Archive | February, 2018


22 Feb

Too much empathy can increase stress, especially when the emotionally astute take on responsibility for the feelings that they are attuned to. (Blaszczak-BOxe, A. The dark side of emotional intelligence. Scientific American Mind, 2017, 28(2), p. 9)


18 Feb

Anthropologist Marshall Sahlins: Self-love seems so often unrequited.


16 Feb

When you try to read the emotions of others, especially if they are strangers, careful thinking tends to be more accurate than intuition.(Hutson, M. Don’t go with your gut. Scientific American Mind, 2017, 28(2), p. 8)

Novel Comments

11 Feb

I finally read James McBride’s The Color of Water(1996/2006). The author is the eighth of twelve children of a born and raised white Jewish Mother and a Christian black father. His parents, married in the early 1940’s, were in a precarious position. James’s mother became “dead” to her parents and extended family and lived in New York City’s all black neighborhoods with her husband. She converted to Christianity, and, in fact, she and her husband founded a church.

All twelve children were raised on two fundamental values: God and education. Their mother told them that God is the color of water. All twelve became accomplished adults. James McBride is an award winning journalist, author, musician, and composer. His mother got her degree in social work at age 65 and remained a dynamic contributor to her community for many years afterwards.

By juxtaposing stories about his mother and his own life, James McBride illuminated his and his mother’s struggles with identity amidst the contradictions of culture, class, race, and religion. The novel has been already daubed a “classic.” I found it to be a page turner. If you haven’t already read it, it is well worth the time.


9 Feb

A recent meta-analysis of 365 studies done over fifty years showed that experts cannot predict suicidal behaviors any better than chance, and their predictive ability has not improved over time. (In brief, Suicide risk. Monitor on Psychology, 2017, February, p. 12)


4 Feb

Ursula Le Guin: All of us have to learn how to invent our lives, make them up, imagine them. If we don’t, our lives get made up for us by other people.


1 Feb

British politician Hugh Molson: I will look at any additional evidence to confirm the opinion to which I have already come.