Lifestyle Spotlight

Lifestyle Articles

  • SF Scientist Shinya Yamanaka shares Nobel medicine prize

    Posted by:

     October 8, 2012

    Dr. Shinya Yamanaka - Photo by Chris Goodfellow Gladstone Institutes SF

     The world of medicine has taken a huge leap forward with the startling discoveries by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, 50, and British researcher Sir John Gurdon, 79.

    Yamanaka and Gurdon are winners of the Nobel Prize for medicine announced today for their joint discoveries in stem cells.

    As a post-doctorate scientist at Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, Yamanaka began what would become his life's work to unlock the code to creating stem cells.

    By 2006, he succeeded in unlocking the code, furthering the research published in 1962 by Sir John Gurdon, who now works for the University of Cambridge.

    The groundbreaking discoveries prove that it is possible to take genetic material from any cell in the body, such as skin cells, and tranplant and reprogram them into a stem cell to become any other cells in the body. 

    Dr. Yamanaka, currently a professor at Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan still works and commutes monthly to San Francisco for Gladstone, which is affiliated with the health-sciences institution University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). 

    Related stories:

    Nobelprize.org

    Nobel medicine prize goes to SF scientist by Erin Allday, San Francisco Chronicle

    British, Japanese scientists share Nobel Prize for stem cell work by Eryn Brown and Jon Bardin, Los Angeles Times

  • You Are Good Enough by Marilyn Tam

    Posted by:

     

    You Are Good Enough

    By Marilyn Tam

     

    They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them. 

     ~Mahatma Gandhi

     

                Are you good enough? Most people harbor feelings that somehow if people really knew who they are, they will not like them. This nagging feeling buzzes in the brain like small yet powerfully irritating mosquitoes, ready to sting at any moment, undermining our confidence to claim our rightful place at the table. This sense of insecurity can be negatively self-fulfilling and very destructive because it robs us of the confidence and courage to forge ahead on achieving our dreams. The choice to change is in our own hands.

                Being an unwanted child I was told from as early as I can recall that I was worthless, not a good start to building self-esteem. Yet eventually I learned to trust my inner knowing that each person is worthwhile just as they are. Self-respect gave me the strength and resilience to leave home in my mid teens and come to America, and to succeed in business, humanitarian work and in life.  How did that happen? I was blessed along the way with angels who told me that I was OK. We all have those angels in our lives when we look for them.

                My first angel was my grandfather who gave me my Chinese name, Hay Lit, the names of two powerful emperors in China’s history. One emperor was respected for his compassion and wisdom in governance and the other known for his prowess and strategy in war. It was a most unusual name for a girl, but for some unknown reason my grandfather chose this remarkable name for his third granddaughter. He died when I was seven so I never had the chance to ask him why. But the fact that someone thought I was worthy of such a legendary name fortified me when the outside world was telling me I was trash.

                You too have your own angel(s), who believe in you, whether it is a family member, a teacher, a spiritual figure or friend. Keep their support in your...

  • Mike Kai is right under the flight path as Space Shuttle Endeavour lands at LAX! (Click this link to see Mike's 32 second video!)

    Posted by:

    Mike Kai watches right under the flight path as Space shuttle Endeavour arrive at LAX

    September 21, 2012

    Los Angeles

     

    In life, its sometimes having the luck of perfect timing that counts!

    Mike Kai was on a flight today to LAX when the captain of his aircraft announces he is diverting his plane to make way for Endeavour's historic arrival.

    Mike could see Endeavour on the back of a Boeing 747 right outside his plane window. 

    As soon as Mike lands, he runs and jumps into a cab and asks the driver to take him to the South runway to watch Endeavour arrive.

    Mike shoots this 32 second video just in time as Endeavour lands! 

  • The Olympics, Ryan Seacrest and Me by Ben Fong-Torres

    Posted by:

    The Olympics, Ryan Seacrest and Me

    As the old song goes, “it’s been a long, long time.”

    I apologize for not writing sooner. It’s not that I haven’t been writing. Just not for this space. For example, I just had a short piece published in The Hollywood Reporter, about the Olympics’ opening ceremonies, with a focus on music. It’s in the August 10 edition of “THR,” which is an interesting blend of trade magazine (for showbiz industry folks) and consumer mag (for people who like backstage peeps at the business known as show).

    My piece—about the 60’s music that producer Danny Boyle featured during that wild, wacky event—was nothing special. But one thing about it really amused me. Just below my story was a Q&A with Ryan Seacrest, who was among the talent NBC shipped to London to work the Olympics.

    A few months ago, when Dick Clark died, I wrote my first article for The Hollywood Reporter, recalling a sometimes contentious interview with him from ‘way back, for Rolling Stone. The editors chose a quote of Clark, something he said to me, for the headline: “YOU’RE A LIBERAL, AND I’M A F---ING WHORE’. This, right after a glowing tribute, “What I Learned from the Master,” by…Ryan Seacrest.

    We are fated to be together!

    This is to say that stuff happens.

    Just the other day, I was on Castro Street here in San Francisco, and a guy asks, “Aren’t you Ben Fong-Torres?” I admit that I am.

    “Well, that’s reassuring,” he says.

    I didn’t know what to make of that—although I think I knew what he meant, about old-timers still being around—so I just asked for his name and shook his hand. I hope he found my gesture…reassuring.

    A few weeks before, at a wine tasting party, a friend asked if I’d seen the banners around town carrying my name and a quote. I had not, but went out in search of one of the signs a few days later. Sure enough, there they were, put up by San Francisco State University, my alma mater. Mine was one...

  • Are You Truly Free? by Marilyn Tam

    Posted by:

    Are You Truly Free?

    By Marilyn Tam 

    
“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

          

          We are fortunate that we in the USA can enjoy basic freedom as a given. The things that bind us are more internal – the mental restrictions and “shoulds” that shape our thinking and our decisions subconsciously.

          These subconscious constraints confine us to a fixed set of expectations and view of the world.

           It locks us from truly being able to soar to our highest potential, inner peace and happiness. How can we break free? This is a three-step process. First by recognizing that we are prisoners of our beliefs.

    Whatever we believe about ourselves and the world is what we are going to experience. If you are holding negative thoughts like, “I’m not good enough” or “Bad things happen to me”, then that is what you are going to create in at least some aspects of your life.

           No one consciously choose to hold limiting beliefs, and yet we all do to some extent. Our childhood conditioning, whether from family, school, other influential figures in our lives, or the mass media, often contain some negative programming. People’s intentions may have been good, but fear and limitation are commonly used to keep young, rambunctious and questioning children, and indeed all people, in line. We often take on the constraints set for us as a children, to keep us from achieving our full potential later on in our lives.

           The second step is to examine your beliefs. Is it really true that you are only good at math, and/or that you can’t sing? Oftentimes we gather evidence to support these old convictions. You may say to yourself, I truly am only good at this one thing; I can’t carry a tune, or whatever. You have adopted these negative thought patterns and hang on to the indications that “prove” them. Yet we all have the potential to develop the skills or talents in areas that we are...