Friday, August 28, 2015

In honor of Oliver Sacks

Here is program #1 of Gray Matters, the companion audio series to my book on the brain. Caring doctors and researchers do really save lives.

Listen: Alcohol, Drugs and the Brain, Pt. I

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Understanding money fears...and letting go

In years of talking to people about money, I've learned to back away sometimes. Friday was one day that reinforced this idea.

The stock market tanked and everyone, it seemed, was nervous.

One woman, who had invited me to talk about finances a while back, gave me a "I told you so," at the local eatery where she works.

A social work friend once introduced me to the concept of "learned helplessness." Sometimes, many times, people like the waitress mentioned above, just can't conceive of a better way and they need to complain about...taxes, the government, the burdens of raising a family on no money...anything. It's frustrating to me and sad because the market doesn't always tank and if everything closed down--the stock market, the government--we'd be after each other with pitchforks. Possible? OK. Likely? No.

Here are some common fears I come across and that I've held myself. And this article offers solutions.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Why It's So Hard to Quit Smoking

I'm glad to share this timeless, important program on the effects and causes of addiction. This program inspired me to write my book, The Dana Sourcebook of Brain Science. Listen to the program to learn how to get a copy of the book, the result of advice and consultation from the world's leading brain researchers. A heady group with a lot of compassion.

There's a lot of compassion here by scientists who explain the road to addiction and the treatments available.

Click here to listen to Part I (30 minutes)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Thank you, Jimmy Carter

I cast my first vote for president for Jimmy Carter. Most conclude his was a failed presidency, but he will look better as time passes. He ended U.S. colonialism in Panama, brought real peace to Israel and Egypt that endures today, and was years ahead of popular opinion in championing solar energy. But, of course, it was all his post-presidential work that raised him to world attention.

Mr. Carter and the Carter Center saved millions of lives previously lost to intractable diseases in Africa. He highlighted the housing crisis for the poor literally building houses for Habitat for Humanity. He spoke out against the horrors of human rights abuses against women in this country and worldwide. Mr. Carter brought election fairness to numerous countries. Jesus, he said as a devout evangelical, would have supported gay marriage. His was a lone voice during the dark days after Bush started the Iraq war. He used his Nobel Peace Prize award in 2002 as a platform to speak out, as America's politicians cowered at Bush's bullying.

The days may be short now for this giant, diagnosed with metastatic cancer last week. I hope this is not the case. Whenever he leaves us, it will be an enormous loss. We are better, astonishingly better, for all he has done.

Read article.

Friday, August 14, 2015

A formula for excellent dining in the Capital Region

Humberto and Francisca Cruz welcomed me to their restaurant and allowed me to talk to their staff regarding my financial business, when many others were not very welcoming. I came for the welcoming atmosphere and stayed for the great, affordable food.

This wonderful couple from southern Mexico bring a cultural diversity and hospitality excellence unmatched. They offer Mexican AND American food that you just can't find anywhere. Burgers? Steak and Eggs? Pancakes? Burritos? It's all here. Cleanliness? Yep. Great service? That, too. A bill that won't hurt your budget? Absolutely.

Give them a visit. You'll go back, soon.

Watch video.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Yum...Fried Ice Cream and Good Home Cookin'

There's nothing likie the experience of eating fried ice cream after a meal or just by itself. Francisca and Humberto make it like no other. A treat that must be experienced. Come to visit our friends at the Point Cafe in Schenectady. Watch and share this video on this great place to dine.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Money and our Emotions

(Adapted from GoingBankRates.Com)

Some sayings I've kept in mind about money:

--Money can't buy happiness, but just try living without it. 
--Why do I feel better with $20 in my pocket than when I don't?
--Without money, you have no choices, no power.

"Money fears touch upon every one of our deepest psychological needs as a human being, those being: to love and be loved, to experience fun and enjoyment, to want freedom and to experience some degree of power over our lives,” said Leisa Peterson, CFP. “Not all things we deal with in life touch upon every single one of these core psychological needs, but money does. This means that when money problems comes up, we are forced to consider every aspect of our lives falling apart instead of just one or two. It is all subconscious but it is huge.”

Get answers.

Full article.

Great a great small business

The Point Cafe in Schenectady is a hidden gem. Great food, from morning to evening. Great service. Great atmosphere. In the area? Pay them a visit!


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Womens' Six Worst Money Fears

(Adapted from

Scratch the surface, and we all have fears about money. Fear is our most powerful can motivate and it can paralyze. 

Oprah Winfrey calls fear "False Evidence Appearing Real." Money can be a scary subject for many people, and like most important topics, women and men deal with it differently. Here are six money fears experienced by women–and what to do about them. 

  1. Fear of Homelessness. Many women worry they will wind up homeless. It is critical to remember that your financial future is in your hands–being destitute doesn’t just happen. “Bag lady Syndrome.” The most documented female money fear is commonly referred to as the “bag lady syndrome,” or anxiety about finding yourself suddenly destitute and on skid row. Lily Tomlin, Gloria Steinem, Shirley MacLaine and Katie Couric have all reported suffering from this fear. Get informed here.
  2. Not Smart Enough. Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, money coach and author of Wealth from the Inside Out, says she often hears women complain, “I am too stupid to learn about finance.” “It’s not that you are not smart enough, it is that you have not been socialized to talk about finance with others, and women tend to learn through conversation,” Kingsbury says. Get informed here.
  3. Fear of Being a "Bad Mother." It is common for mothers to fear their kids won’t be able to afford college–and to sacrifice their retirements as a result. “There is no Pell Grant for retirement,” points out financial writer Dayana Yochim. There are scholarships and loans for students, however. Get informed here. 
  4. Fear of Mistakes. Fear of making money mistakes means many women defer to their husbands to handle family finances–then find themselves lost in the case of divorce or death. It is critical women educate themselves about money and get involved in their finances, no matter their marital status, says Binney Wietlisbach, president of Philadelphia-based Haverford Investments, and a financial advisor of 25 years. “I can’t even begin to count the number of times women are excluded from the investment discussions,” she says. Get informed here. 
  5. Fear of Taking Control. Fear of making mistakes also paralyzes many women from taking control of their money, or stashing their savings in low-interest rate accounts that actually loose money when taxes and inflation are considered. “Women need to recognize that everyone makes mistakes; it’s part of learning,” says Jessica Maldonado, vice president of Searcy Financial Services in Overland Park, Kan. “There are few mistakes that can’t be undone. But if your concerns are immobilizing, consider hiring someone to help you avoid those mistakes.” Get informed here. 
  6. Fear of Divorce. Often,women stay in unhealthy relationships for fear that divorce will guarantee poverty, says Lisa Decker, divorce financial analyst based in Atlanta. “The fear of the unknown is more comfortable than the thought of struggling through money woes,” she says. Decker advises taking small steps to understand your financial picture, then find ways to make enough money to support yourself. Get informed here.

Staples closes, Romney wins

Willard "Mitt" Romney campaigned as a venture capitalist who would bring his job creation model to America. Here is one local story, and, as Dr. Phil would say, "So, how's that working for ya?"