In September of 2016, I ecstatically added to the burgeoning class of baby-boomers becoming grandparents. There are 70 million Americans a year joining the ranks. Caregiving my granddaughter during the workweek is a bit of heaven, and much comfort to her parents. It’s also longevity enhancing for me: the Berlin Aging Study found that grandparents who provided non-custodial childcare died at a rate 37% lower than for grandparents who did not provide childcare, and even non-grandparents benefited if they did caregiving .
This is a rather indirect oral history entry–it’s a peek at American writer Jack London’s novel The Valley of the Moon (1913), a semi-autobiographical love drama. His historic glimpse of turn-of-the-20th-century California is compelling. London’s language, especially the slang of the day, is riveting, so too is his strong female character. It’s an important story that speaks to hope and resilience in the face of hardships. My family’s home, way-of-life, and region of land they came to know and explore is depicted in this extraordinary tale, perhaps that’s the true reason I adapted it for the screen. Here’s the logline and synopsis for the screenplay: Read more
Life, for me, was once punctuated by the regular delivery of letters and packages from a friend I had never met. You must know how remarkable the sender was. A busy, elderly, man he had experienced exalted stations in his long life. He was the late anthropologist, Ashley Montagu—one of the world’s brightest minds to shed light on the human condition. Read more
Have you noticed how often a baby twitches in his or her sleep, or waves, wiggles and squirms about while awake? Is all this movement necessary? What can the science of sensorimotor development tell us about these phenomena? Here are 7 reasons why a newborn baby twitches and moves every little and big part of their body. Read more
Music is a profound pleasure, even for babies–why? As neurologist, Oliver Sacks, explained: “music occupies more areas of our brain than language does—humans are a musical species”! Indeed, researchers at MIT recently discovered a distinct region for music, apart from language, in the auditory processing area. Beyond the sharing of similar sound signatures that would integrate language and music processes, music perception resides alone.