On Mental Illness: It Takes Courage

By Jack Bragen
Wednesday November 30, 2011 - 09:57:00 AM

People with mental illnesses are often very brave and courageous people because we have to be. We are up against the “package deal” of mental illness which includes a number of elements that are altogether frightening. And to face these elements requires fortitude. -more-

(My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)

By Dorothy Bryant
Wednesday November 30, 2011 - 09:21:00 AM

He was one of those idealists who, struck by some compelling idea, immediately become entirely obsessed by it forever. They are quite incapable of mastering it, but believe in it passionately, and so their whole life passes afterwards, as it were, in the last agonies under the weight of a heavy stone which has fallen upon them and half-crushed them —from “The Devils”, by Fyodor Dostoevsky -more-

Wild Neighbors: Los Machos Furtivos

By Joe Eaton
Saturday November 26, 2011 - 09:18:00 AM
Red-sided garter snake: deceptive pheromones.

Hot news from Europe: in a population of western marsh harriers (Circus aeruginosus) in France, 40 percent of the males are crossdressers . Typical males of this hawk species, a close relative of our northern harrier, have overall streaky-brown plumage. Females have whitish heads and shoulders, and so do female-mimicking males. Typical males don’t seem to recognize the mimics as rivals. Audrey Sternalski, Francois Mougeot, and Vincent Bretagnolle report in Biology Letters that typical males attack decoys with their own kind of plumage at a higher rate than those with female-mimic plumage. What the mimics get out of it is access to the mates—up to three, depending on available resources—of territory-holding typical males. -more-

Senior Power … “Age insists that I be dull as a further disability.” [Florida Scott-Maxwell at 83. The Measure of My Days.]

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Saturday November 26, 2011 - 09:27:00 AM

Disability, impairment, handicap. They’re different. While old age is not a disability, the weakening of the body’s resources exacerbates the impact of debilitating trauma or chronic disease that is likely to accompany old age. -more-

New: The Public Eye: Thanksgiving Politics: Top Ten Reasons to be Thankful

By Bob Burnett
Wednesday November 23, 2011 - 09:43:00 PM

Despite the dreadful recession, a broken political system, and other woes, Americans have many reasons to be thankful. Here is my top ten list: -more-

On Mental Illness:Remembering to Give Thanks

By Jack Bragen
Wednesday November 23, 2011 - 05:58:00 PM

If I stop myself from complaining for a little while and realize that I am fortunate in life, there are numerous things that come to mind that I ought to be grateful about. -more-