Worth Noting–Interesting Items on the Web

Worth Noting–Things We Think You Should See on the Web

A new feature—links with synopses and some commentary on items curated from other sites which we think are worth checking out. 

In this first item, we will highlight “The Science of Stress and How Our Emotions Affect Our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease,” a recent post by one of our favorites, Maria Popova, in her blog Brain Pickings. She herself curates items with a skill matched by few.

In her post, Popova, synopsized it as,  “How your memories impact your immune system, why moving is one of the most stressful life-events, and what your parents have to do with your predisposition to PTSD.” She begins by mentioning her first ever bout of food poisoning, in her 30s, and how it incapacitated her. She described it as “an intense experience of stress.” Of course it was; as an acute episode of illness that’s exactly what it was. As such, it affected her emotions—her mind. Buddhists have spoken of the oneness of body and mind for centuries. So too did the ancient Greeks, as she points out. Along came Descartes in the 17th century and leading rationalism among Western thinkers. As a result, she noted “for three centuries,the idea that our emotions could impact our physical health remained scientific taboo . . .”

Finally, in the 1950s, Popova observes that Hans Selye “pioneered the notion of stress as we now know it today, . . .” Which of course led back to an understanding of the effect of emotions on the body. But it’s not a one way street, as most people realize—illness or trauma affects the mind and the mind can make the body—if not sick, less resistant to disease by compromising the immune system. She goes on to feature an extended analysis of the book, The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions, by Esther Steinberg. We think the piece by Popova is worth noting. Here’s the link one more time.

Our second item worth noting this issue comes from the Kiplinger Letter, Energy Alerts. What you see on the news and the web currently is about the dropping price for a barrel of oil, resulting in cheaper gas at the pump. Here’s something a little different—the effects of the varying prices on the various types of fuel that generate electric power. Specifically, how nuclear plants are currently being squeezed by the lower cost natural gas. Why should you care? Maybe you don’t like nukes with their disposal issues and fears of meltdowns or terrorist attack. Still, they supply lots of the power used in America. See the article here.

Look for more worth noting in the November Quarterly. By more, we mean more than two links to things to check out. This is just a start to this feature in an otherwise busy issue. 

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