Alright, so I feel like I have to post about a foreign language app you can download, which has an interactive website as well. It’s called Duolingo and I was first introduced to this gem in the iTunes stores. I’ve always had an interest in Spanish so I created an account and decided to give this app a shot. If I had to describe my feelings towards it in a single word, I think I’d keep it simple and go with “excellent”!
- First and most importantly, the app works. Obviously this is the most important aspect of any foreign language software. According to the Duolingo website, they have evidence that 32 hours of their program is equivalent to an entire semester of taking a Spanish class. Although I can’t validate this and it could obviously be statistical propaganda, it definitely is a worthwhile program.
- A major selling point for me and I’m sure many other users is that this application is completely FREE! Even better news is you shouldn’t expect that to change. The website explicitly discusses how it’s currently free and will always be free… forever!
- A third huge selling point for this application is the social aspect. You can invite friends from Facebook and/or Twitter and compete with each other in learning a language. Each lesson you complete gives points based on how well you did. Anyone you’re friends with through the Duolingo program can follow your progress and vice versa. There is even a leaderboard where you can see who amongst you is #1. Who doesn’t love some friendly competition to make things a little more intriguing? One of the hardest parts of learning a foreign language in my opinion is persistence, and the social aspect of this program will make you more determined to keep up the hard work.
I’ve only had this app for 2 days now, but I already am in love with it. Anyone with an interest in learning a foreign language should give it a shot. Honestly, you have no reason not to give it a try. It’s completely free so if you somehow don’t like it, a quick delete and you can act like it never existed. Try it out!
Salmonella Infection. Image: Nathan Johnson, Brooke Kaiser, PNNL
The acronym SOCRATES can be used as a systematic method of assessment to complaints of pain.
Site – Where is the pain located?
Onset – When did it start and how? Gradual, intermittent, rapid, etc.
Character – Describe the pain (stabbing, dull, tight, sore, etc.).
Radiation – Does the pain spread into other areas?
Associated symptoms – Nausea, vomiting, jaundice, etc.
Timing – Does it occur after specific activities or actions?
Exacerbating or relieving factors – What makes it worse? Breathing, moving, sitting, etc.
Surgical history – Previous surgeries or interventions?
Oxford American Handbook of Surgery
Edited by David L. Berger, MD with Greg McLatchie, Neil Borley, & Joanna Chikwe
Oxford University Press, 2009.
Another great medical school parody video to the tune of “Call me Maybe”. Enjoy!
University of Maryland School of Medicine 2015 Freshman Follies (5/21/12)
Here is a good video for any premed or med students if you need some humor in your life!
This video demonstrates proper form for barefoot running, as well as shows the added benefits of it compared to conventional running practices. A statistic that immediately jumps out from the video is that 60 – 85% of runners are injured every year, oftentimes due to improper form while running. Multiple exercises are demonstrated that are intended to correct heel striking, as well as posture when running.
I am a proponent of barefoot running and own a pair of Vibram shoes myself. It is unbelievable how much more of a calf workout you get compared to conventional running shoes. I can tell a drastic different in the strength of my calves since I started barefoot running, and I enjoy running much more too. Although I can’t attest to any long-term benefits yet, this style of running is supposed to help prevent injuries as well (if done correctly!). For anyone who hasn’t given barefoot running a chance, I suggest you give it a try!
An article on Yahoo regarding the most recent strain of bird flu H7N9 has raised some reasons for concerns. The newest strain first arose in China this past March, killing 37 people of the 130 infected. Scientists have declared the death rate to be about 36 percent. Although this is lower than the rate of 70 percent for the H5N1 strain, H7N9 has been shown to spread faster. Since it’s more deadly than swine flu, the cause of a global pandemic in 2009, the risk of a pandemic is very serious.
Although much of the global population focuses on the fatality rate for serious illness, the rate of infection is of paramount importance as well. Although a disease could be 100% fatal, if it doesn’t spread easily, it is more likely to be contained.
Below is a short thought-experiment demonstrating the important of infection rates.
Say that a deadly disease infected 100,000 people who all died as a result. Obviously, there is a casualty rate of 100,000 people. On the other hand, a flu strain that is 36 percent deadly and spreads to 1 million people (10 times more infectious) would leave 360,000 dead in its wake, as well as the 640,000 people requiring medical treatment. The strain that infected 10 times more people, although about 1/3 as fatal, caused massive destruction in comparison to the 100 percent fatal disease. If you total up the costs, the more highly infectious disease is also the most costly.
People should realize that infection rates and fatality rates must be considered in tandem. The risk of a global pandemic is highly dependent on both sets of data. Hopefully, the latest strain of bird flu will be contained as much as possible. However, the risk of a pandemic is always present.
“We have an opportunity before us, not just in medicine but in virtually any endeavor. Even the most expert among us can gain from searching out the patterns of mistakes and failures and putting a few checks in place.”
– From The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande, MD