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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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[reposted post] A few Friday words

(Source for pic and definitions: https://www.brownielocks.com/words.html)

We'd had ergophobic (afraid of work) and tragematopolist (seller of candy) here before.

Here's the rest:

Lubitorium: a service station

Wabbit: (Scottish) exhausted or slightly unwell.

Woofits: an unwell feeling, especially a headache; a moody depression

Calamistrate: to curl one's hair. From a Latin word meaning "curling iron".

Two Cures For Love | Wendy Cope

"Two Cures For Love"
Wendy Cope

1. Don't see him. Don't phone or write a letter.
2. The easy way: get to know him better.

Originally posted by exceptindreams at Two Cures For Love | Wendy Cope

Spring Ball



Если вам семнадцать лет,
Если вас зовут Наташа,
То сомнений больше нет,-
Каждый бал стихия ваша!
Легкий, бальный туалет
Освежит портниха Маша,
Ослепительный букет
Вам предложит ваш предмет,
Задыхающийся Яша,
Или, если Яши нет,
То Володя или Саша...
Пенье скрипок! Розы! Свет!
Первый бал в семнадцать лет -
Это лучший бал, Наташа!

A Spring Ball

If you're seventeen years old,
If your name is Natasha,
Then there can be no further doubts--
At every ball, you should be in your element!
The light ball dress
The seamstress Masha will freshen up,
A dazzling bouquet
Will be offered to you by your beau,
Breathless Yasha,
Or, if there's no Yasha,
Then a Volodya or a Sasha...
The singing of the violins! Roses! Light!
A first ball at seventeen years of age--
it's the best ball, Natasha!
Read more...Collapse )

How to be professional...:P

(How to be professional: replace "screw you" with "thanks for your perspective" ~Grammarly)

A bit of summer, and magic ;)

Anne Rides on a Nautilus Shell ~ The Enchanted Forest ~ 1921
Art by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

(from Once Upon A Time Classic Illustration FB page)

Mermaid with merbaby--1911 Collier's Magazine coverthree more:Collapse )

Жили-были два брата:
Треугольник с квадратом.
Старший – квадратный,
Добродушный, приятный.
Малодушный – треугольный,
Вечно не довольный.

Once upon a time, two brothers lived together:
A triangle and a square.
The older one was square-shaped,
Kind-hearted and amicable.
The younger one was triangular,
Always complaining.

Read more...Collapse )

History Is a Tangled Mess: Medical Progress, But at What Cost?

  1. Cindy L. Munro, RN, PhD, ANP

+ Author Affiliations

  1. Richard H. Savel is coeditor in chief of the American Journal of Critical Care. He is director, Adult Critical Care Services, Maimonides Medical Center and adjunct professor of clinical medicine and neurology, SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, both in New York City. Cindy L. Munro is coeditor in chief of the American Journal of Critical Care. She is dean and professor, School of Nursing and Health Studies, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.

This year’s events1 have caused us to revisit and reevaluate our nation’s checkered history. Profoundly important and deeply fundamental issues such as the right to free speech while not inciting violence are front and center in contemporary headlines. The seminal events highlighting these issues took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 11–12, 2017, and began as a protest of the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from its location in a park. Similar controversies regarding other statues honoring Confederate soldiers followed. This controversy reminded us all that the evil of slavery is one of the main reasons the United States fought the Civil War. It logically follows that the heroes of the Confederacy were, at least tacitly, proponents of slavery and should not be glorified in our current society. The controversial issue of removing statues celebrating Confederate Civil War heroes has spread throughout the nation and as far north as New York City. It now has touched medicine.

A large statue stands at 5th Avenue and 103rd Street in Manhattan, New York, dedicated to Dr. J. Marion Sims.2 Similar statues exist in Columbia, South Carolina, and Mobile, Alabama. Sims (1813–1883) is considered by many to be father of the field of modern gynecology, helping to give this field gravitas and create it as a separate specialty. But controversy exists regarding his history and legacy because it is clear that his many accomplishments came about as the result of experimental surgery performed on enslaved black women—without their consent and without anesthesia.35 This information has given rise to protests in Manhattan to have his statue removed from its current neighborhood (but not destroyed), where some consider it offensive.6 In this editorial, we explore the challenging and provocative question of how we, in historical retrospect, judge the medical contributions of Sims.

