Research Blogging Awards 2010

5 03 2010

Research Blogging Awards 2010It is now possible to vote for the winners of the 2010 Research Blogging Awards.

Yet another blog contest, I can hear you say.

Yes, another blog contest, but a very special one. It is a contest among outstanding bloggers who discuss peer-reviewed research.

There are over 1,000 blogs registered at ResearchBlogging.org., responsible for 9,500 posts about peer-reviewed journal articles.

By February 11, 2010, readers had made over 400 nominations. Then, according to researchblogging.org, “the expert panel of judges painstakingly assessed the nominees to select 5 to 10 finalists in each of 20 categories”.

The categories include:

  • Research Blog of the Year  with some excellent blogs like Neuroskeptic (RB page) and Science-Based Medicine (RB page)
  • Blog Post of the Year
  • Research Twitterer of the Year including David Bradley, Dr. Shock and Bora Zivkovic
  • Best New Blog (launched in 2009)
  • Best Expert-Level blog 
  • Best Lay-Level blog 
  • Funniest Blog 
  • Blogs in other languages, like German and Chinese
  • Blogs according to specialty like Biology, Health, Clinical Research, NeuroScience, Psychology etc

I was surprised and honored to note that Laika’s MedLiblog is finalist in the section Philosophy, Research, or Scholarship. Another librarian, Anne Welsh of First Person Narrative is also finalist in this section.

  1. First Person Narrative (RB page)
  2. Christopher Leo (RB page)
  3. The Scientist (RB page)
  4. Laika’s MedLibLog (RB page)
  5. Good, Bad, and Bogus (RB page)

It is now up to you, researchbloggers to vote for your favorite blogs. You don’t need to vote for all categories. It is simply too much and in case of Chinese blogs wouldn’t make much sense either.

You can only cast your vote if you are registered with ResearchBlogging.org.
If you’re not registered (and you blog about peer-reviewed research), you still have time to register. See here for more information. This way you can vote, and most important, can contribute to ResearchBlogging.org. with your review of peer reviewed scientific articles.

Voting closes on March 14, and awards will be announced on ResearchBlogging.org on March 23, 2010.





I’ve got Good News and I’ve got Bad News

26 01 2010

If someone tells you: “I’ve got Good News and I’ve got Bad News”, you probably ask this person: “Well, tell me the bad news first!”

Laika’s MedLibLog has good and bad news for you.

The Bad News is, that this blog didn’t make it to the Finals of the sixth annual Medical Weblog Awards, organized by Medgadget. (see earlier post)

The Good news is that this keeps me from the stress that inevitably comes with following the stats and seeing how your blog is lagging more and more behind. Plus you don’t have to waste time desperately trying to mobilize your husband to just press the *$%# vote button (choosing the right person: me), no matter how many times he says he doesn’t care a bit – (“and wouldn’t it be better to spend less time on blogging anyway?”)

This reminds me of something I’ve tried to suppress, namely that this blog didn’t make it to the shortlists of the Dutch Bloggies 2009 either (see Laika’s MedLibLog on the Longlist of the DutchBloggies!)

The Good news is that many high quality blogs did make it to the finals. Including The Blog that Ate Manhattan, Clinical Cases and Images, Musings of a Distractible Mind (Best Medical Weblog) , other things amanzi (Best Literary Medical Weblog), Allergy Notes, Clinical Cases and Images, Life in the Fast Lane (Best Clinical Sciences Weblog), ScienceRoll (Best Medical Technologies/Informatics Weblog).

Best of all, the superb blog I nominated for Best Medical WeblogDr Shock MD PhD made it to the finals as well!!

But it is hard to understand that blogs like EverythingHealth and Body in Mind with many nominations are not among the finalists. That underlines that contests are very subjective, but so are individual preferences for blogs. It is all in the game.

Anyway you can start voting for your favorite blogs tomorrow. Please have a look at the finalists here at Medgadget, so you can decide who deserves your votes.

Finally I would like to conclude with positive news concerning this blog. This week’s “Cochrane in the news” features the post on Cochrane Evidence Aid. It is on the Cochrane homepage today.

