Print Story The Saggar-Maker's Bottom Knocker
Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Sat May 30, 2009 at 03:49:17 PM EST) Reading, Watching, Me, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "Gallimaufry". Watching: "Drag Me to hell". Me. Eating. Web.


Reading
Finished Gallimaufry: A hodgepodge of our vanishing vocabulary by Michael Quinion (of the excellent World Wide Words website.) Basically just goes through the origins of some of the more interesting obsolete words. It's grouped by section, so you have cookery, medicine, sport etc.

It's best for dipping in to, rather than reading from end to end. I liked it a lot since I'm fascinated by words. Even so, could have done with more digressions. There are some digressions which are fascinating, like the Times editorial on the introduction of the Waltz dance in 1816:

It is quite sufficient to cast one's eyes on the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs, and close compressure of the bodies, in this dance, to see that it is indeed far removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females. So long as this obscene display was confined to prostitutes and adulteresses, we did not think it deserving of notice, but now that it is attempted to be forced on the respectable classes of society by the civil examples of their superiors, we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion.
"Biting arsesmart" and "mild arsesmart" are related herbs named because "if it touch the taile or other bare skinne, it maketh it smart".

Piccadilly in London is named after "piccadil" an elaborately scalloped fringe to a collar. A highly successful tailor who made these had his large house nicknamed "Piccadilly Hall". "Pall Mall" is named after the curious game of "pelemele" which was played there. It was a kind of cross between croquet and golf, where you had to drive foot-wide wooden balls along the street and through a hoop with a mallet: the winner did so with the fewest strokes.

Saggar-maker's bottom knocker: saggar is a fireclay box in a kiln, the bottom of which has to be beaten flat by someone.

Worth a look if you like words.

Watching
Saw Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell at the cinema. Liked it a lot: perfect balance of terror and comedy.

Thought the protagonist Christine Brown was presented well: she seems realistically scared but also toughens up quite nicely.

Museums
Played around at the Bodyspacemotionthings at Tate Modern. Fairly fun, but don't think it means much.

Me
Managed to fall over and painfully smack the side of my body thanks to stupidity and overconfidence. Dropped in at the Charing Cross hospital in Hammersmith (nowhere near Charing Cross) and they reckon my ribs are bruised.

They wouldn't X-ray me for cracks since there's nothing extra they can do to treat it so it's just a dose of radiation for no benefit. Find it annoying that I don't know for certain: suspect in defensive-medicine USia I've have been zapped pretty quickly. Doctor reckons it's probably just bruising, but they can't tell for certain without irradiation.

Looks like I'll have to give up most exercise for a few weeks. Hope I don't balloon too much.

They were going to ultrasound-scan my spleen, but the senior radiologist reversed the decision. Suspect it was slightly related to a big football match for a local team, but it can't have been too essential.

Eating
Ate at RSJ restaurant near Waterloo and Tate Modern. Really excellent. Even though the menu doesn't look exciting, they pride themselves on having the freshest, best ingredients. Their lamb stuffed with black pudding was gorgeous: succulent meat on the inside and almost caramel-crisp on the outside.

Web
Articles. Will Japanese TV make young Americans more cooperative? The Last Psychiatrist on using Ramachandran's Mirror. Creative translator makes Donald Duck a cult in Germany.

Economics. Stumbling and Mumbling: Costs of the "Middle Britain" error. Moyo's attack on aid "confused". Economics of comic universes. Foreign banks not worse in a crisis.

Video. Apprentice remix. Han Solo and Magnum PI. Cheapo cartoon man. 40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes.

Misc. Automatic dice machine. Google suggestions for why are men/women...

Pics. 1940s NYC. Trompe l'oeil murals

< I should do one of these | "Steel vs. Rubber Wheels - Transporation Culture" >
The Saggar-Maker's Bottom Knocker | 33 comments (33 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Just got back from "Drag Me To Hell" by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat May 30, 2009 at 04:13:07 PM EST
As you know I'm a bit of a horror fan - I actually shed tears of joy at one point. It's awesome, it's got everything.

It's very much a return to Raimi's roots as well. If you liked it, give Evil Dead a shot. It's got a bit of a reputation because it was one of the banned video nasties but it's very much a comedy film and not nasty at all (barring one very tasteless scene).

The story of how it was made is just as interesting - Raimi was a teenager and raised his own funding by giving presentations on the film as an investment to local businesses.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

Evil Dead by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #2 Sat May 30, 2009 at 04:19:49 PM EST
Saw "Evil Dead 3" ages ago and loved it... might have seen it at the cinema. Tried watching Evil Dead 1 on DVD lately though and couldn't get into it: maybe just wasn't in the mood.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
It's a bit like that by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #3 Sat May 30, 2009 at 04:21:58 PM EST
Very fast and very silly. I don't think I liked it the first time I saw it.

Haven't seen Evil Dead 3 actually, I'd better order it.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
This is my BOOM stick by hulver (4.00 / 2) #4 Sat May 30, 2009 at 04:59:08 PM EST
I loved Evil dead 3. Not seen it for ages actually.

