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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Med Students Prefer ‘Googling’ over Textbooks │ Medical Trials Need Equal Parts Men and Women │ Italian Court Rules Man's Cellphone Use Caused His Tumour

Whilst involved in straying with full intent late last afternoon or early evening, I suddenly heard my wife Jack's voice engaging with her youngest son Poté. I had thought that she might show up late that evening, but not as early as this.

It was for the best. Still, it meant a fairly late evening. Once she finally went to bed, I did not find myself there beside her until 12:30 a.m.

At least I found something to engage my interest with from now on when I have to sit up like that. Using our Android TV Box, I hunted up Britain's Got Talent and watched the first episode of the current season.

Anyway, after I was in bed, Jack asked me if the head of purple cabbage in the fridge was mine; and upon learning that it was, she said that she would herself set it up today for natural fermentation instead of leaving it to me ─ I am the only one taking helpings of my first attempt at such fermentation. Jack doesn't trust the product because I never followed her "recipe."

It was an ill night's sleep for us both. I don't know when it was that I finally found my way to slumberland, but at one point I checked the time and saw that it was 1:41 a.m. and I still had not arrived there.

I never bothered rising to use the bathroom during any of my wakeful periods. And after I sensed that it was light outside and Jack was getting up, I peeked at the time after she had donned her robe and forsaken the bedroom ─ it was 6:04 a.m.

I don't think her eldest son Tho had summoned her to drive him to the SkyTrain so he could get to work ─ but perhaps I had been asleep and missed it, and only roused when Jack started getting up.

Whatever the case, she did drive him. I had gotten up for the day before they left, and was busy here at my computer.

Meantime, Poté got up to start readying for work.

Jack returned to bed quite soon after getting back and having some conversation with Poté, but I remained up, busy with the edit of an old post at my Siam-Longings website.

Poté soon had left after his mother was to bed.

After I had completed an average day's work of content-assimilation on that website post edit around mid-morning, I went out to the tool shed in the backyard and had some exercise there. The morning looked like the day was going to blend Sun and cloud.

Then once I was back in the house, I just killed off time waiting for Jack to eventually get up. I knew that she had a 1:30 p.m. dental appointment with some sort of specialist.

When at last she did rise for the day, had some breakfast, and then showered, she was soon rather cranky because her clothing iron seems to have disappeared. My guess is that she left it in the boys' den area where one of them may have broken it and then disposed of the evidence; or else one of them ─ most likely her eldest son Tho ─ took it away to use at his girlfriend's residence where he seems to spend most weekend nights, and he failed to bring it back.

But that's for Jack to deal with ─ I have never used the appliance.

It was a little after 12:30 p.m. when she finally left for her dental appointment. And I ─ ignorantly believing that the day was only going to grow sunnier ─ went out into the backyard to sink into a chair while facing into the Sun.

It was 12:44 p.m. when I began, with a 40-minute stint planned.

I was barefooted, but otherwise fully clothed in blue jeans and two pullovers ─ of course, I expected to soon become overheated and have to strip down. But that was naive.

The sky was heavily hazed, but it quickly thickened to the point of becoming cloud cover, entirely obscuring any trace of the Sun. And it was unpleasantly cool ─ thank Heaven I did not go out there in cut-offs, and maybe even some sleeveless top.

I barely put up with the full 40 minutes, and only managed to last because Jack had asked me to expose the cabbage to sunlight, occasionally shaking the wok-like pan that the separated cabbage leaves are in. She had said to expose it for 10 minutes, and then toss it about to expose the underlying cabbage leave, leaving it outside for a further 10 minutes.

However, with no sunlight in evidence, I opted to let the cabbage enjoy 40 minutes out there ─ just like I was supposed to be doing.

As said, I managed to put in the full 40 minutes, and then came into the house and soon got started with this blog post.

Now utterly switching topics, I have three more photos to offer from my wife Jack's visit last Fall to see her mother in Thailand for the first time since early March 2013.

The family home is in the very large village of Nong Soong, which is no more than about a 15-minute drive from the city of Udon Thani.

