Sunday, July 19, 2009

News Anchor Walter Cronkite, Dead at 92

It seems almost ironic that legendary Walter Cronkite died just before the 40th anniversary of our first moon walk. Mr. Cronkite was the newsman who most people remember when they think about watching the lunar landing and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon surface. Alas, Mr. Cronkite was 92 years old and succumbed to cerebrovascular disease.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Music a 'mega-vitamin' for the brain

LONDON, England (CNN) -- When Nina Temple was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2000, then aged 44, she quickly became depressed, barely venturing out of her house as she struggled to come to terms with living with the chronic condition. "I was thinking of all the things which I wished I'd done with my life and I wouldn't be able to do. And then I started thinking about all the things that I still actually could do and singing was one of those," Temple told CNN.

Along with a fellow Parkinson's sufferer, Temple decided, on a whim, to form a choir. The pair placed notices in doctor's surgeries inviting others to join them and advertised for a singing teacher.

By 2003, with the help of funding from the Parkinson's Disease Society, the resulting ensemble "Sing For Joy" was up and running, rehearsing weekly and soon graduating to public performances.

The group now consists of around two dozen singers, including sufferers of Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis, others recovering from conditions including stroke or cancer, plus their carers, family and friends. Led by acclaimed jazz performer Carol Grimes, the group's genre-defying repertoire ranges from Cole Porter classics to ethnic punk. Video Watch Sing for Joy perform Next....

Friends promote debut novel of writer who has post-stroke aphasia

When Owen, Frank, Audrey, and Jin-Ae meet online after each attempts suicide and fails, the four teens mak e a deadly pact: they will escape together on a summer road trip to visit the sites of celebrity suicides...and at their final destination, they will all end their lives. As they drive cross-country, bonding over their dark impulses, sharing their deepest secrets and desires, living it up, hooking up, and becoming true friends, each must decide whether life is worth living--or if there's no turning back.
Greg sez, "Albert Borris' debut novel, a YA book called Crash Into Me, comes out today... but back in December, Albert suffered a massive stroke that left him unable to get words out on paper or verbally in the proper order. He's a writer unable to write... and currently unable to help promote his own book. Fellow young adult and middle grade debut authors in the Class of 2K9 of which Albert had been co-president, are working together along with others to help spread the word so that Albert's novel gets the attention it deserves... and which he is unable to help generate." Next...

Lost in the Cosmos

Night Sky, a new off-Broadway play, concerns a world renowned astronomer named Anna who suffers an injury to her brain during a car accident and loses her abilities of language and communication – a condition known as aphasia. I was recently invited by the play’s producer to see its final rehearsal at Baruch City College in midtown Manhattan.

I arrived at the practice space, a small classroom three stories below ground in the bowels of the city college, rather early and was asked to wait outside in the hallway until the players were ready. Sitting down in a chair, I began to converse with several big men in tuxedos, sweaty in the Next...


A condition, caused by neurological damage or disease, in which a person’s previous capacity to understand or express language is impaired. The ability to speak, listen, read, or write may be affected
depending on the type of aphasia involved. Next...