Random stuff

Today

I woke up to the sound of a lot of cars driving around outside. It took me a while to realise why. I suspect they’re full of families here to pick up their kids for Easter. Now I feel all sad that my family is so far away and that I’ll be all alone here for Easter. *sigh*

Idea

I was thinking about something the other day. There’s a big problem with people drinking and driving. I think it might make a difference if it were made into law that whenever someone enters an establishment that sells alcohol, that they must leave their car keys at the door (if they brought them), and that they can’t get them back unless they pass a breathalyser test.

It wouldn’t stop people from driving after drinking at home, but it might cut down on people getting drunk in town and then driving home. Right?

Medication

So I had some tests done recently and it was confirmed that I have PCOS . I saw a gyno to talk about treatment options. Most of the time the birth control pill will solve a lot of the problems, but I’d been told that due to a history of blood clotting in my family I shouldn’t be on the pill. The gyno checked it out and apparently I have what is called Factor V Leiden which means that instead of the risk of getting a blood clot being 1 in 1,000, it is 1 in 125-250. So no pill for me. Instead I am now on metformin.

This means that my blood sugar levels will be regulated (insulin resistance is a common part of PCOS) and then my ovaries will stop producing too much testosterone. My skin will clear up, my periods will be normal (you totally wanted to know that!) and I might actually lose weight. Especially if I manage to get some exercise as well.

The only problem is that it commonly causes gastrointestinal problems to begin with (again something I’m sure you wanted to know!). *sigh* I guess I’ll just have to suffer for a while.

Future plans

My original plan was to stay in England once I’d finished my degree. That has now changed. I have decided to go back to Iceland and get a BSc in Nursing. My interests are too varied, it’s hard for me to settle on anything. :P

I started out determined to study languages, preferably ancient ones. Then I realised I had no idea what I wanted to do with that (other then being super cool and being able to read Latin) so I switched to Geography. At first I saw myself as a scientist, I’d know all about the weather, and volcanoes, and nature. I’d be traipsing about outside all the time, doing science-y stuff with soil and stuff.

Then I realised that while the nature stuff was interesting, it didn’t really grab me. So I turned to Human Geography and started learning all about the geographical patterns of people and what they do. Super interesting. Then I learned about international development and my interest was piqued. Finally I found out about Health Geography and I was set. Global health and developing countries? Totally my thing!

Now I’ve been in England for a while learning all about exactly that and I love it. I’m dying to get out there and help people! While my degree is cool and very useful, I still didn’t feel quite done. I needed something more, I wanted a wide range of skills. Mostly for the sake of being brainy and cool, but also for the sake of being as useful as possible.

So nursing it is!

I’ll go to Nepal in June, and then go home in the beginning of August probably. I should be able to finish my dissertation at home and then just get someone over here to turn it in for me. Then I’ll have time to settle down before school starts in the fall. Unlike here in Sheffield it starts at the end of August back home.

Random bullet points

  • Baking flat bread is cool.
  • I watched Black Hawk Down the other day, I’d forgotten how good it is.
  • Dominos Pizza have this garlic and herb dipping sauce. Dipping my pizza into it is delicious!
  • I spent way too much money on music on iTunes last night.

Dating

Did you know there are dating sites for rich people that are all about the “sugar daddy” thing? So women (or men) can go there looking for rich men to pamper them and the men go there to look for beautiful women (or other men) to pamper. It’s hysterical. I signed up for sugardaddyforme.com just out of curiosity. Mostly I thought it was incredibly funny and kind of pathetic…then I found a guy who is gorgeous, makes more than $1,000,000 a year, is 38 years old and lives in London. I almost wish I were a gorgeous bimbo just so I’d stand a chance. The operative word here being almost. I’d really rather go join the effort to save the world.

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Kalldoro talks food

Lets talk about food. I sometimes have a hard time making myself eat more fruit and vegetables because they just don’t feel as filling as the more greasy stuff. Fortunately I don’t eat too terribly greasy stuff most of the time, but raw fruit and vegetables rarely leave me feeling full. Some fruit and vegetables even make me feel hungrier! Apples and carrots are the worst, they make my stomach feel weird, like it’s completely empty.

