Cocaine, mental illness, trauma: What killed Carrie Fisher?

     I'm working on a memoir tentatively titled Four Murders and a Funeral.  In one of the murders, powdered cocaine plays a role. At least that's what the defendant and his attorney would like us to believe. Whether  the drug was to blame for the murder and whether addiction was involved is part of the story I tell.Cocaine  Carrie Fisher's use of cocaine never became much of a criminal justice issue. Some feel celebs get a pass for behavior that lands others of us  in … [Read more...]

Cleft lip dad adopts cleft lip baby.

This cleft lip news out of Atlanta made my Father's Day last Sunday. The day had been marred by the death of my best friend's wife the day before. However, I then noticed this news about cute-as-a-boot Hattie Pierce, pictured below. Like myself and so many others, Hattie was born with a cleft lip and palate, .    Hattie Pierce w cleft lip and palate. Cleft lip dad & daughter duo get surgery at same hospital. She  was adopted by Brian Pierce who'd had his lip surgically restored long … [Read more...]

Brock Turner, Oscar Pistorius: how white privilege works.

I sometimes examine white privilege in my crim justice writings, and I'm doing so in a memoir I'm currently working on.  What's interesting about Brock Turner, Oscar Pistorius is that they may've been given light sentences because they were white and outstanding athletes. They are athletes in cultures (America and South Africa) where athleticism is prized. In such cultures super athletes, for sure, are treated leniently by their justice systems because of it. I've written about Pistorius … [Read more...]

Thanks to fans of my book and blogs re cleft lip and palate.

I appreciate all of you who’ve followed my cleft lip and palate blogs over recent years.  I'll continue to post info relevant to this most common of birth defects.I'm also grateful to those of you who've bought Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal about my experiences with my clefts regarding bullying, facial asymmetry, speech difficulties, etc.Since no good intentions or deeds ever go unpunished, I’m hoping you blog and book fans will consider giving copies of Cleft Heart to your doctor and dentist. Or … [Read more...]

How can Santa make the Holidays happy? By delivering 3D printers for cleft lip surgery.

You may see Santa and his reindeer streaming thru the sky tonight or see them on those radar images TV newscasters use to chart his path from the North Pole. If so, let's hope that he's delivering 3-D printers which'll help countries around the world take better care of  cleft lip and palate kids. 3D printers.What do I mean?  Well, let me first describe how 3D printers  work in case you're not familiar with this cutting-edge technology.  According to one source, the first step in the printing of … [Read more...]

Facial symmetry & why some clowns scare us.

  Stephen King's It— a 1000 page epic of a shape-shifting evil from beyond time— features a clown named Pennywise. The clown doesn't This dancing clown grins through all the horror and gore in It and exudes malevolent wit. While King’s villains are often frightening, Pennywise's wit approaches camp without really being funny.Zach Handlen describes It as "set largely in a single small town in Maine. [W] hile it spans decades, the main action takes place in two distinct time periods.—1958, which … [Read more...]

“Heroes and villains” & Brian Wilson’s psychological disorders.

 The overall theme of this website is Heroes, Villains and Fools, tho admittedly I concentrate on the heroics of kids (and their helpers) who overcome bullying and facial differences stemming from, say, a cleft lip and palate. So, it's no wonder that I've been intrigued by the Beach Boys' song "Heroes and villains" over the years. Turns out it's got a complex history, not unlike that of Brian Wilson whose battle against mental illness was told in the biopic "Love & Mercy" which hit theaters … [Read more...]