A Good Article on Dyslexia and its Impacts on a Person


Suzanne Coleman, MD

I read this article on dyslexia and thought it was very worth reading, so I thought I would share the link with you here.

It is entitled “Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia.”


It sounds like dyslexia is not only difficulty with reading and writing, but more likely a problem with the wiring or processing in the brain which can therefore also impact other areas of a dyslexic’s life.  This should be very encouraging information for those who have this condition.  It may give you more insight into different issues you may have encountered in your life that you did not realize were a part of this disorder.  And once we know what we are dealing with, we often have more ways to work to improve our situations.

Also the article mentions the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) which might be of value as a resource.

I hope you find this information to be of value, take a look!



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LED Lights: Dangerous on Roadways and Off

LED lights on cars at night negatively impact our vision and safety.   © Suzanne Coleman, all rights reserved.

LED lights on cars at night negatively impact our vision and safety. © Suzanne Coleman, all rights reserved.


Suzanne Coleman, MD

But What Does He LOOK Like?!

"Inmate of Elmira Reformatory showing four views of head".  H. Havelock Ellis, The Criminal.  See page for author [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

“Inmate of Elmira Reformatory showing four views of head”. H. Havelock Ellis, The Criminal. See page for author [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Ok guys, what do you think about this?

I moved back to Chicago about three and half years ago and I was watching the news and I was like, “huh, what?”  They were reporting on a rapist who had attacked several women in a particular area, but they didn’t describe him.  I was like, “uh, ok, so what did he look like?”  Nope, nothing.  Then they moved on to another topic, smiles and all.

So I guessed that they thought that describing the criminal’s race was now taboo.  I was like, “What?  Really?”  Wow.  Seriously, we are not doing well as a society when we are too scared to describe someone to help save other people from being victimized.  Describing the race of a criminal DOES NOT MAKE YOU A RACIST.  Holy @#$%.

What is going here guys?  If a black man commits a crime, are all black men criminals?  Makes no sense, right?  It’s about as logical as saying that describing someone’s race, makes you a racist.  It doesn’t.  And that’s the point.

My safety and the safety of all other people in society is more important than a news channel’s fear of being attacked for stating a fact about a criminal’s race.  If they don’t have a strong enough leadership to understand that, they can come and hire me, no problem, I’ll guide them.

The news channels have chosen to take on a responsibility to report the news, I wish they would realize how much that means to us as individuals and as a society and not allow a small number of vocal people to overpower the majority of Americans (of all races) who want to keep themselves and their friends and families safe.



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Looking for meaning, the meaning of life


Suzanne Coleman

I was one of those intellectual types, always thinking, searching, wondering.  Wondering things like, “What is the meaning of life?  Why am I here?  What is my purpose?”  I searched for meaning for decades, and then, when I was 42, it hit me.

The meaning of life is love.

Or, more specifically, being in love with someone with whom you want to have kids.  The meaning of life is the same for us as it is for all other living things, we exist to reproduce.  There is no higher or grander meaning, though our lives can certainly have more depth.  We exist to fall in love, to mate and have kids; we exist to perpetuate the species.

On the one hand it’s not a very romantic realization, but on the other hand, it is.


Chocolate for Christmas

The greatest thing about Christmas is when you get something as a gift, the calories totally don’t count, right?


Tasty! By David Leggett (originally posted to Flickr as Truffles) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Brrrrr….. Chicago! Too Cold!


Montrose Point, Chicago, Winter 2013-14.  By Suzanne M. Coleman, all rights reserved.

Montrose Point, Chicago, Winter 2013-14. © Suzanne M. Coleman, all rights reserved.


Suzanne M. Coleman

Do you remember this?  Just last year we were braving the icy freeeeezing cold weather along Lake Michigan in Chicago.  This year pales in comparison, so far… Even though it was ridiculously cold last winter, I’m glad I bundled myself up to go out because being there was an experience I will never forget.