I was thinking about this because earlier I had a plate full of fried sweet potatoes and then an apple. This should have made me feel quite full, but the apple just messed it all up. Now my stomach is just odd and empty like.

I googled this and something I saw made me think. I was reading this discussion here and the last comment says:

According to Seth Roberts (creator of the Shangri La Diet), favorite or very familiar foods will make you hungrier than unfamiliar foods. The theory is that if you’re in such a food-rich environment that you can afford to choose your favorite foods, your body will want to take advantage of the surplus and pick up some extra calories. But if you’re in a food-poor environment such that you’re eating things you’ve never (or rarely) tried before, your body assumes food is scarce and dampens your hunger.

I don’t know about the reliability of this statement and what it made me think is probably complete bullshit, but whatever. It was the whole idea of feeling less hungry when you only eat unfamiliar foods. While I was in Kenya I noticed that I rarely – if ever – felt hungry. The food we ate in the village of Marich was mostly rice and vegetables and stuff and at breakfast we had some kind of semolina grue. None of it was completely new to me as such (except the grue), but the mix of flavours and textures was fairly unfamiliar. I didn’t eat half as much as I’m used to, even though I quite liked the food.

There is an alternate explanation for my lack of hunger: the heat! It was probably the heat, and the fact that I drank a lot more water than I’m used to. So yeah, this whole “unfamiliar food makes you less hungry” is probably nonsense. But it was an interesting thought none the less.

But because of this whole deal with raw vegetables I often don’t feel full after a salad, for instance. I do if I have some more stuff in it such as pasta, croutons and dressing. I also have a bit of trouble feeling properly full after eating stuff that I don’t chew, such as soups and yoghurt. I feel like I haven’t eaten because I didn’t chew it.

Unfortunately my stomach and my mind/eyes don’t always agree on what counts as proper food. I still tend to make too much food because I’m used to seeing a certain amount on my plate. I always feel like I need to eat two slices of bread. I always prepare two slices. This also means I always prepare two sandwiches because they sort of look like two slices of bread. And then I soon realise that I definitely don’t need to eat that much, but I feel like I have to finish anyway because throwing the rest away would be a waste. So I have a strong tendency to eat more than I need to and I can’t seem to kick the habit.

Why is it so hard to change your behaviour? It’s amazing how hard we hold on to what’s comfortable, even when it’s obviously not really all that comfortable.

Feminism, disability and fat acceptance

There’s very little going on right now, so I don’t have much to say. I was going to go to a lecture at the Reykjavík University today at noon. My thesis instructor sent me this announcement of the lecture a few weeks ago. It says:

David Sanders, Professor and founding Director of the School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape, (U.W.C.), South Africa, is a specialist paediatrician with postgraduate qualifications in Public Health. He has almost 30 years experience of health policy and program development in Zimbabwe and South Africa, having advised both governments as well as OXFAM,WHO,UNICEF and FAO in the areas of primary health care, child health and nutrition, and health human resources as part of health systems development. He has published extensively in these fields as well as on the political economy of health, including on structural adjustment and development aid, having authored or co-authored three books: “The Struggle for Health: Medicine and the Politics of Underdevelopment,” “Questioning the Solution: the Politics of Primary Health Care and Child Survival” and “Fatal Indifference: the G8, Africa and Global Health”, as well as over 30 chapters and monographs and approximately 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals. In 2004/5 he was Heath Clark visiting lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where he was also an Honorary Professor. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Centre for International Health at the University of Bergen, and was a Visiting Fellow at the Globalization/Management Department, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa, Canada in 2005.

Dr. Sanders was on the Steering Committee of the United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition from 2002 – 2006. He is on the editorial boards of and is a reviewer for several international journals. He was a member of the Knowledge Network of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health. He is on the Global Steering Council of the Peoples Health Movement and was a managing editor of the recently published Global Health Watch 2. He is recipient of the Nutrition Society of South Africa award in 2002.

I didn’t go because for some reason I couldn’t fall asleep until 4 or 5 am and then I could wake up early enough to catch the bus and mom went out so I could get the car. The universe was clearly conspiring against me. I guess I’ll just have to find something dr. David Sanders has written and read it.

