epidemiology from the bible

 Book of Daniel 1:11-15
New International Version (NIV)

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.

empowering the future generation

Medical students should not just aim to become competent clinicians, but to see themselves as educators and social mobilizers as well.  Our group, the University of the Philippines College of Medicine Class 2015, together with the Department of Community Medicine, was given a unique chance to educate high school kids at the ERDA Technical and Vocational Secondary School in Pandacan, Manila.

We were told that these kids were truly intellectually gifted despite the various socioeconomic hardships they have to face; many of these kids depend on external financial aid.

Last September 13, 2012 was just the first leg of a series of workshops that UPCM2015 facilitated for ERDATech students. Our aim for that particular day was to increase the level of awareness about common vices that are pertinent to this vulnerable age group, such as smoking, alcohol drinking, illicit drugs, & internet addiction.

What followed was a very productive day of lectures, role-playing, games, and group discussions; we were very much surprised with their eagerness to participate in the activities.

We were also surprised with ourselves since this was our group's first collective effort to reach out to high school kids. It felt like we were the right people to give advice to these kids, after all, since we understood the peer pressures of youth. It was also our hope that they can tell their parents and relatives about the detrimental effects to health of cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, drug abuse, and internet addiction, because these are important risk factors that we always encounter in our patients in the clinics.

 In empowering these kids the pertinent values of avoiding these vices, we feel that we have also empowered their individual families. We also feel that we have empowered ourselves somehow with an actualized sense of social responsibility.

We hope that these kids gained some useful insights through the knowledge, skills, & attitudes we've taught them. As this is only just the beginning of our year-long program, we can't wait to see them again this October, and certainly for the next few months in the future.

This post is dedicated to Global Action Day 2012, a global collaboration with this year's theme "The Power of We". Join the conversation using the hashtags #powerofwe, #blogactionday and #BAD12.

the birthday puzzle

how many people in a crowd do i need so that i have a 99% chance of finding at least a pair of individuals who shares the same birthday every year?

the answer, surprisingly, is 57.

read more about this classic birthday conundrum in this NYTimes post, as i can't fully explain to you the math behind it as succintly as that author did.

to fully test this theory, i got hold of UPCM 2015's class list, isolated the first 57 people on that list, and took note of their birthdays on a separate spreadsheet.

January 21, 1989
January 23, 1991
January 28, 1988
February 17, 1989
February 27, 1989
March 10, 1988
March 12, 1989
March 26, 1989
March 26, 1989
March 26, 1990
March 29, 1988
March 5, 1992
April 1, 1989
April 10, 1989
April 12, 1988
May 17, 1988
May 7, 1990
May 8, 1990
June 11, 1992
June 18, 1989
June 23, 1989
June 25, 1989
June 29, 1984
July 1, 1987
July 13, 1986
July 16, 1990
July 20, 1990
July 26, 1989
July 27, 1988
July 31, 1989
July 8, 1990
August 12, 1992
August 2, 1991
August 25, 1989
August 26, 1989
August 4, 1988
August 7, 1989
September 10, 1989
September 11, 1990
September 2, 1987
September 2, 1988
September 25, 1988
October 11, 1988
October 13, 1990
October 26, 1988
October 28, 1989
October 31, 1991
October 6, 1989
November 17, 1989
November 2, 1992
November 24, 1988
November 4, 1988
November 5
December 11, 1989
December 17, 1991
December 30, 1990
December 9, 1989

it turns out that the theory holds water!

coincidentally i was taking a module on probabilities and variances last week, and i only got 57.1% in that week's quiz. guess i need to review my math.

free translation course

The Department of Languages at the British Open University is planning the OT12 MOOC, a Massive Open Online Course on Open Translation tools and practices. The pilot course will run from the 15th October to 7th December 2012 for a total of 8 weeks. Read about the learning objectives of the course through their website.

It is for anyone involved in the translation profession, particularly for English & Spanish language learners. They are inviting professional linguists, translation students, and language enthusiasts to join. At the end of the modules, the participants are expected to:
  • appreciate open translation tools and generic translation skills
  • develop some useful employability skills in a global perspective
  • promote multilingualism and intercultural communication
  • appreciate well-established community translation projects such as Wikipedia, TED talks, and Global Voices
  • and develop translation skills in subject specific domains through translating Open University's OpenLearn content.

Visit the OT12 MOOC website to apply for a free slot.

free infographics course

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas is launching its first ever online course, Introduction to Infographics & Data Visualization, which begins on October 28 and ends December 08.

you may register via the official web site.

you may read also the press release here.

Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization from Knight Center on Vimeo.