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The Customer Is Always Wrong

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Back in 1986, a friend took me to a restaurant on Bedford Street in New York City’s Greenwich Village. That first meal at Shopsin’s converted me.

Back then I lived three blocks away so I often went daily. It was either breakfast (hashed browns with veggies and       poached eggs.) Or lunch (creamed tuna on toast.) Or dinner ((fried spaghetti—a crispy crossover between pizza and     hash brown pancakes). The encyclopedic menu listed hundreds of down-home favorites from every corner of the   globe, more variety than in any other restaurant.

On each visit, I read and deliberated over every single menu item, despite my preference for a handful of dishes that I    usually wound up ordering. Both the menu and the dishes, quirky, flavorful, and unabashed,  were concoctions of an   zealous cook in an old world kitchen.

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What Statins and Transfats Tell Us About Scientific Controversies

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

It’s the role of science to provide the criteria for determining how our society regulates, monitors, and controls both health-promoting substances and contributors to health harm. Each such decision can have far-reaching consequences — and long-term costs. And that’s why when controversies erupt, all debate participants lay claim to the scientific truth. Read More→

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Statins: When Does Economics Intrude on Health Advice?

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

With statin medications, used to prevent heart attacks, among the most widely prescribed drugs in the U.S., most people make certain assumptions:

There is solid science for their use.
There is no doubt that their targeted mechanism of action prevents a heart attack.
No less costly approaches exist.

None of these is entirely true. Read More→

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Why Safe Regulation of Fracking is a Fiction

Monday, February 18th, 2013

A New York State commissioned Health Review is central to the debate over whether fracking can be done safely in New York. The long awaited release of the Review findings, commissioned in September by the state Department of Health (DOH) at Governor Andrew Cuomo’s behest, will inform the Governor’s impending decision about whether or not to go forward with proposed fracking guidelines, the prelude to permits to frack New York State.

Listen to Fracking: NY Reprieve for Health with Larysa Dyrszka MD and Roger Downs of the Sierra Club on Connect the Dots on the Progressive Radio Network.

The the perennial promises of safer regulations fail to account for fracking as the next in an ever-growing and ever more toxic series of health-damaging industrial outputs that people inhale, eat, or absorb into their skin, guts, and brains. When industry has blocked the EPA from studying or regulating 70,000 chemicals, (from BPA and flame retardants to potent neurotoxins), since 1975, why would regulating fracking be possible? Read More→

What Time is It? Time to Know Better

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

What time is it? Where are we? And how do we face up to the demands of this time? Here’s a quote to contemplate

“A civilization the proves incapable of solving the problems it creates is a decadent civilization.
“A civilization that chooses to close its eyes to its most crucial problems is a stricken civilization.

“A civilization that uses its principles for trickery and deceit is a dying civilization.”
– Aimè Cèsaire, 1955,

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Don’t Frack With Mark Ruffalo, Josh Fox (or the Delaware)

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Josh Fox and Mark Ruffalo have a message– the people don’t want fracking. According to a recent Forbes magazine article, Aubrey McClendon, the CEO of Chesapeake Gas, and the chief proponent for fracking, consumes $20,000 bottles of wine. Like many CEO’s, he travels by corporate jet. Yet in an employee memo, McClendon felt himself bested by the citizens calling for water and health protection. He warned his employees that “Our opponents are extremely well-funded.”

But on Monday when hundreds of people from all parts of the Mid-Atlantic region converged on Trenton, N.J. for a rally to protect the Delaware River from fracking, McClendon’s “well-funded” opponents traveled by bus, carrying their signs and their bag lunches with them. And yet in a time of economic crisis, this dedicated citizenry is making itself heard over the better funded corporate P.R. and advertising campaigns.

With a surprise setback to fracking occurring late last week, the rally on the steps of the War Memorial, and the walk to the State legislature was one part cautious victory celebration, one part rededication rally. Read More→

Will the military become the newest home to integrative medicine? Some people think this unlikely match is a winning strategy. Right now, veterans and their families are bearing the burden of the health impacts of a decade of war,” Lt Col. Windy Hendrick, Air Force fighter pilot told the group gathered for the day-long seminar on Integrative Medicine in Action hosted by the Bravewell Collaborative. Working with the Wing Fitness program for the Arizona National Guard, Hendrick, a certified health coach, exemplifies the new face of integrative medicine in military settings. She blends physical fitness, mindfulness and coaching to support veterans addressing an array of health challenges. Read More→

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Hurricanes, Floods, and Climate Change: How Can Farms Survive?

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Even without grokking the science of climate change, it’s obvious that novel weather events have increased around the country and the world. Thanks to Hurricanes Irene and Lee, at summer’s end, torrential rains swept the Northeast region, flooding the areas where New York’s food comes from. In these upstate regions in Ulster, Sullivan, and Delaware counties, there’s a new breed of organic and sustainable farming. But will those farmers, their farms, and their food survive changing weather patterns to continue to grow and supply the foods health and environmentally conscious people prefer to eat? Read More→

Connect the Dots: Act Now to Extend NY Fracking Ban

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

My guest on today’s live radio show is Briget Shields from the frontlines in Pennsylvania where fracking is occurring now and changing people’s lives. Pay attention New Yorkers and take action by Monday. Unless the NY State Senate votes by Monday (and they’ve been stalling), the ban that effects our water ends in July. The Sierra Club is calling on New Yorkers to contact their State Senators. Although the State Assembly has voted to extend the fracking ban when it is set to elapse in July, that vote must be ratified by the Senate and they are stalling. Please take action immediately because they close for the summer on Monday. For PA residents, you can be active via

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Connect the Dots: Lynne McTaggart and the Bond

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

On the day of the rapture that never happened, I interviewed Lynne McTaggart on my radio show, “Connect the Dots.” The author of the new book, “The Bond: Connecting Through the Space Between Us” (Free Press, 2011 ). McTaggart told me that she wrote “The Bond” because “We’re in crisis and we all know it. We’ve been watching this series of disasters, ecological, economic, terrorist — and while it may or may not be the end of the world, it’s the end of the world as we know it. We’re at the end of a certain mindset that has caused these compounding crises. Understanding and changing that mindset is the path to a viable future.” Read More→