Posts Tagged ‘ecofrenhealth’

Funny attitude,Lady at the petrol station

In Uncategorized, Youtube on April 27, 2016 at 2:17 am


Tread Carefully When You Help to Die

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2014 at 1:34 am

Tread Carefully When You Help to Die

Assisted Suicide Laws Around the World

Updated 01 March 2005

Compiled by Derek Humphry, former editor of World Right-to-Die Newsletter

Assisted suicide laws around the world are clear in some nations but unclear – if they exist at all – in others. Just because a country has not defined its criminal code on this specific action does not mean all assisters will go free. It is a complicated state of affairs. A great many people instinctively feel that suicide and assisted suicide are such individual acts of freedom and free will that they assume there are no legal prohibitions. This fallacy has brought many people into trouble with the law. While suicide is no longer a crime – and where it is because of a failure to update the law it is not enforced – assistance remains a crime almost everywhere by some statute or other. I’ll try to explain the hodge-podge.

For example, it is correct that Sweden has no law specifically proscribing assisted suicide. Instead the prosecutors might charge an assister with manslaughter – and do. In 1979 the Swedish right-to-die leader Berit Hedeby went to prison for a year for helping a man with MS to die. Neighbouring Norway has criminal sanctions against assisted suicide by using the charge “accessory to murder”. In cases where consent was given and the reasons compassionate, the courts pass lighter sentences. A recent law commission voted down de-criminalizing assisted suicide by a 5-2 vote.

A retired Norwegian physician, Christian Sandsdalen, was found guilty of wilful murder in 2000. He admitted giving an overdose of morphine to a woman chronically ill after 20 years with MS who begged for his help. It cost him his medical license but he was not sent to prison. He appealed the case right up to the Supreme Court and lost every time. Dr. Sandsdalen died at 82 and his funeral was packed with Norway’s dignitaries, which is consistent with the support always given by intellectuals to euthanasia.

Finland has nothing in its criminal code about assisted suicide. Sometimes an assister will inform the law enforcement authorities of him or her of having aided someone in dying, and provided the action was justified, nothing more happens. Mostly it takes place among friends, who act discreetly. If Finnish doctors were known to practice assisted suicide or euthanasia, the situation might change, although there have been no known cases.

Germany has had no penalty for either suicide or assisted suicide since 1751, although it rarely happens there due to the hangover taboo caused by Nazi mass murders, plus powerful, contemporary, church influences. Direct killing by euthanasia is a crime. In 2000 a German appeal court cleared a Swiss clergyman of assisted suicide because there was no such offence, but convicted him of bringing the drugs into the country. There was no imprisonment.

France does not have a specific law banning assisted suicide, but such a case could be prosecuted under 223-6 of the Penal Code for failure to assist a person in danger. Convictions are rare and punishments minor. France bans all publications that advise on suicide – Final Exit has been banned since l991 but few nowadays take any notice of the order. Since l995 there has been a fierce debate on the subject, which may end in law reform eventually. Denmark has no specific law banning assisted suicide. In Italy the action is legally forbidden, although pro-euthanasia activists in Turin and Rome are pressing hard for law reform. Luxembourg does not forbid assistance in suicide because suicide itself is not a crime. Nevertheless, under 410-1 of its Penal Code a person could be penalized for failing to assist a person in danger. In March 2003 legislation to permit euthanasia was lost in the Luxembourg Parliament by a single vote.

Tolerance for euthanasia appears in the strangest of places. For instance, in Uruguay it seems a person must appear in court, yet Article 27 of the Penal Code (effective 1934) says: “The judges are authorized to forego punishment of a person whose previous life has been honorable where he commits a homicide motivated by compassion, induced by repeated requests of the victim.” So far as I can tell, there have been no judicial sentences for mercy killing in Uruguay.

In England and Wales there is a possibility of up to 14 years imprisonment for anybody assisting a suicide. Oddly, suicide itself is not a crime, having been decriminalized in 1961. Thus it is a crime to assist in a non-crime. In Britain, no case may be brought without the permission of the Director of Public Prosecutions in London, which rules out hasty, local police prosecutions. It has been a long, uphill fight for the British – there have been eight Bills or Amendments introduced into Parliament between 1936-2003, all trying to modify the law to allow careful, hastened death. None has succeeded, but the Joffe Bill currently before Parliament is getting more serious consideration than any similar measure. As in France, there are laws banning a publication if it leads to a suicide or assisted suicide. But Final Exit can be seen in bookstores in both countries.

The law in Canada is almost the same as in England; indeed, a prosecution has recently (2002) been brought in B.C. against a grandmother, Evelyn Martens, for counselling and assisting the suicide of two dying people. Mrs. Marten was acquitted on all counts in 2004. One significant difference between English and Canadian law is that no case may be pursued by the police without the approval of the Director of Public Prosecutions in London. This clause keeps a brake on hasty police actions.

Assisted suicide is a crime in the Republic of Ireland. In 2003 police in Dublin began proceedings against an American Unitarian minister, George D Exoo, for allegedly assisting in the suicide of a woman who had mental health problems. He responded that he had only been present to comfort the woman, and read a few prayers. This threatened and much publicized case had disappeared by 2005.


