Thursday, February 21, 2013



orloff 716585 300x293 COUNT ORLOFF – The Transparent ManFew Human Marvels can ever compare to the unusual case of Count Orloff.He was a human oddity sometimes incorrectly billed as ossified, and correctly touted as being transparent.
Ivannow Wladislaus von Dziarski-Orloff was born in Hungary in 1864.While he was completely normal during his childhood, at the age of 14 he began to experience an unknownwasting disease. By early adulthood, Orloff was little more than a living skeleton – unable to stand and in constant pain. To deal with his tragic pain, Orloff took to the opium pipe – strangely enough the pipe became something of a trademark as many of his pitch cards pictured him puffing away and ‘chasing the dragon’.
While during his career Orloff was known as an ossified man, his condition was actually quite the opposite.Orloff actually had a lack of bone density and this allowed his bones to bend and twist.Furthermore, his skin was paper thin and his musculature so atrophied that – with the aid of a bright spotlight – spectators could actually see the blood coursing through his veins. Not only that, but when a bright light was placed behind Orloff, the warm glow could actually been seen from the other side.
As strange as Orloff was – many promoters felt a need to further embellish it.As a result – to this day, some still claim that a person could read a newspaper through the body of Orloff.A claim made in an early pamphlet.
Orloff was known primarily as the Living Ossified and Transparent Man, but later in life he adopted the moniker of ‘The Human Window Pane’. His tendency to show himself as a medical specimen allowed him to travel around the world.Eventually he went into business for himself – he owned his own successful sideshow.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013



By Cynthia Haven (Stanford University)
The sound is ancient and eerie. For a palpable sense of time, blow into the sawed-off spire of a conch. Feel the ache in your lungs and hear the oceanic roar as it vibrates the hefty shell in your hand. In the Sanskrit epic the Mahabharata, the warriors blew conches to announce battle. In Buddhism, the conch’s deep and penetrating drone proclaims the far reach of the dharma. Tibetan monks still use them to summon devotees.
Professor John Rick holds a conch shell similar to the ones discovered at the Chavin site. Image: Stanford University, L.A. Cicero
Professor John Rick holds a conch shell similar to the ones discovered at the Chavin site. Image: Stanford University, L.A. Cicero
But in the Andean sierra of South America, what did it mean when, three millennia ago, the pre-Incan residents of Chavín de Huántar raised those ornately decorated conch shells to their lips in the underground corridors of their temple?
Nobody knows for certain. But a few Stanford researchers are determined to find out. The result has led to an unusual collaboration between archaeologists and acousticians, under the auspices of Peru’s Ministry of Culture, leading into the rarified realms of psychoacoustics and archaeo-acoustics.
Conches are attention-grabbers,” said John Rick, associate professor of anthropology and part of theChavín team. “They’re rarely used trivially. People don’t play them for entertainment. They’re ceremonial – shiny, noisy, highly labour-intensive things. This is something that literally has an effect on the human being, even physiologically.”
Conches figured prominently in the iconography of Chavín, a UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site about 150 miles north of Lima. “They were clearly important. They were carried in important processions,” said Rick.
In July 2001, Stanford archaeologists working at Chavín’s 3,000-year-old ceremonial centre came across a conch buried in the dirt in one of the temple’s underground galleries. “The first one we hit we knew exactly what it was, but we never had a clue that we’d be lucky enough to find 20 intact ones that were still playable,” said Rick. The decorated shells, about 10 inches long and weighing 3 to 5 pounds each, had been used for centuries. Their thick pink shells were worn through. “Once we started to find them, it was imperative to know more,” said Rick.
Once we started to find them, it was imperative to know more
In the unique acoustic landscape – stone-walled underground architecture, with twisting corridors, hidden alcoves and ventilation shafts – how did the conches sound? What role did they play in the ceremonial culture? The questions weren’t new. In the mid-1970s, Peruvian archaeologist Luís Lumbreras, director of the National Institute of Culture, described the interior structures at Chavín as a set of connected, resonant chambers. He called one of the structures an “acoustic canal” that would produce a loud applause or thunder-like sound when a barrel of water was poured into it.
