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PUBLISHER GARY S. SMOLKER’S COMMENTS:

The  end-goal of this blog (the “Gary Smolker Idea Exchange” blog) is to be the predominant center of the worldwide exchange of influential ideas.

QUESTION: Who is this blog published for?

ANSWER:

This blog is published for people who are passionately curious, who love to think about and discover the “reason” behind real issues, who want to understand human behavior and want to have a constant pulse on what is going on.

This blog is published for people who think “thinking” is part of the reality people have to think about.

I publish this blog to raise my own and other people’s consciousness.

Wherever you are in the world, you are invited to correspond directly with me by email.

My email address is gsmolker@aol.com.

That being said:

  • [A] This blog is published for people interested in better understanding the course and paths of social, political and economic events who want to make an impact on the world.

  • [B] This blog is written for people who desire to be exposed to other people’s thinking, ideas, perspectives, opinions, cultures and real life experiences and want to be educational and inspirational.

  1. I approach writing this blog as if you and I were sitting at a table in a cafe inspiring each other while playing a game of intellectual/aesthetic ping-pong – being engaged in intense conversation; both of us animated with a sense of fun and the anticipation of discovery.
  2. Previous posts contain reviews and comments on popular movies such as Django Unchained, Lincoln, 12 Years A Slave, The Butler, Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom, Belle, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Midnight’s Children, This Is My Land, Hannah Arendt, Can A Song Save Your Life?, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, The Book Thief, Dallas Buyers Club, American Hustle, Black and White, A Little Chaos, The Theory of Everything, Ruth & Alex, The Great Beauty, Top Five, and Pawn Sacrifice.

  3. Previous posts discuss world famous chefs and businessmen such as Grant Achatz and Isadore Sharp and how they got to be the “best” at what they do.

  4. Previous posts also discuss and comment on ideas presented in non-fiction books such as Seth Godin’s “All Marketeers Are Liars”; Stan Slap’s “Bury My Heart in Conference Room B”; Sheena Iyengar’s “The Art of Choosing”; Fred Davis’ “Fashion, Culture and Identity”; Debra N. Mancoff’s “Fashion Muse – The Inspiration Behind Iconic Design”, Harold Evans’ “They Made America”; General Stanley McChrystal’s “My Share of the Task, A Memoir”;  Jose Ortega y Gasset’s “The Dehumanization of Art”;  Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers – The Story of Success”; Ren Koolhaas’ “Delirious New York”; Jean Claude Gautrand’s “Paris ~ Portrait of a City”; Joan DeJean’s “The Essence of Style – How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafes, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour”; Paul Veyne’s “Bread and Circuses – Historical Sociology and Political Pluralism”, Ping Fu’s “Bend, Not Break”, Tom Rath’s “Eat Move Sleep”, William Davis’ “Wheat Belly”, John McDougall’s “The Starch Solution”, David Perlmutter’s “Grain Brain”, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.’s “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease,” Dean Ornish’s “the Spectrum”, Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”, Pierre Bourdieu’s “Distinction – A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste”, Jacques Barzun’s “The Culture We Deserve”, Elias Canetti’s “Crowds and Power”, Carroll Quigley’s “The Evolution of Civilizations”, Fernand Braudel’s “Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism”, Jon Meacham’s “American Lion”, Scott Anderson’s “Lawrence in Arabia”, Simon Sebag Montefiore’s “Jerusalem” and Richard Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods.”

  5. Previous posts discuss general release films and films which I’ve seen at the Toronto International Film Festival and/or at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

  6. Previous posts (a) discuss how to judge the quality and distinction of a film, (b) report on the early work and debuting works by gifted new film directors and (c) discuss and highlight the work of established master film makers.

  7. Previous posts also discuss quintessential experiences I have had in New York City, in New Orleans, in Chicago, in Toronto, in Paris, in Prague, in London, Moscow, Vienna, Rome, Cairo, Alexandria, Athens, and in Istanbul.

  8. Previous posts discuss what I have learned through my own personal experience with respect to down to earth challenges such as (a) losing weight, (b) coping with the glut of available information regarding health and wellness, (c) dealing effectively and efficiently with the practices of the medical profession and (d) changing diet and lifestyle instead of taking pills to prevent heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cognitive impairment.

  9. I try to connect people who are the best at what they do and the best ideas to the right people at the right time.

  10. I seek to be part of the process by which great books, great films, great ideas and the Internet bring people of our world closer together, and connect them to themselves and to each other.

PUBLISHER GARY S. SMOLKER’S PHILOSOPHY:

Exceptional things come when passion comes first.

Life should be led with fun, passion, joy and a sense of style.

