The free coffee test, or Lefkowitz’s Law of Corporate Financial Health HT @DMarti

Why is it that removing small perks for employees like free soda tends to lead to an exodus of talent? After all, a can of soda costs what, fifty cents? Maybe a dollar? And yet when management decides to stop bearing that small expense, people have a habit of packing up and leaving, which seems like a big move to make over the price of a can of soda. Jason LEfkowitz has a theory

The financial health of a company can be inferred from the quality, variety and cost to the employee of the snacks and beverages it offers its employees.

You needn’t be wrong to be called delusional [Article]

The easiest (and most common way) to discredit someone is to label them “delusional”. History is replete with such examples – you may even know someone. The implications can be devastating when applied in a medical context.

The new version of the psychiatrists’ diagnostic manual (DSM-5) has redefined “delusion”:

No longer are psychiatrists asked to decide whether the patient has “a false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everyone else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary”. A wordy and unhelpful definition that has so many logical holes you could drive a herd of unicorns through it.

Instead, the new definition of delusions describes them as fixed beliefs that are unswayed by clear or reasonable contradictory evidence, which are held with great conviction and are likely to share the common themes of psychosis: paranoia, grandiosity, bodily changes and so on.  

More than an apple a day [Article, Video]

Leo Babauta gave up meat to become a vegan. But as he explains, eating a vegan diet doesn’t necessarily equate to a healthy diet, despite what many believe.
If you care about your health, (and less about pharma companies profits), please take the time to watch this video (which runs for an hour) by Dr. Greger called  More than an apple a day: Preventing our most common diseases.

Interview with a dead man [Article]

Helen Thomas writes about Graham who lives with one of the world’s most mysterious neurological conditions: he has a condition known as Cotard delusion. People with this extremely rare condition believe that they, or parts of their body don’t exist. A fascinating, & for those with it – insufferable, insight.

Nine years ago, Graham woke up and discovered he was dead. “It’s really hard to explain,” he says. “I just felt like my brain didn’t exist any more. I kept on telling the doctors that the tablets weren’t going to do me any good because I didn’t have a brain. I’d fried it in the bath.”

What if you live in a place that doesn’t appear on a map? [Article, Video]

What if you had to choose between school & survival? But what if you refused to accept your fate? 
In Future Cities, the BBC had a link about a group of 12 year old’s called “The daredevils” – who live in Calcutta’s Nehru Slum – which officially doesn’t exist. They dramatically improved health outcomes in their area using technology not much older than themselves. Watch this video called The Revolutionary Optimists – get your kids to watch it – share it –  incredibly inspiring.

Sugar & substance abuse [Article]

Scientifically speaking, a drug is any substance that alters normal bodily function when absorbed into the body of a living organism.  Students have been overdosing on sugar, says the Guardian, & appeals to them to just say no. Sugar has been shown to have the same impact on the human body as heroin.

We don’t think of sugar as a drug: it’s found in most of the foods and drinks we encounter every day. And at university, where stress levels can be high and fast food is cheap, it’s all too easy to reach out for the comfort blanket it provides.

Many students’ diets consist of pizzas, take-aways and chocolate bars. Whether you spend your time raving or revising, there’s always something better to do than think about eating healthily. And with university halls often providing only the most basic cooking facilities, a well-balanced diet simply doesn’t feature in most students’ lifestyles.

Modern “Medicine”?

Australia: The Child Allergy Capital of the World..[via yahoo news]

Expounding a research by Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, this article identifies a 2-year old who is suffering from food allergy, but is alive.

Somewhere in this article, a mother gratefully thanking “modern medicine” says, “If we’d been in a third world country, and we hadn’t known about the testing, or the awareness of allergies wasn’t so high, he probably would have died before the age of one.

The medicine man (or researcher –  I’m not sure what he is), says “We know that it is something to do with modern lifestyle because in developing countries food allergy rarely exists, and in countries that are undergoing modern developments, like in China, we’re now seeing rates that are rising.” 

Maybe it’s the dark side of those fantastic public health initiatives that we really need to think about, that we’re not stimulating our immune system enough. That includes getting out and playing outside, it includes things like exposure to farm animals and pets,” Professor Allen said.

I am more inclined to believe the medicine man.

What if modern messing around the food chain was the reason for the food allergy in the first place? What can be said with certainty is that those “third-world” countries have far less Genetically Modified & packaged food on their store shelves? 

Just thinking aloud.