Ebenezer Scrooge may not have been as weatherproof as he thought. The bitter winter is described vividly in A Christmas Carol, but Scrooge maintains just a low fire to warm himself in his room and eats only gruel. Dickens tells us “he carried his own low temperature always about with him”. However, his economies with the heating may have backfired on the old miser. While Scrooge initially suspects his ghostly visitors may be the result of a poor digestion, he does not appreciate that hypothermia can also produce vivid hallucinations. “A combination of undernutrition and hypothermia is as likely an explanation of the delirium as any,” concludes a tongue-in-cheek study of Scrooge’s case in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. There are similarities with other cases. In 2008, the BMJ reported on a couple who had recently converted to Buddhism, who both hallucinated that they saw a Buddhist holy man in the Cairngorms during cold … [Read more...] about Ebenezer Scrooge’s hallucinations caused by hypothermia?
Isabel Oakeshott has been short-sighted since she was eight. By her 30s she couldn't see her own face in the mirror My eyesight has been an issue since I was eight. As a girl, I had pink plastic NHS glasses, which were always falling apart. Every year, my myopia (short-sightedness) became worse. Aged 16, I was allowed contact lenses, which was liberating — but my eyesight kept deteriorating. Then I developed astigmatism, an imperfection in the curvature of the cornea. It means the eye is shaped more like a rugby ball than a football, so light is focused at more than one place. This further complicated my prescription. By my 30s, I was running out of options for contact lenses. I came to dread my annual appointments with the optician, who would tell me off for wearing lenses for more than the recommended number of hours a day. Without lenses or glasses, I couldn’t even see my own face in the mirror. I thought my prescription (around - 12 with - 3 astigmatism) was too … [Read more...] about Why I trusted an eye surgeon nicknamed ‘Dr Blindstein’ to make me see clearly again! Political journalist ISABEL OAKESHOTT says if he could fix her eyes, he could fix anyone’s
Things often get heated when the local government brings in a new bin regime, but in Shanghai, strict new regulations have sent the city into a frenzy.Since Monday, it's been mandatory for individuals and companies in the massive Chinese city to sort and recycle their household rubbish.People who don't comply not only risk incurring heavy fines, but could potentially have their all-important social credit rating lowered, meaning they may lose out on certain economic or social privileges by not being "model citizens".The plan is ambitious - Shanghai is the largest and most populous city in the world, with more than 24 million residents - three times the size of London or New York. And according to some reports, only 10% of its waste is recycled. Official statistics show that only 3,300 tonnes of recyclables are collected daily, compared to the 19,300 tonnes of residual waste and 5,000 tonnes of kitchen waste that are collected. So the tough legislation could set a precedent for other … [Read more...] about Shanghai rubbish rules: New law sends Chinese city into frenzy
Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek is 'near remission' in his battle with stage 4 cancer, revealing his tumors have shrunk by half. The happy news comes just less than three months after Trebek, 78, revealed he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which has just a nine percent survival rate. After a few more rounds of chemotherapy, Trebek will hopefully reach full remission. 'It's kind of mind-boggling,' he told People Magazine. 'The doctors said they hadn't seen this kind of positive result in their memory.' 'Some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.' Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek (pictured at the Daytime Emmy Awards earlier this month) is 'near remission' in his battle with stage 4 cancer, revealing his tumors have shrunk by half The happy news comes just less than three months after Trebek, 78, revealed he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which has just a nine percent survival rate. Trebek … [Read more...] about Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, 78, reveals his tumors have shrunk by ‘half’ and is ‘near remission’ in his battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer
Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek is nearing remission after he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. And the 78-year-old star has credited his wife of nearly 30 years, 54-year-old Jean Currivan, with helping him through some of the tougher times. 'Jeannie is wonderful,' Trebek told People this week. 'She cried of course this morning when she got the [good] news [about my tumors shrinking]. But it’s been a lot. It’s a lot of pressure.' Support: Alex Trebek is nearing remission after he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. And the 78-year-old star has credited his wife of nearly 30 years, 54-year-old Jean Currivan, with helping him through some of the tougher times. Seen in 2015 In January he also talked to People about his spouse. 'I'm pretty satisfied with my life. But my wife Jean and I have been together almost 29 years, and I was thinking about President Bush when he died, and all the comments about his life about what a nice guy he is, and how he and … [Read more...] about Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, 78, says his wife of nearly 30 years Jean Currivan, 54, has ‘cried’ alongside him during his stage 4 cancer battle