Modern Moral Fairy Tale, by Deena Larsen and MaJe Larsen

A man looks over a cliff.  Is it the reader? Or the writer? Or the grown boy?

I’ve only just come across this, although it was written some years ago. It’s well worth spending some time on. It starts with a story about a boy who lives by a clear-watered ravine with enormous salmon swimming in it, and who decides to make some money by inviting people to come and fish for the salmon, with predictably environmentally disastrous consequences. But it’s very cleverly structured, with other layers of meaning beyond this: you find yourself wandering into the thoughts of the salmon themselves, and they turn out to be zen-style philosophers. It looks fairly old-fashioned now – definitely designed to be seen on a computer-screen rather than a mobile phone; very much HTML and web-pages rather than anything to do with apps – but it made me remember what used to excite me about electronic literature.

Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, July 2017

The Research Summaries and quiz for July 2017 are now online. Subjects covered this time:

Clinical relevance of thrombocytosis in primary care: a prospective cohort study of cancer incidence using English electronic medical records and cancer registry data


Prescribing tamoxifen in primary care for the prevention of breast cancer: a national online survey of GPs’ attitudes


Influences on GP coping and resilience: a qualitative study in primary care


Recognising paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea in primary care: diagnosis and management


Improving management of gout in primary care: a new UK management guideline


The role of the microbiome in human health and disease: an introduction for clinicians

BMJ 2017;356:j831

Management of mild hypertension in adults

BMJ 2016;355:i5719

Serum uric acid levels and multiple health outcomes: umbrella review of evidence from observational studies, randomised controlled trials, and Mendelian randomisation studies

BMJ 2017;357:j2376

Moderate alcohol consumption as risk factor for adverse brain outcomes and cognitive decline: longitudinal cohort study

BMJ 2017;357:j2353

Alcohol consumption and brain health

BMJ 2017;357:j2645

Antibiotic prescription strategies and adverse outcome for uncomplicated lower respiratory tract infections: prospective cough complication cohort (3C) study

BMJ 2017;357:j2148

For more information about Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, please visit

Dr Hairy and the QCQ, part 5

The fifth in a new series of puppet-animations about the life and misadventures of an ordinary (but rather hirsute) GP.

The day of Dr Hairy’s QCQ inspection has come. Unfortunately, he’s been dragged away from the surgery on an emergency visit to his mother. While he’s out, Jiminy Simmons, the QCQ Inspector, interviews first Ruthie Bear and then Grabber’s sisters, Pongo and Krups; and when Dr Hairy gets back, he has to find a way quickly to get rid of a sample from his mother – with hilarious results!

YouTube –
Vimeo –

Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, June 2017

The research summaries and quiz for June 2017 are now online. Subjects covered this time:

Efficacy and effectiveness of screen and treat policies in prevention of type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of screening tests and interventions

BMJ 2017;356:i6538

Screen and intervene to prevent diabetes?

BMJ 2017;356:i6800

Solanezumab and the amyloid hypothesis for Alzheimer’s disease

BMJ 2016;355:i6771

Challenges of managing chronic pain

BMJ 2017;356:j741

Prevention of falls in older people living in the community

BMJ 2016;353:i1419

An approach to hypopigmentation

BMJ 2017;356:i6534

New diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome

BMJ 2017;356:i6456

Risk of heart failure after community acquired pneumonia: prospective controlled study with 10 years of follow-up

BMJ 2017;356:j413

Effectiveness and safety of reduced dose non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants and warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation: propensity weighted nationwide cohort study

BMJ 2017;356:j510

Is tonsillectomy recommended in adults with recurrent tonsillitis?

BMJ 2017;357:j1450

For more information about Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, please visit

Dr Hairy and the QCQ, part 4

The fourth in a new series of puppet-animations about the life and misadventures of an ordinary (but rather hirsute) GP.

Dr Hairy is nervously awaiting a surgery inspection from the QCQ. Grabber decides to help him out – and then, just as the inspection is about to take place, his mother rings – with hilarious results!

