Noteably: Oliver Sacks on the creativity of disorder

…while one may be horrified by the ravages of developmental disorder or disease, one may sometimes see them as creative too–for if they destroy particular paths, particular ways of doing things, they may force the nervous system into making other paths and ways, force on it an unexpected growth and evolution.

Oliver Sacks in An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales, 1995

Smithsonian Photo Contest Winner Image by Nathan Carlsen

Smithsonian Magazine’s 2012 Photo Contest Finalists

Need a hit of gorgeous in your day? Feast your eyes on twenty-one images from Smithsonian Magazine’s 2012 Photo Contest posted on The Atlantic’s site. These are a few of the finalists. Want to see more? Head to Smithsonian Magazine.

Smithsonian Magazine's 2012 Photo Contest Finalist

Photographer not listed (© Smithsonian.com)

Then there’s this bit of awesome.

Smithsonian Magazine's 2012 Photo Contest Finalist Ron Henderson

Photo Credit: Ron Henderson (© Smithsonian.com)

See more finalists at Smithsonian Magazine’s 2012 Photo Contest Finalists.

Can We Stop Hurting Each Other Already?

Update: February 28, 2013 — “Today Congress put politics aside and voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. … Consider just one fact — that 40% of all mass shootings started with the murderer targeting their girlfriend, or their wife, or their ex-wife.”
From a White House press release: “Statement by Vice President Biden on the House Passage of the Violence Against Women Act

[hr]

If you haven’t yet seen Leslie Morgan Steiner’s talk at TEDx, it’s sixteen minutes that may just change your life. If you haven’t yet shared Leslie Morgan Steiner’s talk at TEDx, you haven’t yet changed someone else’s life.

This concerns you.

Each one of us knows someone suffering or perpetuating the pain of violence towards others, in the home or out. There aren’t t-shirts with catchy slogans like “Help me, I can’t stop hurting” so you have to pay attention.

Why should you bother?

Because this is your business. When someone you know hurts, it affects you physically, spiritually, and yes, economically. If the effect is not obviously direct, it certainly is indirect.

Need proof?

Carmen Blandin Tarleton, a registered nurse and mother of two from Thetford, Vt., was injured in 2007 when her estranged husband broke into her home, attacked her with a baseball bat and doused her with industrial strength lye.

Disfigured Vermont Woman Receives Face Transplant” on ABCNEWS.com.

If nothing else moves you to care, think about who’s paying for Ms. Tarleton’s life-giving treatment.

Feel anything yet?

Think about it for a second and if you need illumination, ask. We are a web, people. Get it. Affect it.

Leslie Morgan Steiner: Why domestic violence victims don’t leave” on TED.com.

“Music and Life”

In case you missed this, here’s a beautiful slice of perspective created from an excerpt of a lecture by Alan Watts. This piece was produced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

From deoxy.org:

Alan Watts (1915-1973) who held both a master’s degree in theology and a doctorate of divinity, is best known as an interpreter of Zen Buddhism in particular, and Indian and Chinese philosophy in general. He authored more than 20 excellent books on the philosophy and psychology of religion, and lectured extensively, leaving behind a vast audio archive. With characteristic lucidity and humor, Watts unravels the most obscure ontological and epistemological knots with the greatest of ease.

Learn more at alanwatts.com.