December 13, 2015 |
With the Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia going full throttle, the region's year in classical music was bound to be excellent. And it was, with particularly distinguished activity in the outlying areas involving specialists in music both ancient and modern from Chestnut Hill to Princeton. That doesn't mean everything worked out. But while lapses and misfires aren't as satisfying as successes, they can be just as interesting. Pope Francis' visit, for example . . . Most distracted concert.
November 25, 2015 |
WE INTERRUPT my usual "You gotta do better, people!" rant with a column full of gratitude. I know . . . let's embrace the fleeting moment. It was kind of a nutty idea, I admit. But after hearing Jennifer Pownall's story, I couldn't resist. The Northeast Philly mom was diagnosed with three meningioma brain tumors last year. Sometimes, she told me, music was the only thing that got her through the pain. So, she created the Rock Out Brain Tumors Air Guitar Challenge to raise money for the National Brain Tumor Society by asking people to make videos of themselves rocking out for a good cause.
November 25, 2015 |
FORMER PHILLIE Lenny Dykstra is filing another lawsuit. This time, according to TMZ, he's claiming suffered brain damage when he was allegedly beaten by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies while serving time for grand theft auto. Lenny's asking for a cool $15 million. Dykstra claims that in April 2012, six sheriff's deputies slammed his head against the wall and broke several of his teeth. A sheriff's spokesman is on record as saying officers had to restrain Dykstra after he became aggressive.
October 26, 2015 |
Jackie Lithgow got out of his wheelchair at the starting line and began walking. He didn't think about the steps he was taking last weekend at the Flyers Charities 5K race. He just walked, and looked like anybody else walking, flanked by his parents and sister and grandmother and other family and friends, and that was the beauty of it. After a first few steps, the 20-year-old stopped to do a little dance move - what his parents might call the twist - right there in the middle of Pattison Avenue because he was happy and because he could.
October 15, 2015 |
Virtua, South Jersey's biggest health system, has entered into a partnership with Penn Medicine for cancer and neurosciences, the two tax-exempt systems announced Tuesday. Penn's Abramson Cancer Center will replace Fox Chase Cancer Center, and in a neurosciences collaboration, Penn doctors will operate at Virtua Memorial Hospital, in Mount Holly. Virtua has been sending certain stroke patients to Capital Health in Hopewell Township, N.J. Penn, the region's biggest health system, with about $5.3 billion in revenue, has many ties to community hospitals, but "this is a deeper relationship," said Ralph W. Muller, chief executive of the University of Pennsylvania Health System after the announcement at Virtua's Voorhees hospital.
October 5, 2015 |
Sean Sanchirico has simple aspirations at this stage of his life: take classes at Rutgers Camden, spend time with family and friends, improve his game as a member of the Scarlet Raptors golf team. "Just be a normal college student," Sanchirico said, setting the bar at a level that always seemed unattainable in recent years. In one way, the 20-year-old from Haddon Township has made good on his goal. His days are pretty pedestrian for a popular pre-business major who can be found many afternoons at the Camden County Golf Academy driving range on Cooper River in Pennsauken.
September 21, 2015 |
The papal visit is a time for ritual, prayer, and meditation. Research has shown that such activities - even outside a religious context - change our brains for the better. Andrew B. Newberg, a neuroscientist and director of research at Jefferson University Hospitals' Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine, specializes in the neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences, an emerging field known as neurotheology. He has taken hundreds of brain scans of nuns in prayer, of Buddhists during meditation, of people involved in rituals, while speaking in tongues, and during trance states.
September 15, 2015 |
Psychologist Caryn Lerman spent decades studying how people react when they learn their behavior has put them at high risk of developing cancer. But education, she saw early on, isn't enough to help some smokers kick the habit. "The motivation to quit became stronger and they tried to quit more times, but they actually were unable to," said Lerman, who is now senior deputy director of the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center. "I then became very interested in why it was so hard to quit smoking.
August 30, 2015 |
In a corner of Greg Dunn's Spring Garden studio are two cabinets. One holds the sources for the science - Cajal's Butterflies of the Soul , a book of figures from the 19th and early 20th centuries focusing on the brain, and The Color Atlas of Anatomy . The other cabinet keeps the elements of his art. Mica powders, soft and glittery. Weightless tissue papers holding a variety of gold leaf - white gold, champagne gold, yellow gold. Dunn's work melds science and art, bringing images of the brain into beautiful, ethereal detail.