Suicide has never been illegal under Scotland’s laws. There is no Scots authority of whether it is criminal to help another to commit suicide, and this has never been tested in court. The killing of another at his own request is murder, as the consent of the victim is irrelevant in such a case. A person who assists another to take their own life, whether by giving advice or by the provision of the means of committing suicide, might be criminally liable on a number of other grounds such as: recklessly endangering human life, culpable homicide (recklessly giving advice or providing the means, followed by the death of the victim), or wicked recklessness.

Hungary has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, caused mainly by the difficulties the peasant population has had with adapting to city life. Assistance in suicide or attempted suicide is punishable by up to five years imprisonment. Euthanasia practiced by physicians was ruled as illegal by Hungary’s Constitutional Court (April 2003), eliciting this stinging comment from the journal Magyar Hirlap: “Has this theoretically hugely respectable body failed even to recognize that we should make legal what has become practice in everyday life.” The journal predicted that the ruling would put doctors under commercial pressure to keep patients alive artificially.

Russia, too, has no tolerance of any form of assisted suicide, nor did it during the 60-year Soviet rule. The Russian legal system does not recognize the notion of ‘mercy-killing’. Moreover, the 1993 law ‘On Health Care of Russian Citizens’ strictly prohibits the practice of euthanasia. A ray of commonsense can be seen in Estonia (after getting its freedom from the Soviet bloc) where lawmakers say that as suicide is not punishable the assistance in suicide is also not punishable.

The only four places that today openly and legally, authorize active assistance in dying of patients, are:

  1. Oregon (since l997, physician-assisted suicide only);
  2. Switzerland (1941, physician and non-physician assisted suicide only);
  3. Belgium (2002, permits ‘euthanasia’ but does not define the method;
  4. Netherlands (voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide lawful since April 2002 but permitted by the courts since l984).

Two doctors must be involved in Oregon, Belgium, and the Netherlands, plus a psychologist if there are doubts about the patient’s competency. But that is not stipulated in Switzerland, although at least one doctor usually is because the right-to-die societies insist on medical certification of a hopeless or terminal condition before handing out the lethal drugs.

The Netherlands permits voluntary euthanasia as well as physician-assisted suicide, while both Oregon and Switzerland bar death by injection.

Dutch law enforcement will crack down on any non-physician assisted suicide they find, recently sentencing an old man to six months imprisonment for helping a sick, old woman to die.

Switzerland alone does not bar foreigners, but careful watch is kept that the reasons for assisting are altruistic, as the law requires. In fact, only one of the four groups in that country, DIGNITAS, chooses to assist foreigners. When this willingness was published in newspapers worldwide, sick people from all over Europe, and occasionally America, started trekking to Switzerland to get a hastened death. In 2001 the Swiss National Council confirmed the assisted suicide law but kept the prohibition of voluntary euthanasia.

Belgian law speaks only of ‘euthanasia’ being available under certain conditions. ‘Assisted suicide’ appears to be a term that Belgians are not familiar with. It is left to negotiation between the doctor and patient as to whether death is by lethal injection or by prescribed overdose. The patient must be a resident of Belgium (pop.: 10 million), though not necessarily a citizen. In its first full year of implementation, 203 people received euthanasia from a doctor.

All three right-to-die organizations in Switzerland help terminally ill people to die by providing counselling and lethal drugs. Police are always informed. As we have said, only one group, DIGNITAS in Zurich, will accept foreigners who must be either terminal, or severely mentally ill, or clinically depressed beyond treatment. (Note: Dutch euthanasia law has caveats permitting assisted suicide for the mentally ill in rare and incurable cases, provided the person is competent.)

The Oregon Death With Dignity Act came under heavy pressure from the US Federal government in 2001 when Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a directive essentially and immediately gutting the law. This brought on a public outcry that the Federal government was nullifying a law twice voted on by Oregon citizens. A disqualification of democracy! An interference with states’ rights! Immediately the state of Oregon went to court (2002) to nullify the directive, won at the first stage, but the appeals are likely to continue until 2004. Since l980, right-to-die groups have tried to change the laws in Washington State, California, Michigan, Maine, Hawaii, and Vermont, so far without success. Thus in the USA, Oregon stands alone and under great pressure.

In 2005 the US Supreme Court agreed to the federal government’s request for it to decide whether Oregon’s law was constitutional. The case concerned not so much the ethical correctness of physician-assisted suicide but turned legally on whether it was the federal government or the states which controlled dangerous drugs, as used by doctors in Oregon. The court’s decision, expected in early 2006, will affect pain control throughout America.

New Zealand forbids assistance under 179 of the New Zealand Crimes Act, l961, but cases were rare and the penalties lenient. Then, out-of-the-blue in New Zealand in 2003 a writer, Lesley Martin, was charged with the assisted suicide of her mother that she had described in a book. Ms. Martin was convicted of manslaughter by using excessive morphine and served half of a fifteen-month prison sentence. She remained unrepentent. That same year the country’s parliament voted 60-57 not to legalize a form of euthanasia similar to the Dutch model.

Similarly, Colombia’s Constitutional Court in 1997 approved medical voluntary euthanasia but its parliament has never ratified it. So the ruling stays in limbo until a doctor challenges it. Assisted suicide remains a crime.


