Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fragile life

This is a post I've been meaning to write for some time but could not bear to put it into words.

My friend messaged me on Facebook that our mutual acquaintance has passed on. Perhaps 3-4 months before he asked if I wanted to be part of his music group. I replied in the negative, citing time constraints and the like. Granted, this is not the only friend I've known that has passed on, the news still hit me hard. He was after all, the one who tutored me through the grade 5 theory exam, going to his home every week. He was the one who bothered to organise gatherings with his malaysian friends so I can widen my social circle. He was the one I've known to be a kindly uncle figure who would do his best to help you if he can.

Life is fragile and we would be prudent to treasure our relationships.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Not too long ago, I discovered booktubers. Now, by the power of the intrawebs, I'm considering to participate in the #yearofcosmere event after being informed of it by one. Essentially, it is a read-a-long of Brandon Sanderson's books. At the end, because many of his books are related, there will be a live discussion on the Goodreads #yearofcosmere group page(which if you are an avid reader is a godsend). Honestly, I don't usually reread books or join book clubs in their activities. But it's Brandon Sanderson, and it's fun once in a while to feel like you're a part of the reading community.

As an aside, if you haven't read him, now's the perfect time!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Grand Rounds

My reads of 2014 have mostly been fiction.To add more non-fiction reads to my bookshelf, I have taken to following friends and people I think have similar tastes to mine on Goodreads. It has turned up fiction gems like "The Martian" which I enjoyed (The protag's conversations with NASA are always fun to read) and then there's Grand Rounds.

Grand Rounds at it's core, is a series of 24 medical case studies which take you through how doctors diagnose and treat medical patients. Much like "House", each case study has a patient and you'll play detective as Dr. Benaroch doles out the clues. He will explain what normally is involved in the review -History of Present Illness (HPI), the basic physical checks - Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat (HEENT) and other very interesting nuggets of information like how a doctor progresses from student to M.D.

In a  first, I bought this as an audiobook on had wanted to get this as a ebook on Kindle but it seems to be only available as an audio recording and so today I went running to the lectures. As an aside, I am generally not big on audiobooks but these recordings were the perfect medium for these lectures to be delivered.The case studies today were on cancer and heart attack. Both of them have afflicted my friends and loved ones and as such, the case studies hit closer to home. I, in turn, am emotionally affected by them. 

Emotions aside, lectures 6 and 7 have very informative. I did not know that checking for air passage has been obsoleted in favour of chest compressions in the common CPR. It's also not just a course of diagnosis after diagnosis. For example for the lecture on heart attack, the professor suggests treatments and steps we can take to prevent it. In the same lecture, he also gives a short instruction on how to react to a possible heart attack and with it, an updated CPR lesson. Lecture 8 awaits.