Saturday, June 3, 2023

The Costs Of A Medical Career For A Woman

 Choose wisely:

From the start, Dr. Ariela Marshall, a hematologist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, proceeded with the conviction that if she worked harder, longer and better, she would succeed. And she did: She graduated as high school valedictorian, attended an elite university and was accepted into a top medical school.
But one achievement eluded her: having a baby. She had postponed getting pregnant until she was solidly established in her career, but when she finally decided to try to have children, at 34, she was surprised to find that she could not, even with fertility drugs. Dr. Marshall attributed it to having worked frequent night shifts, as well as to stress and lack of sleep, which can affect reproductive cycles.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The Dogs Of War

 It took me quite some time but finally I'm so far as to write a book review, well, actually two of them, something which I have been planning to do for the last couple of months, lol! So here comes.

The 1st book is called The dogs of war by Frederick Forsyth, the author probably most known for The day of the jackal, a fictional story about an assassination attempt on President De Gaulle. I watched the movie version of it and reviewed it on this blog several years ago. Both books were written in the early 1970s which means that they are quite politically incorrect and would probably offend tender modern sensibilities.

The dogs of war is a story about a group of mercenaries which is hired by a wealthy and unscrupulous British businessman to organise a coup in a fictional African country with large resources of platinum. The main character is their leader Cat Shannon, a man of mixed Anglo-Irish heritage (who is blond, blue-eyed and very handsome and successful with women, btw). The novel is quite long (nearly 400 pages) and goes into great detail describing the preparations for the military operation and all the shadowy financial transactions taking place. 

Despite its length, it's not actually boring and I read it quite quickly. Speaking about "politically incorrect", it describes Cat's s8xual life perfectly. I won't go into it further due to the reasons of decency, but suffice to say, that while he is 33 or thereabout his girlfriend is 19, the fact which would make any feminist have a fit.

As the story keeps developing, the reader gets a strong feeling of the impending doom, which is already hinted at on the very first page by the epigraph chosen by the author, a somewhat altered quote from The Mayor of Casterbridge by T. Hardy:

That... be not told of my death, 

Or made to grieve on account of me,

And that I be not buried in consecrated ground,

 And that no sexton be asked to toll the bell,

And that nobody is wished to see my dead body,

And that no mourners walk behind me at my funeral,

 And that no flowers be planted on my grave,

 And that no man remember me,

To this I put my name.

And yet, the end was totally unexpected to me, and a somewhat of a shock. I won't add any spoilers because I hope that you read this book for yourself.

Book n2 is what one could call vintage as it was written nearly 100 years ago, in 1928 by Nevil Chute, an author totally unknown to me before, but when I did some research I found out that he was actually quite famous in his time and even wrote Hollywood scenarios.

 It's called in English So Disdained and it's a fictional espionage story presented in a way to make you think it really happened. It has not one main character, but two. The narrator Peter Moran, who currently works as the steward of Lord Arner and Maurice Lenden, a pilot. Lenden and Moran served together in WWI and meet again 10 years later under strange circumstances. 

Moran learns that Lenden had great difficulty adjusting to peaceful life after the war was over, due to the fact that flying is his passion but there are not enough job opportunities. After his marriage falls apart due to his inability to earn a stable income, Lenden travels to the USSR and starts working as a flight instructor but later gets involved in an espionage affair. After he tells his life story to Peter Moran he gets a malaria attack (he caught malaria while working in South America) and is very sick and in need of help.

Though the story is called So Disdained I haven't noticed anything like this in the novel at all. In fact, it's totally vice versa. Peter Moran and everyone around him take a sudden and unexplained liking to Maurice and try their best to help him, save him from the counterespionage service and the communists even to the point of risking their own career and life. 

The novel is short and fast-paced and leaves you in suspense till the very end. And yet, the end, again, is quite predictable when you contemplate the fact that it was written back in the day when honour was not an empty word and any stain on it could only be erased by blood. 

I'm not sure whether you can easily find this book (I happened upon it in a second hand store) but I highly recommend it to anyone.

Sunday, May 28, 2023


 Today is the Feast of Pentecost so we are having a long weekend. Tomorrow is a free day, too! The weather has been nice so far, sunny and the temps above +20*C but it's going to somewhat cool off tomorrow. I hope you all are having a good time:)

Saturday, May 27, 2023

News On Sugar

It used to be that you were recommended to eat no more than 50g added sugar per day, but now the amount is reduced to about half of it, in any case for women. Sugar appears to be really not that great for you after all:

AHA Sugar Recommendation

To keep all of this in perspective, it’s helpful to remember the American Heart Association’s recommendations for sugar intake.

  • Men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) of added sugar per day.
  • For women, the number is lower: 6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) per day. Consider that one 12-ounce can of soda contains 8 teaspoons (32 grams) of added sugar!  There goes your whole day’s allotment in one slurp.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Is Christianity A Suicide Pact?

 No, it's not. An interesting post from The Orthosphere:

 Christianity is not a suicide pact unless we make it a suicide pact, in which case it is a suicide pact and we all die.  We make Christianity a suicide pact when we imagine that a Christian has overcome the world and its tribulations, whereas the truth is that Christ overcame the world and we Christians remains in it...

A Christian should turn the other cheek, but he does not have an infinite store of honor to lose and can survive only so much insult and slander.  He must not be “hasty in his spirit to be angry,” but neither should he be without a spirit to be angry.  A Christian should show forbearance and longsuffering but not servility.