The following three photos were taken somewhere in that area, but none of the guys the photos feature are familiar to me:


Although I yesterday posted something about the fairly small survey that found out how most medical students just turn to Google when they want to learn about a symptom or treatment or anything of that order, I want to post a couple further references about this:

The first just gives the bare bones about the survey, but the second reference goes beyond that survey of medical students and speaks of other instances involving practicing physicians relying upon the Web:



I fully agree with the sentiments expressed in that last reference ─ I believe in studious and devoted text research and learning. It's perfectly fine to resort to the Web, but it oughtn't to be the primary source of medical information for a professional.


You may enjoy the following informative essay concerning medical research ─ and how it is usually unbalanced where concerns the sex of the trial subjects.

As is pointed out, there are many basic differences in how men and women are affected by ─ or respond to ─ any specific condition. So stocking a study with subjects who are all of one specific sex will not necessarily yield results that will have the same specific application for the other sex:


Why wouldn't this gender specificity immediately occur to researchers so that they would enlist equal parts men and women?


There was a very recent interesting legal development in Italy involving cellphone use and one man's development of a tumour:




And why the hell should any court accept telecom industry studies as proof that the darned phones are safe?

When some drug or chemical is discovered to be causing devastating consequences for many of the people using it, should we let the industries concerned weigh in with all of their own studies demonstrating how perfectly safe the drug or other chemical is, and then legally rule such skewed 'evidence' is a substantiation of perfect innocence?

Sadly...I guess we usually do, don't we?

So hooray for Italy!


My wife Jack left just after 5:00 p.m. to return to Vancouver, saying that she would try and be back here on Thursday or Friday.

She did mix up a batch of cabbage, as promised ─ good girl!

She wasn't aware that today is the final day of provincial voting until she asked me about it, and she then enquired of me as to how late the poling station for our area would remain open. I ventured from memory that it would likely be open until 8:00 p.m., and I sought her voter's registration card to validate this statement. However, she seems to have displaced it ─ she probably disposed of it.

It's most unlikely that she will bother trying to vote.

Poté a few weeks back had expressed interest to me about voting, but I have no idea if he is going to bother, either. And his older brother Tho couldn't care less, from what I can tell.

So quite sadly, it would appear that of the five eligible voters in this household, only my younger brother Mark and I will have voted in this election.

I close out today's post now with a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster. I was renting in a house located on Ninth Street, and about two houses up from Third Avenue.

I had not made it to bed the night before this particular journal entry until about 2:45 a.m.
SUNDAY, May 9, 1976

Awake awhile, I arose about 8:45 a.m.

While having a shower I decided to clean the thing, succeeding in clogging the drain. And so it remained several hours till my persistence finally brought my lousy life some relief for a change.

Bill came over for me early in the afternoon of this sunny day.

We picked up his mother, then went over to O'Farrell's where I spent $7.71 on produce; I've $5 left. I also bought a little over a pound of ground beef to add to a meal Bill had planned. His mother began it when we got back.

They squabbled all day.

Anyway, I ate excessively.

I remained watching TV when he took her home, and he returned with a small container of strawberry yogurt for me.

He later drove me home.

We are to get together Wednesday so I can watch the Western Lottery at 8:00 p.m. on Channel 8. Maybe I'll have a yogurt treat for the big guy.

I hope I win. I'd love to transform him ─ and me ─ into men of brawn.

Right now I feel full and lively, this latter a result, I suppose, of the neat flashbacks on CFUN.

Bed at 10:15 p.m. 
My old friend William Alan Gill rented a bachelor suite nearby ─ possibly little more than four blocks from my room. He and I often got together on weekends.

He usually had his mother Anne Gregory over to his suite on weekends, too. She lived as a renter herself over in Maillardville. She would generally do his cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc.  

If I remember the place correctly, "O'Farrell's" was a supermarket that used to be located back then in the Scottown or Scott-Town shopping plaza at Scott Road (120th Street) and 96th Avenue out in Surrey. The supermarket may or may not have been part of some small chain, but it no longer exists.

I don't know why he drove me home that evening ─ it was an easy walk for me. Perhaps he had some reason for going out.

Bill was about five feet and nine or 10 inches in height, but he weighed over 300 pounds. At that time, he was at least 30 years old, and getting a few health warnings. 

I have longed to win a major lottery prize all of my adult life, but I seem to have been cursed never to be so favoured.

Radio station CFUN would play "goldie oldies" (or whatever you may prefer to call them) each Sunday evening, so I would often tune in. My favourite music back then spanned the years 1960 to 1966, although I definitely liked lots of earlier songs. 
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