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Hello to everyone,

This journal is mostly public because most of it contains poetry, quotations, pictures, jokes, videos, and news (medical and otherwise). If you like what you see, you are welcome to drop by, anytime.

Have a look at my archives as well--especially if you're interested in quotes or poems--take a look at the "quote of the day" and "poem of the day" tags; there's also a fairly large collection of items under the "inspiration" tag.

My mirror / backup site is http://med-cat.dreamwidth.org/


(Painting is by Eleanor Pollen and was found via levkonoe--many thanks!)

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The virtual photo contest is open for entries till September 21st, and the prizes are very nice!

If you'd not taken a look before, please check it out:


(proceeds go to the Yorkshire Cat Rescue, and there are a few special classes as well to raise money for the vet bills for the cats of the lady running the show)

(and yes, I've participated before, and am participating this time as well)

This entry was originally posted at https://med-cat.dreamwidth.org/3282359.html. You can comment here, or there using OpenID if you prefer.

Quote of the day

(Dum spiro spero, dum spero amo, dum amo vivo)

Crossing the divide

Do men really have it easier? These transgender guys found the truth was more complex.

In the 1990s, the late Stanford neuroscientist Ben Barres transitioned from female to male. He was in his 40s, mid-career, and afterward he marveled at the stark changes in his professional life. Now that society saw him as male, his ideas were taken more seriously. He was able to complete a whole sentence without being interrupted by a man. A colleague who didn’t know he was transgender even praised his work as “much better than his sister’s.”

Clinics have reported an increase in people seeking medical gender transitions in recent years, and research suggests the number of people identifying as transgender has risen in the past decade. Touchstones such as Caitlyn Jenner’s transition, the bathroom controversy, and the Amazon series “Transparent” have also made the topic a bigger part of the political and cultural conversation.

...You can read the rest of the article over here

Early one summer morning, as rain is misting the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a middle-aged man is courting a crane. Chris Crowe, 42, bends forward in a slight bow and then flaps his arms slowly, like wings. “Hey, girl, whatcha think,” he coos.

Walnut has heard that line before. The stately bird ignores Crowe, reshuffles her storm-cloud-gray wings, and snakes her head gracefully to the ground, looking for something tasty to eat.

“Come on, now,” Crowe says. The zookeeper grabs a fistful of grass and tosses it into the air. This is Crowe’s sexiest move — a sly reference to building a nest together. Walnut looks up, curiosity glinting in her marigold eyes, but then she returns to probing the soft, wet ground with her bark-colored bill. She’s simply not feeling romantic, and who can blame her? I’m watching the two of them from behind a van. With binoculars. The bird must be totally creeped out.

...you can read the rest of the article over here

Tuesday words: Cepivorous and alliaphage

cepivorous & alliaphage

Words kindly provided by prettygoodword

Aug. 6th, 2018 | 07:39 am

cepivorous (seh-PI-vohr-uhs) - adj., (rare) onion-eating.

alliaphagous (AL-ee-a-fay-djuhs) - adj., (rare) garlic-eating.

The first shows up in invective, especially of the extended erudite sort. The latter is from Latin allium, garlic, and I assume the former is also Latin roots, but I couldn't prove it at the moment.

Garlic in bulb and chopped
Thanks, WikiMedia!

Mmmm, garlic.


Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/725064.html
You can comment here or there.


[reposted post] Подводный мир Мальдив

Однажды заседание кабинета министров Мальдивских островов прошло... в море под водой. Чиновники надели акваланги и общались друг с другом с помощью табличек и жестов. О результатах встречи история умалчивает, зато акция, моментально ставшая известной на весь мир, привлекла большое внимание к проблеме подводного мира островов.

В 1998 году 90% коралловых рифов Мальдив были уничтожены последствием урагана Эль-Ниньо. Температура воды в океане поднялась на 4 градуса и сложная экосистема подводного мира не смогла пережить такую катастрофу. По сей день на островах продолжаются восстановительные работы под руководством морских биологов. Ученые добились скорости роста кораллов в 2,5 см в год; учитывая, что естественным образом кораллы растут не более 1 см за год, это хороший показатель. Почти во всех Мальдивских отелях предлагают принять участие в посадке кораллов или пожертвовать средства.

Как бы то ни было, подводный мир Мальдивских островов - это невероятное зрелище. Даже малейшая его часть, небольшой участок возле нашего отеля Jumeirah Vittaveli оставляет незабываемые впечатления. Кажется, тебя запустили в огромный экзотический аквариум без конца и края. В этом после я собрал подводные фотографии, которые сделал во время отдыха...

