Stay Positive

"In the midst of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." - Alert Camus

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Space Chimp Lived

Ham the Chimp, also known as Ham the Astrochimp, was the first Hominidae to take a space flight. He was named after the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center in New Mexico. He was launched from Cape Canaveral on January 31, 1961 and returned to Earth unharmed except for a bruised nose.

Space chimp lived


Monday, December 21, 2015

The Mindful Practice Podcast

A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation
Loving-Kindness With Sharon Salzberg
Walking Meditation
Body Scan Meditation
Stay tuned for podcast no. 5 of 5 on Tuesday.

The Mindful Practice Podcast

Mindful is a mission-driven nonprofit. We are dedicated to inspiring, guiding, and connecting all those who want to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness practice, and to create healthier relationships and a more caring society.
Mindful magazine,, MindfulDirect video, and our conferences and collaborations are all projects of the Foundation for a Mindful Society, a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization. Donations are tax deductible where allowable by law.
James Gimian

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Time Management Ideas

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg reveals the two quotes that influence how she spends her time

"Done is Better than Perfect"

"Move Fast and Break Things."

'Ruthless Prioritization'

The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty.

 "Those posters influence how I plan my day — I spend my time on what matters most, and I still get my hands dirty every day." Sandberg writes...


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Neil Pasricha: The 3 A's of awesome
Neil Pasricha's blog 1000 Awesome Things savors life's simple
pleasures, from free refills to clean sheets. In this heartfelt talk
from TEDxToronto, he reveals the 3 secrets (all starting with A) to
leading a life that's truly awesome.

is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the
TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the
talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al
Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on
observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child,
Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes,
Pattie Maes on the "Sixth Sense" wearable tech, and "Lost" producer JJ
Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology,
Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as
science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and
translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on, at Watch a highlight reel of the Top 10 TEDTalks at

Pregnancy Hormone Helps Multiple Sclerosis Patients Avoid Relapse

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system where immune cells from the blood attack the tissue surrounding the brain’s nerve fibers. Called myelin, this tissue is like the insulation wrapped around an electrical wire. When the myelin is damaged, it interferes with the ability of the nerves to send signals to and from the brain, resulting in symptoms including cognitive problems, difficulty with walking, poor vision and other disabilities. Image is for illustrative purposes only.

Neuroscience News @NeuroscienceNew Nov 30
Pregnancy Hormone Helps Multiple Sclerosis Patients Avoid Relapse


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mindfulness meditation can bring greater pain relief than a placebo

[man meditating]

 Mindfulness meditation appears to affect the brain in ways that reduce pain.


Mindfulness meditation reduces pain, study finds


MNT featured Academic journal

Mindfulness meditation can bring greater pain relief than a placebo, according to research published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The findings, by scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, are the first to show that patterns of brain activity produced by mindfulness meditation differ from those produced by a placebo cream.

Contemplatives have long reported the benefits of mindfulness meditation on pain, and brain imaging technology has revealed more about the mechanisms involved. Whether the benefits stem from religious practices or mindfulness itself has remained unclear.

Meditation-related pain reduction is now a rapidly emerging field, but more specific experimental evidence has been needed to advance it.

Lead author Fadel Zaidan, PhD, and colleagues have previously noted the effect of expectation, distraction, attention, beliefs, placebo, hypnosis, stress, anxiety, mood and emotional state on pain. Enhanced cognitive and emotional control have been shown to help decrease pain; mindfulness could play a role.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been defined as:
  • Regulated, sustained attention to the moment-to-moment quality and character of sensory, emotional and cognitive events
  • Recognition of such events as momentary, fleeting and changeable
  • A consequent lack of emotional or cognitive appraisal and/or reactions to these events.
Humans automatically tend to perceive momentary experience as lasting; by reframing this perception, mindfulness can help reduce discomfort.

Different meditative practices can be termed "mindfulness," but two broad categories encompass them: focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM).

FA is associated with maintaining focus on a specific object, say, flow of the breath or an external object. OM involves a non-directed acknowledgment of any sensory, emotional or cognitive event that arises in the mind, as in Zen meditation.

Mindfulness and health

Mindfulness meditation has been found to improve a range of cognitive and health outcomes, including anxiety, depression and stress. It is associated with enhanced cognitive control, emotion regulation, positive mood and acceptance, each of which has been linked with pain modulation.

The current study takes a step toward isolating the 'active ingredients' of meditation, using pain ratings and brain imaging to determine whether mindfulness meditation is merely a placebo effect.
Seventy-five healthy, pain-free participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: mindfulness meditation, placebo meditation (relaxation), placebo analgesic cream (petroleum jelly) or control.

Pain was induced by using a thermal probe to heat a small area of the skin to 120.2 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Centigrade) - a level of heat most people find very painful.

Greatest pain reduction in mindfulness group

Study participants then rated pain intensity (physical sensation) and pain unpleasantness (emotional response).

The participants' brains were scanned with arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging (ASL MRI) before and after their respective 4-day group interventions.

In the mindfulness meditation group, pain intensity fell by 27% and the emotional aspect of pain fell by 44%. The placebo cream reduced the sensation of pain by 11% and emotional aspect by 13%.
Brain scans showed that mindfulness meditation produced very different patterns of activity than those produced by placebo to reduce pain.

