Are You Being ZAPPED?

Zapped book

How many electronic innovations have you dialed, watched, surfed, charged, listed to, booted up, commuted on, cooked with, and plugged in today? Consider your typical day: if you’re like most people, it probably starts in front of your coffee maker and toaster, ends as you set the alarm on your cell phone, and involves no end of computers and gadgets, televisions and microwaves in between. We’re being zapped: today 84 percent of Americans own a cell phone, 89 million of us watch TV beamed in by satellite, and we can’t sip a cup of coffee at our local café without being exposed to Wi-Fi. The very electronic innovations that have changed our lives are also exposing us, in ways big and small, to an unprecedented number of electromagnetic fields. Invisible pollution surrounds us twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, interrupting our bodies’ natural flow of energy. And for some, that pollution has reached the point of toxicity, causing fatigue, irritability, weakness, and even illness. But we don’t have to simply surrender. Ann Louise Gittleman brings forth the latest research into electromagnetic fields to create this groundbreaking guide for every citizen of the wireless age. With the proactive, levelheaded approach that has made her one of our most respected health experts, she not only clarifies the risks but also offers specific, step-by-step information for how anyone can minimize them. From where you place your sofa to when you use your cell phone to what you eat for dinner, Zapped is packed with strategies for avoiding and mitigating the damaging effects of electropollution. As she examines modern life room by room, device by device, Gittleman reveals a master plan for detoxifying your surroundings and protecting yourself and your family. We don’t need to abandon our homes—or even give up our PDAs—to be healthier and happier. Based on the latest scientific data, case studies, and Gittleman’s years of clinical practice, Zapped is an empowering guide to living safely with the gadgets we can’t live without.

Bob BermanYour electronic devices swarm with it; the sun bathes you in it. It’s zooming at you from cell towers, microwave ovens, CT scans, mammogram machines, nuclear power plants, deep space, even the walls of your basement. You cannot see, hear, smell or feel it, but there is never a single second when it is not flying through your body. Too much of it will kill you, but without it you wouldn’t live a year. From beloved popular science writer Bob Berman, his ZAPPED tells the story of all the light we cannot see, tracing infrared, microwaves, ultraviolet, X-rays, gamma rays, radio waves and other forms of radiation from their historic, world-altering discoveries in the 19th century to their central role in our modern way of life, setting the record straight on health costs (and benefits) and exploring the consequences of our newest technologies. Lively, informative, and packed with fun facts and “eureka moments,” ZAPPED will delight anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of our world.

solar eclipse


Light Roast or Dark?

coffee news

In the movie JAVA HEAT there is blatant product placement for Coke. In the scene shown, an innocent man is being interviewed in Java (the island), and he lifts his Coke three times to sip. All that’s missing is an “Ahhhhh…” By contrast, coffee is much better for you, health wise. So says Dr Bob Arnot in the new audiobook (which he narrates) THE COFFEE LOVERS DIET. He is a former medical correspondent for NBC, and got interested in researching coffee after getting up early every day to appear on camera with the benefit of the second most consumed beverage (after water.) Some surprises: Storing in fridge not recommended; light roast healthier than dark; high altitude equatorial better tasting and health (Kenya/Colombia/Ethiopia. Light roast also great for losing weight.) The coffee diet book includes recipes for paring with food. Other findings: Fine coffee is like fine wine. The region and production methods vary, and affect taste and quality. The roasting affects micronutrient levels. Good light roast beans ground just prior to drinking are ten times as healthy than buying dark roast pre ground…so long as the donuts are avoided. The science of coffee is a big part of the book, including studies his team conducted. BTW, baristas were once asked which coffee tastes best among pre ground in grocery stores, and answered Newman’s Own medium roast. Paul Newman product profits go to charity, too. A win/win. Books and coffee? Match made in heaven.


Emoji Movie

Tinker Dabble Doodle TRY

Tinker Dabble Doodle Try

Tinker Dabble Doodle Try is about unfocusing your mind to achieve goals, certainly a contrarian approach. Culture tells us to be razor focused, Linked In, and concentrated on our busy schedules. But the mind is not a muscle, and doesn’t need endless reps at the gym. It needs down time, day dreaming, and awareness of our inner world in order to avoid the traps of obsession, burnout, and anxious tension that lead to depression and lost attention span. The author cites Jeff Bazos of Amazon as someone who uses seemingly contradictory methods to find solutions. He is, quote, “Both demanding and playful, both rigorous and relaxed, both focused and open at the same time.” Mark Cuban is the same way. One’s drive to succeed should not be blind or cruel, the author says. To be more productive, you need to pay more attention to things outside the box of your To-Do list. You must be willing to change, and to realize that cognitive dissonance is a tyrant that reinforces what we did in the past (or purchased in the past) by making us believe it is best (when it is not.) The ideal is to learn from mistakes: others and your own. The truth can only set you free to grow. Dr. Srini Pillay (who narrates the book on audio) is a Harvard trained psychiatrist and brain imaging researcher. Recommended for anyone stuck in a rut, and seeking a more profound purpose and joy in life by employing imagination. 

