Thursday, September 23, 2010

Linkorama 23/9/10 - Courtesy Mother

My mother is an inveterate blogger on our family blog and today's links are all courtesy of her wide-ranging posts. Thanks Mama.

COMMONWEALTH FIASCO: The Delhi Commonwealth Games are turning into a huge embarrassment for our country. All this furthers my resolve to boycott them as far as possible. Amy wondered if that meant not reading about them as well!! But I guess that would be impossible!! Anyway, here is the latest in the saga of disasters that is the CWG 2010 - collapsing bridges and uninhabitable residential buildings.

A REFRIGERATOR THAT RUNS WITHOUT ELECTRICITY: Mitticool, a refrigerator made from clay has been making waves recently and has brought many awards to its creator, Mansukhbai Prajapati. A craftsman from Gujarat, his is the classic story of rags-to-riches entrepreneurship. From a family of potters, he put failure in class 10 behind him and has created a range of innovative and low cost products including a non-stick pan, pressure cooker, water filter and now the refrigerator. Here is his story and this links to his website.


THE MAN WHO MISSED A NOBEL: When Barry Marshall and Robin Warren won the Nobel Prize in 2005 for their discovery of Helicobacter pylori, the organism that causes peptic ulcer disease, they acknowledged the work of A. Stone Freedberg. Freedberg had postulated a bacterial cause for the disease way back in 1939. However, as his findings could not be proved, he was asked to look at other areas of research. He died last year and here is his story as written in the New York Times. Also, here is the video of Barry Marshall's speech at the Nobel banquet. Trust an Aussie to have a laugh even at this most daunting of occasions!!

LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ON DENIS BURKITT'S WORK: Dr. Denis Burkitt is well known for the discovery and description of his eponymous lymphoma. He is also well known for his suggestion that dietary fibre (or rather, the lack of it) could be a contributing factor to colon cancer. While that observation is now contested, another observation that was not previously well known is now gaining ground in scientific circles. This was the idea that the posture of defecation played a role in the development of cancer as well as other lower digestive tract diseases. I will not gross you out with more details, but those interested can read about it here.

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE: Today's comic relief comes from a poem my mother found while researching articles for the humour section of the excellent journal that she edits (Current Medical Issues). It's an ode to the spell-checker.

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh


AND FINALLY: This 'Indian folk dance' on ice set to music from Bollywood hits 'Bunty Aur Babli' and 'Devdas' was performed by Meryl Davis and Charlie White at the Grand Prix finals 2009-2010. Though not very knowledgeable on Indian cinema, I thought I could recognise some Bollywood moves! Needless to say, they won the gold medal.

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