Overview of the Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange Blog

The purpose of the Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange Blog is to help readers understand themselves, other people and the world they live in.

In my Idea Exchange Blog, I post book reviews of books I have enjoyed reading, movie reviews of movies I have enjoyed viewing and descriptions of places I have enjoyed visiting.

Below is a list of (A) books I recommend, (B) movies I recommend and (C) places to visit I recommend.

A. Books I Recommend


B. Movies I Recommend

A Little Chaos – Posted October 25, 2014

Black and White – Posted October 25, 2015

Café Society – Posted August 6, 2016

Haemoo – Posted October 25, 2014

Learning to Drive – Posted October 25, 2015

Love and Mercy – Posted October 25, 2015

Map to the Stars – Posted October 25, 2015

Nocturnal Animals – Posted October 24, 2016

Our Brand is Crisis – Posted October 10, 2015

Pawn Sacrifice – Posted October 25, 2014

Ruth & Alex – Posted October 25, 2014

Seymour:  An Introduction – Posted October 25, 2014

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks – Posted December 23, 2014

St. Vincent – Posted October 25, 2015

The Imitation Game – Posted February 17, 2015

The Intern – Posted October 3, 2015

The Revenant – Posted December 28, 2015

The Theory of Everything – Posted September 9, 2014

This is My Land – Posted October 25, 2015

Trainwreck – Posted August 2, 2015

While We’re Young – Posted October 25, 2015

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – Posted March 13, 2016

YOUTH – Posted December 13, 2015


C. Places I have enjoyed visiting



In the Idea Exchange Blog, readers are provided with my opinions  expressed on contemporary and historical issues that are both historical and contemporary and are invited to send me their comments by leaving their comments at the end of a post or by contacting me directly by email at gsmolker@aol.com..

  1. You (the readers of this blog) are invited to share your answers to those questions with me.

Some Books Reviewed to Date

“All Marketers Are Liars” — explains how to be a great marketeer.

“The Art of Choosing” — explains why people make the decisions they make, the process everyone goes through when making choices and why people make the choices they make.

“Bury My Heart in Conference Room B” — explains why it is important to have personal values, to live your personal values, to explain your values to others, and to get emotional commitment from others.  The book outlines and explains and how to get emotional commitment from others.

“The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance” — explains what it takes to become and to be a world-class performer.

“Life on the Line” — explains what it takes to create run and maintain a leading age company.

Additionally many of the essays posted on this blog contain references to books worth reading.


“Thoughts, Perceptions and Worldly Wisdom Regarding Values, Priorities, Practices our History and Culture” — presents mind broadening food for thought.

“The Pure Essence of the Good Life” — identifies and comments on exceptional places to eat and visit, exceptional movies to see and ageless books to read.

“Movie Reviews” — a review of favorite films, beginning with films viewed by me at the Toronto Film Festival, Sept. 6 through Sept. 16, 2011 — movie reviews are written in “The Pure Essence of the Good Life” section of this blog.

Additionally several columns/essays have posted regarding my take on health, wellness, diet, striving for success, and the practice of medicine.


Future Blog Updates

This blog and the posts on this blog are updated on an irregular basis.

A post of a new essay/column may be posted tomorrow.

A post you read today may be updated tomorrow.

Date of original publication of post and of latest significant update of post will be posted at the beginnng of each post.

  1. Dear Gary,

    Just wanted to toss my peanuts into the gallery with some random thoughts in response to your recent post related to diet.

    Almost exactly 25 years ago, I was first diagnosed with breast cancer. At that that time, my Japanese-American radiologist shared the information of the incidence of cancer in American women was 1 in 11, for women in Japan it was 1 in 4000 and for 4th generation American women of Japanese descent, it was 1 in 8. Today in China, the incidence of cancer in women is 1 in 100,000, but in Hong Kong (a British colony for 99 years until 1997) it is 1 in 53. Among the symbols of affluence in HK was and still is having the means to dine extravagantly and richly in posh Western-style restaurants that serve American and European cuisine.

    Throughout the culture, images of chubby Chinese babies have been the symbol of prosperity because they represented an abundance of food and having more than enough to eat. China today has become the diabetes capital of the world since globalization and the introduction of Western foods into its diet, according to Dr. Diana Chang, a speaker at Torrance Memorial Medical Center during its Survivors’ Day celebration in June 2012. The country’s hospitals are now filling with critically diabetic and grotesquely obese infants and young children.

