Eps 100: Emotions are PREDICTED (not TRIGGERED) says pioneer neuroscientist, Dr Barrett

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 Today my guest is neuroscience pioneer Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett. 

Dr Feldman Barrett is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and she is the director of the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory.

Her book:

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Eps 73: Spoken Word brings Life- Guest Anita Scott

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

It’s like we dance a samba.
(I bring you something to enjoy and you give me some money to cover the cost.) Thanks for your generousity, today.



Today, I feature the lovely, effervescent, and talented, Anita Scott.


(SHARE A CLIP? Feel free to share an audio clip. Just click the Clammr red & white icon below. You’ll feel like a rock star!)


VISIT Anita Scott’s website
ollow her on Twitter: Twitter.com/poetanitascott


Anita reads her poem

About her background

Min 2:30

Chicago Poetry slam event (she performed “Mary Go Round” – see link below to watch)

• Mudroom (Anita’s page)

• Tammy Perlmutter (her own website)

The TWO EPISODES in which Tammy is my Spark My Muse guest:

What it’s like living in an intentional urban communal arrangement as a family.

Follow-up episode answering listener questions & on the power of confession.

MIN 5:00

Reads All Seasons (NOV 2007)

MIN 8:30

How Anita got started in poetry?

and her family background and education.

MIN 10:00

Her introduction to rhythm, poetry, and rap music to express emotions


Her spiritual formation and rediscovery of her faith as an adult.

MIN 14:00

D Boy and Preachers in Disguise (PID)PID

Reverend Rhyme

Being homeschooled

Teaching 7th grade

MIN 19:00

Deciding who you want to be.

Bringing poetry into the classroom.

MIN 21:00

The role of the arts during times of trouble (including the current racial tension and tragic recent event like the slaying of police officers in Dallas)

MIN 23:30

Anita’s thoughts about seeing racial violence and violence against police unfold right in front of her in her own hometown.

MIN 25:00

Nothing will get back to order if there is no justice.

What the arts can do for the issue of Justice.

MIN 28:30

Performing poetry that relates to racial and social justice issues–now seems even more powerful.

Anita performs “In Memoriam of Morality: end quote

It’s hard to look for a good laugh

when so many of our channels expose the madness

of what seems to be consistent harassment

of what some might call . . .


How do you converse and talk about

videos and uploads from people on their walk about

showing millions and millions what to gasp about

because honestly to see so many videos about . . .


Well, that might be where we get stuck

or unable to label true stories or fables

either over dinner or all too often under the table

dealing with people who . . .


Well that might make things sticky

when hearing only one side of a story sure makes things iffy

and so we are left with a tricky . . . 


What is race?

And is that the question?

Or what is racism

and is that the conglomeration of too many. . . swirling in one population

with too many nationalities, ethnicities in one or several locations?


Again, is that the question?


I watched videos of the recent incidents

and no lie, I felt completely absent from joy

and completely different from indifference

but also distant from revenge or payback. 

I honestly felt more under attack

not from a color, but from a sin

something within every human

and because we are fallen

we lack the courage to say what C.S. Lewis so eloquently expressed:

We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”


end quote. 


Isn’t that utterly ridiculous and even senseless?

But, oh dear friends, he is speaking to our present day existence. 


We take Jesus out of schools

and are stupid enough to demand and look for values.

We sanction abortion, 

but lock up thieves.

We “Hooray!” same sex marriages

and question why little boys and little girls struggle with identity. 


We laugh and mock politicians,

but stay out of the polls

and then when we turn on the tv, 

we have the audacity to ask, “What is going on?”


So is that the question?


What channel should I watch just to get away from this humiliating madness?

What channel can I view to escape the constant harassment?


To be honest, friends, 

when I watch these videos again and again, 

I fall to my knees in utter repentance

because I start to see color when I see brutality. 

I start to see race when I see crimes against humanity.

And I only feel that way when I lack the courage to say these words from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

Judging others makes us blind whereas love is illuminating.”


end quote. 


Then no wonder we can’t see.

Our judgements have burned down these cities

and we wrestle all night

wondering who and what color will be the victim of our fights

like 2 wrongs ever made a . . . 


Mother Theresa smiled and said, “God will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?


end quote. 


Is that the question?


That question will expose the reality in our hearts 

as we 60-mile-an-hour brick through windows

hoping that will cover up the anger and grief in our souls

and so we submit to temporary exhilarations 

contributing to an ongoing deviation

of how not to deal with a systemic situation

as we watch those bricks shatter bank accounts

but do we even take into account

the morning after the one night stand

when fumes consume the inability to resume

the life we presume or desired. 