Ideas are the ultimate creator of wealth.

To be an exceptional leader you need to be an exceptional sharer of information.

THE GOALS OF THIS BLOG ARE (1) TO SHARE IDEAS, INSIGHTS, KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCES; (2) TO STIMULATE THINKING; (3) TO EXPOSE PEOPLE TO THINGS WORTH KNOWING AND THINKING ABOUT AND (4) TO HELP PEOPLE MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD.

NEW POSTING SCHEDULE AND NOTIFICATION OF NEW POSTINGS

New postings on this blog are posted irregularly.

Once a post is posted it is often revised.  Each revision is posted in real-time as it is being written.

Readers may obtain e-mail notification of new postings on this blog by clicking the follower button.

To See A List of Prior Postings click on “Archives” and then click on the posting(s) you wish to read.

Happy reading and best wishes,

Gary S. Smolker, Publisher of the Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange Blog, http://www.garysmolker.wordpress.com

Copyright © 2014 by Gary S. Smolker

  1. Good job Gary! I sent this to my daughter who is a Realtor in Ventura and to my architect friend here in Santa Barbara because I thought you covered the book “All Marketers Are Liars” extremely well and that they could get some great sales tips from your blog. I know I did!

    But, I don’t know how you find the time to do all the writing you do Gary. When do you eat, sleep or work?

    Thanks for your blog!

    Your pal,
    Paul

  2. Hi Gary! I think this blog is refreshing all the way down to the jazzy uplifting music. Runway Magazine supports you and wish you the best of luck with it…:)

    JB
    Runway Magazine Inc
    http://www.RUNWAYMAGAZINE.co

    Runway FTV
    YOUNG90210
    Runway Shopping Channel
    Get Legal Magazine

  3. Hi Gary, You and Judi shared a table with us at a night club on Bourbon St. during your trip to NOLA. Then we ran into Judi in a cemetery and you on the street after you had bought your shirt to get into Commanders Palace. I’m from Boise ID and we talked about food here. You really should give it a try. I recommend Red Feather – it’s mostly local food and they even have a worm farm in the cellar where they recycle food and use the compost to grow more food. Both Melissa and I enjoyed talking with you and Judi. Hope you’re doing well. Fun travels….
    Susan

    • Susan, Thank you for your comment. I think the reason New Orleans has so many great restaurants is because it has so many great restaurants. New Orleans is an example of the systemic effects of having productive creative people (such as chefs) and business enterprises (restaurants) in close proximity to one another. Great restaurants bring in tourists who want to eat at great restaurants which creates a bigger demand for great restaurants. The impact of productive peers is that everyone becomes more productive. Innovations spread from one person to another person across streets, and so on and so forth. It is a virtuous cycle. Judi and I enjoyed talking to you and Melissa and we are doing well. Gary

  4. Mike McGuinness

    Hi – might I suggest checking out the following books by Gary Taubes:
    1. “Good Calories, Bad Calories – Fats, Carbs and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health”
    2. “Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It”
    Since eliminating sugar insofar as possible (no milk – contains sucrose; no fruit – contains sugars) and limiting net carbs to 20/day, I essentially have eliminated my use of insulin (except when I “cheat” and eat Christmas cookies) and have not gained back the 40lbs I lost when changing my lifestyle two + years ago. Lipid profiles are fabulous and I mainly keep an eye on triglycerides (<50) at last check.
    Best to all…

    Mike McGuinness, CIH

    PS – I'm not sure that this is the proper place for this post relative to the diet thread Gary is reporting on…