In placebo meditation, a 9% decrease in pain rating and 24% in pain unpleasantness was noted, possibly due to a relaxation effect associated with slower breathing.

Which part of the brain is affected?

Previous data have indicated that, like other cognitive factors that modulate pain, prefrontal and cingulate cortices are intimately involved in the modulation of pain by mindfulness meditation.

In this study, mindfulness meditation reduced pain by activating the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortex brain regions, associated with the self-control of pain; while the placebo cream lowered pain by reducing brain activity in the secondary somatosensory cortex, or pain-processing areas.

The thalamus was deactivated during mindfulness meditation, but activated during all other conditions. The thalamus serves as a gateway that determines if sensory information is allowed to reach higher brain centers. By deactivating this area, mindfulness meditation may have caused signals about pain to simply fade away, the team suggests.

While the team expected some overlap in brain regions between meditation and placebo, they were surprised to find new and objective evidence of the unique way in which mindfulness meditation reduces pain.

Zeidan adds:
"Based on our findings, we believe that as little as four 20-minute daily sessions of mindfulness meditation could enhance pain treatment in a clinical setting."
He cautions that since the participants were healthy, pain-free volunteers, findings cannot yet be generalized to chronic pain patients.

In previous studies on the effect of mindfulness training, 3 days of training for 20 minutes a day significantly reduced ratings of pain compared with distraction activities and relaxation.
Is it time for mindfulness training to become a treatment option for acute and chronic pain?
Medical News Today reported earlier this year that mindfulness meditation could help people stop smoking.

Written by Yvette Brazier
Medical News Today

Mindfulness meditation reduces pain, study finds

Recommended related news

    Mindfulness meditation-related pain relief: Evidence for unique brain mechanisms in the regulation of pain, F. Zeidan et al., Neuroscience letters, doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2012.03.082 , published 29 June 2012, abstract via Elsevier 

Top 50 Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis


Top 50 Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Lisa Emrich @LisaEmrich

Health Guide 
December 01, 2015 

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system (CNS) with symptoms that can affect almost anything from head to toes. 

The disease is so variable that no two people with MS are likely to have exactly the same combination of symptoms. 

As MS symptoms mimic dozens of other conditions, it is also important to consider that this list is not exclusive to MS.
Here are 50 of the most common MS symptoms:
Sensory problems

Abnormal sensations (dysesthesias)
Numbness, tingling, burning, or tightness
Pins and needles
Severe itchiness (pruritus)
Hypersensitivity to touch
Pain - acute or chronic, mild to severe
Loss of proprioception (sense of body position in space)
Inability to detect vibrations
Impaired sense of taste or smell
Trigeminal neuralgia - stabbing pain in the face
L’Hermitte’s sign - electrical shock-like sensation running down the spinal and into the limbs when you bend your neck forward or backward
The MS hug

Motor problems

Loss of strength or muscle weakness
Loss of muscle tone (hypotonicity) or increased muscle tone (hypertonicity)
Spasticity - continuously contracted muscles and/or muscle spasms
Myoclonus - sudden involuntary muscle contractions
Foot drop
Problems walking, impaired gait, or mobility problems
Loss of balance
Loss of coordination (ataxia)

Cerebellar ataxia can cause:

Gait ataxia - uncoordinated walking
Nystagmus - jittery eye movements
Intention tremor - shaking when attempting fine motor movements
Hypotonia - inability to maintain a steady posture
Dysdiadochokinesia - inability to maintain a steady rhythm
Dysmetria - reduced control of range of movement resulting in over- or under-shooting limb movements
Dysarthria - changes in speech production, including slurring, unclear articulation of words, and difficulty controlling loudness
Dysphonia - changes in voice quality, including hoarseness, breathiness, nasal tone, and poor control of pitch
Dysphagia - difficulty swallowing

Vestibular ataxia can cause:

Loss of balance
Vertigo - dizziness, nausea and vomiting
Nystagmus - jittery eye movements

Sensory ataxia results in:

Loss of body position sense (proprioception)
Inability to detect vibrations
Romberg’s sign

Vision problems

Optic neuritis - loss of vision, eye pain, diminished color vision
Diplopia - double vision
Blurred vision
Flashes of light in peripheral vision

Hearing problems

Hearing loss
Tinnitus - ringing in the ears
Hyperacusis - abnormal sensitivity or intolerance to everyday sound levels or noise

Cognitive changes

Short and long-term memory problems
Attention difficulties
Slower speech or information processing speed
Problems with abstract conceptualization
Difficulty finding the right words

Emotional changes

Generalized distress and anxiety
Mood swings or emotional lability
Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)

Bladder, bowel, or sexual problems
Urinary incontinence, hesitancy, urgency, frequency, retention, or leakage
Constipation, diarrhea or bowel incontinence
Impotence, reduced libido, or inability to achieve orgasm
Reduced genital sensation or vaginal dryness

Sleep disorders

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) or nocturnal movements
Sleep disordered breathing

Other symptoms

Headache and migraine
Breathing problems
Heat sensitivity
Problems regulating heat and cold
Paroxysmal symptoms

Lisa Emrich is author of the blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA and
founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers.

See more at:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tips to Stay Smart, Sharp, and Focused

woman in playing violin

Tips to Stay Smart, Sharp, and Focused

Your daily habits can have a big impact on your memory, focus, and mood. Here's what to do to help keep your mind sharp.


