Things (I) Learn From My Patients
All these stories are borrowed (and cleaned up, which is my contribution) from the forums over at SDN. They’re just too good to pass up… Never, ever leave flashlights, beer bottles or any other long, circular object on the floor because someday you will fall on it… and it will somehow impale its way up your rectum. Always do woodwork with your skill saw before using meth. White latex paint,...
Challenging a Culture of Alcoholism
Over 25 percent of teenagers and young adults in the U.S. admit to being binge drinkers (according to the CDC). And over 33 million adults admit to binge drinking in the past year. Binge drinking is defined as having over four or five drinks in a matter of a few hours. And, as we all know, it’s becoming a cultural norm. Alcohol ranks third as the cause of preventable deaths (after...
Handsome Sportz Klüb's Bizarre 'Raza Scoota' Music...
“I ride my raza scoota sroo ze night / to get to your heart / to get to your heart.” Has there ever been a catchier hook to a fake-German pop song? Probably not. We don’t know who the guys behind Handsome Sportz Klüb really are, and frankly, we don’t want to. According to their highly suspect Wikipedia page: Handsome Sportz Klub is an electronic synthpop band from...
Honor Your Doctor For National Doctors' Day
Health professionals can sometimes be under-appreciated, but today seeks to combat that. March 30 marks National Doctors’ Day and it’s the perfect opportunity to thank your own doctor or physician for their service. The annual event was first celebrated March 30, 1933, when Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, set a day aside to honor physicians. From those beginnings...
'Facebook Depression': Do You Have It?
At the end of the recent film The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg’s character, by now a wealthy and successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, types in the name of the young woman from Boston University who had dumped him at the beginning of the film. He sits all alone before the computer and stares at the screen, suggesting to filmgoers that the billionaire with millions of...
The Sound of Dubstep
I just absolutely love the way the new Ministry of Sound - The Sound of Dubstep 2 album sounds on my new Beats by Dre Solo HDs. Check out some of the tracks below:
Future iPods could be powered by the human...
Yes, you read that right. The Telegraph yesterday ran an interesting piece that caught my attention. The basis for their story is a breakthrough development calling for a chip that can generate power from microscopic body movement such as the human heartbeat or the pinch of a finger. The new chip is “thousands times more powerful” than a previous prototype and it’s based on nanogenerators. ...
4 Ancient Secrets To Revitalize You For Spring
At the arrival of spring, it is a natural instinct to cast off the winter blues and feel renewed. Preserve your longevity by greeting the spring with seasonal health practices. Nearly five millennia ago, Eastern physicians observed the influence of each season on health and contrived specific seasonal advice to avoid illness. The tips below are adapted from the age-old wisdom in the...
Ramachandran: On Your Mind
Ramachandran is incredibly entertaining, presenting complex ideas on the function of the brain. I love it that he is applying his findings to theories on abstraction, metaphor, & creativity. I can’t decide whether - besides being a neuroscientist - he is also a poet or a stand-up comedian: “you can’t have disembodied pain just floating out there.”
CHF: Congestive Heart Failure
Legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor passed away last week at the age of 79 from congestive heart failure. The condition is a situation where the heart cannot appropriately pump enough blood to the body’s organs. It can be caused by any number of things. Below are a few potential causes: narrowed arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle — coronary artery disease past heart...
Myths About Psychiatry
Let’s explore the myth that psychiatric conditions aren’t as well defined as other medical diseases and psychiatric treatments aren’t supported by as much scientific evidence, and don’t work as well, as other medical treatments. Even my fellow psychiatrists believe this. I’ll take broken limbs and that sort of thing out of the equation and go on from there. Are...
Have you ever wondered what exactly caused zombies to act they way they do, like why they crave brains and flesh, why they can’t stand up straight, and why they’re so unbelievably pissed off and stupid? Dr. Steven Schlozman, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Fan of Zombies, has written a book called The Zombie Autopsies about all the medical workings behind zombies....
Why Are We Still Medicating Our Kids?
“To drug or not to drug our kids, that is the question we need to be asking — ourselves, our political leaders, and our medical establishment.” So wrote Arianna Huffington on April 2, 2007 in her insightful review of Lisa Loomer’s play Distracted. Now, almost four years later, even more parents have clearly landed on the side of “to drug.” As for our political...