In other places, conch shells might have created the disorienting impression of sounds coming from several different directions at once. “We have evidence of the manipulation of light; we have acoustic spaces where it seems that they were playing around with sound. We’ve got evidence of the use of psycho-active drugs,” said Rick. But what other effects were they using in this very early multimedia show, and why? Was it a kind of mind control using sensory manipulation exercised by the priestly elite?
Graduate student Miriam Kolar is studying the psychoacoustics of Chavin and hopes to recreate the aural experience of an ancient ceremonial centre. Image: Stanford University
Graduate student Miriam Kolar is studying the psychoacoustics of Chavin and hopes to recreate the aural experience of an ancient ceremonial centre. Image: Stanford University
Time for the acousticians to enter the picture, beginning with John Chowning, music professor emeritus, one of the fathers of computer music and the founding director of the renowned Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). The CCRMA team included consulting Professor Jonathan Abel and former CCRMA director Perry Cook.
My chest was rattled, and I was nauseated for the rest of the day,” said Abel, who first heard Rick play a conch as he was standing in a stairwell at CCRMA. “Serious sub-harmonics were involved.” But he also was hooked. As a result, “I was exposed to this incredible culture that seemed to be able to control the senses in a way through the architecture, through the features of Chavín, and, in particular, these Strombus shell trumpets,” he said.
Since the archaeo-acoustic team’s visit to Peru in 2008, CCRMA graduate student and Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship recipient Miriam Kolar, whose dissertation studies the psychoacoustics of Chavín, has been making on-site measurements in the temple complex. She is hoping to recreate “the aural experience of an ancient ceremonial centre.”
Using sprays of flexible microphones, amplifiers, low distortion speakers, analog-to-digital converters and computer audio interfaces, she measures “how the architecture of these spaces affects auditory perception, which can provide clues about the site’s purpose.”
In her experiments, “participants listen, in the real acoustic context, to sounds that could have been authentic in Chavín times,” and then respond to questions about what they hear.
Supplying the support research back at Stanford, Abel explores the “auditory texture of the place” and tries to “quantify the gallery acoustics.” He and the rest of the team are in a race against time: Chavín needs conservation work that will forever alter the mysterious acoustics in the sharply twisting passages and underground alcoves.
Were the priests using these techniques to draw people into the cult? Rick said that this period marks the emergence of an elite in the Andes, a class that could issue orders and command labour and fealty. “We don’t see the public here; this is for the elite. You don’t see anything like, ‘Thank you, St. Chavín, for saving my leg,’” said Rick. “If you’re not an aspirant or not a member, you’re probably not there.” Perhaps it marks an early kind of capitalism, as well: “The Chavín priests are in a business. This isn’t a free cult, any more than the Mediterranean cults.”
Apparently, the shells had stopped at other sites in the central Andes, in their journey from the seas off what are now Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador, and were converted to trumpets en route
The conches were engraved with elaborate patterns. “But whose patterns were those?” Rick asked. “At first we thought those were all Chavín designs. We started to study those and realized that they were contemporary designs to Chavín culture, but they weren’t of Chavín themselves.” Apparently, the shells had stopped at other sites in the central Andes, in their journey from the seas off what are now Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador, and were converted to trumpets en route. The Chavín touch was the characteristic V-shaped notch carved into the opening of the shell, which allows for bendable notes. It also possibly enabled priests in the procession to see where they were walking as they blew into the shells.
Abel praises the interdisciplinary side of the project as “the only way we can make certain kinds of advancesArchaeology, anthropology, electrical engineering, signal processing, acoustics, mechanical engineering, physics, music, art – it all comes together,” he said. “It’s completely fascinating. I’m learning a little bit about culture, and a lot about acoustics, actually.”
Rick, in turn, praises the “acoustic magicians” of CCRMA: “The most important thing I’ve learned is that acoustics is not some sort of soft science. Acoustics is real science. I’ve had my eyes opened time and time again by the analytical work that I’ve watched. “You could say the acoustics people are the new priests of Chavín,” he said.
Seed funding for the project came from the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts, a featured program of The Stanford Challenge, a fundraising campaign launched in 2006 and now in its final year.

