Archive for June 19th, 2011
Father’s Day can be particularly challenging if you’ve lost your dad. I’m a mom of two young children, and my father passed away when my son, our oldest, was just 18-months-old.
While I’ll be happily celebrating my husband and father-in-law this Sunday, part of me will also be grieving, even though it’s been nearly 10 years since my dad passed away. Indeed, 47% of all survey respondents in my new book Parentless Parents say they grieve more on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day than celebrate (continue reading…)
Frigyes Karinthy may have come up with the idea of “six degrees of separation” — that every person is a “friend of a friend” within six relations — but I’m convinced that for Ahmedabad, the Indian city of 6 million in the state of Gujarat, and its diaspora, the degrees that separate are only three.
Case in point: this past weekend, my family had the privilege of spending a relaxed, yet intellectually exhilarating evening with renowned Sanskrit scholar, Dr. Lakshmesh V. Joshi, a professor emeritus and former head of Sanskrit at Gujarat University with numerous publications, awards and recognitions to his name (continue reading…)
Each of us has situations that can make our heart race, our blood boil — deadlines, interviews and teenagers, to name a few. Knowing what causes you stress is vital and powerful information and the beginning steps toward living a healthier, stress-reduced life.
Stress is the body’s reaction to a mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition; to adverse external influences capable of affecting our physical health. Many of us are so accustomed to stress that we are blind to the effects it has on our bodies (continue reading…)
Veterans in the field of eating disorders treatment have long acknowledged that child eating disorders, as well as eating disorders in adolescents, have become increasingly common in recent years, and reports released from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Archives of General Psychiatry confirm the observations of the community with startling figures.
In November 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a clinical report estimating that 0.5 percent of adolescent girls in the United States have anorexia nervosa, while 1 to 2 percent meet criteria for bulimia nervosa. In addition to acknowledging the heightened incidence of eating disorders in males of all ages, “Identification and Management of Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents” also detailed increasing prevalence of eating disorders in young children, citing findings from an Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality analysis that found hospitalizations for eating disorders in children less than 12 years of age increased by 119 percent from 1999 to 2006.
Data released from the Archives of General Psychiatry earlier this year further support the rising prevalence of eating disorders and their associated behaviors in the adolescent population. The study, titled “Prevalence and Correlates of Eating Disorders in Adolescents,” found that nearly one in 60 adolescents would qualify for an eating disorder diagnosis such as anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder.
Even the eating disorders treatment community, in which many professionals had anecdotally observed the rise in eating disorders in adolescence and childhood and anticipated official findings in support of their predictions, was startled by these findings. Professionals have since been inundated with queries from parents seeking the surefire answer to the million-dollar question: “How can I ‘eating-disorder-proof’ my child?”
In other words, parents want to know what they can do to ensure that their child or teen doesn’t
develop an eating disorder, body image disorder or related illness.
Unfortunately for parents, the complexity of eating disorders — with biological, psychological and sociological underpinnings — means that there is no silver bullet that will ensure that a child doesn’t develop the illness (continue reading…)
Among all the substances we misuse and abuse, the greatest is time. Time is life; we squander it at our peril. Killing time deadens ourselves.
Almost everyone I encounter complains that they don’t have enough. But where did it all go? Why aren’t our labor-saving devices and faster means of travel and communication liberating us? Or at the very least, providing us with more leisure to accomplish the things that we want and need to do, or letting us simply slow down and enjoy what we’ve worked so hard for?
Does anyone have time today? I do! During the 40 years I’ve spent studying and teaching Buddhism, and in the process of writing my new book, “Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now,” I’ve learned how to find, make, and keep time.
Actually, it’s not time we lack; it’s focus, awareness and a sense of priorities (continue reading…)
My voice cracked with emotion as I placed the satellite call from the summit of Mt. Everest: “I want to dedicate this summit to my mom and all the Alzheimer’s moms out there. We love you, and we miss you…”
And with that, the third summit of “The 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer’s: Memories are Everything” was almost complete. All I had to do was return from the top of the world to the safety of the lower camps in 40-m.p.h (continue reading…)
Outgoing US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has confirmed that the US is holding "outreach" talks with members of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Mr Gates said talks were "preliminary" but that a political solution was the way "most of these wars end".
It is the first time the US has acknowledged such contact and comes a day after Afghan President Hamid Karzai said peace talks had started.
The US is due to start withdrawing its 97,000 troops from Afghanistan in July.
It aims to gradually hand over all security operations to Afghan security forces by 2014.
"There's been outreach on the part of a number of countries, including the United States," Mr Gates told CNN., without naming other countries involved.
"I would say that these contacts are very preliminary.
"My own view is that real reconciliation talks are not likely to be able to make any substantive headway until at least this winter."
