Tuesday, April 25, 2023


 “Most researchers agree that keeping both your body and your mind active as you age probably benefits your brain,” said Ronald C. Petersen, the director of the Mayo Clinic’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.    https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2022/11/10/crossword-memory-loss-brain-games/


On the issue of memory, the New York Times recently reviewed “The Complete Guide to Memory: The Science of Strengthening Your Mind” by Dr. Richard Restak, a neurologist and clinical professor at George Washington Hospital University School of Medicine and Health.  The review quoted Dr. Restak: “The point of the book is to overcome the everyday problems of memory.” https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/06/well/mind/memory-loss-prevention.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare


The article noted that the book features mental exercises, sleep habits and diet that can help “boost memory.”  According to the New York Times, Dr. Restak argues that “[m]emory decline is not inevitable with aging” and that bolstering all three types of memory--immediate recall, working memory, and long-term memory—is the “key to warding off later memory issues.” 


The review stated that Dr. Restak calls “working memory” the most critical type of memory and that he recommends that “exercises to strengthen it should be practiced daily.”


As examples of memory exercises, the Times noted that Dr. Restak suggests recalling lists of US Presidents or favorite sport teams players or authors, to engage your working memory, “maintaining information and moving it around in your mind.” 


On this topic, I have recently published “Memorize This” on Etsy.  It is a collection of stuff to memorize—get your working memory, working.  Fill in those crossword spaces.  Call out the correct Jeopardy answers.  See it at https://www.etsy.com/shop/notesonideas/


Here is the Table of Contents:





US Presidents


President, First Lady, Vice President


US States


States and Capitals


States Dates of Ratification and Admission


State Flowers


State Birds


State Nicknames


National Anthem – Star Spangled Banner


Abraham Lincoln – Gettysburg Address


Shakespeare Selections






  Julius Caesar


  Henry V


  Merchant of Venice


  As You Like It


  Romeo and Juliet


NFL Teams by City


American Football Conference


National Football Conference


National Basketball Association Eastern Conference


National Basketball Association Western Conference


National Hockey League Eastern Conference


National Hockey League Western Conference


American League Baseball


National League Baseball


About the Editor




Sunday, February 5, 2023

Personal News

Personal News

“Free Online College Courses,” a PDF information article, is the first posting to my new ETSY shop, Notes on Ideas, https://www.etsy.com/shop/notesonideas/

Notes on Ideas is a digital download shop where PDF information articles can be immediately downloaded after purchase.

I will still be offering photographs for sale in my original ETSY shop, BostunPhoto, https://www.etsy.com/shop/bostunphoto


I also have opened a store on Cafe Press, called Wry Photo Paintings, https://www.cafepress.com/wryphotopaintings

In the Wry store, I will be offering photographs that, in most cases, have been enhanced by photo software.

Please visit.



Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Long Covid 19

“Roughly 18 million American adults (7 percent of the adult population) have at least one symptom [of Long Covid 19] that has lasted 12 weeks after infection” according to an article October 31, 2022, in the Boston Globe. The most common symptoms people report are “fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, and muscle aches.” Some people with these symptoms say that their daily activities are limited; 4.5 million describe their limitations as “a lot.”

The recommendations of Katie Bach, a writer on the economic impact of Long Covid 19 and David Cutler, an economics professor at Harvard University, include expanded access to affordable treatment and more research. As to work issues, they urged accommodations where possible. For those workers, “whose jobs are physically demanding and ineligible for remote work,” for whom accommodations are not sufficient, they listed the following short-term disability proposals that Congress should address:

“[F]ederally funded short-term disability insurance to allow long COVID patients early in their disease to rest and, hopefully, recuperate; adjusted Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability Insurance guidance and expedited review processes for infection-associated illness patients, who need a different standard of “proof’’ of disability and for whom early rest may be crucial to recovery.”

Bach and Cutler also noted that the 24-month Medicare waiting period for those on disability should be waived.


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Comfort TV

Brian Broome wrote an article Monday of this week (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/07/25/comfort-tv-golden-girls-escape/) about turning off “the strife” in our relentlessly cruel, crazy world. His solution is to watch comfort TV, and he listed his favorites.

He said: “And I watch them over and over. I long ago memorized all the dialogue and every twist and turn that these shows and episodes will take.”

Broome noted that, “You might even engage in this soothing ritual alone . . . .[because you] just can’t deal with the outside world. . . . We are supposed to ignore those nagging feelings of worry, angst and helplessness . . . .”

