Some pictures that I took with my Nexus 5 at the Royal Botanical Gardens’ Hendrie Park, in Burlington, Ontario. We were there to enjoy another concert in the Red Hot Jazz and Blues series. I really like how the Heuchera look (the yellow and orange flowers), though I can’t remember which species they are.

Sketch of a daisy.

Sketch of a daisy.

Cool little critters.

Sights along the Bruce Trail in Ontario’s Niagara Region.

Yesterday I took part in hike 3 of the 5-hike E2E series that the Niagara Bruce Trail Club has organized for its 50th anniversary celebrations. This hike was delightful: 17 kilometres along very scenic terrain. It was a nice break from all the urban walking that we had in hike 2 back on June 28th. Only 2 more hikes, for a total of about 31 kilometres, and those of us who have done all five will receive a special 50th anniversary end-to-end badge

oupacademic:

The First World War and Medicine

Amid the horrors of war, one can often overlook the rapid medical innovations from the trenches to the home front. Whether it’s surgery on the front lines or shell shock years after the war, the treatment of soldiers deserves greater study and understanding. 

Find further resources from us here on Tumblr, at the First World War Centenary Hub on our UK website, World War I: Commemorating the Centennial on our US website, Oxford Journals World War I Virtual Issuethe University of Oxford First World War activities, the World War I Centenary: Continuations and Beginnings resource center from the University of Oxford and JISC, Bodleian Libraries’ Oxford World War I Centenary Programme, and more to come throughout 2014. 

What books would you add to a list of resources for studying medical innovation and treatment during the First World War?

Photographs I took at the Royal Botanical Gardens yesterday.

Hike report (July 12th, 2014)

The latest in my series of solo hikes on the Bruce Trail took place last Saturday. I started from where I left off on June 21st: at Felker’s Falls Conservation Area in Hamilton. My destination lay 17.2 kilometres away, where the Chedoke Radial Trail reaches the top of the Niagara Escarpment at Scenic Drive (those point is very close to the “border” between Hamilton and Ancaster, a distinction most of those who live in the area, including me, still make).

The trail followed a mixture of paved and more natural terrain up to where the trail passes under the Red Hill Expressway (a most contentious highway). Along the way I saw a cute little rabbit along the closed section of Mount Albion Road, and a lot of American Goldfinches; three of which were in a thistle bush quite close to the trail. They’re my favourite bird, with the brilliant yellow of the males (in breeding season) and their delightful, undulating movements while in flight.

Surprisingly, there were quite a few rugged (very rocky) sections of the trail between the Red Hill and where the Bruce Trail follows a section of the Escarpment Rail Trail. Even with the the urban surrounding, the trail is quite enjoyable here. Although nothing can be worse than the section of the trail that passes by the Pen Centre in St. Catharines; it’s unfortunate that the Conservancy isn’t able to route the trail through a more natural setting in that region. Walking down the Jolly Cut I was treated to a fantastic view of the Hamilton cityscape; in hindsight I should have stopped to take a picture. I should really find some way to hook the case I use for my Canon point-and-shoot to my pack for easier access.

Stopping for lunch just past where the trail crosses Beckett Drive, I was treated to a symphony of goldfinches, cardinals, and robins. I believe I saw a pair of gold-crowned kinglets as well.

Compared to my last solo hike, this one went by quickly. The final hike in my Iroquoia series, which I’ll undertake in September, will be 10 kilometres longer! It’ll be tough, but I’ll take my time and enjoy the more rural setting. It will see me complete the Iroquoia section of the trail; and takes place one week prior to the 2-day Toronto end-to-end hike (49.5 kilometres over one weekend). It’ll be a good warm up!

A view along the Bruce Trail on my hike today.

A view along the Bruce Trail on my hike today.

Wildflowers and scenes from the west end of Hamilton Harbour.

currentsinbiology:

Is the sun getting you high? (AAAS Science)
Skin cancer is indeed on the rise in the United States. Between 1992 and 2006, the number of treatment procedures for slow-growing nonmelanoma skin cancers increased by almost 77%. Society’s obsession with good looks and beach-bronze skin may be one factor, but prior research has shown that something else could be going on. Frequent tanners experience withdrawal symptoms when given a drug that overrides the effects of opioids, chemicals that can be naturally produced by the body and generate feelings of euphoria. Tanners can also tell the difference between beds emitting UV radiation and non-UV light, saying that they prefer UV beds, which make them feel more relaxed.
Those factors led David Fisher, a physician and skin researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, to wonder, “Could there be something deeper that’s driving people—despite their knowledge and intent to be safe—to put themselves in harm’s way?”
To find out, he and his colleagues gave mice a daily dose of UV light for 6 weeks; it was equivalent to what a light-skinned person would receive while lounging in the midday Florida sun for 20 to 30 minutes. The team then measured levels of β-endorphin, an opioid produced by the brain that’s responsible for feelings of pleasure, and analyzed the rodents’ tail positions and sensitivity to pain and temperature. The idea is that opioids cause animals to become less aware of discomfort. For instance, if they’re being poked with a pin or are sitting on a warm plate, they won’t quickly notice. Their tails, which are normally floppy, can also straighten out if they’re on opioid drugs, like morphine.
The team’s findings, published online in Cell, reveal significant elevations in endorphin levels—ranging from 30% to 50%—after mice got their daily hit of rays. The animals also demonstrated decreased touch and temperature sensitivity and walked with rigid, erect tails—all signs that the endorphins were producing opioidlike effects. On the other hand, control mice with no exposure to UV exhibited normal behavior, and a genetically engineered group that was unable to produce β-endorphins remained unaffected in the presence of UV rays.

Yay science!

currentsinbiology:

Is the sun getting you high? (AAAS Science)

Skin cancer is indeed on the rise in the United States. Between 1992 and 2006, the number of treatment procedures for slow-growing nonmelanoma skin cancers increased by almost 77%. Society’s obsession with good looks and beach-bronze skin may be one factor, but prior research has shown that something else could be going on. Frequent tanners experience withdrawal symptoms when given a drug that overrides the effects of opioids, chemicals that can be naturally produced by the body and generate feelings of euphoria. Tanners can also tell the difference between beds emitting UV radiation and non-UV light, saying that they prefer UV beds, which make them feel more relaxed.

Those factors led David Fisher, a physician and skin researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, to wonder, “Could there be something deeper that’s driving people—despite their knowledge and intent to be safe—to put themselves in harm’s way?”

To find out, he and his colleagues gave mice a daily dose of UV light for 6 weeks; it was equivalent to what a light-skinned person would receive while lounging in the midday Florida sun for 20 to 30 minutes. The team then measured levels of β-endorphin, an opioid produced by the brain that’s responsible for feelings of pleasure, and analyzed the rodents’ tail positions and sensitivity to pain and temperature. The idea is that opioids cause animals to become less aware of discomfort. For instance, if they’re being poked with a pin or are sitting on a warm plate, they won’t quickly notice. Their tails, which are normally floppy, can also straighten out if they’re on opioid drugs, like morphine.

The team’s findings, published online in Cell, reveal significant elevations in endorphin levels—ranging from 30% to 50%—after mice got their daily hit of rays. The animals also demonstrated decreased touch and temperature sensitivity and walked with rigid, erect tails—all signs that the endorphins were producing opioidlike effects. On the other hand, control mice with no exposure to UV exhibited normal behavior, and a genetically engineered group that was unable to produce β-endorphins remained unaffected in the presence of UV rays.

Yay science!