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Newsletter Vol. # 11 That's how I see it!

 Hello and welcome to Vol. # 11

What you'll find in this weeks newsletter: the importance of kids having the freedom to roam their community and How times have changed; the effect of daylight on moods-SAD; perhaps neither plastic or paper bags are best for the environment; watch out for those robots that react to lies; why therapists avoid research; and Reader Response from Ken and Ray.

Just a reminder, that it is ok to share the newsletter with others on your mailing list. As well, please send in your reviews on what you're doing and seeing in your lives (theatre, concerts, movies, fun places to visit in MB)

How times have changed!

I do remember leaving home at 7 AM on Saturday morning, going to the rink or exploring the prairie forest behind the house and maybe making it home for lunch. If mom had given me money for a hot dog, I probably wouldn't show up until supper. That kind of carefree freedom to explore our community is no longer afforded to our youth. The newspapers and television are full of stories about children being kidnapped and abused. The listings of the pedophiles that have recently been released into our community are printed in our daily newspapers. So we lock up our children! Our children grow up fearful because we the parents are fearful. We arrange play dates and end up controlling our children's playtime.

       A British study indicates what we may think we are protecting our children the threat of pedophiles, you're almost certainly harming their mental   health and future ability to cope with unforeseen circumstances. The Report: Natural Thinking: Investigating The Links Between The Natural Environment, Biodiversity And Mental Health, by Dr. William Bird, indicates the less children are allowed to explore their natural world, the higher their stress levels, the more frequent the incidence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and the higher likelihood of rage, impulsiveness and even criminality.

      With a diverse of solutions for major problems such as obesity, inactivity, stress and antisocial behaviour, which governments are struggling to solve, the value of the natural environment needs to be understood quantified and then acted upon, Bird writes in his report.

      As well, studies show, if patients have a view of a garden rather than, say, a brick wall, they require fewer painkillers and less time in hospital.

We know our kids are being denied something incredibly valuable that we experienced in our childhood. But do we take that one in a million chance that it will be our child that is targeted by a pedophile? No, a great many parents are not and even though their children are safe, they are still missing out on one of life's greatest pleasures. That is to see and interact with their community without being controlled.

That's how I see it!

Woody Allen

Woody Allen wrote it best in his 1975 flick, "Love And Death":

To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness.

Far too heavy for me!

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Light

It is a fact that daylight has a profound effect on human mood and behaviour. Intensive light therapy is now being used in a growing number of clinics to fight off the depression that comes with dark winter days. It seems that the average person only gets 60 to 90 minutes a day of natural light. Artificial lights just don't cut it because they lack the full spectrum (violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red) of the colours of the rainbow.

Researchers believe that the moon-lifting effects of phototherapy seem to be traceable to light taken in through the eyes/retina and not through the skin. People who are victims of SAD often feel fine in the spring and summer, but when the days grow shorter, they become irritable, depressed, and antisocial. They eat and sleep more than usual. This is more than just a mild funk; it is a serious clinical depression. Many experience dramatic improvement when treated with daily doses of high-intensity artificial light mimics natural light.

Artificial light can be very helpful but nothing beats the natural outdoors and sunlight, so it might not be a bad idea to start each day, outdoors, with a walk.

Yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have-so spend it wisely.
                                                                                           Kay Lyons              

"The meaning of our existence is not invented by ourselves, but rather detected.

What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment.
                                                                                                      Viktor Frankl

Paper, Plastic, or Something Better?

The next time the clerk at your favourite grocery store asks whether you prefer "paper or plastic" for your purchases, consider giving the truly eco-friendly response and saying, "neither."

Plastic bags end up as litter that fouls the landscape, and kill thousands of marine mammals every year that mistake the floating bags for food. Plastic bags that get buried in landfills may take up to 1,000 years to break down, and in the process they separate into smaller and smaller toxic particles that contaminate soil and water. Furthermore, the production of plastic bags consume millions of gallons of oil that could be used for fuel and heating.
Paper bags, which many people consider a better alternative to plastic bags, carry their own set of environmental problems. For example, according to the American Forest and Paper Association, in 1999 the U.S. alone used 10 billion paper grocery bags, which consumed 14 million trees.
But if you decline both paper and plastic bags, then how do you get your groceries home? The answer, according to many environmentalists, is high-quality reusable shopping bags made of materials that don't harm the environment during production and don't need to be discarded after each use. You can find a good selection of high-quality reusable bags online at In addition, many organic grocery stores and consumer co-operatives carry reusable Shopping bags.