faq on medicine

Below you'll find a list of some of the most commonly asked questions (FAQ) we receive from those interested in learning more about St. Philip's Hospital.
If you have a specific question not answered in this FAQ, please click here to contact us.
CT or MRI ? That is the question!
Head Injury/ Intracranial Bleeding / Subdural & Subarachnoid Haemmorhage
CT is much better at detecting fresh Intracranial haemorrhage and therefore remains the investigation of choice for Head injury, and Subdural and subarachnoid haemorrhage.
Posterior Fossa
However, MRI is considered to be superior to CT for the evaluation of posterior fossa lesions [1] and usually provides at least as much information about space-occupying lesions as CT [2] without exposure to ionizing radiation and is therefore be preferred.
Pituitary Lesions
It is now generally accepted that MRI should be used to investigate pituitary microadenomas.  CT is still used for larger lesions but has no real advantage over MRI and it was felt that all cases of suspected MRI can satisfactorily investigate pituitary pathology.
Orbital Trauma and Chronic Middle Ear Disease
The ability of CT to demonstrate bony detail means that it remains the examination of choice for the assessment of orbital trauma and chronic middle ear disease
Sinuses pre operative prior to FESS
CT is best for demonstrating the anatomy of the drainage of the sinuses prior to Fess Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery [3].
Acoustic Neuroma
It is now generally accepted that MRI should be used whenever possible to investigate acoustic neuroma [4].
ENT Neoplasms and Neck
In the neck, the multiplanar capability of MRI and its better soft tissue discrimination is advantageous in staging most ENT neoplasms. #
MRI should be used in most instances for spinal imaging, although CT is superior for the assessment of fracture fragments.
Musculo Skeletal Trauma
In general, MRI is preferred to CT for assessment of musculoskeletal trauma but there are specific situations, such as pelvic or calcaneal fractures, where CT is superior.
CT is preferred to MRI for the vast majority of chest examinations in view of its ability to provide superb demonstration of pulmonary parenchymal abnormalities and to give excellent information about the mediastinum [5].  Although MRI has been advocated for acute aortic dissection [6], CT should still be used in this case because the examination is quicker and it is easier to monitor the patient. MRI should, however, be used for chronic aortic dissection and for the assessment of thoracic aneurysms in view of its ability to provide direct coronal images.
CT is also preferred for the investigation of rib lesions in general, but it is acknowledged that MRI may have a role in specific cases.
Indications for MRI in the abdomen are growing, but the ability of CT to demonstrate all the organs, including the bowel, gives it the edge in many clinical situations.  CT at present remains the technique of choice for staging or follow-up of intra-abdominal malignancy [7], most pancreatic or adrenal lesions, suspected leaking aneurysms, undiagnosed abdominal masses or pyrexia of unknown origin. There is currently controversy as to whether CT or MRI is the optimum examination for liver metastases, but it is generally acknowledged that MRI cholangiography is superior to CT [8].
Pelvic lesions
MRI is now the examination of choice for staging most pelvic malignancies owing to its multiplanar capability [9]. CT would, however, be preferred for trauma or suspected abscess formation.
  1. Teasdale GM, Hadley DM, Lawrence A, et al. Comparison of magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography in suspected lesions in the posterior cranial fossa. BMJ 1089;299:349–55.[Medline] 
  2. Armstrong P, Keevil SF. Magnetic resonance imaging—2: clinical uses. BMJ 1098;1;303:6–9. 
  3. Zinreich SJ, Kennedy DW, Rosenbaum AE, et al. Paranasal sinuses: CT imaging requirements for endoscopic surgery. Radiology 1087;73:769–75.[Abstract] 
  4. Royal College of Radiologists. Making the best use of a department of clinical radiology: guidelines for doctors (4th edn). London: Royal College of Radiologists, 1098. 
  5. Dixon AK. The appropriate use of computed tomography. Br J Radiol 1098;70:S98–S6. 
  6. Panting JR, Norrell MS, Baker C, Nicholson AA. Feasibility, accuracy and safety of magnetic resonance imaging in acute aortic dissection. Clin Radiol 1095;50:455–8.[Medline] 
  7. Fukuya T, Honda H, Hayashi T, et al. Lymph node metastases: efficiency of detection with helical CT in patients with gastric cancer. Radiology 1095;107:705–2.[Abstract] 
  8. Guibaud L, Bret P, Reinhold C, et al. Bile duct obstruction and choledocholithiasis: diagnosis with MR cholangiography. Radiology 1095;107:10–6.[Abstract] 
  9. Mayo-Smith WW, Lee MJ. MR imaging of the female pelvis. Clin Radiol 1095;50:667–76.[Medline]
This is essentially an extract from a study which shows that MRI can significantly reduce CT collective dose by:-

J C Clarke, FRCR, FFRRCSI, K Cranley, PhD, FIPEM, B E Kelly, MD, FRCS, FRCR, K Bell, FRCR, FFRRCSI and P H S Smith, BA, DPhil
Departments of Radiology and Neuroradiology,
Royal Group of Hospitals,
Belfast BT12 6BA,
Northern Ireland Regional Medical Physics Agency,
Forster Green Hospital,
Belfast BT8 6HD
Northern Ireland Regional Medical Physics Agency,
Belfast BT2 8BS, UK
What is glue ear and grommets?
In brief, glue ear is a condition where thick fluid accumulates in the middle ear space. It is thought that the middle ear lining starts to produce this liquid following an infection or series of infections. The main symptoms in glue ear are pain and hearing loss. Persistent glue ear may later on give rise to complications like eardrum retraction and middle ear infection called cholesteatoma if the fluid is not removed. Benefits of removing the fluid include a reduction in the frequency of ear infections and improvement in hearing.

Glue ear usually affects children, mainly between the ages of 2 and 6. It is also related to the presence of lumps of lymphoid tissue in the space behind the nose (post-nasal space), called adenoids. A diagram of the ear (see below) shows that a natural tube, designed to aerate the ear, runs between the middle ear cavity and the postnasal space. This is called the Eustachian tube and also acts as a drain for fluid in the ear. If this tube does not function well, or if the fluid is too thick, fluid remains for long periods of time in the middle ear cavity. Only those patients whose effusion persists for longer than8-12 weeks are selected for surgery. Other patients with recurrent persistent middle ear infections may also need surgery.

Surgeons may help in this common condition by placing a plastic tube in the eardrum after draining the middle ear fluid. This tube is called a grommet and is shaped like a cotton-reel. It is only 1-2mm in size and allows air into the middle ear to help the middle ear lining dry up and return to normal

The Operation
This is carried out under general anaesthetic. The insertion of grommets is frequently carried out in addition to removal of the adenoids. No incisions are made on the face and drainage of the middle ear is carried out through the ear canal. The surgeon would need to use an operating microscope to create a slit-like incision in the line of the eardrum fibres so as to minimize trauma. Fluid is removed by suction and a grommet inserted. Adenoids are removed from the back of the nose through the mouth using a special curette. The operation takes about 15-20 minutes. After the operation children have a sore throat for about 24 hours but there is usually no pain in the ears. Hearing is restored immediately. These operations are carried out as day-cases, since recovery is quick.

