ReaderWriterVille

Blog in progress

Tag: TV shows

ReaderWriterLinks

I found this article in Wired really interesting, not least because I’ve been working on “unquantifying” my life (the quantified life is one in which you track your behavior, health, etc. to try and improve outcomes). I hadn’t heard of the “nocebo effect” before but it makes sense:

“The body’s response can be triggered by negative expectations,” says Luana Colloca, a University of Maryland neuroscientist and physician who studies placebo and nocebo effects. “It’s a mechanism of self-defense. From an evolutionary point of view, we’ve developed mechanisms to prevent dangerous situations.”

For Golden, a 38-year-old patient advocate who began with an Excel spreadsheet and later used specialized apps, tracking initially helped her provide better information to her doctor. But she became focused on every possible factor that could make her headache worse. “I’ve seen people become very obsessed with it. I was at one point,” she says. “What did I do at lunch? What did I do at dinner? It can be all-consuming.”

The symptom tracker doesn’t just reveal your highs and lows. It produces a state of anxiety—and possibly more pain.

As always, I’d like to see more studies and the underlying data, but it’s an interesting finding.


Read the rest of this entry »

Weeknote 4

A lost week, for the most part. Although I did get to read a bit and watch movies and sports when I was awake.

Felled by the flu

No “Work” category this week because I didn’t do any. I woke up Monday morning with a sore and swollen throat which turned into a full-blown case of the flu. Yes I had my flu shot, and I’d avoided even a cold to this point. But this isn’t the longest flu season in years for nothing. I kept seeing news reports on TV about how the flu was persisting into spring. No, being one of many did not make me feel better.

On the plus side, I’m almost completely off the cold meds and I’m only coughing myself awake about once a night now. And I did manage to get some email and writing done yesterday. So the trajectory is positive!

We won’t talk about allergy season, though.

Reading/Watching

In between bouts of napping and full-on sleeping I managed to read a bit. I’m now in the middle of three extremely long books: Red or Dead, In the Night of Time, and now Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. I pulled the last off my shelf because I wanted something that was engaging but not too demanding, and Gaskell fits the bill perfectly. Although I read a couple of her other novels ages ago, I’ve never read this one. It’s a real Condition of England novel, pitting Hampshire- and London-raised Margaret Hale against powerful mill owner John Thornton in Milton (Manchester), Darkshire (Lancashire). Margaret befriends a consumptive girl, Bessy , and her father, who joins a strike against Thornton and the other mill owners. And that’s as far as I’ve read. It’s got drama, romance, social commentary, and lots of Mancunian dialect.

I also managed to finish my TBR Challenge book and somehow cobble together a review, which is posted here. I also read a lovely Hugo-nominated novelette by Zen Cho and a newly released lit fic about white and Japanese Californians in World War 2 through the 1980s, and I DNF’d another new release. That writeup is here.

Read the rest of this entry »