A tale of two campaigns

This blog is NOT about who should become the next President of the United States. It’s a tale of two campaigns, about the way in which we Americans have elected to choose our leaders, compared to the way in which Great Britain chooses theirs.
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The audacity of hope

This is a story about a largely unsung hero who changed the face of medicine from a tiny village in the English East Midlands. For us, the story began in 1995 when Bryan’s 78-year-old mother Edie was diagnosed with end-stage breast cancer. Privately her doctor told us, “If I were you, I’d get her affairs in order.” When he’d examined her, he’d been shocked: her breast, he told me, looked like raw meat. In fact, so advanced was the cancer, he said, that it was too late to try chemotherapy or any other intervention. She had three months to live,
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Even better vibrations

Even better vibrations For all aspects of life, molecules have to speak to each other. If you’re excited, your adrenals pump out more adrenaline, which tells specific receptors to get your heart beating faster. The standard theory about how this happens is that two molecules that match each other structurally exchange specific (chemical) information, which happens when they bump into each other, a bit like a key finding its own keyhole. But if these occurrences are due to chance, then there’s very little statistical hope of their taking place, considering the universe of the cell. Tennis balls in swimming pools
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The big wheeze

We are overwhelmed by wheezing these days. Some 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, and one of every 10 Americans will suffer from the condition at some point in their lives. As to the cause of this soaring epidemic, conventional medicine is unequivocal, pointing the finger squarely at pollen and other airborne irritants like animal dander and dust mites. But what most doctors don’t appreciate is that up to 50 per cent of asthma is caused by a food allergy.
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The big wheeze

We are overwhelmed by wheezing these days. Some 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, and one of every 10 Americans will suffer from the condition at some point in their lives.   As to the cause of this soaring epidemic, conventional medicine is unequivocal, pointing the finger squarely at pollen and other airborne irritants like animal dander and dust mites.   But what most doctors don’t appreciate is that up to 50 per cent of asthma is caused by a food allergy.  
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Playing Cowboys and Indians

Last week David Brooks wrote a column in the International New York Times with the extraordinary assertion that in 18th century America, when the Native Americans and the European settlers lived cheek by jowl, not a single Indian defected to go live with the settlers, but many settlers took off to live with the Native Americans. At the time, the colonial settlers had embraced what we regard as the ‘good’ and ‘civilized life’: rich, ‘advanced’, with single-family dwellings and a good deal of privacy. The natives, however, had a lifestyle we might consider primitive because it was communal and tribal,
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How to really say you’re sorry

Not long ago, I attended a talk featuring a man who’d accidentally killed several people in a car accident through negligent driving – a case not unlike that of Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympic champion convicted of accidently murdering his girlfriend. (I’m changing some of the particulars but staying with the real meaning of what happened there.) The man – we’ll call him John Smith – was tried, convicted of negligent homicide and served his prison term, during which time he lost everything: his business, his house and all his savings. After he came on he began addressing his downfall as
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How to really say you’re sorry

Not long ago, I attended a talk featuring a man who’d accidentally killed several people in a car accident through negligent driving – a case not unlike that of Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympic champion convicted of accidently murdering his girlfriend. (I’m changing some of the particulars but staying with the real meaning of what happened there.)   The man – we’ll call him John Smith – was tried, convicted of negligent homicide and served his prison term, during which time he lost everything: his business, his house and all his savings.   After he came on he began addressing his
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Britain and America: How to connect when people don’t agree with you

In the recent British referendum and the ongoing American Presidential campaign, we’ve all had a front row seat to one of the biggest misunderstandings in the West, namely, that most relationships, good and bad, are forged from the erroneous idea that we have to be the same to get along. In fact, conflict is considered so antithetical to the human experience that when others disagree with us, we conclude that they must be stupid or ill informed. To justify this position, we find it necessary to debate them, demonize them, and announce their ignorance to the world. In our minds,
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Britain and America: How to connect when people don’t agree with you

In the recent British referendum and the ongoing American Presidential campaign, we’ve all had a front row seat to one of the biggest misunderstandings in the West, namely, that most relationships, good and bad, are forged from the erroneous idea that we have to be the same to get along. In fact, conflict is considered so antithetical to the human experience that when others disagree with us, we conclude that they must be stupid or ill informed. To justify this position, we find it necessary to debate them, demonize them, and announce their ignorance to the world. In our minds,
Read More