Brain Injury Ethics
Gamma Alpha 26" x 26" $395

Gamma Alpha 26" x 26" $395

What is human consciousness, and how does this define what it means to be a unique person? Does society have a moral responsibility to individuals who are in a minimally conscious state, to help them achieve their potential?

In working as a recreation therapist every day with families and patients struggling with acute brain injuries, I found the book Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics, and the Struggle for Consciousness  by Joseph J. Fins extremely helpful in understanding the process of healing in the brain, and the moral implications for how our society treats persons with brain injuries.

Compared to other injuries, such as a broken hip, the brain takes a long time to heal. Recent medical advances have shown that it may take up to 12 months for a patient with traumatic brain injury to progress from a persistent vegetative state to a minimally conscious state, where they begin to communicate and respond to words and environmental stimuli. Yet the current system discharges people into nursing homes with reduced access to rehabilitative therapy, if they do not show measurable progress within a much shorter time period. 

Dr. Fins makes an elegant case that persons in a minimally conscious state have human rights and are entitled to be treated as persons, with dignity, and opportunities for therapy and living a meaningful life. 

Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics, and the Struggle for Consciousness by Joseph J. Fins. Check it out here.

Bob Payton
Ghost Snow

Amazing images captured by a Minnesota Dept. of Transportation camera along US Highway 61 near Kellogg, MN.

Bob Payton
One for the Books

February 2019 has broken the all time record for the snowiest February in Minneapolis, with 39.0 inches. Too cold to sit on the bench and read.

Little Free Library -

Little Free Library -

Bob Payton
Rambutan (Messy Hair)

Found this grape-like Malaysian fruit at the local Asian market. What a great way to brighten the season!

The name “rambutan” is derived from the Malay word rambut meaning "hair", a reference to the numerous hairy protuberances of the fruit. Similarly, in Vietnam, it is called chôm chôm meaning "messy hair". (from Wikipedia)

Bob Payton
Journeys in Music
Epsilon Beta 23" x 23" sold to a musician

Epsilon Beta 23" x 23" sold to a musician

A favorite music program is the BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction.  Billed as "Journeys in music, ancient to future" Late Junction showcases a wide range of global artists, often outside the mainstream, who create traditional and innovative works that ooze with experimentation and risk-taking. Check it out here.

Bob Payton
Spiritual Center of the Universe

To the Mdewakanton Dakota, the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers is the spiritual center of the Universe. See map. More info here.


Looking upstream at the confluence, to the cleaner Mississippi where the fishing is good. The Minnesota River water, in the foreground, arriving from the left, is siltier and muddier containing more farmland runoff. 

Bob Payton
Mosaic of the Americas

'Mosaic of the Americas' is a Minneapolis mural created in 2001 by 4 Mexican and 3 US artists with the help of 200 volunteers. A community project sponsored by the Resource Center of the Americas, the mural remains but the Resource Center is long gone and the building is partially vacant. Trees obscure the view and a locked iron fence inhibits access. It can be found at 3019 Minnehaha Ave South.


Detail: Over 20,000 tiles are contained in the piece.

Bob Payton
Pine Bend SNA

A snowshoe hike in Pine Bend Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) yielded some great Mississippi River views.

Bob Payton
Painted Lady

From my backyard garden in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) butterfly feeding on the nectar of Verbena bonariensis. Vanessa cardui, also known as the Cosmopolitan Butterfly, is the most widely distributed butterfly in the world. Amazingly, in Minnesota these stunning insects migrate, over several generations, to and from the deserts of Northern Mexico which is a 2600 mile round trip. 

Bob Payton