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Loneliness – Our Very Real “Matrix”

“Let me tell you why you’re here,” said Morpheus. Neo looks on with skepticism and we hear the ambient sound of thunder and rain. Morpheus continues: “You’re here because you know something. What you know, you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. […]

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Loneliness Can Kill You! No, Really . . . It Can Kill You!

Remember the movie “Crocodile Dundee?” A recent medical journal article with a very dry title made me think of a scene in that movie. Here’s the scene: Crocodile Dundee, himself has gone to a party with his New York girlfriend. Across the crowded room, she points out that her mother has arrived among the revelers […]

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Japonicas

I thought I’d moved to the “Sunny South” when I moved to Birmingham last year, but the Spring of 2014 didn’t exactly march in and take over. Last year, Spring was more like a timid child, peeping around the door into a room, fearful of what might be found in there. I think this year […]

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Walking in the Light

I must confess that I’m not a morning person. It’s true that I get up around 5:00, do my discipline of silent meditation, brew coffee, eat breakfast, then head out for the hospital. This pattern has been going on since I was in college and I had a host of 8:00 classes. In fact, throughout […]

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Wolves in Yellowstone

I’ve been reading about “trophic cascades” recently after a dear friend sent me this video. I’d not seen the video, but evidently more than 14 million others have!  It’s a perfect example of how everything in nature has a role to play, a role we must strive to understand and value.  Take a look! I’m still […]

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The Ministry of Watching Football

“What do I love to do?” the young man asked. He opened his palms upward and shrugged his shoulders. With a laugh he said, “I love to watch football.” Others in the room laughed with him. The man had responded to a question I’d asked a couple of months ago while I was in Tuscaloosa. […]

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Lucy’s Beats Starbucks

Let me be clear: I LIKE Starbucks. In the West Pavilion here at UAB Medicine, we have a Starbucks coffee kiosk and I go there frequently and get their “Veranda Blend.” A fantastic woman named Annie works there and when she sees me coming, she fills a cup for me even before I get to […]

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Looking Upstream

Wendell Berry once said, “Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.”  In my opinion, it’s a great variation on the Golden Rule.  It’s also a nicer sentiment than it’s corollary, “Always drink upstream from the herd.”  The second quote comes from a compendium of so-called Cowboy Wisdom, the first from […]

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Where Would the Big Wheels be without the Ball Bearings?

Back in 1968, one of my sister’s boyfriends invited me to go with him to the National 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  This was back before NASCAR was cool and televised and large corporations renamed the tracks and the races, which proves I’m a long-standing, North Carolina redneck.  It was also before my sister agreed […]