December 9, 2009

The Effect of Tulips

Tulips slay me. They have been the inspiration for great chairs, as in Pierre Paulin's tulip chair. Here is an array that makes me feel amazing. Ahhhhhh, tulips.


August 23, 2008

Natural Aids

Talking to my neighbor today, she mentioned that her mother used to use tea bags as a natural way to reduce circles and puffiness under her eyes. Her mother also used egg whites as a facial masque and had beautiful skin. We both had experience with olive oil healing scars.

natural health and beauty aids

These simple remedies and aids remind me of the wisdom that can often be found in unlikely places. I was truly amazed to find that olive oil healed scars I had had for several years. I was once talking about it in the gym and a small crowd gathered and several people said they'd had the same experience. While new scientific discoveries and formulas can be great, let's not overlook these easy aids that can be found with almost no trouble and can help us be the timeless beauties we are meant to be.

June 23, 2008

The Island of the Color Blind

Oliver Sacks is probably my favorite living nonfiction author, although his stories have the action, drama and intrigue of a good thriller. He is “An investigator of the mind's mysteries, in a class by himself,” says Publisher's Weekly.

Books by Oliver Sacks

A few of Oliver Sacks' entrancing books:
The Island of the Colorblind
, Migraine, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

For anyone who doesn't know his work, Oliver Sacks is a neurologist who writes like a poet. Some of his books, all true stories, have been made into movies, such as Awakenings, starring Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro, directed by Penny Marshall and At First Sight, starring Mira Sorvino and Val Kilmer. Dr. Sacks' brilliance and impact is because he is a scientist who looks at his subjects like an artist, thereby allowing developments and conclusions that others might miss.

The Island of the Color Blind focuses on the tiny Pacific atoll of Pingelap, where Dr. Sacks traveled, spurred on by reports of an isolated community of islanders born totally colorblind. Dr. Sacks set up a clinic in a one-room dispensary, where he listened to these achromatopic islanders describe their colorless world in rich terms of pattern and tone, luminance and shadow. The adage that “when one door closes, another one opens” happens neurologically also. People with extreme limitations in one area often seem to develop or be granted extreme capabilities in another area. Apart from the innate intrigue of the subjects Dr. Sacks covers, his studies provide profound awe at the depth of the human spirit and appreciation of the scientist's acceptance that people are not just a set of physical facts.

Speaking of islands, Oliver Sacks used to live here on City Island. It said on the back of one of his books, "Oliver Sacks lives on City Island where he swims and grows ferns.“ It was, in fact, one of the three things that introduced me to City Island and made me curious what such a place in the midst of New York City could be. Alas, he had already moved off when I moved on.

Oliver Sacks' latest book is Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain. It “examines the extreme effects of music on the human brain and how lives can be utterly transformed by the simplest of harmonies.” I can't wait to read it. Also worth reading are Seeing Voices and A Leg to Stand On, one of my favorites.

Books by the fascinating Oliver Sacks

If you believe that there is inherent value in people, you will like the writing of Dr. Sacks. If you are interested in unusual neurological occurrences, you will like the writing of Dr. Sacks. If you are an artist who knows that the unseen and the seen are two sides of a coin, you will like the writing of Dr. Sacks. If you enjoy a good thriller, stories with surprising conclusions, you will like the writing of Oliver Sacks. In short, if there is anything in which you are interested within the depths of human nature, you will find Oliver Sacks' tales well worth your time.

May 31, 2008

Pernicious Pollen and Malicious Missives

Today, the garage where my car got its annual inspection sported a voluminous blanket of dancing snowy pollen on the ground and in the surrounding air. It looked like nature was throwing a pillow fight.

Pretty Pollen

Pretty pollen packs powerful punch

The downy stuff resembled the castoffs of dandelions in their second stage and I guess that's what they were. Some customers at the garage said they were pollen. I had never associated dandelions with pollen before. I used to love them as a kid. My mom was a weed lover and influenced me to love wild growing things, not just cultivated flowers. She could never understand people who wanted to get rid of dandelions. She may not have had any highly allergic friends, though. In a moment of delicious nastiness, I suggested that the endless bouncing pollen could be mailed to people we know who are highly allergic and they'd probably never get it fully out of their houses, with its countless tiny furry parts. This amused the guys muchly and myself too, devising devious uses for the innocent fluffballs. Nature's designs are beautiful and wicked both, not unlike us children of Mother Nature.