Japan has medical voluntary euthanasia approved by a high court in l962 in the Yamagouchi case, but instances are extremely rare, seemingly because of complicated taboos on suicide, dying and death in that country, and a reluctance to accept the same individualism that Americans and Europeans enjoy. The Japan Society for Dying with Dignity is the largest right-to-die group in the world with more than 100,000 paid up members. Currently, the Society feels it wise to campaign only for passive euthanasia – good advance directives about terminal care, and no futile treatment. Voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide are rarely talked about, which seems strange to Westerners who have heard so much about the culture of ritual suicide, hari kari, in Japanese history. This is because, one Society official explained: “In Japan, everything is hierarchical, including academics, and government organization, and this makes it difficult for the medical staff and those who offer psychiatric care to join forces to treat the dying.”

Another factor in Japan’s backwardness on euthanasia is that some 80 percent of their people die in hospitals, compared to about 35 percent in the Netherlands, 35 percent in America, with as low as 25 percent in Oregon which has a physician-assisted suicide law. Euthanasia is essential an in-home action.

The right-to-die movement has been strong in Australia since the early l970s, spurred by the vast distances in the outback country between patients and doctors. Families were obliged to care for their dying, experienced the many harrowing difficulties, and many became interested in euthanasia. The Northern Territory of Australia actually had legal voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide for seven months until the Federal Parliament stepped in and repealed the law in l997. Only four people were able to use it, all helped to die by the undaunted Dr. Philip Nitschke, who now runs the progressive organization, Exit International (formerly ‘Final Exit Australia’). Other states have since attempted to change the law, most persistently South Australia, but so far unsuccessfully.

In a rare show of mercy and understanding, a judge in the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, in July 2003 sentenced a man to 18 months jail – but totally suspended the custody. Alex Maxwell had pleaded guilty to ‘aiding and abetting’ the suicide of his terminally ill wife, actions that the judge said were motivated by compassion, love, and humanity and thus did not deserve imprisonment. This was a trend in the right direction.


The strongest indication that the Western world is moving gradually to allow assisted suicide for the dying and the incurable rather than to permitting voluntary euthanasia comes from a huge survey that the Council of Europe did in 2002. It received answers from 34 Central Asian and European states, plus the USA and Russia. Not a few replied that such terms were nowhere to be seen in their laws so had difficulty answering.

Asked if legislation or rules made euthanasia possible, only one country (Netherlands) answered in the affirmative (Belgium had not yet passed its similar law) and 25 nations said definitely not. Asked if they had any professional codes of practice on assisted suicide, eight countries said that they did, while 21 said no.

Some of the other questions had revealing answers:

  • Is the term ‘assisted suicide’ used in your country: Yes 18; No 5.
  • Do criminal sanctions against assisted suicide exist: Yes 23; No 4.
  • If so, have they ever been applied: Yes 6; No 6.

The Council of Europe, representing 45 nations, did not let the matter rest there. Its Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee approved a report which called on European states to consider decriminalizing euthanasia. This was a massive step forward for the previously ignored right-to-die movement.

The commonsense of the Committee’s approach is shown in the draft report by Swiss Rapporteur Dick Marty:

  1. Nobody has the right to impose on the terminally-ill and the dying the obligation to live out their life in unbearable suffering and anguish where they themselves have persistently expressed the wish to end it.
  2. There is no implied obligation on any health worker to take part in an act of euthanasia, nor can such an act be interpreted as the expression of lesser consideration for human life.
  3. Governments of Council of Europe member states are asked to collect and analyse empirical evidence about end-of-life decisions; to promote public discussion of such evidence; to promote comparative analysis of such evidence in the framework of the Council of Europe; and, in the light of such evidence and public discussion, to consider whether enabling legislation authorising euthanasia should be envisaged.


‘Fukushima 50’ risk lives to prevent meltdown

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2014 at 1:53 am

‘Fukushima 50’ risk lives to prevent meltdown

Joe O’Connor · Mar. 16, 2011 | Last Updated: Mar. 17, 2011 6:49 AM ET

We do not know their names, their faces, their families or their personal stories. Nobody really does. They are strangers, in a faraway land, doing the unthinkable.

In Japan they have a name: The Fukushima 50. A coterie of nuclear plant employees — some reports indicate 50, others suggest four working rotations of 50 — who stayed behind while 700 of their co-workers were evacuated from the stricken Fukushima-Daiichi facility on the Japanese coast.

Five have been killed. Two are missing. Twenty-one have been injured in a struggle where, in the words of Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan, “retreat is unthinkable.”

The men understand the stakes. They know there is no turning back. One worker told a departing colleague he was prepared to die — that it was his job. Another informed his wife he wouldn’t be coming home anytime soon.

And so they battle on, a weary bunch of managers, operators, technicians, soldiers, firemen, amid rumours, worst-case scenarios and startling television footage.

They are mid- and low-level employees. They are men with no names, cast into extraordinary circumstances, battling fires, explosions, the threat of explosion and the invisible menace: dangerously high levels of radiation no protective suit can deflect, and one that threatens to seep into the atmosphere if they fail.

David Richardson, a professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, regards the Fukushima 50 as heroes. And he is right. He has studied the long-term risks for nuclear plant workers in the United States. He knows the facts, and he speaks in the language of millisieverts (mSv), the unit of measure for radiation dose rates.

