Hey, I’m back with an update.
Weidenfeld & Nicholson
I took a trip to the library yesterday on my way home from a doctor’s appointment – I’ll talk about that in a later post – to try to get some books about depression and anxiety – again, I’ll talk about local mental health care provision in another post, I’m getting a lot of material to work on at the moment – when I noticed this book on the shelves. It’s taken about a year to get to our little library, but according to the library assistant I spoke to yesterday there has been a great deal of interest in reading it. I’ll have to get up in the morning and take it back so other people can read it.
I found this book deeply moving. Malala Yousafzai comes from a deeply troubled and exquisitely beautiful area of Pakistan called the Swat Valley. Her family are not well off but her father managed to get an education. With help from family and friends he started a school, The Khushal School, in Mingora. Malala has obviously inherited her passion for education from him. In this book she recounts the events of her life and provides family and regional background history. How fascinating to find that the area around Mingora is littered with 1300 year old Buddhas, and that Alexander the Great past through on his way to the Indus.
Malala describes the events in her region and country in the last decade or so with great clarity, and the circumstances of her shooting and subsequent recovery in Birmingham with a specificity that is commendable. Especially interesting are her observations of the rise of the Taliban in Pakistan, the affects of earthquake, flood and war in her community and her family’s displacement, first as IDP’s for three months while the Pakistani Army dealt with the Taliban in Swat and her later removal to the UK in 2012 for medical treatment after being shot on her school bus by an assassin sent by the Taliban. It was this event which brought her to global attention after she became known in Pakistan for her campaign for universal girls education. She now continues her work, through the Malala Fund, while continuing her own education here in the UK.
As I said earlier, I found this book deeply moving, and thoroughly engrossing. It provides just a bit of perspective on world events that often seem so far away, and yet are truly something we must all be concerned with.
And it’s still only Wednesday.
Hello, and welcome to the first review post of 2015. There’s a lot of variety in this month’s post, but I’ll let you get on with reading the actual reviews now.
You are a doctor. You are trying to get through a busy clinic day when there is a knock at your office door. It is a pharmaceutical rep. Before you can say anything, he lets himself in, saying, “I’ll only take up a minute of your time, but I just have to tell you about this exciting new weight loss drug. It’s 95% effective at treating obesity in adults.” Sounds good right? Oo, he’s giving away a free pocket knife with the drug’s logo on it. Maybe you do have a minute to spare. You know you have some questions about the study that got this new drug approved.
You start by asking how much weight the study participants lost on average. Turns out it’s about 10% of their body weight in the first year. So women weighing 250 pounds at the start of the study weighed, on average, 225 pounds after a year.
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Funny things happen in my brain at six in the morning; it’s a fairly regular occurrence so I’m not too worried. For the last week or so my brain has been working on a concept of life, or more precisely the effect of humanity on other life on Earth. Continue reading