Photo Credit

Best Literary Medical Weblog
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My Little Golden Llama

23 11 2009

Doctor Rob send me
A little golden Llama
Prestigious Price

I did not earn it
by spitting acid musings*
Just wrote this haiku:

Dark when he leaves home,
Dark when he returns from work.
Resident Life.**

Introduced by Rob of Musings of a Distractible Mind as follows:

The final haiku I’m presenting
That Limpens gal who’s unrelenting
She wrote a whole post
But what touched me most
The hours of a life residenting
(5)

Want to read dr Rob’s entire Llamerick  and the haikus of the other price winners, then read this post.

The entire golden pre-selection is mentioned here.

* I now understand this has two meanings ;)
** As indicated in the original post the abovementioned haiku was I
nspired by a tweet by Scott Greenberg, MD

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Health Care Haikus

5 11 2009

Dr Rob Lamberts of Musings of a Distractible Mind is holding a “Health Care Haiku Contest“. The actual contest is at his Facebook page.

Inspired by the beautiful haiku of Dr. Ramona Bates of Suture for a Living, who also inspired T of Notes of an Anesthesioboist to write a Haiku, I started to write my own. Once I started writing, I couldn’t stop.

This is the result: 9 Health Care Haikus.


Haiku #11018284405_db0b517f24 emergency hospital night

Dark when he leaves home,

Dark when he returns from work.

Resident Life.


Haiku #2

Web 2 point ooh tools,

Might help to reform health care.

Change needs people 2.78244074WM004_Supreme_Court


Haiku #3

Health Care Reform.

An unaffordable plan?

A matter of choice.


Haiku #4

One trillion for war.

The poor denied insurance.

U.S. Death Panel.


2910025091_907be70e41 Exam

Haiku #5

P S A screening,

rectal exams, biopsies.

Worries, no less deaths.


Haiku #6

Doctor, Desk, Patient

2868594277_873f67216d doctor patient mural

Questions, silence, not understood,

Frown, shake hands, such pain.


Haiku #7

Fragile hands, white sheets,

Witty old man, nurses laugh.

Shout down silent tears.


Haiku #82898004506_de9f57e836 patient in the next bed

Wishing he was dead,

Paralyzed from neck down,

Nothing he can do.


Haiku #9

The man next to me

discusses end-of-life-wish.

Curtains are closed.


Notes and Acknowledgements

  • Haiku #1 : Inspired by a tweet by Scott Greenberg, MD (and resident)
  • Haiku #2: Own experience, Web 2.0 is more than web 2.0 tools, Web 2.0 is people (see presentation)
  • Haiku #3 and #4: Based on article: “We Can’t Afford Health Care? You Lie!” at Truthorg. (see linked photo below)
  • Haiku #5 A lot of money goes into screening. But is it worth while? Recent studies show that prostate cancer screening may not lower mortality. See older post: Still Confusion about the Usefulness of PSA-screening.
  • Haiku #6, #7, #8, #9 All about loneliness of patients, miscommunication, the lack of being in control and the lack of privacy. Haiku #8 and #9 are based on my own experience: the man lying next to me wanted to end his life, but was not allowed to. He had to take fluid food. I overheard the conversations between him and his doctors, nurses, a psychiatrist, a dietitian and a priest. Quite embarrassing.

Photo Credits:

 

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Laika’s MedLibLog on the Longlist of the Dutch Bloggies!

3 11 2009

dutchbloggies_copy7Laika’s MedLibLog is nominated for the Dutch Bloggies-awards. The Dutch Bloggies is a  yearly contest by the foundation “Dutch Bloggies” that awards weblogs from Dutch-speaking regions.

Besides the overall Most Popular Weblog and Best Microblog, there are longlists for 15 categories. There are 10 blogs on each longlist. Laika’s Medliblog is nominated for best blog in category Best health & sport weblogs.

