Monday, March 26, 2012

The Brain on Love

Diane Ackerman discussed the mind/body connection, again, in her New York Time Opinionator piece about interpersonal neurobiology.  Studies show what we've always known and felt -- that love heals and comforts -- for real.  Just as the pain of heartbreak is experienced as real pain in the body, the joy and peace of love is experienced there, too.  So, whether you're having a hard day or a sleepless night, get close to your loved ones.  Hear their voices, see their faces, feel their skin.  Your own brain will light up with pleasure as you feel the love.
Read all the details here:  Your Brain on Love

Monday, March 19, 2012

Your brain on fiction . . .

You've always known it was true -- reading fiction is more than just an experience with words. It's an experience. And now, research proves that reading about sensory experiences and relationships makes the brain react as if experiencing those sensations and encounters. Fiction, apparently because of the rich use of imagery, is especially prone to producing altered brain activity -- much like a computer simulation. Not only does the brain respond to image-laden words, but it also responds to words about motion and emotion. In fact, according to a recent study, avid readers of fiction are found to better understand other people's behavior -- you're not just reading a story, you're becoming more socially astute. So, the next time you think reading a novel is just a waste of time or a mindless extravagance, think again. You're learning and growing and experiencing through the art of the written word.

To learn more about this study, check out this recent New York Times article:  Your Brain on Fiction

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays

Today, at least where I am, it is indeed a rainy day and a Monday.  And even though I find such conditions perfect for work, I can't help but think of the classic song by The Carpenters -- the duo of siblings Karen and Richard.

Sadly, Karen died young -- just 32 -- of anorexia.  Her lovely voice, though, lives on through the wonders of YouTube.  So, sit back and enjoy her warm words . . . even if it isn't raining where you are.

Click here for music video:  Rainy Days and Mondays

Here are the lyrics: 

Rainy Days And Mondays – The Carpenters 
Talkin' to myself and feelin' old
Sometimes I'd like to quit
Nothing ever seems to fit
Hangin' around
Nothing to do but frown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.
What I've got they used to call the blues
Nothin' is really wrong
Feelin' like I don't belong
Walkin' around
Some kind of lonely clown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.
Funny but it seems I always wind up here
with you
Nice to know somebody loves me
Funny but it seems that it's the only thing to do
Run and find the one who loves me.
What I feel has come and gone before
No need to talk it out
We know what it's all about
Hangin' around
Nothing to do but frown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.
( 1970, 1971 )

Monday, March 5, 2012

VIDA -- Check it out!

VIDA – Women in the Literary Arts – is at it again.  They’ve counted and calculated and found that, yes, again, women are vastly underrepresented in publication and review in the world of literary arts.  See the pretty pie charts.  Read the gripping conclusions.  Things this year are, well, about the same as they were last year.  Despite the fact that women make up 51% of the country’s population (and more women than men attend and graduate from graduate-level creative writing programs), women’s works account for only 25-33% of published literary works.  Why is that?  Do women write fewer stories and poems?  Are women just worse at writing than men?  Do women not submit their work for publication? No, no, and no, of course.  Read more on VIDA’s website by clicking here:  VIDA

What do you think about this phenomenon?  Is there any way to change things?