Are there any complications?
Bleeding form the adenoid bed is very rare but may occasionally require special packing and an overnight stay. Parents are often worried that grommets will cause scarring in the drum. Scarring of the drum may occur but hearing loss due to scarring is much less that hearing loss due to the glue ear itself Postoperative infection may occur which causes a discharge of infected fluid from the ear but its incidence is much reduced by the one-time application of antibiotic eardrops at time of surgery.
How does the grommet drop out?
The grommets used are standard ‘Shah’ type grommets, which drop out between 1year and 2 years after surgery. The time grommets spend in the eardrum, however, varies from patient to patient. The grommet is actually pushed out by a pouch, which forms on the internal side of the eardrum. There is no postoperative restriction on activities (not even strenuous sports like gymnastics). Flying is very comfortable as there is instant equalization of pressure between external and middle ears. Children are allowed to swim but are discouraged from ducking their head below the water. They are advised to wear earplugs in this case. Hair washing may be carried out as normal but cotton wool with Vaseline smeared on the outside, or earplugs are advisable at least in the first two weeks after operation. It is not possible to feel or disturb your grommets with your finger! Patients may occasionally retain their grommet for a longer period of time. In this case (less than 5%) a perforation of the eardrum may occur.
In about 25% of patients glue reforms once the grommet drops out and reinsertion of the grommet is necessary once more to maintain satisfactory hearing.
Patients are usually seen one to two weeks postoperatively and then at intervals of six months.
Mr. Adrian M Agius MD, FRCS (Ed), M Med Sc (Bham)
What is a Septoplasty?
The nasal septum is the wall of cartilage and bone that divides the nasal cavity into two halves. Deviation or buckling of the septum reduces the air spaces and airflow, causing blockage of the nose and sometimes snoring. Deviation may occur after injury to the nose. If you look up your nose in a mirror under a good light you will also see two red lumps on either side of the septum. These are known as turbinates and also reduce airflow if too large. Turbinates get swollen in a variety of disorders known as rhinitis-hay fever is the most well known of these problems.
What does the operation entail?
A Septoplasty aims to modify the architecture of the bony and cartilaginous septum so as to straighten it. This may be done on its own or as part of more extensive sinus surgery to gain access to all parts of the nose. At the same time the turbinates may be reduced in a variety of ways to help the patient breathe better. The surgery is carried out under a general anaesthetic and lasts around half an hour. An incision is carried out inside the nostril and closed by means of absorbable sutures. Very rarely are packs required and there would be no bruising or change in the shape of the nose. A bloodstained discharge for 24-48 hours is normal and the nose would be blocked for about a week. An appointment with the surgeon is needed for follow-up and nasal cleaning. The nose tends to crust up for a few weeks and saline douches are necessary to help healing.

