Read the latest posts from Wordsmith.

from nomadic?

Sofia initial notes?

Links collection from attempting to check places to bounce from in Sofia:





Art/culture linked:

https://credobonum.bg/en from their site: Credo Bonum Foundation & Gallery hosts international initiatives. We are open to joint projects with partners and followers who will help us achieve our goal.

http://nationalgallery.bg/ – national art museum, or socialist art?

https://initlab.org/ – a hackerspace. Seems they do some music/sound stuff.

http://www.fondazionefotografia.org – a photography place.

There's a place called Anima Art gallery on the google map.https://goo.gl/maps/K6XntjvdUvGhv19A6 The link is to some Japanese site: http://anima-artgallery.com/ Curious??

Pentimento art gallery – no data but an image..?

Something that looks like graffiti and is called “Profesor Fimitrov”

http://www.culturelab-bg.com/ateliers-bg_id_15 – a culture, lab?

http://www.sofiahistorymuseum.bg/en/ – a sofia history museum

A few links to do with Bulgarian lingo basics.



Note to self: Make, err, notes from these language sheets .. (I tend to pick up a few words to begin with.)


from nomadic?

Notes from Bucharest?

An architectural salad?

It depends, roughly, which sector one is at. eg, into modernist come brutalist buildings – Sector 6. Into Bauhaus based architecture? Sector 4. Into more post-modern looking buildings, perhaps check Sector 1 or 2? In all these cases though, bare in mind the distance from town centre. It seems like the more near the Old city one gets, architecture salad – as in mixed styles – becomes less rare.

Here's a 4 flavoured one. Taken from the cafe i happen to be typing in.

(Other such salads, be it of other flavours, seem to be everywhere.)


from dudaflict?

The need to step over something at an entrance to something like a cafe. A person with most wheelchairs will likely be compelled to ask for assistance.

When I have an option to do things by myself rather than with and through assistance, it seems dignified to do myself. That is different from, say, collaborations when people assist one another. (Once we remain assistive oriented.) Should it feel any different to a person in a wheelchair? Indeed – should it be different when sorting a solution for all seems rather simple?


from dudaflict?

About this blog?

Ever felt being affected by violent inflictions daily kind of thing?

At times these are subtle inflictions that come through various means. Un intentional – eg a look that gazes through one's personal space? Assumptions – eg an act directed at a person by another – assuming you'd be OK with the activity without asking? Presumptions - eg attempts to corner – aka label – a person? Lack of consideration - eg talking over another?

This hopefully provides a taste for how the gist for the motivation comes about. Please note that the examples are marked as questions – since there's always a sense that perhaps a person is being a bit sensitive for stuff in a way that violates another. Its seems that as questions, theres a clear opening for an invite, an offer for a chat.

Let's sing a bit?


from a-small-medic

Originally submitted as a piece of reflective writing, edited for brevity and detail. There's another part of this which I didn't submit... for another day.

Tags: #reflectivewriting

This was fracture clinic, and the registrar and I had a plan. The orthopaedic registrar, H, and me looked through files in an odd-shaped room. The air hung still and muggy despite cracking open the door to the side room. Today's patients had mostly been referred from the Emergency Department, and so were new to H.

“Why don't you talk to this patient, take a history, then when you're ready to present, come in and tell me what you found?”

I went out to the waiting room and spotted the first patient immediately. Not a difficult task, as he was the only patient there. I had my standard spiel ready to go: a self-introduction, asking if I could take a history. Most patients are told early on that they should expect students to do this, and most are amenable, if slightly amused. He, however, adamantly refused. I took him in to see the registrar directly, to the registrar's bemusement.

As with all other patients, the registrar started taking a history – but the patient was oddly bristly. He was vague about how he had injured himself. When asked about his occupation, the patient interrupted: “No! We are wasting time! What I do is not relevant!”

“That's fine, let's move on to the examination. Could you take your jacket off please…”

H began inspection, but narrated what he was doing, as was his habit with medical students.

The patient interrupted: “I am in a lot of pain, you are wasting time by explaining to the student!”

