Thursday, November 15, 2007

East Tennessee Women Bloggers

The WBIR Style show here in Knoxville did a story on East Tennessee women bloggers featuring myself, Cathy at Domestic Psychology and Katie Allison Granju, author of Attachment Parenting. The show is supposed to be about moms who stay home and connect on the internet. Yep, that's yours truly, a sweet mom who just blogs her heart out to connect with others. You can view the video here--just click on the icon on your right.


Dreaming as Emergency Training

I was leafing through Psychology Today recently and came across an interesting article on dreaming entitled, Dreams: Night School (you have to subscribe to get the whole article). The article takes a look at why we dream according to one Finnish researcher, Antti Revonsuo:

A dream researcher at the University of Turku, in Finland, Revonsuo believes that dreams are a sort of nighttime theater in which our brains screen realistic scenarios. This virtual reality simulates emergency situations and provides an arena for safe training. As Revonsuo puts it, "the primary function of negative dreams is rehearsal for similar real events, so that threat recognition and avoidance happens faster and more automatically in comparable real situations."

Faced with actual life-or death-situations--traffic accidents, terrorist attacks, street assaults--some people report entering a mode of calm, rapid response, reacting automatically, almost without thinking. Afterward they often say the episode felt unreal, as if it were all a dream. Threat simulation, Revonsuo believes, is why.

Revonsuo began studying dreams and had his students keep logs. He found that dreams were filled with "dangerous events, negative emotions, monsters, chases, escapes, fights and near-death experiences. These weren't the misfirings of diseased brains. Threat dreams were the norm, accounting for a staggering two thirds of all dreams."

So, next time you have nightmares and wonder what the heck is wrong with you, just remember, it may be nothing more than a rehearsal for dealing with real life danger and your mind's way of learning to more quickly and efficiently respond to that danger.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

John Hawkins at Right Wing News has an interview up with Kathleen Willey, the author of Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton. I have the book here in the house and have yet to read it--but I look forward to doing so and seeing what she has to say.


Checkbook Daddyhood

Should involuntary fathers have to foot the bill? Advice Goddess Amy Alkon says no:

Men who make it clear they don’t want kids shouldn’t be forced to pay child support, writes Amy Alkon, who has no patience for unscrupulous women luring unwitting partners into checkbook daddyhood.

Read the whole thing here.

Update: You can see more about this debate on men's reproductive rights at an old post of mine on the same topic here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Grand Rounds is up at Doctor Anonymous's blog.

Update: And of course, check out the Homeschooling Carnival at Nerd Family Blog.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Airlines and Obesity: An Expensive Proposition or Just Plain Discrimination?

Kim du Toit thinks it's unfair to pick on fat people on airlines. So do I. I recently flew and sat next to a man who was overweight. We had no problems, he was pleasant, talkative and friendly. He took up only one seat. Why should he pay more than me?


Ask Dr. Helen: Kissing Cousins and More

My latest PJM column is up:

Is marrying your cousin acceptable behavior - and is it a health risk for your future children? Dr. Helen Smith answers the question, and offers advice to a young woman with a boyfriend who seems a little too eager to commit.

You can read the column here.