It was an amazing ice scape.  Standing at the edge of the lake, cracking sounds surrounded me as masses of dark, unstoppable water moved back and forth under the covering layers of ice.  Below me, pieces of broken ice piled up like pale blue puzzle pieces, a puzzle that was WAY too cold to complete.  The sounds were eerie, yet fascinating.  The power of that water overwhelmed me and I stepped back even farther from the edge, afraid of what it could do to me.

Winter water birds sought out the limited remaining open water to desperately try and survive the coldest winter we’ve had in our area in a very long time.  Here at Montrose Point, a group of colorful red-breasted mergansers were getting ready for bed at the edge of the lake.  I marveled at their ability to withstand the cold temperatures.  As I watched them, I heard tinkling and jingling sounds coming from under the overhang of ice which had developed along the concrete edge of the sidewalk.  Below, it seems, a bird had bumped into a bunch of hanging icicles, causing them to fall and create amazing music in an otherwise very empty atmosphere.  It was very pretty.

I had come down here to this very famous Chicago birding area, to see an uncommon bird, the Long-tailed Duck.  This particular bird was a male in breeding plumage which means it was a very pretty bird to see; full of strokes of black and white all over its body, with a long, thin feather tail trailing behind.  I found it thanks to the reports of other birders on the Illinois birding listserv (IBET); it was bobbing in the small bit of open water near the mouth of the harbor, along with a dozen or so other birds of various types.

This little guy stood out.  Not only was he beautiful, but he was really fun to watch.  He would jump up into the air and then quickly tip his head down, at the same time folding his wings up like a fighter jet, and then dive down into the water to disappear completely from view.  He would stay down there for quite a while, 20-30 seconds it seemed, then resurface in another location.  I hoped that he was successful in finding something to eat, as I didn’t see any food in his mouth while I was there watching him.  Of course, he could have been eating it while he was still underwater.


Long-tailed Duck, male in breeding plumage. By Emily Willoughby (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Also nearby was another special type of bird, the White-winged Scoter.  In fact, there were quite a few of them there, several as close as 20-30 feet away, watching me watching them.


White-winged Scoter. By Vince [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

All of these different types of water birds were there because it was the only small bit of open water that they could find which would allow them to dive down into the water to feed as they worked to survive the brutal winter.  Because it was such a difficult winter, many birds did die.  A few were seen here on this day, scattered on the ice, nearby the living.  It was hard to look at, a real, honest reminder of the realities of life.

But I tried to focus on the living.  It was exciting for me to see both of these uncommon birds, and so close-up; they tend to stay far out in the water.  So when I heard about the chance to see them, I knew it was a rare opportunity and I had to take it.

Looking back at the pictures I took of the icy water at the end of the day, it amazes me how beautiful life can be, even in the most adverse of conditions.  Take those little opportunities to stretch your comfort zone and you might just be surprised at what amazing experiences you can have.  Last winter taught me that lesson, and I am glad.


America Today…

What we saw happen on wall street is what is happening in the rest of America.  We are no longer a people concerned about right and wrong, ethics, customer service and satisfaction, reputation can be bought, companies can close and reopen under another name.  No one expects to have the products they buy actually function or arrive in great condition anymore.  Recently reviewing my larger purchases over the last 10 years or so, I realized that over 70% of them had to be returned due to damages or dysfunction.  Customer service was often a nightmare and human English-speaking assistance was very hard to come by.

The same lack of honor and commitment is seen from labor to professionals.  We read about bought judges, lawyers who don’t do anything for you yet expect to be paid massive amounts of money, hospital systems claiming non-profit status and charging $2 for a gram of acetaminophen!  What happened to honor, ethics, reliability, social responsibility?  I don’t know when or where it happened, but greed overtook humanity.  Now we have to take it back.



Add your thoughts below.  Have you had similar bad experiences?  What did you do about it?  Why do you think our government doesn’t seem to care about the people anymore?  What should be done?

Beware of the Ratings on Yelp

shocked, baby, face, yelp, warning, beware, ratings, need to know,

Image courtesy of mjtmail on Flickr.

