Monthly Archives: February 2013

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How to teach alternative medicine to your dog

A harmonic oscillator in classical mechanics (...
A harmonic oscillator in classical mechanics (A-B) and quantum mechanics (C-H). In (A-B), a ball, attached to a spring, oscillates back and forth. (C-H) are six solutions to the Schrödinger Equation for this situation. The horizontal axis is position, the vertical axis is the real part (blue) or imaginary part (red) of the wavefunction. (C,D,E,F), but not (G,H), are stationary states (energy eigenstates), which come from solutions to the Time-Independent Schrödinger Equation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


me: Hey Gem. Where have you been?

Gem: Just came back from Italy. I was on a mission to find out how Italians manufacture and sell helicopters.

me: oh, interesting! Just wanted to ask you something. Do you know anything about quantum mechanics?

Gem: Sure, I have taught quantum mechanics to my dog. But he understood the entire concept in just one sentence.

me: Oh, what was that? BTW you have an intelligent dog!

Gem: The act of measurement causes the set of probabilities to immediately and randomly assume only one of the possible values. The act of measurement changes everything.

me: Oh, What a Bohr (My expression was blank. So the readers may safely assume that the pun was not intended). The act of measurement is fundamental to us doctors. We take measurements all the time. BP, Pulse, Blood sugar…. And we measure many things during clinical trials!

Gem: You should try alternative medicine then! They don’t measure much.

me: Don’t tell me you believe in the memory of water molecules beyond the Avagadro limit in homeopathy or the healing powers of yoga. Orac would plan a very respectful insolence on your beliefs.

Gem: See that’s the problem. You make fun of Dr Prasad’s anti-diabetic laddoos. You insist that only RCTs can differentiate a placebo from a drug. I do agree with you. But all I am saying is that before the act of RCT a placebo could be a drug and a drug could be a placebo. All I am concerned about is the effect.

me: But how??

Gem: If you still don’t understand, ask my dog.

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The brighter Moon

Category : Gem

English: The brighter Moon
English: The brighter Moon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Gem is skeptical, not passionate and gets easily bored. But Gem considers it the main ingredient of a quintessential innovative mind. Passion clouds your judgement. You tend to miss the negatives. Cognizance of the unfavorable is crucial for progress.

Gem remains stationary. The world grows around him. Does the umbilical connections to the past become a liability? May be, May be not..

Gem is bad at making small talk. Gem is uncomfortable with the social pattern of networking and rapport building. Gem perceives it as a waste of time.

Gem finds it difficult to turn his thoughts off while sleeping. Gem’s best ideas struck him in his dreams…

Gem is taking a leap into the cold pacific ocean with a lifeboat and Richard Parker. There is no shipwreck though. The lifeboat could be big enough and Richard Parker is just a cat.

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The elusive Kallana (Stone Elephant)

Elephant Self-Portrait
Elephant Self-Portrait (Photo credit: Cybjorg)

Kallana – കല്ലാന  (the literal translation would be stone elephant) is an elusive species of elephant supposed to be seen in Kerala, that belongs to the realm of cryptozoology. The locals describe it as a adult elephant with a maximum height of 5 feet, but with normal trunk and tail. Till recently it was only a local folklore like the bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. Recently one was captured, but whether it is a mutant pygmy elephant or a new species has yet to be ascertained. Even a genetic test could be inconclusive as proof of many such elephants with the same genotype and phenotypic presentation is needed for defining a species. Well documented pygmy elephant species (Elephas maximus borneensis) has been described in other parts of the world.