A friend of mine has been sharing a lot of interesting links of Facebook/Livejournal lately and I thought I should pass them on.

Five Geek Social Fallacies

Within the constellation of allied hobbies and subcultures collectively known as geekdom, one finds many social groups bent under a crushing burden of dysfunction, social drama, and general interpersonal wack-ness. It is my opinion that many of these never-ending crises are sparked off by an assortment of pernicious social fallacies — ideas about human interaction which spur their holders to do terrible and stupid things to themselves and to each other.

This is so very interesting and so very true and probably plays a large role in making geekdom a really difficult place to navigate.

“I’m not like the others”: nice guys, self-flattery and the myth of uniqueness by Hugo Schwyzer.

Because “boy talk” in American culture so rarely focuses on romantic love, a large percentage of teenage guys who are romantically as well as sexually inclined may begin to flatter themselves with the notion that they are “unlike all the rest.” They do what all teenagers do: they compare how they feel on the inside to how others look and behave on the outside.

I had a conversation with my dad about feminism and how he feels men are being left behind in this battle. While women are fighting the idea that they all have to be so feminine, men are still in many ways stuck with always having to be so “masculine”. I told him that feminism and the fight for equality is supposed to be about all of us, the ubiquitous gender binary hurts us all and if men want change then they have to join the fight. He said something like “but in this era of political correctness men aren’t allowed to say anything, it’s so difficult to get started”. I pointed out that when women started fighting for their rights, it was difficult too.

To many men I think it seems like women have gained more because they are allowed to dress pretty much however they see fit, while men’s choice in clothing is much more limited. We can be strong, weak, “masculine”, “feminine”…but if men show any weakness they are “girly” and “sissies”. What they don’t realize is that this is an issue that touches us all, just the fact that men are sissies when they show “feminine” traits reflects the general attitude that society has toward women. If this is going to change we need to work together, not against one another.

Besides, women aren’t really allowed to dress how they see fit. A woman who is too “masculine” is often rejected as a “dyke” and ridiculed.

No, we don’t have equality, and if we want to get there we need men to help. We need them not just to help us, but to help themselves.

Fantasy of Being Thin

Because, you see, the Fantasy of Being Thin is not just about becoming small enough to be perceived as more acceptable. It is about becoming anentirely different person – one with far more courage, confidence, and luck than the fat you has. It’s not just, “When I’m thin, I’ll look good in a bathing suit”; it’s “When I’m thin, I will be the kind of person who struts down the beach in a bikini, making men weep.”

My goodness, yes. I am terribly guilty of this way of thinking. I’ve told myself: “Once I’m thin I’ll have lots of friends”, “once I’m thin I’ll be more successful”, “once I’m thin I’ll be beautiful and everyone will want me”, “once I’m thin I can totally go to Hollywood and date Zachary Quinto/Chris Pine/whoever”, “once I’m thin I’ll be more comfortable with my sexuality”, etc. I’ve even worried that I’m too fat to work in developing countries because the heat would make me sweat a lot and I’d be so gross…yeah, fucked up.

Fat acceptance is about letting people be who they are and not hate themselves if they aren’t able to lose weight. There are fat people out there who are perfectly healthy and live a perfectly healthy lifestyle! We’re not all completely out of control pigs. I’m tired of hating my body and always feeling like my weight will stop me from being someone important.

Disability terminology: a starter kit for nondisabled people and the media

This problem is not limited to the media; a lot of people struggle with disability terminology. People want to use the right word, but they’re not really sure what the right word is, and sometimes some very intriguing circumlocutions and euphemisms are employed in the service of trying to be respectful.

Very useful!

Putting Gender on the Agenda

Biomedical research continues to use many more male subjects than females in both animal studies and human clinical trials. The unintended effect is to short-change women’s health care.

This is very interesting. I had no idea that there was such a big difference in the number of women and men (and female/male animals) in medical trials. It means that while a drug can be safe for a man, it’s not guaranteed that it’s as safe for a woman and that’s quite alarming. I also found the point about pregnant women really good.

I think I’ll let this do for now.