CPAP Dry Mouth Solution

Here’s a public service announcement. I know a few of you use CPAP machines, and some of the men may be forced by their facial hair to use nasal pillows, as I do. I was having a terrific dry-mouth problem in the morning, as my mouth dropped open at night. The two side effects: bad for your teeth, bad for your marriage (snoring). I think every CPAP kit should include an Anti-Snoring Chin Strap for Men and Women CPAP Users. Its been great for me; maybe it will be great for you. I believe it would even reduce snoring among non-CPAP users. It is quite comfortable.


I noted here recently that the heart has neurons which send more information to the brain than they get back. My wife recently noted that the gut has neurons as well. Here’s the breakdown:

Brain: 100 billion neurons

Gut: 500 million neurons (0.5% of the brain)

Heart: 40,000 in the heart, but they send more data to the brain than the brain sends back. (.00004% of the brain)

AI: Researchers now have AI with 1 billion neuron equivalents: about 1% of your brain. There has been talk on the Internet that when they hit 10 billion, AI may be able to write rough drafts of fiction. It’s already written passable imitation Kafka. One company is hoping to offer writers an AI assistant for $300 a month in a few years.

Global Consciousness Project

If you haven’t heard about this project, read the article: Global Consciousness Project - Wikipedia. If you subscribe to an early warning earthquake site, why not find a place on your desktop for

To summarize: the GCP is a worldwide network of random number generators is being observed for incidents of non-random number generation. It is a proven fact that human beings can influence these hardware generators with their minds, at a distance. Basically, this project is trying to measure disturbances in the force (to use the Star Wars terminology), or the quantum field (physics) or the worldwide human consciousness. GCP found disturbances on 9/11 and the day Princess Diana died, among others.

I learned about it from a movie I can, literally, only half recommend. SKIP SKIP SKIP the first 40 minutes of Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind on Amazon: it is pure tin-foil hat. But the last hour and 20 minutes is about meditation and global consciousness, and includes the clearest explanation of quantum entanglement I’ve ever seen, with a graphic reminiscent of the best of the Bell Telephone Science Hour. While the discussion of consciousness is in the context of contacting extra-terrestrial life forms, the science is sound―including the observation that the heart contains 40,000 neurons.

Why Buddhism is True

Kevin Sullivan suggested Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment by journalist Robert Wright. It is an amazing and impressive work, using evolutionary biology to demonstrate the wisdom of the Buddha’s teachings about not-self and meditation. My favorite quotes:

“It is possible to argue that the primary evolutionary function of the self is to be the organ of impression management (rather than, as our folk psychology would have it, a decision-maker).”

“You may find it useful to think of meditation as a process that takes a conscious mind that gets to do a little nudging and turns it into something that can do a lot of nudging—maybe even turns it into something more like a president than a speaker of the House.”

Speaking of Darwin

From Daniel Dern with regard to my Darwin This and That item last week:

In one of his final/posthumous books, Oliver Sacks wrote some interesting stuff about Darwin.

also a video

here's more review links

Yet Another Personality Test

You have no doubt heard of, or quite possibly taken, one or both of the traditional U.S. personality tests which are often required by employers. I have taken both the Myers-Briggs and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Tests. I was intrigued by a NPR report on the Big Five personality traits test also known as the OCEAN model. It is not black and white; rather it places your traits on a spectrum.

After years of wondering about nature or nurture (when I was young, I thought it was all about genetics), I can’t say I am surprised that, in reality, who you are is an even split between both. Quoting from Wikipedia: “research [has] shown that about half of the variation between individuals results from their genetic inheritance and half from their environment.”

Those of you who know me, which is almost all of you, will not be surprised to hear that I am on the extreme high end of the scales for Openness, Extraversion, and Agreeableness, and right smack dab in the middle on Neuroticism and Conscientiousness. Maybe I am not really a whiny drama queen. You can take the The Big Five assessment test yourself and see how you compare. I find the results highly accurate.

More on Compassion

This from my friend of long standing, Kevin Sullivan:

Related to and parallel with your discussion of Compassion, Heart Brain, etc. -- If you haven't yet encountered the 2017 book, "Why Buddhism is True" by Robert Wright, I highly recommend it despite its audacious title. By "true" , Wright, with a light touch and readable style, grounds his view that secular Buddhism's diagnosis of the causes of human suffering is vindicated by evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology, and recent discoveries in neuroscience. Wright is an accomplished journalist and scholar. The book was well-received and spent some time on the NY Times Best Seller list.

About Robert Wright

Link to the WBIT book at Amazon

Cogent interview with the author at

And from our mutual friend Clark Smith:

Helpful on anyone's spiritual journey is When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times. I'd be interested in a polylogue discussion you might host on this great work. Ideas like acceptance, running towards fear, and loving uncertainty are powerful.


Compassion: Changed me, can change world

I almost never give pride of place in this column to links, but I simply want to say this: if you click on nothing else this week, click on these two links.

I heard about Dr. Doty from a newspaper article about Harry and Meghan’s Stanford collaborator on the world-changing power of compassion. You can also find out about it from the horse’s mouth: Dr. Doty’s website, The Center for Compassion And Altruism Research And Education.

The simple fact of the matter is this. I was a reasonably compassionate person prior to 2020, but during the Covid year I have undergone amazing and fundamental psychological and spiritual changes. The bottom line is that my compassion has been expanded and strengthened and continues to grow, for those I love, for those I once hated, and for the world. And, as Dr. Doty notes, the changes have had “profound effects on cardiac function, blood pressure and the immune system.”

Book Review: Into the Magic Shop *****

(this ties in with the lead item, Compassion Changed Me)

Doty MD, James R.: Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart

Once in a while, you read a book you know is life-changing―for others, if not for you. Two years ago, this book would have changed my life. After my spiritual journey of 2020, it’s just reinforcement for me, but it might be more for you.

I agree with the Dalai Lama, this is a remarkable and compelling book. It is similar (in a good way) to Dan Millman’s The Way Of The Peaceful Warrior, as it tells the story of a young man meeting an unlikely teacher and learning life-changing lessons―in this case about meditation and visualization. It should be given to every 12-year-old in the world. My grandson will get it when he’s ready to understand it, although I hope and pray he will already know about meditation and visualization by the time he is that old.

(I am shocked to find I never recommended Peaceful Warrior before: read the book or watch the movie.)

The two best quotes from the Magic Shop: “...when our heart changes, everything changes. And that change is not only in how we see the world, but in how the world sees us.”

And, “It's the same with wounds in our heart. We need to give them our attention so that they can heal. Otherwise, the wound continues to cause us pain. Sometimes for a very long time. We are all going to get hurt. That's just the way it is. But here's the trick about the things that hurt us and cause us pain―they also serve an amazing purpose... We grow through pain.”

Amen. I know every word of this paragraph is true because I discovered that you can heal a wounded heart―even after four decades―if you pay attention to the wound.

Doty also writes for the Huntington Post. I highly recommend On Grudges and Forgiveness: These studies show us the cost of not forgiving others can be physically taxing on us. I know this from personal experience as well.

And the most amazing thing  he discusses is the Heart Brain, noting the scientific fact that the  heart sends more messages to the brain than the brain does to the heart. Could the ancients have been right about this one? Check out some interesting heart intelligence science.