Time is certainly flying by, it seems like just the other day when we were celebrating a friend’s birthday (yes he is an almost-April-Fool’s-baby). For me, April has been a strange month, akin to summer vacation when I was still in school, what with the clear blue skies, heavily scented wisterias, Easter and bank holidays. Now with the Royal Wedding fast approaching, it remains to be seen just how many street parties there will be.
What else has caught my eye this month?
When I was 14, I was almost run over by a car. Back in those days, as it still is now, the number 58 was the only bus that went from the foot of the mountain where my school was up to Panorama where I lived. Walking, I had it timed at 20 minutes downhill and a much longer 45 minutes uphill, walking along winding roads on the numerous occasions the sidewalks disappeared and crazed (so they seemed to me) Alsatians barked from behind gated compounds. By car, providing there was no traffic it only took 10 minutes; with the bus it took slightly longer as it struggled to change gears up that incline (that was the older generation of buses, the new ones didn’t seem to find it such a struggle last time I took that route).
There was no real bus schedule that I could remember, the bus just seemed to come when it did, sometimes every 30 minutes or sometimes within 10 minutes of the previous one. So when the bus was spotted in the distance, us school kids always made a run for it. Getting from the school gates to my bus stop involved crossing over a wide road that was theoretically 2 lanes, but was more like four lanes for traffic to turn off and into the school. That day near the end of the school year, as I ran across the road and into the paths of cars, time stood slowed down. I was still in motion but everything around me slowed down to a turtle’s pace, allowing me to outrun all the cars and most importantly, the bus. At the bus stop, my classmate who had witnessed the whole scene was in shock at seeing me unscathed. I don’t remember being in any particular danger but he assured me I was “this close to being knocked down”.
1. In this wonderful article from the New Yorker, Burkhard Bilger profiles David Eagleman, a neuroscientist who studies the mysteries of time and the brain. His own experience from falling off a roof as a boy has prompted him to ask “Can fear slow time?”.
2. In the Guardian, Frank Swain pondered the links between changes in human behaviour and parasitic infection. News of the voodoo wasps which appeared to have had their bodies inhabited by parasites that controlled their actions and ultimately causing them to self-destruct is fascinating in a macabre sort of way. Now research is showing that zombie-like infections, while not exactly making us the walking dead just yet, are not only possible in humans but are actually occurring.
3. Jennifer Dubowsky is an acupuncturist in Chicago (with the delectable moniker of tcm007). Here she writes about acupuncture and back pain in simple layman terms, going through the causes of back pain and what happens during a typical treatment.
4. From back pain to the face. When London Beauty Queen came to have a cosmetic acupuncture treatment with me, she didn’t know what to expect. Read about her experience from a first-timer’s point of view.
5. And finally, something heart-warming. I used to associate flash mobs with mobile commercials and I don’t know what is different about this, I suspect it’s the song or the fact it’s the first flash mob I’ve seen that involves children, but you can’t help smiling.
I hope you’ve all had a great month, and are all geared up for May.
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