You can read the rest of this article here

This entry was originally posted at https://med-cat.dreamwidth.org/3266872.html. You can comment here, or there using OpenID if you prefer.

Thursday word: Ossicone

As well as male okapi and the extinct relatives of both. Ossicones are not antlers or horns, in that they are not made of bone or horn but rather ossified ("bonelike") cartilage, and they remain covered in skin and fur.

Thanks, flickr:sutefanni!

Coined from Latin roots os, bone (or rather its combining form ossi-) + cōnus, cone (originally, apex of a helmet). Also, though I'm sure you don't need me to point this out, it's a lovely word to say. Ossicones!


(reposted from prettygoodword in 1word1day)

Илья Сельвинский - Сонет (Обычным утром...)

             В. Усову

Обычным утром в январе,
Когда синё от снежной пыли,
Мне ящерицу в янтаре
На стол рабочий положили.

Завязнувши в медовом иле,
Она плыла как бы в жаре,
И о таинственной заре
Ее чешуйки говорили.

Ей сорок миллионов лет,
За ней пожары и сполохи!
О, если б из моей эпохи

Прорвался этот мой сонет
И в солнечном явился свете,
Как ящерица, сквозь столетье!


Ilya Selvinsky--A Sonnet (On a regular morning...)

To V. Usov

On a regular morning in January,
When everything's blue from snow-dust,
A lizard encased in amber was placed on my desk.

Having gotten bogged down in the honeyed ooze,
It was swimming as if in the heat,
And its scales spoke of
A mysterious dawn.

It is forty million years old,
There are fires and flashes of light behind it!
Oh, if only, from my era

This sonnet of mine would burst out
And appear in the sunlight
Just like this lizard, a hundred years later!

(more than 50 years, now...;))

Math and poetry

Я так живу..... Сквозь радости и кризы,
взлетая ввысь и падая в пике

That's how I live...Through joys and crises,
Flying up high and falling in a nosedive

(from Natalya Kuzmina's FB)
И всё-таки: жизнь — это чудо,
А чуда не запретишь!
Да здравствует амплитуда -
То падаешь, то летишь!
(Виктор Боков)

And despite everything: life is a miracle,
And miracles cannot be forbidden!
Long live the amplitude:
One moment you're falling, the next moment--you're flying!

(Viktor Bokov)

(from Svitlana Papenko's FB)

And here's an old favorite I was able to find again recently:

Е. Долматовский

Научись встречать беду не плача:
Горький миг - не зрелище для всех.
Знай: душа растет при неудачах
И слабеет, если скор успех.
Мудрость обретают в трудном споре.
Предначертан путь нелегкий твой
Синусоидой радости и горя,
А не вверх взмывающей кривой.

A Sinusoid, by E. Dolmatovsky

Learn to meet trouble without crying:
A sorrowful moment is not a spectacle to display to everyone.
Know this: your soul grows stronger with failures
And weakens if success comes too quickly.
Wisdom is acquired during difficult arguments.
Your difficult path is outlined by
A sinusoid of joy and grief,
And not by an upwards-soaring curve.

(and no, I don't entirely agree with the poem's message, in case you're wondering)

This is the graph:

Impersonation, by garonne
A most interesting way of playing The Game

The Adventure of the Maidservant's Revenge, by tripleransom
Agatha pays Holmes a visit...

Camelot, by capt_facepalm
An unusual case fic, involving Arthurian tales

The Case with the Bogus Clergymen, by smallhobbit
Another interesting case fic, involving Holmes and his disguises

The Violin of Toten Hall, by sevs_girl72
A case fic with a surprise ending; reminds me of some of ACD's non-Holmes short stories

A Mother's Adventure, by scfrankles
A very minor character's perspective on one of the best-known Canon tales

And Happiest Days, an amusing vignette about Holmes' and Watson's school days, by tweedisgood


If you read and enjoy any of these, please do leave a review...you can comment on Dreamwidth with OpenID if you don't have a Dreamwidth account.


Pics and links


High above Jupiter's Clouds, a photo from NASA

A Kamchatka photo, by Denis Budkov

Astronomy and Philosophy:

Pale Blue Dot, by Carl Sagan, from Brain Pickings

Medicine and Applied Psychology:

Things to say to a friend with a serious illness

(instead of, "Everything will be OK", "Stay strong", and "Everything happens for a reason"...)

