I got accepted

Kawaii Sushi Cross Stitch

Image by plushoff via Flickr

I got accepted to study Medicine (Access) somewhere, can’t say where yet as need to hear back from all the places I applied to (I’ve applied via the Graduate route too).

I also wanted to post some of the things I’ve been writing lately about Face Transplants, Japanese Kawaii culture, etc, but can’t because they’ve been submitted to Goldsmiths and I’m not sure what the rules are on publishing your work when it hasn’t been marked yet. Plus, if they do one of their random plagiarism checks, and find my work here, they may think I’ve plagiarised from Cityshy, without realising I AM Cityshy.

I’m still writing about the psychological impacts of technology, the implications of it being an extension of our selves, and tearing apart post-human theorems. I still work as a Care Giver to the elderly, a hospital volunteer on a surgical ward, and will be graduating in May, so I feel productive despite being busy all the time.

This post is mainly just to fill the void.

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Killer monkeys?

Monkey Shines

Image by ProfessorMortis via Flickr

If you haven’t seen Monkey Shines (1988), then you definitely need to. This George A. Romero film is hilarious. It was a box office flop, mainly due to Orion Pictures re-cutting it in studio against Romero’s wishes. But ultimately, what do you expect of a film about a killer monkey?

It’s one of those films that is so bad that it’s good. It tells the tale of a quadriplegic man whose best friend gives him a pet monkey to take care of him. The specially trained monkey also happens to be a lab experiment, injected with all manner of things to increase its intellect. The bond between the wheelchair bound master, and super clever monkey, means they share a telepathic connection. The monkey can feel all of its master’s resentment to people whom have wronged him….and monkey has the power to do something about it.

Below is a sketch I did today:

The Walking Dead. Are you excited too?

The Walking Dead (TV) comes out soon, just in time for Halloween. Directed and part-written by Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, and Green Mile). It’s about time zombies came back to the spotlight, too much focus has been on sparkly vampires, like Edward Cullen in Twilight, in recent times. Don’t get me wrong, I love vampires, but I prefer the Anne Rice ones. The one thing I’ve always loved about zombies is that their mission is simple: eat brains. The brutality and necessary survival strategies that emerge in anything zombie related means that, even if the story sucks, I’m not left entirely disappointed. If you haven’t read ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies‘ by Seth Grahame-Smith this is a prime example of how even in book form zombies can make things awesome.

For the record, the story-line of this series seems good, just one man waking up in hospital to find the dead walking, his wife and kid missing, and he has to search for them at the same time as fighting for his life.

Check out the trailer: 

Sketch of a girl

I’m practicing drawing on the iPad with Sketchbook Pro, my doodles are for an animation project that I’m working on. It’s designed to look flawed, makeshift, sketchy and a bit messy, which is good because I don’t have the patience to meticulously mimic reality, I just quickly scrawl it.

I got official permission from the musician behind Banquet of Illusions, to use his music in my animation piece. Go check the music out at last.fm, Sami Artturi Kauppinen offers free downloads for some of the tracks.

Bruising, Forensics

Severe bruises caused by car accident

Image via Wikipedia

Last night I was wondering about bruises. You know sometimes you bash yourself but the bruise doesn’t show up until the next day? Well, with post-mortem examinations, is it possible that there are some cases whereby the person has been bruised but it just didn’t show up before their death?

And if so, would a bruise still be able to show up after death? The problem is, there would be no blood flow to raise to the bruise to the surface of the skin. Maybe bruises show up on people more quickly as they die, because there are usually lots of ways to tell if the bruise is post-mortem or before death. I would have to ask a forensic pathologist.

Here are some interesting little articles:

http://www.legalserviceindia.com/medicolegal/bruise.htm < Medico-Legal Significance of Bruising

http://netk.net.au/Articles/Bruising.asp < Medical reports, bruising caused post-mortem

Life as a Care Giver

Auguste Deter. Alois Alzheimer's patient in No...

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Firstly, I haven’t been doing this long. But I spent the past few months completing my training, with certificates in First Aid, Health & Safety, Movement & Handling etc. Then I began my mentoring, so I am still not “flying solo”, but I learn from watching/helping the people whom have been carers for much longer.

Today I felt choked up, it was my first time at Mrs Anonymous’s house (Patient confidentiality of course). She has Multiple Sclerosis, and paralysis on one side, meaning she is wheelchair bound and can only use one arm. Not to mention the fact she is 90-something years old, with severe arthritis that curls her toes and fingers into gnarled roots. The discomfort she is constantly in is little eased by medications and prescription creams.

She lives completely alone, with no pets. Pays for her own care, rather than accepting benefits, so perhaps she had a wealthy past. The radio is her friend once we serve her meal and say goodbye, leaving a cup of Earl Grey in the microwave for her like she instructs. She is meticulous, extremely specific in what she wants, even where you place her hairbrush, because this is the only control or power she has left. It’s heartbreaking. Reminds me of my grandmother somewhat, which was the main reason I wanted to do senior care, except my grandmother has Alzheimer’s, and this lady, Mrs Anonymous, seems mentally sharp despite the M.S. But isn’t that the worst part? To be mentally alert but trapped in a crippled body, like a butterfly with broken wings.

