Thursday, August 31, 2023

Podcast with David Waltner-Toews, author, On Pandemics about pandemics

Posted by Elena del Valle on August 21, 2023

 David Waltner-Toews, author, On Pandemics
David Waltner-Toews, author, On Pandemics

Photo: Sam Steiner

A podcast interview with David Waltner-Toews, author, On Pandemics Deadly Diseases from Bubonic Plague to Corona Virus, is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations, During the podcast, he discusses pandemics with Elena del Valle, host of the podcast.

David is a Canadian epidemiologist, veterinarian, and specialist in the epidemiology of food and waterborne diseases, zoonoses, ecosystem health, and One Health, whose work has been instrumental in the development of teaching and training programs across North America, Europe, and Asia. He is the author of more than 20 books including textbooks, nonfiction books about science and health, murder mysteries, and poetry and short story collections. He lives in Kitchener, Ontario.

To listen to the interview, scroll down and click on the play button below. It is also possible to listen by looking for “Podcast” then select “HMPR David Waltner Toews” and download the MP3 file to your audio player. You can also find it on the RSS feed. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the August 2023 section of the podcast archive.

New York professor advocates for benefits of anxiety

Posted by Elena del Valle on July 26, 2023

Future Tense

Future Tense

Photos: HarperCollins Publishers, Jenny Anderson

In Future Tense Why Anxiety Is Good For You (Even Though It Feels Bad) (Harper Wave, $29.99) Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, Ph.D. shares her views on the importance of anxiety in our lives. The 237-page hardcover book was published in 2022. She explains in the book that anxiety acts like fear yet contains qualities of hope.

The emotion addresses concerns about an uncertain future, the author says. As a result it causes us to become aware of potential threats and makes us see the discrepancies between where we are in the present and where we want to be in the future. According to Dennis-Tiwary, anxiety arises from the intersection of the brain’s automatic, ancient and reflexive functions and its deliberative and cognitively sophisticated ones. Anxiety, she says in the book, provokes the production of cortisol as well as oxytocin.

Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, Ph.D.

Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, Ph.D.

The author says in the book that anxiety evolved to provide what we need, to “guide and motivate us to change situations” for our benefit while at the same time managing its built-in unpleasantness. According to her website bio Dennis-Tiwary is a scientist and entrepreneur as well as a professor of psychology and neuroscience, director of the Emotion Regulation Lab at Hunter College, The City University of New York, and co-founder of Arcade Therapeutics, where she translates “neuroscience research into gamified, clinically validated digital therapeutics for mental health.”

Professor shares his thoughts on future of money in lengthy book

Posted by Elena del Valle on July 12, 2023

The Future of Money

The Future of Money

Photo: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press

In The Future of Money How the Digital Revolution Is Transforming Currencies and Finance (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, $35) Eswar Prasad outlines the basics of money today and explores what the future might bring. Published in 2021 the 485-page hardcover book is divided into four sections and 10 chapters as well as extensive end notes. There were no replies to email requests for an interview from the publishing company or from Prasad’s email address.

In the book he expresses the belief that Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are likely to be a part of our future; and that the use of digital payments in lieu of cash will displace privacy in commercial transactions. He says that despite the loss of privacy they bring financial technologies have the potential to improve the economic conditions for many, especially the poor and economically marginalized.

He describes two main types of CBDCs, wholesale and retail. Wholesale refers to transactions between the central bank and banks and financial payment companies. Retail refers to individuals and businesses. Within retail there are three categories, according to the author: e-money such as the digital money payment services like PayPal and Venmo offer as well as that offered by pioneering central banks like the Riksbank in Sweden; a second option, more technologically sophisticated, is an account based CBDC through which individuals and businesses would have accounts directly at the central banks; and an officially sanctioned cryptocurrency, a form of digital currency designed to operate on “permissioned blockchains.”

