Home Eclectic Stuff Fall Foliage, Science’s 5 Steps to Happiness

Fall Foliage, Science’s 5 Steps to Happiness

Fall Foliage Trip Planning

Written by Kim Knox Beckius

fall colors, Hogback Mountain, Vermont

The annual display of colorful fall foliage clogs scenic byways this time of year as onlookers travel for “leaf peeping” getaways. As the trees put on a memorable show for us, behind the scenes, it’s due to the slowing of chlorophyll production. That’s what’s going on, you see: an un-greening of leaves that unveils the true colors that have been masked throughout the summer. As underlying pigments pop, lighting up the landscape, mountainsides and roadsides truly do warrant gawking.


The Future of History in the Pandemic Age

By Michael Creswell

Historians need to consider and prepare for changes to the profession that will follow the COVID-19 pandemic.

reading room of the Maritime Research Center, San Francisco
Reading Room of the Maritime Research Center, San Francisco

Attempting to predict the future is always perilous, and events frequently humble those who dare to try. Making predictions is especially hazardous for historians, who often struggle to explain the past. Peering into the future is not part of their professional training, and their efforts to do so are likely to fail.


The Pentagon is Missing the Big Picture on “Stars and Stripes”

By Mark T. Hauser

The Pentagon’s plan to scrap funding for the Stars and Stripes newspaper isn’t just an attack on a historic military institution. It’s ignoring the lessons the paper’s history offers for efficient operation and integrating military operations with the economic life of the nation.

editorial room of Stars and Stripes, WWI
Editorial Room of Stars and Stripes, WWI

In February, the Pentagon proposed slashing funding for the famed soldiers’ newspaper Stars and Stripes, a story that roared back into the news in September after its publisher reported he had been ordered to halt publication by the end of the month.


The 5 Best Ways to Prevent a First Heart Attack

By Sharon Basaraba
Medically reviewed by Richard N. Fogoros, MD

heart attack

Whether your father, mother or siblings have had heart disease may seem like the most important predictor of your own chances of a heart attack. Not so — says a large Swedish study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2014. In fact, it showed that 5 specific lifestyle factors like eating right, regular exercise and quitting smoking can combine to prevent 80% of first heart attacks.


Epiphany Central – 15 Lessons from the Pandemic

By David Erskine

Golden Gate Bridge at night

Dr.  Allen asked me to write a fourth blog yet again from just ten minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. If you read my last blog, you know that we experienced another COVID-19 surge a few weeks ago. The good news now is that California has flattened the  curve (for a second time) as I write this mid-September.


5 Things Science Says Will Make You Happier

Research-backed habits that will improve your outlook and positive attitude

By Nataly Kogan
Medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD

happy friends

It’s easy to assume that things like money and a luxurious lifestyle lead to happiness, but research shows that it’s the more simple experiences — like practicing gratitude or spending time with friends — that promote a sunny outlook.

Whether you need to shift from negative thoughts or want to continue a streak of positivity, here are five ways to boost happiness every day.


The Radical History of Corporate Sensitivity Training

By Beth Blum

Don Draper at the Esalen Institute, Big Sur
The modern-day human-resources practice is embodied by the Esalen Institute, in Big Sur, which is best known today as where “Mad Men’s” Don Draper ends up. PHOTOGRAPH BY JUSTINA MINTZ / AMC.

During these turbulent months, American corporations have responded to demands for racial justice by straining to showcase their sensitive sides. They’ve pledged, like Quaker Oats, to change offensive product names; they’ve scrambled, like Pradanascar, and Delta, to implement emergency sensitivity workshops; and they’ve opted, like most of the major publishing houses, to hire sensitivity readers to vet new manuscripts for racist representations. Not so at the Donald Trump White House.


Amtrak’s New Fall Fare Sale Lets You Bring a Friend for Free

Riding the rails is the perfect way to follow fall down the Northeast Corridor

Written by Katherine Alex Beaven

Amtrak train

Summer may be officially over — R.I.P. — but Amtrak is already giving us reasons to get excited about celebrating fall. This week the national rail service announced a huge buy-one-get-one sale on Acela business class and Northeast Regional coach train fares. This means you can buy a ticket and bring a friend for free — or just split the difference and save 50 percent on ticket prices.


“Heroes of Our America”: Reading a “Patriotic” History of the United States

By Alan J. Singer

Not long ago, history textbooks were written as patriotic fables. Examining one offers a warning about the cost of putting mythmaking ahead of historical learning

Heroes of Our America

Heroes of Our America (1952) was a history book for fourth graders published by the Iroquois Publishing Company of Syracuse, New York. Its co-authors were Gertrude and John Van Duyn Southworth. John Southworth, with Harvard and Columbia University degrees, taught at a number of schools in the New York metropolitan area and was president of the publishing company. Gertrude Southworth, his frequent co-author, was also his mother.

I picked it off my office shelf after Donald Trump called for teaching “patriotic history” in American schools as a defense against a mythical radical “left” conspiracy and to ensure that  “our youth will be taught to love America.” Heroes of Our America is an example of the kind of “patriotic history” Donald and I were both exposed to as children in the 1950s. I grabbed the book when it was discarded from the Hofstra University Curriculum Materials Center only a couple of years ago.

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