How to Help Someone Who’s Having a Panic Attack


panic-attack-blog-main-image

  • Do not, under any circumstances, tell someone who is experiencing a panic attack to “calm down” or “relax.” If they could calm down or relax that easily, they would. Similarly, even though statements like “you’re okay!” or “there’s nothing wrong!” might seem innocuous and well-intentioned, they are unlikely to make the person feel any better. These are invalidating statements that will likely lead them to not trust you, or even to resent you as a result.

The complete article

Ryan Engelstad — Better Humans

Image source

The first images of a black hole are a moving reminder of our collective vulnerability


eso1907a

Generating an image of a black hole is a paradox.  A black hole is invisible by nature – it emits no matter that we can measure. So what we see in the image is actually its event horizon. The bright ring is not a physical ring – it’s light coming from matter orbiting the black hole, which is so extremely warped that light itself is bending. There are black holes at the centre of every galaxy – some which sing, some which whir along quietly – and now that we’ve created images of one, it’s possible that we can continue to image more black holes, and even other kinds of cosmic matter.

The complete article

Sanjana Varghese — New Statesman America

Image source

Rereading, retelling, rediscovering Beowulf


138906-004-a9aae52a

I won’t pretend that Beowulf has ever been my favourite Anglo-Saxon text – I always used to get an impression of it as containing lots of action and little reflection – but I have encountered it in many different guises, and found it different each time.  This year, I intend to finally get around to reading the whole poem, preferably out loud, in Old English, using Michael Swanton’s parallel text edition, and I expect to find a different poem from the one which I have read, taught, acted, heard and seen over the years.

The complete article

Kate Thomas — For the Wynn

Image source

Who had the most merciful death on Game of Thrones?


shireen-baratheon-death-595135

Had to publish at least one Game of Thrones article.

By far the most agonizing death was that suffered by poor Shireen Baratheon in season 5—a death so horrible that Thompson had a difficult time even writing about it. The most merciful way to burn someone at the stake is to pile up green wood in such a way as to enclose the victim, so that they die from smoke inhalation fairly quickly. In the case of Shireen, the wood was stacked on a pallet at her feet, burning her from the bottom up and ensuring she was conscious for most of her agonizing death. It could have taken as long as 30 minutes for her to die. So Melisandre lied when she told a frightened Shireen, “It will all be over soon.”

The complete article

Jennifer Ouellette — Ars Technica

Image source

‘Why Do I Always Have a Crush on Someone?’


9-ask-polly-elephant.w700.h467

I can’t remember the last time I truly didn’t have a crush on someone. Looking back on my adolescence, I was always fixated on some boy or girl who more often than not didn’t return my feelings. I can only think of two distinct phases in my life where I didn’t “like” anyone in that way — between fifth and sixth grade, where I have memories of intense creativity, and right before I met my ex, where I was so fed up with dating that I “gave up.” Online dating makes it easy to always HAVE someone around in some capacity — and if I have chemistry with someone, I tend to obsess over them. These crushes get so all-consuming I’ve even considered attending a sex- and love-addicts anonymous meetings. If nothing else, I feel like I’m constantly pining over someone from my past. I look at all the goals I have for myself and think about all the things I could accomplish if I just had a little more negative space in my mind and heart.

The complete article

Heather Havrilesky — The Cut

Image source

Ready for the Measles’ Comeback?


measles_fldoh_8-29

In 2000, it was declared eradicated in the United States. It has since re-emerged, in large part due to a combination of the rise of the anti-vaccine movement and imported cases (from other countries with lower vaccination rates). Since Jan. 1, 2019, there have been 159 confirmed cases of measles in 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington. For comparison, in 2018 there were 63 new cases of measles in the US for the entire year. Some areas have had to declare a state of emergency. Early identification in the ED is critical to minimize exposure and help prevent spread.

The complete article

Sajid Khan, MD & Maryam Arshad, MDEmergency Physicians Monthly

Image source

What is life?


41ra7htjkpl._sx317_bo1204203200_

Remarkably, What Is Life? appeared at the height of World War Two. Schrödinger had fled his native Austria to escape the Nazis and, after a brief sojourn in Oxford, settled in Dublin at the invitation of the prime minister, Éamon de Valera, accompanied by both his wife and mistress. Ireland was a neutral country, so Schrödinger felt free to pursue his academic work, unlike many of his scientific colleagues who assisted the Allies’ war effort. Schrödinger was best known as one of the founders of quantum mechanics, the most successful scientific theory ever. It explained at a stroke the properties of atoms, molecules, subatomic particles, nuclear reactions and the stability of stars. In practical terms, quantum mechanics has given us the laser, the transistor and the superconductor. For de Valera, Schrödinger was quite a catch.

The complete article

Paul Davies — The Monthly

Image source