    The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell is a landmark study about our health and how diet impacts our health. Most agrarian cultures and diets of Asia featured staples of unrefined grains, vegetables, fish, free-range poultry and very little red meat.

    With the introduction of the Western diet, thousands of years healthy eating habits and food preparation fell by the wayside, severely impacting health negatively throughout Asia. Imagine the profound ramifications of polishing away the nutritious coatings (containing rich B-complex vitamins and trace minerals) of rice and other grains and seeds, leaving only the starch inside for mass consumption, to make them whiter and therefore more appealing. This practice has left many elderly feeble from protein deficiencies.

    Dr. Leslie Bernstein of the City of Hope framed the California Teachers Health Study over 20 years ago and has been annually tracking the nutritional, exercise and health habits of over 133,000 teachers and retirees since. Genetics notwithstanding, her one definitive conclusion is that females who began exercising as children and continue to do so throughout their lives reduced their risk of getting cancer.

    After twenty-plus years of walking 2.5 miles daily, I am living proof that exercise has contributed to my longevity, even as I continue to adjust to my cancer being a chronic condition, just as diabetes, high blood pressure or other ailments afflict others.

    By now, we have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that how, when and what you eat does make a difference in improving food absorption and metabolism and general good health and well-being. It is one of the strategies in my award-winning book A Survivor’s Secrets to Health and Happiness which includes the following Chinese proverb: In the morning, eat like the emperor. At midday, eat like a merchant. At night, eat like a beggar. Long before “You are what you you eat” became a popular saying, the Chinese believed that prevention was the key to good health, not cures after it was compromised.

    Have a happy, healthy and prosperous lunar new Year of the Horse 4712 with the following traditional blessing: Loong ma jing sun (Translation: May you have the dragon’s energy and spirit of the dragon and the horse’s stamina and strength).

    Warmest regards,
    Intercultural and Feng Shui Consultant

  2. Stay away from soda pop, especially for the kids. Order water with lemon. In fact, putting a squeeze of concentrated lemon juice in a glass of water is recommended in reducing the risk of cancer. We all know by now the damaging effects of drinking soda pop that is loaded up with a tremendous amount of sugar. A few years ago, high schools banned soda pop machines from their campuses. Fast food places are scary close to schools. They entertain the kids with ads so mom and dad feel compelled to buy a happy meal.
    The hamburger trio has taken on a ridiculous course. The fast food beef either comes from Argentina (rain forests were leveled in order to create pastures for the cattle), or from the US with the cattle loaded up with corn (which their rumen can’t properly digest) and hormones which accelerates the fattening of the cattle.
    And now for the french fires. “Acrylamide has been found to occur in many cooked starchy foods and is of concern as a possible carcinogen.[10] Acrylamide was accidentally discovered in foods in April 2002 by scientists in Sweden when they found the chemical in starchy foods, such as potato chips (potato crisps), French fries, and bread that had been heated to over 120 °C (248 °F)”. McDonald’s now posts the side effect of acrylamide in the cooking of fries.
    Our education system needs to inform children on what is in our food and how it’s produced. It’s an investment in children’s health that will have a dramatic effect in reducing health care costs in the future.

  3. Hello Gary. Pat Patrick here in Marblehead, MA. We met at a grandson’s hockey game. Thanks for putting me on your blog list! I intend to follow and I am sure comment as I am known to do from time to time, and usually on disputed matters of opinion. Why not?
    Best regards.

  4. I agree. One of life’s goal must be to travel to someplace you have never been to before and meet people who you have never met before. I have yet to do that this year…. but I will.

  5. Hello hello Gary. Alex here, you met myself and Lisa in Sicily on the train to Palermo (and once more in the city itself!) Sorry it took so long to get on and reach your blog, we’re only just returned to our respective countries for our European gallivanting. We’d both like to wish you well and praise for the blog!

  6. Curious to know if you were at UC Berkeley around 1964/65….

    • Hannah, I remember meeting your parents at their home in San Francisco. I still have an illustrated note you sent me. I have never forgotten you nor have I ever forgotten the times we spent together.

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