Broome’s article resonated with me because I also watch comfort and escape shows and also because this is also something that disabled people sometimes do. See my blog post of October 1, 2019: https://disabilitydisability.blogspot.com/2019/10/do-you-watch-tv.html

As I pointed out in that blog, taken from my book on how to apply for Social Security & SSI disability, claimants for disability benefits actually have to explain their “watching television” so as not to be denied benefits.

Social Security disability administrative law judges are trained, when questioning about memory issues, to ask claimants, “Can you follow the story on TV[?]”

Television comfort shows, as I have written, serve many purposes:

“In reality many people leave a television on as background noise or to offset other noise in an apartment building or on the street outside, as a way to block out intrusive thoughts and/or as company when lonely and depressed. Many people identify with the characters portrayed in television series—they become almost like real friends. Many people will doze off for brief periods when watching television particularly people who are in constant pain and people who are unable to sleep through the night. Perhaps a claimant may be able to concentrate on television programs, and that while watching TV, his pain is somewhat dulled.”

Monday, July 4, 2022

Vaccination vs. Non-Vaccination (Demographics vs. Psychological History)

With Covid 19 vaccination at issue, in this study, researchers attempted to identify “health messaging that is more empathic, respectful, and sensitive to the deep-seated needs of vaccine-hesitant and resistant audiences.”

Taking advantage of an ongoing longitudinal study (a 5-decade longitudinal birth cohort study, the New Zealand Dunedin Study), researchers uncovered personal psychological stories associated with vaccine intentions.

The researchers concluded that “demographic groups are poor proxies for people's actual long-held personal beliefs, preferences, cognitive abilities, and motivations that might feed into their vaccine intentions . . . .” [Emphasis added.]

The abstract stated:

“Vaccine-resistant and vaccine-hesitant participants had histories of adverse childhood experiences that foster mistrust, longstanding mental-health problems that foster misinterpretation of messaging, and early-emerging personality traits including tendencies toward extreme negative emotions, shutting down mentally under stress, nonconformism, and fatalism about health. Many vaccine-resistant and -hesitant participants had cognitive difficulties in comprehending health information. Findings held after control for socioeconomic origins. Vaccine intentions are not short-term isolated misunderstandings. They are part of a person's style of interpreting information and making decisions that is laid down before secondary school age.”

“Deep-seated psychological histories of COVID-19 vaccine hesitance and resistance”

https://academic.oup.com/pnasnexus/article/1/2/pgac034/6553423 [Accessed 07-04-2022]

Nicely Said

“. . . the court’s new originalist majority appears most of the time to be making history by inventing it, instead of by interpreting the law.”

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2022/06/clarence-thomas-gun-decision-bruen-anti-originalist.html (Clarence “Thomas’ Latest Guns Decision Is Ahistorical and Anti-Originalist” by Saul Cornell, June 24, 2022). [Accessed 07-04-2022; h/t Laurence Tribe/Brian DeLay on Twitter]

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Long Covid

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—CDC.gov), long Covid or post-Covid conditions are “a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems” about four weeks after a Covid 19 infection. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/long-term-effects/index.html [Accessed 06-25-2022]

The CDC has found that people with possible long Covid report the following symptoms:

Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life

Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (post-exertional malaise)


Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath


Chest pain

Fast-beating or pounding heart (heart palpitations)

Difficulty thinking or concentrating (brain fog)


Sleep problems

Dizziness when standing up (lightheadedness)

Pins-and-needles feelings

Change in smell or taste

Depression or anxiety


Stomach pain

Joint or muscle pain


Changes in menstrual cycles

“Some people, especially those who had severe COVID-19, experience multiorgan effects or autoimmune conditions with symptoms lasting weeks or months after COVID-19 illness. Multiorgan effects can involve many body systems, including the heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain. As a result of these effects, people who have had COVID-19 may be more likely to develop new health conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, or neurological conditions compared with people who have not had COVID-19.”

The CDC states, “for some people, post-COVID conditions may last months, and potentially years, after COVID-19 illness and may sometimes result in disability.”

According to the CDC:

“Estimates of the proportion of people who had COVID-19 that go on to experience post-COVID conditions can vary:

13.3% at one month or longer after infection

2.5% at three months or longer, based on self-reporting

More than 30% at 6 months among patients who were hospitalized”