Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph Blog Dr Ellen K Rudolph – Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph's Blog

Making Your Own Allergenic Laundry Detergent

Posted on 2017-02-26 By

Commercial laundry detergents seem to be getting more and more toxic over time, resulting in increasing numbers of allergic reactions in unwitting consumers.  These companies also keep changing their ingredients, so the chemical formulations of a once-familiar product may be quite different today from what it was a mere six months ago. Tea Tree Oil,…


Lightning Perils: Myths and Tips

Posted on 2017-02-25 By

Nearly everyone recreating on water in Central Florida during a thunderstorm says “no big deal” – “not to worry” – “it has never happened here” -OR- “these storms are just a pain in the you-know-what.“ Indeed, people harbor many myths about lightning that make them feel immune from their perils. But known lightning corridors exist. According…


Global Warming Hysteria Emboldens Pandering Politicians, Creates Fear in the Rest of Us

Posted on 2017-02-15 By

If you are anything like me, it is hard to know how to respond to all the global warming hysteria. There are alarmists and there are deniers, and apparently never the twain shall meet. What to do? How to make scientific sense of it all? Well, meet Roy W. Spencer, a Principal Research Scientist at…


‘Transgenderism’ is Mental Illness, not Sexual Reality

Posted on 2016-10-25 By

The government, Hollywood and today’s LGBT narratives are patently WRONG about ‘transgenderism’ and they need to stop promoting it as a “right’ that is deserving of protection under the U.S. Constitution. This is delusional thinking at best. FACT: one’s sex is a biological reality that cannot be changed, even if the genitals are surgically mutilated…


The Manhattan Project That Changed the Course of Human Events

Posted on 2016-10-15 By

The Manhattan Project was a top-secret American project to build the world’s first atomic bomb. World War II was already underway and the fear at the time was that the Nazis were building a bomb that would allow Hitler to win the war. Three main research and production facilities were established at (1) Oak Ridge,…


How to Help a Bird that has Collided with a Window

Posted on 2016-09-03 By

  Windows and birds are a lethal combination. Birds of all kinds, including hummingbirds, see a continuation of the forest reflected in a window, particularly at certains times of day and location of the sun; and they unwittingly fly into it. They do not see or recognize clear glass as a barrier. A severe head-on collision…


Why Ayn Rand Matters

Posted on 2016-08-21 By

Ayn Rand matters because her work has stood the test of time, and it has launched a broad philosophical movement that is having a growing impact on American culture. Her philosophy stands in sharp contrast to the ideological notions of collectivism and socialism which are progressive ideologies to the core and antithetical to the principles…


Dr. Ellen’s Book: How Families Work

Posted on 2016-08-20 By

Dr. Ellen’s book entitled How Families Work is a public service project that is available online and free to anyone interested in learning more about their important family relationships. This book is not currently available in hard copy. It’s six heavily illustrated chapters and nine expansive special topics are based on her knowledge of the…


Dr. Ellen’s Children’s Book

Posted on 2016-08-20 By

Dr. Ellen’s author-illustrated children’s book is set in Virginia’s Historic Triangle region that includes Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. It is the story of a small dog that becomes lost in this famous place and embarks on a search to find her owner. Along the way the dog, Willi, encounters many Virginia animals and historic figures…


Economics for Everyone: A Critical Reading List

Posted on 2016-08-20 By

This list includes some of the most important and influential books on the economics of capitalism. They are classics that span decades, but it is more important than ever for Americans to read and digest them in today’s complex world. Why? Because capitalism and our enviable free-market economy is continually being undermined by those who…


Why We Like to Have Photographs Around Us

Posted on 2016-08-19 By

*This article was recently published in Apogee Photo Magazine I speak to you today from the perspective of an experienced mental health professional and photojournalist, with the goal of sharing my observations about the complexities of the world of photography that we share in common. Let me begin with this observation: the primary reason we…


Gamesmanship in Presidential Election Politics

Posted on 2016-08-18 By

I wish sometimes that I weren’t so well-read in American politics. Presidential elections are the worst, and I am neither fascinated nor enamored by what we Americans must endure during our excruciatingly long presidential campaign seasons. What we suffer is a regrettable mix of PROMISES PROMISES and wealth-generation for a select few. In my ideal…


Marriage: Profound or Pathological?

