Welcome again to my roundup of those things that stood out as educational, uplifting, inspiring, and downright funny in my journeying through the ethernet.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, or you’ll simply move on unimpressed.  Take your pick.

    This week I share the curse of a child’s imagination, the psychology of our politics, sacrifice, sorrow, and other such spiritual gifts, two medical specialties that are all in your head, alien hands, killer pandas and Raven-puffs, to name just some of the bounteous fruits I have gathered tirelessly and selflessly especially for you, the reader. 

So without further adieu, I present the absolute best I could find-

Regarding the Mind-

At the Eide Neurolearning Blog, Mr. and Mrs. Doctor Eide share a fascinating study on the power of the imagination in children, showing they have the same measurable skin nerve response to pain they observe inflicted into a fake set of arms as they do when inflicted in their own.

The Situationistshares some excerpts from a sobering essay by Bill Bishop which describes research into the cause and function of extremism in groups of likeminded individuals, underscoring exactly why diversity of opinions and freedom of speech are critical elements of fighting extremism in our society today.

Is there an election coming up or something? (jk) All the psychology posts these days are fixated on the psychology of politics.  My personal disgust with the rancor and belligerence generally on display with either side keeps me away from the subject generally. 

     So I brightened up when Jonah Lehrer at Frontal Cortex wrote an enlightening post on why people tend to retreat into absolute ideologies in times of uncertainty, helping me move beyond anger and frustration to understanding.  Aaahh, that’s much better.

Regarding the Soul-

At Our Evolution, a blog by Alexander Zolkai, an ascriber to the Baha’i faith, comes a wonderful look at the original meaning of the word sacrifice, with some great thoughts about why it is so important to the well being of us all.

At Life on Gold Plates, Blair Hodges shares some profound thoughts on the meaning and purpose of sorrow and the critical role it plays in both the life of Jesus Christ and in the great plan of happiness for us all.

At Blog Segullah, Jennie shares a moving and intensely personal spiritual experience in which she heals old wounds inflicted by the sins of her father and strengthens her faith in the Mormon doctrine that there is hope for learning, rebirth, change and forgiveness that extends even beyond this mortal existence.

Regarding the Body-

At Medgadget, Stephen announces that scientists have discovered adult stem cells in the skin, happy news as just last week they reported a stem cell source that causes me unspeakable pain just thinking about it.

At BrainBlogger, Jared Tanner, MS describes the ever fascinating alien hand syndrome, where the brain no longer recognizes an arm as its own, and the limb takes on a seeming mind of its own. 

At Neurophilosophy, Mo shares the strange and fascinating story of Eddie Adcock, bluegrass musician, who aided neurosurgeons in restoring his musical gifts during brain surgery by playing the banjo as they manipulated his brain.

or All the Above-

Pediatric Critical Care Doc, Christopher Johnson, MD, shares deep insight into the power of a name, as he ponders a powerful tradition held in common with physicians, shamans, and occultists alike. 

At Suture for a Living, the good doctor shares an article from Richard Leo Enos of Texas Christian University that ponders what we can learn from the seemingly unbalanced and obsessive habits of those who are successful, providing a surgeon’s counterpoint to my thoughts on how our obsession with perfection can have some very unhealthy consequences

At Short White Coat, Ishani Ganguli compares and contrasts the two specialties that treat the brain, the body’s most important and fascinating organ, She examines her rotational experience in depth in both Psychiatry and Neurology.   In a post after my own heart, she discusses the age old conflict of mind vs. brain.  In the end, she notes, “it’s all in your head” in either case. 

In the New York Times, Dr. Pauline Chen writes an insightful piece on the difficulty we doctors occasionally have talking straight with bad news for patients as she describes in detail the dance before the diagnosis.

and just because I Liked it-

At The Sterile Eye, Oystein has a magnificent story about two conflicing forces in the surgeon, their need for a sense of control of the OR, and their legendary ego, as he tames the former by using the camera to seduce by way of the latter.

Zooillogix has a look at campy distorting comic books of decades past with a reprinting of the story of a plucky New York Lawyer who takes on that most ferocious and exotic of wild beasts, the Giant Panda.

Apollo, MD once again applies his keen analytical mind to all things both medical and Harry Potter, as he describes which of the Houses of Hogwarts members of each medical specialty would fall into based upon the character traits valued and typified in each profession.  I fall into my own little hybrid, Raven-puff, and would wear both crests proudly.

And that’s a wrap.  I have some actual, genuine, honest-to-goodness, original material to post that I have been working on ever so slowly while on a busy inpatient service.  Really, I do.  I hope to see you back then.  No worries, I will of course always keep my eye out for the stuff I wish I wrote, but simply lack the time/talent/imagination/inspiration and/or all the above.  Have I ever let you down before?

   Tagged: achievement, alien hand syndrome, Baha'i, banjo, bluegrass, camera, certainty, children, comics, death, diagnosis, diversity, doctoring, drive, Eddie Adcock, ego, extremism, forgiveness, Harry Potter, healing, ideas, ideology, imagination, name, neurosurgery, opinions, pain, Pandas, physicians, politics, prognosis, sacrifice, Science, sins, sorrow, stem cells, success, surgeons   

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