‘Time to engage’
Mr Gates, who will leave office at the end of the month, said the first step had been to ensure the contacts were genuine and influential Taliban members (continue reading…)
Father’s Day seems to have morphed into just another opportunity for merchants to encourage shopping. But for me it’s bringing to mind a memory involving my daughter, from long ago. It was triggered by a call from her recently, telling me about a medical scare she was facing. She assured me that she was handling it, had the best doctor and was confident about the outcome (continue reading…)
My grandfather and I couldn’t have been more different. Separated by 64 years, he was a staunch Republican, me a loyal Democrat. He was a patriotic veteran of World War Two and I a former partisan Capitol Hill staffer. We were never particularly close; and to say that he was stubborn would be an understatement (continue reading…)
For those who follow the goings on at Patheos.com, you will notice a new grouping of bloggers and columnists now called, “Progressive Christians.” This is a newly launched portal on the site and has drawn together such bloggers and columnists as Phyllis Tickle, Diana Butler Bass,Monica Coleman and others.Partnering with this summer’s Wild Goose Festival, the first challenge we were given was to post thoughts as part of a Symposium on Progressive Christianity where we would offer reflections on this admittedly nebulous classification.
As I thought about what I wanted to offer, I resisted reading what others had already offered up. I’m not really sure why I didn’t want to first read what others had said, but I felt like this symposium was more about broadening ourunderstandingof what might be considered “progressive Christianity” than trying to come to an agreed upondefinition.
Before I offer up my list of “progressivisms,” let me first claim an assumption that I have with the word itself. While being “progressive” in politics and theology is often seen assynonymous withascribingto a “liberal”platform andbeliefsystem, I do notbelievethis to be true. For me, the “progressive”adjectivecan exist across the theological spectrum, but holds together people who are looking at moving the church into new ways of being church.
So, here we go: myintentionallyfuzzy list of perspectives and postures that might make you aProgressiveChristian (continue reading…)
Right now, you’re sitting in front of our pact with the Devil. When you finish reading this, you will do nothing about it.
The Devil is the Internet, if you were wondering. As the proprietor of this site recently wrote, the Internet opens up a world of wonderful possibilities — possibilities we’re just beginning to understand.
But since it takes us everywhere; everywhere can reach us (continue reading…)
Perhaps you’ve heard, Clarence Clemons, “The Big Man” in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, passed away on Saturday, about a week after suffering a massive stroke, at the age of 69. It’s hard to imagine him silent, both musically and verbally. He could really talk, in both ways.
When I met Clarence and Bruce Springsteen on December 7, 1972–in Sing Sing Prison–I could not have imagined what was to come, for both of them.
Bruce had just been inked as a solo act by Columbia Records, another “new Dylan” (especially since John Hammond signed him), but quickly decided to hire a rocking band of Jerseyites, plus transplanted Virginian Clemons (continue reading…)
The words have been said, the tears have been shed, and the wrong people’s blood has been bled.
At least, some of the wrong people’s blood. I have no remorse for those who rioted, broke glass, and smashed ass, and I have little remorse for those who stood around to watch, to film, to “be there” while the city was burning.
Even if you “didn’t do it,” you still did it. Even if you didn’t throw a brick through the window of The Bay, even if you didn’t help flip that police car on Georgia Street, and even if you weren’t that useless moron who was photographed lighting the towel on fire that was lodged in a police car’s gas tank… trust me, you still “did it.”
I was filming stuff on my iPhone for about 20 minutes, and then I got out of there (continue reading…)
Another chapter in what is now regarded as a national institution was written Friday night when Henry Kissinger and Fareed Zakaria of CNN fame took on Niall Ferguson, a well known business writer, and David Li, a Chinese bureaucrat, on the topic: the 21st century will belong to China.
The audience was treated to all that good stuff of which great debates are made — knowledgable speakers, strong personalities, hot facts, humour, some personal shots — all great.The pre-debate count was 39 per cent pro, 40 per cent con, with 21 per cent undecided.
After the game, the pro was 38 per cent and the con climbed to 62! Clearly Kissinger and Zakaria won the night, but the truth of the evening was that many are afraid that the 21st century might see a China dominating the world, and Li knew that, which is why he tried to soften the blow by claiming that the modern Chinese government is really Confucian — peace-loving and mild.
Both Ferguson and Li argued that China will dominate (but don’t worry) while Kissinger spoke of cooperation.
But enough of the debate — tens of thousands saw it or heard it and if you missed it, catch it on www.munkdebates.com (continue reading…)
Public opinion research (POR), such as polling, focus groups and surveys, is likely the most influential policy tool of the last few decades. It helps clarify public debate by providing a methodologically rigorous way of assigning weights to different views, and, as such, helps guide strategists, planners and decision-makers. But will it continue to enjoy this privileged position in the future? There are good reasons to doubt it.