"Showing up", another article on the proper way to provide support, from the Option B website

Option B website, on how to build resilience, and help others, with personal stories

What depression is really like, from Brain Pickings

[psych] Attitude: an excellent analysis of the importance of attitude and the truth behind the Law of Attraction, from siderea

Two dying memoirists wrote bestsellers about their final days. Then their spouses fell in love.

(about John Duberstein and Lucy Kalanithi, from The Washington Post)

How Blue Eyes Get Their Color, from Science Alert (and how other eye colors are generated, as well)


Tennyson's Sea Fairies and Other Poems, a scan of the beautifully illustrated 1890 edition

Much-Loved Poems: An Anthology of some of the English-Speaking World's Favorite Poetry

Smile ;)

(The caption is in Russian, and it says: "Fleeing from pursuers, the fox speeded up by decreasing detail and lowering the graphic capacity to 8 bits")


(reposted with thanks from notabler)


"The Highwayman", by Alfred Noyes

The Highwayman

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—

The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.
He’d a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle. His boots were up to the thigh.
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
 His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.
Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard. / He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred.Collapse )
The 99 Best Things that Happened in 2017

If you’re feeling despair about the fate of humanity in the 21st century, you might want to reconsider.

In 2017, it felt like the global media picked up all of the problems, and none of the solutions. To fix that, here are 99 of the best stories from this year that you probably missed.

An incredible year for global health

1. This year, the World Health Organisation unveiled a new vaccine that’s cheap and effective enough to end cholera, one of humanity’s greatest ever killers. New York Times

2. Cancer deaths have dropped by 25% in the United States since 1991, saving more than 2 million lives. Breast cancer deaths have fallen by 39%, saving the lives of 322,600 women. Time

3. Zika all but disappeared in 2017. Cases plummeted in Latin America and the Caribbean, and most people in those places are now immune. Science Mag

4. A new report showed that the world’s assault on tropical diseases is working. A massive, five year international effort has saved millions of lives, and countries are now signing up for more. STAT

5. Soft drink sales in the United States dropped for the 12th year in a row, thanks to consumer education and new sugar taxes aimed at stemming obesity and diabetes. Reuters

6. Trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness, was eliminated as a public health problem in Oman and Morocco, and Mexico became the first country in the Americas to eliminate it. NBC

(Click the link at the beginning of the post for 93 more things, in several more categories)
Dave Barry's 2017 Year in Review: Did That Really Happen?

Quite a long review, click the title to read the whole thing, but here's a small excerpt:

From the beginning of the article:

Looking back on 2017 is like waking up after a party where you made some poor decisions


At first you remember nothing. But then, as your throbbing brain slowly reboots, memories of the night before, disturbing memories, begin creeping into your consciousness. As the full, hideous picture comes into focus, you curl into a ball, whimpering, asking yourself over and over: Did that really happen?

That’s how we feel about 2017. It was a year so surreal, so densely populated with strange and alarming events, that you have to seriously consider the possibility that somebody — and when we say “somebody,” we mean “Russia” — was putting LSD in our water supply. A bizarre event would occur, and it would be all over the news, but before we could wrap our minds around it, another bizarre event would occur, then another and another, coming at us faster and faster, battering the nation with a Category 5 weirdness hurricane that left us hunkering down, clinging to our sanity, no longer certain what was real.

Take “covfefe.” Remember? For a little while, it was huge. Everybody was talking about it! Covfefe! But then, just like that, it was gone. What the hell WAS it? Did it even really happen?

And were there really thousands of people marching around Washington wearing vagina hats?

And did the Secretary of State really call the President of the United States a “moron?”

And did the president (of the United States!) respond by challenging the Secretary of State to compare IQ tests?

We want to believe that we imagined these things. But we fear we did not.


And the conclusion:

Finally this hellish year, which by any standard of decency should have been canceled months ago, draws to a close.
The American people, wearied by the endless scandals and the relentless toxic spew of partisan political viciousness,
turn away from 2017 in disgust and look hopefully toward the new year, which by all indications will be calmer and saner.

