Dog Day Afternoon, Indeed! Yay, California! Though still far behind say, France, California has passed a law that makes it legal for dogs and restaurants to co-exist. Restaurants can now seat you with your dog – IN OUTDOOR AREAS. Do keep in mind; the law does NOT make it that the restaurateurs must allow dogs in outdoor/patio dining areas, it does, however, make it legal for them to allow dogs in those areas. There are some details like dogs are not allowed in seats and kitchen staff cannot pet them. All in all it seems to be an easing in the law long overdue.
It’s New Year’s Day. Happy New Year to all. With this day many have their eyes set on improvements. Some pedestrian, some spiritual and then there’s always all of that weight to be lost, love to be found, habits to be curtailed, exercise to begin, etc., etc.
Riddle: What’s the difference between a gourmet and a gourmand?
Answer: About 50 pounds.
Ok, let’s face it: there are more delectable ways to expand your waistline from the end of November through January 1 than any other time of the year. And, for every reason imaginable from pure celebration of the good times, to the indulgences of the veritable artistic masterpieces of chocolates and fine foods that rain upon us nonstop through the holidays, through to the emotional downsides of the holidays so easy to drown in good food and drink.
It’s Thanksgiving and I awoke finding myself both wistful and poetic of times past and also of a thankful mind for what is as well as what was. Shortly after I awoke a dear friend called upset to find on his Thanksgiving Day he was going to have to put down his dog of over 13 years. His pup was a friend to two of my now departed dogs. I found memories of them all flooding back. And though sad, I found myself thankful for those times now gone as well as thankful as I looked down and saw Buddy, my present four-footed friend, the happiest dog I have ever known. I smiled and vowed to make the most of our love not despite the fact that one day he would be gone, rather because of it.
The election has concluded. The Republican’s have stormed and overcome the Bastille. What now? Can we all be friends again?
A problem I see with people who are my patients or acquaintances or friends or pundits when it comes to politics seems simple. No matter how far out on either wing they may be they are certain their facts and research are correct. I find that interesting. Each side reads and watches and listens to those who promote the point of view they are inclined towards. That sort of selection bias is self- fulfilling. And to me it seems self serving.
I think it is fair to say there are persons on either side of the bird that are quite intelligent and well read. They aren’t necessarily wrong because they don’t hold your opinion.
So CeeLo (aptly named if you ask me) denies that rape can happen when someone is unconscious. First, he is apparently drawing a distinction between sex and rape. He is not asserting that sex can’t happen; rather that rape can’t happen if someone is unconscious. Or, more precisely, that the degradation of rape can’t happen is someone is unconscious. Not to get into legal distinctions here, my couch never passed the California Bar exam. But I do believe there is a simple thought experiment worthy of the moment.
There has been talk that Robin Williams also has Parkinson’s disease. It is worth noting that depression is present in over 40% of Parkinson’s patients. It is not all that surprising. Parkinson’s has to do with decreased dopamine. Dopamine is one of the “reward” chemical messengers. Though dopamine has such a profound role in movement it also is one of the three major neurotransmitters we target when treating depression.
It is heartbreaking that Robin William’s committed suicide today. The whole world is shocked and saddened. What could have led such a talented and successful man to take his own life? The simple answer is that depression can be a bear of a disorder. Also, I think it highlights that we all have pain in life – no matter the station we have achieved nor the gifts we have been given.
The average adolescent is spending greater than 7 hours/day involved with Electronic Media (EM). If they are involved in electronic gaming they are slowly becoming inured to carnage. They witness or partake in the murder of hundreds of thousands of e-People over the years. A report from the official Journal of Pediatrics finds a real downside to over immersion in EM. They report that one perpetrator of a lethal school shooting never shot a real gun before his killing spree. Yet he had accurate and deadly aim form his experience in first person shooter games. In addition in a number of other shooter events the perpetrator was found to be invested in one aspect or another of EM to the exclusion of almost all real time relationships. This along with the avatar goes a long way to the blurring of reality and the identification with the powerful fantasy.
It’s hard to miss the news stories. Elliot Rodger went on a shooting spree in Santa Barbara killing 7 people. There had been mention of his participation in an online hate chat room that bashed young people that were successful in the dating world. His posts reveal someone deeply distressed and bolstered in his resentments by a supportive group of strangers. Isolation and hatred find support in online chat rooms. Did this chat room lead to the eventual rampage? I wouldn’t go that far. However, I do believe he gathered the support that overcame any reluctance he might have had. At least, it did nothing to ease the situation. And sadly, it certainly didn’t develop any social skills despite it being ironically referred to as a part of Social Media.