Mix Things Up

Remember trying to talk backwards as a child? Researchers at Duke University created exercises they call "neurobics," which challenge your brain to think in new ways. Since your five senses are key to learning, use them to exercise your mind. If you're right-handed, try using your left hand. Drive to work by another route. Close your eyes and see if you can recognize food by taste.

Work Out to Stay Sharp

Exercise, especially the kind that gets your heart rate up like walking or swimming, has mental pluses, too. Although experts aren't sure why, physical activity might increase the blood supply to the brain and improve links between brain cells. Staying active can help memory, imagination, and even your ability to plan tasks.

A Healthy Diet Builds Brainpower

Do your brain a favor and choose foods that are good for your heart and waistline. Being obese in middle age makes you twice as likely to have dementia later on. High cholesterol and high blood pressure raise your chances, too. Try these easy tips:
  • Bake or grill foods instead of frying.
  • Cook with "good" fats like oils from nuts, seeds, and olives instead of cream, butter, and fats from meat.
  • Eat colorful fruits and veggies.

Watch What You Drink

You know that too many drinks can affect your judgment, speech, movement, and memory. But did you know alcohol can have long-term effects? Too much drinking over a long period of time can shrink the frontal lobes of your brain. And that damage can last forever, even if you quit drinking. A healthy amount is considered one drink a day for women and two for men.

Music Helps Your Brain

Thank your mom for making you practice the piano. Playing an instrument early in life pays off in clearer thinking when you're older. Musical experience boosts mental functions that have nothing to do with music, such as memory and ability to plan. It also helps with greater hand coordination. Plus, it's fun -- and it's never too late to start.

Make Friends for Your Mind

Be a people person! Talking with others actually sharpens your brain, whether at work, at home, or out in your community. Studies show social activities improve your mind. So volunteer, sign up for a class, or call a friend.

Stay Calm

Too much stress can hurt your gray matter, which contains cells that store and process information. Here are some ways to chill:
  • Take deep breaths.
  • Find something that makes you laugh.
  • Listen to music.
  • Try yoga or meditation.
  • Find someone to talk to.

Sleep and the Brain

Get enough sleep before and after you learn something new. You need sleep on both ends. When you start out tired, it's hard to focus on things. And when you sleep afterward, your brain files away the new info so you can recall it later. A long night's rest is best for memory and your mood. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Memory Helpers

Everybody spaces out now and then. As you get older, you may not remember things as easily as you used to. That's a normal part of aging. Some helpful hints:
  • Write things down.
  • Use the calendar and reminder functions in your phone, even for simple things (Call Dad!).
  • Focus on one task at a time.
  • Learn new things one step at a time.

The Name Game

Have trouble recalling names? Always repeat a person's name while you're talking to them -- at least in your head, if not out loud. Or invent a funny image or rhyme that you link with their name. For example, think of Bob bobbing out in the ocean.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

MS and Your Brain: Keep Your Memory Sharp

You can keep your memory sharp with some easy tips and tricks -- from old-fashioned sticky notes to high-tech gadgets.

Tools to Help You Remember

Digital recorder. Carry one with you. When you need to remember a name, phone number, or date, record a note to yourself. Write down the info or type it into your computer when you get home.

Cell phone camera. Use it to snap a photo of new people, places, and things. Email the pictures to yourself with a note so you'll remember them later.

Calendar. Use the one on your computer or cell phone to keep track of your schedule. Set it to send you reminders a few days or hours before a birthday, meeting, or other event.

If you're not a big fan of technology, write important dates on an old-fashioned paper calendar.

GPS system. Getonefor your car and put an app on your cell phone so you don't get lost. Type in the address you're going to and you'll get step-by-step directions by car or on foot.

Buy a pillbox. Use it to organize your daily medicine. Some have built-in alarms that alert you when it's time to take your medicine.

Tricks to Keep Organized

White board. Put one on your fridge or other area where you spend a lot of time. Write notes and to-do lists on it.

Post-it notes. They're a good way to jog your memory. Stick them around your house, office, and in your car.

Box or bin for everyday items. Place it in a central area, like the kitchen. Put in your car keys, glasses, and other things you often use. You can also set aside a folder for important papers.

Tips to Improve Recall

"Picture" a word. When you meet someone for the first time, connect the person's name to an image in your mind. With a man named Bob, you might imagine someone bobbing for apples. The name April could bring to mind a spring tree in bloom.

Repeat new names and facts. Saying the words out loud will help them stick in your mind.

Take your time. It's harder to remember when you're rushed or under stress. When you learn something new, take a deep breath, pause, and concentrate on it for a few seconds.

Work on one task at a time. Turn off distractions like the TV, radio, and cell phone so you can concentrate.

Other Ideas to Sharpen Memory

"Exercise" your brain. Read challenging books, do crossword puzzles, or play word games. Research suggests that people with MS who keep up that kind of mental activity have less trouble learning and remembering.

Play games. Over the last few years, many "train-your-brain" computer programs have popped up on the Internet. Although the research on brain training is new, it's encouraging. Studies show it might improve short-term memory. One study even showed that playing a racing video game helped improve focus and memory. But more research is needed to see if it really helps.

