Monthly Archives: January 2015

Sid Meier’s Starships

Thank you to OTC Gaming, a brand new game design company in my neck of the woods, for asking me to write for them.

I have long been a fan of Sid Meier’s work. I’ve played every incarnation of Civilization except Civilization: Revolution, starting with the first release back in ’91. I spent some time playing Alpha Centauri back in the day. I even played Silent Service on the Amiga. Civilization: Beyond Earth is a new acquisition which, sadly, I have not yet had time to play, but it is high up on my to do list. I love his work.

So my reaction to 2K’s latest announcement, Sid Meier’s Starships, was quite predictably less than sedate. In fact, I believe my exact reaction was to leap up in my chair, hold out a wad of cash, and scream “Take my money!” at my computer monitor. This is a game I want.

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PTSD and Violence: Some Thoughts From a Veteran

Thank you to Hormones Matter for letting me speak about the relationship between PTSD and violence. This one is near and dear for me, personally.

Recently, Hormones Matter published a piece about Helping a Loved One Suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The author offers some good advice in the piece, but I am somewhat concerned with the accidental implications of one section of the article. The longest individual section specifically highlights the dangers of veterans with PTSD to friends and family, describing it at length.

As a veteran with PTSD I’d like to take a moment to put this section in perspective. The impression it leaves is that veterans with PTSD are likely to be a potentially deadly threat to those near at hand. I’m sure that was not the author’s intention, but the suggestion is there nevertheless. Unfortunately, the popular view agrees with this sentiment, leading to significant issues with stereotyping that hinders, rather than aids, PTSD sufferers.

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The History of Epidemiology: Thank You Hippocrates and Girolamo

Thank you once again to Hankering for History for publishing me.

So I ran across an infographic the other day that was basically a breakdown of how Ebola spreads (created by the MPH program at USC). My first reaction to the infographic was “Ewww. That’s nasty!” My second was to wonder how they had figured all of this out. Well, the answer is “Epidemiology”. It’s gross. It’s weird. It’ll make you afraid to touch anything. And because I firmly believe in shared misery, I am going to share about the interesting and fascinating history of epidemiology.

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The War Nurses That Came Before Barton

Thanks again to Military History Online for publishing me.

The history of women in nursing and warfare is well known. Children throughout much of the English speaking world study the roles of Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton in most history classrooms, and a detailed study of their work is required in nearly every nursing program on both sides of the pond. These two women are held up as the ground breakers who brought women and nursing into the history of military medicine, and indeed, to the world as a whole.

However, the question is, did they really? In truth, the history of female nurses in warfare did not begin in the middle of the 19th century, but in fact goes back much further. Nightingale and Barton certainly deserve their places in the history books, but there are many other women who also deserve recognition as well.

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Top 10 Surprising Queens in History

Thank you to Wonderslist for publishing me.

There are plenty of famous queens out there. Cleopatra, of course, is famous for her dalliances with Caesar and Marc Antony (leading to its fall to Rome). Elizabeth I managed to defy everyone to transform England from a backwater protestant state to the nation that defeated the most powerful empire and religion in the world. Queen Victoria was so significant her name now represents nearly a century of world history and culture. There are, however, many other queens in history, and some of them led lives that will surprise you. Here are the top 10 surprising queens.

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New York History’s Most Famous Nurse

Thank you to the The New York History Blog for publishing my piece on Lillian Wald.

There are several claimants to the title of New York’s most famous nurse. That distinction probably can be laid at the feet of Long Island native Walt Whitman, though it was not his nursing skills during the Civil War that garnered him his fame. Some might argue it is the still not positively identified nurse who was photographed in Times Square celebrating the surrender of Japan in 1945 through a passionate kiss from a sailor. Again, though, it was not her skills as a nurse that earned her recognition. Another contender was Mary Breckinridge, whose Frontier Nursing Service brought healthcare to poor rural America. While her fame came about as a result of her nursing, she was born in Tennessee and gained her fame in Kentucky, only acquiring her nursing education in New York.

I happen to believe the title of New York’s most famous nurse belongs to Lillian Wald.

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Healthy Infrastructure – A Matter of Life and Death

Thank you to Infrastructure USA for publishing me.

This month an opinion piece came out on the Forbes website proposing that telemedicine’s day has come. The piece, written by venture capitalist Skip Fleshman, basically predicts that 2015 will be the year that remote interactions between medical professionals and patients become not just possible, but practical. “I spend a lot of time crisscrossing the country chatting with leading healthcare providers and insurers about their technology needs,” he writes. “By far the area they are most interested in is telemedicine.”

He then goes on to describe why 2015 is the year he expects this interest to see actualization. Internet speeds are up. Mobile devices are everywhere. Health records are finally being digitized. Most importantly, there is a demand for it.

Read the rest of the article here.