“The human body is an incredibly complex and amazing structure. At best, it is...– Denton A. Cooley, M.D. President and Surgeon-in-Chief of the Texas Heart Institute Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Medical School
Jigsaw Falling Into Place
I’ve watched this video, not just once, not just twice — just comatose on this.
The Pathology of Inactive Life
Túcan's version of the Daft Punk classic "Around...
This is just absolutely brilliant — this is probably the most polished rendition of this song I’ve heard.
Totally Awesome Space Colonies
Did you know — in the 1970s, NASA’s Ames Research Center gathered artists and tasked them with designing space colonies able to accomodate 10,000 people. High resolution versions are available at NASA’a Space Settlements page.
The 10 Types of Physican Bloggers
Physicians, and medical students for that matter tend to fall into 10 different categories — which type are you?
Doctor and Patient: Interns at the Operating Table
One afternoon in clinic, a patient’s wife stopped me in the hallway. I had just finished describing an operation to her and her husband, obtaining his consent and answering their questions, but I wasn’t surprised that the woman was still worried. Despite her easy smile and infectious throaty laugh, she had appeared anxious throughout the visit, the corners of her mouth twitching and her hands...
Going Hungry in an Obese Nation
How is it that 17 million children in the U.S. live on the brink of hunger while, at the same time, 9 million American children are obese? It’s certainly a troubling paradox. And it’s one of several reasons why many Americans don’t quite believe or understand the urgency and extent of hunger in the United States. Misconceptions about hunger fall into two broad categories:...
Incredible Footage Of The Northern Lights In...
Peak season to see the northern lights is nearly over, and Terje Sorgjerd, an amazing Norwegian photographer, spent a week chronicling their movement in and around Norway’s Kirkenes and Pas National Park on the border of Russia recently. MSNBC’s photo blog caught up with Sorgjerd via Skype (see the video above) to talk about his work. Sorgjerd told MSNBC that he spent every night...
Simon & Garfunkel
Sound of Silence (Monterey Pop Festival, 1967) — What an epic song, it’s hard to beat rhymin’ simon.
Neurons grow into semiconductor tubes: future...
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, led by Minrui Yu, have successfully induced nerve cell tendrils to grow through semiconductor tubes using strained silicon (Si) and germanium (Ge) nanomembranes as a cell culture substrate. What do you think research like this will do for us in the future? I have my own ideas, but I’d like to hear yours!
Zenith is a retro-futuristic steam-punk thriller, about two men in two time periods, whose search for the same grand conspiracy leads them to question their own humanity. Starting from a fictional recreation of Stanley Milgram’s Obedience to Authority experiment, Zenith plunges into exploring multifaceted dimensions of the human experience. The film follows two parallel stories - of...
A Healthy Dose of Internet
From one of my favorite places, dailygood.org — an interesting diagram on technology and chronic illness. Notable: 80% of internet users go online to look for health information. Check out the image full size at: GOOD.is
Could You Learn 40 Languages?
Carlos do Amaral Freire, a Brazilian linguist, easily translates 60 languages, including Chinese, Portuguese and Sanskrit. Is he a genius? A freak of nature? Surprisingly, Freire probably isn’t much different from your average bilingual. Known in linguistic circles as hyperpolyglots, people who speak 10, 30 or even 70 languages must work as hard as the rest of us. Freire has been studying...
Can we just 'zap' away disease states?
Call them brain pacemakers, tiny implants that hold promise for fighting tough psychiatric diseases – if scientists can figure out just where in all that gray matter to put them. Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, has proved a powerful way to block the tremors of Parkinson’s disease. Blocking mental illness isn’t nearly as easy a task. But a push is on to expand research into how well...
Are Your Meds Robbing Your Body Of Key Nutrients?
Tired and Depressed? Chronic Pain? Brain Fog? Leg Cramps? Digestive Problems? Hair Loss? Nerve Pain? These symptoms may be a result of the medications you’re taking! Surprised? Prescription and over-the-counter drugs help millions of people with diseases and chronic conditions, but did you know that in the process, these medications can also deplete the body’s natural stores of...
