Friday, August 05, 2011

Are People Becoming Ruder in the Obama Economy?

I saw over at Rasmussen Reports that 76% of Americans feel that people are becoming ruder:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 76% of Adults say Americans are becoming more rude and less civilized. Just 12% say they’re becoming kinder and gentler, while just as many (12%) are not sure.

Well, Amy Alkon has been writing about rudeness for years but it does strike me that people are getting a bit nastier even lately. Mainly (and this is completely anecdotal), I have noticed drivers honking and acting out more.

Case in point. I saw a driver yesterday honking angrily at a truck for going what he thought was too slow. The other driver, angry that he was honked at, slowed down to a crawl for a mile or so, trapping the car behind him and letting him know what he thought of the angry behavior. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have seen drivers lately acting even worse.

Although the Rasmussen post suggested that it might be technology and cell phones etc. that is causing increased rudeness, I wonder how much of the free-floating hostility is a reaction to the horrific economy, even for those who voted for the current administration. Maybe, the policies that are driving this country into the ground are also causing bad and hostile driving. Or maybe it's something else.

Anyone else notice an increase in hostile driving or other hostility in the air recently? What do you attribute the anger to?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

When Vegetables Attack

I recently went to my gastroenterologist who seemed appalled when I told him I was eating bacon everyday. "You need some fruits and vegetables," he stated. I assured him that I had tried that diet. It didn't work for me. I ended up with a heart attack while I was a vegetarian and later found out I was allergic to a number of fruits and vegetables. Yes, I realize that fruits and vegetables do not cause heart attacks, but frankly, I sometimes wonder if they prevent them. They also make me sick and kill my stomach so forgive me if I can't see the benefit of large amounts of them in my diet.

However, masochist that I am, I decided to read up on some healthier alternatives to bacon (are there any?). So I picked up the new book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition off my shelf that a publicist had sent me and decided to see if I could find some compromise between no plant foods and a few. I'm glad I did.

The book is written by dietician Julieanna Hever who seems up-to date on most of her research about food. For example, there is a lot of controversy surrounding tofu and soy products and its link to cancer or possible interference with thyroid function. In a section called, "Is Soy Safe?" the author makes a case for how soy can be part of one's diet. Eating it in moderation, avoiding processed soy products, and using only organic soy products are suggestions. Okay, at least she addresses it.

After reading about the joys of a plant-based diet from the book, I am re-thinking my boycott of almost all fruits and veggies and might give a few a try. But there is no way I am giving up my bacon.

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Do you ever wonder what your dreams mean?

Many times as a psychologist people ask me what their dreams mean. It's sort of hard to come up with an answer if you don't know much about the person's life. And the last dream books I read were mostly old ones like those of Carl Jung such as Man and His Symbols. So,I was grateful when a publicist from Adams Media asked if I wanted a review copy of a new book Into Your Dreams: Decipher your unique dream symbology to transform your waking life. The book is a fun way to learn more about yourself during your sleeping hours.

Unlike many dream books, this one goes beyond the "one size fits all" interpretation to give the reader ideas about what his or her particular dream means. Basically, the reader learns how to decipher their unique dream symbology and apply it to their waking life. The first part of the book gives a brief summary of the history and nature of dreams. The second part gives a listing of various symbols and some guidelines for possible meanings. The book is supposed to be more of a guide than a "dream dictionary."

Overall, it looks like a good book if you find your dreams interesting, troubling or recurrant and want to understand them.

What dreams have readers had that you find the most interesting or puzzling?