Archive for July, 2015

Excellent parenting advice

Friday, July 31st, 2015

We need to beware of pat answers and over generalizations that do more harm than good.

This story by Tina Plantamura first appeared at, an alternative news+culture women’s website

My oldest son just graduated high school and is now embarking on the next leg of his journey that will bring him closer to real life. I have come to realize that there are so many things that I wish I could un-tell him.

I hope he knows that all of these empowering, yet misleading little statements that I (or others with the best intentions in mind) might have spoken into his nearly grown-up ears are not exactly true…

Just One Night Of Bad Sleep Can Alter Your Genes

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Now, a new small study suggests that all it takes is one night of sleep loss to alter our biological clock genes — and this impact may hold clues to the complex link between sleep and certain diseases. After all, lack of sleep has been linked to negative effects on our metabolism and even an increased risk of obesity and diabetes.


Too much TV time makes kids more vulnerable to bullying

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Parents are busier than ever, juggling multiple responsibilities at home and work, all the while doing their best to raise a healthy, happy child. Sometimes a child’s favorite TV show can be the only time to catch a breath. And in a world of smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs, minimizing screen time has gotten harder than ever. But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, toddlers shouldn’t be exposed to any screen time before the age of 2, and kids age 2 and up should only watch 1 to 2 hours of age-appropriate TV per day. Now, new research adds evidence of the potential downsides of too much TV exposure at a young age, showing that that too much TV time at a young age can have a detrimental impact on kids’ social development.


There’s A Mental Health Reason To Avoid Added Sugar

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

That’s the premise of a recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that suggests sugary and starchy foods could contributing to depression. Previous long-term studies have shown that people who eat pastries, sugary drinks and other refined carbohydrates have a higher risk of depression, but didn’t determine what is it, exactly, about those foods that ties them to depression risk.


Snail and caterpillar

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

“We can learn a lot from a snail and a caterpillar. We might even make the world a cooler place while we’re at it.”

A wonderful little cartoon that illustrates the differences among creatures and how we need to recognize and respect them. (This goes for humans as well.)


When People Diss Their Owners Dogs Diss Right Back

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

“The dogs’ avoidance of someone who behaved negatively to the owner suggests that social eavesdropping may be shared with a nonprimate species,” Fujita said in the email. “It is because dogs are usually extremely attentive to what their owners are doing.”

The study is to be published in an upcoming issue of in the journal Animal Behaviour.

More on this fascinating study.

What Magicians Can Teach Us About The Art Of Manipulation

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Olson (a magician) explained that we often feel like we’re not being manipulated even when our choices are in fact being influenced by outside forces.

“The main conclusion that we can draw from this research… is that this feeling of a free choice might be more of a feeling that we have and not something that is directly related to the influences on the decision itself,” Olson said.

We’re likely to fall prey to such influences in many other real-world situations.

For example, you probably think you choose a dish at a restaurant based solely on your personal preference — but your decision may be also influenced by the menu’s layout. Research has shown that you’re most likely to choose either the first or the last item on the menu because those are the ones that immediately attract your attention, although you’ll likely justify the decision by claiming you picked the meal you were craving most.


In A Relationship With A Highly Sensitive Person? Here’s What You Need To Know

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Lindsay Holmes writes:

Let’s be honest: relationships are complex, no matter what kind of personality you have. And some truths are universal, like fighting is never fun. Romantic gestures are usually appreciated. Communication is definitely valued. Compromise isn’t always easy.

But a lot of these nuances are only heightened if you’re of a more sensitive nature. Below are nine things to keep in mind if you’re in a relationship with a highly sensitive person.


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.