Happy hols to all! No matter your pick— Tinsel and baubles? General Tso’s and a flick? Spruce or menorah, light up the lights! Let’s tour the year past, and take in the sights— Chi Chi Le Le, heroic miners! Coal for all the Tea Party whiners! Eyjafjallajokul, travelers waylaid . . . (Icelandic rhyming’s beyond… Read more
America has been imbued since its founding with a persevering spirit. From Ben Franklin to Horatio Alger to Rocky Balboa, the culture bombards us with messages about the value of determination and grit in the face of adversity. This ethos is perhaps best captured in the enduring 19th-century maxim, “If at first you don’t succeed,… Read more
This intriguing Wall Street Journal article comes from Vaughan Bell, creator of the always-interesting Mind Hacks blog. It suggests that kitchens (and other rooms) can be designed for happiness using insights from neuroscience. I’m withholding judgment until I see the science spelled out, but the general idea–that design of personal space influences emotions–is appealing and… Read more
Republican lawmakers, and soon-to-be lawmakers, have been making blustery threats to repeal health care reform early in the new Congress. It’s understandable that they’re chagrined about this transformative piece of social law. After all, the legislation was passed and signed over their histrionics and without any constructive input from their side of the aisle, so… Read more
This nice review just appeared in the Brown & White, the newspaper of Lehigh University, my alma mater. Reviewer Nicole Schwartz does a clever job on relating the book’s main ideas to the most pressing concerns of students on the college campuses of today.
Many addiction recovery programs teach a principle called HALT. HALT is an acronym for Hungry-Angry-Lonely-Tired, and the idea is that any one of these conditions of mind and body can be a threat to continued sobriety. HALT is an article of faith, based on years of collective experience. It’s not considered all that important why… Read more
Americans typically gain a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That may not sound like much to worry about, but the problem is that we don’t lose that pound once the holiday seasons ends. Instead, we accumulate a pound per season year after year, for 10, 15, 20 years and more. Looked at that… Read more
Smithsonian magazine’s quirky blog “Surprising Science” is one of my favorite blogs, so I am honored to be included in the 2010 science book wish list.