapter immediately.
The Oct 09 issue of Bainstorming is now live at http://www.darrellbain.com
Subjects this month: Book sale, Tonto again, The Long Way Home, Stupid priorities, Short prose offered to the public, Sexual function in women with elevated lipids, Newsweek article, Book report, Road to hell, Progress report, Conservative talk shows, World Trade Center, Excerpt from The Long Way Home.
The November 09 issue of Bainstorming is now live at http://www.darrellbain.com
Subjects this month: Best of Bainstorming publication, Death penalty, Family, Shakespeare for Politicians, Sequels, Book report, Progress report, Tonto, Contradictions in Law, Healthy breakfast, Quote from a novel, Excerpt from Bigfoot Crazy
Fictionwise author of the Year, 2005
Multiple Epic awards, 2007, Dream realm award, 2007, 2009
See all of my books at http://www.darrellbain.com
We just received word that the Along the Templar Trail has been named 2009 Best Travel Book (Gold) in the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation.
Wooee. We're celebrating!
Thanks so much for helping to make this possible!
Brandon says you can buy Along the Templar Trail at your favourite book store, or visit http://www.pilgrimstales.com/
This first English translation of the Chronicle on the Western Regions from the Hou Hanshu presents an intriguing picture of a little-known period of history -- the origins of the Silk Road. The information is thought to have been collected from soldiers, merchants, explorers and spies. The text is based on a report presented to the Chinese Emperor An, circa 125 CE, by Ban Yong, his senior general in the Western Regions.
The Chronicle contains the earliest geographical, historical, political and cultural information in Chinese on the Roman Empire, Egypt, India, Parthia, and many other kingdoms, as well as their products, and the routes between them. Along these trade routes an exchange of philosophies, goods and technologies developed on a scale that would not be seen again for 1400 years.
The text itself deserves to be better known. The translated text, faced with the original Chinese, is amply annotated. Included are 20 appendices and two maps showing the main centres and routes. This treasure house of remarkable facts and speculations should appeal to both scholars and the curious.
The translator and author, John Hill, an independent scholar, has been fascinated by the exchange of peoples, cultures, religions and trade between Asia, Europe and Africa since his youth. He has travelled extensively in Asia since 1973 exploring archaeological sites, museums and routes.
He began work on this book in 1979 while living in India and has continued gathering information, communicating with historians and other specialists around the world ever since. Their generous contributions have helped make this book an authoritative and useful historical source.
John now lives in tropical far north Queensland, Australia, almost 300 km from the nearest traffic lights.
Through the Jade Gate to Rome : A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty. 1st to 2nd Centuries CE
by John E. Hill
Paperback, self-published via BookSurge Publishing, 714 pages.
The book contains explicit descriptions of sexual scenes, and of violence. Not for kids.
This is a story from the heart, and it grabs your heart. It gives a very accurate picture of what it is like for a young girl to be sexually abused, and then rejected and judged for having been a victim.
In my work as a counseling psychologist, I have met many Caras. It has been my joy in life to take them by the hand and lead them back to self-respect and inner strength. But for most people, the world a sexual abuse survivor inhabits is foreign territory.
Those of us who have been traumatised in childhood find ourselves victimized time and again, by an apparently endless succession of bastards. And then, somehow, we get strong, and it stops.
Do yourself a favor and get to know Cara. It will make you into a kinder, more loving person. And if you share her history, it will make you stronger, and put a silver lining around your black cloud. You can learn from her journey to improve yours, and just by enjoying a novel.
This is despite a rather low-key telling of the story. For quite a bit of it, the language is too calm, too outside. But the main character is so compelling, the plot so excellent that I can overlook occasional lapses in presentation.
Books for a Buck http://booksforabuck.com
Mike Kechula is a master of flash fiction: bite-sized but complete stories of two to three pages. It is remarkable how much world building, characterization and action he can get into such a small frame.
As the subtitle states, these stories are speculative fiction, mostly horror and fantasy. So, world building is even more important than for other genres. Within a few words, Mike can take you into the most bizarre circumstances and have you enjoy the ride. For example, a man has a conversation with the Loch Ness Monster, and invites her to sign a contract.
The best of these stories will have you roaring with laughter. Inevitably, with that many offerings, the quality will vary, but even the less brilliant offerings are cleverly crafted.
Also inevitably, even the most creative person will have themes that are repeated. In the case of this book, we come across Martians, zombies and versions of the Faustian bargain several times. If you enjoy such things, you'll love this book.
Even though zombies leave me cold, and I don't believe in Martians, I found the clever twist at the end of every story to be feats of mental gymnastics that had me chuckle with admiration for Mike's ingenuity.
If you are a writer of fiction, you can learn a lot about the way to craft a story by reading these miniatures. It's more difficult to write short than long, so flash fiction requires a masterful use of the tools of the trade. So, your ability to write a novel might be improved by a study of how Mike does it in a few hundred words.
Journey through the digital cities of broken dreams
wondering along the sites of sorrow
trying to touch the quantum hearts
that travel through the phone-lines.
The journey is long, the dream worth it.
To all the broken hearts who hide behind their anguish
my message is one of hope and love.
Hide no more and show your heart
for only then will your broken dreams turn into hope.
We only have moments in which to live
The future is a concept
The past is also a concept
I choose to tune my mind
So that I can play the symphony of life
in perfect harmony.
I know how to fall asleep…
I am learning how to fall awake…
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