"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." -Antoine de Saint-Exupery For me, personally, it isn't the endless immensity of the seas that calls. It's the endless immensity of space, the Universe, and the stars. Image credit: NASA, ESA and A. Nota (STScI/ESA). And I try to not just share my passion for it with my readers and students, but to encourage all of you (and all of them) to follow their passions. Perhaps it's physical science that excites you, like it does for me. Perhaps you're excited about space, temperatures near absolute zero, or nuclear or particle physics, among many others. My experience in teaching physics has now reached the point where I've had just about 1,000 students over the course of my life, and I've noticed something troubling. Image credit: USC Physics & Astronomy. This is the Physics & Astronomy faculty at USC, a fairly … [Read more...] about On Being What You Want, and Bigotry
Knowing what you want in life
You've probably had a conversation that goes something like this:read my mind!" No matter on which side of this sort of argument you tend to fall, the question of whether or not domestic dogs can read human minds is an interesting and important one. More specifically, do dogs have a theory of mind? Can they take the perspective of a human? Dogs show a wide range of "human-like" social behaviors. They respond appropriately to human body language and to verbal commands, and are capable of facilitating joint attention with humans. It some cases, their social skills, at least in terms of communication with humans, surpasses those even of chimpanzees. Also, impressively, domestic dogs tend to perform particularly well in theory of mind experiments. The problem is that the experimental participants in these studies could potentially be responding to other sorts of contextual social or environmental cues when succeeding at theory of mind tasks, rather than relying on theory of mind skills per … [Read more...] about Fido Might Not Know What You Do and Do Not See
Google, Amazon, insurers and credit card companies have long been able to tell whether you vote, own a dog, spent time in prison or drive a rusty 1997 Chevrolet. Now, that type of information is starting to pop up in front of doctors when you walk into their examination rooms. A small but fast-growing number of technology companies, including data brokers LexisNexis and Acxiom, sell health care providers detailed analyses of their patients, incorporating criminal records, online purchasing histories, retail loyalty programs and voter registration data. Story Continued Below Some health systems think the data may drive better medical decision-making — helping them identify patients at risk of expensive care or rehospitalization, for instance, and enabling them to connect hurting patients with follow-up care or social work programs. The fact that a hypertension patient lives in a food desert, or lacks carfare to get to appointments, may be more important to her health than any … [Read more...] about Does your doctor need to know what you buy on Amazon?
NEW YORK — Keith Mitchell only ever considered himself a football player. It was a label he willingly claimed for so long. When that was ripped away, he was lost. "You don't realize how attached you are to the identity," the former All-Pro linebacker said. "I didn't know myself." He had to relearn who he was. On Sept. 14, 2003, playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mitchell made what appeared to be a routine tackle — until he wound up flat on his back, unable to move. He was rushed to the hospital. There Mitchell learned his playing career was over in only his seventh NFL season — at 31 years old. He had a spinal contusion. "All my life, I've been told doctors have all the answers," he said. "So what do you do when the doctor doesn't have an answer for you? I mean, do you become the victim? That's where things can get really chaotic with depression and suicidal thoughts — all that kind of stuff you hear about — and that's what showed up for me." Until he … [Read more...] about Former NFL linebacker credits yoga for saving his life
Henry Fersko-Weiss wants to help you die. He’d like to spiritually and emotionally guide you through the process, if you’ll let him. You would be one of hundreds of people he’s aided as they gave the bucket a final, resounding kick.Fersko-Weiss is a death doula. Death doulas are volunteers and professionals who assist and support patients as they naturally pass on. Whether you’ve received a fatal diagnosis or are a withering baby boomer, you can hire these doulas to guide you through the dying process. They’ll help you make amends, say goodbye to your family, and create a death plan. Whether you want to blast the Grateful Dead as you go or be buried at sea, doulas are the people who help make it happen. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Fersko-Weiss isn’t just a death doula—he’s the death doula. He created the first end of life doula program in the U.S. after working in hospice care for years, and then founded the International End … [Read more...] about Death Is Inevitable. His Job Is to Help You Go in Peace.