November 12th, 2016

electionstressbrainpicusanov2016

To my readers: sorry for being offline for a while – I was stressing over the elections – and apparently I am not alone. But the storm and fury of the election didn’t just cause us all to be stressed – one could argue that the brain’s stress response played a very large role in causing that storm and fury.In 1881, in his book called “American Nervousness, Its Causes and Consequences,” George M. Beard said: “The chief and primary cause of …[the] very rapid increase of…

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October 14th, 2016

Courtesy of ArtCenter DesignMatters

On my third meeting with the students, a small core of three teams remained, each continuing the project through a second term. Each team presented their projects that had matured and were ready to take back to Chile to install.The first student, Alvin, presented the story and animal characters his team had created to help guide the children through the magic land through which they would be “flying” as they went on their healing journey. The land, complete with a colorful map that…

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October 14th, 2016

Disneyland

It started out with informal phone calls from my daughter Penny, when she and her partner Dan began working on their latest project in South America – advising COANIQUEM, a children’s burn center in Santiago, Chile. COANIQUEM’s Founder and Director, Dr. Jorge Rojas had asked Designmatters, a United Nations NGO within Pasadena’s ArtCenter College of Design, to make the spaces less scary and more inviting for their patients.Designmatters’ Director Mariana Amatulo, turned to Penny…

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September 29th, 2016

Photos by Esther Sternberg

Photos by Esther Sternberg The first sign that I was getting close to the “Green Road” was a view of a grove of trees and a flock of geese staidly crossing the street nearby. The urban noises began to fade as sounds of crickets and birds gradually replaced them. It was like the “slow fades” between lands in a Disney theme park. Soon, I was surrounded by trees as I entered an entirely new world.The gently…

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September 28th, 2016

Photo by Esther Sternberg

After the young service woman in full Navy camo cleared me for base access at the Visitor’s Entrance check-point, she pointed to the familiar white art deco tower of what used to be called the Bethesda Navy Hospital.“Just head up there, turn left and head straight to the USO. It’s a long walk,” she cautioned.As I started my trek up the hill I felt anxious, not knowing exactly where I was going. But as soon as I saw a small printed sign by the edge of the road festooned with a…

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