Подводный мир МальдивCollapse )

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Устанавливайте мое авторское мобильное приложение «Traveldoll»

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Something cheery for your Friday

(well, mostly cheery, anyway ;))

Efim Aleksandrov, Songs of a Jewish Shtetl, part 2

A bit of Wednesday amusement

Song of Synthetic Virility

Oh, some may sing of the surging sea, or chant of the raging main;
Or tell of the taffrail blown away by the raging hurricane.
With an oh, for the feel of the salt sea spray as it stipples the guffy's cheek!
And oh, for the sob of the creaking mast and the halyard's aching squeak!
And some may sing of the galley-foist, and some of the quadrireme,
And some of the day when the xebec came and hit us abaft the beam.
Oh, some may sing of the girl in Kew that died for a sailor's love,
And some may sing of the surging sea, as I may have observed above.

Oh, some may long for the Open Road, or crave for the prairie breeze,
And some, o'er sick of the city's strain, may yearn for the whispering trees.
With an oh, for the rain to cool my face, and the wind to blow my hair!
And oh, for the trail to Joyous Garde, where I may find my fair!
And some may love to lie in the field in the stark and silent night,
The glistening dew for a coverlet and the moon and stars for light.
Let others sing of the soughing pines and the winds that rustle and roar,
And others long for the Open Road as I may have remarked before.

Ay, some may sing of the bursting bomb and the screech of a screaming shell,
Or tell the tale of the cruel trench on the other side of hell.
And some may talk of the ten mile hike in the dead of a winter night,
And others chaunt of the doughtie Kyng with mickle valour dight.
And some may long for the song of a child and the lullaby's fairy charm,
And others yearn for the crack of the bat and the wind of the pitcher's arm.
Oh, some have longed for this and that, and others have craved and yearned;
And they all may sing of whatever they like, as far as I'm concerned.

by Franklin P. Adams

(reposted from duathir in greatpoets--many thanks!)

Barry Sisters - Ketsele Baroyges

I love the tune; the lyrics..not so much :P
~~Lyrics and translation:Collapse )

Best comment on this video on YT:

--Can anyone please tell me why she is telling all that to the cat?

(and yes, someone explained ;))

"Reminder", by Marie Ponsot


I am rich I am poor. Time is all I own.
I spend or hoard it for experience.
By the bitten wound the biting tooth is known.

Thrift is a venomous error, then, a stone
named bread or cash to support the pretense
that I’m rich. I am poor; time is all I own...

though I hold to memory: how spent time shone
as you approached, and the light loomed immense.
By the bitten wound the biting tooth is known,

though scars fade. I have memory on loan
while it evaporates; though it be dense
& I am rich, I am poor. Time is all I own

to sustain me—the moonlit skeleton
that holds my whole life in moving suspense.
By the bitten wound the biting tooth is known.

Ownership’s brief, random, a suite of events.
If the past is long the future ’s short. Since
I am rich I am poor. Time is all I own.
By the bitten wound the biting tooth is known.

(Marie Ponsot)

Fall 2016 saw the publication of Marie Ponsot’s wide-ranging and full-hearted Collected Poems. Born in 1921, Ponsot has written poetry in all weathers, often making the old forms new again. This villanelle is, indeed, a welcome reminder of what sustains us.

Something for your Sunday

Best Calypso Music - Trinidad & Tobago - Steel Drums

[reposted post] Good night

Late Night Thriller by Lucia Heffernan
Wislawa Szymborska, 'A Contribution to Statistics'

Out of a hundred people

those who always know better
— fifty-two

doubting every step
— nearly all the rest,

glad to lend a hand
if it doesn’t take too long
— as high as forty-nine,

always good
because they can’t be otherwise
— four, well maybe five,

able to admire without envy
— eighteen,

suffering illusions
induced by fleeting youth
— sixty, give or take a few,

not to be taken lightly
— forty and four,Read more...Collapse )

Consumer Health Digest, July 22, 2018

Consumer Health Digest #18-29
July 22, 2018
Current # of subscribers: 10,594
Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H., with help from Stephen Barrett, M.D. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making. Its primary focus is on health, but occasionally it includes non-health scams and practical tips.