tech news


Acting & Listening Advice from Alan Alda

Alan Alda bookMost communication is nonverbal. We want to look at the faces of those testifying in Congress and detect lies or deceit. They try to keep their faces blank in order not to telegraph this, but subtle clues or reactions are there in their voices and tone, too. Their pauses, gestures. Alan Alda talks about how the face is judged, not for just beauty or ugliness, but for believability. Why paying attention to people’s reactions or expressions when they talk is most important in understanding WHAT THEY MEAN. Mostly we misunderstand what people say or mean, but by truly listening and observing we have a better chance of connecting (and resolving conflicts too.) Instead of waiting for people to stop speaking so we can make another point, Alda’s point is to LISTEN with all our senses with the objective to UNDERSTAND. Not to “win” an argument by demeaning or defeating anyone (or everyone) seen as an opponent. Great new audiobook upcoming June 6. Order at Tower Review. As James Garner once put it: “I don’t act. I react. Give me a reactor over an actor any time. It puts you there in the moment, and you’re less likely to flub the way you read your lines, too.” Alda was in the movies Bridge of Spies, The Aviator, Everyone Says I Love You, Manhattan Murder Mystery, and Crimes & Misdemeanors. On TV’s MASH, and Scientific American Frontiers. He has won 7 Emmys, and is a big fan of science. “At first I think they just wanted a famous face do the introduction, and then narrate off camera, but I wanted to be there and interview the scientists.” He’s read Scientific American magazine since a kid.

Ariana Grande

The Future of Happiness


What kind of future does happiness have in an anti-science culture? 

In The Future of Happiness, author Amy Blankson, cofounder of the global positive psychology consulting firm GoodThink, unveils five strategies that successful individuals can use to not just survive but to actually thrive in the Digital Age:

  • Stay grounded to focus and channel your energy with intention
  • Know thyself through app-driven data to strive toward your potential
  • Train your brain to develop and sustain an optimistic mindset
  • Create a habitat for happiness to maximize the spaces and places in which you live, work, and learn
  • Be a conscious innovator to actively shape your future beyond social media obsession and distraction

By rethinking when, where, why and how you use technology, you will not only able to influence your own well-being, but also help shape the future of your community. Discover how futuristic technologies can transform the idea of “I’ll be happy when …” to your way of being now.

Speaking of a habitat for happiness, what constitutes a sense of place, and how is that sense forged in homes and neighborhoods and cities in order to meld function with style and beauty? What is beauty, anyway? In THE ARCHITECTURE OF HAPPINESS author Alain de Botton delves into the philosophy and psychology of art and architecture, describing how art affects our emotions and leads us to a higher understanding of ourselves and our desire for the pursuit of ideals. More a collection of essays than a textbook, it provokes reflection on where we have come from, and where we may be going. Narrated by Simon Vance, the audiobook shows that all the arts are mysterious and cannot be defined or owned, and so are more like pointers toward a higher goodness represented by perfection and ultimate truth. Yet art is only real when felt by and within the heart. An interesting and literate philosophical journey. Brad Pitt has long been a fan of architecture. Outside of making movies, it is his passion.



The Hits Keep Coming!

Hit MakersBut why? In the new book HIT MAKERS by Derek Thompson “hits” in music, movies, and books depend on Chaos theory: a “Happy Days” alignment of people, culture, ideas, and timing. Since we have moved to a Twitter society of many choices and low attention span, people tend to gravitate to fewer things by following what is most popular (instead of what is best.) This creates an environment of many failures and fewer successes, with a “microscopic few” reaping most of the benefits. Essentially, we are bewildered by choice, and look to social media to direct us…while social media platforms spy on us and direct our attention to those things which generate the most profit. (Junk food, prescription drugs, blockbuster cartoon movies, bestsellers.) An interesting psychology book with the subtitle, “The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction.” On audio, it is read by the author, who is an editor at The Atlantic and chosen by Forbes as a “30 Under 30.” Young, and bright. If you would like to read a portion of this or another book shown in the videos below, see the About for details.  

fame island

Is BioTech the Future?

Biopunk book“Yes,” says Bill Gates, regarding this controversial issue. And in the new book BIOPUNK a summary of what’s happening in the field of science, genetics, and engineering offers up a peek at that future. There are surprises, as hackers and tinkerers tweak what is known to discover what is possible. That is also how science works, from Cambridge to the University of Arizona. Scientists have always been tinkerers, as shown in “The Beginning of Infinity” by David Deutsch. The search for better explanations is a rocky path, but the method is to avoid past mistakes while making new ones. Without curiosity and risk there is no progress. In Biopunk, author Marcus Wohlsen chronicles a growing community of DIY scientists working outside the walls of corporations and universities who are committed to democratizing DNA the way the Internet did information. The “biohacking” movement, now in its early, heady days, aims to unleash an outbreak of genetically modified innovation by making the tools and techniques of biotechnology accessible to everyone. Borrowing their idealism from the worlds of open-source software, artisanal food, Internet startups, and the Peace Corps, biopunks are devoted advocates for open-sourcing the basic code of life. They believe in the power of individuals with access to DNA to solve the world’s biggest problems. This goes “against the grain” of fears inherent in a revolt to GMOs. It is interesting to note that the history of technology is such that if anything is possible it will be used. Now, despite fears of nuclear power, new and advanced nuclear power plants are in the works that do not work on the water cooled model. (This is necessary, as populations increase—with increased demand for power—due to the climate effects of coal powered plants.) So too, GMOs are needed to supply disease resistant crops to prevent starvation in the third world. This, despite whatever one feels about the greed of Monsanto and other giant corporations. And then there is artificial intelligence. Will the singularity of quantum computing result in creating a master race of robots that out-think us and may possibly destroy us? That is what Hollywood has hyped. The truth, as with alternative scifi thrillers like 2001 and Arrival, may be quite different. Higher intelligences (whether robotic or alien) will certainly have different views of both us and everything else. Our ego is derived from self illusion and experience. Without such egos or experience, it cannot be otherwise. So no one really knows. Yet. Thoughts? 

Twin Peaks