Richard G. Petty, MD

More Saturday Satire

I think that I can tease Apple because I like their products so much: I’ve bought enough of them! And I’ll be getting a lot more come June.

Here’s another piece of fun.


RP On The Radio Part Deux

I mentioned that Kim Colvard and I were going to be having an online discussion. We covered a lot of topics and we’ve had some great feedback.

We are definitely going to do this again!

You can download the file here.


Saturday Satire

Most people seem to know that I am a cheer leader for virtually all things Apple. I’m on about my fifteenth Macintosh and I have no idea how many iPods we have. And the thought of the up-coming iPhone has me palpitating with desire. I’ve been lovingly poring over it’s specs and I know that I’m going to be at the front of the line when it comes out in June.

But I just had a mega snigger when I saw this from the Borowitz Report:

Apple Recalls iPhone; Forgot to Include ‘Phone’ Feature

Jobs: Oops

what could prove to be the most embarrassing misstep in consumer
electronics history, Apple Inc. announced today that it would recall
its entire production run of the Apple iPhone after discovering that it
had failed to include a “phone” feature in the much-hyped handheld

Speaking from Apple corporate headquarters, company
founder Steve Jobs offered consumers his apology for the monumental
goof and seemed to be searching for an explanation for how it could
have occurred.

“First and foremost, we’re sorry,” a red-faced
Mr. Jobs said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts. “When you
make a product called the iPhone, people expect it to include a phone,
and we messed that part up.”

Mr. Jobs suggested that Apple had
been so focused on making the iPhone the “coolest handheld device ever”
that it had forgotten to include one of the most important features of
any cellular phone: “One thing people like about cell phones is that
you can dial numbers into them and call people.”

Instead, he
explained, Apple’s engineers had crammed the iPhone with a plethora of
what he called “non-phonal features,” such as a camera, an MP3 player,
a taser, and a tactical nuclear weapon.

While Mr. Jobs said that
almost all of the nine million iPhones that had been shipped to stores
were on their way back to Apple’s manufacturing plant, he offered
advice to consumers who somehow had already obtained the phoneless
iPhone: “Just hold it up to your head and pretend to be talking into

Elsewhere, the Fish and Wildlife Service said that it would remove wolves from the endangered species list and add Republicans.

RP On The Radio

Next Monday, February 5th, I am going to have the privilege of having a one hour conversation about Healing, Meaning and Purpose with Kimberley Colvard at Radio Sandy Springs. We are going to be on from 12 noon to 1PM EST. The show gets repeated twelve hours later for you folk in Europe and Australasia.

Here is the neat thing: you can either listen on the radio (AM 1620 in Atlanta) or listen in on line. I am hoping to put the audio file on this website. So you can listen at your leisure as I explain how we discovered that the Laws of Healing are changing, what it means for your health, well-being, personal development and business, and how you can use these new insights starting today.

I do a lot of radio and TV work, but I am particularly happy to be doing this particular show. Kim is the author of an extremely interesting book – Life is a Perception, What’s Yours?: How your thoughts and beliefs determine your life – that is full of novel ideas clearly showing that she is completey in tune with the aims and objectives of Integrated Health and Medicine. When I first started explaining the principles to her, she was one of the few people who “got it” straight away. So I am expecting this to be a very dynamic and creative program.

Stayed tuned (!), and you will be able to assess that for yourself!

Open Access

I have had a number of kind comments about my brief piece concerning the revolution in open access to information.

Few people have yet realized the impact that it will have on our lives.

I am most honored to have just received this note from Peter Suber:

Hi Richard: PLoS is part of a larger movement for open access to
peer-reviewed research literature, and a lot has happened since PLoS
was launched in 2001. For details, see my Timeline [ ], and for daily updates see my blog, Open Access News [ ].

I have had a good look at Peter’s material, and I have also subscribed to his blog, so it will now appear on the left-hand side of this blog under
“What I’m reading,” so you can access his writings without having to dart all over the place.

The entire open access movement encompasses a great deal more than just scientific and medical research, and is all precisely aligned with my aim of achieving greater personal empowerment, so that you can take control of your life, your health, your future and the legacy that you leave behind.

Several correspondents have agreed with my point, that the next imperative is to teach people how to use this information.

Healia, I Thank You!

I’ve written before to extol the virtues of the new seacrch engine

Well now you can color me REALLY impressed.

My Web Mistress (I’m STILL not at all sure that I should be calling her that {!}), Carol Kirshner and I both asked for two extra things: a widget in the sidebar of a blog that allows you to search Healia directly. And second that it would be possible to open a search result in a new window. So now you can get all the information that I offer, and do all your searching to follow up on things that I’ve said or suggested, without having to go tearing all over the Internet.

We wanted to offer you "One stop shopping."

A single place where you can find out what’s new, or what’s tried, tested and true, in Health, Wellness and Personal Development. And a place where you can receive free guidance and support on your journey.

Your time is very valuable, and these new developments should help you enormously.

Healia did all this within seven days of our request, and any company that’s going to be that responsive tells me exactly where they are coming from.

So read and enjoy the articles, and be sure to use the Healia search box to follow up on anything that you need.

All the best to you!

Healia is Here!

Several months ago, I wrote about, a new and innovative search engine for all things to do with health.

This morning I got the news that I’d been waiting for from Carol Kirshner my Web Mistress (I’m still not sure that’s a PC term for her) and researcher. Healia will be officially launched to the public tomorrow, September 18th.

As a writer on health, wellness and personal development, I think that this is going to become a major source of information for me. Much as I love Google, this is a search engine dedicated to these topics.