These are the blogs in this category:

Ajax Life | Catenaccio.nl | De Hardloper | Gezondheid.blog.nl | Green Jump | Laika’s MedLibLog | Marijn Fietst | Medicalfacts | SuikerWijzer | Zorg Beter Maken

I do feel like Tom Thumb amidst the giants. Apart that this site serves a small niche, it is hosted by one person in spare time on a WordPress domain. I’m getting a little intimidated by the professional looks and frequent updates of some of the self hosted blogs. But being nominated is already a great honor.

After publication of the shortlists the final winners will be announced in “het Paard van Troje” in The Hague, December 1th.

Nice to know: Colleague Librarian and fellow blogger Edwin Mijnsbergen (http://twitter.com/zbdigitaal) of the Wonderful blog ZB Digitaal was previous year’s winner in the category Education (see his blogpost)

All longlists can be viewed on http://www.dutchbloggies.nl/2009/?e=16

A better overview (without the need for clicking) is presented at JeroenMirck (link), the blog of Jeroen Mirck, journalist and chairman of the jury.

NRC-next blog (a blog of a Dutch newspaper) -nominated four times itself- also refers to the contest here.

The Volkskrant mentions the Dutch Bloggies nominations here


dutchbloggies2009-jury-totaal

The deliberation of the jury. Originally there were 5000 nominations.

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An Online Birthday Party!

15 06 2009

15-6-2009 18-05-22 BD poes kaart kleinToday is my birthday. And although I stayed home with a headache and other small complaints, and although I don’t really celebrate it any longer (except for the real round figures, like 50-60), the day started out pretty bright just around midnight with all kinds of virtual birthday wishes.

It started with an e-card (left) from Ramona Bates, plastic surgeon and quilter from the USA (hence her blog Suture for a Living), followed by many other birthday wishes.

Robin of Survive the Journey was so kind to send a song via blip.fm and then to organize a “twitter-party” by using the twitter-tool QuoteURL I had just reviewed on my blog (see here).

The start of the Twitter party  is shown below. Here is the link: http://www.quoteurl.com/r1e27

Suture for a Living

  1. rlbates
  2. drval
    drval Happy Birthday to @laikas, our favorite Dutch medical librarian. :)
  3. Ves Dimov, M.D.
  4. Deirdre
  5. Vijay
    scanman @laikas Happy Birthday Jacqueline :)
  6. Laika (Jacqueline)
    laikas @scanman: @laikas Happy Birthday Jacqueline :) Thanks vijay. Wish we could have a Twitter birthday party with cake or so.
  7. Marilyn Mann
  8. Laika (Jacqueline)
    laikas @MarilynMann thanks Marilyn. It is very nice to begin your birthday with all those kind birthday-twishes.
  9. Robin
    staticnrg @Laikas Oh, happy birthday!! Hope it is a wonderful one!! ♫ http://blip.fm/~88du0
  10. Laika (Jacqueline)
    laikas @staticnrg: “@Laikas Oh, happy birthday!! Hope it is a wonderful one!!” – Well the start is all right – thnx! ♫ http://blip.fm/~88e8a

this quote was brought to you by quoteurl (pity that WordPress transforms the style)

Later I received more birthday and get-well wishes from Twitter, Hyves, Facebook, and Fabulously 40 (and beyond). I even received a e-card with “happy birthday” in Chinese!happy-birthday in chinese

Although my friends are virtual (?) and the cards and wishes are virtual, it feels like I’m having a real birthday party with real friends. The only thing that was missing was real coffee, cake or wine. ;)

15-6-2009 18-29-23 tweet rlbates





Martin Bril: the Author, his Death and his Cancer

23 05 2009

Martin BrilMartin Bril is dead.

No “news“, it happened a month ago: April 22.

Martin Bril was a well known Dutch writer, poet and columnist – and the man who invented “skirt day”.

He loved live -and love- in all it’s simplicity. He needed few words to describe the essence of things or as he would say: “The surface is deep enough”. But you know, it is looking at one drop of water and understanding the ocean.

Other expressions: “Good is better than bad” and “You’ve people that bang the guitar really hard for hours, but I rather hear J.J. Cale. Always finished within 4 minutes, but the music stays with you.”

