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Diana DeregnierRSS Feed of this column.

As a lifelong student of human nature, less interested in degrees than consciousness, I write about social and psychological issues relevant to our complex society. Rather than proselytize, I

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In just 3 years of community activism that rivals Sarah Palin's political climb, Teens for Safe Cosmetics (TFSC) from Marin County, California has waged a national campaign to educate and inspire elimination and disuse of chemical toxins and environmental pollutants for healthier living. The passionate crusade recently earned two representatives from TFSC a meeting with Nobel Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Peace Jam Global Call to Action Conference in Los Angeles. Campaign members, Kate Smith and Emily Rose, were among 3,000 youths from around the world assembled to hear wisdom offered by six Nobel Peace Prize winners and to present their project for making of a better world.

Steven HalpernIn the 1960s, Steven Halpern began experimenting with music for de-stressing, relaxation and meditation. Friends, colleagues and fans pleaded for recordings but the record industry could not understand the unique style. They thought chakras were some kind chocolate.

Finally, in 1975, Steven recorded Spectrum Suite, a first in New Age healing music. The album to date, now titled Chakra Suite, has sold over 700,000 copies. Since its inception the genre has exploded with hundreds of musicians contributing. Steven Halpern is an internationally acclaimed composer, recording artist, author, researcher and sound healer.

Pangea badgeMay 10, 2008 is Pangea Day, when Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro will be linked live to present a program of 24 international short films, visionary speakers, and uplifting music. The program will be broadcast to the world through the Internet, television, digital cinemas, and mobile phones. For full details, links and trailers see

Among the five Nobel Laureates who have endorsed the book, "Thank God for Evolution," Craig Mello, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine. Mello, offers, "The science vs. religion debate is over! Michael Dowd masterfully unites rationality and spirituality in a worldview that celebrates the mysteries of existence and inspires each human being to achieve a higher purpose in life. A must read all, including scientists."

February 1988, in a course taught by Albert LaChance, a cultural therapist, Michael Dowd heard the story of the Universe as a sacred epic and began to weep. "I knew I would spend the rest of my life sharing this perspective as great news," says Michael.

Radical Collaboration coaches Jim Tamm and Ron Luyet have taught conflict resolution skills to individuals, employees, corporate teams and the military. Their clients include the State of California; Hewlitt Foundation; Catholic Healthcare West; Boeing; U.S. & Canadian Departments of Defense; International Management Program in Stockholm; NASA; Pfizer; Sony Ericson; Swedish Work Environment Authority; and United Nations Office of Oversight Services. Jim and Ron encourage us not to fear conflict.
The cost of providing a safety net for at-risk youth is $5,000 per year; the cost of housing a San Quentin inmate is $60,000 per year. Which would you prefer? -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- What's your reaction when you see a young person begging for money, living in a park or under a freeway? Do you think, "Why don't you just get a job? In and Out Burgers pays $11.00 an hour. I'm not buying your beer." I admit to my own uneasiness and temptation to judge, and I also wonder what has happened to this young person that made them drop out? Who crushed their spirit? In 2003, M. Wald and T. Martinez conducted the Stanford University study "Connected by 25: Improving the Life Chances of the Country's Most Vulnerable 14-24 year olds." In that mouthful of study, they concluded that, "In our society, almost all youth require support until they have connected successfully with the labor force, which generally does not occur until the mid-twenties." Stanford also found that high school dropouts, those in the juvenile justice system and incarcerated youth are unlikely to reach age 25 without becoming homeless.