  5. Hi Gary,
    Here’s a short version to a long answer about the state of farming in the USA. Some of what I’m saying here I will soon post on your Blog about the book report on The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
    The small one crop farmer isn’t making it, so one by one they are bought out by the corporations who take advantage of laws that were intended to help the small independent farmer. In previous centuries the farmer grew several crops at once while using agrarian principles and empirical knowledge that evolved over thousands of years, ie. letting the ground stay fallow every 7th year, so that the soil can be enriched by the absorption of the colloidal minerals that are transferred to the vegetables and fruits we eat. But when synthetic fertilizer was introduced in the 1920′s, farming dramatically changed. As Michael Pollan states in his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, “Growing corn, which from a biological perspective had always been a process of capturing sunlight to turn in into food, has in no small measure become a process of converting fossil fuels into food.” The inventor of synthetic fertilizer, Fritz Haber, was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1920 for “improving the standards of agriculture and well being of mankind.” Synthetic fertilizer is made by combining nitrogen and hydrogen under intense heat and pressure in the presence of a catalyst. Huge amounts of electricity are needed and the hydrogen is supplied by oil, coal, or natural gas. As Pollan wrote “Liberated from the old biological constraints, the farm could now be managed on industrial principles, as a factory transforming inputs of raw material –chemical fertilizer–into outputs of corn.” Corn uses 50% of the synthetic fertilizer produced. The game of producing massive amounts of corn at the taxpayers expense was on. The underpinnings of BIG CORPORATE agriculture is the bottom line, where profits often supersedes the health of the people it serves. As the public became more aware of the depleted nutrients that we received from the vegetables and fruits we eat, the nutritional supplement business started to flourish in the 1990′s.
    The next ugly shift in the food we eat came in 1994 with the emergence of the Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). The promise of higher yield and crops engineered to be resistant to herbicides was met with resistance in over 60 countries, including all of the European Union, Japan, and Australia. But not the US. I would imagine that Big Business had their say in this acceptance. It should be of no surprise to see that Monsanto is buying up many of those small farms going under – the very same farms that were forced to buy Monsanto’s seeds every year (GMO corn doesn’t provide seeds, unlike natural corn) which put the farmer further into debt. The farmers were doomed like landed fish, it was just a matter of time before their farming days were over, and with it another brain drain on the proper way to farm. The Monopoly food game is rigged by giants such as Dupont and Monsanto, with of course, a complicit government. It’s alarming that there’s little public uproar when former VP and attorney for Monsanto, Michael Taylor was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Foods, a newly created job in the FDA. When there’s a conflict of interest, the public is the guinea pig.
    The tentacles of corn fan out deep into the fabric of the food industry. This includes the numerous corn based products, corn sweeteners, corn oil, starch,etc, used in processed foods and drinks. Corn has become the staple for the fast food beef industry. Corn sweetener is one of the main components in soft drinks like Coca Cola. So it’s easy to see how many businesses benefit from a low corn price, especially when the Government underwrites it with taxpayer money that subsidizes the farmer for his bumper crop of corn.
    The side effects of jumping with both feet into the GMO pool are starting to be noticed in the increased rate of miscarriages and gastrointestinal diseases. Corn is our #1 vegetable, so it should be the 1st place to look at when there’s a dramatic rise in a health problem. Will Michael Taylor turn over every stone to expose what is necessary for the public to know.
    In India, over 250,000 farmers have committed suicide because of Monsanto’s costly seeds and pesticides, not to mention the meager results that failed to meet the promises of Monsanto.
    The shift that went against the grain of common sense has begun. Can we turn it around? Maybe we can start by changing our buying habits.
    Since we are being treated like cattle eating from the same trough, it’s time to lift our heads up and ask the grocer what foods are GMO produced and stay away from them. Why not even ask the grocer why they don’t have a section in the produce section marked GMO or non GMO? Maybe, they’ll start listening if enough people mention that they are concerned about the health issues that GMO’s may contribute too.
    Stop eating FAST FOOD. It’s crap and we know it. But now their meat is corn fed beef, not grass fed. The rumen (stomach) of cattle is designed to process grass not corn, especially GMO corn.
    Keep you head up and make a difference.

  6. Stephen Bottfeld

    Hi Gary,

    Reading your blog reminded me that my own loss of 60 lbs over a 14 month period eliminated my sleep apnea, reduced my COPD to almost normallevels and led to the elimination of cancer in my kidney.

    People don’t seem to recognize the impact of excessive weight on diseases. They think diabetes and maybe heart problems. They don’t realize the impact excess weight has on ALL body functions and elements … and that includes brain activity as well!

    Keep on writing!!

    Best,
    Steve

    • And note all the over weight people consume lots of “diet” foods and drinks. these contain diuretics. diuretics effect the thyroid and cause weight gain because the thyroid controls metabolism.

      Effects of diuretics on thyroid function of guinea pigs.
      Chow SY, Tao PL.
      Abstract
      Uptake of radioiodide by the isolated thyroid and serum concentrations of thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3) were determined in guinea pigs pretreated with ethacrynic acid (20 mg/kg), furosemide (40 mg/kg) or hydrochlorothiazide (40 mg/kg). It was found that both ethacrynic acid and furosemide suppressed the 131I uptake by the isolated thyroid tissues. In addition, thyroid weight and serum T3 concentration were lower in ethacrynic acid-treated animals. It seems that some diuretics, particularly ethacrynic acid, depressed the function of thyroidal follicular cells.

      Stop eating diet foods and drinks
      Drink more water and you will consume less real food.
      Hunger is really thirst. Drink water when you think you are hungry.

      • According to Dr. Mark Hyman:

        Diet drinks are not good substitutes for sugar-sweetened drinks. They increase cravings, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes and they are addictive.

