Peter Durand

Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

The Neuroscience of Improvisation

In Health, Journal, Science, TED, video on January 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I have always wanted to have my brain scanned while listening and scribing. One limitation is that I’d have to lay immobilized on my back in a giant beige magnet.

On a vacation a few years ago, I described what I do for a living to family friend who is a neuropathologist.

When I asked him what happens in my brain while I listen and draw images to capture ideas on large surfaces, he replied: “Why, your whole brain is lit up like a Christmas tree!”

Charles Limb is a doctor and a musician who researches the way musical creativity works in the brain.

He wondered how the brain works during musical improvisation — so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an fMRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds.
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ThinkHealth with Google

In Health, Journal on October 5, 2010 at 12:13 pm

ThinkHealth with Google

Knoxville SHC Haiti Outreach Medical Mission

In Global, Health, Journal on January 25, 2010 at 8:51 am

Give Hait Hope

I am very thankful and overawed by the logistical and moral courage of the Knoxville medical team–6 physicians, 8 nurses and 1 physician assistant–headed to Port au Prince from our hometown.

Special gratitude to my mother who is the financial chairperson of the Sacred Heart Church Haiti Outreach and just one of the many tireless behind-the-scenes workers who have built and supported the clinic and school in Boucan-Carré over the last decade.

More information and ways to support can be found at

Mayan Gods, 21st Century Malaise & A Stimulus Package for Relationships

In Global, Health, Travel on May 5, 2009 at 9:10 pm
Image by orangeacid

Image by orangeacid.

I recently trolled the cluttered ailses of a discount bookstore, killing time with my daughter who equates acquisition of a new Wonder Pets sticker book with finding the lost Gnostic gospel. 

In the search for something to jolt me out of my reading doldrums, I prayed for a work of spiraling adventure, metaphysical misogyny and crusty end-of-the-first-decade-of-a-new-millennium edginess.

I found it…

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2 Tweet or Not 2 Tweet

In Health, Innovation, Journal on May 4, 2009 at 2:47 pm
Twitter live from Vanderbilt 2009 Commencement

Twitter live from Vanderbilt 2009 Commencement

What the heck is Twitter?

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: “What are you doing?

This is a 10 minute presentation on the topic, given at a summit on Web 3.0 at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

It features Ashton, voter fraud, swine flu, a white african and siamese twins.

(You can “follow” me using this tool here: @peterdurand)

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In Search of the Perfect Personal Data Collection Application

In Health, Innovation, Journal on April 7, 2009 at 11:00 am
Did Buddha have a scale?

Did Buddha have a scale?

PHOTO: Modern ceramic pop art. Peter Durand (c) copyright 2008

So, anyway, I try to weigh myself every morning.

Like many men approaching the tail end of my 30s, I am trying to lose weight. According to the official BMI calculator, I am obese, defined as BMI 30.0 or greater. Well, barely obese (I am 30 even!).

Alas, I am trying to make a concerted effort to eat right, read up on nutrition, turn down seconds, cut down on a bad pizza and coffee habit… anything to stave off the prospect of aging, developing diabetes, and (God Forbid!) cancer.

Well, you know, anything within reason.

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Thinking About Global HealthTech

In Health, Innovation, Journal, Sustainability on March 9, 2009 at 3:01 pm
Modern Pharmacy in Liberia

Modern Pharmacy in Liberia. Photo by Erik Hersman

Thinking about the people I’ve run across (mostly thanks to Pop!Tech) who are applying design and technology to global health. Wondering how to be part of the solution.

“All experts agreee that earlier diagnosis and treatment are the only effective ways to combat this [AIDS] epidemic. A key to this is how do you deliver information – which is what a diagnosis is – at the lowest possible cost.” – George Whitesides, Founder Diagnostics for All

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Aging in America

In Health on November 19, 2008 at 3:19 am

My grandmother broke her hip.

“Great Momma” Mary was going out to defrost the freezer in the garage and slipped on a step. Bump-bump-bump! Right down the three concrete steps. She knew right away that something bad had happened.

Life had just changed big time for her and her husband, Jimmy, aka “Big Daddy”.
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Joseph Coughlin, MIT’s AgeLab

In Health on November 12, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Aging is not about “Them” it is about “Us”. Aging is a proxy for living. Because if you are alive, you are getting older. This video smacks us in the face with the fact that we are going to age-out faster than our parent did when it comes to technology.

Director, Age Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Coughlin is founder and Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab – the first multi-disciplinary research program sponsored by government and business to understand the behavior of the 45+ population as decision-makers, consumers, patients, caregivers, advisors and technology users.
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The Happening

In Health, Pop!Tech on November 10, 2008 at 4:00 pm
The Happening

M. Night Shyamalan: The Happening

My head is still swimming with the images from The Happening, an M. Night Shyamalan film about what could be described as the world’s immune system reacting to hostile invaders (aka. the human race).

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