Experts estimate that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed and discarded annually worldwide- more than a million per minute. Here are a few facts about plastic bags to help demonstrate the value of reusable bags-to consumers and the environment:

     -Plastic bags aren't biodegradable. They actually go through a process called photo-degradation-breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic particles that contaminating both soil and water, 'and end up entering the food chain when animals accidentally ingest them.

     -According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States every year. Of those, approximately 100 billion are plastic shopping bags, which cost retailers about $4 billion annually.

     -According to various estimates, Taiwan consumes 20 billion plastic bags annually (900 per person), and Japan consumes 300 billion bags each year (300 per person), and Australia consumes 6.9 billion plastic bags annually (326 per person).

     -Hundreds of thousands of whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other marine mammals die every year after eating discarded plastic bags they mistake for food.

     -Discarded plastic bags have become so common in Africa they have spawned a cottage industry. People there collect the bags and use them to weave hats, bags and other goods. According to the BBC, one such group routinely collects 30,000 bags every month.

     -Plastic bags as litter have even become commonplace in Antarctica and other remote areas. According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone from being rare in the late 1980s and early 1990s to being almost everywhere in Antarctica.

Some governments have recognized the severity of the problem and are taking action to help combat it. In 2001, for example, Ireland was using 1.2 billion plastic bags annually, about 316 per person. In 2002, the Irish government imposed a plastic bag consumption tax (called a Plas Tax), which has reduced consumption by 90 percent. The tax of $.15 per bag is paid by consumers when they check out at the store. Besides cutting back on litter, Ireland's tax has saved approximately 18 million litres of oil. Several other governments around the world are now considering a similar tax on plastic bags.
More recently, Japan passed a law that empowers the government to issue warnings to merchants that overuse plastic bags and don't do enough to "reduce, reuse or recycle." In Japanese culture, it is common for stores to wrap each item in its own bag, which the Japanese consider a matter of both good hygiene and respect or politeness.
Meanwhile, some eco-friendly companies-such as Toronto's Mountain Equipment Co-op-are voluntarily exploring ethical alternatives to plastic bags, turning to biodegradable bags made from corn. The corn-based bags cost several times more than plastic bags, but are produced using much less energy and will break down in landfills or composters in four to 12 weeks.

A father buys a lie detector robot that slaps people when they lie. He decides to test it out at dinner one night.

The father asks his son what he did that afternoon. The son says, "I did some schoolwork." The robot slaps the son.

The son says, "Ok, Ok. I was at a friend's house watching movies." Dad asks, "What movie did you watch?" Son says, "Toy Story." The robot slaps the son.

Son says, "Ok, Ok, we were watching porn." Dad says, "What? At your age I didn't even know what porn was." The robot slaps the father.

Mom laughs and says, "Well, he certainly is your son." The robot slaps the mother.

Robot for sale.


In general, therapists believe that research presents a dimmer view of therapy's effectiveness then it actually does, which may explain why many therapists avoid exploring it.

A study by Charles Boisvert and David Faust with 182 therapists yielded the following outcomes:
     -therapy is helpful to the majority of clients;
     -most clients achieve some change relatively quickly;
     -placebo and waitlist control groups don't exhibit as good outcomes as groups that receive therapy;
     -in general, most therapists achieved similar outcomes;
     -the longer the therapy the greater the change;
     -the client's social support systems are a strong predictor of their ability to benefit from therapy;

The authors of the study believed that therapists tend primarily to seek out and remember research that supports what they already do. In general, they're largely uninterested in research results because they may be discordant with their clinical experience or personal beliefs and they think that most research doesn't really reflect their practice.
             (Please don't confuse me with any new facts)

Reader Response

In response to the article on Forgiveness, Ken's response, ...a relationship with somebody that you have not forgiven for something in the past - is essentially impossible.

Ray's response to Forgiveness, I carry all those times I was hurt with comments and deeds and I feel like no forgiveness should be given.   Religion is not a factor in my decision to go the route that I do.  Religion has shown me to be the best that I can be while interacting with my friends and enemies. My friends hurt me the most when they cross a line and not realize they have been hurtful, and so no apology is given and there is no forgiveness. It can fester for years. The closer one is to the person, the harder to forget and the deeper the hurt. I try to respect others as I was taught but being human I stumbled and just hope I'm Forgiven. Now it is for me to practice what I preach.   

The weather has been accommodating, three golf games this week. The grandkids are growing like weeds, Rainbow stage has a fantastic playbill this summer, and Broadways best was on display on the Tony Award show earlier tonight.

Have a great week and take care of yourself.