Cryptocurrencies instead of bypassing governments and affording users some anonymity may have the opposite effect at the expense of individual liberties, he speculates. In the final chapter he explains that such changes won’t solve all problems; corruption, lax government, the advantages of the elites and inequality will continue to plague society.

According to his book jacket bio at the time the book was published Prasad was the Tolani senior professor of Trade Policy and professor of economics at Cornell University; he was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he held the New Century Chair in International Economics; and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His other titles include Gaining Currency: The Rise of Renminbi and The Dollar Trap: How the U.S. Dollar Tightened its Grip on Global Finance.

Podcast with Michael Agostino, Rph, CEO, NASH, about medical tourism in Mexico for orthopedic patients

Posted by Elena del Valle on June 19, 2023

Michael R. Agostino, Rph, CEO, N.A.S.H.
Michael Agostino,, CEO, N.A.S.H.

Photo: Network of Advanced Specialty Healthcare

A podcast interview with Michael R. Agostino,, CEO, N.A.S.H., is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations, During the podcast, he discusses medical tourism in Mexico for orthopedic patients with Elena del Valle, host of the podcast.

Mike is a registered pharmacist and an entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. He has been a founder, co-founder, and key contributor to the formation of several companies, according to his biography. He served as board chair and an executive board member for the Lower Plains Region of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and board chair of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy.

To listen to the interview, scroll down and click on the play button below. It is also possible to listen by looking for “Podcast” then select “HMPR Michael Agostino, Rph” and download the MP3 file to your audio player. You can also find it on the RSS feed. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the June 2023 section of the podcast archive.

Professor shares her opinion on productivity barrier

Posted by Elena del Valle on June 7, 2023

Attention Span

Attention Span

Photo: Hanover Press

Gloria Mark, Ph.D., professor, Informatics at the University of California, Irvine, believes she has found a new concept that identifies how our brains work in the digital world. She calls it kinetic attention and describes why she thinks it may help readers of Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity (Hanover Press, $28.99), her new book, to gain control of their productivity.

The 360-page hardcover book, published earlier this year, is divided into 14 chapters and three main parts: The Anatomy of Attention, The Underlying Forces of Distraction and Focus, Rhythm and Balance. In the book she explains that although we are in the Wild West era of the digital age we should be able to modify and manage the digital world despite the many pressing challenges it poses in our daily lives. Each of us has the power to determine where to focus our attention regardless of the many forces seeking to draw our attention toward them, according to the author.

Mark has been a visiting senior researcher at Microsoft Research since 2012, according to the biography in her book. She did not reply to requests for an interview or to answer questions submitted via email to a representative from her publishing company.

Production company releases anti lawn TV series

Posted by Elena del Valle on May 24, 2023

Joey Santore and Al Scorch, hosts, Kill Your Lawn

Joey Santore and Al Scorch, hosts, Kill Your Lawn

Photo: Empty Quarter Studios

Kill Your Lawn, a new half-hour reality-TV series that began airing last month, seeks to inspire viewers to rid themselves of their home lawns. Based on two screeners provided by an Empty Quarters representative via email, the guys next door style program showcases examples of yard transformations and lawn-less projects. In Episode Two the program’s two hosts and a dog travel to Miami, Florida where they share their opinions on lawns, interview a homeowner keen to replace his lawn with native plants as well as a nursery owner and others. With the owner’s approval the hosts kill the lawn using a pressure washer. In a similar episode they redo the yard of a Fort Lauderdale, Florida couple. They remove the lawn using a portable fire device.

According to a press release Kill Your Lawn “is a rejection of the lawn industrial complex, celebrating the courage and inspiring messages of first-time lawn killers.” It consists of eight half hour makeover episodes. The goal is to replace homeowner lawns with pollinator-friendly, native plant gardens, according to promotional materials.

Joey Santore and Al Scorch are the hosts. Santore is described in promotional materials as “a blue-collar schmuck from Chicago who left a career at the railroad to pursue a lifetime studying botany and educating others via his cult-hit YouTube channel Crime Pays But Botany Doesn’t.” Schorch is said to be his best friend from Chicago, “a bicycle mechanic and punk rock banjoist.”

