Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 29, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:2




Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 29. 2018 

Jeff’s Book Pics By Jeff Brown


by Jennifer Leach

Acting Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, 

Federal Trade Commission

Earlier this month, we told you about a growing scam: people pretend to be from the Social Security 
Administration (SSA) and try to get your Social Security number or your money. That scam is now 
growing exponentially. To compare: in 2017, we heard from 3,200 people about SSA imposter scams, 
and those people reported losing nearly $210,000. So far THIS year: more than 35,000 people have 
reported the scam, and they tell us they’ve lost $10 million.

Here’s what one of those scam calls sound like:

Scammers are saying your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended because of suspicious 
activity, or because it’s been involved in a crime. Sometimes, the scammer wants you to confirm your 
SSN to reactivate it. Sometimes, he’ll say your bank account is about to be seized – but he’ll tell you 
what to do to keep it safe. (Often, that involves putting your money on gift cards and giving him the 
codes – which, of course, means that your money is gone.)

Oh, and your caller ID often shows the real SSA phone number (1-800-772-1213) when these scammers 
call – but they’re faking that number. It’s not the real SSA calling.

Here's what to know:

Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. You don’t have to verify your number to 
anyone who calls out of the blue. And your bank accounts are not about to be seized.

SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift 
cards. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer. Every time.

The real SSA number is 1-800-772-1213, but scammers are putting that number in the caller ID. If 
you’re worried about what the caller says, hang up and call 1-800-772-1213 to speak to the real SSA. 
Even if the wait time is long, confirm with the real SSA before responding to one of these calls.

Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Or your bank account 
or credit card number.

If you get one of these calls, tell the FTC at

She Has Her Mother's Laugh: 
The Powers, Perversions, and 
Potential of Heredity by Carl 

"Leading contender as the most 
outstanding nonfiction work of 
the year"—Minneapolis Star-
Tribune. Heredity is redefined in 
this sweeping, resonating overview 
of a force that shaped human 
society—a force set to shape 
our future even more radically. 
Award-winning, columnist and 
science writer Zimmer presents a 
profoundly original perspective on 
what we pass along from generation 
to generation. Charles Darwin 
played a crucial part in turning 
heredity into a scientific question, 
and yet he failed spectacularly to 
answer it. The birth of genetics 
in the early 1900s seemed to do 
precisely that. Gradually, people 
translated their old notions about 
heredity into a language of genes. 
As the technology for studying 
genes became cheaper, millions 
of people ordered genetic tests to 
link themselves to missing parents, 
to distant ancestors, to ethnic 
identities...But, Zimmer writes, 
“Each of us carries an amalgam 
of fragments of DNA, stitched 
together from some of our many 
ancestors. Each piece has its own 
ancestry, traveling a different path 
back through human history. 
A particular fragment may 
sometimes be cause for worry, 
but most of our DNA influences 
who we are—our appearance, 
our height, our penchants—
in inconceivably subtle ways.” 
Heredity isn’t just about genes that pass from 
parent to child. Heredity continues within our 
own bodies, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of 
cells that make up our bodies. We say we inherit 
genes from our ancestors, but we inherit other 
things that matter as much or more to our lives, 
from microbes to technologies we use to make 
life more comfortable. We need a new definition 
of what heredity is and, through Zimmer’s 
exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour 
de force delivers it. Weaving historical and current 
scientific research, his own experience with his 
two daughters, and the kind of original reporting 
expected of one of the world’s best science 
journalists, Zimmer ultimately unpacks urgent 
bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical 
technologies, but also long-standing presumptions 
about who we really are and what we 
can pass on to future generations.

The Crossing Places (Ruth 
Galloway Mysteries) by Elly 

The first entry in the acclaimed 
Ruth Galloway series follows the 
"captivating"* archaeologist as she 
investigates a child's bones found 
on a nearby beach, thought to be 
the remains of a little girl who went 
missing ten years before. Forensic 
archeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway is in 
her late thirties. She lives happily alone 
with her two cats in a bleak, remote 
area near Norfolk, land that was sacred 
to its Iron Age inhabitants—not quite 
earth, not quite sea. But her routine 
days of digging up bones and other 
ancient objects are harshly upended 
when a child’s bones are found on 
a desolate beach. Detective Chief 
Inspector Nelson calls Galloway for 
help, believing they are the remains 
of Lucy Downey, a little girl who 
went missing a decade ago and whose 
abductor continues to taunt him with 
bizarre letters containing references 
to ritual sacrifice, Shakespeare, and 
the Bible. Then a second girl goes 
missing and Nelson receives a new 
letter—exactly like the ones about 
Lucy. Is it the same killer? Or a copycat 
murderer, linked in some way to the 
site near Ruth’s remote home?