The patient was physically imposing, and at that moment he stood between us and the only exit. I forgot the stuffiness, the traffic droning outside; I could only focus on the space each of us was taking up. I offered to leave, but H stood his ground. He explained that students were a welcome part of the team. He explained that this kind of behaviour was unacceptable in the clinic. The patient started shouting: this was his right to have whoever he wanted in the clinic, and if he wanted me to get out, I should get out.

I never felt physically unsafe during that aborted consultation, but I did feel threatened by his aggression, even by the size of the room. However, what contributed most of all to the feeling of threat was the divergence from the usual pattern.

Placement is supposed to be a safe learning space. We are often supervised by experienced clinicians, and can get immediate feedback if we make mistakes. Placement is inherently unpredictable, though, because any clinical encounter is unpredictable. People are complex, both patients and staff. While I initially treated events such as cancelled clinics and over-running ward rounds as nuisances, I realised that this stemmed from an understaffed system with many moving parts. These were, at least, benign, something we would laugh off.

This unpredictability meant that there were occasions during placement that genuinely made me feel threatened or fearful. Fear sneaks in during the seconds between approaching an intimidating nurse or consultant to ask for a favour. Fear sneaks in, in the moments before doing a procedure – hitherto only practiced on mannequins and anatomical models – on a real patient. Fear sneaks in when encountering a completely new situation with no clear solution, with no clear way out.

In that stuffy fracture clinic, fear snuck in, in the seconds between realising something was wrong and this patient being aggressive, because there was no telling what he was going to do. What if I had been in one of the side rooms alone, or H had gone out to run an errand, or if I had misunderstood the patient's intentions?

H never managed to calm the patient down. Instead, he got myself and then himself to leave the clinic room because he realised the conversation was going nowhere. The nurses got the other consultants in clinic – all as imposing as the patient – to talk to the patient.

When we returned to the now-empty clinic room, the patient had left with a new appointment with a new consultant. H did not immediately move on to the next patient on the list straight away, though: we talked about what had just happened. H spoke about the times that he had to disengage because he knew he was going to lose control. We discussed tactics for recognising when it was time to leave. We talked about de-escalation, from using non-verbal communication to choosing your physical position in the room carefully. It was humbling to realise that, with the same communication skills drilled into us from first year, a potential heated argument could at least be cooled down enough for myself to leave and escalate to someone more senior.

I realise now that our conversation was a form of debriefing. It helped separate the fear and perceived threat from the actual event history, and it was a chance for me to ask questions about why H did what he had done. More importantly, it was a space for me to formulate an approach if I ever found myself in a similar situation.

In an overstaffed, underfunded system fraying at the seams, there is reason enough for patients to be anger, justifiably so. I know meeting angry patients is inevitable. So when I next step into a room with the atmosphere electrified with hostility, I think I will see the same stuffy room again, and I hope I remember the gentle but firm way H tried to talk the situation down. If I find myself with a student encountering the prickly end of clinical unpredictability for the first time, I hope I remember what H did, and help them navigate these situations with grace and good humour.


from Kearsey Wingard

The closest known deceased relatives of today’s humans were Neanderthals and Denisovans. A bone fragment, possibly belonging to a teenage girl, discovered in a Siberia by scientists uncovers the first found hybrid. DNA evidence confirms interbreeding, which was only hinted in previous genetic studies. Archeological digs revealed that Neanderthals and Denisovans lived in Eurasia, Neanderthal bones dating from 200,000 to 40,000 years old found mostly in western Eurasia and Denisovans bones dating from 200,000 to 30,000 years old discovered in eastern Eurasia

Archeologists discovered a fossil in 2012 in Denisova Cave, named “Denisova 11,” and researchers studied proteins removed from it and over 2,000 other fossils from Denisova Cave, which revealed the fragment came from a human. The thickness of the exterior of the fragment suggested that Denisova 11 belong to a girl, being at least 13 years old when she died, although radiocarbon dating suggested it was over 50,000 years old.