Why am I writing this post? I guess I just wanted to give you a glimpse into what caring is really about, and would ask anyone whose grandparents are still alive, to please visit them, take care of them. No one should have to be alone like Mrs Anonymous.

iPad for study and play

 

Behold the iPad in All Its Glory

Image via Wikipedia

 

Not sure if I mentioned, my lovely boyfriend bought me a 64GB iPad for my birthday. I was in shock, as I’m not really an expensive gift person, in buying or receiving. But I was delighted, once I got over my sense of disbelief. I had been wanting one for ages but just couldn’t justify blowing my whole month’s pay on one…Until I went back for my final year at Goldsmiths, and realised that actually it would benefit my study so much, not just leisure/play.

– It’s so fast to type on using the on-screen keyboard, the layout is simple, and in just seconds I can email my lecture notes to the main Mac in my room, so the people moaning about lack of USB or disk drive should just do that (or use the Pendrive free app, or Dropbox, etc)

– The book store is excellent, in terms of variety. And the reader functions perfectly, where you can actually turn the pages.

– I use the Sketchbook Pro app for my Motion Graphics module, which is great for drawing with regardless of what stylus you use.

– Granimator allows you to create your own wallpapers and backgrounds (as seen above)

– VNC Mocha – this remote desktop viewer is awesome, it costs on the iPad, but is free on the iPhone, and somehow I tricked my iPad into transferring it free as it confused the versions. Free iPad VNC viewer is never a bad thing. I can control my main Mac from anywhere in the house, essentially turning the iPad into a mini version of my main base.

There are so many benefits I could talk about, but for me the main functions are: writing, reading, drawing, playing, storing, organising (e.g sync calendars with iPhone and Mac), and experiencing the web, videos and books in a whole new way. The iPad is not for everybody, but for someone like me who really makes use of every function, it’s worth having.

My Birthday Today

Birthday Cake for Depression

Image by cathleenritt via Flickr

Yes, it’s my birthday, so I’ve been trying to be jovial, but I just feel blue and tired, and am too busy with a lot of things to write or read, or pay as much heed to WordPress as I usually would, and would love to. But even more than that I would love to turn off my brain. I’m done working for the day, so this one innocent beer will be my lonely end to the day.

I will try to post a happy post soon, or one of my Medical musings, film reviews, or general ones.

Ted Bundy strikes again

…in drawing form. This is just a sketch, whilst I draft ideas. I’ve adapted his appearance for an animation project I’m working on in After Effects CS5. Taken on my iPhone so excuse the quality, or lack thereof.

Medical Education Online

 

Image representing LiveJournal as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

 

One more old snippet from my LiveJournal:

  • Apr. 5th, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Interesting medical essays HTML:

Effects of Internet Use on Health and Depression: A Longitudinal Study:

http://www.jmir.org/2010/1/e6/HTML

Learning in a Virtual World: Experience With Using Second Life for Medical Education:

http://www.jmir.org/2010/1/e1/HTML

Aloe can help survival during severe blood loss?

Heart diagram with labels in English. Blue com...

Image via Wikipedia

Just found one of my older LiveJournal posts, it was just a DRAFT of thoughts:

Jan. 16th, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Aloe can help survival during severe blood loss?
www.nationalreviewofmedicine.com/issue/2004_09_15/clinical11_16.html

I initially searched into this mainly because I was wondering whether panic/increased heart rate sped up blood flow (and therefore blood loss), (and therefore one’s demise), OR, does the quickened blood flow aid the situation, seeing as the heart’s natural response to blood loss is to speed up and release adrenaline as a reaction to lower available oxygen and/or volume of blood itself. Does speeding up of heart rate and blood flow enable the remaining oxygen to be distributed in a way that attempts to simulate the regular amounts.

It is mentioned that aloe increases circulation, and the rats that were injected with it during severe blood loss lived longer than rats that were injected with regular saline. However, the improved circulatory function does pose the risk of obstructing coagulation. Therefore aloe could be useful to prolong a patient’s life, whilst further treatment/aid/procedures are taken to stem the blood flow, or a transfusion is made.

So, is the natural rush of adrenaline, which is automatic in the situation of severe blood loss, helpful? Or is it an inevitable symptom, induced by hemorrhagic shock, which essentially speeds up one’s demise?

Heightened heart rate and blood flow BUT lower blood pressure.

Heightened
blood flow but lower oxygen and blood volume.

If the heart slowed dramatically rather than speeding dramatically once heavy blood loss is induced, the lowered blood pressure would have an intensified impact…therefore it could be theorised that the over-compensation the heart makes in speeding faster is an attempt to normalise the body and pump oxygen to the parts that need it most.

HOWEVER, with wounds, such as those on major arteries, like the jugular, the heavier blood flow would result in a quicker death.

(Original post can be seen here: LiveJournal)

Social networking makes you a liar?


Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Social networking devices, such as Twitter and Facebook, are a daily part of people’s routines, which makes me wonder: how does it affect your honesty? Integrating your Facebook, blog, Twitter account, with all of your other social networking profiles (which we are all encouraged to do), means that we are more easily traceable across the Internet.

So, if someone turns down an invite to that “really cool block party” tonight because they’re “poorly in bed”, then later tweets about what a good time they are having somewhere else, the person who invited them to that block party immediately knows it was a lie. If you tell your boss you’re sick, forget you have them on your friends list, then you update your Facebook status about what a great time you’re having at Thorpe Park, you are immediately busted. Because of this, the ease of obtaining information, anyone with common sense knows either to hide their lies, or elaborate on the truth.

Even I have been caught out before, and I like to think I’m a bit savvier than that. I was never stupid enough to bad-mouth my previous boss anywhere on the Internet, or anything on parr with that. Mine was simple, I wasn’t answering someone’s calls or texts, but was active online, this lead them to realise I wasn’t too busy, or asleep, it meant I just didn’t want to contact them. But technically I never lied to them, I just ignored. Is that really so bad? Just because I want to reply to a few things online, doesn’t mean I want to answer a phone call right now.

I think it’s perfectly acceptable to tell someone truthfully that I’ve been too busy to do a certain thing, but also don’t care if they Internet stalk me and find out I’m not too busy to send a quick tweet or reply to a comment on Facebook. I mean, who do people think they are, the cyber police? I try to always be honest, so if I belatedly reply to an email, I don’t excuse it with “I’ve been too busy” (unless that’s the truth), usually it’s just a case of wanting to be in the right mind-state or focus to reply adequately rather than rushing it before my daily film/TV fix. I could try hard to please everybody, reply with super-quick insincere paragraphs, but that would be false.

I realise this post makes me sound arrogant, in reality I don’t receive tonnes of phone calls, or have “fans” monitoring my online activity to see if I haven’t replied in 0.02 seconds, but I think we all know a couple of people who get touchy about your online whereabouts, and how it relates to their own ego. My point is that, despite the Internet creating the need to sometimes lie and say we’re just too busy, rather than “I don’t want to talk to you right now”, it also forces us to avoid blatant lies that would get us in trouble.

I just think we shouldn’t have to lie, it should be acceptable to be in the mood to tweet or update, but be too busy/not in the mood to reply to a certain email, answer a phone call, or update something else at that same time.

That leaves me with a couple of questions: 1) Has anyone ever queried you about your online activity versus the real world? 2) Have you ever been caught out in an online lie? 3) When you make excuses to people, are they genuine? 4) To what extent are you honest online?

£92.40 for charity in just one day

This baby is one month old.

Image via Wikipedia

Well, I counted up all the coins and notes I collected on Monday, plus some of my own donation fund, and it adds up to £92.40. Which is absolutely amazing for one day of fundraising on my own. There was another £25 people already donated online, which means I’ve exceeded the £100 target.

Here is why I’m doing it:

Harlequin-type ichthyosis is the most severe form of congenital ichthyosis. Swelling to the eyes, ears, and other appendages, mean that the babies born with this skin disease have difficulty seeing, breathing, or even moving.

The texture of the skin means it cannot bend where soft skin usually can, it’s cracked texture is agonising and means the babies are prone not only to infection from the bleeding exposed cracks, but from hypothermia also.

Medication such as Isotrex, which improves their quality of life, are essential. But with your help, further treatments can be found, and you will be contributing to the life-time care that Harlequin sufferers require.

Please click here for more info: http://www.justgiving.com/RNoakes

Censoring the Internet? Now?

The eye for the final series of Celebrity Big ...

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China have been slated internationally for their harsh censorship of the Internet; blocking sites for hours at a time, and some completely, when it suits their political or “ethical” agendas. Google has been at the epicenter of these disputes, with the US company defending against China’s over zealous censorship. But this time the US are responsible. The Senate proposes a law which forces Internet service providers to block certain websites. “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA)”

Due to the vague nature of the law, pertaining copyrighted material, and insinuating that the list can be added to at authorities’ discretion, even sites such as Youtube could be targeted. This stinks of bad karma, seeing as Youtube recently won a court case against Viacom. This means that Youtube can operate, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), providing they remove any copyrighted material they are informed of, and regulate accordingly. Fair is fair.

Copyright isn’t the real issue here though, I am not arguing the ethics of crediting owners, or intellectual property theft. My point is that blocking whole sites, just because a few people misuse them, is complete censorship, Internet Tyranny, as oppose to appropriate regulation.

Are we all going to be subject to Green Dam censorship software? Is Big Brother watching our every move? Is censorship going too far, and will it spread like an epidemic?

All these questions are things we will eventually need to consider, literally or not. I remain cynical about the motives of complete censorship, and doubt that ethics are the main factor, rather political reasons. I agree more with justifiable regulation that does not breach our personal freedoms. Read more and help out using the link below.

Sign the online petition please, it only takes a few seconds: http://demandprogress.org/blacklist/coica