I liked his stories/columns most of the time, they often made me smile.

It is always sad when somebody dies young (Martin was 49), whether a “celebrity” or not. Especially when he leaves two young children and a wife.

I didn’t expect it and it really hit me. Why? I knew he had had cancer, but I thought it had gone. So did he a few years ago. I found a video-interview with him in 2007, where he said: “soon I will be declared “cured” – but then you will see it will return the other day.” In another interview I read: You never beat cancer”, that’s Lance Armstrong-language. Cancer goes away or it stays. It often stays.

I always thought he had colon cancer, but it was esophageal cancer. That’s the trouble with Dutch:Martin Bril Donkere Dagen

  • esophagus = slokdarm,
  • jejunum, ileum = dunne darm
  • colon = dikke darm.

Notice they all have “darm” in them. Mostly colon cancer is called “darmkanker” (or “dikke darmkanker”), and because esophagus is called slokdarm, slokdarmkanker is mistaken for darmkanker, which is quite another disease with other prospects.

Stupid, journalists keep on using the wrong name. Not that it matters a lot now, but still.

More “incorrect” was the fact that I first saw the announcement of his death in a newsletter from dokterdokter.nl (below). It is an online medical information site for patients. I have been getting their newsletter for years now, because -for one thing or another- I’m unsuccessful in unsubscribing to it. Dokterdokter.nl is typically a website that gives very general information, mostly leading to the advise “to check your doctor first”.

dokterdokter Martin Bril geheel

What struck me (besides the fact that I was taken by his death) was that his death was presented as Medical News, next to an enormous “oral sex” headline and the headline “what happens if you die?”. As if it was a tabloid. The message (he died the day before):

Martin Bril finally succumbed to esophageal cancer at the age of 49. Esophageal cancer has a bad prognosis. Why?
(if you click: )

“Martin Bril, the well known author …, died of esophageal cancer at the age of 49. He was a real hedonist. Cigarettes and alcohol were part of his life. Many years he had fought cancer, but Wednesday April 22 he lost his fight. Few people really completely recover from this illness.”

(….) Generally, the disease has to do with your lifestyle. In Western Countries, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are the most important causes of esophageal cancer.

And then it continues summarizing the brochure of the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF- kankerbestrijding)

Whereas most medical sites (including the Dutch Cancer Society, from which all the information was taken) just neutrally say that the cause is unknown, but that alcohol and smoking are known risk factors for esophageal cancer, -and even more so in combination- dokterdokter puts a direct link between Martin’s lifestyle and his death, as if it was his own fault. Maybe it was, but at that moment I didn’t want to know. It didn’t matter. I found it disrespectful, tasteless. I’m quite interested in health and medicine and mechanisms, but the reason of his death -at this moment- was less important than his death itself.

As a matter of fact, Martin stopped using liquor and cocaine in 1997 after given an ultimatum by his wife (“you have two young kids!”) and after attending a trial of a drug baron (Johan V., de Hakkelaar) (to write about). He also wanted to quit smoking. I don’t know whether he succeeded, but he helped STIVORO (“for a smokeless future”) with their campaign (2002) by writing a beautiful column and making a video about (the difficulty of) quitting smoking. “I stopped smoking, because I didn’t like it anymore. Moreover, my kids didn’t want me to die because of smoking……..”

How much better was the reaction of STIVORO to the death of Martin, saying “we have lost a talented author” and thanking him for his input. Just a short notice and ending with the column Martin had written for them: “Did you ever tried to quit smoking?…I did”.

——————73554771_f75ce49f1a rokjesdag

Bij Nederlanders hoef ik Martin Bril nauwelijks te introduceren. Dat ik hier over hem schrijf heeft vooral te maken met het stukje dat ik in de nieuwsbrief van Dokterdokter.nl las. In feite was het dit bericht, waardoor ik wist dat hij gestorven was. Voor mij een schok. Ik lees de Volkskrant niet meer, dus het was mij ontgaan dat het slecht met hem ging. Het is ook een jonge vent, jonger dan ik, met twee dochters, net als ik. Zo kom het altijd nog een beetje dichterbij. En hij kon mooi schrijven. “De oppervlakte was diep genoeg,” zo zei hij, maar het was bij hem net of je in een druppel de hele oceaan kon zien.