The typical American worker at the Department of Energy complex is exposed to 50 to 100 mSv over the course of their entire working career. Dosage rates at Fukushima have been measured at tens to several hundred mSv per hour.

Japanese officials were reporting radiation levels at the plant entrance ranging from 400 to 1,500 mSv per hour on Wednesday.

“They are in places where the men’s radiation exposure can exceed what a typical worker at a nuclear facility would accrue over their entire career in the span of 20 or 30 minutes,” Prof. Richardson says.

They are canaries in a nuclear cage-match, and only one winner will emerge. It is man against man’s most deadly creation in a contest Mother Nature — at her worst — kicked off.

Fragile, human and impossibly brave, the Fukushima 50 could be foredoomed to die for their noble cause. If not on the front lines then years from now, in a hospital bed, with bodies racked by pain and wrecked by cancer.

It is a fate Andriy Chudinov understands. The 64-year-old has his own nuclear horror story to tell, involving the nightmare at Chernobyl. A senior reactor operator, Mr. Chudinov was among the first on the scene after a series of explosions rocked the infamous atomic facility on Ukraine’s northern border with Belarus, blowing off the roof and releasing a great plume of radioactivity into the atmosphere.

Thirty-one died from the explosions. Thousands more have died since from cancers associated with the disaster. They were soldiers, carpenters — ordinary people — who galloped into the breach back in April 1986 unafraid, and ill-equipped, and often unaware of the terrible physical reckoning to come.

“The [Fukushima 50] are good guys,” says Mr. Chudinov, who suffers from a blood disorder he blames on radiation exposure.

“They have had it even worse than we did. They had a tsunami first, and now there are several reactors with problems. That’s a nightmare for any atomic worker.”

Protective measures are better now than they were for the emergency workers in Chernobyl. Fukushima’s skeleton crew is highly monitored. Their exposure time in the most radioactive areas is limited and they have retreated, for a spell, when the reactor got too hot.

Protective suits are designed to ward off radioactive dust. They are also impossibly uncomfortable. Imagine running a marathon — in a raincoat, with limited visibility and compromised manual dexterity. Workers wear pajamas and full coveralls beneath the protective garb. They breathe through a respirator, and work with three layers of gloves on their hands.

But the real danger, beyond the fires and the explosions, is a high dose of gamma radiation. And the suits do not stop gamma rays, radioactive waves — imagine an X-ray — that ripple through the body, breaking apart molecules, damaging DNA and conceivably triggering a domino effect that could lead to a terminal diagnosis five years down the line.

A potential widow’s wait can be brief. Five men have died already. Or else loss is something that can unfold slowly, and be filled by doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy sessions and alternative treatments.

It is an awful fate for a hero. It is an awful thing marching off to war, knowing there is no retreat.

“It was a question of duty,” Andriy Chudinov, the Chernobyl veteran says. “We didn’t even think of not going.

“I don’t know why I survived. Radiation reacts differently on different people.”

BIGGEST dogs of the world

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2014 at 3:03 am

unique dog breeds of the world

news-graphics-2007-_640082abiggest-dog-breed_1404099609d112431b22d69a7fa47e7e468113d5e14bbfc6eb66fc81e52409680aa557d76cTop-10-Biggest-Dog-Breeds-In-The-WorldBiggest Saint Bernard pup19_1_1358871066imageshealthch_bmd_gal

Barack Obama jokes

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2014 at 2:40 am
 Q: What does Barack Obama call illegal aliens? A: Undocumented democrats.
Q: Barack Obama is on a sinking ship, who gets saved? A: The Country!
Q: What drink do you get with the McObama Happy Meal in Pakistan? A: No drink JUST ICE!
Q: What did Osama Bin Laden’s ghost say to Mitt Romney? A: “Don’t be sad, Obama’s foreign policy killed me too”
Q: Whats Michelle Obamas favorite vegetable? A: Barackoli
Q: What’s the difference between Ross Perot and Barack Obama? A: Ross Perot is crackpot with big ears; Barack Obama is a pothead with big ears. A muslim, a socialist, and a communist walk into a bar. The bartender says hello Mr. President.
Q: Why won’t Barack Obama be celebrating his 51st birthday? A: Republicans won’t let Democrats raise taxes on the rich let alone Barack Obama’s age!
Q: Why did Obama change his name from Barry to Barack? A: He thought Barry sounded too American. U.S Presidents and Statesmen are on every piece Of U.S. currency. So Will Barack Obama Be Placed On The FoodStamp Card? What kind of doctor do you need to fix Obamacare? A URLologist
Q: What do Barack Obama & Tiger Woods have in common? A: They are both trying to screw everybody!
Q: What’s the main difference between Romneycare and Obamacare? A: The name.
Q: Why did Barack Obama save the auto industry? A: Because his shareholders are the American people!
Q: Other than health care what other promises has Barack Obama made to the American People? A: Balancing the budget, reining in the banks and putting a unicorn in every backyard!
Q: Why won’t Obama release his real birth certificate? A: He accidently smoked it.
Q: How did Barack Obama propose to Michelle Robinson? A: He got down on one knee and said “I don’t wanna be Obama self.
Q: How do you know your doctor is not a fan of Obama’s Health Care Plan? A: He/she has remodeled the waiting room with death paneling.
Q: Why can’t Obama dance? A: Cause he has two leftist feet.
Q: What’s more unacceptable than another 4 years of Obamacare? A: Another 8 years of Romneycare! Dear Women voters, Barack Obama lives in a house full of women. Mitt Romney has binders full of women.
Q: How is Obama going to make the tabacco industry pay for health care reform? A: By allowing Marlboro Miles to be redeemed for health care coverage!
Q: How is Barack Obama going to get Republicans to cross party lines and support health care reform? A: By giving their mistresses free breast implants! Q: Will health care be different under Barack Obama’s new reforms? A: No, but if you call right now, you might get an appointment by then!
Q: Why is Healthcare reform so important to the enigmatic Barack Obama? A: His pregnant mom was turned away from many hospitals and was forced to give birth in a manger!
Q: Why is it pointless for Barack Obama to hold Senior Citizens Q & A sessions on the internet? A: Because microwave ovens don’t have internet connections!
Q: Under Obama’s health care plan can you get coverage for preexisting conditions? A: Certainly, as long as they don’t require any treatment!


