Ode to Oliver Sacks

You have been a “sentient being”;
The eye of a hurricane looking at yourself.
In the mirror of other eddies:
People you loved and have loved you on the planet earth.
“When they leave, they leave a hole that cannot be filled.”
Dear Oliver remember,
Forms change but substance endures (until it doesn’t!)
Surfs dissolve into the ocean.
Oliver dissipates into Time/Space, soaked in love.
I am also 82, so will join you soon.
We will do the free style dance of random encounter,
and sparkle and laugh through the glow of a shooting star.
Life forms again, on a distant star, where we will be actors on a new stage, in unimaginable forms, spewing love, the glue of the universe.
We hug tightly: Dark Matter!

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Multiple Sclerosis vs. California’s Stem Cell Agency: Disease-a-Week Challenge No.15


“He was born with the gift of laughter, and the sense that the world was mad.” — Rafael Sabatini

That opening line (from the novel Scaramouche) would seem to have been written for the comedic genius Richard Pryor. His life was almost unutterably tragic, with every form of cruelty and sadness inflicted on him: raised in a brothel, sexually and physically abused as a child, expelled from school, imprisoned, emotionally terrified of even standing on a stage and performing.

And yet, he made the world laugh. Google some

How long will it be before people with MS get well? No way to know.

But there is funding for the research. Because California voters said YES to Proposition 71, the Stem Cells for Research and Cures Act, we have a chance to defeat Multiple Sclerosis.

When that day comes — and may it be soon — let us toast the memory of Richard Pryor and Annette Funicello, who made the world smile.

Don C. Reed is the author of the forthcoming book, “STEM CELL BATTLES: How Ordinary People Can Fight Back Against the Crushing Burden of Chronic Disease”, from World Scientific Publishing, Inc., available by pre-order from Amazon.com.

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New approach to modeling Amazon seasonal cycles developed

Engineers have developed a new approach, opposite to climate models, to correct inaccuracies using a high-resolution atmospheric model that more precisely resolves clouds and convection and parameterizes the feedback between convection and atmospheric circulation. The new simulation strategy paves the way for better understanding of the water and carbon cycles in the Amazon, enabling researchers to learn more about the role of deforestation and climate change on the forest, authors say. —> Read More

Do Dogs Feel ‘Guilty’ Like We Do? Here’s What The Science Says

Plenty of dog owners have seen their pets make a “guilty face” after doing something wrong. You know the look — the lowered ears, the ducked head, the droopy eyes. But can dogs actually feel shame?

Probably not, according to an article that appeared last week in the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph. Researchers told the paper that when a dog appears to be acting contrite, it may just be responding to the angry or dominant body language of its owner.

“I had a client who had three dogs and whenever something happened like a shoe was chewed, it was always one of them that had the guilty look,” Dr. Ljerka Ostojic, a comparative psychologist at Cambridge University in England, told The Telegraph. “Yet often she was not the dog who had done it. She was just the most timid dog, and got frightened more quickly by her owner’s reaction.”

Ostojic is the lead author of a study published in February in the journal Behavioural Processes, in which researchers found no support for the idea that dogs display the “guilty look” when they’re not actually being scolded.

“We cannot know for sure because we cannot ask them,” Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University, told The Huffington Post in an email.

But, she said, “the body language we are really looking at… is simply a submissive response to the body language the higher ranking person is using. We are towering over them, showing direct eye contact, using an accusatory tone of voice.”

A 2009 study showed that domestic dogs tended to look the most “guilty” when they were being scolded by their owners — even if they hadn’t done anything wrong.

While it’s not —> Read More

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