Archive for the ‘health’ Category
My daughter’s Godmother is studying to be an MD, and has started her internship. Starting her internship coincided with her birthday, which meant that many of the presents she received were related to medicine. One of the gifts, which she gracefully allowed me to borrow before she read it was How Doctors Think, by Jerome Groopman, MD.
Groopman’s book covers one subject which I love: heuristics and bias. Heuristics are the stuff the practice of medicine is made of, which makes it a little strange that this isn’t always taught. The influence of the intuitive, fast, effortless System 1 thinking versus the slower, conscious, System 2 thinking is reasonably well known. System 1 allows us to unconsciously come to conclusions based on the information at hand, as Groopman says: “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” The practice of medicine is such that most of the diseases encountered fit into a nice pattern, however it is also a burden which make cognitive bias possible. When a doctor sees nine patients who are suffering from flue symptoms, System 1 will quickly come to the conclusion that the diagnoses of the tenth patient with these symptoms is also flue, and will even ignore facts to the contrary. Read the rest of this entry »
Some weeks ago I read an interview with a Dutch Internet Entrepreneur who was launching a book on how to create a start up. I haven’t read the book so I can judge that, however what surprised me was his tip to give smokers only 23 days holiday rather than 26 days as they are 1.5 hours less productive every day. I think that he’s missed the point when it comes to productivity, and I’ll tell you why:
Ever since my father exchanged my expensive Christmas gifts for a card which read something like: “A donation was made in your name to SiteSavers” Although I did deserve the gifts – I had been very good, thank you very much – I saw that there were people who needed a gift more: The gift of sight.
“[Today] Sightsavers is asking churches across the UK to join together in worship to mark World Sight Day. [...] This year special focus will be placed on women and blindness as various cultural, social and economic barriers often lead to women and girls becoming the last in line to receive appropriate medical treatments.”
World Sight Day is an initiative of The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the WHO‘s Prevention of Blindness and Deafness program under the title VISION 2020: The Right to Sight
I like non-fiction and I loved Forever young: Science and the search for immortality.
The book covers Alzheimer’s, Genetics and Organ Replacement well and although it helps that I have some medical knowledge it’s not difficult for a layman to understand. The genetics portion is very interesting, and I learned a lot about enzyms and the inner workings of the human brain.
Naturally I’ve started taking my NSAIDs to prevent Alzheimer.
CNN.com has an interesting article 5 tips to limit your cell phone risk. Their first is predictable, don’t put it against your head use the speakerphone, but I didn’t know that CNET keeps a list on Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), “… a way of measuring the quantity of radiofrequency (RF) energy that is absorbed by the body.” Have a look at the article Cell phone radiation levels.
It seems my RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 is one of the highest at 1.54 SAR, and the crappy Motorola Razr is the lowest as 0.14, although as it’s prone to crash constantly you can hardly ever use it. My Nokia 2600 (RH-59) and 6300 (RM-217) aren’t listed on CNET, but from Nokia’s SAR I discovered they run warm at 0.80 W/kg and cooler at 0.57 W/kg respectively.
And people call me a hot head, it’s not me it’s my phone.
A Pinch and a Punch for the first of the Munch! I know it should be month,
From today August 1st to 7th World Breastfeeding Week. There is lots of room here for very smutty jokes, but I’ll leave that up to you and your imagination.
Breastfeeding is very important for the growth of a child, a good way for mothers to pass on antigens to their offspring and a brilliant way to bond.
Your beautiful kitchen could be poisoning you! I though it was very funny when I started reading it. “Granite, as it turns out, contains levels of uranium, which is not only radioactive but releases radon gas as it decays.1” According to the article it can also contain other nuclear materials such as thorium and potassium, although I can’t exactly remember when potassium became nuclear.
I found a nice Mash-Up which scraps news sites and populates a Google Map with the data gathered from these articles. Sadly they don’t populate it too well, where the article says The Hague they just have a pointer in the centre of the country. It’s very nice for a beta.