community · environment · health

Healing Honey And The Beekeeping Craze : NPR

I’m far from home right now, and feeling it. I could use a touch of home…and for some reason honey seems very homey to me. Especially when it’s made at home! Don’t laugh, urban bee-keeping is becoming a big thing, as part of the local-vore, grow-your-own-food movement.

Beekeeping classes from Medina, Ohio, to the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and New York are seeing an unexpected shift in enrollment. Numbers are way up as thousands of novices take up the hobby. And who are these new beekeepers? Increasingly, they’re women.

“The surge has really been with younger, urban women,” explains longtime instructor Kim Flottum, who teaches beekeeping in Medina.

Flottum estimates that there are about 100,000 backyard beekeepers across the United States. Exact numbers are hard to pin down. But subscriptions to the publication Bee Culture are on the rise. And when Flottum published a how-to book — An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden — 60,000 people snapped up copies. The book is aimed at making the hobby easier and using more lightweight equipment.

more via Healing Honey And The Beekeeping Craze : NPR.

behavior · brain

We are music-powered beings

It is amazing the power that music has on us. It can make us happy, cry, soothe depression, calm, enliven, and make us dance like idiots.

Babies are not immune to this, in fact there are some very famous dancing babies. Who can forget the kiddo dancing to Beyonce from a year ago?

Turns out this inclination to move and wiggle to music starts at an incredibly early age. NPR’s Science Friday showcased a study where babies where set up with headphones piping in very danceable beats. Infants would spontaneously start dancing to the beat. Sure, they weren’t all that great at it, but as the scientists point out, they’ve only been using their muscles for a few months here, so cut them some slack!

Click here to see the video

But I have never seen such a good demonstration of the power of music as with this little guy. Watch what happens right around 30 seconds and then again at 2:10.

architecture · creativity · Mental · psychology

Rx Art For Hospitals: Just What The Curator Ordered : NPR

Being able to relax during medical treatments makes treatments more effective, as well as making better patients. Diane Brown is working to add a little art and light to a scary place: hospitals.

“While hospitals have become more physically welcoming in recent years, with new buildings designed by famous architects and lobbies filled with art, those changes rarely find their way to some of the hospital’s most difficult spaces — the rooms filled with machinery where treatment actually happens.

Diane Brown is trying to change that. She’s the founder of Rx Art, a nonprofit group dedicated to bringing art into the examination room and giving patients a way to escape their bodies’ sickness through their minds’ imagination.”

more via Rx Art For Hospitals: Just What The Curator Ordered : NPR.


The Fading Art Of The Physical Exam : NPR

I played sports as a kid, and always had to start my school year with a doctor’s physical exam. Apparently that doesn’t happen much anymore.

Doctors are physically examining their patients less and less, and relying more on technology. Some doctors are bucking this trend and trying to revitalize the practice of listening and actually touching their patients.

As a woman, I am still poked and prodded on a semi-regular basis (yuck!), but I’ve never had to go in for something serious, and I’ve heard others complain about this phenomenon. I’m interested what the experience of others has been.

For centuries, doctors diagnosed illness using their own senses, by poking, prodding, looking, listening. From these observations, a skilled doctor can make amazingly accurate inferences about what ails the patient.

Technology has changed that. “We’re now often doing expensive tests, where in the past a physical exam would have given you the same information,” says Jason Wasfy, a cardiologist-in-training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

As a result, many doctors are abbreviating the time-honored physical exam — or even skipping it altogether.

more at The Fading Art Of The Physical Exam : NPR.