Sunday, January 02, 2011

Death, Stray Dogs and Radiation

Here's a fascinating write up about who unprepared most people, and their doctors, are when it comes to discussing end of life care. Not only are the patients often unable to talk about their best options, their families can also be resistant.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/02/100802fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all

With the help of hospice I was able to care for my grandmother at home until her last couple of days, at which point she was placed back in the hospital and given supportive care. She wanted to die at home but at least she was home for most of the time.

This story about Moscow's stray dogs is intriguing, especially if you've been following recent data showing that there are certain traits that show in the most domesticated of animals - floppy ears and black and white spotted coloring are two of the traits. Essentially the further the animal is from its wild appearance the more loving and better pet it will be. Interestingly ginger cats, which look a lot like tigers, are quite loving, despite having none of these characteristics. Anyway, a researcher was able to take wild foxes and give them domesticated traits in only 10 to 15 years! And these dogs have become very similar to wolves.

I'm also reading a book about wolves and dogs and genetically they are virtually identical, which is interesting. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/628a8500-ff1c-11de-a677-00144feab49a,dwp_uuid=a712eb94-dc2b-11da-890d-0000779e2340,print=yes.html

Finally check out this delightful ad for radium suppositories. I shudder to think. http://fuckyeahvictorians.tumblr.com/post/363748135

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