Anguera, J.A. Nature, September 2013.
Leavitt, V.M. Neurocase, 2014.
Melby-Lervag. Developmental Psychology, 2013.
Multiple Sclerosis Society UK: "Tips for dealing with memory and thinking problems."
National MS Society: "Cognitive Changes," "Exercise."
News release, American Academy of Neurology.
Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD on October 31, 2014



Monday, November 23, 2015

Norman Cousins

”Don’t deny the diagnosis. Try to defy the verdict!” – Norman Cousins


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Robin Williams’s Widow Suggests Suicide Cause - dementia with Lewy bodies

The beloved actor committed suicide last year.
Julie Miller

Robin Williams’s widow, Susan Williams, has come forward to reveal that a rare neurodegenerative disease—not depression—was to blame for the actor’s suicide.

Williams’s condition was only correctly diagnosed as diffuse Lewy body dementia after autopsy.  In an ABC News interview, Susan said that her late husband exhibited “this endless parade of symptoms” since late 2013.

The whak-a-mole reference made me think of multiple sclerosis symptoms that can change day-to-day:

“It was like playing Whack–a-Mole. Which symptom is it this month?” she continued. “I thought, ‘Is my husband a hypochondriac?’ 
His wife may be talking about something that nobody can know for sure.   Why people commit suicide is a mystery, even they can only half know, in my opinion.

Changes in thinking and reasoning.accompanied by depression and the picture gets dreary.

Symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies include:
  • Changes in thinking and reasoning.
  • Confusion and alertness that varies significantly from one time of day to another or from one day to the next.
  • Parkinson's symptoms, such as a hunched posture, balance problems and rigid muscles.
  • Visual hallucinations.
  • Delusions.

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) | Signs, Symptoms ...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sample Disclaimer