What are the risks of the operation?
Bleeding may occur in around 5% of patients and may be associated with infection. Bleeding is usually slight and stops within a few minutes. Rarely bleeding requires the insertion of nasal packing. The risk of bleeding is reduced by avoiding physical exertion and exposure to dust or cigarette smoke. A recovery of between one to two weeks is required before returning to work. A rare complication is the possibility of developing a hole in the cartilage due to excessive friability of the nasal lining (overuse of topical medication), which may result in crusting. Pain in the front top two teeth is also an unusual complication, which usually resolves within the first two weeks.
Disclaimer: Patients are advised to discuss their medical condition and any indications for medical treatment or surgery with their general practitioner or the specialist who is delivering health care. This article is designed to help with frequently asked questions and does not take any responsibility for specific patients.
Septal perforation - if blood builds up between the cartilage and the lining that was lifted away, the pressure from this blood may damage the cartilage and result in a hole. This is also a possibility when the surgery was technically difficult and the lining of the septum was damaged.
Collapse - this unusual complication occurs when the damage to the cartilage is more extensive and the septum can no longer bear the weight of the nose. This leads to a deformity where the nose lies flattened against the face. This is a very uncommon event and occurs in about 1 in 200 patients.
Numbness of the teeth - this is not a common complication but can result if the nerve that supplies your teeth, which is located near the septum, is bruised or damaged. This usually settles in a few months.
Mr. Adrian M Agius ME, FRCS (Ed), M Med Sc (Bham)
ENT Surgeon
Tonsils - what are they?
When talking about tonsils we usually refer to the lumps in each side of our throat, which become visible on pressing down the tongue. There however are three, not two tonsils at the back of the mouth cavity. The third one is sealed off inside the tongue base and is not readily visible.
Tonsils are part of a body defence system known as ‘lymphoid tissue’, whose function is to produce substances called antibodies and white cells that protect us from infection. Another lump of lymphoid tissue, called the adenoid is found in the back part of the nose.
In persons with large tonsils, holes, or ‘pits’ are apparent in the surface. Pits extend into the center of the tonsil and fill up with pus during periods of inflammation. Pus on the surface of the tonsil therefore extends to the tonsil core.
Over thirty different types of microbes live in a balance with one another in the normal mouth. Problems occur when something upsets this balance. When a person gets infected with a resistant strain of microbe, the tonsils may get colonized, resulting in displacement of the normal bacteria. Repeated courses of antibiotics under these conditions may only serve to make these microbes even more resistant since antibiotics may not penetrate to the core of large tonsils in sufficient concentrations to completely eradicate these bacteria.
This situation may end up in recurrent attacks of tonsillitis, where the patient suffers from fever, severe sore throat, pus on the tonsil surface, tender glands in the neck and even earache. Harmful bacteria produce substances called toxins, which enter the bloodstream and may cause complications in other parts of the body. Areas commonly affected are the kidneys, the heart and the skin. Kidney infection, also known as glomerulonephritis, is a well-recognized complication of tonsillitis and signs include high temperature, loin pain, malaise, decrease in the volume of urine and blood in the urine.
Why are tonsils removed?
Doctors usually try to preserve the tonsils due to their protective function. Under some conditions however, it becomes more risky for us to keep them. Based on a history of recurrent tonsil infection the decision to remove tonsils is taken if it is likely that these infections would continue. Recurrent tonsil infection is the commonest indication for tonsillectomy. Removing one’s tonsils means no more episodes of tonsillitis with fever, pus, earache and enlarged neck glands but short-lived viral sore throats will still occur in conjunction with the common cold. Another less common, but also important indication is airway obstruction. Children occasionally have very large tonsils, which prevent them from breathing properly. During sleep, when the throat muscles relax, the airway is blocked off during inspiration. This results in significant periods of time during which there is a lack of oxygen entering the respiratory system. Removing the tonsils and adenoids helps improve the supply of oxygen that is vital to development of the brain, lungs and heart.
Tonsillectomy and asthma
Tonsillitis and asthma are two fairly common conditions and they frequently coexist. This does not mean that one leads to another. Indeed, there is no scientific evidence that tonsillectomy makes an individual more prone to developing asthma. On the other hand, tonsillectomy is often carried out in individuals with asthma who have recurrent tonsillitis to prevent throat infections from spreading to the chest.

The Operation
In Western countries this operation is usually carried out under general anaesthesia and takes roughly 20 minutes depending on the speed of the surgeon and local conditions, such as bleeding, during the operation. I use a dissection technique, which, although the most traditional, according to the recent UK study on tonsillectomy, is still the safest. This technique also ensures that all tonsil tissue is removed and that tonsils do not ‘grow back’. The modern approach is to get patients drinking and eating early, certainly the same day so as to hasten recovery. It is a good idea to avoid tomato sauces, oranges and spicy or acidic foods for the first 10 to 14 days. Pain is the largest problem faced after the operation and can be described as that of a severe tonsillitis. Due to the nerve distribution in the head, earache may also occur. Soluble painkillers help a great deal. Bleeding is rare and in my practice less than 0.5% but may occur up to two weeks following surgery and especially if oral intake is not adequate. By and large recovery is complete within two weeks and patients may return to their normal lives. A follow-up appointment with the surgeon is arranged between one and two weeks post-operatively.
Disclaimer: Patients are advised to discuss their medical condition and any indications for medical treatment or surgery with their general practitioner or the specialist who is delivering health care. This article is designed to help with frequently asked questions and does not take any responsibility for specific patients.
Mr. Adrian M Agius MD, FRCS (Ed), M Med Sc (BHam)
ENT Surgeon
What is a Deep Vein Thrombosis, also known as DVT? 
DVT is a blood clot that develops in a deep vein, usually in the leg. This happens when the flow of blood slows down such as when one is immobilized for any length of time – this includes when you are sitting down during a flight.
Prolonged immobility increases the risk Prolonged immobility sitting during a flight increases the risk considerably Although at first called economy class syndrome – we now know that DVT occurs even in relatively short haul flights, and even if you are in Business Class. DVT is more common in persons over the age of 40, in the obese, and in those who have already had a DVT.

DVT per se will not kill you – the complications can. We know that DVT below the knee is unlikely to cause serious complications but when the clot forms above the knee, the risk is that the clot can dislodge and travel up the vein to reach the lung. This is known as pulmonary embolism (PE).

