Friday, October 19, 2007

Anti-Depression "Stone Age" Remedy

Well, there was a lot of controversy about how to treat depression in my post, "Live like a Caveman to Cure Depression?" Some of you thought the "Stone Age" cure was a bunch of junk science. However, here is one woman who thinks that the "caveman" approach might just work:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Podcast: Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award Winners

Glenn and I attended the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Conference in New York this month and were lucky enough to catch up with some of the winners for interviews. We talked with Amory B. Lovins, a visionary of radical energy efficiency who talked with us about what advice he would give the current crop of presidential candidates about energy efficiency. We also talked with Shawn Frayne, an inventor whose work has focused on water disinfection, "green" packaging, cleaner cooking fuels and wind energy. Frayne received a 2007 Breakthrough award for inventing the Windbelt, which takes advantage of aerostatic flutter to produce low-cost electricity.

Finally, we talked with Shawn Carlson, a physicist, science writer, educator and recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship for his innovative approaches to science education. He talks about why 40% of the PHDs in the sciences and engineering are now foreign born and how we can help our kids get excited about math and science in the schools. He is the founder of, a terrific website for kids who are interested in science. I like their motto: "Data over Dogma."

You can listen directly -- no downloading needed -- by going here and clicking on the gray Flash player. You can download the entire file and listen at your leisure by clicking right here, and you can get a lo-fi version suitable for dialup by going here and selecting lo-fi. Plus, you can always get a free subscription via iTunes -- and why wouldn't you, really?

Visit our show archives for past episodes and updates at Music is by Mobius Dick.

This podcast is brought to you by Volvo Automobiles. Buy a Volvo today and tell them it's all because of the Glenn and Helen Show!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Grand Rounds is up at NY Emergency Medicine.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Live Like a Caveman to Cure Depression?

Psychologist Stephen Ilardi was interviewed for an article on depression by the AARP magazine on his approach to treating depression:

So maybe we've been wrong about depression. Maybe it's not just some mental-chemical problem requiring a Prozac prescription or soulbaring confessions to a Dr. Melfi-type therapist. Maybe, says Stephen Ilardi, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at the University of Kansas, what's darkening our lives is the way we actually live our lives....

Since World War II, as the United States has modernized and grown more urban, depression rates have risen tenfold. Nearly a quarter of to day's adult population will have experienced the disorder by age 75. So Ilardi wants us to look back, way back, to our Paleolithic past To our cave-dwelling, hunter-gatherer ancestors, who were somehow protected against depression, most likely by their highly social, active, outdoorsy lives, Ilardi theorizes.

Well, I have to ask, could part of the reason cavemen had less depression be because they lived only 30 years or less? No midlife crisis because well, you probably didn't have a midlife, just a short one. Anyway, aside from that comment, go read the article and see what you think.

Update: Ace says these cavemen don't seem happy.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What to do with spare change

Do you have a bunch of change all over your house and car that you keep thinking you'll roll up and take to the bank, give to charity, or cash in at a grocery store coin machine? I did, so finally this morning I threw it all in a jar and took it over to my local Food City to toss in the Coinstar machine. Those machines take about 11 cents out of every dollar which is a bit steep but better than spending time rolling it up (unless you have an eager kid who likes to do it but the excitement wears thin in no time). Anyway, I was happy to see that I could choose the option of an eCertificate with free coin counting to, Starbucks, iTunes or Circuit City.

I chose an eCertificate to, came home and ordered a pair of earrings (I lost mine on my recent trip to NYC) with some of the money and it was so easy, even those who are computer illiterate could do it. I plugged in the redemption code where it asked for the gift certificate number and voila! my earrings were paid for and it was incredibly simple. So if you have spare change, this is a great way to clean up the mess in your house and also reward yourself with something fun or something you need. The machines also let you donate the money to charity if you are so inclined. And with Christmas shopping coming up around the corner, these eCertificates are a painless way (depending on how big a change jar you have) to pay for gifts and shop online all without the hassle of setting foot in a store.

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