The C2S blog draws on the arts, the social and biological sciences to explore the many meanings of health and "dis-ease." Designed to be a locus where patients, their families and professionals can meet on a level playing field, it is the natural off-shoot of the Cell 2 Soul Online Journal. We encourage the submission of ideas, essays, poems, stories, humor, and timely reviews relating to the humanities and health care.
Oliver Sacks died on August 30. Many of us have read his books and articles. His last book, “On The Move” gives insight into Sacks, the man. We have followed his oeuvre for decades, yet the most touching piece he wrote, (in our humble opinion) was published posthumously in the New Yorker on September 14th.
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation... A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work." H. D. Thoreau
Thoreau sequestered himself at Walden. The erstwhile neurologist, Dr. John Kitchin, fled a medical practice to in-line skate on the boardwalk. On any given day, "Kitchin [can be seen] meticulously skating up and down San Diego's promenade. Disillusioned with a life that had become increasingly materialistic, he abruptly abandoned his career and moved to a studio by the beach. The locals call him Slomo, knowing little about his past life, but cheering and high-fiving him as he skates by in slow motion. He has become a Pacific Beach institution."
If you missed the provacative and, for some, inspirational NY Times article, click on SLOMO.
This week marks the convergence of two great gustatory holidays, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. The last time this happened was 1888 and the next time may have Jews lighting candles from spaceships 79,043 years from now (by one calculation). For enjoyment, see these links:
Dr. Len Hoenig, our South Florida Kosher Korrespondent, sent us Thanksgivukah Gobble Tov greetings:
An Esay on Unesesary Leters
There is far too much paperwork and computer work in medicine today: endless forms to fill out, prescriptions to e-prescribe, medical records to input etc. It occurred to me that one solution to this problem would be to streamline and simplify our English language.
The great playwright, George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) suggested this very idea a number of years ago and several essays have already been published on this topic. So while my idea is not new, perhaps it is timely, given the mounting paperwork and bureaucracy inherent in 21st Century medicine.
There appears to be a lot of redundancy in the English language, especially in medical terms. Take, for example, the word “sick”. Why do we need both a “c” and a “k” in this word? Why not write it as “sik”? The letter “c” is totally unnecessary in the alphabet since the letter “k” and “s” will replace, respectively, a hard “c” and a soft “c”.
Think how much easier it would be for children to learn the alphabet if it were only 25 letters instead of 26. No more ABCs, just ABDs! I would also eliminate double letters in words such as illness. The word can simply be written as “ilnes”. Think how easy it would be to write “Cell 2 Soul Blog” as “Sel 2 Sol Blog”.
Another letter to eliminate would be “x” which can be replaced by other letters, e.g. “xerosis” (abnormal dryness of a body part) would become “zerosis”. Also the pronoun “you” can be simplified to “u” as is done in text messaging (e.g. “gr8 2 no u” means “great to know you”).
Putting all of the above together, the English language and medical paperwork would start to look more compact and elegant as follows: now u kan se eksaktly how nise the English language kan be when unesesary leters are iliminatid!
Jonathan Harris (b. 1979) makes projects that reimagine how humans relate to technology and to each other. In late 2007, he traveled to Bhutan to research Happiness Bhutan-style. He recently created Balloons of Bhutan which all of you will enjoy. It is a labor of joy, love and celebration.
It's a beautiful time of year in the Northeast. Mellow summer. A time when peace comes dropping slow. Our friend, Joan Shaw, from the laid-back isle of Kauai, sent us a video that will have you smiling. Lucas & Shadow Surf Session. It features Shadow, a Jack Russell Terrier, and his human bruddah, Lucas Angulo, a surfer-grom from
Hanalei, Kauai, catching some tiny waves at Retros in
Emily Dickinson has a poem, By the Sea which begins:
"I started early, took my dog, And visited the sea; The mermaids in the basement Came out to look at me."
Freud wrote: "Where ever I go, a poet has been there first." Who would have guessed it was the Maid of Amherst who also wrote?
I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.