We are of course joking. By all indications the nation is going to spend 2018 the same way it spent 2017, namely obsessing spitefully
over 2016. So the best we can do is enjoy the brief reprieve offered by the holidays. In the spirit of the season, let’s try, as a nation,
to forget about our differences, at least for a few days. Let’s remember that we’re all Americans, and let’s give our friends and loved ones,
whatever their political views, a big old holiday hug.

No, scratch that. No hugging! Give your friends and loved ones a formal holiday handshake, then back away slowly with your hands raised in plain view.

Then have a happy new year. Or at least try.


This entry was originally posted at https://med-cat.dreamwidth.org/3264193.html. You can comment here, or there using OpenID if you prefer.

[reposted post] Good night

"I hear of Sherlock everywhere"

(from the Russian Channel 1 TV New Year's Eve broadcast)

Happy New Year!

(vintage new year postcard with tree)

Best wishes for the New Year, everyone! May all the bad things stay behind in the year that is ending, and all the good ones increase and multiply in the coming year :)
Glad with Our Carols

In the Time of This Mortal Life

Agent of Introduction--if you like to play The Game, you must take a look at this one!

Five Gold Rings--a 5-drabble series, do take a look :)
(cross-posting from 1word1day)

Well, this is my last post in this comm in 2017. I'd like to wish everyone here a Happy New Year, and here are some words to impress your friends and family at New Year's ;)

The cork and wire cage are wrapped in foil (the ‘coiffe’), which extends down the neck of the bottle to the ‘collerette’ (neck band fitted on most Champagne bottles).

(source: Champagne Official Website: From Vine to Wine)

Bonus word: muselet: the wire cage to keep the cork on, as you see in the photo here. Also known as "the cage" or "agraffe."

Making snow with boiling water

(please don't try it at home, it's very easy to get burned)
Originally posted by oleg_leusenko at Сегодня родился выдающийся украинский врач Мыкола Стражеско, прообраз док-ра Борменталя
29 декабря исполняется 140 лет со дня рождения Мыколы Стражеско - выдающегося украинского врача-терапевта, кардиолога, основателя отечественной терапевтической школы.

Мыкола Дмитриевич Стражеско (1876-1952) - украинский терапевт, академик, заслуженный деятель науки Украины. Происходил из старинной румынской боярской династии и украинского гетманского рода, к которому принадлежал Петр Конашевич-Сагайдачный. Родился Николай Стражеско в Одессе, впрочем, почти всю жизнь провел в Киеве, так и не польстившись на предложения поменять его на запоребриковую Москву.
Read more...Collapse )
Осенью 1912 года Михайло Коцюбинский, выписавшись из клиники Образцова (ныне Александровская больница), рассказывал: «Там были хорошие, приятные люди. Особенно нравился мне один молодой еще приват-доцент, ученик и правая рука Образцова - серьезный, умный и выдержанный, из тех людей, о которых думаешь: они входят в жизнь уверенно, и оставляю по себе красивый и прочный след». Писатель имел в виду Николая Стражеско. Поклонники творчества киевлянина Булгакова знают, что прототипами героев «Собачьего сердца» - профессора Преображенского и его ассистента Борменталя - стали кардиологи Образцов и его ученик Стражеско.

Creative cat crime in Belarus:P

Эксперты в области уголовного права считают, что самым курьезным и оригинальным преступлением в Минске была серия квартирных краж с использованием сиамского кота.

Как сообщил Sputnik источник с многолетним опытом работы в криминальной милиции белорусской столицы, в конце «лихих» 90-х минские оперативники задержали группу квартирных воров, которые действовали с помощью сиамского кота. Животное было «натаскано» на доллары, которые были смочены настойкой валерианы. У кота вырабатывался устойчивый рефлекс на «валериановую валюту». Предприимчивые домушники по объявлению в газете находили состоятельного продавца, покупали у него вещь за доллары с валерьяной. Во время отсутствия хозяина они отмычкой открывали квартиру, запускали туда «ученого кота», который через считанные минуты, не нарушая порядка в квартире, находил все деньги. По словам собеседника агентства, это преступление не имеет аналогов в мировой криминальной практике и должно войти в учебники по криминалистике.

Criminology experts believe that the most peculiar and original crime to ever take place in Minsk, Belarus, was a series of apartment burglaries with the help of a Siamese cat.