YouTube –
Vimeo –

Bad Shibe – a sci-fi novella by Rob Myers

Bad Shibe is published by the London-based net-art and networked art organisation Furtherfield, who have a gallery in Finsbury Park and an international membership/following. It’s part of their ongoing project New World Order, which is all about the Blockchain and its implications, but you don’t have to know anything about the Blockchain, or understand anything about its implications, to read Bad Shibe (which is probably just as well, because the Blockchain and its implications are pretty difficult to get your head round). It’s about a dystopian near-future where society is completely dominated by social media and a kudos-earning system called ‘tipping’, and it’s written in a special dialect full of mobile phone-style acronyms and abbreviations. If you know that a Shibe is a particular type of dog, and that a few years ago the Web was inundated with memes or photographs of this particular type of dog (or doge) with funny captions written in the same kind of slang as this story, then it all starts to make a bit more sense – but you don’t have to know about any of that to enjoy it. You can read it as a mixture of A Clockwork Orange and David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs (in which humans have turned half-dog in the near future). The illustrations are by Lina Theodoru. You can download it for free at

Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, May 2017

The research summaries and quiz for May 2017 are now online. Subjects covered this time:

How medicine has exploited rationality at the expense of humanity: an essay by Iona Heath
BMJ 2016;355:i5705

Medical and psychosocial factors associated with antibiotic prescribing in primary care: survey questionnaire and factor analysis
Br J Gen Pract 16 January 2017; bjgpmar-2017-67-656-tau-hong_lee-fl-p. DOI:

Antibiotic prescribing during office hours and out-of-hours: a comparison of quality and quantity in primary care in the Netherlands
Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67 (656): e178-e186. DOI:

Can compassion help cure health-related disorders?
Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67 (657): 177-178. DOI:

The chronotherapy of hypertension: or the benefit of taking blood pressure tablets at bedtime
Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67 (657): 171. DOI:

Overdiagnosis of COPD: precise definitions and proposals for improvement
Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67 (657): 183-184. DOI:

Primary care management of overactive bladder symptoms: evaluation and treatment
Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67 (657): 187-188. DOI:

Opioid analgesic dependence: where do we go from here?
Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67 (657): 154-155. DOI:

Off-label indications for antidepressants in primary care: descriptive study of prescriptions from an indication based electronic prescribing system
BMJ 2017;356:j603

Off-label prescribing of antidepressants
BMJ 2017;356:j849

For more information about Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, please visit

Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, April 2017

The research summaries and quiz for April 2017 are now online. Subjects covered this time:

Do training and CPD foster truly reflective GPs?

Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67 (655): 83. DOI:

Eosinophilic oesophagitis: an insidious but treatable cause of sore throat

Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67 (655): 91-92. DOI:

Funding for general practice in the next decade: life after QOF

Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67 (654): 4-5. DOI:

New concepts in iron deficiency anaemia

Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67 (654): 10-11. DOI:

GPs’ opinions of health assessment instruments for people with intellectual disabilities: a qualitative study

Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67 (654): e41-e48. DOI:

Healing doctors through groups: creating time to reflect together

Br J Gen Pract 2016; 66 (651): e776-e778. DOI:

Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin: primary care diagnostic technology update

Br J Gen Pract 2016; 66 (651): 542-543. DOI:

FTO genotype and weight loss: systematic review and meta-analysis of 9563 individual participant data from eight randomised controlled trials

BMJ 2016;354:i4707

Obesity treatment—are personalised approaches missing the point? (The causes of the obesity epidemic may have little to do with gene profiles)

BMJ 2016;354:i4980

Risk of erectile dysfunction associated with use of 5-α reductase inhibitors for benign prostatic hyperplasia or alopecia: population based studies using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink

BMJ 2016;354:i4823

For more information about Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, please visit

Dr Hairy and the QCQ, Part 3

The third in a new series of puppet-animations about the life and misadventures of an ordinary (but rather hirsute) GP.

Mrs Hattersley wants to reorganise Dr Hairy’s surgery to make it more Feng Shui. When he refuses to allow her, she decides to report him to the QCQ. In the meantime, Grabber is anxious to try out his new app, LifeTunes – with hilarious consequences!

YouTube –
Vimeo –

The Reprover (Le Reprobateur), by Francois Coulon

The Reprover originally appeared in 2008, and I wrote a review of it for The Hyperliterature Exchange ( It has now been rebuilt and made available free online for the first time – you can access it at https://leré .

It’s well worth exploring. A non-linear story spanning several decades and told from several points of view, it’s a very unique, funny and ingeniously-constructed piece of new media magic realism, told in a mixture of text, video and illustration which quickly becomes completely absorbing and natural-seeming after you’ve clicked through a few sections.

Also available online is a more recent work by Francois Coulon, Prise Multiple (, another witty, clever and beautifully-executed work, this time a series of videos, in which the same couples can be seen talking about their relationships in four different styles, depending on which button you click – net-video, reality-TV, fluffy romantic or pseudo-intellectual (the last is my favourite).