Adventures in Human Being: A Grand Tour from the Cranium to by Gavin Francis PDF

By Gavin Francis

ISBN-10: 0465079679

ISBN-13: 9780465079674

We suppose we all know bodies in detail, yet for plenty of people they continue to be uncharted territory, an enigma of bone and muscle, neurons and synapses. what number folks comprehend the best way seizures have an effect on the mind, how the guts is hooked up to health and wellbeing, or the why the foot holds the major to our humanity? In Adventures in Human Being, award-winning writer Gavin Francis leads readers on a trip into the hidden pathways of the human physique, providing a advisor to its internal workings and a party of its marvels.

Drawing on his studies as a healthcare professional, ER professional, and family members surgeon, Francis blends tales from the sanatorium with episodes from scientific heritage, philosophy, and literature to explain the physique in disease and in overall healthiness, in lifestyles and in demise. whilst assessing a tender girl with paralysis of the face, Francis displays at the age-old hassle artists have had in shooting human expression. A veteran of the battle in Iraq suffers a shoulder damage that Homer first defined 3 millennia in the past within the Iliad. And while a gardener pricks her finger on a grimy rose thorn, her case of bacterial blood poisoning brings to brain the comatose drowsing beauties within the fairy stories we study as children.

At its middle, Adventures in Human Being is a meditation on what it ability to be human. Poetic, eloquent, and profoundly perceptive, this publication will remodel how you view your physique.

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Extra resources for Adventures in Human Being: A Grand Tour from the Cranium to the Calcaneum

Sample text

Anthropological and historical evidence indicates that most, if not all, human societies have developed some formal rituals for mourning. However, there has been a tendency to simplify and speed up procedures. Margaret Mead found that Manus funerals in 1953 (what she called the ‘New Way’) were very different from those in 1928 (the ‘Old Way’): Short mourning is one of the tenets of the New Way . . the inconsolable parent or spouse may continue to wail . . but if the grief lasts more than two or three days, people become very much alarmed.

However, attempts to use a ‘cultural approach’ are sometimes unrealistic, particularly when they lead to attempts to change a whole way of life. They can, therefore, become demeaning and unintentionally racist. As with the well documented social class differences in mortality and illness (Townsend et al. 1988) material conditions can account for many of the health problems of minority communities. In this view, the poorer health status and higher levels of mortality of some minority ethnic groups are due to their material deprivation and disadvantage.

As with sex, genetic factors are involved with a few conditions, such as sickle cell disease, to which members of Afro-Caribbean, Asian and other ethnic minorities are particularly vulnerable. However, the effects of such factors are insufficient to explain the broad sweep of ethnic differences. They certainly cannot explain the apparent lack of service use by many groups. The effects of migration have been considered. Most ‘first wave’ immigrants were male, with younger, fitter and more wealthy individuals being most likely to have the energy and resources to cope with the difficulties of long-distance migration.

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Adventures in Human Being: A Grand Tour from the Cranium to the Calcaneum by Gavin Francis

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