As a source with many years' experience working in the criminal division of the police in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, told Sputnik news agency, in the late "adventurous" 1990s, the investigators intercepted a group of burglars who used a Siamese cat to help them. The animal had been "sic'd" on dollars which had been moistened with the tincture of valerian. The cat formed a steady conditioned reflex to "valerian currency". The enterprising house-burglars would find a well-off seller through an ad in the paper, and would buy the item from him, paying with the valerian-tinged dollars. During the absence of the owner, they would open the apartment door using a lockpick, and would send their "learned cat" into the apartment. Within but a few minutes, not causing any disarray to the rest of the apartment, the cat wold find all of the money. According to the agency's source, there has never been any similar crime in the world, and it should have a place in the textbooks on criminology.


A toast

(this holiday season/New Year's)

...To absent friends...

"Но те, которым в дружной встрече
Я строфы первые читал…
Иных уж нет, а те далече,
Как Сади некогда сказал.

Без них Онегин дорисован.
А та, с которой образован
Татьяны милый Идеал…
О много, много Рок отъял!

Блажен, кто праздник Жизни рано
Оставил, не допив до дна
Бокала полного вина,
Кто не дочел Ее романа
И вдруг умел расстаться с ним,
Как я с Онегиным моим.".

"But those, to whom, at an amicable gathering
I had been reading the first verses of my book...
Some are no more, and others are far away,
As Saadi had once remarked.
I finished sketching Onegin without them,
And she, from whose pattern
The lovely image of Tatyana was formed...
Oh, how much, how much has Fate taken away!

Blessed is he who left the feast of Life
Early, not drinking the full glass of wine
To the the lees,
Who hadn't finished reading Her Novel
And was able to part with it suddenly,
As I part with my Onegin."

(Pushkin, the last lines of his novel in verse "Eugene Onegin")

[and no, I don't quite agree, but I thought it might interest some of you to see the full quote. It was the first four lines that I was really thinking of.]

"A Christmas Bit", by Edgar A. Guest

A Christmas Bit

If I were Santa Claus this year
I'd change his methods for the day;
I'd give to all the children here
But there are things I'd take away.

I'd enter every home to steal,
With giving I'd not be content,
I'd find the heart-aches men conceal
And take them with me when I went.

I'd rob the invalid of pain;
I'd steal the poor man's weight of care;
I'd take the prisoner's ball and chain
And every crime which sent him there.

I'd take the mother's fears away,
The doubts which often fret the wise--
And all should wake on Christmas Day
With happy hearts and shining eyes.

For old and young this is my prayer:
God bless us all this Christmas Day
And give us strength our tasks to bear,
And take our bitter griefs away!

(Edgar A. Guest)
(I'd posted this back in 2009, and then in 2012, but I think it's worth reposting...)

Love and joy come to you...


(from The Angel Card Project page on FB, incl. the caption ;))
Have a wonderful Christmas if you're celebrating tonight/tomorrow, and a great Sunday/Monday if not :)

A few favorites

Home for the Holidays

(this one is funny, do listen if you'd not heard it before)
4 more:Collapse )

Good one this :P


(44-second video, transcription/translation below)

Moscow, the meeting between the heads of Foreign Ministries of UK and Russian Federation.

Lavrov: Our relationship, there is no secret in this, are now at a serious low.

Johnson: Despite the difficulties, as you rightly say, Sergey, there are signs of economic progress. And I'm delighted to say that there are increasing exports of British Kettle crisps to Russia, and, in spite of all the difficulties, I believe, three hundred Bentleys was sold this year in Russia. Not, I believe, necessarily to the employees of the Foreign Ministry, but nonetheless, a sign of progress.
Горячий привет

Прислала мне тётя печенья, конфет,
Варежки, шарф и горячий привет.
Вот варежки, шарф и конфеты с печеньем.
Но где же привет?

Я смотрю с нетерпеньем.
И с чем он? С грибами, с капустой, с вареньем?
Наверное, мама привет этот прячет,
Чтобы остыл. Видно, очень горячий!

Warmest Regards

My auntie sent me some cookies and candy,
Mittens, a scarf, and warmest regards.
Here are the mittens, the scarf, and the cookies and candy.
But where are the warmest regards?

I look for it, impatiently.
And what is it filled with? Mushrooms, cabbage, fruit preserves?
Maybe Mom is hiding this warmest regards
Until it cools off. It must be a very hot one!

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February 2018


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