From a release that I’ve just received, Healia says that:
The newest version of Healia has several major improvements over our initial version:

  • We have enhanced the accuracy and performance of our filtering algorithms
  • We are offering additional filters to allow people to filter by the topic of the document when they submit a disease or drug-related search (Try searching on a disease and drug name to see how they are handled differently)
  • We provide a “Suggested Result” from a reference site for disease and drug-related searches
  • We detect and provide expanded equivalents to common medical abbreviations and acronyms

I’ve been putting it through its paces, and I must say that I’m very impressed. I’m probably a lot more demanding than most users, and it’s very quick and accurate.

If you are a consumer or potential consumer, Healia will likely be the best place to research an illness. Or ways of keeping healthy.

I agree with the points in Carol’s evaluation: It would be nice if search results opended in a separate window. Even though I use a laptop for everything (Macintosh, of course), and don’t have much screen real estate, with Macintosh OS X, that’s not a problem: navigating from one screen to another is a snap. Having to keep going back is a pain in the posterior.

And my cri du coeur: please, please, please could we have a Healia Search widget to add to our blogs??

I do everything that I can to provide my readers with totally accurate, up to date information, and I encourage them to check on everything. I’d love readers to be able to search directly from within medical blogs. It would be a real win/win, IMHO.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to demonstrate it at the Healthcare Blogging Summit in Washington in December???

When Being First Is Not the Only Thing

Regular readers and anyone who’s looked at my blogroll, knows that I like Zach Lynch’s consistently insightful blog.

He has been working on a project for four years, and now it appears that someone is coming out with some of the same ideas in a book that is due to arrive in late September.

This does not look to me like plagiarism. Once a new idea is out there, it quickly spreads, and people will run with it.

You might be interested to see some of the comments that I made on Zach’s site.

The other book may be superb. But the important point is that although being first is the only thing in competitive games, in the world of ideas that will help us, being first is not the only thing.

Being correct is the only thing.

A Special Offer

Today I’m attaching a first enhanced podcast to my blog.

We’ve been experimenting for months to get the music, sound and graphics just right. I’m planning to do a great many podcasts in the months to come so that you can listen at your leisure, and I can also share some specific tips and techniques that are tricky to explain using the written word alone.

Today’s podcast is a short introduction, some advice on motivation, and an offer.

To commemorate the launch of this new project, I’m also going to extend the offer here.

The Internet is full of people telling you what they think and sometimes even what you should think and do!

That’s not my way of doing things. I am here to serve you, and telling you what to do is scarcely an act of service!

Now that you have got a flavor for my areas of expertise, I am going to ask you what you would like to hear about or learn about or maybe even be amused about!

As you will see if you look at my list of "Categories," there are a few areas in which a great many people think of me as THE expert: the Go-To Guy.

So I get a huge number of questions every day, and I think that most of them merit a detailed response.

So the offer is this: I’m going to invite you to email me a question in any of these categories. Just send me a quick note to healingmeaningpurpose[at] The shorter the better!

Naturally I cannot diagnose or treat a person online. No responsible clinician would ever do such a thing without performing a full, detailed and personal evaluation.

I’m looking for questions that will be of interest and concern to many people.

I am going to select the hundred and one questions that I can answer with something new: a new perspective, new information or new insight. Or perhaps a question that will be best answered by intuition or by an appeal to the classics or the spiritual Masters and Mistresses who have taught us over the centuries. I am then going to put these hundred and one questions and answers together into an electronic book. I can guarantee you that the book will contain an absolute treasure trove of life-changing information.

How do I know that?

Because of the quality of the questions that I’ve already received and the kindness of the responses to my answers. 

When it’s finished in late October, I’m going to offer the eBook for sale at $49.00.


Anyone who sends a question that I select and can use will receive a FREE copy of the eBook.

I’m totally serious about that, and there’s no catch: I really am going to give away almost five thousand dollar’s worth of books!

While also, I hope, offering guidance, help, support and inspiration to a great many people around the world.

Enjoy the podcast, and I look forward to hearing from you if you have a question with which you think I may be able to help!

Download podcast.August.18th.2006 1.mp3

Blogging and the Tipping Point

The blogging phenomenon is well under five years old, though many of us were communicating online long before that. The question for many of us has been whether blogging is just going to remain a kind of online graffiti or political sounding board which will eventually go the way of the dodo, or whether it has now reached a level of maturity where it will be an important social, business and educational phenomenon?

Have we reached the Tipping Point? This forty-year-old term refers to a dramatic moment in time and space when something unique becomes common. The term was popularized and applied to daily life by Malcolm Gladwell in his book of the same name.

You will remember the impact of bloggers during the last Presidential election campaign, but some skeptics thought that was just a flash in the pan.

Several recent items have convinced me that blogs are indeed beginning to have a significant impact:
1.    A white paper published by Market Sentinel, Onalytica and Immediate Future in December 2005 discussed the impact of bloggers on corporate reputation, after one individual named Jeff Jarvis had a significant negative impact on Dell Computers after relating his bad customer experience.
2.    In April 2006, Custom Communications organized an event – I thin the first of its kind – on Blogging4Business. The aim was to discuss how blogs could potentially damage a brand.
3.    In May of this year, traditional news producers, aggregators and distributors gathered at the We Media Global Forum to discuss the future of news in the light of the growth of blogging and what is becoming known as citizen journalism.
4.    The Internet is moving rapidly from being a read-only or buy-only medium to an organic, participatory, interconnected and collaborative network. Just look at the burgeoning popularity not just of blogs, but also of sites like and the energy and eagerness that is creating Wikipedia.
5.    The Internet is rapidly becoming a web of producers who are customizing their interaction, rather than passive consumers.

The BBC ran a nice discussion on some of the dynamics of what is now occurring.

How do you see all this developing?

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