There are a few different endings to it, but I imagine they're all on the DVD if you get it on that.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
Scans 'n stuff by Herring (4.00 / 2) #5 Sat May 30, 2009 at 05:54:18 PM EST
Words book - I'll take a look. I'm very fond of words (I use them most days). See if it's up to the standard required for a gift for dad (guests in the senior Herring household are often bemused that we cannot get through a family meal without one or more dictionaries being consulted).

With scans, well the first time I went snowboarding, I managed to catch an adge and go down hard on my chest. Winded, but also I had a hand up (the story was I was "saving my fags" (which I kept in a breast pocket). Tasks like breathing or sleeping hurt for the next few weeks so I reckon I may have cracked one or more ribs but I never sought medical attention because I knew there was sod-all they could do.

Anyhow, where I was going with this was that in places where healthcare is consumer driven (USA, France etc.) people will demand/expect scans and the like. In a way, this seems fair enough as "the customer is king". However, if you put any person - even someone apparently completely healthy - through a complete set of scans, you will find Things. Then there will be alarm and there may be biopsies and even exploratory surgery - all for Things that were causing no harm. There is even an acronym for this syndrome - Victims Of Medical Imaging Technology.

I did have a plan for a properly thought out diary thing as an argument against purely consumer-driven healthcare but I never got around to it. BTW - I'm not saying that there is nothing wrong with purely Doctor Driven Healthcare.

Do I win longest and least coherent comment of the day award?

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 1) #7 Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:11:26 PM EST

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[ Parent ]
Scans, defensive medicine by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #8 Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:16:38 PM EST
Well, not X-raying is the rational choice really, as there's not really anything they can do. According to Doctor Google if it's bruising I can't do much physical stuff for about a month, if it's cracking about two months. I'd just like to know which, even if it means a bit of radiation.

The US defensive medicine thing is more about lawsuits than medicine. You're much more likely to get sued for not testing than testing, so US doctors end up doing lots and lots of testing, even if it's not particularly worthwhile.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 1) #9 Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:29:05 PM EST

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[ Parent ]
It's not the same by Herring (4.00 / 1) #12 Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:54:12 PM EST
I think my point was that there are actually negative and harmful aspects to testing - and not just the effects of X rays or having your prince albert torn out by the MRI machine.

If you subject anyone to enough medical tests (and "enough" might not be very many) you will find something wrong. If might not be something that is actually causing any harm, but once it shows up on a scan then the tendency is to do something about it. And doing something about it can cause actual harm.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
Why trust them more or less by Herring (4.00 / 1) #10 Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:48:58 PM EST
than doctors who are working for profit? Hell, if I can get an extra £500 for giving you a colonoscopy, then I might just have to do it.

More seriously though, the focus in the last couple of decades on finance rather than clinical goals can't be good.

Funnily enough, the one and only operation I've had under general anaesthetic was paid for privately. And it turned out to be unecessary. I could've died under the knife for nothing - but the room and the food and the drugs were nice.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by jxg (4.00 / 1) #11 Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:53:16 PM EST

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Patient not being inconvenienced by Herring (4.00 / 1) #13 Sat May 30, 2009 at 07:03:52 PM EST
Patient may be inconvenienced by:
a) Dying
b) Spending days in hospital being probed, prodded and scanned

Lets put these things in technological terms.
Patient: Doctor, I am worried about losing my digital photographs. There are pictures of my kids growing up and they are very precious to me.

There are a few different things the doctor could say in this situation:

  1. By a DVD writer drive and copy stuff to there every week (clinical decision)
  2. Set up a RAID 5 system that's live mirrored to a remote site (private healthcare decision)
  3. Speak to our nurse about how to take more interesting photos (NHS decision)


christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by jxg (4.00 / 1) #14 Sat May 30, 2009 at 07:07:24 PM EST

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To treat people who need it by Herring (4.00 / 3) #15 Sat May 30, 2009 at 07:19:47 PM EST
Which is sometimes different from treating people who want it. Dangerously close to communism, I know.

If you were a doctor and some guy weighing 400lbs came in a said their knees hurt, what would your reaction be? Would an MRI scan help? OK, there's an outside chance that his problems are not caused by being a fat bastard, but it's an outside chance.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by jxg (4.00 / 1) #16 Sat May 30, 2009 at 08:02:21 PM EST

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[ Parent ]
Herring has a good point by bobdole (4.00 / 2) #17 Sat May 30, 2009 at 09:18:40 PM EST
which you seem to miss. A "healthy" patient is an undiagnosed patient. With modern medicine it's more a question of how many scans and tests you have to run before you turn up some medical problem. Getting a diagnose for all these problems will not make you more healthy, but there is a definite chance that it will affect your quality of life in a negative way (by making you aware of diagnoses that cannot or should not be treated).

A pathologist would be better than a radiologist at diagnosing broken bones, but will harm the patient more in the process of doing it; so who would you like to diagnose this?

