January 2009


I feel so happy and privileged to know people who write books. In the past few years I’ve lost two author friends, Captain Arthur Haggerty and Serena Wilson. My world lost some of its luster when they passed on. Both of them changed my life for the better. Cap was really my best friend for many years. He wrote primarily about dog training and he helped me to get my late dog, Junior Pie, into show business. One of his books, Dog Tricks, was co-written by Carol Lea Benjamin, who has written a series of dog inspired mysteries that I love to read, and who I am privileged to have met several times in conjunction with Captain Haggerty! Serena Wilson was my first official teacher of Middle Eastern Dance and a dear friend as well. She wrote The Serena Technique of Bellydancing with her husband Alan Wilson, also a friend.

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When I first met Lauren Raine I felt I must have known her in a previous life. So familiar her story and so compatible her personality, she is surely a spiritual sister. She has published a work of great brilliance, Masks of the Goddess. This limited edition art book comprises and chronicles her work of many years. She is featured in several other of my blog pieces on this site.

This past year my friends Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg have written a handsome volume about flavor pairings, The Flavor Bible, that I adore because I seldom cook by recipe. This book tells which food’s flavor goes well with which other food and which spice, allowing me to invent my own recipes with fervor and greater success.  This book is one of many wonderful food books that this illustrious globetrotting couple have written together.

Frank DeMarco is primarily a writer on metaphysical subjects and a founder of Hampton Roads Books and most recently Hologram Books. His 2008 offering, Babe In The Woods, is both metaphysical and very practical. For anyone who has ever thought about taking a seminar at the Monroe Institute, DeMarco has provided a detailed guide couched in a delightful story that is a thinly veiled account of his own first experience at this awesome place. I personally can’t wait to get back there. Frank DeMarco is one of the wonderfully wise and witty characters one might meet if they venture to the Institute and its surrounding community.

I’m Allergic is Missy Harris‘s first childrens’ book and hopefully not the last. It is a charming book for both those kids with allergies and their young friends who don’t understand what the concept means. I believe that the book provides a great service in telling children who don’t suffer with allergies what happens in the experience of those that do.

All the other books mentioned here have been published in 2008. I feel compelled to mention another book, The Lure of The Edge by Brenda Denzler, published in 2001 but which I only found out about in November of 2008. Finding it was a very serendipidous synchonicity. I was browsing a library catalog for intelligently written books about UFOs when I saw Brenda’s very familiar name. Could it be the very same person with whom I’d been corresponding on an internet listseve about other subjects? Indeed it was.  It is written very thoughtfully on an extremely charged subject and it deals with, among other things,  the onus that falls on many professionals who entertain the reality of UFOs and the unwillingness of much of the scientific community to look further into the UFO mystery.

I have always been somewhat attracted to the concepts involved with Sufism. One of those concepts says that humans are still evolving and I find that idea very attractive, but I have been hard pressed to find any examples of this in a world where I see the lowest common denominator constantly being the “people’s choice”. Some elements of the media are egregious proponents of the philosophy of dumbing down the public, and it has been suggested by some that fluoridation of the water supply also has the same hebetudinous effect. Particularly irksome is the idea that being intelligent is somehow undesirable, and that you can be a leader of people from a point of arrogant ignorance; as in I don’t give a rat’s ass that I can’t find Afghanistan on a map I can still bomb the %#*& out of it. I am mildly encouraged that our newly elected President has a reading level that far surpasses My Pet Goat.

That being said, intelligence is not the only measure of human evolution. I would consider two other measures, that of compassion provided by a knowing sense of interconnectedness of all beings and that of new or enhanced capacities provided by the heretofore poorly recognized psi or sixth sense. These two measures are not unrelated as they can both lead toward the same interconnectedness. Likewise, I see two traits emerging in greater numbers in human palms symbolizing human evolution. The first is the Universal Heart Line, a heartline which is long and straight from the outside of the palm under the pinky to midway or further through the mound of Jupiter under the index finger and which shows the capacity to care for others beyond one’s family or social group and whose owners are often involved in charitable endeavours. The second sign is a headline that is disconnected from the lifeline, which indicates the ability for objective thinking and when the disconnect is particularly spacious, the ability for out-of-body experiences (while still alive).

The following article gives new hope for the evolution of human intelligence:

SMARTER MEN HAVE MORE SPERM
By Melinda Wenner
Live Science
January 9, 2009

http://www.livescience.com/health/090109-smarter-men.html

Women tend to like smart men because they’re usually more successful and
better providers. But here’s another reason: Their sperm is better, a new
study says.

Researchers at King’s College London, the University of Delaware and the
University of New Mexico recently compared results from five intelligence
tests given to 425 Vietnam War vets in 1985 as part of the U.S. Centers For
Disease Control and Prevention’s Vietnam Experience Study. These vets, aged
31 to 44, also provided sperm samples, so the researchers analyzed the sperm
per milliliter of semen, plus how many of the sperm swam normally, and other
measures of sperm health.

The smarter the men were, the more sperm they produced and the better their
wee ones swam — and it didn’t matter how old the men were or whether they
smoked, drank or were obese.

But why might these two seemingly unrelated traits be linked? Why would
calculus aces or business consultants make better sperm?

Turns out that intelligent people are generally healthier than their
less-clever peers — studies have shown that brainiacs are, for instance,
less likely to suffer from heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Scientists have
suggested that smart people may score less stressful jobs in safer places
and that they may make better lifestyle choices, for instance by exercising
more and eating better. In other words, maybe bright people actually listen
to the Surgeon General.

But these newest findings, to be published in an upcoming issue of the
journal Intelligence, found that negative habits had little effect on sperm
quality, so they don’t support that theory.

The researchers instead speculate that intelligence might be passed down as
part of a larger package of good attributes. One gene can influence multiple
traits, so the genes involved in smarts may somehow improve sperm quality —
and perhaps other characteristics as well.

This could help explain, then, why intelligence can be so sexy: It could
simply be an indicator that a person has a lot of good genes and traits,
says study co-author Geoffrey Miller, a psychologist at the University of
New Mexico.