Chinese herbals and The Alexander Technique for Crohns disease

In another post I talk about living with Crohns disease. Someone asked me to put a up the script of herbs that my Chinese doctor in Australia put me on. I’ve found it helps when an attack is coming on. Here it is:

chinese crohns script translation

The Alexander Technique

Recently I’ve started reading a book about the Alexander Technique and I have found that this is remarkably helpful in dealing with stress. The change in my approach to stressful situations has changed so much that I feel like a different person!

It suggests that some physical problems that manifest in the body are the result of miss-use of the body in times of stress. This stress causes tensions in the body which can result in some nasty things, perhaps even Crohns. There is of course no medical research into this (because there are no drugs involved in this treatment and hence no funding from drug company’s) although it was derived via scientific method. I have found Alexander Technique had immediate benefits for myself. Worth looking into, for everybody really. Its like the drivers instructions for the body.

Links ARE meaning

This is a great TED talk from Tim Berners-Lee who created the internet. Here he talks about Linked Data and the importance of sharing and linking data.

Just as with his first break-through, the hyperlink, he realises that its the links that make things useful. To take this on step further the linking is how we embed mean into web documents. The same applied with data. Data by itself is not as useful as data linked to other data and this linkage is meaningful.

Linking was only half the story and Tim doesn’t talk about the importance of standardising the data format, which by the way he also underestimated with HTML and why web developers have had a nightmare with different web browsers interpretation of HTML. Data formats is the less exciting half of the equation but is going to be just as critical. Especially with numbers like dates, currencies, measurements (and their metrics) etc. I’m thinking (hoping, praying) that we’ve learnt our leasons from HTML and people know when and how to draw up a standard for data formats before this thing explodes.

dot dot dot ?

Once upon a time this Sad&Sorry
Was a slick-as-flying-shit-hot Coder
(Not as good as me) you see
But he could, as they say, “Get The Job Done”
The Man could LDL (Lay-Down-Lines)
Ready to GO and insect free
Like some Neo-Jesus Christ slapping miracle suppositorys up your repository
He was god.

So slowly they started to max him out.
Day after day and task upon task.
He started smoking like he was The Industrial Revolution.
Long into the dark night of the Proletariat.
For he had become the new working class ‘Joe’.
Strung out on the sugar rush and coffee dosing
Always dreaming in Getaway style, nature escapes
Knowing he would last 5 minutes in anything resembling Wild.

So he coded.
Because it was easy to do
Because it paid for something
Because it was fun once
Because what else was he going to do
dot dot dot ?

Steroid addiction

There is a dull drone in my head
that squeezes my shoulders to to to the ears
A graffiti proof paint on which no thoughts may stand out
Except to bite at the world
EVERY SINGLE SOUL
So the mind is put to the grid
Till it is only sharp and stabbing
And every stranger is your new found enemy
And every friend only thinks of themselves
Against you! Against you!
The world is an ugly cage
Against which you RAGE

When you are tired of dwelling in this hell
And forgiveness the unreachable holy-land
Tomorrow begins again

Games can alter the structure of your brain

Wired has an article on “playing Tetris actually gives you more brain to work with“:

This, says the doctors who undertook the study, shows that focusing on a “challenging visuospatial task” like a videogame can actually alter the structure of the brain, not just increase brain activity.

I wonder if this has anything to do with learning?

Living with Crohns

Here is a list of things I have found affect Crohns over the last 12 years of dealing with it. Western doctors will give you no info regarding this. Mainly because all research is funded by drug company’s and its safer, liability wise, for them to prescribe drugs than diet change. I have meet people who completely control Crohns with diet (vegetarianism) who have suffered much worse than myself. Everyone is different and you have to find the things that aggravate it in yourself.

Avoid:

  • Milk is evil. Stay away from all dairy products. Usually you can find soya milk versions of everything.
  • Meat seems to have an affect on the digestion generally. I cut it and lost weight and felt better generally. Also any amount of meat (excluding fish) seems to make me feel bloated and tired as its hard to digest.
  • Coffee. All stimulants seem to have a stressing affect on the body.
  • Cigarettes. I blame smoking for the initial onset of my Crohns as I was a heavy smoker just before I got it and a couple of puffs on a cigarette gives me immediate stomach pain.
  • Alcohol. Beer seems to be bad for me. Wine is OK but only small amounts. Spirits are the best but harsh on the body.
  • Stress. Medium to high stress _always_ triggers a flare up.
  • Changes to sleep patterns. This affects me a lot. Probably due to the stress it causes on the mind/body.

Try more of:

  • Fish oils (D vitamin) are very good for you and will help stop Crohns coming back. I take Cod liver oil tables daily now.
  • Fresh veg, home grown. Most of the produce in supermarkets is picked very green and has no chance to rippern and thus has almost no nutritional value. I lived for a month only on garden greens (in Czech Republic) and I lost weight and my Crohns was completely reverted.
  • Exercise. I found riding my bike 2 hours a day (to+from work) made me very fit and more resilient to stress. When I was in this state I cold drink as much as I liked without much effect on the Crohns.
  • Chinese herbs. 6-7 years ago I started to take Chinese herbs for Crohns and found they could completely stop a flare-up. I have managed since them to live without western prescription drugs. This amazing fact also lead me to believe that diet can completely control the condition.

I’d experiment with your diet try being vegetarian or even vegan (I’m about to try this when I return to Berlin) to see how it makes you feel and how your condition responds. If it keeps you off the drugs and out of hospital its worth trying.

Finally the biggest hurdle will be yourself. I tried to ignore it and refused to accept the complete change of life style that it demands. I suffered fairly badly and almost died twice from loss of blood. You are now forced to become aware of your body and what affects it, which is a good thing and I’m grateful to Crohns for that as I know I wouldn’t have gotten there until I was much much older. Sadly most people don’t start to look after their health until it breaks. The sooner you accept it and start to respect it the healthier and happier you’ll be.

Ideas as Visualised Spaces

This TED talk by Tom Wujec shows ways that visualising ideas helps to solve the problems. The “Visual Strategy Planning” idea, where a team maps out the entire problem on a wall, together, is a bit like a mind-map and is a nice interface to information.

It also has ramifications for learning in that new concepts could be presented to students as a map instead of a linear text.

Forgotten Visions of the Web

I’ve been inspired by a great lecture, The Web that Wasn’t by Alex Wright, which traces the history of precursor ideas and thinking that ether lead to the web or where ideas much greater than the Internet is right now.

Here are some of the ideas that were missed out on and I believe are sill possible with internet technology today: Continue reading “Forgotten Visions of the Web”

Seven deadly sins

Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth/dispair, wrath, envy, pride

The ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ or should I put it the ‘7, Deadly, Sins’. The seven part is merely score keeping and nothing more, but the ‘Deadly’, which we usually skip over is more than just an adjective, it is a warning. What is it warning against? What do the Seven Deadly Sins lead to other than Hell itself.

Sin‘ is also a much miss understood word, particularly by those who grew up in a Christian based society.

In the biblical Hebrew, the generic word for sin is het. It means to err, to miss the mark. It does not mean to do evil.

Continue reading “Seven deadly sins”

Internationalization & localization data sets

I started gathering data for a project relating to Language and did a lot of research into ISO standards and was looking for a complete list of Languages + some ISO code to id them by. This got expanded to cross referencing by Country (as languages have dialects in different countries) and then I thought it would be easy to complete this set with Locate settings and perhaps even country to IP address mappings. I got a bonus from the UNeTradeS with all sub regions for all country’s (according to the UN) and most of their Geo co-ordinates!
Continue reading “Internationalization & localization data sets”