Check Out These Blog Posts From Steve McEllistrem

Music and the Brain

I’ve been thinking about music a bit lately, contemplating its effect on the brain, wondering why we often love songs even when we can’t understand the words. What is it about Ode to Joy that makes me happy when I don’t have a clue what the singers are singing? First of all, music changes our brain chemistry, increasing our norepinephrine levels, reducing anxiety, blood pressure and pain. It also improves sleep quality, mood, mental alertness and memory. This assumes that ...
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Shared Sacrifice

We are all capable of great goodness, and yet we are all complicit in the killing of our neighbors. Everything we do, in some way, harms the world and the people around us. We buy soap, which contains chemicals that are harmful to the environment, hurting algae or bacteria, which then hurt other life forms and still other life forms. Up the ladder we go, every action ultimately contributing in some tiny way to the premature death of someone or ...
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Our Air Quality

We’ve been hearing a lot about how great our air quality is – how it’s cleaner than it has been in decades, how we’ve made great strides in reducing smog and pollution – and it’s true that we’ve made progress in this area, but that doesn’t mean we’re doing as well as has been reported. The US’s network of about 3,900 air monitoring devices across the country routinely miss “major toxic releases and day-to-day pollution dangers,” according to a Reuters ...
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Socialized Medicine

I hear a lot about how socialized medicine is bad, how the quality of care will drop dramatically if we get it here in the US. What these people don’t tell us, however, (maybe because they’re lying or maybe because they’re just that stupid) is that we already have socialized medicine and it works quite well. It’s called Medicare/Medicaid. They other thing they don’t tell you is that our current system is truly messed up. It’s the most expensive in ...
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