Thursday, March 2nd, 2023
Saturday, July 30th, 2022
Nice on Nietzsche. And nice that reviewer John Gray mentions La Gaya Scienza as one of his best books. Time for a reread.
Saturday, April 30th, 2022
The great Reacher TV series led me to try a Kindle sample, which read well. Feeling in safe hands, I searched the local public library for whichever they had in stock. They had three, and I picked Blue Moon. I began with enjoyment, reflecting on the fictional dream created as we move from little setpiece to little setpiece (a Greyhound bus, a bar, a rundown suburban home). I so enjoy that imaginative experience of fun fiction and love inducing it in others. But after a while this story becones preposterous. The waitress he meets turns out to be a superwoman, and her friends become Reacher’s special forces army as the book climaxes with attacks on the gangsters’ lairs, the body count like that of a one-person shooter. It ends up being… daft, so I think that’s it for me.
Tuesday, March 8th, 2022
Exercise is upstream of everything.
Sunday, December 5th, 2021
Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End
The invaluable Atul Gawande crafts a sensible, anecdote-rich picture of the current state of elder care.
He begins by telling the somewhat idyllic-sounding tale of how his own grandfather lived into old age back in India, contrasting this with the increasingly institutionalized way that aging is handled in more modern society. Surprisingly, he points out that anyone who can abandon this multi-generational way of living does so — it’s no paradise.
Gawande is always a deft, humane companion, one of our great medical writers, and if nothing else, the various ways he recounts people’s health failing and ultimately dying brings to the fore what we should keep in mind.
He wants people to be more mindful, prepared and aware of the limits of medicine, which he believes will make them less likely to make the mistake of over-treating, noting a number of times that relatives remain depressed and traumatized by a loved-one’s death much longer when they have chosen to keep them alive using invasive treatments.
He also notes his new understanding of hospice treatment, not that is no treatment, but that the goal of life duration stops being the be-all-and-end-all.
I don’t particularly want to revisit this well-structured book, but it’s a necessary ordeal.
Sunday, September 12th, 2021
This graphic in Scientific American details dozens of autoimmune diseases and the bodily systems they target.
Friday, December 11th, 2020
I’ve been surprised and disappointed by just how many people are hesitant to take up the COVID-19 vaccines now coming online. In this concerned Nautilus article “How to Build Trust in Covid-19 Vaccines”, the authors take on the issue with sober good sense, eg:
Mandatory vaccination policies should be avoided because they could backfire. More acceptable would be tying vaccination status to travel or access to public places.
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
Nice write-up by Charlie Harrington on his bout with colon cancer. Looks like all is well for now. I believe I came across this guy once before when he blogged about revivifying an Apple //e. [via Hacker News]
Tuesday, September 8th, 2020
Parathyroid surgeon Dr Deva Boone informs us on Vitamin D.
Sunday, August 30th, 2020
A solitary voice suggesting Vitamin D, Matt Ridley in The Spectator:
The bottom line is that an elderly, overweight, dark-skinned person living in the north of England, in March, and sheltering indoors most of the time is almost certain to be significantly vitamin D deficient. If not taking supplements, he or she should be anyway, regardless of the protective effect against the Covid virus. Given that it might be helpful against the virus, should not this advice now be shouted from the rooftops?
I do believe that the Western media — and therefore Western society in general — is actively uninterested in a biological reason for why darker-skinned people are suffering more from the novel coronavirus; such a materialistic and addressable cause does not fit the fashionable angle of systemic racism. So who suffers?
Friday, July 24th, 2020
If we stopped testing now we’d have very few cases — or any.
US President Donald J Trump
Saturday, March 21st, 2020
Monday, March 9th, 2020
Tuesday, December 11th, 2018
“The Effects of Bikram Yoga on Health: Critical Review and Clinical Trial Recommendations”, as published 2015 in Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine.
Sunday, April 1st, 2018
What did Jews tend to die of? The entry on morbidity in the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906.
Saturday, December 30th, 2017
Engagingly written albeit disappointingly somewhat thin, the useful angle here is how Apple differs from conventional wisdom.
Secrecy, even internally, is paramount; it helps alleviate internal politics and keep people focused. There is little internal promotion, taking seriously the Peter Principle. Unlike the rest of Silicon Valley, perks are minimal; working at Apple is the perk.
A product of its time (2012) and of the author’s lack of access, the book is marred at the end by pessimistic obsession with Apple’s viability post-Jobs, but is nonetheless ultimately worth reading because it does convey an impression of what Apple is like.
Monday, July 10th, 2017
All our spines. A compilation of what Houston-based chiropractor Dr Gregory Johnson calls his ring-dingers.
Friday, July 7th, 2017
In a large study of US military veterans, researchers “consistently found a significant association between PPI (proton pump inhibitor) use and increased risk of death”.
They don’t know why this happens but do know that “PPI treatment impairs lysosomal acidification and proteostasis and results in increased oxidative stress, dysfunction, telomere shortening and accelerated senescence of human endothelial cells.” [via The New York Times]
Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
At last — birth control for rats! A Long Read in The Guardian.
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016
Possibly the world’s most important story at the moment? American middle-class impoverishment, or as the author—himself afflicted—calls it, financial impotence.
Saturday, March 19th, 2016
Max Edwards, a 16-year-old writing in The Guardian. What a dude. [Update 8 days later: the man is already gone.]
Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
The conclusion of this peer-reviewed scientific article on sauna: “Increased frequency of sauna bathing is associated with a reduced risk of SCD, CHD, CVD, and all-cause mortality.”
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
A fearsomely refreshing list of what the author has learned in her 40s. Enjoyable if you’ve reached the age, and I wonder if edifying for those yet to.
Sunday, September 8th, 2013
On the Grant Study, a longitudinal study of the happiness of the best and the brightest.
The squat, the perch—a reminder that we are not designed to defacate in seating position.
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
Adam Garfinkle at The American Interest waxes catholic and sensible on the runaway American health care system — or, more accurately, disease repair system.
Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
Chart showing cancer rates around the world.
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
Good long solid chunky New York Times piece on the health hazards due to flame retardants in sofas.
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
Complete Guide to Urine Therapy. I think I’m sold.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
Friday, December 16th, 2011
Monday, December 12th, 2011
Hitchie on Nietzsche: Am I Really Stronger? [link broken]
Thursday, October 13th, 2011
Forced exercise is better for the brain than voluntary, and can help with Parkinson’s.
Monday, August 8th, 2011
“Gutted” by Steven Shapin in the London Review of Books is a wonderful tour of the boyn unfortunately is interesting and relevant to me.
Friday, October 15th, 2010
Yes, cancer is new.
Sunday, May 3rd, 2009
Fascinating, brief, accessible article on bone in nytimes/science. Wish nytimes.com had a donations box.
Saturday, November 15th, 2008