I have a question because I can’t put out this fire:

How do unjust deaths lead to grocery buggies with flat screen tvs

car trunks with microwaves and DVD players?

Yeah! I’m a hater. 

What are we doing and what have we done?

We’re teaching a younger generation that sin has a color

and revenge is the other route to avenge

and we’re letting them grow up with another lie. 

Why are we quiet?

If we choose to send a message of silence

we are inevitably advocating the violence. 


It’s hard to see through the anger in our hearts, 

the unforgiveness in our carts, 

Add to cart

the grudges in our cart

Add to cart

the vindictive actions that tasted sweet but only backwash tart

Add to cart


Check out!


Some of us need to check in and ask yet again “What is the question?”


What can we do to get away from this stench of sin covered in revenge

covered in avenge someone’s death.

Our plight has us fight against skin, 

but the only real fight is the one against sin,

but how do you fight a force you can’t grab, you can’t choke?

Is that why we burn down buildings because at least with smoke

we can see the ruin of our demise

and yet even when I close my eyes

I can’t shut out or shout out the images inside.

I’ve already seen them – the punches, the chokeholds, the funeral and in these last days my brothers and sisters, get ready for more turmoil. 


All men sin and fall short;

that’s nothing new to report

accept with that terse verse feel free to rehearse your own shortcomings.

May not have involved a chokehold or a gun

but a sin is a sin, and in the end,

we all desperately need repentance. 


Don’t we?


Isn’t that the question?


end quote.

MIN 37:00

Civil Rights movement

Black Lives Matter movement

MIN 41:30

What do you think people with light skin can do to make things better?

MIN 43:30

Having conversations about privilege.

Telling our stories and making sure the friends and connections you have are very diverse.

MIN 47:30

On diversity in community

MIN 50:00

Making adjustments to deal with the events of the summer.

Poetry resources

• Nikki Giovanni

• Langston Hughes

MIN 54:30



A reading of


VIDEO of Bellows (Spoken Word poem)


OTHER LINKS to find Anita:

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EPS 56: Implanted Memories, False Memories, and False Confessions

Welcome to Spark My Muse.

Today my guest is
Dr Stephen Porter who is the Founding Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science & Law at the University of British Columbia and he is a Registered Forensic Psychologist.

Click on image to visit Dr Porter's website

Dr Stephen Porter

I know you will really enjoy this episode.
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(Scroll down to find links, highlights, and details from the show)

Dr Porter started his career among the prison population in the field of forensic psychology.

His two main topics of research in the last 15 years: The nature and fallibility of memory (false memories) and deception detection.

He wanted do study memory empirically and he set up the Centre.

MIN 3:30

Why would somebody ever confess to a crime they haven’t done?

1,000 years of judicial systems have held the assumption that a confession of guilt is to be believed unless the person is deranged or they have been tortured.

In the last 30 years we now know this to be very false.

MIN 5:00
Studying people who believe they have actually committed a crime (and have a false memory of the crime) when they haven’t down any such thing.

Elizabeth Loftus – Implanted Memory studies (click for info)

Lost in the shopping mall studies (25% could be convinced of and falsely remember this frightening childhood event that never happened to them).

Julia Shaw (click for info)

70% of study participants were implanted with memories. They were convinced and falsely remembered committing a serious crime when they were teenagers in just 3 interviews for an hour each.

MIN 8:00

Events we remember are slightly or majorly different from the last time we recalled it.

A true memory is recalled almost exactly the same way in the brain as a false memory.

The systemic issue in the criminal justice system arises when a lot of time has elapsed and also when interrogators can and are allowed to ask [questions] in very inappropriate ways that really mess with a person’s memories.

MIN 12

The implanting of memories studies.

The 1990s “repressed memory era”

MIN 14

The role of emotion, negative events, and authority figures in implanted memories.

MIN 19

The Innocence Project

In 25% of wrongful convictions the accused confessed to the crime.

In 63% of wrongful murder convictions, the accused confessed to the crime.

MIN 23:30

The 3 major types of false confessions.

MIN 28

The details within the false memories are analogous to real memories.

MIN 30: Psychopathic people who implant memories and destroy reality for their victims.

MIN 34:30

The surprising ways the experts detect deception –
What to look for in a liar. (It is not what you’ve heard.)

To access this bonus material GO HERE – support Spark My Muse.

• Visit Dr Porter’s website HERE

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Results are in: Wife Beating Endorsed!

