Friday Free-for-All

Just a quickie post for this Friday evening with a few things I found interesting this week:

1) To the Best of Our Knowledge, my favorite radio show (well, one of my three favorite radio shows along with This American Life and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me), had a couple of great shows recently.

One is called “Forgiving” and includes some thought-provoking discussion about the nature and difficulties of the practice of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a thorny issue for me, and this show came at it from a direction that I found interesting, insightful, and non-preachy. Interviews include a Canadian woman who was taken hostage by Somali kidnappers, an author who interviewed Japanese war criminals, and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul in New York who talks about reinterpreting Yom Kippur as a Day of Forgiveness.

The second TTBOOK show I really enjoyed was “Albert Camus,” a show discussing Camus’ writing in celebration of his 100th birthday. It’s all great, but I particularly liked hearing from Jennifer Hecht who uses the works of Camus and others to offer a philosophical argument against suicide.

2) For my birth-loving friends: “The Impact of Birth on Lifelong Wellbeing,” the keynote presentation of the 2013 GOLD  Perinatal Care Online Conference, is available to the general public until November 18. In this presentation, Sarah Buckley—researcher, former GP, and author of the book Gentle Birth, Gentle Parenting—talks about the long-term positive hormonal, psychological, and microbiological effects of the normal process of childbirth on both mothers and babies. She includes a review of existing literature and shares some of the results of her own research.

I like that it focuses on the positive effects of physiologic birth rather than the negative effects of birth interventions. Also, Sarah Buckley is from Brisbane, so if you like hearing Australian accents AND birth, then you’re in luck with this presentation.

It’s intended for health professionals, but I find it quite accessible, and anyone interested in human birth is likely to find the presentation interesting. (Two notes: the handout mentioned in the presentation does not appear to be available with the publicly available presentation, and RCT = Randomized Controlled Trial.)


Now I’m going to pop some popcorn and read the last chapter of David Hume’s 18th-century classic, The History of England, Volume V. Because it’s Friday night and I am a party animal.

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