What I'm Reading (Jan. 5)

By Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA — Jan 05, 2023
Making books A Forest bath’s physiologic effects Animals in the business zoo Moynihan was right – It’s time to talk about absent fathers
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay


For the readers amongst us, books seem so familiar, but they contain mysteries. For example, the number of books needed to be sold to be a “best seller” is 50,000. I ran across this the other day, an explanation of just exactly how books are made.

From The Conversation, How are books made?


“Numerous studies have reported that exposure to nature is associated with reductions in self-reported feelings of stress as well as in physiological stress metrics (e.g., blood pressure, salivary cortisol), though the underlying mechanisms contributing to the effect are poorly understood. A recent study published in Molecular Psychiatry sought to address that question – a task, it seems, which is no walk in the park. … 63 participants were randomly assigned to take a 60-min walk either through busy city streets (urban group) or through a large, forested park (nature group), both located within the city of Berlin.”

Forest bathing is a new-age term for taking a quiet walk in the woods or, more generally, in nature. It seems to be a calmative; Peter Attia, MD, looks at some of the science of how those baths may be impacting our physiology. Understanding nature’s effects on stress requires more than intuition 


“Nassim Taleb was working on Wall Street when he wrote a book about Black Swan Events (2007). As he explained, philosophers had always told us that a black swan event was an exception. But Taleb gave us a more precise three-part definition:

  • The event is unpredictable. Negative or positive, it still is an outlier.
  • Its impact is massive.
  • People believe they can explain the black swan. They want to give the event retrospective predictability…but they cannot.”

But there are other animals in the metaphorical financial zoo, From Econlife, Black Swans and Gray Rhinos


“When we speak of there being “two Americas,” we often think of red and blue. But there are other ways to make distinctions, and one of the most important is between those who are lonely and isolated versus those who live within intact families and healthy communities. And many of those folks who grow up lonely and isolated suffer from wounds that public policy simply can’t heal. 

Indeed, when we speak of dangers to our nation and culture, I can think of few hazards more acute (and more difficult to solve) than loneliness and isolation, especially the loneliness and isolation that’s afflicting young men.”

If it takes a village to raise a child, then certainly it requires a father, which by the numbers, is increasingly absent as family income declines. From The Atlantic, written by David French, There’s No Way to Repair Marriage Without Repairing Men

Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA

Director of Medicine

Dr. Charles Dinerstein, M.D., MBA, FACS is Director of Medicine at the American Council on Science and Health. He has over 25 years of experience as a vascular surgeon.

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