Archive for December, 2014

7 Things Happy Couples Do All The Time

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

By Dr. Jim Walkup, LMFT

If you truly want the best relationship possible, don’t leave the fate of your “happily in love” connection to luck or chance. Trust me, couples who thrive for the long-term actively choose behaviors that keep them in a good place with each other.

As a marriage therapist who has been happily married and counseling for 40 years, here are the top seven habits I see ridiculously happy couples practice faithfully:


Is Depression Good for us?

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Some experts say depression comes with a number of upsides. Here are seven ways the condition could actually make you healthier — and happier — once your symptoms get better.


Why Do Christians Need to Believe in the Incarnation?

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

“The point of incarnation language,” the Catholic theologian Roger Haight writes, “is that Jesus is one of us, that what occurred in Jesus is the destiny of human existence itself: et homo factus est. Jesus is a statement, God’s statement, about humanity as such.” Humanity is the presence of God. The presence of God, therefore, lies in what is ordinary. Not in supernatural marvels. Not in a superman with whom we have nothing actual in common. Not in saints. Not in a once-only age of miracles long ago. Not first in doctrine, scholarship, or theology–but in life. Doctrine, scholarship, and theology are essential as modes of opening up that life and its meanings, and there is no separating the life of Jesus from interpretations of it. The interpretations must always be examined, and criticized. And we endlessly conjure interpretations of our own, as here in this book.

But the life is our object. The life of Jesus must always weigh more than his death. And, to repeat, the revelation is in the ordinariness of that life. His teaching–his permanent Jewishness, his preference for service over power, his ever-respectful attitude toward women and others on the social margin–is available to us because his followers passed the teaching along, which continues. His encounters with beloved friends, disciples, outcasts, antagonists, and Romans, all arranged in a story that is more invention than memory, are valued as occasions of his encounter with the Holy One–but they are typical encounters, not supernatural ones. Again and again he turned to God, and, as the tradition says, he turned into God–but that, too, occurred in the most ordinary of ways. Day by day. Act by act. Choice by choice. Word by word. Ultimately “lifted up,” as John says, on the cross which was the Resurrection. And the cross is central to this meaning not because God willed suffering but because, in Jesus, God joined in it. “The quality of the suffering,” in Eliot’s phrase, is changed. And that includes the extreme suffering of war.


Happy People Aren’t So Good At Empathy

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Perpetually happy individuals are wonderful to have around, until you experience something worth complaining about. Recent research in PLOS ONE suggests that people who are generally cheerful are not so great at reading other people’s negative emotions, though what’s especially interesting is that they think they’re very good at it.


Amateur Photographer Captures Intimate Photos Of Foxes Living In One Of The World’s Remotest Regions

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Have a look. Beautiful pics.

From: The Liberal Arts and the Fate of American Democracy By Scott Samuelson

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Twentieth-century America gave birth to a world-class public educational system that, for all its flaws, gave an astonishing number of people a distinctive liberal education. Unfortunately, for a few decades now we’ve been walking with misplaced confidence toward inequality and empire once again.

But we should refuse to “sit down fatalistically before the croaker’s picture.” As a new world order is taking shape, we have the opportunity to shine like never before as the country where, with the help of the liberal arts, citizens widely participate in the government, workers have a voice in an innovative economy, and the widest number of people enjoy the best of the human inheritance.



Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Following the frenzy of cat lovers that lined up to visit North America’s first cat cafe, a pop-up event hosted in New York City last April, the city will finally become a permanent home to this unique trend that’s already become popular in Europe and Asia.

Meow Parlor will combine a cat room, where visitors can play with adoptable cats, and a patisserie around the corner, where guests can enjoy “catified” baked goods and beverages. Macaron Parlour’s Christina Ha and Emilie Legrand are the cat ladies behind the cat club, which will open in New York City on December 15.


Americans are obsessed with happiness, but other cultures see things differently

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

In Eastern cultures, the emphasis is on attainment of social harmony, where community and belonging are held in high regard. In Western cultures, the emphasis is on attainment of happiness, where the individualistic self tends to be celebrated.

These values translate to different weights placed on personal happiness. In one paper, Oishi and his colleagues examined the definition of happiness in dictionaries from 30 nations, and found that internal inner feelings of pleasure defined happiness in Western cultures, more so than East Asian cultures. Instead, East Asians cultures define happiness more in line with social harmony, and it is associated with good luck and fortune. Indeed, when researchers measure feelings of positive affect or pleasure, they go hand in hand with enhanced feelings of happiness by North America individuals but not by East Asian individuals. Instead, social factors – such as adapting to social norms or fulfilling relational obligations – were associated with enhanced feelings of happiness in East Asia.


Original, 1928 Illustration Of Pooh, Christopher Robin and Piglet Could Fetch Over $200K

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Even with their faces obscured, Shepard’s drawing manages to give each character a unique sense of self — courageous Christopher Robin hangs over the top rail, while Pooh mimics his best friend below. The ever devoted Piglet gently places her hand on Pooh’s back, watching the water from a safer distance as it floats by. Nostalgia oozes from ever cross-hatched line.

The illustration is set to fetch anywhere between £100,000 and £150,000 ($159,000 and $239,000) at Sotheby’s English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations sale. In honor of the rare occasion, we’ve compiled a few more retro looks at Winnie-the-Pooh. You can take a peek at the vintage sketches pulled from the archives below.


Playing Music Gives Brains A ‘Full Body Workout,’ Says Science

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Recent studies by neuroscientists of FMRI scans show that whereas activities like reading a book, doing math problems, or even listening to music only stimulate partsof the brain, playing an instrument engages the whole organ. Not only does the musician’s brain light up like the sky on the Fourth of July as it hustles to process “different information in intricate, interrelated, and astonishingly fast sequences,” it also seems to store memories more efficiently than its counterparts, using a complex “tagging” method the narrator compares to that of a “a good internet search engine.”



Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.