Posted on 2016-08-18 By

Marriage is a highly over-rated institution. It is not for everyone. Yes, it is a profound stabilizing force in society — but not when untold millions of children suffer the effects of ill-conceived marriages between emotionally inadequate spouses. LET ME SAY IT THIS WAY: Marriage is disastrous between adults who are still children emotionally. Marriage…


The Long Reach of Rome

Posted on 2016-08-18 By

The Catholic Church is against abortion but it is also against birth control, which it calls “gravely sinful.”  It is also against the ordination of women, and for years it has shuffled pedophile priests around. No wonder the church is divided on major global topics today, and many including Catholics think the church should modernize…


Education Fallacies and the Feds

Posted on 2016-08-18 By

This might come as a surprise to some but ‘Common Core’ is just another bell-ringing collectivist notion “for the common good.” Beware of anything couched in terms of “for the common good.” U.S. states are sovereign entities that can choose to do things as they like. It is the Federal Government that has only thirty…


A Party of One?

Posted on 2016-08-18 By

There is no longer anything even close to a two-party political system in America. We are by now just one, big happy family on “both sides of the isle” in the Congress of the United States. What is the evidence for this? (1) congress has evolved into a career club of rich and richer elders…


‘Group Think’ versus Individualism

Posted on 2016-08-18 By

Human collectives of all kinds are prone to a “group-think” mentality that values consensus and conformity, and harmony, above all else, while at the same time that they discourage creativity and individuality. A group-think mentality discourages unpopular opinion-making by individuals, and  it instead encourages a collectivist form of decision-making that celebrates consensus. Sound familiar? Examples…


Psychology and Psychiatry: Two Peas in a Pod

Posted on 2016-08-18 By

The study of mental illness is one of those uniquely radical corners of higher education that gets little real scrutiny. Most people know very little about these professions, even though they may have used their services at one time. These disciplines are grounded in Sigmund Freud A fixation on turn-of-the-century Freudian notions of the unconscious…


What the Heck Happened to Academic Freedom?

Posted on 2016-08-17 By

Marxist radicals have so thoroughly infiltrated American campuses today that I find it impossible to trust the research and writings that come from those once hallowed halls of learning. In fact, nearly every aspect of the academic environment has been tainted by ideological shifts that deeply undermine the integrity of the academy. In the name…


The Politics of Persuasion vs Science

Posted on 2016-08-17 By

Recently I watched at a documentary about “intelligent design” that pitted that view against Darwin’s theories about the Origin of the Species. I was shocked by the high level of ideological consensus-building and conceptual tampering that was being done in that video, all in the name of science. Why was I shocked? Because science is…


The Enumerated Powers of the Federal Government

Posted on 2016-08-17 By

The Constitution Society  provides us with the tools one needs to accurately decide what is, and is not,constitutional; and what applicable constitutions require one to do. According to this educative body:  “Discussions of rights are sometimes confused concerning what are and are not rights of the people or powers of government or the duties of…


Art Meets Science & Spirituality in a Changing Economy

Posted on 2016-08-17 By

The following conversations illustrate the diverse and complex interface between science, art and spirituality and how they intersect in the world. A central figure in all of them is physicist David Bohm, who met with well-known artists, scientists, spiritual leaders and economists in Amsterdam in the early 1990’s. Their goal was to “explore the emerging…


Steve Jobs Introduces the Macintosh

Posted on 2016-08-09 By

This is the long lost video of that infamous moment when a young Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh to the world. It was January 24, 1984 when he let the Mac out of the bag: SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B-XwPjn9YY The gathered crowd roared appreciatively when Mac famously said: “Hello, I’m Macintosh. It sure is great to get out…


