Category: The Mind

  • Stop throwing food in the trash: it’s killing the planet

    Stop throwing food in the trash: it’s killing the planet

    For the sake of keeping the peace I had to bite my tongue. The meal had been a rare treat: succulent sirloin steak cooked medium-rare, smothered in a rich, creamy peppercorn sauce, served alongside bowls of al dente vegetables. But as the plates were piled up at the end of the meal, I watched aghast […]

  • Hope and terror: I just had most of my frontal lobe chopped out

      The grizzly details  A little over two weeks ago, a tall Greek surgeon, with a name that literally means “to die” in Ancient Greek sawed a dessert plate-sized wedge of bone from the front of my head then cut and scraped a cancerous tumour from my right frontal lobe, leaving me with only a […]

  • Fatigue: the problem most people don’t understand

    If you’ve never experienced extreme fatigue, then it’s difficult to appreciate. It’s all too easy to say that someone is “lazy” if they complain of no energy or go for a lie down at two in the afternoon. For a long time, many doctors haven’t understood it. For people who are constantly exhausted, us doctors […]

  • The vaccine controversy that isn’t controversial

    Polio is a disease that should be long dead by now. Some readers will be old enough to remember rooms full of ‘iron lungs’ – grotesque life-support machines that did the breathing for children left paralysed by this deadly infection. With their small heads poking out through a tight rubber seal, steam engine-like contraptions sucked […]

  • The Science of the Midlife Crisis – a modern myth?

    They say that life begins at 40. If that is true, then I have four and half years coddled up in the womb of young adulthood before I am birthed into the cold harshness of ‘middle age’. We tend not to think too much of being ‘middle aged’, and we all know someone who has […]

  • What’s going on in the mind of a spree killer?

    A couple of weekends ago, I was invited onto BBC Breakfast News to review the Sunday papers. Arriving at the studio in Salford, Manchester, at 6am, the producer presented me with a foot-high pile of the day’s newspapers and instructed me to pick five stories to talk about on air. All should be from different […]

  • Spelling out the truth about dyslexia

    We’ve all done it: mixed up our numbers and telephoned the wrong person. It’s an easy mistake that’s easy to forgive, but for one Starbucks employee, Meseret Kumulchew, getting her numbers in a jumble landed her in very hot water. While logging the temperature of fridges and water onto the duty roster, coffee shop worker […]

  • Science shows that schools should start later, so why hasn’t the penny dropped?

    The sun is shining, the birds are singing and it’s the start of a brand new day. Like many people, I love the mornings and consider myself an ‘early bird’ (after the first coffee, that is). It wasn’t always that way, however. During my teenage years, getting out of bed before 9 am was so […]

  • Ringing in your ears? Get some sound advice for tinnitus

    The last time I heard Motörhead play my ears were ringing for two days. Known for their 1980 hit ‘Ace Of Spades’, the three-piece metal band say they are ‘The World’s Loudest Band’ and their concerts have been recorded at 130 decibels – louder than a military jet at 100 feet. I was lucky that […]