Source: “Neanderthals and Denisovans Mated, New Hybrid Bone Reveals”, Charles Q. Choi, August 22nd, 2018 https://www.livescience.com/63400-neanderthals-denisovans-mated-leg-bone.html

from Kearsey Wingard

A new phenomenon like the aurora borealis called STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement) is created by an electric field pointing poleward in the upper hemisphere and a magnetic field pointing downward, and they work together to make a drift going west. The ionosphere pulls solar particles to hit the neutral particles and they heat up, which makes the streaks of light.

Researchers first discovered STEVE after a Canadian Facebook group named the Alberta Aurora Chasers posted pictures of unusual vertical streaks of light in the sky, and they worked with the group to find out what conditions caused the phenomenon.

Source: “Meet ‘Steve,’ the Aurora-Like Mystery Scientists Are Beginning to Unravel”, Sarah Lewin, https://www.space.com/39968-steve-aurora-mystery-explained.html

from Kearsey Wingard

The Little Albert experiment was a renowned psychology experiment led by a behaviorist, John B. Watson, and a graduate student named Rosalie Rayner.

They conducted classical conditioning on a 9-month-old infant called Little Albert by presenting him with a white laboratory rat and paired it with a loud sound, to which he became afraid and instantly cried when the rat alone was presented to him after repeated loud noises associated with the rat, and conditioned him to be afraid of things with similarities to the rat (i.e., Santa Claus’ beard).

In conclusion, Albert was conditioned to have an emotional response when the rat or things similar in appearance were shown.

Source: “The Little Albert Experiment”, Kendra Cherry, https://www.verywellmind.com/the-little-albert-experiment-2794994

from verity

I've been really switched off during this placement and I'm not sure why! I really need to get up and start moving!!

It doesn't help that I live quite close to hospital, so it's always tempting to go, “Oh, I can wait a little longer,” and end up not going in. I don't know if it's feeling “tired all the time” (which is a common enough reason for seeing the GP that my GP has it coded in the system), or not feeling motivated (but the current placement is really interesting!) or feeling unwelcome on the wards. It's definitely not helpful though.



from carbontwelve

This is day nineteen of my attempt to write something, anything, every day for 365 days in a row.

It recently came to my attention that accessibility on the web is experiencing something of a renaissance in the spotlight; This is thanks, in part due to efforts such as the a11y project. However, I do wonder why we have gotten to a point where such efforts are required. Correctly styled markup should be accessible by default.

I have been developing websites for more than fifteen years. While technology has progressed in that time, it feels as though – at least in some cases – that progress is just for the sake of it.

In those early days pretty much every website project I worked on had user customisable accessibility feature. You could select a larger font size and one of a handful of colour themes that were aimed at making the content more legible to those with different colour blindness or dyslexia.

It could be said we had dark mode before it was cool.

Markup was king. If your HTML didn't pass the W3C Markup Validation Service without good reason (and there were some valid excuses.) Then it didn't get released into production.

Back then, the reasoning for this was one of SEO. It was believed that the better your markup, the easier it was for search indexes to correctly index your content. The conclusion being that better markup equaled better index placement, equaled more visitors. Visitors equaled customers.

I am unsure how much of that was based upon fact, although I did have first hand experience of redeveloping client websites and seeing them go from the bottom of the page for their keywords to the top three positions; largely because we fixed a lot of issues with their markup.

A side effect of making websites easier for robots to digest meant that they were also easy for screen readers and other accessibility tools.

Eventually laws have been amended to protect the right of people with disabilities to have equal access to electronic and information technology. In the US this was done via an amendment to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Similar legal protections have been introduced in various countries around the world since then and this has meant we have had a handy checklists like this available containing items such as “Is the site free from pages that re-direct after a timeout?” and “Are all elements that can be operated by a mouse also able to be operated by keyboard?”

Unfortunately it seems those rules are too often forgotten or ignored. While the laws as wrote are often limited in scope to government published materials there should be no excuse for bad craft, especially in websites with tens of thousands of pounds of investment.

Unless you work on public sector publishing, you probably aren't aware that in 2018 the UK law on web accessibility had new regulations on the accessibility of websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies.

Concreting into law accessibility provisions is not a bad thing. It is concerning however that once again this change only applies to publicly-funded institutions.

HTML is by design accessible. Yet so many websites used by millions every day are not.