Sunday, February 1, 2009


Channel 21, the public TV station on Long Island, has now caught up to the BBC with their broadcast of 'New Tricks'. Hopefully there won't be much lag time before they can start showing the next season - whenever that is.

In the season finale, "Mad Dogs", Gerry Standing's fear of trees resurfaced. I'm not really sure when we saw it crop up last, but I'm thinking it might have been when they found the "sunken treasure" in the quarry lake off the M25 while investigating a 1979 kidnapping in that area.

This is a great example of TV as a teaching tool. Instead of just accepting that Gerry's afraid of trees (as is a man in a recent Traveler's Insurance commercial), I decided to look it up and see if it is a real phobia.

And you know what?

Dendrophobia is the fear of trees or the fear of the forest. It is a real phobia and far more common than most people may think. Unfortunately, it is not talked about often because those who suffer with it also fear ridicule from others.

Toby O'B

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