05 October 2009

In the interests of science

It was a damp, cold morning in Hounslow and the clocks were striking eight when I presented myself at the UK Biobank offices ready to sign away my body medical records to science

Staircase to hell by Jano De Cesare

'Yes', said the bored security guard, 'they are expecting you' surreptitiously pressing a button under the counter.

I was the first to arrive and foolishly early, but the white-coated, young, pleasant but strangely unreal staff were unruffled, and before long I was meekly seated at a computer console answering intrusive personal questions about my medical history. Behind me a middle-aged woman was being mysteriously reassured, as to my left a sinister-looking young asian sat down at a console and pretended to be answering his own survey... while all the time keeping an close eye on me.
A door swung closed with a click. A window blind fell. Above me I could see an ATMOS CCTV camera, red light blinking, pointing directly at me.  It suddenly didn't seem right at all. What was really going on here? Who was watching me? I imagined a large room on an upper floor, a giant monitor, my face filling the screen.. before it a huddle of Daleks angrily commanding some hapless human, "YES! .. THAT ONE... THE BALD ONE WHO HAD THE TONSILLECTOMY IN 1969. BRING. HIM. TO. US! HE MUST. BE. EXTERMINATED!'

"Mr Botogol?", I leapt out of my chair,

"Please come this way, Alibert... would you like a biscuit?".   At least, I figured, at least I'd die with a chocolate hobnob in my mouth..


M4GD said...

Hello GI...here is an episode of the return of the long comment:-)

- Is it another ‘Brain in a Vat’ phenomenon that the day you gave your medical records was the same day the Nobel Prize for Medical Achievement was announced and given to three doctors for their work on chromosomes???? Uncanny:-)
- Sorkin’s is interesting. I’m about to delve in “The Match King” by Frank Partnoy, also author of F.I.A.S.C.O. He is a corporate lawyer and former IB at Morgan Stanley. The book is about ‘…the perils of high finance…through the true story of the Jazz Age financier Ivar Kreuger…’
- Dying Outside: a moving post. A reminder that when a personal tragedy strikes it does not mean doom and gloom. There is a reserve of untapped strength within our soul that can carry us through tragedy and allow us to be happy and content in whichever state we are in. Reinventing ourselves and transformation, can be obtained via a continued persistence in adopting a healthy attitude and non-judgmental open perception. It is not easy but it can be done. What is also vital to remember that no one can do this for us. No one can walk our own path and take our life’s blows. We are each on our own separate journey of wonder and discovery. There is truly freedom in carving our own path and learning from our mistakes. We must be mindful to avoid at all costs the pitfalls of our human weakness manifested in the allurement of ‘free rides’ and a ‘foolish sense of entitlement.’ There is no ‘safety net’ in the dollars we have, or the family and friends who surround us. Yes, they are there for love and support and it is lucky if one has such support but at the end of the day if your ‘core self’ does not lift you up to safety no one else can do it for you. I find myself drawn to repeat few lines from a past comment I made on this blog: a reminder of Daniel Gilbert’s book ‘Stumbling on Happiness’ included interesting real anecdotes, research, and studies to support part of what I mentioned above re the answer of the question Can we be happy in the face of adversity and misfortune?
In a nutshell, from my own experience I found out that if a tragedy occurs, it is never the end unless you deem it so! For those who are religious, they can understand this concept through their faith, hope, and charity. And for those who savor everything scientific, they can understand this through the Law of Entropy in Quantum Physics i.e. that we can create order from disorder and it is all about knowing that we have the power to adjust our ‘tolerance threshold’ and re-organize. If we do not we will cease to exist! But wait…sometimes Religion and Science can not give us answers to help us understand. So what are we to do then? I say: Live through it! As the saying goes: ‘The best way out is always through… or if you are walking through hell, keep going…’
I hope I got this clear and it does not come across so convoluted. May be a Poem will help. Here is one I just read in a new Poetry Book by Mary Oliver:
by Mary Oliver
I don’t care for adjectives, yet the world
fills me with them.
And even beyond what I see, I imagine more.

Seeing, for example, with understanding,
or with acceptance and humility and
without understanding,
into the heart of the bristly, locked-in worm
just as it’s becoming what we call the luna,
that green tissue-winged, strange, graceful,
fluttering thing.

Will death allow such transportation of the eye?
Will we see then into the breaking open
of the kernel of corn,
The sprout plunging upward through damp clod
and into the sun?
Well, we will all find out, each of us.
And what would we be, beyond the yardstick,
Beyond supper and dollars,
If we were not filled with such wondering?”

Frustrated Poet said...

Re Marge and Playboy see also http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/tv_and_radio/article6869284.ece

M4GD said...

Even though his latest posting is incomplete, I agree with you Hanson intrigues and gets better and better! I think it was wise to leave this particular discussion open as the topic is hard to define!

Now Mr. Botogol “Computer Wants a new GI Blog Posting!” :-)

M4GD said...

Ookay…so? While we Spring Forward and Fall Backward - Does Fall mean ‘falling asleep’ and not blogging?:-)
Through the static I can hear a signal: The Aliens want a new GI blog!
Oh BTW Hint: If you are planning a cycling trip, it would be wise to avoid Warrensburg, Missouri. Even though it’s been centuries ago, you may get into a trouble or two, if you end up accidently running into a dog again!
Check out why?
“A Man’s Best Friend is his Dog”: The Senator, the Dog, and the Trial
A high profile trial produces an emotional statement about dogs.by Stanley
Coren, Ph.D.


Botogol said...

I am thinking about posting :-)

Anonymous said...

It's OK Botogol...everyone loses their mojo! Come back when you ready - no pressure ;-)