Monday, November 2, 2015


  • "If we ever reach the point where we think we thoroughly understand who we are and where we came from, we will have failed" (Carl Sagan)
  • "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought" (Albert Szent-Gyorgyi)
  • "The best way to predict your future is to create it" (Peter Drucker)
  • "Religious wars are basically people killing each other over who has the better imaginary friend" (Napoleon)
  • "The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born" (Antonio Gramsci)
  • "Education is paradoxical in that it is largely composed of things that cannot be learned" (Roberto Calasso)
  • "Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be." (Miguel de Cervantes)
  • "The history of science, like the history of all human ideas, is a history of irresponsible dreams, of obstinacy, and of error." (Karl Popper)
  • "The task is...not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees" (Erwin Schroedinger)
  • "Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible" (Maurits Cornelis Escher)
  • "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" (Marcel Proust)
  • "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought." (Albert Szent-Gyorgy)
  • "Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible" (Maurits Cornelis Escher)
  • "A man wants what a woman has sex. He can steal it (rape), persuade her to give it away (seduction), rent it (prostitution), lease it over the long term (marriage in the United States) or own it outright (marriage in most societies)" (Andrea Dworkin)
  • "A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all" (Tacitus)
  • "God is a hacker, not an engineer" (Francis Crick)
  • "Not to be mad is another form of madness" (Blaise Pascal)
  • "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes" (Oscar Wilde)
  • "We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience" (George Bernard Shaw)
  • "Experience is not what happens to a man, it is what a man does with what happens to him" (Aldous Huxley)
  • "No one believes in God any more, but everyone believes in Bach" (composer Mauricio Kagel)
  • "To leave is to arrive and to arrive is to leave" (Yong-Kyun Bae)
  • "Hell is other people" (Sartre)
  • "There's no such thing as information overload. There's only filter failure." (Clay Shirky)
  • "... the death of the spirit which threatens every man unless he is conscious of the danger and has a real purpose which can keep it alive and enable it to thrust its way through the choking weeds and thorns to the air and to the sun" (Hugh Trevor-Roper)
  • "We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine." (Henry Louis Mencken)
  • "The hallmark of a deep explanation is that it answers more than you ask" (Max Tegmark)
  • "I think people who write programs do have at least a glimmer of extra insight into the nature of God... because creating a program often means that you have to create a small universe" (Don Knuth)
  • "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation." (Vladimir Putin)
  • "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" (Voltaire)
  • "Where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people too" (Heinrich Heine)
  • "The goal of the future is full unemployment (Arthur Clarke)
  • "We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like" (Dave Ramsey)
  • "Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans" (Allen Saunders, 1957)
  • "To find something interesting you merely have to look at it long enough" (Flaubert)
  • "I'm a question mark guy in an exclamation point world" (Charles O'Meara, aka Chuck Vrtacek)
  • "The horse does not eat cucumber salad" (Johann Reis, the first sentence uttered in a telephone)
  • "Science is always wrong - It never solves a problem without creating 10 more" (George-Bernard Shaw)
  • "The world is but a canvas to our imaginations" (Henry Thoreau)
  • "There is no position so absurd that some philosopher has not held it" (James Fetzer)
  • "A little rebellion every now and then is a good thing" (Thomas Jefferson)
  • "It is inconceivable that we should allow so great a possibility for service, for news, for entertainment, for education and for vital commercial purposes to be drowned in advertising chatter" (Herbert Hoover talking about the radio in 1922).
  • "In 3000 AD one will doubtless be able to travel from Kansas City to Peking in a few hours. But if the civilization of these two places is the same, there will be no object in doing so." (Aldous Huxley in 1926)
  • "Humans - who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals - have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain." (Carl Sagan)
  • "Radio broadcasting is a sort of cleansing instrument for the mind just as the bathtub is for the body" (David Sarnoff at RCA in the 1920s).
  • "There can be no greater absurdity and no greater disservice to humanity in general than to insist that all men are equal" (Henry Ford)
  • "The entire Earth will be converted into a huge brain" (Nikolas Tesla, talking about the radio in 1904)
  • "Every monument of civilization is a monument of barbarism" (Walter Benjamin)
  • "Now the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room" (David Weinberger)
  • "Learn to appreciate what you have, before time makes you appreciate what you had" (Robert Downey)
  • "Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other" (Oscar Ameringer)
  • "Better to understand very little than to misunderstand a lot" (one-liner signature file on the internet)
  • "War does not determine who is right - only who is left" (Bertrand Russell)
  • "People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does" (Michel Foucault)
  • "There is something not-there there" (Terrence Deacon)
  • "I'm dying, but so are you" (Christopher Itchens, dying of cancer)
  • "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past." (William Faulkner)
  • "Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly" (Dalai Lama)
  • "Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it" (Dalai Lama)
  • "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed." (Mahatma Gandhi)
  • "I Seem To Be a Verb" (Buckminster Fuller)
  • "An optimist is someone who doesn't quite understand the problem" (Steve Kaufmann)
  • "When you are invited to a dinner, you are either a guest or you are part of a menu" (Guy Verhofstadt)
  • "If you torture statistics long enough, they'll eventually confess the truth" (Alan Simpson)
  • "A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving" (Lao Tzu)
  • "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas - I'm frightened of the old ones" (John Cage)
  • "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn" (Alvin Toffler)
  • "Begin Anywhere" (John Cage)
  • "The imperative to develop new technologies and implement them on a heroic scale no longer seems like the childish preoccupation of a few nerds with slide rulers - It's the only way for the human race to escape from its current predicaments - Too bad we've forgotten how to do it" (Neal Stephenson)
  • "Time is Nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once" (John Wheeler)
  • "An investor who has all the answers doesn't even understand the questions" (John Templeton)
  • "The worst labyrinth is not that intricate form that can entrap us forever, but a single and precise straight line" (Borges)
  • "I have been everything and it is worth nothing" (Roman emperor Septimius Severus)
  • "We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done" (Alan Turing)
  • "Contentment is rare among men as it is natural among animals" (Will Durant)
  • "Mankind's ability to understand and control the forces of nature greatly exceeds our ability to govern ourselves" (George Soros)
  • "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it" (Upton Sinclair)
  • "We are drowning in information while starving for wisdom" (Edward Osborne Wilson)
  • "Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding" (Khalil Gibran)
  • "The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting" (Charles Bukowski)
  • "Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed" (Samuel Johnson)
  • "I don't do drugs - I am drugs" (Salvador Dali)
  • "Love that is not madness is not love" (Pedro Calderon de la Barca)
  • "When a man suffers from delusions he is described as mad but when a million do so they belong to a world religion" (Anthony Storr)
  • "There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable -There is another theory which states that this has already happened" (Douglas Adams)
  • "If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians" (Warren Buffett)
  • "The world is a playground" (Indian-Persian poet Ghalib)
  • "Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition" (Timothy Leary)
  • "You are all you've got" (Janis Joplin)
  • "Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent" (Eleanor Roosevelt)
