The greatest show on earth

It dawned on me today that I’ve followed almost the entire medical school education of Ozge through her blog. I read about study strategies, notes, old medical books, and the daily grind. I knew that a lot of study went into medical school, but in reality I didn’t have much of a real-life idea until reading about it on regular basis.


Medicine and science are so advanced, we know not our own ignorance more than ever. This breeds all kinds of dangerous egos, ones fed by access to technologies that we the users feel an extension of our own intelligence. But science is becoming a sort of voodoo practice against which groups rally with pitchforks – all because general lack of understanding. We want technology, medicine and to explore the universe, but as a whole put up roadblocks for those able to deliver it.

Margaret Atwood explains in Payback the ill sentiments towards the grain-mill owner and his family; the mill being one of the first large scale business service industries that could rob without you knowing it, for who could tell exactly how much flower was due from one bag of grain? When those delivering the solutions don’t struggle financially, or worse, are well-to-do, the suspicions and rumours start a life of their own.


So here is the simple game plan:

1. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. [And motives of others.] (Christopher Hitchens)
2. Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. (Horace Mann)

Ozge tells in one of her early posts how when she was growing up, she pretended that reading books gave her superpowers – a wonderfully simple rendering of a big idea.

A nod to the canon.


Posted in General, Science at October 15th, 2013. No Comments.

Aww, gosh

Mad adopts squirrel, makes half the world go awwwww. But I wonder: did he load the tiny creature with children’s Tylenol and posed it around, and, is this curiosity of mine mixed with skepticism healthy?


I nominate the photo series for next week’s universal unicorn-chaser. Whatever you need chasing, this droopy squirrel will do. It doesn’t look like much, but it’ll repel the vilest ideas.

Posted in General at October 11th, 2013. No Comments.

613 shades of sad

End-of-night fix. (But I might go and make toast before bed.)
Please enjoy responsibly.

613 by Asaf Avidan on Grooveshark

On occasions our sea will swallow
613 shades of sad
And occasionally we’ll be just shallow
Enough for them to see the things we had
20,000 different leagues of sorrow
They will surface but we’ll let them drown
And the moon will lift our holy bodies
And we’ll live as one

With the rate and the weight that I pound you
You will tell me that you understand
Every shell I’ll propel just to spite you
You will break it and you’ll turn to sand

Posted in Life, m.Staff-carboN at October 10th, 2013. No Comments.

One day

For you from Israel, dear reader.

Posted in L'autre bout du monde, Life, m.Staff-carboN at October 5th, 2013. No Comments.

Stalk me

Śledź in Polish can mean ‘follow’ or ‘stalk’ (verb) – one word for two that are similar but quite different. These linguistic nuances often come at me with full surprise and I only noticed this one when I read “Stalk me on Twitter” written bold on a polish blog. Sorry and excuse me are also represented in polish by a single word, so are sky and heaven. And just to keep everyone on their toes, that very first word above has a third meaning: herring.

Lest you think Polish is obviously poor when it comes to vocabulary, it has gems that I miss when using English. There’s an excellent word for a 24 hour cycle, doba. The other word that comes to mind is ‘zajebiste’ which is an accepted way of expressing joy, as in ‘fucking awesome’ but at the penalty level that you might get for saying ‘shit’ around your gran.

There are many other nuances that don’t have to do with vocabulary. I know my limitations said in Polish and translated directly back to English is said I know my capabilities, a ‘glass half full’ approach compared with English. Alas, I leave you with something beautiful of the musical variety – a song from an album titled I speak because I can. Fitting indeed.

Alpha Shallows by Laura Marling on Grooveshark

Posted in General, m.Staff-carboN, Polskie Posty at October 2nd, 2013. No Comments.

Born to die

Gems, gems, her lyrics are full of beautiful little gems of emotions.

Born To Die by Lana Del Ray on Grooveshark

Don’t make me sad, don’t make me cry
Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough
I don’t know why
Keep making me laugh,
Let’s go get high
The road is long, we carry on
Try to have fun in the meantime

Come and take a walk on the wild side
Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain
You like your girls insane
Choose your last words
This is the last time
Cause you and I, we were born to die

Posted in m.Staff-carboN at September 27th, 2013. No Comments.

Fjara, then Prague

About to close up my suitcase and head out the door for a bus headed to Prague. Fjara fills my flat for what must be a fifth time this morning. What a strange song, like a prayer chant, rising louder when it fails to materialise anything important or meaningful. I imagine these the last words sung to what by the end of the track is a dead God.

Posted in Anti-theism, General, L'autre bout du monde, m.Staff-carboN at September 19th, 2013. No Comments.