Showing posts with label cancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cancer. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Freedom of speech

To encounter a dramatic new sense of these three simple words, "freedom of speech", click this photo of Christopher Hitchens (suffering from cancer) and read his splendid article entitled Unspoken Truths.

Here's the awesome song by Leonard Cohen that Hitchens mentions:



Just for the record (well, rather, for old-timers such as me), here's the original version sung by Cohen himself, accompanied by the haunting voices of Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen.



I can understand why many Hitchens well-wishers find inspiration in this beautiful song (prayer) by Cohen.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Doctors know best

Ancient ads such as this one show just how much progress has been made since those carefree days when people believed naively in publicity messages, just as they believed that smoking was an elegant and harmless social behavior.



Retrospectively, I'm always amazed that a company would have decided to name its cigarettes Camel. It's a term that evokes bad breath, combined with the fleeting thought that maybe the flavor is obtained by mixing a small quantity of camel shit with the tobacco… maybe rather a small quantity of tobacco with the camel shit.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fabulous Armstrong

I believe that this is my 1500th Antipodes post.

Many Tour de France cyclists (who provide France with a welcome breath of fresh air after the disastrous soccer events) deserve to be thought of as fabulous. I might have applied this term to Mark Cavendish (what an emotional "bad boy" in tears), to Sylvain Chavanel (the French rider who has just won a second stage, after recuperating from an accident), or to Cadel Evans (whom we're all admiring and inspecting closely). The cyclists of the Tour de France are participating in a unique sporting event. The landscapes and architectural heritage of France, displayed constantly by the helicopter cameras, are equally fabulous.

In this context, Lance Armstrong has just flashed the following moving image on Twitter:

Always, Lance gets to the essential...

BREAKING NEWS: After Sunday's stage, disastrous for Lance (he hit the macadam three times), he sent out a despondent twitter:

When it rains it pours I guess.. Today was not my day needless to say. Quite banged but gonna hang in here and enjoy my last 2 weeks.

In a way, I find it preferable to see him knocked out by sheer bad luck rather than succumbing to a duel with Contador. As for Evans, the French press is talking of a feeling of déjà vu.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ray of hope for our devils

For many years, the marsupial known as the Tasmanian devil has been the victim of a terrible form of facial cancer that is so contagious that it could well drive these precious creatures to extinction.

An article in The New York Times reveals the existence of a ray of hope [display]. It has always saddened my heart to hear that these fabulous beats have been suffering and dying, and it would be utterly marvelous if modern genetics could save them.

In another cancer domain, concerning human beings, scientists at the UK-based Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have catalogued the genetic maps of skin and lung cancer, and identified specific DNA mutations that can lead to malignant tumors.

There's something beautifully harmonious in the idea that we humans and the Tasmanian devils are all awaiting the magic benefits of scientific research. There's no sense in our praying, of course, since devils—like atheists—don't seek salvation from God.