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Vaccinate!

Vaccination is one of history’s most significant health advances. But California has had outbreaks of measles and pertussis in the past year. California also has a rising number of children…

My Oscars™ Scandal

We were ready to have a very nice party, a friend’s big brother’s 21st birthday affair in a fancy house on the cliff over the ocean, a keg of beer…

The Brotherhood Of The Grape

“California vineyards bring in record crop.”  — New York Times, Feb. 16, 2014 (Scene:  Dinner gathering of wine industry business honchos) “OK, good job this year everybody and thanks for…

Normal Water Times

Thirst is interesting. One can go weeks without food — especially if starting out corpulent — but only days without water. Rationing ratcheted many down to the minimum required for…

Cannabis Ironies & Hypocrisies

Cannabis Ironies & Hypocrisies

“Legalize pot!” What was once hippie heresy has become a bandwagon. This past weekend’s “Emerald Cup” in Sonoma County has just been covered by the San Francisco Chronicle and other…

Ken Kesey’s Early Years

Ken Kesey’s Early Years

In the mid-1960s, Ken Kesey stormed the public stage like few writers ever have. His first two novels, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion, were…

Manson: The Life & Delusions

More than one friend, when told I was reading the “definitive” new biography of Charles Manson, said “Why would anybody want to read that?” It’s a reasonable question. The Manson…

The Agony Of Ecstasy

“Ecstasy” is back in the news, although now it’s being called “Molly.” A few young partiers have died at big “Electronic Dance Music” (EDM) festivals around the nation, even prompting…

Speech Made Us Human

New books on “the brain” are being published every week, it seems, with many of them purporting to explain virtually everything about human behavior, health, follies, and the future.…

‘Personalized Medicine’

Technology rules our lives, or rather, those who develop and sell it want us to believe that. Those who are peddling all manner of genetic testing really want us to…

Wake Up, Burners!

The giant Burning Man structure went up in flames on Labor Day weekend as usual, and I watched it — online. It looked very dramatic and impressive. As the tens…

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