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There is something very funny going on with substance abuse.  There is less of it among teens. Less since — it has been suggested — teenagers are increasingly occupied by the amusing complexities of cell phones. Read more on Teens Favor Phones Over Drugs?​…

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They call it pareidolia. It is all right if you never heard of it — you have probably experienced it. We don’t just love stories.  Our brain seems to need them.  We take what is inanimate and give it an identity, a spirit, a character, a story. In 1944 a couple of psychological researchers at Smith college showed an unimaginatively dull and insipid movie of black triangles and lines and such moving about to 34 “subjects,” probably unpaid Smith students (who may also have been emotionally or even sexually frustrated) when all but one of them described this 2 1/2 minute movie with amazing “humanity.”  They saw scenarios like two male triangles keeping a female circle prisoner. Read more on Seeing Virgin Mary or Christ In Stains…

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I loved all of the French cathedrals, although I lived in Amiens and visited that one most frequently.  DISCLOSURE: I’m Jewish, not Catholic.

Read more on ​Drawing Inspiration From The Great Cathedrals…

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I remember my French apartment, next to the market-place in Amiens, a small town a hundred miles north of Paris. A woman and her husband ran one of the larger produce booths, just a few steps from my window.   She was one of those diminutive nut-brown Frenchwomen — not as pale as most of us were in the frozen north.  She told me that near the Mediterranean, where she came from, I would be called “white as an aspirin tablet.” And when I visited there briefly, that is exactly what they called me. Read more on The Pleasure Of The Table…

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The easiest ways to spot trends is to age. Not that I noticed I was aging.  Somebody pointed out to me I should be a “poster child” for senior citizens.  This left me a bit confused, since I did not notice I had become one. Gevalt!  I am 64, which means in one more year, I will become eligible for Medicare. Better check my pulse. Read more on Maybe You CAN Fool Mother Nature…

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My husband loves showbiz stories.  He was an avid movie fan while I was studying medicine, which meant he had a whole world to introduce to me, since my education at prep school including being somehow given the impression that cinema was a degenerate form of entertainment, compared to other arts. So my husband was piddling around on the internet when he told me some things about Wally Cox, the comic, and his friend Marlon Brando. I couldn’t imagine two people more-opposite and was surprised to learn what he told me.

Read more on Who You Are — and Who You Present Yourself As…

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I went to a discount pharmacy to buy myself a jug of aloe vera juice. It calms my troublesome stomach and I enjoy how it feels going down. I was leaning on a shopping cart, with my cane inside.  This is my favorite way to navigate large discount stores.

Read more on Your Job Description Is Always “Customer Service”…

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“You really made me feel better,” said the cuddly little woman.  I had put the lid on her little episode of mania very quickly, and she was happy with me.  She was stable and I was making our appointments further apart. Read more on The Perfect Thank-You Gift…

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I had a really depressed patient.  She had just had one leg amputated below the knee because of advanced diabetes. Of course, I prescribed some antidepressants, and made sure the medical stuff (medical causes of diabetes) had been eliminated. I asked her why she couldn’t dance. “I can’t walk and you want me to dance?”  she asked, as if holding back tears.

Read more on Never say “Never” — Especially to dancing!…

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We were sitting in a circle, like an AA meeting or something, but we were inside a recording studio talking about how to market music.  We were going around the circle, telling our names and what we had done in music. Me, I said I sang weird stuff (I do) but I was really a psychiatrist.  My main talent had been choosing to marry my husband, who discussed his serious musical accomplishments.

Read more on The World Needs More Of What You’ve Got…

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