Monthly Archives: May 2010

Radio Night, Frog Spawn Days

Getting the announcement part out of the way, tonight is Mad Liberation by Moonlight at 1 a.m. PST on KBOO, 90.7 FM in Portland, Oregon. Streamed on the web at http://www.kboo.fm/. It’s a call in show, blah blah blah, call in at 503-231-8187 to be on the radio, read other posts about it here. Archived shows are found on the MLBM tab above.

Always remember- click pics for full size; most are really big.

West on the Springwater Corridor trail near my home- On the left (south side) is a marsh. On the right (north) are a series of ditches that collect water and keep it for a bit until mid June or so. This is one of several places I monitor for amphibian eggs and relative potential for supporting polliwogs through their transformations.

Marsh on south side of Springwater Corridor

Picture with hard-to-see newt tadpoles as of last week

The marshy area stays pretty moist and frogs that spawn there can expect their babies to grow up unless they’re eaten by birds or some such. The ditchy area is iffy. Eggs there will hatch- the ditch pools will fill with tadpoles- but the puddles will mostly dry up before the frogs can mature.

Lots of froggy love goin on- look at all that slimy frog spawn!

The marshy area also has a healthy population of newts- gilled newts that look like this as they are changing:

The frogs I’m talking about are basic pacific tree frogs. They are brown to green ion color and start out very small and stay just a bit bigger. The newly transformed froglings will be about the size of your thumbnail. Or smaller. Fully grown, 1 or 2 years old they may be the size of your thumb. This presupposes that they survive tadpole-hood.

Babies look like this when they mature:

Hey little fella/ gal/ whatever you are

More frog eggs

The ditch puddles are still quite moist. Too wet and muddy around the edges for me to get close enough for you to see the tadpoles. But they are there- here’s a picture I took last year of  one I brought home to mature:

Newts also spawn in these ditches and most don’t survive. I’ll get some of them, too. With the newts, I have to take them back out to a place like the marsh when they’re ready.

Almost ready to leave the tank (last year)

The frogs just hop out into the world. Usually 90% of them will take off in one day from the tank on my back porch.

More spawn

My annual hobby/ mission involves finding places like this that serve as marginal habitat- attractive to frogs in love (blush) but generally not capable of sustaining their babies. I find several spots near home. Powell Butte is one of my favorites but the marginal ditch I find them is messed up this year due to construction of an underground water reservoir.

This is a picture from Powell Butte, pre-reservoir.

Powell Butte from SPACE!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Frogs, Mad Radio, Nature, pictures, tadpoles

MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study

I work at Oregon State Hospital (OSH) in Salem, OR. It exists because in Oregon as well as most everywhere else, there is an assumption in the legal system (in society in general) that the people who have a mental health diagnosis are more prone to violence than others. This assumption is reflected in the functioning of the Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB), the primary instrument of oppression of those with a mental health diagnosis in this state.  This is a direct opposite to reality/ evidence. (See also reports here and here and here. Or here– or even here.)

The best research available is the The MacArthur Community Violence Study, a gigantic longitudinal project spanning several years and thousands of people. This study included 1,136 male and female civil patients between 18 and 40 years old. The project monitored violence to others every 10 weeks during their first year after discharge from a mental institution. Patient self-reports were augmented by reports from collaterals and by police and hospital records. The comparison group consisted of 519 people living in the neighborhoods in which the patients resided after hospital discharge. They were interviewed once about violence in the past 10 weeks.

The most comprehensive study ever done regarding mental health and risk of violence found that even among the “mentally ill” who commit violent crimes, the likelihood of that person committing further violence is considerably less than an individual who has no mental health diagnosis. For individuals who simply have a mental health diagnosis, the likelihood that they will commit an act of violence is substantially less than the average person.

(The MacArthur study is so named because major funding was provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Mental Health and the Law with a supplemental grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (grant # R01 49696) to interview the collateral informants.)

One factor is that many people who have behaviors labeled as mental illness have developed these symptoms as a result of (and a coping mechanism for) being victims of violence. Having a “mental illness” actually conveys a certain degree of immunity from any tendency towards violence.

The one variable that really messes up this finding is substance abuse. People who have both “mental illness” and active substance abuse are more likely to commit violent crimes.

Judging risk of violence by public opinion is as worthwhile as using your horoscope

It would make sense that if people have adequate support in their community they would be less likely to use alcohol or street drugs to self-medicate. In this way the mental health system as it exists in the United States today contributes to violence.

So- I propose that Oregon do the following:

  1. Reform the PSRB system- starting with the elimination of the PSRB.
  2. Eliminate the State Hospital (and quit building the new replacement facility- maybe the building could be turned into something else- another prison?).
  3. Use the money saved to create a system of community services that is fully funded, consumer driven and based on a compassionate, recovery oriented ethic.
  4. Create an emergency/ acute care system that is based on the Sanctuary model, that makes use of natural/ holistic medicine and provides a variety of choices in terms of treatment styles and settings.

Meanwhile, I won’t hold my breath. The public perception of those of us with “mental illness” is such that fear over-rides sense. A inmate escaping from the State Prison merits 2 inches of news space on page 6. A patient who leaves OSH (“absconds”) without PSRB permission is front page, lead story and a week of prominent follow-up articles.

