Tag Archives: Perspectives

Perspectives: Harper’s Magazine – December 2022

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Harper’s Magazine, December 2022 – Should we be Rooting for the Apocalypse? Rachel Kushner on Timothée Chalamet’s Cannibal Turn Sasha Frere-Jones Searches for Perfect Sound A Christmas Story by Kate DiCamillo And More.

Apocalypse Nowish

The sense of an ending

READINGS

You Talkin’ to Me?

by Meghan O’Gieblyn

Martha Stewart Living

by Martha StewartChelsea Handler

His Folk Nation

by Darryl Pinckney

No Times Like the Present

A Forest of Berlin

by Brenda Coultas

Perspectives: The World’s Tallest Buildings & Future Projects – 3D Comparison

Tallest buildings / skyscrapers in the world today, represented to scale in New York City. Including some skyscrapers under construction and other extravagant futuristic projects. Note: The chosen size is up to the tip, includes antennas. The video includes the 10 tallest buildings currently, the rest are elected subjectively. In the list are not included, structures as giant antennas, statues or monuments. Only buildings, skyscrapers and vertical cities.

Perspectives: The World’s Islands In Size Comparison

There are many islands on Earth, this video shows some of them from the smallest (Hub Island) to the largest (Greenland). The measurements may vary depending on the source. The islands are placed over North America to have a better perspective of their size with respect to the different states.

MUSIC: (CC BY) sb_helios by Scott Buckley – http://www.scottbuckley.com.au

Aging Adults: ‘Learning About “End-Of-Life Care” From Grandpa’ (NEJM)

I described another option to Grandpa: he could voluntarily stop eating and drinking. He’d never considered this possibility (which reminded me again how one’s family members and clinicians contribute to inequities in end-of-life care). The option intrigued Grandpa, and during subsequent visits he reinforced his plan to pursue it. I insisted that he first move into my home. I wanted to ensure the quality of his care, knowing that I could enroll him in my health system’s hospice program. But I also wished to test his resolve, reasoning that his mind might change once his isolation ended.

For a month after he entered our home, his spirits were brighter, his gait steadier, and his appetite heartier. He joined my wife, two daughters, and me for dinner each night, typically preceded by a vodka martini that I had stirred for him — a daily pleasure he’d allowed himself for 80 years and had missed as a facility resident. He’d tell stories of the Navy, his career, and his family history and would regularly quip, “If you keep treating me this well, I might just stick around a while longer!”

But eventually he returned to his goal of hastening death. One night, he said he was ready to stop eating and drinking the next morning, but when morning came, he asked for his usual coffee and bagel. He confided that he was scared. When I asked of what, he replied, “It’s like trying to roller skate. I’m scared of starting. Though I know that once I do, I’ll probably roll.”

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Medicine: “Is It An Art Or Science?” (The Lancet)

From a The Lancet online article:

Effective physicians interrogate their patients’ choice of words as well as their body language; they attend to what they leave out of their stories as well as what they put in. More than 2000 years after Hippocrates, there remains as much poetry in medicine as there is science.

The Lancet LogoWHO’s definition of health is famously “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. One of the oldest medical texts we know of, The Science of Medicine attributed to Hippocrates, sets out the goal of medicine in comparable terms: “the complete removal of the distress of the sick”.

In my working life as a physician, I’ve never found the distinction between arts and sciences a particularly useful one. In the earliest ancient Greek texts, medicine is described as a techne—a word better translated as “know-how”. It conveys elements of science, art, and skill, but also of artisanal craft. The precise functions of medicine may have subtly shifted over the ages, but our need as human beings for doctors remains the same; we go to them because we wish to invoke some change in our lives, either to cure or prevent an illness or influence some unwelcome mental or bodily process. The goal of medicine is, and always has been, the relief of human suffering—the word patient, from the Latin patientem, means sufferer. And the word physician is from the Greek phusis, or nature: to be engaged in clinical work is to engage oneself with the nature of illness, the nature of recovery, the nature of humanity.

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