Five years ago today I read this article (“The Insider’s Guide to Cancer Prevention) in the Guardian’s Saturday edition. I am glad to see that it’s still available online. It’s worth a few minutes of your time. Reading it prompted me to make one small daily change in my life. I am now nearly the… Continue reading Five years of aspirin
A few years ago one of my favourite cousins in Ireland had an operation to remove a “congenital wart”. We joked about how bad that sounded but we knew that it wasn’t. “Congenital” means, simply, that she was born with it. It doesn’t mean that it was big, painful or dangerous, just that she had… Continue reading Word of the week: congenital
Earlier this month I read “Gut” by Giulia Enders. It has the subtitle “The inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ”. I had been looking forward to it, enjoyed it, and recommend it. There are lots of exclamation marks! And rather weak jokes! But that didn’t spoil it for me. This book constitutes a… Continue reading Gut
Some of the training courses that I have attended over the years (which have resulted in vaguely work-related certification) place great emphasis on “The Unconscious Mind” and what it can and can’t do. The advice is that “The Unconscious Mind” is like a child that follows clear instructions and cannot process a negative. If you… Continue reading Not thinking of Blue Trees
Another Bank Holiday weekend, another trip to visit friends outside London. We rarely make trips outside the M25 area and when we do we have a good time. For various reasons our seating arrangements on long car journeys, for at least part of the trip, are as follows: my wife drives, our 11 year old… Continue reading Travel sickness
A few years ago someone told me that all mammals, including humans, have a lifespan of a billion heartbeats. I believed him, didn’t question the number, assumed that he knew what he was talking about. Some time later I decided to check the numbers, to work out how many heartbeats there might be in a… Continue reading How many heartbeats?
Earlier this month I wrote about Micromorts and Microlives, referencing a New Scientist cover feature from May 2015. Since then I have read the book mentioned in those pieces, “The Norm Chronicles: Stories and numbers about danger” by David Spiegelhalter and Michael Blastland). It’s an entertaining and detailed look at risk and the different ways… Continue reading More about Micromorts and Microlives