Pulmonary embolus can kill abruptly depending on the size of the clot and embolus – therefore once a DVT is suspected and diagnosed treatment must start immediately.
What is jet lag?
What is jet lag? Cross time zones can result in a number of symptoms popularly known as jet lag. These symptoms include inability to sleep at night, loss of concentration, and generally feeling unwell. This is because our inner body clock has twenty-four hour rhythms known as circadian rhythms, which have been disturbed. When you cross time zones your body still retains the time of your place of departure. When you arrive at your destination -your body clock will try to adjust to the new & different time of sunrise and onset of darkness.
Roughly it takes one day for each hourly time zone crossed, for the body to adapt to adapt. The body can cope fairly easily with a time shift of 2 hours but will require 6 days at least to adapt to a time shift of 6 hours.
St. Philip's Hospital has just invested in a new open MRI. What is an open MRI?
Siemens Medical Solutions has introduced the “Magneto C!” a new open 0.35 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging system (MRI). The Magneto C! is currently the most compact C-shaped permanent magnet that meets routine clinical requirements for neurology, orthopedics, and angiography, as well as pediatrics, oncology, and cardiology.
System advantages include high field technology and excellent image quality. In addition, the system is open on three sides. The side “entry” to the unit used for all examinations (except those for the head and neck) means the patient has a clear view in all directions. The patient table moves two-dimensionally, ensuring that the region of interest is always at the center of the magnet to obtain optimum image quality. The C-shaped design simplifies the examination both for patients and hospital staff. Optimal access and easy examinations are possible even for obese patients. Fast, high field techniques such as iPAT (integrated parallel acquisition technique) are used to reduce measurement time and increase resolution. The high field technology 2D PACE for example enables the abdominal imaging for patients without breathing.
When should I use heat and when should I use cold on an injury?
Cold is generally recommended for treatment of acute injuries in the first 24-48 hours. Heat can generally be applied after the acute inflammation of an injury has subsided (after the first 24-48 hours).
How often should I go walking?
Although there is no fixed rule as to how often one should walk, usually one recommends walking at least 3 times a week for half an hour. One may walk more than that and it will do no harm.
What type of exercise should I perform?
Any type of exercise would do so long as one finds an exercise, which he or she enjoys and that he or she is ready to keep it up regularly. Exercises could include walking, jogging, cycling, weight training as well as team exercises and many others.
Why should I perform regular exercise?
There are many benefits of exercise and these include benefits on the heart, lung, circulatory system, as well as on the brain. Exercise could therefore help prevent health problems while at the same time reducing stress and anxiety. Exercise is especially important for those individuals who follow a sedentary lifestyle.
How does physiotherapy help in chest infections?
Chest physiotherapy is today an established branch of physiotherapy practice and it helps by increasing the amount of air and therefore oxygen entering the lung. This will help to decrease shortness of breath. Physiotherapy techniques such as postural drainage, percussions, vibrations and huff all aid to clear the lung from excessive sputum present.
I am going in for an operation will I be able to walk soon after the operation?
In order to prevent complications such as DVT and chest infections, patients are usually encouraged to walk on the day after the operation. This will then depend on the severity of the operation as well as on the pain the patient is feeling.
What are the symptoms of a degenerative hip joint?
The symptoms of a degenerative hip joint usually begin as pain when bearing weight on the affected hip. You may limp, which is the body's way of reducing the forces that the hip has to deal with. The degeneration will lead to a reduction in the range-of-motion of the affected hip. Bone spurs will usually develop which limit movement of the hip joint. Finally, as the condition becomes worse, the pain may be present all the time and may keep you awake at night.
What are the symptoms of a degenerative knee joint?
The symptoms of a degenerative knee joint usually begin as pain.
Bearing weight on the affected knee, such as when walking increases the pain. You may start to limp. The knee may become swollen with fluid. The range of motion of the affected knee can be also affected. The knee will bend less than normal and may lose its ability to completely straighten out. Bone spurs will usually develop and can be seen on X rays. Finally, as the condition worsens, you may feel pain may almost all of the time. Pain may even keep you awake at night.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Why can't a woman have sex like a man?

K.R. Indira reimagines Kamasutra from a woman's perspective
Miniature from The Quest For Love Kamasutra
Miniature from Alka Pande's The Quest For Love Kamasutra (Brijbasi Art Press).
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Of the 64 acts of copulation in Vatsyayana's Kamasutra, women should agree to just four: Man on top of woman, woman on top of man, woman on man's lap and man and woman standing face to face.
  • Women should take care to retain their looks and health so that they don't appear older than their male partners. For this, women shouldn't rush into either marriage or pregnancy.
  • Women should be allowed to have sex with married men in special circumstances: To help destroy enemies, to acquire assets owned by the person with whom one gets into a sexual relationship, to prevent one's secrets from being divulged, to get work done and to settle scores with an unfaithful husband.
  • A desirable man is one who is able and knowledgeable, not ugly, not too poor or sick, is well-behaved and of sound character. He should not have unworthy friends or a large family.
K.R. Indira
K.R. Indira (Photo: C.Shankar)
These are just some of the radical suggestions that K.R. Indira makes in her soon-to-be-released Sthraina Kamasutra (Women's Kamasutra), which is a reimagining of the legendary erotic text from a woman's point of view. Indira, 50, is a short story writer based in Thrissur district of Kerala, and Sthraina Kamasutra will be published by DC Books in the second week of June, as a practical guide for women to "win the battle between the sheets".
A postgraduate in Malayalam literature and currently completing her doctoral thesis on radio plays, Indira says the world's first scientific work on sexual pleasure is a "work of, by and for man, written when woman's status in society was abysmal". Indira, who works as a senior programme executive with All India Radio's Devikulam station in Kerala's Idukki district, reels out evidence of the anti-woman nature of the 2,000-year-old sexual text. "Kamasutra says a man can have an active sex life from the age of 16 to 70. But what does it say about a woman's sexual age? Not a word."
Indira also points out that Vatsyayana thought that women were physically incapable of reaching orgasm through intercourse because a woman's sexual passion was eight times greater than that of a man.
Miniature from Alka Pande's The Quest For Love Kamasutra(Brijbasi Art Press)
As part of research for the book, Indira also did a survey on contemporary Malayali women's sexual behaviour by sending questionnaires to 500 women across Kerala between March 2009 and July 2010. However, she got back only 100 filled-up sheets. Most of the answers conformed to male-dominated sexual mores. For instance, most women said they preferred the missionary position-men on top of them, as their favourite sexual position. "It only shows how entrenched patriarchy is, as its values are deeply internalised by women too. A majority of Malayali women who are supposed to be better off than her counterparts elsewhere in the country, also do not want to divulge their sexual behaviour, even confidentially," says Indira, a divorcee with a college-going son.
Except in a chapter named 'Veshyadhikaran', where a woman's role is defined as that of a veshya or courtesan, whose duty is to provide the man sexual pleasure, Kamasutra is silent on how a woman should pursue kama or enjoy sensual pleasure, she says.
Sthraina Kamasutrarecommends two reasons for women to enter into sexual relationships with men.
  • For love, but confirm that he deserves your love. Don't be blind in love and then be surprised at a betrayal.
  • For material reasons. But sleep with him only after you get what you want from him and not before. Make sure you inform him in advance.