“Complementary medicine" (CM) use linked to worse outcomes for cancer patients

From a national database of more than 1.9 million patients, researchers identified 258 users of CM who were diagnosed with non-metastatic breast, prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer from 2004 through 2013. This group was compared to four times as many nonusers of CM who were similar in neighborhood of residence, age, stage of cancer, concurrent health problems, insurance type, race/ethnicity, year of diagnosis, and type of cancer. All patients in both groups had undergone chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, and/or hormone therapy. The modalities involved were herbs and botanicals; vitamins and minerals; probiotics; Ayurvedic medicine; traditional Chinese medicine; homeopathy and naturopathy; deep breathing; yoga; Tai Chi; Qi Gong; acupuncture; chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation; meditation; massage; prayer; special diets; progressive relaxation; and/or guided imagery. The findings included:

  • CM use was associated with higher stage of cancer, younger age, being female, having private insurance, higher socioeconomic status, higher income, and higher educational level.

  • CM users were more likely than nonusers to refuse standard cancer therapies: (a) surgery [7.0% versus 0.1%], (b) chemotherapy [34.1% versus 3.2%], (c) radiation [53.0% versus 2.3%], and (d) hormone therapy [33.7% versus 2.8%].

  • CM users were estimated to have a 1.50 to 2.90 times greater risk of dying, which appeared to be due to the refusal or delay of standard treatment.

  • Among patients who received only standard treatment, the survival rates were higher for breast cancers (90.4% vs 84.4%), slightly higher for colorectal cancers (84.4% vs 81.4%), and similar for prostate and lung cancers.

Source: Johnson SB and others. Complementary medicine, refusal of conventional cancer therapy, and survival among patients with curable cancers. JAMA Oncology, July 19, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.2487


Classic investigation of quack cancer clinics republished

Cancer Treatment Watch has republished Ralph's Lee Smith's report about the exploitation of cancer patients at Tijuana clinics during the 1960s. At one clinic, Smith was diagnosed with a deadly melanoma when he asked about a lump that he knew was a lipoma (benign fatty cyst). Although the investigation took place more than 50 years ago, it reflects what still happens today. [Smith RL. New traffic in 'cures' for cancer. Saturday Evening Post, 1968]

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Love Requires One to Be Strong
Leo Buscaglia

To live in love is life's greatest challenge. It requires more subtlety, flexibility, sensitivity, understanding, acceptance, tolerance, knowledge and strength than any other human endeavor or emotion, for love and the actual world make up what seem like two great contradictory forces. On the one hand, we may know that only be being vulnerable can we truly offer and accept love. At the same time, we know that if we reveal this vulnerability in daily life, we often run the risk of being misused, taken advantage of. We sense that if we hole a part of ourselves in reserve to protect this vulnerability, we will always receive in return only the partial love we give. So, the only chance we have for a depth of love is to give all that we have. Yet, we discover that when we give all that we have, we are often left with little or nothing in reserve.

We know that we must trust and believe in love, for it's the only approach to love. Yet, if we express our trust and belief, society doesn't hesitate to abuse us and take us for fools. If we have hope in love and know that it's only with this hope that we can make this dream of an all-loving humanity a reality, society ridicules us as idealistic dreamers. If we don't seek love frantically, we're suspected of being impotent and an "odd-ball." Yet we know that love isn't to be sought after; it's everywhere, and to search is self-deception, a charade.

If we decide to spend each moment of our lives, living in love, in the knowledge that we are most real and human when we are living love, society labels us as weak-minded romantics. Love and the practices of the real world seem at odds, miles apart. It is no wonder so may people do not have the courage to attempt to bridge the gap, for in practice, the gap seems unbridgeable.
Read more...Collapse )

"Summer Evening", by Walter De La Mare

"The sandy cat by the Farmer’s chair
Mews at his knee for dainty fare;
Old Rover in his moss-greened house
Mumbles a bone, and barks at a mouse.

In the dewy fields the cattle lie
Chewing the cud ‘neath a fading sky;
Dobbin at manger pulls his hay:
Gone is another summer’s day."

- Walter De La Mare

More quotes from Leo Buscaglia

Why do some people always see beautiful skies and grass and lovely flowers and incredible human beings, while others are hard-pressed to find anything or any place that is beautiful?

There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters? Over that I have complete control.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

I exist, I am, I am here, I am becoming, I make my own life and no one else makes it for me. I must face my own shortcomings, mistakes, transgressions. No one can suffer my non-being as I do, but tomorrow is another day, and I must decide to leave my bed and live again. And if I fail, I don't have the comfort of blaming you or life or God.