  • "If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman" (Margaret Thatcher)
  • "Be like a flower that gives fragrance, even to the hand that crushes it" (Ali ibn Abi Talib)
  • "If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married" (Katherine Hepburn)
  • "When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping - Men invade another country - It's a whole different way of thinking" (Elayne Boosler)
  • "There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper" (Camille Paglia)
  • "If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun" (Katherine Hepburn)
  • "Poor clowns of the absolute, we forget that we act out a tragedy to enliven the boredom of one spectator whose applause has never reached a mortal ear" (Ciorin)
  • "O you proud Christians, wretched souls and small,/ Who by the dim lights of your twisted minds/ Believe you prosper even as you fall,/ Can you not see that we are worms, each one/ Born to become the angelic butterfly/ That flies defenseless to the Judgement Throne?" (Dante, Canto 10, Purgatorio)
  • "God doesn't vote" (Former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti justifying his dirty political methods despite being a very religious man)
  • "If I owe you a pound, I have a problem; but if I owe you a million, the problem is yours" (John Maynard Keynes)
  • "During my lifetime most of the problems the world has faced have come, in one fashion or other, from mainland Europe, and the solutions from outside it" (Margaret Thatcher)
  • "Wait and see" (Albert Einstein, answering the question what's going to happen to the universe?)
  • "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible" (Lord Kelvin in 1895)
  • "Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now - They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are" (Bill Gates)
  • "There is a world market for maybe five computers" (Thomas Watson of IBM in 1943)
  • "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value" (French general Ferdinand Foch in 1913)
  • "Hell is the truth seen too late" (Thomas Hobbes)
  • "We inhabit a universe that is still inventing itself" (Peter Corning)
  • "No poem is intended for the reader, no painting for the beholder, no symphony for the listener" (Walter Benjamin)
  • "Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings" (Robert Burns)
  • "There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing" (Robert Burns)
  • "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler" (Albert Einstein)
  • "Yvonne: Where were you last night? = Rick: That's so long ago, I don't remember - Yvonne: Will I see you tonight? - Rick: I never make plans that far ahead" (Curtiz's film Casablanca)
  • "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood - Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less" (Marie Curie)
  • "The engineering of consent is the very essence of the democratic process" (Edward Bernays)
  • "Nature has all the answers, so what is your question?" (Howard Odum)
  • "There can be no true friends without true enemies" (Michael Dibdin)
  • "Because I do it with a little ship only, I am called a thief; you, doing it with a great navy, are called an emperor" (the Pirate to Alexander the Great in St Augustine's City of God)
  • "The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be" (Lao Tze)
  • "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" (Benjamin Franklin)
  • "Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do" (Bertrand Russell)
  • "Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind (Bernard Baruch)
  • "The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order" (Alfred North Whitehead)
  • "Failure is the foundation of success - Success is the foundation of failure" (Lao Tze)
  • "Wer immer strebend sich bemuht, Den konnen wir erlosen/ Whoever exerts himself in constant striving, Him we can save" (Goethe, Faust)
  • "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do" (Jalal ad-Din Rumi)
  • "Every journey of 10,000 li starts with the first step" (Chinese proverb)
  • "I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library" (Jorge Luis Borges)
  • "Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal" (Albert Einstein)
  • "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new" (Albert Einstein)
  • "It doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white as long as it catches the mice" (Deng Xiaoping)
  • "I suspect that many of the great cultural shifts that prepare the way for political change are largely aesthetic" (JG Ballard)
  • "The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time" (Edward-Osborne Wilson)
  • "So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do" (Benjamin Franklin)
  • "Truths are more likely to be discovered by one man than by a nation" (Descartes)
  • "History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake" (James Joyce)
  • "He who follows another will never overtake him" (Michelangelo)
  • "The impossible is justified by the fact that it occurred" (Balzac)
  • "Esse Est Percipi/ To be is to be perceived" (Bishop Berkeley)
  • "A believer is a stranger in this world" (Al-Hasan al-Basri)
  • "Change has rarely ever changed things" (Walter Sorrell)
  • "We've learned how to make a living, but not a life" (George Carlin)
  • "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it" (Chinese proverb)
  • "There are no inevitabilities in history" (Paul Johnson)
  • "When goods don't cross borders, armies will" (Frederic Bastiat)
  • "A junkie is someone who uses their body to tell society that something is wrong" (Stella Adler)
  • "While I thought I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die" (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • "While we are asleep in this world, we are awake in another one" (Jorge Luis Borges)
  • "The difference between me and a madman is that i am not mad" (Salvador Dali)
  • "All truth passes through three stages - First, it is ridiculed - Second, it is violently opposed - Third, it is accepted as being self-evident" (Arthur Schopenhauer)
  • "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life" (Frank Zappa)
  • "Show me a sane man and I will cure him" (Carl Jung)
  • "If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you" (Friedrich Nietzsche)
  • "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them" (Albert Einstein)
  • "Small minds are concerned with the extraordinary, great minds with the ordinary" (Blaise Pascal)
  • "Democrats have become very good at electing very bad Republicans" (Ralph Nader)
  • "Revolutions are always verbose" (Leon Trotsky)
  • "God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh" (Voltaire)
  • "Love, friendship, respect, do not unite people as much as a common hatred for something" (Anton Chekhov)
  • "You are mistaken if you think that your customer is paying you to have sex with him -He is also paying you to go away after the sex is over" (Anonymous prostitute quoted in a Leonard Shlain book)
  • "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it" (George Santayana)
  • "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" (Mark Twain)
  • "Men have become the tools of their tools" (Henry Thoreau)
  • "If God made us in His image, we have certainly returned the compliment" (Voltaire)
  • "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading" (Lao Tzu)
  • "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
  • "Everything should be as simple as possible - but no simpler" (Albert Einstein)
  • "Most books are about aspects of human knowledge - Few people write books about human ignorance, despite the fact that there would be much more to write about" (Piero Scaruffi)
  • "Nasrudin sat on a river bank when someone shouted to him from the opposite side: Hey! how do I get across? - Nasrudin shouted back: You are across!" (Popular Turkish tale)
  • "No amount of study of present forms [of life] would permit us to infer [the existence of] dinosaurs" (Max Delbruck)
  • "There is no substitute for victory" (Douglas MacArthur)
  • "Somewhere something incredible is waiting to happen" (John Wheeler)
  • "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known" (Carl Sagan)
  • "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public" (H.L. Mencken)
  • "Ekam sat vipra bahuda vadanti/ The one truth is called by different names by various learned men" (Rig Veda)
  • "God does not exist - He is being itself beyond essence and existence - Therefore to argue that God exists is to deny him" (Paul Tillich)
  • "Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing" (Wernher Von Braun)
  • "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day - Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" (Lao Tzu)
  • "I do not believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use" (Galileo Galilei)
  • "The Brain is wider than the Sky / For put them side by side / The one the other will contain" (Emily Dickinson)
