Hoffman Why?

Photo derived from original by Murray Close: Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) © 2014 – Lionsgate.

Recently Jennifer Heart posted a comment on my Google+ post, Hoffman Heightens Hanks, linking to an old blog post where I expressed my appreciation for the work of the great actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died at 46 on February 2, 2014.  I had also written another post elsewhere, now revised and updated here as my reply to Ms. Heart.


Philip Seymour Hoffman’s creativity was magical, his death horrible.  Both were solely, distinctively his own, and both delivered with stunning effect.

When Pete Seeger died a week earlier at 94 on January 27, 2014, I felt deep gratitude for what he gave us. When Philip Seymour Hoffman, who masterfully fused his inflammatory soul with that of every character he played, died Sunday, February 2, at 46, I felt deep pain.

As he sailed away at the end of a great journey, to Seeger I waved g’bye. As he blew overboard to drown, for Hoffman I wanted to know why. It’s a futile question, so I just cried. This is a loss I feel too much, the world probably not enough.  But I am as grateful for Hoffman as for Seeger. Continue reading “Hoffman Why?”

Major Step Forward in the Flint Water Crisis / My NRDC Membership

As a member of the Natural Resources Defense Council (nrdc.org), I am happy to share this kind of news about one of their projects: Flint Michigan’s poisonous water.  My simple way to summarize NRDC’s role in environmental protection is to say they are a not-for-profit law firm whose client is the planet.  They are also a scientific research institution, and much more.  I recommend joining, supporting and following them.  NRDC membership is one way I “resist.”

Here’s what they say about themselves, and why I ask you to listen:

Continue reading “Major Step Forward in the Flint Water Crisis / My NRDC Membership”

Fishy Fish Oil Health Claims?

Over-the-counter fish oil nutritional supplement may be useless or even bad for you, says PBS Frontline report. See the PBS video clip and read authoritative sources on the topic.

I’ve been taking fish oil nutritional supplements for several years because I don’t eat much food containing omega 3 fatty acids, which are “important for a number of bodily functions, including muscle activity, blood clotting, digestion, fertility, and cell division and growth” and other things (National Institutes of Health article Omega-3 Supplements: In Depth).  When I tell doctors I take it, they nod in approval, sometimes saying things like, “Fish oil is good.”

It is a very popular supplement. The same NIH article says:

According to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, which included a comprehensive survey on the use of complementary health approaches in the United States, fish oil supplements are the nonvitamin/nonmineral natural product most commonly taken by both adults and children. The survey findings indicated that about 7.8 percent of adults (18.8 million) and 1.1 percent of children age 4 to 17 (664,000) had taken a fish oil supplement in the previous 30 days.

Apparently there can be a big difference between over-the-counter (OTC) fish oil supplements and the grade approved by the FDA for medical prescriptions.

Here’s a video clip of a PBS Frontline report on efficacy and possible harm of over-the-counter fish oil supplements.

I should just eat a can of sardines and a can of tuna every week.

Find out why …


Continue reading “Fishy Fish Oil Health Claims?”


For your health: Funny videos of quadruplet babies and babies with dogs laughing.

Be realistic: Laugh, Adore, Unleash.


Be well.

For S.B., struggling artist.

Engage Your Natural Meditative Function

In his book, A Course in Meditation, expert meditation teacher Theodore K. Phelps defines meditative function as:

A suite of natural processes of the human mind and body, distinct from those of waking and sleeping, that arise naturally during periods of intentional non-striving, generally while sitting in non-striving forms of meditation.  – A Course in Meditation, p. 188 (read 1st 34 pages online – PDF)

He adds:

The meditative function is physiologically and psychologically real.  It isn’t a philosophy or aspiration.  It is solid enough to be measured in physiology labs.  – p. 188

It has been measured and analyzed in many ways by many scientists, dating back to Dr. Herbert Benson’s 1970’s pioneering study of the relaxation response (Benson-Henry Institute definition).  Instead of relaxation response, Phelps uses the term meditative function because he sees “the need for a name that reflects more accurately all that goes on during meditation.”

Continue reading “Engage Your Natural Meditative Function”