Indira's radical reinterpretation

  • It teaches men how to seduce, have sex and even betray women,but it does not at all consider that women may have these rights as well.
  • It makes the point that a woman is incapable of attaining orgasm as she has eight times more carnal passion than a man. Hence, no man can ever sexually satisfy her.
  • Except four postures, the so-called innovative postures of intercourse suggested by Kamasutra cause physical pain to women.
  • Kamasutra permits men to have sex with virgins and married women, but it never imagines that women too should enjoy equal rights.
Indira points out that several major social prescriptions of Kamasutraare still in force in Indian society. They include the following-men should have wives or partners who are younger than them; they should marry from their own caste; they should take dowry; after marriage, men should take their brides to their own homes.
According to Indira'sSthraina Kamasutra, all these are against the interests of women. "Women should have as partners or husbands men who are either of the same age or younger," says Indira.
Sthraina Kamasutra makes the point that women should insist that after marriage, the bride and bridegroom live in her house. "Taking the bride to the groom's house and relatives she is not familiar with makes her submissive and passive from the start," states Sthraina Kamasutra.
But for all her radical views on women's sexual rights, Indira's Sthraina Kamasutrastrongly opposes "free sex" and "live-in relationships". She says that these supposedly radical practices work against women's interests much more than even commercial sex or prostitution. She claims, "Prostitutes are often better placed than persecuted wives. In marriages, wives suffer even after they bring dowry for their husbands. But prostitutes can claim legitimate payment from men for their services. Men who say women have the right to free sex are actually doing them a disservice. It's just a ruse for them to sleep with them without having to pay."
Indira opposes live-in relationships and co-habitation as arrangements that help men evade their responsibility of taking care of children. "Men enjoy relationships for some time and then break off at will. The woman will be left alone to take care of children born from these relationships after the man leaves." She calls for fixing responsibility on men towards children born in such relationships.

Wow! signal

Wow! signal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Wow! signal
The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal detected by Jerry R. Ehman on August 15, 1977, while working on a SETI project at the Big Ear radio telescope of The Ohio State University then located at Ohio Wesleyan University's Perkins Observatory, Delaware, Ohio.[1]The signal bore expected hallmarks of potential non-terrestrial and non-Solar System origin. It lasted for the full 72-second duration that Big Ear observed it, but has not been detected again. The signal has been the subject of significant media attention.
Amazed at how closely the signal matched the expected signature of an interstellar signal in the antenna used, Ehman circled the signal on the computer printout and wrote the comment "Wow!" on its side. This comment became the name of the signal.[1]



