Monthly Archives: October 2009

Sweat Lodge Deaths & Self-Help Gurus: A Question of Accountability

A Tragic Call To Attention

The recent and tragic events that involved three deaths and more than 19 injured and emotionally traumatized at a James Ray “Spiritual Warrior Retreat” deserves to be treated with some gentleness, for this is more than a news item, but a horrific experience of loss and suffering that is having an impact on far more people than only those who were there. It is also a criminal…

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Why the FDA withholds information about nutritional supplements – Some say ignorance is bliss, but when it comes to your diet, it’s anything but. Over the last 60 years, scientists have investigated the healing power of certain dietary ingredients found in nature and published their findings in peer-reviewed scientific literature. Among them…

A Kid’s Eye View of the Summer of Love


Whether or not the hippie movement was a success, and whether or not their ideas and protests stopped the Vietnam War, the flower children in that garden were the real thing.

Cooking with Coconut

Growing up in West Hartford, Conn., there were three Filipino kids in my high school: my brother, another boy and me. But in summertime, there were large, multifamily picnics where many Filipino families gathered to share Filipino foods of every kind, including bibingka, cake made from coconut milk and rice flour, traditionally steamed or baked in banana leaf.

Natural Mystic

Wild plants flourishing in L.A.’s canyons and hills have a history of magic and tradition.Burning sage is commonly understood to be an effective way of clearing energy, but it’s more than that. Every time we light a sage wand and let its fragrant smoke swirl around our homes, we’re not only creating good vibes, we’re also powerfully connecting with the native traditions of the land we inhabit…

Magical Ashland, Oregon

As a bright, blue-sky summer afternoon gives way to the softer hues of early evening, there’s not a single available parking spot along the perimeter of Ashland, Oregon’s downtown jewel, Lithia Park. It’s not always this crowded in Ashland, despite tourists flocking in droves to the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s three theatres…

H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine

There are safety concerns about the vaccine and questions about close ties between government and drug makers. The new vaccine likely will be the fastest ever to market, and immunity has been granted to the vaccine’s developers.

Since it first appeared last April in Mexico, the H1N1 flu has been not-so-merrily skipping around the globe strewing fear and misinformation in its path.

The Internet is rife with outlandish remedies (from cannabis to putting ghee up your nose), conspiracy theories—H1N1 is an evil plan by the Illuminati to reduce world population by two-thirds, and suggestions for “swine flu parties.” These party animals—and even some misguided parents who’d like to send their kids—deliberately seek exposure to the flu in hopes of acquiring immunity before it mutates into a more virulent strain. It just sounds like a bad idea to actively seek a virus that has killed…

Bite Into an Apple

U-pick orchards in the Tehachapi Valley share their luscious bounty.

by Lisa Johns

My grandmother loved autumn. Part of her joy in watching the vestiges of summer fade into the crispness of fall came from our long Sunday drives through the countryside. She never tired of looking out the window or marveling at the vivid colors of the changing landscape. A native of central Wisconsin, she loved the outdoors—the blue skies of October, our long walks…