Americans waste, throw away nearly half their food: study

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2013 at 4:50 am

Americans waste, throw away nearly half their food: study

Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:40pm EDT

(Reuters) – Americans throw away nearly half their food every year, waste worth roughly $165 billion annually, according to a study released on Tuesday.

“As a country, we’re essentially tossing every other piece of food that crosses our path. That’s money and precious resources down the drain,” said Dana Gunders, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s food and agriculture program.

The NRDC report said Americans discard 40 percent of the food supply every year, and the average American family of four ends up throwing away an equivalent of up to $2,275 annually in food.

Just a 15 percent reduction in losses in the U.S. food supply would save enough to feed 25 million Americans annually. It also would lighten the burden on landfills, where food waste makes up the largest component of solid waste, according to the NRDC, a nonprofit environmental organization.

Particularly worrisome, the organization said, was evidence that there has been a 50 percent jump in U.S. food waste since the 1970s. Unsold fruits and vegetables in grocery stores account for a big part of the wasted food.

But consumers and restaurants are also to blame, preparing large portions that result in leftovers that often go uneaten.

The NRDC said it is asking for the U.S. government to study losses in the food system and set goals for waste reduction.

“No matter how sustainably our food is farmed, if it’s not being eaten, it is not a good use of resources,” said Gunders.

(Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Top 10 Movies that Make Men Cry

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2013 at 2:15 am


These are the movies I have deemed acceptable for men to cry during. No other movies shall produce tears out of the eyes of males. Other movies may bring tears to a man’s eye, but not out of it. So it is written…

Also, “Up” isn’t on this list, but it should be, maybe I’ll add an 11th slot later.

“Have you ever seen a one trick pony in the field so happy and free?”

10. The Wrestler


That quote up there is actually from the song Bruce Springsteen wrote for this movie. Now I am willing to defend this choice to the death. This was a beautiful film and Darren Aronofsky’s choice to shoot it mostly handheld was genius. It’s so intimate and the audience gets to see every bad decision Mickey Rourke’s character ever made over his lifetime all displayed on his face. I’ve heard of some people who didn’t like the ending because it was left open. It’s called an ‘ambiguous ending’ and they are my favourite kind of ending. Because we all know that life doesn’t just end with a fade out. There will always be something left unsaid. Something for someone else to figure out. It’s a metaphor, read a fucking book, they’re full of them.

MOMENTS WHEN THE TEARS COME: When Randy the Ram (Rourke) has one wonderful day with his daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) on the abandoned boardwalk and he basically throws himself at her mercy saying that all he wants is for her not to hate him. Even though they both know that is almost impossible. Also when he is having a heart attack and jumps off the screen at the very end of the movie and the Boss’ award winning song closes the film brilliantly. Then tears.


“Someday we might look back on this and decide that saving Private Ryan was the one decent thing we were able to pull out of this whole godawful, shitty mess.”

9. Saving Private Ryan

This movie is fantastic. A brilliant depiction of war as hell on Earth, it is presented so honestly and with only the slightest traces of sentimentality. But what I love most about this movie is that, beyond the American flag waving at the beginning and the end, there is no posturing and advertising for the AMERICAN MILITARY. A true classic by a true master, Steven Spielberg. Who, coincidentally, has two movies on this list.

MOMENTS WHEN THE TEARS COME: When Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks) is dying on the bridge at the very end and he says to Private Ryan (Matt Damon), “earn this.” Simple, almost inaudible, but it gets me every time.

They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom

8. Braveheart

Remember Mel Gibson? He was that awesome action hero from the Lethal Weapon and Mad Max movies? Well before he turned anti-semite he made this film and showed real promise of becoming a great director someday. This movie is a brutal and simple story that has it’s roots in the most basic elements of classic Hollywood epics: love, revenge, loyalty, betrayal and patriotism. It also boasts an amazingly tear-jerking score and great cinematography of the Scottish Highlands as well as some perfectly orchestrated medieval battle sequences. This is how I like to remember Mel.

MOMENTS WHEN THE TEARS COME: This movie is actually paced really well so that when there is a terrible scene of gut wrenching emotion the audience is almost immediately rescued from tears by visceral violence or some ridiculous humour. An example that immediately comes to mind is when William Wallace’s wife, Murron, is killed, the audience isn’t even given a minute to soak it in before Wallace trudges into town on his horse and starts wrecking everyone’s shit. But when Wallace is being tortured at the very end and yells out “FREEEEEEDOM!” for the whole country to hear, there’s no coming back. Tears.