If you haven’t heard of it before, yelp.com is an online rating website for businesses all over the the world where people like you and I can rate businesses as well as write up reviews (unpaid) and have them posted online for other people to see.  As a new user of yelp, I recently found out that the ratings shown for the businesses do not reflect all of the reviews submitted on those businesses.  When you use this site, you need to be aware of this, especially in order to avoid really negative business experiences like the ones I had.  I don’t want to see anyone else put into a bad position when dealing with people who aren’t ethical business people.  No one deserves to have their equipment damaged or to have a business give them a firm quote and then force them to pay more for what they had already agreed upon.

Here’s what I’m talking about.  When I recently reviewed a local business with whom I had had a very bad experience, I noticed that there was another patron who had also had a very bad experience.  But I noticed other reviewers with ok and great experiences.  I was pretty suspicious of the review with the 5 stars, but maybe it was legit.  After I submitted my one-star review I skimmed the business’ page again and noticed a little note at the very bottom of the reviews which said “filtered” reviews.  “Hmmm,” I asked myself, “what is this?”

So I clicked on it, and found tons of one star reviews and a couple of 5 star reviews that had been hidden from view!  What?!  I read through a good number of them and it wasn’t hard to realize that these one star reviews were all very legitimate.  They had specific and applicable details and were all different from each other in complaints and writing style.  And, having experienced the nightmare that was this business myself, I had no problem believing any one of them as true.  On the other hand, the five star reviews gave very little detail and were a bit too complimentary so they may have been fake, but it’s hard to say for sure.

I was a bit concerned about why all of these one-star reviews were being hidden from consumers, so I looked around for answers.  I clicked on the “about filtered reviews” link to see what I could find out.  It says that these reviews are not included in the company’s star rating.  “Why not?” I asked myself, “they are all legitimate reviews!”  I was starting to smell something a bit fishy, and it wasn’t the soup.

So I submitted a question to the company, and they responded quickly.  They said:

“Thanks for contacting us with your concerns.

We try to showcase the most helpful and reliable reviews among the millions that are submitted to the site. Unfortunately not all reviews make the cut, even some legitimate ones. However it’s worth noting that the system isn’t static. It does what it can with the information at hand, and regularly revisits each review as it learns more. As a result, filtered reviews can find their way back onto business profile pages and vice versa.”

After I received this, I felt placated.  “Ahh, ok, they’ve got a system, it’s all under control.”  But I then was prompted to go back to the site and see what happened with my recent reviews, and lo and behold, the two one-star reviews (both very legitimate and appropriate) I had written had both been filtered and placed in the “hidden” and uncounted section of the two businesses’ pages.  “What?!”  Ok, this can’t be right.  So I wrote back to the customer service rep who had responded to me and asked to speak to someone about their filtering system as it didn’t seem to be working properly.  I haven’t heard back.  So much for good customer service.

If their system works as they say, as more information comes in, the businesses’ ratings should be adjusted to reflect them.  That means that the one company that I reviewed which had 37 one-star reviews out of 54 reviews total should have a lower rating than 2.5 stars, and with so many one-star ratings, many more of them (if not all of them) should be placed on the business’ official ratings page and counted.

It sounds like their system may work to filter out fake 5-star reviews, but it seems to be doing so at the loss of keeping the valid one-star reviews.  In reality, it is more important to know about the one-star reviews than avoid some fake 5-star reviews.  I’d take another look at my filtering system if I was working at yelp, and redesign it so it better filters out only fake reviews and maintains the legitimate ones for consumers to use.  The entire point of the site is to (well for yelp’s owners to make money off of free consumer reviews…. but) provide honest reviews to consumers so that they can make good decisions about where to spend their money and where to get the services they need.  Knowing about bad businesses is a critical component of this service.

So I think the important lesson here is that if you choose to use yelp to help you decide whether or not to patronize a certain business, or to choose which business is the best fit for your needs, that you not only read the business’ main reviews but are also sure to check if they have any filtered reviews and to read those as well.  I certainly wish I had done that before I went to use the two businesses that I ended up giving one-star reviews.  It would have saved me a lot of time, money and distress in the end.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post below, I look forward to hearing what you think.

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