I’m baaacccckk

I’ve been neglecting to update on my blog. See the thing is I’ve been insanely busy lately. It’s not the type of busy where all of a sudden you’ve got an assignment and 2 midterms all the next day. It’s the type of busy where you constantly have stuff to do and more added on each day to a point you either procrastinate so much that you don’t do any of it or to the point you pick at it each day and just get tired of picking at it. No matter what it never ends. Yup that’s been my life the last 2 weeks plus or minus some major life traumatizing events and new perspectives.

Stuff keeps getting added on the to do list keeps growing. What’s worse is that every time I do manage to get something done I feel the need to reward myself exponentially with a 2 hour break. What is up with my mind? Do you people have to deal with this? 30 minutes of work followed by 2 hour youtube break.

I’ve got today and tomorrow off school but rest assured there’s plenty to do. In fact to remind myself I’m going to dictate here some stuff I have to get done…note that I said some stuff… this isn’t all of it. Here goes

1. Assignment due on Thursday at 2pm – 6 pages analysis paper..start today..review with TA tmrw 4pm office hours
2. Must work on GMO presentation seminar due next Monday – have to start early since I work on the weekend.
3. Create new hours form, update hourly records for volunteers, log all member requests
4. Finish ethics course and research quiz. Reply to researcher email
5. Volunteer at hospital. Call back Clinic
6. Take time to sort out notes for final exams and read ahead for classes next week
7. Go to gym. Make it to 9:30 cardio tomorrow morning!!
8. Review studies discussed in class; start final exam notes
9. Submit grants application and confirm granting for Fundraiser Event
10. Book appt for haircut
11. Print out and submit scholarship paperwork before end of November
12. Email Dec availability and LOA form to boss
13. Go to mall gift hunting

Hmm this is all I can think of right now. I think I got this.

Pffffft Canada Doesn’t Need The Arts!


I guess Canadians don’t need the arts. Thanks to Harper and his buddies. What an awful decision this is. Today Harper and his government killed Canada’s largest arts advocacy center of 67 years. In another 67 years Harper will be gone but so will the arts. With all the great public programs going on the chopping block why don’t they just abolish the multiculturalism act and kill the CBC forever too? Just awful.

Malala Yousufzai, a symbol of hope amongst the voiceless and silenced girls of Pakistan

She is fearless, enlightened, articulate, and a young Muslim woman who is the face of Pakistan and the hope for a faltering nation that can no longer protect its daughters

Such a brave young girl speaking out when so many responsible adults don’t. If Pakistan does not commit to removing power from its religious fundamentalists, then it’s society will never evolve beyond jungle law. This kind of common brutality is a huge indictment against religious fundamentalism and Pakistani society. Shame on the taliban (I refuse to capitalize the word). Shame on them for stopping women and young girls from seeking an education. Why aren’t people having major protests to protest against the atrocities of the Taliban and support Malala in her cause? Silence is acceptance. Shame on the people of Pakistan, shame on the government! It is your apathy, the only way they continue to maintain control is by keeping people ignorant.

To anyone living in Pakistan and all Pakistanis around the world: Many Malala’s have being silenced before, don’t let any more be silenced. Involve yourself. It has been Malala’s online blog, her writing for the truth that has won her Pakistan’s first National Peace Prize, can you not do anything for her?

They fear education. They fear knowledge. They fear enlightenment. Especially of women. They know that the education of women in the West led to their emancipation. It led to their ability to limit the size of their families, or to choose to have no children, or to choose not to marry. It led to their ability to exercise the right to vote independently of how their fathers, brothers or husbands might want to tell them to vote. It led to their advancement into employment and professional careers which put money in women’s pockets, made them independent, and in some cases made them powerful leaders in society and of society. And we know what happened to the former female leader of Pakistan when she tried to return to her homeland.

This is why a 14 year old girl like Malala Yousufzai is such a threat to them. As a young woman she represents a future they cannot stomach. She is Malala Yousufzai.

Nobel Prize Winners This Week In Medicine & Biochemistry.

I was sentences away from being done my blog post about the Nobel prize winnings in Medicine this week when my laptop decided to randomly restart. Even if I rewrite the post, it won’t be the same. Not happy right now. Not happy at all. I’ve managed to rewrite a short bit about both set of winners, it isn’t as great as the first time I wrote about it. In any case, it has been a hallmark week for medical research! Congratulations to the winners!

The first set of winners are John B. Gurdon and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka who co-share the Nobel prize for their discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent (iPS cells). We have obtained a new view of the development of cells and organisms as a result of their discoveries. This research gives us a closer look at the mechanics of disease and the benefits for medical application will be astounding as more research in this area occurs.

Further more two American scientists, Robert Lefkowitz  and Brian Kobilka are also sharing the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for nailing receptors behind the fight or flight system or more broadly the communication system the human body uses to sense the outside world and send messages to cells — for example, speeding the heart when danger approaches. The understanding is aiding the development of new drugs. We already know hormones like adrenaline trigger the fight or flight system triggering a host of responses but adrenaline does not enter the cells so the  assumption a receptor or protein was involved in aiding these responses was correct. Little was however known about the nature of this essential receptor and how it interacted was still a mystery. What was working as a gateway to the cell has been discovered. The gene that tells the body how to make the adrenaline receptor, and the whole family of receptors that look alike – a family that is now called G-protein-coupled receptors. Many of today’s drugs act on these receptors and subsequent research will certainly help improve current drugs and develop new ones.

These discoveries in basic science have opened  a new frontier of research into clinical application. Aspiring scientists should never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark and professionals built the Titanic.









Writing to save oneself

An article published in the Los Angeles Times, Test-taking anxiety, indicates that when students write about their anxiety, they tend to perform better. At the University of Chicago, a group of 20 college students were given a math test. In the 10 minutes prior to the exam, one group of students was asked to write down their feelings about the test. The other group sat quietly. As compared to their baseline scores on the test, the group that had written down their feelings improved by 5 percent, while the group that had sat quietly worsened their scores by 12 percent.


The idea that writing is therapeutic, and can even improve performance, is not a new one. It has been utilized effectively in poetry therapy for centuries. The first known poetry therapist was Soranus, a Roman physician who lived in the 1st century A.D. And the same concept is now being implemented in medical schools, as discussed in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, Poetry, Painting to Earn an M.D..

The process of writing has much to offer all kinds of people – physicians, patients, bloggers, novelists, musicians, engineers. To pick up a pen and express how we feel is a momentous step in the process of self-discovery and personal growth. Perhaps incorporating writing more into the daily life of physicians and patients could be an effective way to improve communication, reduce stress and anxiety, and develop closer relationships in the hospital setting. From a practical standpoint, this becomes difficult when there is simply not enough time to take a step back from things and write. But if a brief amount of time were allotted each day – even 15 minutes – to writing, that might provide a source of relief for weary minds and downtrodden souls.

The concept of narrative medicine has taken hold at some university hospitals, with Columbia University at the forefront of this movement. The idea behind narrative medicine, at least in part, is to hurt and to heal through writing. The process of taking a blank page and beginning to express all of the grief, life, death, pain, hope, and fear that lives and breathes in the walls of the hospital is a formidable one. It is almost overwhelming. There are so many stories to tell, so many plights to share. But this could bring into the world of academic medicine a fresh breath of air – and a new source of healing.

Reblogged from: http://idiopathicmedicine.wordpress.com/category/writing/

Peter Rabbit Had Acute Stress Disorder

Peter Rabbit: One of my most cherished childhood books. Great post by Peter Galen Massey. I have always enjoyed the dark side of fiction. 

Peter Galen Massey

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix PotterBefore Beatrix Potter became the author of children’s books such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902), she was a gifted natural historian and scientist.

So it’s not a surprise that Ms. Potter’s illustrations closely resemble the animals on which her characters are based or that she writes unsentimental stories that display a strong understanding of human (rather than animal) psychology.

This is certainly the case with Beatrix Potter’s most famous character, Peter Rabbit, whose trauma in Mr. McGregor’s garden is so realistically portrayed that cheeky amateurs with access to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) could diagnose him with Acute Stress Disorder if they liked.

In The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Peter’s mother tells him not to go into Mr. McGregor’s garden because “your father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”

This does not deter Peter, who…

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