Thursday, May 30, 2013

Steve Wozniak on happiness

UC Berkeley commencement: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak gives graduates a happiness equation - "Apple-co-founder Steve Wozniak sent UC Berkeley graduates into the world Saturday with a freewheeling and informal commencement speech -- and two mathematical formulas a fifth-grader could understand: 1) Happiness equals S minus F (smiles minus frowns). 2) Happiness equals F cubed -- food, fun and friends. "I said this once at my high school, and the kids started laughing," he added. "I had to admit there might be a fourth 'F.'" The man who launched the personal computer industry told the 3,900 students seated on the field of Memorial Stadium that they should strive for fulfillment, not money . . . ."

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Obamacare: Health Insurance questions for the IRS

6 new IRS questions for 2014 - Diana Furchtgott-Roth - MarketWatch: "The recent Internal Revenue Service scandal — career officials deliberately delaying applications of certain organizations for tax-exempt status, and the IRS commissioner and acting commissioner are accused of lying to Congress about the matter — suggests that the agency should be smaller, rather than larger. But the IRS is about to balloon to accommodate new responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act. . . . What qualifies as health insurance? . . .Who has to pay the penalty, and how much? . . ." (read more at link above)

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Scientific Backlash Against the DSM

The Scientific Backlash Against the D.S.M. : The New Yorker: "When Thomas Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, came out swinging with his critiques of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a couple of weeks ago, longtime critics of psychiatry were shocked and gratified. Insel announced that that the D.S.M.’s diagnostic categories lacked validity, that they were not “based on any objective measures,” and that, “unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma or AIDS,” which are grounded in biology, they were nothing more than constructs put together by committees of experts. America’s psychiatrist-in-chief seemed to be reiterating what many had been saying all along: that psychiatry was a pseudoscience, unworthy of inclusion in the medical kingdom. To anti-psychiatrists, Insel’s sudden disparagement of their bitter enemy—a mere three weeks before the A.P.A. released the fifth edition of the D.S.M.—came as aid and comfort, a large dose of Schadefreudian therapy. . . ." (read more at link above)

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Obama lied when he said "you can keep your existing plan"

More on the Obamacare mess--

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Obamacare Premiums 47% Higher But Deductibles 27% Lower Than Grandfathered Health Plans; Obamacare Lies: "That difference in monthly premiums of $190 vs. $279 will entice many to keep their existing plan, assuming it is still offered. However, that setup won't last very long because companies cannot raise premiums on grandfathered plans. Simply put, Obama lied when he said "you can keep your existing plan", knowing full well the law was purposely written to make sure that would not happen over time. Eventually you will be stuck with a new Obamacare plan and higher premiums whether you like your existing plan or not."

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How needing to pee affects your decision making

How needing a wee affects your decision making | Neurobonkers | Big Think: " . . . Tuk suggests that her results provide evidence for the (pun intended?) phenomenon of “inhibitory spllover” – inhibiting our innate response to one task seems to spillover and aid our ability to inhibit other impulsive responses. So it really does seem that based on the evidence, if you have a hard decision to make, going for a pee may in fact hinder your ability to make the best decision. Precisely how much wee is required, I hear you ask? 500-700ml should do the trick."

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Obamacare: better figure out if you’re self-employed

Employed, self-employed--it makes a difference in tax and other consequences--

6 new IRS questions for 2014 - MarketWatch: "The IRS has been spending a lot of time recently deciding whether workers are independent contractors — self-employed — or employees of a business. Under the ACA, the self-employed who purchase health insurance on the exchange will have an advantage in paying for premiums, because the premiums can be paid out of pre-tax income. Someone who works for a firm which does not offer health insurance, and who earns above 400% of the poverty line, will have to buy insurance on the exchange. The IRS calculates that annual premiums for the cheapest family plan will be $20,000 for a family of five in 2016. If you’re self-employed, you can deduct the $20,000 from income before you pay taxes. Otherwise, premiums are nondeductible. Depending on income level and federal and state and local tax rates, premiums could cost as much as $40,000 in pre-tax income." (read more at link above)

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How The Kidnapped Women Escaped

How Three Kidnapped Women Escaped in Cleveland : The New Yorker: " . . . . For Berry and the others to be rescued, in other words, two things had to happen: she had to never forget who she was, and that who she was mattered; and Ramsey needed to not care who she might be at all—to think that all that mattered was that a woman was trapped behind a door that wouldn’t open, and to walk onto the porch. . . ." (read more at link above)

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Signs of a Stroke (video)

My Stroke of Luck - " . . . .We head to the hospital. Although it’s a designated stroke center, there is no stroke neurologist around on this holiday weekend. A CT scan shows nothing. Vitals are normal. But I realize something is still wrong when I get an eye test in a hallway. I can see the letters on the eye chart, but not the hand of the nurse pointing to a particular row. Also, my pupils are different sizes, a condition that I later learn is called Horner syndrome and can presage a stroke. Nonetheless, the hospital plans to release me. I push back, recalling that months earlier my doctor, as a midlife precaution, had recommended ultrasound scans of my carotid arteries to be sure there wasn’t any buildup of plaque. Maybe they should try this? . . ." (read more at link above)