As the term “public opinion research” suggests, POR measures people’s opinions or views on an issue. Not so long ago, knowing a lot about people’s views at one moment told us a lot about what their views would likely be later on, maybe even 10 years later on (continue reading…)
Father’s Day starts early this year with six-year-old Daniel deciding to serve breakfast in bed to his dad. Sounds idyllic and yet looks a bit quirky as Daniel shows up with a tray of cereal he’s poured himself, an apple cut in half (“I couldn’t really do even slices”), the milk sloshing over the sides of the bowl. Oh, and my child is naked.
“Um, Dan?” I ask and elbow my husband to wake up and see the glory of all that’s before him (continue reading…)
Uh-oh — it’s that time of year again, when we orphans have to close our eyes every time we walk by a card rack. Because there they all are:
“To the Best Father in the World!”"Dad, You’re the Greatest!”And, of course, “Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. I love you!”
I hadn’t realized until both of my parents were gone just how hard Father’s Day and Mother’s Day could be for all of us who loved our parents and, for most of our lives, made those annual shopping trips to celebrate their day. On Father’s day — a 50-cent tie clip, a drugstore bottle of Tweed cologne (continue reading…)
Sometimes people ask me how I became obsessed with spaceflight. I think what they mean to ask is how as a girl I became obsessed with spaceflight — women are definitely a minority among space geeks. My answers have changed over time, and the longer I’m asked, the further back I have to trace the history, the true origins, of my love affair with rockets and astronauts.
I was first asked the question when my novel about the Challenger disaster was published. I used to answer that I lived near Washington, DC as a child and spent a lot of time at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (continue reading…)
A folk opera based on a day in the life of the teenage Bill Clinton makes its debut in New York this weekend.
The opera entitled Billy Blythe is the creation of Bonnie Montgomery, who worked on the show with her friend Britt Barber.
It is being performed by the Metropolis Opera Project at the Medicine Show Theatre on Sunday and Monday.
"It was very clear that it was an astonishingly beautiful piece," said Zach James, director of Metropolis.
The name of the show comes from the name of Mr Clinton's father, Bill Blythe, who died three months before the future US president was born (continue reading…)
Millennials weren’t surprised by last month’s discouraging jobs report — only 54,000 new jobs created and unemployment falling to 9.1%. According to a recent Rutgers University survey, half of all college graduates from the past five years (2006-2010) are working in low-paying jobs that don’t actually use the education they worked so hard to acquire. Society’s under-appreciation of Millennials helps explain the fact that a third of 20-somethings are feeling depressed.
Where’s the creative outlet for Millennials? Where’s the opportunity for Millennials to change their world? For all the 20-something Millennials out there reading this, I have a job offer for you: church planter, faith community organizer, community architect, whatever you want to call it. You’ve got creative ideas about the future of the faith, and the time to start building that future is now.
The Creative Call of Church Planting
What is “church planting” or faith community formation? It basically means organizing communities around faith and spiritual practices (e.g., worship, prayer, etc.) and, in this instance, I’m talking about forming distinctly Christian communities of practice (continue reading…)
All of my career, I have had one great insecurity. One unfulfilled wish. To be able to sing in a Broadway show.
When I have watched and admired people who can sing, like Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Victor Garber, Mandy Patinkin, Michael Cerveris, Jason Danieley, Julie Andrews, Brian Stokes Mitchell, to name a few, I have always wondered what that must be like as a performer. To have that freedom (continue reading…)
As we celebrate Father’s Day, it’s interesting to compare three new films in which the father-son relationship is challenged by the revelation that either the father or his son is gay. Nothing strikes at the heart of machismo quite like finding out that the apple of your eye, the fruit of your loins, ain’t quite the manly man you had always imagined.
The bottom line, however, is crystal clear. It’s all about unconditional love. While a man may father many sons, he only has one biological father (continue reading…)
When Italian police stopped a car near Milan last month, they discovered more than they bargained for. Not only was the driver driving without a license, but he and his companion both had criminal records, and, more shockingly still, they had a painting by Giorgio Morandi worth 200,000 ($291,500) in the trunk. By the time this curious tale had wended its way to its conclusion, 12 paintings belonging to collector Paola Folon of Monaco had been recovered.
A Warhol Mao similar to this one was recovered in Italy. / Courtesy Christie’s
At first the two men, aged 46 and 50, claimed that the painting was a gift, but police officers soon figured out that it was on Interpol’s list of stolen artworks, France Soir reports (continue reading…)
The white dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch has sold for $4.6m (£2.8m) at an auction in Los Angeles.
The dress was part of a collection of film memorabilia collected by actress Debbie Reynolds over four decades.
She had hoped to house them in a museum but the project never came to fruition.
Other lots included Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra headdress, a Charlie Chaplin bowler hat and the guitar played by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.
Reynolds, 79, was in tears as the auction on the iconic Seven Year Itch dress closed, CNN reported (continue reading…)