George Washington’s Farewell Address

Posted on 2016-08-09 By

Worn out by the “burdens of the Presidency and the attacks of political foes,” George Washington announced his decision not to seek a third Presidential term in a newspaper article dated September 19, 1796. It served as his farewell address to the nation. That inspiring address, which he did not deliver publicly, can be read…


The Federalist Papers

Posted on 2016-08-09 By

The Federalist Papers include a series of eighty-five letters written in the late 1780’s by three American patriots – Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. The letters were published anonymously in major newspapers of the time to urge support for the proposed United States Constitution, which had yet to be adopted. You can now…


Conversations with Noted Physicist, David Bohm

Posted on 2016-08-08 By

The following conversations with the late physicist, David Bohm, are appropriately titled Beyond Limits. He was one of the foremost scientific thinkers and philosophers of our time, who also was inspired by mysticism and the teachings of J. Krishnamurti and the Dalai Lama. His overriding concern was with understanding the nature of reality and consciousness….


World War II Photographs: A Retrospective

Posted on 2016-08-08 By

This is a profound and insightful retrospective of WORLD WAR II photographs compiled by Alan Taylor, covering the war years from 1939 to 1945. The retrospective includes 900 photographs separated into 20 distinct essays. Says Taylor: “It gives us glimpses into the experiences of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents, and moments that shaped the…


Winston Churchill: A Documentary in 4-Parts

Posted on 2016-08-08 By

This is a 1992 documentary in 4-parts that tells the story of Sir Winston Churchill. He was a genuine hero and inspiring world leader who wrote all of his own moving and powerful speeches. As England’s prime minister, Churchill rallied the British people during World War II and led his country from the brink of…


Neil Armstrong – A 50th Anniversary Documentary

Posted on 2016-08-08 By

Watch this full documentary by NASA TV of US Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s  moon landing on July 20, 1969. It was a profound and moving event that significantly impacted American culture and challenged our sensibilities as a people. Armstrong was the Commander of Apollo 11 and the first person to set foot on the moon. In…


Treasures to Remember

Posted on 2016-08-08 By

Cultural treasures such as the ones below enrich, inspire, and fill us with deep and abiding admiration. They connect us across continents and sometimes across the centuries with fellow artisans and trail-blazers. Enjoy! ___________ BEST FREE SHORT FILMS Explore the best free short films from around the world that should be seen and remembered by…


The ‘Dumbing Down’ of Americans

Posted on 2016-07-03 By

Do you know? On history tests given to 31,000 pupils by the National Assessment of Education Progress, the “Nation’s Report Card,” most fourth-graders cannot identify a picture of Abraham Lincoln or a reason why he was important. Most eighth-graders cannot identify any advantage that American forces had in the Revolutionary War. Twelfth-graders had no idea…


Hands-only CPR Saves Lives

Posted on 2015-10-11 By

The latest technique for doing CPR is easy to learn and it is something that every adult needs to learn how to do. It is called “Hands-only CPR” which is CPR without including mouth-to-mouth breaths. If performed immediately it can double or even  triple the victim’s chance of survival. The American Heart Association now recommends…


Discarded Fishing Line Kills Wildlife!

Posted on 2015-09-18 By

Little thought is given to snipping monofilament fishing line line when it gets tangled in shoreline trees and shrubs, or when it becomes snagged on submerged vegetation. A typical response is “Darn, that was my favorite lure!” BUT THE PROBLEM IS MUCH BIGGER THAN THAT Monofilament fishing line is by far the most dangerous kind…


Dr. Ellen’s Anhinga Rescue Story

Posted on 2015-09-15 By

On the Friday of a recent long Labor Day weekend I noticed a Florida Anhinga sitting on a post of my Rainbow River dock with something wrapped around his beak. This particular Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) is one of the ‘regulars’ that like to fish from my dock, and I was immediately alarmed by what I saw….