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Hospital charges - scandalous

Carl Hiaasen: Once again, we’re the poster child for scandal - Carl Hiaasen - " . . . The federal survey of hospital charges, released last week, was the most comprehensive ever — and the most embarrassing. . . . Hospitals reporting relatively sane charges for treating one type of illness will jack up the bill insanely for another. Medicare knows these astronomical dollar figures are nonsense. So do the major insurance carriers. Everybody shrugs, signs the paperwork and moves on. Meanwhile, Americans have no way of finding out the true cost of medical care. The process seems designed at every level to conceal and confuse. . . . the only time those big heavy numbers are real — when they get dropped on somebody with no safety net. What a system." (read more at link above)

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sooth Back Pain - How to Sit

The Posture Guru of Silicon Valley - With the proliferation of computer technology tying workers to their seats, Esther Gokhale has been teaching people about basic posture to avoid back pain.--

Soothing Back Pain by Learning How to Sit Again - "Ms. Gokhale (pronounced go-CLAY) is not helping aching office workers with high-tech gadgets and medical therapies. Rather, she says she is reintroducing her clients to what she calls “primal posture” — a way of holding themselves that is shared by older babies and toddlers, and that she says was common among our ancestors before slouching became a way of life. It is also a posture that Ms. Gokhale observed during research she conducted in a dozen other countries, as well as in India, where she was raised." (read more at link above)

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Mika Brzezinski on Food Addiction and Obesity (video)

Author and Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski talks about her food addiction, obesity in America, and how writing her book "Obsessed" transformed her life and that of her collaborator, journalist Diane Smith.
 (source: Time Inc.)

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Improve Your Emotional Life

Two Steps to Improve Your Emotional Life | In Their Own Words | Big Think: "There are two things that people want to be able to do to improve their emotional life.  You want to be able to choose what you become emotional about and when you become emotional. That’s number one. And the second is you want to be able to choose how you act when you are emotional.  Well nature didn’t want you to do either.  So it didn’t give you any tools.  So if you’re going to learn how to do this, it’s going to be hard work and it isn’t going to be the kind of learning like learning to ride a bicycle. . . ." read more at link above

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Transform Your Life by Cultivating Self-Love

6 Keys to Transform Your Life by Cultivating Self-Love | Experts' Corner | Big Think: " . . . Do you love yourself enough to live in the moment, to forget the past, not worry about the future, but to be truly present to the opportunity within every moment? Do you love yourself enough to commit to your decisions, to take action that serves your spirit with all your heart? For if you want to go somewhere, you’ll only get halfway with half your heart in it. Do you love yourself enough to consistently expand your mind, by learning new things, and continually growing your expertise about life? With more knowledge about life, you’ll have greater awareness and ability to deal with any event. Do you love yourself enough to have fun, allow your soul to be joyful, do the things you love doing, to release stress, relax your mind-body-soul, take the time to rejuvenate and re-energise? Do you love yourself enough to rest sufficiently – to sleep enough? . . ." (read more at link above)

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Are you normal when it comes to love and sex?

Are you normal when it comes to love, sex? - CBS News: ". . . Pepper Schwartz, a Yale sociologist and co-author with Chrisanna Northrup and Harvard sociologist James Witte of "The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples and What They Reveal About Creating a New Normal in Your Relationship," said one basic yet critical factor in relationship success is "the affection [happy couples] give each other in little ways: hugging, kissing, [saying] 'I love you' every day...holding hands, public displays of affection." "We really need a lot of fuel for our relationship," Schwartz said . . ." read more at link above

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Should Married Couples Have Sex?

How Often Should Married Couples Have Sex? - "Last year, Mr. Mower read a book ("Passionate Marriage," by David Schnarch) that inspired him to throw out the graphs. He asked his wife to read it, too, and told her they had to work together on a healthy sex life to save their marriage. "He said, 'It feels like you don't love me'—and that really, really scared me," Ms. Mower recalls. "I decided to raise my game. I let myself feel what I really felt and tried to dig into what had always been buried." It was a plus, she says, that reading a book about sex made her feel sexy." (read more at link above)

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Stress Tied to Heart Disease and Diabetes

Analysis of the stress hormone cortisol in hair samples found that stress was tied to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Risks: Stress Tied to Heart Disease and Diabetes - "High levels of cortisol — the so-called stress hormone — have been associated with cardiovascular disease in some studies, but not in others. . . . Now Dutch researchers have assessed cortisol levels over several months by analyzing scalp hair samples. Their results appeared online in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. . . .  Compared with those in the lowest quarter for cortisol, those in the highest quarter had about three times the risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. There was no association between cortisol levels and the risk for lung disease, cancer or osteoporosis. . . . "

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