MOTHER's Newsworthies: Bill Tims, George McRobie and Mark Hatfield

Learn how Bill Tims works to help improve people's physical and mental health; George McRobie advocates the use of intermediate technology; and Mark Hatfield works to educate people on the dangers of nuclear proliferation.

| July/August 1981

Brief: Bill Tims 

Bill Tims wants to change the shape Americans are in ... because he believes that the general level of fitness in the U.S. is deplorable. He ought to know: Ten years ago the Oklahoman weighed 240 pounds ... suffered from chronic asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia ... and was — in his own words — "fed up with life."

Today, the dynamic man is actively committed to improving other people's physical (and mental) health. An avid practitioner and teacher of macrobiotics — the Oriental discipline which operates on the principle of maintaining a balance of opposites, most often referred to as yin and yang—Bill is also an instructor of physiognomy ("face interpretation") at the Kushi Institute in Boston. There, he practices visual diagnosis, a way of evaluating the patient's health by observing his or her facial features, posture, and bodily structure. He also acts as a private consultant in this field, and has made an educational cassette tape on adopting the macrobiotic way of life.

Through his varied work, Bill hopes to alleviate several problems he sees in the typical American diet: too few whole, unrefined cereal grains, too many animal products (such as meats and dairy foods), and far too much refined sugar. Such a diet not only causes digestive ailments and contributes to the onset of degenerative diseases, he explains, but also alienates people from their environment (since they don't eat anything that isn't far refined from its natural state). By balancing their intake of yang foods (those that are contracting, upsetting) and yin foods (expanding, relaxing), the nutritionist claims, individuals can improve the quality of their blood ... and enjoy better physical and mental health.

A long-time columnist for the East West Journal, Tims is also an instructor for many of the East West Foundation's workshops and seminars in health, diet, and Oriental medicine. This summer, he will be speaking at the group's week-long "International Program on Macrobiotics and Its Application to Health, Science, and the Arts." 

Brief: George McRobie 

The publication — in 1973 — of E.F. Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful introduced many folks to the value of low-cost, intermediate technology. Now, says George McRobie (a colleague of the late economist, who helped Schumacher found the Intermediate Technology Development Group), small is not only beautiful ... it's beginning to be popular. And he has the evidence to prove it.

In the recently released Small Is Possible (Harper & Row), McRobie presents an inspiring collection of "alternative tech" projects currently under way in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. The book — which includes mention of similar activities in Africa, India, and Latin America as well as a worldwide directory of active intermediate technology organizations — catalogs virtually the entire "counter-economy" movement. Originally conceived by Dr. Schumacher himself, the work is intended not only to strengthen the existing network of people practicing alternative lifestyles, but also to inspire others (by concrete example, rather than theoretical argument) to adopt sensible, small-scale technologies.

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