Experimenting With Visual Learning Aids

I have been tinkering with visual learning tools, like mind maps and flow charts, because I find that it is not only more interesting to learn stuff this way, but also, I have better retention of stuff when I learn them like this. Here is an example of what I am talking about. Click on pic to embiggen! Refeeding syndrome is one of the topics … Continue reading Experimenting With Visual Learning Aids

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Aaron Swartz and the Open Access Civil Disobedience

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Aaron Swartz has been formally charged with a set of violations based on his hacking the MIT mainframe in order to get into JSTOR’s archives and downloading a large segment of JSTOR’s published materials with the purpose of distributing them through one or more file sharing sites. Ars Technica has run a blow by blow account of how he managed to do it here. The full document is available here. Here is a snapshot of the overview of the offenses for which he is being charged:

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Aaron Swartz: The Robbing Hood of Open Access?

Let me make it clear at the very outset that I am aware that AS is being indicted for hacking by the federal government on charges of “wire fraud, computer fraud”, etc and not for downloading too many journal articles off JSTOR (4.8 million, to be precise). Here is what the prosecution had to say: In a statement announcing the charges, a United States attorney, … Continue reading Aaron Swartz: The Robbing Hood of Open Access?

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Move Over Penis Captivus, Cello Scrotum and Guitar Nipple, we have TEXTER’S THUMB!

ResearchBlogging.orgThe medical mind has pondered and pondered on the existence of maladies of the body and mind which are real, and sometimes, not so real. While the cynics say that the latter exist only in the realms of medical lore, us medical history nuts always beg to differ. A number of exotic diseases have sprung up in the minds of physicians with particularly fertile imaginations over the years. Starting from Egerton Davis’ wonder-work on Penis Captivus, which captivated the mind of the discerning scientist for ages, to today’s avatar: the Texter’s Thumb.

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Or Blackberry Thumb, as this recent CMAJ paper says (1).

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Harry Potter 7 Part II: The End of An Era in My Life

Ever since 1999, when I landed my hands on the first Potter book, I have been a fan: and today, I caught the whole anthology come to its final conclusion.

It seems like this was not just the end of the most significant bit of literature in the last couple of decades, but also, a large part of my childhood. I know a lot of people will be at my throat for calling such a “frivolous” children’s books a landmark in literature, but the fact remains, they are. They came in an era when children, and adults as well, were turning away from the real life books and taking recourse to a virtual world. With these 7 books, Rowling not only sparked the reading bug in kids, but also reminded a lot of adults of the joy of reading. She inspired more authors to come out with similar, albeit lesser known, yet quite commercially successful books. The Eragon trilogy, the Bartemius trilogy, the Artemis Fowl series, all took wings after Rowling set the ball rolling (which is a clever play of words, thank you very much!).
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