As to screening and unnecessary scanning, what if the Escargot develops some cardiac problem later in the year and has to have extensive CT-angio or thorax, then this "simple" chest x-ray could be the scan that breaks the camels back...

-- The revolution will not be televised.
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(Comment Deleted) by jxg (2.00 / 0) #24 Sun May 31, 2009 at 06:45:08 PM EST

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[ Parent ]
Just as an anecdote, by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #25 Sun May 31, 2009 at 07:54:49 PM EST
The first two paragraphs of the following article http://www.economist.com/specialreports/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13686480 are one pretty good example of a time when it would have been a good idea to do something other than reach for an imaging request form to solve a problem.

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(Comment Deleted) by jxg (2.00 / 0) #27 Sun May 31, 2009 at 08:42:44 PM EST

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[ Parent ]
That's a good link by Herring (2.00 / 0) #31 Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 06:42:55 PM EST
The problem is, as I see it, when you put "the consumer" in charge, many see "more healthcare" as "better healthcare". This is not the case. Healthcare (side effects, complications etc.) kills or injures a lot of people.

Another poor analogy: if a legacy software system appears to be working OK, leave it the fuck alone otehrwise who knows how much damage you will do.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
Also, by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #32 Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:08:49 PM EST
What is shown up in imaging scans would quite possibly be only loosely correlated with the actual diagnosis. If this is the case, too much effort into imaging (say an MRI following up an X-ray) would lead to displacing the amount to which the "less scientific" information (patient history, presentation, manual examination, etc) would be taken into consideration, despite the fact that they may be as useful in the diagnosis in the end.

[ Parent ]
Quite by Herring (2.00 / 0) #33 Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:21:38 PM EST
I've had my balls ultrasound scanned. This did prove one thing - that I don't enjoy having my balls ultrasound scanned.

Eventually I self-diagnosed - my balls hurt during the wakeboarding season.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
so by bobdole (4.00 / 1) #28 Sun May 31, 2009 at 10:28:08 PM EST
you are in favour of treating people, no matter how risky or painful the treatment is regardless of potential benefits?




-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by jxg (2.00 / 0) #29 Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:10:13 AM EST

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Actually, largely untrue... by Metatone (4.00 / 2) #20 Sun May 31, 2009 at 03:08:17 AM EST
50% of cases or so are sited in the body such that an MRI provides very little extra information. A trained physician with good eyes and ears often makes a better judgement than an MRI viewing assistant.


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by jxg (2.00 / 0) #23 Sun May 31, 2009 at 06:41:41 PM EST

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[ Parent ]
US health care answer by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #19 Sat May 30, 2009 at 09:55:39 PM EST
I am sorry, but you did not get approval for those pictures so it will cost you $100 per picture to make an archival print.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
That was your GP you saw, right? by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #21 Sun May 31, 2009 at 04:13:15 AM EST
It's not a job I envy, and in my experience if you're seeing them often, you really do need to shop around, and if you thing it's serious, say you think something's wrong, and, the kicker is, to enquire about their reasoning process, so ask what they've ruled out, and ask why. That way you'd have found out the 30% thing earlier.

Also, IME, make sure you sign on at the GP surgery in the wealthiest neighbourhood you can. That seems to make all the difference.

[ Parent ]
More to the point, by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #26 Sun May 31, 2009 at 07:58:32 PM EST
Did the doctor who saw you touch your knee and actually examine it on the bed and under load. Because I'd be as pissed off at that (in retrospect) as I would at the failure to scan it.

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(Comment Deleted) by jxg (2.00 / 0) #6 Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:04:41 PM EST

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as a small comfort by bobdole (4.00 / 1) #18 Sat May 30, 2009 at 09:20:32 PM EST
a lot of people seem to think that bruised ribs hurt more than cracked ribs; so how long it takes to heal is reciprocal to how much you hurt.

-- The revolution will not be televised.
History of treating broken ribs by Alan Crowe (4.00 / 2) #22 Sun May 31, 2009 at 03:42:07 PM EST
If I've got the story right they used to treat broken ribs by strapping up the chest to immobilise the broken bits, just like for a broken leg. So an X-ray had a point to it: broken => strap; bruised => no treatment.

Then the doctors treating chest infections as a complication of broken ribs became suspicious. Were the infections occurring in the parts of the lung where the air wasn't moving in and out because the ribs were tightly strapped? Eventually they put the matter to the test and found that if you didn't strap up the broken ribs you didn't get the chest infections, but the broken ribs healed up anyway.

That left the X-ray as an orphan diagnostic, no longer fathered by a need to know. Given medical conservatism, I would have expected the X-ray to linger on long enough to pick up a rationalisation explaining why it was still needed. I'm impressed that the doctors work through the logic of the situation and discard orphan diagnostics.

was it the doctors, by garlic (4.00 / 1) #30 Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:12:50 AM EST
or their accountants who figured it out?


[ Parent ]
The Saggar-Maker's Bottom Knocker | 33 comments (33 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback