Archive for October 2012

#  Shackleton’s Medical Kit →

October 23rd, 2012 at 11:44 // In Worth Reading 

Gavin Francis’s piece on his experience being the only doctor in all of Antartica touches elegantly on the increasingly specialization and safety that have become so crucial and prominent to progress in the last hundred years that frequently forget about them.

I asked around Halley, trying to understand how scientists there were unravelling the mysteries of Antarctica. I wanted to find a way to contribute the way my predecessors did. Halley concentrates on atmospheric science, with big-budget projects examining the solar wind, clean air chemistry, the ozone hole, the earth’s magnetic field. But my medical training towards the end of the twentieth century had been so narrow there was little that I could add. It is not only medicine that has become super-specialised over the last hundred years; the sciences have done the same.

(via The Browser)

#  Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi →

October 21st, 2012 at 11:41 // In Worth Knowing 

I’d heard these names a few times, but couldn’t have really told you what they meant. Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stern do a good job explaining what they did, but I’ll go ahead and take their concluding paragraph to tell you why you should care:

One truth we can affirm: Hitler had no greater, more courageous, and more admirable enemies than Hans von Dohnanyi and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Both men and those closest to them deserve to be remembered and honored. Dohnanyi summed up their work and spirit with apt simplicity when he said that they were “on the path that a decent person inevitably takes.” So few traveled that path—anywhere.

#  The Happy Secret →

October 17th, 2012 at 20:44 // In Worth Watching 

I’ve never heard of this guy before, and his talk doesn’t seem super scientifically rigorous, but Shawn Achor’s TEDx talk is both inspiring and entertaining. It’s a great example of why people will say they love TED talks.

(via r/Meditation)

#  The Under-appreciated Hazard of Publication Bias →

October 9th, 2012 at 7:48 // In Worth Watching 

Ben Goldacre is withering in this TED talk about what a giant problem publication bias and it’s effects are in the advance of science and “evidence-based medicine”. I think this is quite fair; without question if I have one concern about science considered broadly it’s this and he drives home the point quickly and cleanly. Highly recommended.

#  Stopping Prison Rape in America →

October 6th, 2012 at 17:40 // In Worth Knowing 

Prison rape is so common in America that most confronted with the reality either go for the joke or greet it with a “well they shouldn’t have gone to prison, then” attitude rather than face the catastrophe that it is. It’s good to know that the Obama administration has created a program that, though late, has some reasonable hope of bringing the problem under control.

#  Getting Arrested in New York →

October 1st, 2012 at 10:06 // In Worth Knowing 

As someone who’s never experienced it, I enjoyed Michael Friedman’s undramatic retelling of what it was like to get arrested in New York City for an old, unpaid speeding ticket.

The guards are clearly angry that the police have brought so many people to the Tombs on a Sunday, the police are angry that we aren’t being processed quickly enough for them to bring in more prisoners and make their quotas, and the public defenders seem furious at the whole thing. No one explains what is happening to the prisoners. It is unclear how long any of this will take.