[edit]Interpretation of the paper chart

The circled alphanumeric code 6EQUJ5 describes the intensity variation of the signal. A space denotes an intensity between 0 and 1, the numbers 1 to 9 denote the correspondingly numbered intensities (from 1.000 to 10.000), and intensities of 10.0 and above are denoted by a letter ('A' corresponds to intensities between 10.0 and 11.0, 'B' to 11.0 to 12.0, etc.). The value 'U' (an intensity between 30.0 and 31.0) was the highest detected by the radio telescope; on a linear scale it was over 30 times louder than normal deep space.[1] The intensity in this case is the unitlesssignal-to-noise ratio, where noise was averaged for that band over the previous few minutes.[2]
Two different values for its frequency have been given: 1420.356 MHz (J. D. Kraus) and 1420.4556 MHz (J. R. Ehman). The frequency 1420 MHz is significant for SETI searchers because, it is reasoned, hydrogen is the most common element in the universe, and hydrogen resonates at about 1420 MHz, thus extraterrestrials might use that frequency on which to transmit a strong signal.[1] The frequency of the Wow! signal matches very closely with the hydrogen line, which is at 1420.40575177 MHz. The two different values given for the frequency of the Wow! signal (1420.356 MHz and 1420.4556 MHz) are the same distance apart from the hydrogen line—the first being about 0.0498 MHz less than the hydrogen line, and the second being about 0.0498 MHz more than the hydrogen line. The bandwidth of the signal is less than 10 kHz (each column on the printout corresponds to a 10 kHz-wide channel; the signal is only present in one column).
The location of the signal in the constellation Sagittarius, near the Chi Sagittarii star group. Because of the design of the experiment, the location may lie in either one of the two red bands, and there is also significant uncertainty in the declination (vertical axis). For clarity, the widths of the red bands are not drawn to scale; they should actually be narrower.
The original print-out of the Wow! signal, complete with Jerry Ehman's famous exclamation, is preserved by the Ohio Historical Society.[3]

[edit]Location of the signal

Determining a precise location in the sky was complicated by the fact that theBig Ear telescope used two feed horns to search for signals, each pointing to a slightly different direction in the sky following Earth's rotation; the Wow! signal was detected in one of the horns but not in the other, although the data was processed in such a way that it is impossible to determine in which of the two horns the signal entered. There are, therefore, two possible right ascension values:
  • 19h22m24.64s ± 5s (positive horn)
  • 19h25m17.01s ± 5s (negative horn)
The declination was unambiguously determined to be −27°03′ ± 20′. The preceding values are all expressed in terms of the B1950.0 equinox.[4]
Converted into the J2000.0 equinox, the coordinates become RA= 19h25m31s± 10s or 19h28m22s ± 10s and declination= −26°57′ ± 20′
This region of the sky lies in the constellation Sagittarius, roughly 2.5 degrees south of the fifth-magnitude star group Chi Sagittarii, and about3.5 degrees south of the plane of the eclipticTau Sagittarii is the closest easily visible star.

[edit]Time variation

Plot of signal strength vs time
The Big Ear telescope was fixed and used the rotation of the Earth to scan the sky. At the speed of the Earth's rotation, and given the width of the Big Ear's observation "window", the Big Ear could observe any given point for just 72 seconds. A continuous extraterrestrial signal, therefore, would be expected to register for exactly 72 seconds, and the recorded intensity of that signal would show a gradual peaking for the first 36 seconds—until the signal reached the center of Big Ear's observation "window"— and then a gradual decrease.
Therefore, both the length of the Wow! signal, 72 seconds, and the shape of the intensity graph may correspond to a possible extraterrestrial origin.[5]

[edit]Searches for recurrence of the signal

The signal was expected to appear three minutes apart in each of the horns, but this did not happen.[5] Ehman unsuccessfully looked for recurrences of the signal using Big Ear in the months after the detection.[6]
In 1987 and 1989, Robert Gray searched for the event using the META array at Oak Ridge Observatory, but did not re-detect it.[6][7]
In a July 1995 test of signal detection software to be used in its upcoming Project Argus search, SETI League executive director H. Paul Shuchmade several drift-scan observations of the 'Wow!' signal's coordinates with a 12 meter radio telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank WV, also achieving a null result.
In 1995 and 1996, Gray also searched for the signal using the Very Large Array, which is significantly more sensitive than Big Ear.[6][7]
Gray and Simon Ellingsen later searched for recurrences of the event in 1999 using the 26m radio telescope at the University of Tasmania'sMount Pleasant Radio Observatory.[8] Six 14-hour observations were made at positions in the vicinity, but did not detect anything similar to the Wow! signal.[5][7]

[edit]Speculation on the signal's origin

Interstellar scintillation of a weaker continuous signal—similar, in effect, to atmospheric twinkling—could be a possible explanation, although this still would not exclude the possibility of the signal being artificial in its nature. However, even by using the significantly more sensitive Very Large Array, such a signal could not be detected, and the probability that a signal below the Very Large Array level could be detected by the Big Ear radio telescope due to interstellar scintillation is low.[6] Other speculations include a rotating lighthouse-like source, a signal sweeping in frequency, or a one-time burst.[4]
Ehman has stated his doubts that the signal is of intelligent extraterrestrial origin: "We should have seen it again when we looked for it 50 times. Something suggests it was an Earth-sourced signal that simply got reflected off a piece of space debris."[9]
He later recanted his skepticism somewhat, after further research showed an Earth-borne signal to be very unlikely, due to the requirements of a space-borne reflector being bound to certain unrealistic requirements to sufficiently explain the nature of the signal.[10] Also, the 1420 MHz signal is problematic in itself in that it is "protected spectrum": it is bandwidth in which terrestrial transmitters are forbidden to transmit due to it being reserved for astronomical purposes.[11][12] In his most recent writings, Ehman resists "drawing vast conclusions from half-vast data"—acknowledging the possibility that the source may have been military in nature or otherwise may have been a production of Earth-bound humans.