If you build it, he will come”

7. Field of Dreams

I’m a guy who enjoys a little cheesy nostalgia every once in a while and this film is full of it. From the highly unlikely premise to the very hokey ending that could almost be attributed to Deus Ex Machina, I love it all. The beautiful images of Iowa almost make me want to live in the heartland of America.

Kevin Costner has never been considered a ‘great actor’ but in this film he plays the part of Ray Kinsella pitch-perfectly, a down on his luck farmer on a mission to bring the spirit of baseball back to life. This film makes the most boring game in the universe seem interesting and full of whimsical romance and for that feat alone it should be praised.

MOMENT WHEN THE TEARS COME: Almost at the very end of the movie, Kevin Costner’s character notices a man on the White Sox team playing on his ballpark. The man is his father. After the game Costner approaches the man and he tells him he is his son. Then they have a catch together, something neither of them had done with each other while Costner was young. Nostalgia tears.

“E.T. phone home”

6. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

This explanation will be brief. Everyone knows about the story of the little alien and his otherworldly connection with the boy named Elliot. I must confess that I only saw this movie once when I was seven or eight and I was balling from the first fifteen minutes to the closing credits. I couldn’t exactly say what set it all off, but I do remember it being a painfully emotional experience, one I never wanted to revisit. So I didn’t. But I probably will soon.

MOMENT WHEN THE TEARS COME: The whole freaking thing apparently.

“I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.”

5. The Shawshank Redemption

Do I really even need to justify this one? If you don’t get choked up by the time the credits role then you need to seek out the help of a therapist and discuss your deep seeded emotional problems. Seriously.

MOMENTS WHEN THE TEARS COME: Lots of times. When Brooks hangs himself in his apartment; When Tommy gets shot by the Guard Captain; When Andy Dufresne escapes from Shawshank and feels the cold cleansing rain on his face as a free man for the first time in twenty years; When Red meets Andy on the beach in Mexico and they exchange a wordless embrace as the credits begin to roll. Tears.

“Go on, go on and be perfect”

4. Friday Night Lights


Wow this movie is great. The mostly true story of the Odessa, Texas Permian Panthers football team and their 1988 seasonIt is my personal favourite sports movie of all time for many reasons: First and foremost being its unique look, mainly shot on hand held HD cameras that gives each moment of sense of urgency and makes the audience feel like voyeurs looking in on this incredible part of American culture, also the digital gloss of each frame gives the football games themselves a extremely beautiful look and feel. Second is the absolutely illuminating score by one of my favourite bands: Explosions in the Sky. Each original composition is instrumental, yet the songs say more in the notes than most tracks with lyrics. Each song is strikingly beautiful. Thirdly is an all around wonderful ensemble cast, all of whom give convincing and sometimes heartbreaking performances.

MOMENT WHEN THE TEARS COME: When the final buzzer of the championship game sounds and the Panthers come one yard short of the winning touchdown. Then Fullback Don Billingsley’s father (Tim McGraw) confronts his son on the field and gives him his own championship ring. They hug. Just watch the movie. Trust me.

“Come with me if you want to live…”

3. Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Ok, I don’t think many people would expect this one but hear me out. Terminator 2 is one of those rare sequels that is not only better than its predecessor, but also makes the first one suck in comparison. I believe it shares the title of Best Action Film Ever with Die Hard. That’s how much I love this movie. From the mind-blowing special effects to the jaw-dropping action sequences this film has it all. But underneath all the spectacle and budget there is a very basic story of learning what it means to be human. This film also boasts a truly great performance from Arnold Schwarzenegger (that’s something I never thought I’d write, but it’s true, this is the part he was born to play).

MOMENT WHEN THE TEARS COME: I’ve talked a lot about this film’s merits as an action vehicle, but when The Terminator discovers what it is to be human, and that it is something that he can never be, he decides to sacrifice himself to save the human race (pictured above). When he gives John Connor the thumbs up as he is engulfed in lava…tears.

“It’s not your fault”

2. Good Will Hunting

A fascinating script, a remarkable cast and some really outstanding direction make this one of the better movies I’ve ever seen. Each interaction that goes on between Robin Williams and Matt Damon is an example of incredible acting. I can’t really say much more. I just love this movie.

MOMENT WHEN THE TEARS COME: When Sean (Williams) and Will (Damon) are finishing their last session of therapy together and Sean finally makes a breakthrough with Will as he calmly yet effectively tells him that all the abandonment and hardship he’s suffered isn’t his fault. It’s a simple yet beautiful scene. Tears.

“I have been and always shall be your friend.”

1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn


I know! I know! It’s a Star Trek movie. Put down your torches I mean no harm. This film may fall within the realm of the geek and the fanboy but what most people may dismiss as cartoonish sci-fi, others, like myself, recognize as a wonderful story of friendship and sacrifice. This film rightfully belongs in the pantheon of great Science Fiction adventures. Made on a shoestring budget after the colossal failure that was Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Wrath of Kahn proved that less is more. A fast paced and simple story that would set the tone for the every other Trek film to follow (except for the new one, which is still fucking awesome).

