Thursday, February 26, 2009

Placebo Effect:: Believe in your Doctor

Placebo Effect: A Cure in the Mind: Scientific American: "The latest research has shown that the placebo effect does not always arise from a conscious belief in a drug. Alternatively, it may grow out of subconscious associations between recovery and the experience of being treated, from the pinch of a shot to a doctor’s white coat. Such subliminal conditioning can control bodily processes, including immune responses and the release of hormones. Meanwhile researchers have decoded some of the biology of placebo responses, demonstrating that they stem from active processes in the brain."

As Dr. Elizabeth Black told me one day after I bragged about how good my doctor was,
If you have faith in your doctor, everything she tells you to do works.
So far she has cured asthma, allergies, cancer, back pain that has been a problem all my life, shoulder pain, and fragile skin.

Certainly I take all the pills, do all the exercises, and slather on the vitamin E creme, and since Dr. Chun and Kaiser know everything, everything works. Probably other things I have forgotten as well. But thank you I will continue to believe in my doctor as the only thing in my life that I believe in. If some day I need a miracle cure my prayer will be an email to my doctor. It will work.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why we make music

Welcome Address, by Karl Paulnack: "From these two experiences, I have come to understand that music is not part of “arts and entertainment” as the newspaper section would have us believe. It’s not a luxury, a lavish thing that we fund from leftovers of our budgets, not a plaything or an amusement or a pass time. Music is a basic need of human survival. Music is one of the ways we make sense of our lives, one of the ways in which we express feelings when we have no words, a way for us to understand things with our hearts when we cannot with our minds."

From a welcoming address to incoming students at the Boston Conservatory. Have a hankie handy, you will need it in a couple of sections of this address.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Purpose Prize | Encore: Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life

The Purpose Prize | Encore: Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life: "The Purpose Prize
Pursue Your Passion,
Win $100,000

The Purpose Prize awards up to $100,000 to social innovators over 60 who are creating new ways to solve pressing social issues - from education to health care, poverty to global warming. Winners are finding purpose in an encore career and putting their experience to work for the greater good.

Know someone over 60 who is changing the world?
Nominate Now
Deadline: March 5, 2009"

J'C: Great idea, I wish I knew someone who had a shot. If you do use the link to enter them as beliefnet gets the credit for the referral

Friday, February 13, 2009

Poker Insight and investing

Poker Insight: "You can find a step-by-step tutorial on all this, free of charge, at — start at the beginning and see how far you want to take it. If you learn enough to realize that you don't know enough, find an investment advisor who understands these concepts and has the long-term track record to prove it. There is a saying in the poker world that applies to the stock market: if you can't tell who the patsy is, you're the patsy."

The link is a decent quick introduction to playing the market. I haven't checked out the wealtheffect.

In Defense of the Recession Blame Game - TIME

In Defense of the Recession Blame Game - TIME: "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, except that right now everyone wants a little piece of it. The mob has been chanting for months, ever since former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson arrived in late September on Capitol Hill to warn of disaster, pass around his three-page plan and demand $700 billion to fix the problem."

Or from their chemicals on dead trees edition:

The venting of spleen is not a science--it is a joy.

Go on line and vote for your favorites.

They are all there Mozilo, Graham, Paulson, Fuld, and of course Madoffwiththesmartmoney.

I had a little trouble with Madoff. How bad is it to screw people who should know better and agreed to the screwing. As I am well known to say victimless crimes are not crimes, where do I stand on this? I have little sympathy for victims of Ponzi schemes, and pyramid scams. They all think they will get out on time. But as you will see in the next post. Look for the patsy.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Is there a god...? - Beliefnet Forums:.

When asked about God I don't worry about existence issues, "I will worry about worthiness issues and generally be brutal about it. I especially like

Have you accepted JESUS CHRIST as YOUR SAVIOR!?

It gives me free reign to tee off on all of Paul, the hijacking of Jesus' good name, the bigotry and just plain inhumanity of God for sending all but holy assholes to Hell. The possibilities are endless but it is hard to keep them on the front porch that long. I usually invite them in for coffee so they can't get away easily."

Executive dole pay plan

Tom Toles sure has his finger on this one. Don't miss the tag in the lower right.

During the transition period The Obama Team posted a "question box." Ask and respond to questions from ordinary people, that is those that donated less than $200 to the campaign (I think) One of the most heavily approved questions was the Ben and Jerry solution to the bail outs. As many of you know Ben and Jerry for a long time had a pay plan that limited executive pay to 17 times the lowest paid employee. At half a $mill that makes lowest paid $30,000. I don't think so!

But he is trying!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Skepticblog » Sympathy for the Devil

Skepticblog » Sympathy for the Devil:

"The problem he would have in admitting that his religion was wrong on homosexuality is that his whole religion is based on Paul’s misanthropy and hatred of all things sexual. If everything you do as a human, especially those things you do with your genitals is a sin, you can then internalize the need for a Savior. And Guess what? Paul created one for you: Christ the Son of God, the result of God raping a woman committed to another man, who was tortured, died for a few days and miraculously went to Heaven to save all from the wrath of this dysfunctional God who hates all human sexuality."

My comment. Nothing to add.

Skepticblog » Sympathy for the Devil

Skepticblog » Sympathy for the Devil: "In the film [Pelosi's Trials of Ted Haggard] you can hear the guilt in Ted Haggard’s voice and see the self-loathing in his face. Ted Haggard is a broken man, broken not by his biology but by his religion. You cannot “fix” people’s biology, but you can change their religion, and it’s time for Ted Haggard to give up on his religion — and perhaps religion altogether.

J'C: I can't count the number of people who have been "Broken by their Religion" Catholics who enjoy sex and want to control the number of children that result. Evangelicals who cannot hate. Christians and Jews who really read the bible and have to choose between God and self respect.

I respect believers, their religion helps them get through their day and do the things they need to. But I do not respect most religions, especially those that compel rejecting or modifying intrinsic human instincts like sex and pair bonding.