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're 
Wrong About the World--and 
Why Things Are Better Than You 
Think by Hans Rosling

In the book, Hans Rosling manages 
to achieve the unexpected and 
completely alter the way in which we view the 
world. What exactly is "factfulness"? Factfulness 
is a new thinking habit that will change the way 
you see the world and empower you to respond 
to challenges and opportunities of the future. It is 
the stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions 
for which you have strong supporting facts. Like 
a healthy diet and regular exercise, it can and 
should become part of people’s daily lives. Start to 
practice it, and you will make better decisions, stay 
alert to real dangers and possibilities, and avoid 
being constantly stressed about the wrong things. 
Learn how to fight your own personal bias and get 
a more realistic perspective on the world around 
you.’ One of the most important books I've ever 
read - an indispensable guide to thinking clearly 
about the world.' Bill Gates

All Things By Jeff Brown


As the witnessing background of all experience,I, 
Awareness,am inherently free from all things;as the 
substance of all experience,I am intimately one with 
all things.We are the open, empty, allowing presence 
of Awareness, in which the objects of the body, mind 
and world appear and disappear, with which they are 
known and, ultimately, out of which they are made. 
Just notice that and be that, knowingly.

 Our self – luminous, empty Awareness – knows 
no resistance and is, therefore, Peace itself; it 
seeks nothing and is, thus, happiness itself; it is 
intimately one with all appearances and is, as such, 
pure love.

 All experience is illuminated, or made knowable, 
by the light of pure Knowing. This Knowing pervades 
all thoughts, feelings, sensations and perceptions, 
irrespective of their particular characteristics. We are 
this transparent, unchanging Knowing.

 When everything that can be let go of is let go of, 
what remains is what we desire above all else.

Be neither the knower nor the known but only the 
knowing of experience, and you will find your self as 
everyone and everything.

 Be still and know that I am God! Psalm 46:10


Real Life Tips from LIfe's Instruction Manual



Next week we will start a new year, we get a clean slate and begin anew. 
Before making plans for 2019, let’s reflect. Let’s look back at 2018 to 
review the year to remember what went well. I encourage my clients 
to use Gratitude Train, a free smartphone app, as an electronic journal. 
Researchers have proven over and over that a regular gratitude practice is 
an essential component of good mental health and self-care.

 Think about the past year. Did you make some new friends or 
learn a new skill? Did you make a significant improvement? Now is a 
good time review and celebrate. I call it celebrating the win, and it is 
an essential element of any vibrant gratitude practice. Go ahead and pat 
yourself on the back, you deserve it, and it is a foundational step for progress.

 To reap the benefits of gratitude, we must go beyond merely making a list of events, things or people. The 
practice calls for reflection and allowing yourself to feel the emotion that sparks the feeling of gratefulness.

The perfect way to lift your mood is to tap into the feeling of appreciation. Allow yourself to feel and relive 
the experience or memory that sparked your gratitude, then record your appreciation in your journal. 
Writing it down increases the effectiveness of the exercise. 

 In a university study, researchers created three groups of gratitude journalers. The first group recorded 
their gratitude at the end of the day. In addition to recording it, the second group of journalers contacted 
someone and expressed their appreciation directly to the person they appreciated and recorded their 
reaction. A third group wrote their gratitude notes throughout the day.

 At the end of the three week study period, everyone reported feeling better: less anxiety, depression, and 
overall improved well-being. The study revealed that the gratitude sharers had the most improvement.

 Can you imagine telling someone you appreciate them? How do you think that would make them feel? 
How would you feel? As you bring 2018 to a close, take the time to celebrate what’s right, what’s working, 
and tell somebody, “thanks.” It is a significant first step in creating a wonderful new year.--

 Lori A. Harris is a Life Mastery Consultant and transformational coach. She is the creator of the 
Gratitude Train App, available in the App Store and Google Play learn more at



As the end of the year 
calls for self-reflection, 
we look at what the 
landscape of our life looks 
like on the inside and on 
the outside. The inside 
is most important - and 
most reflective of true 
health and wellness. When there is love, support, 
safety, spiritual and mental health, and high life-
functionality, inside is quite happy. Self-care is how 
we seek this quality “inside” life and improve our 

 When you take care of yourself, everyone 
benefits-- you, the people who love you, and 
everyone who you encounter. It just works well in 
the universe. So, this year, I’ll provide ideas for self-
care —radical self-care: 

 Practice yoga daily. Take a nap. Write in a 
journal. Take your vitamins/herbs. Meditate. Eat 
more plant-based foods. Exercise. Talk to your 
friends about what’s really going on. Have fun. Take 
a trip. Say “No.” Care for your skin. Pray. Learn 
something you don’t know. Satisfy a curiosity. Be 
in nature. Have boundaries. Say “thank you” often. 
Read books. Stare at the moon and wonder. Sing. 
Be in community. Donate your time. Practice 
relaxation daily. Listen to your highest self. Take 
action fearlessly. Share a secret you’ve been holding 
on to. Make a new friend. Cook your meals. Did I 
say meditate every day? 

 Yoga is a practice and a journey to the Self. 
The greater care we take, the easier it is to be in 
alignment with Self. We also get to know ourselves 
well in the process. What did I miss? Please email 
me what you do:

All my love, 

Keely Totten 

Yogini, Teacher, Mentor, Mama 

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