MOMENT WHEN THE TEARS COME: When Spock makes the ultimate sacrifice and saves the Enterprise from certain doom. Sure it might be really cheesy, but it’s Star Trek, take it with an enormous helping of salt.


Nine Ways to Find Peace of Mind

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2012 at 2:33 am

Nine Ways to Find Peace of Mind

By Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

We are an anxious nation…in fact, we are an anxious world. There is no question that uncertainty seems to have increased dramatically in the last few years. We worry about terrorism. We worry about war. We worry about losing our jobs. We worry about the dangers confronting our children. And on and on and on.

This worry is understandable, given the state of the world at the present time, but there is no question in my mind that, with the right tools…

All of us can rise above any situation that life hands us. All of us can live a fulfilling life in the middle of the turmoil.

All of us can find a sense of peace and purpose.

Un-Set Your Heart

Un-Set Your Heart

Un-setting your heart means letting go of your picture of how you want it all to be. It means letting go of trying to control things over which you have no control. One of the prime causes of our suffering is our wanting things to be different than they are. Yes, we all want a peaceful world instead of a world filled with weapons of mass destruction.

Yes, we all want health instead of illness. Yes, we all want healthy, happy children instead of children who break our hearts. But sometimes life doesn’t hand us what we want. And when we un-set our hearts from our needing it all to be a certain way, we can breathe a sigh of relief and open the door to a more powerful way of living.


Create a Wondering Life Instead of a Hoping Life

Create a Wondering Life Instead of a Hoping LifeIt helps us un-set our hearts when we replace the words “I hope” with the words “I wonder.” Let me demonstrate. Instead of “I hope the war ends quickly,” make it “I wonder if the war will end quickly.” Instead of “I hope the stock market goes up,” make it “I wonder if the stock market will go up.” Instead of “I hope I keep my job,” make it “I wonder if I’ll keep my job.” Notice the relief in this simple shift.

Even with difficult situations in our lives, substituting “I wonder” for “I hope” keeps our hopes from being dashed and opens up the possibility of our learning and growing from whatever happens.

Choose the Path of Trust

Choose the Path of TrustWhen you fully understand that you have little control of the external world, you then have two choices: you can choose to see yourself as a “poor-me” victim at the mercy of circumstances or you can choose to develop the trust that, no matter what happens in your life or in the world, you will have the inner strength to create something good from it all. Hopefully you will choose the latter!

Increase Your Inner Sense of Power

Increase Your Inner Sense of PowerOne way to help you develop trust in yourself is to cut off negativity in the mind by saying to yourself over and over again, “Whatever happens in my life, I’ll handle it!” Those of you who are familiar with my work know that it is one of my favorite affirmations. I suggest you emblazon this powerful affirmation on your mind. If you say it often enough, you will ultimately believe it. And if you really believe that you can handle anything that happens in your life and in the world, what could you possibly have to fear? Nothing!

So when the “what-if’s” are driving you mad, simply cut them off by saying over and over again, “Whatever happens, I’ll handle it!” You’ll feel a sense of confidence wash over you. “What if I lose my job? I’ll handle it.” “What if my children have difficult times? I’ll handle it. Whatever happens in my life, I’ll handle it!”



Collect Heroes

Collect HeroesHeroes to me are people who have created much good in this world as a result of horrible experiences in their lives. A few heroes come to mind: Christopher Reeve, who created so much good as a result of his paralyzing accident; Viktor Frankl, who created so much good out of his experience in a concentration camp; Ram Dass, who created so much good as a result of his debilitating stroke; Marc Klaas, who created so much good after the murder of his daughter. As you collect heroes, you understand this important thought: “If they can learn and grow from their experiences, I certainly can learn and grow from mine!” As you collect your heroes, your trust grows and your worry about the future gets smaller and smaller.

Focus of the Learning

Focus on the LearningYes, you can learn and find strength from anything that happens to you, just as the heroes mentioned above have done. I certainly learned from and found strength as a result of my own experiences with cancer and divorce. If you see ALL situations in life as a way of learning and growing, it helps you let go of your need for things to be a certain way.


  • War = a way of learning
  • Peace = a way of learning
  • Illness = a way of learning
  • Health = a way of learning
  • Poverty = a way of learning
  • Wealth = a way of learning
  • Depression = a way of learning
  • Joy = a way of learning

So despite what is happening in your life and in the world, constantly remind yourself “I can learn from this.” When you can see the opportunities inherent in all situations, good or bad, it truly helps you embrace all the uncertainty in your life.

Embrace the Thought, “It’s All Happening Perfectly”

Embrace the Thought Its All Happening PerfectlyThis is another affirmation I use over and over. And it truly helps me let go of my needing things to be a certain way. “Susan, how can things be happening perfectly when there is possibility of war, terrorism, illness, poverty, and violence?” My answer to that is that we cannot know the “Grand Design,” the great mystery of it all, and as we say “It’s all happening perfectly,” we begin looking for the good in any situation that life hands us. When we look for the good, we always find it. Yes, so much good can come from so much that is bad. In that, it truly is happening perfectly.

So when things seem very difficult in your life or in the world, just keep repeating this reassuring statement until it becomes an automatic part of your thinking. This always helps me to have trust, not only in myself, but also the Grand Design.