A wonderful realization will be the day you realize that you are unique in all the world. There is nothing that is an accident. You are a special combination for a purpose-and don't let them tell you otherwise, even if they tell you that purpose is an illusion. (Live an illusion if you have to.) You are that combination so that you can do what is essential for you to do. Don't ever believe that you have nothing to contribute. The world is an incredible unfulfilled tapestry. And only you can fulfill that tiny space that is yours.

There are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our encouragement, who will need our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give.

The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.

Don't hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.

Quotes of the day

* We must learn that we cannot be loved by all people. That is the ideal. In the world of people, it is not often found. We can be the finest plum in the world, ripe, juicy, sweet, succulent and offer ourselves to all. But we must remember that there will be people who do not like plums.

* We must understand that if we are the world's finest plum and someone we love does not like plums, we have the choice of becoming a banana. But we must be warned that if we choose to become a banana, we will be a second-rate banana. But we can always be the best plum.

(Leo Buscaglia)

Quote of the Day

I don't have much original to say so I'll just paste some words from comics wizard Warren Ellis' latest newsletters:

"Put your own oxygen mask on first. Turn down the volume on the world when you need to. Go outside if you can. Make a fort if you can't.
Do what makes you happy. You're allowed to, and you deserve to, and never let any bastard tell you otherwise. Hold on tight. See you next week."

"Well. Another weird week done. It wasn't comfortable. Sometimes it hurt. But it didn't kill you or me. I'm always telling you - you're stronger than you think you are.
Remember to shut the doors and turn the volume down when you need to. Nothing wrong with dropping out of sight and looking after yourself.
Because, you know what? That's what I do. I have a life full of holes and regrets and mistakes just like everybody else, and I'm still here, and so are you."

(from comments in a friend's journal, thought I'd share)

"Ode to the Color Blue", by David Whalen

There’s ever so much more to blue
Than just a color
It’s as much an emotion
As it is a hue

Blue is the tender soul
Of sky, flower and ocean
And the blessing and bane
Of me and you

Dye of desperation
Paint of despair
Wistful wash of wisdom
And the pale shade of prayer

A name for a pet
A descriptor of sea
Four letter word…Tho’
The best one that could be

It is substance, it has meaning
Is nothing, yet so many things…
All the while, tis just a color
Only a color, ...yet a color with wings

David Whalen

Two poems by N. Oleinikov

Длинна, Как Мост, Черна, Как Вакса

Длинна, как мост, черна, как вакса, 
Брела, покачиваясь, такса. 
За нею шел, сердит и строг, 
Законный муж ее - бульдог. 

Вдруг, воспылавши словно кокс, 
Влюбился в таксу встречный фокс. 
И был скандал. Ведь знать должны вы, 
Бульдоги дьявольски ревнивы. 

И, получив на сердце кляксу, 
Фокс так запомнил эту таксу, 
Что даже на таксомотор 
Смотреть боялся с этих пор. 


Короткое объяснение в любви

Тянется ужин.
Блещет бокал.
Пищей нагружен,
Я задремал.

Вижу: напротив
Дама сидит.
Прямо не дама,
А динамит!

Гладкая кожа.
Ест не спеша...
Боже мой, Боже,
Как хороша!

Я поднимаюсь
И говорю:
— Я извиняюсь,
Но я горю!


"Daddy: 1933" by Geoffrey Brock

Daddy: 1933

If one takes  
a walk on a clear sunny  
day in middle April,
when the first  
willows are in bloom,  
one may often see  
young bumblebee queens  
eagerly sipping
nectar from the catkins

thus begins
the one book written
by Otto Emil Plath.

It is a delightful thing
to pause and watch
these queens, clad
in their costumes of rich  
velvet, their wings
not yet torn

he wrote it the year after
Sylvia was born—

by the long foraging
flights which  
they will be obliged  
to take later.

Quote of the day

Summer—summer—summer! The soundless footsteps on the grass!

Quote of the day

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning.

You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up.

And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree
and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness.

Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

— Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
(adding to the collection of posts on the topic)

What to say and not say to friends and family coping with serious illness

Skip the trite phrases and free advice if you really want to be a friend to someone who is seriously ill.

My friend sat down and ordered a stiff drink. “I need your help,” she said. “My sister has a brain tumor. I don’t know what to do.”

Three years ago this month, I learned I had bone cancer. That diagnosis led me down a dark year that included chemotherapy and surgery to reconstruct my left leg.

