• Technology

    School lightens the load

    Clearwater high school in Kansas has decided to replace all essential text books with electronic versions. Each of the 2000 children have received Kindle Readers with their course books already downloaded. So instead of lugging up to six heavy textbooks around with them there is only one thing to…

  • Health

    What is the point – sham acupuncture

    Yet another waste of time. What is this obsession with sham acupuncture? Anyone who is involved in acupuncture realises that the effect begins when the tip of the needle touches the skin of the patient. After that there are two variables: the intensity of the treatment and the responsiveness…

  • Health

    Carpets of Salt

    I’ve been on holiday. Even when I have time off it’s hard to stop seeing every activity from a professional angle. Each sport and every physical activity has its risks and the “alfombras de sal” weekend in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands is no exception. Every year at the…

  • Sport

    Annual Coal Carrying Race

    I heard recently that the Olympic stadium in London has already cost over £300 million, and look at how much it costs to go to a football match these days. But sport needn’t be big business, you can enjoy participating in some very challenging sports for almost nothing if…

  • Biology

    You are not alone

    Here is an interesting fact: your body contains more microbes than human cells. You are not just a single genetic individual you are a living colony, sharing your life and space with millions of other life forms. If you watch crime programmes on TV you will know how often…

  • Back Pain

    Aquarium fungicide might help low back pain

    Tropical fish fanciers will be familiar with methylene blue as an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial chemical used to keep fish healthy. Today the Daily Mail report on a trial carried out in China by orthopedic surgeons and reviewed by Professor Bogduk for the medical journal Pain. The Chinese surgeons suggest…

  • Pain

    Talking yourself out of Pain

    A thought provoking article from the BBC on using cognitive therapy to reduce pain. I am not sure how well this would work as a "stand alone" intervention but it’s certainly true that having someone explain why you are in pain demystifies it and stops it being quite so…

  • Exercise

    You can’t park here this is my urban gym!

    Go to Germany or France and any self-respecting woodland walk will have exercise stations, usually made out of tree trunks. In Spain many costal promenades have them made from steel pipes set in concrete – see images. Not so in the UK (with one exception being the trim track…

  • Health

    Sharpen your mind with a Siesta

    I was talking to a medical colleague who had recently been to China. While there she had a conversation with some Chinese doctors about the types of complaints they encountered most often. When she asked how many patients complained of TATT (tired all the time) they looked blank. So…