Focus on the Blessings

Focus on the BlessingsI have learned from my heroes that, no matter how horrible life may seem on the outside, it is so important to focus on the beauty. As we go about our daily lives, we take so many wonderful things for granted. It’s now time to notice. Strangely, this is hard to do, especially when we have our eyes focused on the bad. It sounds ridiculous, but we actually have to train ourselves to notice all the beauty in our lives. And train ourselves, we must… because focusing on the blessings is an absolute necessity for diffusing our fears about the future.

A suggestion: As you go about your day, stop for a moment and notice when something wonderful happens. Then say to yourself while still in the glory of the moment, “I have had this.” This is the acknowledgment that “No matter what happens tomorrow, I have had this today.” It is in the noticing of the little things that you truly get the feeling of a life well-lived… that wonderful hot shower, that kiss from a loved one, the fact that your car started, that great dinner you are eating, the warm rays of the sun, a candy bar, a wonderful television show…

Get Involved

Get InvolvedPositive action has an amazing effect on our psyche. As we take action, we begin to feel more powerful and our fear about the future decreases considerably. Keep repeating to yourself: “My life has meaning and I will do whatever I can to make this a better world.”

Then ask yourself, “What am I called to do?” Make a list of what comes to mind, and begin taking action. When you remember that your life has meaning, it makes it so much easier to push through the fear and live a life that matters. And your self-esteem grows and grows. Just as importantly, you will have found the secret of creating a joyous and fulfilling life.

As you make these tools a part of your daily life, you experience a whole new sense of purpose and power emerging from within, and you look forward to the future with an attitude of great possibility — for yourself and for your world.


An Apple a day

In Uncategorized on November 29, 2012 at 5:22 am

NASA Crushes 2012 Mayan Apocalypse Claims

In Uncategorized on October 6, 2012 at 4:40 am

2012 Doomsday Debunked Their calendar does not end on December 21, 2012; it’s just the end of the cycle and the beginning of a new one.

NASA Crushes 2012 Mayan Apocalypse Claims
The agency’s Near-Earth Objects Program head points out many fallacies, including the claim that an imaginary planet will collide with Earth in December. Thousands of astronomers have not seen this

By Natalie Wolchover and Life’s Little Mysteries

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have put out a new video to address false claims about the “Mayan apocalypse,” a non-event that some people believe will bring the world to an end on Dec. 21.

In the video, which was posted online Wednesday (Mar. 7), Don Yeomans, head of the Near-Earth Objects Program Office at NASA/JPL, explains away many of the most frequently cited doomsday scenarios. [See video]

Addressing the belief that the calendar used by the ancient Mayan civilization comes to a sudden end in December 2012, and that this will coincide with a cataclysmic, world-ending event, Yeomans said: “Their calendar does not end on December 21, 2012; it’s just the end of the cycle and the beginning of a new one. It’s just like on December 31, our calendar comes to an end, but a new calendar begins on January 1.”

Yeomans also attempted to allay fears regarding potential causes of a Mayan apocalypse, including Nibiru, an imaginary planet that some people think is swinging in from the outer solar system just in time to collide with Earth in December. “This enormous planet is supposed to be coming toward Earth, but if it were, we would have seen it long ago. And if it were invisible somehow, we would have seen the [gravitational] effects of this planet on neighboring planets. Thousands of astronomers who scan the sky on a daily basis have not seen this,” he said. [Believers In Mysterious Planet Nibiru Await Earth’s End]

He added that there is zero possibility of a NASA cover-up. “Can you imagine thousands of astronomers who observe the skies on a daily basis keeping the same secret from the public for several years?”

As for solar flares, Yeomans explained that these do exist — in fact, two massive solar flares erupted just days ago, sending bursts of solar radiation into space — but they are part of the sun’s normal 11-year cycle. Radiation from solar flares can damage orbiting satellites, but Earth’s magnetosphere shields its inhabitants from the blasts, and the flares are not a health concern.

“Then we have planetary alignments,” Yeomans said. Some doomsayers believe the other planets and the sun will align with the Earth in December and cause catastrophic tidal effects. “Well, first of all, there are no planetary alignments in December of 2012, and even if there were, there are no tidal effects on the Earth as a result. The only two bodies in the solar system that can affect the Earth’s tides are the moon, which is very close, and the sun, which is massive and also fairly close. But the other planets have a negligible effect on the Earth.”

(Incidentally, it is perfectly normal for the sun and moon to align, bolstering each other’s gravitational pulls on Earth and generating higher-than-normal ocean tides. This happens twice each month.)

Addressing the claim that Earth’s axes are going to shift on Dec. 21, 2012, he said: “The rotation axis can’t shift because the orbit of the moon around the Earth stabilizes it and doesn’t allow it to shift.” He noted that the magnetic field does shift every half-million years or so, but “there’s no evidence it’s going to happen in December, and even if it were to be shifting, it takes thousands of years to do so. And even if it did shift, it’s not going to cause a problem on the Earth apart from the fact that we’re going to have to recalibrate our compasses.” [What If Earth’s Magnetic Poles Flip?]

Invoking the astronomer Carl Sagan’s famous maxim, he said: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Since the beginning of time there have been literally hundreds of thousands of predictions for the end of the world, and we’re still here.”