Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, Dec 2015

They were ready by the end of December, honest – I just haven’t got round to posting anything about them until the beginning of January. It’s a busy time of the year, all right?

Subjects covered this time:

Diagnosing symptomatic cancer in the NHS
BMJ 2015;351:h5311
Fibroids: diagnosis and management
BMJ 2015;351:h4887
The three crises facing the NHS in England
BMJ 2015;351:h5495
Faecal transplants
BMJ 2015;351:h5149
Acute coronary syndromes
BMJ 2015;351:h5153
Acute rheumatic fever
BMJ 2015;351:h3443
The scientific report guiding the US dietary guidelines: is it scientific?
BMJ 2015;351:h4962
Diagnosis and management of menopause: summary of NICE guidance
BMJ 2015;351:h5746

Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries are a fun and entertaining way for GPs to keep up to date with medical research and earn learning credits towards appraisals and revalidation. To find out more, go to http://www.drhairy.org/concrete5/index.php/research-summaries/ .

Blood and Magic, an interview with Ingrid Torvund

Furtherfield have just published my interview with Ingrid Torvund: http://furtherfield.org/features/interviews/blood-and-magic-interview-ingrid-torvund

Ingrid, who lives and works in Norway, is the director/creator of Magic Blood Machine and When I Go Out I  Bleed Magic, which I came across on Vimeo. The interview was conducted via email over the course of several weeks, and it contains some interesting insights into her working practices and sources of inspiration.

Magic Blood Machine will be showing as part of the Cranbrook Video Festival, which I am organising on Friday 19th February 2016 at my daughter’s school in Cranbrook, Kent. More news about that later.

Noriko Okaku, The Interpreter

Image: Cell texture test for The Garden of Synthetic Delights, Eric Schockmel, for Silent Signal

This video was commissioned by Animate Projects as part of their Parts and Labour, er, project. You can see it on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/147162025 . It’s absolutely brilliant – surreal (in the proper sense of the word) and spooky, atmospheric, full of bits of old prints collaged together in the style of Max Ernst.

I’ve never come across Noriko Okaku before, but her website, at http://www.norikookaku.com/ , is well worth checking out.

Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, Nov 2015

For more about Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, please visit http://www.drhairy.org/concrete5/index.php/research-summaries

In this month’s summaries:

Assessing the risk of diabetes

BMJ 2015;351:h4525

Learning from soft power

BMJ 2015;351:h4645

Time to question the NHS diabetes prevention programme

BMJ 2015;351:h4717

Dietary fats, health, and inequalities

BMJ 2015;351:h4671

Where are we now with paracetamol?

BMJ 2015;351:h3705

Risk of intracranial haemorrhage linked to co-treatment with antidepressants and NSAIDs

BMJ 2015;351:h3745

Superficial thrombophlebitis (superficial venous thrombosis)

BMJ 2015;350:h2039

Initial drug treatment in Parkinson’s disease

BMJ 2015;351:h4669

Pharmacogenetics begins to deliver on its promises

BMJ 2015;351:h5042

Practical tools for improving global primary care

BMJ 2015;351:h5361

New from the Web

Detective Heart of America – The Final Freedomfrom Jason Steele, the man behind Film Cow, creator of the very famous Charlie The Unicorn, probably the most talented of the ‘sicko American college humour’ video-makers. This is a proper feature-length film made with incredibly lo-fi puppets (in other words a load of dolls and ornaments), but it hangs together amazingly well.  The secret is in the writing, which is unfailingly sharp, and the pace, which is unrelenting.

Acedia from Mark Mckeown, which I discovered on a experimental animation forum. A peculiar mixture of 2D animation, 3D animation and photographic stills, with a soundtrack from someone called Azuza Inkh – it’s a real oddity, but in its own odd way it really works.

New Media Writing Prize, 2015

The New Media Writing Prize, which is run by Bournemouth University and IF-Book (the Institute for the Future of the Book) is now in its sixth year and has just announced its annual call for entries, first prize £1000:

We are looking for good storytelling (fiction or non-fiction) written specifically for delivery and reading/viewing on a PC or Mac, the web, or a hand-held device such as an iPad or mobile phone… 

The essence of new-media writing for us is great storytelling which uses anything and everything that digital media can offer, along with user/audience interactivity. It’s got to be something that couldn’t work in ‘old’ media.
Every year I find fault with these criteria, firstly because of the emphasis on storytelling – much of the  best new media work being poetry or some other form of non-narrative work – and secondly because of the insistence on user/audience interactivity – which ignores things like generative text.  To be fair to them, though, when it comes to the judging they seem to be more broadminded than these guidelines might suggest. What’s more, it’s a big prize as new media goes, certainly the biggest one in the UK; it’s been going quite  long time in new media terms; and it has consistently pulled in some interesting work.

New work from Pall Thayer and Dave Miller

Pall Thayer’s Objects of Art is a series of JavaScripts, each of which creates a cleverly-decorated window in your web browser. If you read the code you’ll see that he’s given the functions names that wittily refer to the objects created by the code – nerdy humour perhaps, but being a bit of a nerd I really like it. Viewers of the work can change the code and then see what difference their changes make to the web-objects created, and he’s intending to add some functionality so that these amendments can be saved a become part of the permanent project. You can see all of this at http://pallthayer.dyndns.org/objectsofart

Dave Miller’s Opinion in a Cube is a typically forthright political piece about Jeremy Corbyn. It’s in the form of a virtual cube which you can manipulate to see different pictures and bits of text on each of the six sides. It’s a nice piece of design, and in terms of the writing the best side is a mock-up newspaper column headed Daily Mailograph: Ten Reasons Why Voting for Corbyn will Lead to Civil War, which is really funny. http://davemiller.org/code/css3_test/scrutinise.html