Illness is illness – impairment of normal function of part or all of the body. Why, then, do we have illness and mental illness as if they are different things? We all fall ill from time to time, it may be an infection, heart disease, liver, bones, joints, any organ including the brain. But when it comes to the brain we call it mental illness and it carries stigma. [Read more…] about Why isn’t Mental Illness a Brain Disease?
For a pre-Christmas treat I took my wife on a special trip. She dressed beautifully in mainly white with her large sunhat and a pair of gold lame shoes. I like to give a girl a good time and I had heard of this place up in the hills near Kurunegalla in the centre of Sri Lanka. Not many girls get a chance to visit there.
We drove up a narrow lane through an attractive area of jungle to a small settlement with a couple of bungalows and installations of mining equipment. [Read more…] about Give a Girl Some Graphite
Now the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us, we can expect to see mushrooms, moulds, fungi and toadstools.
There must have been some along the walks through the water meadows between Winchester and St Cross taken by Keats during his stay in Winchester in 1819. All manner of autumnal things are mentioned in his Ode to Autumn but fungi are not included. Read it for yourself here. [Read more…] about Animal, Vegetable, or Neither?
Should we be charged for visits to the GP?
I heard a report on the radio this week about an article in the British Medical Journal discussing the pros and cons of imposing charges on patients for visits to the GP surgery. [Read more…] about Should We be Charged for Visits to the GP?
Tropical diseases? Not your problem? Oh yes they are and not just because of the need for anti-malarials when you go on holiday.
I heard about some of the problems and successes at the first International Meeting on Tropical Medicine to be held in the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. I went along and learned a few thing of general interest. [Read more…] about Tropical Diseases – What You Need to Know
Are you a tourist or a traveller?
With the holiday season upon us, you have probably already decided. Travelling can be nerve-wracking. What’s the difference?
Shall we say that a traveller decides where to go and arranges it, but a tourist buys a dream sold by a travel company. [Read more…] about Travellers Need Brains
Our gliding flights in the Pyrenees were going well. A friendly rivalry arose with the two pilots of another glider and we were determined to outdo one another.
Today was my turn as pilot in command of our 2 seater, Whisky Bravo. The tug plane took us from Santa Cilia airfield on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees towards the local hill where there was some rising air. [Read more…] about Forced Landing
Today one of the boldest, most audacious and exacting feats of space engineering will be attempted. The European Space Agency (ESA) will attempt to land Philae, a lander module, from the Rosetta spacecraft onto a comet known as 67P Churyunov.
Rosetta has already made 3 orbits around the sun and is near to completing a fourth. [Read more…] about Comet Rendezvous
We are not to have fluoridation in this part of the country. Southampton City Council is against it. We have to ask why and our leaders do not tell us.
There is no doubt that our dental health is poor and that fluoridation is a cheap and effective way of improving it. [Read more…] about Fluoridation – Have We Tripped Ourselves Up?
It’s surprising what scientific principles are illustrated when taking a shower. Here are three that I have observed recently:
Do you remember those 1980s showers that were fed (via the hot water cylinder) from the cold water cistern in the roof? The cold water storage tank was only a few feet above the shower, so there was insufficient water pressure to give a decent flow at the shower. [Read more…] about Shower Science
I normally do not write about current emotive news on this site, but the story of Ashya King is so compelling that I feel I have a duty to share what I know about the children cancer ward at Southampton General Hospital.
Twelve years ago, my son was treated at Piam Brown Ward, children’s oncology and haematology centre for the Wessex region, based at Southampton General Hospital. This was the same ward that had also treated Ashya King, [Read more…] about Life In Children Cancer Ward At Southampton General Hospital
µWhat do sick people do in Sri Lanka? Anyone can see a doctor free of charge.
If they go to the hospital, they will be seen. Any required medication is provided free. Repeat medications can be obtained from the hospital.
There is no general practice as we know it and some rural patients [Read more…] about Traditional And Modern Medicine in Sri Lanka
My husband entered the house with a tub of mealworms and a tub of 6 cockroaches. I nearly phoned a solicitor.
We have a lizard (a blue-tongued skink) and she eats strange food.
“What’s for dinner?”
“Your favourite tonight; mealworm and mash.”
“Did you get those nice mealworms from Waitrose?”
“Better than that; these are our first crop of home-grown from the shoebox in the garage.” [Read more…] about Mealworm and Mash
Now is the time of the foxglove. It grows naturally and is therefore regarded by some gardeners as a weed but it is a noble flower. Upright and stately in a royal purple colour it rises above others as a bright symbol in shady places.
Why Foxglove? This strange name for the flower has been around since the 14th century and was sometimes called ‘folksglove’. [Read more…] about The Foxglove
Two days ago, Wendy Martin wrote beautifully about her father Peter Green with fascinating details. Peter Green’s furniture business of 58 years’ history has been transformed over the years and the store in Chandler’s Ford is contemporary and the decor modern.
Heroes are rare by their nature. The best ones do not know that they are heroes, they have to be recognised by you. Anyone proclaiming himself a hero has excluded himself from the class.
The head of my department at the University took on two foreign students but he did not have the patience to supervise them. He wondered how the young, green lecturer would cope. I came to be supervisor of two Egyptian men ‘of mature years’ as it is quaintly put. That is, older than most students reading for higher degrees.
It took them a while to overcome the culture shock and get their English up to a reasonable standard. [Read more…] about Immigrants
A clear blue sky with not a cloud is sight suggested a difficult day of soaring. Thermals are usually under clouds and if there are no clouds, are there any thermals and where are they?
Thermals are large bubbles of warmer air which rise from the ground. If you have ever watched a lava lamp you have an idea of how they work. Unlike a lava lamp you cannot see the bubble. [Read more…] about Soaring The Pyrenees
After a six-hour drive through France and Northern Spain beneath low cloud and many showers of rain, I passed Pamplona and the weather changed. The cloud broke up and the sun shone from a blue sky. The weather improved over the next 50 miles to Santa Cilia.
Met with my colleagues who sadly had not been able to fly as the wind was blowing at 27 knots [Read more…] about Sharing The Sky With The Vultures