A Little Guide To Making Better Guesses
Throughout life, you are constantly guessing what your next step in whatever you are doing should be. Though there are no hard and fast rules, you can follow a few tips to make the best choices while “guessing” your way in life. The key to making the best guesses, according to Tyler Tervooren over at Advanced Riskology, is to make a lot of tiny guesses with minimal viable risk. ...
A psychological evaluation on Gaddafi?
Gaddafi has been masquerading as a revolutionary, intellectual, world leader and anti-imperialist for decades — but underneath it all is a man in love with his ego and power. “I am the State, L’Etat c’est moi,” he rants in so many bombastic, paranoid and disconcerted words and phrases. Far from believing in the will of the people, he only believes in the IDEA of the...
The Boy with The Incredible Brain
Daniel Tammet sees every number up to 10,000 as an individual object and can calculate massive equations on the fly, Daniel is one of the world’s few savants. He also has a unique trait — synesthesia. What are your thoughts about Synesthesia? What is the brain doing to calculate in such a precise way? First, what is synesthesia? Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense (for...
Health Risks Of Radiation: How Much Is Unsafe?
Lately, the news is all about nuclear explosions, and radiation — concern is mounting about potential health risks of radiation from the crippled nuclear reactors in Japan. But the question is — just how much radiation is unsafe? How much radiation you get depends on the dose, duration and method of exposure. Some types of radioactive particles are more dangerous or longer lasting...
Why does being a physician/doctor require you to remember so much? In medical school, you think you just need your memory to hold out through anatomy — with all those nerves, arteries and muscles.. but, that’s just the beginning! Wait until you get to wards — and have to follow several patients at a time.. Oh boy! What do you do to help remember?
To What Extent Can The Mind Heal The Body?
By now, many of you have heard news reports about the PACE study out of the U.K., suggesting that cognitive behavioral therapy and exercise are helpful for chronic fatigue syndrome, and misguided media reports suggesting that this shows that the illness is all in people’s minds. Two other studies came out recently as well, which add perspective: 1. Promising New CFS Study (Reported by...
I'm Not One Of Those Fancy College-Educated...
I’m a doctor, and I’m damn good at it. Why? Because I learned to be a doctor the old-fashioned way: gumption, elbow grease, and trial and error. I’m not one of these blowhards in a white coat who’ll wear your ears out with 10 hours of mumbo-jumbo technical jargon about “diagnosis” this and “prognosis” that, just because he loves the sound of his own voice. No sir. I just get the job done. …. You...
The most toxic animals of all are — box jellyfish, responsible for more than 5,500 deaths in the past 50 years. One species, Carukia barnesi (pictured), is transparent, the size of a peanut and covered in stinging cells. The venom causes a massive release of the fight-or-flight hormone noradrenalin, so victims often “panic” to death. Those who survive may suffer “Irukandji Syndrome”,...
Roger Waters, and 'The Wall'
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters talks to Riz Khan about his passionate campaign for the rights of the Palestinian people and why, more than 30 years after he wrote the globally-acclaimed album ‘The Wall’, he is focusing on another wall - the Israeli separation barrier in the West Bank.
Islamophobia is Destroying America.. Not Islam
The organizers of the anti-Muslim hate rally in Yorba Linda are suddenly on the defensive. Refusing to admit that they behaved like demented racists, or that there is anything wrong with demonizing Muslim citizens of the United States, the North OC Conservative Coalition’s Karen Lugo, Jewish Federation love instructor Rabbi David Eliezrie, and others are claiming that they participated in a...
How would a tsunami form in the Atlantic Ocean?
As Japan assesses the toll of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, onlookers half a world away are likely wondering if a similar force of nature could strike in the Atlantic. The short answer? It’s improbable, but not impossible. Tsunamis have been a phenomenon primarily located around regions of intense geological activity, such as fault lines and submarine volcanoes. Japan is...
Japan Earthquake: Before and After
You can hover your mouse over the pictures, so you can see the land before and after the tsunami devastation. Click here for the picture set.
In the multidimensional suicide support group, you...
Cura Te Ipsum is an emotional crisis on infinite earths. Charlie Everett tries to kill himself only to be stopped by himself. Soon he’s on a multiversal trek, where his alternate selves want to heal – or kill – him. Neal Bailey’s Cura Te Ipsum (the Latin version of the Proverb “Physician, Heal Thyself,” opens on Charlie Everett, just before attempting suicide. Charlie...