Thursday, April 30, 2009

Reliable Info on Swine Flu

Check out Otterman's post on "Communicating the Swine influenza A (H1N1) crisis" at the Biorefugia

For the H1N1, I find these same (as in SARS) international and local sources useful:

* WHO Disease Outbreak News

* Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Swine Influenza (Flu): cdc.gov/swineflu/

* CDC has a twitter account, @CDCemergency!

* Ministry of Health, Singapore: Update on Global Human Swine Influenza - helpfully this URL: moh.gov.sg, brings you right there.


New sites I refer to include:

* Channel News Asia special on the Swine Flu Outbreak - note the useful, simple URL: channelnewsasia.com/swineflu/

* CNN Health: Swine Flu

* BBC: Swine Flu Special Report
* News aggregators (search term = "swine flu"): Google and Yahoo


The Just-in-time Swine influenza lecture

As a result, here it is: "Just-in-Time Lecture: Swine influenza A (H1N1) Outbreak in US & Mexico: Potential for a Pandemic," by Rashid A. Chotani. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). Updated daily. The html and powerpoint versions are available at this Supercourse site at the WHO Collaborating Center, University of Pittsburgh.


Cheng Puay does a good post here at his blog to educate his students

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Monday, April 27, 2009

The raw duathlon

Got my endorphin fix yesterday at the raw duathlon. Did the 5k 40k 5k. I thought since there were no kakis with me, it would definitely be a lonely affair. But highlight number one was a reunion with my BMT buddy Ahmad Hilmy who saw me on FB and told me he was going for this event too. I tried looking out for him at the transition zone but didn't see him but he found me at the start point so we started the race together, just like SOC in the Army! We chatted like it was 18 yrs ago. I used to beat him at it but now he finished earlier than I did. Well done buddy!

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So this was my first duathlon and a highly charged event for me. The adrenaline was there for the 1st 5K so I finished that off in about 25 mins. The weather was getting real hot and I wished the start had been 7am instead of 745am. It was nice to transit to the bike leg and ride under the shade of the rain trees on the changi coastal road with the wind blowing. At about 30km and onto the last loop, I was running out of water even though I had 2 bottles in my bike cages. I had frozen one bottle but that melted way before. Being a zen dog doesn't help the bike leg competitively as I began to get into a kind of zone with people whizzing past and started to enjoy the cycling, admiring the nice bikes that whizzed past. But I knew the heat would take its toll in next 5k run leg so I took it easy on the bike.

The next transition was really grueling running on the heated tarmac its albedo at around 10am. Not more that 100m into the run, my thighs cramped, luckily those were peddling muscles.. or the lack of. So I ran those cramps away. It was really hot and I took my time at the drinks station... The road was beginning to dot itself with cramping runners.

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(this was taken at 630am.. those clouds up and disappeared at about 730am)

At the 2.5k turn, the wind../ zephyrs that had previously blown softly into my face now disappeared and I was now running away from it... Its soft murmurs in my ears now replaced by each of my feet placing itself on the tarmac. I lamented this wind of change../change of wind. Shortly at the 4k mark, a caucasian (attended by vigilant medics) had passed out on the side of the road still clutching on to a plastic cup.. and a guy who I had seen cramping up when I was on the opposite stretch was still negotiating with the medic to continue with the race. I was glad I signed up for the 5km run legs... I haven't so much to prove anyway.

I pretty much enjoyed the last stretch.. better than the marathon or half army marathon.... at least I still had something left in me. Got a drink from the milo stand and headed for the free cup (decent amount) of beer (ice-cold Brewerkz beer after a duathlon at the Aviation park road on a damn hot day is mind-blowing, someone should do a study on this). I think I finished in about 2hrs 45mins.

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(after the race... check out the cloudless sky)

Overall, an enjoyable race. $55 a bit expensive but the medics were on their toes and the beer was a nice touch. The volunteers were the best I have met in races, smiley and ready with the drinks. No finishers medal (which I don't care much for) but something to take back would have been good.

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(the relaxing ride back to the car after the race)

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Rabindranath Tagore singing his own song





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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Tagore Omnibus IV

This is the book i just bought... Reading the first story there now called "Two sisters".



More about this book here

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We could have done better

I am in a funny melancholic and reflective mood today... in a good way. After the ride this morning, I went for a friend's father's wake. All throughout the time there, I couldn't help but think of my own parents and how I should do more for them. Then I read in the news papers about Dying well which brought me to Shin Na's blog. Jen and I had watched a documentary about her life called "In the face of death" and teared along with the family.

Then I read the post by Deadpoet's Cave "Goodbye Angsana " and felt this sense that we could do better. Better for our family, creatures that are alive and well now. Jen pointed out to me this article in Shape July 08, pg 38, "The simpler life" A city clicker finds contentment where she'd least expected". There's a quote there " Because whether we're being counted successful or mediocre, we're all headed six-feet under and I think I'd rather have a smile like Khushi's as I make the journey there." Khushi is the kid who was rescued by nuns, left for dead by the roadside.

So, I reflect on the moment I saw the squirrel, it was a mere 2 seconds that I had glanced at it and the image is fresh in my head still, the tail twitching and the paws to its mouth. That's life, we need to be in the moment and appreciate this existence; its much shorter than the eternity we are going to.

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People you meet on an early morning ride

Set off at 7am
Down Yio Chu Kang - A 100men peloton whizz past me on the other side of the road, those racers are a beautiful blur down the road against the backdrop of the old kampong forest.
to Old Upper Thomson Road - Friendly cyclist nods at me, its like sesame street when you are cycling.
Along Upper Pierce, meet squirrel, listen to cicadas cacophony, brought me back to days of skipping school to go to the reservoir.
Along Thomson Road, meet cyclist on hybrid bike, tried to outpace him but kept on getting held up at traffic lights so decide to chat with him. We cycle through Seletar Dam exchanged numbers and he smsed "Till we ride again".
Back home at 815 am

And I thought it would be a lonely ride
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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Whispers to a leaf - I

The world seems safer because I am here to protect you
You were the perfect solution
A love for plants transplanted to a
Creature I call Leea