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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Cartoonists have all the fun
Especially Steve Bell
Not as savage as some..
This brings us back to the weird emptiness at the heart of Huntington’s analysis, according to which conversion to a fundamentalist faith is counted a good thing just because many other people already share that faith. Huntington never explains, in “Who Are We?,” why Protestantism, private enterprise, and the English language are more desirable features of social life or more conducive to self-realization than, say, Judaism, kibbutzim, and Hebrew. He only fears, as an American, their transformation into something different. But how American is that?

Who are we, by Samuel Huntington gets a savage go over at the New Yorker
For a breakdown of Huntington, I still prefer Edward Saids essay, 'A Clash of Definitions.' I don't think it's on the web though.
Sontag back on form
A war, an occupation, is inevitably a huge tapestry of actions. What makes some actions representative and others not? The issue is not whether they are done by individuals (ie, not by "everybody"). All acts are done by individuals. The question is not whether the torture was the work of a few individuals but whether it was systematic. Authorised. Condoned. Covered up. It was - all of the above. The issue is not whether a majority or a minority of Americans performs such acts but whether the nature of the policies prosecuted by this administration and the hierarchies deployed to carry them out makes such acts likely.

In G2 yesterday.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Paediatrics
Although I passed this block with relative ease, it doesn't mean that paeds is straightforward or that I'm any good with children.

Station 1: History. A mother whose child has been admitted with acute asthma. Cause: bonfire.
Station 2: Presented history to intense bearded consultant who just stared at me for the whole 8 minutes. When the bell went I just got up and walked out.
Station 3: Examination of a girl with a failed renal transplant. I loved this one. It was the first OSCE station where I got the diagnosis within the first minute. And knowing the diagnosis early on is the only way to look 'slick' The plan, as ever is to look like you're working through the clues right until the end. Beautiful.
Station 4: The exact opposite of 3. I got the diagnosis just as I left the room. Dermatomyositis. Or something.
Station 5: Rest
Station 6: Developmental assessment of an 18 month old girl. Got on the floor, got my trousers dirty, pretended to enjoy it. "Ooh isn't your daughter clever Mrs Johnson!"
Station 7: Growth charts and X-rays.

So that's it. All I have to do now is turn up to a few short attachments which aren't examined. Which does make it hard to turn up.


Faeces dementia scale
No it's never really like that. Not in Birmingham anyway.
Gregory Roberts
That, he says, was the most shocking experience of his entire time on the sub-continent.

He told BBC News Online: "There was something unspeakably grotesque about children killing children in this lush, fecund paradise.

"You would go from one jungle clearing, where there were the most magnificent red and blue blooms - flowers so big you couldn't put your arms around them - to the next, where there would be severed children's heads impaled on sticks."

He plans then to bring the series - dubbed by one Australian hack as "Lord Of The Wrongs" - up to date with the fourth book before returning to write the prequel, telling of his fall from grace and his descent into drug-fuelled crime.


I was going to link to this but blogger let me down, and Hurree has done a better job than I could hope to. BBC news had something too.

Sorry, I'm on about Shantaram, just out in the UK, but not in the US until October.
Co-author for sale
In a society devoted to "reality shows" and rampant commodification, it had to happen some time. Late last month an independent scientist auctioned off his services as a co-author on eBay, with the promise of helping the highest bidder write a scientific paper for publication. The offer even had the added allure of a linkage with the legendary mathematician Paul Erdös.

I know plenty of medics who would willingly pay up. The pressure for publications is far too high in my opinion. Even if you aren't research minded you aren't going to make it in a competitive speciality without a few papers.

Arabs mind...
According to a recent New Yorker article, Raphael Patai's The Arab Mind was used by some neo-cons to justify the meme that Arabs can only be handled through violence and may have served as a pretext for some of the practices at Abu Ghraib.

MoorishGirl is annoyed. The Indy seems to be alone in keeping the Abu Ghraib issue alive at the moment.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Can't do this anymore
What's happened to blogger? This isn't an improvement, it's just rubbish.
Anyway, I passed everything. EVERYTHING. So that's it. I'm free. I should write something more substantial about this, and I will. Soon.

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