Category Archives: Popular Culture

The Real Story Of The Prince Tragedy


For many people hearing about drug abuse, addiction is seen an issue faced by those with limited resources and limited ability to make changes in their life. However, celebrity drug addiction, including the recent death of Prince, shines a light on just how pain medication addiction can be found at any level of society.

According to friends of the late singer, Prince had an addiction to opioids that has been with him for at least a decade. He was first seen taking opioids after a hip strain, and he continued to up his dosage to continue to perform as early as a decade ago. Continue reading

Reclaiming A Missing History: The Founding of Black History Month

Can you imagine what it must feel like to hold a history book in your hands and find no trace of yourself in the pages? To know you exist, to know your parents existed before you and their parents before them, and find no record must be a kind of grief and alienation one hopes to never feel. Born in 1875, a child of slaves, Dr. Carter G. Woodson would become both a scholar and a historian as well as lead the charge in reclaiming the silent history of African Americans.

What started as his own effort became the founding of the (later known as) Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the publishing of the Journal of African American History, organizing the 1st Annual Negro History Week in February 1926 and, fifty years later, he would see that week become an entire month of celebration. Continue reading

Presidents Day: Fun Facts About the Men Who Ran the Nation

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Since 1885, we’ve been celebrating the birth of George Washington though today we usually refer to the third Monday in February as Presidents’ Day. It is today that we honor the 44 men who have held the office of President of the United States of America and all they’ve done. But did you know any of these fun facts?

Security or Surveillance: Who Sees What You Share?


Social media has made it easier than ever before to have your opinions and views heard. Facebook, Twitter, and other major social media networks around the world have given individuals a collective ‘voice’ of unprecedented scope and power. With a simple hashtag or ‘share’, a small conversation between just a few individuals can spark a larger debate with far-reaching implications. Millions can weigh in on topics ranging from the benign to the profound; proclaiming a passion for yoga or distrust of genetically-modified foods as well as sharing cute photos of nieces and nephews.

Yet many social media and Internet users are unaware of the additional weight their personal information carries. Today it’s safe to say that any data transmitted via digital device isn’t private – in addition to government agencies, it’s become common practice for the marketing arm of corporations, HR departments, and other entities to seek out and ‘mine’ the data willingingly shared to social media sites as well as via other digital tools.

In addition to well-known NSA activities, the government hires data retrieval companies to compile what they call “public opinion.” By keeping track of who is influencing the most individuals with their postings, it’s possible to keep tabs on certain activists and compile a “watch list” of groups on the forefront of social disruption. Even with your privacy settings on their highest restriction within your social media preferences, these data retrieval companies can still gain clearance and obtain personal information. Continue reading

I Have A Dream: The MLK Speech That Almost Wasn’t

He volunteered to speak last.
He promised to keep his words to 4 minutes.
He had no plans on talking about his dreams.
Martin Luther King Jr still managed to change history that August day in 1963 as more than 250,000 protesters gathered for the March on Washington.

Today we celebrate all he did and continues to do through the power of words, courage and presence. The History Channel shared this amazing video about the man and the dream:

Hillary Clinton: Life Lessons from the Benghazi Testimony


Yesterday, when my daughters and I came home after school, I put on the live stream of Hillary Clinton testifying before the Benghazi hearings.

I’m not sure if they were 6, 7 or 8 hours into grilling Hillary Clinton yet, but at that particular moment, a Republican congressman was shouting at her. My girls watched, first with horror and then laughing – who is that man? (Actually, my 11 year old daughter asked “Who is that crazy man?”) As he continued to give his own theory on Hillary Clinton’s actions around Benghazi, my 8th grader, who has done mock trials in Elementary and Middle School, asked if that is how a hearing is supposed to go – are you supposed to make up someone else’s story? Or, are you supposed to ask questions, listen, and gather information, facts?

But it was Hillary’s demeanor – calm, collected, in control – that made the most dramatic impression on my daughters and me.

She listened. She reviewed her notes. She didn’t attack.

She smiled as a panel in front of her berated her with nonsensical questions. She acted like a seasoned world leader.

Here are a few life lessons that my girls and I talked about after the debate: Continue reading

Being Intent on Always Moving Forward: Dick Van Dyke on Aging

Recently Dick Van Dyke sat down with NPR to talk about his new book and his advice on getting older.  In it, America’s favorite song and dance man of the modern era talk about romance (his wife is 46 years his senior), taking care of his body (he said he owes his body an apology for habits of the past) and on singing and dancing even as he ages ( “Everybody can sing. That you do it badly is no reason not to sing.”)

Van Dyke says he asks a question of people as they age and now we want to ask you:

Of all the things you enjoyed doing when you were younger that you can’t anymore, what do you miss?

Breast Cancer: Being Aware and Being a Help

October is a month known for sweaters, pumpkins and fall leaves. It is also Breast Cancer Awareness month, a time when we rally around survivors, family, friends and remember those who lost their battle to the most common form of female cancer. So what do we need to be aware of?

1. Mammograms and other early detection methods can save a life.
The American Cancer Society says, Continue reading

Thanks, Ben Carson for Killing the American Dream for so many Children.

Deepak Chopra with his son, Gotham Chopra, and daughter, Mallika Chopra
Deepak Chopra with his son, Gotham Chopra, and daughter, Mallika Chopra

My parents tell a story about a debate around my birth.

They were newly married and had moved to the US for my father’s medical training. They had arrived in this country with $8, but through hard work and determination, were building a life together. They believed in the American dream.

The fact was that it was expensive to deliver me in the US, and it would be less expensive for my mother to fly back to India and have me there, surrounded by her parents and in-laws. My grandparents could then buy the ticket for her to return here with me.

But here was the problem. Continue reading

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