  • "The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced" (Frank Zappa)
  • "Congressmen are like diapers - You need to change them often, and for the same reason" (Pete McCloskey)
  • "I think I know what it is but don't ask me to play it" (John Coltrane to Zita Carno on seeing one of his improvisations transcribed to music notation)
  • "A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic" (Josef Stalin)
  • "The foolish ask questions the wise cannot answer" (Oscar Wilde)
  • "No one really knows enough to be a pessimist" (Norman Cousins)
  • "Life is a question in the form of an answer" (Piero Scaruffi)
  • "Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught" (Oscar Wilde)
  • "I would characterize current US nuclear weapons policy as immoral, illegal, militarily unnecessary, and dreadfully dangerous" (former USA defense secretary Robert McNamara)
  • "Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth" (Archimedes)
  • "We only had our brains to use as weapons against the Christians" (A Jewish friend, when i asked him why so many Jews became scientists and artists and writers - Contrast it with a very similar statement made by an Al Jazeera commentator regarding suicide bombers: The Arabs only have their bodiesto use as weapons against Israel and the USA)
  • "Sometimes the metaphors write themselves" (Eugene Robinson, 2006)
  • "All murderers are punished unless they kill in great numbers" (Voltaire)
  • "Je ne suis pas d'accord avec ce que vous dites, mais je d‚fendrai jusqu'… la mort le droit que vous avez de le dire/ I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it" (Voltaire)
  • "It is better to kill one hundred innocents than to let one guilty person go" (Dolores Ibarruri La Pasionaria)
  • "There is a limit to human intelligence, but there is no limit to human stupidity" (Piero Scaruffi)
  • "If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them - But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being - And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?" (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
  • "The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement - The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth" (Niels Bohr)
  • "La lor cieca vita e` tanto bassa, che invidiosi son d'ogni altra sorte - Fama di loro esser non lassa; misericordia e giustizia li sdegna - Non ti curar di lor, ma guarda e passa/ Their pointless life is so low that all other lots they envy - Fame of them the world hath none; Mercy and Justice scorn them both - Ignore them, look ahead and pass them by" (Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto III)
  • "To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time - And all our yesterdays have lighted fools, The way to dusty death - Out, out brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more - It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing" (William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 5)
  • "Envy is blind, and she has no other quality than that of detracting from virtue" (Titus Livius)
  • "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject" (Winston Churchill)
  • "There are known knowns: there are things we know we know - We also know there are known unknowns: we know there are some things we do not know - But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know that we don't know" (Donald Rumsfeld)
  • "A scientist is someone who learns more and more about less and less, and ultimately knows everything about nothing - A Philosopher is someone who learns less and less about more and more, and ultimately knows nothing about everything" (Anonymous joke)
  • "Why should I care about posterity? What's posterity ever done for me?" (Groucho Marx)
  • "The beaver told the rabbit as they stared at the Hoover Dam: No, I didn't build it myself, but it's based on an idea of mine" (Charles Townes)
  • "Time is the substance of which we are made" (Borges)
  • "First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Communist - Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew - Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant - Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me" (Reverend Martin Niemoller, 1945)
  • "What good fortune for governments that the people do not think" (Adolf Hitler)
  • "The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed" (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf)
  • "Karl Radek: Vladimir Ilyich, where are we going to get enough rope to hang the whole bourgeoisie? Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: They will sell it to us themselves
  • "It is reasonable to expect that, with the favourable effects of time, and of European arts and sciences, [America] will become the most formidable power in the world" (the Venetian ambassador to Paris, 1783)
  • "Truth and untruth often co-exist; good and evil often are found together" (Gandhi)
  • "A great country worthy of the name does not have any friends" (Charles De Gaulle)
  • "Life is not a journey, it is a destination" (Piero Scaruffi)
  • "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies" (Groucho Marx)
  • "For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in the Middle East, and we achieved neither" (Condoleeza Rice)
  • "We are not shooting enough professors" (Lenin)
  • "Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist" (George Orwell)
  • "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" (Mahatma Gandhi)
  • "I thank my parents for the greatest gift of all: poverty" (Robert Benigni)
  • "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it" (Winston Churchill)
  • "The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking" (Martin Heidegger)
  • "You were born with wings - Why prefer to crawl through life?" (Jalal ad-Din Rumi)
  • "Politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians" (Charles De Gaulle)
  • "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" (Mahatma Gandhi)
  • "This whole world Is one big prison yard - Some of us are prisoners The rest of us are guards" (Bob Dylan)
  • "The past is not dead - it isn't even past" (Christa Wolf, 1976)
  • "I think it would be a good idea" (Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization)
  • "God is dead - Nietzsche/ Nietzsche is dead - God" (Graffiti on Nietzsche's tomb)
  • "Philosophy has only interpreted the world - The real challenge is to change it" (Epigraph on Karl Marx tomb)
  • "It will take a thousand years for the frontier to reach the Pacific" ( Thomas Jefferson)
  • "A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere" (Groucho Marx)
  • "Like all religions, Reason presents itself as the solution to the problems it has created" (John Ralston Saul, 1992)
  • "The Army causes Taxes; Taxes cause Discontents; and Discontents make an Army necessaryLord Bath, 1749)
  • "To do is to be - Descartes; To be is to do - Voltaire; Do be do be do - Frank Sinatra" (Men'w Restrooms, Greasewood Flats, Scottsdale)
  • "I told him to be fruitful and multiply, but not in those words" (Woody Allen)
  • "I play the notes, in order, as they are written - It is God who makes the music" (Johan Sebastian Bach)
  • "The first thing that we do let's kill all the lawyers" (Henry VI, II/4, Shakespeare)
  • "The difference between a psychiatric patient and a psychiatric doctor is that the former gets better" (paraphrasing a line in Vincent Minnelli's Cowbweb)
  • "Under no circumstances should a true Christian draw the sword" (Tertullian, 2nd century AD)
  • "The basis of government is jugglery - If it lasts and works, it becomes policy" (Caliph Al Mansur of Baghdad)
  • "The worst things are those that are novelties - Every innovation is an error, and every error leads to hell" (Prophet Mohammed, The Neglected Duty)
  • "shi shi shi shi shi shi shi shi shi shi shi shi shi = the master is fond of licking lion spittle" (Chinese tonguetwister)
  • "I am who I am" (God to Moses)
  • "Jesus: I came into the world to bear witness to the truth - Pilate: What is truth?" (John 18:3438)
  • "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" (Hakuin)
  • "Four blind men gave four altogether contradictory descriptions of an elephant because one had been able to touch only its tail, the other its legs, the third its belly and the fourth its ears only" (Ancient Arab proverb)
  • "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty" (Winston Churchill)
  • "There is nothing more dangerous than a philosopher who wants to change the world" (Piero Scaruffi)
  • "Dictatorships foster oppression, dictatorships foster servitude, dictatorships foster cruelty; more abominable is the fact that they foster idiocy" (Jorge-Luis Borges)
  • "Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets" (Napoleon Bonaparte)
  • "Quote me as saying that I was mis-quoted" (Groucho Marx)