According to a spokesperson EarthxTV, is available on Charter’s Spectrum TV, FuboTV, the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) in the United States, Sky, and Freeview in the United Kingdom, M7 in Europe, Claro video and TotalPlay in Mexico. EarthxTV may be available on Directv for satellite and internet customers and Directv Streat.

Empty Quarter Studios (EQS) specializes in “unique, uplifting, and edgy entertainment, telling stories of human experience shaped by adventure, natural history, culture, and ingenuity.”

Harvard academics discuss happiness

Posted by Elena del Valle on May 17, 2023


The Good Life

The Good Life

Photos: cover photo courtesy of Simon and Schuster, Robert Waldinger photo by Katherine Taylor, Marc Schulz photo by Ann Chwatsky

Robert Waldinger, Ph.D., director, Harvard Study of Adult Development, and Marc Schulz, Ph.D., associate director of the same study, believe healthy relationships are key to happiness. They explain their reasons in The Good Life Lessons From the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness (Simon and Schuster, $28.99), a 341-page hardcover book published this year.

Robert Waldinger, Ph.D., director, Harvard Study of Adult Development

Robert Waldinger, Ph.D., co-author, The Good Life

Along with reading, writing and arithmetic the authors propose that social fitness should be taught to children and included in public policy considerations. It should also be an important part of adult lives; emphasis on relationships, they say in the book, pays off.

Marc Schulz, Ph.D., co-author, The Good Life

Marc Schulz, Ph.D., co-author, The Good Life

The authors reached their conclusions based on the findings of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, a multi-generational volunteer study conducted by Harvard researchers among students beginning in 1938, and later paired with a study of area non students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In total more than 2,000 people, a high percentage of the initial participants and their descendants, shared personal information, answered questions over their lives, provided blood samples, and in some cases donated their brains after their passing in furtherance of the study goals.

Waldinger and Schulz discuss the study findings in the book while weaving stories around the lives of some of the participants (keeping their identities private) and their relatives. It’s never too late, the authors say, about finding happiness and changing attitudes and behaviors. Life is in many ways, at least for the study participants, about the joys offered by relationships rather than financial successes, it seems. The authors acknowledge that some participants may have altered their views and behaviors as a result of their participation in the study.

Animated short film focuses on mental health

Posted by Elena del Valle on May 1, 2023

Photo: Citronella Stories

Citronella Stories will release Bug Therapy, a seven minute animated short film about mental health, via on May 1, 2023. According to a press release the short film will have a limited release in North America online and at select theaters, at no cost, for the month of May, to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month. The film strives to highlight the importance of therapy and mental health. It should be available today at

It features the voices of Phil McGraw, Meghan Trainor, Jay Leno, Sterlin K. Brown, Tom Green, Emily Goglia and Jason Reisig. It is due to have a wide release in June, with plans for a global release this fall, according to a press release received by email.

Bug Therapy was directed by Jason Reisig. It was written and created by Michael Jann and Michele Jourdan, of Citronella Stories, and animated by 88 Pictures. Randy Mills was producer. Eric Bergman was co-producer. Jann and Jourdan were executive producers, along with Jason Reisig, Randy Mills, and 88 Pictures’ Milind D. Shinde.

In Citronella (Trainor), a mosquito who faints at the sight of blood, tries to muster the courage to attend group therapy to overcome her phobia. She learns that “everyone faces mental health struggles.” Stick Bug (Brown) battles depression over never feeling seen, Fly (Leno) is “OCD and germaphobic and can’t stop washing his hands,” Grasshopper (Green) suffers from addiction to coffee, Praying Mantis (Goglia) is narcissistic and delusional and believes she’s God. A Dragonfly couple (Jann and Jourdan) are co-dependent, and Spider (Reisig) tries to overcome his phobia of spiders. Dr. Pill (McGraw) leads the therapy.