Some Predictive Statements about Mass Killings

Posted on 2015-08-28 By

Let me say it again: Americans will never fully understand or be able to predict mass killings by simply trying to determine the killer’s motives. Motive-based inquiries have gotten us nowhere because a killer’s motives are present-tense outbursts that often have little or nothing to do with that person’s underlying persona. To truly understand these…


The Psychology of the Violent Person

Posted on 2012-12-19 By

As an experienced mental health professional and Bowen family expert, I abhor the traditional approach to mass shooters by the media, by the police, and also even by mainstream mental health professionals; all of whom myopically fixate on the individual shooter. Broadening their lens to include a family systems approach is far more productive and…


What You Probably Don’t Know about the Federal Reserve

Posted on 2012-10-15 By

First of all, the Federal Reserve is a private financial institution. Most Americans do not know that. The courts have ruled that Federal Reserve Banks are “independent, privately owned and locally controlled operations”, and there is not sufficient “federal government control over ‘detailed physical performance’ and ‘day to day operation’” of the Federal Reserve Bank…


Economics 101 for Concerned Citizens

Posted on 2012-10-15 By

You and I know that money matters, and yet this is clearly something that the U.S. Congress and Presidents don’t seem to get, and haven’t understood for years. (Maybe they just don’t want to understand it?) It used to be that our monetary system directly linked the value of our currency to that of gold,…


Cutting and Pasting American History

Posted on 2012-10-14 By

Beginning in the 1950′s and early 60′s, Baby Boomers were taught very little about our founding documents, and even less about our founders themselves. Social studies classes during that era began to focus more on the structure of state and local government in general and, in particular, on society’s culturally pressing transition from war to…


A Black Bear Cub Rescue — Closeup!

Posted on 2012-08-29 By

A friend called me one blistery March day about a tiny bear cub that was sitting on the side of the Foothills Parkway in East Tennesse, looking lethargic. I lived at the time at the higher elevations in Blount County, TN and was close by, plus she figured I would know, if anyone would, what…


Partisan Politics in the form of “Earmarks”

Posted on 2012-02-06 By

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) recently urged lawmakers to oppose yet another fundamentally flawed economic stimulus bill that was signed into law by President Obama. President Obama came into office, it said, promising an unprecedented initiative to jump-start the flagging economy by providing a taxpayer-funded economic stimulus that would be “timely, targeted, temporary, and…


A Commentary about a Political Commentary

Posted on 2012-02-06 By

Sometimes I think the whole world is falling down around our feet. Recently I read the following commentary about something former Speaker Newt Gingrich offered in reference to the anti-colonial leanings of our current President. The problem here is not so much who said what but, rather, what was said about Mr. Gingrich without any basis in…


Responsible Citizens Vote

Posted on 2012-02-06 By

I’ve heard it all before, haven’t you? Some people sit out elections because they refuse to vote ‘for the lesser of two evils.’ Some people don’t vote for philosophical reasons although I am not sure what those reasons are. Others simply do not feel informed enough to cast a vote for anyone, even someone in…


Elitist Lies and Their Fuzzy Math

Posted on 2012-02-06 By

I don’t think I have ever witnessed such bold-faced lies from the ranks of our so-called Ruling Elite. I am speaking of the elites in Congress and the White House, in Presidential Commissions, at the Federal Reserve, yes, even in our activist judiciary and in the majority of our university classrooms. Who are they? These ruling…


My Thoughts on Self-Portraits _ Part I

Posted on 2012-02-06 By

Question: My name is Amy and I am doing a project at school about self-portraits in photography. I was wondering if you have minute whether you could tell me something about why you take them occasionally and what you find difficult about it, how it makes you feel, that kind of thing. Thanks for your…


My Thoughts on Self-portraits_ Part II

Posted on 2012-02-06 By

QUESTION: Dr. Ellen, my composition teacher has approved an E-mail interview with you. I am writing from the lovely state of Washington. My questions about photographer self-portraits follow: Can we generalize about why photographers take self-portraits, or are the reasons too personal and varied? If yes, what are the generalizations we can draw?   Dr….


Some Thoughts about the Artistic Experience

Posted on 2012-02-06 By

How photographers experience and emotionally interact with the world says a lot about them, not only as an artist but as a person. Some are bold and brave We’ll call these Group I Folks in this group stand tall and make their mark. They consider themselves leaders, not followers. They feel and exude confidence in themselves….