Voor het eerst zag ik trouwens dat hij slokdarmkanker had. De meeste journalisten spraken van darmdanker, waar men in de regel toch dikkedarmkanker mee bedoelt. Slokdarmkanker is een heel andere ziekte, met een heel andere prognose. Vreemd dat het meerendeel van de journalisten het toch steeds over darmkanker heeft

Maar dit terzijde. Ik vond het vreemd, dat het bericht als een “nieuwsaankondiging” stond naast de kop “orale sex” en “hoe voelt het als je dood gaat”. Misschien had Martin er wel om kunnen lachen, maar ik vond het bizar. Het verhaal zelf vond ik ook nogal ongepast.

Wat stond er?

De ziekte slokdarmkanker werd schrijver Martin Bril op zijn 49e fataal. Het is een ziekte met slechte vooruitzichten, mede omdat het vaak laat wordt ontdekt.

“Schrijver Martin Bril, bekend van boeken als De kleine keizer en Arbeidsvitaminen en van zijn columns in de Volkskrant, is op 49-jarige leeftijd aan slokdarmkanker overleden. Hij was een echte levensgenieter, sigaretten en alcohol waren een vast onderdeel van zijn leven. Al vele jaren streed hij tegen kanker, maar woensdag 22 april was zijn strijd gestreden. Maar weinig mensen weten volledig te herstellen van deze ziekte.”De ziekte heeft meestal te maken met de leefstijl van mensen. Roken en overmatig alcoholgebruik zijn in Westerse landen de belangrijkste oorzaken voor het ontstaan van slokdarmkanker.

Andere bronnen -ook de KWF-brochure, waar dit stuk aan ontleend is, schrijven steevast dat de oorzaak niet bekend is, maar dat roken en alcohol (vooral in combinatie) de belangrijke risicofactoren zijn. Mogelijk is zijn leefwijze inderdaad de belangrijkste reden geweest dat hij slokdarmkanker heeft gekregen. Nou en? Is het nodig om dit zo op te schrijven? Een dag na zijn dood? Ik vond het nogal oneerbiedig. Misschien dacht men bij dokterdokter.nl dat het schrikeffect mensen zou weerhouden om veel te roken en te drinken, want “kijk, daar krijg je slokdarmkanker van!!” Behalve dat dokterdokter niet bepaald het juiste publiek (de “zelfkanters” en “hedonisten”) zal bereiken, zal zo’n actie sowieso weinig zoden aan de dijk zetten. Dan was Martin’s bijdrage aan de Stivoro campagne “stoppen met roken” (2002/2003) waarschijnlijk veel effectiever. Hij schreef een column voor ze en werkte mee aan een video.

Martin zei: “Ik stopte met roken omdat ik er geen zin meer in had. Bovendien; mijn kinderen vonden dat ik er niet dood aan moest gaan”. Eerder, na een ultimatum van zijn vrouw en het bijwonen van een zitting tegen de drugsbaron de Hakkelaar, was hij al gestopt met alcohol en coke.

Zo anders was ook de reactie van Stivoro. Niets vingertje wijzen: “zie je wel!”, maar dit:

“Samen met de rest van Nederland treurt STIVORO om het heengaan van een bijzonder mens en groot schrijver: Martin Bril

STIVORO heeft Martin leren kennen toen hij zich enthousiast inzette voor onze ‘Stoppen met roken’ campagne van 2002/2003. Hij was toen bereid zijn persoonlijkheid en zijn schrijftalent voor deze campagne in te zetten.

Wij zijn dankbaar dat we met hem hebben mogen samenwerken. We wensen zijn familie en andere dierbaren heel veel sterkte toe.

Hij schreef voor ons de volgende column:

“Bent u wel eens gestopt met roken?
Ik wel……..”

Photo Credit (CC):








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