 Piero Scaruffi

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 History of Knowledge.


Sunday, November 1, 2015


Adolf Kaufmann Sunflowers in the Garden 1904
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Beautiful bronze St Sebastian (without arrows) attributed to Pietro Tacca, c1610 (Rijksmuseum).
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November - Joachim von Sandrart's personification of the month, painted in 1643.

MS and Depression: Tips for Mental Fitness

MS and Depression: Tips for Mental Fitness
By R. Morgan Griffin
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH

When you have MS, your emotions are in play. While having MS raises your chances of having depression, knowing that fact -- and being aware -- can help you try to prevent it and get treatment. Protect yourself with healthy habits.

Get moving. When it comes to MS treatment, exercise is a two-for-one. Being active improves MS symptoms -- like fatigue and bladder problems -- and improves your mood, says Rosalind Kalb, PhD, vice president of clinical care at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "It's essential," she says.

Many people with MS say they feel better after walking, swimming, and biking. Before working out, talk to your doctor about what kind of exercise is good for you.

Relax. Kicking back in front of the TV likely isn’t enough. Try to relax consciously -- set aside time for it.

"I think it’s especially hard for people, especially women, to be in the moment," says Cindy Richman, senior director at the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. "Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and other approaches can help with that." Taking breaks works too, she says. “Read a few lines of a poem. Write in a journal. Go smell the flowers in your garden."

Get backup. You still have all the responsibilities you had before you got MS, but now you may not have the energy to tackle them all. That leads to stress.

Talk to your family and friends. Ask for help -- whether it's grocery shopping, picking up the kids after school, or making dinner. Talk to the people in your life before you're already feeling overwhelmed.

Taking care of yourself -- and preserving your resources -- isn't selfish. Lowering stress is good for your mental health, and that's good for your family.

Tackle issues one at a time. It's easy to get overwhelmed, especially when you’re having a challenging day. Stay in control by focusing on specific issues, and come up with solutions one at a time.

What would make your mornings easier? What household tasks are the most and the least important? Prioritize. "One success builds your confidence, and that leads you to the next," Kalb says.

Get a coach. Therapists -- like psychologists, social workers, and counselors -- aren't just for people who are in the middle of a mental health crisis. They can also be life coaches, Kalb says. "Therapy is a way to help you sort out your priorities, to find solutions to what's challenging you at home or at work."

You might see a therapist for a while, take a break, and then come back if a new issue crops up, Kalb says.
Treating Depression

If you think you might be depressed, don't rely on lifestyle changes alone.

Find the cause. Your doctor can help you find out what triggered your depression. The causes can vary.

It’s possible your depression has nothing to do with MS.

Having a chronic condition like MS can create stress, and that may bring on bouts of depression. But research has found people with severe MS symptoms are not necessarily more likely to be depressed than people with mild symptoms.

Sometimes medication can play a role. The steroids and other medications used to treat MS may trigger or worsen depression.

The MS itself can also affect certain areas of the brain that relate to mood.

Once you understand what led to your depression, you can get the right treatment.

Build a team. To treat depression, you'll do best with a team of people supporting you.

A psychiatrist can determine if medication would help you. Don’t expect an immediate change. Finding the right drug and dose for you can take some time.

Don’t stop therapy. While drugs can relieve symptoms, Kalb says, therapy can help with specific problems that might be contributing to your depression.

Depression is not something you need to hide. Identify friends and family that you feel comfortable talking with about how you’re feeling. Their support can really help. Your MS specialist can also be your ally.

Whatever you do, Kalb says, don't accept that depression will be a constant part of your life.

"They say, 'Well of course you're depressed, you have MS.' That's not true at all. Depression is never normal for anyone, including people with MS."

Get help. Don't settle. "It's not enough for treatment to make you feel a little bit better," Kalb says. "Treat your depression until it's gone."

Further Reading:
Signs of Multiple Sclerosis Relapse Slideshow
What is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis: Alternative Treatments-Topic Overview
Alternative and Complementary Therapies for Multiple Sclerosis
Riskier Alternative Therapies for MS
Understanding the Different Types of Multiple Sclerosis
Primary Progressive MS: Symptoms and Treatment
See All MS Alternative Treatments Topics

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