The Role that Photographs Play in our Lives

Posted on 2012-02-06 By

QUESTION: Hi Dr Ellen, I came across your site during a web search for the psychology behind photography. I reside in Australia and am a writer/photographer/graphic designer and pediatric cardiology nurse. And I use my visual arts skills a great deal in my nursing role. I often do portraits of the babies and children for the parents during their…


The Soulful Side of Photography

Posted on 2012-02-06 By

A SOULFUL COMMENT: “My wildlife photography equipment starts with my heart for the love of these beautiful animals. It continues with my head to learn about them. It is enhanced by my eyes for seeing their magnificence. My tool kit is completed with some mechanical items.”   ~Carolyn Wright~ ** Dr. Ellen Responds Carolyn’s words…


Pictures with a Purpose

Posted on 2012-02-06 By

Approximately 90 percent of nature photography output is non-conservation oriented. More importantly, the number of well-known environmental/conservation photographers worldwide are actually very few. Some photography friends and I were musing about this not long ago as we talked over lunch about the evolving crisis state of our natural environment. We agreed that it is no…


Some Questions for my Hero

Posted on 2012-02-06 By

QUESTION: Dr. Ellen, please forgive the unsolicited e-mail.  I keyed in psychology and photography in Google and your web page came up. You are my hero! My two main interests in life are these two subjects. I am 32 with a background in art history and museum work. I am planning on returning to graduate school. I want to…


On the Cusp of the Digital Era

Posted on 2012-02-05 By

I was fortunate to be involved in photography in the very early days of the digital revolution. Photography has always been fun, but the onset of the digital era absolutely thrilled me; I couldn’t wait to see what they were going to come up with next! Imagine what Ansel Adams would think about being able…


Are You (gasp) a Generic Shooter?

Posted on 2012-02-05 By

You are not going to find this written anywhere, especially in nature photography publications, but here it is anyway. Diversify! Your gear is generic; it will photograph anything that you want to photograph. Just point your lens at a given subject and, voila! Your camera will do your bidding. You know that, of course. What you…


Size is Not Everything (Or is it?)

Posted on 2012-02-05 By

*The Thorney Devil  Moloch horridus Things are constantly changing in today’s digital domain, even as we speak; everything except for the fact that the most popular demand for images is still for 8×10 prints or smaller. That, and the fact that a very small percentage of shooters need their output to be at 24×30 inches…


Photojournalism and Psychology are a Great Mix

Posted on 2012-02-05 By

Question: Hi Dr. Rudolph, I’m a junior at the University of Miami studying photojournalism and psychology.  I was searching for internships in both photography and psychology and your web site came up. Reading your essays and viewing your photographs has been very inspiring.  I’ve been trying to decide which path I want to follow after graduation. Photography? Psychology? Seeing that you are active…


Have You Been Photoshopped?

Posted on 2012-02-05 By

Yes, indeed! In today’s vernacular you are routinely photoshopped by virtue of having your photograph taken with a digital camera. Even when a film camera is used to take your picture, that image can be scanned so that later it is available for digital manipulation. In the early days of photography you were technically retouched…


Change is Hard

Posted on 2012-02-05 By

QUESTION: OK – so I don’t want to change a background in a photo. I don’t believe in that for me; it’s not my style. If you guys want to do it, fine, do it. But where does that leave me?   Change is hard. It seems to me, though, that it is harder for…


What Draws me to Photography?

Posted on 2012-02-05 By

Photography is a creative endeavor for me. I have explored the creative arts over the years – rhythm tap when I was young, then later classical piano, flute, watercolor and oil painting, note card making, the saxophone — these things have gone with me through life and all hold a special place in my heart….