        The direct and indirect costs of diabetes in America in 2007 amounted to $174 billion. The cost of obesity is also significant, and amounts to $113 billion every year. From 2000 to 2010, these two conditions have already cost us a total of $3 trillion.

        By 2020, there will be fewer than 20 million deaths worldwide from infectious disease, but more than 50 million deaths chronic preventable lifestyle diseases – heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. These are all fueled by the same preventable risk factors: high blood pressure, overweight, physical inactivity, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and smoking.

        But strikingly, 95 percent of private and public efforts and finding focus almost exclusively on combating communicable or infectious disease.

    • Steve,

      I read in “The Daniel Plan” (a book published in 2014, written by Rick Warren, D. Min., Daniel Amen, M.D. and Mark Hyman, M.D.):

      One in two Americans suffer from some chronic disease. Heart disease; diabetes; cancer; dementia; autoimmune diseases; allergies, acid reflux; irritable bowels; neurological problems; depression; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; thyroid, hormonal, and menstrual problems; skin problems including eczema, psoriasis, acne, and more. We spend almost $3 trillion a year on our health care system, and almost 80 percent of that is for chronic lifestyle preventable and reversible disease.

      I would like people to think through their myriad lifestyle choices. Your posted comment will help them do that.

      Please ask any cartoonist to draw a cartoon for me to use, FREE OF CHARGE, in which a physician says “Only you can end illness.”

      Check out my post entitled “Footnote No. 2 in A Mentor’s Journal – High Powered Time Starved Woman Working While She Hurriedly East Breakfast” – about a heart attack about to happen.

      Best regards,

      Gary

  7. I am a 73 year old female who exercises as much as my body allows. I have moderate heart disease with a 320 Calcium Scoring. and am currently choosing the No wheat, no sugar and no meat and and avoiding oils. I appreciate your sharing such a wealth of information and your many insights about all the conflicts of the professionals regarding heart disease. Your decision to go on the Prevent and Reverse program was encouraging to me as I just have a hard time eating so much saturated fat. I am wondering if you supplement with Omega 3 and eat walnuts and almonds. How strict of a program should one have who has a score of 311. Can you reverse the plaque with adding almond milk, and occasionally eating fish, or do you have to be very strict to reverse the plaque build up.

    Also, I am interested if you have any comments, books to share about bio-identical hormones and if they would help to lower the plaque in the arteries. It seems the right doses of the bio=identical hormones help a host of problems, (bones, heart, brain, sleep) Looking forward to your reply.

    • Thank you for your note.

      I will try to prepare a worthy answer.

      I am in no position to give you medical advice.

      I can’t tell you what to do or what not to do.

      However, I will start or keep the ball rolling with the following six comments:

      1] My first off-hand comment is, I question the use of the word “milk” in the expression “almond milk.”

      2] My second off-hand comment is that in my own life for my own reasons, I don’t eat “nuts” or “seeds” as a result of what John A. McDougall, MD says about “nuts” and “seeds” in his book “The Starch Solution.”

      3] My third off-hand comment is that each individual is unique and lives in unique circumstances and conditions – what works for one individual might not work for another individual because of the uniquesness of each individual and/or because of the uniqueness of each individual’s circumstances and condition.

      4] Each thing an individual does can have a mutlitude of effects, primary effects, dominant effects and secondary effects.

      5] It is important to have a clear goal For example my primary goal is to maintain my mental acuity. I would rather die early and be as sharp as a tack when I die then to live a long life but not be able to think straight, not be able to know who I am, not be able to know who my loved ones are, and not to be able to interact with people in a thoughful and meaningful way.

      6] I would like to be given enough meaningful information from my doctors to be able to make an informed intelligent decision. For example: If I was told to take a “pill” in order to prolong my life by an MD, I would like that MD to tell me how much longer I will be expected to live if I take that pill than if I don’t take that pill. I would also like to be told what kind of effect might that pill might have on my mental acuity and on my sex life. Additionally, I would like to be given a copy of the full report of scientific data upon which my MD’s recommendation to take a given pill is being given.

  8. With holidays approaching people are searching for healthy, unique holiday gifts. Often sending candy. This year I am proud to introduce you to Mrs. Moskowitz’s Munchies, an award winning healthy nut and dried fruit snack in a variety of packaging choices.Munchies will show your friends a thoughtful statement of individuality and good taste.
    Please look at http://www.mrsmoskowitzsmunchies.com and email Susan with any questions or special requests. Please allow time for holiday shipping.
    susan@mrsmoskowitz.com.

  9. I keep reading that statins “may” have the benificial effect of stablizing plaque.

    Do you know of a study that proves that statins stabilize plaque.?

    Have a great day.

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