The Ancient Origins of Halloween and Pumpkin Carving

Halloween is likely one of the most popular holidays in the United States. According to, it is estimated that nearly 90% of children wear costumes and participate in Halloween traditions each year. In terms of nation-wide spending, Halloween is second only to Christmas. Continue reading “The Ancient Origins of Halloween and Pumpkin Carving”

Breast Cancer – It’s not just for women!

Breast cancer in men is rare, but 1% of all breast cancers will occur in men each year. Cancer researchers have projected that breast cancer will affect approximately 2,360 men in 2014. These male breast cancer diagnoses could result in about 400 male deaths from the disease (compared with nearly 40,000 female deaths). Continue reading “Breast Cancer – It’s not just for women!”

Men in Cancerland – How to help her cope

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – most commonly attributed to the care of women – but many already know that. We’ve been taught about the risk factors of breast cancer since before puberty, and how important early detection and preventative measures can be. It is even common knowledge that having no family history does not guarantee immunity. But what do we know about the main caregiver of a woman going through breast cancer treatment – the male support system? Continue reading “Men in Cancerland – How to help her cope”

Conned By Karma

The wisdom of Dogbert.

The platitude that “what goes around comes around” has traction in both western culture and eastern religions, and this pernicious thought is often what can be identified as karma. It’s a tenet of many eastern religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Likewise, it’s a popular belief among many westerners who may or may not subscribe to any other claims of the previous religions. This is not surprising, however, as the crux of karma has its roots in the cognitive bias known as the “just-world hypothesis,” which transcends culture.

For the sake of clarity, I am defining “karma” as the claim that one’s moral (or immoral) actions will later result in a desirable (or undesirable if immoral) consequence imparted on the actor. Continue reading “Conned By Karma”

Book Review: Comrade Chikatilo

comrade chikatiloWith the 1993 publication of Comrade Chikatilo: The Psychopathology of Russia’s Notorious Serial Killer, authors Ol’gert Ol’Gin and Mikhail Krivitch clearly divulge the life of prolific killer Andrei Chikatilo, the grisly fate of his victims, Russia’s exhausting and seemingly futile manhunt, and the tumultuous trial that led to the Red Ripper’s death sentence.

With an upbringing in a famine impoverished, World War II entrenched Ukraine, young Chikatilo lived under both the very real threat of German artillery and the possible threat of being cannibalized by fellow starving citizens, which was purportedly to be the fate of his older brother. Later in life, from adolescence into adulthood, he suffered from impotence that led to self-contempt and attempts at suicide.

Continue reading “Book Review: Comrade Chikatilo”