Friday, April 15, 2011

A human brain on a cookie jar, and other summer stories


After what feels like forever, I've finally drafted the logo for this site: a human brain on a cookie jar. The tagline, "On the lookout for zebras, not horses," is an idiomatic expression that means, more or less, "I'm thinking of a brain tumor metastasizing to the colon when a person who has swallowed ten santol seeds complains of constipation." The rule, of course, is: think of the more common conditions first, not the extremely rare ones.

Sadly this doesn't always happen during small group discussions, especially when the consultant pressures us for better answers at the point when our brain reserves have already been depleted.

Is it congenital? The patient is too old.

Is it a tumor? There's no mass.

It it due to trauma? It's not in the history.

Is it inflammatory? Infectious? Naaah, probably not.

Is it vascular? Unlikely.

It must be tuberculosis. (Anyone about to enter med school here? The magic word, at least in the developing world, is TB—most convenient diagnosis ever, second only to idiopathic, of course. It will get you to places.) I don't know why I'm writing about this now. I sort of miss feeling . . . dumb, like I know nothing.

Last night I  drafted my part for a paper we're submitting for a research competition in Hong Kong. Our paper on saluyot landed a prize in a national contest here; we thank God for the chance to represent the country in the Traditional and Complementary Alternative Medicine category. It will be sometime in June, and Lennie Chua is going.

Speaking of conferences, I have yet to write the second part of my Netherlands trip. My friends have been egging me about it. I'll post it sometime next week, just before I leave for Koronadal.

Meanwhile I have taken on jogging, mostly because my father is around, and he has pretty amazing convincing powers. My brother is a pro at this, while I could barely run for 15 minutes without experiencing chest pains. Instead I stroll and take pictures for my Week in Photos project. I'm a work in progress.

Sunset, UP Diliman.



Sunrise: Quezon City Memorial Circle.


After the strolling jogging, the hunger pangs set in. In which case, I swallow a mouthful of this, something I get to eat because my parents are around. It's a great feeling: having someone spend for me, only to realize that the calories I have burned have been replenished again.


And it's back to square one all over again.

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Anonymous Lau said...

Congratulations on your group's win, Lance! Hope you have a greater summer. :)

Fri Apr 15, 05:24:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

Thanks, Laureen. I heard that MSSR did a pretty good job at organizing the conference.

Fri Apr 15, 05:30:00 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Abby said...

Yay, finally an update! I missed your blog posts Kuya Lance. :D

Sat Apr 16, 06:56:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

Aw, thanks, Abby!

Sat Apr 16, 08:53:00 PM GMT+8  

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