9 Comments

Filed under inhumanity, Mental Hell Treatment, Oregon State Hospital, wellness and systems change

Ani ani ani- found on the site which don’t exist

The winner:

Leave a comment

Filed under animated gif, animation, cats, comedy relief, kittens, pictures

Charm and Strange Beauty

At the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) you may have heard they are looking for the particle called the Higgs-Boson. This particle is predicted by the Standard Model in particle physics. It is the only particle predicted in the Standard Model which has not been observed in experiments up to the present day. The LHC is not alone. The particle accelerator, Tevatron, at Fermilab, has also been looking for the Higgs-Boson but at lower energy levels than those at LHC. The Higgs-Boson, if found, will help explain the reason particles have mass.

What you may not have heard about is the experiment at LHCb. This massive experiment-

is not about mass– it sets out to investigate what happened prior to 1 second after the big bang.

CERN describes the experiment for laymen saying-

Fourteen billion years ago, the Universe began with a bang. Crammed within an infinitely small space, energy coalesced to form equal quantities of matter and antimatter. But as the Universe cooled and expanded, its composition changed. Just one second after the Big Bang, antimatter had all but disappeared, leaving matter to form everything that we see around us — from the stars and galaxies, to the Earth and all life that it supports.

An important step along the way is finding the particle called “Strange Beauty”, composed of a quark and an anti-quark. This has been accomplished as of May 7th, 2010. The LHCb physicists have collected about 10 million proton-proton collisions in order to find this first Beauty Particle. The reconstruction of each event is not easy, there are about 100 particle tracks reconstructed in this event.

Leave a comment

Filed under Science

Krishnamurti Audio

(There is other KM audio to be found on this blog but I think these are ones I haven’t posted before.)

Krishnamurti–Why Do We Live With Stress

Krishnamurti–Meditation,Silence and the quiet Mind–

2 Comments

Filed under Free Audio Books, Krishnamurti, mp3, Spirituality

Monday May I (Short-Sweet)

This will be a mixture today- First, I want to call attention to some of my favorite mental health blogs.

Bi-polar Blast is now called Beyond Meds (and has been for a long time, I just didn’t get around to changing it in the blogroll). Today there is a video of Pema Chodron. Check it out here.

Ron Unger’s blog, Recovery from Schizophrenia, is a veritable fount of information, inspiration and sense. Today he’s talking about an article titled “A Fine Madness. If you poke around, though, you’ll find many wonderful things on his blog. He writes with such clarity and insight- you’ll want to read all of his entries on everything from cognitive therapy for psychosis to reducing medications to redefining Recovery. To see what he’s up to today click here.

Furious Seasons has been quiet lately but you can still read back on some great topics. Also, they have an excellent sampling of links to mental health blogs. That’s where I go when I want to find gems like this or like this.

Off the wall but not out of his mind, my pal Rich is the host of Kill Ugly Radio. Stop by and have a listen. You won’t regret it, most likely. Rich also is the guy who records my radio show and sends it to me so I can archive it here. Thank, Rich.

On the blogroll where it says “Simply the best there is”, what you’ll really find is The Icarus Project. The reason is because they are, simply, the best. Mad forums, mad radio, mad art, mad guides to living. Everything you want. Just do it.

Now for something completely different- it’s time to start scouting for frog spawning areas in my neck of the woods. They’ve been croaking up a storm around my house the last few weeks. It’s been a mostly dry spring but there’s still been plenty of rain to get things going.

Now is the time to find those puddles, ditches and wet spots that are marginal for tadpole survival. Typically there will be several spots near my home where frogs will spawn but that tend to dry up before most of the little guys can transform.

I’m going to check around and get back to you. I’ll bring back some pictures of the places I’m talking about. Then, before the second week of June, I’ll go out and rescue as many of the little fellers as I can. They’ll finish growing legs in the tank on my back porch and hop out into the world when they’re ready.

Leave a comment

Filed under CS/X movement, Free Music, Frogs, Mad Radio, mp3, pictures, wellness and systems change

Birthday of Rabindranath Tagore Today

May 7th, 1861, Rabindranath Tagore was born.

You can find most every available English translation of Tagore’s work somewhere on this blog. Here are some pictures, most of them are not ones I’ve used before. Click for full size.

Tagore was not only a poet genius, play-write, composer, he was also an accomplished painter. Much of his graphic art was impressionist or even abstract but some was vividly life-like. This painting is called “Unending Love”:

1 Comment

Filed under pictures, Tagore

That was a hard show

The radio program Friday night was difficult. No callers until… well, their was Dan, who always calls when he’s on his break at the group home… but then at 1:50 0r so the phones would not stop- crazy.  Our usual engineer, my friend Daniel F was unable to do his part because KBOO suspended him for 2 weeks because he said “shit” on the air before 10 pm a couple nights before. KBOO didn’t get any complaints but someone ratted him out to the station manager and he – well, already said it. Can’t blame them. If there had been a complaint the FCC could levy a fine that exceeds the station’s annual budget.

So, shit. It was just a hard night. Anyway, the mp3 is  uploaded, you can find it on the radio archives tab (MLBM above).

Leave a comment

Filed under Mad Radio