I’m glad I live in 2013 in the U.S. It’s not a perfect time with no problems, of course. I get that.

Most of the time it seems people say they “remember the good old days,” you know, when things were simpler and better.

Sometimes I get nostalgic too.

This idea that things were better in the past is, of course, a myth generally speaking. Every era has its benefits and its downsides.

This clipping is my favorite recent example. (Buzz Feed featured it.)

It’s a newspaper clip which appears to be printed in The Mirror of New York. They ask ordinary men if it’s a good idea to “spank their wives.” (Meaning hit them, of course.) Their eyewear fashions point to a time in the 1950s or early 1960s, which might be why I remember driving in the car with my grandpa as he hauled off and cracked my grandma in the head or arm when he got upset with her. (When he was lost or frustrated, and she should have told him where to turn?) He was just a man of his times and she needed it, from his perspective.

It makes the women’s rights movement a little more palatable now, right?

Manhood is seen differently now, in this century, and for that I am immensely glad! You too?

You like the qualifier in this headline? “If she needs it,“? Priceless.

Good luck telling the police that line now. “Yes, I hit her, officer, but she needed it.”

Funny, right?
(Only looking back, and only laughing so you don’t cry for yesterday’s women.)

beatyourwife(click for photo source)


Names for Women (or how language is oppressing us)


How do you spell oppression? …maybe E-I-E-I-O. Today it almost looks like we’re down on the farm!

Let’s look at some names, shall we?

HEIFER/COW – connotation towards female: “a fat woman”

(actual meaning: a female cow who has not borne a calf/female cow)

VIXEN – connotation toward females (according to the dictionary) “a spiteful and querrelsome women” (but a google search turns up very racy photos indeed)

(actual meaning: a female fox)

SOW -connotation toward females: “a female police officer, or a degrading name for a woman”

(actual meaning: a female pig)

NANNY– connotation toward females: “a female caretaker of children”

(actual meaning: a female goat)

HEN-connotation toward females: “a gossiping woman”

(actual meaning: a female fowl)

QUEEN – common connotation:  “a man behaving unmanly and defectively as a woman” (as in flamboyant homosexual male) Also used for a female monarch.

(actual meaning: a female cat)

TOM -common connotation toward females: “tomboy” a female who does not behave as expected.

(actual meaning: a male cat)

BITCH – connotation toward females: “an annoying or whining female, a disparaging name for a woman, or a person who is dominated”

(actual meaning: a female dog)

SIRE – a respectful and formal name for male royalty, such as a king.

(a male dog, or other male animal parent suitable for pure breeding)

COUGAR– connotation toward females “a sexually aggressive woman”

(actual meaning: a large wild feline)

NITTANY LION – a pedophile named Jerry Sandusky (okay that one is just a joke I heard)

MADAM: connotation toward female: “a woman in charge of prostituting women”

(actual meaning: a formal way to address a women in respect)

SIR: A polite way to refer to a man.

MISS: An unmarried woman

MISTRESS: connotation toward females: “A woman having an illicit sexual relationship”

(actual meaning: The prefix of a formal name referring to a married woman or the female head of a household. Abbreviated as Mrs.)

MISTER: A formal way of referring to a man, and sometimes used humorously. Abbreviated as Mr.

(And finally, my least favorite. Scientific studies show that this word is also typically the one men most dread being called. Seriously.)

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 11.25.43 PM

By now, you probably have noticed some commonalities. And maybe you can even think of further examples I left out.

What surprised you most?

To me, it doesn’t seem that language favors women. Not the English one anyway.

It also seems that if a man is degraded or thought of an less than, a woman serves as a reference point of that inferiority. This is male privilege in action–every. single. day.

The standard of male as apex not only supports male dominance and heralds masculinity as the preferred societal and ontological ideal, but also works to continually degrade women as inferior. Since language is spoken everyday, every day we learn and re-learn the expectations and norms.

With many names women are highlighted as having defective qualities sexually, morally, physically and are routinely animalized (reduced to sub-man/sub-human) in a hugely disproportionate ways as compared with males. Yes?

Our language reinforces power structures and privilege, and sustains oppression. We should be honest about this. We should be aware.

People will refer to a women as a “girl” but rarely to a man as a “boy”. Plenty of other examples or preference exist.

So, now what can we do to make things better?

…how do we turn this around? I’m taking your suggestions.

Oh, and what’s with all the cat comparisons anyway, right?

# # #

Michael Hyatt says he features the “Best Leaders” (Men) Click http://wp.me/p1g2iA-3bK