Browsing All Posts published on »December, 2012«

Mourning Should Not Be “Medicalized”

December 31, 2012

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Back at the beginning of December, we looked at some of the upcoming changes to the DSM-5 and what impacts they could have on patients with certain diagnoses… and now, there may be an impact for those who do not have any diagnosis.  Not yet, anyway, but the American Psychiatric Association is working on that. […]

Cosmetic Surgery Happy Hour! (Really!)

December 28, 2012

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Here come the after-Christmas sales!  The flyers are stuffing our mailboxes, announcing great deals on bathroom remodeling, haircuts, pizzas and… Botox injections?  Why yes, the Radiance Medspa of Fairfax is offering Botox happy hours!  Happy hours, seriously?!  Yes. I knew that cosmetic surgery was booming in this country, but I just had no idea that […]

Russia Bans Adoptions by US Parents; Let’s Re-Look US Adoptions

December 27, 2012

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On 26 December, as expected, Russia’s Parliament voted in favor of banning all US adoptions of Russian children.  All the measure needs now is President Putin’s signature, and it will be law, going into force as early as 1 January. But this is typical Russian politics, and really has very little to do with Russian […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: The Child and the Robbers

December 26, 2012

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I have a story to tell, a tale that lies within me, waiting to come out… a seemingly improbable story that happened in my own family… a story that has marked me, marked my family.  Like it or not, TV and the media have made us voyeurs in the most horrific stories of break-ins, robberies […]

Merry Christmas to All

December 25, 2012

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Everyone – Many thanks to you for visiting my blog and reading and commenting on the content here, and special thanks to those who have made such fantastic contributions to the site – things I could never have written myself – Joan Larsen, Mike Firesmith, Luanne Keifer, Jeannot Kensinger, and Lauriate Roly.  May everyone enjoy […]

NORAD Tracking Santa Today!

December 24, 2012

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Happy Christmas Eve to all, and if you’re concerned about Santa’s schedule, NORAD can help you out! NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command), a joint US-Canadian organization, has a lot of experience in this activity:  they’ve been tracking Santa’s sleigh since 1955, when a typo in an ad for children to phone Santa directly […]

Christmas Eve 1944: Gent, Belgium

December 21, 2012

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By Jeannot Kensinger I am 12, Mother is 34. She is recovering from a major surgery and a husband who has left her for another woman just a few months ago. We are finally liberated; we in the north welcomed the allies in September.  In the Southern part, in the gorgeous mountains, hills and forest […]

End of the World? We Think Not! Happy New Oxlajuj Baktun

December 20, 2012

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Well, folks, tomorrow is it:  the end of the Mayan calendar Long Count, or the World Age:  13 Baktuns, or 1,872,000 days, or 5125 years.  The Oxlajuj Baktun. The Mayans were amazing astronomers and timekeepers, and created three complex, interlocking calendars to reflect the workings of the universe as they saw it from their observatories.  […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel Stories: Spending Christmas in Antarctica

December 19, 2012

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By Joan Larsen These are my happiest times, my dream of dreams – the greatest gift that I could be given.  The Antarctic summer days are warm and mostly sunny.  .  . and a Christmas spent here remains forever in the heart. The known world has vanished and floats somewhere beyond the horizon.  Icelets thicken […]

L’Arbre de Noel: The Bigger, the… Cheaper?

December 18, 2012

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By Lauriate Roly We didn’t always have much money but I know we always had a Christmas tree. The years when cash was scarce, my mother would wait until Christmas Eve to shop for one because at that late date, she could always create a bargain for one of the trees that were left rejected […]

Miley Cyrus Christmas Creampies Concert: Miley, Please… Stop

December 17, 2012

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Well, first off, Christmas should be about Christmas, and not about “creampies.”  But there is a bigger issue here for women and girls.  It’s past time that women stop selling themselves as animated sex toys, because so long as that’s the view of ourselves that we promote, we will never – never – be seen […]

Lila’s Movie Review: “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale”

December 14, 2012

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In the mood for some Christmas entertainment that isn’t all gooey-saccharine-sweet?  How about a Christmas horror movie? If you don’t mind subtitles and can take it as the silly comedy-horror show that it is, check out the Finnish movie, Rare Exports:  A Christmas Tale.  You don’t want this Santa coming down your chimney. There are […]

Crèche – Mom, From Central Casting

December 13, 2012

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By Lauriate Roly The school I went to had a boy’s side and a girl’s side, “and never the twain shall meet.”  It was strictly forbidden for either side to mix with the other. Even in the big schoolyard we shared together, there was a heavy painted line that neither gender child would even think […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel Stories: Touching Down on the World’s Shortest Landing Strip

December 12, 2012

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By Joan Larsen Saba.  Saba, the island that is the unspoiled queen of the Caribbean, is virtually unknown, and yet – once seen seems to hover in the mind forever after.  Getting there, however, seems to ward off all but the most adventurous.  Why? Well, its miniscule airstrip is reputedly one of the most dangerous […]

Mike Firesmith: Dogs Not Mine

December 11, 2012

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By Mike Firesmith Snowball was the first dog I remember who wasn’t my dog who was my dog. No, wait, before Snowball, there was Dan, the big burly bird dog who belonged to my next door neighbors. Dan died in our utility room one night and I found him there the next morning. This happened […]

The Story of Kensinger Studios’ “Father Christmas” Dolls

December 10, 2012

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By Jeannot Kensinger Eons ago, I was selling handmade Father Christmas figures in the style of the old German ones from the late 1800’s. The artist was Norma de Camp. She is still very busy and by now very well known. I loved them in my shop and sold them on consignment. Norma became more […]

Individuality vs. Illness: Are We “Diagnosing” Ourselves Into a Bland Monoculture?

December 7, 2012

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This week we looked at a few of the controversial changes coming up in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  I’d like to close out the week by asking the general question:  just what is a disorder?  On the great, multi-dimensional continuum of infinite human variation, just where does […]

It Can Seem Funny… But It Isn’t

December 6, 2012

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By Lauriate Roly Only in recent years have I learned about the term Tourette’s Syndrome. From early childhood until she reached adulthood, my dear sister would make funny faces, scrunch up her nose and move her lips in convulsive looking gyrations that sometimes made others, especially her schoolmates, think she was making faces at them. […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: Finding Hope – A School That is Doing Everything Right

December 5, 2012

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By Joan Larsen Deep in the mountains of western Montana lies an old-time small town.  Its grade school – kindergarten to 4th – is attractive inside and out and teeming with 500 little children  – 50% so poverty-stricken that they qualify for free meals – which should tell you something right away.   Hidden at the […]

Asperger’s Lumped In With Autism Diagnoses: What Will It Mean for Resources?

December 4, 2012

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In a controversial move, the American Psychiatric Association board of trustees voted to eliminate Asperger’s Syndrome as a separate diagnosis, essentially rolling it up along with several other disorders under “Autism Spectrum Disorder.”  The change will go into effect when the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is issued […]

So Are Tantrums a Disorder Now?

December 3, 2012

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The Associated Press reports that the board of trustees for the American Psychiatric Association has just concluded a meeting in Washington DC, where it voted on revisions to its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.   This week, we’ll look at several of the changes coming up in the fifth edition. Up for today:  the […]