There is More to Photography than Photography

Posted on 2012-02-05 By

Photography is a competitive business and newcomers trying to get into this field do what newcomers tend to do in any field, which is to charge less in order to ‘get their foot in the door.’  This is hardly news. I personally, however, don’t think that affects revenue-generation in in our field. With some glaring…


Qualities held by ‘Iconic’ Images

Posted on 2012-02-05 By

QUESTION: “Dr. Ellen, I recently discovered your website and have found it incredibly interesting in the research I am conducting for my journalism dissertation at the University in London. I especially found your essays on photojournalism interesting, as I am focusing on this topic. My working title for my Dissertation is: ‘An Examination of the Power…


The Impact of Wedding Photos over Time

Posted on 2012-02-05 By

COMMENT: Dr. Rudolph, I have enjoyed your articles about photography and psychology and I’m wondering if you could answer a question for me? I am doing a speech in my public speaking class about why we should hire a professional photographer for weddings and special events. I’m a professional photographer myself and want to convey…


Nursing Home Horrors?

Posted on 2012-02-05 By

Nursing Homes scare the daylights out of most people because they lack the emotional skills necessary to deal with growing old, which is hardly what any of us consider a user-friendly activity. Oh, we all know we are going to get old one day. We recognize that, but we also trust that it will happen…


The Meaning of Christmas

Posted on 2012-02-05 By

I want to share a recent conversation that I had with Santa Claus. I arranged to interview him this year because I wanted to know what Santa himself thinks about the meaning of Christmas. It was not an easy trip, mind you. Getting to the North Pole is a bit of a stretch even for…


My First Christmas

Posted on 2012-02-05 By

It was Christmas and three weeks shy of my sixth birthday and there I was, decked out in brand new blue jeans that Santa had left under the tree for me. I was awash with shyness, and it had taken a bit of doing just to get me to try them on for everybody.   The…


An Ode to Mentors

Posted on 2012-02-04 By

Student Comment: I’m not sure if you are aware of this, Dr. Ellen, but you were one of my first teachers when I decided to attend community college at such an “advanced” age. I was truly a lost soul when I met you. You inspired me in such a grand way that I wept all…


Teaching Students How to Think [Not What to Think]

Posted on 2012-02-04 By

Question: Dr. Ellen, how do you feel about ivy league schools and other highly recognized public institutions? Do you think that these schools concentrate on telling the student what to think instead of how to think? Is it even worth it to go to a fancy college where you might spend $40,000-$50,000 a year? Dr….


Dr. Ellen’s “A Few Good Rules to Live By” – Tips From a Family Expert

Posted on 2012-02-04 By

* First, do no harm. When in doubt, don’t. Humor helps. Under stress talk less. Clean your own house first. Keep your focus on self when everything around you is in turmoil. Deep breathing calms. The marital pair comes first, children second. Sex is not a duty in any relationship. Men don’t need sex any…


Gifts from My Father

Posted on 2012-02-04 By

My adoptive father was an imposing figure and an educated man. He had many close friends in his inner circle and he was well-known in the mid-west and particularly Minnesota where he lived for most of his life. I affectionately called the Keans ‘Mom and Pop.’ Doc was in his fifties when he and Pearl…


[Text] of a Talk Radio Interview with Dr. Ellen about her children’s book

Posted on 2012-02-04 By

A New York book club interviewed Dr. Ellen about her children’s book – WILLI GETS A HISTORY LESSON  – and the thinking that went into its design and construction. Read it online HERE Question: Dr. Ellen, how did you come to write WILLI GETS A HISTORY LESSON? I have lived in Virginia’s Historic Triangle region…


Tourists and the Protected Yorktown Onion

Posted on 2012-02-04 By

One morning I rose at dawn to find my way in a dense fog to Yorktown, Virginia via the beautiful Colonial Parkway. The Colonial Parkway connects the historic triangle regions of Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. BTW, if you have never driven that route you are missing out on a magical experience. At that time of…


Are You Black Bear Smart?

Posted on 2012-02-04 By

* Black bears (Ursus americanus) are forest dwellers that most people love but know almost nothing about. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest protected habitats for them in the Eastern part of the United States, and bears are a major attraction for the Park’s nearly 10 million annual tourists, many…