At the time, my wife, Linda, and I were the parents of 3-year-old twin girls, and we were often overwhelmed with the everyday challenges of having a sick dad, a working mom and two preschoolers. We survived with help from many people. But as my friend’s query suggested, some gestures were more helpful than others, and a few were downright annoying. So at the risk of offending some well-meaning people, here are Six Things You Should Never Say to a Friend (or Relative or Colleague) Who’s Sick. And Four Things You Can Always Say.

First, the Nevers.

1. What can I do to help? Most patients I know grow to hate this ubiquitous, if heartfelt, question because it puts the burden back on them. As Doug Ulman, the chief executive of Livestrong and a three-time cancer survivor, explained: “The patient is never going to tell you. They don’t want to feel vulnerable.” Instead, just do something for the patient. And the more mundane the better, because those are the tasks that add up. Want to be really helpful? Clean out my fridge, replace my light bulbs, unpot my dead plants, change my oil.

2. My thoughts and prayers are with you. In my experience, some people think about you, which is nice. Others pray for you, which is equally comforting. But the majority of people who say they’re sending “thoughts and prayers” are just falling back on a mindless cliché. It’s time to retire this hackneyed expression.

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And Day Brought Back My Night

By Geoffrey Brock

It was so simple: you came back to me
And I was happy. Nothing seemed to matter
But that. That you had gone away from me
And lived for days with him—it didn’t matter.

That I had been left to care for our old dog
And house alone—couldn’t have mattered less!
On all this, you and I and our happy dog
Agreed. We slept. The world was worriless.

I woke in the morning, brimming with old joys
Till the fact-checker showed up, late, for work
And started in: Item: it’s years, not days.
Item: you had no dog. Item: she isn’t back,
In fact, she just remarried. And oh yes, item: you
Left her, remember? I did? I did. (I do.)

"When something bad happens..."

Donna Cardillo, RN The Inspiration Nurse
9 hrs ·

“When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” ~Unknown

All of us make mistakes from time to time in our nursing careers and our lives. We’re only human. It can be a patient care issue or personal issue or work related issue where we slip up. Afterwards, it may feel like we will never recover. But if you push through and learn from the event, you’ll be able to come out a stronger and better nurse, and person, in the long-run.

Quote of the Day

“As readers, we remain in the nursery stage so long as we cannot distinguish between taste and judgment, so long, that is, as the only possible verdicts we can pass on a book are two: this I like; this I don't like.
For an adult reader, the possible verdicts are five: I can see this is good and I like it; I can see this is good but I don't like it; I can see this is good and, though at present I don't like it, I believe that with perseverance I shall come to like it; I can see that this is trash but I like it; I can see that this is trash and I don't like it.”

― W.H. Auden, A Certain World: A Commonplace Book


Comments, opinions, anyone? :)

"The Mermaid", by Tennyson


by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Illustration by Warwick Goble.

I would be a mermaid fair;
I would sing to myself the whole of the day;
With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair;
And still as I comb'd I would sing and say,
'Who is it loves me? who loves not me?'

I would comb my hair till my ringlets would fall
Low adown, low adown,
From under my starry sea-bud crown
Low adown and around,

And I should look like a fountain of gold
Springing alone
With a shrill inner sound
Over the throne
In the midst of the hall;

Till that great sea-snake under the sea
From his coiled sleeps in the central deeps
Would slowly trail himself sevenfold
Round the hall where I sate, and look in at the gate

With his large calm eyes for the love of me.
And all the mermen under the sea
Would feel their immortality
Die in their hearts for the love of me.

(originally posted by Winifred Adams in the Poets Illustrated FB group)

Carolyn weighs in on the 'divine plan' theory of life

Carolyn Hax on

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I'm curious if you believe or think things "happen for a reason" and "God/higher power only gives us what we can handle," or are things just random? I ask because my mom told me some sad news about a relative. I would never be able to cope with that situation. Of course, I have had tough times and disappointments that were painful but eventually was able to get through them.

What do you think about the random life events or "divine plan" events debate?

-- Seeking Perspective on Life

Oh I think it's a complete crapshoot.

Randomness from birth to death, though we get our chance to weigh in by responding to the circumstances we're given.

I also see the maxim you cite, that deities give us only what we can handle, as getting close to what actually happens but missing by a hair.

Read more...Collapse ) This entry was originally posted at https://med-cat.dreamwidth.org/3272921.html. You can comment here, or there using OpenID if you prefer.


Happy Fourth

Originally posted by rose_cat at Happy Fourth

Video is one minute

Also posted to and

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